Now you have a published book. What next? How do you get the much needed publicity to help the world know about you and your book so you can create buzz and increase sales? Here are some things I have learned about creating publicity to sell books.
1. Identify Potential Media Outlets that Might be interested in Your Book Topic. Read magazines, local newspapers, listen to radio shows, and watch television news and talk shows. This includes internet shows and publications. Identify publications or programs that may have segments, hosts, or articles that relate to your topic. Familiarize yourself with their audience, how they present information, and the guests and topics they focus on.
2. Identify something unique about your book and your expertise. You need to sell yourself and your book to get the interest of the producer, editor, or host of the media outlets you are considering. What is different about you and your book that will attract the attention of their audience?
3. Find out the right person to contact. Identify the right contact person to approach. Learn the name of the person or editor of a publication. Look at the credits of television shows to learn names of production staff. Make sure you have the name and title right when you contact this person. It may be your only chance. You can pay public relations companies on line to get contact names of television producers of popular shows to pitch. Make sure they are reputable companies if you decide to spend your money.
4. Create the Perfect Pitch. The perfect pitch is brief, direct, and has information that will help your perspective media contacts see you are the right person for them. Help them identify what problem their audience might have and what information you can offer to help inform and resolve the problem. Your pitch should be refreshing, with a different angle that has not been used before. If you have both personal and professional expertise on your topic let them know that.
5. Highlight your Previous Media Experience. If you have done other television shows or radio, submit a video or radio clip. If you have written articles, suggest you have a sample you can submit. They want some reference material to ensure that you will be a valued guest. Use You-Tube to create a video for television and reference it if you have no previous TV experience.
6. Videotape Author Events. If you do an author event videotape it and use highlights as a clip to show how you connect and interact with your audience and the moderator of your event.
7. Look and Sound Good. If you are pitching a TV station make sure the video you send shows you in your best light. Appearance matters on television. Make sure you are dressed and appear the way you would on a TV show. The audio part of the clip you submit should have you discussing an aspect of your book that is interesting, informative, and displays your expertise or experience. It needs to immediately catch the attention of the person viewing and listening.
8. Discover sites like HARO and Pitch It. Haro (Help a Reporter Out) and Pitch It are sites that you can join for free that link print, radio, and TV media with experts on specific topics. Check them out and pitch story ideas related to your book topic. After they express interest, see if they will plug your book.
9. Build Your Media Portfolio. Start with your local media and use sites like HARO and Pitch It. Continue to expand your media contacts and reference your successes as you contact new perspective media contacts. It just takes one lucky hit like GMA or the Today Show to open lots of doors for you in the future.
10. Check Out Alltop.com Alltop is a site that give you all the latest stories and the 100 most popular blogs. You can search under a specific category. This will help you learn about the current news items that are getting buzz and help you shape a pitch. It can also help you create links and network with people who have a big following on the internet and might be willing to do a story on you and your book.
Remember to be patient. I was taking a seminar where a TV producer told a story about a man she met and liked and wanted to use on a show. It took her a year till she found the right segment for him but she remembered him and used him on a TV segment which led to other media opportunities for him.
Iris Waichler has won 4 awards for her book, Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire, including best book awards from the National Association of Parenting Publications and a Mom’s Choice award. She co-authored A Book is Born, which is the recipient of 6 awards including a silver award for Book of the Year from Foreword Magazine. She currently does articles for National Magazines, Demand Media, and fertilityauthority.com.
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