Self-published authors focus so much energy on getting book reviews that they often miss opportunities for wider press coverage from outlets like newspapers, weeklies, local cultural or art magazines, local TV news and news magazines, interview or lit-based programs on community, college, and online radio, podcasts, book blogs, and more.
It’s no secret that positive media attention can help you exponentially extend the reach of your book, so isn’t it time you pursued a few of these avenues?
But how do you go about contacting “the media?”
Actually, it’s simpler than you might think. There are five basic rules for handling your own PR:
1. Contact the correct person
Do a little research. Make sure you have the right name and email or mailing address for relevant producers, podcast or radio hosts, editors, etc. Nine times out of ten this information is readily available online.
2. Keep your pitch short and sweet
As they say in the world of pop music, “don’t bore us; get to the chorus!” Communicate in the first few sentences of your email (or phone call) who you are and why they might be interested in your book, your writing career, and the story BEHIND the story. If you’re delivering this pitch in person or over the phone, practice it until you’ve got it down.
If you’re communicating through email, follow up with a paragraph that contains supporting details, links to your website and supplementary information (online press release, hi-res author photo, bio, etc.), and then sign off.
3. Be polite, never pushy
If you rub someone the wrong way, they’re not going to help you. It’s common sense.
If they respond and say “no thank you,” stay calm and try not to take it personally. They may just have too much on their plate right now.
4. Follow up
If you don’t hear back from them after a week or so, go ahead and send another email asking if they’ve had a chance to check out your book, website, and press release. You know that old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the grease!
If someone writes you back with interview questions, a request for a review copy of your book, or wants you to appear on-air, be sure to respond to them ASAP and make it happen!
For more information, check out PR basics for authors: how to create a digital press kit.
Have you handled your own PR? Did you get some good press for your book or writing career? Let us know about it in the comments below.
[Image of megaphone guy from Shutterstock.]