Develop Your Hook for Better Book Publicity

The key to a better publicity campaign is more articles, more quotes, and more interviews. But every show and every publication is different. So how can one person with one book attract the attention of several media outlets? The answer is simple: a great hook.  Adaptation is the foundation for creating your hook. Use these tips to develop your unique hook with each magazine, newspaper, and show you approach.

Why Are You Different?
Sometimes, you must make small changes in your approach. For example, suppose you’ve written a book about taking time off work for relaxation.

Everyone needs relaxation, whether they’re at home or at work, so you can adapt this topic to fit almost anywhere. But the key is to adapt it for the publication. In your campaign, say you pitch publications with an article you’ve written around your subject, entitled “Take Six Months Off.” If no one bites with that hook, consider a different angle. Maybe they don’t want people in a work environment reading about vacations. Perhaps “Prevent Employee Burnout” would be a more suitable title for the publication’s needs. The article could be the same, just a different headline.

Consider the Audience
Media professionals are only concerned with one thing: ratings. When you’re pitching to the media, whether it is radio, print, or television, you must think about what interests their audience, not about yourself. Imagine their perspectives and base your hook on their needs.
Make a list of all the publications you’d like to pitch, and then think about the types of headlines you see on the covers. For example, suppose your book addresses hormone imbalances, stress levels, and chronic fatigue. Consider the following pitches:

  • Woman’s World: How Stress Experts De-stress
  • Self Magazine: Staying Healthy During Stressful Times
  • Parents Magazine: When to Call a Doctor, Warning Signs for Kids
  • Wall Street Journal: Reduce Stress at Work, Diet & Exercise Tips
  • Ladies Home Journal: Tired All the Time? It Could Be Chronic Stress/Fatigue
  • Real Simple Magazine: One-Month Health Make-Over

These different hooks are all on the topic of stress; they are simply adjusted to fit the needs of each specific publication.

Keep with the Times

The final aspect of a winning hook is newsworthiness. Media outlets love to have timely information linked to current events and trends. Start a habit of reading the newspaper and watching the news regularly, and then adapt your ideas to the most cutting-edge information.

For example, suppose you wrote a book about circulatory health. Well, low-carb foods have been all over the news for some time, and a research team just discovered a link between heart attacks and individuals who cut complex carbohydrates from their diets. Using your background in health, what does this mean for low-carb dieters? How does this new report affect the public? As an expert, you can answer these questions, so use this to your advantage.

Hook Your Way to Success

If you want to catch a fish, you have to use the right hook. Apply this same concept to your publicity campaign and develop a winning hook for each media outlet you approach. Expand your topic to appeal to more publications and more shows. With each outlet, adapt your hook to consider the audience’s needs, because that’s who the reporters and producers aim to please. Then link your topic to a current event to make it newsworthy. When you use these guidelines and create a winning hook, you will get more interviews, more articles published, and more publicity for your book.

Pam Lontos
is owner of PR/PR, a public relations firm that specializes in professional speakers, authors, and experts. Having been an author, speaker, and former VP of Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting, she knows the ropes of getting good you publicity and how to use it to really boost your business. Call for a free consultation at (407) 299-6128, and sign up for a free publicity tips e-newsletter at