TV and Radio Appearances – Most cities have a number of media outlets that can be useful to an author promoting a new book. Morning TV new shows often allocate time to interview guests. Talk radio is always looking for guests for interviews and for call-in radio shows. Don’t forget about the local cable access programming.
Your Local Paper – Local papers love to cover local people and stories. But, you need to have a hook. The fact that you’ve written a book is not news enough to get covered. Find a hook by looking at what makes YOU newsworthy and then what makes your book newsworthy. Did you face some kind of adversity in your life that led up to you writing the book?
How did you fit writing the book into your regular life? What did you have to give up to finish the project? How did writing the book impact your life or your family’s life? Is your topic relevant to something going on in the news? Why would someone care about this book or this topic?
Before You Pitch Your Story
Write down what you believe will be the most relevant information to the media you are pitching. Tap into your passion for being an author, your topic and your characters. Remember the story is bigger than “local author writes and publishes book.” Then get it down to a couple of paragraphs. Write a verbal pitch version and an email pitch version. Don’t forget to practice!
For Newspapers – Research online who the appropriate reporter is to cover your topic. If you can’t find the information online, call the general information number and ask the receptionist. Get their name with the proper spelling and their email address if she will give it out.
For TV or Radio – Research what segments may be best to cover your story or your book and the appropriate producer or segment host to contact. Try to get name, phone number, proper spelling and email address if possible.
- Call or email them directly utilizing your verbal or email pitch. If you call and get a voice mail, leave your verbal pitch, the best number to contact you, and let them know you will be following up to see if there is an interest. If you email, attach your media kit.
- Three days later, follow up with a phone call. Leave another message if you don’t get them and leave a message saying you are following up on the story pitch you left them for (brief summary of previous message) along with your best contact phone number and your email address so they can contact you if there is interest in the story.
- If you get a call back or email, respond IMMEDIATELY! The media has no patience for phone tag. They may have a deadline that they are trying to meet and need content right away. If they can’t get you, they will move on!
What You Will Need
- Your media kit (must include interview questions and topics)
- A picture of you, print quality (high resolution) jpeg
- A copy of your book
Susan Burnash is the owner of Purple Duck Marketing in Kirkland, Washington. Her company focuses on marketing, public relations, and video production for authors, speakers, small businesses and nonprofits. Please visit her website at www.purpleduckmarketing.com. Susan can be contacted by phone at 425-896-8959 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org