Advanced Marketing for Your Book (Getting Media Coverage)

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Writing
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Let’s go back to the analogy we started with…building a book is akin to building a house.  You picked a lot, put the foundation in, framed from there, put the sheathing, siding and roof on, drywalled the interior and then beautified the interior with tile and other acoutrements.  (I will disclose that I was very happy to just use that word.  So much so that I used italics.  The small pleasures.)  All right, to get colloquial, the crap’s in place, but all you’ve got is a beautiful house on a piece of land.  Same with your book.  Actually, probably worse with your book, because your book is just one in a sea of flotsam.  And, you’ve got to get people to pick your flotsam out from the rest.  Time to let people know about it.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of ways to do this, but a good one is your local press.  How to get to those buggers though…

PRESS RELEASE FOR DUMMIES

First of all, you need one.  Don’t just send an email to a reporter or editor saying, “Yo, Adrian, got my book, wanna cover it?!”  The press release is what the reporter or editor will use to: (a) get hooked on your story; (b) get information about you; (c) get information about where they can research your story further.  I’m not claiming to be an expert in PR, but here is an example of what I successfully used for an upcoming release/signing party:

DENVER, COLORADO – July 19, 2011 — Rogue Books, LLC will host a release party and book signing on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the publication of Derek Blass’s novel entitled “Enemy in Blue.” The book release party will take place at the Ice House Tavern Lodo, 1801 Wynkoop Street, Denver, Colorado.

Derek Blass will sign copies of “Enemy in Blue,” a timely and intense cop thriller. The story begins with the videotaped murder of an illegal immigrant by an allegedly racist police officer. The murder draws Cruz Marquez, a young lawyer, into an action-packed journey to preserve the evidence. His success depends on surviving the Chief of Police’s sinister plotting, assassination attempts by a deranged hit man, and the raw force of Sergeant Shaver—his enemy in blue.

About the Author:

Derek Blass lives in Denver, Colorado. He studied English and Economics at Duke University and earned a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He received the “2011 Outstanding New Hispanic Attorney Award” from the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and has been designated as a “Colorado Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine since 2009. He was elected to serve on Mayor John Hickenlooper’s Denver Latino/a Commission for four years, two of which he was a co-chair. He was recently asked to help start the Denver Chapter of the Colorado Latino/a Forum, a powerful Colorado-wide Latino/a organization.

Get the picture?  Short, sweet, and everything a reporter/editor would need to know on one page.  

CUSTOM TAILOR ALL OF YOUR TRANSMITTING EMAILS

Every publication or media outlet you will send your release to has a different mission.  Some may be edgy and avant-garde (I’m gonna burst at the seams if I can think of a third fancy word/phrase to use in this blog).  Some may be conservative.  Every one of them focuses on a certain target audience.  What’s that mean to you?  Custom tailor your pitch to them.  It’s just like when you apply to jobs, or in writing, submit queries to agents and publishers.  You can write a general cover letter/query, and you can correspondingly get back a bunch of rejections.  Or, you can do your research to better understand the job or agent/publisher, and then tailor your correspondence to them accordingly.  Which one do you think works better?  No-brainer, huh?  It’s the same thing with press.  Do your research on what the media outlet writes about and looks for in terms of stories, and then tailor the email transmitting your press release to parallel your research.

NUMBERS GAME..AGAIN…AS ALWAYS

Bombard is probably the correct term.  Imagine a bomber in WWII dropping its payload.  That’s you.  Here’s where the commitment lies, because if you agreed to research each media outlet to tailor your transmitting email, and you agree to bombard, well, you’ve wittingly or unwittingly agreed to do a healthy amount of work.  That’s what it takes though.  One week a media outlet may be in production, the next week they may be looking for stories.  One week your topic may not be relevant to a certain media outlet, but that may all change in two months.  These are just a couple reasons why you need to bombard, and not just pick and choose.

To sum it up, draft a concise, informative press release, research who you are sending it to and custom tailor a transmitting email to them, and then let loose with your payload!

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