Whether you have been published by a publishing house or are a self-published writer, the person who most wants to get your book out there is YOU. Large publishers are not the marketing and publicity machines that their authors may hope them to be – their expertise lies in producing the book and they generally don’t have large amounts of resources to promote it. If you want your book to sell, you need to be the person to make it happen.
One of the ways that you can generate some publicity is to go through the traditional means of contacting journalists to see if you can get some coverage from them.
There are also alternative ways, and I’d recommend taking a look at a couple of other posts on the subject once you’ve finished with this one:
So, back to the matter at hand…here are some things you might like to try.
Decide on a media angle to generate publicity
Before you approach the press, see if you can think of any possible media angles. Talk to friends and try to come up with a few ideas of how you could interest the media – perhaps you have written your book based on some unusual personal experiences? Or perhaps the subject of your book is particularly topical due to something in the news, or a national/international event? This will all help to give journalists something a ‘hook’ to hang the news of your books release on.
Start with the local media
Your local media is always a good place to start if you are trying to generate some publicity. Approach your local newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations to see if they would like to review your book, do a feature on it or maybe do an interview with you.
You might want to do this by sending out a press release. These are still a pretty standard way of getting information to journalists. There is some really good information on writing a press release (and what journalists want from them) here: How to write the perfect press release for journalists
There are lots of other specialist publications that might be interested in your book too, particularly if it is non-fiction, so get researching, find out the top ten and get in contact with them.
If you are approaching a newspaper or magazine, give them a ring to check who you need to contact first. You could offer to be interviewed or, if you would prefer to have more control over what gets written and perhaps have some experience of writing for newspapers, you could offer to write the article yourself.
Most newspapers and magazines then expect copy to be sent to them by email. If you don’t hear back (which is quite likely) then a polite follow up call the next day is worthwhile, to bring the email to their attention.
Approach the national media for press coverage
Generating interest from the national press may be more difficult. They will often draw their stories from local or specialised news items so it’s good to cover all of those bases first. If you do get in contact directly, it’s a good idea to be as targeted as possible. If there is a columnist, feature writer or newspaper blogger that you think would be particularly interested, send them an email explaining why you have chosen to get in touch with them and giving them some information about your book.
Remember to keep it brief but try and get them excited about your book. Don’t be downhearted if they say no, they simply can’t feature every book they hear about.
Keep the evidence
If you do manage to snag some media attention, remember to keep all of the press articles about yourself. It’s always good to remember who you’ve spoken to and it will be a good way to show any potential future publishers about the interest that has been shown in your book. You can link to the stories on your website or your blog as well.
Wanna know more? Read this page on how to promote your book.