By Brian, Feinblum, Media Connect CMO
Does your book solve a problem, reveal a secret, give rise to a breakthrough idea, entertain, enlighten, inspire, or help us be better people? If not, why did you write something that’s virtually unmarketable and not promotable to the news media?
Okay, so there are many purposes a book can fulfill, but if your book is to sell better than a vanity project, and if you want help to build a brand as a writer and to garner media coverage, you have to identify a major reason as to why your book exists and how it will do something for someone. Otherwise there’s nothing driving the consumer to purchase it and there’s no story of any consequence for the media to eagerly explore.
So, assuming your book has a reason for existing, and assuming the media will be curious about it, start to identify your hooks – the things that will draw people to your book.
Figure out the top three things your book will do for someone and make those items the key to your press release or pitch to the media. For instance, let’s say your book is discussing raising kids, in particular, how to handle bullying, social media addiction, being involved in the community, getting strong grades, and developing into a mentally and physically fit individual. Pull out three areas – maybe bullying, grades, and fitness. For each one, draft a provocative quote. Then think of timely examples of how you address trending challenges and problems.
You can’t emphasize everything – only a handful of ideas.
Further, one of your selling points you – your training, education, work experience, personal experience, your access to established experts, and your passion for what you write about. Don’t rattle off a resume, but do highlight things such as number of years in the field – are you a teacher, psychologist, researcher? Are you a parent, tutor, or nanny? Do you have a relevant college or graduate degree? Did you work for or with anyone who is famous or well-credentialed?
You need to have an answer to the questions the media are thinking, including:
• What’s new, unique, or different here?
• Who are you? Are you really an expert on this?
• Is this news?
• What story ideas are you offering?
• Does your book content match the demographics of my media outlet?
• Do you have a strong platform?
Tracking down and reaching the media is challenging enough, but the real challenge is finding the right 15-second speech that will entice a media outlet to take a look at your book, press kit, or website. Figure out what you can say and offer – then sharpen your words and make each and every one count. Choose words that say a lot, reflect what you mean, and appeal to what the recipients want to hear.