Monday, March 9, 2015

Finding Media Outlets and the Pitch

Connecting with readers is the goal of marketing. It’s difficult to do on our own, which is why we need to use the media to help us spread the word.

Consider all the possibilities for author interviews or program discussions - radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, and online versions of all of those. Which of these options places you in front of your target audience?

Before we go any further, you need to understand media pitches. What is the media seeking? Let’s begin with what the media does not seek:

“I’m an author and this is my latest book.”

Here’s a tip: the media doesn’t care. You are just one of thousands of authors who have released a book today—big deal! Even if the program focuses on authors, or it’s your local newspaper or TV broadcast, you’ve got to come up with a more compelling reason for them to interview you.

Here’s what the media is looking for: experts. They want expert advice and information for their audience. Remember, you researched and wrote a book. You are an expert in one or more areas. The media wants to talk to you about those subjects—not about your book.

So how do you pitch yourself to the media? What’s your approach? Here are some suggested angles:

  • Educate the audience on a hot topic
  • Expose vital new information
  • Provide expert advice by tying in with a current event
  • Show people how to solve their problems
  • Show people how to be healthier, younger, or sexier
  • Show people how to make or save money
  • Tie in with political or charitable organizations
  • If applicable, provide any of the above with a dose of entertainment

The media is looking for ways to educate their audience. You give them what they want, focus on the topic, and you will be rewarded with an opportunity to mention your book. If it’s obvious promoting your book is your only agenda, the media will look elsewhere.

Not all media outlets are a good fit for your subject matter. Do your research. Discover the interests of producers and reporters. What type of story are they most likely to feature?

Location can play a role in key media opportunities. Your local media should be first on the list, as you have the added advantage of being a local celebrity. The setting of your book is also important, whether fiction or nonfiction. Think about these types of locations: countries, cities, businesses, schools, etc. Can you approach the media in those areas?

Here are some databases of media outlets to get you started:
Online Newspapers
On The Radio
Media Post – mixed media
Global Computing – TV and newspapers
USNPL – TV stations

Have you used the media to its fullest potential?


Pat Hatt said...

Great ideas indeed, when you can mix it in and make it relate you sure have a better chance then the hey, my book it out lol

Christine Rains said...

All wonderful ideas. I do get more views and comments when I offer up advice and tips. People do want to learn.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know I haven't used it to the fullest extent. Good tips here.

Karen Lange said...

I have not used it to the fullest extent either. Thanks so much for the tips and encouragement.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've tried to think of ways to use local media to promote fiction works. None of our radio stations seem to do any thing like it. I'm involved in an event coming up in about a month and hope I can get some ideas there from the media who are present for it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Susan, you could see about getting on the radio promoting the event.

Chrys Fey said...

I'd be terrified to pitch to the media, but I think with these tips I could do it successfully. :) Thanks, L. Diane!

H. R. Sinclair said...

Yeah, we like to get that new information and hot topics!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I've noticed that my few little posts about book signing and getting books in independent bookstores have definitely outperformed my regular "here's my stuff" posts and tweets.

Stephen Tremp said...

Thanks Diane for the timely post. I bookmarked it and will refer to it often in these next days and weeks.

Michelle Wallace said...

Great post.
Our local gazette would be the perfect outlet.
They love to feature news concerning local residents.
It's a free publication which is delivered to residential postboxes, as well as being distributed to 3 different supermarket chains and some high schools... and there is a sister gazette in the neighbouring suburb(s).

cleemckenzie said...

I'm still not good at using the media well. I'm so easily sidetracked that when I look back at the day or the week, I realize I haven't done what I set out to do. Thanks for the post. I agree helping by sharing what we know is the best.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hi Donna!

Tyrean, your post today was really good. People are looking for information.

Michelle, that's a golden opportunity for someone.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Diane .. what a great post - always useful to have new ideas and thoughts .. and then the comments add to the post .. cheers Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I know I have a long way to go, but your post has me thinking. Maybe: The Vietnam War had a pivotal impact on my generation. Kiss of The Assassin is a thriller I couldn't not write if I wanted.

Okay, it needs work, but I'm still grateful you got me thinking.

J.L. Campbell said...

I know I definitely haven't made good use of these outlets. Thanks for these places and spaces.

Anonymous said...

I need to make use of my local media.

Having spoken in front of audiences, they do want to know specific things mentioned in my writing and how publishing works.

Lidy said...

I haven't used media to the fullest extent as well. I've only thought as far as sending press releases. Thanks for the post Diane.

Arlee Bird said...

Excellent advice that is almost always overlooked.

Particularly amazing that authors as storytellers often don't see their own stories as interesting or find a way to tell their story in an engaging and professional way. Maybe a sense of irony in that?

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Shelley Sly said...

This is great! I'm still exploring and learning new things related to the book publishing world, so I haven't yet tried this. But when I do decide to contact media, now I'll be more prepared. Thanks!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Fabulous tips, Diane. It's a great way to engage the audience. A little research goes a long way!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Local media is always the best place to start. Everyone set a goal to contact at least one this week.

Tara Tyler said...

oh girl! this advice is tops! i love this angle! totally using it - i have a contact and will change my approach and see how it goes. love it! thanks! (perfect timing!)