When I was marketing my novel, I would often find myself envious of all the media attention some authors received. Little did I know the author had a team of helpers to scour the earth for interview opportunities. Another fact I didn’t know was that sometimes these teams were hired by the author and not their publisher. In fact, many authors spend their entire advance (if they get one) on marketing their book.
You can hire an assistant as well, so that it doesn’t feel awkward asking for an interview. Just write the pitch letter for your assistant and ask them to send it, this way you’re still in control.
Timing is Everything!
It’s been said a million times but I need to remind you, most magazines and websites publish by editorial calendar. For example, some magazines start looking for Christmas stories in July and Halloween articles in May. This is why it’s so important to send a pitch or query many months before your promotional blitz. Consider this part of your soft launch.
Pitching the Right People
It should go without saying that you have to be careful as to who you pitch because not all media members are indie friendly. In fact, some places are downright hostile to self-published authors. I think it’s because some of them blame us for the downfall of publishing. So save yourself the frustration and anger by learning about the publication you wish to break into. Also learn the name of the editor or assistant editor responsible for the section you’d like to appear in. They hate, Dear Editor pitches and often delete them or worse, they forward them to the interns. *gasp*
What to do if you Want to Break into a Magazine that Doesn’t Feature Indies?
If you absolutely must get your name in O Magazine, or the New York Times, then you’ll need to write an article that will captivate their audience. However, this isn’t the same as promoting your book, yes, it will give a nice byline but little else. However think about it, when was the last time you’ve read the byline of an article?
Here are a few resources to find the right interview opportunity for your book:
- Poets and Writer’s Database
- Wikipedia Database of Book Review Magazines
- World-News Papers
- World Literary Cafe
- MediaBistro (Paid Service)
- Writer’s Market (Paid Service)
Finding Opportunities on Social Media
Social media is a great place to find information for opportunities not available anywhere else. There are newspapers and magazines that update their social media accounts more often than they do their own websites. The search engines of Google+, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter should be your best friends.
You can do the same thing for the Goodreads search engine, just be sure to click both the events tabs as well as the groups tabs at the top.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about podcasts. This past week, Red River Radio launched its first Facebook page and the turn out was tremendous. In less than 24 hours, they had over 270 likes, and several authors contacted us directly about wanting to be on the network.
Podcasts are a great way to land an interview as well as get a book reviewed. Hat tip to BookBuzzr for this list of Podcasts for Authors. Also go to Blogtalkradio.com and type in the search engine, books or authors and see what pops up. The same goes for sites like Podbean and even iTunes. Just make sure to listen to the podcast before you request an interview to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Yes, it’s been said radio is dead but hey, in certain parts of the country and even the world, radio is alive and well. Many radio programs offer interview segments and some are desperate for guests. This is where you come in with swagging with your free books and t-shirts. You can find thousands of stations here on, Radio-Locator and another international one called, RadioStationWorld.
Believe it or not, television is still an option for indie authors promoting a book. Sure you may not end up on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) or the Today Show, and honestly, you don’t need to. There are plenty of places that want to interview authors of any stripe. Just check out a few local programs in your neck of the woods. Here’s an online station locator and another here.
Who and How to Approach?
Many radio and television stations have a contact us page like this one here. Depending on what you have in mind, you can offer a contest of some kind or just request an interview. Whatever you choose make sure to perfect your query/pitch letter before clicking send. It would be wise to approach the producers (if you want an interview) or the marketing department (if you only want to run a contest) in order to get an actual response. If that information isn’t easy to find on the site, Google it. That’s how I found the producer of the local morning show in my town. Most television stations have terrible websites so Google or Bing are a necessity.
So there you go, another hack to help you promote your book. Stay tuned, because next week I’ll be discussing how to get featured on Kobo.