Several years ago I wrote an article called, “How to Get Featured or Reviewed on Amazon” and it became very popular. Recently, it was pointed out that I left out an important fact like names of various departments. That was my mistake but later on, I encountered another author who was having trouble finding email addresses at a popular P.O.D. company. It was then I realized there was a much deeper problem and that is, many indie authors can’t do deep research. Now I come from a freelancing background where finding people who don’t want to be found is just part of the job. However, we all come from different backgrounds and this kind of stuff isn’t taught in school, even though it really should. Today, I’m going to help you find people who are hard to track online also, I’m going to go over the fundamentals of sending out an ARC or pitch. So buckle up, because we’re going sleuthing.
Tip #1: Before You Start You Need To Look The Part
When approaching a person like a book reviewer or editor, you must present yourself like a professional. That means using a professional email address with your domain’s .com such as: JoeShmoe@YourPublishingCompanyName.com. Most authors have a domain for their pen names but not many have one for their publishing company. I bring this up because there are still book reviewers and editors who exclusively review trad pub books. That means no indies allowed. So like it or not, we need to create a company for our publishing business and that entails building a website and having a professional email address if we want to bypass the snobbery.
Here are the most popular sites for buying a domain and setting up a professional email address for your business:
Tip #2: Don’t Forget To Include A Kit With Your ARCs
Once you’ve gotten passed the gates, you need to bring the goods. I was amazed at how little authors knew about sending out their work, none of the ones I spoke to ever included a book/press kit or formal letter with their books or ARCs. How is someone supposed to know who you are let alone where to find you? Authors can’t assume that a busy professional is going to bother Googling them, many of them just don’t have the time. You need to introduce yourself and your company then give them what they need whether it be an ARC or a book. Here’s an article you should read on the topic by Savvy Writers & E-Books Online.
Tip #3: How to Find Names
Most companies have a corporate website or blog and there, they have listed the names of employees and the departments in which they work. Also, most magazines and publishers have a page where they list their masthead which is really convenient but not every place is this transparent.
If you can’t find a masthead or corporate website, then you can always check out LinkedIn, there they have a search engine which can help you find your target. Just enter the name of the company and start filtering the results to reflect certain terms like department and job position.
If that doesn’t work then you can always pick up a phone and call customer service or the information desk and ask them for the info you lack. But if you’re feeling really bold, you can ask to be connected to the correct department and speak directly to your target.
Tip #4: How to Find Email Addresses
Before we go any further let’s get one thing clear: You are never to email someone’s personal address. It makes you look unprofessional not to mention desperate plus, they may report you. The resources listed here are simply for trying to figure out work email addresses at a large corporation. Most journalists and freelancers use the following services:
Tip #5: Always Remember You Are Not Bothering Anyone!
People who work at a company get paid to do certain tasks and unless you’re preventing them from doing that job, you’re probably not annoying them. If you are professional and courteous to them, then you’ve done your part. And as an indie author it is your job to promote your books so it makes sense to leave no stone unturned.
Tip #6: A Warm Introduction Trumps A Cold Pitch Any Day
Despite what many people think, it takes a lot of courage to become an indie author, because we constantly have to put ourselves out there. Without a middleman, it’s up to us to reach out to the influencers in our industry. If there is a book blogger or editor at a magazine you want to contact, do it, just be smart about it. If they have an online community join it, if they have a social media presence, follow them. Remember a warm email or pitch is always better than a cold one. I talked about this in a previous article “How to Approach & Pitch Social Media Influencers” and it’s worth giving a read. Another helpful article is “Before You Pitch a Book Reviewer: 6 Tips Most Authors Ignore” it’s filled with tips that writing professionals need to know.