One of the first conversations I have with a new client is what their marketing plans are in regard to media appearances. Often times, the author is unsure how to go about getting media attention and therefore puts it on the back burner. Follow these three steps for creating a media campaign to get your book noticed on a local, national and even international level.
Schedule a Blog Tour & Book Blast
Blog Tours and Book Blasts are great ways to generate excitement with a concentrated media presence.
A blog tour is similar to a city tour but instead of flying all over the country, you are surfing the web in a combination of blog and podcast appearances. They usually consist of interviews, guest posts, excerpts, and reviews. A book blast is typically a concentrated one-day event and can involve 50 or more blogs. A book blast is more or less an advertisement and is often used for cover reveals and spotlights that include the summary.
While time-intensive, they are the easiest way to get media attention.
These tools work best for special promotions – Pub Day, publication anniversary, right before the release of the next book in a series, as a tie-in (Awareness months, Children’s Book Week, etc.). I will caution on the length of tour: 15 – 20 stops is more than adequate for a tour.
Remember, you need to provide unique content and often extended tours become boring as readers get the “been there, done that” feeling. Blog tours and book blasts should be fun, fresh, and flashy. For more information on how to do a blog tour or book blast check out my tips on tours and book blasts. I also provide a step-by-step guide in my ebook Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. It will walk you through everything you need to know to have a great tour.
Book Ongoing Blog and Podcast Appearances
It is important to keep your name in front of readers throughout the year. Your own blog and social media presence help to keep you connected with your fan base. However, it is appearances on other blogs and podcasts that will find you new readers. As a blogger who receives numerous review and tour requests each day, I often wonder if authors don’t know they can appear on blogs without a review or tour.
Many bloggers have regular guest post features or welcome authors at any time for interviews and spotlights. You should plan for 1 – 2 appearances each week for the first three months after a book’s release. Then you will want to do 2 or 3 appearances/month. After 6 months, assuming you haven’t started the process over with a new book, shoot for at least one appearance a month.
Authors should note that bloggers with weekly features often are booked 1 – 2 months in advance. So it is a good idea to start booking these as early as possible. Are you thinking this sounds like a lot of work? It is, but since the interviews and guest posts are spread out, you can repurpose content easier. For example, this is a post I wrote in 2013. I’m tweaking some things and adding a bit of new content, but it is a lot easier to write than the first time around.
Another time-saving tip: when you send your review pitch, offer to guest post or to do an interview. Even if I’m not interested in reviewing the book, I will often book a guest post or interview with the author.
Pitch to Traditional Media Outlets
Blogs are not your only source of media coverage. However, traditional media appearances can be the most difficult to obtain. It’s not impossible, and it is an important component of a media campaign. Most of your coverage will be around the time your book first releases or wins an award, but if you can make yourself an “expert,” then you can extend that coverage due to journalists needing sources to quote.
You should try to include 1 to 3 appearances on non-blog outlets per month.
Sign up with HARO - Help a Reporter Out - to receive daily emails (3 times a day) from journalists looking for sources. This resource can be particularly useful for non-fiction authors (but that doesn’t mean fiction authors won’t find opportunities as well). Think about topics you have researched for your books and you might discover that you are now an expert in that area.
There are a number of online radio shows about books and authors. Blog Talk Radio and Radio Guest List are great sources for finding radio shows. Also, do a search for local programming in your area. AM talk shows focused on your community or public access television are great starting points for live media appearances. For television, be sure you can work with a quick turnaround time. I once contacted a local television station for an author and they were at her house for the 6:00 pm news. A slow news day may just be your lucky day.
I know you want national coverage, but starting with your local media will not only help prepare you for a national appearance, it will also establish your reputation. Also, stories by local affiliates are sometimes picked up by the national network.
I will leave you with a final tip for planning your media campaign: make yourself newsworthy. Public appearances such as book signings and library talks can get you on community calendars. Speaking engagements at Lion’s Club or Rotary Club can net media coverage.
Getting involved in a cause that is important to you or winning awards (not just for your books) can be an indirect approach to media coverage.
Day TWO Giveaway
Donna's book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour (Kindle version only). 10 winners will be chosen so make sure to leave a comment!
#NaNoProMo Day 2: How to Create a Successful Media Campaign by guest @Girl_Who_Reads Donna Huber #BookMarketing #MediaCampaigns