Whatever and however you celebrate the season, we are moving into that time of year during which the trees leaf out, the early spring flowers bloom, baby chicks are born, and temperatures continue to rise as the days grow longer and longer. Except, of course, for my friends in Australia, New Zealand and other places south of the equator. For them, it is the opposite, so enjoy those nice, warm, tasty soups and warm bread.
Whether you’re in the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere, this is the beginning of April and that means it’s time to check Chase’s Calendar of Events to see what the possibilities are for making your book newsworthy right now. Let’s take a look:
April Fool’s or All Fool’s Day is the first of the month (and that’s no foolin’!) Har har, I know…an oldie but a goodie. April is also…
- Alcohol Awareness Month
- Black Women’s History Month
- Defeat Diabetes Month
- Distracted Driving Awareness Month
- Stress Awareness Month
- National Autism Awareness Month
- National Child Abuse Prevention Month
- National Humor Month
- Laugh at Work Week (April 1-7)
- International Pillow Fight Day (April 1. I didn’t know there was such a thing…)
“Sorry Charlie” Day (Sorry, Charlie. Starkist doesn’t want tuna’s with good taste…You know the rest. Check out the video…in French!)
Looking at that list, is there a way for you to tie your book into one of those topics? If so, you could find yourself getting some great media coverage this month.
Speaking of great media coverage, what does that mean exactly? I have noticed an interesting trend that has been around for awhile now, but it’s been growing more intense lately. More and more people thinking the way to be successful with media is through huge, top-tier media placements, and that just simply isn’t the case. I’d really like to dispel this very common myth and shed a little light here.
While it’s true, top-tier media placements are gratifying, it isn’t always going to bring the kind of ROI you might be expecting. If you are limiting yourself to only the media outlets that you’ve actually heard of, you’re eliminating over 95% of the possibilities.
First of all, to get top tier placements, e.g., Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday (she only interviews celebrities, by the way, so unless you’re a celebrity, chance are pretty slim), Forbes, Inc, the New York Times, etc., you have to be really, really good. You have to be able to deliver in an interview, know you key messages, speak in sound bites, and be informative and entertaining. This does not come automatically to anyone, so if you have no experience, get some, and at the very least, get some training.
On top of that, they are also looking for you to have a huge network so that you will share them with your audience. In a world where everyone can be defined as media, doesn’t it only make sense that the large media brands would look to you, too, for expansion of their brand? Yes. Of course it does. If you don’t have that yet, you need to be working on that.
When it comes to print that is in limited supply, you’re competing with a whole lot of people for very little space. It’s much easier to get into digital outlets because they can just throw up another page. They aren’t limited by space. They are also paid by the clicks so they are looking for people who can help drive others to their blog or outlet.
Placement and coverage on blogs can be a great first step. They’re easier to land, and often larger media will start to consider you when they see you on smaller outlets first. They can check you out and then decide if they want to cover you.
But here is the main point to all of this:
Going after smaller venues that are targeted specifically to those in your niche can be infinitely more successful and provide more ROI than going after huge media outlets where only a small percentage of people care about your niche. In other words, an outlet with 40,000 unique visitors or circulation numbers can yield more than an outlet with 2 million. That’s because all 40,000 are really interested in what you have. The latter are simply ego placements, and that’s fine. If your big dream is to be in the New York Times, then go for it. It simply may not give you the kind of results you want that some smaller outlets will. I find people surprised by this all the time, so it’s good to bring it all out into the open.
There is a certain percentage of people expecting lots of coverage and placement when no one knows who they are yet. They don’t always want to hear that it takes some time to build that kind of visibility and reputation. If you’re looking for media coverage and visibility, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
So it’s really up to you. What do you want? What makes the most sense given where you are. Do you want to reach your audience and build, or try for the biggies which may or may not give you as much ROI, but lots of pride that you got there?
It’s up to you.
To Your Success!
P.S. Speaking of media placements, City Book Review published an article of mine yesterday. My thanks to them. You can check it out here if you’re interested. Your comments are always welcome both here and on City Book Review!