The One Question That Immediately Tells Me You’re a Newbie

How to Get Excellent Media Attention for Your Book

If you and I have known one another for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about positioning. How you position your book and its message so that it compels media to want to talk to you, and readers to buy your book, is key to your success. This is the critical first step to any campaign you develop for your book and your business.

You must be able to position yourself as succinctly as possible, with extra points for doing it in as few words as possible.

There is an easy way for me to test how you’re doing.

When potential clients approach me about publicizing and marketing their books, the very first question I ask is, “What is your book about?”

And then I just let them go.

You would be amazed at what happens. Sometimes I don’t say another word for :15 minutes, and finally have to interrupt the author to bring them back to the task at hand.

How they answer that simple question immediately tells me how much help they need. Their response reflects if they have any experience or skill at being succinct, the use of sound bites, and if they know anything about positioning.

Some people who have authored books before and understand this part of the process do pretty well, but not always. With every new book, a new story must be told and that takes work and planning. It’s an evolution.

With new authors, it’s very obvious they’re newbies. You can’t hide it. You can’t pretend to be experienced when you’re not. (Well, you can try, but to the experienced ear, one can tell.)

You very well may be THE expert in your profession, but when it comes to positioning the book and talking about it in a compelling way, there is a learning curve. This must be addressed.

Next, whether you do podcasts, radio, television, Zoom, Skype interviews and even print interviews, you must have energy. You need to come across with enthusiasm for your topic. This may seem obvious, but you would be amazed at how many people do not do this. It could be because they are nervous, or they tone it down because they don’t want to come across as too excited. Whatever the reason, your energy and enthusiasm must come through if your interview you do is never going to see the light of day.

(One caveat: If your topic is tied into tragic news or is sad like grief or disease, you still need to have energy when you discuss it. That doesn’t mean you sound happy, but it does mean you have to have passion in your delivery.)

Next: This is the time you must say something different from what everyone else is saying.

For example, if you’re a financial advisor, saying everyone should save 15 – 20% of everything they make is a yawner. We know that.

If you’re a career expert and you’re telling people to make sure there are no typos on your resume, that is obvious.

If you’re a relationship expert and you’re telling us to have a date night with our spouse, well, these suggestions have been heard many times before.

How can you deliver your key messages in a new, fresh way? Now that just about anyone has access to media, figuring out how you stand out is more important than ever.

Remember, the media often deals with the same topic day in and day out. An editor that handles careers, a relationship columnist, or what have you, has a beat. Believe me, they have heard it all — just about. You need a new spin on it. You must find a way to stand out to capture their attention.

I call it the Red Sheep phenomenon. Imagine a graphic consisting of lots of white sheep. They all look the same, mostly white with some black. Cute, but boring. And then you notice up there, in the right hand corner…Why, it’s a RED sheep. A red sheep in the midst of all the white ones. It’s different. It’s interesting. It’s compelling. It’s unique. I must go talk to the red sheep!

You want to be the red sheep.

The sad thing is that so many authors have spent tons of time researching and writing their books and almost no time learning how to present it in a way that makes people want to buy it. That’s what we’re talking about here.

You’re always selling your book. Every time you open your mouth, you’re selling, and the thing to keep in mind is how do you want the other person to feel?

Do you want them to feel hopeful? Inspired? Frustrated? Depressed? Upset? Loving? What?

Paint a picture in their mind of what you want them to see and to feel. It’s the same when you do an interview. You want to paint pictures in the minds of the readers, listeners and viewers.

There are many different strategies for becoming the red sheep. In the coming weeks I’m going to discuss some of them here with you. But remember. Every author is different. Every book is different. If you want to discuss what it will take for you to become the red sheep, then join me for a Media Strategy Session here.

To your success!


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