What an Author Must Have Before Reaching Out to the Media

Before Seeking Media for Your Book by Joanne McCall

Sometimes when we get a great idea in our heads, we want to jump all over it and get going! I am that way, but is jumping in head first always the best idea?

Before you start reaching out to the media to get coverage for your book, there are a number of things you need to do first. These are easy and will absolutely help you land coverage, so let’s go through them.

12 things to have in place before you begin your media outreach

1. A Compelling Story or Angle: Ensure you have a unique and compelling story or angle related to your book that will capture the media’s interest. It could be about your personal journey as an author, the inspiration behind your book, or the themes and messages explored in your work. This can’t be stressed enough. To simply say you wrote a book is not enough.

2. Press Release: Prepare a well-written press release that highlights the key points about your book, including its synopsis, author information, release date, and any significant achievements or endorsements. This is a key piece that you will most likely use over and over again, so make it easy on yourself and get it done right away.

3. Author Bio and Media Kit: Create a concise and engaging author biography that showcases your background and writing credentials. I suggest creating two of them. One can be used for an introduction on a podcast or other show, and the longer bio can be used elsewhere. Additionally, have a media kit ready with high-resolution book covers, author photos, book excerpts, and any relevant media coverage or reviews.

4. Book Availability and Distribution: Ensure your book is readily available for purchase or review. Make sure it’s listed on major online retailers and platforms, both in physical and digital formats. Distribution is a huge area and there are companies dedicated to exactly this, so depending on whether you have published traditionally or self published, make sure your book is where it needs to be.

5. Online Presence: This one I’m sure you know, but it’s worth repeating. You must have an active and engaging online presence, including a website, blog, and active social media profiles. This will not only demonstrate your commitment as an author but also provide journalists with additional resources to learn more about you and your work.

6. Identify Relevant Media Outlets: Research and identify media outlets that align with your book’s genre and target audience. Look for newspapers, magazines, radio shows, podcasts, and websites that cover topics related to your book’s theme.

7. Create a Targeted Media List: Build a targeted list of media contacts, including journalists, editors, and producers who cover topics similar to your book. Personalize your outreach to increase the likelihood of getting noticed.

8. Craft a Personalized Pitch: Tailor your pitch to each media outlet or contact, demonstrating why your book is relevant to their audience and how it aligns with their interests or recent coverage. This takes time. There is no quick and fast fix to this. My best advice is to begin by picking 10 media outlets and contacts and focusing on them. You can always expand out beyond that.

9. Review Copies: Offer review copies of your book to journalists, bloggers, and influencers in your niche. Positive reviews and mentions can significantly boost your book’s visibility.

10. Prepare for Interviews: Anticipate potential interview questions and prepare thoughtful answers. Practice speaking about your book, its themes, and your journey as an author.

11. Set Clear Objectives: Define what you hope to achieve through media coverage, whether it’s increased book sales, more business, brand exposure, or building a loyal reader base.

12. Follow-Up: Be proactive in following up with media contacts after sending your pitches or review copies. Journalists and media professionals are often inundated with email, so a polite follow-up can help keep your book on their radar.

Bottom Line

Remember that securing media coverage can be competitive, so patience, persistence, and professionalism are key. It’s essential to be proactive in your approach while not becoming a pest. Persistent but not pesky. Learn the difference.

To your success!


P.S. You can still join me in the Publicity Master Course, brought to you by the Nonfiction Authors Association. We have just started and if you join us, I will personally make sure you are up to speed. Join me here.






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