Monday, September 10, 2012

Pitching to the Media

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!

What is the media seeking? Let's begin with what the media doesn't seek:

“I'm an author and this is my new book.”

Here's a tip – the media doesn't care. You are just one of thousands of authors who have released a book today. Big deal! Even if the program focuses on authors or it’s your local newspaper or TV broadcast, you've got to come up with a more compelling reason for them to interview you.

Here's what the media is looking for – experts. They want expert advice and information for their audience. Remember, you researched and wrote a book. You are an expert in one or more areas. The media wants to talk to you about those subjects, not about your book.

So how do you pitch yourself to the media? What's your approach? Here are some suggested angles:

Educate the audience on a hot topic.
Expose vital new information.
Provide expert advice by tying in with a current event.
Show people how to solve their problems.
Show people how to be healthier, younger, or sexier.
Show people how to make or save money.
Tie in with political or charitable organizations.
If applicable, provide any of the above with a dose of entertainment.

The media is looking for ways to educate their audience. You give them what they want, focus on the topic, and you will be rewarded with an opportunity to mention your book. If it's obvious promoting your book is your only agenda, the media will look elsewhere.

Spunky the cat is not impressed with your media pitch...

37 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's so true. Good stuff to keep in mind!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Awesome advice, Diane!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pitching to the media sounds scary.

shelly said...

How does the media work for the fiction writer?


Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

http://www.shellysnovicewritings.blogspot.com/

http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Shelly, even fiction writers conduct research, and that can be the basis for your pitch.

Southpaw said...

Good advice. I'm with Alex.

Karen Walker said...

Excellent tips, Diane.
Karen

Stephen Tremp said...

Spunky the critic! Great post and well worth a Tweet.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. so important not be self-centred isn't it .. and show what others don't expect ..

Great thoughts here .. cheers Hilary

Vito Coppola said...

Beautiful...

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Diane. Great advice.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

We all need experts! Great post.

Janet Johnson said...

Great advice! It's got me thinking about ways to do that with my book. :)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You make very good points. People want and crave expert advice.

xoRobyn

Johanna Garth said...

I'm an expert cookie-baker/fiction writer...hmmm....think I'm going to need to work on that pitch. ;)

Lubaina E. said...

I'm so following your advices :D

Jai Joshi said...

So true, there has to be a point to what we do and that's what the media will latch onto if we can give it to them.

Jai

michelle said...

Such great advice. It makes so much sense.

Isis Rushdan said...

It's tough for fiction writers to catch the attention of the media unless you've caught the attention of a large number of people. I watched an interview with the 50 Shades of Grey author and she isn't an expert on anything. Your advice does make sense and the rest of us have to find a way to make it work.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Johanna, it could work.

Isis, I'm the author of five fiction and one non-fiction - believe me, there is a way to make it work. I did a lot of interviews for my fiction series.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm working on getting my first interview. Love the kitty.

Patricia Stoltey said...

This makes good sense, but we fiction writers need to think outside the box when we pitch ourselves to the media. It helps to have a crazy hobby...like attorney Susan Spann who now has a contract for her historical ninja mystery series...and raises sea horses. She'll be able to attract lots of media attention with that tank of fascinating little creatures.

Melissa Bradley said...

We definitely do need to make ourselves stand out as fiction writers. I know that Clive Cussler is a deep sea salvage expert and classic car collector. He uses those to sell his fiction and features that expertise in his novels.

Talli Roland said...

Love Spunky the Cat!

Wonderful, practical advice, L Diane.

LD Masterson said...

Sound advice. Although there will have to be a little tweaking involved for some kinds of fiction. I'm not sure the public is looking for an expert on paranormal crime.

Madeleine Sara said...

Awh Spunky is a cutie! He's obviously considered your media pitch very carefully!

Sherry Ellis said...

Great advice! I think it's a little more challenging for a children's writer, though. What you mention is perfect for a non-fiction writer. Spunky, by the way, is too cute!

Gina Gao said...

Thanks for the advice! The media can be a very tricky place to be in.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Gina Gao said...

Thanks for the advice! The media can be a very tricky place to be in.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Theresa Milstein said...

You are so right. Too many people don't get it. You give such helpful tips.

Jeremy Bates said...

Excellent advice. The old, "I'm a first time writer" causes a little known knee-jerk reaction that propels your query letter straight into file 13.

Emily Sovich said...

Great advice! Self-promotion is such a tricky area!

Patti said...

Self-promotion is the thing I dread most. I'm so not good at it, but your post has sparked some ideas not have it be all about me.

nutschell said...

awesome tips! That sounds like a book all writers should read :)

Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you, everyone. I'm glad this has helped in some way.

Helen Ginger said...

Very good advice. The hard part is figuring out what you know that you can use to promote what you write.

Maurice Mitchell said...

What a great idea L. Diane. One approach I heard is look for what's in it for them. Point out to them how promoting your book would be great for the media outlet. I'll try that.