Monday, July 25, 2016

The Media

The media has changed and expanded to fit our evolving world. News and information travel much faster now. A story can go from local to worldwide within minutes. Thanks to the Internet, news is exposed to a far wider audience than ever before.

Consider all the possibilities for author interviews or program discussions:

• Radio
• TV
• Newspapers
• Magazines
• Online versions of all of the above

Consider which of these options places you in front of your target audience. Those will garner you the greatest benefit.

Before we go any further, you need to understand media pitches. What is the media seeking? Let’s begin with what the media does not seek:

“I’m an author and this is my latest 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.

What’s your pitch to the media?



The drawing for my play cards was last week - congratulations to Alex Cavanaugh for being the lucky winner.

36 comments:

  1. The media has changed quite a bit over the last 40 years since I first got into the business. Since everything is shared so much quicker, it seems a lot of media only wants snippets so they can go on to the next story. Great tips.

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  2. Yes Diane the media has changed enormously, we now know what is happening the other side of the world minutes after the event.
    Somer great tips you wrote. Thanks.
    Yvonne.

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  3. Good points. And, no matter what *type* of media we're pitching to, now or in the future, your point remains important: what's in it for *them*, the media? It's all about the angle.

    The Charlotte Observer mentioned a news service for women (surprisingly...isn't that competition for them?) called The Skimm http://www.theskimm.com/ that is a subscribe-by-email service. I still watch the 6:30 news every night, but I'm thinking I should branch out.

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  4. Great tips on how to market yourself when trying to get an interview like this. You're right in saying people have to show they have something special to offer.

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  5. No wonder I'm not good with the media.
    Too cool I won - thanks!

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  6. I've had a couple of newspaper interviews. I'm a curiosity having been raised in the Virgin Islands and still having family there. So it's a easy topic to talk about, even though it may not be hot or vital. :)

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  7. Ack! The truly scary part of publishing. :)

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  8. You've given me some things to think about. I've only done a few podcast interviews and they were just about writing and an upcoming release.

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  9. Elizabeth, I'll have to check that out.

    Bish, you have to work your angle.

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  10. I must admit that it does get a tad boring when people devote their whole blog to a new book. Introduce it by all means, but don't go on and on about it especially when it appears on dozens of blogs at the same time.

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  11. Great post! I could do a pitch on griffins, nagi, or writing prompts. Those seem to be my area of expertise.

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  12. I have no idea what I could talk about. Good thing I won't have to worry about this for a while...

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  13. Great post. And unfortunately, I think you're right about thousands of books coming out everyday, which to me means any sale is a good one:)

    Congrats to Alex.

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  14. This is my disappointment with Twitter. I'm not giving up but the lists of buy me, buy me is tiresome. I know there is some merit so I will persevere.
    Having a backstory to yourself is a great way to pitch your book. At a conference I attended in June, my favorite lecturer actually was just a great a storyteller. He had three books and he made you want to read the rest of the story. I bought them all. lol

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  15. Hi Diane - it's having that different angle that leads to other openings ... we need to get ourselves out there and people and the media will follow in one way or the other ...

    Thanks for the advice and tips, as too from your readers - cheers Hilary

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  16. The media also seeks controversy and outrageous ideas or behavior. Now I'm not recommending an author behave badly in order to get media attention, but thinking in terms of the novel's plot and characters, one might want to use something in the book. In Dead Wrong, for instance, I have a character who's punched in the face by her new husband, a cop who kept his violent tendencies hidden during their quick courtship. Running away from him leads my character into an unrelated but dangerous situation with some pretty bad people. With today's focus on anger and mental illness, it would have had potential for more exposure -- but that book released in November 2014 and I was hobbled with knee trouble so did very little promotion except online. Timing is everything. :D

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  17. I know I writer has to put on many caps to get the job done. My media cap barely fits and still needs some alterations. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  18. I've often wondered how I'd be an expert on a fantasy novel. Heck, I could talk about formatting and programming stuff. But when it comes to writing? I flail and fumble. Guess I'll never be in the media. :)

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  19. Congratulations, Alex! And thanks for a clear, comprehensive post, Diane. It's a scary world out there, but experts like you make it much easier to maneuver. Thanks.

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  20. AnonymousJuly 27, 2016

    This makes me wonder what I'm an expert on. I do manage to come up with something during speaking engagements, but I don't know about approaching the media.

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  21. Thought provoking post and some great tips there. Now I need to start thinking what I'm an expert in - washing, ironing, cleaning windows, oh and being nosy :)

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  22. Hmmm...., I'm wondering if there is any way I could make chemistry sound interesting. Now that's something I'm an expert on.

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  23. I'm saving this, been saving stuff all afternoon, trying to find new ways to let the media and others know about my books. Thanks. Found new information on Book Bub too, that I kind of knew but hadn't thought about trying it. Now to get busy.

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  24. another great article full of sage advice!
    i love coming here and catching up on your posts - and i like the deck of cards giveaway, sorry i missed it!

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  25. Great post. Was just thinking about how media has changed, and how to address it for my freelance clients and myself.

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  26. We need to keep up with the times.

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  27. I like your thought on tying the ideas in with entertainment!

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  28. Unfortunately my local newspapers have turned into national syndicates and/or take all their news from random Facebook posts. I can't remember the last time I saw a book review or author feature in them :-(

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  29. Hi human, Diane,

    You made mention of a lot of good tips, my kind, informative human friend. Of course, in my case, the media begs me for interviews. Always great to get extra pawblicity.

    I see the ninja dude, or one of his clones, aka Alex, has won. Congrats to Alex! :)

    I'm outta' here....

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny!

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  30. But wait, you're telling me I'm not as special as I think I am? What gives? :)

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  31. So cool that Alex won something! He's so generous so it's good to see him get something fun for himself.

    Those are great tips about how an author can make themselves stand out from the crowd. Thanks!

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  32. Good advice, as always. A tough order to fill for fiction writers though.

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  33. Found your blog on the Celebrate the Small Things blog post. Your advice on attracting media is spot on. I've been in marketing/PR for over 20 years and it can be challenging at times. Have a great weekend and keep up the good work! www.dianeweidenbenner.com

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  34. Happy August and happy Monday, Diane:)

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  35. I've tried local newspapers with no luck, and so far no luck on niche magazines. I'm definitely not ready for radio or TV. I like your pitch examples, though.

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  36. Now I'm sitting here thinking...I write about murder. Not sure I want to come across as an expert.

    Seriously, you've got a good point. If you can't educate, you have to find a really good way to entertain.

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