A noteworthy statistic, a question, or both can be the hook that lures a reporter’s attention
So you had a little homework assignment last time: to dig around until you uncovered the theme, aspect, storyline, statistic, or other compelling concept from your book that will make any editor or producer sit up and take notice. What did you come up with?
This idea of finding the hook is important for two reasons:
(1) You want to grab the agent’s or publisher’s attention immediately by standing out from the thousands of other manuscripts they see.
(2) The hook, if it’s strong enough, will become the newsworthy element that causes the editor, reporter, or producer to want to interview you about your book.
As far as contacting the media, it’s important to remember a few things:
- The media are hungry for news.
- You don’t have to be a professional PR rep to get through to the media.
- You do need to write a professional news release with a GIANT hook.
- The media’s job is NOT to promote your book, but to provide relevant, newsy content to their readers, listeners, and/or viewers.
- If you position your hook as something newsworthy, and they’ve got the space, they MIGHT contact you. There are no guarantees.
- The fact that you wrote a book is not, in and of itself, newsworthy. Lots of people write books!
- Do your research! Make sure you contact the proper reporter, editor, or producer in their preferred way to be contacted (i.e., some old-school media outlets still use fax machines; some want you to e-mail attachments with photos; others prefer the media release in the body of the e-mail).
- This should go without saying: PUT YOUR CONTACT INFO ON THE RELEASE!
- This also should go without saying: Once you send the release, BE AVAILABLE if someone from the media contacts you. You won’t get a second chance with that reporter, so don’t tell them you’ll call them back or ask to reschedule.
We’ll get into more details about media releases in an upcoming post.
In the meantime, a good way to present your hook is by using a noteworthy statistic, a question, or both: “Which mistake do 4 out of 5 plastic surgeons routinely make?”
See you Monday, when we’ll talk marketing tips from traditional Labor Day celebrations.
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Thursday, August 25 – Create a MiniBük: Fifth of 5 easy ways to give away samples of your writing