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Media coverage is invaluable for amplifying your book launch and raising your author profile. But how do you get your book on journalists’ radars when they receive endless pitches daily?
With strategic planning, compelling outreach and persistence, you can earn media placements that introduce your book to a broad audience, boost credibility, drive sales, and potentially create a bestseller.
Follow these proven tips to score media attention for your book launch.
1. Identify relevant journalists and outlets
Thoroughly research bloggers, freelancers, newspaper/magazine writers, TV producers, podcast hosts and radio show hosts who cover your book’s niche. Look for journalists who’ve covered other authors and books in your genre.
Search media outlet websites and build a targeted press list with key contact names and their preferred pitch methods, like email, online forms or social media. Localize your list with media in your city/state, too.
Prioritize writers and outlets with the widest reach and audience overlap with your target readers. Getting covered on a major outlet can truly amplify launch exposure.
2. Craft a captivating press release
Write a concise yet compelling 400-500 word press release on news value and intrigue. Follow standard PR format — headline, dateline, body paragraphs, boilerplate.
Emphasize the timely news hook — maybe it’s a unique viewpoint, a five-year book anniversary, relevance to current events, or ties to a cultural trend. Highlight fascinating author backstory and credentials. Include an eye-catching quote from the author.
Close with a call to action for media interviews, reviews, features, relevant contact details and social media handles.
3. Prepare a media pitch kit
Bundle relevant information to include in your outreach: Press release, Q&A or list of possible interview questions, author bio and headshot, book cover image, excerpt or sample chapters, early book reviews and blurbs when available.
Provide videos like a book trailer or author introduction. Add testimonials from recognizable figures or brands if possible. Make it easy for the press to access everything they need to cover your launch.
Have both a digital press kit to link to and physical copies to mail if requested. Follow up with new materials as they develop.
4. Strategically time your pitches
Start pitching 4-6 months before the launch to give the media time to coordinate coverage. Follow up periodically with new angles — maybe a book trailer reveal or adding preorders. Then, pitch more heavily 1-2 months before the launch date. Then pitch again once launched with updated press releases, sales figures, reviews etc. Follow relevant hooks like author events, book awards or bestseller status.
Aim for a steady cadence of media outreach versus intermittent big blasts. Think marathon over sprint when planning timing.
5. Personalize pitches with specific story angles
Do your homework on each media outlet to tailor angles, like relating your book to past articles they’ve covered—Personalize emails with the reporter’s name and custom introduction. Offer yourself as an expert source for future stories related to your niche. Provide multiple story ideas appropriate for each outlet. Follow up personally when possible.
Suggest specific ready-made articles, Q&As or op-eds around your book topic that they could publish. Take time to build relationships.
6. Provide value to reporters
Give journalists reasons why covering your book benefits their audience. Offer articles or original data related to your book that media outlets could publish on their site. Suggest the ideal headline and lead if helpful — you know what would make the story appealing. Build an authentic relationship over multiple touch points versus one-off emails.
Being a valuable resource can turn media contacts into loyal supporters who regularly cover your work. Offer to contribute quotes or advice to relevant stories for additional relationship building.
7. Prepare for media interviews
If you get interview opportunities, practice responses to likely questions so you give articulate, succinct answers. Read recent articles by the interviewer to relate. Have anecdotes and soundbites ready to make segments lively and memorable.
Come prepared to book interviews with extra copies of your book, branded giveaways, high-res photos and other visual assets if needed. Maximize the opportunity.
Recording video interviews via your phone cam can provide shareable clips afterward. Put effort into delivering an engaging, memorable interview.
8. Leverage your network
Ask colleagues, friends, and family to share your launch press release with any media connections they may have. Even a warm introduction goes a long way versus cold emails. Look for affiliates and partners who could promote your launch to their own audiences.
Don’t underestimate the power of referrals. They greatly increase the odds of a response. Offer to exchange cross-promotion with other authors to expand reach.
9. Amplify press mentions
Repost media coverage prominently on your website and social channels. Turn radio/TV segments into shareable clips. Update Amazon book metadata with press logos and quotes.
Craft follow-up pitches building on initial coverage, like “As featured in Good Morning LA, here’s 5 more secrets I reveal in the book…” This can compel more coverage.
10. Be persistent
Commit to consistent media outreach before and after launch, not just a one-off blast. Follow up periodically with new story angles. Look for opportunities like awards, reviews and milestones to renew interest.
Don’t get discouraged by non-responses. Many factors influence whether your pitch gets picked up. Stay positive and keep pitching. Land enough compelling placements, and your book PR efforts will pay dividends.