Interviews, podcasts and media
Getting interviewed in launch week is another key component of becoming a bestseller.
You want people to hear you and immediately buy your book.
Admittedly, DIY-ing this part is challenging. Publicists have longstanding relationships with many podcasters and media, and therefore securing interviews and coverage is a lot easier.
It’s still not guaranteed, but they are much further along the road than you if you are new to the game.
The aim is for the interviews to be aired the week you launch.
All publicity is good for your ongoing brand promotion and book sales, but if we’re solely focusing on becoming a bestseller, launch-timing is everything.
Whether you are going to DIY or outsource this part, you will need to do it well in advance.
Make a list of relevant podcasts, media outlets and websites you feel are a good fit for you, your service. Basically it’s where your ideal client hangs out.
Make sure you actually listen to some episodes, read articles and are familiar with the outlet, because they will know if you’re not.
Then you need to ‘pitch’, which is contacting them to say what you can offer their audience and how you’re a great fit for their show.
When I was in the corporate/NFP world as a publicist they called me the ‘Pitching Queen’, because almost everything I pitched was picked up!
The important thing to understand is that nobody is here to give you and your book free publicity. Therefore, the focus of your pitch can’t be “Hi, I published a book, can you please interview me about it/write a story?”
The first thing a journalist or editor asks is “Why do I care?” They are brutal, and rightfully so. Their job is to keep their audience interested, and that means providing content their audience wants to see/hear. Remember, they are competing with countless other outlets, and they are constantly facing the challenge of keeping their audience loyal.
The ‘hook’ of your pitch should be about how you can help their audience, or maybe how you helped a client face a common problem which is something their audience will relate to.
You and your book are just the backend of the pitch.
Most podcasts and many websites will have a section about how to contact them and what they require in your pitch.
Follow the instructions and always be specific rather than generic. You are better off spending time crafting individual pitches than blanket sending out a bunch of generic ones which nobody feels is speaking to them.
As for media, there are a number of free press release services online (just google them), plus there are some paid ones, which are obviously higher quality and allow you to choose relevant lists.
However, media is a tricky one because as I mentioned above, having existing relationships helps a lot…
Plus, press releases often don’t get a response at all, because it’s often all in the followup.
You are highly unlikely to find direct contact details for journalists – and this is where publicists really shine. They will personally followup journos for key outlets to ‘sell in’ the story.
Still, you have to work within your means, and if a publicist isn’t in your budget (a good one will cost several thousand for one campaign), just do what you can!