Reaching out to media outlets is a tried and true method of book marketing. While there are new — and effective — ways of getting the word out about your book, media outreach is still a great option for some authors.

Is Media Outreach the Right Option for You?

Reaching out to media outlets can be an effective way to gain coverage, but it’s not for everyone. It takes time and dedication, which can be tough if you work full-time. And unless you do it yourself, it’ll cost money. There’s no way of knowing if a media outlet will cover your book, but you can be strategic about who you pitch to, how you tailor your message and how you follow up.

Your strategy will determine how well you stand out from the hundreds of email pitches editors, bloggers and media professionals receive every day. When you have stellar press materials and you’ve researched the outlets you’re most likely to get coverage from, you increase your chances of being promoted. Whether you write nonfiction or fiction will help determine your marketing strategy.

How to Promote Nonfiction Books

Successful media outreach campaigns work best when you can pitch your platform in addition to your book. We’ve worked with enough nonfiction authors to see it for ourselves. Pitching the platform gives us the opportunity to tell media outlets what makes you an expert on your book’s topic and what you can offer them.

For example, if we ran a campaign for a parenting book, we would create a media list with parenting blogs, magazines and radio shows. The type of coverage we’d try to secure might include the author…

  • Writing an article on a topic related to their book, which the outlet would reprint on their site or publication
  • Being interviewed on radio or television
  • Answering questions online
  • Blogging on relevant sites

This approach gives you a better chance of obtaining coverage than pitching The New York Times for a review, because we provide the outlet with material rather than making them generate it.

What You Need to Know About Promoting Fiction Books

Pitching fiction books requires a different approach. Chances are, there are a lot of similar books available, so your goal (or the goal of your publicist) is to show reviewers how your book is unique and why they should review it. Media outlet choices for these types of campaigns include book reviewers from places like blogs, magazines, newspapers and even online radio interviews focusing on book reviews.

Book reviewers read on a daily basis, so you can bet they’ll catch editing errors. Many of them may even mention it in the review, which is the last thing you want. With fiction books, editing becomes even more important. Fiction books are meant for entertainment, and that means the words hold more weight.

Should media outreach be a tool in your book marketing arsenal? Because it can be tricky to gain media coverage, it’s not a decision to make without some research. But with the right strategy — and perhaps a little help from a publicist — it could be the key to effectively promoting your book.