By: Kathleen PickeringAs authors, most of us understand the on-going process behind the craft of writing. Getting the book written is no longer our challenge. Getting the book into the hands of the world is.
One of the biggest hurdles we all face is the marketing of our precious cargo—unless, of course you are of the J.K. Rowling or James Patterson ilk. Since I am newly breaking into the publishing world, I have dedicated myself to mastering Internet/Media marketing along with hand-selling because marketing will ultimately measure my books’ success. Besides, I think my stories rock and I want everyone to read them!!!
One champion of media marketing I’ve encountered is Steve Harrison (http://www.reporterconnection.com/). Steve and his brother, Bill, offer a treasure-trove of free information. As expected, much of this info leads to the hook where he gets you to pay big bucks for specialty services, but I say, all the power to him. When I can afford one of his five thousand dollar seminars, I will certainly attend.
What I would like to share with you today are three questions and five fast-track strategies Steve Harrison offers to help visualize and create your career goals. If you find yourself signing up at Steve’s site, please tell him I sent you. (Even though he has no earthly idea who I am, I’d like him to know I’m pitching for him.) So, if you are about to leap into your new career, or are re-vamping your present one, I encourage you to grab a pen and paper and take the time to answer these questions. Here goes:
Career Visualizing Questions:
1. What do you want from you career? Think big! How much do you want to make? What will you be doing in one year? Five? Ten? (Okay, now. You can laugh, but when I hear think big, I say, $10 million/year, movie contracts, book signings and speaking engagements on site, on radio, on TV all the while knowing I can retire, should I want to, but love my life too much to stop . . . oh, yeah!!!)
2. How many books do you want to sell? (I said, 100,000 copies per month. Hey, the man said, think big!)
3. How does your success look? Where are you? Who’s with you? What have you done? How have you been acknowledged? (I’ll let you answer. No need for me to color your opinion any further!)
Fast Track MEDIA Publicity Strategies - When you have a book/movie/event to share with the news, take action. Never underestimate the fact that interest exists for exactly what you have to offer! Here are the basic steps:
1. Contact media by email – Email is the fastest way to get responses over phones (unless you already know the person) or snail mail when contacting newspapers, TV or radio stations.
2. Offer a “timely tie-in” to a current event/holiday – Something happening “now” in the world or your community that relates to your offering/specialty creates an excellent hook to grab a radio or television station’s attention.
3. Use the “magic phrase” – When contacting radio, TV or businesses, your subject line in the email should contain the media person’s first name and use of the word ‘timely’ w/(story) for the event/date. i.e., Andrea, timely guest for Friday before Super Bowl. (The author had a “how to” piece for understanding football.)
4. Keep email short: 3-4 paragraphs describing pitch and qualifications behind it.
5. Send a hand written thank you note after interview. It’s good business!!!
Great stuff, yes? It sure helps me to focus on the business of writing. I just began this process in January to complement my website. Through Steve's free "Reporter Connection" service, I have already been featured in one e-zine article and will be interviewed on a reviewer's blog site on April 20th. (I'll be sure to post it on my Facebook page!) This morning, I sent a query for a morning radio show looking for authors to interview.
I also invested in a video camera (I love my Kodak Zi8!) to record short videos from conferences/workshops as well as interviews with authors. I post these video clips on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/katpickering. Reaching out to readers through the Internet or Media is not only great fun, it is one of the fastest way to earn name recognition, and hence, book sales.
I look forward to mastering this challenge of getting my books into the hands of readers. I'll update you on how these strategies work as the year unfolds. Feel free to post your answers to the questions listed above, or any media tips you would like to share.