Thursday, April 30, 2015

Be Opportunistic: How to Pitch to the Press

This week has been spinning out of control since Monday but I wanted to post something positive today because its my day to post and I didn't want to lose my opportunity.  I keep up with several websites which help me promote my writing and Build Book Buzz is one of those I really like.  They really get down to the nitty gritty of what specific types of information indie authors need to get your book out there. 

As the cartoon on the right says with a twist---I used to hate promotional assignments..... but now I enjoy them....

As we write and feel that passion of what we say is important, Build Book Buzz helps us accomplish this.   Here is one of their links with some great tips for indie authors:

Build Book Buzz

.....and one of their informational posts.... 

You'll often hear book publicists talk about "pitching" a story to the press. But how do you actually do it when you want to take advantage of an opportunity - or want to create one?
"Pitching" is like "selling" - when someone says they're going to pitch a story to a reporter, they mean that they're going to try to sell the reporter on the idea. It's easy to do when you know the basics:
  • Offer a great idea. Your story or segment idea must be relevant to the media outlet and its audience. You wouldn't pitch a "saving for retirement" idea to Seventeen Magazine, for example.
  • Pitch the right journalist. Study the media outlet to find the best fit for your idea, then do a little research to learn who is responsible for that section or program.
  • Explain the idea clearly and compellingly. In the "pitch letter" you send by e-mail, offer a brief description of the article or segment idea.
  • Detail why readers or viewers need the information. After the overview description, make it clear why people will be interested. Does it address a common problem? Will it entertain, educate, or inform? Will it change opinions or perspectives? And why is any of this important?
  • Explain why you're an excellent resource for the piece. Why should the reporter talk to you about this - what do you bring to the topic?
  • Describe relevant visuals for TV. If you're pitching a TV news or talk show, describe visuals that can help bring the idea to life.
  • Offer additional resources. It could be links to background information, statistics, or other people to interview to round out the story.
  • State the next steps. Will you follow-up, or will you leave it to the reporter to contact you if interested?
You might pitch an angle on a topic that's currently making headlines, respond to a general query coming from a source such as HARO or Reporter Connection, or pitch an idea that you know is relevant and important. Whatever the reason for your pitch, include enough information for the journalist to decide if it's a good fit for that media outlet.

 For those who are independent authors, it's one of those necessary evils that we have to blow our own horn and get our stuff out there for everyone to read.  Hope this helps.

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