One of the hardest tasks for authors is getting awareness of their published book. There are a myriad number of marketing tactics, but it takes a lot of work to build a decent level of visibility. Getting good publicity is perhaps the most powerful means of attaining the visibility and validation for one’s book. By having a third party such as a TV, radio or podcast host recommend a book, the author earns credibility and validation as well as visibility to the host’s audience. Moreover, the guest appearance is evergreen – for instance, if an author appears on CNN, the author can use the CNN logo on their website for years to come. And when an author gets a guest appearance on one media outlet, it generally leads to invitations to appear on other media outlets. It can also lead to other opportunities, such as contact from a publishing company or production company.
In this month’s podcast, I interviewed Anthony Mora, president and CEO of Anthony Mora Communications and PR for Writers, and author of 2 novels and 7 plays. Anthony began his media career as a freelance journalist and magazine editor. He has placed clients in a wide range of media including CNN, Time, the New York Times, Oprah, the LA Times, the BBC and hundreds of other media outlets. Anthony provided some valuable tips for obtaining media exposure:
- Effective PR consists of storytelling. The first step in getting a media appearance is developing your story. Think about the message you want to convey, as well as the audience of the media outlet you want to appear on, and then develop your pitch.
- Create a media list of the stations and people you want to contact to obtain an interview (TV, radio, podcasts, magazines, etc.).
- Create a website with the cover of your book, where it can be purchased, an enticing book description and information about yourself.
- If you have written a non-fiction book, don’t focus your PR outreach around press releases. Press releases are good for breaking news, celebrity news, events like mergers, but they don’t work well for non-fiction books unless you have a well-known name.
- When choosing a PR firm, find out how long they’ve been around, what type of clients they work with and where they’ve placed them, and how they envision pitching you. If they aren’t excited to work with you, they are probably not a good fit. If they offer a guarantee, back away. There are no legitimate guarantees in this business. However, you should ask how they would view a successful campaign.
- Expect to spend at least $2000 per month for a PR campaign, and run the campaign for 4 months. The cost will depend on the scope of the campaign and the quality of message.