I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the following conversation:
Author: “Why hasn’t the media shown interest in my book?”
Amanda: “Well, let’s start with the basics. Why should your book matter to them?”
Author: “Well, I’m an author. This is a new book.”
Amanda: “That’s great, and we are definitely proud of this book and believe it to be newsworthy. But the media doesn’t.”
Author: “Why not? I don’t believe you.”
Amanda: “With over 1 million new titles released every year, not to mention all the books that are already in circulation, your book quite honestly doesn’t mean anything to those reporters. They get similar requests every day. Whether you believe me or not, that’s the truth.”
Author: “They just need the right pitch.”
Amanda: “I couldn’t agree more. But the pitch they are looking for is different than the pitch you are thinking of.”
Author: “How so?”
Amanda: “They want something that is newsworthy. While you writing a book is of note, it will still be of note in 20 years. There is no immediacy to it. What we have to show them is urgency…why this is news right now.”
Author: “How do we do that?”
Amanda: “Simple. By using an event to catch their attention. That gives the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY that all reporters look for. Without that event, we are just sending them the HOW. They get so many HOWs every day, they weed the HOW-only pitches out.”
Moral to the story: don't expect you and your book alone to attract attention. There must be an immediate plug for a press release to be effective.
The best way to do this is with an event.
Another great way to do this is to tag on to another HOTT (with TWO t's....so something BIG) news topic. Be sure to alert your marketing rep when there is something you are connected to. Send him/her the link to the story, what it has to do with your book, your response, and a quote they can use. That's a great way to catch some attention of the press.
Regardless, I see the most response from the media to our contacts regarding events. It's a tangible piece of news they can quickly identify then run with.