Become a source for reporters and radio hosts


I’ve been doing some research the last several months finding ways to help authors find and work their niche. I’ve spoken to other marketing reps, authors who are successful, authors who are frustrated, and I’ve read articles and blogs like crazy. As I compile this research into actionable items, I will send it to you in an email like this.

Selling books in today’s environment is challenging. To be successful, you need to stand out from the crowd. If you want to sell books like Sarah Palin, you need to make a name for yourself like Sarah Palin.

Unless you’re in line to be tapped for the next VP nomination, you’ll have to start small. However, thanks to the internet, small no longer means interviews with just the East Sticks Tribune and the Hayseed Times. There are a number of communities emerging to help people with a platform find people with something to say.

The biggest and the best is www.helpareporter.com. It used to be a facebook group called Help a Reporter Out. Their daily HARO emails let you know of reporters looking for sources on certain subjects. If you can speak to the subject and help the reporter, you are establishing yourself as an expert in the field. And how does the reporter establish your credibility? By mentioning your book, of course!

Other similar sites include www.pitchrate.com and www.reporterconnection.com.

All of these are free. They make their money selling advertisements. (My suggestion regarding these? Read them. Supporting people who are helping you is a good idea.)

There is also a similar free site for radio interviews: www.radioguestlist.com.

If you’re a fiction writer, you might be thinking, “Thanks a lot, Jim, but this doesn’t apply to me.” Think a little further. You wrote your book for a reason, right? To make some sort of point, right? You’re doing with story the same thing that nonfiction authors are doing with facts. And if nothing else, you’re a source for writing stories.

The more you get your name out, the more likely the press is to start coming to you.

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