In the first two posts in this series, I covered what you need to know before you pitch the media and how to build a list of media contacts.Here’s we’ll discuss the powerful opportunities available on the internet.
While there are a lot of rules around how to pitch traditional media sources (newspapers, television, magazines, and radio shows), the rules for pitching online sources are often looser, and the opportunities could keep you busy for years. Following are some strategies you can use to get exposure for your books.
The good news is that bloggers have more influence than ever before. Consumers love recommendations, especially when it comes to what books to read, so reaching out to bloggers can lead to some tremendous exposure. Some things to keep in mind when contacting bloggers:
- The top bloggers receive a lot of pitches. You might get better results by pitching mid-level bloggers, who still have loyal readers but aren’t quite as inundated with requests.
- Make sure your pitch fits the tone of the blog. If you’re asking for a book review, search the blog to see if other book reviews have been featured there. If not, find another angle. Perhaps you could offer up copies of your book as a give-away promotion or contribute a guest article.
- Get creative and try to create a win-win situation as much as possible. For example, you could offer to feature the blogger on your site in exchange for a mention on her site. Or you could offer to promote the blogger to your social media following.
- Flattery will get you everywhere. Make sure you let the blogger know that you enjoy their work and that you’re familiar with their content.
To locate bloggers, search for related keywords via http://technorati.com,http://networkedblogs.com, http://blogarama.com, or http://bloghub.com. (Side note: Make sure you list YOUR blog with these directories, too!)
Virtual Book Tours
A virtual book tour is a promotion where you set a specified time, usually two to four weeks, and you put yourself on “tour.” The idea is to get other blogs to feature you each day during your tour stops. Blogs might feature a guest blog post by you or a written interview. In exchange, you should share a link back to the host blog on your own site and across your social media networks.
To create a virtual book tour, start by finding appropriate blog sites and then reach out and ask if they would be interested in featuring you during your tour. Most bloggers are familiar with this concept and many will oblige because the benefits are mutual. It’s also a good idea to offer the blog host a complimentary copy of your book. This shows goodwill, plus it may hook the blogger and inspire them to write more about your book at a later date.
Social Media Influencers
Much like bloggers, social media influencers are people with large social media followings. You can find them by searching social media sites directly including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You will need to be creative with pitches to these folks, though most likely also have active blogs. Consider offering up a contest suggestion or book give-away.
Internet news sites, such as Forbes.com, Huffingtonpost.com, or CNN.com usually have two distinct opportunities. First, the major news sites operate just like traditional media. They are looking for relevant and timely story pitches. Some also feature bloggers, many who are independent contributors for the news site. You can send a traditional media pitch to the journalists (via email) or reach out to the bloggers. Either way, you need a good pitch to get their attention!
Internet Radio Shows
For years I’ve been saying that internet radio is often an under-utilized opportunity for authors. Unlike traditional radio where guests are often featured for just a few minutes, most internet radio programs feature guests for 15 minutes up to a full hour. There are shows that reach niche audiences, including topics on business, finance, parenting, lifestyles, and hobbies. These shows also need guests on a daily or weekly basis and the vast majority welcome pitches from authors. You can find a sample radio pitch here.
Whether you’re reaching out to traditional media sources or bloggers, the most important thing is to make sure you are sending a pitch that is of interest to their target audience of readers. Do your homework before you pitch and you will soon start to see results!
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