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Today you can’t check your email or log onto Facebook without seeing something related to the news and what’s going on locally or globally. So why not work media leads into your book marketing?

With sites like HARO, that can potentially send you several media leads a day, finding opportunities has become the easy part. Responding to them and getting them interested is what takes skill.

Here’s a quick guide that should help you improve the media communications aspect of your book marketing, and in turn, help you build brand awareness and sell more books.

Response Time is Crucial

The quicker you respond to a lead the better your chances are of getting noticed.

You’re probably one of hundreds or even thousands vying for the opportunity and vetting fatigue is a real thing.

Whoever the contact is will have more bandwidth for the initial responses than they will for the 200th or 1000th. They’re only human.

Be Creative and Open Minded

Depending on your topic you might not get media leads that are 100% spot on all the time, and you need to get creative. But that’s what book marketing is all about right?

As long as you’re not pitching yourself as a diet expert to a finance lead you should definitely try to look for tie-ins whenever possible and take a chance or two.

Not only are you showing the contact that there are other, unique angles to consider, you’re showing you’ve really thought about their needs and you’re able to bring something new and different to the table.

Recently I wrote about how to demand attention in an 8-second world.

Crafting Your Response

When you use a media service like HARO you’ll see that there are often specific instructions included with each lead. These help the contact filter out people who aren’t paying attention and help them dial in on who’s really a good fit. So play the game.

When you’re putting together your response, be short and get to the point quickly.

Bullet points can be very powerful and they direct the media person to the highlights of your pitch, and what should make you stand out.

The First Impression

Remember the email subject line is key.

Sometimes a specific subject line is part of the instructions; when that’s the case, use this advice for your opening line of your response.

Make sure it’s compelling enough to get them to open it, or continue reading.

Don’t just say: ‘Great tips on losing weight!’ It’s boring and has been done over a million times. Try something like: Small Changes That Can Make Your Goal Weight a Reality in 2018. This subject suggests an ease of use, addresses a specific yet common problem, and makes it timely, all which improve the allure of your pitch.

Here are more examples of creative subject lines we’ve used this year that got us some great responses:

  • Will Technology Vaporize Your Job?
  • Are You Finding Fake Media Sickening?
  • Do You Think Post-Election Stress Disorder Is Killing Us?
  • Is Your “Cold” More Than Just a Virus?

Following Up is Newbie Move

It’s tempting to want to follow up to make sure the information got to its intended target and we all want the validation that they enjoyed what we had to say, but don’t do it.

Wait for the media person to write you back.

Reserve follow ups for when something has been requested of you. This is savvy book marketing 101.

Getting That Request

“So how many of these do I need to respond to before I hear back?” My answer to that is, “More than you’ll expect.”

Much like your other book marketing strategies, you will have to overshoot this effort to get a return.

So you might respond to 10 media leads before you hear back from one.

The key is to keep responding and stay in the habit of getting out there.

Hire a marketing person if you get really discouraged. Let them review your pitches to date and give you tips on taking them to the next level.

Focus on the Relationships

Network!  You’re not only vying for media opportunities with the next person through a multi-faceted book marketing strategy.

Maybe your angle or area of expertise wasn’t quite right for one story, but if you make a good impression there’s a chance they’ll remember you the next time.

And once they do reach out to you and you make that contact, get them what they need on their timeline, not yours.

Kill your role of book marketing expert by following up with a thank you.

But be cautious with this!

While you want to keep the relationship open, you don’t want to overload them with emails or become a pest.

The Takeaway

Knowing how to manage and reply to media leads is a valuable part of your book marketing plan.

Because books age quickly, especially non-fiction.

But contributing to the media is one of the most valuable ways to keep your book alive long after the publication date, your book stays current because your name stays out there.

Want to know how your book marketing strategy scores in today’s extremely social market? Contact us today to get your personalized assessment!

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