When it comes to book marketing, getting media attention can be the key to gaining considerable exposure for your book.
But if you’ve been trying to get blogger or media attention for while, you probably already know how tough it can be.
Just remember that everyone is busy so the easier you can make the media person or blogger’s job, the better your chances are of getting noticed.
Tip sheets, if you’ve never used them, can be a great way to get more attention and get better and quicker placement for your book and message.
What’s a Tip Sheet?
These are short, single-page tips about your expertise.
So 10 ways to, 5 things you didn’t know about, or 7 ideas for better…..
I tend to like using the 5, 7 or 10 formula because I think you get better placement in blogs if you keep your tips to max of 10, while also offering them a shorter list of 7 or 5 if that fits better with what they’re writing.
The other reason I love tip sheets is because they can add quite a bit of mileage to your book marketing.
While some tip sheets you create might be more seasonal, be sure to add tip sheets that aren’t too tied to a holiday or season so a media person could use them anytime they have a space to fill. Now that’s a great way to leverage exposure for book sales!
So let me give you an example of how you might create a tip sheet from your topic.
Several years ago we had a an author who wrote a book about the importance of laughter and children. Our general pitch was “Give Your Kids the Gift of Laughter this Holiday Season” (and yes, it was a Christmas pitch).
But then we also had the author expand this to offer tips for creating more laughter in your home.
So, something like: Five Ways to Bring More Laughter Into Your Home. You get the idea. Click here for an example of another.
The tips were simple and straightforward (and easy to implement) but they were unique to the author’s expertise. He was also able to modify them, by season too, which is a smart book marketing move!
Another example is: When Airplanes and Relatives Don’t Leave on Time, and the book was essentially about creating a harmonious family. So when there was a big, nasty snowstorm that grounded planes up and down the east coast, I pushed out a pitch that took her original hook and turned it into tips.
So something like: 10 Ways To Keep Your Sanity When Travel Plans Go Awry.
When something like that happens, I mean something that timely, it’s important not to sit on this pitch idea. When we heard that planes would be grounded, right after the Christmas holiday, and possibly well into New Years, we pushed this list of tips out very quickly to gain some fast momentum.
Who Uses Tips?
People often ask me who to push tips out to, and I’d say: everyone.
Blogs, media, newspapers and magazines. If your topic is super timely, as in the example above, you’ll want to push out these tips very quickly and for that effort, long lead magazines won’t work.
But otherwise, just about any media is fair game.
Be Timely and Unique
It’s one thing to write a set of tips, but it’s quite another to craft tips that are unique and interesting.
If, let’s say, you’ve written a book about weight loss and your tips are a list of basic: “Eat less, move more” kinds of things, you probably won’t get much attention.
In order to craft a set of tips that are unique and really attention-grabbing, you’ll need to do some research first and see what everyone else is saying. Pick up a few magazines, or take a read through a few blogs to see the kinds of tips that really make for a unique pitch.
Being timely is sort of given.
If you have something that ties into New Year New You, don’t wait to put away the Christmas tree before you start this pitch. Start this now. Most media and bloggers need to fill these spots, with timely topics, fairly early.
Hook Your Book
As much as you can, I recommend that you plan your book marketing ahead of time – and this includes any specific dates that tie into bigger topics like cancer awareness months, if that’s your topic, or fire prevention week – you get the idea.
We also share monthly ideas on the blog, here are a couple from past months and you’ll see that in almost every case there’s an opportunity to anchor your topic to something on the calendar. There’s even a peanut butter and jelly day!
A Local Spin on a National Story
Local media is always looking for a local spin to a major national news story, so if you can give them some fodder for their news piece – do it!
So what is a local spin to a national story?
Well, some months ago we worked with someone who was in New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy and later wrote a book about this experience. When the summer hurricanes hit, he crafted tip sheets that were directed at almost anyone in the throes of a national disaster and how to survive it. This local spin helped him get tons of local media.
Remember the HUH Factor
The HUH factor, which is an acronym I love to use means: hip, unique, helpful. Meaning that you want to give enough information, to whet the appetite of whoever is reading the tips – enough that it gives them a solid dose of information, but not so much that it’s too long winded.
Tips should be kept short – think Twitter. Something that’s easy to place in a magazine or sidebar piece.
Tips sheets should be staples in your book marketing arsenal.
You need evergreen ones, planned out holiday or special event ones, and then you need to be ready to create really timely ones when something in the news compliments your message.
As a bonus, these tips should also inspire you to create really good, complimentary content for your blog and your social media as well.
Don’t regurgitate all the same info, but showing you’re a thought leader on multiple channels will only benefit your overall platform. And you better plan on the media checking your website, blog and social when they hear from you – they will do their research – don’t give them a reason to turn you down.