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November 7, 2013

Creating a Media Campaign

One of the first conversations I have with a new client is what their marketing plans are in regards to media appearances. Often times, the author is unsure how to go about getting media attention and therefore puts it on the back burner. Follow these three tips for creating a media campaign.

Blog Tours & Book Blasts: Blog Tours and Book Blasts are great ways to generate excitement with a concentrated media presence. These tools work best for special promotion - Pub Day,  publication anniversary, right before the release of the next book in a series, as a tie in (Awareness months, Children’s Book Week, etc.). I will caution on length of tour. Remember, you need to provide unique content and often extended tours become boring as readers get the “been there, done that” feeling. Blog tours and book blasts should be fun, fresh, and flashy. For more information on how to do a blog tour or book blast check out my tips on tours and book blasts. I also provide a step-by-step guide in my ebook Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. It will walk you through everything you need to know to have a great tour.

Ongoing Blog Appearances: It is important to keep your name in front of readers throughout the year. Your own blog and social media presence helps to keep you connected with your fan base. However, it is appearances on other blogs that will find you new readers. As a blogger who receives numerous review and tour requests each day, I often wonder if authors don’t know they can appear on blogs without a review or tour. Many bloggers have regular guest post features or welcome authors at anytime for interviews and spotlights. You should plan for 1 - 2 appearances each week. Also, authors should note that bloggers with weekly features often are booked 1 - 2 months in advance. Also, because interviews and guest posts are spread out, you can repurpose content easier. If you are interested in appearing on Girl Who Reads, I'm currently booking December.

Bonus tip: In your review pitch, you should always ask if the blogger would like to host you for an interview or guest post.

Other Media Appearances: Blogs are not your only source of media coverage. Your media campaign should include 1 to 3 appearances on non-blog outlets per month.

Print Media: Many areas have an online community newspaper through They are focused on local interest stories and are often willing to do a story on local authors. Also look for Arts & Cultural magazines in your area or state. Most states have a state writing  association (usually associated with a university). I had an article published in the Georgia Writers Association monthly publication. Many communities have a family or parenting magazine. If you are a children's author, you need to find out if your community or region has one. For client Jeff Gunhus, I pitched a story idea about reaching reluctant readers to Chesapeake Family. When contacting print media outlets, pitch a story idead, consider submitting your own article, or ask for an interview. A press release should be included and have a press kit ready to send (or linked to in your pitch) should it be requested.

Bonus Tip: Sign up with HARO - Help a Reporter Out - to receive daily emails (3 times a day) from journalist looking for sources.

Radio/Television: There are a number of online radio shows about books and authors. Blog Talk Radio and Radio Guest List are great sources for finding radio shows. Also do a search for local programming in your area. AM talk shows focused on your community or public access television are great starting points for live media appearances.

I know you want national coverage, but starting with your local media will not only help prepare you for a national appearance it will also establish your reputation.

I will leave you with a final tip for planning your media campaign: Make yourself newsworthy. Public appearances such as book signings and library talks can get you on community calendars. Speaking engagements at the Lion’s Club or Rotary Club can often net more media coverage.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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