Remember Newspapers? You know, those paper things that came through your letter box each day with news, and comics, and adverts for hair growth products. I know it’s hard to believe, but apparently these things still exist, although like most things they now rely on the Interweb to reach people.
So, do Newspapers, in its many guises, have a place in your Author Marketing?
What we first need to consider is the actual purpose. We’re discussing how Newspapers can help your Author Platform, not sell books. Without going into too much detail or research, Newspapers are dying. Over the coming years we will no doubt see more changes, more publications vanish, and the whole media platform alter.
Advertisers see less value in Print, so this is a good sign the numbers simply aren’t there. This doesn’t mean your Author Platform can’t see benefit from the old school, former head honcho though, so consider things carefully.
Welcome back to the How To Build An Author House Series. Today we shall look at Newspapers and how they can still hold precedence in creating a strong Author Platform.
I won’t sit here and write about how important Newspapers can be, and that it should take precedence over other Author Marketing activities. I don’t hold it in that high a regard, and in my opinion neither should you.
What you need to do is consider its relevancy.
Can appearing in your Local Paper help raise your Author Platform profile?
Is the time spent approaching The Times worthwhile?
What’s the gain when you compare it against the risk?
If it measures up then add it to your Author Marketing, but if not leave well alone. If you do think it’s worth it then I hope you find the following points helpful.
The Ultimate Author Press Kit
This is something I feel every Author should create early in their career. The least it will do is prepare you for future Books, and if done properly, can be a great addition to any author platform.
You can add as much or as little as you like, but may I suggest the following:
A basic About Me section that offers a snapshot of who you are. Everything in the Press Kit needs to help paint a picture, so this obviously plays an important part.
This allows whoever reads it to put a face to the name. Don’t just include a stale headshot though, spice things up with a few shots of you in a more natural setting. Anything that can help create a story will go a long way.
A must for me in all walks of life. I live by the rule: ‘Always Be Networking’ so a press kit needs one of these for sure. This Business Card needs to showcase everything that will offer more information about you as an Author. Twitter Handles, Facebook Pages, Amazon Page…anything that offers some author related insight is a must.
Adding your future events such as Book Releases, signings, etc can go a long way in your quest for stardom. You may not be story worthy now, but what about in two months time? Maybe you’re going to the same conference in a few weeks and therefore a prime candidate for an interview?
Again, showing the person on the other end what you’ve done in the past helps them paint a picture. You may think it’s a standard event, but the journalist may see a story in it. They are, after all, the Professional.
A Personalised Cover Letter
Customise everything you can because someone who gets many emails and letters will spot a blanket letter from a mile away. Choose your Newspapers carefully and hand pick your journalists within them. Personalise, personalise, personalise…oh, and did I say personalise?
A Mock Interview:
This is a great way to give the person on the other end a preview of what the story could be like. Don’t see it as stepping on toes, rather a chance for the journalist to make it better. If you do a nice interview, just think what they could do with it!
Bookmarks, Pens, hell, you can Brand just about everything these days. This is great because, one, people like presents, and two, it gets your Brand on their desk for a few weeks. Every little helps and hopefully a conversation will develop from it.
How To Send
To mail or email, that is the question!
Overall research is the key here, so look at who you’re sending it to and see if they have a preferred method of delivery. Email is the easiest, but if you’re able to I suggest mailing out your original offering.
It allows you to add more things to the pack, and just imagine how many emails these journalists get. I can’t even imagine!
Saying that, you should always follow up with an email a few days later (offering copies of everything you previously sent) and then a few days after that a phone call.
As someone who hates cold calling, this is hard for me to say. However, you’re trying to create a relationship here, and the spoken word still offers great value.
A quick chat could do wonders, and if not get you the story, at least get your Author Platform noticed.
There you go guys and gals, another Author Marketing Post brought to an end. I hope you enjoyed this talk about Newspapers and how the old school King could still hold be a vital part in your Author Marketing.
What are your thoughts on the subject?
Have you ever appeared in the Local Rag, or is it a complete waste of time?
As always I’m keen to hear people’s thoughts and experiences.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million