Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Writing Wednesday/ More on Media Pitches…

Writing Wednesday

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Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my writing journey and on to publication, marketing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us in the comments…

More on Marketing/ Media Pitches

You’ve written the book, the proposal, the query, the synopsis, the marketing plan and yes, there is more. The media pitch or one sheet it what is used to try to entice a newspaper or magazine editor to write a feature, a TV producer to do a segment or a radio producer to do an interview with you.

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The first and most important thing you must remember is the editors and producers have no interest in your book or blog. Their only interest is their audience. With that in mind you will need to come up with a story idea that would be of interest to that media outlets entire audience.

audience photo

Through researching and writing your book or blog what is the common theme? Have you become an expert on that topic? Perhaps you write book reviews on your blog. Have you considered pitching a summer reading list segment or article? Perhaps you write a blog on disabilities. Have you considered pitching a list of tips on traveling with a disability? My first book was the true story of my brother’s random road rage murder. I sadly learned everything there is to learn about road rage and consider myself an expert. I pitch tips on not becoming a victim of road rage and also tips on not becoming full of rage as a driver.  My second book is the true story of a homeless woman that my husband brought home one night and she stayed with us for nearly three years. I am now an expert on homelessness. The possibilities of ideas for stories to pitch are endless. You are a writer, of course you can come up with a few.

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Remember; the buzz about you and your book should never come from you. The journalist and radio or TV hosts will mention your book and how to get it at the end of the article/interview. With the buzz coming from them, you and your book will gain immediate credibility.

At first, think small and local. Look up the websites for your local newspapers, TV and radio stations and look for their story idea or pitch submission guidelines. It may not be that easy to find but it is there.

 

Do the research on the media outlets you want to pitch. Read the paper, listen to the radio shows and watch the TV shows you are intending to pitch. Make sure they cover the kind of story you are pitching.

The best way to pitch the media is on the outlets website or by e-mail. It is a good idea to follow them on social media but don’t pitch them there.

The Pitch:

The date

Try to address it to a specific editor/producer/show etc…

Don’t be over formal.

You will probably have three sentences to grab their attention so start with your elevator pitch.

Add your story idea. Show them don’t tell them J you want them to visualize the segment. Relate the story to their audience.

Use bullet points to add 5 or 6 talking points/ suggestions

Next add why you are the best person for the interview adding your book/blog title and a brief synopsis.

A short bio and contact information.

Keep it short, concise and simple, no fluff. One page is sufficient.

Good luck!

Happy Pitching and Writing,

Doreen

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Writing Wednesday and the Monthly Meeting of the Insecure Writers…

It is time for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group. No matter where you are in your writing journey chances are you occasionally have feelings of insecurity. No worry’s, link up and find all of the support you could possibly ask for. If you are in a good place perhaps you have some inspiration to share let’s face it we all feel the need for a bit of support from our friends.

The IWSG co-hosts for this month are Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence!  Don’t forget to visit and thank them for co-hosting.

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It is also Wednesday which means it is also:

 

WritingWednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my writing journey and on to publication, marketing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips please share them with us…

Public Relations (PR) Part 4- Writing a book as a PR tool

The official Merriam Webster definition of PR-

The activity or job of providing information about a particular person or organization to the public so that people will regard that person or organization in a favorable way.

 The relationship between an organization and the public.

You can read parts 1; 2 and 3 of PR tips here:

Part 1- https://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5554 (Public Relations)

Part 2- https://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5566 (Press Releases)

Part 3- https://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5580 (TV and Radio Pitches)

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Publishing a book has never been easier and there are so many reasons to write a book these days other than the obvious of course which is because you are a writer and want a career as an author.

Books are becoming the new business card and can work for any business, product, non-profit or special event as a branding and PR tool. A book can generate income in many other areas besides book sales, speaking, consulting and services to name a few.

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Once you have a book that has been well written you will gain immediate professional credibility.

50 % of all books written are ghost written. 80% of all non-fiction books are ghostwritten. If writing is not your strong suit consider hiring a writing coach or a ghost writer.

Remember:

Public Relations is not selling. Of course we all want to sell our books and a really good Marketing Plan that includes a good PR plan will help you achieve that goal but remember, PR is about goodwill and the audience.

As authors we always need to keep goodwill and audience in mind while we are interacting on social media. If a journalists is considering covering your event or writing an article on you he/she will Google you as will a TV or radio producer.  Don’t post anything you don’t want them to see.

If you cant say nice say it in french

That said; it is okay to occasionally be ‘controversial’ for the sake of discussion or debate but try to maintain professionalism

Auto Correct is a nightmare for me and I am sure it is for you too. As writers we have to be extra diligent to ensure our words no matter where we put them are grammatically correct. I struggle with this…

Happy Writing,

Doreen

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I will hopefully be enjoying some much needed sunshine and a mini vacation in Florida next week so Writing Wednesday will be on hiatus. #Daytonabeachbikeweek

 

But first I am SO excited to be going to the very first BAM Conference! #BAMC15

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Writing Wednesday/ PR Part 2/ Press Releases

WritingWednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them. If you have any tips to share please do…

Public Relations PR Part 2/ Press Releases

Just when you thought writing the book was the hard part you were told you had to write a synopsis, then an outline, a proposal and the hardest of all a query letter.  You finish all of those and breathe a big sigh of release only to find out you need to write marketing, advertising and PR plans and those include writing press releases and media pitches.

Writing is hard

If you have the budget to hire a professional to write and submit your press releases for you, they are well worth the money. If a professional isn’t in your budget no fears, you can write your own.

The fact that you wrote and published a book is not ‘newsworthy’ to most media outlets. They are looking for news that is of interest to their entire audience.

The main thing you have to remember when writing a press release is you are informing the audience of something important to them, you are not promoting your book (that would be considered advertising.) What expertise or insight have you gained from writing your book? If you wrote a book about your transition from the corporate world to owning a bakery perhaps your angle could be ‘the pros and cons of opening a small business in (name of town,) or tips on how to have a memorable celebration. The possibilities are endless but you should choose 2 or 3 and stick with them.

The second thing to remember is keep it concise and professional. Use simple words.

The third thing is to send it to the right place. Do the research. Make sure the publication is right for ‘your news.’ If it isn’t something their readers would be interested in, you are wasting your time and theirs.  My suggestion is to start small, think close to home. Your small hometown paper, magazine or newsletter is a great place to start. On most media websites you can find a place to submit press releases. Does your alma mater have a newspaper or newsletter, does your church? Once you have submitted to these local publications submit to 3 or 4 city papers closest to home. You can expand from there.

Newspaper photo

There are web based businesses that are promising to distribute your press release, for a fee. It is time consuming but you are better off looking up the publications and submitting to them yourself.

Do not submit press releases to the same publication more than once a month unless the news is really big.

Tips on format:

Your headline has to be fabulous and should be no more than 8 words. You only have about 15 words to grab an editor’s attention so the headline counts big-time.

Next you want to put your first choice for the date you want the release to be published. Most people put, For Immediate Release.

Next you want to write an introductory paragraph. Press releases are written in third person. If you are announcing a book event, mention that and the host and any other authors involved. Think hooking the reader here.

Next you want to go more into ‘the news of your release,’ answering the who, what, why, when and where questions. Remember you cannot ‘sell’ in a press release so don’t mention where your book can be purchased. You want the ‘news’ of the release to be so good that the reader will go look for your book.

A short bio comes next and then you want to list your contact information. Let the editor know what contact information you want published and what information you don’t want published. I usually list only an e-mail publicly. If it is for a book event you can list the phone number of the book store or wherever the event is being held.

When a publication does publish your press release, thank them, promote them and share on social media.

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Next week: PR part 3-TV and radio pitches.

 

 

 

 

What unique angle or area of expertise can you use to make your book, WIP or your blog newsworthy?

Happy writing,

Doreen

*** Before the angel of success arrives in your life, you should devote yourself to preparing your welcome for her. Polish your craft and strengthen your body to be fit so that you can do your job and enjoy success when it comes. Sharpen your mind and spirit so they are ready to face the challenges that accompany a visit from the angel of success. If you are not ready when the angel knocks, she will flee. And who knows when she will make it back around to your door again. Unknown ***

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Writing Wednesday/ Marketing Part 2 PR

 

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesdays I like to share bits of information that I picked up on my journey to publication and preparing to be published again. The kind of information I wish someone shared with me.

 

 

 

 

 

MARKETING PART 2

You can find part 1 here:

https://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5230

Marketing is composed of Advertising and Public Relations (PR.)

This week I want to talk about PR. It is the communication that is created to show you and your business (book) in the best light possible. Good PR does not just happen. It usually takes serious planning, a lot of effort and patience.

Press Releases fall under the PR category. They should be short, no more than one page and should answer the questions who; what; where; when and why. They should be e-mailed to editors of print media and producers for radio and TV. Editors and producers are extremely busy. Chances are you won’t hear from them but your release could possibly appear in their publication or be mentioned in a community information spot on radio, TV or the stations websites. If you don’t hear from them and your release does not appear chances are they were not interested. Remember lead times if you are submitting to magazines or TV. Many of them plan their publications well in advance. It is never a good idea to call these people. If you put your contact information on your press release they will contact you if they want more information.

Reasons to send a press release for a book:

  1. To announce the release of a book
  2. To announce book readings/signings

Press Releases should not be sent for reviews. They should never contain links or buying information. That is advertising.

Newspaper photo

Talk show hosts, radio announcers and news anchors rarely have authors on to discuss their books. They are more interested in ‘experts’ on a particular current topic. This is where you need to get creative and prepare a pitch sheet. What has the research and the writing of your book taught you? As an example, my first book Bristol boyz Stomp is about the random road rage murder of my younger brother. That loss has made me an expert in road rage statistics, grief and victim services. When a road rage assault occurs, a producer or journalist (because I sent them a pitch sheet) may request an interview with me to discuss road rage statistics, give the victims view or to give listeners tips on how not to become a victim. Your pitch should include a very brief bio (related to your topic,) the reason you are the best person to discuss your topic and a list of talking points (what you are able to comfortably discuss on the topic.) Again make sure there is no advertising in your pitch. In your bio you can mention you wrote a book on the subject.

An agent or publisher is likely to Google your name before they decide to offer you a contract. Make sure there is something for them to see. Is your blog consistent? Is your Twitter page interesting and engaging?

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A quick way to increase your online presence is to write letters to the editors of local newspapers on current events. Most papers are quick to post these online. This type of letter, once in print also gives you publishing credibility.

Another part of PR is public speaking and events. If the thought scares you find a way to get past your fear. Approach your local library, your church and your bookstore with a pitch for a writing or blogging workshop, author panel, reading etc… Do these for free until you have established a name for yourself. The first people you should invite to your release party is the media.

Remember, the buzz about your book should always come from readers, reviewers and the media, not from you.

Social media is a clever tool for marketing and PR if used correctly. You must be human, chat about stuff other than your book. Be interesting and relevant. If you start or join interesting conversations with people they will want to know more about you, realize you are a writer and seek out your books.

The success of your book hinges on having a book that has heart; is a compelling story and is professionally produced.

Word of mouth is still an effective PR and advertizing tool however; that word of mouth can snowball if you have a good PR plan. PR can be much more effective than advertising. One mention of you and your book by the media can quickly legitimize you as an author.  PR works best in conjunction with a good advertising plan.

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After being cooped up in my office writing for eight months, in my pajamas the thought of going out and actually speaking to people terrified me. What would I wear? Would I sound like I knew what I was talking about? With each book signing and each media event my confidence grew. I actually enjoy it now. The key is being practiced and prepared.

Happy writing!

Doreen

 

 

Writing Wednesday/ Marketing Part 1

 

WRITING WEDNESDAY

Typewriter Pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

 

 

This week’s topic is Marketing Part 1

No matter where you are with your writing, even if you are just starting out, whether you are self, independently or traditionally published, marketing should be on your mind very early on in your process.

Back here I wrote about writing proposals.

https://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5141

An important part of your proposal is the Marketing Plan.

Marketing is the process for creating, communicating, selling and delivering your product (book) to customers and for managing customer (reader) relationships in ways that benefit. It requires co-ordination, planning and implementation.

Before starting your plan you will need to establish your goals, determine your target audience, research competition, ad costs, consider strategies, a time table and a budget.

Keep in mind when planning your timetable that most print publications (other than newspapers) require a long lead time for placing ads. Some magazines are laid out months in advance of their publication date. Internet banner ads can sometimes have a long lead time too. Radio and T.V. producers book guest well in advance. Most book stores schedule readings and book signing’s well ahead of time as well. Conferences book speakers and presenters months in advance.

Advertising is one component of marketing. It is the paid communication about your book through direct mail, print media, radio, television and the internet. An integral part of marketing, advertising is the process used to motivate buyers. Advertising can be expensive. It takes diligent research to come up with advertising outlets that reach your target audience and fit your budget.

Newspaper photo

When considering your marketing budget remember to include promotional materials like business cards, postcards, postage, bookmarkers and other promotional items, advertising, travel a launch party, web site, and professional organization memberships to name a few. If you are publishing with a traditional or an Indy publisher they may cover some of advertising cost, chances are the bulk of it will be up to you. Some authors self-publish and feel they can skip the advertising step. They say, “I cannot afford it.” To this I say publishing is a business. It is absolutely possible to sell books without advertising, most likely one at a time. One, well placed add can sell hundreds.

Public Relations (PR) is the professional action that presents you and your book to the public, stores, and the media including social media in the best possible light and managing the spread of the information about you and your book. These actions also include writing press releases, pitches to T.V. and radio producers, event management, creating and producing promotional materials.

And you thought writing the book was the hardest part didn’t you? Don’t get discouraged. Marketing is a bear, for sure but the key is a good, well researched, well implemented, realistic plan.

Start with a tag line. When someone ask you what your book is about you want a two- to- three sentence answer to roll off of your lips without sounding memorized. It is a good idea to have two or three taglines you can use. Practice saying it out loud until it sounds natural.

Next week I will write in more detail about PR.

 

  • 5000 copies of a hardcover book in one week, depending on the month could land your book on the New York Times top 15 list/
  • 250-500 is the average number of books sold by first time authors.
  • Once again because it is one of my favorites, the average age of a best-selling author is 50.
  • The number of books being published every year is exploding. On average 1,000,000 books are published in the United States each year. Hundreds of thousands of American language books are sold in other countries.

The only thing standing between you and your goal..

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