Adapted from an article by Marsha Friedman
Many new fiction authors are surprised to discover that 1) They have to work just as hard promoting their book as they did to write it, and 2) Getting media attention for works of fiction is really hard!
Most journalists and talk show hosts just don’t seem interested in fiction. Even when the author has great testimonials from people who’ve read their book. And even when the topic is profoundly compelling.
But you can get great publicity – and that’s not a fictitious tale!
Novelists are among the most under-served groups in terms of needing marketing help. One big problem is that many authors, and even marketers, strive only for publicity that overtly promotes the book, such as reviews, articles describing the plot and characters, and author Q-and-A’s about “why I wrote it.” That’s fine for journalists, show hosts and bloggers who specialize in writing and talking about books, but the rest will tell you, “Buy an ad!”
While the media may not be interested in the books – you can get them interested in the author. They’re always in need of expert sources to address topical news, trends and issues. Authors often do extensive research on a topic, place or character to make their novels more plausible. That becomes an area of expertise.
Their novel may be loosely based on their own experiences: growing up during the Depression, teaching in an urban school, traveling to foreign countries. That certainly makes them qualified to offer opinions on those topics or issues related to them.
Often, the themes in a novel reflect the lessons or morals the author feels are important to share. It may be that redemption is possible for any wrongdoers; that sacrifice brings rewards; that conforming to societal expectations is not necessarily a good thing
These themes underlie daily news stories, as well. Fiction authors can add depth and context to events and issues by identifying the underlying themes and expanding on them.
How will talking about something related to your book provide the publicity you need?
It gives both you and your book exposure. When quoted by journalists or interviewed on a talk show segment, you’re “Pamela Samuels Young, author of Anybody’s Daughter.” Your website address may get printed, repeated on air or flashed on TV screens. You may even get asked a couple questions about your book, in addition to the newsworthy information you provide.
Second, being quoted by traditional media is marketing gold; it’s an implied endorsement of both you and your book. If you’re the person journalists and show hosts are turning to for insight and expertise, they must value what you have to say.
Thanks to the Internet, that publicity is now worth more than ever. Almost every print publication also publishes online, where articles are exposed to even more people and can live indefinitely. Post links to these on your website, as well as links to, or clips of, your radio and TV interviews, and they’ll continue to give that credibility that makes you stand apart.
Yes, for many fiction writers, getting exposure can be daunting. But it’s not impossible!
Consider the areas of expertise you’ve developed that are relevant to your book; be willing to share that expertise, and focus more on exposure than overt book promotion, and a whole new world will open up to you.
And that’s no fantasy.
What kind of media coverage have you been able to get for your Fiction novel? What topics did you focus the discussion on?