Authors, are you ready – Media Ready?
Are you ready to answer questions?
From fellow writers. Friends. Bloggers. Book reviewers. Radio interviewers. TV hosts.
‘Who are you?’
‘What’s your book about?’
‘Why should I fork out twenty bucks to read your work?’
These are tough yet realistic questions every author must answer, and answer well, if they want to succeed, especially if new and unknown.
It’s not enough just to write a book and automatically expect a publisher to market it and for copies to fly off shelves. Those days are over.
Now, whether traditionally or self published, an author will inevitably shoulder the bulk of publicity efforts.
If you can afford a publicist that’s great, but even then it’s up to you, the writer, to lay your own groundwork.
As an author you must also be able to shine in an interview. This is no time to be bashful or modest. You have to sell yourself, and at the same time connect with your audience.
In addition, if not already famous, your goal is to make a name for yourself.
The way to attract more readers is to gain as much exposure as possible.
To do this every author needs media attention, through television and radio interviews; print and online articles, features and book reviews. There are also countless other ways to become well known, especially through the internet. All avenues should be explored.
And to get attention you must be prepared.
Preparation is key to success. Even before typing ‘The End’ you should be planning your marketing strategy, and already promoting yourself as a professional writer, and/or as an expert in your particular area, field or genre.
Building a platform, in the real and virtual world, is a priority in this tough market. This way, by the time it’s published, readers and media professionals can easily locate information about your book, as well as you, the author. Fans love to learn about an author and their background. This is a great opportunity to gain followers and communicate and interact with them.
Another element of preparation is knowing what to say and how to say it. With so many distractions in daily life, you have to convince potential readers your book is not only worthy of attention, but essential reading. What’s unique about your book? What message or story do you have that could influence others? Identify your expertise, special message, groundbreaking story or information, then flaunt it. Be assertive without appearing boastful and conceited. Love and embrace your own work and this enthusiasm will infect others.
You must also know your book well. Yes, it does sound redundant, but believe me, ‘what’s your book about?’ is one of the toughest questions an author will encounter. It can stump even the most seasoned professional.
You must learn how to easily summarize your book in spoken and written form. Think elevator pitch, think movie trailer. Draw people in, make them take notice.
Then you’ll be a media darling.
Good luck out there!
We’ve chosen 5 writers from this list, using folded slips of paper in a bowl, and they will be getting their copy in the mail in early January 2012.
These are just a few marketing guidelines for writers. For more detailed information and media readiness training, check out the new workbook for authors: Media Ready, Media Savvy.
See Alison’s 10 Publishing Tips on Listosaur.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Alison Hill grew up in a small village in rural Wales, and is a fluent Welsh speaker. She has always been fascinated with America, and one of her favorite authors growing up was Mark Twain. She read American Studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury in southern England, graduating with a BA Honors Degree. During her exchange year at USC Columbia, she met and fell in love with Andrew Hill while searching for a library book. They’ve been married for 18 years and now live in Durham, North Carolina, with two feral tabby cats.
Alison began her journalism career as a newspaper reporter running a regional office in a Welsh coastal town, famous for its sailing conditions. She quickly moved into television, becoming an investigative journalist with the ITV 1 prime time current affairs series -Y Byd arBedwar (The World on Four, broadcast on S4C, Channel 4 Wales.) Here she undertook many exciting ventures, including an undercover assignment where she infiltrated an ‘alleged’ religious cult, becoming a member and secretly filming meetings, events and conversations. (click here for more details!) Alison also produced news reviews and 10-minute segments for a weekly news magazine, and performed voice-overs and stand-ups for items, as well as voicing a Crimestoppers slot.
In the U.S. Alison worked for AT&T Digital Media Centers in Colorado, in media scheduling and quality control for the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and BBC America.
For several years she was the senior public affairs producer at a PBS affiliate in Denver, producing three weekly shows, two of them live, call-in discussion shows. She also hosted and voiced several programs, segments and underwriting spots.
For the past decade Alison has been a regular contributing journalist on BBC Radio Wales news programs. She also trained as a private investigator (surveillance) in Phoenix and Denver.
Her on-screen credits include host of the Emmy-nominated series Dropframe, the PBS showQuantum Factor, a special episode of Colorado Inside Out Live, Colorado Decides 2004, and Haunted World.