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Follow-up Critical to Getting Media Coverage

With over 500,000 new books being issued every year - and all of them wanting reviews, it truly has become the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" If you don’t follow-up - and that doesn’t mean become a pest - your rate of success will be much lower.

What we are finding that works is the following:

1) Don’t mail any unsolicited review copies. They mostly go in the trash.

2) Send a well-done email query to the appropriate editor with some background, a short bio, story ideas, and a "hook" (that element of controversy, education or entertainment that sets your book apart from others).

3) Don’t look just for a "review" - articles about your book contents or you and your connection to the book have much greater impact and are sometimes easier to get than a review.

4) Package your review copy with a sticker on the inside cover with all the pertinent details about the books distribution, marketing efforts, contact information, publisher, etc.

5) Include only a press release or sell sheet and a bio - no fancy "press kit" works any more (with a few exceptions) - they usually get stripped off and put in the garbage in the mail room.

6) Pack your book with a "Per Your Request" sticker on the outside of the package

7) Consider sending it Priority Mail (their flat rate envelope works great) if the reviewer is prominent or difficult to reach

8)  Set yourself a follow-up for about two weeks out and send a gentle inquiry - "Just following up to make sure your review copy arrived safely and to see if you have had an opportunity to flip through it yet. Please let me know when you know what your plans might be for the book." That will usually elicit some type of response.

9) Continue to follow-up at appropriate intervals (based on email conversation) until you get a firm NO or you get the review or article promised by the reviewer.  After all, you spent the money to send a review copy that they requested - they have some obligation to follow through also.

10) Once the review/article is published, send the journalist a hand written thank you note - if you have postcards for your book - a postcard is perfect - it reminds them of who you are. Add the journalist to your media list and stay in touch to build the relationship for future story ideas. Become an expert in your field.

2 Responses to “Follow-up Critical to Getting Media Coverage”

  1. Ilene Fine says:

    Not to be too picky, but in 6), don’t you mean “Per Your Request” and not “Pre?” If I am in error, I sincerely apologize. If I am not, maybe a tip would be “proofread and proofread again?”

  2. admin says:

    Ilene -

    Thanks for the catch on that. Yes, proofing is important.


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