Aug. 24, 2022

How to Best Grow and Attract Media Attention for Your Book - BM332

How to Best Grow and Attract Media Attention for Your Book - BM332

PR master Lynette Hoy reveals the top three things authors can do to get publicity and promotion for their book, including starting early, consuming media, and finding their niche market.


PR master Lynette Hoy reveals the top three things authors can do to get publicity and promotion for their book, including starting early, consuming media, and finding their niche market.
Listen to this powerful episode and learn:
1. The power of publicity and how it can help your author's success plan
2. The importance of advance publicity planning and preparation
3. The benefits of targeting a niche market
And, a whole lot more

Register for Lynette's powerful Masterclass:
The 3 Uncommon Ways to Boost Visibility and Credibility Without Pulling Your Hair Out or Losing Your Mind
Free gift from Lynette: 20 Tips to Get Visible Starting Now
 
Schedule your complimentary 20-minute session BrainStormWithSusan.com

Transcript

Susan Friedmann
 Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas and tips from the masters. 

Every week I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. 

Today, my special guest is a fiery idea generator and connector. Lynette Hoy is an informative and inspirational speaker, forthcoming author, trainer and founder and CEO of Fire Talker PR, a full-service public relations firm. Since 1994, this publicity strategist has practiced PR in different capacities, turning C-Suite executives and entrepreneurs into media darlings. Featured on CNN, MSNBC and Entrepreneur Magazine, to name just a few, her clients become smoking hot. Not the one they forgot. 

 Lynette, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Thank you very much for having me.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 So you're a real pro at PR marketing, publicity, promotion, and I have a feeling that our listeners want to know the difference. How does PR differ from advertising or marketing? What is the main difference here?
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Well, when we think of public relations, first of all, we think the two letters PR, and some people get that confused with press release. So it's important to remember that PR definitely stands for public relations and it's a big industry. It's like a big golf umbrella with colored stripes in it, and each one represents a different part of the industry. 

 The thing that sets it apart is not only the communications piece, but with advertising generally. You buy an ad and it gets placed somewhere. Now, with publicity underneath that public relations umbrella, it's considered free exposure. Although it's not really, because we're paying someone. 

 For example, someone might be paying me to create a story, to create a press release, to pitch the media, which means talking to the media about a particular story and trying to get them to interview the individual that it's about. In our case here, it could be a new book author. The big difference is paid ad versus space. Where there is an article that is written, there's no charge for that. From the publication itself, it's dynamite.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 I mean, having worked in PR and knowing how powerful getting the visibility and magazines time I worked there, there wasn't the online environment. I know that for me personally, I built a reputation from being nobody in the trade show arena to being a trusted expert, a go to expert. So I know the power of PR, but let's focus on our authors and how they can get publicity for their book. Because obviously that's what they want. They want the world to see, hey, I've written a book. However, it's not about the book, it's about the message. So how can they get that visibility?
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Well, first there's a misconception out there that people don't need to start their publicity, promotion, marketing, they don't need to start any of that until the book comes out. So that's a big mistake that new authors make because getting started down publicity lane really starts a year in advance of the book being published. And a lot of that is getting book reviews you want. And of course, you know this in the front of the book, we need praise for the author and the contents. So a lot of those reviews, all of that begins so much earlier. And the planning, laying it all out, how you're going to get interviewed for your expertise in this book.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Yes, and I think that's the scary part, lynette is the thought that here I am, I'm engrossed in writing the book as an author many times over and our listeners, you become somewhat myopic when it comes to writing that the thought of thinking about anything outside of just getting this book finished and to market, I've got to start thinking about planning for the publicity. How can I do that? That makes it easy.
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Well, that's a tough one, Susan, because when we're thinking about publicity, it is not a super easy thing. It takes commitment and it takes consistency. And getting book reviews is a part of publicity because someone else is shouting our praises, just like if we were getting picked up by a journalist and they were quoting us or giving us kudos for our book. 

 So starting early really revolves around getting your manuscript out there to get read and reviewed before it goes to print and also so that an editor can take a look at it all. But another big part of this is checking in to see where those opportunities might be to get publicity. For example, if you're writing about wellness, you want to do some homework and find out what month or what day on international or monthly calendar or daily calendar for the media might be focusing on wellness. They need stories about that. 

 So there are international daily and monthly calendars that you can find online. It makes it really easy to hone in on when you might be able to get publicity in a timely fashion. So you can create a calendar and write these things on your calendar as to when you might want to do that outreach. And then you can set it aside and come back to it and go back to your writing. But it's important to remember that those writers or journalists that focus on International Wellness Day or whatever it might be, they have a calendar, too. We have to respect their energy and their time and make sure that we are presenting them with information with enough lead time. 

 So two or three months lead time, we start reaching out and looking for those media online who writes about wellness and doing some Boolean searches to find them. That's one example.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 You bring up a very important point, and that is industry magazines, trade publications, they plan their calendar for a year in advance, usually. So they know what stories they want to feature or topic areas, let's put it that way. 

 More topics that they want to feature for a certain month. And as you rightly say, there are these days, these special International Wellness Day or month you might want to be featured in there, or if you specialize, let's say, in diabetes, that you want to find out when that would be appropriate for the publication that you're aiming for. Absolutely crucial. What are the top three things that our authors can do to get publicity and promotion for that book you've talked about? 

 Yes, the idea of getting praise for the book and potentially getting featured in magazines. What else could they be doing?
 
 Lynette Hoy
 They can think about their local television market. There are many talk shows in most of your major markets anyway, that have daytime programming where they often talk to authors. It's important as an author to begin to consume media. So that would be the number one thing, is to start consuming media. We've really come into a time and place in our world where consuming media is a bad thing and it's really not. 

 There's a lot of great opportunities out there to learn and grow through what we read and watch and listen to. Podcasts are one of those things. Looking at that in terms of consuming is a big part of it. Looking at that daytime programming as part of your consumption and seeing who gets interviewed on these daytime shows and what types of books are they looking for. And a lot of that comes from exposure, setting a time on your calendar to watch those shows because even though they may be live television, they're also going to be streamed. 

 So if you are working or this is when you're writing, you can always come back and look at those shows online. They're always available. You go to your local television network and whatever daytime program there is, you want to start watching it, consuming it, and finding out if this is an opportunity for you to send a copy of your book and a letter to the producer. Very often they will take a look at that, give you a call and there's more to it. 

 You have to develop a story around that. But the main premise is to begin consuming television. The next thing to remember is when your book is completed is making sure that you are getting on book blog tours and actually starting to get on those six months in advance is really the best way you can do it when the book is completed because then it can be purchased. But doing your homework in terms of who's going to pick up your book for a book blog tour and it's easy to learn about this. 

 All you do is go on Google or your favorite search engine, type in book blog tour and see what pops up. And several companies will be focused. There will be showcased and start calling. Start looking at the type of books that they cover and whether they're fiction or nonfiction, what their focus is, and start reaching out to them. 

 Send an email, say, hey, I have a new book coming out. They're going to want to know when it's launched because they can also help you with a best seller campaign. Number one, looking into local television. Number two, looking into book blog tours. And number three, look at your local market because there are bookstores, even if you are self published, they will take a look at your book, and if it fits within your local bookstores market, what types of books that bookstore sells, they might just let you come in and set up a table and do a book signing and even give a talk. So those are all big ways to start pushing out those sales and getting known for what you've written about.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 This is dynamite. Local markets, I think that is such an overlooked area. This is like low hanging fruit that people think, oh, I want to be on Good Morning in America, and I want to be on Oprah or whatever, big shows. I want to be featured in the big publications. However, this local market, they're hungry. They are so hungry for people and information. I mean, I know our local paper. If I send them something, they'll print it verbatim. 

 Yes, honing in on that local market that can help make a career for you if your market is local. But even if it isn't, they like to have celebrities in their own market. And having written a book, not everybody writes a book. You have. And then they're interested in featuring you as a local author. So, yes, that's dynamite. Information and book blog tours, that's a new one for me. Lynette so I love that idea. Talk to us more about what that actually entails. Yes, finding someone who does it, but what's the nitty gritty in order to be part of a book blog tour that's getting that mouthful out?
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Yeah, there you go. It's really simple. It's so simple. Once you find a book blog producer, a tour producer, and you like the types of books that they feature, you reach out to them via email or on their contact page. They'll make it easy for you, and you let them know, this is the type of book I have. This is when it's coming out. Here's my bio, here's my headshot. You want to be ahead of the game because they're busy. And if you provide them with, again, the headshot, your bio, a picture of the book front and back, and offer to send them a copy of the book, then they will be very impressed, for one. And they will definitely want to take a look at the book and make sure that it's a fit for them. And chances are you're going to end up having a conversation with this person. They do all the work. 

 That's the beauty. You provide the information and they do all the work. Some of these book blog tour companies are free, some are paid. But the beauty is it's not a ton of money, anywhere from one hundred dollars to five hundred dollars, depending on the type of tour that you want. For example, it might just be a spotlight tour. And if it's a spotlight tour, that's generally very reasonable. 

 And what they'll do is showcase your book will be a picture of the cover picture of you, short bio, and they'll give people a link as to where to purchase the book. And then you can also do a book review blog tour, in which case you send a certain number of books to the person running the tour. And then they make sure that their reviewers get a copy of the book. And then it might be a little while because they need time to read the book and write their review. So it could be three to six months before that comes out.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Okay? So again, that's something that you have to plan in advance if that's something that you want to participate in. Lynette we love talking about mistakes. I know you mentioned one earlier. What are the mistakes, these common mistakes that we just don't necessarily know about but we can avoid if we do?
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Hiring a high end, expensive publicity firm. It's a big mistake that authors make because they feel they don't have time or energy to take away from their book to put into the publicity and promotional planning and publicity and promotion hold hands. It's a big mistake because very often with the bigger companies, you get back burnered if you're not a high end client, if you're not a very accomplished author. 

 So if you're an author that's first time out of the gate, or perhaps this is your second or third book, but you're still not an international bestseller on the New York Times, that sort of thing, then you want to make sure to work with someone at a price point that makes sense for you to make sure that you're doing your homework. Because there's a lot of information out there. There's a lot of master classes. I do one myself. There's a lot that you can do to plan ahead. One of the biggest mistakes, like I said, was to hire a big firm when you just don't need to. When you can plan ahead and learn as you go and prepare for this so that when the book comes out, you're ready.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Yes. And you're right there, because I know we've had authors who have gone that route thinking, oh, they're going to get me on the major networks. It doesn't necessarily happen. Now I have a colleague who actually got on Oprah, and he didn't do anything for her because Oprah's audience wasn't the audience that she was targeting. That's an interesting little slant to that. As well.
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Yes, absolutely. And it's funny you brought that up, because so often we overlook the fact that a certain magazine, a certain online offline publication, may have such a direct, targeted audience to who that book is for. And when we go for the Oprahs and the Good Morning America and the Today Show, but our target market isn't there. It's a big waste of time and money. It's really wanting to focus in on those niche markets because that's where you're going to sell the most books. 

 Not to mention the fact that very few people get on Oprah or to the Today Show, especially if you haven't had any television experience. There's another good reason to get on your local television show, because you get to show the larger television programs that you know how to be interviewed on television.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 You mentioned a word that is music to my ears, and that is your niche market. Because as far as I'm concerned, that's the way to go is to go narrow and deep. Doesn't matter if nobody else knows who you are. The fact is that you can become a big fish in a small pond if you focus in on a niche market. So I love the fact that you brought that up. Thank you. Talk to us about press releases. I think that's another misunderstood tool that we can use. How is it best to use them? What are some of the do's and don'ts?
 
 Lynette Hoy
 The best way to leverage a press release, first of all, is to get it out on a wire service. Now, there's a lot of banter about the power of a press release, or press releases are dead and all this nonsense, quite honestly. And press releases deserve to be on a wire service, for one. And you don't need to spend a lot of money. So, for example, when you're putting together a press release, your headline needs to be newsworthy, which means a catchy title about your book. And there's a byline to a press release which supports your headline. 

 And then there's more information that goes into the release itself. Like the first paragraph backs up that headline and you've got a quote from yourself, and then the third paragraph is more detail on the book. And then as an author, it makes a lot of sense to have a short review about the book before you close three sentences. Now that's sort of a mouthful to talk about a press release. But one of the beautiful things about putting it on a wire service is not so much that people are going to interview you based on seeing it, but it boosts your SEO, your search engine optimization for what you've got going on out there. 

 That's a wonderful way to really get seen on the Internet. You can go to services like Prlogorg. So PRLOG.org like a rolling log.org. It's an inexpensive service. You can do it for free or you can add links in an image of your book or yourself for $49. It's a wonderful way to get a press release out there for search engine optimization. 

 Another big thing that makes press releases important is we want to include them when we're reaching out to bookstores. Even the book blog tours everywhere that we're sending that book, we want to send a press release with it. It's really important because it also gives us the opportunity to include information on the book towards the end of the press release. For example, you'd want to put the ISBN number and how many pages in the book and et cetera. In my Master class, I go into detail on that and I show an example and I actually also provide a template. It's a very valuable tool and it's also something that you should do very often and place those press releases on your website so they can also be accessed via a hyperlink.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 That's a great segue because I know you have a Masterclass coming up shortly. Talk to us about that. And how can people find out about not only your Master Class, but obviously about you and your services? That's a lot too, but one at a time.
 
 Lynette Hoy
 Thank you for asking. The name of the master class is called three Uncommon Ways to Boost Your Visibility and Profitability without Pulling Your Hair Out or Losing Your Mind. And that's a real fact, because when we talk about publicity and promotion, it can be a hair raising experience that definitely makes you want to pull your hair out. This master class of mine is on September 8, 9th and 10th, and it's from 11:00 am. To 12:30 PM. Pacific Time. I'll give you the link and then I'll tell you a little bit more about it. It's very simple to register. 

 You go to Uncommonpr Net, very simple, uncommonpr.net to register, and it's going to be everything that you need to begin to proceed with being the go to expert for the media. And when you're an author, it's so critical to have an online media kit. I teach what that is and what goes into it. We have press rooms on our websites. I go into that and why they're important to showcase your press releases, for example, any interviews. 

 We go into all the different ways to research the media. How do we find the right podcast to be on? We talk about all of that. I give links to all sorts of resources. It's a wonderful Master class to really learn what you need to be doing to plan for that year out. And the other thing that I always recommend is if you have a virtual assistant, bring them. They can register from their own home and watch the Master class. 

 It's really important to be there live because I do laser coaching, I do hot seats. We have a lot of engagement and prizes, and it's going to be a lot of fun. Now, I give this master class quarterly or every four months or so, keeping that link handy in case you can't make the September 8 through the 10th, you can certainly keep it and see when the next event is going to be. Typically that's going to be January or February. 

 So uncommonpr.net. And you need to get signed up for that. To reach me and learn more about me, go to Firetalkerpr.com, just like it sounds, firetalkerpr, which stands for Public Relations. And they can also email me at lynette@firetakerpr.com. And I'm sure all of this will be in the show notes.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 It certainly will.
 
 Lynette Hoy
 And the very last thing that I really want to offer is a free download and that's called Igniteyourvisibility.com. So, wonderful tool and a great resource to keep handy about things that you can start doing now to earn publicity for yourself. Because if you're an author, chances are you are also an expert at something, which means even prior to your book coming out, you can certainly start getting interviews. It gives a lot of great resources. So I highly recommend that.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Wow, this is dynamite, listeners. Rightly? I will put all those links in the show notes because you may be in a place where you can't write down those URLs, so I'll make sure that they're all in the show notes for you. Wonderful. I'm so excited about this. I certainly hope that our listeners are too. Lynette, we always end off, as you know, with a golden nugget. What's your golden nugget? For our listeners, the golden nugget is.
 
 Lynette Hoy
 To focus on those book blog tours. There's so much that you can get from it and they're really reasonably priced.
 
 Susan Friedmann
 Fantastic. Whoa, listeners. I mean, I've been in PR and I've been around the block a few times. This is the first time I've heard that. So I'm going to check that out for my authors as well so that I can pass that information on. So thank you, Lynette, you've been amazing. This has been dynamite. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview and I sincerely hope that it sparked some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book and author martin marketing success.

Register for Lynette's powerful Masterclass:
The 3 Uncommon Ways to Boost Visibility and Credibility Without Pulling Your Hair Out or Losing Your Mind
Free gift from Lynette: 20 Tips to Get Visible Starting Now
 
 Schedule your complimentary 20-minute session BrainStormWithSusan.com