4 ways to take advantage of the media spotlight as an author


For an indie author, very little is sweeter than having someone else mention your book in a positive light. One of the favored ways for this to happen is for the media to catch wind of it, and then share the information with their readers.

However, the media won’t exactly “catch wind” of your book organically. Your publicist (or, more likely, you) has to be the one to let media sources know that your book even exists, generally through a rocking PR letter (which I plan to discuss at a later date). And even then, your book may still be ignored.

Should you manage to get your foot in the media door, make sure you don’t waste the momentary spotlight! Here’s how to make the most of this temporary attention.

  1. Request that a website hyperlink is mentioned in the article.
    A smart news source will ensure that every article they post will include easy-to-access hyperlinks, when applicable. This includes articles about books or authors. However, sometimes news sources may inadvertently omit this detail. If you are mentioned in an online article, check to see if there are any links to your website (more on this in Tip #3), or at least to where a reader can purchase your book. If an interested reader can’t simply click on a link to your book, it’s likely they won’t try to find it by any other means, as well. This leads to a missed opportunity for a book sale.
    If the article author accidentally skips adding a link that points back to you, it doesn’t hurt to send them a note requesting they include this information. Most likely, they will oblige.
  2. Price your book for maximum sales.
    Recently, a man was covered by our local newspaper about a book he had written on a harrowing experience he had endured. His story sounded incredible! When I went to go check out his book, however, I was really confused by his pricing. His print book was $14.95, which is a tiny bit high for a 180-page book, but still on the side of average. His Kindle eBook price, however, was also $14.95. A glimpse at who was listed as his publisher, and my confusion increased. He had self-published this book, made evident by the fact that his name was listed as the publisher. That means he probably had no middle men who would be paid before he could collect his royalty. Second, Kindle offers 70% royalty for books $9.99 and lower, but only 30% for books over $9.99. That means he is only getting about $4.50 for each Kindle book he sells at $14.95.  He would actually make more money if his book was priced at $6.99! Finally, I don’t know anyone who would buy a Kindle book at a price that high.
    If your book ends up being covered by the media, the best thing you can do is lower the price, even just slightly, to try and entice the maximum amount of buyers. After all, the more people who get their hands on your book, the more readers you will gain. And the more readers you gain, the more potential there is for word about your book to spread.
  3. Make sure your website and author profiles are up to date.
    I hate to throw the above-mentioned author under the bus, but this is where he failed, as well. As far as I could tell, this author had NO website. That means that the coverage about his book ended with the article about him. He hadn’t even set up an author profile on Amazon, which meant that anyone who clicked on his name under his book title ended up in a generic search for any author with his name. Unfortunately, he holds a very common name, and his book wasn’t even on the first page of this search.
    Before your book is ever covered by the media, make sure you have some sort of website in place, and that it has an up-to-date profile on you (with a great photo!), and a list of all your books and where to find them. This step is a must to ensure your readers have a way of connecting with you and learning more about your books.
    Other important steps are to create an Amazon authors page and link all of your books to it, a Goodreads profile, and a Facebook business page. You can learn more about how to help readers find you at this recent blog article.
    If your book is mentioned by someone else, by all means, crow about it! This is the one time it’s perfectly acceptable to post about yourself, because you’re really sharing the spotlight with the source that wrote the article. By saying, “Check out this great article about My Best Book Ever,” you are pointing the attention toward the media source, and not your own usual words about your book. Besides, readers will not just happen across this particular article. You have to let them know so they can find it (and hopefully share the news, as well!). So, if someone else writes about your book, let your readers know through any and all social media you own.

Have you been covered by the media? What are some ways you’ve made the most of the spotlight?


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