So you’ve written a novel and you’re ready to publish. Maybe you want to release it as an ebook or as a POD paperback — or even both. Then comes the hard part: find an agent, if you need one, or an editor or a publisher — again, if you need one. Not all writers do. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to pitch your ebook to news reporters.
I took some advice gleaned from my own experiences publishing and publicizing books as well as from articles online where PR people and reporters dished the dirt and what they look for in a book pitch, to put this piece together. So what an editor look for in a pitch? It doesn’t matter if you are writing sci fi or cli fi or a memoir of YA, but in the end, your pitching will be a vital part of your work.
How to find a news reporter to interview you or review your book? Books that speak to the larger trends are particularly relevant. You need to indicate ways that editors and publishers and novelists — you, too! — are changing and reaching out to readers. You’ve got to find a reporter who “gets” what you are doing and wants to interview you. The free publicity will be priceless.
So read on the Internet, be informed, be news literate: Get to know what the reporter you are pitching to has already covered and his or her typical story angle and the topics that are likely to catch his or her attention. Then, craft your pitch accordingly. Every reporter is different. Those who work for large newspapers have their schedules to attend to, while those who work for small websites and blogs have more time on their hands. Know who you are writing to.
One PR maven I know of says the best way to find a reporter to report on your ebook is to email your pitch to him. Make it as easy as possible for the editor and for his/her staff to read your news pitch. And follow up the email pitch with a phone call. Short phone call. Voice contact is important in this increasingly impersonal world.
Reveal yourself. Make your pitch personal. Go for the heart that the reporter still has.
Most importantly, according to the same PR guy, is to distinguish your pitch from the pack.
And lastly, advice not only from the sages of yore but also from the ages: never give up. Somewhere out there there is an editor or a reporter who is interested in your book’s backstory and he or she will report the news when you find that person. Keep looking. He or she is
just one more email away.