Getting to Know You: Why Media Matters
When you’re gearing up to launch a new book, building buzz can be difficult, even for seasoned authors who have a loyal following of readers. The fact is, there are regularly more than 300,000 titles released by traditional publishers every year in the United States while the non-traditional publishing sector churns out more than 1 million books annually, according to Bowker. So what’s the bottom line? There is a lot of competition out there.
One of the most worthwhile ways of breaking through all the noise is with the media. This can come in the form of interviews, book announcements or reviews –though reviews are becoming increasingly less common and more difficult to secure because of shrinking newsrooms and resources.
Interviews are the best way for readers to connect with the people behind their favorite books on a deeper, more personal level. It gives readers an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look into the writing filling their home libraries, or even get introduced to new voices in the literary world.
Just about every writer wants “big media” attention like the New York Times or National Public Radio, but they shouldn’t underestimate the power of local media. Similar to a grassroots movement, local media can help build buzz on the ground level. It’s a good place to start, especially for new authors who are just getting their feet wet. A feature in a local newspaper or a spot on a morning news show is a great starting point for bigger things to come.
Big or small, every media outlet will consider a few factors before setting up interview or other types of coverage. Knowing the questions that journalists will ask themselves before covering a new book can be invaluable. Here are a few questions they may consider:
- Why do my readers care about this book?
- Does the author have a local connection?
- Why is it important to feature this book now?
- What makes this book or author unique?
- Is this book or author controversial in any way?
- What kind of impact will this book or author have the community that my media outlet serves?
Angelle Barbazon is currently a publicist for JKS Communications. She is an award-winning journalist who worked for various print newspapers across the country and NPR before succumbing to her love of books.