Writing is Selling


Whether you are trying to get an agent, a publisher or an article published, the key to a successful writing career is writing to sell. You want to sell your novel, memoir or article and you don’t have a lot of space or time in which to do that. You have to grab your readers from the opening page, even still, the opening paragraph. This same practice holds true when pitching yourself to media outlets. You want as much exposure as you can get, thereby guaranteeing that your media presence is significant and consistent enough to warrant attention from book buyers. When publicizing your book you need to think outside of the book review pages and see if you can generate interest in areas that either pertain to your background, the subject matter of your book, or both. When doing this you need to sell yourself and your idea to editors and producers in the shortest amount of time. You need to hook on to something relevant in the current news media cycle and explain why you would make the perfect expert to weigh in on that particular topic. Here are some tips for generating a strong approach when contacting media.

Know your facts. Start your research early and be consistent. Look for key facts that relate to the subject you are pitching. Editors and producers want to know about recent studies. If you have written a novel that deals with eating disorders, they don’t want to know about your character’s journey (yet), they want to know that 1 in 5 women struggle with an eating disorder (according to the National Institute of Mental Health).

The more the merrier. Give editors and producers plenty of material to work with. The more ideas you can generate, the easier their job is to assign a story or pursue a lead. Each idea should be topical, interesting and current. Stay on top of the news and keep those ideas coming.

Have an opinion. Be vocal about issues that relate to your story. Whether or not your opinion is the popular one, it will get people talking. Speak out and speak often. Raise questions, interact with your readers and bring these ideas into the public forum.

Find trends. Don’t panic if you see that another author has written a book with similar themes. Use this as a sign that society is gravitating towards the subject matter you have already explored. Join together and pitch trend pieces to magazines and newspapers. There is a reason that your story is playing out in different venues, there is a social outcry for it and you and your fellow authors are there to fill that need.

Think like a journalist. You want your story to sell so make sure it’s timely and appropriate. Know the outlets you are pitching. Whether they are print, radio, television or online, familiarize yourself with their content and do a little research to locate the correct editor.

Comments are closed.