Last week I had the honor of interviewing International Media Specialist, Sally Shields. Sally was incredibly generous with her "insider publicity secrets" to becoming a bestselling author and I have her permission to share them here. This is only a small portion of what Sally shared on the Million $ Mindset shows so if you missed it this week, make sure to download the podcast. Sally's advice is great for any kind of publicity — even if you're not an author!
Q: Sally, what is the #1 secret for authors to gain PR on television, newspapers, on-line publications and magazines?
A: Be timely, and have a great Hook! Here are two examples of how I got booked by being timely:
First I was quoted in MomLogic.com, which is an offshoot of AOL Living, with this pitch during the presidential primaries:
Joe Biden's Mother-in-Law Dies
How to Make Peace with Your Mother-in-Law, Before it's Too Late!
I also got booked on nationally syndicated, The Daily Buzz with this one:
October 26th is Mother-in-Law Day
How To Turn Your Mother-in-Law From Your Biggest Critic into Your #1 Fan in 3 Simple Steps!
And, (Marla's personal favorite) I got booked on Fox & Friends with this tweaked pitch:
Barack Obama's Mother-in-Law to Move into White House
How to Create a Lifetime of Peace With Your In-Laws!
Q: Many people would benefit from having a celebrity endorse their book. How does one go about doing that?
A: The key is to make it as easy as possible for them to reply. Your request should include the following:
- Cover letter
- Copy of your book
- Self-addressed-stamped envelope
- Sample testimonials that they can use as a template
- Table of Contents, chapter titles and a sample chapter
Getting a good endorsement or testimonial can take time, but if you do not hear back from them in two or three weeks send a follow-up letter or email.
To find contact information for many celebrities' representatives, visit www.whorepresents.com or www.contactanycelebrity.com . www.CelebrityBlurbs.com will tell you the key agents or PR people you need to get in touch with to contact any celebrity. It's just $1 for a seven day trial.
Also, do not discount the value of endorsements from your fellow authors! The endorser does not have to be known in order to make a tremendous impact. The fact that they are an author in and of itself carries great weight.
Q: How about Bloggers? Can you give us an example of how you can get others to build a buzz about your book? What's in it for them, and why would they do this?
A: Bloggers need material all the time. Offer to provide them with a prepared Q&A, or a short article about your topic or area of expertise. Offer your book as a giveaway, either a real book or an eBook version. During holiday time, I got about 40-50 bloggers posting my book on their site. How do you find these bloggers? Simple - pick a keyword that applies to your topic. For example, I googled, "Wedding Blogs" and got a list of over 50 million blogs. GASP! Of course, you might want to stick with the top ones with the highest traffic count. You can check a blog's popularity by going to Alexa.com and checking its ratings.