Monday, February 18, 2013

Hometown Marketing: Newspaper Exposure

Today we're talking about marketing your book to people in your hometown and surrounding areas too, but mainly your hometown.

The first subject of the week is getting exposure in newspapers. Newspapers are a great way to find an audience. Why? Because people who read the paper actually read! Yeah. They don't just watch TV for news and entertainment, they actually read the paper. There are a few ways to use a local newspaper to market your book.

When you publish your book, you or your publisher should put together a PRESS RELEASE. Yes, newspapers and other media still accept press releases and you need to have one. We'll talk more on this subject next week, but for now, let's pretend that you do in fact have a press release.

You need to send the press release to the newspapers, radio stations and news stations. It's also a good idea to follow up about a week after you send them if you haven't heard from them. More often then not, your hometown will publish at least a short snippet of your press release.

Sometimes your press release leads to interviews, reviews and other feature stories. For example, a newspaper in my hometown originally published a short announcement of my book from the press release. Soon after, they contacted me for more and I landed a centerfold article with an excerpt from my book and pictures.

One place you might want to look up especially if you write for young adults, is your local high school(s) newspaper. I was actually on the school newspaper when I was in high school and so when I went to my old supervisor and asked him if they would be interested in publishing a story, he was very happy to have the teens feature me. I showed up at his class one day where I was promptly thrown into a class wide Q&A. (I should have expected it from my old teacher--he really knew how to put you on the spot.) After the Q&A, I was then interviewed by a student who would be writing the story that I was featured in. I donated a signed book to the school library, and I was very pleased with the results I got when the article came out.

On another note, most newspapers will also publish their stories online. This is an added bonus for you, since people are going more and more paperless everyday. The moral of the story is: Do not put newspapers out for the count just because the industry isn't doing as well as it used to. ANY exposure is better than nothing at all--except, in my opinion, bad exposure.

Return tomorrow for how to get exposure on your local news station and what to do when they want to film a segment!