Got a book to promote? One of the fastest ways to get your book in front of new people is to leverage the crazy power of media attention. But how can you get that kind of author publicity if you're camera shy?
Does author publicity seem impossible to you right now? What’s holding you back? Maybe…
- You hate being on camera
- You’re stuck at home
- You don’t have the time to drive (or fly) out for in-studio interviews
- You’re an introvert
Getting Author Publicity Doesn’t Have to be an Ordeal
Whatever your reason for avoiding PR, you need to raise your visibility, or no one will buy your book. Media coverage is one of the best ways for authors to get attention and build their credibility.
When it comes to pursuing attention, there are all kinds of options available to you. Focus on those opportunities that fit who you are—and that work on your schedule. Here are four suggestions to make it easier to get your message in front of your ideal readers…
#1 - Seek Out Print Interviews
For a lot of text media, many of them use email correspondence for their interviews. We’re talking here about magazines, newspapers, newsletter, websites, and blogs. They may email a set of questions, and then you can email back your responses.
Pound for pound, being interviewed by email is the easiest format for the guest.
- You don’t have to worry about how you sound on the mic, or how you look on camera.
- You can take time to think through your points before you click “reply.”
- You have time to set aside your answers. You can re-read them later before emailing them back to your interviewer.
Now, some print interviewers still like to record interviews that can be quoted or transcribed. But even if they get you on the phone or online, the end product is still a text article. You can take your time to think through answers, and you don’t have to worry how your voice sounds on the recording.
FURTHER READING: Find out how this service can help you connect with news media!
#2 - Seek Out Audio Interviews
Another way to get author publicity from the media without being on camera is to reach out to radio broadcasters and podcasters. Whether your interview is live or recorded, you’re most likely to be interviewed over the phone or online.
For radio interviews, they do sometimes want guests in the studio. But most of the time—since all they really need is your voice—they’re fine with you calling in from somewhere else. Depending on the show, they may want you to be on live or they may record the interview for later.
Want to avoid live interviews? Listen to the show ahead of time to determine whether it’s pre-recorded before you reach out. You can also just ask.
Podcasts are always pre-recorded. The interviews are generally conducted online and recorded through apps like RINGR, Skype, or Zoom. Even when an interview is recorded as a “video,” most of the time they only want the audio. Just ask the podcaster ahead of time whether they’re planning to use the video. (If not, you can choose to leave your camera off.) The important thing is to have the conversation about being on camera before the interview.
FURTHER READING: Want to know which is better, digital media or traditional media? Find out which has the advantage here.
#3 - Pitch Guest Articles
One way to leverage the media for author publicity is to write for them. As a guest contributor, you still have the benefits of appearing in their regular editorial coverage. You get in front of the audience. And you get the credibility of being associated with that trusted media outlet.
Remember to offer content that will appeal to your target readers—and that reinforces your author brand. Seek out print and text media that talks to the people who would want your book.
Be sure to include a bio with your book title and a link to your author website.
FURTHER READING: Want some help coming up with story ideas for that pitch? Discover how to come up with dozens of topic ideas in minutes!
#4 – Make Pre-Recorded Media Materials
Can you be on camera at least a little bit? There are ways that you can exploit the power of video without being on camera much.
You can make a short video or audio clips for your PR kit where you answer common questions from your field. While a real media interview is out of your hands, creating these yourself means you can edit them how you want.
One way to acclimate yourself to being on camera is to make a 30-second intro for a video. Then switch over to a voiceover and slides.
FURTHER READING: Want to know more about setting up your online PR kit? Check out this crash course in creating your author media kit.
What Are You Going To Do Now?
Has the thought of being on camera scared you off pursuing author publicity and promoting your book through the media? Which of the above suggestions seems the most doable for you? Share your experiences in the comments below!
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