Expand Your Audience
Different people often have different takes on similar matters. So, people outside your target audience might recognize potential benefits that you may have overlooked. Speak with those who are not in your target reader groups and who are outside your area of expertise. Tell them about your book and the specific benefits it provides. Answer their questions and get their reactions. Frequently, their input can expand your perspective and inform you of benefits of your book with which you many not have been aware.
Connect with the Media
In our information-intensive society, the media controls the channels through which information circulates. Those channels include print publications, television, radio, and the Internet. The media finds, shapes, and disseminates most of what we read, see, and hear. So, to publicize your book, you virtually always have to go through the media.
Itâ€™s important to start thinking about working with the media, now.
Since the media is in the information business, it continually needs a steady stream of new information to survive, and it receives tons of it. Usually, far more than it can use. This requires people in the media to take time from their already jammed schedules to continually sift through stacks of leads with the hope of uncovering items they might use. Basically, they quickly scan for flags, key words, or phrases that attract their attention, and if they donâ€™t immediately find them, they quickly move on to the next lead.
The media is interested in news. It will cover you, your book, or information in it if it considers you or it newsworthy. Demonstrate to the media that the items you submit are newsworthy, that a significant segment of the public will be interested in them.
Writing Your Silver Bullet
Your silver bullet should serve the same purpose as a newspaper or magazine headline: to grab peopleâ€™s attention and compel them to want to learn more. Make your silver bullet the centerpiece of your promotional campaign; the initial piece you put in place to clarify, define, and give your campaign direction. Frequently, your silver bullet will be the first impression you make, the attention-grabbing device that will get you and your book noticed, covered, and remembered.
Writing your silver bullet is an important exercise because it forces you to examine your book and identify the features that your readers will find most interesting. Define those features as specifically as possible and then encapsulate them in a short statement that quickly, clearly, and compellingly describes your book. Be creative. Make your silver bullet a grabber, a memorable message that will make listeners want to buy your book and talk about it.
In your silver bullet, the two most important ingredients are:
Clarity. Your silver bullet must clearly explain what your book is about and the benefits it provides so that your audience recognizes that it contains something of interest to them. If buyers purchase your book and subsequently feel that it did not deliver what you promised, they will feel deceived and ripped off and wonâ€™t support your book. In fact, they may even badmouth it. Since the success of books depends on recommendations, you want to build reader support, not their antipathy.
Brevity. In most cases, you get little time to make your pitchâ€”so be quick. Expect your targets to be busy, have other voices vying for their attention, and have short attention spans. So, to get them to listen, use short pitches that go straight to the point, headlines, and quick overviews, and avoid long, protracted stories. The more you can say quickly, the betterâ€”but donâ€™t ramble; if your silver bullet is too long, they will stop listening.
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