Whether you’ve published your book through a major publishing house or with the assistance of a self publishing company, you will likely be on your own when it comes to marketing. But if you want your book to sell, it’s something you can’t ignore!

So how do you market your book? One very effective way to do it is with the help of the media.

RMA Publicity is in the Minneapolis market which according to the Nielsen Company is the 15th largest television market in the country. Minneapolis-St. Paul television stations have the potential to reach 1,753,780 households on any given day. The two major dailies, The Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press are delivered to 297,478 and 185,736 homes daily respectively.

That’s a lot of potential customers; but in order to get your story in front of them you need to get past the gatekeepers first. In the newspaper world, you typically need to sell a section editor on a story. At the television station, the assignment editors make most of the coverage decisions.

So what are news professionals looking for in a story? A good way to answer that question is by telling you what they don’t want – a story about a local man or woman who has just published a book.

Just like car accidents, that happens pretty much every day here in the Twin Cities. In fact, according to the Midwest Independent Book Publishers my hometown is a literary mecca. There are dozens of publishing companies based right here – and they turn out hundreds of titles each year.

But unless you are a sports hero, Fortunate 500 company executive, police chief, school principal, or some other high profile person, you will have to be a good pitch to get the media interested in doing a story about you.

Simply receiving a cover letter in the mail with a copy of a book does nothing to impress a busy news person. They don’t have time to read your book, much less pick up the phone and call to ask what it’s about.

Remember, first impressions are everything – particularly when reaching out to the media. Before making first contact, be prepared to let the person you are talking to know how a story about you and/or your project can benefit their audience. Follow that call up with a well put together press kit that contains a press release, author biography and testimonials from people who have read and liked your book, as well as copies of media coverage you have already secured, if any, and details about any upcoming events you have.