aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Dos and don'ts for contacting the media - tips for authors (Part I)

Last fall I was on a panel for the Pacific Northwest Bookseller's Association. It was called "How to Contact the Media About Your Books without Driving Them Crazy."

One of the panelists was the book editor for the Oregonian, Jeff Baker.

He said:

Five things authors should do when contracting the media:
1. Use email. It's quicker, more thorough, and more accurate.
2. Send a book, not a press release. We can't make a decision without seeing the book.
3. Be familiar with the media outlet you are contacting.
4. Be concise.
5. Be sure to mention upcoming appearances.

Five things authors shouldn't do when contacting the media.
1. Don't be a pest on the phone.
2. Don't explain the plot of your novel.
3. Keep your expectations reasonable.
4. "Take "no" for an answer.
5. Understand the difference journalism and public relations. We're not here to promote your book.

This is April speaking, now. As a reviewer for the Oregonian, I can really see the importance of touring, even self-financed touring. A book by an author who is going to be in Portland is much more likely to be reviewed than an equivalent book by an author who is not coming to Portland.

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