THE BLOG
11/14/2012 09:33 am ET | Updated Jan 14, 2013

Think Like a Journalist for Successful Book Publicity

Flickr/puuikibeach

One of the best things you can do when promoting your book is to think like a journalist. You have a beat to cover and that beat is you and your writing. Look for stories that pertain to the subject matter in your novels, the themes you explore in your work and try to expand on them in a way that would interest everyone.

Authors often say, "But I write fiction. I make these stories up, and there isn't any earth-shattering revelation in my work. It's just about women and friendship (or divorce, death, marriage, children)." But the truth is that these are the stories that people gravitate towards, these are the personal stories that hold the most interest, these are the stories producers and editors go looking for when covering a topic.

If you have written a book about divorce, a novel that explores the ins and outs of one of the most difficult times in a person's life, then you should explore that in a way that will grab an editor's, and ultimately a reader or viewer's, interest. Research it. How many divorces take place in year? What is the real percentage of marriages that end in divorce? Are there any headline-grabbing names (i.e., Hollywood, political) who are currently going through a divorce? Tackle your subject and research it daily. Set a google alert to let you know when your topic is mentioned in the news or on blogs.

Authors often say, "But I'm not an expert. Who am I to weigh in on divorce/death/marriage?" If you have written a novel exploring a topic, then you are an expert. You have spent enough hours delving into the intricacies of this topic to consider yourself an expert. An expert continues to research and explore a topic and that is exactly what you are doing. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, is considered an expert on happiness because she focuses an entire blog on just that topic. She writes about it daily, thinks about it all the time and explores every angle possible. If you can do that with the themes explored in your novels, then you should share your knowledge... as an expert.

Start every day by scanning newspapers, major online news sites and news programs. Stay alert to what is relevant, what news stories are trending, and where the interest seems to be. If something comes up in any one of these outlets that you feel pertains to your work, your writing or your life, start jotting down ideas. Write about it in your blog or mention it on one of your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter). Stay curious and alert at all times because all it takes is one story or "hook" and you could get the exposure that will help increase the visibility of you and your work.

Subscribe to the Culture Shift email.
Be the most interesting person at your dinner party.