04/18/2014 01:43 pm ET Updated Jun 18, 2014

Book Marketing by News Hook

With all that's going on in the news, all of the time, why not integrate some of the relevant media hooks into your book marketing campaign? Each media hook you find that you can relate to your topic could be a boon for your book marketing campaign. If the research you've conducted; your educational background or specialized training; your life experience; or your career accomplishments have made you a subject matter expert who can address events that are unfolding (or, perhaps, that are about to take place), then you have an excellent chance of garnering invitations from the national media to speak as an authority about those significant happenings. Here's how you can decide which types of news hooks might be right for your book publicity campaign.

  • Is It a Good Fit? If you're unsure whether or not you should leverage a potential news hook, then begin by asking whether your expertise is a good fit for the news story. For example, an upcoming Boston Marathon may provide publicity opportunities for authors who are experts in the areas of fitness, nutrition, sports gear, Boston, running, or (I'm sorry to add) terrorism. However, if you're an authority on personal finance, public education, communication, or the like, the Boston Marathon wouldn't qualify as a likely news hook for your book marketing efforts. If you feel that your pitch is a bit of a stretch for the media to take seriously, then it probably is. Keep looking. There are news hooks out there waiting for you, or there soon will be, and they're worth mining -- but do be patient and work with only the ones that are a good fit for your book publicity project.
  • What's Your Perspective? Do you have an unusual perspective about the news event? If so, then great. That's what the media is looking for. On the other hand, if your reaction to the news story is the same as everyone else's, then that won't help you find book publicity opportunities. For instance, let's say there's a news story about the discovery of a puppy mill, and your book involves the humane treatment of animals. Well, your expertise is likely a good fit for what's happening. It's your perspective that may be the stumbling block. The media wouldn't want to interview someone whose only contribution to the dialogue is, "Yes, I completely agree with what everyone else is saying." You have to add something of value. So don't bother letting the media know that you stand opposed to puppy mills; everyone else does, too, and your outrage about puppy mills is unlikely to help you with your book marketing campaign. But, if the pundits have it wrong, or if the experts are missing something -- and if you have a unique perspective or information to share (perhaps there really is a way to put every puppy mill out of business, once and for all, and you know what that way is!) -- then that news hook can be book publicity gold.
  • Controversy. If the news story is polarizing the masses, everyone is taking sides on the issue, and people are buzzing about it -- then jump into the fray! Show your passion and your bias without inhibition. After all, you're an expert, and you have the credibility to assert your point of view, whether or not people agree with you. Alternatively, convince the media that you'll be the voice of reason. You will present an overview of the news event with integrity and respect for everyone, regardless of your opinion. If you have the credentials to take on a controversial news story, and you can take a stance with integrity, then you'll find that this type of media hook can be the best gift of all for your book publicity campaign.

So, by (news) hook or by crook, you should find events locally and around the world that you can address as an author and as an expert. Then keep an eye on the news, click those Google Alerts you receive (they'll contain news stories that include the keywords relevant to your subject matter), and watch for breaking news events to see how they might tie into your book publicity project. Then, pitch yourself to the media (or have your book publicist do it), and watch your book discovery opportunities take off!

Stacey J. Miller is a book promotion specialist and founder of S. J. Miller Communications. Visit her at (connecting with her on Facebook or Twitter is strictly optional).