Ellen Reid Smith writes books about cowgirls (Cowgirl Smarts: How to Rope a Kick-Ass Life) that have some western humor where she uses a western kitch language to lighten the subject matter.
She asked me:
Should authors avoid the language their book is written in and stay very formal and straight in a media pitch, or should they let the playful personality of a book/advice show through?
Ellen, you should use your voice when you pitch reporters. By using the same unique voice you give to your books, your pitch will stand out from the zillions of plain vanilla pitches that are mired in corporate speak language.
Here are 10 tips to pitch your book to book reviewers or reporters.
1. Create a list of reviewers who review books in your genre.
2. Send the pitch to a targeted group of reviewers.
3. Tell them you understand them and their audience.
4. Show how your book will help or entertain readers.
5. If the book is part of a series or if previous editions have sold well or made the best sellers lists, or won awards, mention that. Reviewers like to work with winners.
6. Offer to send a book. Reviewers get a zillion unsolicited books so yours won’t stand out as an exciting new thing in their lives. If you want to send 5 books to the top 5 reviewers on a gamble, go ahead. Maybe they’ll be intrigued by your pitch and the book cover. Maybe they won’t lift a finger to ask for a book since they have so many to choose from. Those are reasons to send the book. For all the others, save your money for the ones who are truly interested. You’ll save a bundle.
7. Include a press release that has all the publishing facts, including story overview, ISBN number, price, publisher and author bio as well as links to your site and Amazon.
8. Don’t forget to send your book to Kirkus, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Include the pitch letter and the press release.
9. Think creatively and pitch western related products or services. Who knows? Maybe they would like to do a promotional tie in.
10. Send the book to celebrities in that field, along with a personalized pitch letter. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool.
Good luck promoting your book!