How can I get my self-help book for women reviewed in USA TODAY?

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How can I get my self-help book for women reviewed in USA TODAY?

Many people want to get publicity for their books into the most widely read newspaper in the US. But few are chosen.

I recently saw a front-page interview with a new self-help author so I decided to deconstruct the story to find out the publicity strategy used because I always like to give my book author clients tips on how to get publicity.

First, the person had professional credentials. She has a master’s degree in social work from NYU and was a therapist in Beverly Hills.
Second, the book was published by a major book publisher. The publisher was Voice, an imprint of Hyperion.
Third, her father was Tom Brokaw. He’s a former TV anchorperson of NBC news and a best-selling author in his own right.

I’m not sure which of these three factors played the deciding role in getting the interview with USA TODAY. Do you?

Only kidding.

Of course there was only one factor to consider: Her father was a celebrity.

Here is a link to the article.

I can name more than 100 clients who have the same professional credentials and publishing experiencebonafides. (I can even name 10 clients who are in Beverly Hills!) But I can’t name any that have gotten this kind of great publicity out of the gate.

For the rest of us, we have to keep on writing press releases, writing articles, pitching the media, and doing all the other things that sell books.

I am always reminded of Mark Victor Hansen telling me how he launched “Chicken Soup for the Soul” which was rejected hundreds of times before a publisher agreed to print it.

He would do five things each day to promote the book. They would be small things, like send a review copy to a celebrity, or call a reporter, or do a book signing. After a while (and it was long while), the book finally took off and launched one of the most successful franchises in publishing history.

So my questions for you are:
1. Do you have a famous father?
2. Are you willing to do five things a day for a very long time to make your book a success?

By |2016-11-28T23:38:22+00:00March 3rd, 2011|Authors, Book marketing, Book publicity, Publicity|3 Comments

About the Author:

Dan Janal, author of "Write Your Book In A Flash!" helps leaders write books so they can get more clients and sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, developmental editing and ghostwriting. For info, go to


  1. Gail Sideman March 4, 2011 at 10:42 am - Reply

    I also thought the same questions while reading this story. The fact that Sarah Brokaw has a master’s degree and practices social work in beautiful Beverly Hills makes her credible, but her father being who he is certainly doesn’t hurt. When people read the story, I think they’ll find Sarah can stand pretty well on her own. It doesn’t hurt to have that initial boost into the industry, though.

  2. Tina B. Tessina, Phd "Dr. Romance" March 4, 2011 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Hi, Dan:

    Nope. My dad isn’t famous, but I’ve been covered interviewed and reviewed in many places, like the NY Times. You’re right, it takes a lot of perseverance, but I credit you and PR Leads with a lot of the coverage, including this: — OK, so it’s not US News or Rolling Stone, but my picture’s on the cover, and I got it through PR leads!

  3. Peggy Duncan March 15, 2011 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Excellent, Dan. I recreated my ezine again last year also and link to my latest blog posts in each one.

    On this point, “Exposing my articles to a new audience through EZA, or getting more links on Google. I think the latter might work best for me. What do you think?,” you’re right.

    I stopped posting to other sites years ago when I started my blog, press releases, etc. Why drive traffic to other sites instead of mine? I’m now number one in Google for my expertise.

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