newsworthy book

Newsworthy Book: How to Create One

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

March 13, 2023

One of the most unexpected aspects of writing a book for some authors is the marketing that is needed to get the book into readers’ hands. But making a newsworthy book can drive sales by creating awareness about your book and your expertise on the subject as well as build credibility for you as an author.

So what can an author do to make your next work a newsworthy book? Authors can strategically position their book and themselves as expert authors to take advantage of press coverage of their topic or content with a few basic steps.

Is All Press the Same?

Does an author really need to worry about press coverage for their book? Self-publishing authors can decide how and when to market their books, and they have complete control over their sales and how their books are marketed. Authors get the word out about their books to potential readers by utilizing different types of marketing strategies, and one of the ways books become known is when they are mentioned in the press as a newsworthy book.

Exposure in the news can be described in three basic ways: earned press, press that is paid for, and press that is created because of ownership in the organization. While getting press for your book in any capacity can be beneficial and help to bring awareness to your book and you as a writer, press that is earned is the most coveted type of exposure because it indicates that your newsworthy book is interesting and remarkable outside of the literary world.

But you can create opportunities for your newsworthy book to earn press organically, increasing the newsworthiness of your book.

Connect with the Right Journalists for a Newsworthy Book

An author who wants to increase the chances that they will have a newsworthy book first needs to look to the journalists that cover topics relating to their book.

Research the outlets that are most likely to provide coverage for your book and pinpoint the journalists that write features, columns, reviews, or other content related to your book’s topic or content. Then, begin to build connections with them.

  • Search for their professional profiles on Linked In and other social media platforms commonly used by journalists like Twitter and connect with or follow them.
  • Engage with their content in meaningful ways. Comment on their posts, ask them questions, and share or repost their content.
  • Become a regular reader and contributor to their content so that your name may become familiar over time. When a journalist sees a familiar name, they may be more likely to answer future requests from you about your book, your expertise, or your book’s content.

Proactively Offer Your Expertise

Once you have begun to develop warm leads by fostering a professional connection with journalists who cover your book’s content areas, you can move into positioning yourself as an expert in your field to make a newsworthy book.

Online companies regularly provide journalists with connections to experts in their field to both fulfill a need for a story they are already working on as well as to provide newsworthy inspiration.

Qwoted is a networking site that authors can use to verify their own expertise levels so journalists can reach out to them when they are seeking related content. Also utilized by PR professionals, small business owners, and social media content creators, Qwoted is often used by journalists, making it a great place for writers to land in hopes of making  a newsworthy book.

ProfNet is another place for experts to become accessible to media searching for specific content sources. This site will send regular emails with queries from journalists and other media sources about the content they need.

Experts can also send out their Expert Alerts to media representatives with a summary of the expertise they can provide, allowing ProfNet to connect writer experts with journalists in two ways.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform that journalists use when they are looking for specific content for their stories. Experts sign up as sources and journalists request source information that is fulfilled by a source’s pitch to be considered as the one the journalist uses in their upcoming project.

Engage with News Outlets

Just like you created a small connection between yourself and specific journalists, widening your net to include the news outlets that are most likely to need content related to your book’s topics and your expertise is the next step. Follow the outlets on social media and interact with their content by commenting and sharing their stories with your network.

By carefully evaluating their news cycles, figure out which topics they are likely to repeat in the future that relate to your newsworthy book’s topics as well as what kind of experts they typically seek. Then, watch for opportunities that fit your expertise so you can offer up your newsworthy book and your personal expertise to them for a future story.

Make Your Content Accessible

The content of your newsworthy book will need to be distilled into small bites, perfect for news stories. The media focuses on the “5 Ws” of journalism: the who, what, when, where and why of a story. In order to make your book’s content appealing and quickly digestible, consider the 5 Ws to create your book’s key takeaways so the content can be easily understood and usable by a journalist.

 Prepare Lists of Your Newsworthy Book’s Key Takeaways

While not every press coverage will need all of the critical takeaway points that you have covered in your book, having a list of all of them can provide you with a quick reference to pull from when an expertise opportunity arises. When determining key points about your book, look at each chapter and ask yourself:

  • What advice does my book offer in this chapter?
  • What problem am I addressing? And what is the solution?
  • What is the summary topic, keyword, or phrase for this chapter?

Be Ready to Send Information

Now that you have done your homework with both the journalists and the news outlets, you have connected with sourcing outlets to make yourself available as an expert source and you have a concise summary of what your book can offer, the next step is to prepare a template to send out to queries.

Your template will provide a standardized format for your pitch to journalists or media outlets that contact you to potentially be one of their experts. This template is a basic format that you will customize for every pitch you send to meet the unique requests you receive. Authors can choose to create a template that is in the style of an email response, a press release, or just a response letter. Key information that should be included in your pitch template:

  • your book’s title and a short summary of the book
  • publication information
  • retail hyperlink for the book
  • author’s bio
  • hyperlinks to your author’s website and social media

Once the template is formatted, customize it according to each query about your topic making sure to directly respond to the journalist or media outlet’s requests for specific content and how your book will fill that need for their audience.

Next Steps

Once you have responded to a query and you have been selected to be an expert source for a story, be sure to post and repost the article on your social media platforms. You can also feature the story on your author’s website to further build your credibility as a source and enhance your book’s newsworthiness.

Be sure to always tag the journalist or media source connected to the story in your posts and links, too. This will not only give them their credit but will also help you to continue to build a professional relationship with them.

Can I Have a Newsworthy Book Before It Is Printed?

Just because your book hasn’t been printed doesn’t mean that you cannot be a reliable source and your book’s content is not newsworthy. Pre-publication books that rely on research and expertise may still be considered for earned press content, but self-publishing authors will want to carefully prepare their pitch templates to reflect their upcoming work.

And authors who have crafted their book’s contents but have not yet sent their book off to the printer should plan on partnering with a trusted printer like Publishing Xpress. Because when their book does arrive ready to put into the reader’s hands, it will look professional and reflect their hard work behind the scenes of their now newsworthy book content.

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