There’s a e-mail newsletter that you can subscribe to that tells what info and experts reporters need for stories they have underway. This newsletter, called HARO for Help a Reporter Out, can link an author to opportunities to get regional and national mentions of their book in the media. The story might be in a newspaper, a magazine, an online article or on radio or television. It’s easy to use, just scan down the list of topics and click on any that relate in any way to your book. It then gives contact information for the reporter and sometimes more detail about what story they are writing.
Here’s an example of how it works: I spotted a listing on HARO wanting first-hand information about Depression era recycling and thriftiness. This sounded like a good match for my mother’s book, My Flint Hills Childhood: Growing Up in 1930s Kansas. I e-mailed the reporter, Laura Vanderkam, a link where she could preview the pertinent chapters of the book on Blurb.com. She e-mailed me and later Mom with a couple of extra questions about the topic of dresses made from feed-sack material.
The story came out today in the national newspaper, USA Today and in the online version also. The reporter uses the feed-sack dresses as the lead in to the topic and gave the author and book title in the third paragraph. Already 64 people clicked on the link in the article or googled to find Mom’s webpage. Eleven of those potential book buyers clicked on through to the Blurb website to look at the book. Two copies of the paperback sold today!
There’s the power of the press. I’ll update this tomorrow with the full count of how it worked out. You can see the USA Today article at Grandma’s Greener Than You.
UPDATE: The total viewers of Gail Lee Martin’s webpage was 72 on the first day and 57 on the second day. Very nice response to the article! So far 2 copies sold the first day and another one on the second day. Hopefully some browsers will return later and buy a copy. I know some people have to ponder before they purchase.