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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Insights, facts, & numbers from an Amazon top reviewer

It is a common myth that indie authors just need to get a few/some/many reviews from friends and acquaintances, then buy an online promotion and their book will (probably) take off.

I am an Amazon reviewer since 2012 and a top reviewer since 2014, hence I can contribute some factual information.

In 2014, I reviewed 75 items on Amazon, including 45 books penned by self-publishing authors.

Combined, these 45 books received 5,448 reviews.

I know you are raising your eye-brows right now, but it's true.


4 books received only one single review (mine),

6 / 45 books received more than 100 reviews.

11 / 45 books (including the previously mentioned 4 books) received less than half a dozen reviews since 2014.

Ponder this fact for a second: Almost 25% of all indie author books I read and reviewed in 2014 received less than half a dozen reviews since then – in more than two years.

28 / 45 books received a dozen or more reviews but less than 100.

The 6 books with more than 100 reviews received 186, 217, 234, 375, 419, and 872 reviews, respectively.

The astonishing surprise:
The book that received the most reviews is a book that I awarded with only a 2-star review. Obviously, the secret to success is not all about a book being a best book.

I decided to check out this book after I read about it in an online article. Then, in 2014, the book had barely more than 100 reviews. I really thought posting my review would make a difference and encourage others to think twice about spending $2.99 for this particular book.

Still, it is listed an Amazon bestseller with 2,329 reviews.

How does the author do it?

Probably, he has a huge email list. Occasionally, he runs promotions (I personally have seen one 99 cents promo and three promos at full price). Most importantly, he succeeds in getting influential journalists and top bloggers to talk about his book. Not only did I learn about the book from an article, he has been "in the news"  getting featured in seven articles  since January 2017, in only six weeks. Even now, he does not stop promoting his book in media outlets. Altogether, he and his book have been featured in 86 articles.

What is to be learned from this information?

Getting reviews from friends, acquaintances, and colleagues does NOT do the trick.

Remember, four of the books I reviewed did not get reviewed by anybody else, in more than 2 years...

even though ... all four authors networked in FB groups and tweeted their heart out.

According to Pew Research, in 2016:

68% of all online U.S. adults used Facebook, (What about the other 32%?)
32% of all online U.S. adults used Instagram,
29% of all online U.S. adults used Linkedin,
26% of all online U.S. adults used Pinterest,
21% of all online U.S. adults used Twitter.

Only 76% of the U.S. adults who used Facebook logged in daily
(that's only 51% of all online U.S. adults)

only 51% of the U.S. adults who used Instagram logged in daily,
only 42% of the U.S. adults who used Linkedin logged in daily,
only 25% of the U.S. adults who used Pinterest logged in daily,
only 18% of the U.S. adults who used Twitter logged in daily.

Therefore, to really get your book out you and your book need to have a presence in many venues.


Routinely, financial advisers preach, "Diversify your portfolio!"

The same advice applies to book marketing,

Here are 10 ways to get your book seen, bought, and reviewed:

  1. Join a real "live" book club, e.g. a Meet-up group or book club at your local library,
  2. Join online book groups (FB, Goodreads, etc.), 
  3. Arrange for book signings at independent book stores,
  4. Try to get gigs at local library events (about 20% of all US libraries host local author events once or twice per year),
  5. Offer to guest blog,
  6. Pitch your local TV-station,
  7. Pitch magazines (print and online), 
  8. Pitch bloggers who don't blog about books. Remember – you want to get found and noticed by new and different audiences, 
  9. Pitch radio hosts and podcasters,
  10. Throw a private book party (at a bar or a coffee house) or team up with other local authors to throw a party, together.
Naturally, pursuing a minimum of 5 or 6 of these options requires more work than networking on Facebook (in your pajamas), but it helps to reach many tens of thousands of people who otherwise would have never heard about you and your book, as shown by Pew Research's data.

Many indie authors spend so much time on Facebook that they could pitch two or three publications every day, in half that of the time they spend networking on Facebook.

BEST OF ALL, media coverage doesn't go away. In contrast to online promotions media coverage stays "live" and will promote you and your book – forever!

When during the research for this article I looked up this bestselling author's name I found the 7 articles that had been written about him and his book on Google, in less than 2 seconds. Even potential readers who have never heard of the author and search for different search terms on Google will find the book, by accident, just like I did, too.

Summing it up: Every author needs starter reviews, but the majority of reviews will come by themselves once you expose your book to many audiences.

~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is the multi-award winning author of "BOOK MARKETING: The Funnel Factor: Including 100 Media Pitches" and "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews."

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), on NBCNews, and in other fine publications.

Gisela is a mass media expert who graduated from the University of Vienna, which, founded in 1365, is the 22nd oldest university in the world. She also worked in the industry for six years.

Follow her on Twitter:


© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Can't you give me just 1 tip (for getting book reviews)?" she asked

The other day a newly published author who had befriended me 5 minutes earlier asked me if I could give her just one tip how to get book reviews from Amazon top reviewers.

I told her to read my book.

She came back with, "Can't you give me just 1 tip?"

Hmm... Apparently this author was not aware how much in demand these reviews are; on average Hall-of-Fame reviewers get 250+ review requests per month.   

So, I told her that getting a book reviewed by an Amazon top reviewer isn't a "1-tip thing, " especially if the book did not have any reviews yet. Getting reviews is a challenging task that encompasses many steps; which is why my book has 100 pages.

She immediately un-friended me. 

I guess that says it all. Just another wannabe author who does not really want to learn the trade. The indie author industry is overrun with people like that. The sooner they get out and make room for the people who really hone their craft and all skills, the better for all.

Of course, from experience I know that most indie authors work a lot harder than this one.
So, here is one tip for authors whose books received already a few reviews (including from top reviewers).

"Like/find helpful" the reviewers' reviews!!!
"Chapter: One Last Advice Regarding Reviews"  (page 92 of my book "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews")

Whenever I mention this item in author groups somebody jumps at me and says, "Amazon doesn't allow authors to like reviews of their books."

My reply is always the same, "I liked every single review of the more than 400 reviews my books have received and nothing bad happened." As it is their standard procedure, Amazon does not like any coordinated or organized efforts to boost a book's scores; their algorithm can measure this data input. Hence, if you tell all your friends to like your books' reviews chances are the reviews will disappear."

However, I have never heard that Amazon retaliated against a single liking of a review.


So, what happens if authors themselves don't even acknowledge reviewers' efforts by liking the reviews? (Disregard any friends' activities.) 

I have written dozens of reviews of indie author books whose authors did not like my review even though – or because – they know me.

Let's assume that these indie authors are also trying to get reviews from other top reviewers, but they either didn't read my book or they ignore this specific advice.

Especially the top-top reviewers (top 1000) are very interested in keeping their ranks. The more people like their reviews the better the reviewers' rankings will be. Most of these top-top reviewers aren't authors, they are happy with being a top reviewer.
  1. If an author they don't know approaches them with a good request email, they'll check out the book and read some of its reviews.
  2. They'll check how often the reviews were liked.
  3. If they see that most reviews did not receive a single helpful vote they know that not even the author liked any of the reviews, let alone any other reader.
  4. This implies that the author will also not like their review if they decide to write one. In other words, reviewing this book won't help their ranking. In a world where 3,000-4,500 books get published daily there is always an author who will do better. 
  5. Furthermore, the top reviewer will notice that (apparently) this book did not get exposed to too many other people who could have liked any of the reviews.
That's NOT a good thing!

Here are three examples of reviews of traditionally published, "controversial" books I penned.

2** for Jeb Bush's book. As it can be expected, a few fans of Jeb Bush disliked my review but the majority of people liked it. 11/14 likes.

5***** for an interview with Mike Tyson, who was a controversial boxer. 4/4 likes.

5***** for a highly recommended biography of Saudi Arabia's first king. This book's author is dead and the translator is an elderly lady who probably doesn't promote anything. 23/23 likes.

I discovered all three books because I read about them in an article or a blog. 

Clearly, though none of these books is famous even these reviews of controversial books scored with "the public." 

If I only reviewed these types of books my reviewer rank would be a lot better. 

Of course, the same thing happens to all top reviewers. 

Though I personally am fine with my own ranking #4,533 out of 41 million, other top reviewers might be working on improving their rank. Hence, they may think twice about reviewing a book from an author who doesn't value reviewers' activities enough to click "found helpful," a task that takes less than 1 second.

They might also wonder how much this author will do to expose their book and the reviewer's review to the public. 

Summing it up: Even though a particular book gets a top reviewer's attention they might decline this book just because in the same time they could read another book whose author seems to appreciate getting reviews more. 

~~ *** ~~~

Gisela Hausmann is the multi-award winning author of "BOOK MARKETING: The Funnel Factor: Including 100 Media Pitches""NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews""NAKED WORDS 2.0: The Effective 157-Word Email" and other fine books.

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), in NBCNews, and other fine publications.

Follow her on Twitter:


© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The biggest problem the indie author industry faces today and – what to do about it

A glance at Twitter February 1, 2017 6:30 pm EST

Being a member of a dozen author Facebook groups, I noticed that many indie authors aren't all happy; they are not selling as many books as they used to. Here is why:

Social Media has been hijacked

For years, book promoters told indie authors "Online marketing is the way to go," which was true at the time. But, since November 2015, President Trump is trending on Twitter and on Facebook, all day long, every day.

As I am writing this blog (1/31/17), the following topics are trending on Twitter:

#London – 296K Tweets


The Republican Fausts – 4,212 Tweets
responding to an article in the NYT about the GOP's relationship with President Trump

#GeneralStrike – 21.8K Tweets
About Googlers walking out to protest President Trump's immigration ban

Barkley – 19.1K Tweets

About Steve Bannon

#BackwardsThinkingIs – 2,974 Tweets
Different topics including US policies


We're Falling For It – 4,675 Tweets
An article on titled "The Immigration Ban is a Headfake, and We’re Falling For It"

Sam Waterston – 1,889 Tweets
Sam Waterston's opinion article in the Washington Post: "The danger of Trump’s constant lying"

(for February 1, 2017 results please see the blog header)

Six of ten topics trending on Twitter are about the US president's new policies. Even on a day the White House doesn't take any dramatic action, journalists are analyzing and weighing in on the new policies, as is their job.  

On days when the White House actually issues new policies, as many as eight or nine trending topics will circle around these events.  Grassroots movements for and against Trump have been tweeting nonstop for longer than a year. In short, Twitter as a marketing tool for authors is greatly diminished, if not dead.

How can indie authors overcome this problem?

1) Start by being a realist! – Regardless of what's going to happen, this situation won't change anytime soon.
In fact, since the new US president as well as journalists love tweeting, American indie authors may see years of politics taking over social media.
Even overseas authors aren't immune, because the US reader market is the biggest English reader market in the world.
Also, as I write this blog, 1.5 million Brits are outraged about a potential President Trump visit to Great Britain, and they are sharing their opinions.
If in fact President Trump is going to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, the social media marketing problem could move farther east.

2) Stop listening to promoters who tell you that online marketing is the answer to everything. – They may not  be paying attention to what's going on.
Having worked in marketing for more than twenty years, I noticed the Trump-tweets-problem first in January 2016 and began working on my book about offline book marketing. Even though I thought that Hillary Clinton would win the election handily, I was sure that Donald Trump would not disappear from Twitter but would use it to challenge the results. For sure he wasn't going to retreat like other former presidential candidates.

3) Invest in your education! To prevail in this market, you need to learn as much as possible. More authors, more books, more sensational news reduce your chances to be successful if you don't get solid information.

4) Check out your sources ! – A promoter who promises you to get you on TV needs to show that recently (not ten years ago) he got another unknown author on TV (not a celebrity); the same goes for promoters who tell you that they'll get your book in libraries. Also, though there are thousands of book marketing blogs recommending social media book marketing, I haven't seen a single blog that addresses the "politics has taken over social media"-issue.

5) Market your book offline! 
47% of people who watch the news on TV watch local news. If you pitch and get featured on local TV, at least 5,000 to 10,000 people will get to see you, even in a smaller city. It's doubtful that any of your tweets get actually read by that many people. Also, people who see you and your book on TV are more likely to buy print books.

Does this kind of exposure work? YES – Please see my BookScan.

If you pitch magazines and get featured in one or more publications, your work will be introduced to people who actually spend money (on the publication) instead of scanning the Internet for free stuff. 

People who learn about your book offline are also more likely to read your book sooner. Readers who have gotten accustomed to downloading free books every day can't read everything they acquire; they might get to read your book only in a few months, or – never.

Additionally, Amazon is less likely to delete the reviews from readers who review paperback books because they know that people who engage in review-exchanges favor ebooks.

Use the media coverage your book receives to get your book in public libraries, then tweet the news. Having researched Twitter for a long time, I noticed that library tweets get retweeted regardless of what's going on in politics.

Offline marketing is the way to go!

What's online marketing been like for you, this last year?


Gisela Hausmann is the multi-award winning author of "BOOK MARKETING: The Funnel Factor: Including 100 Media Pitches", "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews", "NAKED WORDS 2.0: The Effective 157-Word Email" and other fine books.

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur, on Bloomberg (podcast), in NBCNews, and other publications.

Follow her on Twitter:


© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Is hiring a book publicist the latest trend? – Beware of who you hire!

[Please accept my apologies that I have been absent for the blogosphere for such a long time. I was working on a book. It will be released next weekend.]

Indie authors know that in their industry new trends come and go very quickly. This can probably be explained with the popularity of indie author blogs. Once a blog hits a nerve of an influencer or sounds “just right,” it gets shared hundreds if not thousands of times.

Over the years, I have seen trends come and go good concepts and also hyped ideas.  In December 2016, for the first time, I noticed that, apparently, indie authors hire publicists to get book reviews. Since hiring a publicist is substantially more expensive than the usual indie author marketing methods, this development surprised me.

Traditionally, authors hire publicists to help them get media coverage, on TV or in print magazines, but these publicists asked me to review their clients’ books on Amazon.

That seemed kind of strange.

Is it a new trend?

Of course, one possibility is that publicists offer “getting Amazon reviews” as an additional service or a bonus service for their clients. Then again, can publicists who can’t even write a decent review request get the attention of a top-notch media personality?

Here are all three request emails so you can judge for yourself.


Hey there,
[ ... That’s the best greeting you could come up with when trying to get me to do something for you and your client?...]
I’m reaching out because I saw that you reviewed ... (title of book) .... I’m working with ...(name)..., the author of ...(book)...  to help get it into the hands of readers who will love it. We thought you might enjoy it and wanted to offer you a free copy.
(A 54-word blurb that consisted mostly of bragging but contained no useful, understandable information about the book’s content)
I’d be happy to send you a complimentary copy in PDF or MOBI format if you’re interested.
[...Keep reaching out... preferably with a better email. A me-mail (I am... I saw... I thought... ) isn’t going to do it. To succeed, you need to tell reviewers why they would want to read this book. (knowledge, entertainment, suspense, etc.)]
All the best,

(name, publicist, company)

* * * * *


Dear Reviewer,
[This greeting indicates that this is a mass email. No need to read on. You are shooting spray.]
“... ( title of book)...” resulted from ... (description of the author’s career)...

I’m looking for reviews on digital platforms so that I can get some feedback from readers, people just like you!
[Keep looking! This text is tailored from the most popular review request template on the Internet... I already have four dozen emails like this one in my Inbox...]
I would greatly appreciate it if you would check out my book and leave me a review.

I would like to send you my book as a gift; you don’t have to purchase it in exchange for a review!
[Another  me-mail.... “I’m looking for... I would appreciate... I would like...
Also, allow me to bring to your attention: People have to work and people have to pay taxes but nobody has to purchase your book...]
Your opinion of my work is important and I value your opinion.  (title of book) is available for order on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and many more platforms.

Here are a few requirements (authors are poor and need amazing people like you!)...
1. Click on the link to download your FREE book here.
2. Read the book before February 24th.
3. Post your review on a digital platform by February 24th and send me the link to the review.
[Please move on to the real world. Reviewers are experts in knowing where to find free books. We don’t need to fulfill your requirements to get one.]
Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my book and giving me some feedback!
[What makes you think that I will read your book? I don’t read books from authors who have requirements that I have to fulfill to give them what they need.]
Thanks and regards,
(name of author) &
(name of publicist)
[Wait a minute... Name of publicist? ... This email was not written by an author but by a publicist?... who apparently does not know how the reviewing process works]

* * * * *


Hey Gisela,
[A personal greeting! Kind of nice!]
I’m reaching out because I saw that you reviewed ...(title of book).... I’m working with (name), the author of (title of book), to help get it in the hands of readers who will love it. We thought you might enjoy it and wanted to offer you a copy.
[Hmm... Doesn’t this text sound familiar? Apparently, there is a new template featured somewhere on the Internet. Hint: This paragraph was also used in the first email; however this publicist kept his email much shorter...]
Would you like to receive a free digital copy of (author’s name)’s  book? I’ll be happy to send it to you as a .pdf, .epub, or .mobi.
[No, thank you... you did not even tell me the genre of this book, let alone what it is about...]
(name, publicist)

* * * * *

As an email evangelist, I keep pointing out that tailoring templates is one of the worst mistakes a writer can make.

The reasons are obvious.
  • Shouldn’t a writer use their own words?
  • While the sender cannot know if the recipient has already received similar emails tailored from the same template, the recipient knows and will spot templates immediately.
  • Tailoring a template indicates, “I am too lazy to write a personal message”, “I don’t know what to say”, or “I don’t really care.”

All three of the emails I received were tailored from a template or used a part of a template.

Do you think that publicists who put forth this kind of effort can sway, for instance, the producer of ‘Good Morning America’ to put their client on this show?

Summing it up:

Indie authors: You are authors! You know how to write! Don’t pay somebody to tailor a template!

If you feel you must hire a publicist, investigate with hard-boiled detectives’ skills before you hire one, even if you are a truly romantic person who writes historical romance novels.  


Have you considered hiring a publicist? 

~ ~ ~*~ ~ ~

Gisela Hausmann is an mass media expert; her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in Entrepreneur and on Bloomberg (podcast) 

She is the author of

Follow her on Twitter:


© 2017 by Gisela Hausmann 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Why You Should Stop Writing Emails That Sound Like Emails


Without a doubt, writing best emails is the most effective way to reach influencers. A survey by Good Technology revealed the average American first checks their emails at 7:09 a.m., 50 percent check their work email while still in bed, and 69 percent will not go to sleep without checking their work email.

Consequently, email communication is evolving. Today, emails tailored from templates are frowned upon; business partners are welcoming more personal messages similar to networking conversations. Nobody appreciates reading a run-of-the-mill email first thing in the morning or right before they go to bed. We want to connect with real people and authentic brands.

Here are 7 ridiculously simple ways to make any email more personal

1) Simulate having a short conversation
Pull up your business partner’s profile picture from Twitter or Linkedin and place it to the right or left of a word document while you write your email. Pretend to have a conversation. This will help you to avoid using worn-out phrases like “hi” and “sincerely.” In a real conversation most of us say “good morning” or respond with “John, good to see you;” and, we never ever say “sincerely.”

2) Give first – take later
Unless your email is a first contact email find a reason to thank the recipient, for instance, by writing “Thank you for sending...”
If nothing else comes to mind you should always assume that your recipient responded as quickly as possible and thank them for doing that. This will encourage your recipients to respond even quicker in the future because they notice that you value their efforts.

3) Avoid the word “I” like the plague
Using the word “I” too often will turn any email into a me-mail. Nobody enjoys talking to egocentrics. Therefore, look for opportunities to replace the word “I” with “we” to point toward team building efforts and team spirit.
If you absolutely have to use the word “I”, never do it at the beginning of a sentence. After writing a first draft, add adverbs to “soften the impact” of the word “I.” A few examples are: “Certainly, I will...”, “Unfortunately, I can’t...”, “Obviously, I’d rather...”, and similar phrases.

4) Section your email into paragraphs
Have you met people who talk without taking a breath, at networking events? It is exhausting to listen to them. They give you no room to think about what they say, or to ask a question.
Avoid making a similar impression by sectioning your emails into paragraphs, for easier understanding and faster decision making.

5) Use links and attachments
If you were to meet with your business partner in person you would give him a brochure or an information package, but you would not read the content of this material to them out loud. Create that same effect by keeping your email concise and attaching all relevant information instead of presenting it in the body of your email.

6) Always check if you spelled the recipient’s name correctly
This sounds banal, but anybody whose name has more than four letters knows that people misspell others’ names.
More than 100 years ago, Dale Carnegie told his students that people like hearing their own name best. Equally, misspelling a person’s name in an email could be considered a cardinal sin.

7) Set the stage for the arrival of your email
Remember that Linkedin profile picture or Twitter picture I suggested to pull up when you started writing your email? Before you send off your email, re-tweet or share one of your recipient’s postings, so they can see that you care about them and their business, on all platforms.
Only 20 years ago, business people had conversations and also wrote business letters. Our increased mobility led to these originally two different forms of communication morphing and evolving. It’s time to throw away old fashioned templates and network-email!

Follow Gisela Hausmann on Twitter:

Gisela Hausmann is an email evangelist,
the winner of the 2016 Sparky Award “Best Subject Line,” and the author of  
NAKED WORDS 2.0 The Effective 157-WordEmail” and  
NAKED TEXT Email WritingSkills for Teenagers.”

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in the Entrepreneur, and on Bloomberg (podcast)

© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

1 Simple Trick That Leads to More Reviews & SALES!!! (there are 6 more tricks that help even more)

1.    It is nothing new that today reviews influence potential buyers’ decisions to actually buy, or – not.
2.    8 out of 10 shoppers consult online reviews before they buy.
3.    90% of potential buyers won’t buy a product that has been reviewed with an average of less than 3 stars.
4.    In other words, businesses whose products receive lots of great reviews sell lots of goods.
5.    This explains why Amazon and other eCommerce sites have been plagued with fake review issues. (Unfortunately, some organizations like to cheat.)


6.   Knowing that Amazon can only try to play catch up with the latest “cheaters’ efforts” I decided I am going to give away 1 of my expert 7 tips – for free – to help US businesses.
7.   Bloomberg's Spencer Soper interviewed me about this topic; please listen to the podcast (~30 minutes).


8.    To see one of my simple solutions to get product reviews – easily – the proper way – please click here.

Please share with your friends and business partners. They will thank you. Today, every business needs reviews and all of us want to read honest, authentic reviews.


Gisela Hausmann is an Amazon top reviewer and eCommerce expert. She is also the author of  “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting BookReviews” and NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Product Reviews on 7 Tips to Boost Sales.

Follow her on Twitter:


© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann

Friday, November 4, 2016

How to Double up or Triple up on Your Book Promotion

by Gisela Hausmann, author of the “naked, no-fluff marketing books”

Creating a successful book promotion is not easy, but there are ways how authors can double up or even triple up on promotions. Success attracts success.

Here are the simple facts:

If you want to write a bestseller, you’ll need to sell thousands of books to get the momentum which will prompt all eCommerce bookstores to feature your book in a top position where “everybody” can see it. It is almost impossible to achieve that just by collaborating with social media friends.
Here are the well-tested ways of promotion. You can

  • buy ads/promotions  - - - [can be costly depending on the service]
  • network on social media platforms  - - - [free, but time consuming]
  • get on TV (local and national)  - - - [one hour of time to write a well-crafted pitch + one (1) autographed paperback copy for the anchor]
  • get on well-known podcasts, and - - - [one hour of time to write a well-crafted pitch + one (1) autographed paperback copy for the host]
  • get your book featured in national magazines. - - - [one hour of time to write a well-crafted pitch + one (1) autographed paperback copy for the editor]

The key to launching a super successful PR campaign is to see each individual element as a cogwheel, which pushes the others forward; thereby carrying the effect farther. If aligned correctly, even a little cogwheel can move a big one. 

1) Being seen on local TV won’t sell thousands of books, but it will earn you something  incredibly valuable (even if you mess up) – a screen print of you getting interviewed on TV.  You can post it on your website and on social media platforms. Being interviewed on TV is not really that difficult; after all, you know your topic inside and out. Local anchors will always help you to present yourself best; it is in their interest that they/their program looks great. If you do well, your local TV-station might make you their “to-go”-person for your field of expertise.

The more often you get featured on local TV, the better your chances are to get on national TV. Naturally, the  anchors of national TV programs prefer guests with on-air experience. Additionally, you can also add the words, “a frequent guest at XYZ-TV-station” to your resume, your marketing materials, and your author pages.

2) Trying to get interviewed on a well-known podcast follows the same principle as getting on TV – you have to pitch the podcast’s host.

3) And, even getting your book featured in a magazine follows the same principle. You have to pitch the editor of the magazine where you want your book to be featured.

Each one of these PR-methods will get you access to a different target group – the people, who like to watch their news on TV, the people who spend hours sifting through magazines, and the people who like to listen to new information in the car, during their morning commute.

If you launch an ad campaign at the same time, it too will support the other elements of your PR campaign, and multiply the effect. People who see your book featured at any outlet will check it out (and its ranking); the better the ranking is, the more people will buy.

Having coached many authors, I know that most authors do really well pitching either one of the different mass media outlets. Then, they stop and wait. It is the biggest mistake authors can make because: Success attracts success. 

The perfect way to promote your book is to combine all forms of PR, including ads/promotions.

When one of my books was featured in the SUCCESS magazine, I immediately contacted the host of a well-known podcast. Impressed, he booked me for the following week. I also sent the magazine to the TV-station where I had been a guest already twice; the anchor booked me for two segments, three weeks later. I also announced the podcast as well as my appearance on TV at my social media platforms thereby increasing the multiplication factor on that end. Lastly, I approached the Barnes and Noble bookstore, where I purchased my copy of the SUCCESS magazine that featured my book and they too booked me for a book signing during the week that they ’ll introduce “books relevant for success in 2016.”

When you combine appearances in any mass media outlet with ads/promotions, the effect each one of these promotions has doubles, triples, and even quadruples.

So, how do you pitch professionally?

Never talk about your book! Instead pitch a topic closely related to your book, something readers or viewers will be interested. This system also works for books in all fiction genres.

In about 100 days Valentine's Day is coming up.

If you write romance novels, you could pitch:

“7 gifts your spouse will appreciate more than chocolates and flowers...”
“How to create a beautiful and truly personal Valentine’s card yourself – in 10 minutes”
“Have a Valentine’s picnic! 5 truly romantic spots less than one hour of ... (your city/region) ...”

Or, whatever other great idea comes to mind. The local TV-anchors will appreciate you “doing the work for them” and in return introduce you and your book on TV. Since you are in charge preparing this pitch you can take as much time as you need to prepare something truly outstanding.

What if you write historic novels?

You could pitch:

“3 historic practices celebrating Valentine’s during the days of yore that you have never heard of...”

Wrote  cooking book?
“How to cook a delicious Valentine’s dinner in under one hour...”

Wrote a children’s book?
“How to celebrate Valentine’s with the kids; and still find time to be ’romantic’?”

Wrote a horror novel?
There is no Valentine's Day pitch - You should pitch around Halloween!

Pitching any media outlet is limited only by your imagination.  You yourself have seen many interesting  stories in magazines and on TV, including some which might have prompted you to think, “How’d they come up with that?” Well, maybe the editors, hosts or anchors didn’t, but a clever author did.

Gisela Hausmann is an mass media expert; her work has been featured on various TV-stations, in the SUCCESS magazine, on the reputable 'The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling PodCast', dozens of radio talk shows, in dozens of newspapers, and more than one-hundred online publications.  

She is also the author of

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© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann