One of the biggest changes in recent years to the media landscape is the focus on hyperlocality, meaning that your local newspapers, magazines, and digital news sites will only write and publish stories that feature a strong connection to that specific city, community, or region. Local news must be local.
While everyone dreams of getting on the TODAY show or being profiled in The New York Times, local coverage is just as important because it helps build your platform and online presence to then attract these bigger media fish.
So how do you go about securing media coverage in your own community? First, you need to think outside of your current location. You are not limited to the region where you live at this exact moment. Most authors have multiple communities that would be interested in the local author angle:
- where you were born
- where you grew up
- where you live now
- where you went to college
Here are five publicity and marketing strategies to ensure you’re utilizing the support of your local communities for your book launch.
1. Local news
Local doesn’t just mean where you live now but where you were born and where you grew up. Those could be three different markets where you can pitch yourself as a local author for interviews, features, and book reviews. Additionally, having an upcoming event as a local author gives you a secondary news hook – it’s like a 1-2 punch for garnering media interest. Consume as much of your local media (print, digital, broadcast) as possible, so you start to recognize which reporters and journalists are the best contacts for you to pitch your story.
2. Local bookstores and libraries
Both independent bookstores and libraries often host book events, author talks, or readings. Additionally, both are likely to have local author book sections. Be sure you’re a regular shopper at your neighborhood independent bookstores. The best way to have local bookstore support is to already be an authentic shopper and supporter of the store. Attend their events, chat up the sales teams, and build genuine relationships with the store. So when you inquire about your own event, they’ll be ecstatic to support you in return.
3. Signing book stock
Due to the pandemic, many independent bookstores have not resumed their full event schedules yet. If that’s the case with your local store, you can also suggest signing book stock as well as partnering with the store for them to be your designated retailer for signed copies. For a stock signing, they’ll order your books. Then, once the books arrive, you’ll visit the store to sign the copies, and they’ll be able to promote they have signed copies for sale.
4. Alumni features
Every college or university has an alumni magazine, website or newsletter. And these publications and outlets regularly need stories and news tips about the exciting achievements of the school’s alumni. Research your alumni publication, find the news tips submission email, and send over your life updates! If the topic of your book is a fit, you may even want to inquire about a book signing or author talk on campus.
5. Local writing communities
Every community has local writers and it’s up to you to get involved with those groups on a local level. Who are the other authors in your community? Attend their events. Buy, read and review their books. Ask for them to read your work and provide feedback. It’s a tough world out there for writers and authors. The more you support others, the more you’ll feel that support coming right back to you!
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