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October 2011

Reporter: Dani Pettrey

Dani PettreyDani Pettrey feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves: the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. Her debut novel, Submerged, will be a May 2012 release from Bethany House. Visit her online.

Editor: Michelle Levigne

Michelle LevigneMichelle Levigne’s first book sold in 2000. She has more than 40 titles, and nine finalists/two winners in the EPIC Awards. She has a BA in theater/English, an MA in communication/film, and works for a community newspaper and a national advertising agency. In addition, Michelle does freelance editing for Xulon Press, a MA-based business publisher, and the Christian PEN editors network. Visit her online.


Workshop 26: Media Training

Morgan Doremus, Romantic Times Book Club Website Content and Development Director, and Stephanie Klose, Senior Editor and Reviews Coordinator for RT, provided insightful advice in a delightful and helpful manner.

They covered four major areas in their Media Training workshop: The Perfect Pitch, Preparing for the Interview, Action!, and Post-interview.

The Perfect Pitch: How to get media coverage?

The answer is found in three little words: Ask for it.

Morgan DoremusUnless you are a bestselling author, chances are you won’t have venues seeking after you; so go after them! Doremus (right) believes the best way to do this is through a personal email. She shared her advice:

  1. Get to know who you are contacting: Learn what they like to share with their audience. Find someone you feel would be a good fit to bring your message to more people.
  2. Send a personal message: Make your email easy to accept and hard to refuse. Give them something they can work with. For example, after 9/11 they were particularly interested in stories that involved firefighters. What unique aspects are in your novel and how could they share that with readers/listeners?
  3. Be flexible: If your story doesn’t work for them now, offer to continue the conversation. Be open to their needs and be accessible. They just might have a need for your story in the future.
  4. Provide whatever is needed: Be sure when you send your email that you include contact information and a link to your website where they can find your press kit. Doremus and Klose covered what they like to see in a press kit.
    • Downloadable Headshots in high resolution (not black and white)
    • Professional Bio
    • Booklist
    • Downloadable Covers
    • Links to interviews
    • Contact information
  5. Be professional: Have a purpose for your email. Make your message clear, precise, and short. While it is a personal email, it still needs to be professional and not too familiar. Remember to spell check everything.

Preparing for the interview

  • Don’t prepare for your interview: The worst thing an author can do is come to the interview with a list of talking points. This makes authors come across as stiff and prevents them from truly listening to and answering the interviewer’s questions. Be flexible and address directly what the interviewer is asking you.
  • Prepare your interviewer: While you shouldn’t prepare for your interview, you can prepare your interviewer. Email them some question ideas and some specific points about our book, but do so in a kind, relaxed manner.
  • Prepare for your audience: Know who your audience will be and prepare for them. If RT Book Reviews is interviewing you about your latest inspirational novel, you know your audience is interested in your Christian-focused, faith-based point of view.

Action!

  • Make each interview different: Your message should be consistent, but don’t repeat yourself. Don’t tell the same story twice. Your novel contains lots of characters, themes, and settings, so mix it up.
  • Dress for success: Dress professionally. No black, white, or green on camera. Bold colors work best—blue, purple, red.
  • When an interview goes south: Never become upset or argumentative in response. Remain cool, calm, and professional.

After the interview

Thank your interviewer and share the interview.

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