Lighting the way for New Authors


Chances are, if you have been at this for a while, you already know how to use Google Alerts to receive articles and posts that have been written about you and/or your topic. If not, learn more here:

But did you know you can utilize this important tool to get noticed by journalists who may review your book? The process is extremely simple and will take minimal time and effort (compared to other methods).

• Go to and create a Google Alert for your genre (fiction) or your area of expertise (non-fiction). If your book is already published, we recommend you also create an alert with your book title so that Google will send you a prompt (with a link) every time your book is reviewed or mentioned on the net.

• Google Alerts then sends you related articles, blog posts and forum topics directly to your email’s inbox (you can easily control frequency and type of content). When you read a posting you like, send the writer/reporter who wrote it a short note saying you enjoyed the article and include a few quotes and details.

NOTE: Remember, relating personal experience always engages the reader more. Think of how you feel when someone reads your book and you ask, “What did you think?” When a reader says, “I liked it,” you are simply relieved that they didn’t dislike it. But when a reader says, “I enjoyed it. I especially like the part where you talked about your triumph over adversity. It brought tears to my eyes because the same thing happened to me.” This kind of response is much more engaging and rewarding, right? And it invites further comment, and therefore, contact, which is key. So when you write your note letting them know you enjoyed the article, share a personal experience of the book if possible.

When journalists read comments or emails from people who enjoyed their work (and are not asking for anything), they take notice and often respond! Don’t try to sell them your book, or service, or idea, just write a note as a fan of their work and mention your book’s website when introducing yourself as a way of reinforcing your credibility.

• If the journalist or blogger replies to thank you for your comments, offer to send a free copy of your book and if you are a non-fiction author, offer to be a free resource for other stories on similar topics.

Remember, your job as a PR spokesperson, is not to convince them to buy your book, but to create relationships with bloggers and reporters who will come to view you as interesting and engaging—and if you are a non-fiction author—a valuable and reliable source of knowledge and practical information that can be passed on to their readers.

We have a very smart and successful business associate who owns a company with whom we cross-promote. When asked the key to his success, he replied, “I picture everyone with the same question tattooed on their forehead; ‘What’s in for me?’ If you can answer that question for everyone you meet, you can get them on board with just about any idea.”

 This technique, although a bit cynical as a view on humankind, is a very useful tool when it comes to PR. If you approach each blogger / journalist by first answering the question ‘what’s in for them?’ ‘How can I give them something that their readership will find of value?’ then you will begin to understand how the business of marketing really works. This one simple question powers the mighty cogs and wheels of the great publicity machine.

Go forth and prosper!