Open any newspaper or magazine and notice how each article includes quotes and advice from experts. Most often, these quotes come from authors. Tune in to any talk radio show, The Today Show, or even your local news programs. Authors are constantly in the spotlight. In fact, media professionals from print, radio and television frequently search Amazon.com for authors of books related to their needed subject matter.
Leveraging your author status means that you are a prime source for media. Your website and blog should reflect your expertise and showcase your ability to serve as a source for the media. Most importantly, you don’t have to wait for the media to find you (though it’s nice when they do). Reporters and producers are always looking for timely, interesting stories and expert sources who can add commentary on the topic at hand. They need expert sources as much as we need them.
The strategy that has worked best for me over the years is to simply send an e-mail directly to reporters. A couple of years ago, I came across an article online that was interesting and related to what I do. The journalist’s e-mail address was readily available so I spent two minutes sending her a note that complimented her article. I added that I was a small business marketing expert and available for interviews if she ever needed a source. She sent me a quick thank you message and said she was adding me to her database.
Several months later, that same journalist contacted me twice in one week and quoted me in the Los Angeles Times business section and BusinessWeek. It took two minutes of my time to make that connection. The media loves to work with authors.
Also remember that if you prove yourself as a good source, reporters will come back to you again. Know your talking points, answer their questions swiftly, and follow-up afterward with a thank you note. This is a phenomenal way to remain in the reporter’s good graces. I have developed professional relationships with numerous reporters who reach out to me year after year for quotes. One even calls me regularly in search of story ideas and referrals to interview sources.
Remember that media professionals need authors as much as we need them. They are just people trying to do their jobs! Make it easy for them and you will be rewarded.