Go directly to the source by reaching out to reporters who cover your topic. If you’re an author of a business book, you should target reporters who cover business, a cookbook author should contact food writers, and an author of a sports guide should contact sports reporters. See how this works? Don’t waste your time—or the reporter’s time—by reaching out to those who cover general news or topics that have nothing to do with your book.
Once you identify the writers who are most interested in your subject matter, reach out to them. Reporters need authors as much as we need them! They are always on the look-out for story ideas and sources to interview so don’t be afraid to contact them via e-mail (most publications have websites that make it easy to locate and contact reporters).
I recommend sending a brief e-mail to introduce you and your book. Include a short synopsis (one or two paragraphs), a brief bio about you, and ask the reporter if he/she would like to receive a complimentary review copy.
Some reporters will turn you down. Some won’t even respond. This is the reality of the publicity game. However, it’s quite likely that you will end up in their database of sources. Don’t be surprised if you hear from them in the future.
For those who request a review copy, send it promptly along with a brief personal note of thanks. Be sure to follow up within a couple of weeks with an e-mail. Ask if the book arrived safely and if the reporter has any questions for you. This is a good reminder to them to follow-through.