There’s one universal truth about book publicity and pitching the media: Make their job easier and help them do what they do, and you’ll likely be successful.
This is why Smith Publicity developed and refined the art of byline article pitching for authors. Especially for non-fiction books, this has become a staple of most book marketing campaigns. Byline articles are informational, non-promotional pieces designed to provide useful insights, tips or advice, or offer solutions to problems the target audience readers encounter. Promotion for the author comes from their bio, website and book information included at the end of the article. These articles are typically 800 to 1200 words in length.
A byline article case study:
- Smith Publicity advises an author of a book on personal finance on topics we think will be well received by media.
- Client agrees to write an article on “The 5 Most Important Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor.”
- We review the article, and once finalized we begin to pitch to media that cover personal finance topics.
- The article runs as-is in multiple publications, both print and online versions.
- The author sees a bump in book sales, and also receives inquiries from potential clients for his financial advising business.
Byline articles are more effective now than in the past for several reasons. First, many outlets have trimmed staffs over the past ten years, so they need ready-made material. Secondly, the ever-expanding Internet provides unlimited “space” for publications to post content, unlike print versions that have limited space. Take a look at an outlet like the Huffington Post and see the amount of articles and stories they consistently run.
It is imperative, as mentioned above, to not be promotional in byline articles. This is an instant turn-off to media. It’s all about providing solid, useful information for readers.
At Smith Publicity, depending on the book, we may focus article pitching at very large news outlets, or relatively small, vertical markets that cater to specific audiences. It’s not always how large a publication is or how many readers it has. A placement in even a very small, niche outlet can lead to many book sales and opportunities because readers have a clear interest in the article topic.
Byline article pitching is just one of the many book marketing and book promotion tools in the Smith Publicity marketing “arsenal,” and it can have a significant, positive impact in a comprehensive promotional campaign.