Tips for Gaining Media Interest in the U.S. and Canada as a Foreign Author

by Mallory Campoli, Publicity Manager, Smith Publicity

As an international author, positioning your book to intrigue American readers is not as difficult as you may think. Information is more accessible than ever, and the media is always hungry for content. In order to successfully go global, it’s crucial to understand your target audience and identify a strategic marketing plan.

Here are some tips for developing a marketing strategy for the U.S. and Canada:

  • Make sure your book is distributed globally.  Some authors fail to list the book on Amazon in North America, and this can cause some issues when directing media to links for the title.
  • Get ready to write articles.  Our most successful international authors have achieved coverage through bylines and Op-Eds, using their expertise to provide content to top tier media outlets. Identify your top tier media outlets and familiarize yourself with their content. You can tailor an article that fits well with their brand and potentially be welcomed to their site as a regular contributor.
  • Don’t be afraid to showcase your background! The best way to generate media interest in your book is to position it as unique. With an international background, you can show a fresh perspective and separate yourself from other authors in your genre. Is there a news story in the U.S. that you can comment on with an outsider’s perspective? Monitor the headlines and consider some “outside-the-box” commentary.
  • Understand the media landscape. While print and online outlets are most achievable for global authors (due to time zone differences and accessibility), broadcast is not completely off the table. Certain cable networks, including CNN, MSNBC, and FOX, have studios around the world, and depending on the topic, a satellite interview could be coordinated. Radio, of course, is more feasible—as long as you’re able to handle the time difference! We’d also recommend that you become acquainted with top podcasts in your genre. Are you a business author? Health and wellness? There’s a podcast for that! Podcasts throughout the U.S. and Canada are great platforms for your title; the interviews are longer, and hosts are more likely to dive into your book and promote it to listeners.
  • U.S. newspapers still have local affiliations. Of course, most authors want coverage from The New York Timesand The Washington Post. It’s important to understand that these outlets have local affiliations as well. If you can find a connection to New York or Washington (respectively), this can help you get a foot in the door with these outlets.
  • Get active on social media. You may be across the ocean, but you can still connect with readers and the media using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Whether you’re generating new content with your blog, commenting on headlines, or just retweeting/sharing other posts, you want to become a part of the conversation and stay relevant. The best way to do that is to interact with people through social media.

In the end, remember that being an international author can be your best asset. You represent a fresh outlook and will automatically stand out from the crowd. Just be prepared to learn as you go, and of course, have fun!