Book Publicity: The Self-Published Author’s #1 Tool for Reaching Writers and Bloggers

So you’re a new author (or an accomplished one) and, especially if you’re self-published, you need PR for your book. Your marketing plan may include some outside-of-the-box tactics (like my biggest blunder and waste of money and time.)

 

But one of the central areas– other than reviews and blurbs– will most likely be to get print and digital media writers, and influential bloggers, to talk about your work.
 

But how do you find them? And, more importantly, how do you know they will want to write about your book?

Enter Just Reach Out, what I think is the #1 tool too reach professional writers and bloggers who will want to to write about you.
 

Just Reach Out is a web-based software platform created by Dmitry Dragilev, a sort of PR guru especially in the internet marketing sphere. It can be used for multiple businesses and applications but let’s talk about authors.

Just Reach Out has 3 main functions that will serve your purposes well, depending on your book and genre. Let’s break them down point by point :

#1 The Most Important Benefit: Just reach out gives you the ability to search for your topic or relevant topics and then shows you a detailed list of what writers and their publications of blogs wrote about that topic. It also gives you the name of the article you can reference when you reach out to the author.

But, even more compelling, JRO supplies you with an email template the you can use to get in touch with the author, you just fill in the blanks. And, JRO then supplies you with the pertinent writer’s email address to email them! If the address is returned as undeliverable, you simply flag it, and contact JRO’s support. They then will research it and supply you with a new email address.

You can send your email through their system, and track opens and success rates. Or you can do what I did on a fair number of them and simply copy and paste the address and template into your email program.

It’s really simple. Let’s take an example:

Let’s say you have written a book about Paleo Desserts and you’d like to find authors who have written about that topic:

Step 1:

You type in your topic into the search bar. In this case, Paleo Desserts:

Just Reach Out Initial Press Query

The program then returns all of the articles or blog posts written about that topic, along with the author if available, and the article name. Simply scroll through the list and find articles and publications that might seem relevant or beneficial. Also, the software returns their social media outreach info.

Once you find some good possiblities, you can easily save them to a master outreach list:

Outreach Favorites and Social Media

Once You find ones that you thing are relevant, Click on the “Send Email” button.

JRO Press Query #2

Step 3:

Pick a Template and Fill in the grey areas with your own information. (I have blotted out the actual names here for privacy concerns.)

JRO Press Query #3

Step 4:

Click on the “Show Emails” button. It will return possible emails. At this point, you can choose to send through Just Reach Out’s email, or copy and paste to your own email program. If the email is returned as undeliverable, go back and report the email as “invalid.” JRO will then email you with a corrected address!

JRO Press Query #4

Just Reach Out now basically guarantees a correct email address.  If you email through their system (not you own email client) You are able to check the delivery status:

VALIDATING – means the email address JRO has on file for the journalist is being human checked and verified by their team before the email is sent to the journalist. This will take up to 24 hours and ensure 100% deliverability.

DELIVERED – means it has been delivered to the journalist’s inbox successfully but it hasn’t been opened by the yet

OPENED – means it has been opened by the journalist who you sent the email to[/dropshadowbox]

Pro Tip #1 : There is an expression: “Dig Your Well Before Your Thirsty.” What this means is ideally you should reach out and interact with these people via social media ( liking their tweets, joining their mailing lists if they have one, and commenting on their work) before you send the initial email. A “cold ask” is ignored many times because it’s so transparent that you want something from these people.
Pro Tip #2: If possible have a friend send the email as your “publicist” or – it’s a bit shady, but pose as your own publiscist. Many times self-published authors who are hawking their own wares are looked down upon as amateurs…
Pro Tip #3: Use a hyperlink to your work on Amazon in your email signature, as well as a link to your website if you have one. It allows the author to find your work or your website.
Pro-Tip #4: Authors are overworked. They simply do not have time to find a lot of information about you. So, make sure you have a decent bio on your site and even some interview questions and answers, info about your work etc.

Now Let’s Move on to the next area of JRO that can provide Benefit:

 

#2 Press Opportunities and Quora/Reddit Opportunities:H/4>

If you notice on the initial search topic return, there are two options next to “journalists.” these are “Press Opportunities” and “Quora/Reddit.”

The Press opportunities links your search term to site HARO (link) which is an acronym for Help a Reporter Out. This site is used by writers looking for more information on a topic. As an expert, you can answer their query which in turn will give you great exposure. Sadly, for our search term there were no results, so I simply expanded the search to just Paleo. Here are the results:

Press Opportunites

Once you find something that you might want to answer, just click on the button. (However, you need to go to HARO first and create an account.)

Now, let’s look at Quora and Reddit. Quora is a large question and answer site, and Reddit is a monster site that features discussions and questions on a variety of topics. Here are those results:

Reddit

Again, once you find something you’d like to comment on, simply click the button. (As with HARO, you need to have accounts with these two sites.)

Pro Tip #5 Reddit users are highly sensitive to self-promotion. You really should participate in discussions for at least a few times before you reference your work!

Finally, let’s move on to the the third area where JRO can help you.

#3 JRO Alerts

Just Reach out remembers your search terms and sends you alerts when something comes up. You can see below what an alert looks like:

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 9.01.40 AM
This can be extremely helpful while you are taking care of other business. Once something pops up, you can respond immediately.

Of course, there are alternatives to Just Reach Out- for example, you can use something like Buzz Sumo to find topics that have trended, see who wrote them and who shared them. (I use BuzzSumo in conjunction with JRO.)

However, JRO is superior in finding specific articles about your topic, who wrote them and providing you email templates and accurate addresses to communicate with writers and bloggers.

OK. What does it cost? JRO is not free. However they do have a month to month plan and each plan has a 7 day free window that can be cancelled at any time. Here’s is a screenshot of pricing info:

Pricing

As with most things in self-publishing, marketing your book is a marathon, not a sprint. But a tool like Just Reach out can make getting to the finish line a whole lot easier.

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