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Four Tips on Tip Sheets

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Four Tips on Tip Sheets

 

by Fern Reiss

 

Getting newspaper and
magazine coverage for your book can be challenging both online and off. The
book review section has disappeared from many conventional publications;
competition for space is keen in other sections; most Web sites don’t do
reviews. But a simple tip sheet for your book can get you into almost any
publication in America.

 

Here are four tips on writing tip
sheets:

 

Highlight
the best tidbits.
For nonfiction
books, a tip sheet is a no-brainer. Just compile a list of the most interesting
bits of information in your book. Add a catchy lead at the top and an “About
the Book” section at the bottom, and send it to the publications of your
choice.

 

Nonfiction books lend themselves
to multiple tip sheets, and since tip sheets are the bread and butter of both
newspapers and magazines, your tip sheet, if it’s well written and interesting,
is almost guaranteed to be picked up by a variety of publications.

For my book <span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Infertility Diet: Get
Pregnant and Prevent Miscarriage
, for example, my tip sheets
include “Top Ten Tips to Fertility,” “Combating Male Infertility,” “Six Foods
to Get You Pregnant,” and “Five Dietary Ways to Prevent Miscarriage.” For my
Publishing Gamebooks,
the tips sheets include “Eight Steps to a Bestseller,” “Five Ways to Catapult
Your Book into Magazines,” and “Six Paths to a Literary Agent.” If your book is
on buying a condo, try “Five Ways to Get That First Mortgage”; if it’s on
getting into a top college, go with “Six Routes to the Ivies.” With a
nonfiction book, you should be able to craft at least a dozen tip sheets
without thinking twice.

 

Craft
the tip sheet around niche items.

Tip sheets work for fiction too, and crafting them for a novel is well worth
the effort, even though it can be challenging. As with any marketing, look for
the niche items. For example, if your novel prominently features a golden
retriever, do your tip sheet on golden retrievers; if your novel is set in a
coffee shop, try a humorous tip sheet about different types of coffee for
different situations. (Novelists might try this technique to get their books
discussed on radio and television shows too, by the way; niche items can be a
powerful propeller for novels.)

 

For
poetry books, try a meta-tip sheet.

Poetry is the hardest sell, but you can come up with effective tip sheets for
it by focusing on territory beyond the poems themselves. If you’ve written a
poetry book for toddlers, for instance, why not do a tip sheet suggesting ways
parents can introduce young children to poetry? With poetry for adults, why not
try one describing how people can use poems in party games, or as an icebreaker
at meetings?

 

Keep
your tone consistent.
Remember to
match the tone in the tip sheet to the tone of the book. If your book is humorous,
for example, be sure the tip sheets have humor; if your book is flowery, be
sure the same is true of the tip sheet.

 

In general, the more interesting
and creative your tip sheets, the more publications you can count on picking
them up. So get busy and start churning them out. And if you’re still not sure
how a tip sheet should read, take another look at this article. It’s a classic
tip sheet—designed to show up soon in publications across America.

 

Fern Reiss is CEO of
PublishingGame.com, which offers books, workshops, and consulting on how to get
a literary agent, publish, and promote a book; and CEO of Expertizing.com,
which helps people get more media attention for themselves and their
businesses. To learn more and/or sign up for her free monthly email newsletter
on how to get more media attention, visit www.PublishingGame.com/signup.htm.

 

 

 

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