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freelance business

I suppose I informally run a writer advice column. Every so often I receive questions from writers that I like to share with my blog readers because I see that there might be a similar curiosity among the readers of this site. Here is another in the ongoing Q&A series. Send me your questions and I’m happy to answer them! I generally remove identifying information and will add a few details that I might know about the writer/topic that had not appeared in the original correspondence to help for reader clarity. Email I received:

I am a poet and recently published my first book. I did a podcast interview for a writing center that will be going live this month. They are sending a press release and asked me for a list of places to send the press release and I have no clue. Any suggestions?

My response:

How cool! Since the writing center is out-of-state they might be inquiring with you to see if there are local places you would want to send the release. <Named a few print markets local to the author here.> It is pretty odd that a party who is transmitting the release requests the media outlets this way. I’m not sure if they are looking for you to do all the work in locating contact information. If so, it would probably be easier for you to just forward the release along to the markets yourself. I know I don’t ask a client for markets, that’s what they hire me for. What I do ask them is if they are members of any trade organizations – that way when I send it to the trade it increases the chance of the release being recognized. Anyways, I generally recommend MondoTimes as a good outlet for breaking down all the local media spots in an area. I’ll use Writer’s Market to locate industry-specific trade/consumer publications too.

I’ve been encouraging writers (and businesses) to focus less on traditional print media markets when sending releases, and instead targeting established digital outlets, podcasts, and bloggers. For poetry, think Robert Lee Brewer. I don’t follow many poetry-focused blogs so I don’t have any other recommendations. (You can send the release to Write Naked too. 🙂 )

Some often overlooked items:

  • Alumni magazines. You’ve got several alma maters to notify!
  • Memberships/organizations. Poetry organizations, writers networks, etc.
  • Podcasters. I’ve started seeking out writing-related podcasts and haven’t found any I particularly enjoy – but alerting other podcasters can let them know you might be a good guest for their show too.

You should create an ‘In the News’ or ‘Media Corner’ on your site to feature these appearances, have book cover images and headshots accessible, and a few versions of your bio.

Looking forward to listening to it!