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During a lively conversation with a participant in my book proposal course, he asked, “how to speak to journalists and not give my book away before my book is published?”
It’s an important question, especially if you are writing nonfiction that draws on new research or offers a fresh perspective.
I once worked with an author who sent a journalist so much great information about the subject, that the journalist used the author’s answers to write the entire article. Yet she only quoted him twice and did not credit him for the rest. The PR is great and maybe was worth it, but understandably it left him feeling used and wasn’t ethical.
When Victoria Dunckley, MD worked on developing her platform before sending her book proposal to agents, we set upon a strategy of blogging tangentially about the subject of her book (protecting children’s brains from the effects of screen time and electronics). She blogged about the effects of screens on Tourette’s syndrome, a much more niche subject. She blogged about the importance of time in nature. And she found other tangential subjects to blog about.
Make a list of the the information you have that offers a new perspective, recent research applied to your subject or fresh material.
Before you say yes to an interview, ask these questions:
Have questions about how to speak to journalists, publish a nonfiction book or anything else? Ask your book coach as a comment below.