From The Economical Guide to Self-Publishing by Linda F. Radke.
Please visit Five Star Publications to learn about services offered to authors/publishers.
If you decide to buy a mailing list, make sure it’s current and specializes in the types of publications that will help generate sales of your book. We use Cision for our list of media outlets. Their list is kept current, but the fees may be prohibitive for small presses, at least in the beginning. You might to consider sharing an account with other small press publishers — if the company gives you the OK to do so.
The same is true for media outlets of all sorts. Purchase a current list of radio talk shows that either use a variety of authors or direct their efforts toward reaching your specific target audience. In every case, your marketing efforts must not only be economical, but they must also be effective.
You can buy mailing list databases that will also allow you to print out mailing labels as you need them and keep a record of the places you’ve contacted. Being able to print labels is a good idea, even if you compile your own personalized database while you’re doing your Internet research. Printing labels on your computer can save time and energy that will be better used to explore new reviewing opportunities. Make sure to back up your database on a hard copy in case of a computer meltdown. Keep detailed records of your contacts and the outcome of those contacts.
Unless your book is quite specialized, you may want to target high circulation publications. However, nearly every book fits into some sort of interest category, so you may do just as well or better by targeting smaller publications that cater to readers with an interest in the field your book covers. Reaching one person with a passion for your book’s subject matter is worth dozens of general interest readers who aren’t. Another advantage to the smaller publications is that they’re more likely to review your book. After all, if it’s of interest to their readership, they want to tell those readers about it. To specialized publications, your book may actually be newsworthy, rather than just filler material—which is what it often would be to a large general interest publication.
When you’re compiling your own list, get fax numbers, telephone numbers, and email addresses of the appropriate people. If you can’t find the exact person, you can send inquiries in care of a departmental editor, such as the sports editor or the food editor.