By Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications

Wouldn’t it be great if the media was actually interested your book or expertise? How would you feel if the media welcomed your email or phone call?

It can happen if you tap into two well-respected services. One is called HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out and it’s FREE. The other is ProfNet, and that costs a few dollars.

As a book publicist, I am always on the lookout for effective ways to reach the media, and these are the best.

Here’s how they work. A reporter, freelance writer, or television producer is assigned a story or they have an idea for a story. Unless they know someone who is an expert on that topic, they’ll need to find someone to interview. So the reporter will place a query on HARO and/or ProfNet requesting an expert with certain qualifications and who could speak to a certain issue they are writing about. They’ll include a deadline, contact information, and their media outlet.

These queries are compiled by the services and are emailed out to thousands of publicists, experts, authors, and other subscribers multiple times a day. I, personally, read just about every set of queries, as they could contain a big media opportunity for my clients. On any given day, there could be queries from the NY Times, Good Morning America, Women’s World Magazine, NPR, and just about anybody you could think of, including the local media outlets.

I’ve landed clients in all the above-mentioned outlets and hundreds of others as well. One reason it works so well is that the media is looking for the expert rather than you or me (the publicist) pushing my client on them. In this case, they actually have a story they’re working on and NEED an expert.

Authors are perfect for HARO and ProfNet because of their built-in credibility, because since they wrote about the subject matter covered in their book. The media likes people who have credentials and are authorities and experts.

Here are key tips to remember when responding:

  1. Note the deadline. Get your response in well ahead of it.
  2. Answer the question or query directly. Keep your email short and to the point. Nobody has time to read a dissertation.
  3. Google the reporter or the publication if you are not aware of them. Get every edge you can, as you’ll be competing against others who want the coverage too.
  4. Remember radio likes “sounds,” television likes a “visual,” online services like “links,” and print likes everything! So, cater to the medium in your response.
  5. When replying to HARO and ProfNet queries, place ‘ProfNet Query’ or ‘HARO Query’ in the subject line so it’ll stand out from the hundreds of emails they get every day.


I responded to one query pitching one of my authors to a ‘major consumer magazine’ about her Hollywood Makeup book, because they were looking for the latest in Blush and Luminizers. Another author of mine wrote a book about Type 2 Diabetes and was quoted extensively in a highly regarded association publication with two million readers – all because the ProfNet query asked for tips about Type 2 Diabetes and insurance.

On another occasion, I responded to a ProfNet query from a reporter at the New York Times who was desperately looking for someone to comment about a financial issue at 6pm on a Friday night. Got that one too!

Sign up for HARO at

ProfNet is not free and is billed on an annual basis. Authors can sign up directly or work with a publicist who subscribes. For more information visit:

The Bottom Line: Authors, put HARO and ProfNet into your marketing mix. By proactively promoting your book to the media you can become the Go-To-Expert on your topic. Do it today!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

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