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“An illuminating look at a little-known, inspiring piece of history we should never forget.”—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars

This powerful tale of resistance and everyday heroism will resonate with fans of Pam Jenoff and Martha Hall Kelly.”Booklist

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How Authors Can Harness the Power of HARO: A Step-by-Step Guide

What is HARO ( HELP A REPORTER OUT )?

One valuable tool that many authors often overlook is HARO, which stands for “Help a Reporter Out.”  H.A.R.O. is a platform that connects journalists, reporters, segment producers, and content creators with sources for their stories, articles, and T.V. programs.  So, when these folks need content for their shows, segments, magazines, or papers—they look for sources ( learned experts with interesting stories and ideas! ) using H.A.R.O.  

It opens doors to media coverage non-HARO users may not think is possible.  HARO provides authors with the potential to secure thousands of dollars worth of free exposure in newspapers, magazines, and broadcast outlets.  The best part? H.A.R.O. is entirely free.

If you’re represented by a publicist who is using H.A.R.O., then you’re in capable hands.

Editor’s Note:  (Well, it’s not only indie authors, but many book services companies are currently unaware of the existence of H.A.R.O. or not using it fully to their advantage.) 

Whether you’re a non-fiction author or novelist, it’s important to acknowledge that your expertise is valuable. If you write fiction, the research you do to develop the plot, characters, circumstances, themes, and other specifics in your works can establish you as an informed source.


Media Outlets Using H.A.R.o.

 

HARO Media Outlets

 

How can authors use H.A.R.O. to promote their books?

Authors can receive substantial free coverage from news media exposure, valued at thousands of dollars, by leveraging Help a Reporter Out (HARO) as a platform to promote their books.  H.A.R.O. is the author’s path to publicity without the price tag!

A little backgrounder.

HARO has revolutionized the way book publicists navigate the media landscape.  Journalists seeking expert insights post queries on the platform, detailing the types of sources they need and the topics they cover.   Publicists diligently comb through these requests, searching for the perfect match between the author’s expertise and the journalist’s needs.  When a suitable query arises, publicists craft personalized and compelling pitches to capture the journalist’s attention.  Publicists pitch and positioned their authors as valuable resources and experts in their respective fields.  Publicists ( and yes, you can too! ) can leverage H.A.R.O. to gain exposure, establish credibility, and promote their books to a broader audience.  

Traditionally, securing  meaningful media coverage relied heavily on publicists’ relationships with journalists and the reputation of the author.  With H.A.R.O., even emerging writers and authors can access a vast network of media outlets.  This levels the playing field, ensuring that every expert has a fair shot at being featured in prominent publications.

Despite its immense potential, it’s surprising that only a handful of authors have recognized the value H.A.R.O. can bring to their book promotion efforts or didn’t know its existence!  What is equally and even more surprising is that majority of indie publishers, authors, and influencers remain unaware of the opportunities H.A.R.O. offers to boost their brand, reputation, and, ultimately, their success.  But even among those who have embraced HARO, many struggle to harness its power effectively, falling short of the interview and quote opportunities they could secure.

What is equally and even more surprising is that majority of indie publishers, authors, and influencers remain unaware of the opportunities HARO offers to boost their brand, reputation, and, ultimately, their success.

However, there is a bright side to this story.  Authors who unlock the true potential of H.A.R.O. can revolutionize their careers and elevate their writing careers to unprecedented heights.  By understanding the strategies to employ when responding to journalist queries, authors can position themselves as sought-after experts in their respective fields, gaining widespread media attention and catapulting their books to new levels of acclaim. 

“90% of our massive media success has been due to HARO.  Wyatt-MacKenzie authors have been featured on multiple news and talk shows from CNN to Fox & Friends, and mentioned in the largest outlets, including Cosmo, Essence, The Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s Day, American Baby, Consumer’s Digest Magazine, the BBC, US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, ABC.com, The Huffington Post, FoxBusiness.com, MSN Money, AOL and Yahoo, just to name a few.”— Nancy Cleary

In this editorial piece, let’s explore how authors (yes, you!) can effectively take advantage of HARO to enhance their visibility and build a loyal readership.

Side note: The reach of HARO is nothing short of impressive, with over 1 million sources and 75,000 journalists and bloggers actively engaged on the platform.  Such extensive participation has solidified HARO as an invaluable tool for both brands and reporters, fostering a symbiotic relationship that enhances the quality and impact of stories shared with the world.  To visit HARO web page click here.


Step 1: Understanding HARO and Its Significance

H.A.R.O. is an online subscription service that connects journalists with potential sources for their stories.  It is a platform where reporters post queries, seeking experts or individuals with valuable insights on specific topics.  In essence, HARO bridges reporters needing information and sources ready to contribute their expertise.  This means an excellent opportunity for authors to position themselves as experts and gain media coverage, thereby increasing their book’s exposure. 

TIP:  When signing up for HARO,  your profile should showcase your expertise and credentials. Reporters may review your profile before considering your responses.

 

Step 2: Identifying Relevant Queries

To get started with HARO, authors should subscribe to its daily email alerts or visit the website regularly.  Journalists post queries divided into various categories: lifestyle, business, health, technology, etc.  Authors should focus on finding queries that align with their expertise or the subject matter of their books.  Responding to relevant queries will increase the chances of being selected as a source.

 A short explainer: You’ll receive three daily emails once you sign up for a free HARO account.  Each email contains a compilation of concise messages from journalists in search of sources for articles or segments.  These messages, known as “queries,” provide valuable information to potential sources about what the journalists are explicitly seeking.

TIP:  Focus on queries that closely align with your expertise and the topics/themes covered in your book or research you have done writing the book.

 

Step 3: Crafting a Compelling Pitch

When responding to a query, authors must craft a concise, well-written pitch highlighting their expertise and relevance to the topic.  Journalists receive numerous responses, so standing out is crucial.  The pitch should be engaging and demonstrate the author’s unique insights and perspective.  It’s essential to avoid promotional language and focus on providing valuable information that the journalist can use to enhance their story.

TIP: Provide unique insights. Stand out by offering insights or perspectives that are not commonly known. 

 

Step 4: Showcasing Credibility

To establish credibility and increase the chances of being chosen as a source, authors should include relevant credentials and any media mentions, awards, or accolades they have received related to their writing or the book’s subject matter.  Demonstrating expertise and authority in the field will make the author an attractive choice for journalists seeking reliable sources.

 

Step 5: Being Prompt and Professional

When responding to HARO queries, time is of the essence.  Journalists work on tight deadlines, and they appreciate prompt and professional responses.  Authors should ensure their pitches are sent well before the deadline and follow any specific instructions provided by the journalist.  Being respectful, courteous, and accommodating can go a long way in building a positive relationship with reporters.


Step 6: Nurturing Relationships

Successful HARO engagement doesn’t end with one media appearance.  Authors should aim to nurture relationships with journalists and reporters who use their contributions.  A well-received pitch can lead to future opportunities for quotes, features, or even interviews, which can significantly boost an author’s visibility and credibility.

 

Step 7: Tracking and Analyzing Results

As with any marketing strategy, tracking the results of HARO engagement is essential.   Authors should monitor where their contributions are being published and take note of any increase in book sales, website traffic, or social media engagement that may result from media coverage.  This information will help authors gauge the effectiveness of their HARO efforts and refine their future pitches accordingly.

 

HARO presents a golden opportunity for authors to showcase their expertise, gain media coverage, and expand their readership.  By understanding the platform, identifying relevant queries, crafting compelling pitches, showcasing credibility, being prompt and professional, nurturing relationships, and tracking results, authors can harness the power of HARO to take their writing careers to new heights.

Embracing this powerful tool can be the game-changer authors need in a crowded publishing landscape, paving the way for the success and recognition they deserve.

 

Now that you know what HARO is, it is time tell the stories behind your stories.

 

Is it worth the Effort and time?
 

Many of our authors, publishers, and publicists have shared their success stories related to HARO.  Some have reported securing interviews on major TV networks, being featured in prestigious magazines and newspapers, and gaining substantial book sales boosts as a result of media exposure obtained through HARO queries.

Note: Remember that the effectiveness of HARO can vary depending on factors such as the quality of pitches, the relevance of the source to the media query, and the story’s overall appeal to the journalists.  As with any media outreach strategy, consistent effort, persistence, and a compelling angle are vital to achieving successful outcomes with HARO.


If you need help, let us know.  Email our publicist at thepublicist@thebookwalker.com

The first benefit of hiring a book publicist is their expertise.  A good book publicist deeply understands the publishing industry and the nuances of book promotion.  They know what works and doesn’t and can advise authors on the best strategies for their book and target audience.  They can also help authors avoid costly mistakes from inexperienced attempts at book promotion.

Another advantage of working with a book publicist is their ability to build relationships with key players in the publishing industry, such as book reviewers, journalists, and bloggers.   A book publicist can help authors get their books in front of influential people who can help spread the word about their books.  These relationships can be challenging to establish and maintain, but a book publicist has the experience and connections to make them happen. 

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