How to pitch a roundup article

Image by TaliesinLast year at this time, I recommended that you consider whether your book was a good fit for a “roundup” article or broadcast segment.

As noted in “Promote your book with a roundup article,” a roundup often gathers up the best, worst, most, least, newest, top, funniest, etc. products related to a specific category or theme. Book-specific roundups might include:

  • Best summer beach reads
  • Most innovative new cookbooks
  • Time-tested parenting books

Roundups can be broader than books, though, giving you an opportunity to get your book included along with other products. These more inclusive roundups are often seasonal:

  • Must haves for every back-to-school shopping list
  • 20 holiday gifts for under $20
  • What every gardener needs to own
  • Gifts every sports fan wants

You get the point.

Pitching tips

Promote your book with a roundup article” explains how to come up with the roundup topic you will pitch to the media or a blogger. Here’s how to actually pitch it; this is excerpted from the Build Book Buzz newsletter.

Understand which media outlets are the best fit for your idea.

For example, you wouldn’t pitch AARP the Magazine on a story on “the best books to guide you through your first job,” right? In one of the examples in the earlier blog post, an Adirondack mystery author pitching a roundup on books set in the Adirondack Mountains, best bets would be a daily newspaper in that part of New York State, Adirondack Life magazine, or a magazine for mountain climbers.

Be clear on where your idea fits into the media outlet’s content. 

Share that in your pitch, too, so the recipient knows that you’re familiar with the outlet’s format.

If you’re pitching a TV talk show, understand how producers are most likely to use your idea. Will it be a sit down chat, or will it be some kind of demonstration you’ll do with the host? If you’re targeting daily newspapers, know which section is most likely to use your idea — business? Lifestyle? Sports? If it’s a magazine, what section will most likely use your idea?

Decide which individual should receive your e-mailed pitch at any outlet you’re pitching.

That will take some sleuthing, and could involve online research, going through back issues of the magazine at the library or using media directories there, or calling the media outlet.

Write and e-mail a great pitch letter.

A pitch letter is a sales letter that needs to convince an editor, reporter, or producer that your idea is a good fit for that outlet. Learning how to write a solid pitch letter is so important that Build Book Buzz Publicity Forms & Templates has a fill-in-the-blanks form that walks you through the process (plus a sample letter) and there’s a lesson on it in the “Book Marketing 101: How to Build Book Buzz” e-courses.

E-mail your pitch to yourself first.

For some reason, this last step helps me identify awkward phrasing or typos I missed before. I can’t explain it, but it helps me improve the pitch. It might help you, too.

Remember, your round-up can include other products besides books. Be both realistic and creative in your brainstorming to come up with an idea that the media outlets will love.

What would be a good roundup article topic for your book? Please tell us in a comment.

Get more helpful free book marketing information in the “Build Book Buzz” e-mail newsletter.

Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to market their books. Three groups have recognized her site as an outstanding resource for authors, so you know her advice is author-tested.

Download Sandra’s free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” ( and you’ll also receive the free weekly
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