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Four Tips on Tip Sheets

Four Tips on Tip Sheets
by Fern Reiss, CEO,

Getting newspaper and magazine coverage for your book can be challenging. The book review section has disappeared from many publications; the lifestyle section is very competitive. But a simple tip sheet from your book can get you into almost any publication in America. Here are four tips on writing tip sheets:

  1. Find the most interesting tidbits from the book. For non-fiction books, a tip sheet is really a no-brainer. Just compile a list of the most interesting tidbits from your book. Add a catchy lead at the top and an ‘About the Book’ section at the bottom, and send it to the publications of your choice. Non-fiction books lend themselves to multiple tip sheets, and since tip sheets are the bread and butter of both newspapers and magazines, your tip sheet, if well-written and interesting, is guaranteed to be picked up by a variety of publications.
    For my book, The Infertility Diet: Get Pregnant and Prevent Miscarriage, for example, my tip sheets include “Top Ten Tips to Fertility,” “Combating Male Infertility,” “Six Foods to Get You Pregnant,” and “Five Dietary Ways to Prevent Miscarriage.” For my Publishing Game books, the tips sheets include “Eight Steps to a Bestseller,” “Five Ways to Catapult Your Book into Magazines,” and “Six Paths to a Literary Agent.” If your book is on buying a condo, try “Five Ways to Get That First Mortgage;” if it’s on getting into top college, go with “Six Routes to the Ivies.” With a non-fiction book, you should be able to craft at least a dozen tip sheets without thinking twice.
  2. Craft the tip sheet around the niche items. Crafting tip sheets for a novel can be more challenging, but is still well worth doing. Just as with any marketing for a novel, look for the niche items. For example, if your novel prominently features a golden retriever, do your tip sheet on golden retrievers; if your novel is set in a coffeeshop, try a humorous tip sheet advising on different coffee for different situations. (Novelists might want to try this technique as a way of getting their novel discussed on radio and television shows, by the way; niche items can be a powerful propeller for novels.)
  3. For poetry books, try a meta tip sheet. Poetry is the hardest sell, but even with poetry you can come up with a tip sheet if you’re creative. If you’ve written a poetry book for toddlers, why not do a tip sheet suggesting ways parents can introduce young children to poetry? Or why not do a tip sheet describing how people can use poetry in party games, or as an icebreaker at meetings? It can be difficult to envision a newspaper or magazine piece on the poetry itself, so think meta-poetry.
  4. Keep your tone consistent. Remember to use the same tone in the tip sheet as the book itself. If your book is humorous, for example, be sure the tip sheets have a humorous cast; if your book is flowery, be sure the same is true of the tip sheet. In general, the more interesting and creative a tip sheet you do, the more publications you can count on picking up the tip sheet.

So get busy and start writing. And if you’re still not sure how a tip sheet should look, take another look at this article. It’s a classic tip sheet—and will soon be in publications across America.


Fern Reiss is CEO of ( and ( and the author of the books, The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days, and The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days as well as several other award-winning books.  She is also the Director of the International Association of Writers ( providing publicity vehicles to writers worldwide. She also runs The Expertizing® Publicity Forum where you can pitch your book or business directly to journalists; more information at  Sign up for her complimentary newsletter at

Copyright © 2011 Fern Reiss


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