One of the ways to build author platform involves pitching yourself and your expertise to the media. This means offering them solid, interesting, pertinent, newsworthy, unique information they need or want.

How do you know what type of stories journalists seek? Easy. Tap into the places they post their queries. In other words, discover what stories they are writing for which they need expert sources to interview. Then, offer to be that expert source.

Here are three ways to tap into reporter’s needs and wants—along with millions of other people wanting the free publicity offered by being included in an article or invited onto a radio or television show.

First, subscribe to Help A Reporter Out This free service sends you an email three times a day—yes, three times—filled with queries on a variety of topics from journalists. You can then answer those queries with a pitch. Help a Report Out, which is known as HARO, is provided by Peter Shankman.

Second, subscribe to This free service also offers you the chance to view a variety of queries from journalists. You also can customize it so you see those requests that pertain to your area of expertise. is provided by Drew Gerber, one of my guest bloggers.

Third, subscribe to Bill and Steve Harrison’s Reporter Connection, another free service providing you with journalists requests for experts on a variety of topics.

If you subscribe to all three of these services, check the listings each day when they arrive in your email box, and then send pitches to the appropriate queries in a timely manner (Immediately!). If you do so, you will be taking a daily step toward building your author’s platform. If your author’s media kit and pitch are both top notch, you should be getting a positive response–which means media coverage. And each print, radio or television spot you receive builds that platform. (If you need information on how to create a better media kit, click here, or a pitch, click here.)