If you live in the U.S. and watch television morning shows like The Today Show or Good Morning America, or you read any news sites online, it’s easy to think you can’t get media attention for your book or message right now.

But actually you can. And if you’ve got a nonfiction book + expertise to share right now, you should.

I wrote about this back in March when I saw authors bemoaning the fact that because of the wall-to-wall pandemic news, there was no way to promote their books, and all was lost.

Except it wasn’t. They were just looking at Media in the wrong way.

You see, most authors (and even some publicists) see what’s happening in the news cycle and think that it’s so crowded that they can’t get publicity. Indeed they think it’s inappropriate to try.

But here’s the thing: media and the news cycle are two different things. Shows like Good Morning America or The Today Show are actually news shows with some entertainment and lighthearted stories thrown in. I worked on The Today Show for a few years back in the day. And if any big news was happening, especially if it had national implications like what we saw last week in the U.S., then the show would sometimes shift its entire focus to cover that “news of the day.”

That’s what news organizations do, and the big morning shows fall under their respective news divisions.

In other words, Media is an umbrella term that describes news media and all other media. So there is a vast swath of TV shows, radio programs, podcasts, magazines – and even sections of daily newspapers – that do not cover news. They are filled with human-interest stories, and articles that inspire, educate, inform, and even entertain. Even amidst a pandemic. Even amidst political unrest.

So for example, if you’re a parenting author, not only could you be pitching Parents Magazine, you have so many ways to make your pitch topical. How are kids handling what feels like a never-ending school year? How can your expertise help them cope with anxiety? What does it mean to be a good citizen?

Those stories tie into the news cycle, but honestly, it’s not even necessary to do that. You can do interviews based on what you have to offer because parenting issues still come up every day – all sorts of issues do. Couples need relationship help. New homebuyers need financial advice. Job seekers need career guidance.

Amidst the greatest turmoil in the news cycle, we all do our best to keep going, day after day. If you’re a nonfiction author and there is a way you can help your audience right now, then don’t be silent. Your audience needs you.

So step up and serve them. Don’t do it to “promote your book.” Do it to help people. Because when you step out in service, your audience will want more from you. They will follow you online. They will buy your books. They will value you for showing up.

Marketing your book is not selfish. It lets people know – in a difficult time – that you have resources, advice, and guidance for them. It tells them they are not alone. And they need to hear that – now more than ever.