Authors rely on the repetition of a message on free media such as appearances on television and radio to increase the sales of their books. The planning of this exposure is important because the media like to interview authors on relevant and timely topics. Here are some tips that can make your broadcast appearances more productive.
Is your topic right for the media?
People like to be informed and entertained, and they want their information to be timely. Therefore, books about current events are good for shows. Other topics that are well received by producers are books on politics, sports, humor, controversy and relationships. People want to learn new theories or new slants on old theories. As Rita Thompson (Field Producer, CBS News) explains, "Controversial books with interesting drama will catch my attention." Conversely, poetry, fiction and children’s books do not usually lend themselves to prolonged discussion and authors of such books are not sought as talk-show guests.
Dollars and sense
Although media appearances are free, you will have expenses related to traveling and promoting your shows. Rarely will you make a profit as a result of your first few shows since you will be creating awareness and a reputation leading to future sales. Therefore, view your expenditures of time and money as an investment in your next book.
The key to any good performance is preparation. Media guests need to know what they are going to say during all their performances and must practice their delivery of each word beforehand. Adequate preparation will make you more confident in your ability to perform and help you relax while you are on the air.
You have heard it said that practice makes perfect. However, that is not necessarily true. Practice makes permanent, so you must make sure you are rehearsing the right things. Before you appear on any media event, engage the services of a professional media trainer so the techniques you make permanent are the right ones. Media training will help calm you down, assist in your understanding of the process and simplify your television and radio experience.
If people want to buy your book, it should be available for them to purchase. The host will generally conclude the show by asking you where people can obtain it. So, before you begin promoting your title, create distribution for it through bookstores, Amazon.com, your website and/or your toll-free number. Most purchasing is done on impulse and, if the momentum is lost, it is difficult to recover.
Producers and hosts want interesting and compelling guests, and in the final analysis they are not looking for books or authors. They are seeking to create a good show for their audiences. Convince them that you have something to offer their audiences, prepare yourself for a successful interview and make your book available to those who want to buy it. Then you have done all you can to manage the events that are under your control.
Brian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org), and the creator of Book Selling University (www.booksellinguniversity.com) He was the host of the TV show The Book Authority for 13 years, a guest on over 1200 shows, and is a media trainer. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.bookmarketingworks.com.