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Many successful authors and publishers know that talk radio is the perfect venue for promoting almost any non-fiction book. Most authors of how-to books, financial advice books, self-help books, travel books, medical books--even history books-- are welcome guests on talk radio because the hosts like to present their listeners with useful and topical information from an expert.
So where does that leave fiction authors? Facing an uphill battle! To put in blunt terms, it's been tough for fiction writers to land those coveted talk radio interviews and attract other major media exposure. But don't give up hope because it's not a lost cause. There's a knack to grabbing the attention of hosts and producers and getting booked on their shows. You have to know how to throw them the perfect pitch.
Fortunately, over the past 18 years we've developed several innovative and tried-and-true techniques for promoting both nonfiction and fiction authors. I'll share a few of our secrets with you.
· When crafting a talk radio campaign, the first thing we do is examine the author's profession, background/experience, and interests. Is there anything fascinating, glamorous or downright compelling about the author? If there is, we pitch this information in an exciting way that makes hosts feel like the author is a 'must-have' interview.
· Take one of our clients, a former judge on the Arizona Supreme Court. While his nonfiction book was a great behind the scenes look at the judicial system we knew the angle had limited mileage. We played it for as long as we could and then it was time to create some new angles.
· Because we keep a good pulse on what the public's talking free books download
, we knew that his profession alone would make him an 'in-demand' guest. By positioning him as a judge who would comment on legal issues in the news (and there were a lot of big cases at the time) we generated a great 'buzz.' When all was said and done, he appeared on well over a hundred shows across the nation. And, during the course of those interviews, the hosts gave him ample time to discuss his book and plug it.
· After we've scoped out our author's background, we look at the book's key message and how it might tie into current events or hot topics. For instance, we had a client who had written a book instructing people on how to get their "estates" in order...while the Terri Schiavo controversy happened to be raging. So we were able to tie our author's book into the ongoing national debate. Needless to say, this author was a hot commodity on talk radio and got a huge amount of media attention for himself and his book.
· If we can't focus the pitch around the author or a current event, we'll find a theme or 'hot-button' issue in the book that people can relate to. In fact, this is our "secret" for promoting fiction authors. We once had an author come aboard with an interesting fiction title but the story didn't tie into any current or newsworthy events. Nor was our author a celebrity of any sort. But we found a storyline we knew people could relate to and that our author could talk about: "Is it possible to outgrow sibling rivalry?" The subject struck a chord with so many hosts and producers that we ended up surprising the client with the number of bookings.
As experts in talk radio, people often ask us how we can possibly book 50 to100 interviews a week while staying within the strict guidelines of stations and markets we use. The answer is simple: It's the close relationships we have with hosts and producers. Even more basic than that-- we know what the media is looking for in a guest...and, that's exactly what we give them. And now you know what they're looking for, too!
Hope these select tips help you market both yourself and your book to the media.
About Marsha Friedman: Marsha Friedman is the CEO of EMSIncorporated, (EMSI) a leading publicity firm that has represented many well known clients such as Motown's Temptations, Teamsters Union President Jim Hoffa, Jr., National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, Bristol Myers Squibb, Financial TV personality, Jim Rogers and Dr. Barry Sears.