The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

NPR Books Watch (3/8-3/14)

Every time I attend a marketing meeting I’m always asked the same question: what have the national NPRs said?  Often enough, contacting producers is like banging my head against a brick wall.  I email, I use the pitch page, I sometimes call (depending on the book / producer) or resend a book with glowing reviews.  Still banging head against wall …

Now, I work on some pretty terrific books published by a well-respected imprint, so I know it’s not the books.  I also know that of the 100,000+ authors published each year, the national NPR shows interview about 600 of them — (I’m estimating a dozen interviews per week) — which is a whopping .006 percent.  In other words, getting on a national NPR show is about 15 times harder than getting into Harvard.  (And on the other side of the fence, the national NPR producers are dealing with 15 times more “applications” than the Harvard admissions office.  Not pretty.)

So I thought it would be fun — and informative — for all of us book publicists to keep track of how many books are actually covered each week.  Every Friday I’ll list all the author interviews on the national NPR shows and will keep a running tally for each show.  Unfortunately, the NPR Books pages doesn’t always list imprints for books, so that’s where you come in.  Send me the imprints of the books listed and I’ll give you the NPR Books Grid for the week.  (Check the NPR Books Watch Contest page on the upper right-hand corner of this blog for details and to see what exactly the Book Grid contains — trust me, you’ll want it.)

Here’s how Week 1 shook down:

TOTAL: 18 interviews

ATC (4): March 8 Christopher S. Stewart / Hunting the Tiger, March 10 Robert Leleux / The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, March 11 Mireille Giuliano / French Women Don’t Get Fat (You Must Read This column), March 13 Ceridwen Dovey / Blood Kin

Fresh Air (3): March 11 Steven Waldman / Founding Faith, March 12 Robert Schimmel / Cancer on $5 a Day, March 13 Dan Kennedy / Rock On

ME (3): March 10 Jane O’Connor / Fancy Nancy, March 11 Scott Simon / Windy City, March 14 Hillary Jordan / Mudbound

Day to Day (2): March 11 Bejamin Skinner / A Crime so Monstrous, March 13 Ann Harrington / The Cure Within

WESat (2): March 8 Li-Young Lee / Behind My Eyes, Sadie Jones / The Outcast

The Bryant Park Project (1): March 13 Kate Torgovnick / Cheer 

ToTN (1): March 12 Stephen King / Dark Tower, Illustrated, March 13 C. Vivian Stringer / Standing Tall

News & Notes (1): March 10 Susan L. Taylor / All About Love

Use the hyperlinks to listen to the shows — learn what hosts like / cover so you can fine tune your pitches (and so you know how to respond the next time you’re asked what the national NPRs said).

March 14, 2008 - Posted by | NPR Books Watch | , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. This is extraordinarily interesting from a producer’s standpoint. Because I’m quite shocked to learn that I am almost single-handedly doing the work of 1/6th of NPR with Bat Segundo.

    Comment by ed | March 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] traditional outlets. (To get a sense of perspective on what this means, as observed last week by The Book Publicity Blog, collectively, all of the national NPR programs interview a mere 600 authors a year. Thus, there […]

    Pingback by Growing Pains for the Litblog : Edward Champion’s Filthy Habits | March 20, 2008 | Reply

  3. Not to minimize the work that you do, which is appreciated, but your comment, Ed, would only be true if you offered another 23 hours of podcast each day with other news and commentary.

    Comment by John | March 20, 2008 | Reply

  4. […] the way book publicist Yen Cheong calculates it, the chances of an author landing an interview on National Public Radio is 15 times harder than […]

    Pingback by The Publicity Hound’s Blog » NPR Books Watch Contest goal: Get more authors on NPR | May 19, 2008 | Reply

  5. Cool text. Waiting for you to continue the topic.

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    Comment by Kate Smith | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  6. […] the way book publicist Yen Cheong calculates it, the chances of an author landing an interview on National Public Radio is 15 times harder than […]

    Pingback by NPR Books Watch Contest goal: Get more authors on NPR | August 6, 2013 | Reply


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