The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

Should authors do interviews with hosts who disagree with them?

This morning Stacey J. Miller, who writes The Book Promotion Blog, posted an interesting piece about whether authors should do interviews with hosts with whom they may not agree.  Miller’s view is that since opportunities to promote a book are hard to come by (and I know all you book publicists are saying “Amen to that” right about now), an author should take advantage of any and all interviews.

As a publicist, I tend to agree with Miller (I’m of the any-publicity-is-good-publicity school) and furthermore, I think an interesting discussion can arise between an author and a host who does not like / agree with the book.  However, I also understand that authors have their personal preferences and at the end of the day, I would defer to the author’s wishes (assuming, of course, I failed to persuade them to do the interview!)

What is important for both authors and publicists to remember is that if authors do have any preferences / prejudices with regards to media interviews, they should make their feelings known at the start of the publicity campaign.  While I am willing to not pitch from the get go, say, pet radio shows at the request of an author, I would be pretty put out if I did start pitching pet radio shows and then, when they called for interviews, the author subsequently told me they didn’t want to do interviews with any pet radio shows at all.  Obviously, it’s a waste of time and money on the part of the publicist to needlessly pitch media outlets, but it’s also misleading for the producers / reporters / editors/ bloggers who must spend time reviewing the books/press materials before making decisions about whom to cover. 

April 16, 2008 - Posted by | Miscellaneous |

3 Comments »

  1. It’s interesting to note that the reason cited in Stacey’s example is “Well, the hosts disagree with my book’s thesis, so there’s no point in talking with them.” My counter to that would be, “What about the listeners? That’s who you’re trying to reach.” Not every listener/viewer holds the exact same views as a host they listen to regularly. I’d bet most listeners/viewers disagree with a host on a couple of issues.

    However, if I had an inkling an interviewer would be disrespectful, that’s a a different situation all together.

    Comment by Kama | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. As a follow up to myself, I can imagine times when it wouldn’t make sense if the host disagrees with a book’s thesis. For example, if it’s a Christian radio station, it’s probably not a good use of an author’s time if he/she their book deals with atheism written for non-believers. So, it depends!

    Comment by Kama | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. I agree with your thoughts on this, Yen. I also think it is important to point out that there is a difference between combative, disrespectful hosts and ones that book interviews to have lively discussions on a topic where opinions differ. I think many authors see such a booking as a chance to defend their position on a topic and jump at it.

    One important thing to remember for clients going into an interview setting where the host plans to disagree is that the audience is typically going to be loyal to the host, making it important for the author to respectfully and calmly argue their point. If you have a client that you expect to get frustrated or even go on the attack in such a setting, at that point it is the publicist’s job to steer their client toward more vanilla opportunities.

    Comment by Rusty Shelton | April 17, 2008 | Reply


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