Booking radio interviews
An author with a large publishing house wrote in the other day asking why radio interviews are so hard to come by. It’s a good question — particularly since us publicists are gnashing our teeth over the same issue. While none of us has the magic pill of an answer, here is some information that might come in handy.
First off, some basic radio tips from Tiffany at Thames & Hudson:
Some show types / formats: syndicated, national, satellite, local, news/talk, NPR, adult contemporary, rock, classic rock, alternative, hot AC, Christian.
Tiffany also suggests that authors discuss the following issues with publicists:
— Have you done radio interviews before? If so, which ones?
— What is your local station(s)? And / or are there markets in which the book would be significant?
— How can you tie the book/topic into the news? Help out the publicist by providing a handful of compelling but succint bullet points. Update this information if / when necessary.
— Most radio show hosts don’t have time to read all books in their entirety, so they rely on publicists — and authors — to provide sample questions that help them prepare for interviews effectively and efficiently.
I’d add that you should consider supplementing (or editing) the usually skimpy bio that appears on your book jacket. For a producer, it doesn’t matter what college you went to or how many kids you have; it does matter what qualifies you discuss the subject at hand.
Also, presumably you will share with your publicist the dates and times are you available (or not available). But if there are certain types of shows / stations on which you are not willing to appear, let the publicist know ahead of time so they don’t waste their — and the producers’ time — pitching shows in which you are not interested.
Generally speaking, there are far fewer shows nowadays than there once were because stations go bust / get taken over by other stations. Rather than having original programming, many stations syndicate content. Shows that have survived have slashed staff in many cases, making do with part-time producers and interns. This means that more than ever, we need to do anything we can to make their jobs easier, i.e., suggesting timely story ideas / segments, providing talking points, etc.
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Fall 2012: I’ve really enjoyed writing about book publicity and meeting (0nline and in person) writers, publicists, editors, agents and others in the publishing industry, but I’ve — reluctantly — come to the conclusion that I just don’t have the time to maintain this blog.
I imagine there is some information that will remain the same and that will remain useful, but there is much more that is or will become out of date, so please keep that in mind if you find yourself perusing my posts.
For some time now, I’ve closely followed a lot of very informative sites about media and about the publishing industry. Since I find myself quite voluble at times about issues that pertain to my job in the publicity department at a large publishing house, I thought I’d set up a book publicity blog. The purpose of this blog is provide tips, primarily, but also information about publishing / marketing trends that will help book publicists — and hopefully others in media and publishing — do our jobs with greater ease and efficiency. Please note that the opinions expressed on this blog are my own, not those of my company.
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