Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Agree to disagree

A client recently was interviewed by a Christian radio show. After the interview, he called to request that, in the future, I refrain from booking him on Christian radio shows. When I asked why, he said, "Well, the hosts disagree with my book's thesis, so there's no point in talking with them."

Well, I disagree. Every radio interview, on any type of radio station, is a book promotion opportunity. And nearly every host who disagrees with you provides you with an opportunity to make your case. (Those who don't provide you with an opportunity to make your case present a particular challenge, but there are ways to rise to that challenge, too.)

Book promotion opportunities aren't easy to come by. If they were, then book publicists would be out of business. As a book publicist, I work hard to schedule each and every interview, and the last thing I want is to screen potential interviewers to make sure their perspective is identical to my client's point of view before finalizing the interview.

I can appreciate a client's wish to attract interviews from media outlets that he or she respects the most (particularly, from those venues that are on his or her media "wish list"). And I can understand a client's desire to say, in advance of the book promotion campaign, "I'll do an interview that comes up except A, B, and C" (where A, B, and C are radio talk show hosts who make their living beating up or mocking or humiliating guests just for the sport of it). I'm very comfortable, for example, with the client who says, "Don't bother to pitch Howard Stern, because I wouldn't consider doing his show."

But I don't appreciate it when clients sabotage their own book promotion potential by restricting the pool of interviewers to "known, safe" quantities. No book publicist can predict what will happen during an interview; therefore, no interviewer is perfectly "safe." Anyone can disagree with a client, for any reason, and it shouldn't be the end of the world.

But limiting the media outlets that might help you promote your book can very well be the end of your book promotion campaign.

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