Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Planning ahead for book promotion makes sense.

Putting some time and thought into your book promotion campaign ahead of time always makes sense, but now it might make even more sense than usual. February 17, and the days immediately following, will probably not be the ideal time to appear on a major television show, because some viewers might not be able to pick up the signal.

February 17 is the day when analog television broadcasts will be exchanged for digital television signals -- unless that date is postponed. According to The Red Tape Chronicles, that changeover may affect even viewers who were pretty confident that they'd be able to still get television reception after the big switchover. Seems there's some confusion over whether or not rabbit ear antennas will work (they won't) and whether rooftop antennas will be able to pull in the UHF signals used in digital broadcasts (they may, but only if you're willing to rotate the antenna to pick up each individual channel -- and, as the Red Tape Chronicles article points out, it's not going to be a whole lot of fun to climb on top of rooftops to adjust antennas in the cold of February.

Television viewers are resourceful. They're also highly motivated. Okay, let's face it. People are addicted to their television shows, whether that's "Oprah" or "The Today Show" or "American Idol." So, one way or another -- by spending the bucks for a digital television set, getting the cable and satellite companies to do the conversion. or coming up with another plan -- people will get their televisions working.

But there might be an interval when some television viewers are still figuring things out. It won't last forever -- the networks can't afford to lose hordes of television viewers forever -- but there might be a few days, beginning February 17, when some people who'd ordinarily tune into their favorite television shows can't.

That means, as you're planning your book promotion campaign, you'll want to take that time period into consideration. If you have a shot at appearing on a major television show, February 16 would be would be a grand day to make it happen. February 17, not so much.

It's all about timing, so keep the date in mind when you're scheduling television interviews. And then hope that, one way or another, viewers make their adjustments to the new technology quickly...and as painlessly (and inexpensively) as possible.