Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Promotion via Radio Shows for Authors

Are you an author? Here's how to ensure that your radio show appearances turn into book promotion opportunities rather than time spent away from writing.

Here are 5 ways to turn radio shows into book publicity opportunities to promote yourself as an expert and let potential readers know about your book:

  • Be a reliable radio show guest. Make sure you have a meeting of the minds with the radio show producer or radio show host when you schedule the interview. Know who's calling whom and at what time. Also, double-check time zones. Provide your main contact number and a backup phone number, and get the radio show's studio line as your backup. Clarify all of the booking information when you're booking the show, or ensure that your book publicist does. This is the time to be super detailed. Never be too excited about booking an interview on a radio show to think straight! Overnight radio shows can be tricky to schedule. If the show airs at 2:00 AM on evening leading into Monday, does that count as Sunday or Monday? Be clear about your understanding of when you're supposed to be available for the phone call, and don't be embarrassed to check the producer's understanding of the time/date until you're certain the two of you are on the same page. You can't do a fabulous radio show segment unless you're on the air!  
  • Keep it interesting. The radio show host depends on you to fill air time, and to keep listeners tuned in. So save your shyness for another time. When you're on the air, be animated, opinionated, and articulate. Warm up your voice before the interview starts. Stay upbeat and authoritative, and don't shy away from controversy as long as you can take a position with credibility and integrity.
  • Remember that you're a guest. You're on the radio show to promote your book, but you haven't paid for an ad. The radio show host did not invite you to do a commercial. So refrain from offering information -- such as your book's title, the name of any coauthor or illustrator, publishing information, where you can buy the book, your book's web site, and the like -- until you are asked for it. Upon an invitation from the radio show host, have the information all ready to go, and speak slowly and clearly.  
  • Stay cool. Some radio show hosts' styles involve combative interviews, at worst, or playing devil's advocate, at best. It's always helpful to know ahead of time if your radio interview is with that type of host (check with your book publicist and also study the radio show's web site and listen to past broadcasts). But if you are ambushed, keep calm. You lose credibility if you engage in an argument, so do your best to bridge back to your message points. Never repeat an accusation or a negative comment the host makes. You'll only reinforce the idea in listeners' minds.

  • Follow up with an offer. When you write the radio show producer or host a thank-you email, see whether you can turn the one-time radio appearance into a series of book promotion opportunities. Provide additional media angles. Showing that you have other story ideas makes you an appealing prospect for ongoing radio show guest appearances. Also, letting  the radio show producer or host know that you'd be available as a last-minute guest could be a great way of scoring points, too.
Treat every radio interview as if mattered, because it really does. Every radio show interview is a book promotion opportunity in the making!

Stacey J. Miller is a book publicist and founder of S. J. Miller Communications, a Boston-area book promotion company. Visit her online at www.bookpr.com. To read more about articles like this one, click here.