If you’re hoping to turn your book into a sensation you can’t afford to overlook talk radio. Your book isn’t going to sell itself, so you need to do everything you can to get the word out. By generating word-of-mouth on talk radio shows around the country, you can create that all-important buzz that can transform your book into a bona fide hit.
Experienced publishers and best-selling authors know that talk radio is the best medium for selling books. Here are a few helpful tips for those of you looking to book yourselves into this medium:
- The first thing you have to do is continuously follow the news. Study the different media outlets and find out what people are buzzing about. Watch the network and cable news channels, scan the newspapers, look at news websites on-line, and most importantly, make sure that you monitor the talk radio landscape. Take some time to listen to local and national talk shows and hear what they’re talking about. Get a read on the pulse of the public. This research will help you develop a relevant message that people will be interested in hearing.
- As you follow the news, pay close attention to the hot stories. Think about ways that you can tie these issues into the message of your book. Perhaps it tackles the same subject or shares geographic similarities. Perhaps the message of your book ties in with a controversy of some kind. Controversy is always tantalizing to talk radio show hosts. If you can develop a good angle that’s newsworthy, you can even get on the air with a fiction book – we’ve done that successfully a number of times.
- As you develop your message, keep in mind that radio hosts don’t want to do infomercials. When pitching to hosts and producers, be careful not to pitch yourself or your book too heavily. Instead, present yourself as an expert on a hot issue. Put the emphasis of your pitch on the issue, not on your book. The fact that you’ve authored a book, makes you that much more credible as an expert guest. Don’t worry, once you’re on the air, hosts will give you an opportunity to plug your book during the interview – especially because of the credibility factor.
- The fourth and possibly most important part of getting yourself booked onto talk radio is the actual press release. One of the reasons we’ve been so successful in the talk radio business is the quality of our radio pitches. Hosts and producers will want to see your pitch before they schedule an interview, so make sure your headline entices them and grabs their attention. In the text of your release, elaborate on the subject matter and it’s always good to include a couple of juicy or provocative quotes. Also include a short bio, and 5 or 10 questions that you would like the host to ask you.
These tips should help get you jump-started into the world of talk radio.