This is a question that you must ask yourself as an author as with today’s ever growing amount of writers self publishing and many publishers cutting back on the promotional dollars spent for new writers you had either better add book marketing to your vocabulary in addition to those phrases that you commonly use such as authoring, writing, book printing and book publishing. If not you would also be well served to consider hiring someone within your budget when you self publish.
Another of the mediums that can be of significant use to an author for book marketing is the broadcast media, specifically radio and television. Broadcast media as a promotional tool is often overlooked by self publishers even though it is a simple task acquiring air time. The Federal Government no longer “requires” TV and Radio license holders to offer a specific amount of air time, by law, to serve as “public service” air time. However many still do offer free access time in the off hours to fill programming. These forums can allow the author to speak on the topic of their book, the upcoming live appearances, how to purchase the book or to join your mailing list. Remember also that you are an “expert” on your topic and radio and TV love to interview “experts”. You can call into shows as well as be there in person, so don’t let geography hold you back.
The hours available to you, while not in “prime time” would be equivalent to having your web search come up high on Google for a three or four letter phrase, that while garnering many fewer searches, is still searched upon and thus important to you. Enough of these “bang tailed key phrases” popping high for you can result in meaningful sales. The same with early morning talk shows on TV or radio. You would be surprised how many book reading insomniacs are up at those hours as well as folks on the way to work.
While never mandated by Federal law, many cable TV providers also have public access channels or off hour show where they would be happy to have you as a guest. Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, writers of the book “Chicken Soup For The Soul” sold over 100 million books and When asked what their secret was, they replied, “We did hundreds of telephone interviews with radio stations across the country. Our sales went through the roof!”
The FCC provides lists of radio and TV stations all across America and that can be had at fcc.gov/guides/new-visitors-finding-information-about-radio-and-television-stations-fcc-web-site. Radioguestlist.com is another place where you can locate stations that will accept guest “experts”, speakers or authors. However if you Google “access to radio and TV stations as guest” or similar you will easily be able to comb together a nice list of where to contact for air time to promote your book.
The party to ask for at the station may be the program director, public affairs director or simply whoever you get to answer the phone as they usually will be apprised of their public service airtime policy and can either advise you how to go about it or direct you to the appropriate person dealing with it. If you want to be “perceived” as important, use a different name and tell them you are the agent for, or marketing company for the author. This way you are a notch up with representation.
You will also want to be aware of the format of the station and the demographics they appeal to. You would therefore want to approach stations where you may find relatedness to authors, books, your topic etc. The more you have an audience the more receptive to what you do. This may apply more to cable than to network stations in that the network stations are more general by nature.
Call the media and let them know you want to partake in early morning public service airtime and I hope I will be seeing or hearing you soon on TV and Radio (assuming I am awake at that time).
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