If you’re getting ready for your first book tour, there’s one really important thing you should be doing in every town or hamlet you’re having a book signing in–getting radio coverage to promote your event.
But how to land that all-important radio interview? If you’re doing a book signing in your hometown you already have a great hook–the tried-n-true “Local author makes good” angle. But you can’t just call up the radio station and arrange something—you have to find out the right person to ask for first.
Radio and TV stations get calls from kooks every single day–people who blame the TV or the radio for the weather, the JFK assasination, or for that blackout last night. Therefore, radio and TV offices have gatekeepers who keep the general public from annoying the on-air types with their endless calls.
To get past the gatekeepers, you need to do a bit of homework. First, pick a show you want to be on–if you want to get news coverage, you need to learn the News Director’s name and e-mail address. Easy, right?
Unfortunately, the news department might not be all that interested in your signing–it all depends. A more likely source of press for writers? The talk local talk shows and morning radio shows. To get on one of these, you need to learn who the producer is for that show and make contact with them. It’s a bad idea to approach the hosts of the show directly in most cases–talk to the producer and explain what you’re after.
There’s a whole art to pitching to a producer, but that’s a story for another post…stay tuned.