How do authors get on TV?
Thursday, March 15, 2018
How To Promote Your Book Like My Self-Promoting Kid
People laugh at how often my son seems to get his name in the news, but I’m proud to say he’s a natural go-getter when it comes to the news media. Perhaps authors can learn from his media whore ways.
Ben just turned 13 but he first appeared in the news when he was around 4 and was interviewed by the Journal News, the newspaper in Westchester, discussing a sandwich brigade for the needy at his temple’s daycare center. Following that he was interviewed by a local news site, Sound of the Shore, about a bicycle donation program with the town’s mayor, CBS-TV News (about a boat show, at age 8), and News-12 Westchester TV segment about a Monopoly tournament he had arranged at his elementary school. This past week he made it onto ABC-TV News with iconic weatherman Jim Dolan, discussing how he’s been impacted by two Nor’easters that left us without power for eight days.
Ok, so this piece is not to brag about him, but to learn from him.
First, to get media coverage, seek it out. He doesn’t wait for the media to come to him, he goes after it. Sometimes it’s being at the right place at the right time. He gravitates to the news cameras. Other times, such as with his Monopoly tournament, he had to call and email the media and when no one showed, he put together video clips and sent it in and the TV station was able to use it. With budget cutbacks to media outlets, they welcome content packaged to them, especially anything involving kids.
Second, speak in good sound bytes. This means say a lot in five to eight seconds – no rambling, pausing, or mumbling. Speak with conviction, energy, eye contact, and with insight. He was so good with Jim Dolan that I got left on the cutting room floor when our piece aired a second and third time.
Third, think like the media. What do they want? Emotion, pain, suffering. They also will take euphoria and wild joy. But middle-of-the-road or mere ordinary quotes won’t move the needle. You need to be assertive, creative, energized, and prepared to encapsulate something in a short statement.
Fourth, have a feel for what others might be saying to the media and find a way for your words to stick out or sound different. Anticipate, react, and speak up.
Some media coverage is luck or just the result of the media’s needs, desires, convenience, time, and other factors. But my son proves that anyone can find the media and get themselves some exposure. He’s been doing it for a while now. But I also know it’s not so easy and people who do it for a living – publicists, authors, and others – can struggle to get media coverage. When you find yourself struggling to get someone to cover you or your book, just embrace your inner Ben and don’t take no for an answer. Have the mindset of: “They should cover me.” I know he thinks that way.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource."