Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Could Your Book Earn You A TV Show?

Exclusive Interview With Executive TV Producer Kerri Zane On How Authors Can Get On TV!

Image result for television network logos

Kerri, you are an Emmy-award winning TV executive producer with over two decades of success. How did you break into television?
Television is a business I always wanted to work in.  When I met my former husband he owned an entertainment advertising agency.  He encouraged me to come and work with hm. With him I learned how to be a producer from bottom to top, starting as a Production Assistant, Production Coordinator, and Production Manager. So when I finally was promoted to an executive producer role I knew every aspect of production. It was a brilliant path really. Being a producer is mostly problem solving and knowing every function helps me be a better problem solver. He and I diligently worked on developing content and in 1990 we sold our first series to NBC called "Name Your Adventure."  Mario Lopez was our host and we made kids dreams come true. It all unfolded from there. 

What are some of your career highlights? Permission to brag! 
Name Your Adventure was a feel good series and we were able to work with amazing people. One special episode centered around a Vietnamese Boat Rescuee who wanted to work with the Press Department at the White House...she was able to spend the day assisting DeeDee Myers, Bill Clinton's press secretary. The White House didn't tell us but organized our filming for the same day that the Vietnam Women's Memorial was unveiled. There was a touching ceremony in the Oval Office we were able to capture for the episode which was unforgettable. 

Another highlight was Executive Producing the Emmy winning CBS Schoolbreak called "My Indian Summer."  I also produced two seasons of an animated series for CBS called "Flying Rhino Jr. High" that was very different and interesting. From there I took on reality cable content and have worked in that space ever since.  Honestly I have loved all my shows...they are like children. They all required incredible care and attention, but turned out so well I am proud of each and every one. 

So exactly what do you spend most of your time and energy on these days?
Currently, the majority of my days are spent working on development. Despite the blossoming of new outlets for content the business remains highly competitive and the bar of excellence in creating and developing compelling new series that will be greenlit is super high. 

Kerri, as a published author yourself, what challenges and opportunities do you see for other authors looking to promote their brand and market their book?
Yes. I have published two books. One non-fiction, "It Takes All Five: A Single Mom's Guide For Finding the REAL One" and a fiction book called, "My Lover's Keeper." I think the most challenging part of the book process is not in the writing but in the marketing and promotion. That is where the majority of effort needs to be focused. Good news is being able to work with people like you and all the online viral opportunities authors have a lot more control and opportunity to manifest their own success. 

If an author believes he or she can turn their content into a TV show, what should they do?
Contact me! I am happy to assist and share my expertise. Because I have a pulse on what the TV market place is looking for I can quickly assess the viability.  

How can an author slash expert at least serve as a consultant to — or a guest on — a TV series? 
Having a publicist support this effort is key. It's important to have the right advocate who has the right relationships.  That being said, every author or expert must know their stuff and the shows they want to target in order to create content that will be useful for the producer. So it's a team effort. My suggestion, watch the shows you would like to be featured on to understand their sensibility and what might make you a compelling guest or segment. Stay on top of topical news and trends to pitch you/or ideas around these current events. 

As a single mom and a woman working in television, how have you handled the stresses of being in a highly competitive environment?
Great question. I love what I do, I am good at it and I'm highly competitive. So it all works to my benefit. When I pitch a show and someone passes that's when I turn up my burners...I like to find the why behind the no, and work at the creative until it's right. I love turning "no's" into "yeses!"

When you look at the TV landscape now — network, cable, premium, streaming — where do you see television heading? Any trends?
What is interesting is when the Golden Globe nominees were announced recently, every major free TV network was shut out. I don't have to predict the has already shifted. 

For more information, please contact:

New Year's Resolutions For Every Author

Free 2020 Book Marketing Toolkit for Authors

17 Book PR Strategies That Work

The Author Publicity Priority List

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 He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. 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 and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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