1) First and most important, be sure your book is really suited to radio
Not every book is. The broader and more general interest oriented your title
is, the better your chances of being invited as a guest. Or you must tightly
target the radio market you’re going after. Why would a radio or TV host be
interested in talking about the subject of your book? What can you add to
2) The primary reason the media invites you to be a guest is to increase
their ratings and listener audience.
In most cases, this is the only reason. Don’t be offended by this. You’re a
3) Realize that no host is interested in promoting your book sales, unless
you provide them with a good show.
Again, it’s all about ratings and their phones lighting up. Without ratings,
they don’t attract advertisers. Without advertisers, they’re off the air.
Period. This is probably the single most important point to grasp.
4) Have a healthy sense of humor about yourself as an author, and about your book.
If you are having fun on the show, your host will promote you and your book
in ways you couldn’t begin to pay for. You will automatically become THE
expert in their files. Your book title is repeated over and over. Your order
number goes out to thousand or millions of people who might not otherwise
have ever heard of you or your title. And the host will often quote directly
from your book, and then recommend that listeners rush out and buy it. So
don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t pontificate.
5) Radio requires that you are able to field questions of all kinds about
your subject very, very, very fast–usually in a minute or less.
TV wants you to speak slower and not make any sudden moves, but radio needs
6) Expect to give away lots of free copies of your book.
Every producer and host will request at least one review copy before you go
on the air, along with the rest of your media package materials. Don’t be
stingy. You’ll also have to absorb mailing costs, but since you know your
profit margin, and this is essentially “free” national advertising, you don’t
7) Be ready to be on the air at very inconvenient times, like midnight and 4:00 am.
You’ll be dealing with different time zones, and if you can’t be bothered to
disrupt your sleep cycles once in awhile, you are severely limiting your
attractiveness as a guest. Besides, 4:00 am to you may be 7:00 am on the East
8) Ask the producer or host how you can help make the show work best for them.
Be a good guest. Show them you are willing to cooperate to hook listener
interest. Some of them will ask you for sample questions to use on the air.
9) Offer additional autographed listener giveaway copies.
Hosts love this, so don’t wait for them to ask you. They may, or may not,
actually give the books away on the air, but the bottom line is that it’s all
still marketing. Your book is now in hands miles away. And they often give
the copies away on another day, which translates as more exposure for your
10) Offer to fill in if another guest suddenly bails out on them.
In many instances, this offer alone will get you in their permanent file. And
then, of course, do your best to accommodate them when they call back.
11) Write “thank you” notes to the producers and/or hosts after the show.
They really do remember and respond to this simple courtesy. And it gives you
the opportunity to let them know how much you enjoyed their show, and how
much you would love to do it again.
If you would like more information, contact Patricia Troyer, Stone People
Publishing Company, at PO Box 4650, Apache Junction, AZ 85278-4650, phone
602/671-7913, fax 602/671-7914.