Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul,
have been awarded the 1996 Distinguished Author Award by the publishers of
Radio-TV Interview Report. The sponsor of this award, RTIR, is a Lansdowne,
PA based trade magazine which radio and television producers use to find
authors, experts, and celebrities for interviews.
More than 9 million copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul have been sold. The
book has appeared on bestseller lists including the New York Times. The
authors are now aggressively marketing several spin-off books, including A
2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul, A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for
the Soul, and a Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook.
“We believe that one of the biggest secrets to our success has been our
determination to do one media interview every single day,” said Mark Victor
Hansen. They have appeared on The Today Show, ABC’s 20/20, CNN, and scores of
radio stations via telephone.
When asked what advice they might give to anyone who wanted to promote their
book, product, or service effectively on radio and television talk shows,
Hansen and Canfield offered the following tips:
1) Ask others for advice.“We interviewed over 100 successful authors and
asked them what it took to be successful,” said Hansen, whose mentors
included such authors as Barbara De Angelis, Harvey Mackay, Wayne Dyer, and
Betty J. Eadie. “The bottom line is that 90% of what it takes to succeed is
publicity, marketing, and promoting,” said Hansen.
2) Average one media interview per day every year. That’s the key advice M.
Scott Peck gave Hansen. “The biggest mistake most authors make is that they
do a 20-day tour and think they’ve finished promoting their book,” said
Hansen. He believes that effective book promotion requires a constant
commitment on the part of the author.
3) Do as many radio phone interviews as possible. These interviews are a
very convenient way to have a high impact and to make the public recognize
your name. The first year, Canfield and Hanson were doing a minimum of one
interview a day, seven days a week. They were willing to do radio interviews
at three in the morning, if that’s what was required. During many of these
radio interviews they were permitted to tell listeners how to order their
book. This combined with word of mouth is an excellent way to sell books.
4) Get set up with an 800 fulfillment number. On radio stations, you’ll
often be able to tell listeners how to order your book. Ask your long
distance carrier about obtaining a vanity number. Canfield and Hansen tell
listeners to call “800-soup-book.” Other companies that offer 800 fulfillment
are Bookworld: 800/444-2524 and Bookmasters: 800/537-6727.
5) Give listeners an incentive to order today. People tend to procrastinate
unless you give them a reason to order your book immediately. “We promise
them an autographed copy of the book if they order it today,” said Hansen.
6) Get listed in Radio-TV Interview Report. Published three a month,
RTIR is a national trade magazine that informs radio and television producers
about guests who are available for interviews. For information about getting
listed, call 800/989-1400, ext. 408.
7) Be prepared for interviews. Hansen recommends writing out answers to
questions you’re most likely to be asked in the form of short, simple
sentences on 3 x 5 cards. Think in terms of sound bites. Mention your book
title frequently during the interview.
8) Use stories to communicate. People are more easily moved by the stories
you tell than by the sentences you speak. When doing radio interviews,
Canfield and Hansen often read heartwarming letters they’ve received from
readers whose lives have been changed as a result of reading Chicken Soup for
9) Continually visualize your success. Canfield and Hansen visualizedChicken Soup for the Soul being number one on the New York Times Bestseller
List for almost a year. They even cut the list out, wrote their book in as
number one, and framed it in their offices. They also regularly used a
technique they call the “mirror exercise” to replace negative self thoughts
with positive ones and to affirm what they want to achieve with their books.
And they have a “victory wall” covered with plaques and pictures to celebrate
and focus on success.