First time authors often ask about their chances of getting on television. Usually I’ll say, “Buckley’s” but thankfully that is not always the case.
Author and poet Ashley Byrnes
Take Poseidon Books author Ashley Byrnes; he recently appeared on NBN news. Who would think a poet (Ashley has three books published, Deceiving the Hearts of the Simple, Through the Eyes of Words and his latest Raw Emotion) would be featured on television?
The thing with Ashley is that he’s marketable. The story angle was that Ashley was returning to boxing, a contrast to his other pursuits as a poet and writer. Because Ashley has come through the school of hard knocks (literally) gave this story a human touch and universal appeal.
See what you think. Have a look via the link below:
Media can be fickle and will not always support authors, even if you are a local. The famous often become more famous. Unless something extremely newsworthy happens to you it’s unlikely to expect to be interviewed (and I don’t suggest creating the next AFL scandal).
There can be some success with biographies (of the famous) and health and medical titles but again television can be fickle. For example my publishing company once had an interview organised for an author and as the negotiations for a filming date were being set the producer of the show moved on and the next producer cut the interview.
The harsh reality is that you don’t want to become the next Chk Chk Boom Girl just to gain publicity. Nor do you want to do a Helen Demidenko and cause the sort of scandal in the literary world as she did. Maybe starting as a You Tube sensation works for some but writers reading their work aren’t quite up there with Justin Bieber.
I suggest you can hype your book and yourself and still be honest and true. Tap into your brilliant past or discover any interesting facts about yourself that audiences may enjoy (such as Ashley’s story about being a single dad who has done it tough). More importantly write the best book you can and you will always be proud enough to spruik it.
If you are lucky enough to be interviewed by a newspaper, magazine, radio or television always prepare. Most interviewers will steer the conversation so you have to be ready to try to get back to your main points. Talk about the book but also about yourself, why you write, what you went through and anything topical that relates to you and your book.
Usually and interview will have to suit the publication so if you are speaking to a women’s’ magazine keep your points on women’s interest subjects such as motherhood, fashion, health and careers. Always keep in mind ‘the audience’.
If you can create your own publicity it then creates publicity for the book. If you already hold seminars or speak in your line of work, can you sell your books during these events?
While some book titles, such as guides and text books, sell because of a title catching a buyer’s attention because of a need, and others, such as novels, can sell due to the author’s name alone. The saying is that once your name is bigger than your title you’ve made it as a writer.
Here’s hoping more of you will be one of those writers – and maybe I’ll see you on the tele one day.