From Randy Tatano, freelance network television producer and author on The channeling author:
TV or not TV. That is today’s question.
Ah, the tube. The box. As Jacqueline Susann called it, The Love Machine. Such a part of American life that without it we wouldn’t know where to put the couch.
But you guys wanna know about how television coverage works, and how you might get some for your book, so you’ll need the TV insider’s playbook. It is a bizarre industry with so many quirks and nuances that you really need to know the secret handshakes to get anything decent on the air. One thing to remember is an old newsroom saying that goes back about fifty years. “It’s just TV. It aint brain surgery.” Bottom line, after you do it awhile, it’s pretty simple.
In all my years in the business I’ve done a total of two, count ‘em, two, stories on authors. (I would have done three but one author was so rude we packed up our gear and left.) Bottom line, publishers simply don’t look at television when promoting books. That shouldn’t stop you, the author.
In one case, a local guy who had published a book on baseball called me up, made an appointment, and stopped by with a review copy of his book. It was well done so we booked him on our Saturday morning newscast. In the other, I happened to read in Publisher’s Weekly that author Joe McGinniss would be doing research on a book called “The Big Horse” at the race track in Saratoga, New York. I called the publisher, they gave me the author’s number, and we set up an interview. Mr. McGinniss let us follow him for a couple of hours around the track, and he made an interesting story. But had I not stumbled on that bit of information, I never would have known a major author was in town. So, how do you get coverage?
First, you need to understand three basic principles: reporters love fun stories that aren’t hard to do; newsrooms (all kinds of media) are now staffed by skeleton crews after major cutbacks; a personal touch goes a long way when making contact. With that in mind, the easier you make it for a reporter to gather the facts for a story, the better chance you have of it hitting the air or getting in print. Have something that doesn’t require a reporter to do a lot of work, and you’ll have a better chance of getting it out there.
Link to the rest at The channeling author and thanks to Jennifer for the tip.