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Tips for Getting Your Book on TV

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5 P’s for getting on talk shows:

  • Pitch
  • Package
  • Preparation
  • Performance
  • Perseverance

Pitch

 

The hook is the most important part of the pitch. You need to get the producer’s attention. Credentials don’t matter as must as the reasons why a producer might book you. Producers are looking for timely topics, personal stories and fresh angles. Your hook should be an attention-grabbing sentence that you can explain easily, as TV producers can have a short attention span.

Who do you pitch? You have to find the right people. Don’t send your book directly to the host, as they don’t read every book that they get. Send it to the producer and associate producers. It is the producer that books the show and they are the only people looking for guests. First, mail your book and then call and ask if they received your book (if you have limited resources, email the producer and then follow up with a phone call). Start locally—the smaller shows are great practice, easier to get booked and give you sound bites and credentials to put on your website.

Package

 

You need a website. You will be “Googled”. On your website you need a biography, links to articles and blogs you have written, TV & radio appearances, other books that you wrote, etc.

You also need a photo that not only shows a producer what you look like, but also shows your personality. You need to smile. Producers make judgments on how you look. They have rejected people before because they look boring in their photo.

Preparation

 

Every phone call is an audition. You need to have energy! Treat the producer like they are the host. Practice sound bites. Work on being concise, direct, to the point and memorable. Learn how to talk succinctly and get to the point. Boil down your answers. Make it easy for the producer to say “yes” to booking you.

Performance

 

Every contact that you make is a performance. You audition every time you have a phone conversation, send an email or meet face-to-face. Have fun and show your personality. When talking with the producers, don’t plug your book every-other sentence. They will do that for you on the show (by showing your book cover, asking you about it, etc.) and if you spend too much time plugging your book, it will turn off the producer as they will be afraid you will do that on the show. Remember, you are selling you. If they like you, then they will like your book and the audience will buy your book!

Perseverance

 

Don’t give up. It can be a long road. Keep pursuing. Change your approach and angle with each contact. Pitch more than one producer (they might cover different topics on one show). Use every method available (email, phone call, connections). Just keep going. It will be worth it!

 

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