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Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting Publicity on Radio Shows

Guest Post by Author Francine Silverman

We all want publicity. It’s free and often results in a positive outcome.

As an on-line publicist for about 180 authors, I focus on getting my clients radio spots so that they can publicize their books and expertise on the air. Radio hosts need guests and are more receptive to pitches than newspaper editors – of which there are fewer and fewer these days.

However, with the dearth of information on radio websites – especially regarding show theme and guest criteria – it’s anyone’s guess what kind of guests hosts want. For this reason, I decided to write my book, Talk Radio Wants You: An Intimate Guide to 700 Shows and How to Get Invited (McFarland & Co. 2009), which retails for $75 and contains everything a potential guest needs to know before contacting a host.

To make the information more affordable, I followed the format of the book to create ebooks in business, health, self-help, sports, entertainment, politics, parenting, food and travel, men and women, and relationships selling at $12 to $20. These are shows I discovered after my book went into production, include both Internet and on-air programs, and feature show theme, name of host, guest criteria, email, phone (optional), website, best method of contact, and where aired.

When I started my on-line publicity service, I began by pitching newspapers, and while I did get two clients into national newspapers, it was an uphill battle. But when I began pitching radio hosts, I was astounded at the responses. Only then did I realize how desperately hosts need guests. If this doesn’t convince you, how about the thousands of hosts who responded to my questionnaire to be in my book and ebooks? They completed the form because they want guests to learn about their shows.

The jury is out on whether radio interviews help sell books. On the one hand, you read about how, before they became household names, Wayne Dyer and Scott Peck started out as authors. When Dyer’s first book was published, he filled his station wagon with copies and headed west to do as many radio shows as possible. The book ultimately became a best seller.

Peck also began by doing three radio shows a day to help sell his first book, The Road Less Traveled, which was on the best seller list for 12 years.

On the other hand, unknown authors express a mixed bag regarding their radio interviews. Some report that they sell copies with every show they do, while others complain that radio interviews fail to move the audience.

I always respond that we don’t know who is listening and if nothing else it gives us a chance to talk and answer questions about our books. Moreover, the host will often tout the book and author’s website several times during the interview. They want to present their guests in a good light and are happy to promote them.  

For information on my publicity service, book and ebooks, please visit
http://www.talkradioadvocate.comTalk Radio Advocate


  1. It makes good sense. I can't think of the last time I responded to something written in a newspaper by running for my checkbook. But we have, within the last year, reached for our credit card a couple of times in response to a radio talk show. That idea is definitely worth thinking about.