On the Published Authors group on Goodreads.com, I just spend a good half hour addressing some skeptical remarks about talk radio. If only three people read my remarks there, it will not have been good use of my time.
I'm an occasional, but regular, host on Passionate Internet Voices Radio.
PIVTR has only been going for three years, and it is not a full time station. It does not do business commercials, and it is heard all over the world where ever people have computers... from grandmothers on tiny British islands (a friend of my mother's heard my show without even knowing I was a talk show host, and emailed me) to truckers crossing continents to publishers and... who knows, TV scouts, as well as the colleges and universities you mention.
We support three charities by sending them the hosts' theoretical royalties from mp3 downloads (which cost around $2.60 last time I asked).
A royalty on $2.60 isn't much, but yesterday I forwarded a check for $25.00 to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit.
Hey! If only Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh would donate their entire host's proceeds for their shows to the hungry and the homeless, and help former incarcerees who've served their debt to society to learn a useful skill (baking bread or organic gardening).
A good show can turn into sales. It's not guaranteed, of course. For a start, the interviewee has to be prepared, has to be absolutely fascinating as an authority on some subject, has to speak clearly (on a land line), has to entertain, and has to be likeable.
Above all else, be likeable. The hard sell doesn't work. Authors who unintentionally project a sense of entitlement don't do so well. Listeners aren't going to buy a book just because someone has written one and mumbles a title and a url repeatedly on the radio.
Also, an interview on a show is not the end in and of itself. Authors need to understand that. Before the interview, it is a (flimsy) news item... something to post as news to all your sites and groups and to Tweet and Smak, and post on all your Updates. But, you really need to have a decent hook: an elevator pitch to make people want to tune in.
You also ought to have a Google Alert. You can Tweet that. Afterwards, you can blog about your experience, especially mentioning what you did wrong because people love to read about pratfalls. You can purchase the mp3 from Lillian, and post it on your MySpace page etc etc (I don't need to tell you!) and everywhere that allows you to upload a podcast.
It's not the show that will sell books. It's what you do on the show and with the show. Unless, of course, Oprah was listening.
On my next show, Crazy Tuesday, September 1st, I shall be interviewing USA Today best selling author Jade Lee, and international best selling author Susan Kearney. We'll be talking about Dragons.
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