Authors and book publicists work hard to create book promotion opportunities. That's why serendipitous, unexpected invitations to appear on radio shows are so welcome. Authors can garner opportunities to appear on radio and TV shows, and to appear in other media outlets, without constantly reaching out to media decision makers. You can even turn one interview opportunity into a series of author publicity opportunities if you are clever about self-promotion.
Those extra author publicity opportunities free you up to do less outreach to the media and to fill your hours with more important things -- such as coming up with new ideas for your work, writing books, and publishing your books. Here's how to lay the groundwork for "bonus" book publicity opportunities.
1. Incorporate your availability into the pitches, when you do reach out to the media. If your schedule allows you to be available to appear as a guest on radio or TV shows, let the producers know that when you send your initial pitch. Every producer keeps a file of authors and other potential last-minute guests. Make sure your name and contact information is in each one of those files! You never know when your name will be the one a producer reaches for, and you'll receive that wonderful phone call to be a guest.
2. Emphasize your continued willingness to be there. In your thank-you notes to producers and hosts after interviews, reiterate that fact that you can appear on the show again at a moment's notice. It's not unusual for a radio show host to be called upon to fill in for another radio show host and to need someone -- quickly -- to entertain and/or inform listeners. It's also common for guests to cancel at the last minute and to leave radio show hosts (and their producers) without material for their shows. You'll be doing producers and hosts a huge service by letting them know that you'd be available to help them fill air time in a pinch -- and then by coming through for them!
3. Remind the media about how you're relevant. As you stay in touch with producers, hosts, editors, bloggers and writers, let them know about the topics you can cover. If you're a novelist, you might say that your extensive research into the area of relationships and romance would make you a perfect source if they need an expert (on Valentine's Day, when a celebrity has a highly publicized marital breakup, and the like). A cardiologist might point out that he or she can offer information related to new studies, the latest research, and so forth when the topic arises in the news or at any other time.
The media needs authors to fill air time, and to act as authoritative sources, every bit as much as authors need book publicity opportunities. You don't have to be particularly outgoing to get on the media's list of dependable guests and resources. Just let producers, hosts, editors, bloggers and other media decision-makers know that your schedule is fairly flexible, and that you're nearly always available for a last-minute interview. And then you can pursue your creative and business endeavors while the media comes to you for a change!