Book Publicity News

Friday, February 10, 2006


A colleague of mine gave me a gift this summer, and she didn't even know it was my birthday:

She recommended an author to me.

When the author, Professor Alan Nadel, called and told me the title of his book, TELEVISION IN BLACK-AND-WHITE AMERICA: Race and National Identity (University Press of Kansas; October 2005), I wondered why my colleague had passed on the book. She specializes in promoting literary and academic books, so this one should have been perfect for her.

In TELEVISION IN BLACK-AND-WHITE AMERICA, Professor Nadel traces how shows such as Bonanza, Disney Productions, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Gunsmoke, The Burns and Allen Show, Route 66, Wyatt Earp, Rawhide, I Love Lucy, Make Room for Daddy, The Virginian, Davy Crockett all helped to underscore racial discrimination and bigotry throughout the fifties and sixties.

To me, a campaign for this book was a no-brainer. And it was. I successfully booked Professor Nadel on a dozen or more NPR radio programs.

I kept the author busy with provocative interviews with intelligent talk show hosts on NPR programs that included The Tavis Smiley Show (a perfect venue for this book), Media Talk on Wisconsin Public Radio, and many other shows. (As of this writing, I'm still getting calls from radio stations wanting to schedule interviews with Professor Nadel--4 months after the campaign ended!)

It was a cut-and-dry campaign, and a pleasure to book.

The author did not have unrealistic expectations. He did not expect to get on Oprah or The Today Show. But he did think, quite correctly, that the media market for his book was NPR.

Authors often want to hire publicists for the big hits only: Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America. But as Socrates might have said, "Know thy book." And there are often golden opportunities for a book that might not be right for Oprah.

Labels: ,


  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Stacy-Deanne said…

    I agree. My recent book is an International best seller and I believe part of that is because I knew my audience. My publisher is great with promotion but I knew I had to get out there and identify with my audience myself. I promoted months before the book was released and it has paid off wonderfully. I think the main reason good books fail is because the author or publisher simply did not know the audience. I believe the author should take things into their own hands. Publishers have hundreds of authors. Why should a writer expect his publisher to know HIS particular audience? Unless you're with a niche publisher, the audiences varies for each author under the company. Of course, you can still know your audience and your book may not become a best seller but most times books fail because the author just didn't know how to get it into the hands of the people who would want them the most. I knew my book would be a winner with teens, young women and music lovers. So that was who I targeted in terms of promotion. My publisher did as well. I believe 50% of books that fail do so not because they were all bad (sure some are terrible) but because neither the author or publisher knew who the heck they were pitching to. I recently became my own publicist as well. I think more authors find this rewarding. I encourage it because it helps an author identify their audience even more.

  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger Bestselling Author, Pontif. said…

    I heard this author on the radio. Loved the book.


Post a Comment

<< Home