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.

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