Promoting your book on TV.

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If you have nearby radio and TV stations, this will work for you. I designed a press kit which I sent to radio and TV hosts, along with a book, to convince them that I was a worthy guest. The reason you're doing all this to help them, is to save them time and to help to focus the interview.

If you have nearby radio and TV stations, this will work for you. I designed a press kit which I sent to radio and TV hosts, along with a book, to convince them that I was a worthy guest. The reason you're doing all this to help them, is to save them time and to help to focus the interview. (I also took a duplicate of the press kit with me on broadcast day, because things get lost.)

Quick And Easy Guide To Author Lary Crews

•Lary Crews of Sarasota is the author of the Veronica Slate series of mystery novels, all of which are set in the Tampa Bay Area.

•Veronica Slate is a night-time talk show host at a [fictional] Tampa radio station with studios on Harbour Island. Her father, retired FBI agent Archie Slate, lives in Anna Maria.

•Lary Crews was a broadcast journalist (radio and TV newsman) for 20 years.

•He became a fulltime freelance writer in 1985.

•Sold 405 magazine articles in four years.

•Crews created concept for Veronica Slate series. The first New York literary agent he showed it to took him on.

•His first novel ever — Kill Cue — landed him a six-book contract with a major New York publisher, Bantam-Lynx Books.

It was all one page. Consequently, they had in front of them a bullet-style, fast, easy-to-read description of my book and me. When they're on the air, anchors don’t have time to read anything of any length. You give them just the general idea of what to go with. That helps focus the interview for them and for you.

Get the most promotional advantage from your time on the air. Most of the time, you'll be on the air for less than six minutes, sometimes less than three minutes.

I learned this from the late author Jackie Collins.

I was watching her on Good Morning America and — in the space of three minutes — she said "Lucky" (the title of her book) twenty times.

The way she did it was this: She never said, "my book," or "the book," or even, "book."

She always said, "Lucky." She'd say, "I started writing Lucky back in ..."  "I think that Lucky is ..." and "Lucky has ..." and "In Lucky ..."

She said the title over and over and over again and I sat there thinking about how clever that was because the viewer goes away remembering the title, which is exactly what they need to remember.

To look calm on TV, here are two secrets.

1.Sit up straight. Keep your head up because TV lights will cast shadows if you bow your head.

2.The person who appears strongest and calmest in what they call the "two-shot" (when they're showing you and the interviewer) is the person who moves the least. Try to learn to talk without waving your arms, bobbing your head and moving your hands too much.

Watch their eyes. Listen to their questions.

Watching the eyes of your interviewer is important on both radio and TV. Interviewers have this little tic that shows up in their eyes when they know they have to break for a commercial or when someone off camera is giving them signals. If you watch their eyes, you can anticipate these interruptions and be prepared to get to the end of your sentence in a reasonable length of time.

Strive to look at the person interviewing you even if the person does not look at you, which sometimes happens. At least, look at their face if they refuse to make eye contact. On TV that reads as you looking in their eyes even if you're not. On radio, who cares? If they are not giving you any eye contact, look at their nose, or a spot between their eyes.

Strive to be pleasant and natural. This may sound at odds with everything I've told you so far but strive to be natural. Try to be a person. Strive to forget about the cameras and try to have a conversation.

Give them everything in simple terms. The secret with TV people it to give them everything they need to know, in simple terms. It doesn't mean they are dumb, but they are busy. If you hand them a 16 paragraph note about you, they're not even going to read it. 

Learn some sound bites

It's a good idea to create and learn a few sound bites about you and your book. Sound bites are simply things that can be expressed in short sentences.

For example, my books were set in Tampa Bay which I often tried to mention.

"I've wanted to read books set in Tampa Bay, but I couldn't find any. That’s why I wrote one."

"Yes, I enjoyed writing novels so much, that’s why I’ve gone on to teach other people how to do it."

“Mostly I get my ideas from newspapers, true crime books and television.”

If you learn these little factoids about yourself, you are prepared to answer them succinctly. That's the trick. The thing broadcast interviewers hate, and their eyes start to glaze over when it happens, is when you don't stop talking, so be prepared to stop talking at any time.

If you've learned some sound bites, you can do a sound bite, watch their eyes, and if they're not glazing over or looking away, you go on. You can stop at the end of whatever sound bite you need to.

When I say "sound bite" I don't mean to make up something plastic and ridiculous. I'm saying take the information you want to get across and "format" it into little, serviceable chunks that you can use on TV.

Bottom line on self-promotion.

Be proud of your profession. Anytime someone has a crafts fair in your area, get a table and sell your books. You are an author. Most people don’t achieve that. Sell some books at flea markets. I have offered books as prizes for fundraisers, as well.

----- (From NOVEL SECRETS available in paperback and Kindle form.) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0189VGK32

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