Have you listened to radio lately? If you have, chances are you've heard an author talking about his or her latest book. According to the "Let's Talk Radio Marketing" Website, "Radio advertising has proven to be one of the most cost-effective means of reaching your target audience."
In other words, radio gives you the biggest bang for your buck. I wanted my new book to reach a wider audience, so I asked a marketing company to come up with a plan that focuses on radio, including ads in "Radio-TV Interview Report" and "A Great Radio Guest." Why radio?
Radio is everywhere: in the home, in the neighborhood, in the car, in the workplace, and in the marketplace. Satellites beam radio programs to listeners all over the world. Campers hear programs on solar-powered radios and travelers hear programs on computers.
Convenience is another radio plus. To be on radio you don't have to fly across the country or drive 50 miles, you just answer the phone. Better yet, you can be sitting in your pajamas, wearing mismatched socks, hair sticking up straight, and listeners won't know it. You can refer to your notes during the interview, something you may not be able to do on TV.
Radio's drawback is the lack of visuals - images, color, and movement - that grab viewers' attention. "Because radio offers no image, the main advantage is sound," notes admotor.com. So you must rely on your voice. Listeners can't see you or your book cover, but you may grab their attention with the words you choose and the images your words create.
I've been on top radio stations like CBS in New York and WCCO in Minneapolis-St. Paul, but one of the best shows I've been on is Jacqueline Marcella's show, "Coping With Caregiving." It's a monthly, Internet-only radio program broadcast worldwide. Listeners hear it on www.wsRadio.com/CopingWithCaregiving. Once a program has aired it's archived for listeners who missed it or want to hear it again.
What makes the program special? Jacqueline Marcella is a good listener, a vital ingredient for any show hostess or host. Because of the challenges she has faced - a father with Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer - she really wants to hear what you have to say. Being on her show was pure joy.
Before I'm on the air I check the Internet for information about the program. While it isn't always possible, I try to listen to the program ahead of time. If I'm asked to provide interview questions I keep them short. I rehearse what I'm going to say, focusing on a casual delivery.
For me, radio is an investment in my work. It's too soon to tell if my invesement will pay off in royalties. Meanwhile, I'm having the time of my life. Marketing my book on radio has turned into a mini marketing course. I'm learning a lot, having fun, and meeting fascinating people. Stay tuned!
Harriet Hodgson has been a nonfiction writer for 27 years and is a member of the Association of Health Care Journlists. Her latest book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief" written with Lois Krahn, MD is available on http://www.amacon.com. To learn more about her work go to http://www.harriethodgson.com.