Are you an author and have considered promoting your books by appearing on radio shows?
I know I am and have appeared on numerous radio shows to promote my own book, but John Knoerle, author of the mystery thriller A Pure Double Cross, is here today to give you his perspective on promoting your books through radio.
by John Knoerle, author of A Pure Double Cross
I don’t hear as many radio spots promoting novels as I used to and I’m not sure why. To me radio is the mass medium best suited to promoting fiction. That may sound counter intuitive since print media reaches readers. Then again almost all print media is non-fiction, or so they tell us.
Radio, like fiction, is theater of the mind. An audio dramatization of a scene in a book provides voices and sound fx but the listener, like the reader, provides the visuals. And engaging the imagination is what fiction is all about.
Blue Steel Press did a radio promotion in northeast Ohio for my new book “A Pure Double Cross” which is set in Cleveland. Having a background in radio I produced the spots myself. We followed up the radio ads with several book signings that we promoted by tagging the spots. The talk radio stations we bought helped out with book giveaways and on-air interviews of the author. Plus the spots make a nice addition to our website.
Now I’m guessing most authors don’t have a voiceover studio or expertise in radio production. Not to worry. You can do a mini-audiobook by simply selecting a compelling scene in your novel and reading it into the radio station’s mike. The station will provide the production free of charge, and will add music and fx as you specify.
Microphone shy? Radio station announcers are available for free but, with apologies to my radio pals, they’re not always the most talented actors. Better to hire a radio production company to do it up right. This is not necessarily as expensive as you might think. Do a web search, and avoid union houses in New York and LA unless you’re rich.
If you’re budget conscious, as who isn’t these days, consider online radio. Most stations stream their broadcasts on their websites so that office workers and others can listen while they work at their computers. Some stations block the on-air commercials and sell this ‘stream’ broadcast time separately. And usually at lower rates.
You don’t need to hire an ad agency to do radio. You can deal directly with the stations you choose, assuming you are conducting a targeted regional campaign. A national campaign would require a media buying service. Or perhaps a buy on satellite radio.
Anyone who has endeavored to tickle the fancy of the American consumer knows how difficult it can be. There are no surefire methods, especially in this dismal economy. But what’s a greater entertainment value than a book? Hours of enjoyment and edification for a small entry fee. And you don’t have to mail it back to Netflix!
Radio is the most focused mass medium, which makes it relatively easy to speak directly to your particular demographic niche. And the rarely heard dramatization of a work of fiction will make your message stand out amid the clutter of credit clinic and car dealer ads.
-- John Knoerle
John Knoerle’s first novel, Crystal Meth Cowboys, was optioned by Fox for a TV series. His second novel, The Violin Player, won the Mayhaven Award for Fiction. His new novel, A Pure Double Cross, is Book One of the American Spy Trilogy. John lives with his wife in Chicago. You can learn more about John Knoerle at www.bluesteelpress.com.
Are you an author and have appeared on radio to promote your books? We'd love to hear from you!