Day 24: Get on TV!

People think it’s hard to get on TV. It is hard if what you’re shooting for is the Today show! But if you have a local cable show or news station, often they’re looking for people to come on. In fact, I got my monthly segment on WTNH on Good Morning, CT, because I wrote a proposal to do it. I had gone on the show for my book, Kindergarten Rocks! after creating and registering Get Ready for Kindergarten Month through Chase’s Calendar of Events.
Imagine you’re a news producer. What would appeal to you?
Look at how you can link your book to an event
Write a press release. Instructions on how to do that are all over the internet.
Call the station and find out who the producer is, and make sure to spell his or her name correctly!
Before you go on the show, write out your “script,” that is, what are your bullet points you want to get across. I’m not nervous when I go on TV now, but I was when I started! Knowing what you’re going to say will assuage your fears.
And if the thought of going on television just freaks you out too much, what about radio? A podcast is just a radio show heard via the internet. I started my podcast because I’m passionate about children’s books and wanted to be able to talk about them, and to authors I admire. It’s grown more than I ever could have imagined when I started, and I love it more than I expected … you might start your own podcast! Or go on someone else’s show; there are a lot of hosts on the internet who would love to have you as a guest. Look through Google, the iTunes store, or, or other podcast directories to find shows that are right for you and for your subject matter.
And don’t discount the big guns, like NPR. Sarah Stevenson didn’t! Here is how she got on National Public Radio:
How My YA Novel and I Made it to NPR
If you’re anything like me, the idea of acquiring the intellectual street cred of appearing on National Public Radio is a glowing brass ring, a highbrow pipe dream. For a writer, it feels like hitting the big time. And it may seem like that dream is out of reach, but I assure you it’s anything but. NPR might be just what your book needs to lodge itself firmly in the public consciousness—and an NPR appearance is not an impossible dream at all. For me, it turned into a dream come true.
First, remember that while National Public Radio is, indeed, a national news agency, the way NPR gets to your stereo speakers is usually via a local affiliate station. And those local affiliate stations have local programming, radio shows that cater to the listening audience in your geographic area and focus on information that’s of interest to them. The NPR station in my area airs a daily one-hour program Latte RebellionCovercalled Insight, which is a sort of radio news magazine/general interest show that includes three or four interview segments. They include news stories of interest to the region, features on local events or politics—and, yes, interviews with local musicians, artists, performers, and writers.
If your NPR station has one of these shows—and chances are it does—go to its website and find the appropriate contact link for the show. Send them an email, or ask your publicist or agent if they’re willing to do it. It can’t hurt. Sometimes shows have a specific contact form for suggestions, too. My experience with NPR started with a chance appearance in an Insight segment about National Novel Writing Month several years ago. I was only one of a few guests who were part of the segment, but it gave me the confidence to try approaching the program’s producers when my first novel came out earlier this year. My publicist got in touch with them, they got in touch with me, and the rest is—well, if not exactly radio history, a real highlight of my debut publishing experience.
And that’s how I made it to NPR. You can do it, too!

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