What use is writing a book if no one will be able to read them? If you are an author stuck at trying to figure out how to publicize your book, then The Podcast Publicist is here for you. With an eighteen-year track record working in media across radio, talent management, TV casting and producing, Kelly Glover guides you in this episode in a media training for authors. She talks about how you can pitch the media, get into interviews, and publicize your book. Kelly then shares some great tips on how you can prepare yourself before and present yourself once the cameras start rolling.
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Media Training For Authors: Publicizing Your Book With Kelly Glover
I’m excited as we have someone with an accent. How exciting is that? Kelly Glover strategizes like a marketer, thinks like a producer, acts like a publicist and negotiates like a manager. That winning combination makes sense. She has an eighteen-year track record working in media across radio, talent management, TV casting and producing. In 2007, she published her first podcast and went on to host her own syndicated radio show across 22 stations. She has since produced an award-winning array of podcasts on a network level and she’s known as The Podcast Publicist. She’s a powerhouse behind the podcast PR agency, The Talent Squad. Welcome, Kelly.
Juliet, thank you. It’s lovely to be on the show.
We’re going to talk about media training for authors because authors write books and then they want to go on TV, but they don’t know how. They don’t know how to get the interviews. Once they get there, they fall over. There are timing issues. There are things they have to be trained for and polish. First of all, how do you get those interviews? Let’s start there.
First of all, it’s about being active instead of passive. People are probably not going to come and knock on your door. It involves pitching the media. If you’ve written a book, then you are more than likely an expert in your field. We trust that you know your stuff. How long have you written a book about it? It’s about you need to break down who am I talking to? Break down the messages in the book. Often a hint is in the chapters of the book, you can turn those into talking points. Who is my audience? What am I teaching? What can someone do as a result of getting the message from my book? It’s not about you as the author and the book, it’s about the content and what you’re teaching people. What problem are you solving, which is what the expertise of the book is about in the first place?
You need to find, break all that down and then get your assets in place. A lot of it is about preparation. Media one sheet, getting your pitch together, getting those subject lines together. I’m getting an online press kit together. Having those headshots, having your book covers, it is having those ducks in a row. That’s even before you look for any media outlets whatsoever. You’ve got to find the media outlets. Who wants to hear the message? Who has an audience of people that I can teach? Whatever the thing might be. If you’re looking, it could be TV, it could be online publications, it could be blogs and it could be podcasts. Think about where people go for the media and then we can talk about the timing. Have you done much media in your experience so far? Juliet, maybe we can use you as a case study.
I’ve done a little bit. My experience has been that you have to take something that’s relevant, some pieces of your content. You can’t go out and pitch like, “I have this great book.” They’re not interested in that. They need to make it incorporate in a way that’s relevant. Speak to that a little bit. How do you stay up and pitch it in a way that is relevant to what’s going on now?
That’s exactly it. It’s about the content of the book. I have written a book that is not a new story unless you’re Oprah or a personality. The fact that the person has written a book is the news is the story because it’s got to do with the person who is already newsworthy. The first thing I would look at is the basic calendar of events. Is Thanksgiving coming up? Is Christmas coming up? Is it New Year, Valentine’s Day or Halloween? Can you tie your content into a calendar event that happens throughout the year that we all know those hallmarks are coming? If it’s New Year, it could be Marie Kondo. She would be cleaning out your house with the New Year, something like that.
If it was back to school, it could be how moms can deal with a busy time getting the kids back to school? Time your book into something that’s already happening. If it’s a book for Christmas and New Year, it could be top ten Christmas gifts for your daughter. You make it work for you. Those are structures that you can pitch within because the media is looking for stories at that time. Those are the marquee events of the year. The other way we call it newsjacking is if something’s happened and your book ties in with that, then you present yourself.
That’s what it’s important to have everything ready because you need to go as soon as it happens. An example of that would have been college scandals with the Felicity Huffman back when it happened. We had a client who talks about college admissions and SATs. That was when we went right. That’s happening. That’s the perfect time to go to the media. He was on TMZ. He’s the expert sauce that wasn’t through us, but he was the expert sauce that was available to speak at that moment on that topic. TMZ, that’s celebrity gossip.
I was like, “They have news on there like real news?”
That’s celebrity-based news. If it’s tax season, it’d be an accountant and go out on the tax. If the tax laws change and it’s not in tax season, that’d be a time to go out. You always need to be looking for what’s coming up and make sure you pitch well in advance or pitch in a timely matter. For Christmas and New Year, they know what’s coming. They’re looking six months in advance. That’s on the calendar. It’s a set schedule for the Felicity Huffman college scandal that’s out of the blue. That is something like newsjacking, it’s clinging onto a story that has come up and making yourself relevant.Don’t pitch the book, pitch the content. Click To Tweet
It’s not talking about you or the book on either of those occasions, it’s being the expert who happens to have the book and it will get a mention. It’s still giving them value and you’ll comment on the story, but they will mention the book. You’ve got to tell them to mention the book. There are systems and strategies in place to make the most out of it. It’s like, “I saw that person. They’re on TMZ.” She’s the big ones that people know. Good Morning America. I heard them on a podcast, I saw them in a blog post. That’s what all the PR is about, is setting you as an expert and you’ve got the book to back it up.
I want you to notice something she said there, if it’s a holiday or a timing six months before, don’t wait. I’m going to give you an example. One of our clients has a cookbook and she has mocktails in it. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving gets here when you know they’re going to be doing news stories about safety during the holidays, low-calorie drinks. Don’t wait until November, December. Go try to get yourself on six months in advance, get yourself booked.
Also try to look for the whitespace, Juliet. Those are the popular ones that we have a saying in Australia, every man and his dog. I realized that in America, it’s like everyone and their brother is the same?
It’s probably the same.
Everyone is going for the Christmas one or the New Year one. What if you went for New Year’s Day? What if you went for the day after Valentine’s Day? If it’s Valentine’s Day, go for Single Awareness Day, I think they call it. Sometimes go for the opposite. Maybe you’ve got a hangover cure and that’s for the New Year’s Day or you can always look for days before and the days after. I call it counter-programming. Go for the opposite when everyone’s going for the other space, if you can or if your book goes to that level.
This is out there in left field, there’s actually a Single’s Awareness Day.
There’s a day for everything. It’s one of those made-up days and I’m single, let’s put it out there. It’s still a bit of a fun topic that media can grab onto that’s a little bit different. If nine people are going for Valentine’s Day, maybe be the one that goes for Single Awareness Day and you might get pitched because of the ratio. It’s thinking creatively because it’s competitive. Everybody wants to be in the media. You’ve got to think about how can I be different? What have I got? What’s everyone talking about? How can I offer something different? At Talent, we say what is no one else talking about but should be? That’s something to think about. What does everyone else already talk about an offering? What can I say that’s a little bit different?
This is finding the outlets, pitching the outlets, what to include in the pitch, there’s a lot to it. You can do it yourself. You can have your assistant do it. You can have a VA do it or you can have an agency do it. Depending on where you are and what your budget is, there are definite options. There’s HARO, Help A Reporter Out. They send daily, and most people are across this, especially authors that are from Cision. They send daily, saying, “I’m a journalist and I’ve got a story about dogs. I’m looking for people to comment about dogs.” You submit. If you submit and you need to take time to submit, but it’s not guaranteed and you might get 1 out of 5 or 1 out of 10 or 20, whatever it is. The ratio too is certainly not 1 to 1, but you can get yours and that’s usually for written articles.
With HARO back up here, paid version or the free version, which do you think you get the best results with?
For people yet there are a lot more on the paid version, but it does cost a lot more. It’s thousands of dollars for Cision. The free version is absolutely fine, especially if you’re starting out and then get the runs on the board too. Most people do a free version. Unless you’re a public relations agency and if you’re paying for that money for Cision, you might as well pay a PR agent to do it for you. That’s an honest opinion on that. You can pitch publications directly. Christmas is coming and everyone’s going to do a top ten books for the holidays or top ten summer raids or top ten entrepreneurs, whatever it is. You can actively pitch yourself. The key is being active instead of passive. Unless you’re a big name, they’re probably not going to come to you, so you need to go to them.
You have podcasts, you book people on podcasts. Personally, I feel like I have more leverage getting guest spots elsewhere when I have my podcast in exchange. How do you feel about that as a booking agent? Would you recommend that some of these experts have their own podcasts?
I would recommend that you do a podcast too before you start your own podcast. That way you can see, how you like it if you’ve got the longevity to do it. The thing is that pod fade is a real thing, Juliet, as you know. You need to be all-in on a podcast before you invest. I’m not even talking about money. I’m actually talking about time and mind space. You can start a podcast for a really reasonable price, but the price of your time is a lot more than the cost of the actual physical investment of equipment and online software.
It is and for those of you who don’t know what pod fading is, it happens a lot. You start, you commit, and you realize it’s time-consuming. For a lot of people, they’ve run out of things to say. They quit producing new episodes. That’s what pod fading is. There’s a whole industry now that goes out and tries to buy those old episodes. They’re not buying the episodes as much as they’re buying the audience for those people. It’s becoming a thing too.
I acquainted it with buying a gym membership and they’re not going, which I’ve done dozens of times. You buy the gym membership and you’re like, “I’m going to go at 5:00 in the morning every day for the rest of my life. This is going to be amazing.” You do it for a week and then you never go back to the gym ever again and you still pay the money. Pod fading is that gym membership that you don’t use.
That is weird because I do go at 5:30 most ones, now that it’s cold here, yes.
You still have your podcast and haven’t pod faded. The equation works.
You can do both. Maybe it’s a mentality. I still have my podcast. I still go to the gym. I’m an anomaly.
Do you listen to podcasts while you’re at the gym for the $100 question?
No. For the most part, I listen to audiobooks. I don’t read as much. I don’t have time to read as much. I usually listen to five or six books a month.
That was my next question. How many do you listen to? Five books a month. You’re listening to 60 books a year while you’re at the gym at 5:30 in the morning.
Either that or out, I’m an avid hiker, it might even be more than that. I listen to him on 1.75 when people talk in a normal voice. Now, I’m like, “You’re so.”
Juliet, you’re a machine. I love to visit inside your brain for a quick download. There’s a lot of information that you have.No comment never looks good on anyone. Click To Tweet
That might be a scary thing to get inside my brain. I wouldn’t wish for that. You and I talked about this before we got on. When you’re on TV, you’re there to be a source, not a salesman. Talk about that little bit because you and I know from the quizzes that I do that’s my point as well. You’re not out to be sales. You’re there to build relationships, educate, inspire and show them your expertise.
The first thing I say is we are all an audience. We’ve all watched TV, we’ve all read everything. Think about yourself as a viewer and what you think when you see people interviewed on TV and podcasts. If they mentioned the book, if they’re really awkward, if they sound like a robot, if they’re not dressed the right way, let’s start paying attention and doing little reviews of people on-air and see what you notice. Sometimes you won’t know what pick to up unless you’re super paying attention to what’s going on, but you’ll know something’s not right or something’s weird or you don’t like them. Don’t be that person. You are there as an expert in your fields and you can intertwine your story and your book, but you’re not there to sell the book or talk about yourself.
You are there as a source. If you are there as a source answering the question, leaving everything on the table, the viewers are going to be like, “That person knows what they’re talking about.” You’ll get invited back assuming it’s not the college scandal that is the newsjacking. You make it called upon as the source because if you’ve done a good job the first time, they’ll be like, “Let’s get Juliet. She was good last time. She was ready to go.” I go back to people in the media that they know are going to be ready and are going to give a good concise answer. We call it media ready and that is available at the drop of a hat. If you prove yourself the first time, then they’re likely to do the pitching and sales for you. Because if you’ve done a good job, they’ll say, “Juliet’s got X, Y, Z book,” or “X, Y, Z program.” You have to tell them what you want them to say or let it be known in a good way and they will pitch you. That is the best-case scenario that you can have.
I have done a little bit of media training and the hardest part was you have a very condensed amount of time to get the message across. How do you train for that? How long do you typically have? You have to get it out.
Oftentimes, television segments could be three minutes and you’ve got to think about the host intro, the host outro and the questions that they’ve got. If they’ve sent it to you in advance, they might send a list of questions they might get to. You need to work on your sound bites. You need to be ready for anything and know that 80% of it probably won’t get said. A sound bite is you need to think of politicians, they are the best at sound bites, lack them or not. They know their message, they stay on message, they get their sound bites, they’ll say it multiple times, possibly in little variations because they know that when they get on TV, they’re only going to pick one line, could be 7 seconds to 10 seconds, and that’s the bit that needs to go on.
That needs to be perfect. The sound bites equate that to your elevator pitch and it depends on the segment and on the show. It’s inappropriate if you’ve got a three-minute segment to pop that in five times plus you book mention because you will never get asked back again. If you’ve got that one chance, I would suggest if you’re new to it, giving as much as you can and trying to get it in there, but always try to give first because then you’re more likely to have a second chance to get used to it. At Talent Squad, we say, “Practice in private before you go public.”
Practice at home on your laptop, flip on the record button and practice to yourself. See how long it takes. See what it sounds like. See if you can get fewer words in. See if you can say it in a number of different ways. Ask your friend, family, colleague and employee to interview you and get those runs on the board before you go on live TV, where you’re sitting there looking down the barrel of the camera and you forget your own name. It gets very nerve-wracking when you’re in there if you’re going live if you’re not used to it. Practice in private before you go public and practice with those sound bites.
Watch sound bites on TV. Since I’ve had media training, I can watch a morning show or evening news and I can see when the host is getting nervous because they’re trying not to be rude and the guest is going over and they’ve got to cut. I’ve heard them say, “We’ve got a hard break, we’ve got to go.” You should never be in that position. It’s awful.
Think about the medium. Think about the show. Think about the segment podcast, 0.5 hours to 1 hour. You can go on longer. There is no way in a TV segment I would be able to speak as long as I am now. They need to be 10% of what I’m saying and short answers. If they want more, they will ask more questions from you. I think the best way is to study the shows that you want to go on and the best people that are doing it and pay attention to the worst people of what not to do. You now need to be a student of media, paying attention to the people that you like and dislike, and then running your own little practice.
I’m going to say something that a lot of people aren’t going to like, but it’s an unpopular opinion. When you go in and you pitch your book, you have to have something more than, “I’m an Amazon bestseller.” A lot of producers don’t feel that it is a valid avenue any more since it’s been cheated. How do you get around that and get yourself on?
First of all, I wouldn’t pitch the book whatsoever. I’d be pitching the content. I’d be pitching the subject and I would be backing it up by saying, “I have a book,” rather than going on pitching the book because you’re not. You’re preaching the problem, not the person or the book. What topics on the show do they want to speak about? They don’t care about the book. The book is a backup of the person, which is a backup of the topic of the expertise. I know what you’re saying, Amazon bestseller. It is now. I’m sorry, Juliet is right. It’s a bit of, “So what? Who cares?” It’s not a real thing as far as the media goes. You can put it on there, but if you think that’s going to be, “I’ve got an Amazon bestseller. I want to come on your show.”
You probably wouldn’t get a response to that email. If the email is, “I see you talk. I saw the Felicity Huffman college back of the thing. I got 1,400 on the SATs. I teach other people how to do that. I’m part of the problem, not the solution. I would like to come on.” We wouldn’t say, “I would like to come on.” The concept of like, “I want to come on the show and talk about it and offer the audience a different opinion. I’ve said that here and that needs to be in here.” That is more likely to get you on the show. By the way, I have a book.
I’m bringing that up because I was at the media training. A woman said that to the producer and he snapped at her and said, “That’s not a thing.”
They said the same thing. If this is the email, I would have it down the bottom in a little line if you want to put it. For me, if I’ve got to kill it, cover it, killer topics. If your pitch is good enough, you don’t even need that on there. What did you learn at the media training? What were your biggest takeaways?
The media training that I learned about the concise message and keeping it short. By the way, it’s hard when you’re nervous.
Talking like me.
Your tendency is to ramble. I had no idea. They taught us how to look at that camera. They taught us a little bit about that and mainly staying on message and doing it. One of my friends has a bootcamp that she does a half-a-day for that I went to. That hardest part was you have to give your answers concisely when you’re extremely nervous. Personally, I’m direct to the point, so it wasn’t as hard for me, but I saw people totally ramble.
The benefit of that is its media training and it wasn’t live on TV. I looked at that as a positive. If you’re finding that out now, fantastic. Set up your iPhone at home, practice to the camera because you’re going to notice all these horrible things that you hate about yourself. Let me tell you, you have a nice thing. You have a lip thing, whatever it is, you move your hand weird. Suddenly you look like an alien that you’ve never noticed before. Learn to control your body. Learn to control your speech. Maybe you’re hunched over and maybe you need to sit up straight. Maybe you need to sit in a way that feels uncomfortable but looks good on camera and then you always need to go camera ready.
Even if they say we’re giving you full hair and makeup, go camera-ready regardless. Sometimes that is not the case when you show up. If your hair is crazy, if you’re a curly-haired girl like me and you were thinking that they were going to do your hair and they’re not, you’re not going to look great on camera. Always go ready. There are the wardrobe tips, have stripes, don’t wear stripes, what colors to wear. I would always be ready that you are going on Oprah and no matter what it is and you will always be at the top of the list because you are a prepared guest.
The great information. How do you take control if things go south? Now that we’re on the rambling and, “My teeth look funny.” That was my thing as I noticed the camera angle I was like, “I need to go get my teeth straightened.” My teeth have gotten crooked since I had braces 40 years ago. I was on this tear and my kids are like, “Mom, I don’t even notice.” I micromanage every little thing on there.
Let me say, there’s nothing wrong with you in real life. It’s amplified on the camera. When you’re in a tiny little box, you’re fine. There’s nothing wrong. It’s for TV purposes. When you’re on there, you’re going to notice different things. Please don’t go out and get plastic surgery. It’s knowing what you’re working with and knowing how to best work with what you’ve got. I noticed a lip thing I was leaning for like I could notice. What you notice is not what other people will notice.
That’s exactly what my kids were. I don’t even notice that. Why would you spend $5,000 to get braces again?When going out on TV, know what you're working with and know how to best work with what you've got. Click To Tweet
No one notices that except you.
What do you do when things go south? This is what I see all the time. I don’t know how many of you watch Fox occasionally, but I see Kellyanne Conway. Do you know who she is?
She’s a communications person. She should know this and I feel like she goes south all the time.
There are a number of things. If you’re an author, they might even not have read your book. Chances are they probably haven’t read your book, so therefore you need to go in knowing that. Sometimes you need to control the interview from the inside. If it’s a three-minute news segment where you’re the expert, they’re getting you to comment on stuff. You’re not there for you. They’re going to be asking the questions. It’s going to be a quick Q&A. You’re going to be out a day before you knew what happened. The only way you’re going to know what you said is when you watch it on the replay. That’s how quick it is. However, if it’s longer, sometimes you need to ask and answer your own questions to get the message out that you want.
That is a skill in itself. Sometimes they’ll ask you a question that you don’t want to answer or you have to answer your key messaging in a different way. Sometimes it’s a re-centering and bringing it back to the point it could be like, “That’s a great question and I’d like to go to these top three points on this.” Figure out some little structures that you can work into your interview where it brings it back and those three points happen to be your key messaging. I’d rather focus on this area or maybe not use the word rather again like that’s perfecting it, but you get your own little way of doing it. Say, “Great question,” and the focus on this area. You can bring it back and you’ve got your key messaging in there so you can check it off the list and move on.
What happens when you’re on something and they ask you something controversial around there that you don’t want to get into? You want to be asked back. How do you handle something like that?
You can’t say, “No comment.” No comment never looks good on anyone or avoid it. That’s when you redirect it if you can and see if they move on. For politicians, they’re going to keep poking holes until you get that answer. That’s part of the interview process. It depends on what the topic is. If you’re going on for a controversial topic, you need to be prepared to speak about that controversial matter. It’s on a case by case, but the redirection I think would be a good play. If it’s something that you’re not positioned to speak about and they’re asking stats and you don’t have the stats, don’t make it up. You could be saying, “That’s not a statistic I have access to,” or something like even thinks a better way to say it. No one can disagree or argue with that or saying you’re making it up or avoiding the question if you literally don’t have the statistics to back it up.
We have a client who is writing a book on a controversial topic that she lived through. We want to help people, but we don’t want to revisit the controversy and have it attacked from all sides. That’s one of the things inside of her book, getting her ready for that, to redirect those. This is how I help people that have gone through this. I don’t want to revisit that controversy.
In that case, if the book is about that, it’s written and then anything in the book, once you’re a media person, anything is free game. She could pre-combat that by writing in her pitch or when she gets accepted to go on the show making that known before the interview. You don’t want that awkwardness to happen on air. With a topic like that, it sounds completely plausible to go in with that. The outlet will decide if they want her on or not based on that. I’d rather not go on a show than have them ask a question, very personal live on air that she has to answer that she doesn’t want to answer. That’s when in that situation that is clever but she can redirect that as well.
It sounds like without knowing the details, that’s an opportunity for her to redirect. She could talk about other case studies, she could talk about their cause. It sounds like she could redirect without not answering the question and saying, “That’s something I’ve moved past.” Preface it and then because that is answering and acknowledging the acknowledgment is important. No one’s going to argue with that. If it’s something horrible that happened to her, then not going to make her prod and revisit that. Saying, “That is something that I’ve moved past,” she could come up with a little phrase to answer that and be prepared. She knows if something happens and goes south, she doesn’t have to worry about it. She knows what she’s going to say.
That’s awesome because we positioned it as we understand there are two sides to this controversy. We acknowledged that this is not to get into that this was my journey.
I acknowledge people are interested in this, however, reposition. Focusing on the top three blah, and then she gets a messaging in. That’s an opportunity to position, refocus and get her messaging out from a question she wasn’t even asked. That’s a golden goose to me.
It’s a good place. Kelly, where can we find you if we want to find out more? First of all, where are you? You’re now in Australia. Are you in Sydney?
What time zone do you live in?
I get up at 3:30 when I’m in Australia. I start doing podcast interviews at 5:00 AM so it’s good and I describe myself, I’m a bird that flies south for the winter. I don’t do American winter. It’s too cold. I have an endless summer. I’ll be in Australia for the Aussie summer, thank you very much, and back in the States. I usually go back in January, February.
How can we get ahold of you if we want to find out more?
Thank you so much for being on. There was a lot of great information. I want you to glean the most important part of this. The biggest takeaway is that Single’s Awareness Day, Kelly and I are both single. Email her and she’ll tell you where to send her a gift for that day. Email me and I’ll tell you where to send me a gift for that day.
Yes, Juliet, we are both single and available. Thank you very much. Single Awareness Day is every day for me. I don’t know about you, anyway.
It is pretty much. Thank you.
Thanks, Juliet. It’s been a pleasure.
About Kelly Glover
She strategizes like a marketer, thinks like a producer, acts like a publicist, & negotiate like a manager. This winning combination makes sense since she has an 18-year track record working in media across radio, talent management, TV casting, and producing.
In 2007 she published her first podcast and went on to host her own syndicated radio show across 22 stations. She has since produced award-winning podcasts at the network level.
Known as The Podcast Publicist, Kelly Glover is the powerhouse behind Podcast PR agency, The Talent Squad.
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