How to maximise TV coverage and ‘TV 1sts’

So you are about to launch a new book with high hopes of attracting national TV coverage and appearing on the likes of A Current Affair, Today Tonight, Mornings with Kerri-Anne, The Morning Show, Sunrise and Today.

When you pitch to these programs, they show interest! But alas! There’s a catch! Turns out every show wants to be the first to have your story go to air. That means you have to choose and risk disappointing the other programs. What to do?

For most authors, the unfortunate reality is you may not be able to appear on more than one big TV show at the time of your book launch. The producers will ask you if you are appearing on another show and if you have already committed to an interview, they might pass on your pitch because they are worried their viewers will switch off if they have already seen your story.

So what is the best way to handle this when you are seeking to maximise publicity for your book?

You can either stagger your pitches to your most promising TV programs first and wait for their response before moving on to the next one. But this takes time and you need to be ready to start pitching about a month in advance of your book launch. If time is an issue, the other option is to pitch to all your target TV shows at the same time.

A plus for pitching simultaneously is you could play interested shows off each other to encourage them to be the first to say yes to an interview. It might help you move things forward faster if you have more than one major program interested at the same time.

The downside for this is, once you have committed to an interview, it could be too late if another show asks you later. This can be a downer, especially if the other show reaches a larger audience!

Ranking which programs you would prefer to be on first can help you manage your approach and seek the most exposure possible for you and your book. There is no hard and fast answer for how to approach this, but it helps to be prepared and know how it works with TV.

Yours in book publicity

Chelsea McLean

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