The challenges of author radio interviews are legion (and legendary), but so are their benefits for book publicity campaigns…and that’s why we put up with them. Sometimes, it seems that scheduling the radio interview requires even less effort than making them happen.
Radio producers (this book publicist will go on record as saying) are usually bright, well-meaning professionals. But they’re overloaded with work responsibilities, and sometimes they multi-task…and important things slip through the cracks.
Okay. I’m making excuses for them. Here’s the truth. Sometimes, radio producers book a radio interview to take place by telephone, and they forget to write it on the calendar. Thus, when the time comes for the author to receive that phone call from the radio show, it doesn’t happen. Or, perhaps, the author radio interview is preempted by a news event…but the radio producer fails to let the book publicist know. Or perhaps the radio producer typed the author’s phone number incorrectly, or failed to save the author’s phone number (but is too embarrassed to let the book publicist know). Or, sometimes, there’s just no reason at all why the call doesn’t come through to the author who’s waiting for the radio show to call. It’s just that, for one reason or another, it doesn’t come through.
So many authors — even book publicity veterans — feel that, if the scheduled radio interview doesn’t take place, it’s an act of the gods, and they drop the whole thing. Sometimes, they don’t even let their book publicist know! They just sigh and get on with their day.
But if the radio interview was worth scheduling, then it’s worth pursuing. So here’s what to do before the radio show mishap occurs: get the radio show’s studio line to use as your backup line. Do this when you’re booking the radio show. The producer will ask for your contact number; you ask for the studio’s line and let the producer know you’ll use that as your backup line in the event that wires get crossed, and the call doesn’t come through.
The radio producer will appreciate your professionalism, your book publicist will be grateful you saved the day…and you’ll be grateful to have salvaged a book publicity opportunity that you otherwise could have let slip away!