Friday, August 19, 2005

A Face Made for Radio

So I just did my third radio interview in as many days, to promote an event I'm doing in La Crosse, Wisconsin on August 20, and I'm on the fence about the subject.

First things first---I don't have a large ego (500 rejections will do that to you) but I know I'm pretty good at public speaking. Pull the string, and the monkey tells jokes. So I wasn't nervous, and didn't do any preplanning.

The publicist for the event I'm doing set up the interviews, and each radio personality emailed me a few days prior, setting up the time for the taping.

Each interview lasted between 3 and 7 minutes. I knew I had to get three things across in that time:

1. That I'll be at Waldenbooks in Valley View Mall from 11am-4pm, and a portion of the sales will be donated to the Family Resource Center.

2. That the books are about a cop named Jack Daniels.

3. That I need to be the most entertaining person on the planet.

Number 3 might be considered grandiose narcissism, but it isn't. I HAD to keep the hosts laughing. That's what morning shows are all about.

So how did I do?

Radio person #1 called me on my cell while I was at Best Buy, picking up the new Sin City DVD. I wouldn't have been in the store had I known she was calling (she did a morning show and this was late afternoon.) So I did the interview in my parked car.

It was hot (air conditioning made too much noise) but I got out all the necessary info, and had the host laughing like crazy.

Radio personality #2 called in the morning, at the time he'd told me. He talked a lot, and it was tough to get all of my info in without sounding intrusive. Of course, the UPS guy came while we were talking, which sent my dogs into Attack Mode, and when he commented on my barking dogs I said, "Oh, that's just the UPS man, bringing my weekly selection of Adult DVDs."

Before I had a chance to say "I write them off on my taxes as research" the interview was over.
Perhaps the station was more conservative than I'd guessed. Still, I did my info dump, and managed a few jokes.

This morning, I got a call at the designated time from two very fun radio personalities, who hadn't wanted to interview me because neither of them liked to read, but after exchanging some emails they deemed me funny enough to air for a few minutes.

I answered the phone yawning, telling them that a bestselling author like myself usually parties late into the night. Then I asked for a moment to look under the covers and check to see who I woke up next to. After a long, dramatic scream, I informed them that it was my wife. "A guy can hope," I said.

From there, great interview. They were laughing like hell, I said what I needed to while also ripping on the hosts (the book is perfect for you, Kris--no word is over three syllables) and we went for about 7 minutes, all of it a lot of fun.

Now we'll see what power radio has. Will people come out to my signing based on my interviews? It's a small town, and I was on the big three stations. Will that make a difference?

I'm going to ask each person that shows up. If the radio brought them there, I'll hire a publicist to book me on radio shows (which can cost a few grand.)

If the people don't come out in droves, then I'll still do radio when offered, but won't actively seek it out.

What are your opinions of radio? Does it help sell books?