Author Name: Jay Thomas Willis
Book Title(s): Implications For Effective Psychotherapy With African-Americans; As Soon as the Weather Breaks; The Cotton is High; Born to be Destroyed; Paranoid but not Stupid; Why Black Americans Behave as They Do; Hard Luck; When the Village Idiot Get Started; Educated Misunderstanding; The Devil in Angelica.
Marketing Subject: Marketing Your Book on TV
Marketing on TV is one of the best ways to market your book. People can see whose book they’re buying, and exactly what kind of person you are. If you speak the kings’ English, have a good appearance, and have something important to say, you may be one step ahead in the game. If there’s anything disconcerting about your personality, people will realize it, and be less likely to buy your book.
It’s hard to believe people are shallow enough to have more faith and confidence in someone who is attractive, nice hair, nice shape, good personality, and well modulated voice; but it’s a fact that these people will probably sell more books. When they have something to say it puts the icing on the cake. If you have problems modulating your voice, TV may not be the medium for you. If you realize you have some other negative qualities you shouldn’t consider TV.
I did one interview on a cable TV show a few years ago. At the time I had begun to have facial tics, resulting from Parkinson’s disease. The camera was placed right in my face, exposing the facial tic rather than focusing on other aspects of the situation and down playing the facial area. They seemed more interested in the facial tic than what I had to say. It really angered me when I saw the video. Naturally, such a show wasn’t going to sell many books.
Several times on cable interviews I felt I was confronting an adversary rather than doing an interview. If you get in an adversarial relationship with a host it will do more damage than good. Be sure you talk with the host before the show to lay out a game plan. Get a list of questions the host should ask during the interview.
Don’t let a host push you around simply because he’s giving you the opportunity to be interviewed. In some cases the host will try to make the interview into a sensational event, not considering how the interviewee comes out looking. His job, in some cases, is to create a media circus, and he will do that at yours or anyone else’s expense. Some of them are more interested in making themselves look good rather than promoting your book.
I refused an opportunity to go on national TV recently because of my increasing Parkinson symptoms. Presently, I am a little overweight, need some work on my teeth, have always tended to stutter—with a light tenor voice. I felt that I would turn more people off than I aroused interest in my books. Whenever you feel you are going to do more damage than good; it’s best to stay away from such situations. A man with a tenor voice will sometimes give people the wrong idea.
Interviews can be costly, but I have been on cable shows without any expense. I was later able to see those shows aired, though I was never satisfied. When I was offered the interview on national TV recently, I didn’t get an opportunity to ask questions about cost. They made me feel it would be at no cost to me. The interview was to take place in Florida, and I was probably going to end up paying for something. The host promised to get back to me but never did. If you get a chance for an interview, be sure they expose your best qualities to the camera. You don’t need anything to detract from the main point of the interview—your book.