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BEHIND THE SCENES

The big moment, or should I say, the big thrill, for any author, is when a national TV show comes a calling. It’s like that first date you’ve been waiting for: butterflies in your stomach every time the phone rings or you hear the click from your computer alerting you to a new e-mail.

And then the adrenaline rush when you first hear the good news from your publicist—a rush that continues before the appearance, creating the ultimate high authors feel during TV interviews on national TV (even on local TV, for that matter). And then moments after—or sometimes hours after—when the comedown replaces the adrenaline rush.

Working behind the scenes, a publicist also experiences similar symptoms. When a national show e-mails you that they want to invite your author for an interview, it’s like scoring a touchdown.. I’ve been known to scream, cheer, and make odd noises at my desk in an apartment with walls so thin I’m surprised my neighbors have never called 911.

Last week I received such an e-mail from a producer at Fox & Friends, who invited Dr. Michael Pryce to be a guest on the morning show this past Monday, October 12th.

Dr. Pryce is the author of a very timely book that is a must-read for anyone who is interested in health-care reform: ANATHEMA! America’s War on Medicine: A Veteran Doctor Offers a Cure for What Ails America’s Health Care System.

Dr. Pryce has been an orthopedic surgeon for more than 25 years. In ANATHEMA! America’s War on Medicine, Dr. Pryce exposes the untold story behind our present health-care crisis, outlines what is wrong with America’s health-care system, and offers a plan that will not only make health care affordable but will also offer universal coverage without raising taxes.

What makes this booking a coup for me is that it is the first time I’ve ever booked a self-published author on national television, which bodes well for future self-published authors whose books are timely and written well.

The day before the author’s appearance, however, I received a call from the producer. It was a Sunday morning, and I was driving to one of my favorite parks along the Hudson to take my morning walk before I headed into the city to stay at an apartment belonging to a friend of the author’s. He had graciously made arrangements for me to stay at the upper West Side so I would be able to accompany him to the Fox studios in the wee hours of the morning.

“Your author has been bumped due to breaking news,” the producer said. “Can he make it tomorrow?”

Dr. Pryce had re-arranged his schedule, which meant cancelling all of his office appointments for Monday.

“Tuesday he performs surgery. Wednesdays and Fridays are the best days.”

The producer hung up abruptly. He didn’t wait for me to tell him that the author was traveling from Ohio, and that he would need at least 48 hours notice before he would be able to appear.

That’s not unusual. I’ve had many national shows call me up, wanting an author to appear in studio the next day. When there is a breaking news story, producers will often call publicists at the last minute if they are representing an expert or related book on the subject of the breaking-news story. An author’s schedule or travel plans are of no concern to a producer who is working on a time-sensitive segment with a tight deadline: if the author wants to get on air, he needs to hit the road pronto and get in studio.

Many interviews are written, produced and scheduled less than 24 hours before that segment airs, and guests are often booked at the last minute. Even though these days cable shows have satellite hook-ups from major cities, a live show may want the guest to appear in studio, as was the case with Dr. Pryce. For an unknown author who wants to get his message out there and sell books, this is a great opportunity, and Dr. Pryce did everything he could to re-arrange his schedule for the second time in a week to make that in-studio appearance happen.

On the following Wednesday, I received a phone call from an excited Dr. Pryce that a producer from Fox & Friends called him directly to pre-interview him for an appearance on Friday morning at 6:15.

I wasn’t holding my breath, but this time it looked as if the interview would actually happen. On late Thursday afternoon, however, I received a call from the producer who had pre-interviewed Dr. Pryce. Oh, no, I thought. The interview is going to be cancelled again…

TO BE CONTINUED…

1 comments:

Oy, talk about a roller coaster of emotion! If this WAS a dating situation I'd say skip the anticipated first date with this guy and move on to someone who isn't into head-games. But of course as an author (or an author's publicist) you're at the mercy of anyone who has the power to really promote your book. Good luck with Foxy ; )

October 18, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

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