Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Which is Best for Promotion? Blog Talk Radio,Commercial Radio, or Public Radio?

The intrepid Dani Greer's enlightening interview about blog book tours, which was hosted by Chris Hamilton at Blog Talk Radio on Sunday, made me think. If you can't pay for a radio commercial, which is the best way to plug a book? Is it better to be a guest on an Internet talk show, such as Blog Talk Radio, or a guest on a commercial or public radio talk show?

On the one hand, the Internet spreads its tentacles further and further every moment, reaching more and more people. Its surfers are constantly venturing into new areas of exploration. Many of them land, stop and listen to podcasts, blog radio shows and the like. Since blog radio shows are relatively in their infancy, a guest on one can often claim a huge chunk of time, such as Dani's hour last Sunday.

On the other hand, commercial radio has been around a long time. Its listeners are loyal. If an author were a guest or a caller on a favorite program, followers might be swayed to buy that author's book. The catch is it's not that easy to get your say on one of these programs, especially for more than a few minutes.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention public radio talk shows, such as Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?, on Saturdays. Authors on such shows receive individual attention and opportunites to promote their books. Listeners to public radio are also loyal, but their numbers are not as great as on commercial radio.

So, given the choice, which would you rather do? Why? Have you already been a guest on any or all of these type stations? How did you like it? What were the results? Please share.


  1. A very interesting subject and one we should pay attention to. My chance to be interviewed on radio will happen on Monday, February 16 with Radio Ear Network. I'll share with you later.

  2. I think it depends more on the author and his genre of book. I have done both internet podcasts and talk radio (though never NPR) and they each have their good points, as you mentioned. Also depends if one is targeting a specific physical location.

    So I'd say it's a pretty even toss up!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  3. I'm not going to turn down an opportunity to be a guest on internet or commercial radio. I've done both but not NPR (yet). I think radio interviews are great because you can do them from your house while dressed in pj's!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Author of The Ride

  4. I also think the author needs to determine their market for a book. We live in a time when the belief that "more is better" is stuffed down our throats, but is that really true? Maybe we should determine when "enough is enough" for each project, and then choose our promotion vehicles based on that. For example, I'm slammed keeping up with my Blog Book Tours group and wouldn't dream of promoting on commercial radio. But I love Blog Talk Radio for its ease, voice connection, and everlasting access to that program. It provides information to others, rather than more work for me. I'm thinking I should do BTR again! Maybe have a regular show? What do you think?

    Thanks, Morgan, for an insightful review. When can we hear you on Blog Talk Radio? ;)


  5. I've been guest and co-host on several Blogtalk radio shows, also been on public radio and commercial radio. I agree with Dani it depends on the show and how your book fits with the demographics of the listeners for ANY of these mediums to be of benefit. Commercial shows are still the largest exposure - at least I've never been on a Blogtalk show with a big enough following to compare to the AM and/or FM airwaves - you get people driving in their cars listening to you.

    But I do all four - long as the show fits the book.

  6. I've done both -- podcast interview and public radio. I think each reaches a different audience. A podcast stays up for a long time and can be listened to by anyone stopping by the blog whenever they come by. But it takes a big chunk of time to listen to. Public radio has the potential to reach a lot of people at once. But, unless it's then added to the station's site, it's gone.

  7. I'd love to do radio someday, because it doesn't matter what you look like! No make-up? No problem!

  8. I think we should use all the mediums we can. Blog talk radio hits a wider audience, than, say, local radio talk shows. So, hit the broad audience, and the smaller audiences as well.

  9. Anonymous4:25 PM

    An interesting and intelligent discussion. If it's possible, I would want all medium exposure myself. People can't and won't buy our books if they don't know who we are!

    Jacqueline Seewald
    THE INFERNO COLLECTION, Five Star/Gale hardcover, Wheeler large print
    coming in February: THE DROWNING POOL, Five Star/Gale

  10. I've done public radio quite a few times. I can't say I've seen much of a difference in sales, but it was sure fun!

    I enjoyed the experience, regardless. Name recognition is always worth it, in my opinion.


  11. As a relative newbie to the whole self promotion aspect... I tend to think that any means you can use to promote your book, is a good one. Though I am kind of shy when it comes to hearing myself speak. (Guess it will soon be time to conquer that fear. ;) )

  12. I've only been interviewed on Internet radio, and only to promote a cause and our virtual book tour company, not a book. I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure which I'll do when the time comes for me to promote a book of my own.


  13. I'm like Moira with this...I've definitely got a shy streak when it comes to promo :). But I really appreciate your bringing this topic to our attention, Morgan, because you mentioned various radio-guest opportunities I wouldn't have considered otherwise.

  14. I like online radio shows because they're archived and if you miss a show, all you have to do is go over to the website and listen to it. I've been on a few radio shows which weren't online shows and a few which were. It really didn't matter as far as sales went, it was about equal which I know you're going to find surprising.

  15. I've been on over 800 radio stations in the last few years, almost all commercial. To me, the big disadvantage of blog talk is that there are no ratings, so you have no idea of audience. The live audience is usually miniscule. The advantage is that blog radio is usually archived, and you can promote an audience for that. I'm doing one blog show out of San Francisco later today, and will promote the archived edition. Between three business friends and my own subscriber dbase, we have 261,000 subscribers to promote to.

    Noel Griese, Anvil Brokers/Anvil Publishers Inc., www.anvilpub.net

  16. I've been a guest on local commercial and public radio, but couldn't measure results.

    Why should one have to choose between one of those and online radio? There's no conflict. Try to do both.

    Bob Sanchez

  17. I've done both, and there's no real way to measure results. But internet radio posts stick around for a long time, so if I had to chose, that's the way I'd go.

  18. I have done only one internet radio so far, and don't really know the effect it had or how many people listened to it, which is kind of frustrating. I do like listening to public radio more than internet radio, because usually the interviews are kept short, but I don't know if they're more effective.


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