How to Market Your Book on National Television

Written by richard
24
Nov

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

So, you want to know how to market your book on National Television? Well, heres how I did it;

Sometime in early 2014 I walked into a Chapters bookstore to buy a copy of The 4 Hour Chef for a friend recovering from a serious bout of alcoholism. I wanted to help him get excited over something that wasn’t whiskey, I guess Karma was on my side. As soon as I stepped foot in the door I was very graciously greeted by a young man with a magnetic smile.Yahaya Baruwa

“Can I tell you about my new book?” he asked..

I didn’t tell him at the time, but I was more interested in how he was able to sell his book in chapters than I was in his pitch, but I bought his book because I believe in Karma and he had this thing about him. We talked for a bit and arranged to meet at a coffee shop the next day to continue our talk that was beginning to cut into his sales. As I finished up my shopping, I saw him sell another 8 books. I made a mental note to pick his brain about his ground game.

The next day I sat anxiously awaiting my new friends arrival in a local Starbucks, wondering what he would be like. I had already read half of his book. He approached carefully examining each table to find me, then his eyebrows jumped up when we made eye contact. We sat, we talked, and drank way too much coffee. Four and a half hours went by before we had to break off our conversation to carry out the rest of the day, way longer than any other random encounter I have ever happened. Yahaya was about two years ahead of me in terms publishing and marketing. He had established his own publishing company, Tapestry House Publishing, and sold about 8,000 copies. As we talked, I remembered an old expression *if you want to succeed in life, help 10 other people succeed before you.* I had to help him, my success depended on it.

I didn’t realize how I was going to help him until he invited me to visit a live recording of the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Show . I have to get on this show. I don’t know how, but I have to find a way.” He said in slight desperation. Somewhere deep inside my brain, a neurone fired a spark; ‘epiphany in ETA; five hours.’ While I distracted my conscious mind with The “Strombo” Show, the drive home, and then some playstation 4, my subconscious went to work concocting a brilliant idea. And then suddenly, as though it were downloaded at lightening speed, I became aware of the plan my brain had been working on.

Goal: Get Yahaya’s book Struggles of a Dreamer featured on the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show.
Step 1: Write a script so compelling that George cannot say no.
Step 2: Create a buzz that is inline with what George reports on.
Step 3: Film a Video Pitch to break through the noise.
Step 4: Hand deliver the pitch with a bang.
Step 5: Hope it works!

Step 1: Write a script so compelling that George cannot say no.

    I have learned a lot about sales over the years from the likes of Geofferey Gittomer, Brian Tracy, and more recently Jordan Belfort, but one lesson that stuck out the most was what I learned from a book I read ages ago called how to win friends and influence people. I learned that any time you need a favour from someone, turn it into a favour for someone. If I was going to get George to feature Yahaya on his show, I knew would have to spin it around to work in his favour. So I designed the script around some of the ideas Yahaya had presented to me which would highlight the things that George would be most interested. Check the script out here.

Step 2: Create a buzz that is inline with what George reports on.

     It is important to always keep branding in mind when deciding how you are going to pitch. I spent hours analyzing different episodes of the Strombo Show to get a feel for how George had branded himself and his show. Metro, hip, deep and meaningful were just some of the traits that I felt represented Georges show, so I knew I would have to do something to stir peoples hearts. I decided that we could interview people in the streets of Toronto to see what their greatest struggle in life was, and if we did it just right, it would be interesting enough to be aired on national television.

Step 3: Film a Video Pitch to break through the noise.

     The most important step would be breaking through the noise. After every show, George is bombarded with fans and pitches from wannabe celebrities. I needed to get his attention and to get him to view the pitch when he wasn’t being harassed by a hundred fans, so I tied the previous two steps together with my soon to be famous Video Pitch! I added a few video prompts to my existing script in order to generate a storyboard and checked my schedule to see how soon I could start filming.

     It was about this time I decided I should share my idea with Yahaya, who was both ecstatic and shocked that I had done all of this without his knowing. He decided to let me take the reigns as I explained the depth of the process. We began working the scripts into his style of speech and booked a date to start filming, which would be the day after the next Strombo Show. Unfortunately, we found out after attending the show (our 3rd time) that George was moving onto bigger and better things as he would be hosting Hockey Night in Canada and winding down the Tonight show. He had 4 tapings left, and all of his guests were likely to have been picked out seeing as they wanted to end the show with a bang. Both of our heads sank as we realized how nearly impossible our mission had just become, but instead of giving up, we went Tom Cruise on it’s ass. We spent 8 hours, 2 camera batteries, and 64GB of HD video data as we approached over 50 people on the street. I spent the next few days cutting the footage down and editing it into a nearly professional piece of art that I hoped would be good enough. Oh, did I forget to mention? Before this moment I had never really filmed or edited video before. Outside of high school projects and wannabe snowboard videos. I learned everything I needed to over the course of a week and despite being completely novice, we ended up with a mad decent video pitch. Market your book baby.

Step 4: Hand deliver the pitch with a bang.

     We could have dropped off the file with Georges publisher, we could have emailed it to him directly, but I also could have written the idea down with crayon on a piece of toilet paper. I knew that if he didn’t watch that video that we were both screwed (apparently now my success depended on his). So I went out and bought one of the nicest, sleekest looking USB sticks I could find and uploaded the video onto it. Worst case scenario, George gets a free USB stick, Yahaya goes back to mailing his book to Oprah every week and I drink a faceful of Vodka as I cry alone in the corner; a failure. As we attended the Strombo Show for our 4th and final time, anxiety set in. Everything I had just done, sink or swim, would determine how Yahaya viewed me, and how I viewed myself for the next several weeks. That good ol’ fear of rejection. I swallowed hard and focused on my breathing to keep the butterflies from having a heyday. Ten minutes till the end of the show. I decided that I needed to do one more thing to ensure our success.

The second the show ended I made a B-Line for George, Yahaya quick on my tail. I touched his shoulder to grab his attention as a mob of people surrounded us. This was it!

“Hey George do you have a second?” I asked him anxiously.

“Yeah sure!” he replied as he leaned in to listen to what I was about to say.

“I just finished writing my book, The Million Dollar Server.” I said, feeling Yahaya’s heart sink at the thought of betrayal. “It’s a really great book and I worked hard on it so I should be here trying to promote it in hopes of getting on your show.” I caught his attention.

“Should?” he asked with his eyebrows raised.

“I should, but I can’t because 4 weeks ago I walked into Chapters and met this fucking guy selling his book.” I said, wondering if I has seriously just dropped an f-bomb in front of everyone. “And I am begging you George, for the sake of Canadian Television please get this guy on your show.”

I felt the crowd’s heart melt, including Yahaya’s.

“Look, I can’t make any promises” he said, half won over.

As I thanked George, I turned to Yahaya with a Gen Y handshake and said

“Hes all yours Tiger…” or something like that.

     What happened next is a mystery. I didn’t hear it and Yahaya doesn’t remember what he said exactly, but he handed the USB stick over to him and we left together feeling excited and uneasy. He thanked me for such a kind ‘plug’ and I told him that there is a lot more value in a testimonial than a self promotion. I guess all we could do now is…

Step 5: Hope it works!

Keep an eye out for the USB stick that gets a specific mention (+10 creativity)

And that ladies and gentlemen, is how to get your book featured on National Television!

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