Home > Book Marketing > How to Write a Radio or TV Pitch Letter

Radio is a fantastic marketing tool for every self-published author. Read on to learn how to get yourself on the radio by writing a great radio pitch letter. Even though radio and TV have suffered at the hands of social media, and the audience has changed dramatically since before the digital age. However… Both platforms, and especially radio (both traditional and internet radio) are fantastic platforms for authors to promote their books. The goal is to pitch your idea to the right stations, to the right radio producers, in the right way, that you and interviewing you on the station are a no-brainer. This means you need to frame your pitch in a way that makes the producer’s job easier – and essentially sets up the idea, tone, and angle of the interview.

Below are the five steps to creating the perfect radio pitch letter.

Five Steps to the Perfect Radio Pitch Letter

– Identify the “angle” of your radio pitch

The world of radio has become highly fragmented. When taking in to account internet radio, there is literally a station for every market segment or idea. While this means the number of listeners may be fewer per station, it also means the right audience will the highly interested in your ideas. Fragmentation in the radio market, and the growth in internet radio, also means more producers need more specific content. If you’ve written a good book marketing plan, then you should be well aware of who your target audience is – the more clearly you know your audience, the more convincing argument you will have for a producer adding you to his or her show.

– Communicate your idea clearly

Communicating the value of your book to your intended audience is paramount in importance to getting radio interviews. Something that is “just an ad” for your book will never get you attention. Remember that radio stations charge for advertising. Your value proposition needs to be something that will get listeners to tune in and not ‘turn the dial.’ Radio producers are desperate for ideas that will fill their airtime – and ar attracted first to ideas that seem an easy fit and require little work on teh part of the producer or host. Your radio pitch must communicate your idea quickly and clearly. Use an effective headline to do this.

– Understand to whom to send your radio pitch letter

A pitch letter sent to the wrong station and the wrong person AT the station is wasted effort. Blasting your radio pitch letter to every station you’ve ever heard of, or to “all the big ones” is a waste of everyone’s time. Your book doesn’t appeal to “Everyone” (really, it doesn’t… remember that section in writing your book marketing plan about audience?) Only send your pitch to places you actually know your audience hangs out. Make sure you are targeting producers, not hosts. The producer usually understands far better what will make a great guest. And listen to the station. Nothing will offend a producer or host more than having absolutely no idea what the program is actually about.

– Make choosing you an easy decision

We are all overworked and underpaid. It’s part of the human condition. Radio producers are no different. Anything that appears to indicate you will be an easy guest, with an easy interview to set up will make you an attractive choice. Your radio pitch should indicate some discussion points that will be easy fodder for interview questions. Don’t make the producer struggle to find ways for you to interact with the host. A common strategy is to use leading questions – you can fill in the blanks below for almost any topic:

  • How / Is / Are [topic] [action statement] [result]
    • This is the classic ‘tension’ opener or statement – for example:
      • “How [your fad diet] [is actually] [making you less healthy?]”
      • “Is [your teenager] [ruining] [your marriage?]”
      • “Are [computer antivirus programs] [letting the government] [spy on your computer]?”
  • The [benefit or pain point] [cause amplifier] [solution teaser]
    • Sounds complicated, but it’s not – you’ve read this a thousand times in email subjects and heard it over and over on TV and radio – for example:
      • “The [5 proven strategies] [car dealers] [don’t want you to know before buying a car]”
      • “The [real reasons you aren’t happy at work] [that your boss][can fix if you’d only speak up]”

Introductions, subjects lines, or even bullet points like these within your radio pitch give the producers plenty of ideas of how your story will play on the air.

– Keep your radio pitch short and sweet

Don’t make the producer spend more time reading your pitch than you’ll actually be on the air. Keep is short and to the point – they aren’t called ‘sound bites’ for no reason. No one you reach out to has time for idle chitchat. If you can’t keep it short and to the point, you won’t get your pitch read, much less a booking.

Final thoughts on your radio pitch

Be persistent – keep a great attitude and keep reaching out. Understand that you may need to be very flexible with timing, days, or even the nature of the interview. Understand that last minute is often the name of the game in media – a last minute spot that needs filled might be just the chance you need. Have your pitch, interview ideas, and even a rehearsed monologue ready to go, just in case you get the last minute call.

Radio is every author’s friend. Follow these few simple steps with your radio pitch, and you’ll be ready to take that call!

Ray Robinson
Ray Robinson

When Ray first entered the publishing industry, authors relied on “vanity presses” to produce their work – many of whom would charge $15,000 or more and leave the author’s garage filled with hundreds of books. Ray, along with coworker Alan Harris, joined forces with Miles Nelson to create Dog Ear Publishing to provide the author community a self-publisher with a heart. The group’s application of new technologies and publishing on demand reduced the cost of publishing a book to a fraction of what it had been for previous generations; authors now have the ability to publish a book in as little as six weeks and print as few as a single copy.