How to go on national TV and not mention your book: A guest blog by Marianne Musgrove

Today I have a guest blog from author, Marianne Musgrove. Marianne recently appeared on two day-time television shows promoting her new book for children, Lucy the Lie Detector. Here she shares her advice about appearing on television if you’re promoting a book.

Promoting yourself on TV
How to go on national TV and not mention your book

by Marianne Musgrove

Following on from my now famous (at least in my family) appearance on Mornings with Kerri-Anne to promote my new book, Lucy the Lie Detector, I thought I’d share some lessons I’ve learned about making the most of your fifteen (or in my case, four) minutes of fame.

Marianne Musgrove

Marianne Musgrove

Getting on TV in the first place
Producers love an angle. When my publicist discovered I was a former social worker, she married this fact to the content of my book (truth and lies) and voila! I was an expert on children’s behaviour and lying. To find your angle, consider all aspects of your background (job, heritage, family situation, experience), not just the subject matter of your book.

What to wear
Children’s author and fellow “Mornings with Kerri-Anne” alumna, Fiona Trembath, advises: avoid jingly jewellery, wear something that reflects who you are and don’t wear a pattern that might strobe on screen.

Be prepared
Before you appear on the show, you’ll be contacted by a producer to discuss possible interview questions. They may ask you for talking points which will appear on screen during your segment. Have those points ready (no more than five per section).

Mention your book!
Some shows only permit you to mention your product once so get in early and make it count. Don’t wait to be asked the right question. I made the mistake of waiting for a certain graphic to come up. I never saw it and I missed out on mentioning my book!

Things may not go according to plan
When I was on Kerri-Anne, I wasn’t prepared for her opening question: what makes a child tell their very first lie? I did what we writers do best – I made something up. Be prepared to answer questions out of left field. Don’t panic. Just sound confident and no one will know the difference.

Familiarise yourself
Ask to take a peek in the studio before you go on. This will mean one less thing your brain has to process once you get on set. Ask how long the segment will be. When you sense your time drawing to a close, quickly mention anything you’ve left out.

Keep calm
Take a few deep breaths before you go on (though not too many – you don’t want to pass out and have to be revived on nation television). Speak at a regular pace.

Be camera-wise
It’s hard to smile when you’re nervous but it does make you more appealing. Steer clear of maniacal grins, however. You don’t want to scare away the viewers. Also remember: don’t look at the camera. I know that’s a bit like saying ‘don’t think of an elephant’ then all you can do it think of an elephant. Nevertheless, don’t look at the camera!

Bring a copy of your book on set with you. It’s a visual that’s a constant, free advertisement.Lucy The Lie Detector

I can guarantee you, you will make one or more mistakes while you’re on TV. I know I did. Forgive yourself, learn from your mistakes and move on.

Good luck!

Click here to see Marianne’s TV appearance.

And here for Marianne’s website.

This article first appeared in the e-newsletter Pass It On editions 300 and 301.