Monday, January 18, 2010

ADVICE TO AUTHORS - Part 2 - Article by Milton Kahn

Unique among book publicists, Milton Kahn brings to the table his years of experience as one of the entertainment industry's premiere public relations specialists. The creator of countless ingenious blockbuster campaigns for major Hollywood films, including Fried Green Tomatoes, Watership Down, Ron Howard's directorial debut Grand Theft Auto, and the Oscar winning Fellini's Amarcord.

Mr. Kahn, president of Milton Kahn Associates, Inc. is now helping publishing houses and authors achieve greater success with their projects. The Kahn organization continues to also serve as a public relations consultant to major corporations. - From Mr. Kahn's website

By Milton Kahn

Issues touched on in a book that relate to history or current events are another positive element in getting media exposure. An example is my campaign for former head writer of the CBS series Murder She Wrote, Thomas Sawyer, for his first mystery novel The Sixteenth Man. In his novel Sawyer had developed a theory about the Kennedy assassination which was highly controversial and intriguing. As a result of this particular
issue I was able secure countless television, cable, and radio interviews throughout the country as well as articles and mentions in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Liz Smith's nationally syndicated column.

While everyone dreams of getting on major television shows such as Oprah, a variety of key radio shows is really critical to building a successful national publicity campaign for a book because it allows the author a much greater block of time to promote his or her book. As an example, a show such as the Jim Bohanan Show, which is syndicated by Westwood One, reaches over 5 million listeners every weekday night, with authors getting approximately one hour on the air. Talk show hosts such as Richard Neer, Michael Smerconish, and Jerry Doyle, are incredibly effective interviewers who give the author a great deal of time to talk about his or her book as opposed to a show such as Good Morning America in which the author will most likely get two or three minutes.

Preparing an author to be an interesting guest is a critical element and one that should be worked on prior to the promotion of a book. I sometimes recommend that my clients sit down with a coach to help go over some of the basics of public speaking and interviews.  For example, when Dallas-based author James Halperin hired me to publicize his science-fiction novel The Truth Machine, I recommended that he contact a staff member of the Southern Methodist University drama department to engage him in videotaped mock interviews. As a result, Jim became a very effective interviewee. What made James Halperin such a fabulous client was his willingness to do anything it took to be  successful. Halperin was willing to avail himself for interviews regardless of the hour of the broadcast as he realized that the only way that people would buy The Truth Machine would be through his being able to talk about it and make people aware of his book.  Through my campaign for Halperin, over 200,000 copies of The Truth Machine were sold.

Milton Kahn, President and CEO of Milton Kahn Associates, which is based in Santa Barbara CA is considered to be one of the premiere book publicists in America. Among the honors that Kahn has received number Publicist of the Year by the Book Publicists of Southern California.

Check back with us on Wednesday, January 20th, for the final part of this article.

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