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How to Get on TV Before You Publish: An Interview with Eli Davidson

Eli Davidson
Eli Davidson helps authors get known

On Thursday, I interviewed Media Magnet and award winning author Eli Davidson about how to get massive publicity and grow your author platform–a must for getting published and for getting your message out to readers.

In book writing class this morning, everyone was abuzz with excitement about the call, “I can’t believe how much powerful information Eli gave on that call. That was the most information- rich, generous teleseminar I’ve ever been on.”  “I was overwhelmed with the idea of creating a platform–I didn’t think I could do it, until I heard Eli talk about her system.”

In fact, Eli intended to pack so much powerful information into that call that we didn’t  have time to cover the last topic–how to get on TV before you publish (or even write) your book. I asked Eli if I could interview her on that topic for the blog–and here’s her response–generous as always.

Lisa: Eli, your passion for helping authors came through so clearly on the call. I can’t tell you how excited my students and clients are about what you shared.

Eli: My book proposal was turned down by every publisher because I didn’t have a big enough platform. My self published book went on to win three national book awards. I want to help other authors avoid being passed over because their platform isn’t big enough.

Lisa: Why is TV so important?

Eli: The best way to answer this is to put yourself in your readers’ shoes. This is how publishers think, so it will illustrate the point. Imagine two websites with two books on the same topic. One author as a good site.  One author has a good site with a video clip from a local TV appearance. Which author has more credibility?

Lisa: Unless it’s a trick question, the one with the TV clip.

Eli: Media establishes you as the trusted expert. TV establishes you as the trusted and recognized expert. As an author, when you have a clip of your appearance on a television show you become instantly recognized for your expertise in a topic.

Lisa: And there’s some search engine value, as well. Isn’t there?

Eli: Absolutely,  good video content will give you a competitive edge in the search engines. Television interviews on a particular topic are the most highly ranked by google. These video clips confirm that you are the leading expert on a topic.

Lisa: How do you get your foot in the door?

Eli: This is what I teach, and it takes more time than we have here. However, here are some tools.

1. I suggest that authors start with their local stations. Have a very local angle to your story. Since it is your town, you probably know the hot buttons in your region.
2. Call the station. Find the producer for the morning show (I find these are the easiest to get booked on.)
3. Give them a 10 second pitch. (A pitch is the idea of a TV segment. Since I am a fellow author, I translate these media insider terms.) That pitch needs to be so sizzling that they want to hear the rest of your idea for the segment. Please do your research, be prepared, and have a great pitch before you approach TV producers. They are a tough crowd if you don’t approach them correctly.
4.  There are four words that make you a media insider. In my class “Ordinary to Extraordinary: How to be a Star in 90 Days“I will be teach every one those four magic words.

Lisa: Good, because I’m registered for the the class and a whole bunch of my students and clients have signed up as well. How did you get on TV in Austin, TX a year before your book came out?

Eli: I was in Austin, Texas speaking at a conference. I hired a publicist. Her rate was $2,000 per month with a three month minimum. This was a discounted rate, her normal fee was $5,000 per month. She contacted all the local TV shows to let them know I would be in Austin in three weeks. (When contacting news shows contact them three weeks before you want to be on the show. ) The publicist created a pitch about the rising stress rate in Austin. As an expert on the topic, the pitch offered viewers tools to lower their stress.

Lisa: And it resulted in more than one interview, right?

Eli: Yes, I did interviews on the FOX and ABC affiliates in Austin, Texas. I brought a mock up of my book cover on the show. It was just a simple color xerox on glossy paper.  No book. A color xerox.
What I discovered the hard way was that it wasn’t the publicist or the book that got me on TV. It was a system.

Lisa: And that’s what’s so powerful about what you teach. It’s a strategic system to get publicity and build your platform–one that aspiring authors and authors can implement themselves.

Eli: Yes, and save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars and get better results! In the three months I paid for those were the only TV bookings I got.  I spent thousands of dollars on publicists over a period of years. I only got one other TV booking using publicists. Instead of throwing in the towel, I developed a Media Insiders Blueprint with the help of the media insiders who were my coaching clients. Most authors have to quit building their platform because the cost is so prohibitive.

Instead of paying $2000 or $5,000 a month, I used my Media Insiders Blueprint. My wonderful intern used this Blueprint and booked me on TV shows. (She was so good that we hired her as a part time employee.)
This system is how I got  national TV appearances such as The Today Show. The Today Show gave away sample chapters of my book. It all started with getting on a local TV station.

Lisa: The moral?

Eli: Even if your book isn’t done, you are an expert. You don’t need a book to get on TV. You don’t need a publicist to get on TV. April Beyer is a dating coach. April has been on all the top TV shows (Dr. Phil, 20/20, The Early Show) without a book. If she can do it, so can you.

Eli Davidson is a self taught author whose self published book Funky to Fabulous won three national book awards: USA Best Books, Independent Publishers and Indie Next Generation “Motivational Book of the Year.” Davidson has x-ray vision for seeing media opportunities and creatively converting them into easy to use systems for fellow authors.

You can listen to our interview here, where Eli shares insider secrets on how authors can leverage the Huffington Post (and its 28 million readers/month).

You can sign up for Eli’s generous pricing until Midnight Sunday. Find out more or register for Ordinary to Extraordinary: How to Be a Star in 90 Days. I hope to “see” you in class.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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