Getting on Oprah Good, Bad, or Indifferent (Reprinted from the PMA-L Listserv, courtesy of Rogak)

February 1999
by Lisa Rogak, Williams Hill Publishing

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Ya know, I don’t really want to throw a wet blanket on dreams of Oprah, but as someone who actually did make it to her show to talk about one of my books on moving to the country, I gotta set you straight. First off, unless she chooses your (so far, always fiction) book as her book club selection, or you’re such a scintillating, sparkling speaker that she can’t help but have you — and only you — on for the whole hour, you’re not gonna sell too many books as a result of an appearance on her show. Besides, I’d venture to guess that 99.9999% of the books that are sent directly to the show, unsolicited, never make it on. Here’s how I got on Oprah. One of her producers who was planning a
show on simple living just happened to see a write-up on my book
in Self magazine that same month.
Rule #1: Dumb luck
. The producer called me and asked me some questions, and I didn’t give her the answers she wanted to hear. I sent the book, as she had requested, and then heard nothing. Two years later, I get a call from another Oprah producer planning a show on small towns. She saw my book in the show’s library, tracked me down, and then called. I gave her the answers she wanted, she booked me on the spot, and I had the publisher of the book (it wasn’t one of mine) pay for the plane ticket. Rule #2: Brown nosing works! I appeared on the show, and two of my responses survived the cut to the televised version. OpIBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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