How to Promote Your Book on the Air

1. Decide and practice in advance what you're going to say on the air, then say it no matter what questions you're asked. Make your answers entertaining, staying focused on the subject of your book.

2. In most cases the interviewers have not read your book, and don't much care what you say; be respectful of them and their audience but remember they're interested in selling their show, not your book: that's your job.

3. Mention the title of your book, but if you plug it too often it only sounds obnoxious.

4. Before you ask your publicist to get you on "Oprah" or "NewsHour," watch the show for a week and figure out ways an episode could be built around you and your book.  And remember that, statistically speaking, almost no authors get on Oprah.

5. Publicity opportunities are limitless, and a good publicist will help you mine them, but a publicity plan will be only as effective as you are.

6. Send your publicist flowers!  They get a lot of rejection pitching books; be the author they'll want to do a little something extra for.

RUSSELL PERREAULT (Publicity Director, Oxford University Press)