Newspaper writer sells writing on talk radio for authors


Talk radio - great place for writers

Sell your writing. Turn a newspaper career into a profitable writing and broadcast career, even in the middle of an economic disaster. Fran Silverman did it. Marketing is her biggest asset, though she’s an accomplished writer and talk radio host, too. Her success reflects deep experience in her niche, extreme organizational skills and a purposeful campaign that’s putting her latest book in front of the right people.

fran silverman
Fran Silverman is author of several books. Early on, she went the route of  self-publishing, and says she learned a lot about the book and writing business that way. Her most recent mega-project is an ambitious reference book called, Talk Radio Wants You, published by McFarland & Co. It’s an interesting tool for writers who understand that marketing is more than half the battle when you have a book to sell, no matter who published your work, what it’s about or what your sales numbers look like right now.

The coolest part of Fran’s plan is that you can do a whole book tour – world-wide even, without leaving your own living room. One of those – I don’t even have to dress up deals. Fran says unequivocally, you can reach an audience with talk radio, and you control the size and scope of that audience.

Fran began her career as newspaper feature writer for local papers. She freelanced, too, writing magazine service pieces on East Coast historical places and events.

“I was a local historian who wanted to be a travel writer,” Fran recalls, “So finally, I pitched a book to a publisher, made a sale, and I began doing travel books.”

Doing her research, she found Hunter Publishing, pitching them an idea for Catskills Alive and  Long Island Alive. Both books got released, and, with the author’s diligent marketing plan, sold well. But travel books get dated quickly – short shelf life. That created an update sale for one and the demise of the other. It wasn’t a terribly prolific revenue stream but Fran was learning, through her own mistakes, that there are right and wrong ways to market your work.

“That’s when I began my newsletters online,” she says. “I had been marketing incorrectly. Too much effort, not enough results.”

Intrigued, Fran would discover that’s a problem most writers encounter. She went after a dozen or so local writers, asking her own set of burning questions about how they were selling their books. Most of the authors returned her emails, with answers. Fran discovered many of them weren’t doing much – didn’t know how. Didn’t have the time. Didn’t feel motivated. Felt overwhelmed.

She designed a newsletter project to market books for herself – and for other authors. For a fee. A small, affordable fee. She marketed that newsletter, coupled with a publicity package, to hundreds of authors, and her Odyssey began. Fran became a publicist and learned more than most people know about using radio to sell yourself. She has shared more than 300 essential marketing tips, gleaned from her efforts and the suggestions of other writers.

She self-published a book, Book Marketing from A-Z, and, around the same time, developed her own blog radio talk show – to promote authors and books .

With a whole lot of ambition and drive, coupled with a touch of intuitive genius, Fran earned clients who paid her fee and received, in return, air time on Fran’s show, the newsletter, consultations and periodic press releases. Now she was a publicist, and still learning fascinating techniques.

“It was tough to get press releases into newspapers or magazines. Press releases got lost or ignored. But I discovered that talk radio show hosts are always in need of guests and topics. With a daily program, it’s challenging to fill that time – so I got my clients on to talk shows,” Fran explained.

Before she knew it, she had a second contact data base – hundreds of talk show hosts who were cordial and amenable to working with her and her clients. Some had well known, established shows. And her next book project took root, beginning to sprout.

Learning to use the Internet to her extreme advantage, Fran nurtured her projects and revenue streams, putting them together to her best advantage. She kept track of everything she learned and every connection made. Then she developed her book, a national directory of talk radio shows and hosts who could, and would interview authors.

Fran says she considered self-publishing again, but decided to send a proposal out. Her current publisher responded with a few pertinent suggestions and she felt encouraged. Then a few more suggestions, and more. Frustrated, but pleased, she finally put her cards on the table, asking the publisher to give her a contract in place of the excellent, but never-ending suggestions. They did. She got a contract and a fairly standard royalty agreement.

No writer is born knowing how to publish and promote a book into a successful way to make a living. But the skills can be learned. Fran’s experience underlines an essential fact – if you don’t take a step out of your comfort zone, you’ll never begin your journey. Her sense of organization, her ability to brainstorm solutions, and her courage to reach out and pull information from other people are key ingredients to Fran Silverman’s success.She’s a skilled writer and has good research technique – but without her desire to get down and make it happen, all she’d have is a good idea.

Baby boomer Fran, a native New Yorker, still lives in that city with her husband, Ronald, an engineer. They have a grown daughter and lots of irons in the fire. Email her: franalive at

May I suggest you also read:

  1. Freelance writers wanted at three markets
  2. Top websites for freelance writers
  3. Make money writing business plans


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