Monday, April 27, 2009

Is Oprah’s Booklist Attainable?

This week’s Business Question of The Week was sent in from the boot. Jacqueline Turner from Louisiana asks:

What is a realistic goal for me in trying to get media exposure? Is it likely that I could ever get my book on Oprah’s list? What could I do to get there?

Omar Tyree Answers:

Jacqueline, you have just jumped out of my range with the Oprah question. I hear people actually e-mail her repetitively to attempt to get their books considered for her club, but there is only 10 – 15 books a year that are chosen by Oprah out of the thousands of books that are published each year. That doesn’t sound like great odds, but anything is possible. So Google the Oprah Winfrey Show, go to the web site, and fire away. I have never tried myself. Maybe I should e-mail about a hundred of you guys to e-mail Oprah every day for a few months to get my own work featured (smile).

Anyway, as far as media exposure is concerned, it seems that the only sure way to get attention in America is by getting arrested for some unspeakable crime. That would surely get you plenty of media exposure, but probably not the kind that you would like. Other than that, you either hire a public relations firm for their services, or you go about calling up newspapers, magazines, web sites, television, and radio stations yourself, and pitch those folks until they give you a play for whatever you’re pushing.

I remember when I was hungry enough to make those calls nearly a decade ago about my own career aspirations. I was able to bully a few folks into covering my short-term goals, but it actually suited me better when I was less well-known. Once I became a household name in the African-American community, a lot of media folks began to think of me as obnoxious to call up and pitch my own coverage. Gossip radio talk-show host Wendy Williams even went as far as to call me “The King of Self Promotion.” I don’t really view that as a compliment, but sometimes your own tenacity can get you more media coverage than the folks you hire. Sometimes their more systematic approach fails to move anyone. And PR firms can also be expensive.

Ultimately, media exposure falls on how Attractive your story is, who you know for hookups, or who you talked to at the right place and at the right time. There are literally thousands of success stories of people who have gotten the attention that they desired in a multitude of ways. All you have to do is read more and listen more to the folks who have the attention. They are constantly talking about it. However, you definitely have to SEEK ATTENTION to get it. Asking for advice won’t do it, coming up with your own plans to execute will. So learn to do so, with whatever ideas work for you. Trial and error is the key here, because there is no one way.

As I explain in the 19th Chapter of The Equation, Attraction is the first element of Support. You must attract people to what you have to offer by any means necessary. And it seems as if you already know that. So now is the time to get busy doing it!


  1. "Once you choose Hope, anything is possible."

  2. You never know until you try - go for it!