Don’t forget the ears – Promoting your book on radio

30 Apr
Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

In this graphic online world we sometimes forget there is another older way to promote your book. And it can be done online – live streaming or download or via the website’s Archives. The word is “radio” and although your audience can’t see you they can hear you.

I’ve had that radio interview experience a few times lately for my mystery novel Beyond Blood. None were straightforward. But all were interesting and satisfying.

Probably the closest to “straightforward” was a phone interview for a local (Cobourg, Ontario Canada) radio station. The q and a was normal but it felt a little strange reading an excerpt from Beyond Blood into my wireless phone.

For another radio station I was interviewed in a closet. No brooms or mops but lots of chairs piled up. The location was the Cobourg Public Library and the occasion was Word Northumberland in October 2014. The radio host had a micro digital recorder and among the chairs we did the q and a. Fortunately, I didn’t have to read in the closet. That was done on the small stage in the corner of the publishers and authors exhibit room where authors took their turns reading excerpts from their latest books. And yes, those segments were recorded.
Perhaps the most interesting is the interview I did with Nancy Bullis Tuesday night at 10 p.m. for her Howl show. Love that title. And love the location even more. CIUT 89.5 FM is the long-running University of Toronto radio station. Nancy has been hosting Howl for fifteen and a half years. But they weren’t always at this Hart House location. Until fall 2010 they were in another building closer to a main drag – Bloor Street – and Howl was broadcast live at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Nancy said she always ran into the annual Santa Clause parade just as it started.

But the curious thing is the studio’s actual location – if you can find it. Took me two preliminary visits and a chat with the station manager to find out exactly where on the third floor of historic Hart House it is situated.To make the search more confusing, the first recording studio you see is NOT the correct one. You have to walk along an inner corridor in front of that one until you come to another door which leads you to another corridor with the correct studio at the end.

I had no trouble finding Hart House or its west wing as instructed. Apparently some interviewees can’t do that and land in the east wing. Nancy has chased after lost interviewees before.

But not me. I found it without any problems the night of the interview; my research paid off. When Nancy arrived (and she was early too), she found me chatting with Robert the technician. Nancy and I had a preliminary chat then went inside the studio – the recording part in the front and the actual place where the interview occurs in a small room behind. We sat at a small oval table with huge table-top mics. Nancy checked to see which ones were working and then gave me mic instructions – how far away to put my face from the mic. She adjusted the mic a bit.

I’m usually useless with microphones. I get too close, too far away or worse – have to adjust the mic because someone taller used the mic before me. When I try to adjust these mics, I either can’t move the stand part and/or the mic comes off and I feel like a would-be rock star who can’t sing. That’s me. So I use my loud outside voice.

With the CIUT radio interview, no mic problem I guess. My publisher’s editor listened to the show live while driving home and said the interview was good. I gather he could hear it all right.

So what went on in the interview? Nancy asked questions and I talked about how I got into writing mysteries, about research, some of the characters (the fraternal twin PIs Dana Bowman and Bast Overture) and Dana’s son, David, plus a couple more eccentric characters, Great Aunt Doris and the stuttering Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding, and if my characters appear in both my books.

We also talked about that other Beyond book – the short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012) and the four linked stories connected to Beyond Blood and why the two weren’t published in chronological order.

And where I am reading in the near future. I also managed to get in my website address somewhere in the conversation. Those two are very important.

Speaking of reading – I did read a short excerpt from Beyond Blood. And it didn’t feel like I was reading to a wall or a wireless phone.

Until Wednesday, May 6 you can check out my interview at scroll down to Howl and click on Howl. You need an MP3 player to listen, from what I see there. But remember, I am not technically inclined.

And for those who must have their visual, you can see and hear my interview about Beyond Blood and writing on thatchannel’s Liquid Lunch at



Sharon A. Crawford

Sharon A. Crawford is the author of the Beyond book series. More info at and

Beyond Blood Book cover at the top of this post links to my Amazon author profile. If you buy a copy there, please do a review on



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