I’ll never forget this scene. It was the spring of 2010, Rene and I had recently settled in at Jerry’s Acres for the summer to get serious about writing our book. Yeah, that was nearly ten years ago. We were listening to the Gayle King Show, and she was asking for listeners to call in with their “adventure stories” so I encouraged Rene to share ours. That is when we discovered Oprah loves our story.
Yeah. Rene spoke with Oprah Winfrey! And I recorded that part of the show, for the Tripawds Youtube channel…
I will just say this. I was, am, and always be proud of Rene for calling in to talk with Gayle, and how she handled herself speaking with Oprah. If it were me, today, I would probably fall apart and embarrass myself pushing my book upon her. Though I do know – based upon her initial reaction – that she would love reading Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now.
After all, she heard just a short overview of our story that became the book, and is the one who said…
“I love how they got in the RV and did it for their dog, Jerry.” —Oprah Winfrey
Now, if only we could get a copy of Be More Dog into Oprah’s hands…I’ve read a few articles that basically suggest, don’t bother.
For starters, Oprah’s Book Club does not even accept submissions. Oprah herself hand-picks that reading list. Which brings be back to my question – how to we get on Oprah’s reading list?
Then I read another article suggesting authors should avoid the Oprah obsession, stating a, “stark reality…odds of getting your book in Oprah’s book club are akin to playing the lottery.” Duh. I know that. But any good marketing campaign is like Lotto, ya gotta be in it to win it. That doesn’t mean we’ll let an obsession with one goal deter our efforts to share our book with the world.
Apparently “O” Magazine is the place to start. But after reading an article about how to get your book into Oprah Magazine, I’m not about to send an unsolicited copy of Be More Dog. Those editors receive dozens of books each day, and hundreds of email pitches. And, they are more likely to look twice if they have an existing relationship with the author.
“If I had a relationship with someone, I’d make the extra effort to consider their book and follow up. Having a great book cover and strong endorsements also helped certain books to stand out.” —Abbe W., Formerly at O Magazine
Well, I may be biased, but we do have a great book cover, and a couple strong endorsements – in the form of advance praise for our story. At least one should stand out to Oprah and her team.
Now, on to building those relationships…
We have had a couple guest appearances so far on podcasts to discuss Be More Dog, and its foreword by Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the MUTTS comic strip which plays an integral role in the story. And there will be many more to come in the new year. These things take time. Until you become an overnight success after Oprah recommends your book. Not that I’m obsessed about that or anything.