Role Model - A Piece Of My Mind
I think it's flattering when people say I'm a role model, but I don't think I am. It depends on your outlook on the word 'role model.' I'm not perfect or anything. I just consider it a great compliment.—Actress and singer Mandy Moore
Now I don't mind getting a few “Wow it's you” at book stores and signings. I seem to get it more and more with many knowing about my blog talk radio shows, rather than my Night Owl, AUDIOWORLD and Affaire De Couer columns. BUT it is catching up!
Recently I attended an all-day event, regarding writers and reviewing...yes a writer's expo. If you have not done one, you should! A writer friend, with a new business project, asked if I would pass out his business cards and fliers for his company for a few hours at his booth, while he strolled the floor. I agreed, it beat the $200 fee I would have to pay to be a conventioneer.
For most of the shift at this author's booth, I saw old friends who passed by. Nevertheless, it was relatively quiet few hours.
Then this brash young author came up to me at the booth. I was in the middle of a conversation with an old publishing friend I known for years. I was talking to her about a few of their publishing house authors being guests on my radio shows. We also spoke about her daughter in college...it isn't always about hashing the business.
“Pomerantz, I need your help!” this young writer interjected into our friendly banter. His face seem to have that 'this was urgent' look. I told this female publisher I would catch up with her later to talk. She hugged me, agreed with a smile and walked away from the booth.
“Now what is on your mind, young man?” I turned my attention to him. “You state you need my help?”
Well, Pomerantz,” He started to talk. “I am a first time author. My book was published by Creative Space last year and it's not selling at all. I am seeking radio time immediately. I heard you are such a role model to many at this expo, you would give me the time without question.”
In my opinion, he did three major things wrong, right off the bat. One is you don't use someones last name unless there is a Mr., Mrs. and Ms. in front of it. Respect is so easy to earn and so easy to lose to someone you do not know personally. Two, barging in on a conversation and thinking you are more important than someone else is rude. Making yourself seem urgent does not breed others wanting to help you. Manners in this business are very important. Third, radio time is booked weeks and months in advance. Not just given immediately. I have done shows where something newsworthy may have happened and we moved the schedule around. However, it is not handed out that freely on a whim.
“I looked him straight in the eye and said “Sorry I cannot help you at this time. Why don't you send me an email and we can discuss it.”
He looked more upset that I would not help him. “I thought your job was to help writers, why won’t you give me radio time? I thought you were such a (and here's the kicker) ROLE MODEL to many indie authors and audio producers.”
Was he trying to push my buttons by calling me a role model, I thought so. I know I have a rep in helping writers. So I pulled out my calendar book. It was February. “The first radio date I have free is July 15th. Shall I pencil you in?”
“That won’t do! That is six months away” He said. He seemed to pout when he did not get his way. “Can't you cancel someone else, Pomerantz?”
“That is the best I can do. Plus I would want a copy of your book to read it before the show.” This is standard for most authors and audio producers.
He snidely spoke “Sure if you pay for it. I do not give my book away for nothing.”
I closed my appointment book and said “Good luck with me having you as a guest on any of my shows...we're done. Good luck in finding radio time with someone else.” I took a deep breath and watch this person leave.
What I found out later that evening was, this author tried the same scam with twelve other radio hosts and two TV hosts at the expo. I also found out he cursed my name after each person turned him down. He must have assumed I called them all after he left me...which I didn't.
This is why I don't concern myself with the title of being a “Role Model”.
Reach for the Stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org