View Full Version : Need Ideas For Getting Attention From Oprah Producer

10-14-2008, 11:11 PM
Greetings to all,

My goal is to get on the Oprah show so that I can offer hope through my amazing true life story, share the secrets of stopping bullying / teen violence, and give away as many free copies of my book as possible (one-million, or more?!)

I am going to Chicago on Oct. 20th - 24th to try and get their attention. Mostly by standing outside their business and handing out items (food, newspapers, etc.) that have stickers on them advertising my website (www.HelpGetTimOnOprah.com (http://www.HelpGetTimOnOprah.com)) and copies of my book. Since my area of expertise is bullying, I also plan on arranging to speak at a middle / high school that week and invite staff from HARPO Productions to come see me in action.

Beyond that I'm not sure what else to do - could really use some suggestions here. Willing to do most anything that's legal and doesn't involve setting myself on fire!

Thanks for any suggestions!


Lauri B
10-15-2008, 12:46 AM
Tim, I would suggest that asking people to flood their message boards with multiple requests for you to go on Oprah is going to make her producers mad, not get you on the show. Have you researched how the producers of her show prefer to book guests? I went to your web site and noticed that a lot of your information is more than a decade old. What about doing an update on the youth violence statistics--has there been a change in the last decade? Have their been gains or breakthroughs in working with kids so incidents of youth violence have gone down? I think that's probably a more effective route than standing outside the studios. That's not usually how producers book guests. But good luck--I hope you get on the show.

10-15-2008, 03:51 AM
Hi Lauri B,

The stats on my website are the most current that I could find. If you know where more recent stats are available I'd be happy to update my site with them :)

I know that going to Chicago and trying to make direct contact with a producer from the Oprah show sounds a bit unconventional, unorthodox, and perhaps even a bit crazy, but I've already gone the traditional route.

I hired one publicist for $6,000 and she used my money to promote HER OWN BOOK and ended up on MSNBC next to Howard Dean. Then I hired another "highly recommended" publicist for $6,500 - and wound up getting interviewed on 5 radio stations. Total book sales; ZERO. (It was then that I started giving the book away for free.)

Now considering that 16 young people reach a point of hopelessness and commit suicide EVERY DAY, and knowing that I have a possible answer for that - I'm driven to do anything I possibly can to get this book into their hands. If that means standing outside the Oprah building, guess that's what I do then.

Anyway, thank you very much for your reply!

Smile often,

P.S. Through my book, and presentations at schools, their incidents of bullying / violence have gone down over 70% :)

10-15-2008, 03:17 PM
Have you actually pitched the Opera producers personally? What did they say?

Also, who pays for these million books you want to give away?

10-18-2008, 09:33 PM
Tim, we have several of our books up on Oprah's "will call" shelf, and we got that because we have healthy print runs that are on the store shelves. You have no stock and no market presence. No matter how great your subject matter, people have to be able to get it immediately. If they can't, they'll complain to her, and there's no way she'll put herself in that position. Giving something away won't flip up her skirts. And any publicist with half a brain knows this.

I'm not sure if things have changed, but the last time I was at her show, there were half a dozen folks trolling around doing the same things you're proposing. It was...painful. If you want to be taken seriously in this business, it's usually a good idea to present yourself in a professional manner. Just sayin'...

Marian Perera
10-18-2008, 10:12 PM
You have no stock and no market presence.

I plugged "Tim Hutchinson" and "Life Extreme" into Amazon's search function and didn't get any results.

You've got very good intentions, Tim, but it takes more than that to get Oprah to promote a book.

10-19-2008, 04:16 AM
I plugged "Tim Hutchinson" and "Life Extreme" into Amazon's search function and didn't get any results.

You've got very good intentions, Tim, but it takes more than that to get Oprah to promote a book.
Yes, I know. I went to his site and saw that he's giving the book away as a free pdf - hence my advice.

10-19-2008, 04:45 AM
Tim, my two cents --

Skip going to Oprah's. You'll burn a bridge before you get to see the river.

Give her something she wants to say yes to. Set an ambitious goal, and make it a public one.

For example: How about presentations to 100 schools in 100 days? Or, reach 100,000 school kids in 100 days?

Blanket Chicagoland, St. Louis, Denver, Atlanta and D.C.

Go after the professional organizations that represent your target market. (National School Board Association and (in Illinois) the IL Assoc. of School Boards, and the annual Mt. Vernon Teacher's Conference, for example).

Make sure you have a common P.R. campaign throughout, and sufficient advance notice of appearances.

Change your website, and your pitch. Put your accomplishments (schools & events addressed, kids/families reached) up front, and you behind that (but not in the back).

Don't show us pictures of you. Show us pictures of you with parents, with kids, with law enforcement, with city officials.

The most powerful thing on your website is buried in your media kit. Of everything you have on the site, Charles Andrew William's quote belongs on the front page.

Be proactive in reaching out to magazines and newspapers, and gracious in thanking them for their coverage. Be aggressive in tracking and collecting that coverage.

Good Luck, Sir.

10-20-2008, 06:56 AM
. . .
Thanks for any suggestions!

1. Forget Oprah. Total waste of time and effort.

2. Look up Stephanie Chandler's book on book promotion for authors. Good starting point. You can find it at Amazon, etc.


11-15-2008, 05:14 AM
Here's a unique approach:


This is Delilah, the radio personality, trying to get on David Letterman to pitch her new book.

11-15-2008, 09:38 PM
I agree with the earlier comments that you should make the news first rather than focus on Oprah. I can see why you want to get that exposure but there may be more effective ways to get your book into schools. I vote for the 100,000 kids in 100 days campaign.

If you get the schools to agree to see you then get a Press Release out to all the regions you are visiting unless things are very different in the US, most local and regional newspapers would love your story. Copy the reports onto your website so people can see the momentum risning.

Why not go international as well? Here in the UK a campaign like yours might make our national breakfast TV and that could be a stepping stone to Oprah.

Whatever you try you have my heartfelt support for such a worthy cause. Good lick and I hope we do this you this side of the pond!


Wayne K
04-21-2009, 12:56 AM
Tim, you sound more like a stalker than a writer going after your goal this way. Celebrities have thousands of people a day trying to get their ear, and making more noise than everyone else will only make them hit the ignore button on you.

There are thousands of people who can tell the same story as you, sit down and write a letter explaining why you're the best person to tell it. Command their attention through a convincing argument.

I've known some celebrities in my life and actions like the ones you're proposing will send them in the opposite direction.

05-10-2009, 07:21 PM
I clinked on the link and Tim's website has expired. I'm guessing he never got on Oprah.

05-19-2009, 05:32 AM
I'm kinda trying not to laugh here...not to be mean, but HUH?

1.Why do you have this goal? What's the point?

2.Is your book by a large publisher with generous print runs and easily accessible? If not, don't bother. She doesn't do small press books or PODs.

Make yourself annoying, and you get thrown out of the studio.

05-19-2009, 09:58 AM
If you are for real, I'm sure you'd like to support some of Oprah's favorite causes. Her friends are in my area (and I'm not giving you the addresses!), and there are many small events thrown here that would catch her eye if you really pitched in and also presented yourself well.

Want to pitch in? I'll send you the cause's links.

05-19-2009, 05:06 PM
I assume he tried submitting material to harpo in the conventional manner?

05-19-2009, 05:35 PM
He's here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3512416#post3512416) on AW. New thread.

06-29-2009, 08:46 PM
Give her something she wants to say yes to. Set an ambitious goal, and make it a public one.

For example: How about presentations to 100 schools in 100 days? Or, reach 100,000 school kids in 100 days?

I agree. Oprah has thousands of people like you begging at the doorstep of the studio. All of them have a good story, all of them want the publicity. What you need to do is be inspiring. You have to have stories of the lives you've touched how your life has been affected and most importantly you need a terrifically original story that will set you apart from all the others exactly like you - there are plenty, believe me.

When you get there don't be an insignificant wannabe. Show how genuine you really are. Don't expect to see the executive producer or anything, chances are you will probably be taken as some crazy fan and be escorted out.

If you want to know for sure that you will get in and see the show why don't you buy a ticket to be in the audience? That way you'll get to see it all before your very eyes, you'll have a guaranteed entrance into the studio and you can at least look back on it as a fun day if you get nowhere. You can get tickets to be in the audience here at http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/reservations/audience_reservations

Good luck! :)