The following interview with King Kaufman appeared in the the latest edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our fall newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.
King Kaufman is the host of CONTENT IS KING, broadcast weekdays 6-7 pm ET on Sirius 93, XM 208, SiriusXM. He is also the Writing Program Manager for BleacherReport and has also written for The New York Times, the San Francisco Examiner and Salon.com. His work has been anthologized in “Top of the Order: 25 Writers Pick Their Favorite Baseball Player of All Time” (Da Capo, 2010), “Afterwords: Stories and Reports From 9/11 and Beyond” (Washington Square, 2002), “Iron Mike: A Mike Tyson Reader” (Da Capo, 2002) and “Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader, 4th Edition” (Longman, 2003). He graduated from Berkeley with a history degree and a master’s in journalism.
MC: What’s your biggest pet peeve when working with publicists?
KK: Calling me on the phone if I haven’t specifically asked them to do so or told them it’s OK to do so. This rarely happens, but I hate it when it does.
MC: What types of books are you tired of covering? What are you hoping to do more of?
KK: I’m interested in books that explain process, how things happen. I enjoyed Jason Kendall’s THROWBACK, even though his personality shined through as abrasive and unpleasant, because he took the reader through what a catcher is thinking and how he approaches the game. “If I see the batter’s moved his back foot up two inches, I’ll know…”
MC: What’s your preferred lead time? Will you consider older, but timely titles?
KK: Preferred lead time is as much as possible, up to a month. I interview authors for a radio show. I will consider older titles if the author can act as an expert on a timely subject. The book itself wouldn’t be the focus of the conversation, but the author would be able to draw on it if relevant to the discussion of today’s issue.
MC: What’s one piece of advice you have for book publicists?
KK: Be easy to find. Be online with your contact info. If I have the title of a book, the Google search “[Book Title] publicist” should reveal a page with, at least, an email address that’s checked regularly and responded to promptly. Starting with zero information, this process should take no longer than five seconds for any book published since 1995.
MC: When pitching, what is the best way to get your attention (i.e. subject lines)?
KK: Pointing out the newsworthiness of the book itself — but only if it’s actually newsworthy. Trying to gaslight me into believing something that’s not news is news is a turnoff. Failing that, pointing out how the book ties into current hot topics or news.