Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Matt & Me




Today, the "Today Show" broadcast from Colonial Williamsburg. I got up at 5:00 a.m. and hauled myself down there with a sign. It's almost a rule that the crowd members should have a sign to wave at the cameras. Since the program focused on "battleground" states for the presidential election (which Virginia is one), I thought I should do an Obama sign... But I am also an author with three books available and this was a national audience. I split the difference with a two-sided sign: one side had a large image of my historical novel Under a Copper Moon with my website address and the other side had an Obama poster.

By the time I found parking and walked almost a mile to the Colonial Capital building where NBC would broadcast, the crowd was four rows thick with giddy women and William & Mary students. I positioned myself with other Obama supporters and waited for the camera lights to flick on.

A wave of cheers and signs popped up every time a camera man (yes, they were all men) walked by -- filming or not.
Matt Lauer walked out of the Capital building and greeted the crowd. Okay, he wasn't dressed in his swim trunks, but I thought that was a good picture of him.

Here's a picture of how close I actually got. He's a great guy and very friendly to the audience.


Here's an image from the program. That's me circled in red.


And here's one of my sign. I doubt many people watching knew it was even there or that a great book graced the front of it. But, at least some of the crowd could see it, and as I told some of my mob buddies, "Where else could you spend $17.95 (less on Amazon.com) for hours of entertainment? Only a book can give that much value for the money."
One woman said she got to look at Matt Lauer for free. She was a McCain supporter.




A 5:00 a.m. adventure probably didn't snag any sales. My poster didn't get seen on national television -- except by me since I knew exactly where I was and what the sign said. But, I had fun and it was better than staying at home and watching the "Today Show" broadcast three miles from my house and not being there.
Not all promotional efforts pay off. Some are just an adventure.