Authors: Don’t Be a TV Snob!

Do YOU tell all that you don’t watch TV? How about boasting that you’re got rid of yours or that you wouldn’t waste your time by having one? In my Book Shepherd and Speaking Coach opinion, you are making a major boo-boo to you and your book’s success.

Since the eighties, I’ve been speaking globally and in all 50 states about my various expertises. Truckloads of books have been sold this way. I connected with my audiences and one of the critical ways I did it was I knew what the popular TV shows, movies, and books were that groups loved (and sometimes hated). I would get clips to illustrate key points and insights. I would personally take on the persona on a character to improve a situation in a recent show. And, I would set up a scene in a movie and so engage my audiences that they would recite the lines out loud with me. I spoke primarily to health care audiences from 1989 to 2008.

On my TV recorder were shows like ER, St. Elsewhere, Doc, Nurse Jackie, and Friends–all shows I checked into. Would I have watched all them if I wasn’t speaking and working with thousands in the healthcare community yearly? Most likely not. But, they–my audiences–were … and it behooved me to see/hear/experience what they were watching and reacting to.Those of you who know me well, know that there are some shows on TV that I’m a huge fan of … in fact, I always think—often say out loud—when authors tell me that they don’t own a TV, don’t watch it (almost gloating when they do)—you are making a mistake—a huge one. Believe me, there are plenty of “good stuff” on the tube. Being a TV Snob can hurt your book sales and your speaking gigs.

One of my all-time favorites was the seven season The West Wing that popped up in September of 1999 with its final episode in 2006.To me, the show’s writing was amazing and delivered weekly by lead writer Aaron Sorkin for the first four seasons and then by John Wells for the final three. Chewy lines. Ways to pivot in dicey situations. Conflicts weaved throughout. I loved it. The Writers Guild of America ranked it #10 in its “101 Best-Written TV Series” list—it’s certainly on my top five. In fact, after writing this—it’s hello Netflix, I’m going to plan on watching the entire series again.

At the end of the first episode, President Josiah Bartlet (played by martin Sheen) reads a note he has received:

Naval Intelligence reports approximately 1200 Cubans left Havana this morning.

Approximately 700 turned back due to severe weather, some 350 are missing and presumed dead, 137 have been taken into custody in Miami and are seeking asylum. 

Then he says out loud to no one and EVERYONE:

With the clothes on their backs, they came through a storm. And the ones that didn’t die want a better life. And they want it here. Talk about impressive.

WOWSA … what power in just 29 words. Meaty, Thoughtful, Chewy. And oh my … those lines are 18 years old … and relevant today with the current political climate. They are rich food for thought.

Can you see how Barlet’s note set up and then the final line like that could be used if you were talking/writing about overcoming adversity, diversity, politics, passion, change, starting over, risk taking, etc.? Do you see how you could be on a stage … at a reading/signing … and just pick up a paper as if a note was just handed to you. Pause … read it … add the 29 words … then throw it to the audience with a question or two? I sure can.Nope, being a TV Snob could easily put you in a disconnect with readers and audiences. Something you don’t want … and something that you shouldn’t be gloating about.




Ashography Event PhotographyJudith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: The How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th.  Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at .

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at

header-logo1.pngAuthor U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join today.

 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen