As a new author, when you are ready to “go public” with your book, it is important to understand that you have to be prepared and comfortable with what will be expected of you as a guest on radio talk shows or during television interviews. Having the support of a publicist or coach helps prepare you for the myriad of things that will make your endeavor more successful, but short of having the ability to engage one or the other, the following tips will increase the likelihood of your being successful in your efforts.
New authors must realize that television interviews and radio shows are pre-arranged, and journalists will have regular deadlines they must meet, which in turn necessitates that you are always in a state of being prepared at a moment’s notice. The general process is that several experts are contacted for an event, and the one who responds most quickly is likely to be selected over one who may be the better interview! The more reliable you are in responding when you are called on to fill in a spot, the more frequently you will be asked to share your expertise.
As new authors, a sometimes difficult, but critical task is to leave egos in a drawer somewhere when it comes to establishing relationships with media contacts. Understand their job is to inform, educate and entertain their audience; hence, you are not the area of interest – the expert commentary you can provide is your ultimate appeal. Learn to remove the “I” and ‘my” words from your dialog; they tend to diminish your being used as a source. If you come to the interview with the type of conversation that centers around what the audience cares about, you will be quoted – – frequently.
This might appear to be a strange comment, but successful interviews with new authors require being acutely aware of the talk show host’s personality and the general tone of their interviews. Take a few minutes to read previous stories, or listen to a few prior interviews… looking for a tone and approach that you can then mirror somewhat. See what other articles have been written on your topic, or others previously discussed on earlier shows – ensure your material is fresh and clean and does not duplicate a recent conversation. The more you know about your television or radio host, the better prepared you are to respond in accordance to what you know to be his or her focus and philosophies. Not only will there be a common ground around which you can have a stimulating conversation, the reporter will respect you for having made the effort to prepare for your interview.
Be prepared for the fact that the person who interviews new authors may well be somewhat of an expert themselves, having covered a particular topic for many years; they welcome powerful quotes or solid opinions that will round out the things they tend to share. Be prepared to answer the questions quickly and succinctly. When you are passionate about a topic it is natural to share too much of your knowledge, or to go too much into the depth of your total philosophy – you may well run the risk of being seen as a competitor rather than a guest!
Be Well Practiced
The window of opportunity new authors have when being interviewed will be much smaller than imagined. You don’t have the luxury to bond and build a relationship by talking about the weather, etc. There simply is not time for friendly conversation or engaging in “schmoozing” for future opportunities. Deadlines are tight and time is valuable, leaving you very little time to show your expertise and get your message across. Respect this time and your host and maximize the value of the privilege before you.
These five tips are just a few of the more salient points you should consider in discovering the ways interviewers respond more favorably and utilize more of the interview time – finding a complimentary mix of supporting the expert status of the show host and expressing the unique elements of your own mastery. At the end of the day, your ultimate goal is to share just enough through this media opportunity that listeners will know they have access to advice from an articulate, seasoned professional.
Anna Weber… Making your dream of being a published author a reality.