Preparing for a Book Interview
Proper publicity is essential for advancing book sales. Whether preparing for a TV, radio, Internet, print, or face-to-face interview, the basic criteria are the same with only minor variations. The primary author goals in promoting their books is the what/why/where/when format.
· WHAT: Describe your book in 20 words or less.
· WHY: What makes your book different for other books in the same genre? Why should people be interested?
· WHERE: Where can the book be purchased?
· WHEN: When will the book be available?
Be familiar with the format of the news source. Watch, listen to, or read the program where you will be interviewed. What type of interview is it? (newsroom, in-studio, remote, phone, or written) How does the interviewee present himself or herself? What were the other interviewee’s successes and missteps? How do they sit and handle the microphone? What kind of personal contact is between the interviewee and interviewer? How formal or casual is the interview?
Review and practice the main points of your presentation. What inspired you to write the book? What qualifications do you have on the subject? Did anyone contribute to the writing of this book? Who do you want to reach with your message or who do you think will benefit from it? Have you or your book won any awards or recognition? Tell us about your writing process – do you have a routine?
Develop sound bites to use frequently. Authors may only have one chance to pitch their ideas and research reveals that people have to be exposed to a message three times before it will start to sink in. Author often only has less than thirty seconds to present the main intent of their book. As a result, authors will need to have different versions of the same idea tailored to the interest of the audience at any given moment.
Word selection is critical in crafting one-liners that catch the listener’s or reader’s attention. Words must be exact and specific and long words should never be used where a short one will do.
Another way to strengthen a one-liner is to place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end. The last words spoken are generally what remains with the listener or reader.
Incorporate your book into any interview as you present yourself as the expert and best spokesperson for your work. Incorporate your credentials appropriately and have statistics at your disposal, but quote them sparingly. Redirect impromptu questions back to your book when possible.
To be media-savvy, an author needs to:
- Be passionate
- Be flexible
- Avoid jargon – use layman’s terms
- Know what is considered newsworthy
- Anticipate interests of your audience
- Use short, concise, descriptive responses
- Do your research!