Depending on the most effective PR strategy for your book, your publicist will likely contact a number of radio, podcast, TV or YouTube hosts in the hope of securing you interviews. If you have any leads for them, you should tell them. You shouldn't just leave it to them, you should try and secure your own interviews. When you do, let your publicist know, and enter them on the system as a Marketing Activity.
Whether the audience is a few dozen people or hundreds of thousands, a radio, podcast or web interview is a fantastic way to connect to people in a personal way. The adage of people buy from people is in full effect here.
It’s vital that you make the most of an interview when it happens.
10 ways to make the most of your author interview
1. Test your equipment and software
Do not leave testing your equipment and software to the last minute. Once you have confirmed a date and time with the host/producer of the show, make sure you have a fully working mic, headphones and ensure you have created/updated your Skype address if asked for one at least 72 hours before the interview. More shows are asking for a Skype address as a point of contact. Skype has a useful audio testing feature to help you test your equipment.
Some authors have lost interview opportunities at the time of interview as they could not be heard, their mic was cutting out or they had not updated their Skype so were uncontactable. Be prepared, test your equipment, so you can relax and focus on the interview.
2. Ensure you are in a quiet, distraction-free zone
Radio and podcast shows are the theatre of the mind. The listeners will visualize your experiences and words to create a picture that draws them into who you are and what your book is about. Make sure there is no noise in your location, no TV or radio in the background, that the show of the show is not broadcasting out of your PC/Laptop/ Phone as that will cause an echo. Make sure your mic is not rubbing against your clothes or face or and that you are not breathing heavily into it. Familiarize yourself with your mute button should you need to cough or sneeze. Anything like this will distract the listener and they will tune out. Make sure your phone is off and ask that no one in your vicinity disturbs you.
3. Get the start time correct
As an author, you may be offered interviews from all over the world, from different time zones and you may find yourself with a golden interview opportunity in the early hours of the morning.
Make sure you confirm with the host/producer what your time zone is in relation to theirs!
There is nothing more disappointing than waiting up for an interview to find the interview is actually at a different hour, different day or you have missed it altogether.
4. Be enthusiastic!
An average interview will last around 45 minutes so make sure you are prepared, engaging and enthusiastic. A listening audience will always connect to someone upbeat as opposed to someone who sounds bored, uninterested or tired. Radio show hosts have cut interviews short for authors that relied on one-word answers or had little to say.
You have one shot to make an impression and regardless if there are a few dozen or a million listeners if you come across as dull they are less likely to want to buy your book.
Some interviews will spawn other opportunities from other shows and producers! So always be mindful who could be listening and make sure your interview is on point and engaging.
5. Be prepared
Some radio shows and podcasts will ask for eight to ten questions/talking points upfront but if they don't then make sure you are comfortable and confident with your own material and you have experiences, theories, talking points to bring up during the interview.
6. Talk about your product not other products!
Try to shy away from talking about other books and products. These opportunities are about YOU being able to discuss your book to a platform of listeners that may buy your book, follow your work, visit your website and join your social media platforms. Make sure you FOCUS on your book. Some authors have had wonderful opportunities to discuss and promote their book but discussed other authors’ books instead! This didn't benefit them at all and the opportunity has passed.
This is YOUR time to shine! This is your spotlight so make the most of it.
7. Refer to your book by its title at all times!
Try not to refer to your book as "Book". Try when possible to refer to your book by its full title as this will help listeners remember the name of your book should they wish to buy it but also if listeners are tuning in halfway or near the end then they would have missed the host's intro so it’s always good to keep referring to the title of your book.
Instead of , “I wrote this book after an event that took place in…”
Say, “I wrote Premonitions after an event that took place in…”
Instead of, “It is available on Amazon, Kindle, through Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.”
Say, “Premonitions is available on Amazon, Kindle, through Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.”
8. Write down a checklist of points you need to ensure you cover during the interview
Here’s a good starter list:
Your objective will be to connect to as many people as possible and direct them to your book, your website and social media sites.
9. Always thank your host for the opportunity!
Drop an email to the host/producer after the show thanking them for the time and suggest that if they ever need a guest to reach out directly to you as you would be happy to guest again. Some of our authors are regulars on some of the top radio shows and podcasts in the world due to how engaging and motivated they were in their initial interview.
10. Share the link to your interview with your publicist, on your social media platforms, email the link to friends and family, embed it on your website and support the show and yourself as much as possible by getting that interview out there
Be prepared, be confident, be engaging, be interested and connect with the listenership!
Above all enjoy the experience! This is a wonderful way to connect to potential readers and cultivate new followers and supporters.
JHP interview with Author Diana Richardson