Again we touch base with the book promotion experts at Smith Publicity. This visit we spend time with Melissa Sileo who offers great advice for authors on how to ace your next radio interview. Or if you already made a mistake, how to fix it:
When your book publicity campaign is in full swing and the interviews are coming in, you should always be prepared. Some radio interviews will run smoothly from beginning to end, while others may start off on the wrong foot, or will be going well then lose its traction midway through. In these instances, a good “backup” could help alleviate the foul-ups. To turn a good interview into a great one, or salvage a lackluster one, come to every interview armed with the following:
Where to buy your book: The ultimate goal of any interview for an author is to generate interest in your book. However, do not try to awkwardly squeeze it in at a random point in the interview. Most radio hosts will repeat the title of the book at the end of the interview and let listeners know where to buy it. If you want to be sure of this, touch base with the producer or host ahead of time.
Website: Along with mentioning where to buy the book, refer listeners to their website as well for more info. Sometimes, you can actually see an immediate spike in visitors to your homepage in the few hours following your interview.
Be aware of what ‘hooked’ the producer: In most cases, you can map out the direction of an interview by the angle that enticed them to book you, so it would be wise to not only review the pitch prior to the interview, but be able to expand upon the points that were noted.
Strongest themes from your book: Jot down 5-7 topics that your book touches upon. This will help you to anchor in the relevancy of your book into a topic that listeners can relate too.
Newsworthy tie-ins: Stay attuned to the goings-on in the world that relate to your book and expertise. There will be the glaringly obvious news tie-ins, but its also wise to google the same themes from above and see what pops up – you never know what additional tie-ins you can find.
Stay within your comfort zone: If your schedule permits, try to establish a comfortable spot in your house, office, etc., where you will partake in each interview. Conducting interviews while on the fly is not ideal, as the odds that you could be distracted are greater. Also, always use a landline – cell phones are not dependable enough to ensure that you will be heard clearly.
Know the show: Take a few minutes before the interview to peruse the radio program’s website and read the host’s profile. The host will appreciate you knowing the format, what kind of stories they cover, etc., and may even ask you to be a repeat guest.
Be mindful of the length: Accommodate the length of your answers to the length of the interview. If it is a 5-7 minute interview, be prepared to stick to one topic only, or keep your answers short and sweet to ensure everything gets covered. If the interview is an hour, your answers can be more thorough and cover more.
Bottom line: Always do your homework – even if it is on yourself!
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