Why authors need radio interviews
Media interviews are an ideal way to boost visibility and credibility in the book world. In publishing, media coverage is incredibly valuable in business and book sales. The good news is that when you’re an author it’s substantially easier to get media coverage than when you’re not!
But for many, the idea of being under those bright lights or in front of a camera or microphone can be terrifying and interviews can quickly cause more damage than good. You only have one opportunity to shine in that interview and so it’s important to put our best foot forward. The more prepared you can be, the more you can relax during the interview and enjoy the coverage it will bring you and your book(s).
Radio interviews are labour intensive for preparation, but you can reach a large potential audience if you find the right match. Here are our top tips to help you nail your interviews:
Approaching Radio Shows
1. Fiction authors should look for radio opportunities using the local author angle.
2. For non-fiction writers, you can search for opportunities based on the genre of your writing. You can then approach the producer or host of the show via email.
3. Tell them why you think your book is a good match for their show.
4. Indicate your online reach via social media or blog and that you would share any possible interview to your audience.
5. If you have done interviews before, include a link to it, so that the host/producer can see how you come across.
6. Include 5 possible interview questions to give direction and content to the station.
1. Provide the show with an author bio, book description (including ISBN and Price) and a link to purchase (if you have one) and your online social and website links.
2. Ensure you have all the details correct. Time of day, where you will be doing the interview, if from home, ensure you are free from distraction.
3. Some shows will call you but many will require you to dial in to them either by phone or Skype (equivalents are also used more and more).
4. Look up your time zone differences if the interview is taking place outside of your country. World Time Buddy is a handy online checker.
5. Be prepared: this is a biggie and why supplying 5 example interview questions is a good idea. But knowing your book is key, so there is never too much preparation here.
1. Sum your book up entirely in 2-3 sentences, use this as your opener. This is important. Consider that you have this one opportunity to grab the attention of your audience.
2. Be clear and concise and try not to waffle. This is not about you, it is about the book and why it would interest the audience.
3. Do not expect the interviewer to have read the book thoroughly. Some hosts will request the book ahead of the interview, but not all do. So you have to be the one explaining the book. If they indicate that they have read it, take it as a BIG compliment.
4. Listen to the questions in case they wander off the provided list. Ensure that you answer them clearly without too many pauses. And never interrupt the host!
5. The host is in charge, if they indicate that they want to make a point, let them, timing of the show is down to them.
6. Pay attention to your tone and enthusiasm. If your audience can’t see you, your voice is your selling tool. If the interview is via Skype, keep your face engaged.
7. The interviewer might test you with a more combative question. Don’t go on the defense, you should have prepared for this ahead of time and have a reasoned answer ready.
8. Try to include answers that will show the audience what the book will give them, this is particularly important for non-fiction titles. “If you read my book you will learn that…” is a good sentence to throw in. For fiction, you could offer them an extract if they visit your website.
Now that you know what to expect from radio interviews and you know how to prepare for one, start approaching your local radio stations. The local author angle will have much more appeal than for nation-wide stations. Don’t forget to research upcoming holidays and awareness days to tie-in with your books message or theme (Public Radio Broadcasting Day for example). Get your FREE Content Planner to see upcoming dates that you can use to pitch to radio hosts. Not only will it give you a working calendar for your book marketing but you will also look like an author worth interviewing!
If you need any help with pitching your book to the media, get in touch. We’d love to help make your author journey easy peasy lemon squeezy!