After an author spends time and money to write and produce a book, a smart investment is to prepare for any media opportunity by investing in author-specific media relations training, tailored to the author’s book. A new author may have to handle guest appearances on television shows, radio stations, interviews for magazines, and newspapers, and other public appearances.
The goal of a media relations program is to teach authors how to effectively market their books and stories to the news media and how to build constructive, long-term relationships with the news media. This type of training also helps the author overcome trepidation about working with the news media, and encourages him or her to rehearse and solidify explanations of the material from the book.
After media relations training, authors should be able to:
- "Pitch" their story effectively to the media
- Have a better understanding of what the media needs, and how to meet these needs
- Feel prepared and ready for an interview
- Respond to media questions accurately and without hesitation
- Present their books in a way that will appeal to an audience
- Be ready with any graphics or other visual aids necessary for either print or television interviews.
In author media relations training, it is also important to learn how to avoid common mistakes when being interviewed. These mistakes include:
- Demanding that the reporter support the author’s position
- Not providing enough facts and examples for the reporter’s story
- Not being prepared for hypothetical or negative questions
Authors should look for a media relation’s trainer that provides personal instruction and coaching. The trainer should have experience preparing authors for appearances on major national television shows, radio stations, magazines, and newspapers across the world. In addition, the trainer should be familiar with the author’s book, and any other publications that may be discussed during the course of the pending interviews. The trainer should also be able to convey the importance of both verbal and non-verbal communication during an interview.
If an author anticipates that his or her book promotion will include national television, radio, or print opportunities, media relations training is a very smart investment. This preparation will ensure that the author is fully prepared to answer any interview questions on subjects pertinent to his or her book. Media relations trainers use various role-playing scenarios to create many possible media scenarios. The training sessions are recorded and analyzed to provide the most advanced level of training possible.