Radio interviews are usually a staple of non-fiction book marketing and ebook marketing campaigns. In terms of quantity, interviews are generally the “easiest” to get, and they can almost always be conveniently completed over the phone.
An author publicist will typically try to establish a baseline of radio interviews to run throughout a campaign while pursuing other media opportunities.
Here are 10 tips to help you make the absolute most from radio interviews:
- Listen to your own voice! Record yourself answering questions, and listen to how you sound. Does your voice trail off at the end of sentences? Do you hear some mumbling? Is your voice clear and powerful? Practice the areas you feel you’re weakest in.
- Avoid the “ums” and “likes.” All of us have filler words or sounds we use when we talk. Listen to a recording of yourself again, and listen for the “likes” and “pause sounds” you make, and then answer sample questions again and eliminate these – you’ll sound much better. Also, most of us have words we overuse when we speak. Be aware of yours. Examples include “obviously,” “of course,” “you know what I mean?” and “excellent.”
- Stand during the interview. Your voice will typically be stronger and clearer.
- Dress professionally. This sounds weird since you can't be seen, but when we are dressed professionally we tend to speak more professionally.
- Practice the soft sell approach. No host wants a guest who says “as I say in my book,” every other sentence. It makes for a bad interview and will turn off the host and audience. Wait for natural times to mention your book; don't force it. Sometimes the host won’t mention your book until the end of the interview, and that’s fine.
- Make your answers short but complete. The worst kind of answer to give in a radio interview is just a “yes” or “no.” Dead air time will always follow such a response. It’s OK to answer yes or no, but then elaborate with a sentence or two.
- Never let them see you sweat. Depending on the topic of the interview, you might get tough questions from the host or callers. A caller might say you’re wrong about something, or the host may try to lure you into a combative interview. Go with the flow, and never lose your cool. Acknowledge different opinions and stay calm and friendly.
- Get listeners involved. You’re not just talking to the host; you’re talking to thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of people. Ask the listeners to do something during the interview; challenge them; offer free books to callers who answer questions right.
- Don't forget water. In an interview, you talk much more, and in a shorter amount of time, than you usually do, which means your mouth will likely get dry. Have a nice, cold glass of water ready.
- Always thank the host and producer. Say, “thank you so much for having me on” at the end of the interview, and then afterward, send a personal note to the host and producer. Nice little gestures mean a lot.
Book marketing services encompass a wide variety of media opportunities, and aside from TV, radio interviews are the most personal and potentially impactful type. Make them count!