How Authors Can Maximize TV and Radio Interviews
Smith Publicity offers the following tips for authors:
— For radio interviews, if possible, use a landline.
–Authors are interviewed, not books! No one wants to or can interview a book! Avoid over-mentioning your book. Consistently saying, “as I say in my book …” is a turn off for both hosts and listeners.
–Audiences respond to stories, so when possible, tell stories related to your book.
–During TV interviews, look at the interviewer, not the camera.
–Have a prepared opening and ending. Sometimes authors will have questions hosts will ask ahead of time, but often won’t. Be prepared with an answer to a likely first question from a host, and have an answer for a likely
final question, such as “Any closing advice or tips for our audience?”
–If you don’t know the answer to a question you’re asked, don’t fake it! Be honest and mention resources that
could answer the question.
–Avoid rambling. Keep answers on the shorter side. It’s easy for any of us to fall into the rambling trap, so
practice ahead of time.
–For radio interviews, sit up straight and smile. This will automatically translate into you sounding upbeat and
–When you say your website address, say it slowly! And, it is NOT necessary to say “www.”
–Follow the lead of the host; let him or her drive the interview.
–Relate to your audience; never refer to them as ‘people.’ Address them during your interview by speaking to them
personally, use the word ‘you.’
–For radio call-in shows, make callers feel important. Say, “That’s a good question.” Pause briefly, as if
pondering your reply, and then proceed with your response.
–Mumbling is a common issue for most of us at various times. Be sharp and articulate and speak clearly the entire
interview. Avoid using “um” and “like” before every word.
–Get your essential message across. You can’t drive an interview, but in answers – if you practice – you can find
ways to interweave your core message and points.
–If you need more information to answer properly, don’t be afraid to ask the host to expand on the question.