An Authors Guide To Mastering Media Interviews

As expressed in previous articles, tapping into the power of the media is perhaps the best way for authors to promote your book.

Once you have grabbed the attention of a journalist, the next step is the media interview. Presenting yourself at your very best in a media interview is a difficult task for any author. However, it can be a whole lot easier if you are prepared and follow some basics of interview techniques.

Here are some quick tips when doing media interviews, so that you can successfully promote your book and yourself as a successful author.

•    Be enthusiastic about your topic but don't be over the top. You don't want to be raving lunatic on the television, however, you also don't want to be so boring that people watching slip into an involuntary coma.

•    Never hold back on content. One of the worst things journalists hate is if you say, "Oh yeah, just read my book, all the answers are in the book." No, the reason why they're interviewing you is because they don't want to read your book! That's why they're doing the interview.

•    Include humour when applicable, however, don't be cheesy. If you're not funny don't try to be, especially on live television. Nothing is worse than seeing a lame joke fall flat on it's face.

•    Learn to get your message across quickly. Many radio and television programmes are very short and you only have enough time to answer a few questions, especially if you are on a morning time-slot. Don't drag on or otherwise they will say, 'thank you very much' and wrap up the interview after one or two questions.

•    Rehearse challenging questions and also include them in your list of possible questions that you give to the interviewer. This will demonstrate that you have no problems with answering difficult questions and you are willing to contribute to a well-balanced interview. Challenging questions also help build respect with the audience. The worst thing you can say when faced with a difficult questions is, "sorry, no comment." The media will go after you like a bull to a red flag because they know they have just hit on a sensitive spot that may reveal some interesting or controversial information. So never refuse a question.

•    At all cost avoid saying, "my book". Always use the title of your book in place of those words. That way if the interviewer doesn't mention details of your book at the end of the interview at least the audience will have a title to follow up. This is also important to audience members who are unable to catch the end of the interview. Also if you do this well, then even the interviewer will start referring to the book's title as well giving you further promotion.

•    Send copies of your book before the interview. This is especially important if you are doing television interviews. This way they can hold up the book or display it while they are conducting the interview.

Successful interviews take practise but if you know you topic and a few techniques for handling the media, then you will gain some valuable publicity for your book and open up further opportunities. So if you write a book take the time to master the art of media interviews.


Dale Beaumont is the author of this article. He is an internationally renowned book publishing expert, the author of 16 best-selling books and the creator of the Get Published Secrets Program.  

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