I’ve been a guest on the Conversations online radio show twice, and both times have been a blast. Host Cyrus Webb interviews not only authors but musicians, sports figures, musicians and anyone he finds interesting. I asked him to write a bit about what makes a good guest, and how an author should prepare for a radio interview.
Getting a book published has to be one of the great achievements of someone who loves to write. They have labored with their body of work for some time, been involved in the editing process and then put it out for the world to enjoy. Having it available is one thing. Letting people know about it is quite another.
The internet has done a great deal to help authors publicize their work in various forms, but there is nothing like having someone on the outside share the message of the author and their work. This is where the media can be beneficial. Setting up an interview to discuss what you have written and how others can get it can be an important step to spreading the word. The key is to be both prepared and make sure that you do your part to make it a success.
Reaching out to the press can seem daunting, but I have found that just as authors want to share their work the press is looking for stories to feature. There are many ways to make sure that you get noticed and get attention. If you are looking to be featured locally on the radio it can be as easy as contacting the station and pitching yourself and your book. I have found that this works best if you can tie it into something that is already considered newsworthy in your area or that gives an angle that will both get the attention of the station and its audience.
If you are looking to reach a larger audience, once again the internet can be invaluable. There are thousands of internet radio shows out there. The key is finding those that will fit you and your book and that will allow you to present yourself in the best light.
Let’s say that you’ve either found a show on your own that you are interested in or that you are contacted by someone interested in interviewing you. That is only the beginning. You need to make sure that you are prepared to use whatever amount of time you have to get the important aspects of yourself and your book out there. Preparation is the key. Know the show. Know the host and something about their interviewing style. Most importantly make sure they know something about you. This will ensure that there is a real give and take during the interview.
Some talk shows like to have prepared questions for the guest. Others, like myself, prefer a more free-flowing conversation. Make sure you know that type of information before the interview, and that the needed information is provided.
During the interview make sure to answer the questions that are asked, giving sharp but pithy responses. You don’t want to talk too much, but you definitely want to make sure you answer completely. Not everyone listening to the interview may buy the book initially, but make sure you get your website or how additional information can be found in the discussion. It can be as easy as saying. “On my website xyz.com I have an excerpt from the first chapter” or “If you visit my Facebook page each week I have a book giveaway”. This will let listeners know where you are and how they can find out more.
In the end, have fun with it! Interviews are one of the rewards for doing something great, and by publishing your book you have done just that. Make sure you are taking advantage of every opportunity to share your work with others, and it will make the journey that much more enjoyable.
OFFICIAL BIO: Cyrus Webb is the President of Conversations Media Group, home of Conversations Book Club, Conversations Magazine and Conversations LIVE Radio Show. You can find out more information about him at www.cyruswebbpresents.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.