Know the Secret of a Great Book Interview?

Give an InterviewSecuring a Media Interview Can Be Promotional Gold.

Successful Interviewing for Successful Book Promotion
As a self-published author, the chance to give a personal interview to the media has to be the pinnacle of book marketing opportunities. You can explain your creative process while building interest for your book with potential readers.

Alas, while I wish I was writing this from a more personal perspective, telling you how well my own interview went, I’m not. I have yet to secure a media interview for my own books, although it’s not for a lack of trying, just a lack of trying hard enough.

However, what I can address … from my many years of working in public relations … is the whole issue of media interviews.

While the particulars of each interview may vary widely, here are some tips that can help you deliver effective promotion for your book when that fabulous opportunity does come along:

Practice Makes Perfect
Recruit a family member or friend to ask questions about your book, and practice crafting answers that are direct, meaningful and brief. When you finally do secure an interview opportunity you probably won’t be asked exactly the same questions … but you will have some sense of how you want to answer.

Be Reader-Specific
In an interview don’t just tell the audience about your book; use your way with words to help them see the excitement in it. Show, don’t tell. Build an urgency to purchase in potential readers. The point of the interview is to create a fascination for your work. It’s the meaning of the adage “Facts tell; stories sell.”

Keep It Simple
In fiction, particularly for an indie author, the interview audience is likely to be unfamiliar with your name, your book title, and the genre in which you create. So try to answer questions to properly position your work. The same is true for any social media you decide to use. During your interview, avoid jargon or terminology your audience may not understand.

Watch What You Say
In today’s media, anything you say is fair game. While you want your interview to be printed, quoted, reported, or possibly a “viral” Internet item … that’s only a good thing if it’s something you really want everyone to know. Choose your words carefully. A good rule of thumb is to avoid saying anything you don’t want to see as the headline of the article.

Look For Opportunities
Just because you’ve self-published a book, it isn’t a given that media types will be ringing your phone and flooding your email with requests to talk to you. Bowker estimated they would issue 15,000,000 ISBN numbers in 2012, up from just a bit over a million in 2009. Fifteen million. There’s just too much out there anymore for anyone to come looking specifically for you.

Take your story to them. Build a media page on your website or blog, and make sure people know it’s there (I’m still working on mine, even though it’s been over a month since I wrote my blog post “I Need a What?”)

Contact your local paper, local cable channel, local radio (consider even school radio stations) and flat-out ask them if they’d like to interview a local author. All they can say is no.

But, be prepared, they just might surprise you.

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