Monday, June 1, 2009

Author Interviews 101

When you finally land that big author interview on radio or TV, do you know what to do? Many authors blow their promotional opportunity by trying to teach the audience. That's right, the attempt to teach can be a big mistake. Instead, consider this counter-intuitive approach.

Use your brief interview to tease the audience, rather than teach the audience. Now, I know the word “tease” may offend some people. You could be thinking, “It’s not right to tease my audience, that’s manipulation or shameless self-promotion.” If you feel that way, then let’s discuss the most ethical action you could take towards your audience.

For example, let’s say you wrote a non-fiction book that helps parents communicate better with their children. Or, maybe you wrote a novel about a woman overcoming deep tragedy. What is the best thing to do for your interview listeners? Is it wise to overwhelm your audience by trying to cover every teaching point you can cram into 10 minutes? Most people won’t remember what you say. So, wouldn’t it be wiser to use your interview to motivate people to get your complete message?

It’s actually more beneficial to your audience if you use an interview to lead people to what they really need – your whole book. You can throw a ton of information at people. But, that’s like a doctor throwing a box of Band-aids to someone who asks for help with a serious illness. Band-aids won’t cure the problem. Instead, a good doctor forgoes a short-term request, and leads the patient down a path to get fully cured.

Your job during an author interview is no different. Use the brief time to engage the audience, get them interested in your message, and inspire them to go buy your book.

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