Here are some tips for doing a good interview.
DOING A GOOD INTERVIEW AND USING IT AS A MARKETING TOOL
- Make sure the radio, Web, or TV program you will be interviewed on will provide you with access to an MP3, podcast or DVD of your show. Most stations archive the shows. Make sure you have a contact email at the station if you need help with this.
- Find out if the technician can put your email, website or other contact information on the broadcast.
- Ask the interviewer for the questions they will be asking beforehand so you can prepare. Preparation makes for a good interview. Send questions you want to be asked to the interviewer. Some interviewers don’t ask the questions that elicit the answers you want to give.
- Think about the central message of your book (published work), and distill it down to a concise message. Think about the cover copy on your book. It is the essence of the book written in a way that makes the reader want to buy the book. Doing promotional text for your work(s) requires minimizing the words, while writing it requires expanding ideas.
- In keeping with the central message, think about the concept of The Elevator Pitch. You get on the elevator in the lobby of a publishing house and you recognize the person next to you as the publisher you are hounding. You have until the 5th floor to get her interested. What do you say. This could be the premise for a movie.
- Use Anecdotes and Personal Stories. Readers love, love, love to know about the brain behind the story. The questions I am asked most often are, “How do you come up with those ideas”, and “What inspired you to write that book”. You write because you have lived your life, and out of those experiences come ideas and personal impressions that give life to plot and character. Talk about those experiences. Pit them on index cards, if need be. In “The Madonna Ghost”, set on Fire Island, I have some sailing sequences and I love to tell the tales of how I lived on a sailboat for five summers of my life. The ghost comes from F.I. history, and I will talk about that. The inspiration for the book came from those adventures which I will never repeat, and which I wanted to capture and remember. Having spent my life surrounded by teens, I wanted to capture the sweetness of a first-time romance. So, here are some personal reveries and experiences I can include in my interview. Again, put key words on index cards, or write them on the inside of your arm, because you will be nervous, and maybe pressed for time. Include your struggles (low points) and victories (high points).
- Talk about you publishing journey. Your audience is made up primarily of readers and writers like you. The writers are looking for tips. The readers love to hear how hard work and luck lead to success. Include anecdotes and personal stories. Even if you are not famous, you are the star of this show, and everyone wants to hear about you, the writer AND the person.
- Make sure that in all of these questions you come back to the main theme of the book, often. It’s the book you want to sell.
- Writers who are watching or listening to your interview want to know how you MARKET your book. They are looking for tips. This is the most difficult part of the journey, so give some advice.
USING THIS INTERVIEW AS A MARKETING TOOL
- Get the DVD, or digital copy from the web of your interview.
- Some shows, like the Authors Show, put your interview on YouTube. I put The Writer’s Dream on YouTube. Get your own YouTube channel. It’s free and not too hard to use.
- When you are on YouTube, find your show, click on it, under the video is the word SHARE, click on it. A code comes up in blue. Right click and copy. Put this on your blog, facebook page or website.
- When you hit Share on YouTube, the icons for facebook, twitter, etc. come up and you can automatically share on social media.
- If you don’t have a facebook page for your book, get one. Get the like page, not the friends page.
- There are many websites that will allow you to upload your books for free, or cheap on their sites. You can copy your interview to many of these.
- Goodreads allows not only videos, but an RSS feed to your blog. Everytime you post a blog, it automatically goes to Goodreads. Goodreads is affiliated with Amazon.
- I recommend investigating a website called ColdCoffeePress, or ColdCoffeeCafe.
- If you are doing an event or book fair, you can display your interview on your laptop, iPad, etc. at your table.
- Let me know if you have any ideas on this topic.