A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Authors Don’t Need To Panic When Talking To The Media
As a writer, you must overcome many obstacles.
You write a book that’s worth publishing. You find a literary agent, book publisher, or
self-publishing platform. You market and
promote the book. Then, opportunity knocks, and the news media wants to
interview you. Finally, your moment has
arrived. But with it also comes pangs of
fear, feelings of insecurity and even a touch of panic.
on. There’s every reason to feel
nervous, that’s natural, and the adrenaline rush can even help you. But there’s no reason to have an allergic
reaction to the media. It all comes down
to you talking about yourself and your book – two subjects you know better than
anyone. You should not fret. Have fun with it.
reasons people freak out may consist of the following:
if people reject me or my book?
if I don’t say the right thing, or worse, say the wrong thing?
insecure about my looks or my voice – can I hide?
fear what they’ll ask me or that I’ll be surprised.
desperately want to make a great impression but don’t know how.
don’t know how to speak in sound bytes.
never done this before, so I have no clue what to expect.
if the media wants to make me look stupid?
exactly should I say that will lure interest in me?
not a big public speaker. I would rather
write than talk.
quite normal to think of any and all of these things. But I can assure you these can all be
first step is to reverse your thinking.
Instead of thinking of the negatives, think of the positives. Finally, you get to have your message heard,
your views voiced, and your book discovered.
Simply choose to see this as a wonderful opportunity with no drawbacks
to alleviate your concerns or fears, go through media training. Have a professional help you.
write up 12-15 suggested interview questions and share them with media
outlets. They are likely to use it as a
script for the interview, which helps you anticipate what will be asked.
start to think of the key points that you want to stress in every interview and
offer a call-to-action, such as going to your website. Have something free and interesting available
as a download on your site.
break the interview down into what it is – a one on-one conversation. Never mind how many people may watch, listen
or read your story -- just think of you talking to one person, one question at a
boost your confidence by remembering why you started to write books – to help inspire,
entertain or elevate others. Feel good about what you’re doing and believe it
will go well.
Seventh, imagine for the moment that you fall on your ass in the interview. You stutter.
You forget an answer. Your makeup
runs. Your shirt has a coffee
stain. Your voice cracks. So what!? What ends up happening?
Nothing. Maybe you didn’t make the best
impression or sell a lot of books but you won’t lose friends or go to jail or
be fined. A bad interview is nothing and
goes into the rear view mirror when you replace it with good interviews. Imagine the worse, realize nothing bad
results from it, and move on. Face your
fear and walk away unscathed.
things can be addressed or even avoided.
For instance, don’t pursue media that may actually try to turn this into
a circus, such as morning zoo radio or late night comedy talk shows. If your topic is controversial – race,
religion, politics, sex – ready yourself to hear opposing viewpoints but never
lose your cool or treat people disrespectfully.
And if you’re worried about your appearance, fix it up (new clothes) or
accept yourself for who you are. Don’t
keep beating yourself up.
remember there are endless reels of bloopers of famous, well-trained
personalities who messed up royally in their interviews. The bar is quite high to compete with their
screw-ups. Believe in yourself and
others will too, and if the worst happens, move on to the next interview. Smile, deep breath…talk.
How can authors make good use of their network to sell books?