Road rash: Lessons learned by an author
If you’re a bit of geek, radio interviews are exciting! You get to visit the studio and see all the equipment. Or, even if you’re just interviewed by phone, you get to overhear all the “backstage” chatter. Here’s what to do to make your radio interviews increase your book sales.
- The 15-minute rule: be at the station 15 minutes early to get comfortable and have a sound check; be at your phone 15 minutes early because the station will call you and also do a sound check.
- Know the host’s name and use it several times: DJs have to make a living and want their audiences to think they’re well-connected.
- Know the region in which your interview is airing. Could be some weather-related event there that deserves your sympathy (hurricane) or admiration (springtime in the Rockies).
- Have five-six talking points written out in case the host asks boring questions, or strays from the book, or you don’t know what to say. NEVER wing it. One of these talking points should be the most interesting experience you had writing the book. A lot of interviewers will ask that.
- Speak slowly — listeners haven’t heard your voice and are trying to imagine you. This also will calm you down, if you’re nervous.
- Never tell an dicey anecdote or joke. In a country as diverse as ours, you could easily offend someone. But it’s okay to be humorous.
- Steer the interview back around to your book. Softball questions like, “So, do you like writing?” won’t sell your book.
- Thank the host effusively, not just “thanks.” You just got free advertising that would have cost big, big money!
- Immediately afterward, note the name of the station, the location, and the time of the interview in your promo journal. For your next book, a publisher will want to know your publicity track record.
What are some of your radio tips?