I've had periods of high intensity promotion surrounding a book's release where I’ve participated in a couple radio interviews a week. Radio is a format I really enjoy. Think about it, no one can see if I’ve got make-up on and I don’t have to go anywhere. They can’t see how messy and jumbled my desk is. Radio also keeps my complicated life a wee bit simpler.
Unfortunately, I know it’s a format that stresses many people. Whether or not you’re an author, you may find yourself in need of an interview. Here are some tips to help you succeed in this format.
1) Think in sound bites. Radio interviews can be anywhere from five minutes to an hour. Whatever the length of time, if you keep your answers short (think a minute or less), the host and audience will enjoy the discussion more if it’s not one run-on sentence. It also allows for more of a conversation versus question/monologue. Another thing short answers allows is for the interviewer to guide the conversation to topics that interest his audience.
2) Stand up and move. Even though no one can see you, they can hear you. If you move around, your voice is usually more engaged, and it’s easier to avoid a monotone. Movement also helps keep the blood pumping which helps your engagement. I’ve been known to make a bed, fold clothes, clean a bathroom — just make sure you choose something quiet! You want listeners to hear you, not the vacuum.
3) Be prepared to talk about something other than your book. A good interview will cover other territory…offer something to listeners other than “please buy my book.” If they like you from the interview, it adds to the positive feeling they will have for you when they see your book. But spend some time thinking about what you have to offer. For me it’s often the idea of balance because I’m a mom doing lots of different things. Other times the focus has been homeschooling, World War II, writing.
And if you’re interested in listening to the radio show where Sarah Sundin, Tricia Goyer and I talked about writing, World War II, and life, be sure to check it out here.
An award-winning author of twenty books, Cara is a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.
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