Last week I touched on five points that authors should consider when providing an interview. Perfecting the art of the interview and public speaking is a never ending process. You can always improve and with that in mind, here are five more tips.
1. Don’t ramble.
Authors are naturally story-tellers, but don’t get so caught up in talking that you start to ramble rather than answer your interviewer’s question. A good interview is equal parts host and guest. Remember, it’s a conversation, not a monologue and certainly not a lecture. Provide brief soundbites that the host can expand on. It’s a way for your interviewer to engage with you and it helps your audience to follow along.
2. Show enthusiasm.
You might be nervous about doing an author interview, but try to remember that your host has a tough job too. There’s nothing more frightening than interviewing someone who gives one word answers or sounds as if they are bored. If you can’t get excited about talking about your book, why should your audience go out and purchase it? Your enthusiasm will carry in your voice and make your audience fall in love with you.
3. Don’t be defensive.
There is a distinct possibility that your host will throw a curve ball. As they say, if you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen. The same applies to media interviews. It’s their job to keep things interesting and what better way than to ask some hard hitting questions? Do not become defensive. It will backfire on you. Instead, acknowledge your host’s opinions, but then politely offer your own.
4. It’s about your book.
Although it’s great for audiences to connect with an author by learning more about them, let’s not forget that you probably agreed to this interview so that you would sell more books. Think of ways to subtly mention your book title without sounding as if you’re shouting, “Buy my book!” For instance, if asked about your writing process, you might say something like, “When I wrote my first book, (insert your amazing title here), I would wake up at the crack of dawn and…” You’re answering the question without sounding like your hitting up the audience with a hard sell.
As an author, your first job is to write a great book. Once that is done, you focus on marketing. And, to be successful at marketing, you have to think about how to conduct yourself if you are so successful that you land that coveted author interview.