5 Quick Radio Interview Tips for Authors

Radio interviews should be a staple of most publicity campaigns. They are remarkably convenient because no travel is involved, and even our busiest authors are able to fit radio interviews into their schedule. As in any facet of promotion via the media, remember the process is absolutely a “you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours” deal. Every talk show has air time to fill. Hosts and producers are looking for meaningful, entertaining or commentary on current news stories to keep their audiences growing.

Here are five tips to remember for radio interviews:

1. Set your surroundings. The best part about a radio interview is the flexibility. You can be in your pajamas in your bedroom or in your office between a hectic day of meetings. No matter where you are, stand for your interview (your voice will sound better), have a glass of water on hand, prepare note cards with the call in number, radio station’s time zone, location, host name and target listeners, use a landline telephone when possible with no background noises (dogs barking, lawn mowers, etc.), and remember to smile as listeners can hear you smile over a telephone.

2. No one wants to interview a book! YOU are the one with the information, you are the expert…your book is your credibility. You are the centerpiece to the interview, your book comes along for the ride. Remember your job is to inform, educate, entertain, or inspire. The fact is sometimes a host doesn’t care about your book. From their perspective, they need interesting guests who do not oversell their books. Refrain from leading every sentence with, “As I say in my book…”

3. People LOVE stories. When possible, tell stories related to your book that will draw the audience into your conversation.

4. Make sure your book is part of the interview. The reason you are doing this interview is to continue to build your name and spark book sales. While most hosts will plug your book, if the interview is wrapping up and they have not mentioned your book, you need to be prepared to do this yourself.  For example: “By the way, if anyone would like a copy of ‘Book Name,’ it’s available at your local book store or at Amazon.com…” Or, “If anyone would like to learn more about TOPIC, visit my website morenews.com ….”

5. Be ready for the closing. Have a summary sentence prepared to answer a question such as: “Do you have any final words of advice for us?” Or, “Do you have any predictions how TOPIC will play out over the next week or months.” Make sure it is geared for the radio show’s target audience. Always thank the host for having you as a guest.

Sandy Diaz is the President of Smith Publicity, Inc. Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity is one of the world’s leading promotional firms, specializing in book publicity. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, the company has worked with over 900 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and businesses representing a wide range of industries. The Smith Publicity reach is international with offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles, and London. For more information about Smith Publicity, Inc., please visit www.smithpublicity.com.