Being Interviewed To Promote Your Book Tips For Authors
Ive lost count of the number of authors Ive interviewed for Writer Advice. I interview by e-mail, which gives authors a chance to edit themselves as they respond. That seems like a win-win.
I love interviewing writers who are warm and gracious. Even more, I grab any opportunity to interview writers whose work I love. I want to know their backgrounds, their process, and their unique experiences. Im eager to learn how they tell a story so that it leaps off the page and touches me deeply.
Here are twelve concrete tips to improve your interview skills as an aspiring or published book author. If youre interested in television interview skills, read 7 Tips for Television Interviews for Writers.
1. Let the interviewers questions guide the angle of your story. Who is the audience? Where will this be published? Barbara Bentley, the author of A Dance With the Devil, tells a different story to a battered womens group than she did when she shared her experiences as a memoir writer with Writer Advice.
2. Remember that short, accessible tips are useful for some articles. Other venues want to probe into the heart of a writers thoughts and processes. Ask, Does that answer your question? if you think the interviewer might want more information.
3. Open up a bit. Share something personal that is not in your book or every other interview.
4. Talk as if you are having a conversation with a neighbor you like.
5. If you are answering in writing, proofread your responses.
Make Your Ebook Available For Free
The more people read your book, the more reviews you will get. Free books generally get more downloads over time, so you are likely to get more reviews.
If you’ve published your ebook with KDP Select, you’ll receive 5 days every period where you can make the ebook free.
If you publish wide, as I do, then you can make your book permafree by pricing to $0 on other stores like Kobo, Apple Books, or Google Play, and then reporting the lower price to Amazon who will price match.
My permafree first-in-series, Stone of Fire, is still getting reviews a decade after publication and leads readers into the 11-book series.
Make sure that you have a call-to-action at the back of your book asking for reviews so that you can maximize the potential of free giveaways.
Many new authors are resistant to offering ebooks for free, but if you need reviews, then making your book free for a period is often the quickest way to do it. You could even use a promotional company like Freebooksy, Fussy Librarian or other services to promote the book during the free period in order to get more downloads.
Preparing For Your First Interview As A Published Author
In today’s guest post, I’m thrilled to have publishing and marketing expert Roger C. Parker shares some excellent advice on how to prepare for interviews.
Preparing for Your First Interview as a Published Author
Preparing for your first interview as a published, or self-published, author is an important step in promoting your book and building your personal brand. Its an event worth preparing for. When you prepare for your first interview, youre also making an investment in your long-term personal branding success. As your online visibility and your personal brand grows, its likely that youll be contacted for more and more interviews.Preparation is the key to successful interviews preparation reduces stress and puts you in charge, making it easy to sell your book and communicate your personal branding message.Its never too early to begin preparing to be interviewed by the media, experts in your field, your peers, or potential employers.Preparing for interviewsThere are two ways to prepare for interviewswhether theyre scheduled a long time in advance, or youre contacted at the last minute:
Also Check: Design Interview Preparation
All Star Interview Techniques
Getting on podcasts is great, but its only part of the battle. If you want podcasts to be an effective marketing channel, you need to deliver a killer interview. Most podcasts I listen to go in one ear and out the other, but there are some podcast episodes that I listen to over and over and stick in my mind years later.
Tell stories – Every answer you give should have a story. People learn not through facts, but through stories, analogies and metaphors. Think how you can tell a story or give an example that will answer any question they ask.
Speak Deep and Slow from the Belly – When you find yourself going too fast think, about lowering the pitch of voice. If you lower your voice, it will automatically slow you down.
Speak Decisively – Dont say Umm or So or Kind of or stutter/repeat yourself, If you dont know what to say, just be silent then speak when youve composed your thoughts.
Set up a custom landing page for their audience with freebies – Whatever lead magnet you are using on your website, set it up as a freebie and offer it to their audience using an easy to remember URL. . I use http://eojbook.com/ to direct people to a landing page where they can download the first three chapters of the book and a list of tools.
If you have an easy to remember URL, you can also create a landing page on your site for each podcast like James Clear does. Heres the page he directed people to after his Art of Charm interview:
How To Get Interviews On Websites As An Author To Promote Your Book
ByTrete Lo | Submitted On March 05, 2010
So you want to get interviewed on a high traffic website to promote your book. What you first need to do is study the website and find out what that particular website is focusing on. Does that site love to simply review books. Do they only focus on books with historical significance. Put yourself in the web master’s shoes and ask yourself, what do they really want? Make a list of all the different things you notice on the website. What makes this site stand out? What is the overall trend of the website?
Once you’ve studied the website and you see that your information is the perfect match to getting the interview. Write the webmaster a short concise note bringing attention to your book by adding links to your product. It is likely that the webmaster will Google you to see if there is a following to you and your product. A webmaster wants to know that when they do an interview with you, they will be getting a lot of new visitors.
Trete Lo is the author of great urban fiction and manages a website that gives free interviews to business owners. Reach nearly a 100,000 prospects.
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Use A Call To Action At The Back Of Your Book
This is the simplest, easiest way to start getting reviews and once you’ve set it up, you can just forget about it!
Add a simple, short call to action on the last page of your book once it is published. Something like, Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this book, please consider leaving an honest review on your favorite store.
How Do You Communicate Your Processes To Clients Without Technical Knowledge
The aim of this question is to assess the candidate’s communication skills and ability to explain their work in layman’s terms. What to look for in an answer:
- In-depth industry knowledge
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to explain technical terms and processes confidently and thoroughly
“To communicate bookkeeping processes or terms to clients, I don’t use any technical terms. I explain things in a way anyone can understand by thoroughly discussing concepts. It takes longer and requires more patience, but it ensures the client understands the work I’m doing. I also make myself available for any questions they have to better understand.”
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Find Amazon Reviewers Through Their Review Profiles
Some book reviewers on Amazon will have their contact information connected to their profile. You can sometimes click on their name and find their review site or email, then you can approach the reviewer to see if they’d be willing to review your book.
This is free but takes some time to research. You need to find books similar to your own and then drill down into the review, and then further into the reviewer’s profile to see if their contact information or website address is available.
If you find that information, send a polite and personal email asking if the person would be willing to review your book. Explain that you saw their review of the book that’s similar to yours.
If You Noticed An Error In Your Colleague’s Work What Would You Do
The aim of this question is to assess the candidate’s analytical skills and ability to communicate empathetically. What to look for in an answer:
- Willing to point out errors to colleagues
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Good attention to detail
“If I noticed an error in my colleague’s work, I would approach them privately and let them know. I would show them the error and recommend a way to fix it. Errors and mistakes are good learning experiences, so I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but I want to help them learn by pointing out any mistakes, no matter the size.”
Recommended Reading: Questions To Ask The Cfo In An Interview
Email Book Bloggers Who Love Your Genre
This is a free strategy but it takes some time to research.
There are many blogs that offer book reviews. They usually specialize in specific genres so it’s important to do your research and find bloggers who fit your genre and who are accepting books for review. If you are accepted, the blogger will often review on their own site, plus Amazon and GoodReads.
Reedsy, the marketplace for professional cover designers and editors, has a useful list of book bloggers.
You can also find reviewers on Instagram, try following #bookstagram and other tags.
Read each site’s review requirements. There’s no sense submitting your book to a site that isn’t accepting reviews at the time or that only reviews romance if you’ve written a horror novel. Some are happy to review indie authors, others specifically don’t.
These sites often have large To Be Read piles, so if they do accept your book there can be a delay between when you send the book to the reviewer and when the review appears.
Pro tip: Personalize your email request. The book blogger will be an expert at detecting whether you’ve just copied and pasted some generic text into your email. Believe me, I know this from personal experience! Bloggers are people too, so treat them as individuals and do your research into what they will like or find most useful.
Saying A Book Or Genre Is Easy To Write
Im always curious why authors choose to write for children and teens, so I often include that question in an author interview. You might get asked why you write romance, science fiction, or whatever your chosen genre is.
The absolute worst answer you can give to this question is because its easier.
Besides insulting every other author that writes in your chosen genre or age category, readers cringe when they see those words.
When you say the words its easier, a reader hears, I didnt want to put forth any effort, so I picked whatever required the least amount of work.
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Questions To Ask Authors About Other Books And Authors
1. What books do you enjoy reading?
2. Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
3. What books helped you the most when you were writing your book?
4. What books did you grow up reading?
5. What authors did you dislike at first but then develop an appreciation for?
6. Name an underappreciated novel that you love.
7. Has any hugely popular novel left you thinking you could write it better?
8. Have you ever tried to write a novel for a genre you rarely or never read?
9. What book are you currently reading?
10. If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?
11. Do you prefer ebooks, printed books, or audiobooks most of the time?
12. What are your favorite series or series authors?
13. Have you listened to any audiobooks? Which did you enjoy the most?
14. If you could be a character in one of your favorite books, who would you be?
15. What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?
16. Have you used an app to borrow ebooks or audiobooks from the library?
17. What books have you read more than once in your life?
Make Your Subject Look Like A Rock Star
Remember, you are not the focus of the interview. Your only job is to make the interviewee look like a hero.
Ask open-ended questions that allow your interviewee to voice their opinion. YES or NO answers are not allowed.
Develop questions that will entice your readership to try out some of your new friends work. What will make them click the buy button?
Recommended Reading: Interview Attire Women
Is Your Book Cover Eye
Now, be brutally honest with yourself, or better still, ask people what they think.
If you dont have a top-quality book cover, take a few minutes to search for a reputable book cover designer and hire one.
Also, check how your cover looks in thumbnail size. It is the first impression of your book that potential buyers will see, so it has to be good.
The free version of Canva has a lot of free ebook cover templates to help you design a better ebook cover.
Another option is to create free 3D book covers. It only takes a minute to do it.
Whizbuzz Books offers one year of book promotion for only $49.00.
Since 2010, Whizbuzz Books has been providing economical book promotion for new authors. Book discovery is vital for all authors, from book launches to promoting backlist book titles.
There are many other book promotion sites offering different types of book promotion services.
But Wont I Lose Most Of The Interview
First, remember to go back through the same interviews for every topic in your book you might find you can use quotes and thoughts from a single person in three separate chapters .
That said, you will lose a lot of the interview. However, if your book loses some general, irrelevant content that isnt useful to the reader, isnt that a good thing?
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Provide Lots Of Value
As your potential guests read your pitch, the first thing theyll wonder is Whats in it for me? So if you want to invite someone to an interview, you have to speak in terms of what you can do for them.
What value can you offer? How would the potential host benefit from appearing on your podcast?
Unless you can pay for their time , the best thing you can offer is exposure. If youre still a small podcast and cant offer much exposure, youll have to target guests who arent in-demand by larger shows and media outlets.
If youve had some well-known people on your podcast before, tell your potential guest, especially if youve had them on your show before. Name-dropping is a fantastic use of social proof.
It also helps to drop some numbers, like the size of your email list, social media following, and they number of people who listen to each of your podcast episodes. These metrics indicate your popularity and speak to how much exposure they can gain.
Talk About An Educational Book
The safest way to answer this question is to mention an educational book related to the field that youre interviewing for. For example, if youre applying for a role in marketing, you could reference The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, which is a book that discusses how one small idea can have a huge effect and influence on the world.
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Make Your Expert Pitch And Close The Deal
The previous section should have given you lots of ideas on how to find bloggers who would be willing to interview you.
Now, lets talk about how to approach and land any opportunities you may discover.
How to Craft Your Irresistible Pitch
Landing an interview starts with letting the right people know that youre willing to be interviewed.
Id recommend kicking things off with an email. Whenever you feel like you could be a great fit for the expert interview, go ahead and email the blogger.
Opinion is divided on how to best reach out to a blogger or a publisher. Some PR pros will suggest being as detailed as you can, explaining your background and expertise upfront to convince the blogger why you are the perfect interviewee. Others recommend being brief and to the point, which is my preference.
The following are some best-practice tips based on my own experience of being on both sides of the equation :
- Use the bloggers first name. You may need to check a few linked social media profiles to make sure you have it correct.
- Keep your email brief. After the opening salutation, the perfect pitch email is just two lines long . The first line explains why youre getting in contact, and the second explains why you think you are a good fit for that.
- Limit the number of links. One link in the first email is more than enough otherwise you risk your email getting trapped by a spam filter.
Heres an example pitch: