This guest post was written by Danny Kofke, a special education teacher from Hoschton, Ga. His love of teaching and finances led him to write two books: “A Simple Book of Financial Wisdom: Teach Yourself (and Your Kids) How to Live Wealthy with Little Money” and “How To Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher’s Salary.” He has also written the forthcoming book “Mini-Millionaires: Teaching Kids How To Win With Money.” He has been featured on “Fox & Friends,” “The Early Show” on CBS, “CNN Newsroom,” HLN’s “Weekend Express,” “The 700 Club,” “Your Bottom Line” on CNN, “Varney & Co.” on Fox, “The Clark Howard Show” and 360 radio shows. He shares tips on his Facebook Page.
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Once you become a published author, you’ll be asked to appear on a radio, TV and Internet shows to discuss your topic. It’s important that you learn how to give a good interview that will lead to book sales and more interviews.
I’ve given more than 45 television interviews and have been on more than 360 radio shows. I didn’t know much about this at first but, over time, have become pretty comfortable giving interviews. Here’s a segment from my appearance on “Better Mornings Atlanta” on CBS.
Here are five things I have learned along the way that can help you give and land more interviews:
1. Prepare for the interview.
You need to know what you’re going to discuss. Some producers will ask you to provide questions for your interview so come up with at least five “go-to” questions that you can share and are comfortable answering. Practice delivering your answers as quickly as possible. Some interviews only last three to five minutes.
I’ve also had to do satellite interviews which can be difficult. I am in a room by myself with an earpiece, and a microphone attached to my shirt. I have to stare directly at a camera and I can’t see the person talking to me. I can’t play off the interviewer’s body language. I now have a greater respect when watching these types on interviews on TV because I know how tough they are.
2. The interviewer is not there to sell your book.
Look at your story through a producer’s eyes. A producer will feature a guest to inform or entertain, or both. Hosts will mention your book and give you a chance to plug it but they aren’t concerned with making you a best-seller.
Remember why you were invited, and don’t just plug your book continuously. The show is not about your book. It’s about you helping and entertaining viewers.
3. Make sure you answer the questions the host asks.
We authors often have rehearsed an interview and speak without fully listening to the question, especially during our first interviews when we’re very nervous.
Take a breath and relax. You are the expert and have great information to share. Try to block everything out and just focus on the question the host asks, and you’ll do fine.
4. Show enthusiasm.
We can all think back to that high school teacher who sat in front of the classroom lecturing in a monotone voice. How boring! I bet you didn’t get much from these lessons. The same is true with an interview. You want to show some emotion.
I’ve been on a few shows in which a second guest who wasn’t very personable was being interviewed. You could tell by her voice that she didn’t seem too passionate about the topic. That made for a poor interview. You don’t want to go overboard and shout out all of your answers but a little emotion is good.
5. Before you go on the air, ask the host about mentioning your book.
At the beginning and end of most interviews, the host will mention your book or website, or both. Often, days before the interview, the producer will ask you to send a photo of your book which can be shown on the screen when the host introduces you.
If the host asks a question about a topic that’s in the book, answer the question. Never say, “You’ll have to read the book to find out.” They’ll never invite you back.
These appearances have led to book sales. I have sold almost 8,000 books which I know has been a result of my media exposure.
Giving great TV interviews is a wonderful way to market your books and leave viewers wanting more.