Of course they do.
No, they’re a complete waste of
time. (And they’ll cause sales to drop.)
Both answers are, of course,
• A great interview can turn into a large chunk of books sold (which is
what happened to me last month, more on that in a moment).
• And it can cause a person who was considering buying your book to
keep their coins out of your coffer.
What to Do
You want your interviews to the
have the first result? Practice. Get good at being interviewed. Get a
critique partner to help you improve your interview skills, just like
you have a critique partner(s) for your writing. Have them interview
you. Then you interview them. Tape it. Listen together. Be brutal about
what didn’t work and try it again.
Listen to author interviews you
liked. What did they do right? What intrigued you? What did they do
that you can do?
Developing the ability to do a
great radio (or TV interview) is critical. As I mentioned above, if you
don’t interview well, not only will the interview not increase sales,
it will decrease sales. If listeners find you boring, they’ll figure
your book is too. If you talk in long run-on sentences without punch,
people will figure your books are the same.
Remember, you are not on the
radio to tell people about your book. You mission is to make people
like you so they’ll want to buy your books. As I often preach, the core
of marketing is very simple: Get people to like you. You do this by
entertaining them, or challenging them, or inspiring them, or making
them laugh, or surprising them, or all of the above.
Yes, I know I’ve said all of
that before, but as we say in advertising, frequency sells. (In other
words, if you’ve heard me say these things already, have you done it?
Have you taken action on honing your interview skills?)
Last month I was interviewed on
Chris Fabry’s radio show. I watched my Amazon numbers drop in half for
three or four days after the interview.
I started my career on air
at a Seattle radio station, I understand what is needed to be a good
interviewee. I interviewed numerous music acts so I’ve been on the
But what really made the
interview rock was a very creative idea from Chris. We kicked off the
interview in a way that would either bomb or get people’s attention in
a big way. Based on sales and messages people sent me about the
interview, I think we got people’s attention, entertained them, and
So a great deal of credit needs
to go to Chris Fabry. He’s a pro. He is an excellent interviewer and is
willing to try new ideas. He makes people sound good.
Next month we’re going to talk
about what to do if you’ve honed your skills and are a great
interviewee, but your host leaves much to be desired.
(If you’d like to hear the
interview Chris did with me, here ye be: http://tinyurl.com/c4kbjmg.)
Must go. Need practice. My
critique partner says I talk too fast.