As an indie, it’s always tough to get the word out. I’ve been lucky to get a bunch of radio interviews across the country to publicize my new book, “Fatal Sunset: Deadly Vacations” and I can gladly report that it’s been helping to move some copies. I wanted to share with you a few simple tips to make sure your next radio interview about your book is as effective as possible.
1. Use a stopwatch – In those brief moments before you go on air, you’ll get a moment to ask the host or producer how many segments you’re doing and how long each one will be. If the segment you’re doing is only a few minutes long, you don’t want to be halfway through talking about something when the DJ/Host throws to the next break. At the end of the commercial break (when the music bumper begins and the DJ/Host starts talking) start your stopwatch. They’ll introduce you, intro whatever it is you’re there to talk about. This could eat up the first 30 seconds or even more so now the 8 minute segment you’re booked for is even shorter. Remember that right at the end of the segment, before the next commercial break, the DJ/Host will throw to that break, eating up even more of your precious on-air time. General rule, however long they tell you the segment is, subtract a minute for these bumps in and out of break.
Using the stopwatch will help keep you on message. Be concise. Keep an eye on your time. You’ll never have enough time to say it all so make sure you stick to the most important and marketable/interesting points. About a minute before your segment is about to end, you need to be wrapping up your spiel with a strong hook and your call to action.
2. Make a Cheat Sheet – If there are important anecdotes, tips, facts or sections about your book, make a cheat sheet of notes beforehand. Dont’ rely on memory. Anytime I’ve done a radio interview over the phone it’s been a juggling act with keeping the host’s name straight, the name of the program I’m on along with keeping an eye on the stopwatch all while I’m talking and answering questions. If I have a few important things I want to make sure I say during an interview, I’ll put them on my cheat sheet. I have a few concise sentences about the book, little marketing hooks, that I like to throw in. I don’t need to be pulling them all from memory or trying to search for a specific thing in the book while I’m talking about something else.
3. Keep a Copy of Your Book Open – The host may throw you an unexpected curveball and refer to something in the book, or while they are talking you may think of an opportunity to quote something specific from the book. A copy of your book as an electronic document is searchable and given that you may only have a few seconds to find that thing you’re looking for, every second counts.
4. Know Your Call to Action – If the host asks you where the audience can find your book make sure you’re clear and concise with the info. Your call to action should be brief and you can read it right from your cheat sheet. Don’t give too many URLs in your call to action. Everyone knows they can get books at Amazon so you have a better chance of a listener who is not by a computer remembering that instead of the name of your website. A lot of radio listeners are multitasking while listening–if you’re doing a drive-time show your audience is primarily behind the wheel. They’ll probably have enough trouble remembering your name and the name of your book.
5. Research the Station - Every radion station has a website. Take a look at it beforehand. Look at the bio of the Host you’ll be talking to. If you discover something about that station’s local area or the host that relates to something in your book, you should definitely bring it up to give you a closer tie to their audience’s community. It also helps in making sure you get the host’s name right.
Most of all…have fun, bring the energy and spread your brand!