For almost 30 years, publicists and consultants have been advocating the value of talk radio as a promotional tool for your books.
Here are some expert tips to be the kind of guest hosts want on their show:
1. Be yourself. Whether you’re naturally loud or quiet, don’t put on a false front. If the audience thinks you’re fake, your message will fail.
2. Tone down the politics. If the conversation veers toward a sensitive political view, always acknowledge that the opposition has some good points. On the radio, your audience is diverse! You gain points and credibility by giving and taking.
3. Bone up on current news. Before your interview, check out a local newspaper or use Google News and be the expert on your topic. Make sure you’re aware of any local or news story that’s in your field. Being knowledgeable will add to your credibility with the listeners.
4. Use a local angle, if possible. Whether you’re doing a show in Ohio, Chicago or Los Angeles, connect the local area to your message: E.g., if your book is about business or investing, you could talk about that city’s unemployment rate or local property values.
We’re trying to localize your message and drawing the audience in further: This keeps them tuned in and interested in your book!
5. Always call in via a landline. Cells are patchy and unreliable, especially when calling interstate. Getting cut off wastes precious minutes as you have to re-dial and go through reception etc. and listeners may tune into another station. If you have telephone problems during your interview, it is unlikely the station will reschedule you.
6. Don’t get off topic and always hit on your key points. Talk radio hosts are great conversationalists but don’t let them get you too wrapped up. This is business and you need to sell, sell, sell!
7. Your interview pace must gel with the radio host’s. Speed it up if the host is a fast-talker and slow down if they’re slow-and-easy. Adapt to the rhythm! This means you’ll form a camaraderie with him/her and the rapport will keep listeners interested.
8. Don’t be a nerd: Limit numbers and statistics during the interview. If there’s a specific statistic which applies to your message, let everyone know. However, if you share too many numbers, the audience will tune out.
9. If you’re unsure about an issue, don’t fake confidence! If the host brings up an issue that you’re not familiar with or don’t know the answer to a question, admit it. Pretending on-air will lose credibility with listeners and they will discount your message. On the flip side, your credibility will skyrocket if listeners think you’re being honest.
10. You want your interviews to have an intimate feel. Even though lots of people are listening, radio is a one-on-one medium. Talk in a conversational and personal manner to both the host and any callers. This keeps everyone interested and they’re more likely to relate to you.
Remember – You want to enlighten the listeners about your book and persuade them to purchase it.
Have you completed your book and are ready to submit to literary agents? You need to get yourself the list of literary agents, a compiled list of every literary agent in the US.