by Helen Lewis of Literally PR
Radio interviews can be a great way to get news about your book out there in the general population but they do need to be prepared for if you want to get the most out of them. Literally PR has sent a lot of authors into the radio booth and weÔÇÖve learnt a few general rules in the process.
Read your bookÔÇªagain
This may sound obvious but you need to be completely up on your book. You need to know all the intricacies in your book and be able to explain them clearly to the host youÔÇÖll be speaking to. ItÔÇÖs worth picking out some quotes from your book that help to convey its meaning. Think about different people you have spoken to about your book and what sections they enthused over; then think of a way to convey those bits to the showÔÇÖs audience.
Now this isnÔÇÖt The Thick of It and youÔÇÖre definitely not Nicola Murray, but all the same it would be worth preparing a few quick soundbites that you are happy with. The most important one would be a few sentences that sum up your book and convey its importance. Think no longer than a tweet and cut out any information that isnÔÇÖt completely necessary. Prepare responses (that donÔÇÖt sound rehearsed) to the obvious questions: Tell us about your book? How long did it take to write? What inspired you to write this book?
A radio voice doesnÔÇÖt come naturally to some of us, so before youÔÇÖre going in to your interview listen to the radio (this may already be part of your daily routine) and really pay attention to the speed, tone and inflection that the presenters and guests are putting into their voices and see how easy it is to reproduce. If your voice naturally slips into the pattern then great, if not, then spend some time considering what you can do to make your voice as clear as possible. Perhaps remind yourself to breathe at regular intervals, slow down, try not to rush through your chance to chat!
Research the interviewer
Each interviewer is completely different (theyÔÇÖre actual real people!) so do some Google research about them beforehand; find out what theyÔÇÖve talked about before, what kind of topics they like, etc. If theyÔÇÖve championed any projects in the past that are relevant to your book be sure to bring them up. If theyÔÇÖve not worked on anything relevant to your book just look around their career and see if thereÔÇÖs anything that fits or at least gives you an indication as to some topics that they would truly be interested in and find a link with those and your book. TheyÔÇÖll appreciate the effort.
Learn about the radio show
Each radio show has a specific aim, audience and interests. If they have booked you for an interview then, of course, you must be of interest to them and their audience but it is still worth considering what specific parts of your book would be relevant to their interests. To find out a radio showÔÇÖs interest have a look at previous guests, if they play music see what music it is, read the bio of the show online and really get to grips with the show.