Friday, April 14, 2017

7 Tips for Authors: How to Ace Your Interview on Local News

Like many authors, I am a classic introvert and would happily avoid all publicity that involved talking to strangers. On the other hand, selling books does require effort -- even putting in some elbow grease in the dreaded form of marketing.

My first (and only) appearance on local news generated equal parts excitement and fear when I got the call from the booking agent. I scoured the internet for tips and asked one friend who had been on the "Dr. Phil" show for expert advice.

  1. Wear solid colors - Leave the patterns at home and wear solid colors that are flattering.
  2. Be aware of your tics - I personally laugh when I get nervous, which is not ideal for television. I didn't manage to completely get rid of this tic, but at least I was aware of it and tried to keep it under control.
  3. Watch the show - I never have time in the mornings to watch morning shows. I'm too busy guzzling coffee and attempting to get my children dressed. However, I did watch clips on the Internet to get a feel for the show.
  4. Go with the flow - All of the clips I happened to watch showed a set where guests sit on stools. I wore slacks in anticipation of the stools, but then it turned out that I was sitting on an armchair in the faux living room corner of the set.
  5. Be aware of the camera's location - I totally forgot about this piece of advice. I'm holding up my book, but you can't see the pages because it's not toward the camera.
  6. Bring a signed copy of the book for the host - My interviewer was a lovely young lady without children, so I have no idea what she did with the book, but it's polite to give a copy.
  7. Do your own hair and makeup - Most local shows do not have the budget for a hair and makeup staff. I don't usually wear make-up, but I slathered on the foundation and broke out the eye makeup. Even men can benefit from foundation under the bright lights.
My one disappointment from the show was that I didn't sell hundreds of copies of my children's book. I also expected the television station to put the clip on their website, but they mailed me a copy of the interview on a DVD instead.

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer. 

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