If you’re like most of us, you’ve never been asked for an interview – certainly not one live. But if you are going to publish books then you should get used to being interviewed on the web, internet radio and regular radio.
Don’t let that initial flash of panic scare you. There are ways to prepare for an interview. It’s good for you to start thinking about what you will say. Michael Hyatt has shared some great tips on making just such preparation and it’s not so difficult.
Last month, I did my first live podcast interview – on camera – with Shawn Griffith via Downhome Thoughts. Here’s how I did:
But how do I grade myself? Well, for starters I think I was better prepared for an interview in general so I think I did generally well with most of the questions.
Shawn and I had a great conversation about The Bow of Destiny. We discussed fantasy and the various elements I used for the book and how I developed it. That part of the interview was great.
However, in critiquing myself, I find there are some things lacking in how I did. Let’s get the most obvious out of the way first – looking down.
When you doing a podcast on camera you naturally want to look at the person appearing on your screen which means on a laptop your eyes are not on the camera. It’s hard to keep focused on that little lens so I probably should have put a piece of paper over my screen. One other detail that added to the affect was that my laptop (and the camera), even after raising it, was still below my eye level. I should have elevated it further.
So here’s the next negative – the end where I give a short pitch. I had down all the elements of the interview up to that point but stumbled for words to share about my book. You don’t really want to read your blurb verbatim so in this instance, I needed to share the book with listeners. But I wasn’t as prepared for this pitch-type ending.
Here’s how to fix this problem. Like my first interview where I probably didn’t share enough about the book, this time I just stumbled for pitch material. I needed to write down what I wanted to say – in general, not to read – and become familiar with it enough to make my pitch.
If you were a reliever and entered a baseball game with the need to make one pitch count and end the game then you need a very good pitch. The same is true when you are expected to end the interview with a pitch about your book. Know what you will cover while avoiding spoilers. I think I ended strongly – “Join the Hunt!”
Just to re-cap: when doing a camera interview, cover your laptop screen and elevate it sufficiently. Know what type of interview your doing and if you’ll be asked to go it alone with a pitch or anything else. If so, try to spend time on what you need to say with some practice.
Next week, I’ll discuss my third interview on Tell Me a Story and how I felt it went so check back for more tips! Have you done an interview on a web-camera? Do you avoid interviews as a writer? Why or why not?
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