Selling your book in an interview: how to discuss your book to make your audience want to buy it.

By Booth Media Group

You’ve written a book. It has a cover and a barcode and everything. You feel amazing, maybe even a little nervous, and all of this is surreal. Now what?

Whether you’re self-published or working with a traditional publisher, you’re probably working with a publicist. (If you’re not, you should be.) It’s your publicist’s job to get the media to give you some attention: radio interviews, TV appearances, book reviews in print and online publications, and perhaps a book tour with signings and talks. If your publicist is worth her salt, she’s pitching the media with a press kit that includes a press release, your bio, sample interview questions, and possibly even samples of articles you’ve written. She’s getting the producers, editors, and hosts excited to talk to you! Now what?

This is where you come in. You’re the expert on your subject matter, and you are the reason the producers booked interviews with your publicist. They want to talk to you about your story, your perspective, your background, your take on the news of the day, and the topic of your book. So, should you mention the title of your book every five minutes? Well, not quite.

There is an art to an interview. Deftly answering questions on unrelated points and pivoting them back to your book without sounding excessively promotional and “sales-y” takes some practice and finesse. If your book is about JFK’s assassination, for example, and the host asks you a question about Donald Trump, you need to be able to smoothly reply, “That’s a great question, and it reminds me of a point I made in chapter seven of my book JFK: the Real Story, and that is that these politicians are so very careful about the face they put out to the world…” Or maybe your book is about traditional South American Cuisine, and the host asks you about the low unemployment rates in the US, something completely unrelated. Be ready for anything—especially if it is in the news that day! You need to practice your segue back to the point YOU want to make. It is a skill to be able to courteously answer a host’s out the blue question briefly and yet firmly lead the interview back to YOUR message.

If this is your first book, then the first several interviews you do with the media might be intimidating. It can help to practice with a friend, answering questions on the fly and preparing your talking points. A media coach can also help. Here at Booth we can connect you to some of the best so that you are confident and ready to “sell” your book during any interview.

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