The Essentials of an Author Interview

The Essentials of an Author Interview

If you have wrapped your mind around the concept that authors are business owner, then you have most likely proactively done your homework and research to know who the major players are for publications and book publishing. If not, you can purchase or download a copy of the Writers Market for the latest industry information.

After you have read all the guidelines, the books, the websites, and even the latest tips on how to approach them, now is the time to do it. You have the names, the contact information, and now it is time to develop your pitch. The essentials of creating a good pitch for an author interview are to keep the meeting short, simple, and to the point.

Respect the interviewers time by showing up on time. In fact, be early everywhere, even if you have to wait. It is better to be early and considerate of their time than inconsiderately late.

Within five minutes or less, the interviewer should be able to access the primary points of your meeting:

  • Who you are
  • What value can you add
  • What sets you apart from others

For example, after introducing your name, you could also include a small tidbit about yourself that is relevant to the industry you are trying to break into in publishing. For example, “Hello, my name is” and I was previously the product manager for a national software development company. Everything you need to know about my background and experience is included in my cover letter.

Provide the interviewer with a copy of your cover letter. It should be attached to your press kit, which will show them you have done your research and are prepared to take your business seriously.

Talking Points

Think about things you could include as talking points. After your book is ready for market, work with a coach or public relations expert to help you with developing your talking points and conversation strategy, including conversation exists. There may be times; someone else just might take the road of inappropriate or uncomfortable conversation.

Most interviews tend to focus on the meeting and book points at hand; however, you should always be prepared in the event it does not. Even if the conversation steers in the way of general conversation, keep your answers short, maintain proper grammar, and regardless of comfort level, steer clear of rambling. Stick to the points at hand. Even if you were not asked, incorporate into conversation:

  • What the title is for your book
  • What your book is about
  • What inspired you to write the book
  • What authority you have to write on that topic
  • What target audience should read your book and why

Be pleasant to everyone, whether you are speaking to the host or the receptionist, it is imperative to maintain a level of professionalism and kindness. Often times than not, behind the scenes, the decision makers gather feedback from others that either know, worked with, or have had some type of contact with you. First impressions are hard to avoid; however, bad impressions can undo the pathways of opportunity. As a follow-up, always send a thank you card. Sincere appreciation and gratitude goes a long way.

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Source: The Essentials of an Author Interview | Watts Publishing Group |

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