Radio talk show producers are always looking for quality guests, and this is the perfect way to publicize your book at no cost. There are 900 radio talk shows that need guests every day. You can do the interviews right from your home phone. Here are the guidelines to securing an interview and maximizing the experience to promote book sales.
Contact the Producers
Radio talk show producers – not talk show hosts – are responsible for arranging guest interviews. You can secure a contact list of producers from Joe Sabah. You should send an email to the producer first to schedule a time for your phone “audition” to pitch your topic.
Prepare Your Script
Before this audition, prepare a script so you know what to say to get their interest. You have about 60 seconds make your pitch to secure an interview. Your pitch needs to be compelling, unique, and be a good fit with the station’s listeners. Use measureable results or anecdotes.
Create an Angle for Radio Talk Shows
Do some research on the radio station so you know something about their market and so you can create a compelling angle. Say something like, “I have a book that I know your listeners would enjoy.” If your book is about how to get a job, and you are pitching to a station in Detroit, you could say, “I want to help your listeners get jobs.” Communicate you can solve a problem. Authors of self-help books can flourish on radio talk shows if they position themselves right.
What to Send to the Station
Don’t send your book to the station unless they request one. Otherwise it will go into a trash can. Some stations get hundreds of unsolicited book each week. Also ask if they want you to send a media kit. Be sure to send talking points, which can be a list of questions the producer can ask you while on the air. Include a one-page synopsis of your book. Most producers will not have the time to read your book first. Ask the producer these 3 questions: 1) how far in advance are they booking guests, 2) how long is the interview, 3) will listeners call in?
After Your Audition
After your audition, confirm your talk show interview with an email. When confirming the time, make sure you use the radio station’s time zone. Put the words “Confirming my appearance” in the subject line of your confirmation email to the producer.
How to Conduct the Interview
Smile and stand up when you do the interview. Use your landline (not your cell phone) and a headset so you can move around. Incorporate humor. Don’t use monotone, one-word answers or make lengthy monologue answers. You should modulate your voice but not too much. Mainly be yourself, but project slightly with some inflection.
If you have callers asking questions during the interview, don’t refer to the caller by “caller”, but instead by their names. Never disagree with the host, instead say, “I haven’t heard that. My take on that is . . .” You can end with an interesting, memorable story.
Don’t have your radio on when you are doing the interview. Write down the talk show host’s name put it in front of you during the interview so you can use their name in the conversation. You will be given time at the beginning and end of the interview to plug your book.
Make it Easy for Listeners to Find Your Book
Create a short, (less than 7 words) concise, catchy, easy-to-remember website address to communicate where listeners can purchase your books. Don’t use an 800 number. The interview should be all about you sharing knowledge; it’s tacky to do shameless promotion during the interview. Position yourself as an expert and have answers or solutions to problems.
What to do After the Interview
After the interview, call the station back to tell the receptionist where listeners can buy your book. Ask for an MP3 file of your radio interview, and permission to use it on your website.