A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Joseph Dobzynski for the “Authors Connection Show.” Joseph is the host of the “Innovation Bistro” radio show heard on the Radio Ear Network. He has been the chosen interviewer for major best selling authors during the annual Florida Mystery Writers Conference as well as for various other creative events. As an Iconoclast he brings the best from the people he interviews by creating an aura of the person’s talents. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The positive experience gave me the idea to blog about how to prepare for an interview. While staring at the blank computer screen, I realized I was not remotely qualified to pass along this sort of information. In fact, instead of giving advice, I needed guidance. After all, before interviews, I become nervous. Ridiculous thoughts circulate through my mind - like what if I forget my own name (the fact this has never happened is no deterrent).
Thinking, who better to give tips than someone with years of experience in interviewing introverted authors, I contacted Joseph. The good news is that he kindly agreed to help me out. I am proud to present Joseph Dobzynski and his interview tips:
Thank you, Joseph, for being a guest here today and offering such practical advice. Joseph was an excellent interviewer so my nervousness eased as soon as the interview began. My interview, by the way, will be aired September 29 from 11:00 to 12:00 pm and again on October 1, from 7 to 8 am.
Interviews can be one of three things, a positive promotional event, a circus, or a disaster. Most end up being one of the last two, but here are some tips you can use when you have the chance for an interview.
Always check out the show before you agree to be interviewed:
If other authors recommend an interviewer to you then it is a sure thing it has benefits. But many interviewers are only interested in boosting their rating so the interview may be stressful based on who they are. A good idea is to listen to a show or read something they have written to get a feel of what might be in store for you. Another issue to look out for is an interviewer who talks more than the interviewee does. For the best results, an interview should last longer than 15 minutes and close to 30.
Talk about yourself:
The book is your main issue but the readers need to know who the author is and why they wrote the book. Most successful authors have some background in what they write about and this gives them credentials for writing the book. Too many “Want to Be” authors write books that sound good, but have no idea what they write about. The books PR makes it sound good but many readers have been burned by more hype than good reading.
Don’t stage questions:
No matter how hard you try to use staged questions it always sounds like a canned presentation. Give the interviewer a copy of your book and some overviews and let the interview roll out instead of stirring it with questions. Two things to remember
1) If the interviewer is good at what they do, it will create a great interview focusing on who, what and where both you and the book are from.
2) Nobody wants to be sold to any more. Ask yourself how often you turn off the radio or TV or bypass ads that are in your face. The object is to get the listener/reader to want the book because it has information or is on a topic that intrigues them. DO NOT SELL, if the book and the author are good it will sell itself.
Instead of staging questions, listen for opportunities to engage the interviewer into the interview by asking them questions:
1) Do you remember reading about or when something happened sort of like your book?
2) Have you ever been in a dark alley and think someone is watching you? Reading my book is something like that.
If the interviewer bites the question then expand out on it. In other words make the interview good for both of you.
And finally, always offer to leave a book behind and autograph it for the interviewer or maybe if it is a kids book for their kids or grandkids.
Please feel free to leave comments or questions for Joseph or me.
Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: John Wooden, interviewing authors, RadioEarNetwork, Joseph Dobzynski, Innovation Bistro,