Book Marketing Tips: How to prepare for author radio interviews, plus, listen to my interview with ABC Radio Brisbane

Book Marketing Tips: How to prepare for author radio interviews, plus, listen to my interview with ABC Radio Brisbane

March 25, 2022

I really enjoy radio interviews. Why? Because they’re fun, a little bit scary (as you don’t know what the questions will be or where the interview will head), and there’s also the urgency of a time limit. And even though I get a little bit nervous, I’m mostly just excited to have a stimulating chat with an interested and interesting person about a topic I love.

Here’s an author radio interview I did this week with the wonderful Kelly Higgins-Devine on ABC Brisbane and QLD Evenings program, it’s about writing, publishing and marketing books. (It begins at approximately 1:05:30 and runs till 1:19:10).

Kelly had read my latest book which made it so much easier for me as she was able to lead the conversation with lots of great questions.

I’ve had a fair bit of experience with radio interviews (Richard Glover on ABC 702 Sydney interviewed me a number of times about honey bees, native bees and my book Small Farm Success Australia – so much fun! – and I’ve also had some delightful chats with Kia Handley of ABC NSW and Newcastle) – these presenters are great and just made it feel like I was  chatting with an interested friend.

But if you’re not comfortable with the idea of doing a radio interview for your book, don’t worry, here are some tips:

  • Think about the audience who might be listening to the particular show you are being interviewed by eg: an afternoon show coinciding with school pick up, peak hour commutes, weekend shows etc. Think about what it is about your book, your subject and yourself that will be of the most interest to them, then work out the simplest and most entertaining way to get your information across.
  • Understand that there is a time limit and a radio interview is not the time to wax lyrical, go off topic, or tell super long lead in stories – you want to capture attention pronto.
  • Seeing you’ve written a book in your topic and are an expert on the subject, you will hopefully be able to answer any question that comes your way; but be prepared by having a sheet printed off with specific quotes and statistics, so if your mind goes blank, you can still refer to them correctly. I print my sheet in large font so I can find any key information quickly. Sometimes I need to refer to it and sometimes I don’t, but I like having it as a security blanket.
  • Be helpful by really listening to the question and answering it, a short tangent is okay if it’s relevant and entertaining.
  • Find a quiet spot where you have good reception and won’t be disturbed (I recently spoke with Kia Handley (ABC NSW) about LookIt’s Your Book! while in in my car parked in the furthest corner of a rooftop carpark). I thought this was a better option than staying at home where I could have been burst in on by family, miaow’d at by rescue cats or drowned out and distracted by a neighbouring leafblower.
  • If you’re going into the studio for the interview, arrive at the time they ask, not too early and definitely not late. Radio stations are busy places and run to tight schedules.
  • If possible, stand up while giving the interview, it will give your voice more energy.
  • If you don’t feel you have any energy, do a couple of quick star jumps or clap your hands…anything to give yourself some spark. People want to feel your energy through the airwaves, they want you to be present.
  • If you’re being interviewed on the ABC (it’s not as of much concern if you’re on 2GB etc), you are not meant to mention brand names. Also, avoid doing blatant plugs for yourself too, let your generous information sharing about your topic do the plugging for you.
  • Have the radio presenter’s name written down in case you refer to them when saying hi or thanking them…because if you do say their name, you want to get it right.
  • After the interview, send a thank you through to the presenter or the producer who booked you.
  • Also after the interview, do like I’m doing right here, share information about your interview so people in other states or who missed the interview can catch up.

There’s more information in Look–It’s Your Book! about book marketing and how as an author you can get invited for a radio interview too. Look forward to hearing all about you and your book on the airwaves soon!