How to be a Successful Author Doing Media Interviews

or Blowing off Media Interviews. NEVER a good idea!

During my radio broadcasting days, I interviewed hundreds of authors. Some were very, very good, and some were very, very bad. Now, as a media strategist who helps authors to become famous, I also have a side project where I am the booking producer for an in- demand, popular podcast. Guests who pitch the show are either very, very good, or very very bad. (There is a mediocre place in the middle, but I have to confess that this falls on the bad side of the continuum.) Wherever one falls, this strong advice still remains:

Don’t blow off an interview.

If you are famous or not, busy or not, popular or not… Don’t blow off an interview.

Media helps you, and they have a mind like an elephant. They never forget. If you blow them off, I can 99.9% guarantee you, you will never appear on their show or inside their publication or outlet again. And, remember. That little producer you set up the interview with could be the next executive producer on the Ellen show, or some other huge media outlet, and they’re going to remember you…but not in a good way. Sound tough? Yes, it is. And it’s true, so you have to protect yourself, your brand, and your book. Even if it’s a little outlet and you think, “Missing this interview is no big deal.“ Actually, yes, it is. Here is the law. Ready? (Not the real law, just the law according to me. Haha. Seriously though…)

Hold up your right hand and repeat out loud after me:

  • When I book (or my publicist books) an interview for me, I will be there!
  • I promise to show up at the designated time or even a little bit early. I will ask the producer for his or her suggestion and I will be there at the time given to me.
  • I will be full of energy and ready to go.
  • I will test all equipment prior to the interview, and will make sure my equipment sounds good.
  • If it is an in-person interview, I will arrive on time or a little early ready to go (no matter how crazy the day was prior to my arriving.
  • I promise to be of good cheer and will make the host’s job easy.
  • Throughout the interview, I will tee up the next question for the host, and I will get across my three key messages no matter what. (This one's for you. Otherwise, the host may take you down a path you really don’t want to go down. You must know where you are going!)
  • I will know my key messages backwards and forwards. They will be burned into my brain.
  • I will deliver my key messages with energy and confidence.
  • I will be a shining example of an author who knows his or her stuff.
  • I will keep my commitments.

Ok. You can put your hand down now. Very good.

This is not that hard.

Just as an FYI, when you cancel an interview at the last minute, it can throw the show into a panic, especially if it’s close to air time. Even worse, if you don’t cancel at all…You just blow them off. This is a big no no.

As a media strategist who works with authors who want to get their messages out there, one of the worst things you can do is to blow off an interview.

Why?

Because they never forget…

Producers never forget.

Hosts never forget.

I never forget.

The reason for this post is due to a recent personal experience. I won’t name names and I won’t go into detail (but there are some people who would go into detail, which is another reason why you don’t want to do it), but I’m using this as an opportunity to tell you not to do this. It’s unprofessional and it’s unacceptable. Period.

Now, there are times when life happens and you can’t make it, e.g., a family emergency, you’re sick, or some other tragedy, and that is understandable. But to blow off an interview because one is disorganized, or simply didn’t feel like it, will work against you.

I consider myself a forgiving person, so this author who blew off the show is still a fine human being. I simply no longer trust him to show up, so how likely am I to rebook this and try again? Not very, and believe me, I am not alone. There are too many other organized, thoughtful authors out there with fantastic information who would love to be on the show.

I am looking for them. Is that you?

To your success!

Joanne

P.S. There are lots of other dos and don’t when it comes to working with the media. Learn more of them in the Media Breakthrough Package. You’ll be glad you did.