Be Generous… and Don’t Worry

Dworkin and Dr Oz

You Can’t Give Too Much Away in Book Publicity and Marketing

It’s easy to fall into:


As human beings we can be very creative in what we will worry about, but sometimes it just simply isn’t necessary. And it isn’t good for your health either.

As I’m media training or setting up interviews for authors, some very interesting conversations come up to the surface. It usually goes something like this:

“I’m worried that I’m going to give away too much of my material during interviews. People won’t need to buy my book if they get everything they need during a conversation or while reading an article.”

Really? Everything?

I can understand your feelings, but I assure you it just doesn’t happen that way. Sharing during interviews and on social media is essential for others to get to know who you are and for you to establish credibility. The best way to do that and to demonstrate that you’re the expert is by being helpful and giving information away.

Don’t Withhold:

You really can’t give away too much, but you certainly can blow it if you don’t give away enough.

And that is something you SHOULD worry about.

Phrases that should be banned from your vocabulary forever during an interview:

“In my book it says…”


“In chapter 2 of my book we cover…”

Or (and this is the worst):

“If you want to know the answer to that, you have to pick up a copy of my book…”

(I hear the kiss of death now…)


Oh dear, those phases can end an interview quicker than just about anything else.


Because it sounds like you’re holding back. It sounds like you’re being stingy. It is as if you’re saying, “Yeah, I’m on this great show but I’m not going to tell you the answers because I don’t want to give it all away for nothing. You have to buy my book to get the answers.”

That never goes over well.


If you have a 3 or 4 minute online or television interview, or even a 30 or 60 minute podcast or facebook interview, do you think it’s possible to give away EVERYTHING you’ve created and developed in your work?

I highly doubt it.

Is it worth hurting your reputation and becoming known as a miser, or worse yet, a money-hungry jerk because you were too stingy to answer the interviewer’s questions thoroughly?

Definitely not.

What to do?

Be generous.

Be so generous people can’t possibly keep up with all the gems and advice you are giving. Be so generous that producers and hosts think you are the most amazing guest they’re ever had because you deliver so completely to their audience. Be the guest that makes the executive producer say to the producer, “Great show today.” They will love you for it.

Case in point:

Over the years, I’ve had people tell me I share too much information in my Savvy Sunday posts and on my blogs. There are lots of other people out there who just comment on topics or ask questions of their audience, while I go further and like to give helpful, actionable tips.

Yes, I’m giving it away, but here’s the thing: I don’t care. What I share in these posts are what I find work. I will give tips and methods, ideas and processes, reasons and strategies to get great publicity for your books. Some people will never hire me, and that’s Okay, because plenty of others do. Exactly the right clients show up for me to work with and I am enormously grateful to them.

Here’s the secret:

Share away. Give it away. All of it, though maybe not all at once. I’m not suggesting you give your book away for free, but when it comes to media interviews, pack as much into that segment as you possibly can. The magic of this is that your perfect audience will always want more from you.

Plus, if you’re willing to share so much during an interview, people will wonder how much more great information is in your book! Or if you’re selling additional services, how much would they get if they were to work with you? You set the tone for this by being generous in the first place.

Another Key:

When you get interested in a subject such as photography, learning a language, how to use social media, or how to market a book — do you only go to one source on the subject? My guess is no. If you’re like me, you have several books on the subject because you want to really learn.

The same is true with your topic. This is why your competitors can actually become your niche mates and collaborators.

Once someone has a whole shelf of books pertaining to one subject (or several e-books on their digital device), then they’re very interested. Period. You can collaborate with competitors or niche mates, and both of you can do extremely well. People who have never bought from you may buy from them, and those who never bought from them will buy from you.

They’ll want more:

You can’t customize your message to every single person listening, watching, or reading an interview or article. They are getting some of your best information in the form of generalized tips. To really get the goods, they need information that is directly applicable to their situation. Beyond that, they may still need you for implementation, if you offer that.

Now, I know there are plenty of other people out there who don’t believe in this kind of generosity and don’t believe in what I’m saying. They have their own ideas and that’s fine. As I said before, I don’t care.

Over the twenty-three years I have been in business, I have seen this work over and over and over again — no matter what the technology, economy, or current trends.

So remember:

Be generous. It will serve you well.

“The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.”

— Fred Rogers

To your success!



P.S. Is a Media Strategy Session in your future? Take a look at what we will cover here. I’d love to know what you’re up to and how I may help.

P.P.S. This photo is of Norine Dworkin McDaniel, Author of The Science of Parenthood, on the Dr. Oz Show.






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