From Gerri Detweiler . . .
Thanks for all the terrific information you've shared over the years. I have your books and tapes, and appreciate your advice. I've been an author and done many media interviews over the years. I now host a live weekly Everyday Wealth radio show where I interview other guests to talk about consumer and financial topics. For more info on the show, go here: http://www.wsradio.com/everydaywealth.
I know your readers have heard the advice many times about creating an interesting hook, following up, etc. But it often doesn't happen. I now see from the other side -- as a host -- what can make a difference between an OK interview and a great one. Since my interviews are archived to the Internet so can be heard for months afterward, it's a great feeling when someone does an interview that's worth hearing again and again!
A few points authors should know:
1. It is virtually impossible to find a live publicity contact for a book publisher if I am interested in interviewing an author. Try it. Pretend you are interested in booking yourself for a radio show and go to your publisher's website to request a review copy of your book. You'll spend hours on dead ends and finally get directed to send a fax on letterhead, which will go into a black hole somewhere. Make sure there is another easy way for prospective hosts to find you, and google yourself periodically to check.
2. Publishers send me books with no press releases, and in some cases, no contact information. I may have a book that interests me but no easy way to book the guest.
3. Authors rarely follow up with my request for sample questions. I'll admit, I've been guilty of this in the past as a guest. Not anymore! This is the chance to tell the host what topics you would like to cover. As a host, I LOVE IT! (Mind you my show is weekly not daily.) It's a no brainer. (BTW, Alex Carroll is the master of this technique.)
4. Authors will not test their phone lines ahead of time to make sure they have a good connection, even though my studio gives instructions for doing so. I've had interviews where the guest is breaking up due to an older phone or phone cord, or on a cordless phone...Voice Over IP lines where they sound like they are in a tin can (which the studio cannot moderate, NOT good!)...and other glitches. Go to a local store and buy an inexpensive old, fashioned phone that plugs into the wall phone jack phone for your interviews. Next time you get booked for a show, ask them if you can quick call the studio the day before to check the quality of your line. They'll likely appreciate your attention to detail.
5. Convey some energy! This is what makes Alex Carroll so great, but why so many guests don't come across as strongly as they could. (For a great example of high energy, listen to my archived interview with David Bach at wsradio.com/everydaywealth in the 1.13.05 archives.)
6. I have no problem with guests repeating the title of their book in the interview, but if it's one of those long two-part titles, just stick to the first part after the first mention. Otherwise it sounds a little forced.
I am really a very easy host to work with...I love to see authors succeed and hope these tips help them do that! Of course, I am always looking for prospective guests on consumer financial topics. :-) A pitch and press release can be faxed to me at 941-227-4497. -- Gerri Detweiler