Book Launch Success Secret #5: Getting Featured in Interviews
Why do book launches so often fail? Often, it’s because authors focus their energy on getting people to buy their books rather than getting people interested in the book and in what they have to say. As a result, they never recoup the money they invested — much less make the impact that they hoped for. Before you launch your book, you’ve got to have some basic foundations in place so you can have the impact you desire. And one of those foundations is spreading the word about your book through interviews.
In Part 5 of the Book Launch Success Secrets series, Coach Tam walks you through a strategy for building relationships and getting attention for your book from a wider audience by landing high-profile interviews. You’ll learn not only how to land these interviews, but also what to do once you get one.
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- How landing interviews on podcasts, YouTube channels, or blogs helps you sell more books
- 5 steps to craft and send a winning interview pitch
- What to do before and during your interviews for maximum impact
- Why you don’t have to wait until after your book launches
Be sure to read all the way to the end for the link to a done-for-you Podcast Power Program to help you land podcast interviews in as little as 90 days!
Last time, we talked about how creating an opt-in freebie is a key part of launching a successful book. It helps build anticipation and spread the word about your upcoming release, but it also helps you build relationships with potential readers.
But don’t stop there! There’s another way to build relationships that allows you to get attention for your book at scale — meaning you can get lots and lots of eyeballs on your book.
Imagine this: you get your book in front of bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers (and their respective audiences). How much easier would it be to connect with potential readers then? After all, you’d be showing up in a place where your audience already is.
But how do you make that happen? How do you become a guest on someone else’s podcast, or get your book featured on a YouTube channel or talked about in a blog? And once you manage to get those opportunities, what should you do with them?
Those are all great questions. So let’s talk about how to land these high-profile interviews and what to do next once you do.
The Value of Interviews
Before we get into how to land interviews, however, let’s talk a little more about why they’re so valuable. Interviews help you:
- Increase exposure for your book. When you’re interviewed about your book, people see you as an expert in your field. And that’s really important, because it creates that trust factor. It makes people more likely to trust your opinion and buy your book. That’s incredibly valuable when you’re trying to reach a new audience or market.
- Build credibility and authority. Just the fact that you are being interviewed by someone else implies that you have something valuable to say. After all, they wouldn’t invest the time to feature you on their show if you didn’t know what you were talking about. So interviews instantly cause people to perceive you as having important thoughts to share with them.
- Connect with potential readers and build interest in your book. Interviews give people the chance to spend time learning about your background, why you wrote the book, the characters (if it’s fiction) or the subject matter and how you’re helping them solve problems (if it’s nonfiction). Once they have the opportunity to hear your heart, they’re much more likely to want to read and buy your book.
- Build your platform. As an author, your platform is essentially your base of operations. It’s where you start when you want to promote your work and reach new audiences. Every time you are interviewed, you have the opportunity to reach new readers and potential fans. And the more places that you’re interviewed, the more people will become aware of you and your work. As your platform grows, so does your influence; and as your influence grows, so does your ability to sell books.
If you’re looking for a way to increase your reach and boost your sales, doing interviews really is a no-brainer. It’s a proven strategy that can help you reach your goal.
How to Send an Interview Pitch
So how do you get these coveted interview opportunities? It starts with what we call a pitch. A pitch is where you or someone you’ve enlisted reaches out to bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers who interview authors, offering to be a guest on their show.
But here’s the thing: you don’t just pitch any show. Because not just any show will be interested in having you as a guest. Nor will just any audience be interested in what you have to say. Instead, you need to begin with the end in mind.
There are five basic steps to sending a successful interview pitch.
1. Make a list of podcasts, channels, etc. that fit your book’s target market.
Think carefully about your book and its subject matter. Who would be most interested in your work? Then look for podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs that cater to that audience.
For example, if your book is about health and wellness, then you’ll want to target podcasts, blogs, and YouTube channels that focus on health and fitness. It’s very important that you create this alignment, because those audiences are most likely to be interested in what you have to say — and those creators will be most likely to want to feature you.
2. Research the prospect you’re planning to pitch.
Before you reach out to anyone, it’s important to do your due diligence. Invest the time to really understand what type of content they typically feature, who their audience is, and what their submission guidelines are, if they have them. This will help you tailor your pitch to each person, increasing the chances that they’ll be interested in featuring you.
Using the same example again, just because it’s a “health and fitness” blog, podcast, or YouTube channel doesn’t necessarily mean your particular niche within that space is a good fit for that show. So take some time to get a feel for how the host typically handles their show or blog, so you’ll know whether or not you will be a good fit. Plus, this will give you specific examples you can use in your pitch to show them why you believe their audience will want to hear about you and your book.
3. Reach out to each person on your list.
Typically, authors send out pitches by email, but you can also use social media. Regardless of the platform you use, however, remember that this is all about relationships. Don’t just rush in talking about your book — start by introducing yourself. Be pleasant, and try to share some insights you learned through your research, like an episode you particularly enjoyed or an article they wrote that impressed you. The goal is to break the ice and show the person that you genuinely care about their work and like what they do.
After you build some common ground, you can transition into telling them a little bit about your book. As you do, be sure to explain why you think their audience would be interested in hearing from you. In other words, be clear about the value that you offer.
- What makes you and your book unique?
- Why should they want to interview you?
- Based on your research, what do you have to offer that you know their audience is already interested in?
- Do you have any exclusive content you want to share with this particular audience?
Finally, after you introduce yourself, build common ground, and demonstrate the value you can offer, ask if they would be interested in having you on the show or featuring your book in some way.
And remember: be professional. You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Check and double-check for typos and errors. Take the time to personalize each pitch so it shows that you’ve done your research. All the fine details matter — so don’t cut corners when pitching interviews.
4. Follow up.
Okay, so you’ve started to reach out to people, you’ve been personable, and you’ve established the beginning of a relationship through communication. Now you’re just waiting and hoping they’ll say, “Yes, I want to have you on the show!”
But the reality is that people are busy. There’s a lot going on. You may not hear back from that person right away, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested. If some time goes by and you don’t hear back, it’s not just okay to follow up — it’s imperative.
With that said, you don’t want to come across as pushy and turn them off from working with you altogether. Don’t send a follow-up email or DM the very next day. Instead, wait at least a week and then send another email or find another way to start the conversation again. You might be surprised at how many times that follow up really makes a difference.
5. Be prepared.
While you’re working on striking up these conversations on email or social media, make sure that you’re ready. When that opportunity opens up, you don’t want to have to try to get ready — you want to already be prepared for any interviews that come your way.
One of the best ways to prepare is to have a one sheet (also called a media kit or press kit) that you can send right over to the person who’s going to interview you. This document summarizes your key information such as:
- Your bio
- Your target audience
- Links to your website
- Where to purchase your book
When all of these important details are pulled together in one simple document, the host doesn’t have to look up all of this information themselves. Time is valuable. The easier you make this process, the better. Plus, having this information ahead of time makes it easy for them to mention those details during the interview and include them in the show notes or blog.
How to Nail the Interview
Yes, getting an interview in the first place is a huge win. But you’re not just after interviews alone — you want to make an impact on the audience and motivate them to take action. That means the most important thing is actually what happens in the interview.
Once again, you’ve got to be prepared. Come up with a list of talking points beforehand, so you can make sure you cover the key topics that you want to share with the audience. It’s also helpful to have some stories or anecdotes you can tell to illustrate your book’s message.
Thinking through all of this in advance will help keep you focused and on track during the interview — which isn’t always as easy as you might think! In fact, it’s very easy to get off track during an interview. But when that happens, your audience gets lost, tunes you out, and doesn’t get the message you want them to get. And then they’re not very likely to check out your book.
Finally, it’s a good idea to practice for your interviews. Have a friend, family member, or colleague ask you questions based on your talking points. This will help you feel more comfortable before you go live.
Confidence is key when selling anything — books included — and the more kinks you work out ahead of time, the more confident you’ll sound during the actual interview.
When to Pitch Interviews
Now you understand the value of doing interviews, and you know how to prepare and send out pitches. But what if your book isn’t launched yet? Should you wait until after your book is out there before going on podcasts or getting your book featured on YouTube and blogs?
Actually, you can do both. We at 265 Point work with a number of clients who have already launched their books and want to get more eyeballs on them. But there is also tremendous value in promoting your book before it launches.
After all, if you can create some buzz for your book before it’s actually out, just imagine how much bigger of an impact you can make and how many more books you can sell at launch. So there’s no need to wait! You can send pitches and do interviews before, during, and after your book launch.
Get on Popular Podcasts in 90 Days
Just imagine being able to attract any audience you want by reaching them where they are most likely to be. It’s entirely possible when you land interviews with the right people.
And with our Podcast Power Program, we can get you booked on popular podcasts in as little as 90 days. This proven method has been used by people all around the world, including entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches, and more.
And the best part? With our done-for-you program, all of the heavy lifting is done for you! We do all the research, handle all the pitches, and even help you prepare for the interviews. So if you’re ready to take your business, your ministry, and your book to the new heights that you’ve envisioned for yourself, then look no further than this program. Getting booked on popular podcasts has never been easier or more beneficial.
Then be sure to come back next time for Book Launch Success Secret #6!
My name is Tamara “Coach Tam” Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) “get you”, 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
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