Sunday, January 6, 2013

25 Tips for a Successful Author Interview

Tony Danza said, "If you have fun doing your interview, people will have fun watching [or listening]."  I agree.

This week I hope to have fun doing two interviews and I trust you'll have fun listening. The first is Wednesday with Giovanni Gelati who interviews lots of authors on The G-Zone.  He's a hoot. This is our second interview.  Expect some good laughs and great advice. Check us out at

On Thursday at 10 a.m. I join Rita Schulte LPC on her Heartline Podcast. Rita is passionate about matters of the heart and so am I. This interview will be helpful to anyone whose heart loves or would like to love. We'll be talking about marriage. Listen at

If you are an author, being interviewed is a fact of life. Here are author interview tips to help you shake off those willies, prepare, relax, and have fun:

1.  Pray and have others praying for you. 

2.  Read your book through before the interview. The interviewer could ask an obscure question. Good to have your book fresh in your mind. 

3.  Write out every question you think you could be asked and write down your answer. Review this  sheet before your interview. You can send a list of suggested interview questions to the interviewer (some request this). Don't expect to stay on script, though.

4. Interviewers will ask about you, your book, and why you wrote it. Be prepared to answer these questions. Relax and be yourself and show your personality.

5.  Have in front of you main points you want to highlight.

6.  Don't try to tell the whole book in ten minutes. Grab one thought from your book and expand on it.

7.  Be a real person. Tell funny personal stories.

8.  If the interviewer asks a hard question, say, "I don't know the answer to that, but what I do know is ... (then go to one of the points you want to highlight). Politicians do this all the time.

9.  Engage the interviewer in the conversation, but don't take over. Imagine your conversation like a ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth.

10. Don't answer with "yes" or "no." Keep your talk interesting.

11. Speak slowly and clearly.

12. Drink plenty of water before an interview to avoid a dry mouth.

13. Practice your answers.

14. Remove distractions from your mind and your desk.

15. Have a beginning and closing statement memorized,but don't be married to it. Stay flexible and go with the interviewer's flow.

16. Don't be nervous. Have fun. Trust God for the words. Be yourself and speak from your heart.

17. Dress comfortably. If televised, dress professionally.

18. Keep water handy.

19. Picture your audience in your mind, relax, and talk to them.

20. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.

21. Have a conversation. Enjoy yourself and your audience will enjoy you.

22. Smile. Even if you are on the telephone. Smiles will show in your voice.

23. Stand while talking if the interview is on the telephone. You'll sound better.

24. If the interview doesn't go well, let it go. There really is no such thing as bad publicity, and audiences forgive and love seeing the human side of you.

25. Send a thank you note.

I'd love to hear any other helpful tips you may have. Meanwhile, I'm reading my book and preparing for some fun this Wednesday and Thursday. Hope you listen in.

Oops! Below is an interview I wasn't expecting and I didn't prepare for, but we sure had some good laughs. Enjoy! The jokes on me.

Splashes of Serenity even on an interview day!



  1. Love number 22 and you are an expert at that. I love how you can laugh even at yourself. Love the clip!

  2. I agree with Diane, #22 is a necessity & I recommend it to others as well. Perhaps you mentioned this but I missed it; call your interviewer by name as it sounds warmer and as if you are familiar with him/her; makes the interview more personal :-)

  3. I agree with you Diane, #22 is critical and I recommend it to others as well. Elaine, you may have mentioned this but I didn't see it; call your interviewer by his/her first name. Doing this makes the interview sound more personal and warm :-) When I was a radio host and my interviewees answered my question using my name it just made the interview more intimate.

  4. Thanks for the tip, Brenda! Great advice. I enjoyed when you interviewed me on Parent's Plate. Fun! Thanks.

  5. #19 jumped out at me. I like the idea of visualizing my audience, this helps to keep it personal and focused. A great list - I am printing this blog, I pray there will be a need for it in my life in the coming months.

    Thanks Elaine!
    Lisa M Buske


I would love hearing from you! Thanks for sharing!