I designed a press kit which I sent to radio and TV hosts, along with a book, to convince them that I was a worthy guest. The reason you're doing all this to help them, is to save them time and to help to focus the interview. (I also took a duplicate of the press kit with me on broadcast day, because things get lost.)
Quick And Easy Guide To Author Lary Crews
• Lary Crews of Sarasota is the author of the Veronica Slate series of mystery novels, all of which are set in the Tampa Bay Area.
• Veronica Slate is a night-time talk show host at a [fictional] Tampa radio station with studios on Harbour Island. Her father, retired FBI agent Archie Slate, lives in Anna Maria.
• Lary Crews was a broadcast journalist (radio and TV newsman) for 35 years.
• He became a fulltime freelance writer in 1983.
• Sold 405 magazine articles in four years.
• Crews created the concept for Veronica Slate series. The first New York literary agent he showed it to took him on.
• His first novel ever - Kill Cue - landed him a six-book contract with a major New York publisher, Bantam-Lynx Books.
It was all one page. Consequently, they had in front of them a bullet-style, fast, easy-to-read description of my book and me. When they're on the air, anchors don’t have time to read anything of any length. You give them just the general idea of what to go with. That helps focus the interview for them and for you.
Get the most promotional advantage from your time on the air. Most of the time, you'll be on the air for less than six minutes, sometimes less than three minutes.
I learned this from the late author Jackie Collins.
I was watching her on Good Morning America and - in the space of three minutes - she said "Lucky" (the title of her book) twenty times.
The way she did it was this: She never said, "my book," or "the book," or even, "book."
She always said, "Lucky." She'd say, "I started writing Lucky back in ..." "I think that Lucky is ..." and "Lucky has ..." and "In Lucky ..."
She said the title over and over and over again and I sat there thinking about how clever that was because the viewer goes away remembering the title, which is exactly what they need to remember.
To look calm on TV, here are two secrets.
1. Sit up straight. Keep your head up because TV lights will cast shadows if you bow your head.
2. The person who appears strongest and calmest in what they call the "two-shot" (when they're showing you and the interviewer) is the person who moves the least. Try to learn to talk without waving your arms, bobbing your head and moving your hands too much.
Watch their eyes. Listen to their questions.
Watching the eyes of your interviewer is important on both radio and TV. Interviewers have this little tic that shows up in their eyes when they know they have to break for a commercial or when someone off camera is giving them signals. If you watch their eyes, you can anticipate these interruptions and be prepared to get to the end of your sentence in a reasonable length of time.
Strive to look at the person interviewing you even if the person does not look at you, which sometimes happens. At least, look at their face if they refuse to make eye contact. On TV that reads as you looking in their eyes even if you're not. On radio, who cares? If they are not giving you any eye contact, look at their nose, or a spot between their eyes.
Strive to be pleasant and natural. This may sound at odds with everything I've told you so far but strive to be natural. Try to be a person. Strive to forget about the cameras and try to have a conversation.