Are you ready for your close-up?

October 11, 2007 by in category Blogs tagged as with 0 and 0
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Podcasting is becoming more and more a part of an author’s digital tool kit.

Romance TV is leading the way with fabulous interviews and discussions with authors of every genre, while Harlequin has audio podcasts featuring interviews with their authors, behind-the-scenes information on Harlequin, writing tips for aspiring authors and much more.
What if a producer called you and wanted you to do an interview? What if Oprah called? Or your local TV or radio station? Are you ready? I’ve done a lot of TV and radio interviews, including being the Japanese consultant for a major LA station. Here are my 5 tips to help you get ready for your close-up:

1. Write up your “talking points:” 5 to 7 items related to your subject (see tip #2) your hosts will find interesting and will spark questions from them. Send them to the producer by email or hand deliver them if the taping/air date is short. Also, bring them with you to the interview along with your bio, fact sheet (romance book biz stats, e.g.), and a copy of your book. Better to have duplicate copies than none at all.

2. It’s difficult to book a media interview about a novel, so find a nonfiction “hook” for your interview, then gather stats about your hook and put together tips you can give to the viewer or listener telling them what they can do if they find themselves in that situation.

3. Always think of each interview as being the audition for the next one. Also, when a producer calls you on the phone, THAT is also an audition. Have “sound-bites” memorized to toss off and be aware of your energy level! Excitement is important! Find out if the interview will be available online or if you can get a copy so you can link to it on your website.

4. For TV interviews: Don’t wear a loud print that may strobe on camera and be careful about wearing white or black and loud colors. Stark white, bright yellow, and red tend to reflect light and can be too vivid on camera, while black absorbs too much light. Depending on your coloring, pick out a flattering solid color and work around that with accessories. Don’t wear a lot of jewelry, unless this is your brand. Does the show have a makeup artist who will do your makeup? If not, make sure you wear lipstick so your lips don’t disappear when you speak. False eyelashes can “open up your eyes.” I love them. Also, you may or may not be “behind an anchor desk” so make sure your footwear, skirt length, etc. are appropriate.

5. Practice your talking points at home: your energy level, your voice, tips, etc. You don’t want to sound “rehearsed,” but it’s important to feel confident. As a major radio host once told me, let the host “pimp” your book. Just be you and enjoy yourself! Natural is best.

Rrring….oops, there goes the phone. Gotta answer it. You never know. It could be Oprah calling.

Jina Bacarr is the author of The Blonde Geisha and Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief in November 2007 and Spies, Lies and Naked Thighs, an erotic spy thriller, March 2008.

Jina writes erotic adventure for Spice Books. “Get Caught in the Act!”

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