Publicity for book writers and authors can be a tricky situation... Many write because this is their preferred way to share their message, however the modern world wants us all on every possible communications medium. Television, radio, magazines, journals, conferences, events, social networks, blogs, YouTube; you name it.
The dilemma for most authors is that a Publicist will want you to be prepared and ready for media interviews if they are going to represent you. But how many of us can honestly say that the idea of it doesn't set the butterflies going in the stomach and make our palms sweaty?
Chances are good that at some point in your career as a writer you'll have to get yourself some media and interview training. There are plenty of agencies and consultants who offer this shame saving service and can expertly help you move from feelings of unease to having confidence.
Right now you may be thinking that this sort of thing is a long way off for you. Don't be too sure!
With Amazon's big shift into direct relationships with Authors, cutting out the Publishing Industry like it's an embarrassing uncle, there will be an urgent need for writers to become media aware and confident in their self promotion.
Which brings us nicely to the point.
Whether you're ready for it or not, now is the time for you to begin practicing and learning more about publicity - online (with social networks, bloggers, podcasts, InternetRadio, YouTube videos, InternetTV etc.) and offline (with journalists, magazines, radio & television).
On top of that, you'll also need to take the advice of that Publicist and get some media and interview training.
Here are four insights to get you started -
The Dangers of Winging It
For some bizarre reason normally sane people are tempted to go into an interview situation with an I'll 'wing it' attitude.
You wouldn't even consider printing a book without at least getting someone else to check for errors, never mind getting the assistance of an Editor.
Being unprepared is an absolute disaster waiting to happen. Your interviewer, looking for a sensational sound bite will pick up on the fact you're not prepared and provoke you into saying something that may haunt you for the rest of your public life.
Dress Bland for TV Success
Unless you're a fashion writer, model, stylist or someone in the fashion industry, the safest way to avoid being remembered for all the wrong reasons, is to dress in well made conservative clothing.
In fact if what you're wearing could be labelled as boring you'll do well. People watching at home on the television won't be distracted by your outfit and be better able to focus on your face and what you're saying.
Many stylists for TV even prescribe a sort of uniform to make sure that their clients can't possibly get it wrong.
Choose a dark suit with a pale colored shirt (business shirt for men and a single block color for your tie). Things to avoid are stripes, red, white and dangling jewellery (earrings in particular) which can reflect studio lights.
Dump the Jargon
Sometime we just don't realize that we're using jargon; it sort of slips into our conversations and confounds people.
In the IT industry for example there is an enormous amount of jargon and industry terminology, which if you've done any social networking or blogging you'll have encountered with much frustration.
The last thing you want to do is to be the person no-one understood because a whole lot of acronyms and foreign terminology got between you and your message.
This is where preparation and rehearsing helps.
Your First is Your Worst
Set up your webcam, use the voice recorder on your mobile phone or grab the family video camera. You will be your own worst critic, but it will mean you learn how to relax and speak naturally while your brain helps you mentally edit the things you want to say before they come out of your mouth.
As alarming as your first recordings may be to you; as they say 'Your first is your worst'... and isn't it better that it happens at home in private rather than on television in front of the whole nation or on a podcast in front of the whole world.
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