You Can Be a Radio Star

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Okay... my headline is cheesy this morning, for sure. But, I was thinking about writing this topic and I just had that song "Video Killed the Radio Star" in my head—and now you can too as you read this (you're welcome).

So, for my own book, Monster Spotter's Guide to North America, I did a radio tour and I found it to be a fun and relatively easy way to do some really great publicity. The up side is that you don't have to go ANYWHERE. You just call in and they interview you. The downside is that you have to be prepared to speak publicly... it can be a little unnerving to think that you are going to be on radio. Also, setting up a radio tour isn't always easy or cheap (you can hire a PR service that can get you booked or you can try pitching stations yourself, which requires a good deal of work and there are no guarantees).

But, let's say you get yourself on radio. Yay for you! Now what? Well, here are some good things to remember:

  • Create a list of compelling or entertaining questions to offer the host that they can ask you about.
  • Keep up to date on news stories that fall within your area of expertise and be ready to talk about them. If the DJ does her research, you don't want to freeze.
  • Don't over promote! Remember, your main job as a guest is to entertain and inform... when you mention your book, do it casually and not too often. The host should do a wrap up for you, mentioning your book anyway.
  • Instead of saying "in my book" refer to your book by title, helping the audience to remember it while also sounding conversational.
  • Be able to answer questions like "why did you write this book" or "what got you interested in this subject" quickly—no more than 20-25 seconds.

The main thing is to have fun with it. DJ's like to make jokes, so feel free to play along... just be careful that the interview doesn't get too far off track. The bottom line is to not take yourself too seriously... you want to be entertaining.

Good luck!