The Book Shepherd on Authors and Media Interviews

Ha! You’ve landed an interview on your book; you’ve prepped, only to discover that they person interviewing you is clueless. Or, they have their own agenda. What to do? Why take control, that’s what you do!


How about:

If I understand your question correctly, you’re really asking is/if … Now, give your take—it doesn’t matter if it’s not directly connected.

Your question triggers another I need to address first … Take this and run with it.

That question just may not have an answer. My take on it is … Have fun … what is your take?

The answer to that question just might be too off the wall for some—what I’ve found (in my studies, interviews, research, etc. Yes … tell them

Sometimes there’s an ulterior motive—the interviewer may have a personal problem around your topic. One time I was in NY and learned that the person interviewing me had been demoted because of the behavior I was discussing in my book! If you are unclear, simply say.
That’s interesting … why do you ask? Let her respond, then restate and tie back to your book.

If the interviewer has info wrong or facts incorrect, acknowledge it and state what needs to be corrected. If it’s said that you are an expert in a certain field, and you are not, correct it immediately—don’t let it slide. And, if you find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to end the interview—I’ve done it several times … it’s called the wrong fit.

Have some fun—use humor to deflect a question tossed at you—use a light tone, even add a chuckle or two—don’t forget to smile when you respond:

Wow … what a zinger of a question … do you want to create a minor uproar? Just say anything you want to … as in, “When I did …”

Wow … now tell me … did you run a contest to come up with the most outrageous question? Then reference it slightly, but lead to where you want to make your key points.

You’d need a PhD in Trivia to handle that one … let’s look at it closer … Now, take it and twist how you want it to support your book.

That question earns the million dollars … I’ll settle for just a portion … Swing it back to what you want to talk about. Surfing sheep

Phone interviews are always easy—you don’t have to dress and you have your notes to refer to. It’s smart to be able to move around, adds energy to your voice, you can use your hands … and don’t forget to smile.

When it comes to live TV—always wear “your” colors, what looks best on you—don’t forget, you need makeup, even men.

Oh yes, have fun, have a copy of your book with you and make sure that the host references where it can be purchase… and you should as well.






Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Unplugged, a two day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at . Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at