How to Give a Great Interview: Part I
If you’ve been reading our blog, you understand the power of Authority Marketing, and what a difference-maker a published book can be for your business. You’re likely familiar with our process too: how, with just twenty-four hours of your time—and more than 250 of ours—you can have a beautifully published book in your hands and on the shelves of great retailers in about a quarter of the time it would take with a traditional publisher (if you’re not, or you need a little refresher, click here).
Key to that process are interviews, during which you share the knowledge, experience and stories you’ve honed over the course of your career (or lifetime) with your ghostwriter. That material eventually becomes the content of your book. While our ghostwriters are experts at getting the need-to-know details and guiding you through it all, you certainly have a hand in making sure they get the insight necessary to help you create something brilliant. If you can give a great interview, you’re on the way to best-seller territory. Here are some tips on how to nail every chapter call:
Be prepared: Of course, no one knows the ins and outs of your business—and life—better than you do. You can likely share whole swaths of your personal and professional history when prompted, but it still pays to prepare. This is your chance to hit all the high notes, conveying the most important—and compelling—information to readers.
Before each call, set aside some time to look through your book plan, and make sure the chapter outline covers everything you want to touch on. This is also a great time to jot down any anecdotes that come to mind, as well as any resources that may be worth referencing. With a firm grasp on what you want to tackle with your writer, you can be confident that your book will be the best it can be.
Find your voice: While preparation is important, don’t worry too much about how you sound. The ultimate goal of ghostwriting is to have your book sound like you (that is, at your most polished and articulate!). Speak as you would to a colleague or friend, and your unique voice and style is bound to come through.
With that said, make sure to convey any particular notes about style or tone that you’d like your ghostwriter to capture. Are you going for a humorous take, or do you want to keep things rather formal and buttoned up? Do you want readers to find themselves in your book with powerful stories driving the narrative, or are you looking to create a fact-driven guide? That insight will ensure you and your ghostwriter are both on the same page.
Don’t be afraid to brag: This isn’t the time to be timid about your accomplishments. Readers are interested in where you came from, what you’ve achieved, and how you got there. They’re picking up your book because you’re the expert, because you’ve been through something extraordinary or because you have an important message to share (or all of the above). So, share it! Share those wins, big and small. Don’t be afraid that you’re doing too much boasting. After all, you’re the author, and that means you are a crucial part of the story, no matter what your book is about. Your ghostwriter will help you strike the right balance, keeping the narrative authoritative, rather than arrogant.
Provide feedback: To speak freely, you need to feel comfortable. During interviews, do you prefer to just riff on a particular topic, run though a list of bullets, or receive pointed questions on the subject? Let your ghostwriter know! If you feel at ease, you’re guaranteed to provide better material.
Not sure which kind of interview style feels best? You should hit your stride after a call or two. Think a different strategy might be better? Don’t hesitate to speak up. The whole point of this partnership is to help you create the best book you can, and that means the process has to work for you.
With these quick tips in mind, you’ll be on track to craft a work that won’t just make you proud, it will also have a tremendous on your business and your brand. And once it’s out in the world, you may find yourself fielding requests for a slightly different type of interview: ones with members of the media. Curious about how to tackle those? We’ve got you covered. Stay tuned for our next post.