Authors: You Don’t Have to Answer Every Question When Doing Media

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!

Remember growing up, we were taught that we had to answer any question an adult asked you? Forget that rule. Authors need, no must, learn how to deflect a question.

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.

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.


 If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen.

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