In the thousands of media interviews I’ve seen in my TV career, I’ve noticed something interesting about nonfiction authors. Many of them mistakenly think they are there to sell their books.

And actually…they’re wrong. (Stay with me!)

For example, I once worked on a talk show as a Senior Post Producer where my edit team and I had to take out the guest saying the words “…in my book” 7 times. In one segment!

It was excessive and cringe-worthy and – here’s insider info – it forced the post production team to have to work harder to make all those extra edits while on a tight deadline. So, his overly “salesy” approach added hours of unnecessary work to the editing process.

Well, do you remember in my last email where I said that your job as a nonfiction author seeking publicity is to serve the audience of the media outlet? It’s true. But shouldn’t you as an author benefit from the appearance as well?

Absolutely. And the secret to serve the audience while also benefitting from your appearance is to focus on marketing rather than selling.

What’s the difference? Well, my favorite definition of marketing comes from Personal Branding Expert Mike Kim who says that Marketing isn’t about closing a sale, it’s about opening a relationship.” That really rings true for me as a media coach.

Because Media is marketing, not sales.

So during a media interview simply talk about the content in your book, not the book itself. It’s a subtle but absolutely crucial shift that will help you sell far more books.

Here’s how you do it:

  • If your book is about conflict resolution and you’re being interviewed about sibling rivalry, you don’t need to say that Chapter 5 of your book covers this topic. Just dive right into those great tips you have in chapter 5!
  • If you’re an expert on personal finance, you don’t need to repeat the name of your book throughout the interview. Instead, provide insightful information from your book and share stories of your own experiences.
  • If you’ve written a series of health books, you don’t need to cite each one to make sure to maximize sales. It will have the opposite effect on the audience because they want to be helped, not sold to!

The bottom line is, when you give the audience a glimpse into your unique experience and expertise, they end up wanting more.

So the answer to “How do I sell my book in a media interview?” is this: you don’t. You market it.

And by the way, the editing process I mentioned earlier brings up a question or two for my next post. Do you realize how much power you give up (and how to get it back) when you’re not prepared for a media interview? I’ll answer those next time.

And if you want to learn more about how to make your publicity intentional and profitable, I’ve got you covered with Profitable Publicity