TV Interviews

Yikes!! What is the first thing you think of, as an Indie Author, when you are contacted by local media requesting a live unedited TV interview?

  • What should I wear?
  • How early should I get there?
  • Do I look at the camera or the interviewer?
  • How can I tell about my book/books in just a few words?
  • What if I cough, sneeze, belch or worse fart?

Well, that last one is a little over the top, but you get the idea. The first reaction is excitement about the opportunity to expose your work to a large viewing audience for free!

It is an incredible opportunity and you can’t beat free advertising.

I was recently contacted by a large local ABC station in Dallas, Texas after my third book, Home At Last, won two awards. It was my second TV appearance and I wasn’t nearly as nervous as the first one. I knew I’d only have a few short minutes to talk and I needed to make every word count.


After doing  research, I found these helpful tips:

  1.  Choose your outfit wisely. – Bold or bright solid colors are recommended. Stay away from prints, stripes, checks, etc. If you are female and wear makeup, put it on a little bolder and darker than you would for every day.
  2. Practice your sound bites – Think about Twitter and how you only have 140 characters to get your message across. Of course, you will have more than that, but it is a comparison. The interview time is normally very short, so choose words that count and really tell what your book is about. Direct and to the point with passion!
  3. Send Questions to your Interviewer – If you have the option to communicate with the interviewer, send a list of questions you’d like them to ask you. Believe me, they appreciate this as it makes their job easier. On the other hand, they may send you a list of questions. Either way, it helps you prepare.
  4. Practice makes perfect – Make time to practice what you are going to say, especially if you know the questions. Slow down your speech and be articulate.
  5. De-Stress before you go on – Take three deep calming breaths. You can do this anywhere at anytime and it is proven to lower blood pressure and slow down the heart rate. This will help you tremendously.
  6. Control your Body Language -You’ll most likely be nervous or amped up during your interview, but strive not to let it show. Maintain eye contact with your interviewer and avoid glancing off set. Keep your hand gestures to a minimum. Keep them in your lap if they want to wander on their own.

Most of all, HAVE FUN!!!

The morning I went into the studio for my interview, actor Patrick Duffy, from the acclaimed TV show, Dallas was also there. Of course, I had to have a picture with him.

Author Jan Sikes and Actor, Patrick Duffy

Below is the interview. I am open to comments, suggestions and/or critique. I have another live TV interview coming up in May, so I am learning as I go.

Good Morning Texas TV Interview