You’re a smart entrepreneur who understands where his/her talents lie and how to delegate jobs that don’t fall under your area of expertise. Which means you’ve hired a ghostwriter for your business book. You’re wisely offloading responsibility for the writing, but now you need to figure out
Here are 5 ideas to help you make that happen.
Whether you need one or ten ghostwriter-author interviews, you will want to clearly explain what you have to say and what you have to offer. After all, that’s why you’re writing a book, right? You want to get the message out there about who you are and what you do. You want to attract new clients interested in your products or services. Right? It sounds simple enough. But it’s far from it.
The best interviewers will prepare a line of questioning to draw the best answers from you. They will work with the background information both provided by you and in some cases from their own research. They will develop a series of questions that may cover all aspects of your background and your business.
How you answer during your ghostwriter-author interviews is critical to the success of your book. Thoughtful, informative and well-spoken answers are the foundation of your book. Without them, your ghostwriter will be grasping to find the meaning in countless pages of interview transcripts that may or may not truly reflect what you want to say. (Trust me, I’ve been there, wading through text, trying to imagine what the author was trying to say.)
Here at Ingenium Books, we have several veteran journalists – me included – who understand all the tips and tricks used in the craft of the interview. I’ve done magazine and television interviews with CEOs, experts, politicians and celebrities around the world. A wide range of people with a diverse range of stories and messages they want to share. The subjects may be different but the approach to the interview remains the same.
So here are a few
1. Stay focused
I had to put this one first. I just had to. It’s my #1 pet peeve during an interview. Don’t ramble and go off on tangents! Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur who’s recently launched a new fitness program. I’ve done my homework and prepared my questions to dig deep and find out everything there is to know about your new business: the five Ws, otherwise known as the Who, What, When, Where and Why of your new venture. But with each answer, I’m hearing everything from where you went on your last vacation to who you dated in college. I’m left listening hard for what the point is. And that IS the point. Get to the point! Don’t ramble and digress from your message. Answer the question you were asked as thoroughly as you can. And then say no more. Trust the interviewer to guide the flow of the interview.
Unless you are Peter Townshend from The Who, everything I just said applies. Peter Townshend can talk as much as he wants. During one of the most intriguing interviews I ever conducted, Townshend managed to steer the conversation away from the subject at hand, which was the opening of the musical ‘Tommy’, to a long story about his grandmother. Turns out she suffered from dementia and was prone to wandering the streets of her English town stark naked and he had to chase her down and bring her home. How is the opening of ‘Tommy’ and Pete Townshend’s grandmother connected? They’re not. But it was pretty darn entertaining. This is an exception to my rule. Unless you are Pete Townshend, don’t ramble.
2. Finish your sentences
For the love of whichever higher power you believe in, finish your sentences! This one is short but important.
3. Up close and personal
The reader of your book wants to know who you are. What makes you tick? How did you get the idea for your business? What personal attributes helped you to stay the course during tough times and go on to become the successful person you are? How did you become the person with enough life experience to write a book? Tell your story. Come to the interview prepared to talk about what scares you and inspires you. Let your emotions show through. Think about how to tell your personal story with a beginning, a turning point, a climax and an end. Ask yourself what you would want to hear if you were listening to your story for the first time.
4. Prepare talking points
What are the key talking points you want to deliver in your interview? What is the focus of your message?
Are you promoting a brand or selling a product? Prepare some key talking points that you can incorporate into your answers. Make sure you get focused on your message and that you deliver it during the interview. Don’t be worried about pushing an agenda. That’s why you’re writing a book. You have something important to share. Push away.
5. Let your personality and passion shine through
I understand it’s difficult to sound natural when you are being interviewed. I get it. The funny thing is, even though I interview people for a living, the odd time I’ve been interviewed I found myself fumbling for the right words and feeling awkward. It’s natural. The best way to handle any discomfort is to just be yourself. Let your personality come through in your answers. Don’t try to be somebody else. The best messenger of your story is you. Be passionate about what you have to offer.
These are just a few of the tips we have up our sleeves to help you improve your ghostwriter-author interviews, and write a successful and marketable book. What would you add to our list?