Most authors aspire to national TV interviews when they are promoting a new book. It's not something that happens to everyone, but book publicists stress that preparation is essential when it does. If you are an author and don't already have experience making TY appearances, it's wise to consider media training. The goal is to prepare well to be an engaging guest who connects well with the interviewer and audience while getting across your key messages with poise and focus. Many of the same skills figure into successful radio interviews and podcast appearances, so learn them well.

Expert media trainers always advise that you tactfully take the leas in interviews. Specifically, it means beginning (and building) a relationship with the host, stating your points interestingly, and sticking to the subject(s) you were invited to discuss. Learning to speak in headlines, keeping your language simple, and leaving space for questions is essential. You'll also be more successful when you use some stories and examples of appropriate length in your replies to an interviewer's questions. Don't be afraid to pause – silence is not the enemy. Speaking endlessly or too long in any way can turn off an audience.

If you need to mention anything negative in one of your answers, say it only once briefly and move on. You want to speak spontaneously and reply to questions, but try to refrain from off-the-cuff remarks. You'll do better when you stay with your planned topics. You also need to get across your points in various amounts of time, for example, 20 seconds, two minutes, or 20 minutes. Interviews and sound bite opportunities vary in length, and you need to be able to tell your story in more than one length. Body language is essential; be relaxed and open. The same goes for tone; be engaging.

Being successful in interviews means getting across your key points in any format and length of time. They are the things you'd like prospective readers to know about your book. You don't want to appear as evasive of the interviewer's questions, but sometimes you may give an answer that states what you want to say more than directly answering the question. As long as your answer applies to the more significant issue behind the question, your answer won't seem off-base. Some trainers refer to it as blocking and bridging, segueing from the question to the point you'd prefer to make for the audience to hear.