By Marika Flatt —
Don’t miss Marika’s panel, Book Publicity in the Digital Age, during IBPA’s Publishing University on March 21-22, 2014 in San Francisco! Registration is now open.
Many authors don’t understand what soundbites are and how they are used in media interviews. Useful and compelling soundbites can help: to sell books, attract speaking engagements, grow your business, get new clients or more customers, or increase your fees. You want to develop soundbites that speak to who you are, what you do and how well you do it. Soundbites are the essential messages that will create sales and recognition. They consist of anecdotes, analogies, stories, one-liners, and facts that you can speak in 15-30 seconds. They should be singly focused on what you want your audience to know. Here are suggestions for you to employ:
1. Incorporate Your Past into Your Present Experience.
We want to know how your childhood dreams have influenced the career you’ve chosen. Your past often has predictors to your future interests and life decisions. If you don’t want to go back as far as childhood, then go back in your professional career. Audiences love to hear a personal story. Stories can make or break an interview.
Another way to tie past to present is to show how your passion drives your profession. “People think I am disciplined. It is not discipline. It is devotion. There is a great difference,” says Luciano Pavarotti. Choose the words that show your devotion.
2. Show Your Suffering.
Some people I’ve known who have suffered the most are funny, sarcastic, and wise, but never saccharin. Saccharin is all this sweet talk about love and understanding and comes off as fake. Love, understanding and forgiveness aren’t sickly tender. They often come out of bitterness, hopelessness and heartache. We trust those people who have suffered or who have failed over and over again and are willing to share their insights–in a non-showy way.
3. Quote from your book.
Tag the pages in your book or materials and rank them in priority. Give the audience a tasty bite of what it would be like to indulge in your services and buy your book or product. Think of it an auditory sample that your audience can take home with them.
4. Say the name of your book, business, product or cause.
Weave the name of your book, business, product or cause into the conversation at least three times, so it sounds like it is a necessary part of the sentence.
5. Tantalize your audience.
Right as the host says he’s going to break for a commercial, take five seconds to say what you are going to talk about next. Use key words like, “When we return I will tell your audience the biggest mistake to avoid, or the one thing they should never leave the house without, or the secret to speaking a mesmerizing message in 30 seconds etc.”
6. Establish urgency to sell your book.
Promise your audience something and then deliver it. Give a special deal that has a limited time offer. Another way to establish urgency is to tell people what they are losing by not having your book or joining your cause. These are embedded marketing messages that spur people to action. Practice until you say them naturally.
About the Author: Marika launched PR by the Book, LLC in 2002, combining her love of the media, public relations and books. Prior to that, Marika spent seven years leading the publicity team of an Austin-based book publicity firm. She received a Gold Bulldog Award for a publicity campaign that resulted in exposure in over 700 media outlets. Marika is a past-president of Women Communicators of Austin, serves as an Expert for IBPA, is listed on Twitter’s Women in Publishing (#womeninpublishing) and serves on the selection committee for the Texas Book Festival. As a hobby, Marika has been a freelance travel writer for over a decade and serves as the Travel Editor for Austin Lifestyle magazine.