top of page

6 Ways to Authors Can Overcome Interview Fright When Marketing Their Books

Tame the What Ifs when speaking to a crowd

Authors are tasked with marketing their fiction and nonfiction books to a variety of audiences. While being prepared to speak in front of an audience is invaluable, it can also be frightening. When it comes to glossophobia, the numbers are clear: Up to 75% of people have mild to severe anxiety when asked to speak in front of a crowd, no matter the size.

Fear of “What If” is one of the most powerful experiences someone could face. What if I fail? What nobody likes me? What if I embarrass myself? What if …

Tame your What Ifs in the same manner you put pen to paper. As writers, we are practiced in the art of creativity and refining. No matter our preferred genre, we know how to craft content that connects with our audience. Rather than listening to your “What If” inner critic, ease your anxiety by building reliable talking points.

Whether you’ve been asked to speak to a book club, in a college classroom, or on a podcast, use these tips to conquer whatever stage you find yourself on.

1. Swing for the Fences

Making yourself available to audiences can be nerve-wracking, especially if you have glossophobia. But it’s a great way to market. Completing your work-in-progress means you’ve already aimed for and achieved something big. According to a recent survey, over 50% of Americans believe they could write a novel, 15% start one but only 8% complete one. Don’t stop now. The world needs to know about your book.

2. Your Audience is Your Most Valuable Asset

Your author’s journey is interesting, and nobody knows it better than you. If you’ve already published or are about to, you are an inspiration. When we consider that only 8% of individuals have ever written a book, you are more successful than the remaining 42% who dream they could write a book. Your listening audience will want to know your secret. Refer to point #1.

3. You Are Not an Impostor

Tennessee Williams said, “What’s talent but the ability to get away with something.” It’s not uncommon to feel like an impostor, like you’re getting away with something. Self-doubt creeps in and we question if we are worthy of the title “Author.” The truth is many writers fear someone will discover they are a fraud as if they are fooling the world. Take heart, you worked hard to get where you are, and that makes you an author. Don’t quite believe me? Refer to point #2.

4. Practice

Your father wasn’t kidding when he said practice makes perfect. You’ll sound like a pro when you practice responding to commonly asked questions such as “What makes the book unique?” and “What will I learn reading this book?” Consider recording your answers using the video app on your phone or Zoom to mimic a live audience. Practice will also help you avoid feeling like an impostor. Refer to point #3.

5. Your “Why” Trumps “What”

Loglines, those one to two sentence summaries of your work’s plot, are important for publishing. You may have them memorized, but do you have yours internalized? Often, we fumble and stumble when someone asks, “So, tell me about your book.” An internalized message will sound heartfelt and intriguing rather than robotic and dull. Audiences will want to know why you wrote your book more than what happens in the book. Be prepared by practicing. Refer to point #4.

6. Your Character’s “Why” Trumps “What,” Too

If your protagonist could relay one message to a listening audience, what would it be? Your book’s message is hidden within the text. Hop into the head of your main character or narrator and from their viewpoint, share the lessons in your book with the audience. Refer to point #5.

Don’t allow the What Ifs to stop you from sharing your book’s message with the world. Take a deep breath and remember, you are the expert. Your listening audience is excited to hear from you!


Alison Nissen is passionate about stories and believes everyone has a story worth sharing. As an award-winning author, blogger, podcaster, and co-founder of Revel Coach, she finds inspiration in helping others identify their purpose. Alison is an accomplished public speaker, hosts the Florida Writer Podcast and co-hosts Revel Coach's Revel Coach+ Podcast, where each week, she and her partner (and sister) interview individuals who are changing the world.


bottom of page