If you've written a book, your publicity program will likely include contact with journalists and program hosts who interview you. As a result, many veteran PR pros recommend media training before you begin a book marketing campaign. Some authors are already public personalities, frequently appearing before audiences and speaking with reporters. But working with a trainer can improve results and calm jittery nerves for those who aren't. The goal is to get across your key points while giving good answers to the questions you're asked. It will go smoothly when you have a game plan and understand the process.

If you've written a book and are hearing about media training for the first time, it's exactly what it sounds like – preparation for being interviewed. A surprising number of dos and don'ts are connected to promoting a book. When you do it well, your interviews and appearances will pay off much more than if you do it off the cuff. Consistency and appropriateness in messaging mean a lot because you want to reach your target audience with the correct information. There are things you can decide on that help present your book as interesting and better than competitors in your genre.

Learning to handle yourself on camera has some crossovers with giving a speech, but it also has unique aspects. During media training, you'll learn the differences and how to adapt your information for each. You'll also have a formal process to think through what you want to say about your book and how to connect with current events. Much of your media coverage will depend on being seen as newsworthy, and trainers can help you learn to do it. Part of doing well in interviews is being engaging with your answers and letting your personality come through. It takes some practice to improve.

Anticipating the media's needs and providing information they can use and find newsworthy dramatically improves the chances of coverage. How you answer questions can make the difference between being covered or not. Trainers can share those nuances and update you on best practices. It's an eye-opening experience; you'll be prepared for success from then on. Ask any author who has worked with professional consulting; they'll tell you the difference it makes. Many of your competitors are on their games with sound-bite-friendly answers, so you want to meet the challenge. There is only so much space and time available, and the trick is to be compelling enough to be covered.