Let me start by saying that I am in no way or manner an expert in marketing or being an author for that matter. I am, however, a voracious reader. I read at least one book a day, sometimes two, and on the not-totally-rare occasion three. I’m a huge supporter of indie writers because – duh – I am one and I try to read as many self-published books as I can. In order to find these books – because we all know Amazon isn’t much help – I follow a ton of blogs on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. I read heaps of author interviews and guest posts as well as book excerpts. What will make an author interview stand out for me? Enough that I’ll 1-click the book?
Fun. My number 1 advice to writers doing an author interview is to have fun. Sure, writing is serious business and – okay – reading is sometimes too. But picking out what book to read and finding an author you want to follow? That should be fun. Unless the interview is for a writing blog aimed towards other writers, don’t be too serious. Although many readers are nominally interested in the vocation of writing, you’re here to sell a book – not educate readers on the art of writing.
Don’t overdo it. A lot of blogs or websites that do author interviews have ready-made lists of interview questions and it’s up to the author to choose which questions to answer. Limit the amount of questions you answer to keep the reader’s attention. If I’m doing a blog tour and get several requests for interviews, I try to pick different questions from each blogger (many of the standard interview questions overlap). If you have readers who are following the tour, they won’t end up reading the same answer over and over.
Vary your answers. Oftentimes it’s unavoidable that you answer the same question with different bloggers/websites. There are just some questions that keep coming back. What’s your favorite book? or Who is your favorite author? are all-time favorites. I try to vary my answers. Not only because it’s impossible to pick a favorite book or favorite author, but also to provide different material.
Just a word of caution. It’s important that the interview reflect your writing as well as your personality. There’s nothing worse than reading a super funny interview from a writer and then grabbing the book expecting tons of laughs only to be disappointed when the book is super dark and depressing.
Any other advice for the writers out there on how to do an author interview?