I spend time every day working on my Readsalot blog. I use the blog to help promote other (indie) writers. Part of that promotion often turns into author interviews. I am no way an expert on marketing, PR or any other field in which interviews would fall. I am, however, a big reader. Like, seriously, I average reading a book a day. What can I say? I don’t like television, and my husband lives in another country. I am always searching for another read. It’s second nature to me. Even if my Kindle is full of sample chapters and unread books, I’m checking out books and authors.
I think this gives me enough authority to comment on what makes a good author interview from a reader’s perspective. (The last point below is probably more from a writer’s perspective, but we’ll just ignore that, shall we?) So, without further ado, here are my pointers on how to do an author interview:
Do not repeat your author summary. It’s absolutely shocking how many authors merely repeat information from their author summary in their answers. I’m reading this interview because I want to know more information about the author. If an author can’t bother to come up with original information for an interview, I have to wonder how original their novel is.
Do not repeat your answers. Over the course of your author career, you are going to do a lot of author interviews. Often, these interviews occur over the same time period while you’re promoting a new release. There’s nothing worse (okay, world hunger and slavery and all that is way worse, but you get where I’m coming from) than following a blog tour and seeing that every interview contains the same questions and answers. BOR-ING! Now I know a lot of bloggers have a standard list of questions, and these questions overlap with other bloggers’ questions. I also know that most bloggers provide a long list of questions and ask the author to answer at least five questions. Pick different questions! And make sure your answers vary! My favorite book is never the same.
Be fun or at least interesting. I’m probably going to piss off a few people here, but I can’t seem to help that (contrary to what people think I do not live to argue). Yes, being a writer is a business as well as a creative outlet. Being a business and trying to make money in the form of royalties is serious stuff. Still, nothing turns me off more than an interview that is super serious. Life is serious enough (and beyond scary at the moment). If you write non-fiction, then by all means, go to town with your seriousness. If you write fiction, on the other hand, there’s no reason to be somber. You don’t need to be funny (although that’s my preference) but interesting and definitely not dull would be great and will likely pique my interest in your book.
Don’t brag. There’s nothing worse for me than reading an author interview in which the author claims to have NEVER gotten a bad review. Seriously? I immediately jump to conclusions. Obviously, she doesn’t have many reviews. And all of the reviews must be from family and friends. Instead of going to Amazon to check out the book, I’m on there reading and analyzing the reviews. Is that a friend of family member who wrote that one? You might say I’m obsessed and you wouldn’t be completely wrong.
That’s it for now but y’all know I’ll be back in a few months with another ‘rant’ about author interviews. Live and learn and all that.