One of the traditional ways to inspire someone to read an author’s book has always been the interview – in print a newspaper or magazine, live on the radio or TV, or in front of a face-to-face audience. These days, all but the last are much harder to get, because there are fewer venues that run interviews but many more books competing for those that remain. But there are two new types of interview opportunities that have become available: the text interview, hosted at a blog, and audio and video live interviews, hosted at Youtube, book sites and any of a number of other venues.
The good news is that there are lots of opportunities of this new kind. There are also, by and large, much more accessible than the old kind, and certainly so for a self-published author. The bad news is that in almost all cases the potential audience that any such interview is likely to draw is minute by comparison. So it goes.
Still, the interview format, and especially the live audio or video kind, allows an author a radically different and more effective way to connect with potential readers. Readers can get a far more in-depth and credible feel for who you really are just from the inflection in your voice, as well as from the types of examples, anecdotes and reflections you offer, and your own particular (and in my case perhaps peculiar) sense of humor.
The result is that those who you would like to attract to your writing get much better and more personal impressions of what you have to offer than they can obtain from a book blurb, or, in some ways, even an excerpt of a book. Through your own voice they can hear how you express yourself, how you think about your own book, and what you believe is special, or interesting, or noteworthy about what you have to say, as well as what drove you to say it to begin with. That can all be very good stuff, especially if your interviewer asks the right questions (ideally, you and she will talk about those in advance).
What sparks this particular topic and post is that I’ve just given an interview, which you can find here. If you’ve never given or heard an author interview before, give it a listen, and imagine how you would answer some of the same questions – and then go find someone to interview you about your own book.