Of all the forms of self-promo, one of the best to give your readers and fans insight into who you are is the author interview. Interviews are a place to give readers the inside scoop on your writing process, your book, and your personality. Above all, they should be interesting—but they can also be a lot of fun. Here are some do’s and don’ts to remember:
DO: Let your personality shine
An interview isn’t the place to be shy—even if you are shy naturally. When answering questions, readers should get a view into the parts of your personality that sparkle. If you’re funny or witty, use that to your advantage. Readers want to know more about you, so use this time to tell stories about yourself. The more you share, the more opportunities you create for readers to connect with you.
DON’T: Over-complicate your answers
There’s a fine balance between answers that are too short and answers that drone on, and on, and on. But whatever questions your interviewer asks, you should make your answers interesting. You should also aim to actually answer their questions. Don’t be boring, break complex topics into layman’s terms, and keep your answers to the point.
DO: Use this interview to self-promote
Some authors wait for or expect the interviewer to make opportunities for them to promote their book. A better strategy is find places to promote your book yourself. For example, if your interviewer asks about your writing routine, you could say, “Well, Bob, when I was working on My Latest Novel, I found one of the best things for me was to was…” You’ve been invited on this interview because of that (or other) books, after all. Feel free to drop in a little self-promo to your advantage! However…
Answer questions honestly and thoughtfully. If you’re asked about your favorite book, don’t give them the title to your own book in an attempt to promote yourself. Talk about your favorite book. Chances are, you have readers who like that book, too, and will see that as a connection they have with you. It’s also not a good idea to fib about answers to questions that a social media search might expose. For example, if you’ve never traveled to the location where you set your book, don’t feel the need to fib to give yourself credibility. Honesty is always the smartest policy.
Do: Tend to the details
If your interview is a written one, make sure to take the time to proofread your answers. If you’re on television, take thought to your outfit and avoid looking at the camera. If you’re on radio, make sure to speak up and sit close to the microphone. Connect with your interviewer when you have an opportunity and treat your interview as a conversation.
Don’t: Forget to share the interview link
Above all, don’t forget to share your interview on your social links. If it’s going to be live, be sure to let your followers know well in advance when and where to tune in. Once the interview has passed, add links so people who missed it can still watch. If it’s a written article, be sure to post links on your website and social media profiles—and tag and thank your interviewer.
Remember: the more passionate, enthusiastic, and professional you can sound—the more likely you are to win readers over. And people who like you are often motivated to read your books!