Author interviews have to be some of the most uninteresting things a person could read. Shiste, I can't even get into my own.
This is because they aren't necessarily geared toward anyone. The reader wants to read a book and be entertained, not delve into the writing process. That's why they read and don't write.
That begs the question of why to do them in the first place. The author must think there's a benefit. But if readers don't care, why take the time?
The only people I see reading author interviews are other authors. While this could provide some benefit, I think interviews are conducted without regard to them. It's a self-serving, feel-good thing for the author to do.
If I'm being too harsh, it's only because I'm trying to make sense of what the hell is going on anymore. I see authors doing a pile of online interviews and never gain a reader. I have to think this is because readers don't read them.
Am I too far off with any of this?
I love ya but I gotta disagree to a point. A lot of readers and industry people read author interviews to get a feel for the author.
This is the thing though, author interviews are uninteresting if the AUTHOR is uninteresting or boring. I do interviews all the time and get great feedback from existing fans as well as new readers who discover me. One thing about me is I let my personality show and I have a pleasant and very humorous personality. I get what you mean about some author interviews. Some authors are boring. But look at celebrities. Are all them exciting when they are interviewed? Heck no. Some celebs are the most boring folks on the planet to read or hear an interview from. Some light up the interview and are very interesting. Interviews work if you let yourself shine and be yourself. But if you are just a boring and dry person, you're going to be boring and dry on interviews. I read author interviews as well and I find a lot of them interesting. I do come across some dry ones but like I said, these folks are boring in general. They'd be boring and dry no matter what careers they had. LOL! I've even gotten invites to do interviews for other people because of interviews people see me in. I always let my personality shine through and I not only try to give entertaining interviews but informative ones as well. Also, it's great promo just like doing guest blogs which I do a lot of too. There are a lot of people who like to read author interviews and get inside an author's head. Aspiring writers especially love to read them because authors share their own experiences and insight pertaining to the writing industry. Inside things newbies wouldn't know about but what might help them.
As for me, it's not a self-serving thing altogether. True, I get publicity from it. But nothing wrong with doing something for promo right? But I also try to inform and help people with my interviews. Also, like I said, a lot of people will ask an author for interviews. To be honest I've done so many I am tired of them but I don't turn down someone who asks me to do one. I no longer put myself out there just for interviews because they now bore me. Folks ask the same questions over and over. I like doing guest blogs more because you can talk about different things and really give readers a chance to see inside.
And once again, yes, people outside of authors do read author interviews. If not then I don't think people would be asking authors to do them or offer the opportunity. LOL!
One thing for me is I stick to print interviews. People ask me to do blog talk ones and I don't like doing those at all. I find them a complete waste of time. I have done one or two in the past but it's not something I enjoyed.
You're right about personality making the difference. Maybe I've just been reading drab author interviews.
By the way I feel the same way you do about book reviews. Do readers really care about them? Some say yes and some say no. I don't believe a review sways a reader to buy a book unless maybe it's a big time reviewer. But even then, not necessarily. Of course this is just my opinion but most of the people I know (readers) read books because friends or family told them about the books. A lot of readers don't even read book reviews. Now THIS is one thing I believe is mostly for an author and pub's benefit. I truly don't think reviews are as powerful as people say. For instance, I am not gonna read or skip a book based on some stranger's opinion. I either have my mind made up or not. But if a friend tells me they read something and I should check it out, I might. I trust that person's opinion even if we might have different tastes. I'll at least give the book a try or read up on it.
I've never, ever read a book based on a review in my life. Lately I've been getting my recommendations from online friends on Facebook. That is why FB is so great for promo. It's super word of mouth.
Sigh. But as authors we have to have reviews but the longer I am in the business the less I feel like they really matter.
Here's a site -- Nigel Bird's -- I check often. It's fun. It's interviews only ... authors interviewing themselves.
I agree with Stacy. I think a lots of people read author's interviews. Especially so if the interview gets into the nuts and bolts of a character, a book, or the thinking processes the author used in writing. Especially avid readers. A true fan will get in their car and travel 200 miles just to hear their favorite author. Of have them autograph a book.
I think the trick is to make yourself--the author--interesting enough someone would want to read about you. Which, when translated, means just relax and open up. Show some humor. Treat the reader as an equal. Answer questions. Act confident. Be gracious.
Interviews are publicity. Of course, they're self-serving. Why the hell else do them? You don't get paid. And I'm not into self-aggrandisement.
As for boring: yes, they can be, even the ones that focus on answering questions readers have. I have done many interviews and like doing them. I can work from a set of questions and think about what I should or shouldn't say. As someone who tends to put her foot in her mouth, I find that a godsent. But if every interview asks the same question ("What made you decide to write about eleventh century Japan?"), you're hardpressed to come up with new answers. On the whole, however, my interviews have mostly all been different from each other. A good interviewer will ask the right questions and leave open some topics for the author to respond to as he sees fit.
Let me say again: I like doing interviews. So feel free to ask me. :)
This rarely happens, but I'm on the other side on Ben this time. I love author interviews. Look for the all the time. The trick is to find authors who can speak (or respond via email) with at least some of the eloquence and wit they show in their writing. Victor Gischler did a series of interviews several years ago that were laugh out loud funny; I wish he'd do them again.
The interviewer can be as important as the subject. Listen to them, play off of the answers he gets. A review tells me what the reviewer thought of a book, with all of his preconceived notions and prejudices. A good interview tells me about the mind that wrote the book. Much more telling, if done well.