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?
Yes, like a lot of other people in this thread, I disagree. I think author interviews are an integral part of the marketing process.
It's pretty much established that many writers - especially poets - build their reputations on the marketing of themselves.
Though I have to say, many writers don't know how to give entertaining interviews, so you're probably correct in saying they can be boring. But there are writers who give very colourful performances in interviews.
I think there are a lot of things in life that we could say should be.
Personally - I have long said: writing is no more than a slow form of show business. In fact, I first said that in Slightly West Magazine (Washington) about 16 years ago.
It's not necessarily having comedic talents. It's just a question of being an engaging personality. I think if you can give engaging interviews it is inevitable that it will be beneficial. Have you watched interviews with Henry Miller? Such an entertaining raconteur! There is little comedy involved.
Those with comedic talents should sell more books than their shy counterparts because life isn't fair... But to be honest, anyone listening to an author interview is already most likely a fan, so other than word of mout "he's such a nice bloke, too..." etc, i don't see how it makes much of a difference to sales.
Of course the hole in my own argument is that if you do happen to hear an interview and you like the author, you're that much more likely to seek out their books. It's a bit like making a new friend. Sometimes you just click with someone, and if they happen to write books i suppose you buy them.
I should argue with myself more often...
Paul's point applies almost exclusively to online interviews. They're all over the place. Major publications work in quality over quantity with their interviews, and it shows. But you know the writing from the authors is usually better right up front.