As you know I’ve organised many author and character interviews over the last couple of years. I’ve also participated in a few. But do they work?
I suppose, like any marketing tool, they work for some and not others. Certainly for me I find the character interviews very interesting to write. It helps me think about the people I create in new ways. I helps me remember them, who they are, what they are and where they are going. I’m a roleplaying gamer (no I don’t mean bedroom fun), and so often part of the generation of characters was asking questions about who these people are, not simply a list of stats.
Now the question is do they attract readers? Honestly I don’t know. I’ve bought books based on character profiles, and decided against books on that basis but I doubt I’m a typical reader. The networking is good – blog visiting gets the book before a new audience – who may or may not pursue it but are unlikely to have ever heard of that book before for many indie authors. I don’t necessarily notice a sales spike after an interview but many people wishlist a book, or simply remember and buy it later.
Author interviews are far more common – and I’ve found more generic. Again it’s hard to tell whether they help sales – but I doubt they hurt – although of course that depends on an author’s answers. Of course it is a marketing tool and many readers do object to such blatant self promotion – that said they don’t actually have to read them….
As a blogger I’ve forged a useful network of author and blogger friends, which is good for cross promotion, and finding new readers, new contacts and new advice. For me it’s a good way of finding new books, but of course doesn’t work for all.
I’ve found variety is the key. Think about which questions to answer, keep it interesting. Would you want to read a boring interview? No, nor me. Try and vary the type of blog and type of interview, and don’t just talk about the book.
So here are the questions for my followers – do you read author or character interviews? Do they actually interest in you in the book. Do you just see them as annoying spam?