Sell It, Baby: Doing An Author Interview


English: Spilosoma glatignyi caterpillar in su...

Caterpillar says, “Screw you. I’m fabulous.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently gave an interview over on the Third Person Press news blog. In preparation for the launch of Unearthed, they’re publishing interviews with some of the authors, and they’re interesting reads. Go check it out. I even managed to hold back the swears. The power of this blog compels you!

But doing the interview got me thinking (always a dangerous activity). Many authors know the necessity of doing promotion, but aren’t comfortable with it. Well, no worries. It’s nothing to be afraid of. Just follow these simple rules:

1. Stuff The Crippling Self-Doubt: if someone is kind enough to ask you to do an interview, do it. I don’t care if you’re nervous. I don’t care if you have the self-esteem of the half-eaten caterpillar I found in my last bag of organic salad greens. I don’t care if the thought of speaking/writing to a public audience as yourself and not a character makes you simultaneously swear, crap, and faint.* Do it. That’s how you get over it.

2. Deadlines Will Make People Kill You: Also related, if someone asks you to do an interview, especially a written one, get it back to them in a prompt manner. Yes, I know you’re busy. You know who else is busy? The person who asked you to do that interview. And they’ve got better things to do than wait for your lazy ass to complete something that is, really, of most benefit to you.

3. Be Yourself…: By which I mean, don’t be what you think people expect a writer to be.** Be who you are. Talk about writing how you feel about it. You’ve got a better chance of reaching an audience if you’re genuine than if you’re one of a million author-bots cluttering up the world. Also, you’ll be less creepy. Probably.

3 (b)….But Don’t Be A Cock: Don’t twist every question so you can talk about what you want, whether it’s your religion or the latest Justin Bieber album. Don’t compare yourself to Shakespeare unless you are Shakespeare***. Be respectful to the interviewer, the audience, and the publication. And don’t do that fake self-deprecating shit (“Oh, the story’s not really that good, I mean, it was just a little thing I scribbled off”) lest I reach across the miles between us and sterilize you with my mind.

The launch is on the 30th, and I’ll be doing a post on book launches afterwards. And I’ll probably post pictures of myself squeeing with excitement when I finally get the book in my hands. Unearthed contains the story I’m most proud of to date, and I can’t wait to see that little bastard in print. The anthology will be available in print and e-book formats for your reading pleasure, so if you’re interested, check it out. It’ll have some great stories and you’ll get a chance to both entertain yourself and support my  chocolate-covered crack habit writing life.

*I would definitely watch/read/listen to that interview.
**Though of you are a brooding, alcoholic artist crippled by ennui, then, you know, go for it. Though I’d look for a therapist.
***In which case, hail, Undead Bard. Why couldn’t you spell your own name? And why is Hamlet such a douche?