I'm posting this today in case there are other authors out there who might want to try this themselves.
This year I will have a total of four new books published. The next two volumes in The Sisters 8 series for young readers, Marcia's Madness (May 3) and Petal's Problems (Oct 4); the YA novel The Education of Bet (Jul 12) and the YA novel The Twin's Daughter (Aug 31). In order to promote them, particularly the first two scheduled books to kick things off, I decided to try something a little different.
The last time I had a book come out - the YA novel Crazy Beautiful - I did a lot of blog interviews etc. I didn't seek them out but the result, because there were so many, was like when an author goes on an official virtual tour. It was great exposure for the book - believe me, I'm not complaining! - but it was like a conventional tour in that I was essentially answering the same 10 questions (e.g., "Where did you get the idea for CB?") over and over again. I've heard some bloggers say they're no longer that keen on being stops on such tours because it does get repetitive: for the bloggers, for the authors and, most important of all, for the blog readers.
So I came up with the idea for The One-Question Interview Blog Tour, a tour where I'd only answer one question on each blog and would never answer the same question twice. I put the call out on Twitter, Facebook, BookBalloon and Backspace, asking bloggers to get in touch if they thought they might be interested. Before I knew it, my calendar was getting filled up.
Here's what I asked bloggers to do on the scheduled day for my stop at their site: ask me a question about anything, whether about one of my specific books, or writing, or publishing, or life, or even what I had for dinner; post one or more of the book covers with the plot description - info they could get from my site or an online bookseller; post our one-question interview; and if they'd like, I'd send them links to the stops I made immediately before and after their stop.
Here's what I promised bloggers they'd get out of it:
- A minimal-work blog post.
- The chance to help *me*. (Who wouldn't want that???)
- Original content, since I'd do my best to keep a list of questions asked so the same question is never answered twice, at least not as part of The One-Question Interview Blog Tour.
Here's what I promised readers would get:
- Original content.
Here's what I promised myself I would get:
- Fabulous exposure without feeling like I'm boring everyone, including myself, to tears.
So, you're probably wondering, how's that working out for everyone so far?
Well, I can't speak for the bloggers and readers, but I can speak for myself. The tour kicked off on May 3 and I currently have every non-holiday, non-weekend date between then and July 23 booked. I've been asked questions about my process, about the future of publishing, about TV, about sports, about women's issues, about what I've always wanted to do but never tried, even time-travel questions. Today I'm at Tish Cohen's blog answering a question about the best and worst writing advice I've ever received: here. Throughout the tour thus far, my creativity and imagination has been exercised. Will I sell more books this way? Who knows? But the bottom line is: I am having a blast. Did I tell you about the question I was asked concerning what I'd do come the zombie apocalypse? How could I not be having fun doing this?
There are no guarantees that any form of promotion an author does will yield results. Even books with huge publisher-paid-for-campaigns have been known to fail. So as far as I'm concerned, if I'm going to spend my time doing it, it better be something I enjoy. That way, even if I don't sell a single extra book from all this effort, my time will not be wasted. And hopefully the bloggers and readers will feel the same.
OK, QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:
1) What's the best/worst writing advice you've ever received?
2) What different type of promo have you done?
3) What's the most effective promo you've ever done?
Oh, and if you'd like to be a stop on The One-Question Interview Blog Tour, drop me a line because, apparently, I can keep answering questions forever.
Be well. Don't forget to write.