I’ve been blogging for four years. In that time, the writing community has grown. A lot. We have all read our fair share of cover reveals, book launch announcements, and author interviews, so much so that, though I hate to say it, we are becoming immune to blog tours.
Every day, my blogger dashboard is bombarded with book promotion. And I have to be honest. I gloss over every single blog post that is a promotion of some kind. Especially author interviews. I’d much rather read about the author on their own blog. Maybe this is just me. But … maybe it isn’t.
This made me wonder … what if everybody feels like this now? How on earth am I going to be noticed in this vast sea of book promotion on every single blog I follow?
So, I starting thinking about what might make an author interview interesting enough for me to engage. How awesome would it be to be interviewed in real time, like on the radio, somewhere where readers can jump in and ask questions themselves, and receive immediate replies? Wouldn’t it be so much more interesting to feel like you are actually talking to the author directly?
So I tried it. My very first Facebook Author Interview was fabulous. You can check it out here.
So what were the results?
I had one woman, other than the interviewer, actually engage in the conversation and ask questions herself, and she even bought my book because of the interview. Two others were lurking and ‘liking' questions and answers. And the thread even got shared on a couple of other people's pages. I also made a couple of new friends.
Now, I just jumped right in without saying a word to anybody about it until ten minutes before it began. But imagine the scope of exposure if I had advertised this a bit beforehand and drummed up interest?
So how do you go about organizing a Facebook Author Interview?
If someone offers to interview you on their blog, suggest that they do it on Facebook instead, so that it becomes more of a discussion. All the interviewer needs to do is start the thread off with something like this:
Good morning world! Today, I'm interviewing Author Jessica Bell about her latest writing craft pocket guide, Adverbs & Clichés in a Nutshell, right here on Facebook! In this thread! So please feel free to join in the conversation at any time. [insert book link]
Notice that the interviewer has tagged my profile. Make sure they do this, otherwise your followers won’t be able to see it. Also make sure they make the thread public, and not just visible to their friends.
Your interviewer then begins asking questions in the comments of this post, and you answer them in the comments, too. Readers can then ask you questions in the thread as well. It really is rather fantastic. My interview lasted for an hour, and the thread boasted a whopping 73 comments by the time we were finished.
Don’t forget to share the thread with your friends and/or writers groups, too (within reason, though, don’t be spammy). In order to get the direct link to a Facebook thread all you need to do is click the date that appears directly under the name of the profile it is posted on. When you do this, it will isolate the thread. Then copy the URL from your browser address bar.
I have to say, I enjoyed this so much more than commenting on a pre-written interview on a blog. It really did feel like we were having a conversation. And we were. The only difference was, we were talking, potentially, to the whole world.
What about you? Have you used Facebook for interviews — or in any other interesting way? Or found another route for author interviews that works? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Great post. Am I blind? I can’t find the share button for this site.
Bottom left, Stephen, are buttons to share it via Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Is that what you needed? Maybe we should offer more sharing options e.g. email, print, etc. What do you think? Glad you liked the post enough to want to share it! 🙂
I think this was great. I think though, the key is it was fresh and new… if bunches of people now do this, it would get ignored, too. It’s a constant challenge to find new ways to get ourselves out there. I’m in the midst of a blog tour, and I totally appreciate all my fabulous hosts, but yes… not the same impact it used to have… Ah, but how to be the first one to stumble upon the next big thing…
Yes, that’s the biggest challenge, Hart – to invent a whole new way of promoting your book, and I really think Jessica has done this. Whatever next?!
The new way to attract attention will always garner looks … for awhile. Then everyone does it, and it no longer works. We have to draw attention from READERS not AUTHORS. That usually means an internet site, other than an author one, spotlighting us — say a university site or a newspaper site or other high-profile site — and that is something I have not figured out how to do … yet. An interesting post as always, Roland
You’re right, Roland – and Jessica is generous to share her great idea here so that readers of the ALLi blog are the first to know about it! Thanks, Jess – and thanks for commenting, Roland!
I recently had a similar experience with a twitter chat interview using a hashtag made up by the host (#chatitup) to connect the conversation. The host sent out occassional tweets to promote it for a couple of weeks. Everyone was very engaged and we stayed on for nearly an hour and a half! Made some great connections and gained some new followers. I will definitely have to suggest a facebook interview sometime and see how that goes. Thanks!
That sounds great, Michelle – if you’d like to write a similar blog post for ALLi about that experience, we’d love to hear from you!
Wonderful idea, Jessica!
Thank you, Michael!