7 Mistakes Authors Make when Giving an Author Interview on a Book Blog (And What to Do Instead!)

Author Interview, Book Promotion, Tips for Authors
7 Mistakes Authors Make When Giving an Author Interview on a Book Blog. Are you making these newbie mistakes when you give interviews on book blogs? Blog interviews can be a great way to gain new followers and get exposure for your book. Don't make these rookie mistakes! | batchofbooks.com

Giving an author interview on a book blog is a good way to build human connections with your audience and gain new fans. Interviews endear you to the hearts of readers and help them remember you, especially if you have something funny or interesting to say.

Here are some examples of fantastic author interviews I’ve featured on Batch of Books:

I’ve posted dozens of author interviews over the years. I love getting to know authors and sharing their personalities with my blog readers.

However, new and inexperienced authors often make rookie mistakes when giving an author interview, and that’s what I want to address today.

Here are seven mistakes to avoid the next time you give an author interview on a book blog. These simple changes can make your interview shine and get readers to fall in love with you and your books.


7 Mistakes Authors Make when Giving an Author Interview

How to Give Great Author Interviews on Book Blogs. Are you making these newbie mistakes when you give interviews on book blogs? Blog interviews can be a great way to gain new followers and get exposure for your book. Don't make these rookie mistakes! | batchofbooks.com

Mistake #1

Saying a Book or Genre is “Easy” to Write

I’m always curious why authors choose to write for children and teens, so I often include that question in an author interview. You might get asked why you write romance, science fiction, or whatever your chosen genre is.

The absolute worst answer you can give to this question is “because it’s easier”.

Besides insulting every other author that writes in your chosen genre or age category, readers cringe when they see those words.

When you say the words “it’s easier”, a reader hears, “I didn’t want to put forth any effort, so I picked whatever required the least amount of work.”

What to Say Instead:

Instead, think of a real reason for picking your genre or demographic.

For example, when I asked David Neilsen what he loved about writing Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, he responded like this:

“The best part for me was how naturally the story came out…I saw the entire story from beginning to end, and as I wrote, more things just clicked into place as if they were meant to be.”

A wonderful answer! It’s an answer that makes me love him and his book even more.


Mistake #2

You’re as Subtle as an Elephant About Self-Promotion

I used to ask authors what their all-time favorite book is. Without fail, they answered, “Mine!”

Besides being super tacky, this is a cop-out answer.

Interviewers ask this question to find out more about you as a person, not to get a sales pitch.

The same goes for when an interviewer asks what is the best book you’ve read this year? Or, what is the one book that everyone should read?

When someone asks you a question like this, it’s because they want to know something interesting about you. So, don’t answer with “Mine!”

What to Say Instead:

Answer honestly!

Tell the interviewer what books influenced you as a reader, writer, and person. Or, tell them your favorite book of the year so far (not your own).

For example, when I asked Sarah Beard, author of Beyond the Rising Tide about her favorite novel of the year, she responded with:

“I have a love-hate relationship with my so-far favorite book of 2016. It’s When We Collided by Emery Lord…The book has gorgeous prose, authentic characters, and all the feels. But some of those feels will tear your heart to pieces.”

This answer makes Sarah sound like an interesting person who reads the same kinds of books I do. I feel an instant kinship with Sarah and I think I’ll enjoy reading her books. (I did, by the way. They’re amazing.)


Mistake #3

You Rushed Through Your Answers Faster Than a Cheetah Chasing Dinner


Many times, I send out interview questions several weeks in advance, only to have them returned the night before my scheduled post with two or three-word answers.

I know, I know. Releasing a book is a huge deal and you’re incredibly busy.

BUT, getting an author interview on a book blog or podcast is a wonderful opportunity for you to connect with new readers and showcase your *sparkling* personality.

If you’re going to rush through the answers or give sterile, two word answers for every question, you’d be better off canceling the interview.

When you don’t give the questions any thought, you’re not only insulting the blogger and wasting their time, but you’re disappointing the readers that will see it.

What to Do Instead

Take interviews seriously.

You would be surprised at how popular author interviews are. They perform very well over time and bring in regular web traffic for months. People are curious about you.

Don’t rush through the answers. If you get asked a straightforward question, expound on it.

For example, when I asked M. Tara Crowl, author of the Eden of the Lamp series, which character was her favorite to write, she didn’t just give me the character’s name. She gave me all of this:

“I love writing Eden. She’s brave and incredibly smart, but also playful and mischievous. And I love seeing the world through her eyes. Since she’s lived inside a lamp for her whole life, she sees everything on Earth with wonder: the sun, the ocean, animals, everything green and growing. Writing about those things from her perspective reminds me to appreciate them for myself.”

Not only did she answer the question, but she also took the opportunity to tell me more about Eden and why she likes writing that character.


Mistake #4

Your Answers are Boring and You Didn’t Tell Us Any Stories About Yourself

Readers love learning the stories behind your book. They want insights into your personality, quirks, and struggles. The weirder, the better.

If you’re not telling stories in your author interview, you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with your readers on a deeper level.

Remember that we are reading, listening, or watching your interview because we want to know more about you. So put some zing into your answers and blast us with quirky tales and delicious anecdotes.

What to Do Instead

Make your answers fun!

Let your personality shine through, tell stories, and show us your geeky/nerdy/weird side. It will turn us from passive observers into raving fans.

A great example is this author interview that Tressa from Wishful Endings and I did with Kiersten White when And I Darken was released.

“I like feeling devious, and every step of the way with this book I’ve felt like I was getting away with something. Historical fiction from someone with a previously blisteringly modern voice! Gender-swapping a relatively obscure historical figure! Writing a sensitive, gentle boy and a brutal, violent girl! Maybe it’s my inner teenager, but I’m always having the most fun when I think I’m misbehaving.”

Using storytelling, Kiersten not only hooked us on her book but also gave us a snapshot of her vibrant personality.


Mistake #5

You Didn’t Spell Check

Having poor spelling will reflect badly on you as an author. Since writing is your job, readers expect you to have superb spelling and grammar. If they see a bunch of mistakes in your author interview, they’ll assume your book is poorly written and not worth reading.

What to Do Instead

Download the FREE version of Grammarly (affiliate link) and take advantage of its amazing spell checking and grammar checking features. I use Grammarly every day and it’s the best automated spelling and grammar checker I’ve found. It does a thorough job and catches mistakes that my word processor or browser spell checker doesn’t.


Mistake #6

You Don’t Share the Interview with Your Followers

After you’ve put in the hard work to give a great author interview on a book blog, don’t forget to share it with your followers.

Some authors are under the impression that they shouldn’t share their blog appearances, but that’s baloney. Your followers want to see your interview and the blogger wants more pageviews.

What to Do Instead

Tweet, pin, and post your author interview as much as you want!

When both you and the blogger share the interview, it will gain much more traction than if just one of you is sharing it.

Bloggers LOVE it when authors share our posts, so have at it. It’s a win-win for both of us.


Mistake #7

You’re Lurking in the Comment Section, Trying to Solicit Reviews

This is SO creepy. Please don’t do this.

Responding to comments that aren’t meant for you or asking commenters to review your book is really weird.

If blog readers know the author is lurking about and waiting to pounce, they’re going to be hesitant to leave a comment. This could cost you loyal readers and fans.

What to Do Instead

Leave a comment for the blogger to say thank you for the interview. Leaving a comment may entice curious blog readers to click on your profile and visit your website.

If a blog reader directs a comment to you, feel free to respond to them (as long as you play nice and don’t engage in a comment war on someone’s blog).

But don’t respond to comments not directed at you, and never solicit reviews from blog comments.

Keep things upbeat and professional and you’ll win over your readers in no time!


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