Two weeks ago, I gave you an update on my permissions quest. I am delighted to report that that particular phase of the journey seems to have ended at last: The Big Publishing House charged half again (150%) of the original fee I was quoted to use an epigraph in the print edition of Quiet Americans so that I can include said seven-word excerpt in the e-version, too. Just in case you were wondering! The agreement has been signed, sealed, and mailed back. And I’m glad to check that particular task off the to-do list!
So we move on. As the summer progresses, I expect to be focusing much more time on the redesign/consolidation of my Web presence (something else I’ve mentioned before in these pre-publication posts). Many of you offered helpful comments when I first brought this up. Now, I’m going to ask for your advice once again.
I’ve noticed that some author websites feature Q&A material that might best be described as a “self-interview.” Interestingly, “self-interviews” have shown up lately as topics on various book marketing sites/feeds I follow, too (for example, this one).
The self-interviews labeled as such tend to have at least a bit of humor attached. That is to say, they are very self-consciously self-interviews, and they tend to revel a bit in the inherent oddity/awkwardness of the form. On the other hand, an author can also create a Q&A that is completely serious and doesn’t necessarily present itself as something s/he wrote on his own (and maybe it was, in fact, guided by a publicist or other PR professional). At this point, I’m still considering both approaches.
Here’s what I’m hoping you’ll tell me: What kinds of topics/questions do you think should appear in an author’s self-interview? Are there any such interviews you’ve found especially interesting? What made them so engaging? What are you hoping to learn about authors—and, more importantly, their books—when you read these features?
What’s your take on the more humorous approach (for an example, see a self-interview on Stephen King’s website–look for the entry dated September 4, 2008) compared with something that may be more, well, somewhat more nuts-and-bolts-and-business-like (again, just for an example, see Mark H. Zanger’s “Behind the Scenes” feature for The American Ethnic Cookbook for Students).
And if you’re an author who has written one of these interviews yourself, what suggestions would you offer? Whether they’re your own or others’, please point me toward author website Q&As that you think I should be sure to see as I formulate something along similar lines to help introduce Quiet Americans and its author–moi!
Thanks very much in advance for your comments, you wonderful people!