Monday, May 21, 2018

Interview Questions - Giving Focus To An Interview

We want to look at formatting questions for an author interview from two different prespectives: that of the interviewer, and that of the indivdual being interviewed. As authors, we want to be interviewed, because we can place the links on our site, and it shows that other people are interested. A bit of blatant self-promotion. We can also be viewed by a larger audience, and gather new readers.

When I was doing interviews, it was because I had found an individual whose work I felt would appeal to my audience. I wanted to showcase them, and their work, in the best possible light (as well as showcasing my skills as an interviewer). The majority of my interviews were written, because that is my forte. I made sure to go over the work that the individual(s) I was interviewing had done, and what I felt they might want to get out there. When I sent them the questions,I gave them the opportunity to (1) delete any questions they felt inappropriate, (2) reword questions, and/or (3) add their own questions. Very seldom did someone that I was interviewing take any of these actions. I gave them the option so that they would feel that their work was being presented in the best possible light. From the POV if the individual being interviewed, they have a certain amount of information that they want to get out there. 

Questions that you might want to ask an author include:

1. How long have you been writing?
2. Why do you write?
3. When do you write? What is your writing schedule like?
4. Where do you gt your ideas for your books?
5. How important do you consider grammar in your books?
6. Is doing research important to you?
7. What would you like us to know about your characters?
8. Do you have a set number of words or pages that you aim to complete each day?
9. Have you ever experienced writer's block? How did you deal with it?
10. What is the importance of a good title?
11. Do covers matter?
12. What advice do you have to give other author's?
13. How much of yourself is in your books?
14. Do you write what you are passionate about, or what you think will sell?
15. How do you handle proofreading and editing? Do you do it yourself, or do you have someone else do it.

In my next blog, I will be talking about how to prepare for a video interview (both as an interviewer, and as the individual being interviewed).

(c) May 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Importance of Author Interviews

Author interviews can be an integral part of promoting books, whether brick and mortar or self-published. In the "way back when" days I did a lot of reviewing for Tarot/Divination books and decks, as well as self-help books. My interviews were always in written form, and I placed them on my professional blog (with links on my professional site), as well as placing the Tarot/Divination interviews on a well know Tarot/Divinaton site. I have also done audio interviews, and been the recipient of both written and audio interviews.

What purpose does an author interview serve? 

1. It helps connect us to other authors - when we network like this, we can help other authors, and they can help us.

2. It widens our reader audience, as we are introduced to the fans of other authors.

3. It helps promote name recognition.

4. It will help drive the sales of our books.

5. This is a sneaky reason - interviews help an author get a wider perspective of their own book!

What types of author interviews are there?

1. Written
2. Audio
3. Video
4. In person - as in live in front of an audience.

Where can we listen to/view author interviews? (Note: If you want to read/listen to an interview of a specific author - Google them!)

2. NPR 

In my next blog, I will be talking about interview questions, and giving focus to an interview.

(c) May 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Promoting Self-Published Books

I don't know about other authors, but promoting my books is not one of my favorite activities. I was very naive when I published my first brick and mortar book - the publishing company was very easy to work with, but it came as a complete surprise to me that I had to do the promotional work along with my pubisher! What the heck? 

I self-publish now, so I know that I have to do the promotional work myself (or hire a company/individual to do it for me). I don't have a lot of money to devote to this, so I do the promotions myself. They really aren't doing all that well. I know more about what I don't want to do than what I do want to do. Number one on my "Don't want to do this" list is blog hopping, or being featured on someone else's blog. 

My biggest quibble about posting on another author's blog is the time involved - you need to vet the blog, see what he style of writing is, who their audience is, and write for them. You will need to interact - i.e. respond to any comments left on your article. There are pro's to working with other authors and their blogs, though, including placing your book as part of a "swag" pack, allowing other authors to gift their followers with ARC's (Advanced Reader Copies) of your book, participating in a joint give-away, enhancing your reputation through association with another well known author, and gaining access to a larger audience for your work.

Next week I am going to talk about author interviews, and why they are important.

(c) May 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited iwthout written permission of he author.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Rediscovering Old Books

I have moved many times in my lifetime - partially due to my being in the Army for ten years, and partially due to three moves after I got out of the service. My stuff was in and out of storage a lot! It has been over two year since my latest move. I have things out of boxes, sorted what needed to be given away, and what I wanted to keep. Some things are still in boxes, until I purchase more bookcases. I am doing yet another run through, and giving more books away. 

It is amazing to me how things seem to just "surface" when we need them. I found a book on karmic healing that I don't remember buying or reading - it is n top notch condition, well written, and inludes Tarot as a modaity for workign with visualization. What more can I ask for!

I have uncovered more mystery books - I read them all, then decide what to keep. Amongst my treasures are books by Agatha Christie, Rex Stout's "Nero Wolf" mysteries,  Rita Mae Brown's "Mrs. Murphy" mystries, and Margaret Maron's "Deborah Knox" series.

I love rereading a good book - I remember where I was in my life when I last read the book, and thoroughly enjoy entering the world of the book in front of me again. It allows me to step outside of the day to day of life, and become someone else.

Do you enjoy rereading your books? Do they hold good memories for you, as mine do for me? One day I hope that my books hold good memories for my readers!

(c) April 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Questions To Be Covered By Beta Readers

Before you even get your Beta readers lined up, you might want to think about what questions you want them to respond to. What is important for you to get feedback on? What will help you firm up your book so that it will sell? The following questions cover some areas that you might want to consider. Reword them to fit your tone, and exactly what you want covered. Add questions that might not be here, but that you want covered. Take out questions that do not really interest you.

Does the story engage you? If not, why not?
Does the storyline flow well? If not, why not?
Are there certain sections of the book that drag a bit, or are bogged down? If so, which sections, and why.
Were there enough false clues to make the story interesting? If so, why.
Was it too easy to guess the ending? If so, why.
Was the ending interesting? If not, why not.
Was there enough conflict/tension to keep things moving? If not, why not? 

Do the characters show depth? If not, why not?
Do the characters interact well with each other? If not why not?
Are the characters consistent? If not, why not?
Do the characters have enough "back story" that you feel that you know them? If not, why not?

Were there any discrepencies in the timeline, the environment, or in character detail? If so, where and why specifically.
Was the locale believable? If not, why not.
Did the dialogue flow, and was it intresting? If not, why not.
Were there a signficant amount of grammer, punction, or spelling errors?
Do you feel that this book represents its genre well? If not, why not?

(c) April 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What To Define Before Looking For A Beta Reader

You have at least started writing your book. You are thinking about how to connect with Beta readers. Before you do that, think about what you want from these readers. You will want them to do a lot more than just read your book and make a few comments!

Beta readers have a significant place in the process of getting your book published, as do proofreaders and editors. Beta readers will give you feedback, point out any potential issues with your manuscript as far as readability and potential saleability, and help you to fine tune it for the proofreaders and editors.

Some things that you will want to take into consideration in a Beta reader is their familiarity with the genre you are writing in, how familiar they are with the publishing world, and that they are not so close to you that they may hesitate to tell you what they really think. You might also want to ask if they are regular readers - if so, they are coming to you with a solid background in the genre you are writing in. 

There is one no no that I would also like to mention here - you may want to think twice about asking someone from a critique group that you are in to be a Beta reader for your book. They have seen your book in progress, and heard other individual's critique of it. Ideally, you want your Beta readers to come in with no preconceived notions.

Beta readers should also be able to understand your writer's voice - not as it might be defined in a writing manual, but as you are actually writing. They need to be able to consistently follow that voice, and to be able to let you know when you are not being consistent.

Your Beta readers should also be able to understand the genre you are writing in, as well as be able to identify with locations referred to within your book. You need to have fresh eyes that will tell you whether what you have  written will hold within a particular locale. What flies in Denver, CO might not fly to well in Honolulu, HI.

In my next blog I will be discussing creating a format for the questions that you would like your Beta readers to respond to.

(c) April 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproducton prohibited without written permission of the author.

We Have A Contest Going!

I am currently running a contest through my newsletter, "Bonnie's World". I am going to be giving away "Writing Spiritual Books - A Bestselling Writer's Guide to Successful Publication", by Hal Zina Bennett. 

From the book: "One of the realities that we face when we start looking at publishing is the size of the potential readership we're writing to. This doesn't mean that you should change the way that you are writing your book in order to reach a broader market - though, indeed, that might be a choice you'd make. But it does mean being realistic about the size of your potential readership and what you can do to more sharply focus your writings for the people you want to reach. If you have a very narrow readership focus, consider self publishing, or going with a publishing house that specializes in the narrow niche you're considering. Understand that you might be talking about selling only a few hundred or a couple of thousand books. Fortunately, in this day and age, you can actually do okay with small niches like this. New printing technologies make it so." 

The winner will be chosen from the list of all individuals signed up for my newsletter. Because I did not think to promote this give-away sooner, I will include all individuals that sign up before the end of April, and will be announcing the winner in my May newsletter. 

Please share this information with anyone that you think might be interested! Sign-ups can be done from my site,

(c) April 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Interview Questions - Giving Focus To An Interview

We want to look at formatting questions for an author interview from two different prespectives: that of the interviewer, and that of the...