So, your blog is growing and you want to start having some interaction with authors. Congratulations and I bet you are wondering how to go about getting the authors to clamor at your inbox for interviews, right?

You want in on the secret? The big secret? Come over here, I don’t want the person sitting next to you to hear…….You have to ask. It is often that simple.

Now, hold on dear book blogger, you have to ask nicely and tell them a bit about yourself and your blog. Don’t gush, telling them that you would dance naked, just die if they agree, or that you sacrifice animals nightly on the altar where you store their book. Authors, for the most part, like to hear from readers/bloggers. Point out something that you really liked about their book; what touched you. Then tell them about yourself and your blog and ask if they have a few minutes to do an interview. It shouldn’t be a long email, just a few sentences. After all, we want them to be working on their next book, not our novel of an email.

**Big learning note here-It is a good idea if you already have some basic questions in mind before you ask. I can’t tell you how many times I have not been prepared, assuming that they would say no, only to have them say yes, get the questions to me ASAP.

Oh, are you like me? Not so sure what to ask?

Well, what do you want to know that someone hasn’t already asked them? Do your research. Look at their website, FAQs if they have them, bios, other interviews they have done, other books that they have written. You are a cub reporter now. You must do your research.

For the best interview, in my opinion, you MUST be original and flexible. An interview that I read recently at Rose City Reader with Audrey Braun has fast become one of my favorites. It was fun to read and made me feel like I was sharing drinks with friends. Even better for the author, I wanted to go out and buy her books.

A Note on Timelines

Authors, just like us bloggers, have lives and can’t drop everything to respond to you immediately. If they don’t respond right away, give it some time. It isn’t all about you. Also, once they agree and you send them questions, give that some time too. They often have book tours, kids, laundry, writing contracts, etc., and all of those things that take a back seat to answering your insightful questions. I suggest to them that they get back to me within 3-4 weeks. They often come back much sooner, but this allows me some time to schedule it in my editorial calendar and them some breathing room.

Let’s recap before we move on and tell you to stay tuned for the rest on Thursday

  • What interviews? Don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Keep the request simple and succinct.
  • Do your research & be original without being weird or campy.
  • Let the author take their time. Don’t expect it to happen overnight.
  • Remember to leave out the creepy gushiness that you are really feeling. You are a confident semi-pro blogger, not a crazy woman at a rock concert tossing your underwear at them.

Still with me? Let’s chat again on Thursday and don’t forget to check out the other great participants in Armchair BEA!