A marketing tool all authors need to utilize to market and promote their books is the author interview. It’s quite simple to create and the investment of 30 minutes or less will go a long way to produce a tool that can be used time and again, both on and offline. If you’re interested in treating yourself to one of the most valuable 30 minute book marketing exercises…please read on.

What is an author interview?

An author interview is a series of questions and answers that is prepared by the author. Questions are typically pulled together by the book publicist and coordinated with the overall goals of the author’s marketing and PR campaign. The questions are developed and put into a Word document and then the author types (writes) out their answers. That final interview Q&A is then ready to be used and re-purposed in a variety of ways.

What kinds of questions should an author be asking themselves?

Authors should be asking basic questions (see list of examples below) about how the book came to life as well as questions that provide a deeper insight and teasers about their new book release. Once the book basics have been covered, then the questions can get more personal and the author can talk about everything from their writing style and what books are on their own bedside table. This is an opportunity for authors to share more about who they are. Authors should have fun with their questions and answers. Asking questions about things outside of writing, like favorite foods, or types of music make for an interesting interview.

Note: Questions for fiction and non-fiction authors will be different.

7 Tips to capitalize on an author interview:

  1. Use the author interview on their website. Authors can use their online Q&A and publish it in their “about the author” section of their site. It is more than just an author bio.
  2. Incorporate the Q&A into the book media kit. Every successful author media kit has prepared questions and answers for the media to use. An author’s book publicist will use the author’s media kit to pitch the author to the media for interviews, both on and offline. Radio interviewers will always require this of every author before putting them on the air, why not be ready for the invitation.
  3. Online author interview is ready for instant guest blog appearances. There are thousands of book sites looking for online author interviews. Once the Q&A has been pulled together, it can be submitted along with the author’s bio and book summary to any website looking for this type of content. Makes for quick and easy book marketing.
  4. Elevator-pitch preparation. Amazingly, authors learn a lot about themselves doing this exercise and it helps to prepare them their elevator pitch and for any typical questions they are likely to encounter while marketing their title.
  5. Book signings and events. Bookstores and other venues that may be interested in considering an author for a signing will see how professional an author is because they have their Q&A pulled together.
  6. Social media. Authors can use their online author interviews to promote their books in an interesting way. Send out a Tweet to your online interview, post random questions to your Facebook fan page or pin it. So many possibilities!
  7. Get creative! There are so many ways for an author to use their author interview to present themselves to their audience and the media, think outside of the box.

Embrace the author interview.

The author interview opens so many doors for authors and is a marketing cheat sheet that will be used more than an author could ever anticipate. It will showcase the author as a professional while creating interest from readers looking or an insider’s peak at what the author is all about.

If you’re looking for an example of how authors are using their own Q&A, check out www.salemwitchtrilogy.com. The author’s Q&A is included in their online media kit, as well as on the individual “about the author” pages, for co-authors, Jack Heath and John Thompson.

Author interview questions you may want to consider using for your own Q&A, here are just a few:

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (Short author bio)

Can you tell us where people can find you? Website, social media, blog, etc.


Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?

How did your book come to life?

Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

How did you name your characters?

Are the characters in your books based on people you know?

Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?

Are your characters’ experiences taken from someone you know, or events in your own life?


Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?

How did your book come to life?

What other books are most similar to yours?

Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?

How long did it take you to write your book?

Who designed the cover?

What are you doing to market the book? Are you using social media?

In two sentences or less can you tell readers something unique about your book.

Don’t forget personalize your questions and answers so that they best position your book. If you’re looking for a customized author interview and need help with building your personal media kit, please email sherrie@publishingarchitect.com.

Best of luck!

Image courtesy of Loretta Humble.