Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ON BOOKS ~ Inquiring Minds...

Image courtesy James Cridland via Flickr

Every now and then I am struck with these great ideas for things that I know nothing about.  And then once I verbalize my thoughts I become committed to them.  Like the time I told my editor at LifeSnips that I would write a series on College Financial Aid.  I can't tell you the amount of time I spent reading books, reviewing websites and interviewing professionals in the industry in order to write that series.  It was a lot of work for not a lot of pay but I learned a lot about something I didn't really need to know ;0)

So I vowed that the next time I had a bright idea about something I knew nothing about I would let it go.  But it doesn't seem I am capable of doing that.  I had an idea, then I started reading books about it and searching online for further information.  And finally I verbalized it as a goal to my blog buddy Jehara during our bi-weekly online chats so now I am tasked with holding up my end of the bargain.  Here goes nothin'...

I would like to present a series of posts focusing on Author Interviews.  I am not a book reviewer in a book blogging sense - I post my reviews on Goodreads and leave the blog for generic bookish thoughts.  But I spend a lot of time in my Google Reader visiting book bloggers and reading their reviews.  I especially enjoy it when a review is paired with an interview of the book's author, or even just a stand-alone interview.

What I don't enjoy are reading the same questions and answers from blog to blog during an author's blog tour.  Or interviews that don't dig beneath the surface, giving me little inspiration to pick up that book and read the author's work.  Why do I see generic questions or uninterested responses?  How could a blogger make their interview during an onslaught of interviews with the same author stand out and shine?  What would make the authors more inclined to participate?  And how exactly do bloggers get these interviews?  Do publishers suggest them along with ARC's?  Do bloggers send blind e-mails to authors?  So many questions.  No answers.

I have not had much success in learning about this world that I have no active part in.  Which makes me think that perhaps there is a need for this bright idea of mine to exist in a series of blog posts.  Gwen of Chew & Digest Books had a great introductory post on getting author interviews this week during Armchair BEA.  That's the kind of post I'd like to provide.

Is there any interest from you book bloggers out there?  Do you have anything specific that you would like to know?  Or do you have experience or resources that you would like to share?  Leave a comment, send me an e-mail, discuss in Bumble Town or tweet me (@thebumblesblog).  I'm ready to research, gather sources, talk with them and report back here on all things interviewing.  No turning back now!


Gwen said...

I hear ya and I am sure that I have some links that will help us out, but I have been sitting here with this pc on my lap for going on 10 hours now, Must get sleep and live to fight another day:)

I will be back.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Author interviews are a particularly pushable button with me. 9 out of 10 of them are not very compelling. If I have to read, one more time, what inspired the author to write their latest novel, when they knew they wanted to write books, or what their favorite authors are, I will spontaneously combust. Personally, while I am offered interviews and have the opportunity to ask for them, I choose not to do them if I am not prepared to do an unusual and unique interview. I'd rather have them do a guest post on the topic of their choosing. Often, their personality will be better represented that way.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

I do audio interviews. Typically I have read the author's book so that's way we discuss. I throw some fun questions in there too.

The podcasts on my blog are under the section called Inklings. Right now, there is only one author interview posted (I remove them do to size) It's Lillie Ammann. She and I discuss Domestic Violence which was the theme of her book. Check it out.

I have a giveaway for BEA.

Entertaining look at Copyright law.

The Wooden Bowl Giveaway

Chris said...

I don't do interviews because I can't think of very interesting questions. It's a tough one.

jehara said...

yay!! I look forward to your series. :)

The Book Chook said...

I think it's an excellent idea as a subject to delve into. I will be interested to see what you discuss in your posts.

I do some author interviews, but not many in relation to my posts. Say one interview, and five book reviews, for every 50 posts? (The majority of my posts are about children's learning, and literacy generally.) I guess the reason for that is that interviews take a lot of time, and yet rarely get much reader response. So, either readers generally are not much buzzed about interviews, or I don't come up with those fascinating questions! I think Sandy has a good point about guest posts, but I have also had guest posts suggested to me that are nowhere near my blog topics.

The whole "fascinating questions" thing is difficult. Getting consensus on what questions are fascinating would be interesting and maybe an idea for a poll? I would also be interested to check out interviews that others find compelling.

vvb32 reads said...

bumbles bounce ;-D
i hear ya on the whole author interview topic and would be interested to read what you come up with. many of the reasons you stated is why i don't do them.

Doret said...

I like doing author's interviews. Though I've done only done five.

4 of the author's I did send blind emails if I could interview them. 1 someone else asked me if I would do an interview

I don't mind asking an author is they would like to do an interview. All they can do is say no or ignore my email.

Though I've only asked authors who already have an online presence.

I hate generic interviews questions. I even don't like asking. Tell us a little about yourself. Though its required.

Bumbles if you get a chance check out a baseball feature I did in March

Nine Children's authors agreed to answer 12 questions about baseball. It was a lot of work but so much fun.

Jingle said...

awards 4 u,
Happy Friday!

Callista said...

I don't do many author interviews for that same reason. I did an illustrator interview a while back which was awesome. I was the first person to ever interview him and I think I thought of some great questions.

Tif said...

I have done a few author interviews or have had authors guest post on a topic of their choice, but I don't tend to pursue very often because I don't think I am creative enough in coming up with thrilling questions. What a great idea!!

caite said...

I don't do author interviews...and I don't read other blog's author interviews because, to tell ya the truth, in the vast majority of cases I really do not care to know much about the author.

They may be fascinating or dull as dirt, but all I care about is what they write. In fact, I think knowing too much about what the author thinks may just interfere with my enjoyment of their book.

Wanda said...

Author interviews aren't really my thing. I feel I devote more than enough time reviewing the books I read without having to wrack my brain coming up with interesting questions to ask the author. Having said that, I do occasionally read and respond to author interviews and guest posts, sometimes out of curiosity but more often than not, out of loyalty to the blog owner.

Anonymous said...

I started doing author interviews early last year because I was interested. I know it is not the thing that gets the most attention on my blog, but I think it's fun. I know my questions are not earth shattering, but I'm okay with that.
Last year I contacted 23 authors and 16 said yes. Not bad odds, I think.