Are You Interviewing Yourself At Smashwords?

A new marketing feature available to Smashwords authors is creating your own ten question interview that will appear on the interviews page, your author profile page and cross linked to your ebook pages. Log into your Smashwords account, click on Account in the navigation bar, and click on “Create or edit your interview” to start the guided process. You can answer any of the pre-written questions or write your own.

Having gone through the growing pains and technical glitches since signing up with Smashwords in 2010, I was quite surprised by how polished the whole interface was for creating the interview. As a writer, I tend to jump around and come back to difficult passages later. The interface accommodated me as I went back and forth in writing, revising and polishing each answer, and then rearranging each question into a logical order. I spent three days putting my interview together.

Here are the pre-written questions that I answered for my interview.

  • What motivated you to become an indie author?
  • Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
  • When did you first start writing?
  • When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
  • Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
  • What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
  • What do you read for pleasure?
  • Describe your desk?
  • What are you working on next?

I’m planning to republish my interview on my author website in the near future and include it as an appendix to the annual blog posting ebook. (I specifically asked Mark Coker at Smashwords about republishing the interview and he said it was okay.) Over time I’ll remove old questions and add new questions on Smashwords, while keeping old questions and adding new questions to my republished interview.

I’m hoping that the interview will help spur ebook sales on the Smashwords website. All my ebooks sales on Smashwords come from the distribution catalog (i.e., Apple, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Kobo, Sony, etc.). Unless I make my ebooks available for FREE during the Read-An-eBook week in March and the Smashwords July Summer/Winter sale promotions, I rarely get any direct sales through the website.

If you have any questions you would like me to answer, please ask in the comments.

Eight Is Enough Q&A Interview

My Eight is Enough Q&A interview is up on Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s blog, where I answer eight questions about writing and what ebooks I got coming out in the near future. Please take a moment to read and leave a comment.

The last question was fun: “This is the most important question you ever answer. Your life depends on it. Zombie pirate or zombie ninja?”

Everyone interviewed so far went for zombie pirate. I actually gave two answers. Here’s the first answer that appears in the Q&A:

Zombie pirate. I can see a zombie pirate chugging down a bottle of rum and jumping overboard for shark brains.

Here’s the second answer:

A zombie ninja doesn’t make any sense. Ninjas are all about precision, which was why they took over consumer electronics and work for Steve Jobs at Apple.

This answer made realize that I needed to hone my reputation as being a Silicon Valley writer. Too many of my early short stories have generic locations to appeal to the widest audience. Of course, those were literary short stories. Unless a literary short story featured New York City, anywhere else would make that short story suitable only for the regional markets. The West Coast is a very small regional market.

When I found my grove in writing speculative short stories, the location sometimes became more important than the characters. This year I let all my unpublished manuscripts fall out of circulation from the slush piles to rewrite each one to fix any structural flaws and re-slant for the Silicon Valley locale before submitting again. Silicon Valley will be a prominent location in future stories whenever possible.