Smashwords Interviews: Create and Publish Your Interview
The Story Behind the Author
Welcome to Smashwords Interviews. This page provides tips on how to create a great Smashwords Interview.
At Smashwords, we make it easy for you to create, edit and publish a Q&A Interview that helps readers learn more about you. Your interview will be published on the Smashwords site, and will be cross linked and discoverable from the Smashwords home page, your profile page, and each of your book pages.
New! - If you're a publisher, you can now create and publish interviews for each of your authors. Select the interview subject via the pull down menu above the "Preview" button on the questions page.
How to create, edit and publish your Interview:
- Your Smashwords Interview can have as many or as few questions as you like. Next to each “Q:” Write out your question, or select from one of our suggested questions.
- We have about a dozen suggested questions to get your creative juices flowing. These questions are all optional. Feel free to modify our questions or create your own!
- Each Answer can be up to 5,000 characters long (around 600 words).
- If you hold a Publisher or Agent account, above the Preview button you'll be able to select the name of the interview subject.
- In the field below each Question, write out your answer.
- Click Save and Show Next Question to answer the next question
- When you’re done, click Preview and Publish. On the next page, you'll see up and down arrows. Use these to rearrange the order of your questions and answers.
- The same picture you use for your author profile will appear on your Smashwords Interview. To update your profile picture, click Account: Edit Profile.
- At the end of your interview, we will automatically display a listing of all your books.
- From time to time, especially as you release new titles, update your interview. Keep it fresh!
Tips to Create a Great Q&A:
At Smashwords, we believe every author has an important story to tell. Your writing is influenced by your life experiences, talents, dreams and passions. Your opportunity with this Q&A is to bring who you are as an author to life. It's an opportunity to share the story behind the author, and the story behind your books.
Although we created Smashwords Interviews with authors in mind, readers are also welcome to create an Interview. We think readers have important stories to tell too!
In 2011 when we surveyed ebook buyers and asked them their most common decision factor that guided how they discover and purchase books, the #2 answer, accounting for 18% of respondents, was that they first look for books from their favorite authors. This speaks to the importance of author as brand. Your "brand" is what you represent to your readers, and how your readers perceive you and your ability to write great stories. This Interview will help you flesh out your brand perception, and build affinity for your brand with readers who can now appreciate and enjoy your writing on a completely new level.
The secret to creating a great Smashwords Interview is to ask yourself questions that prompt honest answers that address what readers would want to know about you (even if they don’t yet know they want to know it), and what you want readers to know about you. You want to find that common intersection where what you want to share matches what your target readers might enjoy knowing about you. Above all, be yourself! Allow your personality and your writing talent to shine!
Before you begin your Q&A, put yourself in your target readers’ shoes. The readers of your Q&A will fall into one of four camps:
- You’re a new author to them, they’ve never read you. They’re looking for a good read and they’re curious to learn more about you before they take a chance on your book. The mere fact they’ve landed on your Q&A page probably indicates they’re curious to learn more about you.
- They’re already a fan, and they’re curious to learn more about you. Your Q&A can help them appreciate you and your work on a completely new level, and will help solidify your brand in their mind.
- They stumbled across your Q&A by accident, possibly via a search engine like Google because your Q&A addresses a topic that matches the keywords they were searching on.
- A fan of yours, or possibly even a complete stranger, enjoyed your interview and shared it with their social media friends on Facebook, Twitter, or on their blog. Be sure to promote your Q&A Interview to your fans, and encourage them to share it with their friends!