22 Questions for Writers, Authors, Publishers & Artists to Use to Get More Publicity
Every author needs one core set of quality content that’s entertaining, educational and sheds light on your personality and the unique things you bring to your writing and the value it has for people all make for a good recipe for author success with the media.
Each of these questions below was selected because they were used in interviews of bestselling authors and talented creative people time and again in publications like the NY Times, USA Today, NPR and PBS. These are the questions that the media ask these people.
The key is to realize that the subjective answer is not really what the media and the public are looking for. They seek to relate and understand how the creator’s experience, perspective and creative work has special meaning to them personally.
So when you answer these questions, seek to give the gift of understanding. Offer people a taste that so powerful they experience something: a laugh, a cringe, a shiver or a chill, or a blinding momentary flash of desire. Create a trail of candy that leads people to the conclusion they want and need the whole bag.
What can you talk about that’s interesting and invites people to learn more about you and your art? Pick out five to seven of the questions below and develop answers of two to three sentences in length. These become the key content you can then use in your news releases and articles and interview Q & A’s for your media outreach.
One important suggestion: don’t go for the low hanging fruit – the easy to answer questions. Go for the questions with information that you’ve learned to use to turn your people on the most – even if the answers are more difficult to develop and are scarier for you to share.
1. Describe your book/product in 50 words or less:
2. How did your book/product come about?
3. Can you tell us about the story and a bit about the main characters?
4. What has been your experience with (the subject of your book/product)
5. How does it relate to what happens in your story?
6. What are some of the rules or prejudices you’d like to see changed about (your subject)?
7. How did you do your background research?
8. Where do you research information for your books/products ?
9. How has the community responded to your work?
10. How did your work on this get started? Where do your characters come from?
11. What can you say about (aspect of writing/creativity) and what it plays in your work?
12. What do you find to be most exciting about (name the issue)?
13. How did you get your start in writing/art? What, if anything, lit the “spark” to get you started and keep you motivated?
14. What are you currently working on?
15. What are your favorite and least favorite things about being a writer/artist?
16. What do you do in your spare time, when you aren’t writing/creating?
17. What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
18. How have the books you’ve read influenced the books you write/create?
19. What do you do when you’re having writer’s block to “shake” it off?
20. Have you ever had to overcome real tragedy or hardship in your life?
21. What makes a good (type of book, e.g., thriller?)
22. What do you enjoy more, writing or discovering other people’s work?
If you write 50 to 100 word answers to these questions you can then offer them to media as a news release, feature story content about your book/work, an email questionnaire for bloggers, interview article, and Q & A’s for a radio or TV talk show interview.
Send these to me. I’ll help you turn these into Q & A’s that really turn media and their audiences on.
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