I have watched for years as my fellow authors held online events called blog tours. Some would visit ten blogs. Others, as many as ninety. And every day they would bring something different, waxing eloquent about a multitude of topics. When I finally decided to have a blog tour of my own, and settled on doing each and every weekday in October, my first thought was, “This will be cool,” which was immediately followed up by, “Holy crap, I can’t think of something interesting to say twenty times in one month!” I can barely think of something worthwhile for my own blog just once a month. The solution is what follows; each blog participating in the tour could ask me ANY three questions. That means, if the subject matter bores you, I’m not to blame! Huzzah!
But fear not. There are other rewards for sloughing through the questions and answers. I’ll be giving away two Kindles to two randomly selected readers who sign up for my newsletter. Details on the giveaway can be found below. On to the Q&A!
1. What do you find is the most difficult part of the writing/editing/promoting of your books?
Promoting books is by far the most difficult aspect of being a writer, not because I’m bad at it (I’m actually pretty good at it) but because I just loath it. A lot of marketing is non-creative and monotonous and it just drains me. Honestly, anything that is not creative (writing, designing a cover, even editing) makes me feel like jumping off a bridge. But there is always a new novel to write, so I power through my marketing chores, confident that I will soon be back to telling stories.
2. What's the best writing advice you've ever received? You've ever given?
I once heard James Rollins, who I believe was quoting someone else, say to ignore the advice most authors give, “Write what you know,” and instead, “Write what you love.” I didn’t necessarily need this advice because I was already following it, but it made me feel better. You see, I’m not an expert in anything worth writing a thriller about. I’m an artist and a writer and that’s all I’ve ever been. I can’t base stories on my past as a lawyer, a marine, a doctor or an explorer. Writing what I know would make for a crappy thriller. Hearing Rollins say that writing what you love is actually more important made me feel better about not having had an interesting career before becoming a writer. And for people interested in becoming writers, it’s amazing, freeing advice.
3. In your opinion, do you think people will read less with fewer bookstores around or is reading coming back because of the convenience of on-line buying and what is your opinion of the surge in e-book sales?
I think more people will start picking up books, regardless of the bookstore situation, as long as the quality is there. I haven’t had cable TV for seven years. My father-in-law moved in a year ago and I recently got cable for him. When I turned it on and flipped through the channels I was shocked by the massive—absolutely massive—amount of crap on TV. 95% of what I saw should be burned onto CDs, put on a rocket and be shot into the sun. I have cable now, but I still don’t watch it. As people get sick of crap TV (and I really hope they do or my faith in humanity may falter) they might turn back to novels. But, the quality needs to be high if it’s going to compete. As e-books dominate the market, I think book sales will actually go up. There’s already a large “stay at home” culture, and before now, novels weren’t easy to get. Now it just takes a few clicks. So my outlook on the size of the book buying audience is positive. My outlook for bookstores, sadly, is not.
Hope that was as good for you as it was for me. Now how about that kindle giveaway?
Here’s the deal: to be entered to win one of two free kindles all you have to do is visit my website—www.jeremyrobinsononline.com—and sign up for the newsletter. That’s it. The first kindle will go to a randomly chosen newsletter signup on October 31. For the second kindle, there’s a catch. The second giveaway will only be triggered if one of my kindle books hits the Amazon.com bestseller list (top 100). So pick up some books (most are just $2.99 a pop) and spread the word! If one of the books squeaks up to #100 for just a single hour, the second kindle will be given away to another randomly chosen newsletter sign up on October 31.
*When you sign up for the newsletter, be sure to include the name of the blog that referred you in the field provided. I’ll be giving away two $50 Amazon.com gift certificates to the blog that refers the most sign-ups and another to the blog who referred the first kindle winner.
** I will announce winners via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and newsletter (which you will be signed up for!) but I’ll also e-mail the winners directly—I’ll need to know where to ship those kindles!
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A, and good luck with the kindle giveaway!
-- Jeremy Robinson