Writing Character Interviews for Promotions

 

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My guest today is Zoe M. McCarthy (okay, me). Zoe discusses character interviews. Then she interviews the hero and heroine from her book, The Putting Green Whisperer, releasing September 14, 2018. She’s pleased to share that her publisher has a one-time-only 99¢ pre-order special for the Kindle version. The special disappears on the release date.  See the blurb and pre-order links for The Putting Green Whisperer below.

 

Character Interviews

Character interviews can help authors obtain a deeper understanding of their characters. They can also be used in book promotions to tantalize readers to purchase their books.

Are the questions asked for character development different than those for promotion?  Some are. For example, authors need to know their characters’ secrets, but giving away their secrets for promotional purposes would be story spoilers for the reader.

Other questions may or may not be good for promotions, depending on when the reader will know the answers in the book. For example, their past wounds may be revealed early in the story and asking about their wounds in an interview might work. If they only hint at past wounds in the beginning to create suspense, asking them in an interview to reveal their wounds would create spoilers.

Two Tips

  • The character interview questions and answers for promotions should cause readers to have questions they want to know the answers to.
  • The characters’ interview answers should reveal their character.

The Putting Green Whisperer Character Interviews

image by mohamed_hassan

Shoo Leonard

1. What do you want to accomplish physically, Shoo?

I want to leave caddying and make it into the PGA, where I hope to be a good example for youth. But before this can happen, I have a couple of challenges to overcome.

2. What are your thoughts about your fellow caddy Allie Masterson?

At first, I thought Allie needed a friend and I was supposed to minister to her. That didn’t go well. Then she revealed one thing that shamed me and other things that helped me understand her. Although she can be intense and prejudges at times, she believes in my dream and works tirelessly to help me. Allie’s my best friend.

image by mohamed_hassan

Allie Masterson

1. What do you want physically, Allie?

I’m glad Dad asked me to caddy for him on the PGA Seniors Tour, but when that ends, I want to teach kids in a good golf program. Some problems have come up, and I might have to research youth golf programs sooner than I thought.

2. What are your thoughts about your fellow caddy Shoo Leonard?

Man, I was afraid you’d ask me that. The great thing about Shoo is he has this unbelievable gift to read the greens. Guys who listen to his directions sink their putts. I misjudged Shoo at first because of our past history when we were kids, but now I’ll do anything to help him make it into the PGA. We’re fist-bumping buddies. And that’s a huge problem.

Interviewing your characters in promotional media. Click to tweet.

What are some good questions you’ve used in interviewing your characters for promotional purposes?

Pre-order Link  $0.99 during pre-order period only.

Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

Venues Publishers and Authors Use for 99¢ E-Book Specials

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If you’ve shopped for e-books lately, you’ll see plenty of 99¢ deals. How did they come about, and are they something you want to try for your book? I’ll share the ones I know about and are connected to some of my books.

Simple and Direct

The publisher or author who has published an e-book through KDP  submits a form to lower the price to 99¢ on Amazon. (Kindle Direct Publishing) This is a good time for authors to purchase several of their Kindle book gifts for future giveaways and other promotions.

Pre-Order Promotions 

Publishers and authors sometimes put books on sale for 99¢ in the pre-order periods to get books off to a good start. (See the example below for my book.)

KDP Select E-books

If the publisher or author who has self-published has entered the book on Amazon’s KDP Select program, they have agreed to sell the book only through the Kindle Store forever or for a period. During a KDP Select period, they can enter the book in a Kindle Countdown Deal in which the book price can start at 99¢ the first day. Each day after the first day the book price increases until it returns to the list price.

Box Sets

It seems there’s a trend to package books together in a box set and sell the set for 99¢. Many box sets are also on Kindle Unlimited. In Kindle Unlimited, authors are paid by the number of pages read by readers in the program who select their book.

Series Promotions

Many times you’ll see the first book of a series free or priced at 99¢ to get readers hooked on buying all the books in a series.

Ways publishers and authors use 99¢ book specials. Click to tweet.

What other ways have you used or seen 99¢ specials used to sell books?

Pre-order Link  $0.99 during pre-order period only.

Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

 

Hosting Guests on a Subject-Specific Blog – Benefits & Quality Control

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Your blog provides topics, tips and teachings for a specific subject, such as pottery, writing, or home decor. Others in your field ask for a guest post spot on your blog. They offer to write content about your subject. In exchange, you are to include their promotion piece at the end of the post for their pottery shop, a book, or remodeling service.

Your blog may not be stellar but you want to protect it from slapdash and erroneous posts.

With this concern, you may ask why you should host others and how you can avoid posts that don’t at least live up to your own standards.

Before you respond to requestors, you could take a look at posts they’ve written on their blogs. But they may have a different type of blog, so this may not show the quality of their content. What can you do?

Tips to help guests live up to your standards

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Develop a guideline sheet to help guests know your expectations. The sheet could address such items as word count limits, where photos must come from, and the language rating, e.g. family or G-rated.

Ask guests for the topic and title of the post they plan to write. This helps them think ahead and not come up with something at the last minute.

Suggest a type of post you’d welcome, such as tips, techniques, or pitfalls.

Invite the guest to visit your site to see the kinds of posts you publish.

Tell them you reserve the right to make minor edits to their posts and to ask them to make changes.

Require guests send posts at least a week ahead of the post date so you have time to ask for changes.

There are benefits to hosting guests.

Reasons to host others on a blog

Readers may enjoy a different prospective.

Guests may have more expertise than you do in certain aspects of your subject.

You will broaden your reach for new followers when guests promote their posts on your blog.

image by ArtsyBee

Guest posts can give you a break from brainstorming a blog idea, researching it, and writing it.

Guest posts can fill a spot while you’re on vacation.

Guests can become valuable contacts in your field.

You can build a list of the accomplished guests for future guest posts.

You can return a favor, pay forward, or simply help another person in your field.

Why guests posts on a subject-specific blog are beneficial and tips to encourage their quality.  Click to tweet.

What benefits and tips to improve the quality of guest posts do you have?

Pre-order Link  $0.99 during pre-order period only.

Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?