Archive for the ‘interview’ Category

A Glimpse into Book Cover Design

June 26, 2007

After interviewing hundreds of book authors for many years, you’d be surprised how frequently these authors want to tell me how much they dislike the cover of their latest book. Or they will tell me how the book title wasn’t the one that they would have selected. Inside when I hear these stories I shake my head and feel like shaking the author and saying, “Get over it and move on and be excited about what you have in front of you.” It doesn’t make a good impression on the journalist about this part of the publishing process.

Many years ago, one of my high-profile authors strongly disliked his book cover photo. The dislike carried into his eagerness to promote this particular title. Before too many months, this book faded out of print.

On the positive side of book cover design, Roy Peter Clark wrote “Judge My Book by Its Cover” in the June 18th Publishers Weekly. The article points out a simple truth: ideally the cover designer reads the book and gets in sync with the author and publisher about the vision for the book audience. It’s a good piece and I recommend you read it.

What the printed article does not show is Clark’s book cover for Writing Tools. I have not read this book but I’m familiar with Clark’s work at Poynter Online. Here’s a list of his 50 writing tools and articles. Here’s where he podcasts about these writing tools. It’s a rich resource and every writer can gain something from Clark’s Writing Tools.

Great Interview Tips

February 28, 2007

Through the years, I’ve interviewed many different people in various situations. Some times I’ve interviewed in a restaurant or in the corner of a busy room. At other times, I’ve been in the home of a particular person and interviewed them in this environment. Each interview is unique and calls on a different set of circumstances and skills, which I’m constantly developing and improving.

This week I found a great article loaded with solid tips for anyone who is interviewing someone else. That interview may be background for your fiction novel or the interview might be for a magazine article that you are crafting or numerous other writing projects. Eric Nalder at the San Jose Mercury News has valuable insight into this key area. While you are reading the article, also follow Bill Stoller’s various links at Publicity Insider. He’s another solid resource to check out.

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My entries about the writing life will be a challenge over the next few days. Tomorrow I head for Los Angeles and Mega Book Marketing University. It looks like a tremendous learning experience.

Role Reversal

February 14, 2007

Usually when it comes to interviews, I’m the person interviewing someone else. Usually at writers conferences, I meet people who have never done a single interview. They are petrified to ask those first questions and complete their first interview. I’ve been conducting interviews related to my own writing since I was a sophomore in high school–more than a few years back. After high school, throughout the first couple of years of college, I worked on the campus daily newspaper. As a part of writing my stories, I conducted many more interviews. Throughout my magazine and book work, it’s been a constant skill which I use in my work. In fact, if you use the search tool in the right-hand column of The Writing Life, type the word “interview” then search my blog (not the web), you will find many pages with different articles.

It’s rare for me when the roles are reversed and I’m the person interviewed. Recently MaryAnn Diorio interviewed me for her blog, Musings That Matter. She has just posted our interview. Long-term readers of these entries, will probably see a few of my stories they’ve heard in the past. Others will learn some new things about my life through this interview. To my surprise it ended up over nine pages. I hope you will check it out and find some encouragement for your own writing.