Smashwords made the following announcement today at the Smashwords Blog.  Click here to view the original announcement about Smashwords Interviews.


Smashwords Interviews Helps Readers Learn the Story Behind the Author

Smashwords today introduced Smashwords Interviews, a new author marketing tool that helps readers learn the story behind the author.

Smashwords Interviews guides authors to create, edit and publish their own Q&A interview.  Authors simply answer a series of questions, or create their own questions, and then click publish.

Your interview will be published on the Smashwords site, and is cross linked and discoverable from your author profile page, each of your book pages, and the Smashwords home page.  At the end of each interview is a clickable listing of the author's books.  The interview includes social sharing features so your fans can help spread your interview on their favorite social media channels.  

The idea for this feature came to me last year when we were running a series of author interviews here on the Smashwords blog.  Many more authors wanted to be interviewed than we could accommodate.  I thought to myself, "wouldn't it be cool if we could interview every Smashwords author?"  And then the solution became apparent: a self-serve system for publishing author interviews. Smashwords Interviews is the result.  Kudos to Case Talbot, the newest member of our software development team.  She took my ideas and realized them better than I imagined.

To test the feature, we invited a few Smashwords authors and team members to give it a spin.  Here are their interviews:

I look forward to reading the amazing stories behind our authors.  I think you will too.


How to Publish a Smashwords Interview

Creating an interview is fun and easy.   Here's how to get started:

  1. Sign in to your account, click to the Account tab, and then you'll see the link for Create or edit your interview. Study the instructions for tips, and then jump in by clicking Proceed to Your Interview! at the bottom of the page.
  2. We'll present you with a series of questions to get your creative juices flowing.  Feel free to edit our questions, or create your own.  Make your interview unique!  Show off your personality and your writing.
  3. Click Save and Show Next Question to answer the next question
  4. When you’re done, click Preview and Publish. From this page, you can use the up/down arrow to rearrange the order of the questions.  You can also click to edit any question or answer.
  5. Promote your interview! Share it on social media, and encourage your fans to share it too.

The same picture you use for your author profile will appear on your Smashwords Interview page.


Tips to Create a Great Interview

At Smashwords, we believe every author has an important story to tell. Your writing is influenced by your life experiences, talents, dreams and passions. 

Smashwords Interviews helps readers learn the story

behind the author.  Simply answer our questions,or

create your own questions.  Then publish and share!


Your opportunity with this interview 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.  It's an opportunity to convert prospective readers into readers, and turn fans into super-fans.

A good interview helps the reader develop a multidimensional understanding of who you are as a writer and a person.

The secret to creating a great Smashwords Interview is to select 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). Above all, be yourself!  Allow your personality and your writing talent to shine!

Before you begin your interview, put yourself in your target readers’ shoes. The readers of your interview will fall into one of four camps:

  1. They’re already a fan of your writing, and they’re curious to learn more about you as person. Your interview can help them appreciate you and your work on a completely new level, and will help solidify your brand in their mind.
  2. 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 interview to your fans, and encourage them to share it with their friends!
  3. 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.
  4. They stumbled across your Q&A by accident, possibly via a search engine like Google because your interview addresses a topic that matches the keywords they were searching on.  They didn't know they were looking for your book, but after reading your interview, they might think differently!

Although we created Smashwords Interviews with authors in mind, readers are also welcome to contribute interviews!

We look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions for improvements.