Making Cross-Promotion Fun

Back in 2006, mystery writer Joe Konrath and I were talking about websites. He asked me a very important question:

“Why will people come back to your site after the first visit?”

So I thought long and hard about it. And what I thought was this: I would interview other authors.

Not different enough, though; lots of people interview other authors. So I decided that instead of me, it would be my protagonist, the former succubus Jezebel, who would interview the characters of other authors. Jezzie sometimes still thinks like a succubus, so some of the questions would lean toward the, ah, inappropriate. But they would all be done in good humor. (Er, if not necessarily good taste.) Along with Jezebel, there would be Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy who, sadly, could only speak in cliches and pop-culture references. (She comes from a short story of mine published in FROM THE ASYLUM in 2006.) And it would be fun for me, for the interviewed author, and for readers. I decided to call this “Cat and Muse.”

So…how to do it? Authors are busy (you know, what with all the writing and promoting and, for many of us, day jobs and families), so I wanted to make this as easy as possible for interviewees. I decided the interviews would be done via email, at the authors’ convenience. And they’d have the opportunity to review the final interviews before I posted them live.

Now, who to interview? They would be with new authors, authors still working to get published…and, if I was lucky, with established authors. Maybe even some bestsellers. (Ooh.)

So during the summer of 2006, I launched Cat and Muse.

Fast forward two years. Cat and Muse has more than fifty interviews posted, including with the characters of Jim Butcher, Charlie Stross, Yasmine Galenorn, David Louis Edelman, Tate Hallaway, and Marie Brennan, just to name a few. Genres include science fiction, urban fantasy, mystery, historical fantasy, romance, contemporary fiction…and the list goes on.

I’m thrilled I’ve had the chance to work with so many talented authors on these interviews. Who ever knew that cross-promotion could be so much fun?

Okay, yes, and it’s a lot of work. But the fun part outweighs the work part. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it.

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There are 6 comments. Get the RSS feed for comments on this entry.

  1. 1. Karen Wester Newton

    This is a good solution to the need for new content. I am always amazed at authors who put up a site and then almost never change it.

  2. 2. David Louis Edelman

    And those of us who have been fortunate enough to be interviewed by Jezebel thank you heartily for the opportunity. :-)

  3. 3. Yasmine

    I didn’t know you had this blog too, Jackie. I had a blast–or rather “Camille” had a blast interviewing on your show. I have to say, it really was a fun twist on the typical guest blogging gig. ;)

    Yasmine

  4. 4. Tom Gallier

    Jackie’s site is one of the first I check every day. I love those Cat and Muse interviews. In fact, I just read the one with Harry Dresden. Great Job.

  5. 5. Laura Reeve

    Great idea — love the character interviews.

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