17 Author Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an author, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

An author is someone who writes books, articles, or other literary works. They may be employed by a publishing company, or work independently. When you’re applying for a job as an author, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. During the interview, you’ll be asked questions about your writing experience, your published works, and your qualifications.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of questions that you may be asked, as well as suggested answers.

Are you a full-time author?

If you’re applying for a position as an author, the interviewer may want to know if you can dedicate your time to this role. If you are currently working in another field, explain how you would balance both roles and what steps you would take to ensure you meet deadlines.

Example: “I am not a full-time author yet, but I do plan on making that transition within the next year. My current job is in marketing, so I have experience with writing content for websites and social media platforms. I also write blog posts for my own website where I share tips about marketing and business strategies. I’m hoping to use these skills to help me succeed in this role.”

What are some of your favorite books that you’ve written?

This question is a great way to show the interviewer your writing style and how you can apply it to their company. You should pick two or three of your favorite books that you’ve written, but make sure they are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Example: “I really enjoyed writing my first book on marketing because I got to learn so much about the subject matter. It was also exciting to see my work in print for the first time. My second favorite book was one I wrote on social media marketing because I learned so many new things about the platforms and how to use them effectively.”

How do you come up with ideas for your books?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your writing process. They want to know how you generate ideas and what inspires you. In your answer, share a few ways that you come up with ideas for books. Explain that some of your ideas come from personal experiences or things you’ve read in the news. Share an example of when you used one of these methods to create a book idea.

Example: “I have always been inspired by current events. When I was working as a journalist, I would often write articles based on stories I heard while covering breaking news. Now, I use those same skills to write fiction novels. For my last novel, I heard about a local crime story and decided to write a mystery novel based on it. I interviewed several people involved in the case and wrote a fictionalized version of their story.”

What is your favorite genre to write in?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your writing style and preferences. It also helps them understand if you have experience in their publishing company’s genre. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific book or series that you enjoyed reading in that genre.

Example: “I really enjoy writing fantasy novels because I love creating new worlds for my characters to explore. My favorite book series is A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The world he created was so rich with detail and history, and I loved getting lost in his stories.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to conduct research for a book.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your writing process. They want to know how you gather information and what methods you use to ensure the accuracy of your work. In your answer, explain which resources you used for research and why they were important to your book.

Example: “I once wrote a nonfiction book on parenting that included advice from many different sources. I wanted to make sure all of my sources were credible so I researched each resource thoroughly before including it in my book. I looked at each author’s background and qualifications, read reviews of their books and checked out any media coverage they had received. This helped me feel confident that the advice I was providing was accurate.”

If you could write about any subject, what would it be?

This question can help the interviewer get a sense of your interests and passions. It also helps them understand what you might be able to write about if they hire you. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something that is relevant to the position or company.

Example: “If I could write about any subject, I would definitely want to write about my passion for travel. I have been fortunate enough to visit many places around the world, and I think there are so many interesting stories to tell from these experiences. If I were writing about travel, I would love to share some tips on how people can save money while traveling.”

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment as an author so far?

This question can help interviewers understand what you value as an author and how your values align with the company’s. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific book or project that you’re proud of.

Example: “I’m most proud of my first novel, which I wrote when I was in college. It took me two years to write, but I learned so much about writing during that process. The book is now available on Amazon, and I still get emails from readers telling me how much they enjoyed it.”

How well do you handle criticism?

As an author, you may receive feedback from your editor or publisher. This question helps employers understand how you react to criticism and whether you can take it in stride. In your answer, explain that you welcome constructive criticism because it allows you to improve your writing.

Example: “I love receiving feedback on my work because I find it helpful when trying to edit a piece. When I first started writing, I would get defensive if someone gave me negative feedback. However, now I realize that the feedback is there to help me become a better writer. If I make changes based on their advice, I usually see improvements in my writing.”

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you can offer advice or guidance to others who are interested in writing. Use your answer to share any tips that helped you become a successful writer, and explain how they could help someone else achieve their goals.

Example: “I think the most important tip I have for aspiring writers is to write every day. When I first started my career as an author, I would set aside time each morning to write. Even when I didn’t feel inspired, I forced myself to sit down and put words on paper. Eventually, I found that by doing this regularly, it became easier to find inspiration and motivation to write. If you’re just starting out, try setting aside 30 minutes each day to write.”

When was the last time you had to market a book you wrote?

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with marketing and how you approach it. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your skills in this area, including any strategies or tactics that were successful for you.

Example: “In my last role as a freelance writer, I had to market my own books because they weren’t published by a company. I used social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote my book, which helped me reach thousands of people who liked what I wrote. I also created an email list where I sent out newsletters about new content I was writing and other things I was doing.”

We want to attract more young readers to our books. How would you go about doing that?

This question is a great way to see how an author thinks about their audience. It’s important for authors to understand who they’re writing for and what kind of content will appeal to them. In your answer, try to explain the steps you would take to attract young readers to your books.

Example: “I think it’s really important to write characters that are relatable to younger audiences. I would start by researching popular children’s literature and finding out what makes those stories so appealing to kids. Then, I would use some of those elements in my own work. For example, if I were writing a book about dragons, I might include a character with a unique personality or a funny quirk. That way, kids can relate to the story and want to read more.”

Describe your writing process.

This question is a great way to see how you approach your work and what methods you use. It can also help the interviewer understand how you might fit into their organization, so it’s important to describe your process in a way that highlights your strengths.

Example: “I start by researching my topic thoroughly, including reading any relevant books or articles and interviewing experts on the subject. Then I outline my ideas and create an initial draft of the book. After that, I revise and edit the manuscript several times before submitting it for publication.”

What makes your writing unique?

This question can help the interviewer determine how your writing style and voice differ from other writers. Your answer should include a specific example of something you’ve written that makes your work unique.

Example: “I think my writing is unique because I always try to write with empathy. In my last role, I wrote an article about a new product launch for our company’s website. The marketing team was excited about the launch, but I noticed some customers were concerned about the price increase. I reached out to the marketing manager and asked if we could lower the price by $5. She agreed, and I updated the article to reflect the change. This made the customers happy, and it helped us avoid any negative reviews.”

Which authors do you admire and why?

This question can help an interviewer get a sense of your writing style and the types of books you enjoy. It also helps them understand what type of author you would be if hired for the role. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention authors who write in a similar genre as the one you’re applying for.

Example: “I admire J.K. Rowling because she was able to create such a magical world that I’ve enjoyed reading about since childhood. Her Harry Potter series is something I still read every year or so, and I think her ability to create such a unique story has inspired me to do the same with my own work.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of book design?

Book design is an important part of the publishing process. Interviewers ask this question to see if you have experience with book design and what your priorities are when it comes to designing a book cover or layout. Use your answer to highlight your creativity, attention to detail and communication skills.

Example: “I think that the most important aspect of book design is clarity. When I am working on a book’s cover or layout, my goal is always to make sure that the information inside the book is easy for readers to understand. This means using colors that are eye-catching but also easy to read and avoiding fonts that are too small or hard to read. It also means making sure that the book has plenty of white space so that the text is not overcrowded.”

How often do you update your blog or website?

This question can help an interviewer understand your writing schedule and how you prioritize your work. Your answer should include the frequency of your blog or website updates, as well as any other projects you’ve worked on in the past.

Example: “I update my blog once a week with new content. I also have a newsletter that goes out every month with additional information about my latest posts. In addition to blogging, I maintain a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I post at least three times per day on each platform.”

There is a lot of controversy surrounding your latest book. How do you handle it?

An interviewer may ask this question to see how you handle criticism and controversy. They want to know that you can take constructive feedback, learn from it and use it to improve your work in the future. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to address the issue and move forward with your career.

Example: “I understand that there is a lot of controversy surrounding my latest book because I wrote about an important topic that many people disagree on. However, I am confident in my research and believe that I have presented both sides of the argument fairly. If someone criticized my work, I would listen to their concerns and consider if they had any valid points. If so, I would make sure to include those points in my next book.”


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