This past week I got the opportunity to interview Joey Pinkney, an Indie Book Reviewer and Business Owner. I’ve watched his success via social media and he is one person to know in the literary industry. I asked Mr. Pinkney if would be interested in an interview to tell the world why he decided to create a medium for new writers and authors in the industry. He agreed and the rest is history! Read all about this dynamic advocate for the arts.
What kind of books do you read?
I read all kinds of books. Books that tend to catch and keep my attention are books about psychology, marketing, action or literature that contains some really, cool obscure information.
I find myself really engrossed in children’s books. The stories that I used to read as a child have a broader, deeper meaning when read through my adult experiences and philosophies.
How do you choose your books and authors? Do you choose one new book at a time?
In terms of reading for personal reasons, I pick books many ways. Book covers tend to draw me like a moth to light. I like the colors, fonts, images, layout – all that. I tend to look at book covers critically. If the book cover looks interesting, then I might pick it up for a read.
Another way for picking books is by browsing through the suggestions. Every once in a while, you can hit gold by finding a new interesting author or book or series. Amazon is the third largest search engine in terms of search volume. I’m sure I give to that some way because I throw random phrases or things I think would make for an interesting book title to see what I find on Amazon.
The authors that are featured on the “JoeyPinkney.com 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… Author Interview Series” come from author who approach me for exposure through in social media or authors who I think would make an interesting fit. In the few years, the interview series has included authors from around the world. JoeyPinkney.com also has a global readership.
How long does it take for you to read a book and do you complete the reviews completely by yourself?
When I get a chance to really read a book, it takes about 5 to 8 working hours to read a novel length book. It can take another 1 to 4 man hours to write a review. That time is sometimes spread out over months because of various day-to-day activities.
I read all book reviews for JoeyPinkney.com. I read everything from the front matter to the discussion questions in the back of the book. I read the book from front to back, absorbing characters, author experiences, setting, book cover art, etc. into the energy I get from the book. My reviews tend to be 500-800 words covering my feelings about the quality of the book.
What is the most popular literary genre that receives the most attention on your site?
The two genres that get the most attention are Urban Fiction and Christian Fiction. Between the two, Urban Fiction might be the more popular. When I started the author interview series back in 2008, my goal was to put a spotlight on Black authors. I wanted the author interview series to show readers the books and authors that might be flying under the radar in terms of media hype and branding and marketing.
In many ways, it worked. Early on, the website featured many new authors in Urban Fiction, Christian Fiction and Erotica. Slowly, the idea began to gain traction. Readers were began commenting and emailing me to tell me how much they enjoyed what I was doing in terms of bringing a unique variety of authors to JoeyPinkney.com through MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Ning sites, etc.
How do authors go about being featured on your site?
The easiest way to get featured on JoeyPinkney.com is to buy an author interview package. (Go to JoeyPinkney.com and click on “Get Featured!!!”.) An author interview on JoeyPinkney.com can go a long way in terms of exposure. Various search engine check out JoeyPinkney.com frequently to make a copy of the newest material there. This search engine activity gets an author and his/her book title indexed on the internet with the hundreds of other authors and books that are associated with JoeyPinkney.com. That makes the author name and book titles come up higher in the search engines.
Another benefit of being featured on JoeyPinkney.com is the added exposure of the various social media outlets I have used over the years. I am constantly tweeting about the books and authors I feature on my two twitter accounts. @JoeyPinkney has 90,000 followers and @5M5QW has 47,000 followers. Although there is some overlap in followers between the two accounts, they have different readerships. In addition to being seen by thousands of people on twitter at any given point of the day, my two twitter accounts are followed by hundreds of lists. Those lists are followed by tens of thousands of followers. The potential is amazing – and real.
I also have a more familial group of authors and readers that I converse with on my Facebook account and my Google+ account. My personal and professional involvement in social media gives many avenues to connect readers and writers.
Is the traffic consistent with regard to people reading your reviews?
No, the traffic isn’t consistent for various reasons. A few basic reasons are that I don’t wait for a “sweet spot” in terms of the perfect time to put things out there. Whatever I’m working on, for the most part, is about to go live and “fly the coup”, so to speak.
There are times where I put a lot of new material out. I tend to post every other day if I have a lot of things to post at the same time. Posting on that type of schedule over the course of a week or two definitely stirs up a lot of attention because I have email blasts, automatic social media updates, RSS feed syndication, search engine activity, and a few other things I’m still learning about.
I also get spike and dips in traffic based on two share what I put out there. If an author is side-by-side with me in promoting a certain title, it tends to gain tons of traffic. I believe this is because an author interview or book review gives an author something to point readers towards. Instead of tooting their horn, they can let the author interview or book review communicates their work. I also have the support of “book people” both big and small in terms of their sway with people. When they share my tweets are Facebook updates, they can potentially generate a lot of attention for an author and a book that might have not had that exposure otherwise.
I could go on for a few more hundred words in answering this question, but I see I have a few more questions I can answer.
What do you like to write about most as it pertains to books?
In the past, I tended to stick to author interview and book reviews. So, my range is pretty narrow. Going forward in the future, I am going to start writing more about the changes in the industry and also about some of the things I’ve learned that can make book marketing a bit easier to understand if not useful.
Is there anything else unique or noteworthy about your book review site that you would like to share?
Unique. Noteworthy. Hm…
JoeyPinkney.com is powered by a profound love of books. It’s primarily a one-person operation. It started out as an idea: what can I do on the Internet. It grew into a living instrument: hundreds of authors, hundreds of books, international exposure. You can’t beat it. Some of the things are “jagged” I’m learning as I go along. There have been many hiccups along the way, but the people I’ve met directly because of books are priceless.
It’s a labor of love that is supported by readers and writers who are in tune with JoeyPinkney.com’s intention to highlight books and authors, regardless of level of popularity. It’s come a long way from being absolutely nothing more than a loose gathering of various ideas I had and techniques I learned. It has a long way to go as it changes and grows and refines itself.
Visit Joey Pinkey Online: http://about.me/joeypinkney