Chris DeBrie grew up in North Carolina, sustained by sports, stand-up comedians, and barbecue. He has traveled overseas, including to stops in Germany and Iceland. DeBrie wrote his first novel, As Is, when he was a high school freshman, publishing it almost ten years later. This year he stands behind his latest effort, Shakespeare Ashes, and is at work on a mystery set around a Veterans Administration medical center.
Chris will be on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours in November and is here with us today to give his impression of virtual book tours and online book marketing.
Thank you for this interview, Chris. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Author: Shakespeare Ashes goes into the minds of four characters who are in their early twenties, all of them dealing with the inevitability of adulthood. I wrote it in alternating first-person voices, and I didn’t censor their thoughts–I kept it raw. Love, gender, and race issues are constants in America, though most of us don’t like to face up to them, and I went to those wells for this story.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
Author: Pump Up Your Book Promotion seems like they are on the cutting edge of the internet and the publishing industry, and I wanted to be a part of this movement. Who knows what the VBT will become? Or the internet, for that matter. Maybe one day writers will sign books through an avatar. Anything is possible.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Author: I was almost completely offline from ’05 to ’08, so there is much on the web I’m discovering. I discover so much sometimes that I forget to write my stories.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
Author: I don’t expect world domination–I’m looking to build name recognition. As an independently-published writer, I know that process will take time, and this is a step on that path.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
Author: I have a site and blog at www.washyourhandsproductions.com. I’ve heard the term ‘personality-driven website’, and that fits what I’m doing. Most anything that I’m interested in and creating begins there. It’s simple but growing.
Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook? What are your links there?
Author: My listing is on Facebook; just search my name. I pretty much ‘friend’ anyone who asks. Never say never, but I don’t see myself Tweeting. It’s digital blurting. Given the choice, I’d rather think about what I let people read from me.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Which do you prefer – online or offline and can you give us the reasons why?
Author: I’ve never done a brick-and-mortar signing. The expense, in time and money, is prohibitive. And, as a relative unknown, I didn’t want to convince bookstore owners that I would be a draw. I’d like to become a draw, and possibly approach them with that leverage.
Here’s a fun question. If money was no object, how would you promote your book?
Author: If money was truly no object, I’d be ridiculous and have my book cover as a hologram across the night sky. More realistically, I’d call myself a producer, and hire a few big Hollywood names to make my book into a film or Broadway play.
Thank you for this interview, Chris. Do you have any final words?
Author: Just be natural, baby.