D.W. Richards is a member of the Canadian Authors Association and beyond being a novelist he is also a script-doctor and freelance writer. An excerpt from Pairs will appear in the October 2010 issue of the international literary PDF quarterly Cantarville as a standalone fiction piece. In addition to creative writing, D.W. Richards has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Carleton University and is a Certified General Accountant. He divides his time between Venice, Italy and Ottawa, Canada.
Thank you for this interview, David. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
Pairs is the story of Kayley and Adam, a single mom who makes her living writing greeting cards and a young carpenter; and Alexandra and Henry, a former stripper with dual identities and a math teacher with some unusual gender issues. The couples are connected through Henry and Adam, who are cousins, and through Kayley’s friend Helen, who is also Henry’s step-sister. As each couple builds a connection, the joint friendship turns into family. Kayley’s daughter, Terra, becomes a central focus of both relationships; she is loved and nurtured by the village that the couples create.
With the tightening of the bond between the couples, the mission for the pairs—which begins and ends with Kayley—turns to parenthood for Henry and Alexandra. The story weaves the elements of past sexual abuse, sexual dysfunction, problem pregnancies, and absolute devotion to family into a plot that draws the reader into the lives of these very unconventional characters.
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?
Brick-and-mortar tours are hampered by the simple fact that an individual can only be at one place at a time. And, in terms of a traveling tour, I’m rather inconvenienced by the cumbersome annoyance of having a day-job which, regrettably, takes precedence. A virtual tour addresses these logistical issues. And the reach is potentially enormous.
Though the concept strikes me as a smart use of the Internet and a very natural evolution in the publishing industry, I only happened upon the existence of virtual book tours recently. It was while I was researching book trailers on YouTube, which is also a rather new discovery for me, that I stumbled up the “Pump Up Your Book” promotional video. Bingo!
As you know, a virtual book tour involves – among other things – interviews and guest posts. Do you prefer one over the other?
At this stage I am more familiar with interviews than with submitting guest posts but, having also written for magazines in the past, I am familiar with being a contributor and I enjoy it.
Some authors prefer an all review tour. Can you tell us if you are one of them and why or why not?
A smattering of reviews, interviews, blog posts and the like would be my preference. While it is interesting to read a reviewer’s opinions it is also very passive. Interviews and blog post, on the other hand, grant the author (that would be me) an active opportunity to give the reader, and the potential reader, insights that reviews alone cannot.
What do you hope to achieve through promoting your book through a virtual book tour?
I am hoping to expand my readership. Much of the joy I get from writing is in sharing it with others with the hope of entertaining them.
Do you promote online through other means? Website? Blog?
The launch of Pairs was announced through an online marketing campaign in November 2010, which resulted in Pairs achieving #20 on Amazon.co.uk in the category of humor.
Additionally, I have a website dedicated to the novel, www.pairsthenovel.com, and a YouTube channel, “PairsTheNovel”. As well, I maintain an author specific social network account on Facebook, “David W. Richards – Writer” and on Twitter “DW_Richards”.
To a much lesser extent I also promote on and participate in an online social network that Cantaraville Quarterly established for its contributors.
Who maintains your website/blog?
The novel’s website was designed by One Graphic and is hosted by Godaddy.
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
I’ve had one experience with an offline book signing related to a previous novel. It took place at a launch party and reading held at a restaurant in Ottawa, Canada. Though I’d say that I had some limited success, I don’t believe that it could have been repeated endlessly. Although I very much enjoy the interaction, if my goal is to expand readership I believe better use can be made of the time and energy such events require.
Here’s a fun question. If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
When I see a full page add in major newspapers for books like “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, I wonder about the returns. I would imagine that they are fairly descent. And, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at slots on primetime television.
Thank you for this interview, David. Do you have any final words?
Thank you as well, and I appreciate your readerships interest.