Q: The Writers’ Edge started last year (on YouTube), and features a wide range of guests from newbie and Indie authors, thru New York Times bestselling authors. What was the genesis of the idea behind this show and how has audience (YouTube) reaction been?
A: Christie (Stratos) was given The Writer’s Edge (what a nice gift!) by fellow author Joshua Robertson a year ago, and the idea has always been to discuss writing in all aspects – advice for writing holiday-based books, what self-publishing vs. traditional publishing looks like, balancing writing with your job and life, and so much more. Mickey (Mikkelson) came on-board recently, and at that point we added one-on-one interviews to our livestream panel discussions.
Now we’re on every second and fourth Thursday at 9 p.m. EST. We always keep our eyes out for experts, people with a lot of experience or even varied experience depending on the topic, so that we have a diverse and helpful discussion. The reaction has been very positive, with viewers who attend every livestream, and ask questions, and new viewers networking with our consistent ones. It’s amazing to watch those connections form. In reality, our show is meant to give exposure to any one who is in the literary industry and that is really how we want to be identified and related with!
Q: How far reaching is your audience, and do you find responses vary based on the country of the viewer (not unlike British and American humor are different)?
A: Our largest viewership is in America, but we always have plenty of viewers in Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and even India! Neither of us has noticed a difference in response because of culture, but most who are vocal during the chat either ask questions, share their own ideas, or just have a nice conversation. As for reach, we are also looking to expand our reach and we will always tweak and adjust when something is working.
Q: What sort of advance prep is required to put on an Internet show, and to what degree is it scripted versus free-flowing?
A: The first step is coming up with the topic, something that will be appealing and helpful. Then we find guests who suit the topic. Once those preliminary steps are completed, Christie develops the questions and sends them to the participants, although live questions from viewers are encouraged too. Nothing is scripted, but the panelists do know about the set questions ahead of time. We create a Facebook event, create a YouTube event, and voila! A show is ready to go live.
Q: Where would you like to see the progress of the show headed in the future?
A: We have already had some sponsorships, but we’re looking to gain further sponsorships to help bring us to a larger audience. At this time, sponsorships are extremely affordable and earn the sponsor air time with a wonderful audience of engaged writers. We’ve already expanded the show to be twice per month instead of just once, and now that we have both panel discussion and interview style shows, we are looking to expand the types of guests we have beyond (but still including) authors. We’re looking at reviewers, publicists, booktubers, publishers, and more, anything that is going to create interest and exhibit entertaining and dynamic episodes.
Q: How do you select your guests?
A: Sometimes we already know authors who are perfect for the show, sometimes we search for authors who have experience and offer diverse viewpoints. On our “Variety is the Spice of Writing Romance” panel, we had authors who write romantic comedy, military romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance – a great variety of subgenres, both with publishers and self-published. Our goal is the ensure that everyone always has something to add, even if it’s to disagree and share very different experiences. Everything is helpful when it comes to sharing writing, marketing, and publishing advice. In the past, we have even had prolific writers and not yet published writers on the show to share their own writing advice and experiences; each one had extremely relatable things to say.
Q: Does this format enhance sales for authors, if you know?
A: We’ve certainly gotten feedback that it can enhance their social media following, but we don’t have information about their sales. The other aspect to think about is that guests are accountable to share the feed as well. Like any media vehicle, it will only be effective if everyone works together to get the word out about their episode. Its like any other marketing scheme, more views should equal more sales long term!
Watch all the episodes of The Writer’s Edge at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrFrRVtI0YyaR8NEYAdZ24w