Seven minutes with Jennifer: Interview of Donna Huber

S_m_w_JWelcome Donna! I’m so happy to have you on my ‘couch’ today. Please, tell us something about yourself? 

I grew up wanting to work with animals. When I graduated from college, I got a job as a zoo keeper at Zoo Atlanta’s Wildlife Preserve at Stone Mountain. I’m now a paper pusher in an immunology lab by day and a book promoter by night.

Wow! Zoo…Who would’ve guessed! I once saw this movie, We bought a Zoo, and I loved it. All though it probably had nothing to do with the real life 🙂 I know you have helped a lot of authors by hosting them on your blog, Girl Who reads, and have written a book, Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour, which, I’m sure, will offer a bunch of useful advises, but if you’d have to list three best tips from your book, what would they be?

1. Plan early. A lot of authors think they can pull together a tour in a few days. And while you probably could, it will be very stressful.

2. Be creative. A game can be fun and is something a bit different. I’ve seen a few authors create which character are you games. Rose Gordon did a “test your regency slang” quiz for my blog that was really popular with my readers. Interviews with the book’s characters and even full guest posts from a character can add a creative element to a tour.

3. Interact. Stop by the blogs who are hosting you to thank them publicly and respond to any other comments that are left. Also remember to promote the posts on all of your social media networks. Consider having a Twitter or Facebook chat to give your fans an opportunity to talk directly with you.

SECRETS-to-a-BLOGTOUR-DHThank you! I just wrote them down and will definitely read your book before my next blog tour. Was it hard to write a how-to book for authors?

It actually wasn’t too difficult. I write a weekly tips post where I discussed most of the content in the book over the previous year. Also, it was based on personal experience and observations. When I started planning tours I was in the same boat as many first time authors – I had never done it before and I had just started building my blogger network. Now, I’ve planned events for more than 50 books and participated in tours for several more. I knew what worked well and what didn’t.

So if you’re planning to go public with your book, contact Donna. She’s an expert and why struggle alone when the help is so easy to get. I strongly believe in team work and as cheesy as it might sound we truly are stronger together. Okay, back to the questions…Donna, what has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Thankfully almost all the reviews for Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour have been positive. My biggest worry when I was writing my book was making sure it was clear. In my college writing classes, my writing was often criticized for being unclear or not providing enough detail. I asked each of my beta readers what I left out so unlike most writers I added to my book with each revision.

The only real criticism I’ve gotten is that it is short. But that was my goal. I know authors are busy, often juggling a full-time job and family with writing and marketing. I wanted something authors could read in about an hour and then put straight to use. I hate nothing more than reading a how-to book and it taking up all the time I had allotted for the project.

What has been the best compliment?

I never tire of hearing how helpful my tips are to authors. I love helping people. I just saw where someone recommended my book to another author. It makes me happy.

Between writing and blogging do you have any spare time? What do you do then?

I like to keep busy. During the winter months, I volunteer as the cheerleading coordinator for a community sports program – Upward Basketball. When the weather gets warmer I hike with my two dogs on the weekends. I’m also a bit of DIY homeowner – I built an extension to my front porch last fall.

Really? I wish you’d live closer to me! My dogs could play with yours, and you could help me to build my patio…well, you could build it and I could serve you wine and cheese 🙂 What kind of books do you like to read?

I love a good thriller. I recently discovered the Body Farm series by Jefferson Bass. I read a good bit of young adult fiction especially now that I can share books with my niece. We’re currently sharing the Haley Coven series by Patti Larsen and The Time Traveling Fashionista series by Bianca Turetsky. I might be developing a fondness for cozy mysteries or it might just be I love everything by J. B. Lynn.

I love J. B. Lynn, too! What is your favorite character?

I’m not sure I have a particular favorite character, but I do have a type of favorite character. I find that I drawn to books featuring female characters that aren’t quite perfect. They have quirks and while well liked they aren’t Miss Popular. They are the kind of person you would want as a best friend and because she usually winds up with the sweet guy I kind of want to be her.

That is so sweet! Do you have a ‘fictional boyfriend’? And if yes, is he a character from some of the books you’ve read or have you created him by yourself?

I got my first “book boyfriend” when I was in 9th grade (I didn’t know there was such a term then and would have been totally embarrassed to admit to it then). I read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and fell in love with Sydney Carton. There have been others throughout the years. Probably the first one I admitted to was Dominic Grey in The Egyptian by Layton Green.

Do you have any weird writing habits? Dark secrets, you’d like to share or perhaps a favorite recipe of a food that kicks your writing going?

I don’t think I have an weird writing habits. Often my best writing happens when I don’t think about it too much – just sit down and write. I wrote an entire chapter of my dissertation in a day. Secrets to a Successful Blog was “written” in a weekend. (A lot of it is based on blog posts I had already written so I was able to cut & paste a good deal of it.) It is great when I have a stretch of time where I can write uninterrupted. Maybe that’s why I enjoy blogging. I can usually find the time to get a 500 or so word post out in one go.

Because I tend to write non-stop, I eat a lot of PB&J and trail mix when putting a book together. In the acknowledgments, I thanked my mom for feeding me while I was working on the book. My parents own a large tract of land and in the late afternoons I would go to their house to let the dogs run and get a good meal.

todolistThank God for the family! I would be starving without mine, too. Any current projects?

There are two more volumes in the marketing secrets series. I’ve already written all the blog posts for one of them, so hopefully this spring I will get a free weekend to put it all together. And I probably have about half the posts done that will comprise the third book. Several bloggers have also asked me about doing a book blogging book.

Yay! I promise to buy them all! Maybe you could write a guest post about marketing secrets for us…I’m sure we would all love to read more! Your blog, Girl Who Reads, is one of the coolest blogs I know. Want to tell us something about it?

I started Girl Who Reads as a place to experiment when I was working as the marketing manager at The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House. It helped me understand the bloggers who I was pitching books to. I’m an experiential learner – I have to do to really get what I’m learning. So I would try things out before recommending it to my authors. I fell in love with the blogging community and I’m now in my fourth year of blogging.

Lucky us! Peeps! If you haven’t bumped into Girl Who Reads, do it now. I visit Donna’s site daily as I seriously don’t want to miss a thing! You probably have a favorite quote, don’t you? Please, share it with us!

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. – Jane Austen

Where can people find out more about you and your book and blog? 

You can find me on

Twitter (https://twitter.com/girl_who_reads)

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Girl-Who-Reads/273856382671730) and

Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6433196.Donna_Huber).

You can get my weekly tips as well as book reviews and meet authors at www.Girl-Who-Reads.com

My book, Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour, every where ebooks are sold including Amazon (http://amzn.to/14Uf6Js), Kobo (http://bit.ly/12iPtO7), Smashwords (http://bit.ly/129518l), B&N (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-to-a-successful-blog-tour-donna-huber/1117104908), and iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/secrets-to-successful-blog/id667171069?mt=11)

donnaphotoMore about Donna:

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads where, in addition to book reviews and author appearances, she writes the popular blogging advice series, Tips on Thursday. She has worked as a freelance publicist since 2010 assisting publishers and authors with their marketing and publicity needs. Most notably, she was the publicist for The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House edition of Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James.

When she is not doling out blogging advice or promoting the next bestseller, she can be found spending time with family (particularly the four legged, furry members), rewatching Downton Abbey and Harry Potter, or trying to make a dent in her never ending to-be-read pile.

Hungry for more? Here’s a taste what you can find in Donna’s book: 

Plan a successful blog tour while keeping your sanity

From the publicist who introduced the world to Fifty Shades of Grey, Donna Huber is now revealing her secrets to successful blog tours. She shares tips and tricks learned through organizing over 30 tours, blasts, and promotional events for nearly 50 independently and traditionally published titles.

Secrets revealed in this quick read include,

Planning stage decisions

Different types of tours

Recruiting bloggers and keeping requests organized

Best practice communication tips

Tricks to making a great guest appearance

How to organize a fun (and legal) giveaway

Actions to take during the tour

Next steps once the tour is complete

Virtual tour and other promotional opportunities

When to hire a professional

In this easy to follow manual, Donna does not stop there. She spills even more of her blog tour secrets to help authors get the most out of their events by providing,

Tour checklist

Tour invite tips

Step-by-step guide to creating tour graphics

10 broad guest post topics

25 sample interview questions


Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I hope to see you here soon again!

Jen x

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About jenniferloiske

Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a pre-school teacher by profession but she stayed at home when her youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. She is a workaholic Teen/Young Adult author, who loves dark fantasy, teen movies, chips and candies and warm sunny days. She’s also very keen on charity work and a big part of her royalties goes to the charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals. As a huge fan of dark novels Jennifer's bookshelf is full of books from L.J. Smith, Alyson Noel, Stephanie Meyer, Chloe Neill, Michelle Rowen, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amanda Hocking and Lauren Kate. She’s also a huge fan of music from Evanescence, Linkin Park, Within Temptation, OneRepublic and Disturbed. But her hunger for music is endless and depend on what mood she’s in or what kind of book she’s working on. She can be pretty much an omnivore when it comes to music.
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One Response to Seven minutes with Jennifer: Interview of Donna Huber

  1. Thanks for having me. It was a great interview and I hope I’ve helped some more authors.

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