Joey Pinkney is “Your Favorite Reviewer’s Reviewer” – Period. His hard work has garnered awards and accolades for his reviewing and interviewing skills. Even more, Joey Pinkney has the respect of authors and readers alike. They respect Joey because he helps to find a reading audience. I talked to Joey about building an online presence and engaging the audience.
If you want to be a reviewer, author or get web traffic, dig into the interview.
UM: Introduce Yourself.
JP: My name is Joey Pinkney. My real name is Joey, not Joseph, just for letters. I am married to my college sweetheart for close to seven years. We have three children, one 18-year-old son and two daughters, 13 and 2. Two of my children are from my wife’s previous marriage, the youngest one by “the old-fashioned way”.
Outside of family and work, I do a lot of work promoting authors and their books through author interviews and book reviews. My author interview series “JoeyPinkney.com’s 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…” has been going on since August 2008. It has featured authors ranging from the relatively unknown to New York Times and Essense Best Sellers, and even a Grammy Award Winning recording artist.
My website http://joeypinkney.com has been nominated for various awards, still waiting to win one. There has been a level of consistency has not only brought these authors closer to people who are thirsty to know about new author and books.
I am also an award-winning author. I co-authored The Soul of a Man Anthology, which won 2009 Best Short Stories/Best Anthology at the African American Literary Awards. My short story “Like Father, Like Son” introduces Terrence, his wife Mary and his step-son Andre. I am currently working on a novel based on the lives of those characters due to be released later this year.
UM: You are passionate about books. How did you become involved in books by AA authors?
JP: I am definitely passionate about books. Aside from what I do with my website, I also collect books. I’m not passionate, actually. I’m addicted. Seriously.
I became involved with AA books through wanting to review them for a larger audience. From what an average reader has access to, most of the AA books they come across are either in the major chain book stores or in the library. There are so many small publishers and self-publishers that release tons of great AA books that fall through the cracks or stay under the radar.
I use http://joeypinkney.com as a platform to inform readers about new and interesting books. This is not only to bring attention to the book, but also the back story. The journey an author takes from taking an intangible idea to a physical product is so interesting. I have had many readers actually tell me that they have been inspired to throw their hat into the book publishing arena based on an author interview they came across on http://joeypinkney.com.
UM: Your favorite book genre? Why?
JP: Urban Fiction, hands down. Although I have my criticisms and feel sometimes it’s a guilty pleasure, I love the guns, violence and sex. A well written Urban Fiction novel also includes a well thought out plot and interesting characters. I like to reference that in terms of movies. I like the same qualities in movies. I really like Urban Fiction for its entertainment qualities, and I read non-fiction if I want to learn something. Just like with movies, I fall asleep when the part comes where morals are being taught.
UM: At what point did you decide to start www.JoeyPinkney.com? How did you increase visitors/audience?
JP: When I first started www.JoeyPinkney.com in mid-2006, I just had to have something on the internet. It was early in my addiction. Slowly, I gravitated to my passion: books. I started asking around for books to review, and even approached a couple of websites.
After getting about a book a day coming to my mail box, I got the idea to to the JoeyPinkney.com 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… author interview series. That aspect has really taken a live of its own. I’m proud of that.
As far as increasing my audience, first and foremost I try to remain as active as possible in posting new stuff on my website. Then I do as much promotion as time will permit. I heavily use social media networks to keep people abreast of what new on my website. I also converse and interact with many people. I have gained a lot of online friends that way.
UM: Your audience has grown by leaps and bounds. What are three steps a book reviewer can take to develop an online audience / presence?
JP: 1) Be as honest as possible with your reviews. 2) Post your reviews in as many places are you can find. 3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 as many times as you can.
UM: What has been your biggest misconception about the publishing industry? Has it changes since you became an author?
JP: My biggest misconception has been thinking that everyone works together for the common good. Just like any other large group of people, it’s politics as usual… The cool thing is that one good person in the book industry outshines ten or more bad people.
In terms of a shift in my perspective since become an author, I now understand. There is plenty of stuff that you read or hear about from seasoned authors that sound good that doesn’t resonate until you go through it. “Writing is the easy part. Promotion and marketing is the hard part.” So true… Anybody can put some words together. Getting somebody to buy your collection of words, or even getting people to know that your words are for sale, is the true challenge. Now I know.
UM: What prompted you to become involved in the industry as an author? How would you describe the experience?
JP: I’ve always toyed around with the idea of being published. It really is an extension of reading so much. Now that I know the whole process and how much it includes, I’m excited to see what will happen with my novel.
UM: Paid reviews or No paid reviews? Why?
JP: Should a person pay just for a review? No. Should a person pay to have a review done by an entity that will promote that review in many different places and get it seen by many different groups of people? Yes. Book reviewers can be a great marketing tool if chosen correctly.
UM: How can people learn more about your services or upcoming writing projects?
JP: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for your time, QB and www.UrbaniaMag.com. I really appreciate the experience and attention you have provided to me and www.JoeyPinkney.com.