Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joey Pinkney

I get to turn the table on book reviewer Joey Pinkney today! I have been following Joey since our My Space days and has admired his 5 Minutes 5 Questions with Joey. He has inteviewed many of the authors that we know and don't know. I love how in 5 questions he gives us just enough to tempt us to look further. So the Curious George that I am decided to interview the interviewer! I got a better look at who Joey Pinkney is. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

1. What made you decide to start Joey Pinkney?

I decided to start initially to do something constructive with my Internet addiction. It started as a blog about a lot of different subjects. It slowly transformed into an outlet for books and authors from my love of reading and affinity to books. I noticed that many Black authors don't get the same amount of coverage as their white counterparts. I made the focus of Black authors to help promote and advertise their books to potential readers.

2. How long have you been doing it?

I've been running since June of '06. The 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With... Author Interview Series started in August '08. When I first started, I had to beg authors to be a part of it. (Now that I think about it, I still have to beg... Hm.)

As it slowly began to gain popularity, more and more authors became in tune with viability of the series. I think word-of-mouth and being somewhat consistent has really boosted the popularity of

I've been trying to learn different social media networking techniques to broaden the scope of that I'm trying to achieve. It's a lot of hard work, and I've come into contact with people that have given my priceless experiences.

Although the 5 Minutes, 5 Questions With... Author Interview Series has only been going on for two years, it feels like four or five. I really appreciate my readers for all of the comments they leave as words of encouragement for the various authors that stop through.

3. What types of services do you offer?

In addition to the interview and book reviews, I also do book giveaways, contests for author-related products and promote my author interviews on other websites. As I am learning more about social media networking,'s author interview and book reviews is starting to be seen by a myriad of authors, readers and publishers.

4. Who are you clients?

My clients area mostly independent authors and publishing companies looking to give an extra push to one of their books. It's a pleasure to work with a person directly who is really invested in the well-being of their book. Every once in a while I get a celebrity like Faith Evans, Tray Chaney (from HBO's The Wire)or Shoshana Johnson (the first African-American POW)

5. What is the most rewarding aspect of your business?

The most rewarding thing that comes my way are the candid comments and emails that I get from time to time. It's such a pleasure to read something from a person who genuinely appreciate what I'm attempting to do.

There are times when I think about quitting and doing something more profitable with my free time money-wise. Just when I seriously contemplate throwing in the towel, I get an email, a comment, a facebook message or something like that. The nod of encouragement puts me right back in the game and refuels my obsession.

6. What has been the most difficult?

It's very hard balancing all the tedious, behind-the-scenes stuff needed to keep functional with a work schedule, kids, wife and other very important people. There is so much that I want to do with the website that time and lack of money limits. But I started it with nothing, so I am still very proud of that has become.

7. What has brought you the most joy?

I don't do this for the accolades, but I am more than overjoyed when somebody says "Good job". Don't get it wrong, though. If I did the website for the ind words, I would have quit before I started.

I got a comment the other day on my website where a reader actually said that she told an author at a book festival that she first saw the author's book on my website. I thought it was so cool that the reader saw the book on my site first and told that author about seeing it on my website. It doesn't get any better than that!

Being nominated for "2010 Book Reviewer of The Year" by the AAMBC put me on cloud nine. I was on a BlogTalkradio show with the other nominees before the winner of that category was announced. I said, "I already won!" That wasn't me being conceited or cocky, although that's how it sounded.

I had to explain that I said that because I felt like a winner to even be recognized and nominated without even knowing that the award existed. I found out two weeks after voting had started. Two different people congratulated me with an hour of each other. I was like, "What in the world are they talking about?!" I spoke it into existence because I did end up winning.

8. How do you promote your services?

I try to let people on my social media networks know about my services. I email authors, publishers, agents. But word-of-mouth seems to be the most effective way to gain new clients. In terms of what I do for authors, I post a status update twice every hour, highlighting a recent author interview or thing. I'm constantly changing the ways I let people know about me and what I can do for them.

9. What do you see people do that drives you crazy?

One thing that really drives me crazy is all of the people who read these good books and never take the time to write a three sentence on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles. I wish readers would understand how important that is, even if it's a not-so-good review. A book on one of those websites with one review looks 100% better than a book has that "be the first to review this book" thing on it. You know?

10. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

I would like to be 10 years younger... Oh, you meant? I would like to be on a schedule of publishing a book or two a year. I would like to have the "5 Minutes, 5 Questions With... Author Interview Series" still going strong, bigger and better. I would like to have a deeper understanding of the publishing world, so I can help the up-and-coming authors gain traction faster.

11. Who would you love to work with?

That's hard to answer because I work with so many great people, whether or not they are well-known. I wish I could get more authors to participate with me on a whim. Sometimes, I reach out to authors, and they don't holler back at me. I know that they are busy, doing this, that and the third. Plus, other people don't know me. So, I can't really expect someone to hop on board at the drop of a dime.

12. Who are your mentors?

There are a lot of people who offer encouragement and great advice. Specifically I would have to name K.L. Belvin, Ni'cola Mitchell, Cyrus Webb, Mari Walker, Tamika Newhouse, Faydra Deon. L. Martin Johnson Pratt and Elissa Gabrielle. I know I'm forgetting somebody. The people that I have named have in one way or another really given me some solid, heartfelt advice on how to progress in this industry.

13. What makes your business or service, stand out from the rest?

A couple of things that makes stand out from the rest is consistency and familiarity. I have been posting author interviews every few days for over two years by the time of this interview's initial run.

I have authors of a variety genres stop by and grace my readers with their presence. I think that variety falls in step with the realistic reading habits of the readers who check out my website. In terms of familiarity, my author interview series and book reviews really dig deep into what makes books what they really are: a connection.

14. Are you adding any future services to your business?

I really want to sit down and learn how to put together good book trailers and other video presentations. I am going to learn more about graphic design, so that will be something else I will provide in the near future.

15. Do you have a staff or is it all you?

Right now, I do everything in terms of updating the website. I have been offered help. My system of getting things up and running is so eclectic that I wouldn't put anybody through the pain and suffering of trying to learn it.

Maybe when I simplify what I do, will I pull more people in. has been a one man operation since it's inception. I have Faydra Deon to thank in the past couple of months for helping get some of the back-end stuff under control.

16. What do you want people to know about you?

I want people to know that I truly love books, authors and readers. The amount of time that I put into everything dealing with and the money I currently get would average out to be minimal wage at best.

I would love to make more money at this. I would love to spend more time going this. If neither is possible, then I am more than satisfied the way things turned out, all things considered. If I didn't have to pay for things like web hosting, shipping charges, social media stuff and lunches, I would be more than happy to keep the money aspect out of

17. What do you want people to know about your business?

I want people the know that this is fun, but you have to be dedicated. I want potential authors to know that your support means a lot. I want the readers to know that their comments are valuable beyond measure. has my name, but I really look at it as a community of authors, publishers and readers.

18. When you have completed a project, how do you celebrate?

I am a glutton for Crazy Fire Mongolian Grill. When I get a couple of author interviews lined up and paid for, I usually go to Crazy Fire during lunch for my day job. It's something about making your own spicy dish that's so fulfilling... I'm getting hungry typing this.

I also tell my wife when I hit a milestone for the website. She would rather I take my tail to bed at night, but she is as supportive as possible.

19. What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned from your business?

I've been surprised about how some authors choose to put very little time and effort behind marketing their book. As a published author, I know exactly what they mean when they say writing the book is the easy part. It's amazing that some authors expect that since they have a book that it's all sales and awards from there on out...

20. Would you change anything about your journey?

I would have started writing and saving money to publish a lot earlier. I would have spent less money on Crazy Fire Mongolian Grill and saved it for a trip to a conference or something. Other than that, nothing... I like the journey and what it has taught me so far. I just wish I was a faster learner.

21. Do you have any advice for people in business?

I don't think Ben Franklin said it first, but "Keep business hours, and your business will keep you..." This means put consistent, focused time into what you are trying to achieve. It will eventually pay dividends.

22. Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow?

I've pulled from so many different sources that I don't know where to begin or end. I would say Black people in general have left clues on how to be survivalist and not letting what they see affect what they do.

23. What have you realized about yourself since doing this business?

The one thing that I learned that really surprised me is that I can operate weeks on end with a lot less sleep than that I thought I would require. All through college, I was a sleepy head. I did a lot of fun things. Oh, I got an education, too.. But I got tons of sleep.

Nowadays, I spends plenty of late nights and early mornings updating and tweaking this or that. My family jokes about me going to bed after then and waking up before them on a daily basis. I have to do this, so it's not a joke to me.


**Other than the Bible

1.One book that changed your life:

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (Penguin)

2. One book you'd want on a deserted island:

Survive on a Desert Island by Claire Llewellyn (Andromeda Children's Books)

3. One book that made you laugh:

1-900-Anytime by Tracy Price-Thompson (Atria)

5. One book that made you cry:

Torn by Keisha Ervin (Triple Crown Publications)

6. One book that you wish had been written:

The Greatest Book Over Written by Fulton Oursler (Triumph Books)

8. One book that you are currently reading:

Biker Club by Kenny Blue (Journey Publishing)

9. One book that you've been meaning to read:

Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson (Hyperion)

10. One book you've been meaning to finish:

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (Penguin)

11. One guilty pleasure:

Tons of Chocolate. Tons!

12. What’s your theme song?
"Raggy Road" by Capleton from I Testament

Sites and Contact information

Joey Pinkney


Karen E. Dabney

Nice to know more about the Joey behind the the interviewer.

Keep up the good work, Joey Pinkney!

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