Thursday, February 25, 2010
Interview with author Yvonne Perry
Today, my guest is Yvonne Perry, author, ghostwriter, and editor. Yvonne has agreed to answer a few questions for us.
1. Please tell me how you came to develop your company Writers in the Sky?
I became a writer because I wanted to try something new. I had five years experience as an administrative assistant but I hated the rigid schedule of the corporate world. I wanted to work from home, so I came up with the idea of starting my own business. I started this company in 2003 with a strong belief that I could create the career I wanted by learning as much as I could about the craft and business of writing, focusing on the positive goals I had set, and doing the work necessary to reach these goals.
Although I had a plan with goals that took me about a year to accomplish before launching into entrepreneurship, I morphed into a writer. I started out offering virtual administrative services as well as writing. The next thing I knew, I was doing more writing than admin work, so I began to pursue writing opportunities. I started out solo, but since have put together a team to diversify the types of writing and editing services we offer our clients.
Our team provides writing and editing for books, biographies, marketing copy, Web text, articles, media releases, résumés, and newsletters for individuals and businesses We offer book formatting and blogging services as well as author publicity packages that include book reviews, manuscript evaluations, press kits, and interviews on our weekly podcast. Through our blog, podcast, and newsletter, we are able to help writers who are trying to get started with their career.
2. Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how do you organize your writing time?
I work full-time as a ghostwriter, editor, podcast host, e-zine publisher, book marketer, public speaker, and author. This means I have eight to ten projects going at any given time. Wearing that many hats requires consistent discipline, planning, and organization. I use a daily planner to write down what I need to accomplish each day, and I stick with my plan. I may take several breaks, go for a walk, or even babysit one of my grandsons, but my to-do list keeps me reminded of what I need to accomplish before I call it a day. If I get done by five o’clock, great. If not, I may work until bedtime and then get up and start again the next morning by nine.
Fortunately, I have a contracted team to help me. My virtual administrative assistant, Katie, handles the posts on my blogs, Twitter, and other social marketing sites. She also maintains spreadsheets, conducts Internet research on client projects, codes the newsletter items, and gets our media releases and articles into online outlets. Sarah is in charge of coordinating the podcast schedule, interviewing our guests, and helping authors with book marketing. She and Barbara are also excellent writers and editors, which means I turn a lot of client projects over to them.
Thankfully, my husband is very supportive of my goals and understands that my business requires a lot of my time and attention.
3. You are accomplished in a number of writing areas. Which do you prefer and why?
I enjoy title development, writing, editing, and marketing best. I love helping a writer turn an idea for a book into a tangible, publishable product. That not only fulfills his or her dream, but also gives a sense of accomplishment, credibility, and source of revenue—provided the author can market and sell the book.
Most authors don’t realize that they are responsible for marketing their book—not the publisher. Many haven’t a clue about how to sell a book to a publisher, must less to a reader. I enjoy helping authors learn how to do their own marketing. Without marketing, no product, service, or business is going to succeed. I spend as much as half my day marketing my books, services, and business on the Internet.
I also like getting a rough draft manuscript from a client and helping him or her polish it into a jewel that is ready to be published. Huge book projects are fun to manage and I love teaching. This gives me a chance to do both.
4. How long did it take you to compile the information in Book Marketing in the Digital Age? What type of research did you do for this book?
I didn’t set out to write an e-book—it evolved from a need to share information with my clients. No matter what method an author uses to publish his or her book, there is still the need to market the book. I had written several articles about publishing and marketing and was giving them to my clients on a regular basis—mainly to save time by not having to repeat myself with each new author. Then, the idea occurred to me. Why not repurpose the material into an e-book and sell it? That was the birth of Book Marketing in the Digital Age, Online Promotion Made Easy. Once I decided to put it together in e-book format, it only took a few weeks to get it ready.
5. Since it is an eBook, do you check your links and update the book regularly?
Not as often as I need to, but I just uploaded a new version. If anyone has a copy with links that are not working, I will gladly replace it with the new version at no cost.
6. What tips do you have for new writers?
If you plan to write a book, learn all you can about the book industry and marketing before you try to launch the book for sale.
7. Where can people learn more about you and your work?
We have about fifty pages of information on our Web site: http://writersinthesky.com and I have several blogs:
• http://OnlinePromotionMadeEasy.blogspot.com is the launch point for this e-book, It is regularly updated with marketing tips, articles, and ideas. I distribute information about WITS community networking events on this blog.
• http://yvonneperry.blogspot.com streams our podcast on the craft and business of writing, and interviews with authors, publishers, and book marketers; plus, there is written information pertinent to writers, authors, and readers.
• http://writersinthesky.blogspot.com is where we feature our free monthly e-zine in increments. The electronic subscriber-based e-zine is filled with articles about writing, publishing, and book marketing. It also features poetry, networking opportunities, events, book reviews, and our podcast guests for the month.
Thank you, Yvonne, for taking time from your busy schedule to visit.
You are very welcome, Penny. . I appreciate your wonderful review of my e-book and the opportunity to share with your readers on this blog.