You wear many hats, don’t you? Which are your main areas of activity?
You are correct, I wear many hats – too many at times J My main areas of activity are providing support to about 50 WordPress sites (to one extent or another) and teaching blogging/WordPress – mostly to authors. Writing is a fit-in-wherever-I-can activity.
With these different areas, how do you manage your time?
Since I have kids in the house and I work from home, my day is broken up around their activities. As such, I work in the early morning before anyone is awake, during school hours and after kids are in bed. I tend to grab whatever time I can, often working on the weekend or late into the evenings to accommodate various time differences. Very few of the authors that I work with live in the same time zone as I do! And many work full time jobs and wear their author hat outside of the 9 to 5 time frame.
You’ve worked with a lot of successful authors – what advice would you have for aspiring authors?
Everyone tells aspiring authors to keep writing – it’s true as generally the more you write, the better you are. My focus is the technical arena – so I focus on things like a blog, the author’s platform, etc. Too many authors get to the point of publishing without considering who is going to read their book. This then starts a scramble to put together a platform to communicate with a community of readers.
In my experience, authors are wonderfully creative, but not very comfortable with the technical/marketing side of book publishing. The learning curve is very steep for most authors and the new skills that they have to learn are many!
I wish that more authors were encouraged to work on developing their platform as they worked on their book, but so many vocal experts suggest that anything but writing is a waste of an author’s time. As a result, many end up on my virtual doorstep to get help understanding the marketing part of writing a book!
What advice to you give to authors who are shopping for a blog designer?
Being an author is a unique activity. Because of this I always suggest that people get help from someone who has worked for authors before—someone who understands an author’s unique needs. I also suggest that authors are VERY clear with anyone they hire as to their skill level. A blog can be operated and maintained with minimal paid help in most cases. A designer worth their salt should be able to create something that is simple and straightforward for a beginner.
Tell me a funny story about one of your clients.
Since I teach technology, I run into many funny situations, but the story that I want to tell is heartwarming! I have an author that I work with who wrote stories in notebooks when her kids were little – during nap times – during evenings once the kids were asleep. She kept these notebooks in a box under her bed and showed them to no one. For her 65th birthday, one of her now grown kids took one of her notebooks to a very well known editor to get an evaluation. The editor loved the story and asked if there was more. By her 66th birthday, this author had bought a computer (there wasn’t one in the house before this point), learned Word (so that she could edit her books), learned to blog and was busy developing relationships on line on her Facebook and Twitter accounts. And, her first book was published. That was several years ago – she now has nine books published and her books are very popular. I have taught her a lot and she is very determined to learn as much as she can.
I can’t imagine how many notebooks filled with gems are under beds just waiting for the right time to be published!
What would you recommend authors who write in two or more different genres?
Writing in several genres can be a challenge. If all the genres are adult focused genres, then the author doesn’t run into many issues. I, as well as many others, suggest branding the author, not the book or the genre. There are many people who read a wide variety of genres and may read all of an author’s books even though they span genres.
Where I see problems is when the author writes books for children as well as adult genres that are really not appropriate for kids. As an example, an author who writes erotica, or gory horror or frightening thrillers. If there are likely two distinct audiences, I suggest that the author either writes one genre under a pen name or at least has two distinct platforms.
Tell me about your latest book / latest project.
I just re-published The Book Blogger Platform. This book I wrote several years ago and it was quickly becoming out of date. Instead of just updating it, I ended up ripping it apart and totally re-doing it. What has been re-published doesn’t bear much resemblance to the first version!
The next book that will be published is a topic that I’m really excited about! The title of the book is Blogging for Authors. It not only covers the technical aspects of blogging, but it also deals with what to blog and how to use a blog to create a community of readers, of supporters. I think that too many authors use their blog only as a billboard and totally miss out on the true power that a blog can have! Look for that one in Amazon by the end of March!
About the author:
Social Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency.
She is the author of 6 books and over 20 YouTube videos all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.
Author Website: http://barbdrozdowich.com
Business Blog: http://bakerviewconsulting.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbDrozdowichAuthor
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSgVt36XlVAHWj5dkSd0Zyw
Tech Hints Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/DfCRj
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Barb-Drozdowich/e/B00EN3CIDM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1437240887&sr=1-2