In today's Smart Women Conversations video, I had the extreme pleasure of talking with good friend Amy Shojai. Yes, she's from BlogPaws, the pet blogger influencer community and educational conference I was once an executive leader of, but long before BlogPaws, Amy was busy as a writer. She reveals that she was once a vet tech, like me, and she transition to writing books on animal behavior, training, health care (both allopathic and holistic) and the health benefits of keeping cats and dogs. The story of her journey is quite enlightening. It should resonate with many.
She is also a talented fiction writer. That, too, made me feel as if we were long lost sisters. I write mostly non-fiction these days, but fiction is in my soul.
Our talk is about writing, about getting published. Getting published is no mean feat, even in this day and age of print on demand and respectable self-publishing. But, getting published twenty or more years ago, THAT was quite an accomplishment.
Amy's energy and enthusiasm for this topic is nothing new to me, which is a big reason I wanted to share it with you. She takes us on a journey, remembering her experiences with traditional publishing, and having an agent, as well as her work in self-publishing. She reveals her fiction and non-fiction books, where we look at the need for good cover design - our Smart Women Conversations cover designer Deanne Estes would approve, I think. Amy has a good eye for what's going to work and what isn't.
I particularly like how Amy helps us understand the process for writing both fiction and non-fiction.
They are not alike, and the writing process for each is similar but not the same, though I might have thought so before this talk. Yes, I might have thought, in error, that a fiction book is writing and a non-fiction book is writing, and you just do them the same, by putting your butt in your seat and writing. But with non-fiction you're more tuned in to your research and your fact basted content, and your focus is on making sure you don't mislead your readers. Whereas, in fiction, anything goes. Of course, you still have to get readers on board, dispel that feeling of disbelief, and in some of Amy's books, she adds a "this is true and this I made up" section at the back.
You'll learn what edutainment is about 15 minutes in. Then, how your name is a brand. How your title and sub-title need to be SEO friendly.
About 19 minutes in, Amy helps us understand how pre-marketing of your book - she does contests and you need to pay close attention to her description and reward basis for her contests. This is essential to making sales. It's not about putting it into Amazon or Barnes and Noble and waiting for people to find it.
That's more like sending out books via carrier pigeon and hoping folks will like what they get. But, never knowing if they get the book at all. (I made that up, Amy did not compare it to carrier pigeons!) If you pre-market, and post-market, with your audience in mind, you'll be rewarded with more sales and a better tracking system for those sales.
What you'll learn here, in only 35 minutes, can help improve your focus on your writing, teach you a bit about branding, teach you what being a real writer - an authorpreneur- is about, how marketing yourself and your product (your book) is necessary not optional, and learn to understand terms like "pantster" and "outliner."
Oh, and how blogging can be a serious tool in your writing toolbox.
Be an authorpreneur. Write what you want to KNOW!
Find more of Amy at her website
More about Amy and her four legged friends
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