Saturday, February 24, 2018

Author Interview - Sandra Beckwith

Happy Weekend, Writing Desk Readers!

(I apologize for the late post, we've had a few technical difficulties around here today.)

Today's interview is with Sandra Beckwith, author of this week's What Am I Reading Wednesday novel, Get Your Book in the New: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book. 


Photo provided by: Sandra Beckwith

The Writing Desk: Hi Sandra! Thank you for agreeing to this blog interview with me! This week’s What Am I Reading Wednesday feature, Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book, is your most recent publication, correct?

Sandra Beckwith: It is.


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TWDFor those who aren’t already familiar with your work, if you could describe Get Your Book in the News in one sentence, what would it be? 

SB: It provides step-by-step instructions for writing and distributing that essential book publicity tool, the press release that announces your book.


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TWD: Has your experience as an author been primarily with traditional publishing, self-publishing, or a mixture of both? If the answer is both, is there one avenue of publishing you prefer over the other?

SB: My first three books were traditionally published. I self-published Get Your Book in the News because it's a short e-book on a narrow topic and for that reason isn't appropriate for a traditional publisher. I prefer traditional publishing for a number of reasons that include getting paid to write the book through an advance against royalties and bookstore distribution. There are pluses and minuses for both options, of course.


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TWD: You’ve built an impressive online self-publicity resource: Build Book Buzz. Please tell me, what services can authors expect to find when they pay Build Book Buzz a visit? 

SB: Authors will find lots and lots of helpful how-to book marketing information at buildbookbuzz.com/blog. By using the search box on the right to search for specific topics -- social media, book publicity, author bio, etc. -- they will find a great deal of free information that will help them market their books. I recommend subscribing to my free newsletter by using the form in the upper right to receive a weekly dose of helpful information. In addition, I offer book marketing resources at buildbookbuzz.com/resources, affordable training programs at buildbookbuzz.com/shop,and information on my author coaching and conference speaking at buildbookbuzz.com/speaking-coaching. In a nutshell, it's a hub for do-it-yourself book marketing information.


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TWD: What inspired you to create this platform? Did other authors reach out to you at first, or was it a project you’d been planning?

SB: It started when I co-created and co-taught a book promotion class for Freelance Success more than a decade ago. I launched the website, blog, and free Build Book Buzz newsletter as a way to help me reach more authors with book marketing information. It has been a wonderful experience that continues to allow me to connect with and learn from so many amazing and interesting authors!


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TWD: Do you only write non-fiction/help for writers, or do you dabble in any fictional genres?

SB: I only write nonfiction but I love reading fiction, especially mysteries and historical fiction. I truly admire novelists!


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TWD: These next questions are ones I like to ask in each Writing Desk Blog interview, it’s so interesting to see the range of responses I get!

Where do you typically work from? (Home, office, coffee shop, etc.) Is there any place you find you're more productive than others?

SB: I have a small home office off my family room; it's definitely where I'm most productive. I try to confine my work to that space as a way to separate my work and personal lives. That said, when I have to work on weekends, I usually use my laptop on the my kitchen island for a change of scenery. That also lets me keep an eye on a college basketball game at this time of the year, too. Most of my home is fairly neat, but my office looks like a large filing cabinet exploded. And yet, I know where everything is!


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TWD: If you are able to tell us, what’s next for you? Will we be seeing another DIY book marketing guide, or do you have something else in the works?

SB: I have started another DIY e-book and I'm collaborating with a colleague on a training program for authors. I'm excited about both!


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TWD: Best piece(s) of writing advice?

SB: Read a lot. The best writers are also big readers. I'm hooked on audio books, listening while I walk for exercise, when I'm cooking on weekends, and when I'm on the highway four hours twice a month to visit my mother out of town. They're a great way for me to fit in more "reading." That, in turn, helps me improve my writing.


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TWD: Something about you that people may be surprised to know?

SB: I was my high school's prom queen my senior year. (And I made the dress I wore.)

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A big thank you again to Sandra for being my guest this week! You can find Sandra's bio and much more about her published works and Build Book Buzz in this week's What Am I Reading Wednesday post.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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