Ask,Answer,Author - Joyce Brewer
Joyce Brewer, 39, of Atlanta, GA is a TV Journalist with an MA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and a BA in Communication Arts from Hofstra University. She is the author of ‘Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms’, a 70-page non-fiction E-book/PDF featuring interviews with work at home moms, published in December 2011. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or buy her book through MommyTalkShow.com and Amazon.
When did you get the idea for a book, and why this particular genre? When I started my parenting talk show, people kept asking me how did I come up with the idea for it and how did I turn my journalism skills into a show for moms. I answered that question in this book and featured other amazing Atlanta mompreneurs who turned their skills into a business.
How long before you got around to working on the book, what kind of research did you do? I asked each mom that I featured to complete a survey, then I used their best answers in the book. They shared everything about balance, free business resources and how to handle child care while working from home.
What was the most challenging part of the writing process? My son was about 1 ½ when I finished the book and I was still feeling overwhelmed by motherhood. So I really had to focus and not get overwhelmed by the magnitude of what I set out to do.
When did you do most of your writing, did you have a schedule? No, I didn’t have a schedule. I worked in the morning before my son woke up, in the afternoons when he was napping and after he went to bed. Every spare moment I had was devoted to getting it done. I was also blogging and hosting my parenting talk show.
Did you have any collaborators, editor, designer, co-author? What technology did you use to write your book? I relied on three people I trust to read the book over and edit it for me. I also hired someone to do the cover image and layout. I used my Macbook and Word to write my book.
What methods of publishing did you consider or had plans for? I always wanted to do an e-book, so I could control the price and format.
What was the process after that, once you had your book ready to be published? I uploaded it to e-junkie and started promoting it.
What has the response been to your book? I’ve gotten rave reviews from fellow bloggers and people who bought it.
How did you market it? I did a lot of pre-promotion and pre-selling on my blog to build interest in the book. I also reached out to a local news reporter about the book and how it featured local moms. It turned into a story on Good Day Atlanta.
What are you planning on writing next? I have no idea. I think I’d like to focus more on building my parenting talk show brand, as well as producing videos for clients. So I may write something short and for free for entrepreneurs who want to produce their own videos.
Your advice for aspiring writers planning to publish in the near future? E-books and self-publishing are amazing ways to go. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But you can keep more of your profits and control your message.
And off I go!
To Yukon Valley :) My flight leaves this morning and I cant contain my excitement. It will be my first time on Air Canada, to Canada, and in Canada. You wont hear from me until the end of the month but I hope to have a lot to say about my first press trip soon. Have a lovely weekend ahead...you know I will!
Free images for articles
Many outlets I write for, both print and online, ask me for accompanying images for articles. Which is great if I have taken some of my own but if not then asking around for images or resorting to a stock photo library seems like a good deal. One such library I recommend is Bigstockphoto.com - their weekly free image is something I look forward to. This one featured here is what I received this week. Can never say where I can end up using it so I have an ongoing library of their free images. Their monthly plans I have never needed to use but for an emergency, I have checked out their credit packs and those are pretty reasonable. Do you use this service? I'd love to know your thoughts, or are there other websites you use for stock images? Do share your inputs :)
First press trip bagged!
I have been trying to break into travel writing for a little while now so it should not come as a surprise yet I was terribly excited when I received the email confirming me on a press trip this month to Yukon Valley in Canada! As a guest of Yukon Tourism, I will be part of a group of writers and bloggers travelling to Whitehorse in the Yukon and doing a roadtrip that will include a drive to Alaska. Our itinerary reads very exciting so I hope we get to do everything they have planned for us. I already have interest from a few publications I have pitched to so hoping I can spread the word about this little know destination that (from all my online research) looks beautifully breathtaking. I will have links to future articles here and will hopefully have more in-detail information on my travel website which is taking longer than expected to publish but I hope will be well-worth the effort and time I put into it. Cant wait!
Texting vs Writing
I work as a copy editor along with being a writer and it annoys me no end when writers tend to forget what they are submitting is an article for an established and respected publication, and not a personal text message to their best friend. It is true that many abbreviated versions are accepted and might even be familiar terms for many but it is simply not acceptable to publish it that way in a print or online publication. I am a writer too and might be guilty of many a slip in the process of writing my piece (I am famous for typing faster than I think!) but I would never do that to another editor/ copy editor - submitting my piece with abbreviations used in texts and messages. So next time you want to use pls in your article remember it is please, and thru must be spelled through and your editor will appreciate you for it!
Don't be afraid of rejection
It is true you get rejected plenty in the process of emailing editors what you think are perfect pitches for their magazines and writing letters of interest of wanting to work and be published with other outlets so developing a thick skin for it and knowing it isn't a big issue is a good start. I spent the longest time starting out writing the perfect pitch only to find out half the time that I missed my chance to even pitch it and other times it would be rejected anyway after all the effort I had put in. I felt dejected and promised to give up on writing each time and the next day I'd see another mag and have an idea and start thinking of how to pitch to the editor. Then one day I tried something different. I couldn't think of an idea to pitch for a certain outlet but I did want very much to be able to write for them. so I went ahead and just wrote to them asking for any writing opportunities. Lo and behold, they replied yes, asked to see samples, liked it, and next thing I know I have an ongoing gig with them. Since then, I have tried not to break my head over a perfect pitch every time. It is okay not to always have a story idea and just tor each out. Many a time, editors simply have many stories waiting in the lines and just not enough writers to assign them out to so I've learned now not to feel dejected each time the rejection hits me, I just turn around and reach out to another publication, and move on. I hope you will to. Have a fabulous July 4th weekend!