June 26, 2012

The Heart of a Business

Since the Author Blog Challenge is coming to an end, I wanted to answer a few more of the prompts. My goal is for people who read this blog to get a feeling for me as a writer and a person. I hope some of the answers below accomplish that.

Day 24 If your goal is to sell books, you must view your book as a business. In what ways do you treat your book as a business? Where could you improve? What resources could you leverage to improve your book business?

My two favorite subjects growing up: Math and English. It confounded my teachers and guidance counselors. You would have thought I was the first person in history who was creative but pragmatic, who equally loved dreaming and reality/facts. I love Math for its consistency, 2 + 2 will equal 4 from now until the end of time. I love writing and reading for both its rules (grammar/punctuation/structure) and its limitless freedom.

When I went to college, I finally felt free to choose my own path: Business/Finance major with an English minor. My first “real” job was writing an IBM corporate newsletter while also working in their finance department. Heaven. Now I combine my two loves by writing novels and running my own business. Who knew publishing a book meant running your own business? I didn't until I did it.

I file my own tax returns, created my own Limited Partnership, file quarterly sales tax returns, set up and run a business checking account, visit local bookstores to request they carry my book (with good success), schedule media coverage and press releases (which I write), handle all aspects of marketing… oh, and I write.

If it was in my budget, I’d bring on a publicist and/or marketing professional. Sales puts me the farthest out of my comfort zone. I don’t want to be “the person” people avoid because they think I’ve always got a sales pitch.

Day 25 Time for some shout-outs. This may mimic your acknowledgement page, but whom would you like to publicly thank for their help in creating your book or completing it to the point where it is presently?

I am a very blessed woman. Without the love and support of my family, I would not be the woman I am today. My mom gifted me with the love of language (reading and writing), while my dad taught me to respect language (he’s the grammar, usage guy). They both taught me that anything was possible, with hard work and determination.

My husband of 17 years is the calm to my storm. He believes in me and supports my dreams. Our three beautiful girls (12, 10 & 7) bring me immeasurable joy. They’ve taught me to better appreciate people’s unique talents. I love each of my children the same, and they couldn’t be more different.

Thank you to our early readers: Dad, my sisters, Lane Schroeder, Nancy Clark, Stacey Hartmann, Beth Rice. And a special thank you to our original publisher and editor, Steven Horvath. You left us too soon. All of your encouragement and advice were crucial.

Thank you to every reader who has read and enjoyed our book and passed it on to others. We are grateful. I'd also like to thank all the authors (and bloggers) who paved the way.

A special shout out to Shannon Knobel and Dean Smith. Shannon, without your marketing and book distribution efforts, 200 copies would still be in boxes. Dean, you taught me about press releases and marketing avenues. One of these days, I’ll hire you both!

To Dana, my baby sister… without you there would be no blog and website or a cover for our book.

Finally, to my lovely mother: I can’t put into words how blessed I feel to call you Mom. You didn't just form my body, you cultivated my spirit and grew my heart.

Day 26 What is/will be the subject of your next book?

Mom and I are writing the follow up to Depression Cookies. This time Abby and Krista are facing life apart, as Krista heads to college. The hardest part about being a mother: your job is to prepare your children to leave you. You have to teach your children to fly away, but always let them know they can return to the nest when needed. Sometimes finding our own way leads us down some scary and life-altering paths.

I’m also working on a young adult novel about obsession and dealing with loss. I don’t want to say much more, but it’s a departure for me. Family and women are still at the heart of my story, as I think will always be the case.

Who would you thank for the person you are today?


Jo Michaels said...

This post was inspiring. Having a significant other who supports you is SO important!! I didn't realize that until I met The Best Boyfriend in the World :)


Tia Bach said...

Thank you, Jo. I don't think I realized how much of a business writing a book was going to be, but I'm glad that I like business things. It's been a huge help!

I am so thrilled that the Author Blog Challenge brought you into my writing universe. You bring so much enthusiasm and support. I truly appreciate it.