Jennifer, Welcome to Nights of Passion and congratulations on your new publication of “Market or Die: Sensible Brand Building Advice For Writers.” Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed. I know in your day job you work in the marketing field, so tell us what inspired you to put this book together for authors?
First of all, thanks for having me. I’m a big fan of Nights of Passion. When I joined the Connecticut Chapter of RWA a year and a half ago, I noticed in our group we had many skilled authors who knew a great deal about writing and the craft but seemed confused when it came to marketing. Marketing is a discipline. I knew, due to my work experience, I had a skill that could help authors I truly admired gain the attention they deserved.
With this economy and publishing being effected how important is marketing to the authors today?
In my view, it’s essential. If you look at the publishing industry from a business perspective you’ll see an industry in a state of flux. With the rise of self publishing, it’s important for all authors to understand the basics of marketing because with so many writers choosing self publishing if you don’t market, and market correctly, there’s a good chance you will get lost in the crowd.
I know you said the publishing process was more difficult that you had expected. Would you share your experience with us?
That’s a great question. I never intended to self publish. EVER. I felt with my work schedule I wouldn’t be able to meet the demands of self publishing. It was hard for me. I’m not very patient which made formatting the book an issue for me. But, when Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, who attended one of my marketing for writers’ workshops, said I should write this down and sell it now, I didn’t hesitate. I valued Sarah’s opinion and industry knowledge. She knew I was speaking at the RWA National conference on June 30 and told me to publish it quick. Self publishing was the only medium that could move as fast as I needed it to. So, from that moment, I decided to self publish and didn’t look back.
What recommendations or suggestions would you have for an author interested in going the route of self-publishing?
Make sure that the demands of self publishing fits within your lifestyle. Self publishing fits for me in writing non-fiction because I’m confident of the subject matter, I can write it fast and publish it fast. Marketing is an industry that constantly changes, most marketing books are outdated the second they hit the shelf. So, from that perspective, my goal in keeping fellow writers up to date with current marketing trends, brand expertise and sound advice works great with self-publishing.
Being a full time marketing professional, wife, mother, writer and Vice-President of CTRWA we are all interested to know how you balance it all.
Well, I’m not the poster child for balance. Not by a long shot. I think if I’m successful at all it’s because I work hard, I prioritize and I have a lot of help. I rely a lot on technology. My smartphone is my BFF. It keeps me organized and I’m always “on”. I’d love to say I’m in 100% control of everything, but I’m not. I have a great husband who supports my writing venture. He knows how much I enjoy working, producing and seeing things through. He fills in when I can’t be around. Plus, my 4-year old son helps me keep life in perspective, especially when he tells me he loves me.
When did you first realize you had a passion for writing?
I’m not sure I have a passion for writing as much as I have a passion for the end result. Finishing a scene of my fiction or putting the final edits on a marketing book fills me with a sense of accomplishment that I rarely get outside of writing. Maybe it’s about the control, the ability
to do it my way. It has to be perfect or I won’t do it, which is why I’ve written my fiction novel seven times (and I’m gearing up for rewrite #8).
What inspires you?
To know that something I did or said helped someone else. I had a great review of my marketing book by a fellow author. She called my book a lifesaver. That meant a lot.
What is your favorite novel and why?
I have so many that it is hard to choose. In romance, my favorite novel is Angel’s Fall by Nora Roberts. Everything that Ms. Roberts does so well, character, setting, suspense, romance, she does it in this book.
Thank you again Jennifer. If any of the readers are interested in getting this great new marketing tool for authors, please see http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_p_n_feature_browse-b_mrr_2?rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Amarket+or+die%2Cp_n_feature_browse-bin%3A618073011&bbn=283155&keywords=market+or+die&ie=UTF8&qid=1307408967&rnid=618072011.
Jennifer has kindly offered to do a marketing critque of a lucky winner’s website. If you would like to enter the contest to win this and have a real marketing guru give you valuable advice, please tell us why in your comment. Thanks for entering this give away and good luck. Deadline to enter is midnight EST on June 26.
About the Author
Fusco is the Creative & Brand Marketing Manager for the General Electric
Company, North America. A two-time award winner of the Advertising Excellence
Award for 2010, Jennifer also launched many successful national ad campaigns.
She is passionate about brand and believes it is a key to professional success.
Her article entitled “How to Use the Power of Your Brand” was published in
August 2010 by Insights, an industry trade ma gazine. Jennifer holds a B.A. in English from North Carolina State University.
In her writing life, Jennifer is a member of the Romance Writers’ Association, RWA’s PRO network, Vice President of the Connecticut Romance Writers Association, and a writer of paranormal romance. She has completed two manuscripts.
Jennifer lives in Connecticut with her husband and in her spare time you can find her cuddled up with a book or fielding baseballs with Jacob, her four-year old son, a future player for the New York Yankees.