It’s brilliant to meet other authors from around the world and see what they write, as well as how they run their businesses.
I recently met Beth Barany on the Book Marketing network and love what she is doing at her site. Beth coaches and teaches writers and those who want to write. From working in journalism for 15 years, Beth switched her focus to fiction, and now writes fantasy and science fiction. She currently has a young adult fantasy novel under consideration by agents and editors.
You are a writing coach and have a website that provides information and resources for writers. Can you explain a bit more about your business?
Well, I primarily help people pour their stories out of themselves. I love book writing, the whole process, include publication and marketing. So I offer coaching and consulting services to support those types of projects. I also offer book project management skills. That means if an organization wants to produce a book but lacks the know-how, I can bring that to them with my team of experts. Essentially, I am a teacher. So whether I gently lead someone in a one-on-one coaching situation or lead the group inn a workshop setting, or manage a team of experts to produce a book, I am always encouraging people to write by tapping into their innate creativity, enthusiasm, and their wisdom and experience.
The premise of all my work is that life is play, and we’re meant to enjoy this process called life, so let’s embrace what’s truly important and make the learning and growing process a bundle of fun.
You also focus on helping people with creativity. With writing, how much is creativity and inspiration and how much is discipline and just getting down to it?
50/50. You need both. First an author usually starts with an inspiration. Then to successfully translate that to the page, the author needs the discipline to write regularly and transform the idea into a usable, readable coherent form. Then when the writer is stuck she needs to tap back into her original enthusiasm to restart the writing engine. You need both creativity and discipline to complete a book.
On your blog, Writers Fun Zone, you have some great articles with writing tips. What are your top 3 writing tips for authors?
Only three?! Okay, here goes.
- Have fun and enjoy the writing process.
- And write no matter what your internal editor’s mind thinks about what your writing.
- Put your writing first.
You offer products on your site including ebooks and courses. What are your recommendations for writers in terms of making money from their writing, especially utilising technology and the internet?
Learn how to market your writing online if you want to sell in that arena. Learn to write squeeze pages. Study what other people do. Use sites like Clickbank to market your work to affiliates. Use social networking to expand your sphere of connections. Explore new technologies as they develop to see how they can work for you. This is an evolving field. Explore it and have fun. Be sure to choose some consistent marketing habits that work for you and track your numbers.
Also, have patience. Overnight successes have usually been years in the making!
What are the best ways for authors to market their books these days?
Ah, the six million dollar question. Word of mouth is still the best way. What’s different is how you go about finding your readers and getting them to talk about you. Some places are blogs, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, reading sites like Goodreads, through your publisher’s site, and online chats. There are more ways to connect not less with readers. It can be overwhelming. So choose the ways that suit your personality and budget. And don’t forget real world things like book signings, lectures, workshops, and advertising.
I do offer a marketing service for authors, specifically Social Networking for Authors. I post content for authors and generate online awareness for the author and her books. You can contact me for more information.
I see you are using Twitter – what are you using it for and how effective are you finding it as a marketing tool?
I’m using Twitter for:
· Fun. It’s fun to write in 140 characters. I love the challenge.
You are writing about Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces”. I am also a fan of his work. Could you give us an insight into how this applies to the writing life?
Ah, this is the subject of my course, The Writer’s Adventure Guide . I see we are each on a hero’s journey. When viewed from this perspective, there is nothing on our journey that isn’t a part of our trials or successes. Everything is part of the journey, this adventure, even the part where we refuse the call (stage 2).
I call it an adventure because for me adventures are fun and a little scary. Adventures stretch us in unexpected ways.
Sometimes we’re more engaged in our adventure than other times. Like all adventures, the journey is a little more stable if we have a map. I’ve provided such a map in the Writer’s Adventure Guide. This program is both the map and the guide, so you can know where you are at all times, and have an expert point out the potential pitfalls and interesting sights not to be missed.
If you are really, really ready to embark on your writing adventure, I urge you to check out my special offer for the Writer’s Adventure Guide and companion Mastermind course. The special is only available here.
So, what does 2009 look like for you?
I have a lot of upcoming talks and workshops that I’m excited about, including two online workshops: Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction for Young Adults (Feb2009) and Overcoming Writer’s Block (Oct 2009.
I’m also launching my Artist Entrepreneurs Unite blog and courses in late spring 2009.
How can people contact you if they are interested in your work?
Online here: http://www.bethbarany.com/contact.html
Email here: beth AT bethbarany DOT com
Phone(USA, Pacific time) here: 510-332-5384. Please leave a message if I don’t answer. I’m either writing, with a client, or playing, or sleeping. Whatever I’m doing, I want to hear from you!
You can read more interviews with authors here, including downloadable audio and video.