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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook) and @thewritepen (Twitter). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Interview with Cherrie Woods, Author of Where Do I Start? 10 PR Questions and Answers to Guide Self-Published Authors

Author’s Bio: Cherrie Woods is a 15-year public relations (PR) veteran who has a client list that includes self-published and traditionally published authors, visual artists and cultural and non-profit organizations. She has held staff and senior management positions in public relations at a variety of organizations including Baltimore City Dept. of Public Works, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Toronto Social Services and Public Health and Harbourfront Centre. Woods currently serves as the membership chair on the board of the Baltimore Public Relations Council and was the president of the National Black PR Society-Detroit Chapter (2005 to 2007). Woods is also a member of the Black Writers Guild of MD. Her latest venture is a PR workshop for authors called, “Promoting Your Own Book.”

What inspired you to write your book?
When I shared that I was a PR professional with other authors, I was inundated with many questions. Most self-published authors had little to no knowledge of how to do their PR, could not afford a publicist and had no idea what a publicist could do to help them. Some who had hired a publicist shared horror stories of paying considerable sums to a publicist and not believing that they got a good return. I shared with authors that there are existing books on PR for self-published authors, but they countered that these books were long and complicated and they wanted something simple, clear and easy to understand. My book was published January 10, 2016 and to date, the feedback is very good!

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Many authors have influenced both my love of reading and my appreciation for their book content and presentation. They include Donna Hill, Judy Blume, Margaret Johnson-Hodge, Bernice L. McFadden, Eric Jerome Dickey and V. S. Naipaul on the fiction side; Iyanla Vanzant, bell hooks and Nathan McCall, on the non-fiction side, and on the poetry side (I’m a  published poet) my brother David Woods, Maya Angelou and Sonia Sanchez.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
This is my second book. I began to write this book in March 2015 and completed it in October 2015.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
I employ a combination of both methods.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
I actually write best in complete silence. Which means early morning is my best time for writing,

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
Know your presentation strengths, know yourself, and of course know your book really well. In addition, know your genre and read the work of established authors in your genre. And of course, register for one of  my workshops and if you have a budget, consider hiring a publicist who has worked with authors (preferably me) J.

What advice would you give to new authors?
New authors need to understand the book industry, network, attend conferences, speak to other authors – traditional and self-published, attend authors book readings, analyze the published books in your genre - their presentation, formatting, etc.  

How about sharing an excerpt from Where Do I Start? 10 PR Questions and Answers to Guide Self-Published Authors
One of the first questions I ask self-published authors is this: “What is the genre of your book?” Your book’s genre defines and determines the direction of your PR and marketing efforts. If I could get $20 for authors who don’t know the answer to that question, I probably wouldn’t be a millionaire —but I would have considerably more money than I do now. 

"What is the genre of your book?" Genre is the type of book that you have written. The overall genre of your book may be fiction (not true), nonfiction (factual) or poetry. However, there are several subcategories including health and fitness, self-help, science fiction, mystery and suspense, romance, American poetry and poetry anthologies. Knowing your genre will also help you select the right reading opportunities, the best media to pursue for interviews and the best collateral to develop for your marketing campaign.

What’s next for you?
I’m working on a second book of poetry and a second guide for authors, Where Do I Start? 10 MORE Questions and Answers to Guide Self-Published Authors” and a guide for visual artists. Also, I am hosting a PR workshop for published authors only, “Promoting Your Own Book for Published Authors” on Saturday, March 26th for only $75 (which includes a FREE copy of my book, Where Do I Start? 10 PR Questions and Answers to Guide Self-Published Authors). Register soon at www.eclecticpr.com (limited capacity). This workshop is for all authors – traditionally and self-published.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

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