Interview with Laura Orsini creator of the Author Blog Challenge and author of 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women: A Self-Help Workbook to Make You Laugh, Cry, Ponder, Ruminate, & Consider.
Why are you taking part in the author blog challenge and what do you hope to achieve?
I created the Author Blog Challenge to bring authors together to collectively promote their work and support each other in the process. We have participants from every stage: published authors, people in the process of writing books, people in the planning stages, people who want to write books but aren’t really sure how to get started.
How long have you been writing for?
I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pen. It was my 6th grade English teacher who really encouraged me, though.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?
If you’re self-publishing, it’s usually committing the time to do it. External deadlines often motivate people. When it’s your own project with floating deadlines, it’s easy to let other things take priority.
What genre do you generally write?
I usually write on business and marketing topics – but my BOOK is a workbook of questions for women.
Do you have a favourite author and why?
I tend to have favorite genres more than favorite authors: spirituality, self-help, business and marketing, chick-lit, sociology, politics are a few favorites.
What is your book called and how did you choose this title?
My book is called 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women: A Self-Help Workbook to Make You Laugh, Cry, Ponder, Ruminate, & Consider. I originally wanted to call it In All Honesty: 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women, but a book consultant who does more or less what I do now told me (about 8 years ago – loooonnnng before I finished it) that I needed to put the parts people would remember in the main body of the title, since so many subheadings get dropped in listings. I’m not crazy about the title, but it definitely describes the book.
As the title says, it’s 1,001 self-exploration questions to get women to think about who they are and what they want in life. It also has a cross-referenced index and an extensive appendix that contains toll-free #s and websites for info and support on many of the topics raised in the book.
Has your book been published and how did you go about this?
Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?
That’s an embarrassing question – 10+ years! And it’s still not done. I’m working on converting the workbook format to a paperback, but it’s taking me a while as I’ve had some client and other work distractions. 🙂
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Just write! Every day, if you can. But write regularly. A blog is GREAT way to get your feet wet.
Do you use social media to promote your book, if yes then which social networks do you like the most?
I do and teach marketing to my clients, but my own has been sporadic, as client work always comes first! Yes – social media is huge for me. FB, Twitter, SlideShare, Ning, and a blog are the primary tools for now. Working on videos, though, for YouTube.
If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently?
Start with a plan. I started and then figured out the plan as I went.
What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?
Planning and marketing, hands down.
How did you go about designing the cover for your book?
I wanted something feminine but not overtly girly – so I steered clear of pink. I had painted the sunflower image and thought it might work. Turns out, it’s become the logo in all my promo pieces. Cover attached.
Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?
Right now, I’m considering chunking the book down into topical booklets (e.g. all the relationship questions, family questions, work questions, money questions, etc.)
Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?
I am a self-publishing consultant. I work with authors at all stages of the publishing process. My specific hands-on work includes editing, typesetting, and marketing – but I consult with a book designer, web designer, and other professionals as needed.
Where is your book available to buy?