Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I work with writers who are ready to become authors. I enjoy helping people write a great story, find their ideal readers, build their author brand, and publish their books. My superpower is doing all that in a way that is practical, effective, and fun.
I am a mindset and marketing coach in the Author Boss Academy and host of the Author Like a Boss podcast. That’s where their best tools and strategies, and then share them in the books in my Author Like a Boss series: Start Marketing Your Book, Done in Three Months, and Build Your Author Website
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
When I was younger,
I was constantly told I needed to find a job that was stable and
secure. When I got older I realized I didn’t want to spend so much of
my waking life doing something I didn’t love. Now I help other people
do what they love–writing–and do what I love at the same time,
which is helping creative people make money with their art.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
My creativity and
passion is inspired by watching someone hold their printed book in
their hand for the first time. Most writers have been wanting to
write a book their entire lives, and when that finally happens there
are happy tears all around.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Yes! Look at what is doing well in your genre and mimic the style. I met an author who had printed up a hundred copies of his sci-fi book to sell. The only problem is he’d had the cover art done by a friend who was a graphic artist. Sci-Fi readers would look at the book and think it was a comic book. And comic book readers would open the book up and be disappointed it wasn’t a graphic novel.
Your book cover is not a visual representation of your book. It is 100% purely a marketing tool. Look at what other people are doing, because that’s what works.
Also, pay for a
decent cover. There are bunches of places to get decent pre-made
covers for less than $100. A cover and an editor are the two places I
recommend people invest their money.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Eh, not really. I
mean, I don’t like them. But they’re not going to stop me from
continuing to do what I love. Having a stranger say they didn’t like
my book isn’t even close to the worst thing that’s happened to me in
my life. I’ve made it through all the other challenges okay–I’ll be
fine with this too.
How has your creation process improved over time?
My creative process
has improved because I used to work on projects endlessly and never
actually complete them. I think it was a combination of not knowing
exactly what I wanted to do, and being afraid that whatever I chose
to do wouldn’t be good enough. Now I actually finish things, and I
don’t care as much if it isn’t perfect. Creating is a work in
progress and so am I. I’ve realized I can’t get better if I don’t
actually go through iterations. The faster I finish and start on the
next project, the better I’ll get. Not to say I don’t strive for
excellence. But I can only be as excellent as my current experience
allows. If I want to get better, I need to get more experience, which
means completing things.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Well, I realized
that my zone of genius is not writing. I like writing like I like
baking–I enjoy it, but if I had to do it as my job it wouldn’t be
fun anymore. I was also surprised by how often I use the word
“really” in my writing (thanks to my editor for pointing
that out). Apparently I’m really enthusiastic. I was happily
surprised that my writing isn’t as bad as I thought it was when I
read back over it later. Yay!
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
Aim to serve readers. It’s easy because I mostly write non-fiction “how to” books. But even with my fiction, I want people to really enjoy the story. Fortunately, what I enjoy writing is something that other people like to read. Woot!
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Yes. Take a walk. Write longhand. Chat with another author. Get inspired by other kinds of art–dance, music, painting, theater, etc.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I have two cat beds on my desk, one on each side of my laptop. Fellow cat lovers know how much they like to lay on the keyboard. Well, I compromised. 🙂 I’m a Northern California girl living in Idaho. I met my husband over gardening and gophers.
hugs & happy authoring,
Ella E Barnard