Meet Kristie Purner, Copywriter

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Book Industry Experts

Kristie Purner and I connected on LinkedIn several years ago. I’m pleased she agreed to provide an interview for this series.Kristie Purner headshot

• Tell us a little bit about your business.

I am a marketing strategist and copywriter for influencers, change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and lightworkers.  I help businesses to ignite their impact so they can share their messages on a global scale.

• How would you describe your ideal client?

My ideal clients are heart-centered business owners such as coaches, healers, authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs.

• How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

Since most of my clients run online businesses, I really didn’t have to shift my business or marketing to reach them.

I was fortunate to attract some transformational leaders ready to launch new books and coaching programs.  It felts amazing to shine the light on such luminary leaders.

• What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Give first always.  When you share real value and your heart it always comes back to you.  Also, expand your outreach.  Join new groups where your ideal client hangs out.

• What are your goals for 2021?

Provide visionary leaders a high-profile platform to share their wisdom, enhance their brand, and attract their ideal audience.

Share books and programs dedicated to spreading messages of hope, love, inspiration, and positivity.

Deliver the best empowering content and resources to support individuals around the world in living deeper, more authentic, and inspired lives.

• Where can authors find you?

Right now I have a thriving practice working by referral only.  So I don’t have a website, but you can connect with me on the social media links below.

www.linkedin.com/in/kristiepurner

https://www.facebook.com/kristie.purner/

• Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Kristie Purner is a top marketing strategist and copywriter with a long track record of helping coaches, authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs to launch, grow, and scale their businesses.  She is a bestseller author.  Her two books, “Ignite your Impact” and “I Love My Life: A  Mom’s Guide to Working from Home”.  She has appeared on television and radio worldwide.  Her business advice has been featured on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox News, NPR Marketplace, Business Week, and others.

Meet Chrissy Das, founder of This Edited Life

This entry is part 6 of 5 in the series Book Industry Experts

A couple of years ago Chrissy and I connected on LinkedIn and I invited her to schedule a time we could chat to learn more about each other and how we could support one another in our businesses. We have even done some work together.Chrissy Das Headshot

Tell us a little bit about your business.

I founded This Edited Life in 2015 to serve authors who need help communicating their best ideas. As a ghostwriter and editor, I help shape the books so that the author’s first impression is the best it can possibly be.

How would you describe your ideal client?

Most of the authors I work with are service-based business owners. They have been in their industry at least 5 or 10 years, often longer. The content they need are short-form pieces like blog posts and newsletters or long-form content like whitepapers and business books. The topics range across industry but what they have in common is a business focus, whether that be on their proprietary business process or on sales or leadership.

How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

2020 has been hard for a lot of my clients and it’s been challenging for me as well. My work life didn’t change very much because I have been working from home full-time for years. The main thing that’s changed is missing the in-person connections I used to enjoy. While I have clients all over the US, my local network is important to me and I’ve really missed

What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Focus on individual relationships. Make authentic friendships that you can take offline.

What are your goals for 2021?

My goals for 2021 are to do more of what I love. I am using this year to devote time to client projects

Where can authors find you?

www.thiseditedlife.com

www.linkedin.com/in/chrissydas

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Putting your work out there can feel scary. If you want a hand making your words more powerful, I am happy to help.

Bio

As a ghostwriter, I enjoy working with authors on their content strategy and websites. My clients are often service-based business owners and members of the creative community who rely on me to help them better communicate their thought leadership and grow their business.

Meet Becca Braun, Ghostwriter for Business Professionals

This entry is part 7 of 5 in the series Book Industry Experts

I’ve been managing social media for Becca’s company, Braun Ink, for over a year. Becca is easy to work with and has a growing collection of great tools for business learners.Becca Braun headshot

Tell us a little bit about your business.

The Braun Collection is a small, growing suite of True Business Adventure Tales, comic books, and conversation cards that intimately acquaint business enthusiasts with leaders across industries and geographies. Our action-packed tales and visual stories go deep fast to uncover the lives, backgrounds, obstacles, opportunities, and best and worst ideas of the decision-makers who have changed business.

For coaches and educators, our products include teaching tools such as teaching notes, presentations, short videos, and LIVE VIDEO VISITS with authors and subjects of the books and comic books. Readers of our books and comic books learn to synthesize and summarize key patterns of business executives, develop and support arguments on a variety of business topics, and show curiosity about the decisions made and not made by CEOs. In short, Braun Collection books, comic books, and conversation cards show decision-making as it is applied in practice by an executive across an organization throughout a career.

How would you describe your ideal client?

My ideal customer is a business enthusiast, business student, or business professional. Anyone who loves business adventures, reading books by and about CEOs, business comic books, case studies, conversation cards, and learning about the lives and decisions of executives and CEOs. People who really appreciate great writing and art. Our BizBio conversation cards are poetry and art combined.

How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

Not much changed in 2020. I did some video scripts instead of speeches. But my business model could adapt to an online world pretty easily. The main thing was the need to step back from business a fair amount, more than I anticipated, in order to help take care of my family. I have four teenagers and a few of them were struggling significantly with online school and the disruption to their worlds and schedules and social lives.

What is your favorite tip for using social media?

In my opinion, people shouldn’t post on social media just to post on social media. But, I think I am absolutely guilty, still, of doing that somewhat, so it’s a tip I probably should still listen to a bit more myself.

What are your goals for 2021?

I’m planning to do more honoring of my customers and clients in 2021 as I think that’s the best way to use social media. I’d also say high engagement with your audience is important, but again I don’t follow that advice very well, so . . . that’s something I should do more of in 2021.

Where can authors find you?

Braun Collection products for business enthusiasts can be found on Amazon. Business professors, students, and business professionals usually buy our products at www.braunink.com/brauncollection/ . I also offer extensive custom ghostwriting services for CEOs and others, which if people want they can also get at www.braunink.com.

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Bio

Becca is an innovator who combines business background with sharp analysis and driving creativity to achieve change and results for executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations. Becca has co-founded and led entrepreneurial companies, invested extensively in early stage technology companies, and worked at private equity funds. Early in her career, she worked as a management consultant and provided m&a advisory and shareholder value analysis services.

Becca is currently building the Braun Collection, a suite of True Business Adventure Tales, comic book case studies, and BizBio CEO conversation cards for a business enthusiast, business professional, and business student audience. As an avid writer who likes to support other entrepreneurs and executives, Becca has ghostwritten numerous executive memoirs and biographies, and storyboards; she has also ghostwritten hundreds of executive speeches. Further, she has been a blogger, served as a guest columnist for a leading newspaper, been a beat reporter for a daily newspaper, written award-winning academic works, served as writer and editor-in-chief of a travel guide, and published short fiction.

Meet Kathleen Becker Blease, Developmental Editor

This entry is part 8 of 5 in the series Book Industry Experts

Kathleen and I connected on LinkedIn last year. She’s one of many editors I’ve been able to connect with and add to my growing list of recommended editors for nonfiction authors.

  • Tell us a little bit about your business.Kathleen Becker Blease

I’m a fulltime freelance developmental book editor specializing in memoir, how-to/memoir hybrids, and how-to/leadership titles. “Developmental editing” means I work closer to the author’s creative process than, say, copyeditors and proofreaders, and I also ghost re-write manuscripts. I work on completed drafts of manuscripts and book proposals and provide deep edits and evaluations.

I’ve been blessed to have gained experience and coached among some of the best in commercial trade publishing on staff at Random House, Inc. An RH editor is trained to tune into and honor the author’s voice, so that’s my key skill. I’m also trained in writing direct response sales copy. I understand how to capture and engage the reader and, if the author would like, gently bake the marketing right into the manuscript, targeting the unique selling points of the book’s message, particularly for how-to/memoir and how-to/leadership titles. My ultimate goal as an editor, however, is to identify and remove the word obstacles between the author and the reader, so his or her message, story, and intention are clear and effective.

I’m a one-woman band and this is my only gig, so my work schedule is solely about my clients.

  • How would you describe your ideal client?

I love working with authors who take time to think things through and are open-minded about making changes to strengthen their message. They come from a variety of backgrounds, and their writing ability really doesn’t matter. That’s why I’m here. But their willingness to consider the editorial suggestions I provide is what I look for before signing my clients. I have an introductory process that helps facilitate that.

  • How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

This global pandemic has been rough on everyone, and I’m no exception. I lost my husband several years ago at the age of 48, so I’m somewhat sensitive about the possibility of losing another family member or putting my children through another loss. To put it mildly, COVID brought to the fore my sense of grief and uncertainty. I knew that if I didn’t get a handle on my mindset, I was going to have a tough time keeping my freelance business going and providing for my family. I know it sounds silly, but I decided to do something that I always wanted to do—watercolor painting. I’m sure you’re looking for a more business-oriented answer to this question, but I felt that God was moving me in that direction for a reason and decided to go with the flow. As I stepped out and pursued it, I could see His wisdom.

Sometimes silly things spark measurable benefits. I’ve never pursued art before, but watercolor fascinated me, and I wanted to come out of this pandemic with something positive . . . anything positive. Additionally, I needed to focus on creative, productive thoughts to keep me sharp as an editor, which was my first and most important step in keeping the home fire burning, so to speak.

My followers on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook regularly got a taste of my painting learning curve. And as I began posting, I captured and capitalized on yet another benefit: I could directly empathize with my ideal author clients about their creative process and putting themselves out there. It’s scary to be vulnerable, but it’s also relatable and builds trust. Authors get it. Now I get it. So, we get each other.

Watercoloring—and posting my progress on social media–turned out to be a unique and tangible marketing tool. It’s also very visual, as in, “Oh, yeah, you’re that book editor who likes to paint.” And there’s no doubt that I’ve found a new hobby that I don’t plan on giving up any time soon. It took a while after the March shut down, but by the end of July I did manage to sign a few clients—great clients, actually—to keep things going through 2020. I could focus, advance my editing and creative skills, and my confidence grew. God is good.

  • What is your favorite tip for using social media?

I firmly believe in finding one social media platform that fits your style and interests and putting your energies there, targeting and refining your list of followers and connections according to your skillset, work ethics, and belief system. Mine is LinkedIn. I also post on Facebook and Instagram. But my main focus is LI, and I’m specific about with whom I connect and who I follow. I don’t think it’s useful to cast a wide net and spend time on unfocused engagement; your engagement needs to somehow lead to building a network of like-minded professionals, a community.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

I think I’m just like everyone else . . . I want to get back to normal in 2021 . . . and I’d like to watch my son graduate from college. But my specific business goals are two-fold: 1) continue to find great clients with intriguing stories, particularly among memoirists and creative nonfiction authors, and 2) identify appropriate podcasters and bloggers and schedule interviews for spring and through the summer months. Guesting on a podcast, in particular, would be new . . . a little scary . . . and exciting for me.

  • Where can authors find you? Share your website and social media links.

The best place to find me is on LinkedIn!

www.linkedin.com/in/kathleenbeckerblease

  • Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like every author, especially first-time authors, to know that I understand how scary it can be to put yourself out there. Totally get that. So, bear in mind that your message–your own story from your perspective–is unique, and you’re the only one who can tell it. If you don’t, no one else will, and there’s no need to let your writing level hold you back. That’s what editors are for, especially developmental editors.

Bio

Kathleen Becker Blease is an ex-Random House editor, now a full-time freelance developmental book editor. She has edited a variety of nonfiction and creative nonfiction topics—from Mr. Rogers’ educational techniques to healing multiple personalities disorder to the gift of black fatherhood. Kathleen is also a watercolor enthusiast and a retired homeschooling mom. She is the author of I Can’t Wait to Meet My Daddy and several gift books published by the Ballantine Books group at Random House, Inc., including Love in Verse, a Boston Book Review bestseller. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains with her college-age son (who is awaiting campus to reopen) and their black cat Maybelline.

Meet Cristen Iris, Developmental Editor

This entry is part 9 of 5 in the series Book Industry Experts

This is the first in my 2021 series of book industry experts that will include editors, ghostwriters, book coaches, and other experts in the book industry. Cristen and I first connected a few years back when we both worked with the Nonfiction Authors Association.

Tell us a little bit about your business.Cristen Iris headshot 2

I’m a developmental and substantive editor and book proposal consult who loves developing long-term professional relationships with my clients and other publishing industry pros. I predominately work on nonfiction projects written by experts but am keen to work on well-crafted fiction with a literary bend.

Memoir with its nonfiction base and fiction-like narrative style is one of my favorite things to work on, but I jump at the opportunity to work on anything even remotely related to medical anthropology, sociology, sports, entertainment, or business.

My clients include a New York Times bestselling debut novelist, a GRAMMY Award ® winner, attorneys, researchers and medical doctors, competitive athletes, advocates and activists, and an international entertainment entrepreneur. I’m delighted to have worked with Linda K. Olson (triple-amputee, retired MD, and Parkinson’s advocate) on her recently released memoir, Gone: A Memoir of Love, Body, and Taking Back My Life, listed by Parade Magazine as one of the 24 best memoirs to read in 2020.

I love helping clients develop their writing craft and market acumen, so they can share important information and tell meaningful stories that attract the attention of literary agents, publishers, and readers. What I love most about what I do is the ability to partner with others to do work that has the potential to change lives and shape culture.

How would you describe your ideal client?

My favorite clients are Type As with a sense of humor, the type that are serious about the work but don’t take themselves too seriously. I also prefer working with clients who are multi-book authors and aspire to be traditionally published or published by a publisher that exercises editorial discretion. I also like working with authors who choose to indie-publish for strategic reasons.

Authors who are looking for a one-time, do-this-and-I’ll-pay-you-and-leave aren’t a good fit. The most fulfilling relationships for me are dynamic, collaborative, and strategic because they’re the most fun and get the best results.

How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

My pandemic year started the first week of January with the sudden death of my 42-year-old friend and brother-in-law. Another relative died suddenly in February, and in March, another one of my young relatives was hospitalized with COVID-19 and according to his doctor, “could have gone either way.”

By April, clients who’d booked large, multi-month projects had put their projects on hold or were moving at a snail’s pace due to interruptions in their lives and concerns about cash flow. The dip was brief. Within a few weeks, emails started flowing in. Lockdowns and layoffs allowed many aspiring authors to focus on their books. I haven’t done the math, but I’m sure I’ve done more projects this year than any other. Having said that, my income compared to last year is down because pricing and timelines got all out of whack early on, and I’ve done more lower-fee projects than high-dollar ones.

On the business side, I have to say that it’s been a great year. The pandemic exacerbated a project management and cash flow frustration I’ve had for several years and was the push I needed to eliminate the service related to it and start offering an hourly consulting rate service that’s been a surprising hit.

If I had to boil the change and the benefits that followed down into two words they would be “focus” and “efficiency.”

On the personal side, I’ve become more aware of how important my husband, sister, and children are to me. That’s given me perspective and a sense of belonging that I haven’t experienced in a while.

What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Well, first I want to encourage you to consider any tips I offer with a degree of skepticism because unless you’re an editor who works with clients like mine and share my goals, this is likely bad advice. But if you see yourself in anything I’ve said about myself, my tip regarding social media is to get off it as soon as possible.

Perhaps a better tip is to consider whether your ideal clients are hanging out on your favorite social media platform and if they go to that platform when looking to hire someone like you. Social media is a time suck. Each of us only have 24 hours in the day. If we want to succeed, we must keep customer conversion expenses low. Time and energy, like money, is limited.

I’m also an introvert (not shy, an introvert). Social media wears me out. My energy is best applied elsewhere. But when I started my business, I spent a lot of time on social media because that’s where authors who were willing to take a chance on a new editor hung out.

So, my tip is to remember that marketing isn’t a one-size-fits all deal. Marketing fiction requires a different approach than nonfiction and both require strategies that keep the ideal reader’s needs and habits top of mind. If you can afford to, hire an experienced consultant who knows your genre and understands your personality and goals and can help you develop a customized social media strategy that gets results. Sue has been doing this a long time and as an author herself can speak directly to what works and doesn’t. I’d start by talking to her.

What are your goals for 2021?

My goals for 2021 are the same as they are every year and are more strategic than specific, which allows me to take advantages of changes in the market and opportunities that always surprise me. In general, they are:

  • develop more high-value industry relationships;
  • stay connected to clients by celebrating their wins and promoting them whenever possible;
  • submit more of my own writing to literary magazines;
  • become even more effective and efficient, so I can serve more clients;
  • and get more outdoor time by taking walking breaks each weekday and hiking, biking, paddle boarding, and snowshoeing with family and friends on weekends.

Where can authors find you?

The best place to find me is at cristeniris.com.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’d just like to encourage anyone who feels beaten down, inept, and bone tired. I feel that way most days, especially when I feel forced to choose between answering emails that keep piling up and doing the actual work.

Running a sustainable and growing business is hard. We must keep all the plates spinning at least fast enough to keep them balanced on the pointy sticks they sit on.

It’s o’dark thirty, and I’m sitting in my bathrobe looking like a two-year-old that nobody’s bothered to hose down lately. It’s easy to feel like we’re doing something wrong, like we have little in common with those real professionals we admire.

But never mind Instagram, photoshopped headshots, and holiday everything-is-wonderful newsletters. That’s all fluff. The meaningful work is ugly work, but it’s the only work worth doing and the stuff that produces results that prove to ourselves and others that we’re competent and resilient.

May your 2020 failures and triumphs propel you into 2021 and may it be your best year yet!

Bio

Cristen Iris is a craft-focused, results-oriented developmental and substantive editor and book proposal consultant. Her clients include a New York Times bestselling debut novelist, a GRAMMY Award ® winner, attorneys, researchers and medical doctors, competitive athletes, advocates and activists, and an international entertainment entrepreneur. Recently, Parade Magazine listed client and triple-amputee Linda K. Olson’s book as one of the 24 best memoirs to read in 2020. Cristen’s personal essays and business columns have been published by, among others, IDAHO magazine, Idaho Business Review, Unbound Northwest, and on the Nonfiction Authors Association blog. When her nose isn’t stuck in a book or her fingers glued to a keyboard, Cristen and her feet can be found anywhere there’s dirt, trees, or water.