Meet Deborah Olson, author of The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection

This entry is part of 11 in the series Meet the Author

Deborah and I worked together to boost her social media presence before, during, and after the launch of her book. You can watch an interview we did together here.

Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

Deborah and Sue in Arizona 2019
Deborah and Sue in Arizona 2019

I am a licensed professional counselor in the state of Texas and have been working with clients in my private practice office for two decades, working with couples, adolescent girls, and women of all ages. I received post-graduate certifications in women’s emotional health and treat postpartum depression and anxiety, and a variety of transitional and life issues, including divorce, relationship struggles, and redefining one’s purpose as an empty nester. I’m also a friendship expert and published my first book, “The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection,” in 2019.

This book was a culmination of the following: my work with female clients, my experiences in my first career as an RN in Obstetrics & Gynecology, my own original research on friendships, the from prestigious institutions, and my own female friendships. My passion is to help women live their best life by helping them become empowered, enlightened on the merits of female friendships, and adopting new tools to flourish and grow– no matter their age or stage in life.  I also present weekend retreats and seminars to women on a variety of topics to promote health and wellness and I speak to professional groups, book clubs, MOPS, college classes, women’s clubs and organizations.

Why did you write your book?

My book came out of my life’s passion to make a difference in women’s emotional health.  My background in nursing working in OB/GYN and High Risk OB followed by career as a mental health clinician specializing in women’s health, provided the perfect foundation to help me launch my book focusing on the merits of female friendship.  Two different catalysts prompted me to begin to think about writing this book.  The first was when we vacationed in Mexico with friends in 2015 and my longtime girlfriend and I who rarely saw each other were chatting away on the beach while our husbands watched us with an amusing smile on their faces.  After several minutes my girlfriend’s husband commented “you ladies just pick up where you left off the last time you were together, whether it has been 5 months or 5 years, you have such a deep connection and after nearly 30 years of living in different states, you still remain such close friends.  What is the secret to this?  You should write a book and share your secret recipe with women everywhere, your friendship truly is so unique and special.”  The more I pondered this, I realized he was so spot on.  We did indeed have something so treasured and rare and sharing it with other women could be life-changing.

A few months later I hosted a weekend retreat for women in Galveston, Texas at a resort on the beach.  I presented my own original material on the merits of female friendship. At the conclusion of the weekend, many of the participants came up to me to share that this had been an incredible weekend for them, and that the information I had shared was powerful and I should really think about putting it all in a book so women everywhere could benefit. It did not take much convincing after that weekend, and I did indeed begin writing my book a few months later.

How did you publish your book? Traditional publisher, hybrid publisher, self-published?

I self-published my book. Jera Publishing in Atlanta did the actual book layout, format, helped with my cover choice decisions, etc. and got it to print on Amazon, and Ingram Spark.

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

As an author and speaker, my international book tour in 2019 took me from coast to coast in the U.S.A. and to Mexico for book events.  It was amazing!!!  My future calendar for 2020 was nearly full of events, and then the pandemic hit.  My calendar pretty much was cleaned out except for some new Zoom events that I was invited to do for book clubs, and professional women’s groups.  I have tried to be patient and push through the challenges the past year, but it has been a struggle to say the least.  I had to cut back on my team, as my budget was also in a downward spiral. My husband also lost his job at the same time due to his company closing due to COVID.  So, 2020 was full of curveballs and challenges on a large scale! I have just tried my best to hang in there knowing that one day things will get better, and we will be able to get back to our in-person events!

What is your favorite book marketing tip?

My favorite book marketing tip is “NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!”  no matter what!  Being able to just readjust, pivot, and realign our goals is key!  I would say to believe in yourself and your team that surrounds you, and find the silver lining.   2020 was like no other year!  We were all traveling through the twilight zone!  But, slowly things will start up again and we will begin to see the fruits of our labor take shape.  It is easy to give in and just quit but to stay in the game requires us to focus and fight! And, that is the path I took in 2020!

What are your goals for 2021?

My goals for 2021 are the following:
      1.    Get as many book events (in-person) on my calendar as I can.  This means book signings and speaking engagements.  Now that I am fully vaccinated, I have already been flying and I plan to continue!  I am getting back out there and going for it with gusto!  But, of course, in a safe and cautious way (masked as needed).
      2.    I want to continue to offer my coaching, professional counseling, and speaking services to everyone.  I have two websites that offer the details for my services at:  deborah-olson.com and GalleriaCounseling.com.
      3.   Stay in touch with my social media marketing community (Sue Canfield) and stay focused on the next steps for promoting my book around the United States.

Where can readers find your book?

Social Media Links:
Twitter—@DeborahOlsonMA
Linkedin—Deborah Olson
Instagram—authordeboraholson

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Yes, I would like to add that one of the most important strategies a new author can focus on is their social media marketing to get their book out there in front of people! My decision to go with Sue Canfield and her team was one of the best decisions I ever made!  Sue was able to guide me through the early months after my book published and help me achieve great exposure and success!  This was money well spent and I would highly recommend her services at Ausoma to every author out there, especially brand new authors like myself!  You cannot do it by yourself, and you cannot possibly know this industry when it is just your first book!  Leave it to the experts and trust them with your book and its potential to win awards and be a success! I did and it could not have gone better for me and my new book!  The Healing Power of Girlfriends has just won its 6th literary award!   That right there is the proof of trusting the experts with your book!  One of our biggest strengths sometimes is knowing our limitations, and I know mine. Yes, I can write a book but marketing it is not in my wheelhouse, so I am happy to trust those with that talent and expertise! THANK YOU SO MUCH, SUE!!!!

Meet Mike Sherman, co-author of 52 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Customer Analytics

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

I worked with Mike a few years ago on social media marketing for his book, 52 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Customer Analytics.

Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

Mike Sherman
Mike Sherman

My book (our book, as it was co-written with my son, Alex) is about closing the gap between users of customer analytics and providers of customer analytics.  Too often the users lack sufficient knowledge to helpfully define, interpret or use customer analytics, so they fail to get so much potential value.  Likewise, providers/creators of customer analytics don’t fully understand their end users needs – what decisions they need help making and how the analytics can help them improve their decision making.  So we wrote 52 chapters of easy to digest anecdotes that illustrate how to close that gap.

Why did you write your book?

Alex joined me in Singapore 9 years ago for a semester abroad, at a time when I was leading the customer analytics team at Singapore Telecom. He had developed an interest customer analytics and we began to have substantive discussions.  That lead to him suggesting I speak at his university (SMU, SIngapore Management University) where I titled my talk “Ten things I wish someone had told me about customer analytics”.  The talk drew 600 people.  Alex encouraged me to write a book on that material and topic. I agreed only if he would write it with me.  So we did the project together, working through phone calls, vacations, etc.

Alex Sherman
Alex Sherman

How did you publish your book?

We approached several publishers but all said our material didn’t fit their market profile or was too niche for them.  So we went the independent route.

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

2020 and 2021 so fare gave us more opportunities to talk to the book’s material, as remote webinars were more easily accepted (hard to do in person talks when one of us lives in Hong Kong, the other in Washington, DC). 

What is your favorite book marketing tip?

We are frustrated that we know so little about our customers, despite being customer analytics mavens.  Publishing via Amazon means we only know how many copies are sold, the format and which location they use to buy the book (virtual location, e.g. Amazon. com or .uk or .ge).  Two things have worked for us: making it clear to contacts that we welcomed the opportunity to do webinars and that these webinars would be full of content, not just an ad for the book.  Second, we regularly Google the book title, where we sometimes learn about our customers, leading to marketing opportunities.  For example, a short comment by one student at North Texas University about being assigned our book for a course lead us to the professor and the opportunity to do several short webinars for that course, further publicizing our content.52 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Customer Analytics

What are your goals for 2021?

No specific goal, we promote the book opportunistically.  Our one goal was already achieved, we launched the Chinese translation of the book.

Where can readers find your book?

Website or Amazon

Alex Bio:

Alex Sherman is a machine learning practitioner, educator, and author who is passionate about applying analytical tools and techniques in the realm of customer analytics to drive personalized product experiences.

Alex works as a data science manager at Capital One on a computer vision team. Previously, he spent seven years at Deloitte Consulting where he led natural language processing projects for life science clients. Based in Washington D.C., Alex enjoys teaching the practical application of machine learning and customer analytics. He has taught in-person and online data science bootcamps for General Assembly to over 200 students. Alex also shared his analytics experience in a book he co-authored, “52 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Customer Analytics.”

Alex has a Bachelor of Business Administration, summa cum laude, from Temple University, and is studying at the University of Pennsylvania for a Master of Computer and Information Technology.

Mike Bio:

Mike has over 35 years of marketing, CRM/Big data , and market research experience.  He helps clients address marketing opportunities through leveraging big consumer data and traditional market research.

Mike published his first (and last!) book, “52 Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us About Customer Analytics”, co-authored with his son Alex.  The book captures real life lessons learned over their careers, with a focus on practical applications of analytics that connect methodologies and processes to impactful outcomes.

Mike began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he managed both new and established brands.  Mike spent 17 years with McKinsey & Company; while there he created their Asia-Pacific marketing practice and founded their global CRM practice.  Mike was also Global Head of Knowledge Management for Synovate , where he lead efforts to improve the value clients obtain from research.  At SingTel and Hong Kong Telecom he set up  big data teams and drove the use of both customer data and customer research to help the business understand customer and customer data opportunities.

Mike has been based in Asia since 1997 and has supported work in almost every country in the Asia-Pacific region. Mike has extensive experience in the telecom, retail, financial services, consumer electronics and FMCG industries.

Mike has an MBA, High Distinction (Baker Scholar) from Harvard Business School and two Bachelors degrees, Magna Cum Laude, from the Wharton School and College, University of Pennsylvania.

Mike is a frequent speaker at conferences and published several times in the McKinsey Quarterly on marketing issues in developing and Asian markets.  He is the former Board Chair of AFS-USA, a leading high school foreign exchange organization and an avid traveler, having visited over 140 countries.

Meet George Troy, author of The Five Laws of Retail

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

George and I worked together for a few years on building his social media presence before and up through the launch of his book.

Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

My book, The Five Laws of Retail: How the Most Successful Businesses Have Mastered Them and How You Should Too, explain the fundamental principals that will enable a business to succeed.

Why did you write your book?George Troy, Retail Consultant

I wanted to help people and also to share some great stories from the retail world.

How did you publish your book?

I traditionally published with Post Hill Press.

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

To be honest, not much changed. Writing is a mostly solitary activity that one can do almost anywhere.

What is your favorite book marketing tip?

Great social media support! An author has to speak with a strong and consistent voice across all channels.

What are your goals for 2021?

I am currently working on fiction for a regional periodical.

Where can readers find your book? The Five Laws of Retail

All sellers of on-line books including Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I also write a blog at my website.
I can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

There is a lot of work to do even after a writing project is complete but you don’t have to do it all alone. Get great support from people who will really care about your message.

Bio

George Troy is widely read blogger, author, and consultant focused on retail business communities, including online and brick-and-mortar stores. He has enjoyed decades of real-life experience as a senior executive for some of the best-known and most successful retail companies in the US and globally. A specialist in apparel, footwear, sporting goods, cookware, and home furnishings, Troy has led the retail divisions of Deckers Outdoor (UGG Boots) and outlet divisions of Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

When he joined UGG Australia to create the brand’s retail channel, Troy directed all aspects of the business(merchandising, marketing, operations, real estate, store construction, and management), taking retail sales from $0 to $400 million in the US, Europe, and Asia in just eight years. Similarly, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn brought Troy in to create and build the outlet channels for those brands. Here, too, he directed all aspects of store operations, including HR, marketing, real estate and construction, and merchandising.

Troy is currently a consultant with The Grayson Company based in New York, which offers a full range of consulting services to retail, e-commerce, wholesale, and omnichannel businesses as well as investment firms focused on the consumer sector. The Grayson Company’s CEO Kevin Mullaney says of Troy, “He has extraordinary expertise in field management, site selection, and lease negotiation, and equal capabilities in merchandising, particularly product development and assortment planning.”

Troy serves on the boards of directors of two nonprofit organizations based in the San Francisco Bay Area. When not writing about the retail world, Troy spends his time in garden-to-table cooking and also tends a small Pinot Noir vineyard. An avid hiker, he recently summited Mount Kilimanjaro with his family. He and his dog Farley are currently enrolled in the Canine Circus School of Emeryville learning to perform amazing dog tricks.

Troy earned a BA with honors from the University of California, Berkeley in Anthropology. He also holds a California State Teaching Credential.

 

Meet Ryan S. Atkins, author of One Step Closer

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

One of my newsletter subscribers, Ryan, published his book, One Step Closer, in November 2020. He has an interesting story and shares a little bit about his book here.

What are your goals for 2021?

My goal is to sell 5000 copies of One Step Closer in the first year (November 2020 — November 2021).Ryan Atkins book cover

In order to accomplish this, I am reaching out to at least three potential partners each week. I am mainly focused on podcast interviews but also have incorporated guest blog posts and email collaborations.

As momentum for the book has continued to build, requests for interviews have begun coming in on their own. While I will prioritize those opportunities as they come in, I have a list of other partners to continue to reach out to whenever it slows down.

Where can readers find your book?

Download a free chapter and purchase the book here: www.readonestepcloser.com

My website featuring my Flat on My Back blog is focused on maintaining hope no matter our circumstances.

Social Media:

www.instagram.com/ryanSAtkins

www.twitter.com/ryanSAtkins

www.Facebook.com/flatonmyback1

What else would you like to share?

Publishing my first book was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Going into it, I felt incredibly overwhelmed and unsure if I would be able to pull it off. I wondered, “Will anyone read this? Will it all be a waste of time?”

Thankfully I came across some incredibly helpful resources to make the marketing aspect less scary. Blogs like www.ausoma.com and books like Your First 1000 Copies gave me the information and confidence I needed to bring this project to fruition.

If you are on the fence about publishing or hesitant to share your work with the world, I hope 2021 is a year you can look back on as one that saw your author journey come to life!

About RyanRyan Atkins

On November 20, 2009, 21-year old college student Ryan broke his neck and became paralyzed below his shoulders. He launched his website in 2013 to share rehab updates with family and friends. It soon expanded to his writing about faith, marriage, and the power of holding an eternal perspective. Learn more about Ryan here: https://www.ryansatkins.com/meet-ryan/

 

Meet Jenny Robin Jones, author of Love America

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

A couple of years ago an author in New Zealand contacted me for social media assistance. I was very pleased to know that my reputation had reached so far! Enjoy reading about Jenny.Jenny Jones

  • Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

My latest book, Love America: On the Trail of Writers and Artists in New Mexico, arose from a visit of mine to Taos and Santa Fe, which turned into a literary pilgrimage. Afterwards it generated an exploration of New Mexican history and the ways New Mexico has influenced writers and artists (often from New York) who visited over extended periods or, in some cases, settled there permanently. For instance, D H Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe, Willa Cather, Frank Waters. Also, the heiress and brilliant collector, Millicent Rogers. The book offers a different approach to travel, one which I have found transformative.

As for my business, I am first and foremost a writer so that is my top priority – to keep writing and not let my time trickle away attending to all the other aspects of the writing business. I am lucky to have found an enthusiastic publisher for this title. The book had a great designer and publicity management. After my last title, which was self-published, I sought help from Sue Canfield with managing social media and that was well worthwhile. I have also had my website renovated in time for the launch of the latest title and am well pleased with the result.

  • Why did you write your book?

I felt a strong desire to make sense of my lived experience, to make it intelligible, coherent and beautiful. Inspiration for a new book has come following an unexpected connection between two hitherto unconnected things. For instance, my experience of the Rugby World Cup played in New Zealand in 2011 and my need for a sense of belonging resulted in my third book, Not For Ourselves Alone.

  • How did you publish your book?

This title was published by a traditional publisher for a niche market.

  • How did things change for you as an author in 2020 and how did you manage to weather the pandemic?

I worked on the manuscript with a mentor/publisher who, upon its completion, offered to publish it. During our 5-week covid lockdown I felt unable to write and worried that nothing would come of the plan. Her trip to New Mexico was cancelled and with it our hopes of finding a US publisher with a view to a co-edition. Linda was still keen to publish in NZ however and the book was launched in early November. Now she has returned to the idea of seeking a co-edition partner. How will the continuing pandemic affect the result? We’ll see!

  • What is your favorite book marketing tip?

To seek and follow the advice of experts in the field, especially that of social media. To spare nothing in learning to apply this knowledge of engagement and then to work out a comfortable personal balance between time spent on social media as against writing more books.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

To publish and market a children’s picture book for which I have completed the text. Next, to write a new adult book, Never Stop Travelling. And of course to achieve a better balance between working to deadlines and taking time out.

  • Where can readers find your book?

    Love America

Through my website (see link below), my Facebook Authors Page, Goodreads, Pinterest. Also the publisher’s website https://calicopublishing.co.nz/

A short interview on national radio suggests how the book is interesting to readers: https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/standing-room-only/audio/2018772875/a-kiwi-s-love-letter-to-the-us

  • Author Bio

Jenny Robin Jones is a writer of many years standing. 

Born in Wellington, where she now lives, Jenny spent her formative years in England, returning to New Zealand as a young adult to begin her working life as a teacher.

She was for many years executive director the New Zealand Society of Authors, served as its representative on the board of Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL) and was a long-term chair of the selection panel for the CLL awards.

She also chaired Peppercorn Press, publisher of the quarterly review journal New Zealand Books.

Love America is her fourth book.