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 Denise Brosseau, author of Ready to Be a Thought Leader?

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

I worked with Denise a few years ago to help promote her book via social media and we’ve stayed in touch. I love her favorite book marketing tip! Learn about it and more in the following interview.Denise Brosseau

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

I have the unusual role of being a ‘thought leader about thought leadership’. I am a thought leadership consultant working with leaders and their teams on how to gain more influence and impact and build a following for their ideas. My book, Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, was published by Wiley in 2014 and became a best-seller a few years later. It is written as a how-to guide for aspiring thought leaders.

  • Why did you write your book?

I wrote my book to my younger self — it was the guidebook I wish I’d had when I started my own journey to become a thought leader. Earlier in my career, I co-founded and led a trade association for women entrepreneurs and during that time I became an ‘accidental thought leader’ – someone who was in the right place at the right time with an important message to share. But what I didn’t have was a strategy or a plan or any idea that I was actually trying to become a thought leader. Years later, I helped a friend advance in her career from completely invisible in her field to have the opportunity to testify in front of the US Senate, be recognized by the White House and then be headhunted by the Governor for a state-wide role. I wanted to share the steps we took and the strategy we used so others could learn from her experience, and mine, and be more effective themselves as change agents and aspiring thought leaders.

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

I was fortunate to be approached by a developmental editor at Wiley/Jossey Bass. She helped me develop a proposal and land a book contract with them so I never had to get an agent or fight to get attention from a publisher. I considered other publishing models but as my book was all about the importance of building credibility, it felt right to have a traditional publisher to give me the credibility out of the gate.

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

While I had my own business for 10 years, in 2019 I shut it down to go in-house with one of my clients to work with her to get a new non-profit entity off the ground that was funded by $130M from Kaiser Permanente. I stayed in that role for a year and then re-started my business in October of 2020. Fortunately, because I had had my business for a long time and I am well-known in my field, it wasn’t that hard to begin to bring in work again, but I have spent the last 6 months in re-build mode. Just starting to see the level of engagement from clients in April 2021 that I saw in 2019. Last year was awful from many perspectives, but I was fortunate to not be worrying about starting from scratch!

  • What is your favorite book marketing tip?

Most important thing that I advise authors is the same thing I tell entrepreneurs of any kind — make yourself incredibly easy to help. Put in the hard work to create the following materials – a one sentence description, a one paragraph description, a one page description of your book (preferably beautifully designed) including the ‘why to buy’ for your reader. Build out a set of pre-written and compelling social media posts so people can share your book easily to their communities. Then ASK! Ask people you know to help you — even those you don’t know all that well. Likely, if you make it really easy, they will.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

First and foremost it is to stay healthy. I am remaining very close to home until I am fully vaccinated and we can learn more about the vaccines and the COVID variants. Next, I am focused on bringing in interesting and engaging work that thrills me. My favorite type of clients are women leaders who are really pushing to have a bigger voice, build a broader impact, make an important difference around a cause or an industry change they care about. I love helping build their momentum, confidence and capacity and seeing them fly! I am also looking to work with more organizations that want to build their reputation as thought leaders so that I can develop more first-hand case studies to potentially write a second book on organizational thought leadership next year. My LinkedIn Learning courses on thought leadership and organizational thought leadership have done very well and I have also been invited to do another course with them once they re-open filming. I just have to decide what topic that will cover! I think all of that will keep me busy on top of my personal passion projects of art quilts, archery and serving on the board of our local theater.

  • Where can readers find your book? Share your Amazon book page, website, social media links.

Amazon: Ready to Be a Thought Leader?  – https://amzn.to/2KhyVEOReady to Be a Thought Leader

Thought Leadership Lab: www.thoughtleadershiplab.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisebrosseau/ 

Twitter: @thoughtleadrlab

LinkedIn Learning Courses:

Becoming a Thought Leader

Organizational Thought Leadership

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

Writing my book was the single best thing I have ever done for my business. It opened the door to teaching at Stanford Business School, creating courses with LinkedIn Learning, new clients and speaking, and amazing credibility. Plus, while it was not that fun to write a book (I have to be honest!), it was wonderful to be able to codify my ideas, get my voice heard and share important stories that mattered to me. I hope others will take the leap and document what they know and be of service to others who follow after them and/or could learn from them.

Bio:

Denise Brosseau has built her reputation as a ‘thought leader about thought leadership’. As the author of the best-seller, Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, and the creator of two popular courses on thought leadership with LinkedIn Learning, Denise is a sought-after expert on topics of influence, leading change and thought leadership. Through her company, Thought Leadership Lab, Denise works with leaders, teams and organizations on their journey from leader to thought leader. She is also a popular speaker and workshop leader, working with clients like Microsoft, Convoy, Cognizant and Service Now. Earlier in her career, Denise was the co-founder of the first trade association for women entrepreneurs which she grew to seven cities across the US. She was also the co-founder of Springboard, the women’s start-up launchpad that has led to over $9B in funding for women-led businesses. Denise has been recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House and as a top 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley. Learn more at www.thoughtleadershiplab.com.

Meet Faith Wilcox, author of Hope is a Bright Star

This entry is part 5 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

Faith Wilcox was referred to me by her editor Candace Johnson. I’ve enjoyed so much working with Faith on her social media marketing and now on her book publicity. We’re in the midst of a six-month long publicity campaign for her new book which will be released in June. Let’s have Faith tell us more.Faith Wilcox author headshot

Why Do I Write?

Throughout the past two decades, writing has saved me. I began writing when sitting by my thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth’s bedside while she was receiving treatments for a rare pediatric bone cancer. I was overwhelmed, devastated, and in a state of shock during the first months after her diagnosis. I started to write as a way to release the thoughts that I kept buried inside, process what my daughter and I were experiencing, and express both my fears and hopes.

Why Did I Write Books?

And after my daughter’s death, I wrote while in a maelstrom of grief. Writing created a passageway through my grief, and years later, as I was healing, I wrote about moments and ways that I found comfort and peace. Poetry emerged from my writing, and in time I wrote and self-published a book of poetry, Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child, which is intended as a companion to those on the journey of grieving and healing.

Years later, I reread my earlier writings and from them wrote a memoir of my sorrows and joys, my despair and hope, my grieving and healing. My most recent book, Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again, will be published by She Writes Press, an independent hybrid publisher, in June 2021. At turns both heartbreaking and heartwarming, Hope Is a Bright Star reveals how abiding love can heal a family.

Finding a Publisher

Finding a publisher was quite an expedition into a field with which I was unfamiliar. The publishing world had changed considerably since I first self-published my book of poetry. I dove in and learned from influencers about the publishing world and researched the benefits and drawbacks of self-publishing, hybrid publishing, and traditional publishing. I asked for advice from people who had recently published a book, and I listened to both cautionary tales and stories of success. I wrote to traditional publishers that required an agent and those that didn’t. I submitted my book proposal to publishers, agents, and one hybrid publisher. I was thrilled when She Writes Press, recently recognized as the number one indie hybrid publisher, accepted my manuscript for publishing.

Working During the Pandemic

The disruption of normal life and work during the pandemic has been limiting, but I discovered an ironic silver lining. A quieter life has meant that I’ve had more time to work on my book production with She Writes Press, expand my social media presence, and make plans for book publicity. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the multitude of steps during the book publishing process as I’ve worked hand-in-hand with my publisher. And, having a quieter life has allowed me to meet every deadline in the process!

I’ve also dedicated time to growing my author platform, which includes writing frequent blogs about how, when one is undergoing stressful medical events, a daily practice of writing can improve physical and psychological outcomes. I frequently cite evidence-based research that confirms these findings. I’ve reached out to and connected with influencers who attest to the benefits of writing and have written numerous guest blogs for and been interviewed for several podcasts by these influencers. My followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and my connections on LinkedIn have increased significantly.

Increasing your author platform also includes creating book marketing strategy and executing it. As Hope Is a Bright Star will be published in June, I am setting the stage for my book publicity with Sue Canfield of Ausoma. In addition to promoting my memoir on social media platforms, Sue and I will submit my book’s Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) to reviewers searching for endorsements, to award contests, and to influencers. Sue will prepare press releases for local media, national magazines, my college alumni magazine, and more. Together we’ll arrange for in-person and Zoom interviews promoting Hope Is a Bright Star and for events at bookstores.

My Favorite Book Marketing Tip—How to Get Endorsements

To begin, create a list, including contact information, of all of the people who are in your immediate sphere of influence. Include your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, college alumni connections, book club members, trade association connections, and more. Reach out to these connections, explain that you are writing a book or have written a book, and ask if they have any connections with authors or influencers in the genre of your book. You may be surprised by the number of contacts they will generate! Simultaneously, broaden your reach to include your social media friends and followers. The goals are two-fold. You want the influencers to get to know you, and you want to contribute something of value to them.

Reach out to your “old” and new connections. Ask them to read your manuscript or ARC. Ask for endorsements. Plan months ahead of your publishing deadlines. Give everyone plenty of time to read your manuscript and to respond.

Goals for 2021

As I mentioned above, my plans for 2021 include writing on my social media platforms, expanding my sphere of influence, and promoting Hope Is a Bright Star. And, of course, visiting with family and friends after the pandemic is behind us!Hope Is a Bright Star banner

Finding My Books

You can find Hope Is a Bright Star: A Mother’s Memoir of Love, Loss, and Learning to Live Again on my website , on Amazon, on INDIEBOUND, or on Apple Books. Facing Into The Wind: A Mother’s Healing After the Death of Her Child is available on Amazon.

Author Bio

Faith Fuller Wilcox believes that self-expression through writing leads to healing. Her writing is reflective of a growing body of medical research about “narrative identity,” which highlights that how we make sense of what happens to us and the value we give to experiences beyond our control directly impact our physical and psychological outcomes. Faith learned these truths firsthand when her thirteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that took her life. Faith’s journey from grief and despair to moments of comfort and peace taught her life-affirming lessons, which she shares today through her writing.

To learn more go to www.faithwilcoxnarratives.com.

Meet Jeanne Rodriguez, author of Ready Set Work! and Ready Set Supervise!

This entry is part 7 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

Jeanne and I connected on LinkedIn a few years ago and I did a social media audit for her. We have stayed in touch and I’ve been pleased to see her apply some of the suggestions from that audit.Jeane Rodriguez headshot

What are your books about?

Ready Set Work! and Ready Set Supervise! are books about how to navigate successfully in today’s work environment. Specifically, Ready Set Work! is a guide for new workers for conquering job jitters and becoming the employee everyone wants to keep. It provides guidance on how to handle hundreds of the most common and most sensitive work situations effectively and confidently.  It gives new workers a centralized source of information with a common sense approach that quickly deals with the issues and gets them back on track comfortably.  It helps take the fear out of working so people can just concentrate on doing a good job and keep that job in today’s economy.

Ready Set Supervise! lays out the most common problems that supervisors run into at work, explains them in a way that makes sense, and enables supervisors to work more confidently all while projecting an air of maturity and dependability. It helps readers become the supervisor everyone wants to work for. Ready, Set, Supervise! goes a long way towards taking the fear out of supervising.  Sane people are afraid of supervision.  It can be scary stuff given the number of legal and policy issues supervisors have to deal with.  And, once you throw in the need for gigantic heaps of common sense, enormous physical and mental stamina, and the fact that supervision means being responsible for the actions of other people, it’s a wonder anybody ever wants the job.

Quite honestly, I wrote the books because I was constantly hearing from employees and employers about a wide variety of issues that they were dealing with at work and there was nothing else out there that covered these same topics.  I spent over thirty years working as a line-worker, a supervisor, a manager, or an executive, and these were the topics where I most often saw people having difficulty.  My target populations include, but are not limited to, Millennials and Gen Ys and target markets include trade schools, tech schools, local work programs, government entities, immigrant service centers, and business colleges.

My overall goal was to produce books full of information that would help people be comfortable in their work environment and succeed in their careers.  I wanted them to be a fun, light-hearted approach to real-life topics, easy to read and understand.

How did you publish your book?

My books were published through Pennico Press.

… more … “Meet Jeanne Rodriguez, author of Ready Set Work! and Ready Set Supervise!”

Meet Anne Janzer, author of Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Meet the Author

Anne and I have known each other for several years and she always has great tips about writing. She’s even written a guest post for me about BookBub Ads. I am sure you will find helpful information in her interview.Anne Janzer headshot

Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

I’m a nonfiction author and unabashed writing geek, on a mission to help people communicate more effectively through writing. I’ve written four books about writing itself, including The Writer’s Process and Writing to Be Understood. My most recent book is Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference.

When I’m not writing books or blog posts about writing, I can be found coaching business writers, doing developmental edits of nonfiction manuscripts, or helping business authors through the messy middle of their works.

Why did you write your books?

I write all of my writing-related books for the same general reason—to help people communicate and connect more effectively through writing. I keep coming at that challenge from different angles, and for slightly different audiences.

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

I’m an indie author or author/publisher. By that, I mean that I self-publish, but hire professional designers and editors, and approach the work like a publisher as much as a writer. My books should be indistinguishable from those produced by traditional publishers. It’s been a learning adventure.

How did things change in 2020 and how did you weather the year through the pandemic?

As an indie author, I was able to adjust more easily to the restrictions of the pandemic than many traditionally published authors. I don’t rely on retail bookstores for my sales, and don’t plan for big, in-person events. I could adjust the prices and run discounts to reach people when times were tough. The flexibility and control helped.

The pandemic also opened a few doors, such as speaking at a couple “overseas” events that I otherwise would not have done because of the travel.

Oddly enough, the pandemic also created clarity around the messaging of my latest book, Get the Word Out. I had been working with chapters and ideas for months, but when the world shut down, I realized that the theme of the book was really about making a difference. And I was able to snag interviews with all sorts of interesting people because their travel schedules were shut down.

So I weathered the year by connecting with other authors and immersing myself in writing a book. Not a bad strategy, and a great distraction.

What is your favorite book marketing tip?

My book marketing mantra is this: be generous and strategic. If you are only generous, you will burn out. If you are only strategic, people will burn out on you. Find that balance—help those people who are your readers, or who otherwise speak to your readers. Build relationships. You can do this by writing book reviews, contributing guest blog posts, doing podcast interviews … the possibilities are nearly endless.

What are your goals for 2021?

I hope to keep encouraging and supporting authors who want to step up to writing meaningful books. We’ll see what that looks like in 2021: more coaching or editing, perhaps a few small-group online courses, more podcasts and blog posts. And much more reading!

Where can readers find your book?

The best place to find out more is on my website: annejanzer.com. From there you can sign up for my every-other-week emails about writing practices.

All of my books are available on Amazon (here’s my author page) and Bookshop:

You can also find them on my Bookshop page (supporting indie bookstores).

Connect on social media: @AnneJanzer on Twitter, Anne H Janzer on Facebook, Anne Janzer on LinkedIn.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

For all of those authors who worry about, dread, or resent book marketing, consider reframing the way you think about it. Your book is like a beacon for the people you serve. Marketing is how you light that beacon and fulfil the purpose of your book.

Bio

Anne Janzer is an award-winning author, armchair cognitive science geek, nonfiction author coach, marketing practitioner, and blogger. She’s on a mission to help people spread important ideas through writing.

As a professional writer, she has worked with more than one hundred technology companies, writing in the voice of countless brands and corporate executives. She is author of the books Writing to Be Understood,  The Writer’s Process, The Workplace Writer’s Process, and Subscription Marketing.

Her books have won numerous awards, including the Independent Book Publishers IPPY award, the Foreword Indies Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal, and the IndieReader Discovery Award. They have been translated into Japanese, Korean, and Russian language editions.

Anne also regularly speaks or hosts online webinars for writing conferences, writer’s groups, and corporate marketing teams and writing groups.