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!!!!

Using a Press Release for Book Promotion

A press release is a great book promotion tool for nonfiction authors. It lets the media know why your book is timely and practical, and can help you get publicity for your book. It’s perfect for announcing your initial book release. However, you can also use additional press releases for your book any time you can tie in your book’s topic to a current event or topic.

As an example, my client Deborah Olson sent out a press release around Friendship Day because it tied in with the topic of her book The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How to Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection.

Press releases can be submitted online and to local media people. For the best results, take time to research how to write a press release and when it’s written, proofread carefully and have another set of eyes proofread again.

Nonfiction Authors Prepare for Television Appearances

Every nonfiction author’s dream is to be interviewed on national television by a well-known interviewer. Ultimately you want to be on Oprah, right? But are you prepared for national television appearances? Or even a local TV appearance?television appearances

Here are a few tips to be sure you’re prepared to appear on TV:

  • When you receive the email or phone call with the opportunity, reply promptly. Don’t think you can get back to them the next day. The media is very fast moving and if they don’t hear from you promptly, they will move on down the list and you will have missed the opportunity. You may even be called to do an interview in just a couple of days. This recently happened with one of my clients. She received the email just two days before the morning television show because there was a cancellation and the show needed to fill the empty slot. She was told someone would be calling shortly and by the end of the day she had signed to do the show.
  • If you’re asked for additional information, provide it as quickly as you can or at least let them know when they can expect the information.
  • Know your topic well, share it enthusiastically, and find new ways to liven it up. You may have done several interviews on radio or podcasts and if you’re not careful, you might sound like you’re sharing the same information repeatedly and it may begin to sound stale. Perhaps you can tell a new story this time that gets the same point across in a different way.
  • Share your upcoming appearance on social media and again after the event. Add it to your blog, media page on your website, and your newsletter. When posting on social media, tag the show and interviewer.

Hal Elrod’s Today show appearance

I recently corresponded with a previous client, Hal Elrod, about his experience being on the Today show. Here’s what I asked him and his replies via his assistant.

Did you reach out to the Today show or did they approach you? Our Penguin Random House publisher for The Miracle Equation set this up with their contacts.

What was the process like to prepare for the show? Hal was pretty much on his own aside from a few calls with the producer.

How long was it from the initial contact to the actual air date? Just about three months.

What’s the best thing that happened to you as a result of the show? Reaching a new and wider audience.

Would you have done anything differently? Hal felt everything went smoothly and there is nothing he would change.

Share anything else you would like to about the experience. Hal was given questions to prepare for before the show and he spend hours preparing for those questions and every question on the show asked was totally out of left field. None of the questions were the ones they gave for him to prepare. He was prepared for that to happen though, so it went great.

What you can learn from Hal’s experience

Notice that Hal’s publisher had contacts, so they were able to set this interview up. If you’re self-published, you may not have those contacts. You may want to hire a publicist who has existing relationships with media to help you reach out.

There were just a few calls with the producer in the three month period before the show. He had to prepare well. You want to prepare well, rehearsing what you want to say so that it comes out sounding natural. Practice with a friend and record it so you can see how you appear on camera and what you need to adjust to look and sound professional.

The best thing about this appearance for Hal was reaching a new and wider audience – not book sales. Yes, he did sell books. And I encourage you to go purchase his book. More importantly, his message reached more people. Keep that in mind when you appear on TV and make sure you share your valuable message.

A very important takeaway here is that as much as you prepare, be prepared for the unexpected. That’s what Hal did so he was prepared even though none of the questions he asked were the ones he was originally provided. To be that well prepared you must know your topic inside and out.

Deborah Olson’s Great Day Houston appearance

As I was preparing this article, my client, Deborah Olson, was contacted to appear on the Deborah Duncan show in Houston. After her appearance, I asked her a few questions and here they are along with her replies.

How did you hear about the opportunity to be on Great Day Houston? I know the manager for the Houston rising singing star, Christina Wells, and we recently had a meeting to discuss a joint venture I may do with Christina. His name is David Wuensch, and we talked about Christina’s recent appearances on Great Day Houston. David was so excited for my book and its relevant message for women that he told me he would reach out to Christina’s publicist and one of the producers they know from the Great Day Houston show. Within a couple weeks I received a phone call from David that Great Day Houston wanted me on the show for National Girlfriend’s Day, August 1, 2019.

Who did you speak to and what did they need from you before the show?  I spoke with David and he relayed information from the show’s producer, Jennifer. They needed some bullet points of questions that I would prefer to be asked and I sent them back to David and he sent them on to the Jennifer.  Before the show they needed some bullet points of questions that I would prefer to be asked.   However, as it turned out, the questions and conversation I had with Deborah Duncan on the show were not from that list. Instead we discussed other talking points from the book, which was fun and interesting. It worked out great!

How did you prepare for the show? I really did not have much to prepare at all for the show since I received the email about it just two days before the show.  I’m always well prepared because I know my message backwards and forwards.

What’s the best thing that resulted from being on the show? The best thing from the show is definitely the wider exposure of more people hearing my message. I really am so grateful to have had this opportunity to reach the masses with my message. Since the show there has been a lot of support happening on social media.  It has been fun to see people’s comments and hear their thoughts about my appearance on the show and the message of my book.

Would you have done anything differently? No, things fell into place very nicely and it all worked out well.  I got to be on Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan discussing my first book, The Healing Power of Girlfriends, on National Girlfriends Day.  It does not get any better than that!

Share anything else you’d like about the experience. I would like to add this about the past months of hard work to market and promote my book and its message which have led up to this pinnacle moment on TV:

Never give up! I have had many days I have been very discouraged, including only a few weeks ago, when I just felt that nothing was falling into place for me.  As a first time self-published author, I have sometimes felt like it just may never be “my turn” to get lucky or get noticed by media.  I don’t have any claim to fame, I am not a star, and I don’t have a famous face or family.  I am starting from scratch and trying to carve out my niche and work my way to the top. It takes a lot of courage, stamina, tenacity, resiliency, and coffee!  It also takes surrounding yourself with the BEST team. I would say to choose carefully who you bring on your team to support you and help you market and promote your book and your message. I have chosen wisely, by selecting Sue Canfield and her social media marketing team, and Candace Johnson, my editor and mentor. The success of being on the Great Day Houston Show belongs to them as well!

What you can learn from Deborah’s experience

It’s who you know. Deborah knew someone who had a contact at the show and that’s how she ended up landing this TV appearance. Develop relationships with people. Let everyone you know what your goals are and what shows you’d like to appear on. You never know where it may lead. Remember to be generous with your connections and if you’re ever able to pay it forward, do so.

You must know your message – inside and out. Always be prepared for the unexpected. You may not get asked the questions you so carefully prepared for and you don’t want to be thrown when the host asks you a question you weren’t expecting.

Never give up! Book marketing and publicity is an ongoing, long-term commitment. Grab your coffee and keep at it. And go get Deborah’s book.

I’m excited to be working with nonfiction authors to help them share their message on social media. It’s been even more exciting this year as we branch out into author publicity services. We’ve helped get clients book review opportunities, written interviews with book bloggers, audio interviews with podcasters and online radio shows, and we’ve booked video interviews with online shows. Book a free 15-minute phone consultation with me to learn more about how our services can help you get more publicity.

Client Interview: Deborah Olson, Author of “The Healing Power of Girlfriends”

Sue interviewed our amazing client Deborah Olson about her new book The Healing Power of Girlfriends. It’s a fun video, in which Deb tells us:

  • the factors that made her decide to write the book
  • what makes this book unique from other books on female friendship
  • her biggest surprise about people’s reaction to the book
  • what she wants to accomplish with the book
  • two takeaways from the book she hopes people will embrace
  • how she uses social media and other publicity to garner attention for the book
  • about the workshops or events she offers

Client Corner: Book Launch of The Healing Power of Girlfriends

I’m excited to announce the official book launch date of our client’s book! Tomorrow, March 8, 2019, to coincide with International Women’s Day, Deborah Olson launches The Healing Power of Girlfriends: How To Create Your Best Life Through Female Connection.

The Healing Power of Girlfriends
Buy the book at Amazon.

Deborah published the book with the assistance of Jera Publishing.

Advance praise for the book:

Deborah Olson details the anatomy of friendship and explains how these components work to strengthen bonds and create flow. Research shows that our happiness correlates to our social relationships; so does our health. This book is a delightful roadmap to cultivate and nurture our circle of connections. The Healing Power of Girlfriends is an engaging, upbeat, and inspiring five-star read. – Laurie Buchanan, PhD, holistic health practitioner, transformational life coach, and  ward-winning author

To learn more about our Social Media Book Launch packages and how we support our clients, click here.

“To my social media expert, Sue Canfield, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your stellar efforts to bring the news of my first book to the world through social media. You and your team are exceptional and visionary, and I cannot imagine the past several months preparing for this book launch without you on board.”—Deborah Olson