Meet Amy Hall, Book Indexer

This entry is part of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

Amy and I connected on LinkedIn and after a brief chat to learn more about her services, I asked her to participate in my industry interview series.Amy Hall, Book Indexer

Tell us a little bit about your business.

I write back-of-the-book indexes.  When you’re trying to find out if a particular topic is included in a book, the index is where you look.  I index all kinds of trade books.  Just to show you the range of some of the topics I work with, the book I’m working on this week is about how to be a good parent, my next project is about women’s health over the past few centuries, after that, a book about media bias.  A series of business books is due to begin in a couple of months.  My favorite books to index are cookbooks.  A good index is so important for a cookbook.

While I have incorporated my business (Amethyst Harbor, Inc.), I’m the only one doing the indexing (I don’t use subcontractors).  When I started my business in the early 2000s, I assumed that potential clients would look for me by my business name, but indexers’ reputations are more often tied to their personal names.

How would you describe your ideal client?

I’d say that about two-thirds of my clients are Production Editors for Big Five publishers.  The rest of my clients are independent publishers or authors.  Working with a Production Editor means starting a long-term relationship with that person—it’s not a one-time experience like working with an author on a specific project, and that can be valuable for both parties because you come to understand how each other works and what their needs are.

My ideal client is communicative.  If there’s a delay, that’s usually something I can handle, but not if you go silent for weeks.  Publishing a book takes a team (it’s often comprised of freelancers who don’t normally work together), and there are a lot of moving parts to coordinate.  It’s understandable when there’s a delay.  Just let me know what’s going on so that I can adjust my schedule accordingly.

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

In 2020 I had a really unique opportunity to present a three-part webinar on behalf of the American Society for Indexing.  I was asked to present a course on culinary indexing (my favorite indexing topic!) shortly before the pandemic.  Ironically, it was always intended to be an online course, due to the large number of international participants.  Preparing for that course took months, and I was invigorated by all the work that needed to be done.

Practically speaking, the pandemic didn’t affect my business very much.  I work independently, and client communication is almost exclusively through email or LinkedIn.  Indexers are used to a solitary work environment!

Throughout the years I’ve noticed certain seasonal patterns in publishing.  There are highs and lows (sometimes to a feast-or-famine extreme) over the course of the calendar year.  While everyone wants to publish their book in time for holiday gift-giving, it’s just not possible, and often not in the best interest of the author anyhow.  When I do have quiet days or weeks, I try and tackle household organization projects that otherwise tend to get ignored.

What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Keep it professional.  Your vendors, clients, and potential clients may be turned off by polarizing or political posts.  I think it’s best when there’s a separation between your personal life and your business presence.

What are your goals for 2021?

I’d like to take more courses this year.  Learning something new is one of my favorite hobbies.  I love the interactions with others when you take an online course.

It would be nice to travel at some point this year!  My family has been wanting to take a road trip up to Quebec for a while now.

Where can authors find you?

I am a frequent commenter on LinkedIn.  I may not post much myself, but I truly enjoy the back-and-forth with everyone.  You can find me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/bookindexing/

My website is http://www.AmethystHarbor.com/

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My advice to those writing a book right now or in the near future is to think “Big Picture.”  Trying to save a few dollars and do everything yourself or as cheaply as possible will show in your final product.  You’ve worked so hard on the content—don’t skimp on the book’s appearance.  Hire a professional editor, a professional book cover designer, a professional typesetter, and a professional indexer.

Bio

Amy Hall is a book indexer with specialties in the areas of cookbooks, culinary arts, sports, communications, advertising, L&D, social psychology, criminal justice, and health issues. She was recently the featured presenter for the three-part American Society for Indexing online learning webinar “Culinary Indexing–Food for Thought.”

Amy was the indexer for an Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal winner (2020), National Book Award for Nonfiction 1st place winner (2017), IACP cookbook award 1st place winner (2016), and James Beard Award finalist (2016).

Amy has a BS in Advertising from San Jose State University, a certificate in Basic Indexing from the Graduate School of the USDA, a certificate in Perinatal Issues, and she regularly take classes just for fun in all kinds of subjects.  She has been a member of the American Society for Indexing since 2006.  Amy lives with her family in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Meet Marcia Turner Layton, Ghostwriter

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

Ghostwriter Marcia and I connected a few years ago and I’m very pleased she’s able to share information about her ghostwriting business.Marcia Layton Turner

  • Tell us a little bit about your business.

I’m a business book ghostwriter who got her start in ghostwriting thanks to an agent. I wrote my first book in the 1990s, for my dad, who was a fine artist and who didn’t do much of any marketing or promotion. So I wrote Successful Fine Art Marketing to offer some guidance in marketing planning for artists. Having proven that I could write a book-length work, I then landed work with the Complete Idiot’s Guide series, and wrote some startup and marketing guides for Wiley, followed by some corporate histories and real estate guides. I had earned a reputation as a fast writer, so when my agent heard about a business book project that was way behind schedule and needed a ghostwriter to step in and produce it, she introduced me to the editor and the rest is history.

Although I continue to create content for major brands and publishing clients, ghostwriting business books accounts for around 80% of my business at the moment.

I’m also the founder and executive director of the Association of Ghostwriters, which aims to bring together professional ghostwriters for networking, business-building, and idea sharing.

  • How would you describe your ideal client?

As a ghostwriter, my ideal client is an entrepreneur, business owner, or CEO who is articulate, friendly, kind, intelligent, and decisive. They want to write a business book that contains stories and case studies and is practical in nature, helping the reader to learn a new skill or apply a new strategy or tactic. They know what they want to say and, typically due to an already full schedule, want to hand off the responsibility for writing and editing their book to a writer like me.

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

I suspect that because I was already working with clients virtually, using the phone and Zoom, the pandemic didn’t change the way I worked. It did free up time for some clients to step forward and decide to start working on their books sooner rather than later, however. And I did find myself closing my office door more regularly, due to having other family members in the house during the day; I work best in silence.

  • What is your favorite tip for using social media?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice regarding social media, since I’m very much a student myself, but I will say that one thing I’ve done this past year that has really helped me is to invest time in expanding my LinkedIn network. I spend time there weekly searching for people I’d like to be connected with, whether because of their company, their title, their expertise, or something else, and then ask to be connected on LinkedIn. As a result, I’ve more than doubled the size of my network and I’ve seen the number of inquiries rise, too.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

In 2021, I’d like to continue ghostwriting interesting business books for smart clients and decide on a dissertation topic for my doctorate, which will likely be related to writers and wealth-building.

I’d also like to blog more frequently for the Association of Ghostwriters, which I run. I’m aiming to post on a biweekly basis throughout 2021. I’m always in need of blog topics, too, if anyone wants to send me a request (marcia@associationofghostwriters.org).

  • Where can authors find you?

You can find me at www.marcialaytonturner.com or www.associationofghostwriters.org, and at https://www.facebook.com/marcialaytonturner/ or https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcialaytonturner/.

Bio

Bestselling, award-winning writer Marcia Layton Turner has authored, co-authored, or ghostwritten more than 60 nonfiction books. Many of her titles and those of her clients have been published by major publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, and Macmillan. Hybrid and independent presses are becoming a popular choice, however, and Marcia has worked with several, including Jenkins Group and Authority Publishing.

One of her most recent ghosted books was expected to sell 2 million copies internationally when released, and her Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business was named a “Best Business Book” the year it was published, by Library Journal. A book she recently edited was a New York Times bestseller for several weeks.

She has ghostwritten books about leadership, marketing, Gen Z, business development, personal finance, and many other business topics.

When not ghostwriting books, Marcia writes articles and blog posts for outlets like Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Forbes Online, US News & World Report.com, CNN Money, and AmEx OPEN Forum.

She earned her MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, a BA with honors from Wellesley College, and is currently at work on her doctorate in business administration (DBA) at Temple University.

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 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 Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Book Industry Experts

It’s an honor to share with you this interview with another one of my LinkedIn connections, The Book Professor, Nancy Erickson.headshot, Nancy Erickson. The Book Professor

• Tell us a little bit about your business.

We turn people who aren’t writers into authors of high-impact nonfiction that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. We strictly work with authors who want to offer hope and help to others.

• How would you describe your ideal client?

Our ideal client is a businessperson, speaker, or coach who has a message to get out the world, but doesn’t know how to write a book. We help you do that through our step-by-step process that takes you from your initial idea to the published book.

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

2020 was probably less challenging for us than others. Our staff was already 100% virtual, and since our clients are all over the globe, we already communicated with our writers via video conferencing. Because we had greater capacity to serve our clients, we were able to continue to do so.

• What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Find someone who loves to engage on social media and hire them to help you!

• What are your goals for 2021?

Through our two book-related businesses, The Book Professor and Stonebrook Publishing, we hope to publish an additional 50 high-impact nonfiction books in 2021. We want to help more people get their messages of hope and help out to the world.

• Where can authors find you?

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

If you’ve never written a book before but would like to, click here for a free 30-minute book consultation: https://my.timetrade.com/book/TXQVK

Bio:

Nancy Erickson is known as The Book Professor because she helps people who aren’t writers become authors of high-impact nonfiction books that can change lives, save lives, or transform society. She works with public speakers, coaches, physicians, attorneys, financial planners, small and large business owners, and everyday individuals to translate their unique message into a book that can change the world, one reader at a time. All you need is an idea for your book to get started.