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!!!!