I’m happy to have Sheri Fink back for the continuation of her interview on becoming a successful children’s author!
If you want to start from the very beginning, start reading here, then visit us back at this page to continue!
Traditional Publishing or Independent Publishing?
Despite my fear, I made a commitment to myself to bring The Little Rose children’s book to life. I had limited experience with self-publishing and was beginning to understand the advantages and disadvantages. I attended the Southern California Writers Conference and networking events with writers. I asked both traditionally published and independently published authors about their experiences. I learned so much and decided to independently publish The Little Rose for several reasons:
- Speed “ I felt a burning need to get the message of The Little Rose to children quickly. I didn’t have the time or patience to woo an agent, find a publisher, go through the whole process, and then wait for a slot on their release calendar.
- Control “ I wanted to be 100% happy with the final result of all of my hard work. I knew that I wanted to choose the right illustrator and to influence the ultimate look and feel of my book.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit “ I’ve always been very entrepreneurial and I was excited about the possibility of building a business around doing something that I absolutely loved. I also learned from other authors about the value of the rights tied in with a book and felt like I would be able to make those decisions for my brand better than a big publisher could. And, my background is in Marketing. I believed that I could leverage my knowledge and skills to be successful.
- Happiness “ When I talked with other authors, the happiest ones tended to be the self-published authors. They had control over their destiny, their schedules, their agreements, their rights licensing, etc. That really appealed to me.
My best advice for authors who are exploring traditional vs. independent publishing is to talk with successful authors who are doing it. See what their experiences were like and what they would do differently knowing what they know now. Find out who’s happy and why. Independent publishing is exciting and easier than it’s ever been before, but it isn’t the right solution for everyone. Only the author can truly decide what’s right for them, their books, and their careers.
Insights and Advice for Aspiring Authors
Building my business and my brand (The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink) is the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Here are a few strategies that I employed to accomplish my goal of publishing The Little Rose.
1. Talk with people who’ve accomplished what you want to accomplish. I reached out to people in my network, told them about my book and my mission, and asked if they knew anyone I should talk with. I found people were very generous with their time. That’s the best way to learn: from people who have already achieved your goal “ they have so many great insights on what works, what doesn’t work, and what they’d do differently next time. It’ll greatly accelerate your learning and your success.
2. Have a healthy author success mindset. Believe that anything is possible and open yourself up to opportunities as they appear. There may be times when you feel like giving up ¦ DON’T. Just reset your mindset to success and keep moving toward your passion.
3. Find a first-class mentor. A friend introduced me to three-time best-selling children’s author Teresa de Grosbois. She’s a word-of-mouth expert and my mentor and has provided helpful guidance into the world of children’s books.
4. Hire a coach. Having a coach who’s successful in the area that you want to succeed in can be invaluable. They can serve as a guide and hold you accountable for stretching outside of your comfort zone in order to achieve your goal. It’s no coincidence that some of the highest achievers and most powerful people in the world have great coaches, they can dramatically improve your results.
5. Get out into the world in a big way. Don’t hide at home behind your computer. Go out and network, meet fabulous new people, and share your vision with the world. That’s the best and fastest way to spread the word about your books.
Marketing Strategies That Really Make a Difference
At the most fundamental level, marketing is about connecting with the people who might be interested in your product, making them aware of what you offer, and compelling them to make the purchase. The best book in the world will never be read if no one knows about it. Our goal is to make sure the right people (your target audience) know about your book. Here are a few strategies that will help you spread the word about your books, connect with readers, and attract more media attention:
- 1. People “ The real secret to my success is people. I love people. I enjoy meeting new people, connecting with readers, and supporting people in achieving their dreams. Be willing to give first. Helping others will eventually translate into people helping you. And, always be authentic in your relationships (just be you).
- Facebook “ The best way to attract more Fans is to be a genuine Fan. Facebook is your friend. Create a Facebook Fan Page, learn how to use it, and help others by promoting them and their books. It’s also great to build relationships with writers to offer each other mutual support and celebration. Actively participate and engage your readers/Fans. Make it fun and reveal some behind-the-scenes stuff on being a writer. Always be yourself and you will have a blast!
- 3. HARO “ A great way to get you and your book mentioned in the media is to subscribe to the free service, Help A Reporter Out. (www.HelpAReporter.com) These are reporters who are seeking people to interview for their stories. Check the emails each day and see if your book might be a good fit for their needs. Respond promptly, succinctly, and professionally and you may find yourself getting a lot more media coverage.
Continually up-leveling your writing, your network, your marketing, and your business will have a profoundly positive impact on your life. Publishing my books has changed my life and I want other authors to experience the success that I’m enjoying as well. I created a mentoring program designed to transform aspiring and struggling writers into successful entrepreneurs. I call it Author Success Academy.
Author Success Academy uses a combination of downloadable audios and videos, an Author Action Guide book containing step-by-step instructions, group coaching calls twice each month, expert interviews, a private community for authors to interact and share ideas, valuable templates and tools, and special surprise bonuses to enable writers to obtain the mindset, strategies, and support needed to become a successful author and entrepreneur.
I recently wrote an eBook that can help writers build and expand their careers as authors, no matter where they’re at today. You can download a complimentary copy of 13 Simple Strategies to Supercharge Your Author Success at http://www.AuthorSuccessAcademy.com.
Enjoying the Journey
The past year and a half have been an amazing journey for me. The Little Rose was released in March 2011 and has been a #1 best-seller on Amazon for over 40 weeks now. The Kindle edition was released in February 2012 and became the #1 top-rated book in all children’s eBooks on Amazon as well as a best-seller. I recently published my second children’s book, The Little Gnome, and it debuted at #1 on the Amazon best-seller list. I’m living proof that it can be done. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.
For me, the best parts of being an author are hearing that your book has an impact in the lives of children and being able to help others achieve their dreams. I love receiving fan mail and hearing stories from the children and adults who have fallen in love with The Little Rose and The Little Gnome. I am so grateful to my readers and hope that The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink continues to make a positive difference in the lives of children worldwide.
Where to Find Me Online
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/SheriFinkFan
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sheri-Fink/e/B004T9ZJA4/
The Little Rose: http://www.TheLittleRoseBook.com
The Little Gnome: http://www.TheLittleGnome.com
The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink: http://www.SheriFink.com
Author Success Academy: http://www.AuthorSuccessAcademy.com
Dreams Come True Journal: http://www.DreamsComeTrueJournal.com