6 min read

Success in publishing=mentoring,collaberation, quality product & caramel corn from Amanda at Bookmasters #BookMarket

In the month of January, I'm doing a Twitter Interview (Twitterview) of many of the participants of the #BookMarket chat. These are people who come and generously share their wisdom week after week. The Twitterviews give them a chance to shine.

I had a chance today to chat with Bookmaster's Amanda from @BookMasters about publishing and life.

My take on the interview:

I think we underestimate the value of learning from people who are actually in the trenches of a business. So many times now, I hear people spouting wisdom they learned in a book or on a website without actually trying it out. Mentorship is really a fabulous way to get that support and help. I like the depth of Amanda's resources. I realize we highlight their services a lot, and trust me - they didn't pay me, I think it's good for people to see what's out there for them to use. Interesting conversation overall too! :)


ClaudiaC Here we go! Q.1 - What 5 words would you use to describe what you do at Book Masters?

Bookmasters oooo, you threw me for a loop, I was expecting 5 words to describe Bookmasters, but I can roll with this: social media (I'm counting that as 1 word), blogger, researcher, advisor, and thinker.

ClaudiaC Well gosh, then we have to ask 5 words you would use to describe BookMasters! ;)

Bookmasters yay! double exposure, ha. 5 words for Bookmasters: innovate, responsive, flexible, comprehensive, and experienced

ClaudiaC Q.2 - What is your favorite thing about the publishing/writing world today?

Bookmasters A.2 It is fun and exciting trying to keep up with the changes! It really keeps me on my toes, which I enjoy, and it puts Bookmasters in a good place to be able to help publishers and authors navigate all the changes.

ClaudiaC It's interesting b/c it seems like the more things change the more the basics become more imp. What do you think?

Bookmasters I think you make a good pt. The basics are put out a good product & connect to your target audience. This is where sales happen  But of course that looks different as trends and expectations change

ClaudiaC It's not something I thought of until doing these interviews. Have you been in publishing a long time?

Bookmasters Almost 7 yrs. I got my feet wet with metadata (read mostly data entry!) and have learned so much

ClaudiaC So you're really seen this 'thing' happen. We've been in since 2001 - wild times.

Bookmasters Def. wild times! But I think wild=fun & interesting. And lots of new opportunities

ClaudiaC Yes. RT @Bookmasters: Def. wild times! But I think wild=fun & interesting. And lots of new opportunities

ClaudiaC Q.3 - If someone was totally dialed in, what would they understand about you? Your business?

Bookmasters A3. I'll answer this in 2 parts. Me: everything I know is b/c of wonderful people who have mentored me either by working together or giving me lots of useful info from their websites, blogs, etc. Bookmasters, that it is such a benefit to work with a co. so comprehensive. There is lots of cross-brainstorming among depts

ClaudiaC Gosh, we could have a whole chat about mentorship. It's kind of 'out' in some circles right now. Esp unpaid mentors

Bookmasters I love mentors! So much wisdom from someone already walking the path. Hmmm, works as a good mkt. pt. for Bookmasters!

ClaudiaC Oh? Really? How does it work as a marketing point for Bookmasters?

Bookmasters We are already walking the path with lots of pubs. Cuts the learning curve for people/pubs just entering the game. Just because you CAN self-pub and learn it all on ur own, it might be better to get help. And you get a better product

ClaudiaC Nice! RT @Bookmasters: Were already walkng the path w lots of pubs.Cuts the learning curve for ppl/pubs just entering the game.

ClaudiaC Q.4 - Let's talk distribution. In our experience, distribution is key to success. What do you do?

Bookmasters A.4 Distribution is def. imp. for both e- and p-books. You want to be where consumers are. And they tend to be lots of places Our dist. looks like this. For print, we work w/all the major wholesalers, retailers, library suppliers, & some specialty sales

ClaudiaC Q.4b - How is your distribution chain diff from Ingram?or digi distribution like Smashwords or Amazon?

Bookmasters For eBooks, we have all the major avenues and formats covered, and we are evolving with the industry A lot of the diff. has to do w/our reach. We have a comprehensive approach, inc. a sales rep force that goes to the indies. And another diff is that our dist. is all part of the same co. where you can take care of printing, composition, mkt., etc.

ClaudiaC Since you provide so many services, what do you think is most vital for a books success?

Bookmasters Very good question. Once you figure it out, let me know! Ha! Seriously tho, I would boil it down to mkt. a quality product. I know, that combines everything we do. But that's my point...you have to be comprehensive in ur approach A great story that looks poor will get passed over, a great looking book has no traction if it isn't available anywhere, and a great looking book that is available everywhere is no good if no one is looking for it

ClaudiaC I guess the 'comprehensive' thing sound expensive and a little intimidating. How would a new author/pubs engage?

Bookmasters I think part of it is the saying u have to spend $ to make $. But it doesn't have to cripple u. That's a great thing about pub today. Digital printing is cheaper than ever and looks great (don't print too many books!), you can do econversion upfront when doing a print book , and make use of SM. Make cuts where reasonable, but keep quality Hope that makes sense. I tend to ramble. Twitter can be enemy sometimes!

ClaudiaC I think there's tremendous benefit in finding guides. Mostly b/c things are changing so much, so fast (and staying the same)

Bookmasters Couldn't say it better! RT @ClaudiaC:benefit in finding guides. things are changing so much, so fast (and staying the same)

ClaudiaC Q.4c - I saw you put blogger down in your list. What do you blog about? are you a mommy blogger? a BlogHer? or...?

Bookmasters A4c I blog for Bookmasters :) We have 2 sites, one for AtlasBooks (focused more toward smaller pubs and authors) and one for Bookmasters (more focused on announcements and general industry trends) Here are links: AtlasBooks: http://t.co/044YG3xt Bookmasters: http://t.co/MN5XNxyq

ClaudiaC What do you like about blogging?

Bookmasters I like to write without having to do all the work of publishing. Ha! But I really like to try to think through my audience's eyes and what they want to read and know. Well, see thru their eyes or think thru their brains...not think thru their eyes. Ahhh, my fav. question! I'll answer twice again, for me and for Bookmasters

ClaudiaC The time is flying by... One last... @BookMasters Q.5 - Everyone has a super secret ninja skill. What's yours?

Bookmasters A.5 Me: I don't take myself too seriously. I think it makes people more comfortable around me. And I make rockin' carmel corn

ClaudiaC ooh caramel corn? Share a recipe?

Bookmasters A.5 Bookmasters: It's not a secret but we stand out b/c our services go so deep. We make it easy for pub's to focus on pub'ing instead of managing a list of partners

ClaudiaC Very nice!! :) What did we miss? Is there anything you'd like to add?

Bookmasters will have to work the recipe into a blog post or something. 140 char. for a recipe scares me just thinking about it!

ClaudiaC Do you pinterest?? It seems like a pinterest post! ;) If you do blog, lemme know!

Bookmasters I would just add that you don't have to be intimidated thinking you have to do it all yourself. Someone like Bookmasters can help you with the whole project, or areas you are weak. We are an ind. culture, but like we said before about mentors there is much value in working with someone who has experience.

Bookmasters ohhh! Just got pintrest a few weeks ago and I'm hooked. Will def. let you know when it is posted somewhere!

ClaudiaC I'm there as misscchristian

Bookmasters will look you up for sure!

ClaudiaC Thank you so very much for your #twitterview! :) *applause* *applause* *applause*

Bookmasters Thx so much for having me on here! You are an excellent interviewer! I'm looking forward to the rest of your twitterviews too

My next #BookMarket #twitterview is with @EmApocalyptic tomorrow at 1:30 p ET! :)