Writing a book and being published is an aspiration for many bloggers on TypePad. One blogger, Stephanie Ann of the cheapdiva.typepad.com recently realized that ambition and was kind enough to share a few moments with us answering some of our questions about her book and explaining how her blog has played a pivotal role in making the move into print.
My book, The Cheap Diva's Guide to Frugal and Fabulous Living: How to Shop Smart, Look Your Best, Decorate with Style, and Have Fun for Less Money! is all about living better by spending smarter. It's full of fresh ideas on everything from shopping strategies that really pay off, how to look great on any budget, cheap and easy ways to enhance home decor, and simple ways to have more fun with friends and family without spending a fortune.
Who do you think will find this book helpful?
Women looking for easy strategies that enhance their lifestyle and make the most of their time and money will enjoy my book.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my style inspiration from lifestyle magazines, fashionable movies, window shopping, looking at the way real people dress and decorate their homes and by looking at different objects and imagining the possibilities of how they could be rearranged or used in new ways.
How has the blog helped with the book writing process?
Like many bloggers, there are various things outside my blog competing for my time and attention. Writing a blog helped me stay focused and consistently create new content for the book. Because my book covers various topics, having a blog with separate categories for fashion, beauty, home decor, entertaining and money savvy ideas allowed me to keep everything easily organized while creating content for different chapters. By the time I was ready to put the book together, I had plenty of content for each lifestyle section.
Would you say a blog is a good way to promote your book?A blog is an excellent way to promote the book for several reasons. Having a blog allows you to build an audience interested in that subject before the book ever comes out. If your book is available at online bookstores, it sometimes takes a while for search engines to recognize the fact that the book is available at those bookstores. By having a blog you can create awareness for the book and provide a link to online booksellers as soon as it comes out.
What other tools are you using to get the word out there?I am giving away books in contests hosted by outside resources, such as an online newsletter that targets my audience, I have created articles that link to my blog and have a direct link to wherever the book is sold for various web sites. I also do some offline marketing such as leaving stacks of bookmarks in coffee shops (with the owner's permission of course).
What is your number # top tip for looking fabulous on a shoestring?Always be open to the possibilities. For example, it's easy to create new looks by layering. A basic black dress layered over a long sleeve T-shirt and tights takes on a casual vibe, while the same black dress with an elegant jacket layered over it takes on a more elegant look. It's also possible to look fabulous with fewer beauty products by using one product in different ways, such as using a subtle shade of lipstick as a blush as well as a lipstick.
What advice do you have for others thinking about going down the book path?
I suggest doing a lot of research, such as reading writersweekly.com and the latest Self Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter before publishing anything. Develop a well rounded marketing strategy before the book comes out that includes both online strategies and offline strategies. For example, promoting live book signings through local news media is a great way to gain exposure
Stephanie Ann has offered to answer any questions you might have about publishing in the comments. So take it away!