We're excited to host Shelli Johannes-Wells this week as our Feature Sweetheart! In addition to being a fabulous author, Shelli gives her time generously on her blog, Market My Words which offers book marketing and publicity advice to authors.
TXS: Market My Words is a fantastic blog with a great reputation and following. Can you please tell us a little bit about how your blog got started and what your goal for it is? Also, how has your vision changed since its inception?
SJW: I started my blog along time ago. But in Jan 2009, I decided to revamp my blog and find a way to give back to the writing community. Since I have a degree and 20 experience in marketing, it seemed natural to help authors with their own marketing. I had an idea to start the weekly marketing interviews and marketing tips. To be honest, I was so surprised at how fast the blog took off. I guess there was much more of a gap in marketing than I realized at the time. I’m thankful I can provide value somewhere.
TXS: What is the biggest surprise you've had since you started blogging?
SJW: Honestly , how close I could get to people I have never met. I’ve met friends online that are closer to me than friends I’ve known much longer. Sad right? That and the fact that over 75,000 people have visited my blog in less than 18 months. That’s insane to me!!! I had no idea people needed or wanted to learn about marketing until I started this. Im grateful that Im touching so many people.
TXS: You write. You blog. You are a marketing goddess. How do you balance it all? And what comes most natural?
SJW: Hm I don’t feel like a goddess but ok if you say so :)
I try not to get caught up in doing everything everyday. I do what I feel like doing. If I want to blog, I blog that day. If I want to write, I write. If I want t oread and be with my family (unless my agent is pushing me on revisions :) then I do that. Since I only have about 3 hrs a day, I also have to manage my time wisely. That 3 hrs also has to include all my client work so I don’t have much time to mess around! I do a lot of stuff at night when my house is sleeping or when I am watching tv (chats/blogs etc) . :)
Oh, And I have a very supportive husband.
Some days or weeks I don’t feel balanced at all. But I think every day doesn’t have to be balanced as long as you feel like you have balance over all. Some thing will give everyday and I sacrifice something everyday but I work hard at circulating through what I need to do.
TXS: How do you think reading for kids has changed over the years. People talk so much about kids needing to share their attention with texting, TV, and video games. Is the challenge greater now for getting kids to read?
SJW: Yes. I think in a world with this much external stimulus available to kids, the reading has to grab their attention. The covers. The book trailers. Its hard to pull a kid away from all the gadgets to read so you better do it in the first page. But overall I think reading will always be important. It is just evolving in different ways,
TXS: If you could make a wish for kids and reading in the future, what would it be?
SJW: That kids always love books and that books always speak to kids so they love books. I hope the eworld does not take away the feel of holding a book at night snuggled in bed. That kids realize they don’t have to be entertained by gadgets, that there is a whole world of entertainment in each book they pick up.
TXS: Thank you so much, Shelli!!!!!
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