An interview with Author, Magazine editor and the creator of two award winning sites as well as PROMO DAY! Jo Linsdell talks with me.
1. What is Promo Day and how did it come about?
Promo Day is an all day, online, international event for people in the writing industry packed full of tips and advice along with a variety of opportunities for writers, publishers, editors etc to promote their work and services. Readers are also welcome to drop in and get to know the authors better in the forums, view the video trailers or read writing samples.
This year a new forums feature has been added to the site to make interaction even more international. There will be special sections for publishers to post their submission guidelines and give information to authors about their companies. Companies offering services (virtual assistants, website designers, illustrators, ghost writers etc…) will also have a section where they can let attendees know more about what they offer.
Another new feature for this year is that anyone can have their book featured in the on site bookstore for just €5,00. This is a big opportunity to increase your book sales and raise awareness for your work as the event is attended by thousands of people from the industry (email firstname.lastname@example.org is interested in placing your book)
Promo Day came about because I was looking for opportunities to promote my books using the internet at little or no cost. After attending the Muse Online Writers Conference back in 2006, I searched the internet for similar events aimed at what to do after you’ve written the book and found none. I decided to fill the void and so PROMO DAY was born. PROMO DAY is a great opportunity to network with other members of the industry, take part in online workshops and promote and best of all it’s FREE!
Visit the website http://jolinsdell.tripod.com/promoday for more details of how you can be involved.
2. How much work is Promo Day and what does it entail?
It’s a big task to deal with. From creating and updating the website and blog to scheduling the workshops to promoting it. I also need to find sponsors for the event. This years event is Sponsored by http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/
I usually start preparing for it just after Christmas to give myself enough time to get things right. I organize Promo Day in addition to my other projects and writing so I only get a limited amount of time each day to work on it. It’s well worth the effort though.
3. Do you do all the work yourself?
Yes. I do all the organization, updating the website, scheduling the workshops’ etc myself. On the day I have the help of moderators to keep track of the workshops and help thing run as smoothly as possible. I’m also lucky enough to have a large number of people that offer to promote the event on there websites, blogs, newsletters and writing groups. Their help is much appreciated and needed to make sure the largest number of people possible know about the event. The nature of the event means that the more people that attend the better the results for all.
4. Your blog, Writers and Authors has become a huge success. It is used by not only writers but by people in the writing/book industry in general. What do you see for it in the future?
I’m actually planning a make-over for the site in the near future to give it a whole new (and hopefully more polished and professional look).
I’ll also be launching the Writers and Authors online magazine at the same time which will showcase the blog posts over a four month period (it will be a quarterly publication), offer the chance for other book reviewers to post their work, contain articles by and for people in the writing industry, promote services on offer for writers, list paying markets, have a shout out section where people can brag about awards won, book deals signed etc… It will also highlight a visitor to the website who has contributed, in that period, by their interaction on the site.
I’m currently looking for people interested in being part of the editorial team. Anyone interested should email me at email@example.com
5.Writersandauthors.blogspot.com is an Award winning blog. You have another Award winning blog: astheromansdo.blogspot.com. Can you tell us about it?
As The Romans Do is my blog for anything and everything related to Italy. I came to Rome for 3 days back in 2001 and stayed. I love Italy and use this blog to share my passion for it.
Posts include reviews of books connected to Italy in some way, tips for tourists, famous Italians, events, recipes, guest posts and much more.
6. You write regularly for magazines, newspapers and websites. How do your pick what to write about? Is it current events driven?
The articles I write depend largely on the projects I’m doing at the time. For example, I’m writing a book about social media at the moment and so a lot of my recent articles have been about online marketing, twitter etc…
I write articles about Italy as, living in Rome, I have constant inspiration all around me.
I’m also mummy to a lively two year old and so often get ideas for parenting or children related articles.
7. What magazines, newspapers and websites do you write for?
I write articles for content sites like http://www.helium.com/ and for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. I don’t have a fixed column and so send off articles and fillers to various markets.
I have two Italy related books available in print format ‘Italian for Tourists: Pocket Edition’ and ‘A Guide to Weddings in Italy’. I’ve also written several short e-books on topics like Christmastime in Italy and La Befana.
I wrote both print books following requests from people I met and based them on my personal experiences. Italian for Tourists started out as an e-book, then went to print and finally to pocket format thanks to public demand. It was the first book I wrote and has grown with me.
I wrote A Guide to Weddings in Italy following my own wedding in 2006. Italy is a bit tricky in sense of documents and has lots of traditions. Several people asked my advice about how to go about getting married here and so I decided to create the type of guide I would have liked at the time but couldn’t find.
The e-books were written out of the pleasure of writing them. They are topics that have interested me and so I figured would be of interest to others as well.
9. Are you currently working on a book? If so, is it fiction or another non-fiction and what is it about?
Like I mentioned before, I’m working on a book about social media. It will cover the various sites on offer, how to use them to get the best results and the applications that can be used with each of them.
I’m also working on a novel (romance/mystery) based in Tivoli, a small town close to Rome. It’s set in Villa D’Este, one of my favorite places. A young journalist comes from England to write an article on the villa and instead ends up in a hunt for art thieves whilst dealing with a complicated new love interest and an evil-ex.
I hope to have both finished by the end of this year.
10. What other writing and publishing interests do you have?
I’m Editor of Robin Falls Magazine (http://www.robinsfalls.com/) which is a bi-annual e-zine for creative souls to show off their talents.
11. You will be involved in the Roman Writers Retreat to be held in Rome on the 23rd to the 30th of October this year (2010.) Can you tell us about it?
I'm honoured to have been invited to host seminars at The Roman Writers Retreat to be held in Rome in October. This is not a full-blow writers conference, though the essential qualities of seminars taught by professionals certainly exists. Rather this is a heart-of-Rome Retreat. We’ve even organised a special evening at a restaurant where we will be having a lovely meal, a couple of seminars and have a table to promote our books from.
Seminars are planned (but not so many as to interfere with inspiration time!) on the craft of writing, the building of platforms and the marketing of fiction and poetry as well as less structured opportunities where attendees can share and learn from one another.
The other instructors are Eve LaSalle Caram and Carolyn Howard-Johnson.
Eve LaSalle Caram, MA, is a longtime and popular instructor for UCLA Extension Writers' Progam where she won their Outstanding Instructor Award in Creative Writing. She is a novelist, essayist, and poet whose latest novel, The Blue Geography, was a finalist in the Texas Review novel contest. Ms. Caram's other novels are Dear Corpus Christi; Wintershine; and Rena, A Late Journey. She edited Palm Readings, a multicultural anthology of fiction by Southern California women.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson has been an instructor for UCLA Extension Writers Program for several years. She is a multi-award winning author of This is the Place, and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remember and her fiction, nonfiction and poems have appeared in national magazines, anthologies and review journals both online and in print. She is a popular seminar leader at conferences like Dayton University's Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, San Diego State's world renowned Writers' Conference and Call to Arts! EXPO. She also appears in national TV commercials. Her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers have become staples in the libraries of many writers.
I’m very excited about being involved in it and meeting other writers from all over the world.
More information about it and how to take part can be found at http://www.jolinsdell.com/
12. Jo, along with the blogs we mentioned, are there any other sites where we can find out more about you?
I recently purchased my own domain name http://www.jolinsdell.com/ and although I’ll be designing and re-launching it soon, it is my main website and has links to all my projects and other sites.