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Monday, December 15, 2014

Interview With Author Serena Andrews



What is Epic Fail super win about? It's a book of really raw and inspiring interviews. They talk about the roller coaster of wins and fails that is the fabric of life for artists, innovators or entrepreneurs. I wanted to highlight people who are in the trenches now. Each person contrasted their worst failure and best success. I think the single take-away that was universal to every story was: Keep going.

What is so unique about how it was created? Well the book itself is crowdsourced, which is exciting because there's magic there... you don't know what you are going to get. Much like a documentary film, this style of writing starts with a curiosity and a hypothesis, but quickly develops a mind of its own. Now the book and concept have become almost a living work... and as an author I'm just following where it leads. We thought we should keep the spirit of crowdsourcing in the marketing, which is how Be In This Book was born... But there is another aspect of the campaign which is particularly unique to today's creative markets. It's responsive and interactive. You don't just read the book... you're part of the book.

What is the rationale for this concept?  A: The process of answering the questions can be transforming for people, especially because it takes some guts to talk about failure. But failure is part of the creative process. We wanted people to have access to the stories of peers and contemporaries, and at the same time be empowered to tell their own. The project has evolved, and includes a gifting element, now... but the hope is that creative readers will not only read the book, but contribute to the project.

Where do you see book publishing heading? Personally, I see it following the footsteps of the music industry... which some would argue is good and bad. I think it's remarkable. Personally, I'm a champion of all things DIY, i.e. self-publishing, digital platforms, grass roots, small batch, human friendly and mobile friendly. With the power to self-publish inexpensively, the market can get flooded with product, and it's a wide range of quality. But the old system had a serious bottleneck. Already, the independent market has responded with aggregators and technology to help sort and choose from all the options. I think talent will always be marketable, so after the initial chaos subsides, we'll have a richer, more authentic voice being heard in the publishing industry–one that's evenly distributed.

What challenges and rewards attached themselves to the writing of your book? Oh my. Well, I can say this has been extremely challenging. Honestly, the writing of the book was enjoyable and probably the simplest part of it, especially because it's based on interviews. The tough parts were the formatting and the marketing. I've learned that it's well worth it to pay someone for formatting unless that's your wheelhouse, and that marketing is an ongoing process. Going the DIY route, you basically live and breathe the book. There's not really a "set it and forget it" option. The most rewarding part has been the response from people who've read the book. People have really taken time to call or write and let me know that they needed to read the book, and that it hit home. That is honestly the most awesome feeling, and I feel like I've done something worth doing.

For more information, please see: www.beinthisbook.com

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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