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Monday, January 29, 2018

Interview with Author Randi Brill



99 CREATIVE WOWs: Words of Wisdom for Business

At 14, Randi Brill announced she was going to be in charge of something—and she has been in charge of many creative “somethings” ever since. Randi defines herself as a “simultaneous entrepreneur,” and is currently at the helm of her design agency, QuaraCORE and her e-commerce site, Teacher Peach.  

In July 2017, Randi released her first book, 99 CREATIVE WOWs: Words of Wisdom for Business in both softcover and e-book forms to capture and share her business expertise and creative strategies under her own Randiland Press imprint. She’s currently creating 99 companion podcasts to underscore the strategy and application of each WOW.

Randi’s also an avid and entertaining speaker, podcast host, author and blogger—the latter activities occurring most often from 1 to 3 am in the morning when she’s still wide awake and working—to create her own luck. Stay tuned; Randi’s just warming up.

See www.99wows.com for more information

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
I wrote 99 Creative WOWs: Words of Wisdom for Business to capture—in one portable place—some of the many tough life and business lessons that I learned the VERY hard way. My goal is to help others benefit from my discoveries instead of also having to learn these life lessons on their own as I did. By putting myself in the shoes of potential readers, I knew that sharing the contexts of how I learned each WOW, though relevant to MY journey, would take too long to read to be rapidly helpful—in the moment—to their journeys. I worked to succinctly distill down each lesson into a logical, memorable summary statement, or by its more well branded label, a WOW (Words of Wisdom) lesson, by which I live so others can quickly grasp and embrace these WOWs—exactly when they need them!
After a lot of “You should put these ideas into a book, Randi; they could help a lot of people” comments, one colleague’s view confirmed my conviction: “These WOWs are familiar to you, Randi, but that’s because you live them; they’re going to be new and helpful to many others soon, they can live them, too.” So I began to shape this book, an interesting project for someone who had crafted the words of “other authors” for over 30 years. This time, as both author and designer, I applied my design skills to typographically underscore the meaning of each WOW. This visual, colorful book provides powerful shortcuts and helps readers MASTER and APPLY these concepts FAST, vital in today’s world.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?

Even though I’m a highly creative serial entrepreneur, it took me over 35 years to master and distill my hard-won business expertise into these 99 vivid and memorable wisdom-filled sound bites. 99 Creative WOWs: Words of Wisdom for Business is ideal for everyone from seasoned business professionals, newly minted graduates, start-up entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.
This clever and colorful book is brimming with 99 powerful secrets to business and life success. Today’s urgent, competitive world means few can afford to spend decades gaining such homegrown wisdom. 99 Creative WOWs: Words of Wisdom for Business delivers a rapid-fire jumpstart for everyone eager to develop, enhance and confirm their own creative business expertise—FAST.
Every business demands creative expertise. 99 Creative WOWs—Words of Wisdom for Business is also a motivating, unifying messaging tool for all businesses—from startups, the shop next door, and nonprofits to major conglomerates, B2C and global enterprises—and every iteration in between. Those who lead such organizations can inspire, encourage, and engage their teams—one WOW at a time.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
Experience is a profound teacher—both direct and indirect—when others can learn profound and applicable lessons in memorable, quick ways. From experience, we learn what works, what doesn’t, what to repeat and what never to attempt again. We learn from mistakes, missteps and crash landings. As an entrepreneur, I’ve personally experienced every one of these instructional models—often. Each WOW in 99 Creative WOWs—Words of Wisdom for Business falls into one of three primary categories: BUSINESS, CREATIVE and PERSONAL and are universal and overlap across all categories.
·   BUSINESS WOWs inspire, intrigue, and illuminate ideas for professionals ready to apply wisdom for a diverse array of business situations.
·   CREATIVE WOWs spark ingenuity and motivate business professionals to infuse creative problem-solving approaches, adding valuable results.
·   PERSONAL WOWs offer thoughtful perspectives when life’s challenges tax even resilient individuals, helping define the landscape for next steps.
I wouldn’t trade one moment of my own professional journey, yet a multi-decade itinerary is no longer practical. Today, new and seasoned business contributors as well as sharp creatives and entrepreneurs need to gain true wisdom—NOW.
Readers can browse through the WOWs to discover WOWs that are relevant and pertinent across a range of both urgent and ongoing situations. Because these WOWs are vivid and memorable, readers remember to reach for their WOWs to help them in work and life, finding many options that make them say, “WOW.”

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
·   Believe in yourself and all that you’ve learned on your journey enough to recognize that your wisdom is likely highly valuable to others.
·   Remember to stop, however, and apply your heard-earned wisdom to the vantage points of your audience and readers.
·   Your history is only relevant if it helps readers understand what they should do with your wisdom.
·   In my case, I worked to ensure these WOWs, in book form, do stand alone, open to the interpretations of others—in the context of their work and worlds. 
·   I also took powerful advantage of a range of media to reinforce and deepen the messages. For examples, I am currently building on the book by launching the 99 Creative WOWs PODCAST in early 2018 on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Each podcast episode showcases one of the 99 WOWs to help readers grasp the universality, benefits, and applications of each WOW—with ways to apply each WOW in their world. In these podcast episodes, I connect the dots for listeners.
·   To further solidify the WOW brand, I also applied my graphic design savvy and that of my company to create brand expansion products that reinforce the 99 Creative WOWs. We not only sell the book and e-book, we also sell a companion tote bag, water bottles, and wall poster sets through Amazon.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
In today’s world, authors need to be smart about their work, rights, and value. Do your homework. Being an indy self-publisher is part of the wave of the present—and the future. It made perfect sense for me to self-publish; my background is in publishing. It makes equally terrific sense for those writers who may not have first-hand knowledge of this industry to explore this strategy.

Self-publishing resources abound; you do need to study them, scour the advice of experts for hidden hints, and apply smart common sense, as in all things new to you. Self-publishing your book does give you greater control over your product, your content, and the right to expand upon your work autonomously. It also means, however, you are directly responsible for much more than publishing—sales and marketing are also your responsibility.

Self-publishing may not be the right long-term solution for every writer, however, making the effort to self-publish and print on demand even a limited number of copies of your book might help you gain the attention of a more traditional publishers in your niche market.

In my experience, established publishers value the efforts to self-publish in advance of submission to them because it means that through this process, they’ll see a more polished, proofread presentation of your work so they can review your intentions and more effectively evaluate if your book is a match for their areas of specialization. Working with a formal publisher is about much more than shaping and producing the book itself; publishers can bring amazing value in terms of marketing, launch, and ultimately sales. There are multiple avenues to achieve these critical results.

My best advice: research carefully to discover the best options for you.

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
My biggest challenge was making and maximizing the limited amount of time I had with my hectic and demanding day jobs to focus on this book. I had to conceptualize, revise, start, revise, write, sequence, re-sequence, revise again, design, redesign, revise, refine, redo, and ultimately finish, and seek out the experts I needed to help me achieve success. And that was before delving into the areas I hadn’t done before! I’m not a publicist, for example, so I knew this was an area where I’d definitely need expert support. I also asked an array of business professionals to review the book for me and to candidly tell me their truths—anonymously. I learned so much! I was prepared to learn as I went along and that helped me a great deal, but I did often feel like the shoemaker’s kid—discovering how much I knew as well as how very much I did not yet know about independently publishing my first book.  The good news? As it says in WOW #33, “Whatever you learn is yours to keep.” And I shall.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
·   This book costs less than a movie ticket and a small bucket of popcorn! The residual effects and the instant and into-their-future impacts of 99 Creative WOWs—Words of Wisdom for Business will last much, much longer than both.
·   After all, no one has the 30+ years it took me to “home-grow” and distill this kind of learning. These days, those eager to succeed need to develop their wisdom—now—and in record time.
·   99 Creative WOWs—Words of Wisdom for Business has no shelf life; it offers new insights every time you pick it up. The WOWs meet you where you are NOW and will continue to be relevant when you reach where you’ll be NEXT.
·   The 2018 release of the 99 Creative WOWs PODCAST is FREE and powerfully extends the impact of this book with the WOWs, WHYs, and WHENs that surround and support each WOW.
·   This book makes a wonderful gift for every entrepreneur, wantrapreneur, recent grad, teacher and seasoned executive on your gift list. Pair it with accessories from the 99 Creative WOWs Collection
a tote bag, posters, and water bottles each add an extra dash of sparkle and reinforcement.
·   The WOWs in 99 Creative WOWs—Words of Wisdom for Business are timely—and timeless.
·   At less than 20 cents a WOW, who cannot afford to benefit? Now, that’s a WOW.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. 

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