Author Interview: Shel Horowitz, Author of GRASSROOTS MARKETING FOR AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS

Shel Horowitz is the author of seven books--five of them on frugal, ethical, effective marketing. Most recent: Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, http://www.grassrootsmarketingforauthors.com/Principled Profit: Marketing that Puts People First, http://www.principledprofit.com/Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World, http://www.frugalmarketing.com/The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live LIke Royalty with a Peasant's Pocket (e-book), http://www.frugalfun.com/.

Thank you for this interview, Shel. Can we begin by having you tell us when your passion for writing began?

I had two wonderful English teachers in high school. It probably started with them. I began writing journalism as a high school junior, poetry as a college student, writing for business in my 20s. I was 22 when I did my first book.

Can you tell us what your typical 'writing' day is like?

When I'm working on a book, I try to do about two hours a day, five days a week--while still keeping up with my client copywriting projects, my overflowing e-mail box, etc.

Do you write full time?

Pretty much all my activities are related to writing or speaking, but I can't sit at the computer for more than about an hour and half at a tie. Too much eyestrain and headaches. So I work in short bursts all day long.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book?

For ten years, small publishers have been urging me to do a marketing book just for them. And at first I thought it would be easy, but when I actually started working on it, I realized how much I know about book marketing and how different it is from marketing other things--easier in some ways, harder in others.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

I self-published, which I've done for four of my seven books--and I also did a separate edition with Infinity Publishing, mainly so I didn't have to worry about the craziness of the bookstore system.My first two self-published books (1985 and 1995) were very much learning experiences. My third and fourth, I feel like I'm doing pretty well with the process--so much so that some of my client business is actually walking people through the process. In fact, I recently found out that a novel I produced four a client just won an award.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I'm constantly promoting. I sold out the first print run very quickly, using my own networks, a blog tour, endorsements, and some limited traditional publicity.Do you have a mentor? Many. Some that come to mind include Jay Conrad Levinson, Jack Canfield, Marcia Yudkin, and, for his copywriting ideas, Jeffrey Lant.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I'm in dialogue with a mainstream publisher right now to do another book on business ethics. And I have research folders for probably a dozen books I'd like to write.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

It's easy to become published, but it's harder to do it right. Spend time on getting the quality right: the content, the cover, the design--and make sure your book reaches an audience that has a felt need for it.

What's one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Why social change is so much a part of my life. Everything I do is ultimately about making the world better, it's the driving force in my life.
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