Today, we have an especially interesting interview. Julie A. Gerber is founder of Away We Go Media and handles social media management and consulting for authors. I had a lot of fun finding out more about her!
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I never really thought I would be a writer. I wrote things throughout my life and I even had things published in local newspapers. I was having fun, but my mom always teased that I would be a writer someday. I still consider myself more of a social media assistant that works for writers instead of an actual writer. I have coauthored two books. Maybe after I write my first solo book, I will feel more like a writer!
When and how did you finish your first book?
I published my first book, Tortured Souls: The
House On Wellfleet Bluffs, with Linda Cadose and M.M. Hudson through Createspace. We completed it last year.
What made you want to help authors, and how did you get started??
Back in 2008, soon after my youngest was born, I began a blog. My family was going through a hard time. A tornado hit us. Contractors hit us harder and destroyed our house. We lived in a house my parents owned and went out of pocket to gut our house and put it back together. We didn’t have money for birthdays or Christmas. We didn’t always have enough food or clothes for our kids. Instead of asking for help, I decided to get creative and I learned how to build a blog, review products, and build a following. It wasn’t long before authors began finding me, asking me to feature their books. One of my clients asked me for help and then another followed. Pretty soon, I had a small client list and discovered a huge need in the author community. It grew, and so did my knowledge and experience.
If you could tell authors who want to be successful anything at all, what would it be?
You have to keep writing, but if you don’t balance that with promotion and building relationships with your fans, you will not reach your potential. Every author wants to sell books. I’ve found that a lot of authors think all they have to do is write and eventually the readers will follow. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen that way. If you don’t invest time in marketing and building relationships, you are missing a huge opportunity. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive if you are smart. Learn from other authors and discuss ideas.
What is a long term goal of yours?
My long term goal is that one day, the Navigating Indieworld brand is known throughout the indieworld. I want our brand to be one of the most recognized for indie authors, and the most helpful. I want to expand our reach beyond the writers, and welcome the readers to explore our world.
If you could do anything as an author, what would it be? The sky’s the limit.
I would love more than anything to buy a huge stone house in Scotland or Ireland and spend my days writing books that people can’t wait to read.
Name one thing you wish you had known when starting out.
Let’s go back to my beginning blogger days. I wish, more than anything, that I would have realized how easy it was to build a following. Back in the blogging heyday, you could use giveaways to gain likes and people didn’t fret over terms of service on different sites and platforms. If I had known more about how to build a following, my pages would have exploded right along with the other bloggers from my time. Lesson learned.
What is your upcoming fiction book about?
My current work in progress is loosely based on my great-aunt. She was one of the first female physicians in North Carolina. My character is both dedicated and strong. Her story is about love found and love lost. Through her heartbreak, she finds a new passion in medicine as she begins a journey that will take her to the most unexpected places.
What is the main character like, and what is interesting about them?
She is strong willed. As a child, she was told she had to act a certain way. She was told she couldn’t do things because she was a girl. An unlikely source gave her the push she needed to start on a life changing journey that would take her from the mountains of North Carolina to the bayous of Louisiana and back again. You’ll have to wait for the rest. I hope to release it later this year.
I noticed you co-authored a book called Navigating Indieworld. What is it about?
Navigating Indieworld is a tell-all book about what it takes to be a successful indie writer. We start with what to do before you publish and continue with everything that comes after your book is out. Publishing is the easy part! We break things down in an easy to read manual that tells you the important things you need to know. We give you the scoop on social media and other promotions. We tell you where you can save and what you can expect. The book is not intimidating. It reads like you are having dessert with two girlfriends and discussing writing, publishing, and marketing. There is humor woven throughout, so that makes it a very friendly conversation!
What were the biggest challenges you encountered when writing it?
Providing details without boring anyone to death. It was important not to leave out steps and to make the information easy to read and understandable. We wanted authors to be able to relate to us and the things we did. We tried not to be boring while giving out a bookload of information on writing and publishing. I hope we succeeded.
If readers want to find out more about you and your work, where can they go?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/awaywegomedia and https://www.facebook.com/NavigatingIndieworld
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101471856155148729010
Thank you for joining us, Julie!
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