Monday, January 05, 2009

Author Carol Denbow

One of the greatest blessings about being an author is all the people I have met the past few years!

Today I would like to introduce you to one of those awesome people, author Carol Denbow. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me...

You have quite the variety of non-fiction books – how did this occur?

Well L. Diane, I think I see a need and quickly develop a twisted sort of desire to fill it. My first book, Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? was a book I had wanted to write for many years. As a woman in a business typically standardized for men, I had many struggles not usually associated with my type of business. For instance, on more than one occasion when I had questions about ordering my products, I would be told, “Why don’t you send your husband down here so we can talk to him about it?” With that and the other factors involved with business ownership, not always just with women, I saw a need for want-to-be entrepreneurs to be forewarned of the business world they were stepping into. The book was released in 2006 and has been a big hit. My next book, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff evolved from the business book. So there was some relation there.

Having self-published and printed the first book all on my own, I had learned quite a bit about the business. The stress book gave me experience with a traditional publisher and working closely with some friends and relatives being published at the time through different methods really enlightened me to the other publishing options available. After that, the need I realized next was, wow, it’s not easy to write and publish a book. I could share this experience with others.

Since that time, I have stayed on track more or less with the writing, publishing, and book marketing genre. My latest release, A Book Inside, how to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story has been a very popular book.

How did you get started with virtual tours?

Fortunately, I discovered virtual book touring at its birth. Since nearly 80% of book sales are now taking place over the Internet, it only made sense to me to use the Internet primarily to promote and market books. I did a book tour for A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story and the long-lasting results of that tour inspired me to pursue the avenue further. I wrote the ebook, How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour a couple months ago. From what feedback I have received through the sales of that book, other authors are enjoying good success with their tours as well.

What is your connection to Breast Cancer Awareness?

As you may already know, breast cancer will affect one of seven women. Although recovery is at an inspiring level now, that can be directly attributed to the medical research that has been done. With a sister and mother both breast cancer survivors, it’s personal to me. Therefore in support of the research being done today, I donate 10 percent of my books proceeds to Breast Cancer Awareness.

Tell us about The Writer’s Gift Shop! That’s a unique idea for a writer.

Well as you know, writers and authors are unique, creative, and expressive people. We sometimes speak selectively while we are screaming on the inside. For example; while displaying our books for sale at a recent town festival, some fellow authors and myself would visit with perspective book buyers and offer low-tone and pleasant conversation to them. As the potential book buyer would move from one of us to the other, thumbing through each book as they moved on, inside we discovered each of us were experiencing the same thoughts, “buy my book dammit!” So I created a shirt that says that very thing on the front. I don’t know if an author would really wear one at their next book event, but you never know. We do love to express ourselves! The store is full of similar products which do make special and unique gifts for writers.

How did you get started in the how to write, publish & market area?

Once again L. Diane, there was need. With nearly 300,000 new books being released each year just in the U.S. alone, (that’s actually 30 books for every hour of every day), there a still a lot of people writing and publishing books. More than 70% of those are by self-publishers. It’s a VERY competitive market out there and easy to get lost and frustrated in. Even after my first book was released, I was receiving e-mails from writers who wanted to publish a book. After awhile, my husband started calling me the “Dear Abby” of publishing. He’s the one who convinced me to share what I had learned.

You state you are a successfully retired business owner – what business did you run for fifteen years?

Probably to your surprise, a horse ranch. In 1986, I decided to “be my own boss.” I chose this type of business because I loved horses. I bought a run down horse boarding ranch with only seven boarded there at the time—not much of a customer base. The facility, even then, was set up to house thirty. The place was a dump, for lack of a better word. When I retired in 2001, the facility now titled and “equestrian center,” housed over 150 horses and included an hourly rental string of horses, a tack and apparel store, a line of quality equine products, five show arenas, day camp for kids, and numerous other regularly scheduled events. There were several small business connected to the ranch. It had become the second largest equestrian facility in California, only second to Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

Tell us about Book Event Center on Ning!

Ning is great! It’s a place where people can connect with others holding similar interests, including writers and authors connecting with others writers and authors. I actually have two Ning sites, A Book Inside Forum and Book Event Center. A Book Inside Forum is a place to network with other writers and authors; exchange writing, publishing, and marketing tips. The Author and Book Event Center is where authors can showcase their books to the book buying public. Both are wonderful sites and each offers its own unique purpose.

Tell us about the research required to write your books.

Wow, research—lots of it. Anyone who is interested in writing non-fiction had better enjoy searching the Web and spending time in the library. The good news is, everything is searchable. When I finish a non-fiction book, I find I have about a three inch thick stack of notes to organize. When you write based on facts, you really need to KNOW your facts and be able to present evidence of their existence.

Every author has a unique road they followed – what is your publishing story?

The problem was, once I wrote the one book I set out to write, I was hooked. Give me a voice, and I just won’t shut up! There was, and still isn’t any roadmap for me. I have several more books inside me and I probably will keep writing them until I’m drained—but I’m not there yet. Story? I’ll get back to you after book number twenty!

What has been the highlight of your author journey so far?

That’s what I’m living now I suppose. I’m retired and am able to write “something” everyday. My books reviews have all been five star and from very credible sources—that’s inspiring to me. Every author goes through the disappointment stage of their journey—I’ve been no different. But through perseverance, I have been somewhat successful, finally. I’m blessed to have met some awesome writers who share in my frustrations as well as my joy. Together we work hard and eventually all will find some level of success with their books or themselves.

And the last word, Carol?

I always like to have one—so my husband tells me. L. Diane, you have a wonderful Website here and I would like to thank you for this great opportunity to be here. Last word? writing done for today!

Carol Denbow is the author of five books, two in ebook form. She has also co-authored or contributed to two others. Carol is the site editor of nine Websites including, A Book Inside Blog, a very popular blog for writers and authors.
Some of Carol’s Websites include:
A Book Inside at
http://abookinside.blogspot.com
Author’s Box at http://www.authorsbox.com
Writer’s Gift Shop at http://www.writersgiftshop.com
Books By Denbow at http://www.booksbydenbow.weebly.com
Ning Sites:
A Book Inside Forum at
http://abookinsideforum.ning.com
The Author and Book Event Center at http://bookeventcenter.ning.com
Read my latest book!

A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell your Story, 5 STAR REVIEW! Midwest Book Review
Visit my Website at http://www.AuthorsBox.com
Writers Gift Store at http://www.writersgiftshop.com
"Write from your heart, not your head."

7 comments:

Katie Hines said...

Great interview with Karen. Glad you interviewed her.

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

Wow, fantastic interview. Very thorough!

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for this wonderful interview with Carol Denbow, Diane! I'm in the Crimespace Ning group and I'll have to check out Book Event Center.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Glad everyone has enjoyed it! Carol was a unique find in the author world. And I always try to ask as many 'unique to the author' questions as possible. After years of being asked the standards, I try to avoid those blah, basic questions!

Morgan Mandel said...

I can relate to that book Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss. Even if both our names are on an account, many times they only consider my husband as the accountholder.

One thing I noticed at banks, though, is if the first name that's filled out on the form is the one they go by.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
http://www.morganmandel.com

Lael Johnson said...

Hi L. Diane,
I've had a chance to talk with Carol Denbow via her Ning sites. She is more than just a writing inspiration. Thanks for the great interview.

Lael

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Lael, that is wonderful!