Guest blogger, Barb Drozdowich aka Sugarbeat’s Books

I’d like to thank Eden for inviting me to guest post on this wonderful blog! My name is Barb Drozdowich, but I’m known in the blogging world as Sugarbeat’s Books. Sugarbeat’s Books is a blog that I started about a year and a half ago for two main reasons. One, I wanted to express my thoughts on the books that I read. I read romance. My husband rolls his eyes at the sight of the cover of most of the books I read – he certainly doesn’t want me to talk about them! Second, I wanted the technological challenge. I’m a stay at home mom that runs a bookstore from the house. I left a challenging job running the technical training department of a financial institution to have a child. Although I’m happy with that decision, I decided I need something to challenge my mind.

I found a student willing to set up my blog for me, as I didn’t think I was capable of that part. I just wanted to run the blog. After the blog was mostly operational, and after spending a huge amount of money, this student increased his prices ten fold. I was stuck with the blog that didn’t do what I wanted it to do, and no money to go any further. After wallowing for a bit, I decided that I should be able to figure this out myself, and set out to learn what I needed to learn.

At the same time, I was discovering what a wonderful world of authors there was “out there”. I was one of those people who went to Chapters/Target/Walmart and bought a book – based on the cover – always printed by a big publishing house. I certainly didn’t have an e-reader, and I didn’t read anything that I couldn’t buy in a store. Through my blog I have discovered the world of self-pubbed and small pubbed authors. I have read some absolutely outstanding books by new and nearly new authors that don’t have their books for sale at Walmart. I also discovered that I love telling everyone who will listen about these outstanding authors. My blog, twitter, and facebook are the vehicles I use to do this promotion.

Early last spring I “ran into” Amber Scott on-line. I had the opportunity to review her book “Play Fling” which was being featured in an on-line promotional day. This promotion was so much fun. I learned more about marketing books in that one day that I’d learned in the previous 9 months! Amber and a group of her friends have taken their careers in hand and are publishing and selling their books. They are an incredibly motivating group! Around this time, I took my blog and my bookstore in hand – both of which didn’t really work all that well, and started teaching myself how to fix them! I found out about on-line courses that I could take from home, I read books, and I took charge of my sites. I stopped paying outrageous amounts of money and did the work myself. I figured out how to get people to follow my blog and figured out how to set up the various social media accounts that allow following. I taught myself some SEO principles so that I would be picked up on google searches. Finally, I taught myself how to do blog design. Because I have background in teaching, I’ve found myself back in my element, helping other bloggers and authors with what I’ve learned. The blogging world, like the writing community is a incredible world to immerse oneself in. I had the opportunity to go to the RWA book fair in Bellevue, WA, a month ago and enjoyed meeting authors in person that have appeared on my blog. In this online world, we rarely meet face-to-face. It’s neat to see the look on an author’s face when I walk up and say “Hi! I’m Sugarbeat’s Books and I’d like to thank you for appearing on my blog”! I was like a kid in a candy store. So many romance authors in one big room!

I’ve learned a lot in the last year and a half! I’ve met some amazing authors and some amazing bloggers. I’ve learned so much about the technology used in blogging and today’s version of promoting books that some days I feel like my head will explode! It’s an exciting and ever changing world and I’m here to stay!

I’d like to thank Eden and all the authors of this blog for inviting me today! I can be found at my blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, my consulting business Bakerview Consulting, my bookstore, The Beat’s Book Nook or contacted at sugarbeatsbooks@gmail.com or bakerviewconsulting@gmail.com

Thanks,
Barb

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13 responses to “Guest blogger, Barb Drozdowich aka Sugarbeat’s Books

  1. Morning All!
    Thanks so much for letting me chat this morning! It’s an honor to be included on such an outstanding blog!

  2. Barb, great to have you here, and thanks for introducing our readers to your services. It’s always great to learn from someone who’s done the work, made the mistakes, and can now impart some wisdom to others.

    Authors have been extremely supportive of one another in so many ways, but to have professional services can be a real help when one is lost in the maze.

    eden

    • Hi Eden!
      Thanks so much for your kind words! I think that authors need all the help they can get in this ever changing world. Since the blog or website is an author’s store front, it should be as productive as it can be for that author. As I’ve frequently said, authors should be allowed to do what they do best – write and create. In order to do that authors need to make sure that all parts of their platform is working for them, not turning into a “make-work project”!

  3. Barb, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. There’s something inspiring about someone who creates a new job for herself – I suspect that’s something more and more people will be doing in the future.

    Kate

    • Hi Kate!
      Thank you for your kind words also! What could be better than working surrounded by books – be they paper books or ebooks. My idea of the best work environment! Well, that and a view of mountains outside my window 🙂

  4. Thanks for coming to visit, Barb! Great post.

    What do you love most about your blogging?

    Katy

    • Hi Katy!
      There are two things that are really important to me. The first thing is meeting new authors and reading their books. As I said, I was pretty stuck in a reading rut. I’m discovering new and unbelievably skilled authors all the time. I amazed that “New York” hasn’t discovered them! The second thing that I love is the knowledge acquisition. As a teacher, I love learning; I love challenging my brain! The internet for me is the ultimate in learning environments – it’s constantly changing and evolving. There is always something new to learn.

      Thanks so much for the questions!

  5. Having built a website from scratch, I went through 4 webmasters before finding someone who stayed with me, even when I ran out of money, and taught me how to do it, was my break through moment. I, like you, am still learning. I jokingly say, “I now know enough to get in trouble!” And most of the time, that statement is true.

    Good to have you aboard and I will definitely check out your site.

    Wally

    • Hi Wally!
      I love that comment “I now know enough to get in trouble”! I am absolutely trouble! I have learned so much, but when I think about how much I don’t know and how much more there is to learn, it gives me pause. The teacher in me kicks in and accepts the challenge and I delve into a new topic!

      I’m so happy to hear that you have some one who would help you. I think that often people are given sites that they can’t work themselves and then are constantly paying to get things done. This upsets me and that’s why I want to be able to teach people how to optimize and simply manage their own sites!

  6. Hi, Barb, and welcome! Great post. I love that you took something you knew so little about and made it work for you. 🙂

  7. Late to the party and I apologize, but I want to welcome you to BIWP, Barb, and thank you for a wonderful post. Like you, I have found the blogging world to be a warm, welcoming place populated by a number of talented, thoughtful people. Like you, I have continued to embrace digital media and am finding vehicles like this to be a great way to express oneself. Right after I finish this entry, I’m going to click the Sugarbeat’s Books link and check out your own blog.

    Welcome aboard. Come back any time!

    • Hi Raymond!
      Thanks so much for your warm welcome! Such a nice place to visit! I have met so many warm and welcoming – AND – talented people. I have had the pleasure of reading so many excellent books. I really like how every blog or website is an expression of the owner’s creativity. As I consider myself relatively lacking in creativity – hence my relatively plain blog – I love seeing other’s creativity shine through their sites! It’s an amazing world! One that I’m so pleased to be a part of!

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