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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com