The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Dee Blick

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Dee Blick

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Summary: When Sue finished reading The Ultimate Guide to Writing and Marketing a Bestselling Book on a Shoestring Budget she was enthused to write a book - until she realised that she was one of the few people who didn't have a book inside her - but there was still a lot to talk about when author Dee Blick popped into Bookbag Towers.
Date: 10 November 2014
Interviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee

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When Sue finished reading The Ultimate Guide to Writing and Marketing a Bestselling Book on a Shoestring Budget she was enthused to write a book - until she realised that she was one of the few people who didn't have a book inside her - but there was still a lot to talk about when author Dee Blick popped into Bookbag Towers.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Dee Blick: I see 3 people! There’s me, when I was writing my first book; keen to share my marketing tips with readers but clueless on the book production process and equally clueless about my publishing options. Then, there’s the person who wants to write a book but is struggling to plan it and they don’t know where to start. Finally, there’s the author that has written their book but, they don’t know how to market it effectively and as a consequence, their book is going nowhere fast.

DB: I wanted to write the book I would have welcomed with open arms when I started writing books - a no holds barred, warts and all book sharing mistakes, top tips and information that can only be shared by an experienced insider. And I wanted to share my marketing knowledge. I lose count of the number of authors I’ve spoken with that have been told they must spend thousands on producing their self published book and then a hefty sum on marketing it. I hope that before any author goes down this route they will read my book beforehand and hopefully arrive at the conclusion they can produce and market their book on a shoestring. Last week an author emailed me to say he had been advised to spend £8000 on producing his first novel! Outrageous.

  • BB: You've been published traditionally and you've self-published: which do you prefer? What are the main advantages and disadvantages of each route?

DB: I definitely enjoyed the kudos of being offered a publishing deal but, I prefer the self publishing route because I am a control freak and I like to be in charge of the entire production! The big advantage of being published traditionally is that you have an entire team at your disposal plus, the heft of the publisher’s name which definitely opens doors with regards to securing significant media coverage and public speaking engagements. The downside is that you don’t have as much power and freedom as you do when self publishing. The main advantage of self publishing is that you have complete freedom with your book. It’s down to you to make sure you have an amazing cover, a beautifully produced and carefully edited book which you then have to market to within an inch of its life. Of course some may see this as a disadvantage I guess!

  • BB: The Ultimate Guide fell into two parts for me (not literally - it's a beautifully-produced book!) Did you find the first half, on writing the book, or the second, on marketing it, harder to write?

DB: I found it hardest to write the section on marketing. Distilling my knowledge and tips into just 50,000 words was challenging to say the least.

  • BB: I wish I could remember which author, who, when asked if writing groups put authors off writing books replied Oh! Not nearly enough! Do you think that writers might read your book and be put off the process because there's a LOT of hard work involved?

DB: This thought ran through my mind several times when I was writing the book and it made me anxious to be honest because you’re right. But my book is not just about writing any old book. It’s about how to write and market a bestselling book. And this means putting in the hard yards, dotting the eyes, crossing the t’s and definitely going on the road less travelled. The beauty of self publishing means that anybody can publish a book but it takes a huge amount of graft, commitment, and know- how to write a bestselling one. I guess I’m aiming at the reader that knows they have to put in the hours but this does not put them off because they want a book that really does them justice as an author and that hits the bestsellers and stays there.

  • BB: Which do you prefer, writing or your marketing business?

DB: I am a born writer who became a marketer. So, if you told me tomorrow that I had to choose between writing and marketing, I would choose writing.

  • BB: You can take one book to a desert island. What's it going to be?

DB: Probably Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers because knowing my character I would freak out on a desert island. I would need this book to handle my assortment of irrational fears!

  • BB: What are you reading at the moment?

DB: Dear Leader by Jan Jing-Sun.

  • BB: You've got one wish. What's it to be?

DB: Well, if I was not allowed to wish for an end to war and violence, I would opt for the rather indulgent wish of reaching the number one spot on Amazon – out of all the books that Amazon sells. I regularly hit the number one spot in the category that my books are in, but to be number one overall would be amazing even if it was just for one day! I made it to their top 150 books for a few days!

  • BB: What's next for Dee Blick?

DB: I consider myself fortunate that writing books has meant I no longer have to look for business. It comes to me in abundance. So, I want to use my free time to mentor authors. On Saturday 18th April I am running my first one day Ultimate Author Boot Camp in Croydon. If anyone is interested in finding out more, they can [mailto: dee@themarketinggym.org email me] or tweet me @deeblick. My aim is to bring affordable but high-value practical training and mentoring for authors. I am bringing my book to life!

  • BB: We're sure there will be a lot of takers for that, Dee! Thanks for chatting to us.

You can read more about Dee Blick here.

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