Hi! Welcome to Follow Me Friday: Blog Style! I believe that book bloggers should help one another, because well, we all have one thing in common- the love of blogging, and books. I've had the pleasure of meeting and networking with some great bloggers out there, and my little tribute to everyone is to start up this fun Friday post! The power of uniting has helped Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More grow into what it is today, and I'm not about to forget the help I've gotten to achieve this goal. My hopes in starting this is to get other blogs some more followers, whether they are a well known blog or a small one, a blog that's just starting out. I'm here to help.
This Friday I'd like to feature www.formatting4U.com The owner/create of this blog is award-winning best-selling author, Judi Fennell. I hope you'll follow along as I ask some questions pertaining to the blog, and a few fun questions. Ready? Let's begin!
Hi! Welcome to Storm Goddess Book Reviews and More! I'm really excited about this, and glad that you have taken part of the fun!
So, tell us a little bit about yourself! Hi Storm Goddess, and thanks for having me! I’m Judi Fennell, author of tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted romantic comedies. Most are paranormal, but I have a book coming out this month, BeefCake & Cupcakes, that’s straight contemporary, and more in the works.
What made you decide to start a blog? I have an author blog,www.JudiFennell.wordpress.com, but I also havewww.formatting4U.com, which is for authors who need help putting their self-published works up on the various platforms. Some people just aren’t technically oriented and the platforms can be overwhelming and a bit of a challenge if you’re not familiar with terminology or formatting. Someone on one of my loops was talking about paying one of the platforms a ridiculous amount of money to do it for her and I was very frustrated at seeing someone—many people—shelling out good money before they’d even made any royalties when they really didn’t need to. So I said I’d do it for X amount, and voila! a business was born. I have over 30 clients in under 3 months and more every day. It’s been a real privilege to help these people realize their dream.
How did you come up with a blog name? I needed a name, and quick, because the minute I said I’d do the formatting for X dollars, I had a bunch of people emailing me. I was on the phone with my critique partner and we brainstormed the idea, then I put the spelling/logo together. I love doing artwork in addition to the text formatting, and have segued that into doing covers and children’s picture books for both electronic and print platforms.
How many people do you have on staff, and how do you decide who does what job? So far, it’s just me, though I may hire a Teenage Kid to help out with the paperwork/reports. But the formatting/design is all me.
How long has your blog been live/active? I went online May 1 with the blog.
What type of things do you do? Services you provide? My services have grown as clients have asked for more things. I started out just doing platform formatting for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and Createspace. Now I’ve added Kobo, AllRomance eBooks, cover creation, back cover creation (if you have an electronic front cover but want to do POD and don’t want to pay your designer another round of designs), PDF-to-text conversion and MS Word formatting, children’s picture books (check this one out, From Thailand With Love by Marliss Melton – it’s gorgeous!), custom eStore creation for Createspace, and editing, both copy editing and story editing.
How do you go about spreading the word about your blog, and the posts? I do a lot of shout-outs on facebook and twitter, as well as through my chat loops. Word of mouth is helping, and I’ve done some advertising in InD’tale Magazine, plus blogs like yours.
Besides blogging, what are some of your other hobbies and passions? Well, I’m an author, too. I almost said “an author first,” but that’s no longer true. I have a lot of clients who are just as eager to see their books online as I am to finish my next one and get that up, so I’m juggling my writing time with my clients’ expectations.
How does one go about getting a request to you? There’s a link on my site, www.formatting4U.com to contact me or you can use formatting4U (at) JudiFennell (dot) com.
Fun things on your site: I have the covers I’ve done in thumbnails, and testimonials from my clients. The covers grew out of an author needing a back cover for a book she’d had the rights to for a while but only had an electronic cover. I worked with her on that, and we ended up with a cover for her print-on-demand. Then, another author needed covers for the children’s books. She was going to have her daughter do them, but something came up, and she asked if I could do them. I had a lot of fun brainstorming with her and she loved what I came up with. Then I had another author ask me if I could convert a PDF for the print book into an eBook. I thought about how to do it and we came up with From Thailand With Love. I have another client who is in the process of getting me her image files for her children’s book, and I’ll be doing the print and e-version of the second in that series as well.
And now for some fun questions!
Three books on your keeper's shelf. 1)Bewitching, by Jill Barnett, 2) When He Was Wicked, by Julia Quinn. 2) Cardinal Rules by Barbara Delinsky.
Favorite authors? Jill Barnett, Julia Quinn, Stephanie Julian, Karen Rose, Kate Brady, Olivia Cunning
Book you've re-read the most? Bewitching by Jill Barnett
Favorite TV show? Tough to pick. Loved Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Adams Family and Gilligan’s Island growing up. They’ve greatly influenced my writing—my latest series, Bottled Magic, is about Genies and the first one is titled, I Dream of Genies, with Genie Knows Best (just came in 2nd in the PRISM Contest), and Magic Gone Wild out this month.
These days I love reality TV: Real Housewives of (anywhere) – seriously, it’s a train wreck you can’t look away from. Survivor – been going strong for 11 years I believe. Amazing Race.
Favorite color? Purple. I’m an Aquarius and my birthstone is an amethyst.
What's your dream job? Full time writer. I’m working hard to that end, and that’s including the formatting gig. I’m having a lot of fun with it, teaching myself new platforms/programs. I need to get a Mac, though, so I can start doing uploads directly to it.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, no money holding you back, where would you go? Western Europe. I lived in Spain in college and while I traveled around that country, I didn’t get to do the rest of the “tour.” Either that or on a beach in Hawaii. Any island except Oahu. Too commercial.
Anything else not covered:
My turnaround time, even with all my clients, is fairly quickly. I was actually laid off from the Day Job in April, so this ended up coming about as a quest for some cash. It’s not a cash cow, but it’s growing. I’m hoping to turn it into the Day Job. If you’re doing something you love, it’s not work at all, and I really love doing this.
My prices, too, are reasonable. I’ve had a few clients come to me after paying higher rates elsewhere. I had one person email me, saying, “Am I reading this correctly? You only charge XYZ and you do this, this, and this?” Yup. I’m not out to take your earnings; I need to be compensated for my time, and what I’ve posted as my rates, I feel is what my time is worth in relation to what I’m doing. We’re all in the self-pub business to hopefully make a living. I can’t make my living at your expense. That’s why my prices are what they are. I know that it can take a while to start generating sales. What’s nice is that I’m getting repeat customers as their sales increase. Then they want to add more books, so they come back. I’ve made a whole bunch of new friends. J
I really appreciate you answering my questions. It's great getting to know other bloggers that share the same interests as I do. Before we end this post, please share any links that come in handy for you and your blog.
Thanks so much for having me!
Readers, I hope you'll check out this blog and give it a follow if you haven't already!