About a week ago, Lisa at Books on the Brain shared the name and website of an on-line book publicist who can "hook you up" with books! Of course, I was interested -- who doesn't love free books? As a result, I discovered Lisa Roe and her on-line "book business." Ms. Roe is in the business of connecting people who write on-line (like us bloggers) with books that she is working on. All you have to do is check out the books she has listed on her website ;and see if there are any you are interested in reading and reviewing. Just fill out her contact form and she'll send you the books -- it's a win-win situation for everyone!
I just think it's awesome that Ms. Roe has found a way to merge her love of books with her career. I know I was interested in how she became an on-line book publicist, and I thought many others might want to hear her story too. I asked Ms. Roe if she would be a guest blogger and tell us about she got her business started:
I am an online book publicist. I just launched a website. I am not rich. I may never be. I never really set out to start a business. I never really had a plan at all for life. So, how did I get here? It’s all for love of the books…
True to my lack of a plan, direction, or any real clue on where I was headed, I started college later than most. I was 25. I majored in theatre as well as creative writing. Finally on the verge of graduation, I suddenly realized that I never really performed in the theatre (too much drama!) and I certainly wasn’t going to pursue it at that point. As for the prospects of the other major, well, with no cabin in the Northwoods (that’s way up Nort Wisconsin, there, eh!) or typewriter on which to write my best-selling novel, I was lost on what to do.
Benjamin Percy, my most inspiring writing professor, steered me towards a NYU program for publishing, thinking that I may find something I liked with it. I had always been a voracious reader. I love the feel of a book in my hand. I thought it was worth a shot. So, there I was. Never having set foot in NYC before, I showed up with 4 suitcases, no subway map, and no clue.
I finished my program and lucked out with a job at an independent publishing house (got laid off), moved to a PR firm where they were better able to weather the storms of the publishing world (missed my previous job) and got my first real shot at pursuing online publicity (woo-hoo! Happy days again!)
I was thrilled to find that personal connection that I had been missing out on since the publishing house, but it was an exhausting amount of work. I tried to be as respectful as I could when it came to suggesting books to bloggers/online writers, never wanting to overwhelm or scare anyone off. I would send info on one book. If it was turned down, I might wait a bit and try suggesting another one. I knew there had to be a way to streamline the way I worked so that it benefited everyone involved.
It was a request made by business blogger Michael Wade at Execupundit.com that kick started the old idea machine. I sent him a list of titles I was working on. He requested a memoir and gave it a rave review. Huh? A business blogger? Hmm. How many other opportunities had been missed by only offering a certain type of book to bloggers?
I spent several months in this position, befriending online writers, and mulling over the idea of a website and going out on my own. The first problem to tackle: I was not happy in NYC. The 2 years spent there were chock full of wonderful memories and experiences, but I longed for the laid back, easy manner, friends, family, all-Packers-all-the-time, let’s-go-Brewers baseball of my home town: Milwaukee, WI.
So here I am! I’ve moved back home, struck out on my own, launched my site, and have had an overwhelmingly positive response to it. I’m proud of the work that I do, happy to be personally involved in my work and your interests, and thrilled to offer books to those who love them.
So, do tell me what your interests are…