Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Interview with Ella Curry of EDC Creations on the Making of her Media Network

Ella D. Curry interviewed me on her blog, featured WITS in her Black Pearls Magazine, and had me on her Black Authors Network Radio Show as a guest.

I thought you might like to know more about this wonderful lady, so here is a Q&A interview with Ella.

1. In general, how did you become involved with books? Specifically, how did you get involved marketing black authors online?

EDC Answer: Working at Karibu bookstores was where I first came into contact with new authors. As a Buyer and the Product Submissions Manager, I would receive their book submissions and press-kits. It was a real shame how under educated most of the authors were at that time. I turned my web design and event planning company into EDC Creations and started helping the authors with their branding and marketing materials.

As a single parent, who spends all her spare time on the Internet, I realized that there were more and more businesses taking their business to the web. What I didn’t see on the web in 2000, when I started my online company, was an abundance of black people. I knew this was a market I could dominate with my skills and passion for reading and my people. At the time, I was attending UMUC and taking graphic design and business management, I merged all my talents into a profitable business, doing what I loved—reading quality literature. Today, I review books for publishing houses, interview celebrities as well as new authors on BAN radio and represent some of the hottest authors in African American literature.

2. Does online marketing generate an increase in online sales? Offline?
EDC Answer: Online marketing definitely increases online and offline sales. You can reach millions of potential customers in one day, via the Internet. You can conduct business in several countries from the comfort of your home, via the Internet. The use of online marketing is one sure way of increasing your territory and getting the word out about your product or service. Micro-blogging, social network marketing, RSS feed syndication and article submissions are just a few of the ways that business owners can connect and create relationships with their target audiences. Internet marketing has so many components, but a great business plan, marketing plan and solid publicity strategies can put it all together and definitely increase awareness and sales.

3. Name three online marketing strategies that no new author should do without.
EDC Answer:

a) Article placements on Internet sites is an important strategy and should be included in all authors overall publicity plan. Writing for Associated Content or becoming a professional blogger is a great way to build followers and to show your range of writing. It can be essential in building your overall brand.
b) Using Internet radio interviews should become an important part of the authors overall media and publicity strategy. Internet radio and the syndication of the shows to iTunes can award authors overnight popularity and cause a great deal of viral responses to their books. I am the producer for Black Authors Network Radio; we reach over 118,000 fans per show via RSS feeds delivered to their personal email accounts!
c) Creating a strong relationship with readers is the most important strategy of all. Authors can do this by social networking with their target audience. Finding out where their potential readers shop, socialize and play online and making meaningful conversation with them, can create repeat buyers and establish brand loyalty for life. Authors should share their news with the readers, as well as take sincere interest in the reader’s daily lives. Combining just these three strategies can take authors a long way, but there are hundreds of other more industry savvy ways that could be explored. That’s why people come to EDC Creations Media Group, my publicity company, to help them find those unique and cutting edge ways to reach the readers….LOL.

4. In what ways can EDC assist authors in online marketing?
EDC Answer: EDC Creations coaches each client on how to capitalize on what they already have in place. Be that a tight focus group to sell their first books to or to use their every day careers as a platform to showcase the books. We help the authors to get major book publicity in radio, local TV, print and on the Internet. The most important thing that EDC Creations does for our clients is bring out their strengths and weaknesses and address both in the most productive manner. We take the vision of our clients and chart the course to turn it into a reality!

Additionally, we offer services in:
Web Business Consultation
Marketing Strategy Creation
Marketing Plan Development
Corporate Identity creation
Comparative SWOT Analysis
Branding & Book Coaching Programs
Competitive Research
Marketing Communications

5. How does the economy affect book marketing? What can still be done to effectively market in downtimes?
EDC Answer: The economy being in this slump can play a significant part in the success of an independently published author. Traditionally published authors have the benefit of the publishing house presenting their books to libraries and bookstores via seasonal catalogs and through sales reps pushing the books. The self-published author has to write the books, market the books, distribute and promote the books. All of this can be very costly! In this economy the authors tend to start taking shortcuts to control the costs, sometimes this brings down the quality of the product. This is a serious no-no!

Also, when readers have less money to spend on entertainment, they tend to cut down on their book purchases. Some readers will turn to the libraries, online book swap groups and such sites as Book Crossings to find free or used books. The authors can work around this by creating personal relationships with their readers that will stimulate loyalty period. Some ways to do this is to create video blogs of the author in their every day life talking about the books and what’s going on with them. Create podcast readings from their books and post them all over the web. Use sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Ning networks to meet the readers on their own turf. Create blogs about their daily lives or what’s going on with their characters to give readers something to chat about amongst themselves. Virtual book/blog tours are the hottest thing going in the book world right now. The online tours are a great way to reach people without breaking the bank. At EDC Creations, we offer blog and radio tours starting at $199.00, which will increase the author’s territory and put them before thousands of readers per day!

6. How can people contact you for your services?
EDC Answer: For book promotions and publicity the best way to reach me is to visit my EDC Creations website. On the main website you can find Black Pearls Magazine, Black Authors Network Radio Show and all the packages we offer authors and publishers. The readers will also meet the authors we are featuring for the month.

To meet new authors and to explore the latest books, readers can visit the BAN Radio Community blog. We have two online bookstores established to suggest great literature for all our readers. The stores are updated monthly with new releases. It’s like going into any brick and mortar store; you can skim the books, and meet the authors. The site addresses are listed below for you and your readers to enjoy. It is a pleasure to meet new readers weekly! On BAN radio we always have gifts and prizes for the visitors. Frequent visitors and bloggers to our community, win books by posting regular and truly joining the conversations. Check us out…you won’t be disappointed! Thank you so much for this opportunity to share the world of EDC Creations Media Group with your network.

EDC Creations’ Main Website

Black Pearls Magazine

EDC Creations Internet Book Promotions
Meet the authors on book tours in 2009

BAN Community Blog

Black Pearls Magazine Blog

EDC Creations Bookstores:

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Sun Singer said...

Enjoyable interview with great info.


Ella Curry said...

Yvonne, it was such a pleasure to interviewed by you! You added so much to the interview on BAN radio. Hopefully we will meet at BEA or another book event. Your blog is awesome! I have read almost all the interviews here.

Please continue to support authors and the creativity force that drives to them to be topsellers!

Ella Curry, EDC Creations