Tue 8 Jul 2014
by Andreé Robinson-Neal
Christine F. Anderson is the force behind CFA Publishing and Media; of her many talents, she is a skilled marketer. After shopping her own manuscript, she gained deep insight into the process of bringing a book from idea to manuscript to bookshelf/ebook seller. She took some time away from her work to share insights on the value of marketing with FFC.
What is your relationship with writing? How long have you been writing? What have you had published?
I have been writing since my earliest memory, including writing haiku in the third grade. I was alway one to journal, write letters, and keep meticulous notes in school. I wrote and self-published my memoir, Forever Different, in 2013.
What was your experience like getting published?
I had several contracts from various publishers, all who required an astronomical retainer for marketing services. With more investigation I realized that what they wanted was for me to do a lot of the work before submission, so I decided that since I didn’t have the type of money they were requiring I would try self-publishing.
What made you start your own publishing company?
I started Christine F. Anderson Publishing & Media in order to give authors who have a story to tell fair representation when it came to publishing and publicity and marketing.
Talk a bit about your marketing background; how did you decide to focus that experience toward the world of publishing?
I obtained my MBA (Masters, Business Administration) in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School Of Business in 1991 and felt that in order for a book to be well-represented it had to have a considerable amount of marketing.
Let’s face it: this is a saturated market, particularly since the advent of self-publishing opportunities. I utilize various methods, including social media outlets, and have developed a plan that works for my authors.
Why is the marketing aspect so important for new authors? How does it differ in the small press or self-publishing market as compared to the larger market?
Since we are on content overload when it comes to the publication of books, it is important for new writers and those who are looking to work with a small press or to self-publish to develop their own unique brand. I encourage all my authors to be different. Dare to be different!
What marketing skill or advice do you believe is most important to new writers?
The most important marketing skill I can suggest to a new author is to start by doing the research: who is the audience of your book? Start by knowing that and the rest of the marketing process tends to go smoothly.
What have you seen as one of the biggest obstacles for new writers wishing to get their work to market? How do you see yourself helping them overcome this obstacle?
I think the biggest obstacle facing writers is the lack of guidance; the key is to publish good work and I feel that accepting mentoring and guidance is vital to success. I would like to think that my authors can learn from my experiences since I am a writer, I self-published, and already made all the mistakes!
In your experience, in what areas do traditional marketing strategies fall short for new and existing authors?
I think the old adage of “build it and they will come” is nonexistent in the pro-publish market; taking an ad out and waiting for sales just won’t cut it. In this era, communication and contact are key and if you are not accessible and don’t stay in tune to current demand, you are dead in the water. Thank the good Lord for the dawn of social media, because it gives us access to that market demand in ways we never had in the past. It has helped answer a lot of the prayers of marketing executives.
What one piece of advice would you give to writers looking to publish?
I would tell them to write from the heart and to tell their story with the intention to inspire others!
Christine F. Anderson obtained her MBA in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1991. She has a long successful corporate career working for such companies as Citicorp and MGM Grand, Inc. She became an independent author in 2013 and while working on self-publishing her memoir, Forever Different, discovered a void in affordable book publishing and couldn’t find a publisher that provided a pro-active and aggressive publicity and marketing strategy, so she decided to launch Christine F. Anderson Publishing & Media. It is Christine’s desire to give a voice to fellow authors’ works and guide them through the difficult world of publishing and promotion and assist them in achieving the greatest level of success with a fair business model. Her motto is “Tell your story to inspire others.”