I’m so excited to share this interview with you today!!!  Carrie Keplinger is a great friend of mine and she’s a whiz at business.  She has many jobs and juggles them all successfully, which makes her a great inspiration to me and other creative business entrepreneurs.  I think you’re going to love this interview.  Carrie shares some wonderful advice for people looking at writing or publishing an e-book.

In case some people don’t know how amazing you are, would you mind sharing a bit about yourself and your business?

Sure! I’m a former journalist and editor with a background in art, graphic design, and technical writing. Currently, I help other business owners leverage their businesses and sales by helping them create ebooks – as products or as companions to their products. I also do editing and writing coaching as well as web design and traditional graphic and logo design. Oh, and I just started up a new service in which I help crochet and knit designers turn their designs into saleable patterns. Not everyone thinks this sort of thing is fun, but I totally nerd out on it.
In my spare time, I’m a co-director at a local art gallery, a fiber artist and crochet pattern designer, and the assistant editor of Scoutie Girl.

Some people may be writing an e-book and are wondering why they need an editor at all.  What do editors like yourself provide? 

One of the things I like to say is, “Even editors need editors.” No matter what we’re working on, we all tend to get too close to our work, which means we miss things: mathematical mishaps, layout faux pas, and continuity errors as well as grammar and spelling mistakes. You need a second set of eyes to look at what you’re doing and evaluate it, critically but kindly.

Or, to put it bluntly, editors keep you from looking unintentionally silly.

It can also help to have someone look at the way you are writing – your tone – and help you craft your words for a specific audience. A good editor is able to put herself in the audience’s shoes and see an e-book, website, or piece of writing the way they do.

Was there any time when you struggled with your business and thought of throwing in the towel?  How did you overcome that obstacle?

Oh, yes. I think everyone has times like that. I had one just recently, when I felt like nobody was paying any attention to me or my services. When I stepped back, I realized that it wasn’t that I needed to quit; instead, I needed to push harder! I needed to be more communicative and to reach out to others in my community instead of sitting around and waiting for them to find me.

I think that the key to getting through those tough times is to keep going and to keep a positive attitude. Your attitude really does transfer to everything you do, and your potential customers will be able to sense it. So even if you do feel like throwing in the towel, keep trying, keep being positive and finding hope, because your attitude will become a self-fulfilling prophecy no matter which way you bend it. If you are convinced you are going to fail, you will; if you believe you can succeed, then you will!

What inspired you to create this non-traditional profession?

I started my business a few years ago, when the journalism field was in the midst of a major collapse. I was a magazine editor and designer at the time and I loved my job, so it was a huge heartbreak when my company went bankrupt and dissolved many of its publications – including mine. That’s when I decided I wouldn’t go back to journalism. I would work for myself, doing things I loved; if anyone was going to break my heart again, it would be I.

I also have goals that would be hard for me to fulfill in a traditional work environment. My husband and I want to travel and study different cultures and art forms – which is a little too unconventional when you sit behind a desk all day and only have two weeks of leave time. By working for myself, I am also making space for us to have a richer life pursuing things about which we are passionate.

It’s taken a bit of time for me to wrap my head around exactly what I want to do and how to do it, but I’m getting there. I always come back to editing and page design; they make me giddy!

What advice would you give someone who is considering writing an e-book?  What can a business owner gain from creating an e-book?

To answer your first question: It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around. Get your ideas on paper first, then worry about organizing them and fleshing them out. Get an editor in there to help you through the process – it’s well worth it.

What can you gain from creating an e-book? So much, but it all depends on what you want it to do. You can make money directly by selling your e-book, or you can use it to educate your customers about different aspects of your products – which makes your products easier to use, which means more sales). You can also use e-books as a fun way to communicate with your audience and share something you love (like my “How to Roast a Marshmallow” tutorial).