This month, our member, Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry, celebrates the publication of her first book. Well, since she is a self-published author, it's not exactly her “first” book. But it is her first book published by a publishing company. Check out this ultra cute sketch of Anne-Marie surrounded by the thing in the world she loves best: S-O-A-P!
I am honored to be one of the people who has had a front row set to the completion of this exciting project over the past several months. I am in awe of how Anne-Marie ran her company, mothered a busy toddler, and birth a new baby girl and a book all at the same time. I am also honored to have been one of the first people to receive an advance copy, and to be selected to contribute this back cover endorsement for the book:
“Anne-Marie's ‘Soapcrafting' is chock full of recipes and tips, and beautifully photographed to show what your project should look like as you go. This book is destined to become one of the most sought after “recipe for success” soapmaking books on the market. Whether you're new to soapmaking or you're a seasoned veteran, I have three words for you: Get it. Now!”
I have known Anne-Marie since 2001 when she first joined the Indie Business Network. Over time, she has grown to be one of the most successful business leaders in our membership ranks. Not only that, “the Soapqueen,” and she is known by many, has won multiple awards and recognitions for her success, including being selected as the US Small Business Administration’s Washington State Business Person of the Year. I love Anne-Marie's energy, and I love being surrounded by entrepreneurs like her who are as passionate (and serious) about what they do as I am. Anne-Marie and I sat down for a hot minute to chat about her newest project and what you can do to get busy writing your book today.
dM: Why did you think it was important to write this book?
There are a lot of great soapmaking books in the market – and a few of them that I learned from 20 years ago are still in print. The art of soapmaking has changed and evolved over the years, and I was thrilled with the idea of publishing updated information using the newer tools, materials, and ideas that are currently available. When Storey Books approached me to write a soapmaking book, it was important to me that it add to the artistry and science in the books currently out there.
As part of the book proposal writing process, we worked together to articulate exactly how my book would be different than other books. The photography is one of the things that sets Soap Crafting apart from other books currently in the marketplace. As a visual learner, I’m particularly proud of that.
dM: Do recommend that others who know how to do things write books?
I loved the process of writing the book. It pushed me professionally and creatively, and made me get absolutely ruthless about time management. I think the process of starting a big project (or really, any big project – whether it’s painting your house to running a marathon) — and successfully finishing it — is a huge confidence booster. For that reason alone, for an entrepreneur, it's worth it. For me, writing the book was a culmination of a goal set long ago and a dream fulfilled. I have always wanted to write a book, and recommend the exercise to anyone that feels the same way.
dM: What word of encouragement can you give to other would-be writers?
Just write. Start to write. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need to start. I have been blogging six times a week since 2007. That is a LONG time to write, and a lot of material. Honing my writing skills, style and voice made writing a book for print so much easier. If you are having trouble getting into the habit of writing, but you want to write a book, start by writing at your own blog.
Click to Tweet This! –> Want to become a published author? Start blogging now!
If you're in the Bellingham, Washington, area on Thursday, August 29 at 7 pm, you can meet Anne-Marie in person and get your book at the Village Books at 1200 11th Street in Bellingham. Visit Village Books online.
1. Have you ever written a book? Would you like to?
2. Do you blog as a way to hone your writing skills?
3. If you're in Bellingham, are you planning to attend the book signing? (If so, I'm jealous!)
Please share your thoughts and ideas below. We love hearing from you!