Hello, Bloggers! I am excited to host this month’s Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Rochelle Carter on her current blog tour.
Becoming an entrepreneur
I am a Human Resources Project Manager. I have over ten years of experience, and yet I did not love my job. I loved helping people. I loved the idea of creating something new for the business, but my job and I had a casual relationship that I felt was good enough. When the economy started crashing and those around me started losing their jobs, however, I had to wonder if it was really good enough. What stability did I have? Why am I breaking my neck each day, if in the end “corporate” wouldn’t hesitate to ax my peers or even me so they could maintain large profit margins?
It was time for a change, but I did not know where to begin. I was still working full time, so when would I even be able to think about options. I have always been an avid reader and a writer, but when I considered life in publishing after reading a particularly terrible book, a small voice inside of me told me I should monetize my skills as a Publisher instead. While I loved writing, reading, and learning about authorship, I was much more confident in my organization and project management skills. I decided in that moment to become an entrepreneur-while-working. I quickly determined that my first priority was to “do publishing right”, and that I would learn what that meant.
I named my company Ellechor Media dba Ellechor Publishing House, found my team of professionals, put together our business plan, created an awesome website and found our first authors almost immediately. I was ready to go, and this was the perfect timing because my life was stable enough to support a business… or so I thought!
We waited a year before starting to release any books, hoping to get a good head start on the process, vet the appropriate contractors, and have time to edit, re-edit and proof everything. The best laid plans don’t factor in real life. I ended up with severe pre-eclampsia in the hospital just six months into my first pregnancy and four months before our first three books launched. This was where having a reliable Super Group paid off. With me out of commission, my team carried on with my plans to launch our first books and manage our preparation for the next season of book releases. I was now officially an Entrepreneur with products available to the public.
Going through the early years of the business had its ups and downs, but in the end it continues to be a life-changing experience. We have won various awards and nominations, I learned a lot, I continue to learn, and I am always seeking ways to share with others. As my author list grew, however, I quickly discovered that authors did not just need their books published. While that is their immediate goal, the true necessary tool for EVERY author is knowledge. Knowledge about the publishing process, the industry, and how to navigate those confusing waters. Once again, that still small voice was speaking to me.
Becoming an authorpreneur
I am a Publisher. I have over ten years of project management experience and five years of experience in book publishing, and I love
my job. I love helping authors take their work from a manuscript to a physical, tangible book they can hug and love. In building Ellechor Publishing House, I was building a legacy that I hope will endure for a long time, and yet I still felt there was something missing. My authors, while happy to be published, had so many questions about the business that at one point I was spending hours a day just answering emails. It took me a while, but it finally hit me: despite there being so much information available on publishing a book, there was still a missing component.
I went looking for a resource I could recommend to new authors to help them understand the business side of writing, but what I found was disappointing. Every book had its own agenda, focusing on writing, marketing, self-publishing or becoming a full-time publisher. What my authors needed, and what many other authors need as well, is a book that takes them through the entire process of publishing a book from the author perspective. That is when the still small voice started yelling! I had to be the one to make it happen, because if not me then who? One year later and I am releasing my book, The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship (May 19, 2014, EverFaith Press), which educates writers on how to understand the business of writing and become successful authors.
Writing The 7-Step Guide to Authorpreneurship is just the beginning for me. The endorsements and support I have gotten so far have solidified in my mind that this book was the right thing for me to do. I am taking the book further by developing online training (coming soon!) for authors who want a hands on experience with the steps in my book, and with the launch of my first joint venture, The Authorpreneurship Project with Sharon Jenkins. We will be focusing our work on educating authors on the business of writing, providing the tools and resources they need to become Independent, Innovative, and Iconic 21st Century authors. This work, in addition to book packaging for aspiring authors with my self-publishing imprint EverFaith Press, has me in my professional sweet spot and I love every minute of it!
You know you are doing the right thing when, despite things falling apart they also seem to pull things together. It’s a challenge I have accepted, along with higher accountability to my authors and publishing team. I am not perfect, but I will always get back up again and try harder. As I journey into the world of author education I realize that God is pushing me in this direction so that everything I do can revolve around the things I love and cherish. In wearing my own shoes, I am not just taking the easy street. Rather, I am living, learning and growing in what I am passionate about and what I believe I was called to do.