Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I founded Bklyn Custom Designs after witnessing some business owners I worked with struggling to drive traffic and profits to their businesses. I wanted to help them and others find the best and proven ways to brand themselves online and see profits sooner rather than never.
I have written two books so far, Turn Clicks Into Profit (#1) and Keep It Super Simple (#2) and plan on creating more to keep the information updated as online business evolves. I also have two non-fictions in the works.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My current book is Keep It Super Simple and this was inspired by the struggles I and my clients were having in keeping up with all the emerging technologies and social networks. We tend to get a bit anxious when something new gains popularity and think “we need to be there too”.
Keep It Super Simple is for those wanting to understand how to manage this anxiety and more. It’s a guide to help understand the importance of branding yourself online and knowing when and when not to join social networks. We don’t need to be everywhere. We just need to keep it super simple so we can find our own success.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think they are unusual, but I do like to use multiple apps to capture my thoughts so I will switch between two dictation softwares, use three mobile apps to write while I’m on the train, and I jot random thoughts on napkins so I have paper in various bags, on my desk, and tucked away in books.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My friend Zaji has been a major influence on my. She’s written When We Were One and has such a high standard for herself that I could not help but follow her example. The first time I read one of her creations I was completely blown away. Not only was I holding a book created by someone I knew, but it was actually an amazing story. Just knowing her has not only reignited my love for books, but has sparked my desire to write and share a story and my experiences with others.
I also admire and enjoy Ayi Kwei Armah (Two Thousand Seasons), Peggy Klaus (Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It), James Patterson (his Alex Cross series is simple amazing), Maya Angelou (from her poetry to her books she’s a strong inspiration), Taylor B. Jones (she writes to empower women in making their dreams come true and live the life they want from what she’s learned in her own life), Troi “STAR” Torain (Objective Hate was different and helped me acknowledge my hunger to start my own business), Anne Rice (her vampire series is still the best I’ve read!), Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye was just groundbreaking for me), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter was a phenomenon that rejuvenated me and I was excited to read), Chandler Bolt (the excitement that he brings to his writing is wonderful to experience), Erika Lyremark (another author who takes her learned experiences and shows people how to live the lives they want), and Trisha R. Thomas (Roadrunner and Nappily Ever After were just amazing reads).
These are simply a few of the authors I love to read and learn from.
What are you working on now?
I am working on the 2nd edition of Turn Clicks Into Profit as I want to add so much of what I learned since it’s launch in February 2015.
I am also working on publishing my two fiction books that will show a different side to my personality. It’s not always about business and I hope these two books will help showcase that.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Aside from my promotion success with Awesomegang.com, I have found some success with Buck Books.
All in all, putting in the hustle is the best method I have found works when it comes to promoting my books. Staying up late when I come home from my 9-to-5 and submitting to various websites, purchasing a few Fiverr gigs, submitting to Facebook groups, Tweeting, and creating various images to share on Instagram and Pinterest have been an amazing experience.
I actually did not know what I was doing for my first book, Turn Clicks Into Profit, and I simply released it and left it. I did well but I never tracked it or gave it proper introduction to the world. I want to rectify that and show it the love it deserved and the love I gave Keep It Super Simple.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
1. Don’t allow fear to stop your dream of becoming a published author.
2. While you may think “no one wants to hear what I have to say,” you could be missing out on an opportunity to help someone.
3. When you think you have no ideas, think about all you have struggled with, overcome, and enjoyed in life. Use these experiences to create fiction or non-fiction. You can even look at what books helped you and think of a way to use that to write your own book.
4. Just start writing!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I have heard so much wonderful advice in my life but this year has been the year that I really understood “Done is better than perfect.” This is especially true for authors working on their first book. There is never the “perfect” book out there but there are multiple changes to create updates and new editions to include information that you may have forgotten or new methods you’ve learned.
Never hold back because you think your book isn’t “perfect” or you’ll never be published!
What are you reading now?
Now I am reading a few things. I like to keep entertained and educated; and not necessarily at the same time.
1. Design DNA by Matthew Healey
2. The Goslings by Upton Sinclair
3. Content Machine by Dan Norris
4. When We Were One by Zaji (re-read)
5. Paradise Lot series by R.E. Vance
6. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
7. The Hard Truth About Soft Skills by Peggy Klaus
I read a little of each every chance I get as I switch between the books, the audios, and the electronic versions (where possible). I definitely get through quicker with the audio versions but tend to go back and highlight sections in the hard/paperbacks.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Once I complete my three projects currently on my plate I will continue writing about proven solutions to branding and online business issues that so many of us struggle with daily.
Now that I see I can not only write and publish, but help so many of my readers I don’t want to just stop. I want to be there to help as long as possible whenever possible.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Only 3 or 4? Ha!
When I’m not exploring the island I would read and re-read:
1. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
2. Nappily Ever After by Trisha P. Thomas
3. The Goose-Step by Upton Sinclair
4. When We Were One by Zaji