My most recent book is Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think!, a handbook designed to help home builders, remodelers and others in the building industry create a social media program from the ground-up. Really, it’s helpful for any business interested in building a social media presence.
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m a mother, wife, business owner, author and speaker. A prolific blogger, I manage a number of blogs for my agency, mRELEVANCE and our clients. I have been blogging since 2005 and built many strategic social media programs. My family lives on a farm in north metro Atlanta where we have horses, goats, dogs, cats, a miniature donkey, a bunny, turtle and several really old goldfish won at a school fair.
What inspired you to write this book?
My publisher, BuilderBooks was looking for a subject matter expert, and I approached them with an outline and several chapters. They accepted my submission, and I delivered the book to them just three weeks later. The hardest part was finding enough time to “download” all the knowledge from my head and into the computer within the tight timeframe!
How did you choose the title?
It was suggested by my publisher after discussions about many business owners’ hesitation even to try to get involved in social media on their own. We realized many businesses were relegating the task to someone’s niece, nephew or kid brother, and we wanted to empower them to jump in and do it for themselves.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
There weren’t any obstacles in getting the book published, but I had a very tight deadline for writing it. I wrote it in three weeks, and it was published nine weeks later! One of the biggest challenges with the book was getting all the permissions in a timely fashion, especially from the bigger social networking sites.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I have been a public relations practitioner for the past 20 years; most of what I have written has been for work — news releases, website copy, blogs and other marketing materials.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Nights and weekends are the best time to write because it is quiet and email isn’t a major distraction. Typically my grey tabby Josie sits in my lap and acts as my muse. I also consume a lot of Earl Grey tea with honey in it. Using two computer screens allows me to research things on the Internet on one while I write in Microsoft Word on the other. As I find interesting statistics, I bookmark them in my delicious account (http://www.delicious.com/carolmflammer) for later reference. Lots of times I tweet statistics and other snippets while writing.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned that one of the hardest parts about writing a book is creating proper citations, a glossary and a reference section, not to mention getting permissions. It was also interesting to respond to my editor’s queries and to try to explain complex information so that readers would understand.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Ideally if doing it all over again, I would have more time to write it!
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I read a wide variety of books. Historically, my favorite books almost always have horses in them. I have probably read every Dick Francis book ever written. My absolute favorite author is Dr. Seuss; I wish that I could rhyme like him all the time!
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am working on version 2 of Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think. It is going to be bigger and better than the original version — another don’t miss for those in the home building industry. Additionally, I’m going to start blogging about how I took control of my health to get rid of debilitating migraines after seeing multiple doctors and getting no answers!
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Write about something you are passionate about, create a detailed outline and find a great editor.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Home builders, remodelers, suppliers, real estate agents and marketers working in new home building who want to understand how to build an effective social media program with proven ROI.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
There are lots of places to learn about me or interact with me.
Company website: www.mRELEVANCE.com
My personal blog: www.CarolFlammer.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/atlantapr or http://twitter.com/carolflammer
Social Media for Home Builders: It’s Easier Than You Think is available from BuilderBooks: http://store.builderbooks.com/cgi-bin/builderbooks/921
It is also available in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.