Good ideas abound, but seeing something through from that first thought to making it all happen, is a very different story! Today I’m talking to Sylv Jenkins about her website that helps new authors spread the word about their books.
Welcome Sylv, what started out as a blog about your writing and day-to-day life, has turned into a flowering website. Has it surprised you?
I have to admit Linn yes it has, as you have just said, I started the blog just for me, like a computer diary of the things that interest me and to do with my family.
I got talking with a few author friends on Facebook, who wanted to know if I knew anyone with a blog that would be willing to help promote their books, so I thought, why not? I initially had just a few guests that I knew. Then I decided to contact authors further a field and so I just sent message after message to as many authors on FB as I could without being placed in FB Jail! Well, I was so surprised and happy to receive all these emails to say ‘yes please’.
What represented the biggest challenge for you as the website has grown?
To be honest the biggest challenge at first was making sure I had enough authors to work with on a daily basis. I then joined a few book tours which was fun, until I had a run in with one tour who complained because I hadn’t put the post on my blog, I hadn’t received any information and no reply to my emails. This was when I decided I could do this, so with my partner’s help, we set up our very own book tour service. We started this back in April 2013 and we have had a good run of authors contacting us.
We then got talking with another author, Michael Bray, who’s book, Whisper, I was reading and reviewing and I had to tell him that there were unfortunately so many typos and grammatical errors within his book, plus he had only a week to publication day. He wasn’t happy because he had paid hundreds of dollars to have someone edit his book.
I said I would be able to have a read through for him and pick up as many as I could. Due to the time limit, I could only read through once. There were 400 pages, but I worked with him closely throughout the days, sending him my edits daily. He was so happy and couldn’t thank me enough, that he asked if I would be willing to be his editor. Well of course I said ‘yes’. I then decided, why not set up our own editing services? This is only just starting up, but we have a number of packages on our site. But I have to admit I can edit other people’s work really well, but when it comes to my own, Joe usually does my editing .
It’s handy to have someone close at hand to sort out all those little website problems… who is on hand for you? Well, unfortunately there’s no IT guru sitting in the wings, so it’s down to a late night, a LARGE glass of wine and stick at it until it works… ha! ha! I think when we initially ‘met’ I was just turning loveahappyending.com into Loveahappyending Lifestyle emag. That was a fraught week, but I learnt such a lot!
I am so lucky to have my partner in crime, Joe Jenkins, he helped me create my Sylv Jenkins blog, along with creating our business website too. Don’t know what I would have done without him.
Can you tell us about your writing journey?
I have always loved writing short paranormal stories but have only had two stories published and that was in an anthology book, which was raising money for charity.
I am working on a book of short stories alongside Joe and my 14 yr old daughter, Helyn. We are hoping to finish at the end of August 2013 ready for editing. Really excited about this. We have been very fortunate that the multi-talented author, Michael Bray, has very kindly created our book cover ready for us. I keep going to look at it to get inspiration.
Your background involved running Film Festivals that must have been an amazing time in your life. What were the high points?
Oh I loved running our film festivals, but it was hard work trying to get people to come along. There was one festival we did in Fort Widley, a very old fort here in Hampshire, we had quite a few people turn up that night including some ghost hunters. We had asked if we could go into the tunnels afterwards. Oh boy, this was brilliant, very scary! A couple of people in our group, heard whispers but there was no one there! In another part of the tunnel, Joe and I were looking at the carvings on the tunnel wall,s when we heard footsteps behind us. We turned around but we were alone, the rest of group were way up front, we turned and walked rather quickly to catch up with them. Shudder!
Thank you Sylv, I’ve really enjoyed our chat and we wish you all the best with ‘Shadows’…very envious of the talented Joe – every website should have one…volunteers welcome!
Follow Sylv on Twitter or Facebook:
Twitter : @SylvJenkins and @Book_Tours