When I first began reviewing books here at Colloquium, I happened upon Pump Up Your Book, specialists in virtual book tours, online book publicity, and social media marketing for authors. I grew up in the days when authors promoted their books by making the rounds of television talk shows, spending time chatting with folks like Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson (anyone else remember that if you were still awake when the author was introduced by Johnny, you were up really late?), Mike Douglas, et al., or being featured in newspaper and magazine articles. I was intrigued by the concept of a virtual book tour, and when I learned how effective and influential online book marketing had become, I eagerly became affiliated with Pump Up Your Book, regularly hosting their client authors and reviewing those writers’ work.
Working with Dorothy Thompson and Cheryl Malandrinos has been a complete pleasure. They are dedicated professionals who offer a full range of services to authors, while maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with a whole host of bloggers who, like me, earn their daily bread in another capacity, but love to read, and enjoy discovering new authors and providing them a forum in which to promote their efforts.
Throughout April, Pump Up Your Book is celebrating its fifth anniversary! That’s a testament not only to the hard work and commitment of their staff, but the importance of online marketing in the publishing realm. “What started as an experiment, escalated into one of the largest virtual book tour companies on the Internet.” Pump Up Your Book has represented authors “from all walks of life and platforms: from self-published authors to celebrities such as Judge Glenda Hatchett and cook show personality Paula Deen, and from those authors with little or no publicity, to New York Times bestselling authors such as Caridad Pineiro and Lisa Jackson.”
Congratulations to Pump Up Your Book on reaching this important milestone! I am pleased to welcome Cheryl Malandrinos as my special guest today!
Why I Love Blogging
Wow! It’s hard to believe, but Pump Up Your Book is celebrating five years. How did that happen? I’m thrilled to be here today to talk a little about the business and how blogging led me to it.
I left Corporate America in 2004 to embark upon my dream career — writing. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was sure I could do it. What I didn’t know how to do was design a website. After attending The Muse Online Writers Conference for the first time, however, I knew I needed to create an online presence for my work early.
At that conference, people were talking about blogging. I had no clue what it was. Blogging certainly wasn’t a household name like it is now. I mean, who would have thought we would see TV commercials feature a Mommy blogger? The online world has definitely changed our views, and Pump Up Your Book is thrilled about it.
Pump Up Your Book opened its virtual doors in April 2007 with only one client. By September of that year, I joined founder, Dorothy Thompson, and between us we maintained an average of five to ten clients a month. It didn’t take long for Pump Up Your Book to grow. Now consisting of a five-person staff and touring thirty to fifty authors per month, we continue to offer affordable services for authors everywhere. We couldn’t have grown the way we did without the help of dedicated bloggers. We’re blessed to have them.
What does this have to do with my love of blogging? Well, without the blog I started in 2005, I never would have met Dorothy. She was looking for blog hosts and I signed up. A few months later I was asked to join her in the business. In addition, my love for blogging has grown through the years. I currently maintain eight blogs and contribute to several others. While most of my blogs are about books, I have one, Books, Products and More, that blends my love of books with other family-friendly products. I also have a blog, Laura’s Little House, dedicated to my favorite television show, Little House on the Prairie.
Who knows where blogging will go in the future. It has certainly been an exciting avenue to help promote books.
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor, as well as children’s author. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a book reviewer and blogger. She is also a tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book.
Cheryl lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
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