I started Author Marketing Experts, Inc because I’m an author and I wanted to give authors a company that understood them, knew the publishing industry and knew what they wanted. When I promoted my first book, The Cliffhanger, I had no idea what to expect. OK, I confess, I had already cast the movie version of the book and practiced my Academy Awards acceptance speech in front of the mirror a time or two but realistically, I was just along for the ride and what a journey it turned out to be. That’s one of the things that I try and teach authors “Enjoy the ride” – it’s easy to get caught up in the expectation of something greater and while we should all dream big, enjoying where you’re at will make the journey a better one. Also, be persistent. I teach that all the time. The first person who must fall in love with your book is you. I mean if you don’t love your book, who will?
I must confess, AME is my baby. It’s become this child that I’ve raised, groomed and now, here we are and I have been humbled by the experience and the fantastic people who have come to work for me and the authors we market. I am truly blessed.
Before I started AME I was in corporate America, working in marketing but nothing as exciting as marketing authors. Then I got laid off not once but twice. Two companies I worked with shut down, I took it as a sign and started AME. I guess I am what you call an accidental entrepreneur. Though I was only going to “do this till I found a job” now here I am, eleven years later and going strong.
I am one of those twisted people who loves what they do. I used to have a saying on my desk that read: “Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life”. I am happy to report that I haven’t worked a day in the past eleven years. The downside of that of course is that my friends tease me I have no life. Ah, but I do. I have this amazing company, my family of authors and AME team members, a community of writers that look to us and our newsletter for support, they are like old friends.
I started teaching for NYU in the Spring of 2010 and I can’t tell you what it meant to be a part of that experience. I loved every minute of it even though I commuted from San Diego to New York every week (no, I’m not kidding, American Airlines might name a plane after me). I got to work with some amazing students talking about how to get published. Doing what I love at a place like NYU? It was in a word: incredible.
I grew up in Belgium, well I spent ten years there going to school, learning the language and eating chocolate. When I came back to the states I was barely twenty and ready for adventure and what a ride it’s been.
So there you have it that’s me, oh and I need to tell you I have a dog named Cosmo who is the cutest, smartest dog on the planet. Please don’t argue this, you won’t win.
I love reading and please don’t ask me to tell you my favorite book. It’s like picking my favorite kid. I love them all.
In the end it’s really about doing what you love and living your dream. I can recall the day I was laid off (the second time), I came home and had a pity party. No one was invited but me. And I thought: “there has to be something better” and there was: AME.
Sometimes you have to believe in yourself when no one else does, and believe in your book when no one else is listening. Well, we’ll always listen. I hope you’ll tell us your story.
My dog Cosmo and I are also proud supporters of Baja Dog Rescue is San Ysidro, CA and Old Dog Haven in Lake Stevens, WA.