Today, we have an interview with the fabulous Mary Evelyn Lewis, of the brand new Blog Stop Book Tours, which organizes blog tours for authors, and the Virtual Wordsmith blog.
What is your background, writing-wise?
I’ve always been a writer. I took as many English classes as I could in High School. I had an editorial published in the Portland, Maine newspaper when I was a teenager. I worked as a writer, and editor, for a public relations company for six years. And, I love to read!
What prompted you to choose freelance writing as a career?
I chose freelance writing as a career for many reasons. First of all, it allows me the flexibility to work at home, so that I can be here for my four children. It’s incredibly important to me that my children know that they come first. Second, I don’t do so well in a corporate setting. Third, I suffer from an affliction I call got-to-know-itis. I’m incurably curious! So, when I discover something new, I want to share it. What better way than to write about it?
What prompted the idea of Blog Stop Book Tours?
The idea for Blog Stop Book Tours began a little over two years ago. A friend of mine was promoting a book for an author, and we talked about utilizing bloggers in the marketing plan. We could see the beginnings of what has become commonplace now – connecting the author with the reader via the blogging community. She decided not to pursue the idea, but it’s percolated in the back of my head ever since.
Then I was approached by another virtual book tour business, asking if I’d be interested in reviewing books for them. I agreed, and reviewed books and interviewed authors at Virtual Wordsmith (my blog). After doing that for awhile, I decided I’d like to start my own blog book tour business.
What have been the key differences for you between running a business based on writing, such as Blog Stop Book Tours, and freelancing?
The big difference between my freelance writing and my business is the process. Blog Stop Book Tours requires a lot of networking and organization – administrative duties. And I don’t actually do a lot of writing for it. Freelance writing requires fresh ideas, and focused original writing. I’m enjoying both activities immensely, but they are definitely not the same experience.
What advice do you have for writers trying to expand their businesses?
My advice to writers trying to expand their business is to remain open to possibilities and opportunities. Pay close attention to what’s going on around you, always keep a notebook handy, and when an idea pops, get it down before you become distracted and forget. And don’t limit yourself to the big glossy magazines. Trade journals, e-zines, newsletters, press releases, copy writing, writing for the web, all need to be written by someone.
Mary has upcoming articles in the following magazines: