I was born in Trinidad and Tobago to a Swiss mother and Trinidadian father, but I lived most of my childhood in Washington, D.C. This first sentence hopefully addresses why a brown-skinned Swiss writes with “native” American-English grammar and tone; but it won’t really explain what brought about “The Aspiring Author’s Guide: Write Your Marketing Strategy,” which I’ll get to later.
Having grown up in an international environment, speaking three languages by age six, four by age 20 and five by 30, I have always been fascinated by language, human behavior and culture. This, I could proffer as a plausible explanation for my B.A. in French Language and Literature and my M.Sc. in Public Relations—though my pursuit of both those degrees were so many years ago I can’t say for sure anymore.
I think a part of me used to reason that if I learned to speak other languages competently and learned how to market products, I would have useful skills that could land me a job no matter where I moved. I have always dreamed of a career and lifestyle where I could travel freely. And depending on your perspective on the life I’ve led, you could say that this logic stayed true to form or had no basis in realism. I think my perspective is suspended in thin stretch of plasma between the two—not quite true, but not quite false either.
One day about a decade ago while living in Mexico for two months with my now-husband (he had a consulting job there and I had nothing much to do except forget about my recent past in Washington), I decided my boyfriend could use a little publicity. So, I drove to the local newspaper, sauntered in and pitched his story to a reporter there. At the time, my Spanish was generously described as broken, limited to understanding the crooning poetry of some of my favorite salseros. Somehow, my grunts were enough to pitch and land a story worthy of publication in the local news a week later.
Even though it wasn’t my byline on the page, something clicked: writing was one way I could support myself and support my desired lifestyle. Over the years, I have ghostwritten, freelanced (articles mostly), opined, blogged and journaled. I have also provided strategic marketing counsel for individuals, nonprofits and small businesses.
Writing would be how I developed ideas for clients. It was also how I prepared myself for the new and unknown. If I would start a new job, I would write a detailed strategy for myself. If a client needed promotional help, I would write a marketing strategy and include notes of promotional materials that bubbled up in the process. If I was moving to a new place, I would record through words things I had heard about the new place I was going to.
The intersections between living my life, writing for understanding, and developing strategy for navigating the unknowns of living have woven a tapestry of experiences throughout my adult experience.
When I moved to Switzerland in 2012, I taught English as a foreign language, public relations, communications and introduction to marketing at a private business school just outside of Zurich.
Teaching, I observed a lot of my students struggled with understanding the difference between a strategy and a tactic. Consulting, I noticed my clients would also stumble on explaining their business and marketing strategies. Both groups were so overwhelmed and overly busy with the technologies, digital possibilities and social media ideas available to them that often their eyes would glaze over, obscuring their view to their much-desired prize.
Fast-forward a few years, several students and clients later, into my living room, to the end of the first draft of my novel, when I realized it was time to put my money where my mouth was. I needed to create a strategy for myself (an aspiring author with a rough draft of a novel and no platform). And thus the first edition of “The Aspiring Author’s Guide: Write Your Marketing Strategy” was born.
I guess I figured, if I, with some knowledge about designing a marketing strategy, felt overwhelmed, surely there were aspiring authors with no marketing background who could use a guide to help them focus their ideas.
I can’t say I ever imagined a nonfiction book to be my debut as an author. I never really felt like I was writing a book, because the words came so easily. I was designing a strategic approach and recording it along the way—much as one would write a recipe, I imagine; taking notes as you went along.
Now that it has been “published” and released as an ebook, I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of people who ask me how I did it. Just as l begin to wax lengthy about my inspiration, my dedication, and how early I wake up every day to keep at my craft, I will be interrupted with, “No, I mean, what software did you use to turn your document into an ebook?” Oops. (In case you’re wondering, I wrote and formatted it with Scrivener.)
Jokes aside, I love chatting about the tactical elements of publishing and marketing too. Even if the publishing part is very much new to me, I love all opportunities for learning, as it keeps even the promotional aspects of marketing a book fresh.
But publishing this nonfiction book is just another one of life’s ends and new beginnings. Now that Write Your Marketing Strategy is out, I plan to return to writing fiction and downshifting a few gears—return to myself—so I can enjoy living outside of my head and workspace, and return to other activities like traveling, reading, blogging, socializing and spending time with my husband.
Some places you can find me:
You can find my book(only available in English) on: