I started my writing career over 25 years ago sort of by accident. When I was in college, I studied history because I am a giant history nerd. I had some vague notions of going into teaching. When I realized teaching would be a terrible fit for me, I knew I had to tweak my degree so I could actually get a job when I graduated. That’s when I discovered technical writing. I added a technical writing minor to my degree, completed a writing internship with a local software company, and discovered that I have a real flair for this writing thing.
How I learned how to market
I spent the next few years writing those boring manuals that help people figure out how things work. I love playing around with software and computer equipment though, so I was really good at the job. A few years into my career, I started working for a really small software company, and I was the only writer there. The company also didn’t have a professional marketing staff. Viola–I started down the path of learning marketing writing, web design, and using graphic design programs. I became the company’s one-woman writing and marketing department, creating not only technical documents, but the web page, marketing fliers, software packaging, and trade show materials. I taught myself how to use Photoshop and complex layout programs. Over the next few years, I was lucky to work for a wide variety of different types of companies and I had the opportunity to get experience with all sorts of different writing and marketing projects. I started to specialize in web design, marketing writing, and social media, as well as business proposals. I also dabbled in writing for nonprofits.
Of course, writing a book was next
After many years of working for other companies, I decided to strike out on my own. I started helping other companies craft killer marketing content as well as business documents and proposals. After I started working for myself, I realized I actually had time to branch out into other writing projects that I’d always dreamed about. I completed my first book, the history of one of the most significant caves in Alabama. I decided to self publish, did all of the layout and design myself, and used my marketing and social media skills to set up a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. I raised over $5,000 to fund the editing and printing costs for my book in less than a month. The book turned out great and won a 2015 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award that recognizes excellence in book editorial and design. I am really proud of this award since it’s regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers. I went on to publish several more books under pen names, I launched a small publishing company called Rocket City Books, and I’m working on two additional books now.
Now I’m using my skills to help writers and authors like you succeed
After learning the ropes of self publishing mostly on my own, I realized that my background in business communications really helped me figure out the self publishing game pretty quickly. I created my own website to promote the book, created the crowdfunding materials, set up social media, and gave talks to a ton of different clubs and organizations to promote the book. I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy not just publishing books, but all of the steps leading up to a successful book launch. I also think it’s fun doing the work required to establish my “author platform” and get the word out about my projects. I realized that the perfect professional fit for me is helping other authors succeed. I’ve shifted my business to offer training, materials, and resources for authors (as well as business writers), to help you sell more books and achieve your goals.
How can I help you?
If you’re looking for someone to help you set up an author website, give you tips on how to effectively use social media to promote your books, or get tips on setting up a successful crowdfunding campaign, I’m here to help. I offer self-paced online courses and one-on-one consulting to help you achieve your goals. Just contact me so we can chat about what you need and how I can help.
I have weird hobbies
I mentioned that my first book was about a cave. Exploring caves is one of my favorite weekend hobbies, but there are lots of other things I also enjoy doing when I’m not working. Some of the more typical things I enjoy include reading, gardening, and cooking. Some of my less conventional hobbies are backpacking, rock hunting, cutting and polishing rocks, flatwater kayaking, and hiking. Here are a few pictures of some of my weekend adventures.
I also love animals and am active in the local Audubon society. My husband and I also seem to have a giant, invisible sign outside our house that attracts homeless pets. At one time, we had five dogs living with us. Right now, we have a house full of cats.
If you’re interested in my adventurous hobbies, I also have another website (jenniferpinkley.com) devoted to outdoor adventures for women. It features all sorts of stories about my fun hobbies and how to structure your own life to be a life of adventure. I’m also developing online courses to teach women how to get started with a variety of fun and rewarding outdoor activities.
Thanks for visiting!