In 2013 I created #K8Chat as a way for authors and readers to connect on Twitter. Since then the chat has grown into so much more. Every week I hear attendees at
#K8Chat saying they learned something new, connected with a new friend, or found a new book to read. Today’s story is how two people connected by chance on #K8Chat and turned their connection into a partnership.
Hi Patricia & Samantha, can you start us off with an introduction?
Patricia: Hi, I’m Patricia D. Eddy. I’m a romance author. Paranormal, contemporary, erotica…if there’s love involved, chances are I’ve thought about writing it. I’m also a professional editor. Oh, and I work full time. Not writing. Or editing. Needless to say, I’m a busy woman. I have ten books out right now, with another eight planned by the end of 2015.
Oh, and I’m a founding partner of PageCurl Publishing and Promotion, a company from authors, for authors.
Did I mention that I’m perpetually sleep-deprived? Or constantly caffeinated?
Samantha: Hey all, I’m Samantha K. Williams. Publicist, author assistant, romance author (S.K. Wills), entrepreneur, coffee-addict, founding partner of PageCurl Publishing and Promotion, cat-snuggler, and book-lover. When Patricia and I met back in February of 2014, I was simply a book-lover and a marketing professional by career. I’ve really picked up the pace, haha. She might be infectious.
How did you meet through #K8Chat?
Patricia: Oh, now that’s a story. Did I mention that I’m a little busy? Well, at the beginning of 2014, I decided to hire an assistant to help me do some marketing. I knew I wasn’t great at the sales side of things and I was too busy to really take the time to learn how to do it all. I tweeted out that I needed an author assistant. I’d reached out to the esteemed Kate, but she wasn’t taking new clients. (Kate note: It’s amazing how things work out for the best! As an author assistant my client list is always in flex. One month I’ll be full and the next I’ll have an opening as needs are always shifting for authors. Although I’d have loved to work with you, Patricia, I’m glad you caught me at a full month and were able to connect with Samantha instead. You two rock together!)
The next day, I got a reply from a woman who was looking for new clients for her author assistant business. We chatted a bit on the phone, and I decided to give her a chance. We started out with a $100 package. Things were…fine. I didn’t know any better, so fine was exactly that. Fine. She made some suggestions, talked a good game, and I trusted her to send out review requests and coordinate blog tours for my next book, By the Fates, Fought.
And then she stopped communicating with me. I sent her five or six emails in the course of a week. Finally, on the day I sent her a “put up or shut up” mail, she replied. She’d been engaged on another client’s launch. I explained that if I was paying her, I needed a bit more communication. I understood prioritization, but she couldn’t ignore my emails. She apologized and we agreed to give it another go. And then the same thing happened again. At that point, I ended the relationship. Oh, and I found out later that she didn’t even get the name of my book right in her press releases.
Wow. This is getting long. Anyway. The week I fired my first assistant, Kate’s Thursday #K8Chat was on…of all things…author assistants! How fortuitous. Halfway through the chat, I tweeted that I needed an assistant. Within five minutes, I got two replies. Being the fair, and ultimately, logical person that I was, I sent an email to the first person on the list. I introduced myself, explained what I wanted, and told her that I hoped I’d hear from her soon.
I was about to reach out to the second person, when my email dinged. Samantha had stalked my Twitter profile, found my website, my email, and fired off a message. Now this was initiative I could respect.
I thought about it, slept on it, and thought some more. After all, I had contacted the first woman already. But she never replied. (Still hasn’t, to this day.) I emailed Samantha. We chatted a bit. Emailed more. And something felt right. I can’t tell you what it was. Maybe I knew at the time, but that was almost exactly a year ago. Three weeks before the launch of By the Fates, Fought, we started working together.
Samantha: Since college, I have loved marketing and worked in various industries looking for my place to call home. That right fit. Little did I know it would wind up being in book marketing and that publishing was my true calling. It began with writing a book. I knew how hard it would be to break into the publishing world with no platform, no connections, no experience. I began participating in Tweetchats and wanted to use my experience in marketing to make the switch into publishing. I figured if I could get my feet wet by doing something I knew and loved, I’d have a better chance at getting published myself.
When I saw #K8Chat was about being an author assistant, I was intrigued. I could do that, I thought. I’d be good at that, but I needed an author to take a chance on me so I could take what I knew (B2B and B2C marketing primarily) and apply it to book marketing and promotion. Patricia tweeted she needed some help, and I immediately got to work researching who she was, what kind of books she put out, how her author platform looked. It really was a case of the right time and place and the Universe pairing us together. No, I am not a stalker. Ha! There’s an old quote that of course I can’t remember right now, but it’s something about opportunity or chance favors the prepared mind or something or other.
I remember being SO nervous emailing her, and I was honest about my lack of book marketing experience, but knew I could learn and do what she needed well.
How did your working relationship progress?
Patricia: Quickly. Honestly, the turning point was when we started to chat about non-work things. Yes. Samantha was my assistant, but we had a lot in common. At some point, we became friends. It helped, I think, that Samantha was also an author and working on her first novel.
Samantha: It moved quickly, like Patricia said. I liked working for her, but I also liked her and that was a huge thing for me. Now that I’m a publicist with several authors, I always try to work with ones I know I can get to know as a friend. I think mixing work and friendship in this case allows for you to be a better assistant and marketer for the author. You get to learn what’s behind their books and can better guide or teach them since that’s the same kind of connection a reader also enjoys. Instead of ‘buy my book’, it’s get to know the author, like them, then buy their books because you like them. It creates a better work environment and relationship because you know you can count on honest, open communication. The same you’d expect in a true friendship.
Kate note: One thing I tell authors when looking for an author assistant is to make sure you enjoy the company of your assistant. The author/assistant relationship is a partnership. If you don’t jam well together, it won’t work out in the long run. Samantha and Patricia are a perfect example of this.
Beyond your connection as author and assistant, what else sprung up after meeting on #K8Chat?
Patricia: I have grand plans. I’ve always thought of myself as a person who makes things happen. I see something I want and I figure out how to get it. Well, what I want is to be able to make a living off of writing, editing, and publishing. I love this industry. It’s saved me, in many different ways. When things in my life went wrong, writing was there for me. Writing keeps me sane, lets me escape, and makes me happy.
A few months into our working relationship, I put something on my Facebook page about world domination. No, I’m not planning anything untoward. I wanted to dominate my own personal world. The one that requires that I keep a full time job in addition to everything else I do. Samantha commented on that status. I don’t remember exactly what the comment was, but it was something to the effect of, “Count me in.”
I’d already thought about starting PageCurl. It was this unfocused, vague idea. I wanted to offer all of the services that I’d needed when I’d started. Cover design, marketing services, editing, and publishing. And I wanted to provide these services at a reasonable cost.
Not long after Samantha posted that (even though it was probably partly in jest), I realized that bringing her in to PageCurl was something I had to do. It made perfect sense. She could do all those things I couldn’t. Marketing, design work, and selling. I’m still working on my selling ability. At my heart, I’m an introvert.
Samantha: Patricia talked about world domination a lot, don’t let her kid you. Ha! But it was a Facebook post that started it all. I told her I could help, and at the time, did not know about PageCurl. Then one day we were talking about it and how I wished there were more affordable services and some better guidance for me when I first started writing so that I wouldn’t be hesitant to self-publish. She asked me to join her, and I jumped on the opportunity. I love self-publishing and the freedom it gives its authors. At the same time, writers need to understand that self-publishing doesn’t mean cutting corners and publishing a book that’s less than quality. Quality comes from professional services that help the book mature and shine. I was excited to combine that education with services I believed every author should be able to afford and use when they’re publishing. So now we’re in it together, and I love it. World domination (Patricia style) is in full-swing. Who knows what’s next?
If you had to sum up your chance meeting in a GIF, what GIF would you use?
Nyan Cat property of Christopher Torres
New Girl property of 20th Century Fox