Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Jennifer Lynne Matthews

Jennifer Lynn-5 As an educator at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (San Francisco & LA), Jennifer Lynne Matthews, recognized that there was a need for a step by step educational manual to teach her students on how to start their own business. Consequently, Matthews wrote the first edition of Fashion Unraveled in 2008 to provide such educational material; the second edition is due out in early 2011. Matthews, also a lingerie designer and entrepreneur, began her path in the fashion industry in 1994. She attended Florida State University, then the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, completing her degree in 1999. With a specialization in intimate apparel, Matthews began working in the industry as a stylist and freelance designer.

In 2002, Matthews opened her own business, Porcelynne Lingerie. Fashion Unraveled is built on Matthews’ experience in both opening and sustaining a successful business. She brings the knowledge of running a small business and her expertise in the industry into her book and it continues into her classroom teaching.

Matthews has won numerous awards for her designs and has received worldwide accolades for her work, including the Best of the East Bay and the Best of San Francisco Mastermind awards for her lingerie designs. Her most recent project has been on a reality TV show (currently being pitched to networks) as a co-producer and fashion consultant for a lingerie design competition show.

Future plans include authoring a collection of books on lingerie design, draping and clothing construction. She also aspires to open a showroom and education studio in the garment district of Los Angeles.

For more information on Jennifer Matthews and her work, see www.fashionunraveled.com and www.porcelynne.com.

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, Jennifer.  Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

Fashion Unraveled is the go-to guide for any fashion business self starter. As an entrepreneur and college instructor, I have been fielding questions of all kinds regarding what it takes to have your own business and more importantly, how to make a living doing it.

Fashion Unraveled takes my knowledge and centralizes it into a fully comprehensive manual for individuals wanting to start a business of their own. As an instructor in the creative arts, I understand what it is like to be thrown a textbook that is too wordy and hard to follow. That being said, I managed to produce a 400+ page book that is neither of those elements. Industry professionals and individual that have never seen a sewing machine can make sense of the industry through my book.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

First thing, I made a spreadsheet. Of what you may ask? Of everything I could think of in regards to marketing my book. I listed what I did for my previous book, including compiling my press distribution list, creating press releases and all the online marketing tools. I took my own advice from the book and hired a half dozen people to do the grunt work for me. I hired a book marketing expert, a social media expert, web designers and a programmer.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

Honestly, getting organized was the most effective marketing tool. It was through my organization that I realized I needed to work on my social media marketing. I hired my social media and online marketing gurus because of this. It has opened up many new markets that I once hoped to reach, but now connect to on a daily basis.

Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?

I split my promoting about 55% online and 45% offline. I have received a remarkable response from my snail mail marketing. Although it is more expensive, I receive a greater press coverage return from this medium. I created all-inclusive (and I might add, impressive) press kit that has received a 75% response rate.

Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?

I have recently started working these mediums regularly. I had issues with my time management and splitting them up on social networks, but my newly hired gurus are helping me balance them.

Do you own a blog and how often do you update it?  Did you set up your blog solely to promote your book and what is its effectiveness?

I know I should have been blogging and writing all along, but I quickly lose my drive in maintaining one. It was my new years resolution to try it again this year. I am currently redesigning my website to contain articles which I hope to update on a weekly basis.

Do you recommend authors getting publicists to help them promote their books?  Do you have one?

Definitely. I did a fair amount of promotion on my first book and surprisingly I received a positive response, but I have to say that this time around, it is definitely helpful to have an individual to help you promote. Whether it is a publicist per say, or a marketing consultant, I recommend the helping hand- it has alieved much of my stress.

If an author prefers to do it alone rather than hire a publicist, where should they  start?

As I did originally, get youself familiar with Excel and create a spreadsheet. List all the possible marketing options – snail mail press kits, email marketing, social media, advertising, etc. – list the amount of time you will need to commit to each, the cost of each and what you expect to achieve from each. It made me realize that I was wasting money on AdWords and other similar sponsored listings.

Thank you for coming, Jennifer  We wish you much success!

I appreciate the time to tell my story.

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