1. What made you decide to start Shades Of Romance Magazine?
I decided to start Shades Of Romance Magazine to help promote my favorite authors. At the time there weren’t many magazines that promoted multi-cultural literature. I wanted to introduce authors to the readers who were looking for them.
2. How long have you been doing it?
This September we celebrate ten years online.
3. What types of services do you offer? We offer free interviews and reviews to authors. We feature articles about the craft and business of writing. We also offer promotional packages for authors and businesses.
4. Who are you clients? Writers, literary businesses and other business looking to reach readers.
5. What is the most rewarding aspect of your business? Meeting authors and introducing them to the readers.
6. What has been the most difficult? I only have eight slots per month, so it’s kind of difficult trying to pick the authors to promote.
7. What has bought you the most joy? Knowing that people are actually reading the magazine. Sometimes when you put things online, you really don’t have a clue if it is being enjoyed.
8. How do you promote your services? I do eblasts to our membership and on social networks. I also promote on other sites.
9. What do you see people do that drives you crazy? Not having contact info on their sites. I love introducing authors, but I can’t invite them to an interview if there is no way to get in contact with. It’s nice to have a website/blog, but remember to have contact info for the media.
10. Where would you like to be in 5 years? I would like to see SORMAG offer more workshops for the aspiring writers. I’ve been thinking about hosting a live event, maybe a retreat.
11. Who would you love to work with? That’s a hard one because I’ve met most of my favorite authors. I think I’d like to work with Oprah. She’s still on my dream interview list.
13. What makes your business or service, stand out from the rest? We were one of the first in the market of promoting multi-cultural books. My love of books shows with everything I do. Most writers know when it comes to SORMAG it’s not about the money it’s about the book.
14. Are you adding any future services to your business? We just started up our workshops again. This year we’re returning to online workshops along with teleworkshops. We are looking for instructors to host these workshops.
15. Do you have a staff or is it all you? I have 15 reviewers I work with, but the day to day operation is just me.
16. What do you want people to know about you? I try to read atleast one book a month. From most of the interviews I’ve done, most writers say they don’t have time to read. So I promised myself that I would not give up my books.
17. What do you want people to know about your business? We are here to help you promote your book.
18. When you have completed a project, how do you celebrate? I read, to me that’s always a great way to celebrate.
19. What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned from your business? That this is a small community. Yes there are many writers in it, but somehow we are all connected.
20. Would you change anything about your journey? If you’d ask me this years ago, I would say that I wished I was published. However now I know there is a season for everyone. The years have taught me about the business, something I didn’t know in my twenties. I’ve learned more about promoting and the craft of writing. Yes there have been some hard days, but I wouldn’t change one. This journey isn’t one I planned, but I’m so glad I’m on it.
21. Do you have any advice for people in business? Make a plan and update it yearly. Network and don’t burn bridges, because it always comes back to bite you in the butt. Have fun because if you lose your passion for your business you won’t enjoy and it will come across in your business, nothing like a rude owner.
22. Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow? I wish I can say I had someone to follow. There weren’t many going down the path I was going. I had to learn a lot on my own. I’m thankful for the internet and google. They helped me connect with people and read tons of articles so I could learn what works and what didn’t.
23. What have you realized about yourself since doing this business? They say if you do something for free and you enjoy it, that’s what you should do. When I started this I did it for fun. I didn’t make a dime for the first three years. I did it because I had passion for it. I still have passion for it and it grows daily. I have loved books since I was four years old and that love has never died. To be able to do something you love is the best thing in the world.
**Other than the Bible
1.One book that changed your life: My Brother’s Keeper by Rochelle Alers. It introduced me to African-American romance, changing my life forever. If I hadn’t read that book, I would have never gotten on the path to start SORMAG.
2. One book that you've read more than once: I think the only books I’ve read twice are the Hideaway Series by Rochelle Alers and Beverly Jenkins historicals.
3. One book you'd want on a deserted island I think I’d take Topaz or Vows because those are my all time favorites.
4. One book that made you laugh: The Blessing Series by Beverly Jenkins. Both books cracked me up.
5. One book that made you cry: My Sister’s Keeper. I cried like a baby at the end.
6. One book that you wish had been written: Harry Potter’s series. JK Rowland has an imagination out of this world.
7. One book you loved to hate. I haven’t found a book I hate yet and I hope I never do.
8. One book that you are currently reading: Always Watching by Brandilyn Collins and Amberly Collins
9. One book that you've been meaning to read: The Shack. Everyone has talked about it, I just need to get it from my huge pile and read it.
10. One book you've been meaning to finish: I always finish the book. It drives me if I don’t.
11. One guilty pleasure: Ice cream, I can have it every day.
12. What’s your theme song? The God In Me by Mary Mary
Sites and Contact information -
SORMAG website – http://sormag.com
SORMAG’s Blog – http//sormag.blogspot.com
SORMAG Special: Order our best selling promotion this month(JULY) BOOK INTRO for $60.00 and receive one for free. That’s two promotions for the price of one. When you make your purchase, let me know you read about it here on Debra’s blog.
LaShaunda C. Hoffman - http://sormag.blogspot.com
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