Success Is Sweet for BookSurge Author
Jules Shepard Signs Book Deal with Da Capo Books
Jules Shepard’s life changed dramatically the day she was diagnosed with celiac disease. To adjust to her gluten-free diet, she began writing down and organizing recipes that followed her restrictions, but tasted as good as the ‘real thing.’ After sharing her recipes with another celiac patient, she discovered the need for such a collection of dishes, and Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating was born.
Shepard knew from the start what she wanted for her book from content to cover, and BookSurge offered her the control and the support that she had wanted to produce her title. She also developed a good working relationship with her BookSurge design coordinator, who, through a series of detailed conversations, helped create a Signature Cover that embraced a retro, ‘nearly normal’ feeling.
Jules attributes her success to several different factors. Using the AmazonConnect program, she was able to build an author profile that keeps her in touch with her audience, and the reader reviews have come pouring in. More importantly, Jules found a network of celiac patients, who were vocal in their support and passed on her title. Local communities and others on the internet embraced a new resource in Shepard’s cookbook, and word of mouth helped the book sky-rocket to success.
Her marketing strategies focus on reaching the widest possible audience. Her network of celiac patients connected her to magazines and other publications, allowing her to write articles, give lectures, and teach gluten-free cooking classes to any interested in learning more about the condition. Using her website, she makes herself available as a resource and authority on coping with the disease. “It’s important to me to keep my website updated often to keep people coming back. There’s more there for them than just the book.’ In the network of celiac disease, Shepard has become an expert, giving television, radio, magazine, and newspaper interviews and hosting a book signing at this year’s BookExpo America. “I was so shocked to see the line of people waiting to meet me- they actually had to cut my line off!”
As she prepares to join Da Capo Books, a division of Perseus, for her second title dealing with the disease, she encourages other authors to start locally, building a network of contacts, and gathering as many reviews as possible. Anything that builds credibility can provide the boost needed to get a title off the ground. In Jules's case, the foreword of her book was written by a medical expert. From where she sits, success is sweet and tastes even better than the real thing.
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