Robin Kellogg, of Robin Kellogg and Associates, is a Los Angeles based businesswoman who offers workshops for aspiring book authors. Robin is also a copywriter and helps business owners develop content for their marketing materials and websites.
Robin majored in Journalism at Rutgers University. Before starting her book coaching and copywriting businesses, she wrote marketing copy for a book publisher, worked at a consumer magazine called Woman, helped start a magazine for a gas and oil company, and worked in corporate communications.
One of the reasons we wanted to have Robin on our 2 Boomer Broads podcast is that Baby Boomers have life experience and interesting stories to tell. Writing a book or EBook is a great way to earn extra income or establish yourself as an expert. In this podcast episode, Robin graces us with useful and insightful tips on how to write and self-publish a book.
Just a few of Robin’s Tips for Aspiring Authors
Self-publishing allows authors to sell anything they write whether Random House likes it or not.
A self-published author used to be dismissed as second rate, but not anymore. There are contests available for self-published authors that result in prestigious awards according to genre.
The cost to the author of a self-published book 10 years ago might have been $30,000 and now it’s more like $1,500 – $2,500. This includes the services of an editor and graphic artist.
Instead of being stuck with a garage full of books, you can now order print on demand copies. (50-100 at a time)
EBooks are becoming very popular these days and the cost is minimal. However, Robin recommends that you use the services of an editor and formatter to make sure your EBook is formatted correctly.
You can write an EBook for your business. Many entrepreneurs are now using EBooks instead of business cards. The reason is; when people find you online and download your EBook, they have the opportunity to learn all about you and there’s a better chance they’ll become a customer.
Make sure to purchase photos for your EBook, rather than grab them randomly. It’s important that the photos in your book or EBook are either licensed to you or your own originals. If you upload a book to Amazon and they find out a photo in your book is copyright protected, Amazon will pull your book off the site and shut it down.
About Robin Kellogg’s workshops
Robin has always helped companies tell their stories and now she’s doing it for individuals.
Her workshop is split up into several parts. She has created a workbook, and the class is given homework at each session. Group members send their latest work to the entire class as well as Robin, so that everyone can review it ahead of time. On the day of the workshop, the authors read each other’s work out loud to determine if intonations are clearly understood. Each participant essentially becomes part of a focus group or mastermind.
Depending on the types of books being written in the workshop, Robin will talk about plot, character development, when to include the climax, the optimal ending of the book, etc. The process is collaborative and interactive, as opposed to a teacher simply telling students what to do.
Robin’s workshops take place either in Sherman Oaks, California at Office Slice or in her home. She’s always on the lookout for alternative locations in the Los Angeles area.
Successful authors that Robin has coached
Evie Rosen, a student of Robin’s, has just written a book about her son who suffers from brain injury. The book is written from a mother’s perspective and explores what the family has been through. Evie has included a resource list for families who have children with special needs. The book is now available on Kindle, Barnes and Noble and other outlets. Evie will have a print version available soon. Families of children with brain injuries or special needs are able to leave their personal stories on Evie’s website.
To view Evie’s website or connect with her, click on the links below:
Sarah Daien Lesyk is another student of Robin’s. Sarah is writing a fun novel about a single woman from a dysfunctional family who takes in her sister’s children. The novel focuses on all the craziness that takes place because of it.
Note from the Broads – We’ve determined that if you have a crazy family, you should definitely write a book.
Robin is excited about Sarah’s book and believes it will be made into a movie because it’s an incredible story.
Robin is in the process of structuring her workshops online as either a webinar or teleseminar. That way people from outside of Los Angeles will be able to participate. The online arm of her business will be operational by the beginning of 2015.
To view Robin Kellogg’s writing workshop website, click on the links below:
Robin’s content writing business website can be found at:
Robin is currently working on a book about her mother and her mother’s crazy father.
Another crazy family!
She’s planning to publish the book by spring 2015
When asked what she would tell people who have been thinking about writing a book, but do not have the courage to do it yet, Robin responded, “Just start writing.”
“Use Amazon or Barnes and Noble to find a marketable genre and see what other authors are doing in that genre. By studying what they’re doing, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself.”
“You really have to schedule time to write. It has to be entered on your calendar just like you would schedule time to go to the spa or the salon or to do a work project. Lock yourself in a room and only write even if it’s only for half an hour. Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure, just write down the ideas. If you don’t write them down, you’ll lose them. Creativity comes in spurts.”
If you hate to write, Robin confided that there are different types of writing prompts you can find online or that she can give to you.
For more in depth character development, write a letter to one of of your characters. You can also interview them. Both techniques enable you to see and know your characters more clearly. This makes it easier to figure out what’s going to come out of their mouth.
When you’re able to connect with your character, they become more real and not two dimensional.
The difference between a book that’s successful and one that just sits there is marketing. This includes the book cover, description on the back of the cover, press releases, Facebook pages, and book signings. Send your book out to groups that will relate to your content. For instance, Evie is sending copies of her book to special needs organizations. Public speaking and submitting your work to media outlets are also effective ways to market your book.
If you’re contacting the media, always send a card and press release.
You have to have a plan and follow that plan.
When self-publishing your book use professionals. Robin has a resource list of formatters, graphic artists, etc., on her website.
The difference between Robin’s author workshop, and that of many other writing classes, is that the participants aren’t left high and dry once the workshop is over. Robin takes them step by step through the process of writing, self-publishing and marketing.
In addition to her workshops, Robin offers book coaching services privately.
For more tips and insights, listen to the entire podcast by clicking on the player at the top of this post, or subscribe to 2 Boomer Broads on Itunes.
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