Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Interview with Enterpreneur Sylvia Hubbard

I had an opportunity to chat with Sylvia Hubbard and this very busy techno dynamo let me steal a few minutes of her time to pick her brain. She has some great things to share.

Sylvia, you are a one-woman marketing machine who has really found her niche in using technology. Please tell us what started you on that path?

Being broke.

In 2000, I was frustrated after I independently published my first book because I couldn't afford to pay for marketing & promotions, much less even buy my own books to sell. Back then (which seems strange to say just eleven years ago) e-books weren't popular, but I learned how to sell them because that was all I could sell.

You are involved in several literary promotion endeavors as well as running your own publishing line--Hub Books. It can't be easy to keep everything under control. How did you get Hub Books up and active?

I registered HubBooks initially for Motown Writers Network. I wanted a Literary Organization as a subsidy of my "Company." Plus once I heard someone say a long time ago it would get me better speaking engagements if I had a company instead of them writing checks to me. (That didn't work). In 2004, when no speaking engagements jumped off, I decided to take the step and publish my own book under HubBooks.

What programs do you use to upload your e-books?

Currently, I use Word to upload my books. I learned InDesign a long time ago, but I'm so comfortable with anything Microsoft (because I'm a PC girl) that I've always started my work there. I’m certified in Microsoft Word as well and I used to teach it at several community centers and a college. As the digital age progress and books become more artistically digitally, I'll start transferring books from Word to PDF to change them into mobi and epub files through Calibre Software which is FREE. (My favorite word)

You are a constant blogger. Do you plan your blogging in advance and how do you come up with interesting content?

I own over five blogs (six come 2012). The planned blogs are usually series of blogs (live stories, series or ongoing topics), but most times when I get the urge to write, I write and then post up for later. By the way, I'm always looking for guest blogs on the various blogs I have.

You tweet as well. When you began tweeting, what was your focus? What did you hope to achieve and do you think you have?

At almost 30K tweets in less than three years, I would say I'm a pretty avid tweeter. In any endeavor I do, my focus is to take what a service or network does and make myself noticed, so I can sell a book. Twitter is a fast moving, lots of taking large room of people networking, sharing and doing. If you're standing still on Twitter, you could miss the best FREE marketing tool ever invented. So in my three years have I accomplished what I wanted to on Twitter? I believe I have come close as possible to my goal. At over 3700 true followers (no autoboting spammers), I can say I have people who like what I do on Twitter.

Since you published your first book how has the marketing books changed?

Back in the day (just ten years ago), it was all about pushing people to buy the book. Now, as Scott Straten calls it, marketing is about "unmarketing." Now you have to sell yourself in order to sell the book, plus also continually engage those customers who have bought from you to get them to draw other readers to you. It sounds like a complicated style of word of mouth marketing.

What are some tips that you can offer authors and business folks on how to maximize technology?

First tip: USE IT! Don't just jump on a technolgy bandwagon by signing up to things you see your "friends" sign up to. See how it's utilized by them or other authors before signing up. I hate going to accounts of people who signed up for something and it looks like a tumbleweed rolled across my screen. You want to be where you say you are going to be by having each account you have open updated.

Second: Don't stretch yourself too thin. Utilize services such as, Hootsuite, SocialOomph, and even Bufferapp to give yourself great mobile apps, reminder campaigns and space out information so you aren't overwhelming your followers & friends.

Third: While having a website or blog (CMS), visit other blogs, social network pages and retweet others to show you support your genre and platform. Article market and guest blog so let others know about you but also present great content for people to read other than your books.

Fourth: Content is King, but Quality is Queen. Bring your best to others. Make sure you are blogging at least once a week and sharing information about your literary world with your readers and other followers.

Fifth: Help someone else. Do something for them online that they couldn't do for themselves. Send out a tweet of theirs, host them on your blog, and invite others to "like" their page. Be an asset to the World Wide Web, otherwise you're just a liability.

Please tell us about the Michigan Literary Network, of which you are the founder.

I realized in 2009, Motown Writers Network was getting a lot of writers, but I wanted more readers. Mainly my market has always been Michigan, but I needed someway to get readers to see the asset Motown Writers Network was. So I created The Michigan Literary Network. Under this subsidy, we join readers, bookclubs, libraries and even literacy groups together to connect readers to Michigan Authors and to also raise literacy rates in Metro Detroit.

What are you currently working on?

EVERYTHING. Lol. I'm doing a live book on my site. It's where I come up with a book from the top of my head and just write. Readers can come and read the book live and make comments, criticisms and so forth. It's called The Revenge of Three.

I'm also working on producing a paperback to be release the first of 2012 called Hope Is Love. It's an ebook exclusively available on my website in pdf, mobi & epub & the exclusive paperback version will be available everywhere in January of 2012. The paperback cover will actually debut the Christmas week for my readers and I’m too excited about! I'm always looking for reviewers and book clubs to host me, so please contact me at to arrange this.

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

Of course at my website, Related websites are:


They can also connect with me on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter & Goodreads.