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WoW – Liz Gordon

The Words of Wisdom Interview – a series of interviews with writers and artists, to discover their methods, dreams and inspiration.

No.1 – Liz Gordon

Liz is Managing Director of Brilliant Fish PR & Marketing, and has been involved in projects with the National Trust and the 2012 Olympic Committee. She also promotes Bournemouth Festival of Words, and has several authors as clients. Her book Smart Marketing for your not-for-profit organisation co-written with Dianne Edgar was published in October 2012.

Tell us a little about your background?

I started up my own social enterprise, Brilliant Fish PR & Marketing, in 2010 following two careers in the financial and education sectors.  I provide support  in public relations, marketing and events management mainly for charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations but have also worked with quite a few authors, small businesses and entrepreneurs.  I also offer  a proofreading and basic editing service.

How did you become interested in writing?

I wouldn’t consider myself a writer in the traditional sense of the word, although I have always had an innate sense of what sounds and reads right.  I think I got it from my Mum!  When I started up in business, my initial aim was to to develop an easy-to-use resource for charities and community groups to cut through some of the jargon in marketing.  I was very fortunate to co-author a marketing guide which was published last year.  I guess any kind of marketing copy is writing but it uses a very specific language.

What advice would you give other writers in terms of marketing and promoting their work?

If you are self-publishing, you simply ­have to do it, even though it may go against everything you want to do, otherwise you will not get noticed in a very crowded market place.  I know most writers tend to isolate and want to carry on doing what they do best – writing.  But marketing is all part and parcel of the process.  Basically, you have to be prepared to show off your talents!

How important is the use of social media, ie is it an indispensable tool or can writers do without it?

Yes and No, in that order!  I can’t stress the importance of using social media well to increase a writer’s profile and raise awareness of their work.  The key is to interact with others – potential readers, other writers, agents & publishing houses.  Don’t just sit there and wait for them to follow you – start a dialogue with them.  Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Blogging etc) is ideal for this.

How do you see your involvement in events such as the Bournemouth Literary Festival, and what is your role?

I was very keen to get involved in the Bournemouth Festival of Words and am now on the Committee in the role of PR and also spokesperson.  I love the fact that it is very much an event for everyone with a love of words and, as such, the workshops and activities are very varied and appeal to all ages.  The Festival will run from 24th-31st May 2013 at locations across Bournemouth.

What was it like working with the Olympic Committee?

Did you ever watch the comedy series 2012?  It was exactly like that! It was a tremendous privilege to play a small part in a once-in-a-lifetime event. The organisation I was working with, Superact, had been running Bandstand Marathon for five years and LOCOG selected the event to become the largest community closing event on the last day of the Paralympics.  Then, when Coldplay gave us the rights to use ‘Viva la Vida’ as a theme tune, it went stratospheric!  LOCOG were very demanding, but rightly so, and it paid off. So busy but so worth it.  The day itself was very exciting and I was at mission control running the Twitter & Facebook feeds throughout the day with several London 2012 flags affixed to my laptop!

What do you offer your author clients in terms of marketing/editorial advice etc?

My one-to-one support sessions on using social media are very popular.  Most authors know they should be using it but are anxious about knowing what to write – which is a bit of a paradox really!

How do you see the future of publishing?

The future is exciting!  There are so many more opportunities for good writers to get published, with the ease of using self-publishing platforms.  But that makes it even more important to market your book effectively in order to rise above the thousands of sub standard offerings out there.

Who is your favourite author?

Philippa Gregory

Which book has influenced you the most?

Anyone Can Do It by Duncan Bannatyne – essential reading for anyone starting up a business.  It gave me a lot of confidence and hope.

Books or Kindle?

Books for holiday, Kindle for bedtime reading

Can you summarise your basic philosophy in life?  

Be Happy.  Be Kind.

Published inWords of Wisdom Interviews

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