Camille Todaro, also known under the pen name Camille Lindstrom in the book world, is an author and contributing writer. Her latest book, Pardon Me for Being Proud is a comical guide on how to deal with dissenters as you climb the success ladder in life.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
According to my baby book, I’ve been writing stories from the age of 6 (thanks mom).
Tell us about your business.
I am the author of two books, and am also a contributing writer for Penthouse magazine. I graduated with a BA in English and was told repeatedly that that was a crap degree of what more could I do with than teach. Well, I am living proof that there’s quite a bit you can do with it, and it all starts with one’s willingness to make a name for oneself.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Yes, my book “Pardon Me for Being Proud: The No Nonsense Guide for the Overachievers & Sleepless Badasses That Make S**t Happen” tackles dissenters as one climbs the success ladder in life and how to deal, albeit gracefully. The book explores how sometimes, people don’t always clap when you win. To buy it click here.
Getting my first book published after four years of working on it was exhilarating. Also, getting my first national byline with Penthouse was a joyful moment as well.
Where is your business based?
From solitude and a laptop!
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Writing involves a great deal of shutting out the rest of the world. To finish my novel, I literally hibernated in my apartment all day, leaving occasionally for gym time. Many people were put on Do Not Disturb. Sometimes, I’d simply turn off my phone. I figured everything can go to voicemail; let me just finish this scene.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I thought like an entrepreneur, not an artist – this is where many writers falter. They write for the art which is why we all do it, but you have to know how to promote your talent and market yourself, which is where business acumen comes in. I utilized social media, constructed a writing portfolio with both editorial and author clips, sought out book blogs and other PR, and attended writers’ conferences and book fairs to network with agents, authors and other industry professionals to see where I could improve.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Doing everything myself. I am the author, promoter, social media strategist, and tireless advocate for tenaciously doing things yourself if you want them done right.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’ve always been good with time management, but now I literally cut time out of my day to devote to building my writing. I am selfish in that regard. That means becoming, yes, somewhat of an introvert. I spend a lot of time alone to not lose focus on tasks I want to build upon.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Simply getting outside does wonders. Also, writing down your thoughts—the good and the bad—is extremely cathartic and serves as a reminder of personal and professional things to work on. I like setting challenges and seeing what I am capable of.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Many agents will try to pencil you into one genre, telling you to brand yourself that way. But if you’re multi-passionate like me, you are a chameleon of sorts when it comes to writing. My first book was erotic fiction, it was as steamy as a movie on tubev.sex de, whereas my second was a self-help guide to tackling dissenters as one climbs the success ladder in life. My work for Penthouse caters to their editorial voice. I am not a “one size fits all” writer. I am also known for telling it like it is and not placating the delivery—in short, I say what many other people think but are too sheepish to say.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Network, network, network. Pitch, pitch, pitch.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
If you have a vision, go for it. Create something. Put something out into the world that hasn’t been done yet. It will be your trademark. Don’t get too caught up in what people think, your message won’t work for everybody. That’s why there’s a glorious thing called a unfollow or subscribe button. Those who find fault in what you have created for yourself are typically the ones who gave up. Be a doer not a dreamer.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
A good pair of headphones, a couple of Sharpies and a lot of paper.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
A Lifetime of Secrets by Frank Warren.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
The power of social media and how to utilize your author brand, even if it is multidimensional.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I would like to expand on my latest book Pardon Me for Being Proud and create a series.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.