Lucy English, PhD is a sociologist and thought leader on work and life success. She is a regular contributor to Working Mother magazine and Diversity Best Practices. Lucy is a single mother of two boys and a puppy, and the author of the Penny Wade Mystery series. Her new book, Girl Ghosted, was released August 15, 2017.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I love writing and I adore the democracy that technology has brought to authorship. Not only can we self-publish books, there are countless outlets for all sorts of content, allowing writers to reach audiences like never before.
Tell us about your business.
New Sun Press is the imprint for my books, and I also work as a writer for online magazines and blogs. My business is about sharing stories and wisdom gained in my career as a professor, sociologist, corporate consultant and researcher. I share stories through my fiction, reflecting on life’s humor and challenges. I share career insights in magazines and e-zines from Working Mother Magazine to Diversity Best Practices, as well as blogs.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
The first book in my mystery series, Ruby Milk, is available for free download on my website, www.pennywademysteries.com.
- Research featured in Forbes Magazine, Inc., and the Chicago Tribune
- Named a “Woman to Watch in HR” by Recruiting Daily
- Named “Speaker Not to Miss” at the 2017 Work Human conference
- New book, Girl Ghosted rated five stars by Reader’s Favorite and Entertainment Realm
Where is your business based?
I have a little stand-alone office behind my house in Saint Louis. It gets me out of the fray of my family (two boys and a puppy)!
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I wrote a book! I didn’t really see it as a business at the time. I just knew it was something I wanted to do. I loved it and so it’s turned into two and three books and other writing. It’s been a lovely snowball.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Word of mouth is huge, and having people who can help me with PR and social media. I’m not good at marketing and I don’t particularly enjoy it, so hiring experts who will do that for me has been important.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
It’s very hard to get attention on independently published books. It’s the marketing challenge.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I hired great people to help me. UpWork, the online platform for freelancers has been wonderful for me. I’ve hired editors and media support there. I love that technology has made us all available to one another, across the world, sharing talents.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Honestly, I let difficult times be difficult times. I believe that honoring hard times and allowing myself to pause is what makes it possible for me to rebound and dive back in. If life gets so hard that I can’t bring myself to write, then I try to acknowledge that truthfully and I do what I can in the moment. Having a team that supports my work ensures that even if I spend a day in bed crying, the good work continues while I’m taking care of myself.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
As a writer, my voice and creativity are my best assets. I also have a unique combination of experiences, as a corporate sociologist, a fiction writer, and a non-fiction writer. I bring my whole life experience to everything I do, because my careers are honestly not that different from being a single mom.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
To believe in my success in advance. Having gratitude for the gifts we receive helps to bring them to fruition, even if they haven’t quite landed yet!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Only do it if you love it.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m learning how to coordinate PR and marketing efforts to make the most of both. It’s overwhelming to try to understand the rapidly changing world of media—social and traditional alike.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals include getting attention for my new mystery, and getting a traditional contract for a non-fiction book I’m writing on holism and well-being.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.