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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Guest Media Expert: Carol Webb

Today we are interviewing Carol Webb, writer and owner of Bella Media Management.

Alexis: Hi Carol, how nice to have you visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. I know that you not only write romances but you now own a company Bella Media Management. Could you tell us how this venture came about?

Carol: I started out in a very strange way. I had a fellow writer friend wanting a couple of video trailers done for her books and at the time she was selling this amazing beauty line. She asked if I wanted to do a trade since she knew I had done a trailer for my own book. From there it progressed to what the company is now. 

Alexis: A little promo in exchange for beauty.  That sounds like an even trade to me :-) Can you tell our readers a bit about what you do for authors? 

Carol: At Bella Media Management, we provide a wide range of services. We do cover design, web sites, e-book conversions, editing, newsletters, and design for bookmarks, romance trading cards, etc.

Alexis: That's quite a few services. I have a friend who recently had her second book published. What service of yours would you suggest would most benefit her? 

Carol: Other than having a web site, a newsletter is huge on getting the word out. Have her grow her contact list. You will be amazed at how many people will forward newsletters on to their friends.

Alexis: Really? That is good to know. So, what would you suggest for someone like myself who has yet to be published? 

Carol: I would get all your ducks in line so to speak. Start your online presence now through Facebook, and other social media along with having a web site ready to go. That way once you become published, you don’t panic and get distracted at all the things you have to do and lose focus on your writing.  Promotion is more important than ever, but like anything else, if you don’t have a good product, all the publicity and promotion in the world will not make an author’s career.

Alexis: Good point. I noticed Caris Roane and Cathy McDavid, both multi-published and successful authors, chose your company. That holds a lot of weight with me. What makes Bella Media Management different from other companies?

Carol: I’m a fan. I love everything to do with books. I’ve always had books in my life in one way or another. I’ve worked for publishing companies, owned a bookstore for a decade and have written from the time I was in college.  I can’t think of anything else I would want to do and I think that comes out with what I offer as a business. Passion for the author, for the product and for the industry.

Alexis: So would you say that having written and published romances yourself, you have a good feel for what an author needs? 

Carol: Yes, and I have to say a lot of it is through my own mistakes as a writer, and I’ve made my fair share. LOL. But I’ve learned from them, thank goodness. I do know it takes more than talent.  I’ve found perseverance, along with adapting to the industry two key ingredients to making it as an author, especially now with the drastic changes going on in publishing today.

Alexis: Ah yes, the constant flux of publishing does require a certain amount of flexibility :-)

I know we have just touched the surface of Carol's knowledge, so for a chance to win a free critique of your website, ask Carol a question.  She knows so much about about what works and here's a great chance to get the answers you need. The winner will be announced on Wednesday. Check the side column for your name.

For more information on Bella Media Management go to 


  1. Carol,
    Thanks so much for stopping by Happily Ever After Thoughts! I'm afraid I'm one of those writers who knows next to nothing about promoting myself as an author (other than my website and word of mouth). Frankly, the thought of "putting myself out there" frightens me a little. What, in your opinion, provides the most impact?


  2. Hi, Marie! Other than a web site, I would say a newsletter more than anything else. Slowly collect people who want to join your list. Offer contests and prizes as incentives. You'll be amazed at how many people will forward your newsletter to their friends and family.

  3. Carol, I noticed you do a lot of design work. What draws a reader to an image? Is it color? The subject? The font? The patterns? What do you think?

  4. Hi, Alexis. Good question! LOL. It's all above. Just like a book cover, it entails everything. I was working on a cover for Russell Brooks, and playing around with fonts, and it made a drastic change from using Myriad Pro to League Gothic.

    The worse thing you can do is have a busy design. You have to be very careful if you use two different fonts or more than one image. You can easily dilute what you are trying to portray by having too much of a good thing.

    The font can also disappear into your design if you're not careful with color, size and clarity. I know I would want my name to be easy to read for a potential reader. Also, when it comes to an e-book verses a print book, you have to take into consideration how it looks on a computer or tablet. Many people going through e-retailers have a thumb-size image. What looks great as a paperback might not look so good electronically.

  5. Thanks for the info, Carol. I've never done a newsletter before, so I'll need to start working on that.


  6. Hi Carol,
    Is there such a thing as easy updates? I'm just not technical and when I've started blogs or webpages, I've gotten swamped with all the how-tos and must-dos, when all I want to do it update an entry. I need a system that is easy, that doesn't require that I sit with a paper filled with passwords and tricks required to add copy or updates. Is there an easy route, or am I a dreamer?


  7. Hi, Lyndee. I know exactly what you mean about passwords. Sometimes I can't keep track of what password is for what.

    Much of this is very time consuming. If you have a web site which includes your blog, there is a way to streamline tasks. Any entry you make on your blog can be fed into your Twitter account, and from there your Twitter feed can be fed into your Facebook account.

    If you are a member of any networks on ning such as Readers & Writers of Distinction Fiction or Fans of Romance Novels, you can feed your blog into your profile pages by clicking the RSS FEED on the left hand side of the page, and entering your Blogger URL.

    Goodreads also has an author option for an RSS feed of your blog.

    Once everything is fed together, one entry from your blog can go to multiple places without having to worry about passwords. This can be a huge time saver! I know it's saved me alot.

    Some of this you can't get around, especially if you have a blog and a web site. You do have to update on a regular basis just to keep your site fresh of new material.

  8. So glad you are able to join us, Carol!
    I've heard and read so many articles about online promotions and many different opinions on what does and doesn't work. I like the fact that you're a great fan of what you work with!
    Is it important to be on Facebook and Twitter, or can you choose either in order to make the time allotment realistic?
    Also, what about a non-online presence? Do you suggest bookmarks, booklets of first chapters, giving workshops, or any other mode of contact with readers?