Intrerview with Pam Thibodeaux Owner of The Wordsmith Journal

Tell us a little about Pam Thibodeaux.

Well Michael, first let me Thank You! for having me as your guest today. Not sure what you’€™d like to know but on a personal level, I am a mother, grandmother and confirmed Christian. Professionally, I have worked in various jobs from cashier in fast food chains and convenience stores to licensed insurance professional and full charge bookkeeper & tax preparer. Currently I work freelance from home as an author, editor, speaker and promotions expert as well as being CEO of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine (TWJM).

What is one thing about you that readers of TWJM would never guess?

Not sure LOL! I’€™m pretty open about myself in all aspects, don’€™t hide the fact that I firmly believe in God and His promises. I love, honor and revere HIM with every fiber of my being. I wouldn’€™t consider myself a liberal in the truest sense of the word, yet I’€™m not conservative either. I believe God is so much bigger than the boxes we put Him in and that we, as spiritual beings, limit ourselves and the creative power within us by being close-minded to anything that frightens or even excites us. I believe life is meant to be abundant in every area and that by adhering to limited mindsets or limiting beliefs, we don’€™t live to our fullest God-given potential.

  How did you come up with the idea for The Wordsmith Journal Magazine?

Well actually the idea came about one day while I was talking with my friend Penney Carlton. We were discussing a review magazine similar to Romantic Times but geared to connect authors and readers of Christian literature, something affordable that would allow small-press or independently published authors a venue through which to readers could find their work. Penney took the idea and ran with it. I worked with her for a few months then acquired full ownership. Although we haven’€™t gone to print with the magazine as originally intended, I have recreated each monthly issue as well as a review edition in a pdf. These can be downloaded from our site on the TWJ2Go page or read online through ISSUU and fReado. For nook lovers, these can be purchased for $0.99 (only because I can’€™t give it away!).

What has been your biggest challenge with TWJM?

Timing is everything and each new venture needs adequate time to flourish and grow. My biggest challenge is increasing readership. The goal of TWJM is to reach readers and to let them know there are a great many authors and books out there that are not published in the traditional markets, yet have a wonderful message to share.

  What are you short term and long term goals for the TWJM?

Short term goal is that TWJM be totally self-sufficient.   Long-term goal is to become a paying market for the columnists and short story contributors.

What are your thoughts about marketing for new/unknown authors?

New/unknown authors have it tough, especially those who independently publish their work. You don’€™t have a publisher behind you and unless you can afford a publicist, you are totally on your own in marketing your work. One thing authors must realize is it takes time and consistency to get your name out and build a readership. New books, especially those by new or unknown authors need at minimum of 6 months continuous exposure – 3 months prior and 3 months post publication ‘€“ to generate a reasonable and effective buzz. At TWJM we offer advertising packages (3 & 4 month combo packages) that promise maximum exposure for a reasonable price. TWJM is developing a reputation for results and have author testimonies to prove it as well as a good ranking and great results of our reviews which are posted on Amazon and Good Reads. Of course no one can guarantee sales through their advertising, but we can promise quality exposure and the most bang for your advertising budget.

Do you foresee e-book sales overtaking print?   Why or why not?

As popular as e-books are and this fast-growing digital age is becoming, I don’€™t think print books will ever be completely gone. Too many folks love to curl up with a book, myself included, and nothing will ever replace the smell and feel of those pages crinkling as you’€™re reading!

What is the most dramatic change in publishing you’€™re seeing right now?

Independent/Self publishing has taken a huge swing upward with the invention of print on demand and services like Create Space. That’€™s not necessarily a good thing. Authors who work hard to hone their craft and tell a compelling, well-written story are constantly vying for space with folks who just throw something together and call it a book. Now, I have NOTHING against self/independent publishing! In fact, I independently publish reprints and spin-off stories of previously released novels and I DON’€™T believe every self published author is a has-been or wannabe who is not good enough to get in with the big boys. That said for every well written, independently published title, there are dozens, maybe even hundreds published that should not be out there. Not because the story is not good or appropriate, but because the author either didn’€™t know or didn’€™t care enough to make sure the writing is clean and concise. The same advice given years ago to self-publishing authors holds true today’€¦once the book is the best you can make it, hire an editor!

How are things coming along for the Book Club? Tell us a little bit about your ideas.

Slow. Let’€™s be honest. Most book clubs read the latest and greatest, tried and true and for the most part small press or independently published authors have little or no chance of their book being chosen by these clubs. My idea for TWJM is to put together a group of readers who will choose from the titles advertised on the book club feature page, promise to read and discuss them and if so inclined, review those books. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising and if say 10 readers like my book and tell 10 of their friends who purchase the book and they in turn tell 10 other friends’€¦.well you get my point. I know a lot of authors were turned off by the fact they’€™d have to pay for their book to be included, and some readers were hesitant to pay to belong to the club but the charges serve a purpose’€¦Details can be found @ TWJM’€™s the For Readers page.

Anything in particular you’€™d like to muse about?

Oh, I could muse about a lot of things’€¦the perils of the industry, the pitfalls of our politics and the downhill slide of our economy, but I think I’€™ll decline. There’€™s enough of that all over the internet LOL! Seriously, I thank you again, Michael, for having me as a guest on your blog. I pray God blesses you in all of your endeavors and your book, The Oldest Enemy tops every best seller list out there! As for TWJM, I’€™m always open to suggestion and invite readers, authors, publishers, and publicists to contact me at twjadsales@gmail.com and share their thoughts about what would make TWJM the go-to resource.

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Comments

  1. Pam, what a lovely interview. I always enjoy getting to know you better. Your living faith always comes through.

  2. Thanks Tanya – I enjoy getting to know my author peeps/friends better too and Michael did a great job with these questions!

    PamT

  3. I enjoyed this insightful interview, Michael and Pamela. Your work ethic is amazing Pamela and it amazes me that you are doing such a wonderful job with the Wordsmith Journal Magazine. I hope it flourishes beyond your wildest dreams.

  4. Thank you so much Tracy!
    God Bless.
    PamT

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