A New Jersey native, Sibylla has written hundreds of articles that have appeared in a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites including Vibe, Essence, The Chicago Tribune and on Launch.com. She is the author of Baby Modeling & Beyond: From The Stroller To The Red Carpet – a how to guide for parents, a novel, DreamCity, and she co-authored The Fan Survival Guide: 50 Ways To Meet Your Favorite Celebrity.
As a freelance writer, she has written about subjects ranging from entertainment to parenting issues to topical matters. As an entertainment writer, she has interviewed celebrities such as Academy Award winning actors Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Academy Award nominee Will Smith; comedians/actors Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx and Kim Coles; CEO/film director Chris Stokes; and actress Constance Marie. (…see more about the author below)
Take advantage of the current promotions on Sibylla’s books: Bumped is $.99 and Baby Modeling & Beyond: From the Stroller to the Red Carpet is $4.99.
Thank you for joining us, Sibylla,
Real Answer Real Authors: Why did you decide to publish?
Sibylla: I started self-publishing back in the 90s. My first book was a guide book for independent filmmakers. I chose to self-publish that particular book because I had access to that market (and used direct mail to reach them) and the information I had was timely in terms of deadlines for contests and grants.
RARA: What titles have you published to date?
Sibylla: To date I have published four titles, one was co-written under a pen name – DreamCity, Little Black Book of Filmmaking (out of print), Fan Survival Guide: 50 Ways to Meet Your Favorite Celebrity, and Bumped.
RARA: How are you currently marketing your book and what has given you the best results?
Sibylla: I read somewhere that marketing your book is like a marathon and that is certainly the case! I haven’t found a magic bullet. It takes a consistent effort across all platforms, your blog, social media, other blogs, advertising. You can’t create a buzz through just one channel. I’ll tweet about my books daily because your tweet has such a short shelf life. I did the Amazon free promotion and it was ok but didn’t give me the great bump in sales I was hoping for but I heard that if you have a series, you are more likely to see an increase in sales with the free promotion than stand alone books.
RARA: Are there any books or websites that you have found the most useful?
Sibylla: I love reading Galley Cat on Mediabistro.com, PW Daily (Publisher’s Weekly), Where Writer’s Win (writerswin.com), doing giveaways on Goodreads has been great, there are also a bunch of promo sites (free and low cost) that promote ebooks to their lists (Galley Cat has a list of them). Also, in terms of finding editors and graphic artists, I’ve had pretty good luck on sites like guru.com.
RARA: What has been your greatest challenge in self publishing?
Sibylla: Continuing to write! It’s so easy to get caught up in the marketing end of things and not continue to produce new work. I’m so far behind on my sequel to Bumped, it’s not even funny. Oh and the second hardest thing, self-promotion in the real world (vs. online). Some people are great at it, me? Not so much. If you self-publish though, it’s part and parcel of the game, you have to let people know about your book(s).
RARA: What is the best advice or tip you can give a new and aspiring author?
Sibylla: Keep writing, keep reading and keep learning. The marketing aspect is always evolving thanks to technology, you’ll want to stay on top of things as well as see what works for others. Most importantly though (after you’ve written that fabulous best-seller of course!) make sure you do research about the best vehicle for YOU in order to get your book out into the world. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, everything you need to know about being traditionally published or independently published, there’s a blog, conference, Yahoo or Facebook group about it somewhere. So do your due diligence before you put your work out there [steps down from soapbox].
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in print journalism, Sibylla has also worked in the entertainment industry at film production companies as well as for major talent agencies. She lends this experience to give authenticity to the pages of her debut novel DreamCity.
DreamCity entices readers to delve into the intimate musings of Adrianna Whittaker’s personal diary. It pulls you into the Hollywood drama of drugs, betrayal, relationship dilemmas and growing pains that Adrianna experiences as she comes of age.
“I’ve been keeping a journal most of my life,” says Sibylla. “So I guess it’s only natural that my first novel would be written in a diary format.” A big believer in journaling, she facilitates a workshop, “Journaling Your Way to Success.”
Sibylla balances her writing life with the varied demands of parenthood. Many of her experiences as a single mother raising her daughter Kortney weaves its way into her work. She was recognized by the WB11 News as an Unsung Hero for her parenting newsletter, In The Corner.
Sibylla currently lives in Los Angeles and is currently working on several other fiction and non-fiction projects. Sibylla and Kortney have appeared on TLC’s Ballroom Bootcamp and recently filmed a Rice Krispies commercial.