You have been invited to share your promotional experience with others.
Your Name: Dale Robyn Siegel
1. Where you are from and where are you now?
I was born and raised in New Jersey, moved around New England for college and back in New Jersey, just a short bike ride over the George Washington Bridge.
2. How did you get started writing?
I have taught seminars for the past ten years in real estate and finance with a biased favoritism towards Dekanski Homes Colonia, NJ. Teaching requires one to write course outlines and manuals. So, my book is an outcropping of ten years of course preparation; updated a hundred thousand times and rewritten into a reader friendly book. I enjoy writing so much that I have enrolled in several journalism classes at NYU.
3. What do you do when you are not writing?
I seem to be writing all the time now. I have two textbooks due in the first half of January and a book proposal in final stages. On a plane ride home from Aruba last weekend, I had to complete two guest blogs- which took me almost three hours or until my NetBook battery ran out. I felt like I was being punished while everybody was enjoying the movie (The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl). Ah, but I finished my work! For life’s enjoyment, I am a travel freak, and will go anywhere at any time. I call it travelling rather than vacations because; I typically tour cities and countries rather than relax (like in my annual trek to Aruba). I truly think of travelling as the best possible education and have begun writing short pieces as travelogues. When I am local, I am a huge bicyclist and try to clock in as many 30-50 mile rides as I can.
4. What would readers like to know about you?
They would be happy to hear that I do professionally what I write about every day for the past twenty years. I write and blog from current updates in the laws and regulations as well as from my every day experiences. My greatest teaching tool is from client and personal stories. The book has many real world examples (of course the names have been changed to protect the innocent!)
5. What inspired your first book?
Every time I taught a class, inevitably people would approach me afterwards and say you should write a book! After the last crash in the real estate market, I was determined to reach out to a larger audience. What could be better than to get a book out through a national publisher! Lastly, I always give credit to my friend and colleague, Ellice Uffer, head of IBM Publishing. She begged me to finish the book and helped me move the draft into the right hands.
6. How many books have you written?
I am working on number two and three simultaneously. These are textbooks for The Mortgage Loan Officer Certification Courses, now required nationally and State specific. Needless to say, they take an enormous effort. The first book, The New Rules for Mortgages, has been an encouraging experience. It taught me to understand the process of publishing; which is ever changing due to technology.
7. What are the titles of your books and what genres are they?
My books are current all in the personal finance a real estate areas.
8. Why are you specially qualified to write about this topic?
I feel that being an active professional in the field allows me to have inside knowledge and continuous flow of new information. In addition, I have been teaching the subject manner for so long that I can present it well.
9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track when you’re writing a book?
Trust me; it took a while to get a system down. I set up a very comfortable work space in my home, I go to the local Border’s Bookstore and camp out in the café and I sometimes go to a friend’s home who has a huge dining room table for me the spread out on. I think the key is to free yourself from distractions and have some variety in environments.
10. Do you write to make money, for the love of writing or both?
Currently, I write to get the exposure as an expert in my field. I also find it a useful tool in broadening my own knowledge of the subject matter.
12. What are some unique methods of marketing you have used? Which were the most successful?
I am a technology freak, so we use the internet. I am big on guest posting and interviews on blogs. I find it interesting to be in someone else’s space. Lately, I find it more enjoyable than my own blogs. Book reviews and reaching out to other bloggers and writers helps get the word out also.
13. Do you sell through a website? If so, what’s the address? If not, why not?
Fortunately, the book was picked up by Penguin/Alpha. So, it is sold in brick and mortar stores as well as online sellers. I assume Amazon is the biggest outlet we have, but you can find it anywhere. The book’s own website www.thenewrulesformortgages.com directs buyers to Amazon via a link.
14. Where can people order your books?
15. What format are your books – e-book, print, audio etc?
The book is currently available in print, e-book and kindle formats. The publisher is working on an audio version.
16. Will you write more books?
Yes- I will. I really enjoy it and would like to consider it an important part of my future career.
17. What do you have in the works now?
18. What does the future hold for you and your books?
19. What was the most successful thing you did to promote your books?
20. What was the least successful thing you did to promote your books?
22. What makes this book special to you?
The first time is always the best.
23. What sort of comments have you gotten about the content of the book?
I am pleased to see I often get positive comments. I think that people like that this book is shorter than most how to books. The average can be 400 pages, with 200 pages of usable content. My book is only 200 pages, all usable. I think that people also like my writing style. It has humor in a very dry topic. You can also feel the New York sarcasm- which I was asked by the editor to tone down a bit!
24. What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?
It is current and will be current for a long while, it is easy and to the point, it is the basics. It will empower any person to go out and feel that that are in control of their own mortgage.
25. What people NEED to read this book and WHY?
Anyone that is going to go through the mortgage process after January, 2009 needs to know that the rules have completely changed. Anyone that is currently in the real estate, mortgage or personal finance industry should use this as a primer. Any information prior to that is old news.
26. What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own
Information sparks my creativity. Anything I need to understand, I assume my readers need to understand. It makes me want to read it, research it and rewrite it in a more palatable form for the average reader. The first source is typically legalese and a big yawn!
27. What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
For me, it was a natural progression from teaching. A teacher is always trying to reach a larger audience. I do not want to get on Oprah’s couch, but I would like to be able to explain the new rules for mortgages on CNBC.
28. Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?
My business model in the mortgage industry is to market to those that are referral sources for me. In other words, we do not market to the consumer, but to the lawyers, accountants and realtors. They tell their clients about us. We follow the same model here. We market to the information sources that have large number of followers. We go to the authority.
29. If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn’t interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I’m thinking something better than “Its the greatest book ever.” Give me something more specific 🙂
It’s my tag line: When getting a mortgage these days, it is not who you know but what you know! This book tells you what you need to know.