Dorothy Thompson has had a love for books ever since second grade when her teacher asked the class to write an essay about their summer vacation. What’s a second grader to do but not only write the essay but put it in a handmade book? Seeing her name on the cover was the beginning of her quest and lifetime goal to become a published author. Dorothy carried on that dream with the publication of a children’s book and then her anthology, Romancing the Soul: True Stories of Soul Mates From Around the World and Beyond, and then with the start-up of her company, Pump Up Your Book, in 2007. Her next book is titled Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Soul Mates and Were NOT Afraid to Ask, due to be released soon.
Dorothy’s syndicated relationship columns have appeared in publications in the U.S. and abroad such as eNotAlone, SistersDiva Magazine, MindBodySpirit Magazine, Singles Cafe, SinglesStop, Innerself, Single Again, Free Spirit Centre, Holistic Harmony, SpiritualMinds, Self-Growth, Into the Mystic, Romance Stuck and many other relationship ezines as well as The Eastern Shore News and The Daily Times, both Gannet Publications. She has been quoted in such books as Mean Girls Grown Up: Adult Women Who Are Still Queen Bees, Middle Bees, and Afraid-to-Bees and the supermarket tabloid, Ok! Magazine. She has also appeared on such shows as Lifetime Radio, Single Talk (World Talk Radio) with Alicia Silverman, Around 2It, Cuzin Eddie Show with Penny Sansevieri, 850 KOA-AM (Clear Channel Radio with listeners in 38 states, Canada and Mexico), A Book and a Chat with Barry Eva and other media outlets.
How did you get started in the literary industry?
Thanks for interviewing me, Teresa! Oh gosh this goes back. My first book was published back in 2001. It was a children’s book I had written when my kids were little. I had submitted to traditional publishers through the mail and I received back nice letters, but it was a no go. I found an e-publisher who accepted the book but it was a little too early for a children’s ebook. This was before Kindle, Nook, etc. My next adventure was a collection of true soul mate stories from people who submitted to me called Romancing the Soul: True Stories of Soul Mates From Around the World and Beyond. I also published several ebooks through my website about soul mates and book promotion, as well as contributing to anthologies and writing articles for newspapers and the web. So, it was a progression really. But if you really want to know how I got my start, I want to put in a kudos to my English college professor who encouraged me, thus setting the ball rolling.
Are you an author? Tell us about your book.
I am! I mentioned it above, but my main love is my soul mate anthology. The idea came to me in a dream after my twin soul died. I didn’t even know about twin souls at the time but after research into the different kinds of soul mates, I narrowed it down to the twin soul connection. After my twin soul died, he came to me in a dream and told me to tell the world our story and more or less inform people that soul mates do indeed exist. He told me to call it Romancing the Soul. I jumped out of bed, wrote down what was told me and went back to sleep. In the morning, there it was – the rough draft of Romancing the Soul. I know it sounds far-fetched, but it happened and Romancing the Soul was picked up by a small press publisher and published in 2004.
Before Romancing the Soul, I had published several ebooks on my website and sold them that way. This was before the birth of the Kindle store. And that’s about when I started to dive into book promotion. I wanted to know how I could get these books sold and it was through all this research I found ways to sell them which led to becoming interested in book publicity. I had an author ask me at the time if I could do to her ebook what I did to mine and I laughed because I wasn’t a book publicist. Little did I know, this was the beginning of another adventure.
I will be having more books come out hopefully this year – one is a book titled Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Soul Mates and Were NOT Afraid to Ask and I’m in the process of putting together a book about book publicity. So many books, so little time as they say.
You are known as a speaker, tell us about some of your topics.
I speak on the topic of soul mates. I try to help people realize that there are many kinds of soul mates and everyone has at least one and I can prove it to them.
What motivates you? Do you have a favorite quote?
When you’re lying in bed and you can’t wait to get up to do your work, that’s the biggest motivation in the world. When I feel like throwing up my hands, I jump start my mojo by getting out of the house and taking walks in the park. Nothing like it. I do have a quote I love – Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. In other words, make each day count. Make your mark on the world and leave a legacy of love, hope and encouragement for others.
You are known to write for a variety of magazines and have won awards for your company. What advice would you give to a person wanting to become an author or start a business in this industry?
I love this question. I’ve heard this question asked of the authors I represent and most of them say just do it. Procrastination is evil. Determination should be the forerunner of anyone whether they are writing a book or starting a business. Believe in what you love. We’ll all get rejections. The stronger ones will learn from it, improve on it and keep on going. All you have to do is do your homework. In the case of being an author, study other authors who have written books like yours but have done very well for themselves. What did they do to get there? Were they published by a traditional house or were they self-published? Depending on which route you prefer to go, follow those authors who have paved the way. Their journey is very educational. In the case of starting a business in this industry, don’t go in wet behind the ears. Learn the ropes. What other companies are out there who do what you want to do? Study, study, study. A new company might sound like fun, but is there too much competition? How can you stand out from the competition so people will come to you? So much to think about but don’t go into it blind. Do. Your. Homework.
Tell us about Pump Up Your Book.
Pump Up Your Book was started back in 2007 after I had authors ask me to help them promote their books. I love writing, but learning how to sell is a whole different ballgame and I was determined to find that magic key to book sales. I had heard of virtual book tours, but not many people were doing them at the time. Actually, there were only two virtual book tour companies out there at the time I started Pump Up Your Book – one was charging thousands and the other one had folded. Remember what I said about do your homework? I pounced on the opportunity. I was going to set up virtual book tours for a fraction of the price the other one company was doing them for but that wasn’t all. I was going a few steps beyond that and concentrate on the wonderful opportunity the social media could have for promoting books. What was great about this idea was that I could do it all from the comfort of my home and quit the offline working world. I had the love of books, love of communicating with other authors like myself and I could support myself doing it. Nothing like it.
What services do you provide?
We concentrate mainly on virtual book tours but we also have a book review service. Our packages can be found at here. We have represented traditionally published authors as well as self-published.
For those who aren’t familiar with virtual book tours, it’s a publicity campaign for your book where you will appear on blogs that your tour coordinator sets up for you. It’s mainly all about exposure.
Do you work with all genres?
Yes, with the exception of porn.
If an author wanted to use your services, how should they contact you?
What is next for you and Pump Up Your Book?
What I’ve learned about this business is that it changes from day to day. What works one day might not work tomorrow. There is always something new out there to help authors sell their books and you gotta be on your toes. Learning never stops. Don’t ever stagnate. I have learned that you are your book’s lifeline and you can never stop getting the word out there about your book no matter if it is release day or three years after release day. No matter how long your book has been on sale, don’t let those sales die. That’s the theory behind why I do what I do. The author can’t do it alone. The most successful books have teams behind them with the same convictions you have. I take on each book as if it’s my own. Would I want my book on such and such blog? Ah, I digress. I’m hoping Pump Up Your Book remains an ever-changing progression of book publicity services that help authors get the word out about their books. As for me, taking the time to get my own work out there is hard, but the goal is to get two books out this year, more next year. Thank you for this interview and it’s been a pleasure!