Saturday, December 19, 2009

An interview with Tami Winbush

Please welcome back, Tami who honors us with her presence at today's interview.

How did you get started as a reader for Champagne?

I had been a book reviewer for Simply Romance Reviews for a while and I was just dying to get 'more'! So I decided to go to the publishers websites and click on all of the job link pages and see what they had to offer. When I got to the Champagne website they were 'hiring' for readers. So, I got to pre-read manuscripts that were coming into Champagne. I felt privileged and honoured!

What, or who, inspired you to get involved in the publication industry?

I'm a horrible bookie. I have been since I was a child. I started writing a book almost 7 years ago and I've always had the dream of being a writer. So when I started reviewing I said to myself, "Self you can do this too you know. And the only way to get into any biz is from the bottom up." I am one of those people that wants to know how all the nuts and bolts work. So, I reviewed, I read, I talked to Ellen about how to get into the publishing world, and here I am.

For anyone looking to get their foot in the door, what would you suggest they do?

To get your foot in the door…well you put your left foot in…oh, sorry that wasn't what you were talking about. Well, what I suggest is basically what I did, start at the bottom. Check on publisher websites and see if they have any job openings. Become a reviewer so you have a writing sample available in case there is the need for one for the job you might get with the publishing house. And my favorite saying, "What's the worst thing that they can say? NO?" So just go for it.

What genres did you read and which is your favourite and why?

I honestly read EVERYTHING and anything. But I would have to say that my favorite genre is paranormal romance. I am addicted to vamps! I would lean my neck over right now and let one bite me. I am a huge fan of Richelle Mead and Anya Bast! **waves**

How did you make the jump from being a ‘reader’ to being the marketing/promotions person for Ellen and Champagne/Carnal Passions?

I actually stumbled into my Promotions Manager job quite accidentally! I had been a reader for Champagne books for quite a while when I asked the publisher Ellen a question.

"Ellen," I said "how do you get your foot in the door in the publishing industry? I've run a review site; I have a degree in Accounting with a strong background in Marketing. What do I do? Maybe I could be a review coordinator?"

Ellen then came back and told me of a job opening that Champagne had available. I was excited, and jumped at the opportunity. How often do things like this happen? Not often for me, so I took this as a sign and Ellen and I had a nice talk and here I am. Happy as a clam and wondering when the work starts. I tell Ellen (too often I think) that I don't feel that I am working. I enjoy my work way too much to be working.

What’s your biggest pet peeve about author’s, buyers, readers when it comes to e-books?

My biggest pet peeve is piracy. Our authors work hard, some most of their lives to come up with their novels. Then someone comes along with the notion that it's OK to go out there and put that work out on the net for everyone to take. They are stealing, and I don't care for thieves. I don't like anyone taking from my family. Champagne authors are my family, and hence all authors are my family. I've come to know some of the best people on the planet through the e-book publishing market. I hate for any of them to be taken advantage of. So I say to anyone out there who pirates, STOP! You're hurting my family, and I don't like it.

You have a busy life. How do you find time to do the work you love and keep up with all the things happening at the publishing house? Do you have a schedule?

I have a life? Why didn't you tell me this sooner? I really don't have a schedule since I work from home. I have three kids at home, two dogs, four cats and a fiancĂ©. So I tend to work around them and the housework. I go through bursts and get things done in the morning, and as Ellen knows sometimes I’m up burning the midnight oils. (Quite literally actually!) Being able to set my own pace is actually a good thing, that way when inspiration hits, BOOM, I'm right there with it.