Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rave Reviews Book Club's "Spotlight" Author Blog Tour for Author John Fioravanti



Hello, I’m John Fioravanti, and welcome to the tenth post of my “Spotlight Blog Tour” sponsored by my family at Rave Reviews Book Club. I am so grateful and excited to be a guest today with Carol Marrs Phipps!

In earlier posts this week I have talked about several aspects of my new novel, Passion and Struggle  Publishing your very first work of fiction is a very exciting experience! It has also been an exhausting journey, too! On more than one occasion, I’ve been asked about my experience as an Indie author/publisher. Today, I’ll describe my journey to date.


About Indie Publishing

Prior to my novel, my two published non-fiction works, Getting It Right in History Class  and A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching  were released by Indie Publishers. I had no real idea what was involved in getting a manuscript prepared for publication. When Anne and I decided to become business partners in December, 2014, and launch our own Independent publishing house, we had a lot of help!



My award-winning ‘Journey’ book was published by Iceberg Publishing  owned and operated by the Tam family here in Waterloo, Ontario. Iceberg was founded in 2002 and they took me in as an author in 2006. Journey was published in 2007, and it won an IPPY Bronze Medal in May, 2008  When Anne and I decided to strike out on our own, the Tams enthusiastically agreed and suggested that Iceberg Publishing should enter into an alliance with Fiora Books - separate companies, but allied.

What did that alliance look like? We operate separately with our own websites, our own contracts with retailers, printers, and the like. Kenneth Tam, my former student, is Iceberg’s most prolific author and their IT person, so he offered to teach me the business end of publishing. I thank my lucky stars that he did!

I remember that December evening when my wife and I pored over the task sheet that Kenneth and his parents, Jacqui and Peter, had created for us as a guideline. Task #1 - company name. 'Fiora Books’ came fairly easily - as a play on my surname. When I taught high school, I prepared writing skill guides for my students to follow, and I called them ‘FioraBooks’. They thought that was cute. Then one year, I set up a system of bonus marks they could earn, and issued play money that I called ‘FioraBucks’ - they thought that was cuter yet. So that was settled. 

Task #2 - create a logo. “Fiora” translates from Italian as “flowers”. So we thought our company logo had to have a book or books and a flower. I suggested a rose since it is Anne’s favourite flower. I can’t draw to save my life, so I went looking online, found what I was looking for, bought the rights to it, and we had our logo. Then I suggested we have a tag line to go with the logo. I liked Iceberg’s, “Look beneath the surface” - that went beautifully with the concept of an Iceberg. As you’re reading - look for meaning beneath the surface. I thought and thought… Anne could smell the wood burning! Then it hit me out of the blue… I have loved reading books since I was a kid - over five decades of reading! How to express that? Bang! It hit me again… getting bruised up pretty good here… “Cherish the written word.” Anne loved it and so did I. Check out our website and see if you like the combination.

Once I got the company registered with the Province of Ontario and we had our business licence, then we were ready to set up our website. Kenneth designed that after consulting with us, and then taught me how to maintain the site. Then he told me to start writing a blog each week, if not more often. A blog? What’s that? He’s a very patient and sensitive young man, so he didn’t laugh at me. So Anne and I learned to blog. Then we followed his suggestions and set up our Fiora Books page on Facebook, and a similar account on Twitter. Then Kenneth explained about Tweets. Tweets? Why do I gotta go Tweeting online?? What’s this got to do with publishing? He rolled his eyes as I ranted on about silly birdies… oh my! It’s about online marketing, he explained. Gee... I don’t know anything about that.

After four months of intense online research I started to understand a few things about book marketing in the twenty-first century. I found out that there are tons of Indie authors and publishers worldwide. No Kidding! Yes, and they are gradually wrestling large numbers of consumers away from the mainstream publishers. Really? Uh-huh, right again. It was near the end of that sojourn into the wonderful world of online research that I found a gentleman in the UK who was participating in a LinkedIn book marketing group discussion. His name is Chris Ward, and he gave me the best online advice I had yet received. He suggested that I join the Rave Reviews Book Club because they are all about helping fellow Indie authors/publishers be successful.

What did I do? I did the second smartest thing I’ve ever done in my 63 years - I joined Nonnie Jules’ Rave Reviews Book Club! What was the first smartest thing I did? I married Anne Runstedler in 1973… you had to ask? 😃 I could go on for hours about my experiences preparing book and cover files - struggling with those Adobe Brothers… Photoshop, InDesign, etc!!! But I’d rather urge you good folks to get involved with RRBC. You can join as a reader or as an author. It is a blast! You get to see Nonnie sitting on her book shelf talking to herself  and on Tuesdays we get to push other authors around a lot - that’s called #PUSHTUESDAYS! Seriously though, I’ve never met a more dedicated group of people who are all about uplifting others and helping them to succeed.

Do yourself the same huge favour that I did for myself… check out Nonnie Jules’ Rave Reviews Book Club! Maybe I’ll see you there! 

AUTHOR BIO
John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008. His teaching career was split between two schools: St. Benedict CSS in Cambridge, Ontario and St. David CSS in Waterloo, Ontario.
Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class (Data Based Directions, 2002), along with an international version of the same title. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching  Iceberg Publishing, 2007, 2008, 2010) (Fiora Books 2014) is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.



John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle and is set within Kenneth Tam s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!
At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books. After four decades of marriage, they decided to become business partners as well.

BOOK LINKS:

CONNECT HERE:
Twitter: @FioraBooks  + @jfinwat  (I have 2 accounts)

14 comments:

  1. Wonderful story John. Your second and first picks are an endorsement of your decision making skills. Congrats on the tour and thanks to Carol.

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    1. Thank you very much, John! You have been very supportive and I appreciate it!

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  2. Great post. When I first heard about "tweets," I was just as confused as you were. One day, I sat and watched tweets come in and wondered why on earth anyone would sit there doing that! I still wonder about them. :)

    Loved your logo, by the way.

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    1. Thank you Rebecca - I appreciate your support! Actually, John Howell has been trying valiantly to teach me "Twitterese"... he's a very patient man!

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  3. I love the story of how the logo came about, John. The image and the phrase are great! I have really enjoyed following you on your tour this week :)
    Carol, thank you so much for hosting John, today on your blog. I adore all this green and trees! :)

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    1. I'm glad, Harmony! I appreciate your visits and supportive comments! This week has been a lot of fun for me!

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  4. Carol, thank you very much for hosting me on your lovely blog site today! I appreciate your generosity!

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    1. John, it has been a pure pleasure to host you on this day of your blog tour, and I'm glad you have shared this wonderful post with me and my followers. I can relate to your learning experience as you entered the world of publishing and marketing, as mine was similar. Funny how we teachers so often find ourselves on the student side of things, 'eh? Congrats on your books and I wish you much success!

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  5. What an awesome way to finish out your Spotlight week. Congratulations again to you. Well deserved, John!! :) We're so glad you made that decision and joined RRBC. Carol, thank you so much for sharing your blog with us today and for showing your amazing support. :)

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  6. Once again, congratulations John for being our "Spotlight" author. What a journey you have been on in developing your own company. I love the name and your logo. Enjoy the warmth of the spotlight. I, too, am very thankful for #RRBC and all the wonderful members and support I have received.

    Thank you Carol for hosting John on his blog tour.

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  7. Well, I must be doing something wrong, as this is my third time commenting. Lol! Carol, thank you for hosting, and John, all I can say is you picked some awesome ladies to have in your life! Congrats on your SA nomination, sweetie. xoxo

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    1. Yes, I did too - had to try a number of accounts... trick is to copy your comment before you mess with the identities! I do have awesome ladies in my life - and you ladies on the Board are among the best! Thank you for being the supportive person that you are!

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  8. I've really enjoyed reading your post, John. Book marketing was an eye opener for me also. Thanks for hosting, Carol.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I've come a little way in that regard, but I have so much farther to go! Having said that, another former student tells me that help is on the way. Sure hope so! Thanks for all your support!!!

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