Welcome Cendrine Marrouat! We are trying something new today. I love helping to spread the word of new authors and Cendrine has Photography books out. So I thought it would be fun to do something a little different.
Cendrine, tell us a little about yourself
Hello everyone! I’m excited to be here.
My name is Cendrine Marrouat and have lived in Winnipeg, Canada, since 2003. I was born and raised in Toulouse, one of the largest cities in France. There, I also spent six years at university studying the intricacies of the English language.
I am a photographer, social media trainer, French instructor, and author with 10 books in three different genres under my belt.
What got you into photography?
My passions have a knack for creeping into my life without my realizing it. So, it is always hard to answer this question. Lol
As a writer, I occasionally struggle to find the words to describe the beauty around me. Photography fills the gap perfectly.
But, for the longest time, I lacked self-confidence in my skills as a photographer. I thought my images were just average. It took quite a lot of persuading from others for me to finally see the light.
I think we can be our toughest critics. Can you share a picture or 2 from your book?
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I would go back to Syria in a heartbeat. I was there in 2009 and fell in love with the desert. Its emptiness is just a façade. It is teeming with invisible life. The energy is almost palpable.
Currently, what are you working on?
A friend and I recently started taking photos of the murals in Winnipeg. There are about 600 of them scattered around the city. So, it will take a while to record them all and share the results on my blog.
Once the promotion of Life’s Little Things: The Quotes, my latest book, is over, I also want to work on a new photography collection. This one will feature haiku, my favorite poetic form.
Last, but not least, I need to get back to my ongoing project titled “Reminigrams”. It’s a term that I coined while trying to emulate the old-fashioned photography processes called tintypes and daguerreotypes. You can see my images here: http://creativeramblings.com/tag/reminigram/.
How do you decide on the themes for your books?
My books are all based on what life throws at me. I love sharing the lessons I learn and pay close attention to the way people behave, talk, and deal with personal situations.
My work highlights the relationship between human beings and their surroundings, especially the natural world. I love focusing on the little details around me.
What are your biggest challenges when putting a book together?
To be honest, I don’t find putting a book together very challenging. After ten books, I guess I am used to the process. I am just a slow writer who has to rely on bursts of inspiration to pen anything.
However, I find the marketing part a lot more difficult!
I hear you there, marketing takes so much time! It can be a slow process. Share something with us not a lot of people know about you.
I was born in the wrong era. My parents should have had me a decade earlier. Lol
Few people know that my tastes in music haven’t changed since my early teens. I have been a huge fan of Genesis’ and Mike Oldfield’s for almost three decades. I discovered their music when I was 12 or 13 and played it all the time for about 10 years
For those who have no idea of what I am talking about, Genesis is the British band that was fronted by Peter Gabriel, then Phil Collins. Oldfield created the soundtrack of The Exorcist, one of the scariest movies in history. Tubular Bells launched his career.
My other favorite bands include Supertramp, Depeche Mode, Abba, and Roxette.
How do you promote your books? Any tips you can share?
I create a strategy for each release. For example, it includes information on my ideal readers and the social media platforms where they like hanging out; some keywords to monitor on Twitter and that will allow me to find the right bloggers and journalists to contact; and an outline of my self-promotional activities.
I learnt very early in my career that talent only accounts for 10% of your success. Without a laser-targeted plan and long-term vision, you will not last long.
Authors and artists are a dime a dozen, so most of the things you post online will go unnoticed. You have to maximize your chances of exposure.
Crafting a great, personalized pitch to secure interviews and features is a step in the right direction. But it is not enough. Include a press kit with your message. People will be more receptive if you save them time and look prepared.
Also, book trailers are not dead. Tools like Animoto allow you to make nice videos for an affordable price. Here is what I did for my latest book:
Start promoting your book early -- between six months and three weeks. Blog about it, share advance reviews on social media, create a dedicated hashtag for Twitter and Instagram, etc. In a nutshell, build excitement around your work.
Most importantly, do not get discouraged if you do not get immediate results. You never know who is watching. Most social media users are actually lurkers, which means that they don’t take part in online conversations. But they still have opinions and buy products.
Plus, people need to see something many times before they make a purchase decision.
What brought about the idea for your book?
For the last two years, I have noticed a sharp increase in aggressive behavions and negativity on social media. Decent conversations with contrarian views are becoming rare, especially on Facebook.
I wanted to use my skills and creativity to turn things around. Last year, I asked the visitors of my website to select 25 images that would appear in the book. I then paired each photo with quotes.
The twist here is that I wanted to inspire people with my own words, which are based on personal life experiences, instead of relying on the words of famous people. I wanted to make the experience more intimate in a way. Life’s Little Things: The Quotes invites readers to look within themselves to (re)discover what truly matters. Without self-awareness, we cannot make the world a better place.
Any last words?
Thank you for this opportunity to share of myself with your audience. I appreciate the support!