Tag Archives: Hayley Rose

The Accidental Author: My Journey to Being Published

The Accidental Author:  My Journey to Being Published

By Hayley Rose

My journey to becoming a published author wasn’t necessarily a path I had originally planned to take.  It was more of an opportunity that fell into my lap and I took a risk to carry it through.

It started with a trip to Chicago to visit family and to meet my cousins for the first time.  Though I loved to travel, I wasn’t a fan of plane rides and on the way back to Los Angeles, I needed an activity to take my mind off the turbulent flight.

I had been a song writer and enjoyed putting my thoughts together in lyrical prose, even though many never ended up accompanied a single tune.  Some people write their thoughts in a journal, but I preferred to create songs with mine.  It was on this flight, however, that I thought of my young cousins and the life they were about to experience; all of the wonderful things they would enjoy and the lessons they would learn.  I couldn’t help but think of my own amazing childhood experiences and decided to draft up a story in rhyme that I could share with them when we met again.

And so Fifo The Bear was born.

I worked in entertainment management with general accounting being part of the game.  The name “Fifo” was derived from “first in, first out”, an accounting term used to track money that’s tied up in inventory.  I liked the uniqueness of the name, if nothing more.

The life of Fifo began to emerge and I took him on a journey through his first day of school, something my cousins would experience in the years to come.  On his way to school, Fifo dreamt of all of the things he could become when he grew up, from a doctor or lawyer to a firefighter or pilot.  And Fifo’s imagination helped ease his fears of starting a new phase in his life.

When I returned home, the story of Fifo actually went into a draw and stayed there for years.  It was one day while having lunch with mom that the restaurant owner, who also owned a small publishing company, told us about a new book one of his authors had just launched.  Learning about his publishing business, I told him that I had once written a story about a bear, but I never did anything with it.  He encouraged me to bring it in so he could read it.

I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and being able to spot an opportunity was an innate trait.  The thought of taking a risk and bringing Fifo to life for others to enjoy seemed well worth the time I would have to sacrifice to become a published author.

In 2002, about 10 years after that fateful plane ride, Fifo, “When I Grow Up”, the story I wrote for my cousins came out of the drawer and sat nestled on store book shelves for other kids to enjoy.  In 2010, I launched Fifo, “50 States”, a tale told in rhyme about Fifo’s travels through every state in our incredible country.

My journey has been remarkable and one that I am blessed to be taking.

About the Author:

Hayley Rose grew up in the beach side town of Pacific Palisades, California, to a family of visual artists. In the early 90’s she traveled the U.S. with her band Crush Violet. In 1994, after a family reunion, she was inspired to write a children’s book.  Her first book, Fifo “When I Grow Up” was published in 2002.  Fifo “50 States” is the second book in the Fifo series. Along with writing children’s books, Hayley has been working in entertainment business management for the past 15 years specializing in concert touring.  She has worked with many “A list” musicians including, Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Candlebox, and hopes to one day soon release an album of children’s songs.  She is a currently member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.  You can read more at www.fifothebear.com. or join the Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/fifothebearbooks.

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Think and Grow Beyond Your Book

Think and Grow Beyond Your Book

By Hayley Rose

Your book is your primary product, but there are other products and services you can create and monetize.  It’s the difference between building a brand and just building a small business.

After I wrote my first book, Fifo, “When I Grow Up”, I knew there was more I could do with Fifo than just sell the book.  There were secondary products that I could create and sell that would not only help to build the Fifo brand, but enhance the experience kids had with my book.

One of the first things I did was to bring Fifo to life visually.  I found a toy manufacturer that could make Fifo into a stuffed animal and one that resembled the illustrations found in my book.  I sold the stuffed animals in addition to my books.

Following the creation of the Fifo toy, I had other items made that I sold to my customers, such as shirts, mugs, journals and calendars.  I even had tattoos and postcards made that I handed out to the kids for free at my book signings.  All of the ancillary items helped to build a stronger experience for the kids who read my book.

I also marketed services to elementary schools that would pay me a fee to come teach their students about book publishing.  This allowed me to directly expose my book and products to my targeted audience and generate sales.

There’s a lot you can do to sell your book that goes beyond just selling your book.  There are products and services you can creatively provide to your target market that will not only generate sales for your book, but can bring in additional revenue.  Successful authors do it all the time.  They don’t just sell their book; they monetize their brand.

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Hayley Rose grew up in the beach side town of Pacific Palisades, California, to a family of visual artists. In the early 90’s she traveled the U.S. with her band Crush Violet. In 1994, after a family reunion, she was inspired to write a children’s book.  Her first book, Fifo “When I Grow Up” was published in 2002.  Fifo “50 States” is the second book in the Fifo series. Along with writing children’s books, Hayley has been working in entertainment business management for the past 15 years specializing in concert touring.  She has worked with many “A list” musicians including, Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Candlebox, and hopes to one day soon release an album of children’s songs.  She is a currently member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.  You can read more at www.fifothebear.com. or join the Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/fifothebearbooks.

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Promoting Your Book Via Your Website and Social Media

Hayley Rose grew up in the beach side town of Pacific Palisades , California, to a family of visual artists.  In the early 1990’s she traveled the U.S. with her band Crush Violet.  In 1994, after a family reunion, she was inspired to write a children’s book.  Looking for a cute and catchy name for a main character, she kept hearing “first in, first out”.  Hence, the name Fifo was born.  Hayley’s mother would often ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, so Hayley decided to start her series of “Fifo” books with that very question.  Her first book, Fifo “When I Grow Up” was published in 2002.  Her love of travel inspired her second book in the Fifo series, Fifo “50 States”, published in 2010.

Along with writing children’s books, Hayley has been working in entertainment business management for the past 15 years, specializing in concert touring.  She has worked with many “A list” musicians including Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Candlebox just to name a few.  Hayley hopes to one day soon release an album of children’s songs.  She is a currently member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

You can visit her website at www.fifothebear.com.

Promoting Your Book Via Your Website and Social Media

by Hayley Rose

When I wrote my first Fifo the Bear book, Fifo,” When I Grow Up”, I figured the first step I needed to take to market my book online was to build a website. I had plenty of ideas as to what I wanted it to look like, but I never imagined the true significance of a website as a marketing medium.

Back in 2002 when my first book was released, social media was far from what it is today. Having a website meant you were on the cutting edge of technology and an added piece to your main focus – offline marketing campaigns. Today, things are different and having an online component to marketing your book is vital.

The Value of Your Website

For some authors a website is simply an ancillary tool used to direct people to, just in case they don’t buy your book offline and are still in the decision-making phase. It’s akin to handing someone your business card and hoping they don’t put it in the big heap of other business cards. For other authors, their website is the prime focus of their online efforts and is something used to drive customers to and increase sales. It’s their brick and mortar, just without the physical bricks and mortar. What you do with your website and how you market it is up to you, but don’t underestimate the power it brings.

Make Your Website Engaging

If you use your website to promote your book, it’s important that you design it so that it’s engaging. You want people to stay on your site long enough to read all of the enticing information you provide so that they are compelled to buy your book. Offer your visitors polls, encourage discussions about your book, write engaging blog posts or create a contest. Provide your visitors with an option to subscribe to your website or newsletter so that they can read about any updates and be sure to remain consistent with your communications.

Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Fortunately, the rise in new technology has changed user communication and information-gathering habits allowing people to easily adopt and adapt to it. Published authors, especially those new to the industry, are given cost effective and efficient avenues by which to reach readers in ways they couldn’t have done before. A local author no longer has to remain local; he or she can branch out to markets all across the globe. Social media is simply a way to connect with customers. They are avenues by which you drive traffic to your website where customers are encouraged and able to buy your book.

When you understand the value of your website as a marketing tool and the use of social media as an avenue to drive those customers to your website, you will be able to creatively attract more potential customers. And don’t be afraid to take risks and test out new ideas. You never know which one will be the golden ticket.

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‘Fifo: 50 States’: Interview with Children’s Book Author Hayley Rose

Hayley RoseHayley Rose grew up in the beach side town of Pacific Palisades , California, to a family of visual artists. In the early 1990’s she traveled the U.S. with her band Crush Violet. In 1994, after a family reunion, she was inspired to write a children’s book. Looking for a cute and catchy name for a main character, she kept hearing “first in, first out”. Hence, the name Fifo was born. Hayley’s mother would often ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, so Hayley decided to start her series of “Fifo” books with that very question. Her first book, Fifo “When I Grow Up” was published in 2002. Her love of travel inspired her second book in the Fifo series, Fifo “50 States”, published in 2010.

Along with writing children’s books, Hayley has been working in entertainment business management for the past 15 years, specializing in concert touring. She has worked with many “A list” musicians including Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Candlebox just to name a few. Hayley hopes to one day soon release an album of children’s songs. She is a currently member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

You can visit her website at www.fifothebear.com.

Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook!

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Thank you for this interview, Hayley.  What inspired you to write your first book, Fifo – “When I Grow Up?

I had just come home from a family reunion in Chicago where I had spent time with my two little cousins. It was fun watching them learn to walk and talk, and I caught myself thinking, they have their whole lives ahead of them. Wonder what they’ll be when they grow up. Well one thing lead to another and I decided to write them a story with that very question in mind.

Your character, Fifo The Bear, is great. How did you come up with him?

I wanted a main character that everyone could identify with. I thought a bear would be loveable, cuddly and comforting, and who wouldn’t love a fuzzy brown bear named Fifo? Which brings me to the name Fifo. Fifo actually stands for, first in first out. It’s an accounting term, and I was working in an accounting firm while writing Fifo – “When I Grow Up”. I thought, Fifo The Bear, was a cute and catchy name that rolled right off the tongue. Hence, Fifo The Bear was born.

How did you come up with the idea for Fifo – “50 States”?

Fifo – “50 States” came from my love of travel. So far I have been to 42 states. Each state is unique and has something special to offer, and one day I hope to visit all 50 states. Of course, the book is all written in rhyme and educational. After reading Fifo – “50 States” you will know each state’s capital, bird, tree, flower, motto and much, much more. I am sure you will want to visit all 50 as well.

Describe your typical day.

I get up around 9:00 a.m., take a shower, brush my teeth and grab a much needed cup of coffee. I usually skip breakfast. I know, very bad! I roll into the office around 10:30ish, address emails and the social networking sites. I will usually touch base with my publisher or booking agent then as well to set up book events and interviews. I still work for a business management firm specializing in concert touring. So, I tend to the artists needs for the next 8 hours with a lunch break in between. Most nights I catch dinner out with friends and arrive home around 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. I feel the most creative at night so that is when I will usually sit down and write.

What are your hobbies when you’re not writing?

I love to travel. I recently spent a week at a castle in France. Except for the bugs, it was amazing. I am also interested in learning a new language. We’ll see what happens with that.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Creative, loyal, spontaneous, easygoing, witty.

Where did you get your ideas to write books?

My ideas usually come from a part of my life. Something I’ve experienced in the past, or love to do. I then try to tie that in with something educational.

Did you like school, and what was your favorite subject?

My favorite subjects were history and music. I liked school for the most part, but It started a little too early for me.

Why did you want to become a writer?

I have always loved to write. It’s such a great outlet. It’s a great way to keep track of where you’ve been, where you want to go, and what you’re feeling. It’s a great release and/or a great escape. Anyone can write. I grew up with great parents and lots of encouragement. I wanted to be able to give some of that upbringing back to future generations in a positive way.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Write often. Rewrite. Keep a pen and pad with you always. You never know when and where your next idea will come from. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

What did it feel like when you found out you were going to be published for the first time?

Ecstatic! It was a bit overwhelming and surreal. It’s been a fabulous adventure so far.

Who was your favorite author when you were a child?

Dr. Seuss! I love how he wrote in silly rhymes. It’s the reason I write in rhyme today.

What future plans do you have in store for Fifo The Bear?

Fifo has big, big plans! After Fifo – “50 States” the series will continue with England and then other European countries. Eventually Fifo will travel the world. Fifo also plans to release an album of children’s songs, along with an etiquette board game and a TV series.

What’s the worst summer job you’ve ever had?

Cleaning out horse stables. Smelly and not much fun after a big rain.

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