Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Hello Ty, thanks for being a part of this feature. Introduce yourself to the readers.
Tyora "Ty" Moody is a writer, graphic designer and online book promoter. For over ten years, she's specialized in marketing and design for authors and small businesses. As an avid bookworm, she has managed two book blogs, Christian Bookworm Reviews (est. 2002) and Written Voices Blog (est. 2006). She's the Books Editor for WOW! (Women of the Word) Magazine. Ty is a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She writes romantic suspense and cozy mysteries. Her Christian faith is blended into every project, whether writing or design-related.
Tell us about your literary business.
That's interesting that you ask about my "literary business." I wouldn't call it that because I do on occasion still do design work for small businesses and non-profits. For some reason and only God knows, he steered this little bookworm to work more with authors. There are two key people in my life who set the stage for my working mainly in the literary realm, that's Marina Woods of GoodGirlBookClubOnline.com and Marlive Harris of TheGRITS.com. Both of these two women approached me in 2000 and they opened up a world of opportunities I couldn't have imagined.
Tywebbin Creations is a design and marketing company. On the design side, I do web design and graphic design. For web design, I design HTML-based sites or can set-up a customized blog for an author, whichever they prefer. My graphic design services include promotion items like bookmarks, business cards, postcards and electronic media kits. Last year, I started designing book covers which was something I had many authors ask me about doing over the years. On the marketing side of Tywebbin, I started coordinating virtual book tours in 2009. With the virtual book tours, I promote authors in the various realms of social media.
Who are your customers?
The majority of my customer base has always been authors. My first client back in 1999 was an author. I remember she kept sending me emails asking me did I build websites for others and I was real hesitant back then. I eventually put together the website for her and it's been amazing. Even clients who come to me with ministry-based sites often have a book or two that they desire to promote.
How did you get started?
I've been designing websites since 1997. The first website I started is one that still is online today, www.faithwebbin.net. A year after I started Faithwebbin, I started two other websites, one called DOEnetwork.com and the other AAKultureZone.com. DOEnetwork.com was probably the most popular site and I had met quite a few author and writer friends from the years 1998-2004. I decided in 2004 to let DOEnetwork.com go. That was a hard decision, but it opened up time I needed to let Tywebbin grow.
Like all business, there are ups and downs in publishing. The current economic downturn has caused a sharp reduction in book sales. How does this affect your business?
There has been a slight affect on the web design front. Over the past two years, I have re-designed my packages I offer so that I can fit an author's budget. Back in the day when I used to do a lot of maintenance work, these days I try to set-up sites in a way that allows the author much more control over pages that needed to be updated frequently. I also do more blog design work than I used to since blogs are usually easier and less expensive to set-up.
The virtual book tours are surprisingly popular and I continue to consult with authors all the time. I think it's because I offer quite a bit of services within the packages I offer. I prayed to not undercut my skills and time, but at the same time offer value with the pricing tiers I have set-up. I know how tight an author's budget can be and how hard it can be to balance promoting when you aren't an "online" person.
Share a rewarding or successful literary experience you’ve had recently.
It occurred to me as I coordinated blog tours for two anthologies earlier this year, I needed a way to represent as many of the contributing writers as possible. So, I added video services to Tywebbin. I just have to send a shout-out to the editors and contributing writers of Victorious Living for Women and SistahFaith. I was extraordinarily blessed and ministered to via both projects - and that's not something I expected while editing video late at night.
The experience reminded me of the types of books I've chosen to promote - Christian Fiction and Nonfiction. These books are about ministering, sharing the Gospel and planting a seed in someone who really needs to develop a relationship with God through his son Jesus. Sometimes it's easy to get so busy, you lose sight of your purpose. God's instilled in me technical skills and passion to be used as a vessel. It's a blessing and I pray to continue to always keep that in mind on every project.
Where do you see Tywebbin Creations in five years?
I mentioned above I added new services like the virtual book tours, book covers and video editing. Some independently-published authors have asked me about doing layouts for the inner pages of a book. That's something I have in my future consideration category. There are other areas I would love to explore - like e-books. I can see there is going to be a major shift in publishing with all the new devices like iPad, Nook and Kindle. Each of these devices will need a special way to format the book. I keep my eye on the publishing and online trends daily. It wasn't until 2007 that I really started to understand the value of social media. Life throws changes and curve balls at you and I plan to keep up. Me staying ahead, often helps me keep my clients ahead.
What do you enjoy reading? Any Christian Fiction favorites or recent notable reads?
I enjoy both Christian Fiction and Nonfiction. My favorite Christian Fiction writers are Sharon Ewell Foster, Claudia Mair Burney, Stacy Hawkins Adams and a certain debut novelist, Rhonda McKnight. :) It's no secret, my favorite genre is mystery and suspense. I love to read and write in this genre. Currently, I'm catching up on two of Terri Blackstock's book, Double Minds and Intervention.
I love reading or tacking bible studies from Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer.
Where can writers find you on the Internet?
Last year, I had a crash course on trying to brand myself. That wasn't easy to do since I'm all over the place. LOL! I now prefer to send people to www.TyoraMoody.com. You can pretty much access everything I do from that main page - including Tywebbin.com, my profile on Facebook.com, Twitter.com, etc.
Rhonda, thank you for the opportunity!
Glad to have you, Ty. Please visit Ty's website to see the website designs and graphic design projects Ty has completed. Including my website at www.rhondamcknight.net