The Bookworm Sez is a book review column for newspapers or magazines of any size or market. Over 3 million readers around the country and internationally read The Bookworm. You can, too! Just contact your local newspaper or magazine and tell them, “I want to read what The Bookworm Sez!” The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.
Ella: Hello Terri, how did you get your start in this business/industry?
My then-husband was loudly complaining about my “book habit”. I was working at a radio station at the time, so I thought maybe I could put my books to good use. I asked if I could do radio reviews. A couple months later, a friend-of-a-friend asked me to do a newspaper article. I saw that there was a market for low-cost, reliable book reviewers so I started marketing myself and here I am…
Ella: Did you have any formal business training?
I spent 5 years as the copywriter at that radio station. Because I was considered a part of the sales dept., I was expected to attend all sales training (even though it had no direct use for my job at the time). After I started writing my column, I took what I learned from my former job and applied it to my own business.
Ella: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
I have a style all my own. I’m reliable and professional. I can churn out four or five quality columns each week, ON TIME and within word count, spell-checked and ready to go. Because I offer so many options, editors can choose what they want to run. And I’m inexpensive.
Ella: How would you describe your experience as a Entrepreneur?
Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart, but I’ve learned to think so far outside the box that I can’t even SEE the box sometimes. Being an entrepreneur often means nudging your brain in a different direction and pouncing on small things that nobody else notices.
Ella: What do you like most about your profession?
A couple things: I work with some fantastic people! Every one of my editors knows I’m approachable… and they approach me. I love that. I also like working at my own pace and setting my own hours. Oh, and I love working barefoot… it’s one of the better perks. (grin)
Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
I’m an impatient person since birth (I was born 6 weeks early, so….) I have a few close, trusted friends who remind me all the time that things are cyclical and that I need to remember to breathe deep and hang loose. They ground me and make me see real.
Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
Failure should never be an option. Always be prepared with a Plan B, but never give up on Plan A. And remember that freelancing is HARD WORK. Don’t kid yourself by thinking you’re going to skid by; you’re going to work harder than you ever have before, but you’ll love it twice as much.
Ella: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
I am FIERCE about literacy!! I hope – through my column – that I can entice someone to read more, which will enhance her life, teach him something, give them something to share.
Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
Perseverance, tenacity, and the ability to switch gears when the situation warrants.
Ella: How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?
I get really excited when I can tell someone about my product. THAT is what wakes me up. When I’m having a not-so-good day, I know I need to make some cold-calls. It really gets me revved because I know there are people who share my enthusiasm and it’s up to me to find them.
Ella: What’s new in your company for 2009?
I’m branching out! I now work with several different niche markets and am always on the lookout for new ones. This year, I’ve added parenting publications to my client list, as well as medical publications and more.