An Interview With Ellen Gordman
Dennis:  How long have you been writing?

Ellen:  Since the mid-1970s. I have written articles for magazines and newspapers, three guide books to Summit County, Colorado and co-authored two books, The Must-Have Customer: 7 Steps to Winning the Customer You Haven't Got and Secrets of the $uper $weet $pot: Building Sustained, Profitable Growth. I have also created and implemented public relations and marketing campaigns for many non-profit organizations and have been the Vice President of Marketing for The Gordman Group for two years.

Dennis:   What marketing activities have you used that you feel would benefit other authors?

Ellen:  Sending out as many complimentary copies of their book as possible with a press release. In one case, about a year after an editor received a copy of our first book, she called me to write an article for her magazine. I am writing another article for the magazine in 2008. I know from talking to several other editors that the books and press releases get put in a pile, and when they need articles they go through the pile looking for writers who can supply what they need.

I send out a Secrets of the $uper $weet $pot newsletter every month to 150 people. The mailing list includes people who have signed up after hearing Bob speak or after reading one of the books and media people and speakers bureau contacts. There is a short article about a business-related topic, a link to to buy the book and a reminder that Robert Gordman is available to speak at conferences and conventions. The monthly newsletter keeps the book and Bob in front of media people and speakers bureau contacts.

Dennis:   Please give a brief overview of the books The Must Have Customer and the Super Sweet Spot.

Ellen:  The Must-Have Customer: 7 Steps to Winning the Customer You Haven't Got
shows business owners, executives and managers how to
     * Identify Core and Must-Have Customers
     * Turn satisfied customers into loyal Core customers
     * Hire Must-Have Employees who are dedicated to the company's mission
     * Create a customer-relevant strategic plan
     * Improve the effectiveness of advertising

Note: Core Customers are a company's most loyal customers who are willing to pay a fair price for products or services. Must-Have Customers are people who could become Core Customers, but they currently do business with the competition.  A growing, profitable company is always seeking out Must-Have Customers and converting them to loyal Core Customers.

Secrets of the $uper $weet $pot: Building Sustained, Profitable Growth
   * How to develop a clear understanding of a company's unique,
customer-relevant strengths
   * Ways to leverage those strengths to create a $uper $weet $pot to meet the needs of Core Customers and attract Must-Have Customers
   * The best research methods to get information from Core and Must-Have Customers
   * How to create communications and advertising strategies that actually
produce results

Dennis: What is the purpose of your web site and what benefits does it offer in terms of information and resources?

Ellen:  The web site is the place prospective clients go to get information about the services we offer and our team members. It also provides a link to our monthly Retail Trending Report and information about our two books. Through Google Analytics we track how many people are accessing our web site and what search engines they are using.

Dennis:  What have you learned about the publishing industry since you began writing that surprised you?

Ellen:  We turned in our manuscript in Word. Our publisher then had two people enter the book into their proprietary word processing software and merged the results into a document. The number of errors was staggering. I don't know if this is typical for other publishers, but it is a very inefficient way to work since we had to spend hours re-reading and correcting the manuscript.

When we published Secrets of the $uper $weet $pot, we set up our own
publishing company. We worked in Word, which was then formatted into a PDF to send to our printer. The process was much faster and more error free.

Dennis:  Where can the books listed above be purchased?

Ellen:  The following links will take people directly to the books on and

Dennis:  What advice do you have for other writers?

Ellen: Be prepared to market your book through press releases to newspapers and magazines with follow-up calls. If you feel comfortable with speaking, trying to get connected with as many speakers bureaus as possible.

Dennis:  You have a speakers bureau on your web site.  What is the process for arranging for a speaker who is listed on your site?

Ellen:  People who are interested in booking one of our consultants can call me at 970-409-0070.

Dennis:  Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?

Ellen: Writing a book is the easy part of the process. Trying to get an agent and a publisher is the hard part. With more companies such as Lightning Source offering easy, reasonably priced printing I think that authors should seriously consider publishing their own books. The monetary payback is much better and the aggravation factor is much less.

This page was last updated: August 25, 2013
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