Author Cendrine Marrouat

Cendrine Marrouat is a photographer, social media blogger and trainer, French instructor, and author living in Canada. She is the founder of two blogs:

  • Social Media Slant helps photographers figure out the basics of social media.
  • Cendrine Marrouat Photography displays her photographic work.

In 2015, Cendrine was recognized a Top 100 Business Blogger by BuzzHUMM. Social Media Slant also made Fit Small Business' Best Small Business Blogs of 2015 & 2016 lists.

 




What is one thing you wish you knew when you started out?
That there are different forms of creativity and that perfection is not a prerequisite for success.

Do you prefer to read traditional books or ebooks?
I definitely prefer traditional books. I always experience childish joy when I touch a book. I love smelling it when it has just been unpacked. A physical book is an experience. You don't get that with ebooks.

Of course, ebooks are very convenient when you are on the move. But I find it hard to remain focused on a screen for a sustained period of time.

What book has most influenced your life?
Khalil Gibran's The Prophet. My paternal aunt gave me a copy when I was 21 or 22 and feeling very depressed. The words it contains uplifted me and saved my life.

Have you ever let any of your books stew from months or even a year?
I always do. And I advise every author to do the same. Why? Because your initial vision may not work or things may not go as planned. Hindsight is a fantastic tool!

I'll share a personal story as an example.

In 2014, I was stuck working on the draft of a social media ebook. So, I decided to show it to several trusted peers. One of them was a prominent social media professional; he found the whole manuscript lame, especially my "boring personal stories".

His comments was hard to take. But after 24 hours, I decided to step away from the project. When I started working on it again several weeks later, I realized that his harsh words contained some truth and that the format of the book needed to change.

Instead of writing something new, I built on what I already had. I deleted some chapters and reshuffled and edited what was left. I also added more examples and takeaways.

The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win received fantastic advance reviews and only 5-star reviews on Amazon. It was also featured in a few blogs and won an award.

What is your favorite writing resource?
English is not my mother tongue, so I always keep a grammar book, bilingual dictionary, and thesaurus handy. They are the best resources I have. Otherwise, I rely on the internet. There is a treasure trove of useful tools out there.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
An excellent question! I am pretty sure I will still be releasing books. But I would love to do photography full time.

What does literary success look like to you?
Knowing that my work has helped others, that it has opened their minds.

Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
This year, I have finally gotten back to reading at least an hour daily.

I enjoy nonfiction history books. I also re-read some of Khalil Gibran's books at least once a year. I'm addicted to this magnificent author.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Always go with your gut feelings. Intuition works!

Do you edit your own writing or hire someone?
I never edit my own writing, especially if it is a book. It is a huge mistake.

No matter how good and knowledgeable you are about your own language, it's very easy to miss errors and typos. Always have someone else look over your work.

Are you self-published or have a publisher and why?
I did not choose self-publishing because traditional publishers rejected me. I did because I love working on my own and making my own decisions. My attention to detail, my passion for research, and my partnering with the right professionals has allowed me to create books that I am proud to share with the world.

Self-publishing works, but you cannot afford to cut corners. It is especially important when it comes to marketing. You may lack the connections a traditional publisher has, but the amount of promotional work that befalls you is huge!

How do you market yourself and your book?
As a social media advisor for 9 years, I follow the advice that I give the people who need help with their strategies. I am a "walk the talk" kind of gal.

I have written books in several different categories (poetry, social media, and photography) and observed how successful authors do things online. So, every time I release something new, I create a tailored strategy. I also learn from my errors.

It all starts with research, determining the right potential audience and social media platforms, building relationships, and contacting the right media outlets.

For example, a photographer with a new book out may want to get in touch with photography blogs and magazines for potential interviews, but it can be beneficial to check out book review blogs in other categories.

For my research, I use a combination of Google Search, Twitter, and Pinterest. Twitter, for example, has an excellent internal search engine. You will find anything you need in the Twittersphere if you use the right keywords.

For each book, I create a dedicated page on my website, where I feature advance and after-release reviews, extracts, and trailers. I also use my blog to share announcements and draw more attention to the book.

For trailer-making, I rely on Animoto. The video will then be uploaded to YouTube, Daily Motion, and Vimeo. (Do not forget to SEO the heck out of your descriptions and use as many relevant keywords as possible!)

Each of my campaigns also has a dedicated hashtag for Twitter and Instagram. Hahstags are a way to archive conversations on social networks. Users can find your content more easily.

I always start promoting myself a couple of weeks before the release date. The day of the release is full of events (Twitter chats, for example). Then, promotion continues over time. Once in a while, I share reviews and testimonials from readers and features on blogs and in magazines. Most importantly, I celebrate every little victory.

Writing a book is the easy part. Real work starts with marketing.

Why do you write?
Because it is part of me. It's in my DNA. I need to do it or my life would not feel complete...

How often do you write and what is your process?
I write as often as I can. But as a very slow writer, I have learnt to take advantage of every spurt of inspiration.

Usually, I start with a title, which then leads to an idea. I create a quick outline for this idea. And then, I go with the flow.

What writing advice can you give?
I am sure I will not reinvent the wheel here.

  1. Practice, practice, practice.
  2. Emulate your favorite author to figure out your writing process.
  3. Understand what makes you unique. Sometimes, it is a tiny thing. But this tiny thing, if used well, will make a huge difference in the way people respond to your words.
  4. Don't compare yourself to others. No one else can write the way you do.
  5. Be patient, work hard, and don't take criticism personally. 

Can you create a short writing prompt?
Not sure how to make your words more impactful? Imagine yourself writing to your best friend or a loved one. If it does not work, let your fingers be your guide. Automatic writing is a fantastic tool.




Life's Little Things: The Quotes
by Cendrine Marrouat

Quotes have been part of the human fabric for a very long time. No matter how old we are, we like to keep our favorites with us. We often have them safely tucked in our wallets or framed on the walls of our homes.

Quotes bring us a sense of comfort and keep us grounded. They force us to think and question our preconceived notions of our surroundings. Most importantly, they inspire us to become better people, especially when they are paired with photography that tells multi-layered stories.

This is the idea behind ​Life's Little Things: The Quotes. Cendrine Marrouat's second book in her Life's Little Things​ series pays homage to the world in a way that you may never have seen before. Each page is an invitation to reflect on the human condition and our never-ending connection to nature.

Not only will ​Life's Little Things: The Quotes​ brighten your day, but it will also open your mind to what is possible and what truly matters. In a world where negativity seems to be winning, the 25 high-quality photos and quotes in the book are intended as a balancing act. They will encourage you to reconnect with yourself, think more positively, slow down your physical pace, and find your inner rhythm.


Cendrine Marrouat
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