Deb speaking at a recent seminar (photo by Graham Cullen, The Frederick News Post).
WHO ARE BRAD AND DEBRA SCHEPP?
Writers, editors, speakers, consultants, online pioneers—we wear so many different hats that it’s a good thing we have two heads!
As writers we focus on bringing the latest technology to the attention of everyone who could benefit from knowing how to use it. Our goal is to make sure these new technologies are easy to understand and integrate into our readers’ lives. While we’re busy researching the latest innovations, we’re also meeting people who are using them successfully and gathering their stories. We are, before all else, storytellers.
Look at it this way. It’s been a long time since most of us were fascinated by the magic of a microwave oven. But as mundane an appliance as it has become, do you know exactly how it works? Nah, neither do we. We honestly don’t care about the technology behind it. We just want to know which buttons to push to make our coffee hot. Likewise, we can’t begin to tell you how LinkedIn or YouTube have built their global networks, but now that they have, we can help you use them to make yourself more successful. We can also help you build a successful e-commerce business, if you’d like, whether on eBay, Amazon, or through your own website.
We have worked together for more than 30 years helping people become familiar with emerging technologies. From building a solar home, to convincing your boss to let you telework, to keeping your kids safe online, and earning your livelihood with your own e-commerce business, we’ve dedicated ourselves to making the online world safer, more accessible, more profitable, and yes, even more fun.
Our 20 books include The Complete Passive Solar Home Book, How to Make Money with YouTube, and How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other Social Networks. Our bestselling book is eBay PowerSeller Secrets, with more than 40,000 copies in print.
Whether you need an accomplished writer, a top-notch editor, a writing coach, or a consultant who can assist you with e-commerce or publishing, we can help. We bring creativity, energy, curiosity, and a passion for quality and results to every project. No project is too big or too small—we’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies such as McGraw-Hill, AOL/Time Warner, and individuals working on Internet start-up ideas. If you need a clear understanding of how to make the best use of the world’s newest tools and want to be entertained while you learn, you’ve come to the right place.
Deb and I are actively working with new authors and loving it. It's the most gratifying work we've done.
"Working with" means helping authors assess and fine-tune their ideas, prepare book proposals, assess working with agents and publishers, review contracts, and offering help and advice as they write their books. Then, we provide concrete steps authors can take to sell their books, whether they are self-published or published through a publishing house.
We offer free 15-minute consultations to see if working together makes sense. (Our news update for Spring/Summer 2022 has more details on our approach to working with authors.)
We're still generating our own book ideas (can't help it--once you start you can never stop). And we're still selling again on eBay and now Etsy.
After almost 20 years Deb and I have decided to sell on eBay again. It's remarkable how the
site has changed. It's definitely time for us to update our eBay books, although time-tested strategies such as providing excellent customer service, checking out your buyers or sellers before transactions, and timing your auctions so they end on Sunday nights still hold true. We're still working with first-time authors and that's our favorite part of being at this stage of our careers. Personal projects of our own? Books about our family's histories from the Mayflower to the lower East side of New York,
and revisions of our previous books come to mind. But we're always open to ideas. Stay safe, warm, and love your loved ones.
Is there anything more satisfying than working with first-time authors? If there is, we haven't found it. Of all the things we've done as writers, working with someone who has never been published, but who has an idea for an exciting and unique book, is what we like best.
Book publishing can seem mysterious if you're not in the field. Yes, you can publish a book yourself...paying others to do everything from writing to layout, editing, and design. They will have the book printed for you, and even help you "market" it. What you'll wind up with (product and money-wise) depends on how well you've researched your potential partner(s). You can lose a lot of money or make a lot too. (Most self- publishers lose money though.)
That's self-publishing for you. BUT how do you go about getting a Random House, HarperCollins, Wiley or other well-known publisher interested in working with you? A company that will pay you to write a book and then take it from there, handling editing, design, printing, and marketing (although you'll still need to help with the marketing part especially).
It's a great question and one that we love exploring. Brad's written books, "acquired" them for McGraw-Hill, and built an in-house publishing arm for AOL. But nothing has topped working with new authors.
Deb's coauthored most of those books with Brad, been an editor for McGraw-Hill and others, and also worked as a librarian for over 15 years! (Honestly, I don't know how we ever found time to raise our kids.) In the book world, Deb's covered most of the bases and loves talking about what's involved with each step.
Going from an idea to a published book involves a lot of steps and many people and resources. We can help you navigate the process. If you decide to self-publish we can advise you and if you want to reach for the stars (say Random House) we'll be right there with you.
Like so many things in life there are scammers who will do a shoddy job for you if you go the self-publishing route, and charge wayyyy too much. And some "real" publishers will work you to the bone for a pittance! I'm happy to say that Deb and I don't want our clients to be disappointed. We're available on a per-hour basis or will even coauthor or "ghost" a book with you. But we won't rip you off.
When the projects we're working on are farther along we'll share the details. We can't wait and neither can our authors!
We're thrilled to say we're immersed in book projects once again and that's when we're at our best. Over the last few years writing articles, and doing PR and consulting has kept the lights on while also keeping our writing, research, and editing skills sharp.
Now it's on to books again! But even as authors we're evolving. After writing about everything from solar energy to social media, e-commerce, and remote work it's on to new horizons. While business and technology books always kept us engrossed and engaged we're also branching out into children's books.
As we work on book ideas for 2022-2023 and beyond, we're focusing on such topic areas as parenting, remote work, genealogy, history, and e-commerce, pop culture, and nonfiction children's books.
Fascinating cicadas are now emerging from the Earth everywhere in western Maryland. The millions of fascinating critters are renewed, pumped, and ready to be fruitful and multiply. So are we!
Feel free to contact us anytime. We're always happy to talk about how we may work together.
Deb and I are using this time to explore new writing opportunities in nonfiction as well as fiction. We're also doing some consulting work. If you have an idea for a book and could use a writing coach or publishing insider to show you the ropes give us a shout!
One of the Associations we write for is entering its busiest season of the year. Their annual Scholarship Golf Tournament is coming up and not long after that the Association's 20th Annual Convention is being held in Palm Springs, CA. Deb and I are handling public relations, helping with social media outreach, and as usual writing their monthly newsletter.
Also, Deb's still working as a children's librarian for the C. Burr Artz library in Frederick, MD. She recently celebrated her 15th year there!
We're always interested in new book projects, consulting with new authors, and other freelance work, so give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think we can help out.
We're actively developing new book projects both for ourselves and other authors. We're also editing the web newsletters and handling PR and social media for several websites.
So proud of Deb! The book she co-authored with John Lawson--Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-preneurs: It's Not About Likes--It's About Sales--was named a 2015 Small Business Book Awards winner. It won in the social media category.
We just completed a great interview with FORBES.com for an article called Make Social Media Your Job-Finding Weapon. They even used our quotes to create an entertaining slide show. The link for it is below the next bit of text.
The new book promotion is going great guns. New interviews with Investor's Business Daily and CBS News. Links below!
We're thrilled to say that the Wall Street Journal named How to Find a Job on LinkedIn among the Best Career Books for 2012.
For this edition we added a chapter on Google+, as well as a chapter just for students and other recent grads. We also added many more stories about people who found jobs through LinkedIn or other social networks. We checked every fact and incorporated all the great feedback we received from our readers.
Our hope is that it helps many, many people in these difficult times. Job hunting's still hard, but in some ways it's easier. Or at least the Internet makes it appear to be. Our book really shows you how to use social networks efficiently and productively to uncover new work opportunities. Plus, it's fun to read and what job hunter couldn't use a bit of fun?
In their March 18th (2013) edition, PARADE Magazine published our article on making money on eBay. It appeared in print in PARADE's 20 million newspaper supplements. Now we don't get the same thrill as we once did from seeing our names in print but this was different. Brad used to read PARADE magazine as a kid. He couldn't have imagined that one day an article he wrote would be included there!