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Business Spotlight: Simply Said Reading Accessories

Intimate Conversation with Simply Said Reading Accessories

“Can I Make Your Mark?”

Hello Black Authors Network,
I am Debra Owsley, and I am the owner and creator of a line of handmade reading accessories that I call gift-marks, book thongs, and other promotional items for authors, book stores, and book lovers.

The “Gift-Marks”, are oversized, colorful, creative, and unique bookmarks that I create. These Gift-Marks are more of a gift, or a keepsake item. These souvenir type promotional tools are excellent marketing items that are designed with your fan base in mind. When creating this product, all of your promotional and retention needs are met. In making these keepsakes for your fans, all of your contact information, book covers, synopses, web info and almost anything your fans need to stay in contact with you is there. Even after they are awaiting your next masterpiece and reading another, they are still looking at you and your information.

The Gift-Mark also comes in a half size, which is perfect for a mass paperback as well as an oversized business card/bookmark!

The Book Thongs are book jewelry for the book lover. What woman doesn't love a piece of jewelry? They are sexy, unique, and very pretty. They come in many jeweled colors and types. They are excellent contest prizes and promotional gifts. They are also designed not to slip of out your book. The come packaged with an insert, which can be your book cover and a message from you!

Simply Said Reading Accessories also creates a line of note cards and book plates that can be signed and sent as a thank you to a fan or a book club after hosting an event for you. I also wholesale to book stores and card shops; I have over 200 pre-designed bookmarks in categories such as motivational, religious, wise and witty, children’s, pet lovers, provocative, and more. I do have a perfect one for everyone you know.

Simply Said Reading Accessories has done custom work for authors such as Donna Hill, Rochelle Alers, Marcia King-Gamble, Noire, Cheryl Robinson, Dwan Abrams, L.A. Banks street team, Pat G’Orge Walker, LaConnie Taylor Jones, SORMAG, Marissa Monteilh, and this is just to name a few.

Intimate Conversation with Simply Said Reading Accessories

Debra, finish this sentence: I am Powerful because...
I know to surround myself with people who are smarter than I
I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge
I am not afraid to try
I absolutely love what I do

Ella: Nicolo Machiavelli says, "It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one." Did your company change the way consumers were previously taught to think?
Yes. Stop thinking only quantity think also of quality, and to raise the bar.

Ella: What got you started in this business/industry? How did you start your writing or speaker's journey?
It all started by me giving all of my clients gifts for the holidays. They read under the dryer, I am a hairstylist. So it was a natural fit. I also added my salon information on them. One of my clients is author Marcia King-Gamble and she asked me to customize some for her. That’s Simply Said, how it all started. Giving them that gift became a gift for me.

Ella: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
Because I am such an avid reader, I really try to bring the authors vision to life as they try to do in their books. I know and understand that having your brand embedded into memory, is one of the most important things an author can do. Simply Said Reading Accessories is a signature, a brand, a gift that shows you've gone the extra mile. It also says that you have invested in yourself. Also I am first and foremost a fan so I tend to look at things from both angles, a business aspect as well as a fans point of view. Realizing and using those two visions I am able to create a good fit for the authors and their fans.

Ella: What one thing would you do if you knew you could not fail?
Hire help knowing I can pay them!!

Ella: Describe the strangest thing that has ever happened to you in your business?
Well, not strange but funny, I had to come up with a gimmick to get peoples attention. So I created a tee shirt that says, “Wanna See My Thong”??? I wear it to book events I attend. When I ask women “do you wanna see my thong” they answer back, no I have my own! I then say I want to show you mine anyway and they almost cringe at what the may see! I even had a few run. LOL Now of course the guys say YES!

Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
Honestly it was convincing people why my product is worth the money. Authors have gotten used to doing the 5000 throw away types. That I had to really work hard to make them understand that yes… those are appropriate in some venues but think of “gifting” your fans. Especially your loyal fans and Book clubs that support you. This has been one of the hardest they to get across, I am overcoming it by word of mouth and people seeing others using them as promotional material.

I created this slide show showing where most of the throw away type bookmarks end up after a festival and I caused a bit of a rumble. It made people stop and think about how your promo materials actually can be held on too. It opened a dialog.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
In the Movie Dream Girls, there is a song called Patience and is the one thing YOU MUST HAVE in this business and in life... Do your homework. There is so much to learn. Please don't just jump without studying the industry. You'll save your self a lot of time, money and tears. Also re-invest back into your business.

Ella: What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I love meeting like minded people that are sharing, networking, meeting authors, seeing the finished products and the endorsements!! I am also enjoying traveling to many book events all over the country.

Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
Drive, determination, and faith.

Ella: What's new in your company for 2009?
Simply Said Reading Accessories is also adding new products and services! I have learned so much over the last few years that I will be starting a consultation division, to the growing list of services. I will be coaching you on how to get the optimum results out of your marketing budget, creating themes, and how to do it. Please contact me for additional information. This extension will be launched very soon.

“Can I Make Your Mark”?

Please visit my sites at:

Brought to you by Ella Curry, president of EDC Creations

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