Despite a failed attempt at majoring in ice cream in college, Steff Deschenes is a self-taught ice-cream guru. After publishing the now twelve-time award-winning The Ice Cream Theory, she began exploring food on a more universal level. As a result, she now photo blogs daily herself at dinner and the challenges of being a vegetarian in a predominantly seafood-oriented state. Steff also writes two articles a week entitled “Maybe It’s Me” (personal essays and reflection on life and the living of it) and “Fact Is Better” (real life conversations she couldn’t make up if she tried); all of which can be found at www.steffdeschenes.com. You can also visit her at www.theicecreamtheory.com.
Thank you for this interview, Steff. Can we start out by having you tell us briefly what your new book is about?
The Ice Cream Theory is a charming, tongue-in-cheek exploration of the parallels between human personalities and ice cream flavors. Utilizing humor and satire, it brings together anecdotes from my own adventures with broader-reaching social commentary to help others recognize the wisdom and joy inherent in a beloved dessert. In the same way people have ice-cream preferences, people also have people preferences. Like ice cream flavors, social preferences shift based on age, experience, even mood. There are exotic flavors that one craves when feeling daring, comforting flavors to fall back on, flavors long-enjoyed that eventually wear out their welcome, and those unique flavors that require an acquired taste. Like people, no ice cream flavor is perfect every single time, and it’s in this realization that the crux of the theory lies.
More and more authors are realizing the potential for sales that derives from virtual book tours. Can you tell us your personal reasons why you chose a virtual book tour to help get the word out about your new book?
I think that the internet is the great equalizer among mankind. Everyone is the same online – there’s no race, or gender, or socioeconomic status; as a result of that level playing field I think loads of people are turning to the internet to do just about everything. I like being a part of something like that! And, as a self-published author the most economical way for me to get the word out about my little indie book to a lot of people in a short amount of time was a virtual book tour.
Is this the first time you have heard of them?
Yes – after publishing my book, I actually had the chance to spend an hour brainstorming with a professional marketing guru in the self-published book field. While a lot of what he said were things I already knew, he did share with me several sources he thought might help propel the book further, including links to award sites and reviewers (both of which I took advantage of!) and links to a couple virtual book tour sites. That’s when I first heard of it.
Two things, ideally: exposure/increased interest in the book and networking.
Do you promote through Twitter and Facebook? What are your links there?
More importantly, you can find The Ice Cream Theory on Facebook. When the fan page hits 1,000 fans (or likes), I’m going to give away 10 copies of the book!
Who maintains your website?
I maintain both of them (steffdeschenes.com and theicecreamtheory.com) and it’s the most laborious part of my world, because I’m simply never happy. There’s always something on there I want to change. Both sites were launched about a year and a half ago, and I think they’ve each gone through a dozen or so make-overs in that time! I’m a writer! But, when you are a self-published, one-man operation you tend to also become a marketer, a promoter, an editor, a graphic designer, a website consultant. I’ve learned more HTML code than I ever realized I would!
What are your experiences with offline booksignings? Do you have much luck selling your book through that method?
They. Are. AWESOME. I know lots of people have had negative experiences with book signings, but I simply haven’t. I was an alcohol promotional spokes model for a long time, and book signings are so similar to me. You go to a store, you set up shop, you talk to people, and you sell, sell, sell! I heard that a successful book signing is when an author sells at least four copies of their book. I have always sold more than four copies at every single signing I’ve done! Plus, again, just like with a virtual book tour it’s a chance to network and simply get the word out about your book.
Here’s a fun question. If money were no object, how would you promote your book?
Host the world’s biggest ice cream social. Duh!
Thank you for this interview, Steff. Do you have any final words?
I’m excited to say that The Ice Cream Theory is going to be available on Kindle at the beginning of November! Unrelated, if people want a more intimate look into “the girl behind the book” I’ve been taking pictures of myself at dinner every night since the beginning of the year – that can be seen at www.SteffDeschenes.com. And I love getting email, so feel free to drop a line!