Author, journalist, entrepreneur, TV/radio social commentator
Award-winning author and TV/radio social commentator Maryann Reid has been featured by countless media outlets including USA Today, Essence, Glamour, "The CBS Early Show," and "The Wendy Williams Experience." She is an expert wordsmith and has a plethora of connections with women all over the world from her travels to Europe and the Caribbean and is a popular guest lecturer at colleges where she has taught writing and business skills to groups whose members want to lead their ideal lives on their own terms.
Maryann has been profiled in The New Yorker, Newsweek, Oprah.com and "NBC Nightly News" for her innovative approach to life and solving its complex issues, as well as creating the uber-landmark event, Marry Your Baby Daddy Day. This event originated from her third book, Marry Your Baby Daddy (St Martin's Press, 2005) that was optioned by Hollywood actress, Holly Robinson-Peete, and talent manager, Dolores Robinson.
How did you start writing?
MR: I became an author at 25 but I didn’t really think I would be writing fiction. I was always more interested in nonfiction, journalism, the news. My interest in writing grew more in college as I did stories for the college newspaper.
Your first book was published when you were 25 years old. What was that like?
MR: Of course it was amazing. But I was very green. I quit my job at CNN (which is a major no-no) and thought I was going to be a star. Well, things didn’t take off that fast and I had a lot to learn about marketing and publicizing my own books to help sales. However, being an author gave me lots of access, mostly because I was published by a major house like St Martin's Press. The access helped me meet some great, influential people and interview whoever I wanted to continue as a journalist.
Sex and The Single Sister is called “The African American answer to 'Sex and the City'.” Please explain.
MR: It was my first book and a collection of dating stories I and my friends were experiencing. I guess since it came out at the same time as HBO's "Sex and the City" it easily got compared to that. It was the book that helped launch my career.
What has the reaction been to Sex and The Single Sister?
MR: It was a great reaction! It led to four more book deals and collaborations. It automatically positioned me as a relationship expert and I got featured in major media. Now, I teach others how to get media via my consulting business www.booksandbuzz.com.
What is a typical day like while you're working on a book project?
MR: Normal, surprisingly. Writing just has to become part of your normal routine. There is always a deadline to reach, but I love deadlines.
What has your publishing experience been like?
MR: It’s helped me launch my own business as a consultant and coach. I help women and writers find solutions to any problems they may have. For example, www.alphanista.com is a lifestyle brand I founded that helps women design their own lives and make their own rules, and with www.booksandbuzz.com, I help writers attract the media and publishers in half the time they would on their own.
What are some of the challenges and opportunities that come from being a writer of a book?
MR: Tons of opportunities especially those that can create income. You don’t make money from books but you make money from what the book can bring. JK Rowling did not become rich off of books. It’s all the opportunities in branding, merchandising and muti-platform options that can make or break a writer.
What’s next for Maryann?
MR: I am working on developing my third book, Marry Your Baby Daddy (St Martin's Press, 2005), into another platform. I have already married tens of couples on Marry Your Baby Daddy Day and I am exploring more options to strengthen two-parent homes. I am also focused on building new products for www.alphanista.com and www.booksandbuzz.com.
As an award-winning author can you share any tips or advice with young writers who want to pursue a career in writing?
MR: Give the traditional route a try. I know all the rage is self-publishing but that can cost money and many traditional publishers have become savvy in digital publishing. Going the traditional route is free. Get an agent. You can always self-publish if it doesn’t work. But always start at the top. Go to www.booksandbuzz.com for free tips.