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Meet Zorina Frey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zorina Frey.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Zorina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a spoken word performer, people always told me that I should write a book. After several rejections from publishers, I took matters into my own hands and taught myself how to self-publish. After publishing my first book of poetry, “I Won’t Apologize for Being a Woman,” Indiana University South Bend’s Women’s Studies Department approached me to help publish their book, “Michiana Monologues, A World of Difference” for their womens’ studies course. After that, small business owners and aspiring authors asked me for help publishing their book. This is how I started IWA Publications.

A few years after graduating with my bachelor’s in Journalism from Indiana University South Bend, I went to Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts to learn about magazine publishing. By the time I launched “45 Magazine Women’s Literary Journal”, I had already moved to Miami, Florida and was able to secure shelf space at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

Living in Miami, I worked as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Copywriter for multiple industries and eventually integrated those skills into my own independent publishing company. As a result, I evolved “45 Magazine” into a digital publication where each piece of literary work reaches more readers through SEO strategies. Since there is no out-of-print option for digital print, it also gives writers longevity. Today, IWA Publications publishes writers, poets, and entrepreneurs. My company also provides SEO blogging, ghostwriting, editing, graphic, and basic web design services.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not really. When I graduated with my journalism degree in 2008, the industry wasn’t looking good for writers. The market had collapsed. The industry of print and journalism was trying to integrate with digital demands while figuring out ways to stay in business. As a result, seasoned reporters got an “early retirement,” printing houses were going out of business, print newspapers shrank smaller in size, and new graduates…well, they either changed careers, went back to school to get their master’s degree, or started freelancing. I started freelancing and it wasn’t easy.

Jobs required freelancers to have some experience—and even with a college degree and a publishing resume, it still didn’t seem to be enough. I had to settle for keeping my job as a customer service associate in the mailroom of a law firm back in South Bend, Indiana and I wasn’t happy about that. So, to release some frustration, I wrote poetry and performed them as spoken word performances. This talent has and continues to open many doors of networking opportunities for IWA. I’ve spoken at St. Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame, and Indiana University South Bend. In Boston, I was featured in the Worcester Business Journal and WickedLocal.com. When I moved to South Florida, I was invited to speak at the Broward College “Music, Film, Literature and Arts Festival,” University of Miami Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Miami Dade College “Arts and Letters Festival,” Miami Dade College’s Lip Service Stories, South Florida Writers Association, and other theatrical community events.

Tell us more about your work.
When it comes to IWA Publications, what I’m most proud of is being able to give aspiring writers from all over the world a platform to showcase their literary talent. With 45 Magazine Literary Journal, readers get a peek into a type of reality that they might not otherwise be exposed to, whether it’s fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, playwright, or graphic novel. With me, it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned writer, an entrepreneur who needs something written or edited, or an aspiring writer with little to no experience; IWA offers anyone who’s interested an opportunity for their voice to be heard and most importantly, IWA Publications gives writers the encouragement and education to do it themselves—something most publishers will not do.

I believe empowering writers with information so that they know what they’re getting into. My book, “The Right Way to Self-Publish” encourages aspiring authors that they are good enough to write their own book and provides information about the self-publishing process. My online certificate course on Udemy, “How to Become an Independent Publisher,” actively teaches students the process of publishing a book with basic lessons in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, e-book publishing, audiobooks, organizing book tours, and more! So, if you want to self-publish, IWA Publications can help with that. If you want to outsource IWA to do it all for you, that can happen too!

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Many self-publishing platforms are affordable, but to produce quality books with an attractive book cover along with a clean and organized interior, publishers must have good graphic design software. These days, quality software is purchased via subscription, where the cost may increase in the years to come. This will ultimately result in small publishers going out of business while mid-size to larger publishing houses increase their rates to supplement software expenses. Also, because most indie publishers are writers at heart, the projected cost increase to publishing software may be the catalyst that realigns their focus back to writing and leaving the publishing process back to the publisher.

Forbes writer Suw Charman-Anderson stated that “self-publishing is very time-consuming.” This is why many writers opt for sending queries to publishers even with the easy access to affordable self-publishing platforms. This is also why writers and entrepreneurs should educate themselves on the publishing process, whether they choose to publish independently or hire a professional to publish a book for them. Either way, IWA Publications is here for it!

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Image Credit:
All photos were taken by and property of IWA Publications.

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