Kelli A Komondor of ‘Twenty Won’ On How To Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book

An Interview With Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert
Jun 10 · 9 min read

I think it’s really important for the author to lean on their professional network for promoting their book. Start early with telling people what you’re doing and get them excited about helping you get the word out! Join organizations that would benefit from your knowledge and the book you’re writing and don’t just promote yourself — help them too so it’s a win-win.

As a part of our series about “How You Can Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelli A. Komondor.

In 2020 — the year of necessary changes for small businesses, nonprofits, and corporations… Kelli found the courage to follow her dreams — to start a business and become a published author.

Kelli is the creator, project manager, and a contributing author of “Twenty Won”, an anthology of 21 female entrepreneurs sharing their stories of business resilience during the global pandemic.

Her chapter, “From Imposter to Inspiration” focuses on how she overcame imposter syndrome to start her business and inspire a group of women to participate in the Twenty Won book.

Kelli loves to share her career history and how she went from feeling like an imposter, to being an inspiration. She enjoys honest, down-to-earth conversations and is continually finding ways to use her experiences to mentor other women.

Her diverse professional background includes writing and storytelling, PR and communications, team leadership and management, marketing and new business development, and event planning and execution.

Kelli is the president and CEO of K2 Creative, a content, PR & marketing, and branding firm which she started in the middle of the 2020 global pandemic. She works with many small business clients, but has found a niche in providing creative copywriting, PR, and marketing services to female business owners, authors, coaches, and speakers.

Besides a writer and a marketer, Kelli is a mom, a wife, a daughter and sister, an aunt and friend, and a type II diabetic. In her free time, you’ll find her writing, cooking and entertaining family and friends, reading food labels, drinking wine, spending time outdoors, walking, cheering on the Steelers, and “picking” at garage sales and antique stores. Kelli is a lover of love, writing, and food — and a hater of hate, chaos, and stemless wine glasses.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about?

My book, Twenty Won, is a little different than the typical author project. I gathered 20 female entrepreneurs and asked them to contribute a chapter focusing on what they did and how they did it — in 2020 — to start their business, to keep their existing businesses afloat, and to raise funds for their nonprofit organizations. My goal was to help women expand their networks and have a tool to promote themselves and their businesses. I feel that my expertise is in my connections with people and my ability to draw their stories out of them. It’s a lot of what I focus on with my business, K2 Creative — I help authors, speakers, coaches, business owners, and nonprofit leaders get the thoughts and knowledge from their heads and “on to paper.”

Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?

It’s really two stories.

I received a devastating health diagnosis in December of 2019 — I found out I was a type II diabetic and was put on 3 oral medications and had to give myself daily insulin injections. I had been feeling really awful for a while but thought it was just job-related stress, getting “older” as I was in my late 40’s, and the fact that I wasn’t very physically active and needed to lose weight. This diagnosis set off a chain reaction of me making huge changes in my life — from diet, to exercise, to career. I had been in banking at that time — which was a 180 from what I had done in the past — and after about 2 ½ years, I was really unhappy. I took another position and was laid off after just 6 weeks because of the shut downs and COVID. I took a little over a month to just reflect and concentrate on my health. Then I was called back in the beginning of May and declined the offer. I started immediately researching starting my own business and in June of 2020 I launched K2 Creative!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Are you working on any new writing projects?

Since Twenty Won just launched on April 21, I’m still riding that train. I’m planning an in-person book launch and signing / meet the authors and in talks to do more with the book (Top secret, stay tuned!).

Thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you please tell us a bit about your book? Can you please share a specific passage or story that illustrates the main theme of your book?

Twenty Won is an anthology of 21 strong, determined women who had the drive to start (and re-start) their businesses, they kept their established businesses afloat, and they raised awareness and funds for ​their nonprofit organizations… all during the year of COVID-19.

Though 2020 presented so many unknowns in the entrepreneurial space, so much good was achieved too. ​ Twenty Won is an anthology of 21 female business owners and nonprofit leaders sharing stories of business resilience during the 2020 global crisis. It is a celebration of those achievements to inspire and empower readers to realize that despite the challenges of 2020, Twenty Won!

You are a successful author and thought leader. Which three character traits do you feel were most instrumental to your success when launching your book? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Honesty — I learned a HUGE lesson on my ability to be very honest, I won’t say brutally honest since there was no need for it with this group of women, and to truly express my needs and wants. I was able to say “no” more than I thought, and I got the most incredible results from every author in this book by pushing them beyond what they thought they could do!

Bravery — It took a lot of guts to take on an anthology of this size for my first book!

Leadership — I feel I was able to guide everyone involved and produce the best book we could have ever dreamt of! I feel I was respected and appreciated in this process, by the authors, editors, cover designer, individuals who provided advance praise and book reviews, anyone who interviewed me, and so on!

In my work, I have found that writing a book can be a great way to grow a brand. Can you share some stories or examples from your own experience about how you helped your own business or brand grow by writing a book? What was the “before and after picture?” What were things like before, and how did things change after the book?

Things are still evolving and changing for me. Through this process, I became close with my writing coach and editor, Cori Wamsley (She also contributed a chapter.) and I’m now partnering with her and her company, Aurora Corialis Publishing. She determined that she needed to expand her services after being involved in the Twenty Won project — so that’s a WIN!

If a friend came to you and said “I’m considering writing a book but I’m on the fence if it is worth the effort and expense” what would you answer? Can you explain how writing a book in particular, and thought leadership in general, can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

I’m actually in talks with a friend about exactly this! She is currently in a leadership role for a small organization and has a dream of becoming an author and a professional speaker. She has what it takes — she just needs that little push to follow through. I’ve been telling her that writing the book first will give her clout and position her as an expert in the market she’s interested in speaking about.

What are the things that you wish you knew about promoting a book before you started? What did you learn the hard way? Can you share some stories about that which other aspiring writers can learn from?

The entire process was less expensive than I could have ever imagined… but that said, don’t be afraid to spend some money to get the right guidance. The publishing process isn’t easy and having Cori and her team behind me was crucial! There are a lot of unknowns like timing, how to choose what categories to enter on Amazon, how to find the right cover designer, and most importantly — having a professional editing and formatting team.

Based on your experience, which promotional elements would you recommend to an author to cover on their own and when would you recommend engaging an expert?

I think it’s really important for the author to lean on their professional network for promoting their book. Start early with telling people what you’re doing and get them excited about helping you get the word out! Join organizations that would benefit from your knowledge and the book you’re writing and don’t just promote yourself — help them too so it’s a win-win.

I’d for certain engage an expert for the editing and formatting, cover design, and the Amazon campaign. These are things I would’ve wasted way too much time trying to figure out on my own.

Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experience and success, what are the “five things an author needs to know to successfully promote and market a book?” If you can, please share a story or example for each.

  1. Your Team: For certain, get the right team behind you — again the editing, cover designer, etc.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I am completely in love with Sarah Jessica Parker! I can’t afford her shoes, or her “Carrie Bradshaw taste” in shoes, but I’d love to sit down with her and talk about anything and everything business, books (She’s a voracious reader!), and Sex and the City! I’m also a huge music fan and I’d love to talk to Brandon Boyd from the band Incubus about his Optimystic clothing line and his art.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

My business website is: https://www.k2creativellc.com/

The Twenty Won book can be found at: https://twentywonbook.com/

And my personal site is: https://www.kellikomondor.com/

Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success with your book promotion and growing your brand.

About The Interviewer: Theresa Albert is a veteran at guiding the words, contact points and images as Director of Communications at DigiWriting Book Marketing Agency. She also teaches authors how to promote books on their own in Promote Your Book Like A Pro. She also manages the exclusive program for non-fiction authors: Promote Your Book Like A Pro Elite. Theresa is a seasoned on-camera and in-print international multi-media correspondent, her specialty is distilling large ideas into keywords and sound bites. She has had two non-fiction books published in both Canada and the US so far and has helped countless other authors distill their thoughts into actionable efforts. Theresa can be found curled up in a chair with a book near a window like a cat every possible free moment.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Theresa Albert

Written by

Director of Communications at DigiWriting

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.