I first met Patti Jefferson when Lottie Loser was nominated for a Florida Authors and Publishers Presidential Award. She sent me an email inviting me to shelve Lottie at PJ Boox and we’ve been friends ever since. Patti is funny and quirky, but she’s honest and really kind, and I love everyone of those qualities! Sit back, relax, and meet Patti and her wonderful Indie Bookstore, PJ Boox.
1. When you were a little girl what did you want to be when you grew up?
The first thing I remember wanting to be was a flight attendant but that was mostly because they had such stylish haircuts. I didn’t have any idea what they actually did other than serve drinks on airplanes.
2. When did you fall in love with books?
Gosh, I don’t really remember a time that I wasn’t in love with books! My mom was a reader so it just seemed like that was a thing people did. I’m so grateful that she and I still read books that we can talk about afterwards.
3. What is the first book you remember reading?
Hmm… I was always a fan of mysteries so I was super excited when my aunt gave me her Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books. I still have some of those!
4. Besides owning and running PJ Boox, you’re also an author. Tell us about the books that you’ve written?
I started with “How Long Will You Love Me” in 2013 which is still my best seller. I think unconditional love is a great message for little ones. In 2014, I wrote “Stu’s Big Party”. It’s got a message of acceptance & diversity and was the first book I won an award for so it’s pretty special to me. My first foray into non-fiction was in 2018 with 365 Bright Ideas to Market Your Indie
Books which has now won a few awards. That was a labor of love to all of the struggling indie authors I have met in the last 5 years! And last but not least, I am releasing “I Love You to Pieces” which will be my 3rd children’s book in the beginning of 2019. It’s also about unconditional love… oh and replacement parts.
5. Where did the idea for PJ Boox come from?
PJ Boox was born out of frustration as an indie author. I wanted my books in bookstores but most independent bookstores are not set up for that in a way that makes sense for someone with children’s book margins. In most cases I was making $1 per book and chasing that dollar was more time-consuming than it was worth. I just figured there had to be a better way. There wasn’t… so I took matters into my own hands.
6. Tell us how it’s different from traditional book stores.
I used a model that has worked for antique malls and consignment shops. The authors rent space and get the proceeds from the sales. The authors keep 98% and the credit card processors get the rest. I don’t make money on the sales of the books at all. The best part of the bookstore
though is the community of authors that are involved. It’s amazing to see the support from everyone.
7. What is an Indie Author?
I like the term “authorpreneur”. Indie (independent) authors are writers who handle their book businesses personally. They create the content, select their teams (editors, designers, formatters, etc.), oversee production and often even handle all of the marketing and promotion. They are
8. For people who don’t live near FT Myers is there a way to buy from PJ Boox?
Absolutely! We have a website www.pjboox.com and you can read about our authors and their books and make purchases from the site as well. Remember, most of our books are signed by the authors so a book from PJ Boox is usually more exciting than a book from Amazon 🙂
9. Tell us about Patti Jefferson and what makes her tick.
Ha! Some days I’m not sure ticking is even happening! I love to create – books, paintings, inventions, experiences – I love it all. I love being around creative people and having passionate conversations with them while drinking cheap red wine. I find myself funnier than I actually am
so I laugh a lot. I am horrible at sitting still and “doing nothing” unless that nothing is something like petting my dogs – that I can do for hours. Sunsets energize me. Sunsets with friends are even better. And no matter what productive things it looks like I am doing, I am probably just trying to
figure out how many words rhyme with tiara.
10. Now that that you’re all grownup, what do you wish you could go back and do differently?
I’m one of those people that wouldn’t change anything for fear of losing anything good along the way. I do wish, however, I had outgrown my insecurities earlier or at least discovered that wearing a tiara would diminish the self-doubt sooner. I was always willing to embrace my weirdness but I use to think it mattered if people were uncomfortable with it. I don’t so much now so I guess that means I’m actually growing up… finally!
11. What’s the one thing you’re most proud of in your life?
In spite of every challenge I have faced, I haven’t quit yet.
What a great interview! Thank you so much, Patti.
I hope all of you will visit PJ Boox online, and if you’re in the Fort Myers area, her store is something you don’t want to miss.
Until we read again,
Dana L. 📚