Sunday, December 11, 2005

Judge a Book By Its Cover Contest!!!


JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER CONTEST sponsored by Houston Bay Area RWA.

Entry Deadline: Entries must be received by January 15, 2006

Entry Fee: $15

Eligibility: Published in 2005

Enter: The cover of your book or novella published by a traditionalhouse, ePublisher, POD or self-published during 2005.

Entry Format: Electronic files (JPG or GIF) only

Categories: Contemporary Series, Single Title/Mainstream,Historical, Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal

Judges: Booksellers in the United States, Canada, the UnitedKingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

Top Prize: Winners will be featured in a full-page color ad in theApril Romance Writers Report.

FMI, entry form and rules, visit our website at orcontact Leslie Marshman at

PAY: $50 - $200
The #1 parenting magazine for fathers. We are a daily magazine focusing on family and finance matters. We only want real magazine style journalism. Stories MUST be personalized through expert and real person interviews. NO first person or how-to's. We're looking for a staple of freelance writers whom we can call on to regularly assign Cover Stories and Spotlight articles. Submit your information today for consideration. The jobs will pay $50-$200, depending on the length and complexity of the articles. Great opportunity for small city newspaper reporters and magazine writers looking to make extra $$. Sign up today at

Rewind the Fifties
PAY: $10 - $25
Do you love the 50s and 60s? Can you write short articles about these decades? Would you like to get paid for it? If so we are looking for your original articles to be published on this site with author credits. (we reserve the right to edit your submission). Articles should be around 250 to 500 words containing some facts about the 50s or 60s. Articles should be both informative and entertaining. If we like your article and publish it we will pay you from $10.00 to $25.00 for each article.

Seeking Romance Articles
PAY: $15
Seeking romance articles that are sexy, romantic, fresh, and unique are looked at with high regard. Pay is $15/per article. I do not accept previously published articles. The type of articles I'm looking for are for couples and singles alike. A few examples are... * How to write a passionate love letter. * Recreating your own love story - top 5 romance novel love scenes to live by. * How to sizzle up your love life. Sweet articles are just as appreciated as articles with little bit more spice. The goal is to provide high quality ideas that are passionate and sensual, but also romantic. I prefer articles at least 800 words in length but this is not a requirement since I seek quality over quantity. To assist you the best I can and increase your chances of your work being accepted you are more than welcome to run your topic ideas by me before you decide to write an article in order to make certain they are of interest to me. To do so you may simply email me at and I will get back to you as soon as possible. You may submit up to 3 articles at a time. If you are interested in contributing you may view guidelines here to begin submitting your work:

Saturday, December 10, 2005

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Book Endorsements

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Book Endorsements

by Gregory Kompes

Endorsements, sometimes called "Blurbs," are wonderful and often witty comments about your book provided by respected authors, journalists, entertainers, and industry experts connected to your topic. They're also one of the strongest sales tools an author has in their book sales toolbox. These short quotes should be gathered both before and after your book is published. Once you've gathered your endorsements what do you do with them? Here's a list of ten ways to get the most out of your well earned endorsements:

1. Book Cover. Readers respect the opinion of others, especially respected authors and industry experts. Endorsements gathered before production should be included on your book cover. In addition to placing your blurbs on the back cover, a great, short endorsement on the front will increase your sales.

2. Inside Your Book. Place pre-publication endorsements on a page or two just inside the front cover of your book. If you don't have pre-publication blurbs, consider adding your blurbs on your next printing.

3. "What Others Are Saying" Page. Collect your best endorsements and reviews on a single page and include it in your media kit. Positive endorsements will increase your press coverage.

4. Promotional Materials. When creating postcards, bookmarks, flyers, brochures and other give-a-way items, include an endorsement. They send the message, "Don't take my word for it, this is what others think of my book."

5. Tip Sheets: Create a tip sheet to include in your media kit and as a handout. Tip sheets, sometimes called a "One Page," include four basic elements: About the Book, About the Author, Book Statistics, and Order Information. A callout box or sidebar with a blurb about your book is an excellent addition.

6. Website. Include call out boxes or sidebars on your website that contain your endorsement quotes. Boxes add interest to your website. Your site visitors will view them as testimonials from others adding a level of trust.

7. Email Signature. Endorsements included with a link to your website draw interest and attention to your email signature.

8. Advertisements. Include a quality endorsement quote or two in all your print and online advertisements.

9. Query Letters. Include an endorsement or two in query letters when selling editors on stories connected to your book.

10. Press Releases. Use endorsements as quotes in your press releases. This will add interest and value to your book related news items. Additionally, a great endorsement from a recognized name is press release worthy on its own.

Want to learn how to obtain endorsements for your book? Gregory A. Kompes is the author of THE ENDORSEMENT QUEST ( This eBook outlines an easy to follow and affordable way to obtain those all important endorsements. "A beautiful, professional piece—and much needed" --Carolyn-Howard Johnson, author of The Frugal Book Promoter. "Well done. Smart Idea." --Eva Shaw, author, writing coach, mentor.

Article Source:

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Catskill woman charged with acting as phony book publisher

A Catskill, NY woman was arraigned in Federal District Court in Albany today on charges that she engaged in a scheme to defraud prospective authors of money they paid to have their books published.

US Attorney for the Northern District of New York Glenn Suddaby said Martha Ivery, 57, also known as Kelly O’Donnell, was arraigned today on a 17-count federal indictment. She pleaded not guilty.

Read article here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Can today's big-name authors connect with teenagers?

Is Andy McNab able to grab boy readers by the scruff of the neck? Can Helen Dunmore work her magic on a younger age-group? Brandon Robshaw samples today's big-name authors to see if they satisfy his inner teenage boy (and girl).

Read article here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Baker & Taylor Up For Sale

Distributor Baker & Taylor on the Block via Goldman Sachs

Baker & Taylor, the books, video and music wholesaler based in Charlotte, N.C., is up for sale, sources have told The Book Standard.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Why Write Nonfiction Instead of Fiction?

Why Write Nonfiction Instead of Fiction?

by W. Terry Whalin

Everyone says it is easier for an unpublished writer to break in with nonfiction vs. fiction? Is it only easier to break in with nonfiction if you have speaking engagements that will result in sales? I've always thought, "Who would buy my nonfiction? I'm a nobody without a degree, without a famous husband or friends and without an enthralling life." But everyone says it's easier to break in with nonfiction so I thought they meant that even if I'm a nobody, if I can speak to a "felt need" I can sell books.


Here's the story about nonfiction--you don't have to have a degree or anything to write nonfiction--you do have to be able to write. And with a nonfiction book proposal--shaped in the expected format with the expected elements (something I'm teaching two extensive workshops on this year--in Florida and North Carolina), then you can break into the traditional book market--with the right idea.

With fiction, you need to be great (many aren't--just look at all the stuff in my office I need to reject this coming week if you want a visual), and it has to be a complete manuscript (so I know that you know how to end it--unless you have published a number of fiction novels). I've been writing an ebook that I plan to launch soon which will have the inside scoop about nonfiction book proposals. I've about got the cover designed and everything in place--called: Book Proposals That Sell--21 Secrets To Speed Your Success.

If you want to read a fascinating writing book, get a copy of (excuse the title--it's the real title:) Damn! Why didn't I write that? subtitled: How ordinary people are raking in $100,000.00 ...or more Writing Nonfiction Books & How You can Too! by Marc McCutcheon (Quill Driver Books) 2001.

I didn't get the zeros wrong on the subtitle--it's 100K (a hundred thousand). The book is simple reading and fascinating. Maybe it will be a huge boost to your confidence level.

Look at devotional books--nonfiction--and no degree or experience necessary other than a heart after God--and I wrote two of them which sold over 60,000 copies EACH. I wrote these books as a work made for hire--but I think I made $5,000 on each book and wrote each manuscript in a two-week period. That's $10,000 in one month that I made on those projects which is plenty from my vantage point. They are beautiful devotional books--no longer in print--Lighthouse Psalms and Love Psalms. It's not rocket science and you could do it too.

Another area to consider as a writer is collaborative nonfiction. It's where you are the writer (credentialed or not--if you can write is all that matters) and you hook up with a personality or expert to sell the book. Your co-author does all of the book promotion and has the story content for the book. You do the writing, get paid and go on to the next book. A number of writers make a substantial living every year from writing these types of books. It isn't required that they have a degree or a particular background--just the proof that you can write in a particular situation. It's all that is going to count for the publisher.

I encourage every writer who wants to have a book published to learn how to write a nonfiction book proposal then begin marketing that proposal to publishers or agents and get a nonfiction book contract. Then write the book.

W. Terry Whalin understands both sides of the editorial desk--as an editor and a writer. He worked as an editor for Decision and In Other Words. His magazine articles have appeared in more than 50 publications including Writer's Digest and Christianity Today. Terry has written more than 55 nonfiction books and his latest is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Teaching the Bible (Alpha Books). See more about Terry For more than 12 years Terry has been an ECPA Gold Medallion judge in the fiction category. He has written extensively about Christian fiction and reviewed numerous fiction books in publications such as CBA Marketplace and BookPage. He is the Fiction Acquisitions Editor for Howard Publishing and creator of Sign up for Terry's free newsletter, Right Writing News.

© 2004 W. Terry Whalin

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

'Peace Mom' Cindy Sheehan to Release Book on Wednesday

War protestor Cindy Sheehan's first book, Not Another Mother’s Child, is due out this Wednesday. The book, published by the Hawaiian publisher Koa Books, is based on journal entries, letters and speeches Sheehan gave while keeping vigil outside George W. Bush’s vacation home in Texas this past August.

Read rest of article here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Amazon To Sell Individual Book Pages

NEW YORK - With its new Amazon Pages service, Inc. plans to let customers to buy portions of a book — even just one page — for online viewing. A second program, Amazon Upgrade, will offer full online access when a traditional text is purchased.

Both services are expected to begin next year.

Read rest of article here.

What I want to know is, is this a good thing?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Interview with Marilyn Celeste Morris, Author of "Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient"

Although she was raised as a Military Brat, Marilyn Celeste Morris was born in her grandfather’s house in Toronto, Texas, a small Southern Pacific Railroad Section six miles west of Alpine. Perhaps as an omen of what would be the next twenty years of her life, the railroad’s abandonment of this settlement shortly afterward left her with no “permanent” home.

Schooling consisted of Dependents’ Schools while overseas, in Seoul Korea, 1946-47 and Linz, Austria (1949-1952) and various schools stateside. A rarity for a Military Brat, she was fortunate enough to have attended all three high school years and graduated at Lawton Senior High School, Lawton OK. Further education was attained at Cameron State College, Lawton OK, Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, and North Texas State University. She received an AAS Degree in Mental Health in 1995.

After studying under the late Grace Nies Fletcher (author of Merry Widow and In My Father’s House), Marilyn began her writing career as a guest columnist in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and for ten years wrote a weekly humor/human interest column for Suburban Newspapers in the Fort Worth TX area. Besides receiving a First Place award in the Nostalgia category at an Ozark Mountain Writers’ Conference, two “confession” stories were published (under pseudonyms) in the magazines “Jive” and “Bronze Thrills.”

She has taught creative writing at Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, survived numerous book signings and speaking engagements, and her first novel, Sabbath’s Room, a paranormal murder mystery was published in 2001. In August 2002, Once a Brat was released. Described as “part travelogue, part therapy session,” she relates sometimes hilarious, sometimes wrenchingly sad experiences of an Army officer’s daughter from 1938 to her father’s retirement in 1958. Her newest book, Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient, chronicles her intensive three-year, five doctor search for diagnosis and treatment of her baffling symptoms, her struggles with God and society her anger and frustration (“But you don’t look sick!”) vividly expressed in her daily writings from first symptoms to current remission. Ms. Morris’s intent is to inform other lupus patients, both diagnosed and still searching their feelings are valid, normal and they are not alone.

She is co-facilitator for the Fort Worth Lupus Support Group, North Texas Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America and member of the Board of Directors. When not writing or editing emerging writers’ manuscripts, she enjoys searching for former classmates and true to her Brat heritage, she has a suitcase packed under the bed, ready to travel at a moment’s notice.

Marilyn Celeste Morris may be reached at (817) 246-2639 or by email: to schedule a speaking engagement or arrange for editing services. See also for excerpts of all three books.

Her publications may be purchased by calling the publisher at 877-333-7422, from the website at; or your local bookstore can order for you.

Marilyn is also the author of Sabbath’s Room and Once a Brat.


When did your passion for writing begin?
As soon as I could hold a pencil in my hand. I loved to read, so writing, to me, came naturally. In kindergarten, I saw the teacher making letters and words on the blackboard and it dawned on me that those letters made words, and words made sentences and sentences made stories. My passion for writing was honed by my nomadic, solitary life as an Army Brat, stationed overseas after WWII, and I always wrote for the school newspaper, etc.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?
There is no “typical” writing day, sad to say. I start out with good intentions, to write from 9 a.m. to noon, take a break for lunch and get back at it around 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. However, we all know where good intentions go! Since I am a fly-by-the seat of my pants writer, with no outlines set in stone, I wander in to my office at odd times during the day, as the muse strikes. Some days are better than others. I have recently resolved to read my emails ONLY at night, as I can get caught up in discussions and I’m more productive in the daytime, where writing is concerned.

Do you write full time?
Absolutely. Love being retired. Love it, love it, love it! I was so happy to kiss Corporate America goodbye and get my Social Security checks.

Can you tell us a little about Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient?
My struggles with getting a diagnosis for those odd aches and pains and extreme fatigue are detailed in my latest book. I kept a journal during those years of frustration, anger and depression and their direct correlation to dealing with an alphabet soup of social service agencies. I also touch on loss of self-esteem, employers and co-workers who didn’t understand my disease, and ultimately, my spiritual crisis, which taught me important life lessons. I discovered it’s much easier to write a novel than to bare one’s soul in print. Kinda scary, but I hope others can understand that it’s probably pretty normal to feel the way I did.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?
PublishAmerica is my publisher, and this is my third book with them. I know there is some discussion about their supposedly deceitful marketing tactics, but I went with them for several reasons: I had a friend who used them to publish his book; it cost me no money to get it in print, not even postage, since they accept email attachments; and I didn’t go into this writing business to become rich and famous, just to have my works available for others. I’m too darn old (67) to wait around for some publisher to print my words, and too broke to pay for any vanity publisher. I recently signed a seven-year contract with them, and I have several novels in progress.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind your book?
I thought other persons who are suffering from systemic lupus Erythematosus could benefit from knowing that they are not alone, that they are entitled to cry, to mourn the loss of their old self, to be angry with God, even.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?
Well, The Lupus Foundation of America contacted me for a copy of my book, so if they recommend it or put in a plug for it in one of their national publications, that will be a big help. I have also been on Clear Channel Radio and a local cable television show; plan on contacting other media both local and national.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?
I like Agatha Christie, how she plants red herrings along the way to solving the murders. Also Stephen King and Dean Koontz for their horror stories that almost seem real, almost possible.

Do you have a mentor?
I had one years ago. The late Grace Nies Fletcher (In My Father’s House; Merry Widow) taught a class at Texas Christian University when I was just venturing out into the writing world. She was a harsh critic and many students dropped out. I figured if I could take her criticisms, I could face anybody. She taught me about talent, timing and tenacity, and an economy of words: “Say it and shut up. Don’t drool on for eons.”

What future projects do you have in the works?
I have, in varying stages of completion: (1) The Women of Camp Sobingo, a novel about four women who find themselves in the remote and primitive country of Korea, right after WWII and how their bonds remain strong when they hold a 25th reunion. (2) Sabbath’s House, a sequel to Sabbath’s Room, another supernatural mystery. (3) Forces of Nature, a Towering Inferno type of disaster set in a large shopping mall; who survives and who doesn’t? (4) The Murders at 5400, where four women who meet for weekly bridge games help solve a murder in an upscale condo community.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?
I like the idea of print-on-demand, where the author doesn’t have to buy 5,000 books and stack them in a garage somewhere, but can utilize bookstores for book signings and hopefully, entice the bookstores to stock their books. I don’t like the idea of buying my own books, even at a discount, but cést la vie.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?
Just do it. Write your book. Finish it. Send it off. Do what others only think about doing.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?
Interesting question. I think most people believe a writer is someone unique, a person who churns out bestseller after bestseller, who gets filthy rich and famous. Which would be nice, to be sure! But I’m content just to have some modest success, producing books I hope someone will enjoy. Honestly, that’s what I think is important to me.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient?, and other online bookstores. I hope to get Diagnosis: Lupus into Barnes and Noble and/or Borders Books very soon now.

Thank you very much for your time!
You are so very welcome, Dot.

# # #

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Why Amazon’s the best thing to happen to books

JEFF Bezos could scarcely have known what a rumble in the rainforest he would cause when he founded Amazon 10 years ago. This week, the online bookseller that began life in a garage in Seattle reported a 27% increase in sales to $1.8 bn. In any other firm, this would have occasioned backslaps all round. It is a measure of how successful Amazon has become, however, that the market was "disappointed" and sent the share price dropping.

Read rest of article here.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Unearthing Books Embedded in Pop Culture

"Ninety percent of our authors are first-time authors, and most of them have platforms in other media. And what we decide to publish is greatly affected by our publicity department - who we can get on 'The Daily Show' or who might be great on a radio tour."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Interview with Kathryn S. Mahoney, author of CRACKED AT BIRTH

Kathryn Mahoney has been entertaining friends and family with her writing for years. But, it wasn't until 2001 when she decided to share her cracked view of life with the rest of the world. She submitted a couple of columns to her local newspaper and lo and behold, the editor liked them. Kathryn started writing her humor column, Sunny Side Up, for Nashoba Publishing of Devens, MA, in 2001 and continues to write for them today. After four years of writing her column, she decided to put 60 of her best works in a book and has just released, Cracked at Birth: One Madcap Mom's Thoughts on Motherhood, Marriage & Burnt Meatloaf (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc.)

You can visit Kathryn's website at


When did your passion for writing begin?

I've always been writing funny letters to my friends and family, but it wasn't until I was 38 that I took a real shot at writing humor as a profession. I have always loved Erma Bombeck's books and thought that since I was now a wife and mother, maybe I would try writing about my own domestic tales.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

Well, my writing life really revolves around my children's schedules. When they're at school, that's when I get most of my writing done. But, if I have a looming deadline, I work nights and weekends as well.

Do you write full time?

No, I really can't right now, but I hope to in the future.

Can you tell us a little about Cracked at Birth?

Cracked at Birth is a compilation of about 60 of my best "Sunny Side Up" humor columns. I came up with the name "Cracked at Birth" when initially developing my Web site. Although my column name came about because I wanted people to look at the "sunny side" of life, I realized it was also a popular way to cook eggs. So, I started brainstorming along the whole egg theme and eventually came up with "Cracked at Birth." I thought it not only sounded funny, but it also fit my "cracked" view of how I look at life. Strange, but true.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

My book was published by the Mom-Writers Cooperative, a subsidiary of Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc. out of Deadwood, Oregon. Nancy Cleary is the publisher and she developed the coop to help mom's like myself have their voice heard. She has been awesome to work with and has taught me a lot about the publishing business. What's also been great is that the women in the coop share their experiences every step along the publishing process so we all learn from each other and get better as individual writers.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind Cracked at Birth?

I started writing humor to "blow off steam" and as a release from being a stay-at-home mom. It's been very therapeutic and a great way to document my family's antics. It keeps me sane...well, if you can call me sane.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

So far I have been promoting my book locally and slowly branching out. I think that my book appeals to primarily women ages 25 - 55 all around the world. Many women have told me how they can definitely "relate" to my stories. So, I've been targeting women's magazines and Web sites. I still feel I have a long way to go, but I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. One of the women in the coop, Christine Hohlbaum, said it best.."You need to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint."

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

Like I mentioned, Erma Bombeck is who I idolize most. She was just so good at what she did. I could only hope to reach the same success that she did.

Do you have a mentor?

Not really, but I belong to an online humor writing group, which is made up attendees of the Erma Bombeck Writing Conference that takes place every two years in Dayton, Ohio. I have learned a lot from many of the humor writers in the group. Some of them have been writing a lot longer than I have and have a lot of experience to share.

What future projects do you have in the works?

Right now, I'm just trying to sell, sell, sell my book. I will also continue to write my column, and we'll see what else comes my way. The way I look at it...the sky's the limit.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

I never realized how much work and money were involved in not only getting your book published, but in promoting the book. I learned that writing is the easy part. I've spent 100's of hours trying to build a "buzz" around the book, but you never really know what channels will pay off the most, so you just have to saturate the market and see what sticks. It's been an interesting journey.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

If you really want to get published, than keep writing and never give up. It may take months or years before you get published, but I truly believe, "where there's a will, there's a way." You can also self-publish. There are pros and cons to self-publishing, but if you really want to be able to hold your very own book in your own little hands, then why not self-publish.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Hmmmm. That's a good question. I can't think of something more important than being a mom, but everyone knows that. I think the thing that is most ironic is that I'm really a shy person. People expect humor writers to be funny all the time and a little off the wall. Believe me, some are, but it's not me. I guess I'm a closet humor writer.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy Cracked at Birth?

You can purchase Cracked at Birth on my Web site, on, and It will also be in select area bookstores starting in November.

Thank you very much for your time!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Can You Judge a Book By Its Cover?

Paul Guyot is an award winning television writer whose credits include SNOOPS – The David E. Kelley show starring Gina Gershon and Paula Marshall as Private Eyes who tended to lick whipped cream off each other during Sweeps; LEVEL 9 – created by best selling author Michael Connelly; JUDGING AMY – The CBS courtroom drama currently in its 6th season; And that mother of all crime shows, FELICITY.

He tells of an informal survey in one bookstore where he asked book browsers just why they chose the book they chose. His findings will astound you and raises the question: Can you judge a book by its cover?

Read his blog here to find out.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Write Query Letters That Sell" - FREE E-COURSE

If you're wondering why your query letters come back with rejection after rejection, or are tired of all the advice for beginners, or need to know exactly how to craft a query letter that sells, you're not alone.

Let Mridu Khullar, author of Knock Their Socks Off! A Freelance Writer's Guide to Query Letters That Sell show you how to make a living as a freelance writer. Sign up for her FREE 12-day "Write Query Letters That Sell" e-course and learn how you too can make money writing for magazines. As a bonus, you'll get a free e-book with 400+ paying freelance markets, plus Mridu's weekly newsletter for writers.

To sign-up for your FREE e-course, click here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The 'Chick-lit' Label: Demeaning or Empowering

The 'chick-lit' label: Demeaning or empowering

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

For a genre whose name recalls something as harmless as candy-coated gum, the term "chick-lit" sure has become divisive.

While the term was coined by writer and University of Illinois at Chicago Professor Cris Mazza in a series of mid-1990s anthologies of alternative women's fiction, it's now commonly used to describe solidly commercial novels in the Bridget Jones's Diary vein.

Read rest of article here.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Looking for Memorable Booksigning Quotes for Article

These days, it’s not enough to have a book published. No matter what kind of publisher you go with, it’s mainly up to you, the author, to get out there and sell your book. You are your book’s best publicist when it comes to whether your book makes it or doesn’t.

One of the many ways to promote your book is via booksignings. However, is it worth the time and expense?

I would like to ask those of you out there that are published what was your most memorable booksigning? What made this signing stand out more than the other? Was it the fact that it was your first book or maybe it was the fact that you were treated royally by the staff? Or was it that you were signing at an off-the-main-beat sort of place that was fun and made it seem like play and not work?

I'm putting together an article about these memorable booksignings for my blog and an article for online publications. If you are interested in participating, email me at Please try to keep your quotes under 500 words (flexible either way). If you have any questions, you may leave it in under comments below. Thanks!


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Dorothy Thompson to Appear on Single Talk Radio Show Today!

I will be on the Single Talk Radio Show today which you can hear live on the web at If you are the first to email Eliza at with a soul mate question, you will receive a free autographed copy of my book,Romancing the Soul!

If you do miss the show, it will be archived. I believe I'm the last segment at 4:40 EST (adjust to your geographical location), but you might want to tune in earlier to catch the other guests who are talking about soul mates, also. So, join me as we explore the secrets of why you need soul mates in order to find your higher self!


Friday, September 23, 2005

Oprah's Book Club Re-opens!

Oprah Winfrey said yesterday that she was expanding her highly influential television book club to include the works of contemporary authors, reversing a policy of choosing only classic novels and once again offering authors and their publishers the hope of huge sales resulting from her picks.

Read rest of article here.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Interview with Erin O'Brien, Author of "Harvey & Eck"

Erin O'Brien abandoned her career as an electrical engineer in 1995 to teach herself t write. She writes all the time now, both fiction and nonfiction, although HARVEY & ECK is her first published novel. She contributed a chapter and an afterword to her brother, John's, posthumously published novel, THE ASSAULT ON TONY'S. John also authored LEAVING LAS VEGAS, which was made into an award-winning film after his death in 1994.

Erin has lived in Northeast Ohio all her life. Her husband, Eric, and she have one 8-year-old daughter and has been married for twelve years.

It is with great pleasure I give you an interview with this up-and-coming new author, Erin O'Brien!

You can visit Erin's website at


When did your passion for writing begin?

When my brother took his life in 1994, I began to look at things differently, including myself. I realized my corporate job was fundamentally wrong for me. I decided to follow in John's footsteps and take to the keyboard to find my calling.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

I first like to review what I've written the day before and do a light edit. That warms me up for the meat-and-potatoes writing. My usual fiction word count is about 1,000 words a day, but I can sometimes write a good deal more when working on nonfiction. Then there's the business end of writing, which includes things such as interviews, research and correspondence.

Do you write full time?

Yes, when I'm not answering the endless call of "Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?"

Can you tell us a little about "Harvey & Eck"?

"Harvey & Eck" looks at pregnancy through an unusual lens. Harvey, the main character, is sexy and adventurous. Delving into the world of booties, bibs and babies fills her with trepidation. There's also an unconventional romance in the book.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

When I first signed with Zumaya Publications, I was leery about signing with a POD. There is a stigma associated with POD and many mistakenly claim that all POD titles are self-published. If anyone is going to dispel that myth, it's Zumaya. This small, hard-working house has been a dream to work with. They paid for everything, did backflips to accommodate my every request and treated me like a queen even when I was having my obnoxious author fits. They are selective and serious about putting out great books. As the perception of POD evolves, a few houses will emerge as serious publishers. I have no doubt that Zumaya will be among them.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind "Harvey & Eck"?

Surely my own pregnancy had much to do with it in the obvious ways. The idea of a bad-girl mother-to-be was funny and compelling. I also was fascinated with the fetus growing inside of Harvey. So I created a character who would also grow during the nine-month gestation period, and made him a 56-year-old librarian.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I bust my rear end every day promoting this book. I set up three local signings and put together packets for the hosts that included mailing labels and promotional information. Every newspaper or publication that might be interested in my story gets a press packet, each of which I have tailored for the publication. I find the right editors and send it to their attention. To that end, I got a nice little blurb in Northern Ohio Live's September issue (circulation 35,000) and I was the subject of a feature story in every September magazine published by Scriptype Publishing, which amounts to a local circulation of 30,000.I answer every email I get and send out polished emails to people who might be prospective readers. Promotion never ends.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

Larry Brown was always able to find a glimmer of humanity in the most squalid settings. I love tough, raw fiction like James Dickey's "Deliverance" and Jennifer Belle's "Going Down," to name a few.

Do you have a mentor?

I had a correspondence with Larry Brown up until his death in 2004. Maybe now I've reached a maturity level that will free me from my constant attempts to replace my brother.I am a member of a writer's group and they are wonderful, amazing people. We've been together for years.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I'm at work on a screenplay for "Harvey & Eck" and a creative non-fiction memoir. There is also a novel stirring around my head.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

POD is both a boon and a bane. Traditional agents and editors gas on endlessly, dismissing the technology. But the simple fact is that more and more people are ordering books online at 3 in the morning in their underwear and they couldn't care less when or how the books they're buying are printed. POD technology fits the Amazon model perfectly. That reality will become more and more difficult to ignore and eventually, the warehousing and destruction of pre-printed mid-list books will no longer be cost effective. When I get discouraged about the downside of POD, I remind myself that every single one of my books that is printed has already been sold.That said, every writer would do anything to get a stack of their books at every Borders and B&N. That just won't happen with a POD book, at least not today.In the end, the argument is moot. Readers will decide which books will become bestsellers as they always have. A good book will get read if it's POD or FSG.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

Write the best thing you possibly can. Then write it again. And again and again. I'm not talking about some namby-pamby spellcheck edit. I mean rewrite, that means start-a-new-document rewrite. Expose yourself to the toughest critics. Respect their advice, it will prepare you for the copious rejection to come.Enjoy the rainbow, don't worry too much about the pot of gold.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

No one ever asks about the benefits of writing, which are delicate jewels. Writing for years and years gives you insight into the human condition. It brings you closer to the truth. It teaches you about yourself while shifting your focus to the world around you.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy "Harvey & Eck"?

Booksurge, Amazon and ebookad. In Cleveland, Mac's Backs, Joyeaux Boutique and Local Girl Gallery. Any additions will be listed on my website as they become available.

Thank you very much for your time!

# # #

If you are the author of a newly released book and would like an interview, email me at thewriterslife (at) Please put "Author Interview Request" in the subject line. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dorothy Thompson to Appear on 850 KOA-AM Tomorrow!

Yours truly has a special announcement! Tomorrow morning, at 5 a.m, EST, I will be appearing on 850 KOA-Am (Clear Channel Radio) to discuss my book, "Romancing the Soul." This show will air in 38 states, Canada and Mexico, so if you're near a radio, tune in!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Selling Books on TV Without Oprah

Any author who can sell 15,000 books in eight minutes is going to attract a little attention in the publishing business.

Jeanne Bice, a clothing entrepreneur, did just that last month, according to her publisher, when she introduced her forthcoming book during a segment on QVC, the television shopping channel. Then she sold roughly 9,000 and 10,000 more books this month during two more sessions on the channel, for a total of 34,534 books ordered in less than half an hour of accumulated air time.

Read rest of article here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


My name is Deborah Uetz. My degree is in Education with post graduate work in Art Therapy. My husband and I make our home in the Midwest. I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. After teaching for a decade I decided to pursue my love of writing. When my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease , the path my writing career was to take seemed to chose me. My brother, Dave Glover is a radio talk show host in the St. Louis Mo. area, he has always been very supportive of my writing.

I can be reached at the Ask Dutchy website, a wonderful resource for those caring for an Alzheimer’s loved one. I can be found at a wonderful resource for caregivers and their families who are providing care for those with Alzheimer's/Dementia.

Interview with Deborah Uetz

When did your passion for writing begin?

In first grade. I wrote a story about going to the moon in a rocket ship. I drew the pictures to go along with the story. The teacher just loved it and I loved the attention.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

I find that there are days when my fingers can’t move fast enough to keep up with my thoughts and other days the well is dry. I don’t have a typical day.

Do you write full time?

My days are filled with writing and monitoring a suicide support room for those who have lost someone to suicide.


My book began as my journal. When my father began to behave in a way that was totally out of character , I started to journal. I searched for any information I could find that would help my family understand what was happening to him and help us cope with the mounting stress. When I couldn’t find the book I needed , I decided to write it ! The book tells the story (from diagnosis until end stage) of my father, Rose’s father Frank, and Laurie’s mother Shirley. Rose’s father was cared for at home (in Queensland Australia) and Laurie’s mother is early onset. Each story is dripping with the sad, and raw realities that families are faced with when Alzheimer's takes over, yet each story has a unique perspective.

Along with our stories are chapters by Dr. Anne Lindsay PhD., a noted Psychologist. She addresses the issues associated with care giver stress. Another chapter in the book is submitted by Dr. Andre Delacourte, the head of the French Institute of Medicine. He has spent his career searching for a cure to Alzheimer's Disease. His chapter suggests that their is hope for a cure. Also included in the book is the perspective of this disease from two research scientists, and a chapter from an Aging expert and Geriatric Care Planner, who helps the reader understand Medicare/Medicaid and other relevant information concerning long-term care.

The book will give you a very special look inside the role of Alzheimer’s care giver, a therapeutic point of view and a professional examination. Something for everyone.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

I self published INTO THE MIST through Xlibris. It has been a positive experience. My manuscript caught the eye of two top literary agents but after spending six months waiting for a decision I decided to go forward on my own.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind INTO THE MIST?

My wonderful Dad , Rose’s dad and Shirley’s mother inspired me to write the book. All three had been precious intelligent, productive members of society and Alzheimer’s disease robbed them of their lives. They battled the disease bravely and fought hard. I wrote the book that we had been looking for when we were in the trenches , struggling to care for our loved ones.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

The first step I took in promoting my book was to appear as a frequent radio guest. The phone lines remained lit, the entire time the program was running. Families are so desperate for information. In the fall I will be sending out press releases and attending book signings. With 4.5 million Americans afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease there is a lot of interest in the topic. I will continue to post on forums, and provide support to those families who struggle with daily care. My efforts have most certainly been successful.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

I have a very eclectic taste in books. I’m currently reading “Blink”. By Malcolm Gladwell. Alice Walker , the author of "The Color Purple" is also one of my favorites. I like books that make me think.

Do you have a mentor?

My brother Keith was my mentor. He was an incredible artist, blues guitarist and he wasn’t afraid to color outside of the lines.

Keith put his entire life on hold to make sure Dad was safe and fed and loved. He did this setting aside a lifelong strained relationship with his dad. They were strangers and father and son.
My book is dedicated to him.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I have two novels completed but not yet published.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

The pros are a publishing house can get your word out there for the masses but the downside is it may take years to see it through to fruition. If your topic is timely self publishing allows you to put your book out there , if you are willing to put in the time and money.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

If you have a story inside of you don’t let anyone stop you from telling your story.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Is it okay to have a sense of humor about something as serious as Alzheimer’s disease ! Not only is it okay…it is absolutely essential! Some parts of my book will make you cry and some will make you smile…just like real life.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy INTO THE MIST?

Borders Books, Amazon, Xlibris.

Thank you very much for your time!

# # #

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Creating Your Online News Room: How to Build a Site The Media Will Love" by Bill Stoller

Creating Your Online News Room: How To Build a Site The Media Will Love

by Bill Stoller, PublisherFree Publicity,
The Newsletter for PR-Hungry Businesses

From time to time, people ask me how public relations has changed during the two decades in which I’ve been seeking publicity. My answer: technology. Twenty years ago, the fax machine was a newfangled novelty. Our primary means of communicating with journalists was the telephone and the US Mail. The advent of e-mail and the web has made life easier in many regards and tougher in others - namely, thanks to hordes of clowns with money making schemes and software that "blasts" press releases indiscriminately to reporters, it’s become very hard to get your e-mails through to spam-weary reporters.

But there’s another great advantage provided to publicity seekers by the Internet -- the ability to create an "online news room". In the "old days", the press kit reigned. Big bulky folders loaded with press releases, glossy photos and slides were standard. They were expensive to design, costly to reproduce and required lots of manpower and postage to assemble and distribute.Today, you can simply direct a reporter to a web URL, where all your press materials and high definition artwork awaits, ready tobe used. It’s a huge time and money saver.

A quick note: the traditional press kit isn’t dead. It’s still handy to create some physical kits to use with key journalists, as the very novelty of printed material can give you an edge at times. Also, some journalists still prefer a physical kit. Press kits are an important tool at trade show booths & press rooms, and special events. However, gone are the days of sending out large press kit mailings. Keep the kits for targeted use only.

Creating a useful online news room is really pretty simple. Oneof the main things a busy reporter wants is easy access to press releases, corporate and executive info and artwork. A well put together media room should provide a seamless walk-through.

Where Should the News Room Go?

There are two schools of thought on where to put your online newsroom. Some companies prefer to have it as a section on their mainsite, visible to all as a link on a menu bar or other navigational element. Others build entirely separate sites just for the media.

There are pros and cons to each. Putting it as part of your mainsite allows a journalist to "poke around" your site, absorbing more of the feel and culture of your company and its products. It also makes it easier if the reporter wants more information about a particular product than can be found in your media materials. Of course, since you’ll need to provide clear links to the online news room to help such reporters find their way back, anyone visiting your site can access your press materials. This is probably not an issue but, if you feel potential customers may become confused if they wander into the online news room, this could be worth considering.

Creating a separate site allows you to tailor everything to suit the needs of the reporter and prevents the possibility of confusion for potential customers visiting your main site. The reporter however, will be unable to quickly "poke around" the main site as described above, so you may consider that in your decision. If you do choose a separate site, give it a name that incorporates your company (if you’re the Acme Company, go for or Also, provide clearlinks to your main site throughout, and code them so that they open in a new window, allowing the reporter to see your main site without having to backtrack to the online news room.

Some Do’s and Don’ts

DON’T force journalists to register or sign in for access.They’re busy folks and may very well decide not to bother. Make life as easy as you can for them.

DO offer the opportunity for journalists to enter their e-mail address if they wish to be kept abreast of the latest news from your company, but don’t link it in any way to the ability to access any portion of the site.

DON’T confuse non-journalists who may wander into the site. Make it clear at the top of your main page of your online news room what it and who it’s for.

DO provide a link to your consumer FAQ page and an e-mail link for customer service to give non-journalists a place to go to get their questions answered. This will save you a great deal of time responding to messages from non-journalists asking "why am I looking at a press release? How do I download a new driver" or some such thing. Here's what Gateway says, "Gateway press contacts are only able to provide assistance for qualified members of the news media. They are not qualified to respond to product or technical support needs...If you are not a member of the news media, please feel free to visit our pages for Product Service and Support."

DON’T try to lay out the online news room if you’re not a talented web designer. Don’t use flash, heavy java scripts and other doo-dads. The face you put forth to the media must be highly professional, and the ease of navigation and logical flow of the news room is vital.

DO hire a professional designer who has a portfolio that includes simple, easy-to-navigate, clean-looking sites.

What To Include in Your Online News Room:

Personal Contact Info. The name, address, e-mail, phone number, fax number and cell phone number of your primary media contacts must be front and center. If you have an Instant Messaging ID, put it in there, too.

Press Releases. Place press releases in chronological order (most recent at the top). Keep traditional press release formatting and use easy-to-read fonts.

Executive photos, product photos, charts, graphs, and other appropriate artwork. Provide multiple versions -- 72 dpi (lower resolution) for online publications and websites, and 300 dpi(higher resolution) for offline publications. Put instructions such as To download, right-click and choose "save" next to the graphics. Make sure your pitch letters and press releases provide links to the appropriate artwork on your site.

Backgrounders, executive bios, white papers, investor relations info (if applicable), fact sheets, speeches, awards, streaming media of: press conferences, product demonstrations, president's speeches, etc.

Search Tool. Make it easy for journalists to find just what they want, by making all your press materials fully searchable.

Online News Rooms to Study:

The best way to learn how to put together an online news room is to see how some very smart folks have done it. Here are three outstanding examples....

# # #

About The Author:Bill Stoller, the "Publicity Insider", has spent two decades as one of America's top publicists. Now, through his website, eZine and subscription newsletter, Free Publicity: The Newsletter forPR-Hungry Businesses he's sharing -- for the very first time -- his secrets of scoring big publicity. For free articles, killer publicity tips and much, much more, visit Bill's exclusive new site:

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Interview with Ken Kocon, Author of FANTASY FOOTBALL: LESSONS

Ken Kocon is a 41 year old married male with a step son and 2 dogs. One is a yorkie and the other a Lhasa apso, both female. He has 3 brothers, and 1 sister along with nieces and nephews, He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Econmics and has been a life long resident of Minnesota. Ken currently works as a full time transportation manager and writes in his spare time. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoy's many sports including football, baseball, tennis, fishing and golf. You can visit his website at

When did your passion for writing begin, Ken?

My passion for writing began in High School at Minneapolis Edison. I had a couple of High School teachers and forgive me if I misspell their name as I went to an inner city school. (Local joke), that inspired my creative side. Mr Litowsky, was laid back, but had a subtle way of getting the best out of his students and I always remember that being one of my favorite classes. Mr Wentzel was from the old country, Germany I think, he was strict and structured. Him and I butted heads a few times but he helped me with the X's and O's of the English language and wouldn't accept anything less then my best effort. I received A's in both of their classes and that's when I started to enjoy my writing. However, I was at the young tender age of High School graduate,17. I knew everything and was going to light the world on fire. I just didn't know how yet. I sure as heck didn't think it would be writing.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like? Do you write full time?

I currently write part time, however my website keeps me extremely busy as we approach the sweet sounds of September. Football season. I write two to three articles or pieces a week and might be doing a column for a paper shortly.

Can you tell us a little about FANTASY FOOTBALL: LESSONS?

My book, Fantasy Football: Lessons is unique reference guide that teaches experienced veterans as well as those new to the game how to have a successful season. Coach Ken teaches seven lesson's that will show the reader step by step strategies that Coach has used over the last ten years to win 5 titles.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

Majestic Mountain Publishing LLC published my book and has been everything I could ask for in a publisher.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind FANTASY FOOTBALL: LESSONS?

The inspiration for my book had been a long time in coming. I always liked to write but never had pursued it. My wife Maria had began to tinker with the idea of a book. I went to the library one day to pickup some books on World War II. I am also a great history buff.
I was at our local library branch and I decided to see if they had a couple of books on writing for my wife. I found two to three that would make for good fodder. My wife didn't find much interest in them, however I found one that hit home. It was called Do you have a book inside you? by Dan Poynter and Mindy Bingham.

My topic inspiration came from my friends and my youngest brother David. He mentioned to me that I was so good at fantasy football I should have my own newsletter or information service. Being an outdoorsman, I spend my winter weekends in my brother-in-law's fishing shack on Mile Lacs Lake. Think of the most boring thing you could be doing right now. Now add minus 15 degrees on top of it. That is pretty much ice fishing when the fish aren't biting.
I spent a lot of time in a sleeping bag, reading, writing and going over in my head how I was going to put this venture together. When the fishing season ended, I penned my book.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

Book promotion has been an interesting adventure and interviews from yourself, Dorothy, are great and much appreciated for up and coming authors.

Before a writer does anything they need to put together a promotion binder. This is an idea that I got from Dan Poytner and I keep absolutely everything I do to promote in this binder.
You can get lost on the web, so write everything down.

As for my promotion I have invested in a book or two, like How to publish and promote online by M J Rose and Angela Adair-Hoy. The internet is such a powerful resource. Readers would be surprised with just some quality, goal oriented surfing what they can come up with for free promotion. That is the key word for a lot of new writers who don't have the big budgets. It really is the key to everything on the internet. You can find whatever you need, but the trick is to find it for free.

I have also invested in some paid advertising like Googles Adwords. This has helped direct traffic to my website and significantly increase my book exposure as well as my website. is a wonderful site for reading up on different strategies and ideas, which I have not completely exhausted.

Lastly, I do some of the standard flyer promotions passed out at the metrodome, the University and other core demographic areas.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

My favorite authors have changed over time as my, Dad, sister and brothers are my current book club. We pass around books between us and I am currently reading "The Jester" by James Patterson and Gross. I guess early on I was a huge Stephen King fan from his ability to pull these crazy, scary ideas out of his head. Basically, how does he come up with this stuff. I grew out of King and moved on to Tom Clancy, Clive Clussler and Robert Ludlum and now am into Dale Brown and will be starting Vince Flynn. The strong main character's and their adventures are the main attraction in their writing. My current novel is a action, mystery adventure in a similar high energy format.

What future projects do you have in the works?

My current projects are a fantasy baseball book, and a adventure novel set during a fishing excursion that brings new meaning to "What did you catch?"

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

If you want to get published by bigger houses you need to have a marketing plan. It has to be well thought out and you have to be able to talk in numbers. Publisher do not market, authors do. There are other options out there other than the big publishing houses and with ebook and self-publishing anyone can do it. Just remember, on big projects keep focused and disciplined and do a little at a time.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

My faith is very important to me as God as given me the gift of being able to teach people things. As I hope someone has learned from this.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy FANTASY FOOTBALL: LESSONS?

My book is currently available at Barnes and, and other book outlets on the web along with my website.

Thank you very much for your time!

Thank you very much Dorothy and have a great day.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Romancing the Soul - Weekly Recommended Book of the Week!

I usually don't cover my own accomplishments in this blog and save it for the many talented authors out there that really deserve it, but...oh, what the heck...*grin*

ROMANCING THE SOUL, my anthology of true soul mate stories from gifted authors around the globe has been honored with being the Weekly Recommended Book of the Week by Michael's Global Magazine and Web Portal.

If you are interested in learning more about Therapy, Health, Self-Improvement, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Sexuality, Politics, History, Magick or the Mysteries of Life, Death and the Universe through insight, check out Michael's site. It's worth the trip!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Marianne Mancusi Tragedy

Marianne Mancusi, author of "A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court" was hit by tragedy over the past few days. While in Reno attending the conference, her house was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. She was completely wiped out. All her childhood possessions, her computer, everything, was burned up. She lost everything. I feel helpless to do anything, but I can send you to this link where they will tell you about an auction they are having to raise funds for her. Go to:
and please, if you have a spare dollar or two, bid on these items.

The good news is that she has a new apartment ready to move into soon. Anything at all that you can think of that will help her start over (in addition to books and CDs) would be welcome.

The addy to mail to is:

Marianne Mancusi
PO BOX 8003
Boston, MASS 02114

Thank you for your compassion and help.


Blogs and Bestsellers: One and the Same?

Is there anyone left who doesn’t have a blog? From top corporate executives to indie rock stars, everyone seems to have a weblog chronicling his or her adventures. And now, as the publishing industry has taken notice, it feels as if all those bloggers have landed blockbuster book deals.

Read rest of article here.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Is it Cheating or is it Not? - Ploys to get on the Amazon bestseller list

I was over at Angela Hoy's website today and read an interesting comment she made about people getting over on the Amazon ranking system by sending out email lists to get people to buy your book on the same day with freebies as incentives. She honed in on John Kremer who used this tactic to get his books on Amazon's bestseller lists and is urging other authors to do the same on his blog.

John Kremer isn't the only one who has used this tactic, but it is on his blog where a certain "anonymous" poster tells him like it really is. Here's the post that started it all. After that, sparks started to fly after John read Angela's article and posted this on his blog. Whoa...if you want some excitement in your day, this is the place to be. It's like St. Helen's erupting again!

As for me, when my book came out, I had heard of this way to get your book to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, but thank God I didn't have any freebies to hand out because it can be looked at as manipulation of the system. I guess it depends on whether you want to turn a blind eye to this fact and become a bestseller overnight. I know some people - highly respected people - that have done this effectively and I don't think of them less, but I wouldn't do it for personal reasons.

I knew that one day someone was going to have a field day with it and I didn't want to be in the line of fire. Peacetime is waaaay better for me.

But, I'm curious. What are your views on this? Is this cheating or is it not?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dorothy Thompson featured at Blogcritics & Bloglines!

In yesterday's post, I announced a new FREE ebook for writers called "Writer's Tips," compiled by Parker Owens and in which my article, "Are You Prepared To Be An Author," appears. As if that didn't make me happy, I received news this morning that my article is being featured at both Blogcritics AND Bloglines!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Announcing a New E-Book Just for Writers - and It's FREE!

Announcing a new ebook available for download for FREE!

WRITER'S TIPS, compiled by Parker Owens, twenty-six authors offer you help, advice and tips. My article is "Are You Prepared To Be An Author?." I hope you enjoy!

Simply click on the Link or Format of your choice... - adobe reader format - microsoft reader format - mobipocket format (used for pdas)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Interesting that I was just talking about this yesterday in my group at TWL Author Talks.

I was trying to figure out how to get a video up on my website about my book, with me starring of course. Heh.

And then, I found this...

After blogging came photo blogging and then, suddenly last year, video
blogging. Video bloggers, also known as vloggers, are people who regularly post
videos on the Internet, creating primitive shows for anyone who cares to watch.
Some vlogs are cooking shows, some are minidocumentaries, some are mock news
programs and some are almost art films.

Interesting to say the least. I clicked on a couple websites and I couldn't get them to load. Took way too much time and I ran out of patience. I have dial-up so maybe that's what's wrong.

Anyone do this or can get these vlogs to work?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Interview with Nora LeDuc, Author of GIFTS FROM THE HEART

Nora LeDuc has been writing for more than ten years. She has two historicals romances in print. GIFTS FROM THE HEART is her first short contemporary romance. You can visit her website at


When did your passion for writing begin?

Unlike many writers, I began writing later in life. I’ve always entertained myself with stories and never thought I could write an entire book. But one day, when I read about a book for sale on how to write romances, it struck me. I could do it! The more I wrote, the more addicted I became. Writing for me is like reading or watching an exciting book or movie.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

I work full time so my writing life begins after the “paying ” job. Many people can’t understand how I can work all day and then work on my story, but for me it’s a whole new world and life once I sit at my computer.

Do you write full time?

I wish I could.

Can you tell us a little about GIFTS FROM THE HEART?

GIFTS FROM THE HEART is my first contemporary and ebook. Many of the incidents in the story such as the character running off with the Old Home Day money and how the town rallies to produce a parade without funds were incidents from the towns around me. Lara and Harrison’s love story about your first love and what could happen if you ever meet again.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

Whiskey Creek Press is my publisher. When I became published with Whiskey Creek, I found a whole new family of writers and friends. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with both Debra and Steven Womack.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind GIFTS FROM THE HEART?

I’d written two historicals and when I attended a writers’ conference, I heard nothing but gloom and doom for the historical market. I vowed to go home and write a contemporary so I could expand my readers base and stay published. The most difficult part was writing in a less formal manner than in my historicals.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I’ve received very good to excellent reviews on my story. I’ve joined marketing groups, most recently Authors Unlimited, and I’ve advertised in the New England Romance Newsletter. I also have a contest on my website I’d like to encourage all to enter. (

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

My first authors were Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Tami Hoag, and of course, Nora Roberts. I seem to have followed the market trend and expanded more into contemporary with Janet Evanovich, Robert Parker, still Nora Roberts, and Judie Garwood. I love the humor in all these stories and incorporate lots of humor into my stories. I’ve tried to write dark and might succeed for a chapter but then my characters start being funny and ruin the mood.

Do you have a mentor?

I don’t have one person for a mentor. I’ve been luck and depended on the kindness of strangers or fellow writers. who I’ve met through email or the RWA chapters to critique my writing. I’ve learned the most from them. Thanks fellow writers!

What future projects do you have in the works?

I’ve tons of projects. I have two romantic mysteries completed. I’m revising a sequel to my first historical Miss McNeal’s Pirate, and I have another book in process, which is best described as women’s fiction but of course with romance.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

This will sound redundant to what others have said, but the tight market is a real detriment to encouraging writers today. On the plus side, we can communicate with each other and share our work in an instant thanks to technology. It’d be great if more publishing houses took advantage of technology and instead of snail mailing everything.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

Never give up on your dream of writing or getting published. It took me ten years to sell my first book, so that should encourage everyone! I bet they can beat me.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Let's see. Lots of people have asked me why don’t I write something besides romance, but never why romance. I write it because I really believe in living happily ever after and every time my characters meet and fall in love, I get to experience it all over again. Without this bond with your characters, I don’t believe your books will succeed.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy GIFTS FROM THE HEART?

Gifts FROM THE HEART is available at Whiskey Creek Press, Fictionwise or email me from my website

Thank you very much for your time!


Interview with Jane Toombs, Author of HIGH RISK

Jane Toombs, author of 80 published books and sixteen novellas in anthologies, writes for both print and electronic publishers. She, the Viking from her past and their calico cat, Kinko, spend summers in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula and winters in nice and warm Central Florida. Though Jane writes in all genres except men's action and erotica, her favorite is paranormal. Her latest book is HIGH RISK (Champaign Books 2005). You can visit her website at or her blogs at and


When did your passion for writing begin?

I began to write seriously when I had learned to spell enough words--at maybe seven--so that my father allowed me to hunt and peck on his huge old L.C. Smith typewriter. I was never an oral story teller, with me it was always in writing.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

The last time I tried to describe a typical writing day, my monitor fried. The laptop I'm currently using has already crashed four times in two months, so I'm holding my breath until I buy a new one in Reno, when we fly there next week. Assuming no crash today, I read email first, then take a walk with my Significant Other. Just before lunch I bring up whatever my current project is, and edit yesterday's contribution before I begin new writing. After lunch is for errands and necessary chores, then back to the work-in-progress. I also write for a time after the evening meal, trying to reach my goal of five single spaced pages per day. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Do you write full time?


Can you tell us a little about High Risk?

This thriller, set in the high Sierras, pits three unarmed women against a vicious killer and his men who are pursuing them in the mountains during a violent storm. The issue is stolen money.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

Champagne Books published HIGH RISK. I found the editing to be very helpful, and the publisher J. Ellen Smith is a pleasure to work with.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind High Risk?

I became interested in the rock-climbing course my stepdaughter took in college. I lived in California at the time and marveled that people actually rappelled down those high Sierra cliffs. I'm also a student of Native American mythology, and some of the Mountain Miwok stories fit perfectly into the plot, thus satisfying my love for the paranormal. It's also fun creating a really nasty bad guy.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I belong to three promotion groups composed of authors: and

In these groups, limited as to members, authors join together to place ads in reader magazines, hold contests, offer newsletters, do signings and so on, giving us a chance to afford promotion we couldn't do individually. I also have trifolds printed every other year showing new releases with blurbs and covers and sharing a bit of my life duriing that time, using personal photos. These I enclose in letters, and make available for conferences I don't attend as well as those I do. They make great hand-outs. Reviews are definitely important, so I approach a number of reviewers for each new book. I feel these promotion efforts work for me.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

Edgar Allan Poe influenced me as much as any one author. Also A. Merrit and H.P. Lovecraft. From them I acquired my liking for paranormal. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre showed me how to combine love with gothic elements. With today's authors, I'm an eclectic reader.

Do you have a mentor?

My father was my only mentor. He was a non-fiction author and, as soon as I showed an interest in writing stories, he took each one, praised something in it, and then very gently offered a suggestion on how to improve the story.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I hope to do a dragon trilogy, I'm working on several novellas for different anthologies and I have two suspense book partials completed.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

Electronic publishers offer far more freedom for what I like to write than the New York publishers. I enjoy my relationships with the epubs and I do believe in ebooks. But I do make a lot more money with the NY pubs. Erotic authors do make significant money with epubs, but, since I don't write erotica--more a matter of not being able to than having any negative feelings about it--that's not an option for me.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

Since for years I've judged in a lot of contests, I recommend them as good learning experiences. I've seen entries I've judged one year, come back in another contest so much improved that I can tell that writer paid attention to the critiques. Most of these eventually sell, which seems to indicate that those writers who can apply what they learn from critiques, have a edge as far as sales go. Critique groups can also be helpful. Our own valuable experience in critique groups prompted Jane Lane Walters and me to write BECOMING YOUR OWN CRITIQUE PARTNER, soon to be out from Zumaya. Of course, a writer does need some innate talent, but at times an ounce of talent combined with a ton of persistance pays off. Don't give up.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Over the years I've been asked so many personal questions about my writing and my life that I think I've been asked everything permissable, as well as not permissable.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy High Risk?

Fictionwise and Amazon have High Risk for sale as well as

Thank you very much for your time!

# # #

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Interview with Marsha Briscoe, Author of A FAMILY MATTER and A STILL POINT IN TIME

Marsha Briscoe has been involved in some form with reading and writing most all her life. Having taught a variety of college English courses, spanning the range of composition to British literature and world literature, she is a published poet and essayist. But she did not try her hand at writing a novel until the mid 1990's when the idea for her reincarnation romance, A STILL POINT IN TIME, came to her in a dream. From this dream emerged a haunting and deep-seated conviction that the characters she created in A STILL POINT IN TIME had indeed known one another in the past.

Soon after she completed her first novel, the idea of re-visiting the ancient Greek Phaedra myth struck Marsha one day as she was teaching, in one of her college world lit courses, Racine's 17th century play entitled Phaedra. Thus sprang the beginnings of her second novel, A FAMILY MATTER, which brings the rudiments of an ancient myth into a 1990's eastern Kentucky setting.

Senior Editor at Whiskey Creek Press, Marsha is a member of Authors Unlimited, All Star Scribes, LeditSlip, and World Romance Writers. The proud mother of three grown sons, she lives in Kentucky USA with her lifetime soul-mate husband and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, golf, and piano.

Visit Marsha’s author website at


Thank you so much for being with us, Marsha! Tell me, when did your passion for writing begin?

I have been involved in some form with reading and writing most all my life. Having taught a variety of college English courses, spanning the range of composition to British literature and world literature, I was a published poet and essayist. But I did not try my hand at writing a novel until the mid 1990's when the idea for my reincarnation romance, A Still Point in Time, came to me in a dream. From this dream emerged a haunting and deep-seated conviction that the characters I created in A Still Point in Time had indeed known one another in the past.

Do you write full time?

I write when time permits.

Can you tell us a little about A STILL POINT IN TIME?

Yes this book is about a single, childless, 43-year-old college English Professor, Laura Bouvoire, who is determined to have a baby by in-vitro fertilization. But her plans meet opposition when she falls in love with her thirty-year-old college student, Dante Giovanni. Even though she becomes pregnant, she is shocked at Dante's opposition to "test-tube babies" which he deems morally repugnant. Yet the two are drawn together by forces neither understands, forces they later learn stem from a past life. Obsessed by dreams of lovers in another century, Laura delves into that past life. There, tormented voices from another age reveal century-old karmic debts...

Can you tell us a little about A FAMILY MATTER?

Yes. This book is a modern adaptation of the ancient Greek Phaedra myth and it is set in the late 1990s in the eastern Kentucky coal field area. The heroine, Salina Graves, has recently married a man twice her age and is bent on vindicating the stain on her deceased father’s name. But when her coal-baron husband, Lyman Graves, is injured in a mining accident, his grown, estranged son comes home to tend his comatose father and falls in love with his father's new, young wife, Salina. Salina must choose between her professed vow of family vindication and her rapidly escalating attraction to her stepson.

Who published your books and how has your experience with them been?

Whiskey Creek Press has published both my books ( and I have been extremely pleased with this dynamic and rapidly growing publisher.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind the books?

The inspiration for my A STILL POINT IN TIME, a PEARL Award Finalist, actually came to me in a dream after I’d been teaching the Victorian poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in one of my college literature classes. Rossetti also was the leader of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in Art. The tragic story of Rossetti’s beloved, though doomed, model and lover and wife, Elizabeth Siddal, kept ringing in my ears and haunting my dreams. Their twelve stormy years of passion and pain became the impetus for my reincarnation romance. Because the past-life characters in my contemporary romance, A STILL POINT IN TIME, are indeed based loosely upon Rossetti and his beloved Elizabeth Siddal, I had to write a special disclaimer to replace the standard disclaimer in the front matter of this novel. On the cover of my A STILL POINT IN TIME, the woman’s lips are modeled after the women in so many of Rossetti’s paintings, “lips that have been kissed”—full, sensuous lips. Kate Winslet (actress who played in the movie TITANIC) has often been compared to Rossetti’s portraits of women and their “lips that have been kissed”.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I am a member of 2 major promo groups, All Star Scribes ( and Authors Unlimited ( Additionally I purchase static ads, usually every month, at the Romance Studio (, rotating the books one at a time there. I have had front-page coverage of my books in two local newspapers and my A Family Matter received a feature review in the January 2005 issue of the print magazine Kentucky Monthly Magazine. This magazine has subscribers in not only Kentucky but also in 3 states bordering Kentucky.

Both my books have been previous #1 Bestsellers at Whiskey Creek Press and have been on the list of top 10 Best Sellers at WCP during several months since their release, so I must be doing something right.

I do a lot of hand-selling of both my Trade Paperback books. I do not hesitate to approach friends, business associates, or colleagues to purchase my books; I often phone them. Only 1 person I approached showed no interest. I have sold well over 300 copies of my books in this manner alone. Additionally, my books have been sold in 3 stores (a major supermarket, a florist shop, and a gift store) in the small town where I live.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

I have so many favorite authors, it would take reams of paper to list. But I will mention one who had a great bearing on my second book, A FAMILY MATTER. That author’s name is Jane Smiley. When I read Jane Smiley’s book, A THOUSAND ACRES (which was made into a movie), I told myself that if Jane Smiley can re-write the King Lear story and set it in an Iowa cornfield in the late 1980s, I can treat the Phaedra myth in a modern setting. Thus began my quest to conquer the Phaedra myth and turn it into a modern story.

Do you have a mentor?

A: I have a dear friend who is an accomplished writer; this friend has played a major role in my fiction writing.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I have a medical thriller on a back burner.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

My mantra has always been, “Never give up your dream.”

Can you tell us where we can go to buy your books?

Go to Whiskey Creek Press, and you can “search” by author “Marsha Briscoe”. That search will take you to my author cart page where my books can be purchased in electronic download and in Trade Paperback. Both my books are also available in 7 different electronic formats from Fictionwise. At the time of this writing, both my books are listed in the TOP TEN HIGHEST RATED list for the Whiskey Creek Press books at Fictionwise. The direct urls to my Whiskey Creek Press Author Cart are:



Thank you very much for your time!

Thank you for the interview, Dorothy.