Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How Do I Get People to Buy My Book - Part 3 - Give to the Community

No need to buy books on promotion and marketing when all the secrets for a successful book marketing campaign will be unveiled at Book Marketing Buzz in the upcoming months.

Part three in the "How Do I Get People to Buy My Book? series is live at

Pump up your book promotion by signing up for the feed in the left hand sidebar so you won't miss any future installments.

Thank you for stopping by and pump up that book!

Monday, November 19, 2007

How Do I Get People to Buy My Book? - Targeting Your Audience

Second installment of "How Can I Get People to Buy My Book?" is posted at Book Marketing Buzz! Today it's how to target your audience. Visit and if you have a suggestion to send us on how you get people to buy your books, email us at bookmarketingbuzz(at) and tell us! You may be featured in a future episode!

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Finding the Hook to Make the Sale - Guest Post by Diana Holquist

So, you wrote a beautiful love story about two opposites who overcome their differences and fall in love?


What’s missing from this story is a hook. One element that no other book has. A totally original idea. Sure, if you’re an established writer, you might get away without a great hook. But if you’re trying to get published, you must set yourself apart. And the only way to set yourself apart, is to set your manuscript apart.

Thus, the hook.

My hook for the One True Love series (Make Me a Match, Sexiest Man Alive, and Hungry for More) made the difference between selling these manuscripts and not selling my previous manuscripts.

Here’s how it happened:

I started following the story of a woman looking for a husband through her website. She wanted him to be a certain height and make a specified income and on and on. I knew it was a good story, so I started writing it. But there was no spark, nothing distinctive—no hook. Then, I read a short story about a man who curses a town by telling every citizen the exact day they’ll die. I loved the idea of knowledge as a curse. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I realized that this web-searching woman’s greatest curse would be to learn that there actually is a man destined to be her One True Love on this earth—but he’s her worst nightmare. Thus, Amy, the psychic gypsy who can tell you the name of your One True Love was born. It was a fun, magic hook that let me explore a theme that had been done to death in a way that had never been done before. Once I had the hook, I made the sale.

What’s your hook? Do you have one? Try to find it, and you’ll sell that manuscript.

Here’s how:

1) Ask yourself, what is different about my manuscript? What story element do I have that no other book has?
2) As a writing exercise, write the back cover copy for your manuscript. Now, analyze it. Cross out every clichĂ©. Cross out every adjective. What’s left? Has it been done before?
3) Read everything. Watch everything. If something sparks your interest, chances are, it will spark the reader’s interest too. Kelley St. John is a master of this. Go to her website and look at how relevant and different her books are. You’ve never read anything like a Kelley St John story.

Good luck! Now go out there and SELL THAT MANUSCRIPT.

Diana Holquist is the author of SEXIEST MAN ALIVE (Warner Books, Oct. '07). You can visit her website at You can purchase her book at Amazon by clicking here.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

2008 New York Book Festival Call for Entries

NEW YORK (November 16, 2007) _ The 2008 New York Book Festival has issued a call for entries to its annual program celebrating books that deserve greater recognition from the world’s publishing capital.

Last year, over 20,000 attendees enjoyed the beauty and serenity of Manhattan’s Central Park as they browsed books, listened to music and author readings and enjoyed our food vendors. This year, the day festival will offer expanded stages and new opportunities for authors, publishers, musicians and vendors.

The 2008 New York Book Festival will consider published, self-published and independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, children’s books, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/’zines, e-books, poetry, wild card (anything goes!), unpublished stories, science fiction, horror, photography/art, romance and biography/autobiography works.

A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:

1) The story-telling ability of the author.

2) The potential of the work to win wider recognition.

Entries can be in English, Spanish, French or Italian and must be published on or after January 1, 2000. Our grand prize for the 2008 New York Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 and a flight to New York for the awards and our day festival in Central Park.

ENTRIES: Please classify your book and enter it in the following categories. Multiple entries must be accompanied by a separate fee for each book.

1) General Non-fiction

2) General Fiction

3) Children’s books

4) E-books

5) Comics/’zines

6) Wild Card (anything goes)

7) Unpublished Stories

8) Teenage

9) Science Fiction

10) Romance

11) Biography/Autobiography

12) Audio/Spoken Word

13) Poetry

14) Photography/Art

FESTIVAL RULES: New York Book Festival submissions cannot be returned. Each entry must contain the official entry form, including your e-mail address and contact telephone number. All shipping and handling costs must be borne by entrants.

NOTIFICATION AND DEADLINES: We will notify each entry of the receipt of their package via e-mail and will announce the winning entries on this web site shortly after the entry deadline.

Regular registration deadline submissions in each category must be postmarked by the close of business on May 25 , 2008. Winners in each category will be notified by e-mail. Please note that judges read and consider submissions on an ongoing basis, comparing early entries with later submissions.

TO ENTER: Click on the "ENTER THE COMPETITION" link at and follow the directions to get an entry form. Forms may also be faxed/e-mailed to you by calling our office at 323-665-8080 or e-mailing us at You may also register over the phone with a credit card. Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee via check, money order, credit card payment or PayPal online payment of $50 in U.S. dollars for each submission. Multiple submissions are permitted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee.

Entry fee checks/money orders should be made payable to JM Northern Media LLC. We’re sorry, but entries must be mailed and cannot be delivered in person or by messenger services to the JM Northern Media offices.

Entry packages should include one copy of the book; any relevant marketing material; a copy of your official entry form; and the entry fee or receipt from online payment.

Entries should be mailed to:

JM Northern Media LLC

7095 Hollywood Blvd.

Suite 864

Hollywood, CA 90028

AWARDS: Winners of the 2008 New York Book Festival will be honored at a gala ceremony held the night before our annual day festival in Central Park. You do not need to be present to accept your award or accompanying prizes.

New York Book Festival winners in each category will be admitted free to the awards ceremony. The New York Book Festival selection committee reserves the right to determine the category eligibility of any project.

VENDORS AND MUSICIANS: If you would like to be a part of our day festival in Central Park, please e-mail us at for an application.

The New York Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers of the Hollywood Book Festival, DIY Convention, London Book Festival and DIY Book Festival, and is sponsored by The Hollywood Creative Directory, eDivvy, Westside Websites and Shopanista.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Intuitive Cookbook Author Dyan Garris Coming to TWL Author Talks

Dyan Garris, best known for her culinary talents and love for music is coming to TWL Author Talks on Monday, November 12!

Dyan is touring the blogosphere in November on a virtual book tour for Pump Up Your Book Promotion and I thought it would be really nice to have her come in and talk to us at TWL Author Talks!

The book on tour is called VOICE OF THE ANGELS COOKBOOK - TALK TO YOUR FOOD: INTUITIVE COOKING (Journeymakers, Inc., Aug. '07).

"The concept of this cookbook," says Dyan, "is to raise the culinary experience to a more spiritual level. I want readers to feel what they cook and, on some level, communicate with their food. Cooking should be fun and inventive, not intimidating, with the end result being a creative exchange rather than a mundane task."

Here's a little more you might like to know about Dyan:

For many years, Dyan Garris has been counseling clients in order to help them positively move forward in their lives. She is clairvoyant, clairsentient, and clairaudient. In addition, Dyan is also what is known as a voice recognition psychic and trance channel. This means that she can help her clients via phone, which is how she conducted her readings throughout her career.

Growing up in Illinois, Dyan became aware of her clairvoyance, and other gifts, at a very young age. She spent years learning how to appropriately use these gifts for good and to help others.

In 2005 she created a CD series of music and meditation for self-healing, relaxation, chakra balancing, and vibrational attunement. Her interest in music began as a child. A blind piano teacher taught her to “feel” music and “see” through different eyes and influenced her at a young age. Dyan continued her music studies with the violin. Through the violin, she learned how easily music vibrates throughout the body and, hence, all of the chakras. This was her first lesson of how the power of music and sound could be used for healing.

In the early 1990s, Dyan launched a jewelry business custom designing and manufacturing Austrian crystal earrings and healing bolos. Even in this work, she continued to use her special gifts for her client’s benefits. The healing bolos were custom made with stones such as crystal, onyx, hematite, jade and rose quartz. Each came with a channeled poem specifically for the person who commissioned the item. The bolos were designed to be worn over the heart chakra as a form of healing, as well as protection.

She eventually re-focused her life on home, family, spiritual counseling, and teaching meditation and energy classes. Music was incorporated in her classes as a method of sound healing as well as an effective method for opening and balancing the chakras.

In 2005, while sitting at the piano, she heard specific songs and titles coming from her psychic connections. Writing them down as fast as she could, the result was A Healing Journey – The Voice of the Angels CD. This is the first in the series designed for self-healing and vibrational attunement of the mind, body and spirit. There are six CDs in the series. A new release, titled, “Release,” will be available September 24th and is available at or

She is the author and developer of Voice of the Angels – A Healing Journey Spiritual Cards. These are a 30 card deck of Angel Cards based upon scenes from A Healing Journey-Guided Fantasy, which is the guided meditation found on the last track of A Healing Journey-The Voice of the Angels CD. Each card has its own channeled message in verse from the Angels.

Her new book, Voice of the Angels Cookbook – Talk to Your Food! – Intuitive Cooking is now available at the author’s website and This is an adventure in opening the creative centers and communicating with your food so that it can transform from raw ingredients into what truly nourishes you on every level. The book includes twelve food-related channeled messages and several “Intuitively Speaking” paragraphs, which explain how to prepare the recipe using one’s own unique creativity.

For more information, please visit or

If you would like to join TWL Author Talks in time for Dyan's special appearance on Monday, Nov. 12, click here!

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Book Signing Experiences of an Unknown Author by Dennis N. Griffin

In the following paragraphs I’ll recount my first two book signings. There are several factors that can contribute to the success or failure of an event. They include the genre of the book, the quality of the store manager handling the event, and the experience and personality of the author. To those of you who had success right out of the starting gate, I congratulate you. I suspect, however, that a number of writers had experiences similar to mine when they were just starting out.

Many new and unknown authors who are fortunate enough to get their manuscript published, suddenly find themselves confronted with a fact they may not have given much thought to earlier: Getting their book in print was only the beginning. Now they must take on the equally important task of marketing their work.

Upon this realization, a lot of us spring into action to develop a marketing strategy, something we really should have done before the manuscript was even submitted to the publisher. We check writer message boards and buy “how to” books for ideas and guidance. Some of us come away from our research with the ingredients of a marketing plan we think will work for us. Frequently that plan includes book signings. I know mine did.

At that early stage in my writing career, I envisioned being seated at a table in a Borders or Barnes & Noble with stacks of my new book in front of me. No doubt there would be a pretty long line of readers eager to get my signature on their copy. As the scenario of my coming out event went through my mind, questions arose. Should I just sign the customer’s book, or should I write something? If so, what? Should I keep my conversation with the customer brief, so as not to annoy the other people waiting in line? How should I dress? How many pens would I need? What if I got writer’s cramp? It wasn’t long before I had decided on answers to these questions and others. I convinced myself that book signings were the way for me to go. In my mind, that kind of exposure would launch my writing career like a rocket. There would probably be some media coverage; stores would be competing for my time. All fired up, I threw myself into the effort to land a gig at a brick and mortar store. Move over King, Pileggi, and Grisham. Denny Griffin was on his way.

Six weeks and two failed signings later, I had gone from thinking I was on the verge of becoming a celebrity to the depths of despair. It seemed that virtually nobody wanted to buy my book, signed or otherwise. I asked myself if it was time to move on to something else. Fortunately, with the encouragement of my wife, family, and friends, I didn’t give up. Instead, I did an analysis of my book signing endeavors. I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a problem with my book. I realized that I had focused in on book signings as a panacea, without having done the research to truly understand what a realistic goal was for a first-time author like me. I had focused on signings and excluded other marketing options that may have worked better for me. The stars in my eyes had clouded my vision.

I should have seen the trouble coming at the start. When I had difficulty getting the Community Relations Manager (CRM) at my local Barnes & Noble to return my calls, it should have been apparent that she didn’t consider the presence of me or my book to be critical to the success of her store. However, I attributed her lack of enthusiasm in getting back to me to the fact that she was very busy, and didn’t yet realize what a great seller my book was going to be.

When I did finally get a meeting with her, she was pleasant enough, but rather negative. First there was the issue of my book being print on demand (POD). She said POD books were not returnable and the store was not allowed to purchase them. If I wanted to do a signing, I’d have to provide the books and there would be a consignment arrangement with a 70/30 split of the sale price. And my share would be sent from corporate headquarters in six weeks or so. I must admit that this news took me aback. It was another failure of researching on my part. I should have known about the POD situation ahead of time, but I didn’t. Trying to keep the disappointment from my expression and voice, I agreed to her terms.

She then hit me with another zinger. The store didn’t do individual signings for POD or self-published authors. Instead, they scheduled group signings a couple of times a year. There was some good news, however. The next such event was scheduled in two weeks. If I could get my books shipped to me in time, she’d include me in the signing!

When I left that store, the POD and consignment issues didn’t have a lasting impact on me. I was going to have my rear end at a table in a real bookstore. That was what mattered; that was what it was all about.

I ordered 50 books from the publisher — Would that be enough? — and paid extra for expedited processing and shipping. The math was pretty simple. With the 70/30 split, I’d just about break even financially. But that didn’t matter either. I was going to become known. Even though the store wouldn’t stock my POD book, they would take orders for it and I could leave a few copies on consignment. While the deal wasn’t exactly what I’d anticipated, I told myself it wasn’t all that bad.

Using the signing at B&N as leverage, I went to the other local bookstore — an independent — and scheduled a signing for the week after the B&N event. This one also required me to provide the books and split sales with the store, but at 80/20 this arrangement was better for me, and I’d get paid on the spot.

When the big day arrived, I found myself seated with four other local authors at two folding tables in the back of the store. We introduced ourselves and had to sign some paperwork regarding the consignment sales. Shortly after the CRM left us, someone mentioned having not seen any postings announcing our presence. It turned out we hadn’t missed the signs; there weren’t any. There were no announcements over the PA system either. For the next two hours, during which a total of five books were sold, we talked to each other about the writing business in general and our event in particular. One of the guys who had more experience than the rest of us — he had two self-published books out — said we shouldn’t be disappointed. He’d done a few of these events and they tended to run about like this one: little or no promotion, and few sales. He said he attended mainly to get out of the house and meet new people, not with any great sales expectations.

I left my signing debut with one sale — I didn’t receive my payment until nearly six months and several phone calls and e-mails later — and a sense of disappointment that is difficult to describe. The next week I sold two books. I returned home that day with 47 unsold books that had been charged to my credit card, no other events scheduled, and no idea of what to do next. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have anything more to do with the writing business.

Now, seven years later, I thank God for those failures. I learned from them; they were a turning point for me. With the support and encouragement of those who care about me, I got serious about writing and that crucial, but often overlooked part of the business: marketing. However, that’s another story.

Dennis N. Griffin is the author of the bestselling nonfiction organized crime novel, CULLOTTA: THE LIFE OF A CHICAGO CRIMINAL, LAS VEGAS MOBSTER, AND GOVERNMENT WITNESS (Huntington Press, July '07). You can visit his website at .

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Crime Thriller Novelist Michael Simon to Appear on Blog Talk Radio

Michael Simon, author of the crime thriller novel, THE LAST JEW STANDING (Viking, Aug. 2007) will be appearing tomorrow morning sharp at Blog Talk Radio.

If you'd like to find out more about Michael, click here, for he's also on a virtual book tour during the whole month of November. I've known Michael for a month now and I can't wait to put a voice to the face!

If you'd like to listen in, too, click here! The show will air at 6:30 central time and 7:30 eastern time.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Guest Blogger on Virtual Book Tour: Dyan Garris, Author of the Intuitive Cooking Cookbook, VOICE OF THE ANGELS COOKBOOK

You’ve written the great American novel or the best “How To” book that ever existed. You’ve done an outstanding job of translating what is in your soul to tangible form: your new book. It is all very exciting! However, unless you simply want to stare at multiple copies of your amazing book, you have to promote it so that it can get into the hands, hearts, and minds of your intended audience.

In researching the best ways to promote my new book, “Voice of the Angels Cookbook – Talk To Your Food! Intuitive Cooking,” I discovered several options. Most of these options were very expensive. One public relations firm I came across has a program where they book you for fifteen or twenty radio interviews. This sounded appealing. I inquired as to whether or not this exposure converted into actual sales and was told that it really did not. I would be spending several thousand dollars to perhaps get back a few hundred. I crossed this off my list.

Another book promotion company that I contacted had a similar program, but also would, in addition, attempt to book you on TV. For their full book promotion package, they required several thousand dollars per week! This was not in my budget.

To begin, I decided to do that which I could do the most cost effectively in terms of book promotion. I have an existing website: I know that I am getting traffic there. I know that the search engines are crawling it. So I created a colorful web flyer for my book with excerpts and pictures from my cookbook. I put this on its own separate web page. By giving my flyer its own dedicated page, the search engines then easily pick it up.

I also have an existing blog so I put the flyer there as well. I know that my blog pages are being submitted to the search engines on a regular basis, so this also gives me additional exposure.

Next, I gave some thought to what I could do locally in terms of book promotion. It is not difficult to get a book review or some other ink in your local newspaper. It is very easy to set up a book signing at your local bookstore. It is best to do this in person rather than on the telephone. Just approach these people with a copy of your book, which you autograph for them of course. Your local bookstore and your local newspaper want to know what you are doing and will help you tremendously in your book promotion efforts.

While this exposure is great and not to be negated, I decided I needed a bit more. I kept researching and came upon Dorothy Thompson’s, “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” program. The more I delved into Dorothy’s program, the more I realized how brilliant it really is. Now I am signed up for a virtual book tour and I cannot wait for that to begin! Dorothy’s book promotion program is the most cost effective and comprehensive book promotion plan I have come across. Dorothy understands my book and knows exactly how to promote it. She is one dynamic lady. I will let you know how my virtual tour goes. Bon Voyage!

Dyan Garris is the author of the intuitive cooking cookbook, VOICE OF THE ANGELS COOKBOOK. You can visit her website at If you'd like to purchase her book at Amazon, click here.

Dyan's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion, a public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pump Up Your Book Promotion November Authors on Tour - Day One - FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY

Virtual book tours with Pump Up Your Book Promotion continues! All authors on tour in November will be giving away FREE copies of their books to a few lucky people who comment on their blog stops. Winners will be announced at on November 30!
Authors on tour Thursday, November 1 are:
Darrell Bain, author of the science fiction novel, SAVAGE SURVIVAL (Twilight Times Books, Sept. '07), will be stopping off at Mocha Memoirs!
Maureen Fisher, author of the paranormal romantic suspense novel, THE JAGUAR LEGACY (Lachesis Publishing, March '07) will be stopping off at Romance Readers Blog!
Dyan Garris, author of the intuitive cookbook, VOICE OF THE ANGELS COOKBOOK (Journeymakers, Inc., Aug. '07) will be stopping off at You Don't Know Jack!
Dennis N. Griffin, author of the nonfiction true crime novel, CULLOTTA (Huntingpress Press, July '07) will be stopping off at Beyond the Books!
Diana Holquist, author of the romantic comedy, SEXIEST MAN ALIVE (Warner Books, Oct. '07) will be stopping off at Caridad Pineiro!
Sheila Roberts, author of the women's fiction novel, ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS (St. Martin's Press, Nov. '07) will be stopping off at Kathy Holmes' Fiction with Attitude!
Michael Simon, author of the crime thriller, THE LAST JEW STANDING (Viking, Aug. 2007) will be stopping off at Jewish Literary Review!
All authors will be giving away free copies of their books to a few lucky readers who comment on their blog stops. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to win free books!