Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Promote your book at AuthorsdB

I just found out about this so I thought I'd pass it along to those of you who are authors and have books to promote.  I suggested it to one of my tour coordinators who does have a book to join and let me know what it's all about, but this is a really good site to list your book and it's absolutely FREE.'s legit.  No spamming that I know of and it just looks like it has potential.

It's called AuthorsdB and this is what I found at their website:

Here at AUTHORSdB we've formed the only database of authors, including social media, book listings and much more, for today's mind-field of thousands of aspiring and established writers.

ADB is a place where information is available on your favorite authors and where you can learn more about up-and-coming authors.  Readers no longer have to google from several different websites to find out more about a particular author – it’s all here.

Authors are able to find listings for new and established author services to help make their writing life just that bit easier.  

And it's all 100% FREE.  Look at all the neat things it can do for you.  Did I mention it was FREE?

If you decide to join, can you let us know how it works for you?

The Writer's Life: Interview with Wayne Hatford, author of 'Going for Excelsior'

Wayne Hatford, B.A. in French and Spanish, M.A. in International Administration, is a teacher, writer, editor and author dedicated to bridging the gap between the physical and non-physical worlds. To that end, he channeled a friend, Janice Horn ~ “Letters from Janice: Correspondence with the Astral Plane” and, more recently, the spirit essence of Rudolph Valentino ~ “Valentino Speaks: The Wisdom of Rudolph Valentino” and “Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood,” all of which are available via Each of these works explores the “Other Side” while offering insight and practical suggestions on how best to make the most of this one.

A life-long student of metaphysics and transformation, Wayne has both taught in public school and been a personal property appraiser. Wayne Hatford now resides in Santa Rosa, California where he and the Valentino essence continue their collaboration.

His latest book is Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us to the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The concept came to me out of the blue, title and all! Then, in the writing, I drew upon my own experiences, in that I am a Senior myself and wanted to share my perspectives. And perhaps even more importantly, Going for Excelsior: Thriving in Seniorhood is partially channeled, sourced from the spirit essence of silent screen star Rudolph Valentino, who contributes his own unique take on the subject matter.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Actually it was fairly easy, as I was really enthused about this project, excited about watching it unfurl. Here’s what I would say to other writers: carefully gauge your own interest quotient before you commit to writing any book because that is paramount. You have to be thrilled to be working on it, delighted with every breakthrough! If you love it, there’s a good chance other people will too!

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

GFE is self-published.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

That Letters from Janice was traditionally published, with very little querying, and without the services of an agent. I should mention, however, that this occurred during the 1980’s when the publishing industry was quite different. 

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

Fulfilled, thrilled! And, extremely grateful, to all those who helped make it happen. So wonderful to finally be able to see the end product!

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

The Valentino essence and I are already working on another book project, this one focusing on his life and films, as viewed from his current vantage point. I plan to publish it in 2014. For updates and additional information, please visit

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

Most of us will have an opportunity to be a Senior, for greater or lesser periods of time. Why not have a good handle on it before you arrive at that age bracket, and/or fully embrace and enjoy it if you are already there?

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

That nothing is over yet, and it never will be! Life is everlasting and, as a Senior, it’s about getting to a crescendo, going for excelsior ~ not about slacking off, or giving up.
Q: Thank you again for this interview! 
My pleasure!

Interview with C.G. Ayling, author of Malmaxa I. Beltamar's War


With children African, English and American, and myself born and raised in a country of five names, I consider myself… a citizen of the world.
My wife and four children think of me simply as a thorny old man – and thus my symbol…
One of the most influential people in my life was my Godfather. A man of absolute integrity, remarkable intellect, and fine character. He taught me tolerance, and intolerance, together. He showed me that every conflict has are two sides, if not more. It was thanks to time spent with him that I developed a guiding principle in my life, namely that the most fundamental sign of intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind. It is to honor him that I use his name as my pseudonym, yet I know my efforts fall far short of what he deserved.
In my memory, C.G.Ayling lives forever. Is that not as close as any man can come to immortality?
Visit his website at
Find C.G.!
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Charles. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing? 

 A: Hi, well… foremost, I’m a young soul, trapped in an aging body – as I once said on Twitter, “Age is an unkind mistress, she makes you want to do things you simply cannot.” In all honesty, I can assure you the only thing recommending age, is the memories it grants you – and those are rose tinted. I’m married, have a tolerant, understanding wife who has granted me four wonderful children, each a unique individual in their own right. I started writing in earnest in the early nineteen seventies, wrote angst filled poetry – which I’m now relieved was never published. After moving to South Africa I ran out heart, and gave up all except technical writing. I only restarted about five years ago, on Beltamar’s War.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

A: Beltamar’s War is my vision of the perfect world, loosely inhabited by imperfect people. Though the Malmaxa series is Fantasy themed, it contains none of the usual elements of that genre. For example, there is no royalty, no oppressive government, no organized religion, no money, and virtually no technology. Indeed, six Divine laws strictly prohibit all of these things. That said, I truly believe the majority of readers won’t notice these fantasy staples are absent, and hopefully won’t miss them. On a deeper level, Beltamar’s War is metaphorical, with themes and philosophies translating directly into our own times. Sounds complicated? Like any real culture, it is – and once you’ve experienced Beltamar’s War, I hope you’ll accept it as that.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? 

A: I’m still facing challenges, as only the first two novels in the Malmaxa series are complete and released. However, I’d have to say the biggest challenge has been overcoming myself. I’m a chronic nitpicker, very concerned with the little things. I think it’s the minor details that make fiction believable – and to me, believability is crucial. Conventional wisdom holds that one should not sweat the little things, instead concentrating on the bigger, more important matters. I seldom subscribe to conventional wisdom – indeed, I include the words, “contrary thoughts, to compel”, in my Twitter biography. As a result, Beltamar’s War is a very different type of tale – which is a particularly potent way to guarantee non-publication for a first-time author. The traditional publishing houses don’t want different – they want more of the same that sells, least that is my perception.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it? 

A: I have a blog that includes a substantial amount of information. One of its pages contains links to various resources related to my writing, here it is: perhaps that might serve as a press kit.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so? 

A: Although I’m a fairly accomplished public speaker, I haven’t done any of these things, and haven’t planned to do so. Please don’t get me wrong, like most passionate people I love talking about things that touch me, and Malmaxa is certainly that. However, I have no desire for personal fame – that just isn’t a motivator for me.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one? 

A: I don’t have an agent. I came very close to snagging one, however Amy Hayden of Linn Prentis Literary eventually declined to represent me. I don’t believe her decision came from a lack of quality in my writing, which she described, “…you indeed have written something quite unique. Your style is polished and I am quite intrigued as a reader.” Though I’ve never had an agent, I think they serve an incredibly valuable role for any writer – I envision them freeing me to concentrate on writing, which I love. I’ll be submitting another, more mainstream, novel to Amy in the near future. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it? 

A: I didn’t. If it remains up to me, I probably never will since I consider that to be putting the cart before the horse. Frankly, I’d rather have readers read my work because they heard good things from other readers, than because an advertisement sold them on it. Quite likely, I’m wrong – I often am.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: I’ve already released the second novel in the Malmaxa series, The Pilgrimage, and am well on the way through writing the third, Vengeance Cost. Right now, I’m working on a different project which may prove more suitable for traditional publishing.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Charles. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book? 

A: Thank you, I would. My blog is there’s a lot of information there, including substantial sample you can read directly in any web browser. I’m active on Twitter at: - Twitter is probably the fastest way to reach me, just Tweet @CGAyling Beltamar’s War is available in multiple eBook formats from: SmashWords, Kindle, Or in paperback,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Interview with Ta'Mara Hanscom, author of The Caselli Family Series


Having experienced the healing work of the Lord in their own marriage, Ta`Mara and her husband, Jim, are strong promoters of a healthy marriage through obedience to Christ. Ta`Mara shares a testimony of deliverance and healing for hurting marriages, as well as messages on other topics. References can be provided.
It is Ta`Mara’s prayer that, as the readers explore the truths in these volumes, they will come away with a new perspective on love, obedience, and God’s plan for marriage.
Ta`Mara Hanscom has worked on The Caselli Family Series since 1996. Within three weeks she had created a 900 page rough draft of what would become a five- novel series of the epic love story of Tillie Caselli and Noah Hansen.
Loving all things Italian, Ta`Mara created the Caselli family true to their ethnic name. Born and raised in South Dakota, she brings this traditional family alive on the Great Plains where she has spent the entirety of her life.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Ta`Mara Hanscom.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: We have pizza restaurants, and our children and their spouses help us to manage them. A few years ago I learned that I have celiac disease (intolerance to gluten) and had to stop working in the stores, as we open fresh flour every day.  Since then I’ve been able to work full time on writing, teaching and speaking. I’ve been writing for 17 years.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Guiseppi Caselli is the world's greatest Papa, and family leader. But he makes this one really bad decision and it affects the lives of two of his children—though neither of them know it! Guiseppi sees that his daughter's life is not what it would have been. What he doesn’t see is that the same decision that's changed his daughter's life has also affected the life of his son, Marquette. Marquette Caselli is a world renowned private investigator who has spent the bulk of his career chasing a Mafia family throughout the globe. Gusieppi's decision derails Marquette's life-long work and it takes twenty-three years to straighten out the mess.

The Caselli Family Series is filled with romance, Christian values, ethnic passion and global adventure.

I wrote the series during a really hard time in my life, and it distracted me from my troubles. I found peace in working hard on the series: rewriting portions, editing and revising. When I’d finally gotten to a point where I felt the series was ready for publication—about 7 years after I started the project—I realized that my troubles had resolved themselves.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: Equipment. I didn’t have a decent computer, just an old word processor with a daisy-wheel printer. I had to print everything I wrote—immediately—because sometimes the old word processor wouldn’t save! And at that time, I was really broke, and the special paper that feeds into the daisy wheel was beyond my budget.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: Press kits will be available in late February, 2013, and there will be a link to get them.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: Yes! I accept speaking engagements as long as they fit into my calendar. My next event is at a MOPS club in Sioux City, Iowa.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: I do not have an agent at present. I used to have an agent, but it didn’t work out. I don’t know if you need an agent or not. While I was represented by an agent, I didn’t sell a thing. But that could be a reflection on my particular agent.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: We went to Christian praise concerts, i.e., Hills Alive, NightVision, LifeLight, etc. We paid upwards of $500 for a booth, and in some cases had to pay 15-20% of our gross revenues. We rented the booths and set up shop in the outskirts of these praise concerts. The best venue was LifeLight in southeastern South Dakota. They draw about 300,000 people to their event, and they like Christian fiction. We sold over 70 books both times we attended—and all we had to do was stand there! I’ve picked up lasting, faithful readers from all of these events. They order online now, and they must be telling their friends because I get a lot of orders from all the regions we’ve been.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes. I have 14 more in the works. I’m about ¾ finished with Book 6, Books 7 and 8 are finished, and then I’ll be into unwritten material. I’ve done quite a bit of the research already, so it should go fairly easy.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Ta`Mara Hanscom.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: You can order from there!

Monday, February 25, 2013

How to add share buttons to Blogger blogs

Happy Monday!  Yeah yeah it's back to the ol' grind but I am here to help those on Blogger blogs put sharing buttons up.  I visited a blog the other day that had no sharing buttons whatsoever and it was quite frustrating because I wanted to share the post.  Doing it manually took too much time so I chose to go on to another project.  The blogger missed out because I could have sent their blog post to over 4,659 Twitter followers and 3,812 followers on Facebook and that's just the count today.  And...that's just two social networks, there are loads more - Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn just to name a few.  Can you imagine the reach from that kind of exposure?

So I had to say something.  Now I love this blogger so I won't mention names but I wanted to help.  I just happened to ask him where his sharing buttons were and this is his reply (it's darling, isn't it?):

" I hate to admit it but I have no idea of what you are referring to.  I have the feeling that I need to have these buttons that you speak of but I am a lost puppy.  Please help I need all the wisdom that you can provide and then I will put these buttons on my blog."

Woot!  Instead of getting irritated at me, he wanted to learn!

Since I had just put up a blog at Blogger for a paranormal romance book we'll be releasing soon, I hadn't gotten around to putting up sharing buttons so I thought I'd write down the instructions instead of telling him to go to a certain site and it'll walk you through it.

So here it is for Blogger:

1.  I use  I know there might be others but I have had success with this for years and it's super easy.

2.  Once you're on the ShareThis website, you will be given options to choose which blogging platform you use.  I chose Blogger and clicked it.

3.  Next up I need to pick a style.  I think they gave you a few examples and I just clicked on the one I liked the best.

4.  Next up is customize - small or large icons, for me I chose large because it was different and I liked it.  Then you choose the services you want.  There are 3 boxes.  The one to the left I wanted all of them so I left that alone.  The box to the top right gives you more and I chose Google+, and StumbleUpon but you can choose which ones you like the best.  The last box "Other Social Plugins" I really didn't need or want any so I hit FINISH.

5.  Next up is a Code and Instructions box - I chose Direct Post.

6. Hit GO.

7.  Once you hit go, you end up on a Blogger page that says "Add Page Element."  All you have to do here is choose the blog you want your icons to show up on.  I have more than one blog but I wanted these to go up on this new blog so I hit that.

8.  Then, hit "Add Widget."

9.  That will take you to your "Layout" page.  I see the widget has landed in one of my sidebars but you just ignore it.  It's not going to show up in my sidebar but instead when I hit "view blog," there they are sitting pretty underneath all my blog posts.

10.  Voila, you're done.

It couldn't be easier.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Publishing Secrets: A Conversation with Richard Blunt

We’re talking to authors from all walks of life about their experiences in publishing their books.  Some have smooth paths, some rocky, but they all share a common goal – to see their name on the cover of their creation.   

It’s interesting to read what path they decided to take to get there and my guest today is here to tell everyone what he/she did in order to make it all happen so that other writers will learn a little something from the experience. 

Today we are talking to Richard Blunt, author of the fantasy novel, Lucas Trent 3 – Grand Theft Magic.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions, Rick.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?

I do a lot of storytelling, roleplaying and stuff like that. At some point people started asking me to write those things down, so they could read it in case they missed a session… Well, and that led to people who never attended my sessions in the first place to read the stories. Voila, you got a book..

Is this your first book?

It’s the first series, but it’s the third part of it. So no, it’s not.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

What word should I use? Bumpy? Horrible? They would both fit… It’s not easy for an unknown author to publish these days, unless you self-publish (which I did.) but that’s not exactly easy as well. Takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money if you want to do it right…

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?

There are some really good people in the industry, but you have to look hard to find them. Between those there are a lot of leeches that do not do you any good, but cost you a lot of money.

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?

For this book? Nothing. But that comes with experience. For the two before that there is a lot that I would like to have changed… But that is over now…

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?

There is one person without whom this book would not be the way it is now: Duncan Long. He designed the cover for it, and I think he did a really amazing job with it.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

If you think you can make easy money with a book… Think again…


Publishing under a pen name to keep his personal life separate from his writing life, Richard Blunt was raised in the heart of Europe, in a nation where English is not the native language. Like his heroes, Richard blunt is nothing more than a shadow – a specter that whispers a story for everyone to hear.

His latest book is Lucas Trent 3: Grand Theft Magic.

You can visit his website at and his blog at

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interview with Bob Ferguson, author of 'Buzzard Bay'

Bob Ferguson grew up in a remote region of Canada without electricity or telephones. He spent evenings listening to an old battery-operated radio and dreaming of faraway places. Later in life he traveled extensively. His travels to the Bahamas form the basis for Buzzard Bay. The author and his wife currently live in Fiji, where Bob writes and his wife teaches. Their children and grandchildren live in Canada.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I grew up on a farm with no one to play with and thus developed a great sense of imagination. Later in life we were in the Bahamas and came upon an airstrip that had been plowed up because of its usage in the drug trade. The stories I was told about this airstrip were the beginnings of an inspiration for this book.  It was the 70's and the Bahamas were a major distribution center for the US drug trade and the Bahamian government was cleaning up some of the illicit goings-on as they were promoting the tourism trade.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest thing for me was to sit down and write what was in my head. There is always a certain amount of research involved and as my book covers thirty years, characters and timelines must be kept relevant. One important thing is to find an editor you can work with.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published with Xlibris and made lots of mistakes along the way. I found them by doing research on the internet. I felt the most important thing was to get my work out there and then promote it. I figured that if people liked my story they would read it. First books are a learning curve.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The publisher I went with did not supply an editor and was only interested in getting my book out the door and on to the next one. I will be much more careful next time.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I was very proud to see my many years of work in print. I think a lot of people start a book but never finish.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I will do a sequel to Buzzard Bay but right now I am busy promoting this book before I start on another one.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

I think giving people a bit of reality about how engrained the cocaine trade is in the world may help them understand how big an influence it is in our lives.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Cocaine is traded and sold on a cash basis. It is impossible to trace except for the devastation it leaves behind. 

Q: Do you have any final words?

This book is not for the squeamish but if you like lots of action and nail- biting suspense, you'll find this a good read.

Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Make Do-It-Yourself 3D Movies to Promote Your Book

I think this is the  coolest thing - a 3D movie where you can talk about your latest book, your author platform whatever that may be, announce a contest, promote your blog, you name it, but today I'm concentrating mainly on using it to promote your own book and the best part is it's FREE and EASY.  If I can do it, you can too!

Xtranormal, if you haven't already heard about it is a website where you can make your own 3D movie to promote your book.  My head is twirling thinking of all the things you can do with this.  Xtranormal offers a wide variety of characters, sets, and animations that you can easily add to any movie you create.  Cast your actors, write your script, and share your movie with your buddy/buddies and family.  And the best part is, you don't need a huge budget or a film crew.  Believe me, this thing is addicting.  I plan on using it for my next book which a couple of writers and I are working on right as we speak.

The coolest thing about this is that you can download right to YouTube.  I mean think of all the possibilities.  And another cool thing is you could have two of the characters in your upcoming book talk about the book's release.  Now is that cool or what?  Let's say you're a blogger and you don't have a book?  Have these animated characters talk about your blog, what they can find there and why we need to see it!

So since we're still in the editing stage of a revamped paranormal/comedy/romance/mystery (hopefully by the time it's ready we'll know which genre it needs to be in, lol) I made one for one of my older books, Romancing the Soul.  Now before you watch, Romancing the Soul is an anthology.  I wrote some of it, then gathered soul mate stories from everywhere I could find them, people were sending me soul mate stories and it was just a blast.  So I wanted to experiment with this to see how it works but I'll be visiting Xtranormal again real soon for upcoming books.

So here's my video!


If you decide to make one for yourself, add your link in the comment section so we all can see it!

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity tours.  You can visit us at  Let us take your book to the virtual level!

Book Trailer Reveal: Lucas Trent 3: Grand Theft Magic by Richard Blunt

Grand Theft MagicAfter a field trip suddenly turns into a near catastrophe Lucas and the others shift into high gear to avenge their injured friend. But when an unexpected foe arrives at the scene they quickly find themselves in a life or death situation that not even their extraordinary skills can solve. Realizing that they have bitten off more than they can chew Lucas desperately starts looking for trustworthy allies, just to find out once again that things are never as easy as they appear at first. Can they survive the battles at hand? Will they be able to tell friend from foe? Or will the epic quest they have stumbled into be too much for them to handle? Follow Lucas Trent and his friends through an action-paced story of mysteries, secrets and deceptions and find out…

Purchase Book Here

Publishing under a pen name to keep his personal life separate from his writing life, Richard Blunt was raised in the heart of Europe, in a nation where English is not the native language. Like his heroes, Richard blunt is nothing more than a shadow – a specter that whispers a story for everyone to hear. His latest book is Lucas Trent 3: Grand Theft Magic.  


Cover Reveal: Soul Control by C. Elizabeth

Title: Soul Control
Author: C. Elizabeth
Paperback: 454 pages
Publisher: Wings ePress (December 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161309891X
ISBN-13: 978-1613098912

Book Synopsis:

“Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil.”
Words that ring true for seventeen-year-old Saydi Gardiner upon discovering her ancestry.  But if she has doubts, further confirmation is forthcoming and it comes in the form of a wickedly gorgeous Nathanael Braxton, when he steals her heart and cuddles into her sole – the last place the boy should be.
Nineteen-year-old Nathanael’s unrelenting good looks aren’t the only thing that make him dangerous – and he knows it!  However, his caring human side struggles with a loyalty – a loyalty that binds him to the hunt for the soul that will give his family the power they seek. There’s only one problem: When he finds her, Nathanael falls in love with his prey – Saydi.
“SOUL CONTROL pulled me in from the first sentence and had me on the edge of my seat all the way to the end. Everything you could want is there…wit, banter, romance (appropriate for the young adult reader) danger, suspense, mystery…and the list goes on. C. Elizabeth’s writing is flawless and relatable. 5 stars all the way!”
- – Laura Burks, author of Altered

Purchase the Book:




About the Author

C. Elizabeth lives in St. Albert,  Alberta, Canada and during her short writing career she’s learned a lot about herself, sometimes to the point that she wonders how the heck she got this far in life and know so little about herself.

For the majority of her life she dabbled in many things, such as drawing, photography, sewing, only to find that after a while, she would lose interest, but writing is a different story — it found her and continues to be an addiction, as well as a most wonderful, incredible passion.

Not only does she write novels, but she does whatever she can to hone her craft.  Such as attending the New York Pitch Conference, seminars and the like, as well, she writes for online magazines on the topic of… you guessed it, writing.

Her latest book is the YA paranormal romance, Soul Control.




Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Promote Your Self-Published eBook the Guerilla Way

One of the most-asked questions I get from writers who have never written and published an eBook before is, "How would you promote a self-published eBook? Where would you go to even begin selling a product that hasn't the backup from a traditional or otherwise publisher?"

Well, that's two, but many writers balk at attempting to play publisher. If they only knew it's not as hard as they think it is, not to mention all the profits are theirs, I feel more writers would be comfortable to take on a project like this. Not only is self-publishing eBooks a profitable venture, but it also can be used as a valuable tool to gain expert status. Plus, eBooks are really simple to promote as long as you take a no-nonsense guerilla approach to marketing.

As long as you have a market, and have a quality eBook that is free of errors, your eBook can become a success, thus give you that added income. You won’t be sharing the profits with anyone. There is no overhead except for website expenses, which you should already have if you've been published before. If you haven't been published before and don't want to set up a whole website for this, use one of the free blogging platforms such as or to talk about your new money-making e-Book.

 I have successfully promoted several eBooks for myself getting those eBooks into the #1 position in the search engines for basically nothing other than my time.


That’s where your guerilla marketing plan comes in. Here are a few simple ways I have used to promote my eBooks and get them to the top of the search engines:
  • Using key search words throughout my selling page and on every single piece of promotional literature I send out.
  • Using free press release sites frequently, keeping in mind to use those key search words not only in the title, but also throughout the release.
  • Using free content ezines as vehicles to get my selling page’s link on hundreds upon hundreds of websites (being careful to put the title of your article into google alerts so your article doesn't get reworded like this to make it sound like another business wrote YOUR article).
  • Using online storefronts (this is a suggestion; a search in google will find you more) who will list my eBook for free.
  • Using writer forums and websites that will let you announce your eBook.
  • Using blogs to announce your eBook and promote it.
  • Using virtual book tours, thus using other people's blogs to promote your book.
The secret to selling self-published eBooks (or any kind of eBook or print book, for that matter) is to get your link on as many websites and blogs as you can (an added bonus to this is that it raises your PR ranking in the process). You have to remember, you have an electronic book. You can’t go on book signings so you have to rely on the Internet to get the word out. But, by following those seven examples above, I’ll guarantee you’ll get the sales you need if you have a market for your book. So what if you’ve done everything above, and your eBook still isn’t selling? Where some authors go wrong is that they fail to remember the most important thing you need in order to sell any kind of books—a market. No amount of promotion is going to do you any good unless you have an audience who is willing to fork out the money. Before you even put down that first word, you have to ask yourself these following questions:
  • Who is going to buy my eBook?
  • Why is my eBook any different than Joe Blow’s eBook on the same subject?
  • What will my audience gain from my eBook?
  • Can they already find this information readily on the Internet?
  • Will my buyers gain something from my eBook, or is it simply to entertain?
  • Pique your potential buyer’s interest.
  • Post an excerpt on your website so they can judge for themselves whether your eBook will be something they need.
Once you get into the mindset of your buyer, things start falling in place, and you’ll get those sales you want. Zero in on your market, do the steps I’ve outlined above, and I’ll guarantee you’ll be selling ebooks like flies on to honey. Happy promoting to you!  

-- Reprinted from Book Marketing Buzz

Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations firm specializing in online book promotion and virtual book tours for authors who want maximum exposure online. Visit us at

How do I remove a book from Amazon?

Happy Sunday everyone!  I have a question for anyone out there who can help.

I, along with two other writers, wrote a book and got it published a few years ago.  Two months or so down the road, the publisher went bankrupt.  We have since attained rights to the book.  The problem is, the book is still up at Amazon and if anyone buys it, surely the publisher will be reaping the rewards with no compensation for us.

We are revising the book and selling it in the Kindle store, but the problem with that is the old book will be showing up on our author profiles and is still turning up in search.  We don't want anyone to buy this book and we don't want this book to be confused with this new book.  It's basically a revised edition, new cover and possibly new title, but we would love to keep the title.  Keeping the title will have its problems as people might click on the old one and not the new one.  It's a mess.

I went to the Internet and asked and this was one response:

"If you're a seller, just log into your seller account. If your book is being sold by your publisher, contact your publisher. If it's a used book, other than buying up copies, it's legal to sell used books. If it's an empty listing, Amazon tends to keep these listings in case the book is ever reprinted."

That makes sense, but I am not the seller, the seller is nowhere to be found (they went undercover after it happened owing a lot of authors checks).  But I am the co-author. 

I found this on the Amazon site:

How do I remove an old or out-of-print listing from the catalog?

As you may know, we offer customers the opportunity to locate out-of-print books through our Marketplace feature. It is our aim to list a wide selection of titles for our customers' reference and convenience, so it is not our practice to remove a listing even when it is out of print.

If the case is such that a new edition is replacing the edition we list in our store, you'll need to help us get the new version online. Please consult the List Your Titles section of this guide for instructions on how to add new titles to our Book Store.

Please understand that we are currently posting both new and old versions of any given publication. It should be clear to customers to buy the available edition, and we realize the OP version may prove distracting. Rest assured we are working on ways to improve the display of new and old editions on our site.

 I still don't know how to do it or even if it can be done.

What to do about this?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

It's Rant & Rave Day: What? No Sharing Buttons?

So I'm in the middle of this experiment I'm doing regarding book sales. My experiment came to a dead halt when I found one of the blogs that is hosting my authors had no sharing buttons.  Not for my sake especially, but for your sake if you want more hits than you're getting already, please put up sharing buttons.

So what are sharing buttons?

For the sake of those who do not know it is a simple code of html that you add to your blog that allows your visitors to share your blog posts with their followers.  It's really easy peasy and the advantages far outweigh not having them.

My favorite sharing buttons are Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest, but there are many many others.  Here's what happens.  You post a blog post and hopefully Google will index you high enough so that you end up on the first page of search.  But you can't rely on that all the time.  Sharing buttons gives you more promoting power and definitely more reach.

The Perks:

  • You (and others) don't have to take the url of your blog post, create a shortened url (for Twitter) and do it manually.  It's a painstaking process which requires time, which we have so little of.
  • Sharing buttons create an easy one two three click (depending on how many social network buttons you want the post to appear on) and sends your link to other people's social network accounts.
  • For authors, this could mean more sales for you (I'm in the middle of an experiment which will prove it)
How to Get Sharing Buttons for your Blog:

Oh I wouldn't leave you hanging.  If you have no idea how to get sharing buttons, here is what you do.  While there are probably many places to get them, I choose  Here's what you do:

You should be up and running in no time.  Do a little experimenting on your own and see if you don't double or triple your sites hits.

Your followers will love you, I will love you and your book will love you.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Pump Up Your Book and Tessa Stockton will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC or Paypal Cash, one autographed copy of her book, The Unspeakable, and one autographed copy of her other book, The Unforgivable! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!




Who said forgiveness was easy? When a furtive conflict is pitted between violent leftist guerrillas and a rightwing paramilitary group in Colombia, a North American woman mistakenly gets caught in the middle. “I spent four months, one week and two days in a clandestine prison referred to as The Water Cave. Every day I stared hell in the face, and each day I wanted to die. I don’t want to share too much too quickly. To understand fully, you must join hands with me, fasten your heart to mine, and course through my book. Stumble over the incomprehensible human rights journey with me. I’ve pondered it to the brink of questionable sanity, and it is the only way. It’s the only way to explain. I suppose I should consider myself lucky I survived at all—for many did not—yet, perplexingly so, that’s not the premise of this narrative. He altered my life, marked me forever. But it’s not how you might imagine. This is a story involving Horacio Botello, my torturer known as Puma.”
Purchase your copy:

Tessa Stockton 


A veteran of the performing arts and worldwide missions, Tessa Stockton also contributed as a writer/editor for ministry publications, ghostwriter for political content, and headed a column on the topic of forgiveness. Today she writes novels in a variety of genres, often laced with romance and intrigue. In addition to her Christian suspense/thriller, THE UNSPEAKABLE, she’s the author of the political intrigue/romance, THE UNFORGIVABLE, a fable, LOVE AND LULL, and the upcoming inspirational fantasy romance, WIND’S ARIA, with more in the works.
Visit the Author:


Pump Up Your Book and Tessa Stockton are teaming up to give you a chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Here's how it works:

This promotion will run from January 14 - February 15. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on February 16, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. The prize includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash, one paperback copy of The Unspeakable and one paperback copy of The Unforgiveable. This giveaway is only open to those over the age of 18 and can accept an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash. You must be a resident of the U.S. to win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Title: Keeper of the Black Stones
Author: P.T. McHugh
Age Range: 10 and up
Paperback: 369 pages
Publisher: Glass House Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0981676804
ISBN-13: 978-0981676807

Book Synopsis:

Jason Evans, a shy, introverted high school freshman, thought that his mundane life was all there was – girls, golf, physics, and the occasional bully. Until he found out about the secrets his grandfather had been keeping from him … a set of stones that allowed them to jump through time … a maniacal madman who used the stones to shape history to his liking … and Jason’s role as one of the few people in the world who could stop that man.
Against impossible odds, a fourteen-year-old boy must take up his legacy, learn everything he needs to know within one short day, and travel helter skelter into the Middle Ages, to join Henry VII’s fight against Richard III, end the Dark Ages, and stop the man who now holds his grandfather captive. In this romp through history, Jason and his friends must race against time to accomplish not one, but two missions.
Save his grandfather.
And save the world.

Purchase the Book:



About the Author

PT McHugh didn’t start out as a storyteller. He was, however, born into a family of that encouraged imagination. He became a fan of history in school and then went to college to become a construction engineer, to build a world of straight lines, angles, and equations.
He was just as surprised as everyone else when he realized that he believed in magic, and might just know the secret of how to jump through time. Since then, he’s been researching the possibility and learning everything he can about history. Just in case the opportunity arises.
PT was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Bob, daring to dream of alternate worlds and cheering for his beloved New England Patriots.
His latest book is the YA fantasy/time travel, Keeper of the Stones.


Visit the Author:



Interview with Darlene Josaphe, author of 'Self Help Stress Solutions'

Darlene-Josaphe-Picture-150x150ABOUT DARLENE JOSAPHE

Darlene Josaphe helps women manage stress successfully with resources that educate, combined with personal support. Her website, Natural Stress Relief Tips For Women, is an exclusive website for women that provides self-improvement articles, stress reduction resources, and transformational tools to women who want to improve their lives and achieve their life goals.
Natural stress relief tips for women is a site about turning your life from OK to extraordinary by reducing the stress, anxieties, and tensions that rob you of the peace of mind and happiness you deserve. If your life feels like a constant pressure cooker, you’re not alone. Women today are under a lot of pressure.
Knowledge is power, and our self-help ebooks for women will empower you to cope with the stresses in your life and achieve your life goals, whether it is happiness, good health, loving relationships, financial freedom, fulfillment … or all of the above.
To see all that Darlene offers, including a chance to learn more about natural stress relief techniques and tips you can use right now and high-performance strategies that you can use immediately to improve your life, simply take our FREE Stress-busting eCourse and learn how to turn your stress into success!
To find out more, please visit her at
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Darlene. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing? 

I love helping women find practical, healthy,beneficial ways to cope with stress, and I also enjoy gardening, aromatherapy, watching re-runs of Golden Girls and Disney Classics such as Beauty & The beast, Princess and the Frog, and Lion King! I’ve been writing for about three years.

 Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

Women everywhere are experiencing severe amounts of stress in all aspects of their lives, on the job and at home.  I see it all around me every day and I know from personal experience that coping with stress is a difficult prospect. Unfortunately many turn to "solutions" that often do little to improve things and may even make their situation worse - drinking too much, using narcotics, giving in to fits of anger; these things only hurt you and those around you and rarely do anything to actually address the situation that is causing stress. I discovered from my own personal experience that there are many positive and beneficial things that can be done to address stressful situations, naturally. First of all, facing the situation and doing what you can to change it is vitally important, even if it means making long-term plans, long-term goals, and long-term lifestyle changes.  That’s why I decided to write about natural methods of stress relief, identify and expose the core causes and detrimental effects of stress for women, and share the high-performance strategies and techniques that women can use immediately to improve their lives.  Natural methods that work to relieve stress effectively and naturally.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it? 

Finding the time to do it, from start to finish!  Life is busy and demanding, and we rush about from one obligation to the next, and some folks even rush from one crisis to the next.  Writing requires time and dedication, which are often in short supply and can be challenging, but not impossible.  Your passion and inspiration to reach out and help others with your message is a major driving force and motivation to stay focused, and helps you set priorities where necessary to get your writing done, from start to finish! If the motivation is strong enough, you find a way to overcome any challenge.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it? 

I do not have a press kit at the moment, but I will be developing one and adding it to my blog soon.  I do have a Stress Management Club where I offer exclusive tips, exclusive resources, as well as freebies and book discounts. The link to the stress management club is:

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so? 

 I am scheduled to participate in a Time & Stress Management Workshop on February 19 and 20,2013. The workshop is spread over two (2) morning sessions and is geared at helping working women improve work-life balance by exploring effective time and stress management techniques & strategies.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I do not have an agent, but I do have a social media manager who is in charge of managing my social medial promotions.  I feel that it is necessary to have a professional social media expert in charge of my social media promotions and have therefore retained Personalized Marketing, Inc (>I also retained a virtual book tour manager, who is organizing virtual blog book tours for the books with a chance to win a FREE Kindle.  You can find the details of my virtual book tour here:

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it? 

Yes.  I retained a marketing company to prepare and submit a series of press releases to show case the books.  This was done on carefully selected dates in November and December 2012.  The media blitz included 2 separate campaigns – One for all 10 books in order to focus on promotion of the tangible series. The other involved offering the holiday stress book  and resolutions book as a freebie, and then use it to send a cascade of sales to the other books. 

Q: Do you plan subsequent books? 

Additional books are planned for the future, but for now, the series is complete with 10 books in the Self-Help Stress Solutions Book Series.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Darlene.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book? 

Absolutely! My books are available for purchase via My Amazon author page contains all the relevant purchase details, just visit the link below: I also have book trailers and helpful stress relief videos that can be found on my YouTube channel below: In addition, I have a collection of book review lenses and other stress relief lenses on Squidoo.  You can find me on Squidoo at the link below: Finally, I am on all the major social media networks; you can find me at the links below: invite all your readers to grab our FREE report on Self-Help Stress Solutions for Women here:


Now there’s a way to get rid of the harmful effects of stress on your body and spirit. Our Self-Help Stress Solution Series tells you how aromatherapy, walking, nutrition, time management, money management, gardening, camping, and many other natural self-help methods, can be the cure you’re looking for.
Imagine! No more anti-depressant pills that trigger weight gains and have you walking around like a zombie.
No more lying awake at night while stressful issues with family, job or relationships roll around in your head.
No more neck and body aches when you wake up in the morning from the stressful state you were in when you went to bed.
No more coping with the side-effects of depression that stress can cause.
How Can Our Self-Help Stress Relief Series Help Get Rid of Stress?
It’s not magic – nor is it a big secret! The calming effects of aromatherapy, when combined with other stress-relief techniques, can rejuvenate your mind, body and soul and literally lift away the stresses of the day. Eating healthy foods and engaging in a healthy lifestyle can fortify your body to fight off stress successfully. Developing the happy of taking a brisk walk a few times each week, strengthens your body as well as helps you sleep better at night, which are all essential factors in overcoming stress. Spending time outdoors gardening or camping works wonders for body, mind and spirit.
This Self-Help Stress Solutions Series will blow you away with information that you might not have known about relieving stress in your life.
Learn how to develop a life plan for stress relief.
The “Self Help Stress Solutions” Book Series will teach you how to systematically reduce or rid yourself of stress symptoms that permeate your life. This is imperative for your well-being. Health concerns are nothing new, and many develop a diet and exercise plan to deal with them.
Many don’t realize that developing a life plan for stress relief can also make your mind and body healthy. You may even lose weight when you learn how to manage stress because you’re not eating mindlessly or comforting yourself with food.
One Thing I Know For Sure…
…is that every woman wants to reduce stress in her life, but isn’t sure how.
Most are definitely not aware that there are techniques, including aromatherapy, proper nutrition, walking, gardening,, camping, time and money management, that can help in a purely delightful way.