How to Promote an Interview with Another Author

Hi everyone, and thanks for stopping by. Today’s blog reflects upon last week’s interviews between members of the Writers On The Move I’m associated with in Yahoo! Groups.

Last week we paired off, one member hosting another member of our group, posting a background on one day and interviewing each other in the second. I had a lot of fun interviewing my guest Margaret Fieland on my blog site while being interviewed by Harry Gilleland on his blog.

The purpose is to give exposure to other authors. I have an audience that is new and unique to Margaret while Harry has an audience that is new and unique to me. The end result: exposure of our books to a new group of people while providing a forum to express our successes and failures that will help other authors become successful.

For Margaret, it wasn’t enough that I merely hosted her for two days. I needed to take the initiative to promote her and her books. So this was my strategy:

* I leave her interviews up for three days
* I advertised to the other three Yahoo! Groups I belong to
* I promoted her interview via Facebook
* I promoted her interview via Twitter. What I do is take advantage of hashmarks. For example, * I advertise to my followers as well as other groups such as #write, #authors, #and poetry two or three times a day for the three days. This way, Margaret will receive exposure to literally hundreds of new people.

Harry did an absolutely awesome job interviewing and promoting me and my book Breakthrough. For those who need a model of hosting a guest blogger and doing it right, please take a few moments on click on Harry’s blogs dated September 1st and 3rd.
http://harrygillelandwrites.blogspot.com

Let’s take a moment to look at what Harry did right (in no particular order)

* He uploaded a picture of me
* He formatted the interview questions so they are easy for the visitor to read
* He included links to purchase my book Breakthrough
* He included links for my blog and Web site
* He posted reader reviews from Barnes and Noble and Amazon
* He posted the book synopsis
* He posted the book description
* He posted a picture of the book’s dust cover

This is a model that you could certainly save to your favorites, not because my book is being promoted, but because this is an excellent example of how to host a guest blogger Harry, thanks again for a most awesome interview and bringing new traffic to my site.

Book Review: Why Authors Shouldn't Believe Everything They Read

78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published
Subtitle: 14 Why It Just Might
Pat Walsh
Penguin, 2005
ISBN-10: 0143035657
ISBN-13: 978-0143035657
Nonfiction/Publishing/Writing
Contact Reviewer: hojoreviews@aol.com




Three Reasons Why You Would Be Better Served To Choose Something More Up-To-Date

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This Is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, Tracings, a chapbook of poetry, and the author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers

Generally I review books that have been recently published because the review journals and sites I write for expect that. Sometimes that policy makes me grumpy because I love reviewing old books with stick-to-it-iveness to see what authors can learn from them that will make their own books hang around for longer than the traditional 90 day bookstore shelf life.

But I was exposed to 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published: 14 Why It Just Might at a recent critique group meeting and the saucy title intrigued me. I asked to borrow it. I’m glad I did because the contents remind me of why “recent” is a good policy to have, at least for most nonfiction books.

It was also a good thing because it helped me realize how far the publishing industry has come since 2005 when this book was published by Penguin. It’s not that I’m not aware that people (including agents and publishers) still judge a book by its cover and by the press it is printed on. They do and I don’t like it much because I am sensitive to intolerance. That includes labeling people by their color or religion, or weight or . . . well, you get the idea. Most of my creative writing addresses this particular theme in one way or another. So I’ve also been an advocate for selecting books by their content. You know, the stuff of which books are really made.

There are some gems out there that never get published. It’s hogwash when people say, “Write an excellent book and it will find its way to publishing sooner or later.” Sometimes that is true but many times it is not. And that is one reason subsidy and self publishing has become so popular. (There are others but that may be material for another day and another rant.)

Back to this 2005 book on publishing. It’s not that there isn’t some good stuff in it. It’s not that author Pat Walsh might not have moderated his opinions over the years. But his disdain for authors shines through in too many place to have much hope for that. He doesn’t much like the ones who want a hand in publicizing their own books, for instance. Nope. He admits he doesn’t do a whole lot of promotion for his own authors but he also doesn’t want their input or the elbow grease they might provide in do-it-yourself projects or in partnership with his company. Authors (at least in 2005) were to be good little writers, know their places, and damn well shut up.

Walsh’s narrow take is that there is only one way to do things is not really all bad. It is important for writers to know about some of the biases in the industry that existed back then (a long time ago in the electronic age) and now. In The Frugal Editor, I advocated using zero-tolerance editing because I know it still exists and as authors we need to deal with it if we want our books published traditionally or agented.

Here’s the thing: Though Walsh’s humor comes through in much of the book, I fear any emerging author who gets hold of it might take it verbatim. We already have too much discrimination floating around in this world. It’s time we got a grip and started judging people and books on their individual merit. Oh, yes. And give authors as a group some credit for having more than peas in their brains. At least until they prove otherwise.

Mr. Walsh, if you’ve changed some of your opinions, please update your book. I’d like to recommend it as an example of what an open-minded and caring publisher might do for a an author’s work. I’d like to encourage many authors--particularly those who write creatively--to try the traditional route first. Until then, I fear your book might discourage writers with talent from wanting anything to do with our industry.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards.
Her book of creative nonfiction Harkening, won three. A UCLA Writers' Program instructor, she also is the author of another book essential for writers, USA Book News' Best Professional Book of 2004, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo). The second in the HowToDoItFrugally series, The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success (www.budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor) covers writing successful query letters and includes helpful hints from twenty of the nation's top agents. It, too, won USA Book News top award in its category and Reader Views Literary award. Learn more at her site http://HowToDoItFrugally.com.

Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls


Title: Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls
Author: Lucy Nolan
Illustrator: Connie McLennan
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
Age Level: 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-934359-96-9 (hardcover)
ISBN: 978-1-607180-41-8 (pbk.)

As the title of this book implies, with ingenuity and an obvious love of the sea, Ms. Nolan took some wonderful old standard nursery rhymes and wove them into sea and coastline themed poems. Within these rhymes, Ms. Nolan introduces bits of nautical history and information. Instead of Jack and Jill, it’s Jack and June who go up a dune. Sing a Song of Sixpense includes a trawler crew, first mate, captain, and deckhand.

Ms. Nolan takes these old standards and makes them her own. Some of the rhymes go over very well, such as Sleep Baby Sleep, and Buoys and Gulls; others may leave a young child a little puzzled, such as Tweedle-Dum & Tweedle-Dee, and Two Skippers from Texas.

I love the concept of Mother Osprey, introducing sea lingo, history and information in a wonderfully illustrated rhyming book - much of it works. I do think that a couple of the rhymes include words and themes that are geared for an older reader. One rhyme in particular is One Flamingo. It is an amazingly intricate and informative rhyme, but verses such as: “First a goose, and then some geese—a gaggle in the lane. But if the geese are flying, the gaggle is a skein,” I believe would lose many young readers of 3-7. Another is The Witch of November, 1913 with verses such as: “The lakes heaved and tossed—so many lives lost. Howling wind, high seas and snow. More than two hundred souls filled those sorrowful rolls—the crewmen of long ago.” Again, this may be a wonderful piece, but not for the intended age group.

With colorful and realistic illustrations, Mother Osprey is, overall, an entertaining, fun and educational book that celebrates the sea and coastline. Phrases and words such as okra pods, Puget Sound, shark, pirate, and shoal of bass will peak children’s interest. Although, I do feel the book would be better intended for ages seven through ten.

Mother Osprey also includes a “For Creative Minds” section that sheds insight and gives information on each rhyme. Also included is a two-page map of the United States and its surrounding waters highlighting the geographical areas the rhymes reference, along with a “Map Activity Questions” section.

About the author: Lucy Nolan is an award-winning author who spent many childhood days roaming two very special islands: Pawleys Island, SC, and Amelia Island, FL. Ms. Nolan is also the author of Down Girl and Sit chapter books. She lives in Columbia, SC with her daughter and two rambunctious dogs.

About the illustrator: Connie McLennan has been a freelance artist for over 25 years, since attending Academy of Art College in San Francisco. In addition to illustrating Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls, she has also illustrated four other children’s books for Sylvan Dell Publishing. Ms. McLennan lives in northern California with her husband, teenage son, and a playful kitten.

This is a reprint of my review for BookPleasures.com.

Direct Link to Amazon Page: Click Here.

Karen Cioffi
Reviewer for BookPleasures.com
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

What's New at the Zoo? An Animal Adding Adventure


Title: What’s New t the Zoo?
Author: Suzanne Slade
Illustrator; Joan Waites
Reading Level: 4-8
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-934359-93-8 (hardcover)
ISBN: 978-1-607180-38-8 (pbk.)
Rating: 5 Stars

What’s New at the Zoo? takes the reader on an animal adding adventure. This learning zoo adventure begins: “Two hungry pandas eat a bamboo lunch. One cub joins the meal. How many crunch and munch? 2 + 1 = ?” Through delightful rhyming text and numerals Ms. Slade creates a wonderfully engaging learning experience for children. Each page offers a new addition problem.

Within the rhyming text Ms. Slade cleverly weaves information about animals and the names of the baby animals pictured. Did you know that a baby mammoth boa is called a neonate? But that’s not all: the illustrations are striking - they are vivid, realistic and elaborate. Children will love reading this entertaining and educational picture book, in fact, they may not even realize they’re learning in the process.

An added feature to this book is the “For Creative Minds” and “Animal Matching Activity” educational section in the back. It offers additional math problems and solutions as well as information on the animals mentioned in the book. It also explains the differences in the animal classes: mammals, birds and reptiles, and asks the reader to put each of the animals shown within the book into their correct class.

I read this book to my three-year-old grand son. He said his favorite part was the picture with the peacocks. I then had my eight-year-old great nephew read it to me while answering the addition questions. They both enjoyed this book as will all children within the intended age group and even those a little younger. I highly recommend What’s New at the Zoo?

About the author: Suzanne Slade is the author of over 60 books for children. Her works include picture books, and biographies, as well as many non-fiction titles about animals, sports, insects, planets, and various science topics. During an earlier engineering career, she worked on Delta rockets and designed automotive braking systems. Ms. Slade lives near Chicago with her husband, two children, and their tiny dog, Corduroy.

About the illustrator: Joan Waites spent 15 years as a neo-natal intensive care nurse prior to studying illustration and launching her freelance career. In addition to What’s New at the Zoo? Joan has illustrated nearly 40 books for the educational and trade marketplace. She is also an adjunct member of The Corcoran Museum School of Arts and Design in Washington, DC, where she teaches various children’s classes for the college’s Aspiring Artists programs.

You can purchase What's New at the Zoo? An Animal Adding Adventure at: Amazon.com.

Karen Cioffi
Reviewer for BookPleasures.com

Norm Goldman's Interview with Karen Cioffi

Karen Cioffi co-author of Day’s End Lullaby Is Interviewed By Norm Goldman Of
BookPleasures.com

Karen is a former accountant who left her profession in 2000 and has now turned her talents to authoring and freelance writing.

Two of Karen’s favorite sayings are: Nothing ventured, nothing gained and You must be the change you want to see in the world.

Karen is a children's author and children's ghostwriter as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Writers on the Move.

Good day Karen and thanks for participating in our interview

Norm:
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? What keeps you going?


It's a great interview, please stop by and check it out with the link at the top of the post.

Karen

Sunstruck, by Mayra Calvini


Check out Mayra Calvini's book, available from Zumaya Publications


Zumaya Publications
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-934841-18-1
eBook formats ISBN: 978-1-934841-19-8
Parody/Satire
Sunstruck has its own site at: www.sunstruckthenovel.blogspot.com.

Twenty-four year old Daniella is an architecture student living with her narcissistic artist boyfriend in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Abandoned by her father at an early age, Daniella always falls for the wrong type of man.
Her most enduring male relationship so far is with her 30-pound Turkish angora cat. Thankfully, Daniella's mother is always there to offer a shoulder.
Several strange mysteries are threaded through Daniella's everyday life: her ex-husband, Ismael, has just opened an outlandish hotel for animal lovers that has her distraught; Ismael's wife, a rich woman Daniella fondly refers to as "Lady Dracula," has some gruesome ways to keep her skin looking young; Daniella's mother is founding a revolutionary, feminist society called The Praying Mantises; the island's national forest is being depleted of hallucinogenic mushrooms; meanwhile, young girls are disappearing and there's a nut loose dressed as Zorro slashing the rear ends of women who wear miniskirts.
Oppressed by all these crazed, eccentric characters, Daniella feels herself falling into an abyss. Then something horrendous happens, making Daniella wake from her stupor and take charge of her life.
*For additional information, visit the author’s website at www.MayraCalvani.com
Contact the author at mayra.calvani(at)gmail.com

How Many Are Visiting Your Blog and Web Site

This is a reprint from a how-to article for writers that appeared in my Sharing with Writers newsletter.

Some people are infatuated with figures.

I'm really not. I'm a big-picture girl. I don't believe that if a blog draws "only" 50 or 500 it's of no value. Where is the cutoff number anyway? Ask instead, how does that blog work with the other promotions you're doing? It's how things work together--mostly--that makes a difference.

Still, it's sometimes nice to measure what we're doing—especially if we remember not to let low numbers (or what we perceive as low numbers) discourage us but instead use them as prompts to do something to get them up there. So, here's how I set up and use Google Analytics the super-fast and super-easy way.

1. You probably already have a Google account. If not, get one. Go to Google.com to do it. They may ask you to set up a Google gmail account. Don't worry. You can use it or ignore it.

2. Set up your profile. Find the "Add New Profile" and click. It works about like profiles everywhere--from Amazon to Facebook. You'll be lead through the steps. And having it will make it easy to comment on blogger or blogspot blogs.

3. Find your "Google Analytics" link. Click. There you will get some code that you copy and paste (the fancy name is HTML code) at the end of the Web pages you'd like to track. You can also add some code to your blogs. You'll want separate code for each place you want to track.

4. Add the analytics codes to places you want to track at your leisure. This is not a marathon. Give some thought to what figures will be most indicative of your success and add them one at a time.

5. Go back to your Google Analytics every so often. Not every day. Not every 10 minutes! You want to have time to write, not analyze numbers! Nose around the links you find there. One gives you a pie chart of where your visitors are coming from (direct, links or whatever). Another tells you what country your visitors are coming from. It's like a mini geography lesson!

Happy tracking!
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

Writers who seek information on promoting their writing careers and the craft of writing may sign at www.howtodoitfrugally.com. Look in the left column for a signup window. The newsletter even includes a tips for poets each week. 

Tips for Creating Subplots in Middle Grade Novels

by Suzanne Lieurance   If you’re writing a middle grade novel, you want to include at least one or two subplots. Subplots in fiction are sec...