Sunday, May 24, 2009

Amazon Kindle Version BEWARE! A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story…Fair?

Wow, authors, beware of submitting your title as an Kindle title! I’ve just received a poor review of my book A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story based on guess what? POOR EDITING and a “sample” page! I am shocked to say the least.

Apparently, through the download of my “perfectly edited” book, the text changes radically and the book appears completely juvenile! The “reviewer” downloaded a sample page (which one I don’t know)and wrote a negative review based on that one page and the poor editing as it appeared through Kindle’s version. As most authors know, one poor review such as this can destroy a promising writing career. Authors, don’t let this happen to you. If you have submitted your book for Kindle—get out now and save yourself!

Please let me know if you have had a similar experience as I would like to inform other authors of Kindle associated issues before they unintentionally and permanently sway their writing future.

Also, if you HAVE read my book and DID enjoy and learn from it, PLEASE leave a positive review on for me; it would be much appreciated!

As always, thank you for visiting my Blog!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Interview With Author & Publishing Expert Stacey Cochran

Today on A Book Inside, we are featuring an interview with author Stacey Cochran. Stacey is the author of Claws, The Colorado Sequence, Amber Page and the Legend of the Coral Stone, The Kiribati Test, and The Band. But his books are not only what he is well known for. He also teaches writing at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina and is the editor of the Website How to Publish a Book at I think it’s important to hear from Stacy and I’m glad you as a writer are taking the time to read this information. So let’s get started by getting to know a little about Stacy.

Carol Denbow: Stacey, can you tell us how you began your writing career?

Stacey Cochran: Carol, you’re very kind. Thanks so much for your interest. And thank you for your enthusiasm and generosity in helping so many of us as writers.

My writing career began in high school. From 1989-1992, I worked as a projectionist at a movie theater. A few things happened during that time: 1) I learned that filmmaking was a profitable industry and I saw firsthand how much we value and enjoy a well-told story, and 2) I learned about dialogue, character development, and story pacing. In college, I pursued a degree in Creative Writing because I wanted to learn how to tell a story well. I published my first short stories in college, and after graduating I began writing novels. That was around 2001-2002, and I’ve been writing fulltime since then.

Carol Denbow: For some reason I feel as if my writing in this interview is being critiqued as I continue along with my questions for you (LOL)! How long have you taught writing classes?

Stacey Cochran: Ha, ha! The truth is I don’t place too much emphasis on grammar, unless it’s a serious issue for a student. I’m blessed to be teaching at NC State University, where our students tend to be in the top 10-20% coming out of their high schools. I’ve been teaching writing since I was in grad school myself in 1999. So about ten years now.

Carol Denbow: Why did you start How to Publish a Book?

Stacey Cochran: I started because I saw a need for information on the subject. It’s a Holy Grail for hundreds of us. Much of what frustrates aspiring writers is the lack of accessibility on the part of agents, editors, and publishers. People have books, and they want to know how to publish them. Too, I started the site because when I did bookstore and library events on the topic of literary agents or book publishing many people attended. The website became a hub for all the video interviews I did with agents, editors, and writers, and because of the nature of the Internet, became accessible around the world. My goal was to learn about the process of publishing and to help others achieve their goals to publish.

Carol Denbow: In my book, A Book Inside, How to Write Publish, and Sell Your Story I talk about the different publishing options for writers and the pros and cons of each method. With so few writers able to profit from their writing, what is in your opinion the most cost-effective way to publish a book?

Stacey Cochran: Well, the best way is to get an agent who sells your book to Random House, Simon & Schuster, or Harper for a million dollar advance. You seem to be asking though, what is the best way to self-publish? If a writer decides to self-publish his/her book, hundreds of options lie ahead. has a “ProPlan” where the per-unit cost of a 225-page Trade Paperback is about three and a half dollars. This is 40% of the cost of the exact same book printed through and about the same cost per-unit as Lightning Source. But, LS charges about 300 bucks upfront, and you have to buy a block of ISBNs. Other companies like AuthorHouse and iUniverse have many different rates and options, but I’ve not met one single author who used them and was terrifically happy.

So my opinion is that the best self-publishing option is to use to get a Trade Paperback. Also, you can make an Amazon Kindle version of your book available straight through Amazon. Additionally, I do an online audiobook version of my books through, which costs nothing as well. My last book on had over 50,000 total downloads. If you’re tech savvy, I’d encourage you to check them out.

Carol Denbow: I searched through your Website and found there were many benefits for writers. What would you say is the best information a writer can gain from visiting your Website?

Stacey Cochran: The best info is probably the interviews with actual agents and editors. Once I learned that these folks were real people with real tastes, hang-ups, issues, and ambitions, I stopped viewing them as some sort of nebulous group that I could never seem to penetrate. People in publishing are just like people in every other profession; they’re real people driven by the motivation to succeed and make a profit for their companies.

Carol Denbow: Well I do hope our viewers will visit your site and find some useful guidance there. Let’s talk about you books, in particular, CLAWS. Is this your most recent release?

Stacey Cochran: Yes, CLAWS is the most recent. Publication date was May 15, 2009.

Carol Denbow: Are there any more books inside Stacey Cochran?

Stacey Cochran: I’m afraid so.

Carol Denbow: Well Stacey, this certainly is all good information for our blogs visitors. Can you please let our viewers know where your books can be found and remind them of your Website address?

Stacey Cochran: Carol, thanks so much for all that you do. You are generous and selfless, and I hope you know how much we appreciate you.

You can buy a paperback version of CLAWS at for $10.99 or a Kindle version for less than two dollars. When you do read it, please write a review at Amazon. That would be a big help to me.

Here’s the link:

Thanks so much, Carol. And thanks, everyone, for reading.

Carol Denbow: Thank you Stacy for all this great publishing information and for sharing your new book with us. Visitors, please leave any questions or comments you have for Stacy below and thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

7 Ways to Promote Your Book With Video

Today's post is part of a virtual book tour for Dana Lynn Smith. I think it's an awesome topic (and new book) and feel it's well worth reading. I hope you enjoy it!

Video is one of the hottest online promotional tools these days, and with good reason. People watch hundreds of millions of videos a day on YouTube, and folks who enjoy videos often forward the link to someone else, creating viral marketing opportunities.

Google includes videos in search results, and people also search Google and video sites for videos on a particular topic. So, how can authors take advantage of the power of video to promote themselves and their books? Here are some ideas:

1. Add a video greeting to your website, to get up close and personal with your audience.

2. Record a brief video promoting yourself as an author, expert, speaker, and/or consultant.

3. Create a video book promo (similar to a movie trailer, combining graphics, words, and music).

4. Offer free video tutorials.

5. Make video posts to your blog (known as vlogging).

6. Post video testimonials from customers on your website.

7. Create a video bio for your online media room or post clips of live speaking events or television interviews.

Short videos get watched more often, so keep your video under three minutes. About 30 to 90 seconds is usually ideal. Be sure to include your website address and a call to action in promotional videos.

You can create brief promotional videos with a webcam, the video capture feature of your digital camera, or a digital video camera such as the Flip Video Ultra. You don't necessarily need to use editing software to enhance your video—part of the charm is having it look homemade.

For book promos, you'll probably want a more polished look. You can get some basic video production tools and learn to produce videos, or hire someone to do it for you. Prices range from $150 to thousands of dollars, depending on the skill level of the producer and the complexity and length of the video.

I recommend uploading your video to YouTube at, then embedding a link on your website or blog. Just copy and paste the "embed" code from the video's page on YouTube. When you upload the video to YouTube, include important keywords in the title, description, and tags.

Here are some other ideas:

• Promote your videos in your ezine and through social media sites such as Twitter, Delicious, and StumbleUpon, and embed them in your profile on social networking sites like Facebook.

• Upload your video to other sites such as Google Video at and Yahoo Video at

• Submit your videos to video search engines such as Blinkx at and Truveo at

• Insert video links into your book's page on, through Amazon Connect at

Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketer Guides. See more at

This guest article from Dana Lynn Smith is part of the virtual book tour for her new book, The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Another Great Review (I'm getting pretty excited!)

Wow, I AM excited now! One of my books got yet another great plug! This time by Peter Jones of Great New Books Reviewed Blog at Peter has tons of awesome reviews on his Blog. If you're interested in some wonderful new books, stop in and see Peter's Blog. But first, read on!

I consider myself to be fairly involved in the publishing world. I’m a writer, publisher, and book marketing expert. I make my living by either being published, or through publishing myself. As a result, I have a really good grasp on the ins and outs of the publishing world. One of the more frequent questions asked from writers or those interested in becoming an author is how to get published. What is involved? How does the publishing process work? Are agents involved, or does one go the route of self-publishing these days?

The questions are many, and there is no one way to answer them all. It really depends on what you – the author or writer – is looking for and expecting to get out of the publishing process that will dictate the answers to these questions. Therefore, I was quite thrilled when I got a copy of Carol Denbow’s book, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story in the mail for review. Could this book help answer all of the questions I get on a regular basis. It would be much easier, and more beneficial for everyone involved, if I could point them in the direction of a really honest, comprehensive, and useful resource. Although not perfect, I’m glad to say that Carol’s book is one of the best I’ve seen on introducing the writer to the publishing process.

Composed of eight solid chapters, A Book Inside starts at the beginning and walks you through the entire process. Beginning with writing your story, the book covers the basics of book writing – from copyright law to research, cover art, and professional editing – and delves into the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Although these sections are well done, and important for any writer or book author to understand, what I really liked about A Book Inside is that two other chapters were also included: Book Promotion and Selling Your Book.
Often overlooked by most writers and authors, the process of actually getting your book into the hands of readers is almost more important then the actual writing of the book was. If no one is reading your book, what was the point of writing it? Carol offers up a series of sage advice on getting your book into the hands of readers, publicists, bookstores, libraries, and online outlets. Finally, A Book Inside also includes a ton of resources for successfully navigating the writing and publishing process.

Although not exhaustive, A Book Inside is a good place to start for those who are interested in becoming authors. Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a comprehensive book on how to publish your family history or memoirs, or to self-publish your own story, A Book Inside takes you through each step. Either way, along with Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Self Publishing Manual), Aaron Shepard's Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing, or How to Publish Your Books with Print on Demand and Online Book Marketing on , and the annual Writer's Market, Carol’s book should be on most writers and authors shelves. I’ve been in the publishing business for over a decade – as both an author and a publisher – and I’m keeping my copy of A Book Inside on my shelf for easy reference. You should too.

(Peter's credentials)
Peter N. Jones, Ph.D.
Director: Bauu Institute and Press
Publisher: Great New Books Reviewed
Editor: Indigenous Issues Today
Editor: Indigenous People's Issues & Resources