Saturday, December 27, 2008

Final Plea!

We are reaching out to our readers to please help us get this writer’s blog in the top 101 writer’s Websites for next year by sending the following to Writer’s Digest online. Just copy and paste the following into an e-mail and send to with “101 Best Websites” as the subject

“I nominate A Book Inside at for the top 101 site list.”

The deadline for nominations is January 1 so we're almost out of time. If you haven't voted yet, please take a moment to do so. Thank you all!

Thanks to all who so kindly have voted for us already! Your support is VERY appreciated!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Help Me Donate My Books!

As many of you are aware, the last half of 2008 I have been donating one book for each book I sell to a library affected by natural disaster or some other organization in desperate need of books.

You have been so wonderful in response to this that I have 2 more cases of books to donate. The problem is, I’m running out of ideas on where to send them. So…, I’m going to let you decide for me! That’s right; tell me about the non-profit organization you feel is deserving of these books. At the first of the New Year I will choose two from your suggestions and send them each a case of new books. Please use the comment section below to offer your suggestion.

By the way, I’m not done yet! So if you still would like to purchase a book so one more will be donated, all my books are still on sale at Author’s Box until Christmas!

After you leave your comment, can you also please help me get this writer’s blog in the top 101 writer’s Websites for next year by sending the following to Writer’s Digest online? Just copy and paste the following into an e-mail and send to with “101 Best Websites” as the subject

“I nominate A Book Inside at for the top 101 site list.” Deadline is Jan 1.

Thanks to all who so kindly have voted for us!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Freebies for Writers and Authors

Even Santa loves to read!

During this joyous season of giving, buying, over-spending, and going broke, I thought you would appreciate some freebies! So I’ve listed below some great free stuff for writers, authors, and book lovers. If you know of some other great freebies for writers, feel free to use the comment section to add them to this list.

Happy Holidays!

Win a Free Book at

Free bumper sticker ‘fear of writing’ at

Free online calendar to help you keep track!

Free e-book to inspire you to write at

Free business cards at

Free ebooks at

Goodreads has a HUGE list of free book giveaways at and while you’re there, add me to your friends list. I’m at

Free greeting cards so you can send your best wishes to those on your “friend’s lists” as well as publishers, editors, and whoever helps you with your books. Visit

Free new site for authors and book lovers at

Monday, December 8, 2008

Check Out The NEW Book Trailer For "A Book Inside!"

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back to Writing and Publishing Books

The holidays have really got me off track and I must apologize! Most visitors to A Book Inside come here to learn how to write a book—or publish one. With all the new stuff going on, the new Website, the holidays, and book giveaways, I’ve strayed away from what most of you want—writing and publishing help! So please accept my apologies and I promise we will get back to the book writing and publishing tips right after the first of the year. Until then, I have listed below some of the blog viewers past favorites for you. Enjoy!

One more “brag” moment; A Book Inside is now rated in the top 2.29% of all Websites on the WWW. This is all thanks to you and your support! Google has recognized that we are not going away and are here for the long haul! Writers, published authors, send us your “wants” and I will target those subjects in 2009.

Volume 1 / Welcome! Who Can Write A Book?
Volume 2 / Choosing The Right Book Title for Your Book
Volume 3 / Ducks In a Row – Creating an Outline for Your Book
Volume 4 / 16 Book Components and Special Sections for Authors
Volume 5 / Book Length - Where Do I Go From Here?
Volume 6 / Research and Permission
Volume 7 / Should I Copyright My Work?
Volume 8 / The Importance of a Great Book Cover
Volume 9 / A Quick Guide to ISBNs for Self-Publishers
Volume 10 / Testimonials from Experts
Volume 13 /How to Develop a Customer Base with a Website

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grand Opening! Author and Book Event Center

A Book Inside is extremely proud to announce the opening of it's newest addition, a “dream” Website for book lovers and authors! Book and Author Event Center opens December 1, 2008. Sign up to interact one-on-one with published authors in all genres! Book reviews, trailers, events, book tour stops, and even a full-time chat room where you can talk directly to the authors! Visit Sign up is FREE!

But don't forget us here--we love you too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we begin this long-awaited 2008 holiday season, I’d like to wish you all a blessed and fulfilling Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving is just as it states (only backwards LOL), “giving thanks.” It is a time to appreciate all the blessings in our lives. I personally give thanks to my wonderful family, my town, and the friends I have made over my lifetime, which includes all of you!

Since I began this journey into the literary world, I have met the most incredible, interesting, and helpful people—you. Thank you for creating me, molding me, and inspiring me. You are why I am here now.

I would love to hear what you are all thankful for this year and always. Please share your thoughts with me and others (comments below). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Click HERE to hear this post in audio

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Win a FREE book!

In the spirit of the holidays (and you’ve seen me get in this “spirit” before), I’m giving away free books! That’s right, a signed copy of one of my books FREE to three lucky winners! Just leave a comment in the comment link below and your name will go into the drawing barrel. On December 25 I’ll draw three lucky winners and send them a signed book (U.S. only PLEASE!). Don’t forget to leave your e-mail or a means of contact so I can notify you (Would appreciate a Digg as well)!

Also, you’ve heard me preach and preach about how signed books make great holiday gifts! Well, how about a Christmas gift for a friend or family member for under $10? Okay, done! I’m reducing the cost of all three of my printed books to $9.95 for the rest of the holiday season! I’m even going to pay the shipping for you (U.S. only please!!). But I’ll need you to order through my Authors Box Website because it's too hard for me to change my PayPal button on my personal site and ( go to “bookstore”) because Amazon, B & N, and the others just aren’t feeling so generous! Since my newest release, A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story received a 5 star review from Midwest Book Review, Amazon has actually removed their discount price from the Website all together and is now asking the FULL COVER PRICE of $18.95—they’re really NOT in the giving spirit at all!

Most of you already know that I donate one copy of my book for each of my books purchased. Yes, I will still do that with this $9.95 Christmas offer. I will continue my 10% donation to Breast Cancer Research as well.

If what you REALLY want to get or give for Christmas is a copy of my latest e-book, How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour, it’s still available for $6.95 in e-book format. But if you would like a copy printed out, signed, and sent to you, I would love to do that for you, yes, still just $6.95 (it’s Christmas!). Just send me an e-mail along with your order (

Thank you all for making A Book Inside Blog one of the best writer resources on line in 2008! We’re looking forward to a wonderful 2009! I wish you all a beautiful and joyous holiday season! Don’t forget; “family first!”

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Special Interview with Yvonne Perry

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer, speaker and founder of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services as well as the author of eleven books by her own name (she is also a ghostwriter for clients). Yvonne’s newest release is an eBook titled, Book Marketing in the Digital Age Online Promotion Made Easy.

Carol Denbow: Welcome Yvonne. First may I say that I truly respect your work and appreciate you as a good friend of mine. When I was aspiring to become a “published author” I was, like many other writers, ignored by those in the book industry. But when I reached out to Yvonne Perry for guidance, she helped me get through doors otherwise closed to me. For that I thank her!

My blog viewers have been waiting patiently for weeks to read this special interview post with you Yvonne. So would you mind telling us a little about the person behind the Web? Who is Yvonne Perry? Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Yvonne Perry: The person behind the Web? Like the man behind the curtain, I am a freelance ghostwriter who works behind the scenes to create books, articles, bios, résumés, book reviews, media releases, and provide editing for authors and business people. I am a published author, writing instructor, newsletter publisher, podcast host, and a public speaker. I am a multi-tasker who switches hats like a milliner.

Who is Yvonne Perry? There’s a page about me on my new Web site that answers that question.


Carol Denbow: I know you are the founder of Writer’s in the Sky Creative Writing Services. What exact services does your company provide?

Yvonne Perry: Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services is a team of writers and editors based in Nashville, Tennessee, offering writing, editing, and author publicity services to people across the US. Some of our specialties include editing and ghostwriting for books, articles, marketing and Web site text, media releases, press kits, biographical sketches, résumés, newsletters, transcribing services, and blogging services. We also have a graphic designer who assists with logo creation, book interior layout, book cover design, and any design or branding needs authors may have.


Carol Denbow: You must know by reading my blog that I have been desperately trying to convince writer’s and published authors to get out there and take advantage of the soon-to-be number one method of book selling—the Internet. I've recently even published my own e-book on virtual touring to try and encourage authors to set up their own virtual book tour and get out there and market their books. Tell us what made you decide to write this fabulous new e-book, Book Marketing in the Digital Age Online Promotion Made Easy.?

Yvonne Perry: The Internet is the greatest selling and marketing tool available to an author. I wrote the book because I was being asked the same question over and over: How do you market a book? The material in the eBook is a combination of what I teach when I do seminars, speaking engagements, and one-on-one with authors needing assistance with book publicity.


Carol Denbow: In your opinion Yvonne, what is the biggest mistake authors make when attempting to market their books?

Yvonne Perry: Going out unprepared without having a marketing plan or the information necessary to successfully create the buzz. Many authors do not even have Web site or blog with a point of purchase that gives the reader enough information about the book to actually make an informed purchase.


Carol Denbow: What will our viewers gain by reading your new e-book?

Yvonne Perry: Everything an author needs to know to successfully promote a book online. The eBook covers such things as:

• What a Web site must have to compete in today’s online marketplace
• Things needed on a Web site or blog in order to promote and sell a book
• How to create an online media kit
• Getting traffic to your blog or Web site
• Newsletters as a marketing funnel
• Promoting your book online via virtual book tours, networking, social media Web 2.0, tagging and social bookmarking, blogging, and video
• Getting author interviews
• Podcasting and RSS feed/syndication

The eBook is filled with live links and screenshots to show exactly how to do what is being explained. There is a resource page with tons more information about online book marketing. The eBook takes the guesswork out of the equation. The things I teach in this book are from the knowledge I have gained from real life experiences in promoting my business and my books online. I know it works because we use these same techniques with our author clientele and they are also getting positive results by simply doing what we instruct.


Carol Denbow: Okay then. It sure sounds like a great resource. Where could I find your new e-book and for that matter, all your books?

Yvonne Perry: All my books are available on my Web site. Additionally, all my books have an individual blog to disseminate information and allow readers to interact with me. Book Marketing in the Digital Age Online Promotion Made Easy is available for $25 via PayPal purchase at or you may contact me if you would like to pay by check.


Carol Denbow: Yvonne Perry, thank you for joining us here today, you are an inspiration to all of us writers!

Yvonne Perry: I appreciate being able to share with you and your readers. I love networking with you and thinking of new ways to improve our strategic alliance.

These are some of the questions that came in for Yvonne so far:

Emma writes: I have a friend, Jane Kennedy Sutton, who just recently had a novel published. The release of the book was pushed back several times. When the book was finally officially slated for release, Jane didn't receive much prior notification - I think it was a few weeks at most. How can you plan your marketing ahead of time if you don't necessarily know when the release will be?

Yvonne Perry: There really should be better communication between the publisher and the author since the sales of the book are hinging upon the promotion efforts, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. That is the draw-back of working with traditional publisher—you lose control over things like this. However, if the author had a Web site and blog

Gail Baker asks: Any advice on how to make my book a bestseller?

Yvonne Perry: Yes, lots of advice! While I cannot guarantee that any book will become a bestseller, there are some things you can do to give it a fair chance on the market.
First, make sure your book is a high-quality product with well-written and edited content so you will get positive word of mouth referrals. Next, have a Web site and a blog as a point of purchase (my e-book tells you how to do this). Then, drive traffic to your blog and Web site through social marketing, virtual tours, teleseminars, article marketing, press releases, and the other simple things I teach in my e-book.

Visitors are more than welcome and encouraged to post comments and questions for Yvonne Perry and/or regarding this interview by using the comment link below (it’s small, so look hard!). You can “Digg us” as well!

In her interview, Yvonne talks about the need for authors to have a Website. If you are an author in need of a Website but feel you can’t afford the expense at this time there are two great freebies you might want to check out. Freewebs and Weebly free Websites can be found by visiting and

Then visit Yvonnes Website and pick up her new book!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers, Poets, Authors, and Book Lovers!

One of the best times of year to buy and sell books is during the Christmas holiday season. Books make great gifts for all ages. This may seem to come early, but so does holiday shopping anymore. I used to absolutely refuse to shop before Thanksgiving, but I’ve had to give in to the way of our society! I have realized as well, when you move from the world of shopping, to the incredibly competitive world of selling, you must board the ship early!

In celebration of all the wonderful writers, authors, poets, and book lovers in general, I offer as my special gift to you, The Twelve Days of Christmas for Writers, Poets, Authors, and Book Lovers!

This is a list of the best of the best! Learn, market, and enjoy!

On the first day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to readers and authors… The best places online to buy and to sell books (all free listings for selling, but you might have to register)!

On the second day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to readers and authors… The best undiscovered book review blogs online!

Small World Reads
Inkweaver Review
Breeni Books
Diary of an Eccentric

On the third day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to writers and authors… Para Publishing, the best place to list your book to get free reviews! With thousands on their mailing list, the Marketplace e-zine is sent out once per month. The Marketplace will list your book available for review by other subscribers. Reviews are posted at and other sites on the Web. Reviewers will often send you the review to post on your own Webpage as well. The cost? A copy of your book. Visit

On the fourth day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to all of us… The best free Website and blog development sites on the World Wide Web! Build a Website or blog to promote your book, post reviews, or just express yourself!
Best free blogs
Best free Websites and

On the fifth day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to writers, poets, and authors… The best gifts for writers and authors! T-shirts, mugs, totes, journals, and even Teddy bears! Pick a product, and have any design put on it (even a book cover)! Or choose one of the original designs already available from “Buy My Book, (dammit)” to “Poetry IS My Motion.” Visit

On the sixth day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to all of us… The best free “friends” site for book readers and authors! Visit Literally thousands of readers and authors who share your passion for books!

On the seventh day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to authors… Two inexpensive ways to go on a virtual book tour! First, a new e-book, How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour. You can’t go wrong with this easy-to-follow short sweet authors tour guide! What will your tour cost? A whopping $6.95!! That’s it! Read more about it at Author Box Bookstore. Finally, don’t want to put in the time? How about the best and most effective virtual book tour package for authors. Virtual touring is fast becoming the best, longest lasting, and most effective way to promote your book! Visit

On the eighth day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to writers and authors… The “Grand Central Station” for links to writers’ blogs, Websites, Gifts, forums, and everything for writers! Visit Link exchanges welcome here!

On the ninth day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to all of us… A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story (2008). A valuable resource for anyone wanting to write their own book! Great for new writers and seasoned authors as well. This book includes, “25 Unique Ways to Sell Your Book.” Available at
AND… The Right Way to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Book, a complete reference for writers! Author Patricia Fry has written 28 books and is the president of SPAWN (small Publishers, Artists and Writer Network), an online organization for writers and authors. Visit

On the tenth day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave writers and authors… Great free online social networks for writers and authors like YOU.
A Book Inside Forum
Book Marketing
My Writers and Authors
Published Authors

On the eleventh day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to authors… Two great marketing books for published authors! Yvonne Perry’s, Book Marketing in the Digital Age, Online Promotion Made Easy. Filled with tips and how-to information for all who are ready to get out there in the virtual world and market your book! Visit for details and free marketing tips. Listen to more about this e-book at Yvonne’s interview on The Grits Radio show at
AND… John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, a popular and complete guide to book marketing. Visit

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, A Book Inside gave to everyone… A very special wish for a beautiful holiday and the “presents” of loving family and good friends! Merry Christmas to all!

“Through all these days of Christmas, my true love gave to me, all the things I love to read, taught me how to write, and a new book with my name in the spotlight!”

Know of a Christmas gift you’d like to share with other visitors to this blog post? Go ahead and use the comment link below.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New E-book, "The Writer In You"

After months of preparation, I have finally released my new e-book, The Writer In You. The best news about this new e-book is that it’s FREE! That’s right, send me an e-mail at and I’ll send you the book! It’s that easy!

Need inspiration? This new e-book will help writers find their niche, polish their work, and tackle what stops them from finishing their writing projects. It’s loaded with inspiring articles written in partnership with nine other successful authors who want to see you succeed as a writer!

Please enjoy your copy compliments of A Book Inside!

If you know of a Website who has visitors who might also benefit from this new e-book, please let us know or have them send us an e-mail. We’re happy to share this new resource with ALL writers and authors!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

SPECIAL Interview With Danny O. Snow

Harvard graduate Danny O. Snow has been widely quoted about new publishing technologies by major broadcast and print media coast-to-coast, including AP, NPR, UPI, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and others. He serves as a Senior Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research (, a global think tank based in Palo Alto, dedicated to the advanced study of new and emerging media. He has also served as a contributing editor to BookTech: The Magazine for Publishers, and as a panelist and moderator at national publishing events such as the North American Publishing Company's "PrintMedia" expos and PMA's "Publishing University."

Carol Denbow: Welcome Danny. Wow, you have an expansive and impressive resume. I can’t wait to chat with you about your experiences. But since my blog viewers have patiently waited so long for this day, would you mind beginning by telling us a little about the real Danny O. Snow?

Danny O. Snow: Thanks for the flattering introduction, but my story’s actually pretty simple: I’m a guy who has always loved books. As a youngster, I dreamed of becoming an author like Mark Twain. As a Lit major in college, I searched high and low for obscure, out-of-print books that were great, but not “commercial” enough for the big NY houses to keep in print. Then I worked for a traditional publishing company, and learned many reasons why the conventional book business simply doesn’t make sense. In the ‘nineties, the rise of the Internet and “Print-on-Demand” technology solved the two biggest problems: POD eliminated overprinting, while the Web gave writers a way to reach readers directly, bypassing “gatekeepers” such as publishers, wholesalers and bookstores. Finally, in 1999, I read Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, which helped put the pieces of the puzzle together. I didn’t invent any of these things; I just saw an opportunity to use them in a new way.

Carol Denbow: So I understand you have recently released a book with co-author Dan Poynter. Can you tell us a little about the book?

Danny O. Snow: is a quick read to help those getting started in the exciting world of self-publishing get off on the right foot. My co-author, Dan Poynter, is the “godfather” of the self-publishing movement, which is now booming. In U-Publish we simply cover the basics we’ve learned over the years to help newcomers avoid bush league mistakes and be more successful as independent publishers.

Carol Denbow: Many of my blog readers are opting to self-publish their books; and I encourage them to do so. But most end up using a POD publisher and pay a premium price just to see their book in print. It’s true that they can purchase their own books for about 50% of the cover price (correct me if I’m wrong), but is a 50% discount enough to sell your own books and still see a profit?

Danny O. Snow: Yes, I’ve read your Blog and recommend it in my newsletter. And yes, those who earn 50% of cover price can certainly make a profit. The difference is where the books are sold: Poynter and I emphasize outlets other than bookstores, which are ten times more numerous, easier to target, often pay more and pay faster than conventional booksellers. It’s all covered in our little book.

Carol Denbow: You are a publishing “expert”—you wrote the book, as they say. In your opinion, what is the best way to publish a book?

Danny O. Snow: The single most important tip I can offer is: use POD to prove the market for your book BEFORE you invest in bulk printing. Today, many writers with decent computer skills can start with “Do it Yourself” methods at CafePress, CreateSpace, Lulu, Wordclay, etc. at a fraction of the cost of vanity publishing. Then, when the book’s public appeal is objectively proven, they can feel more confident about investing in professional services and bulk printing for a lower per-unit cost.

Carol Denbow: I’m big on trying to persuade authors to market their books aggressively. What do you think is the biggest mistake authors make in marketing?

Danny O. Snow: Poor Targeting: many inexperienced authors seem obsessed with Amazon and chain stores. But we recommend more tightly targeted markets. Imagine a book about a relatively narrow topic like snorkeling … how many general bookstore customers are interested? Probably very few. But now imagine a boating supply shop, or a travel agency where people book trips to the Caribbean, or even a seaside motel… nearly ALL of their customers are potential readers! Self-publishers can tap specialty markets like these instead of general bookstore browsers for better results.

Carol Denbow: A Book Inside offers its viewers free e-mail notices each time a new informative article is posted. I saw on your Website that you offer a free newsletter. What is included in this newsletter and how would an interested viewer today go about signing up to receive it?

Danny O. Snow: Free preview:
Free subscription:

Carol Denbow: Do you have a Website and where might one of our viewers find your new book?

Danny O. Snow: Use the links above for the general edition, or you can get a special edition at Borders that’s customized specifically for their new “Borders Personal Publishing” program.

Carol Denbow: Well Danny, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to share this valuable information with us.

Danny O. Snow: Thank you too. In closing, I’d like to remind your audience that publishing a book is a process, not a one-time event. You’ve worked hard writing your book; please give it the chance for success it deserves by working equally hard AFTER publication. Literally thousands of authors have proven that it’s possible. Using the strategy summarized here, you can join us!

Carol Denbow: Visitors are more than welcome and encouraged to post comments and questions for Danny O. Snow and/or regarding this interview by using the comment link below (it’s small, so look hard!)

Please don’t forget, we now have a forum visitors can join free for writers to communicate with each other and discuss their writing, publishing experiences, and book marketing at

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The "11/11/11" Book Tour Schedule

I understand this “virtual touring” can be a bit confusing; I’ve received a few e-mails from some “lost writers.” So let me try to guide you to the daily post.

Scroll down to today’s date. Then you will see what today’s topic is and where the tour stops. For instance if today is Friday, October 24, scroll down to Friday, October 24 and click on the link. This will take you to the Website who is hosting the stop for that day.

If you have further questions, please e-mail me at I want you to get the most out of this tour!

Note: you can always see the post for any “previous” day of the tour, but upcoming discussions won’t be there until the actual day of the tour stop.

Wednesday, October 15, HERE OF COURSE (scroll down)!

Thursday, October 16, TOPIC – “Writing & Publishing Non-fiction” Visit Audrey’s Blog at

Friday, October 17, TOPIC – “Writing & Publishing Fiction” Visit Cute Writing: Creative Writing Help at

Saturday, October 18, TOPIC – “Marketing Mistakes”, Visit John Kremer’s Book Marketing Forum at (or see new blog posts)

Sunday, October 19, TOPIC –“Connecting With Your Market” Visit My Funny Dad, Harry Blog at

Monday, October 20 (LATE POST), TOPIC – “Writing as a Business” Visit Creatif at

Tuesday, October 21, TOPIC – “Marketing Discussion” Visit Plain & Simple Books at

Wednesday, October 22, TOPIC – “Genre” Visit Writ, Written, Wrote at

Thursday, October 23, TOPIC – “General Discussion” Visit A Book Inside Forum at (see new blog posts)

Friday, October 24, TOPIC – “Publishing Options” Visit A Stress Free Life at

Saturday, October 25, TOPIC – “Virtual Book Tours” Visit Book Marketing Maven Blog at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In the Beginning…Virtual Book Tour for Author & Publisher Carol Denbow

Welcome to the first day of my virtual tour! As many of you know, I’ve done numerous Interviews on radio and on-line, but this is my first “virtual” tour and I’m very excited about it. Over the next eleven days I’ll be visiting some awesome Websites and blogs talking with some great hosts about writing, publishing, and marketing books. Some of the topics will include, writing and publishing fiction and non-fiction, writing as a business, connecting with your market, and even how to set up your own virtual tour. Join me on this wonderful adventure and reap the benefits of successful “authorship!”

About me: I came into this business just a few years back with the intent to write only one book on business start-up. I soon after realized that writing is an addictive “sport”—and I was addicted! Book two, book three, and they’re still coming! Of course after book writing comes publishing; POD, self, traditional, WOW, so many options. So I began the research. I woke up one day with a new publishing company, Plain & Simple Books, LLC. Don’t ask how it happened—it just did. You see, at this point, I was supposed to be retired, you know, done working. Business must just be something that flows through the bloodlines—and it defiantly flows in mine. Everything is a challenge to me, and it has to be done right and finished or I’m not satisfied. So here I am, an author and publisher—wow, what a ride!

So I’ll go back now (I like to do things backwards). I was born (what a cliché), in 1959, yep, a baby boomer. I grew up in what then was a “small” community; Anaheim, California. I was the last (to survive) of six kids. I went to Catholic school, spent weekends at Pearson Park, and Sundays with my family at San Clemente Beach goofing around on homemade skim boards.

I dropped out of high school, never completing the 10th grade, stupid I suppose, but got my GED when I was 19 thanks to an aunt of mine who wouldn’t let me settle with being a “drop-out.” To my surprise, I passed the thing with just about the highest score possible (maybe not quite as stupid as I thought).

I married, divorced, married, divorced, and married again….Three months into the marriage, I lost my stepson in an automobile accident and a few years later, divorced again. Raised two great children in the process, believe it or not, and when I finally realized what makes a marriage (and after I had learned to comfortably live alone), I met the love of my life, Craig. Now happily married and living on the southern coast of Oregon, I enjoy writing, golf, volunteering my time in town, and golf (yes, that much!).

So that’s me in a nutshell, or as the nut I am.

I hope you will all come along for the ride this next ten days and see what can be learned to help you get your book written, go through the publishing process, and sell, sell, sell!!! Every stop will hold valuable information which under normal circumstances might take you endless hours to find on your own. I’ve included the entire virtual tour schedule below along with links to each posts location. Hope you’ll join me!

Please don’t forget… I want to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to leave your questions for me, comments on each post, or just introduce yourself and tell us about your project (comment link is just below each post—very small print!). I will try to respond to every question asked as soon as possible. Please, no advertizing in the comment section.

Back to original post

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where to Autograph Your Books

Here’s an interesting topic rarely addressed; what is the proper way to autograph a book? New writers and seasoned authors listen up! There really is a “proper” way to sign.

Book buyers love to receive signed copies, so how important is it to present a “properly” inscribed book?—I say “very!” Follow the suggestions below to present your “best work!”

To start, use a fine point ink pen, not a ballpoint or marker. Many types of ink have a tendency to bleed through the pages and can damage the book (and look tacky).

There are many different ways to inscribe a book. The most common is a simple signature. Inscriptions should be written on the bastard title page with the exception of the dedication copy. Below is a list of the basic rules of book signing.

Signed copy — Includes only your signature. This is appropriate for people you don’t know personally.

Dedication copy — Signed on the dedication page to the person or persons the book is dedicated to. This often includes a personal note.

Inscribed copy — Written to someone you know and usually includes a personal note.

Presentation copy — Written to someone who helped you with the book, and usually has a personal note.

The most valuable of these is the inscribed dedication copy because there is only one. Try to avoid signing a book to a specific person if you don’t know the person, except as a special request.

One way to make your signed copies appear more special is to label them with a transparent sleeve, flag, or ribbon that reads “signed copy.” You can purchase transparent paper and print these at home. Or try ordering slickers for the front cover. These are available at

How you sign your books really isn’t too important unless you plan to be a famous author some day??????

For more tips on producing and marketing a polished book, read A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story, Plain & Simple Books, LLC, (2008).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Today A Book Inside will be hosting a special interview with Patricia Fry, author of 28 books, 11 of them on publishing. As well as being a seasoned author, Patricia is the CEO of Matilija Press.

Carol Denbow: Welcome Patricia. Lets begin by telling our readers how you were inspired to write your very first book and what year that was published?

Patricia Fry: I started my writing career in 1973 when I began writing articles for horse magazines. The first piece I wrote (and sold, by the way) was on what to do with all of those horseshow ribbons young riders accumulate when they compete. I also wrote about hairdos for horseshows, how to make riding chaps, how to raise a foal, a humorous piece on being a horseshow mom and so forth. I loved the process of writing, so it followed that I would write a book. And in 1978, I landed a publishing contract with the first publisher I approached, A. S. Barnes Publishing (New York and London) for my first book, "Hints For the Backyard Rider."

I keep reading about freelance writers and authors who have been writing and publishing now for an entire decade or for 6 years or maybe 15 years. And I have to chuckle. I'll bet that most of them would roll their eyes if they knew that some of us old-timers started out writing on manual typewriters. We used bound dictionaries instead of spell-check, "white out" instead of digital correction and we sent all manuscripts and correspondence through the mail at 8 cents for a first-class postage.

Carol Denbow: I see on your Website that you have published books in different genres. Most writers keep with the same or semi-related subject matter for all their books (assuming they’re written more than one). How do you decide on the subject matter for your books?

Patricia Fry: Since I wanted to establish a career as a freelance writer, I was interested in writing for a variety of publications on a variety of topics. So, as I branched out with new article ideas for a wider range of magazines (business, parenting/family, spiritual, women's and so forth), I did the same when choosing subjects for books. My second book was a 360-page comprehensive history of the Ojai Valley, California. I actually wrote this book at the suggestion of a local bookseller who said, "We get a lot of requests for a book about this city." I spent 5 years researching and writing The Ojai Valley, An Illustrated History and established my publishing company, Matilija Press, in order to produce it. This was in 1983, before self-publishing was fashionable.

I have 28 published books now and most of them came about because of a perceived need. I followed the Ojai history book with two books related to the local pioneer cemetery—profiles of those buried there from 1876-1900 and (the second book) 1901-1920. I also wrote the history of a local world-known private school on commission. Outside of the history realm, I penned my fascinating experiences working with a local hypnotherapist who used past-life regression therapy with his clients. It started out that I was going to write his story focusing on his work. But the hypnotist died 8 months into the project and I put the material away. Seven years later, when I realized how much my life had changed after having worked with this man, I wrote my own bizarre story. This book is called, Quest For Truth, a Journey of the Soul.

I wrote The Mainland Luau, How to Capture the Flavor of Hawaii in Your Own Backyard in response to the many people who expressed an interest in the luaus we used to present at our home every year. I attended other luaus, interviewed people from all over the U.S. and Hawaii about their recipes and techniques and came out with this still popular book in 1996.

I overheard two women talking in line at the grocery store once about how hard it is to bond with their grandchildren who live out of the area. I went home and wrote another popular book, Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles. I became a mentor some years later and Liguori Publications (which had published the grandparenting book) accepted my book on youth mentoring shortly after.

As a freelance article writer, you must always be on the lookout for ideas. And, for me, this trait or habit has spilled over into the realm of writing books. In some cases, if the topic was popular in article form, I'd create a book on that topic.

Currently, after 35 years as a career writer, I write mostly about writing and publishing and 11 of my books are on these topics. My hallmark book is The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. It's 340 pages, $19.95 and has earned dozens of 5 star reviews by my peers and colleagues.

Carol Denbow: Patricia, it sounds as if you have a tremendous amount of publishing experience. Please tell us your choice method of publishing (traditional, self-publish, POD) and why you prefer it.

Patricia Fry: People ask me often, what publishing method I recommend. I always give the same answer, "It depends on your project and it depends on you."

I started out in 1978 with a traditional royalty publisher. Three of my subsequent books were produced through a traditional publisher. I used Booklocker (considered a POD) for an ebook some years ago and I have done a lot of self-publishing. I actually had a traditional publisher lined up for my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book a few years ago, but decided to fire him. I realized that I had the platform for selling this book. I have the credentials, the opportunities and the know-how when it comes to promoting the book, so I self-published it and I'm glad that I did. I had to put up the money, but I have all of the control and I get all of the profits.

I've seen a lot of changes in publishing over the years and the main one that is affecting so many authors now is the high level of competition. Mega bookstores have room to carry only about 8 percent of all titles in print. A whopping 76 percent of titles in print sold fewer than 100 copies in 2006. I haven't seen the stats for 2007, but I'm sure it is just as grim. I travel around the U.S. every year speaking to hopeful and struggling authors at writer's conferences.

I share these statistics and tell them that this is why it is so important that, no matter what publishing option they choose, they study the publishing industry and write a book proposal. A book proposal isn't just for the publisher, anymore, although most publishers of fiction as well as nonfiction want to see a proposal. A book proposal is for you—the author. It helps you to determine whether or not your book idea is viable. Of course, I include explicit instructions for how to write a book proposal in my book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book and I have a stand-alone book on this topic, How to Write a Successful Book Proposal in 8 Days or Less.

Not only that, I teach online courses and I've just started a new book proposal course. It's not too late to enroll. At the end of 8 weeks, each author/student could potentially have a completed or nearly completed book proposal.

Carol Denbow: Book writing and publishing is a hard job for anyone, especially with the first book. Does it get easier with each new book?

Patricia Fry: You really can't say this because each project is different. Of course, it is easier because you know more about your options and the steps to take after you've done it once or twice. But the overall experience and process could become more complicated the 2nd or 3rd time around depending on the magnitude of the project, your expectations and so forth. Producing a book is much like giving birth, each child comes into the world with very different personalities and they develop at different rates.

I work with other authors on their projects (editing, coaching and consulting) and I try to instill in each of them that publishing is not an extension of their writing. You cannot enter into the publishing arena with the same mindset, attitude, perspective and expectations as you use when writing your book. Authors, today, must work harder at perfecting his or her manuscript (folks you MUST hire a qualified book editor before approaching publishers and before self-publishing). The author will find it more difficult to locate and land a publisher. This takes skill and creativity as well as a willingness to conform and, in some cases, they must jump through hoops. And it is extremely challenging to sell copies of your book. Authors, it is your responsibility to promote your book no matter which publishing option you choose.

Carol Denbow: Your books are a great resource for new writers and experienced authors, where can viewers see your Web site and locate your books?

Patricia Fry: See my book showcase at The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book is available through my website at

I also have a unique ebook for struggling authors. It's called The Author's Repair Kit. This small ebook helps authors revive and repair a book with lagging or non-existent sales. I wrote it for the many, many authors who neglected to write a book proposal BEFORE they write the book and who didn't think through the business end of bringing out a book. Many of these people are trying to promote "bulldozer" books. In other words, they are marketing their books to the wrong audience. The Author's Repair Kit helps to turn a failing book into one that actually turns a profit.

If anyone is interested in a preview of The Author's Repair Kit request my free report, "The Pre-publication Book Proposal."

I'd also like to issue an invitation for your readers to check out SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network). This is a 12-year old networking organization and resource center for anyone interested in or involved in publishing. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter.

Carol Denbow: Patricia, always a joy to speak with you. Thank you for being a guest today on A Book Inside. Also, thank you to the viewers who stopped in today to read our special interview with Patricia Fry.

Readers can post comments and/or questions for Patricia Fry by using the “comment” link below.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Writer’s and Authors, PROMOTE YOUR BOOK EARLY!

Wait, hold on! Don’t leave just because you think this post topic doesn’t apply to you. So you haven’t published your book yet? Well this may be news to you; book marketing begins the day you begin to write! That’s correct, the very day you pick up the pen!

One of the biggest mistakes writers make is to wait until the day their book hits the stands to being their promotion efforts. Book promotion should begin at least six months before your book hits the stands and continue for at least three years to follow—especially in this new world of Internet marketing and sales. With it we have the ability to promote our book literally everywhere on this planet. It has been predicted that eighty percent of book purchasing will take place through the Internet by the year 2020. Personally, from the trend I’ve noticed recently, I feel it will be even sooner yet. is one of the best book-selling sites on the Internet and has expanded to include Joya (Chinese), (French), (German), and (Japanese). Barnes & Noble booksellers online have followed suit with international sales. Their brick and mortar book stores now stock foreign publications as well, including Vogue Magazine in four different languages.

To gain world-wide exposure for a book, authors need to start early. The Internet is an interesting place. It’s like mold—it grows and expands slowly. It can take months, even years for one promotional article to reach its full audience potential.

So get out there now! Even if you’ve just started your manuscript—promote it! You’ll be surprised how well your book sells “hot off the press!”

Carol Denbow is the author of three books, including A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story which includes 25 Unique Ways to Sell Your Story. Visit Carol’s Website at

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finish It?

Now normally, this is where I post the weekly writing or publishing tips for A Book Inside—and today, I will do the same, but with a twist! My topic will be “finish it?”

It amazes me how many of us writers start projects with tremendous enthusiasm just to work, work, work and then drop the project into a little metal file box and forget about it, only to accidentally locate the work a year later and mumble to ourselves, “why didn’t I ever finish this, it would have made a great book.” Why we do it?—I don’t know, but personally, I have a full box!

Do we need to be inspired to write? I say yes. But with any long-term project, there will almost always be times we feel like “putting it away.” Maybe we should fight those thoughts and aggresivly move on through them until we feel inspired again. Or maybe we don’t need to finish those projects. Is the joy of writing itself enough for us to be satisfied? The answer isn’t clear.

I want to share a note I received from my second cousin in Texas. She has authored more than 7 books, and probably 10 more unfinished. But read on if you want to find that inspiration.

Graduation 2008

“I was simply led along, from the first course to the next course to the last course, not from dogged determination, not from any deep seated desire to “get a college education,” but from something indefinable that led me to start and finally to finish, for this is what I do—I finish what I start.

I thought at first it was for my children and grandchildren, for their love and admiration poured out to me in words and a show of affection that overwhelmed me, in grand gestures that made all the work worthwhile. For Courtney, my beautiful and talented granddaughter who will forever be sixteen, whose last words to me were, “Keep up your grades, Grandmother.”

But then I began to hear from other people, many whom I did not know. A few reporters and television crews hovered around, and briefly for a day I was news, an 89-year-old great grandmother who graduated from college.

So here I am, not ready to rest on my laurels. Rebecca gave me a necklace with the inscribed words, “Ancora Imparo,” which translates to “yet I am learning.” In the last few years of Michelangelo’s life, these words were scribbled in the margin of his sketches in celebration of lifelong learning, as I hope to continue to do.

Ah yes, I could start on a Masters of Science in Human Development & Family Studies (with emphasis on Gerontology--the study of aging). I've had experience in these, and it sounds rather simple, 36 hours, Internet based, no GRE required. However, when I mentioned this, my family got real quiet, and all the color drained from their faces.

Instead, I’ll finish writing a history book I started a year or so ago, and until I sink into the deep state of senility, I may give some motivational talks, to tell those who are too tired, or “Oh, I’m too old,” to challenge them to dust off their goals and dreams and dive into fulfilling work, (but not necessarily to gain a college degree), and to say to them, “Yes, you can.”

Elleta Nolte, age 89

Want more? Read on…

“Chances are that I may be a rarity among my fellow graduates this May for many of them will leave the campus and scarcely look back, as did six of my nine children who earned degrees from Texas Tech. And I’m sure I’m among the rare ones who will sense the loss of lugging around heavy textbooks and will keep a pile of them on the coffee table, books to be picked up and browsed through again. And again.

Perhaps rare, indeed, are 89-year old graduates such as I, who will miss being a part of a prime university such as TexasTech. I leave it with a rich store of knowledge and memories and experiences, ones I will take out and savor the rest of my life for however long or short that might be.

I have stayed the course through difficult times while attending classes for I have lived another full life along with the demanding one of being a college student, all adding to the length of time but of equal importance. I’ve suffered the heartache at the loss of my beautiful and talented sixteen-year-old granddaughter Courtney and that of my beloved husband in 2007 after 63 eventful and fulfilling years together. He and I took memorable trips during the “schooling.” We traveled twice to Europe, once to Canada and New England and other places. I’ve written two books of regional history along with articles and presentations within that time. And along with my courses, we sold our house in Ransom Canyon and built and moved to another one in Lubbock. And I’ve also given quality time to my family, including twenty grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

As a student I’ve been accepted by the “other kids” and the instructors as just another student, another body (although in a course in communications my professor was a bit startled to have a student older than radio). I’ve felt comfortable in the classroom. When I enrolled as a freshman it never entered my mind but that I could learn as well as the young students. And learn I did, finishing with a quite respectable GPA. The courses enabled me to pursue history, English and behavioral sciences, all favorite courses.

There’s been comic relief… In the beginning, students looked at me and asked, “Masters?” and I’d answer “Freshman.” Others asked in a puzzled tone, “Why, why are you doing this?” Or, “What will you do with it?” One student asked, “Just how old are you anyhow?” And I laughed and answered, “I know that some of you students look at me and think, “Whoa…is it going to take me that long.”

Recently students have asked me a serious question, important to them, ”Have you found a job yet?”

Sure, my Internet sources would give me facts on subjects I’ve taken but what a difference…I remember my first semester when I stood at the window of the second floor of the English building and looked out across the campus with tears in my eyes as I thought, ‘I am a college student, this is my campus, my building…what a privilege.’

Here I am, at last, learning a little about who I am and what I am and what I can do. It inspires me to achieve other I hope it does Rebecca. I wanted to graduate from college with one of my grandchildren, but seven did not wait for me. God is working on Rebecca and me; for some special reason we finished together. I believe that God gives us each a path in life, lined with doors, and we have a choice whether or not to enter them and then only if our heart and mind are open. I’ve finished this portion of that path, and I’m ready and quite willing to start my next assignment. I believe we’re never too old for our next career, however humble that might be.

I share my graduation with my granddaughter Courtney. She was at our house a few weeks before she died, and as she went out the door, she turned and said, ‘Keep up your grades, Grandmother.’
I’ve done that, Courtney.”

Elleta Nolte, May 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Professionally Edit for Better Odds of Manuscript Acceptance

Everyone has their own style of writing. Some develop their writing skills through experience. Others just write from the heart. Either way, when your script is complete, hire an experienced copyeditor to “repair the damages.”

Publishers of all kinds prefer to see a manuscript edited prior to submission. Whether you choose to self-publish, POD, or submit to a traditional publishing house, your manuscript will need to be professionally edited. It’s well worth the time and cost to present a polished manuscript upfront. A traditional publisher will want to know that there isn’t excess “clean up” involved and will not be distracted from your book’s message by bad grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax. At the time of your submission, let the publisher know that your manuscript has been professionally edited. You will stand a better chance of being considered for publishing.

You can help your editor by following some basic guidelines and avoiding some of the common mistakes listed below.

· Format your manuscript using double-spaced Courier New, with one-inch margins. This is how most copyeditors and publishers prefer receiving manuscripts.
· Use one space after periods.
· Italics, bold, and underlined words are more difficult on the readers’ eye, try to avoid overusing them. Instead use stronger words to express a point.
· Be aware of the tendency to overuse the word “that.” See how many you can eliminate without changing the meaning of the sentence.
· Watch for repetition of words and writing patterns. We tend to use the same words over and over, when there are more appropriate synonyms much of the time.
· When referencing other works including statistics, cite all applicable sources either in the text, or in footnotes or endnotes.
· And, just for fun…“Lose” is to win or lose; “loose” is the opposite of tight.

Professional editors charge between $2 and $6 per page. Some charge by the word count. That can cost between $.018 and $.060 per word. It’s possible to get your manuscript edited for a lower price or even for free. Check with local colleges and universities. There may be students willing to work with you to edit your manuscript as part of an extra credit project. Either way, have your manuscript professionally edited.

Carol Denbow is the author of three books and the editor of A Book Inside. Visit Carol’s website at

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

As a writer, I think our happiest day is that when we first see our book in print. Oh, joy to see our name on the cover—our picture on the back—months, sometimes years of working towards this fulfilling goal. Today is that day for me. Even though this isn’t my first “happy day,” my emotions overflow and I am inspired.

It’s easy to begin a new writing project; we’re filled with hope and excitement as we sit down at the keyboard and begin our new and wondrous journey. Then it happens again, somewhere dead in the mist of it, we abandon it and tuck it away only to be found years later as we mutter the same old remarks under our breath, “why didn’t I finish this, it would have made a great book?”

Is it only human nature that we don’t finish what we begin? Are we stuck in a rut of incomplete projects? It’s easy to do. When the hope and excitement evolves into a “working” project, we lose interest. But if we can simply keep on pushing forward we will eventually see the end of the tunnel and become inspired once again.

I personally found that inspiration and “did” finish my book and I can tell you now, it’s worth the push! I’m proud to say; my new book is “A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story” and today is my happy day!

Be inspired, keep your hope alive, and sit down and write something!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vol. 13 / How to Develop a Customer Base with a Website

With so many writers and new authors in need of a personal Website to promote their book, I thought it a good idea to post these valuable tips on Website development.

If you haven’t yet built a Website, there are several easy-to-use and FREE site builders available. Check out my favorites at and

I have just started a new Website through FreeWebs and it's really easy! See my new site at and let me know what you think of it. It only took me 1 hour to build!

* Create a site with valuable content, products or services. I
know this seems obvious but I can't stress the importance of good
content. If you don't have good content now then keep adding to
your site.

* Place primary and secondary keywords within the first 25 words
in your page content and spread them evenly throughout the document.
Try and have it read like it would if you were talking with a friend.

* Research and use the right keywords/phrases to attract your target
customers. If you know what's important to your customers then you
would focus on those keywords.

* Use your keywords in the right fields and references within your Web
Page, like Title, META tags, Headers, etc. You can read more about
META data on my site ( )

* Keep your site design simple so that your customers can navigate
easily between Web pages, find what they want, and buy products and
services. My point is that your pages should not lead to a dead-end.
Pages should have links to other pages.

* Submit your Web pages, i.e. every Web page and not just the home
page, to the most popular search engines and directory services. Hire
someone to do so, if required. Be sure this is a manual submission. Do
not engage an automated submission service.

* Keep track of changes in search engine algorithms and processes and
accordingly modify your Web pages so your search engine ranking
remains high. See the tools page for tools to automate this process.

* Monitor your competitors and the top ranked Websites to see what
they are doing right in the way of design, navigation, content,
keywords, etc. It is easier to copy then to try and figure it out on
your own.

* Use reports and logs from your Web hosting company to see where your
traffic is coming from. Analyze your visitor location and their
incoming sources whether search engines or links from other sites and
the keywords they used to find you.

* Demonstrate your industry and product or service expertise by
writing and submitting articles for your Website or for article banks
so you are perceived as an expert in your field. Plus, these will
lead to back links to your site!

* When not sure, hire professionals. Though it may seem costly, but it
is a lot less expensive than spending your money on a Website which no
one visits. I could tell you story after story about how the right
person cost me a little but made me a lot.

* Don't look at your Website as a static brochure. Treat it as a
dynamic, ever-changing sales tool and location, just like your real
store to which your customers with the same seriousness.

~ Wesley

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vol. 12 / What's Killing Your Publishing Career?

With the large increase of books being published by self-publishers, and the up-rise of
print on demand, there is still a lot of death taking place in the publishing industry.
In the United States, over 291,920 books were published in 2006, per Bowker.

Are you a part of this population? There are many aspects that make up these individuals.
However, let us target just three that are undeniable to anyone reading this article.

As in anything we do, a large portion of it is about taking risks. Are you a risk taker?
You’ve completed your manuscript or just published your novel; it is time to open the
entrepreneur portion of your brain.

Risk takers do not mind the possible end result because the thought of success in pure
motivation. Many writers and authors remain reclusive within the safe haven of their
creativity. What makes this ideology costly? It is the slow return on their investment.

Are you wondering if you fit into this population of authors? Sure you have published
your work for the whole world to read, even critique. But that is just the beginning of
this venture. What makes you any different than the other hundreds of thousands of
writers and authors?

Sure you can play it safe and hope your extraordinary opportunity hits you over your
head. Why not become a risk taker and take it by authority?

Becoming a risk taker you must be:

· persistent

· creative

· passionate

Another obvious bludgeon death is the lack of knowledge.

Yes it is lovely to remain in your creative world and just produce book after book. Can
you imagine leaving all the other hoopla for others to sort out?

No one whose a true business person would dare allow themselves to walk blind in their
business. Prime examples are Oprah, Donald Trump and Bill Gates. However, many writers
and authors are just that, blind.

In order to be successful, you need to be savvy on all levels in the literary industry.
If you are not, just like buying a car, you are going to get taken every time. Do your
homework, rather than relying on third party hearsay. Why would you find knowing
unimportant? For example, POD (print on demand) writers. Many have shouted foul play. The
pitch is knowing the short and long term of POD. Before signing any contract, may it be
for a car, house, student loan, or what have you, the rule of thumb is to know what it
says. If you do not know, you will swing at a curve ball because the only pitch you
anticipated was the fastball.

To become knowledgeable:

· ask questions

· take the time to research

· make sure you understand

Lastly, the beast of all beasts, is marketing. It is amazing how many authors who are not
marketing exhaustively.

This reverts back to the second point: lack of knowledge. Too many authors belief that a
publisher will sign them and they will promote and market their book. Happy to inform
you, that is not always the case.

This is your business and these publishers have invested enough in you, such as, advance,
printing, and a brief promotion run. After this, it is the author’s job to build a
website, create news releases, get interviews and so on.

There are many authors and writers out there with published works who are at a lost. Many
assume self-published authors must deal with marketing and promoting. If no one has
informed you, allow me: that is not true. All published authors, in any realm must market

How else will your book or novel sell without getting out to the masses? Your readers?

To market, you must:

· think-outside-the-box

· market everyday on some level

· address all angles of your novel or book

· have a user friendly website

Take a look at where you are and where you desire to be in this literary world. Determine
if you are killing your publishing career.

This is going to be a challenge, but you have to have enough energy, passion, and juice
to make it past the trying moments.

As a writer or author, make sure you are multi-dimensional. You are becoming an
entrepreneur, so know where your hats are and when to wear them.

C.F. Jackson has been interviewed on The Sumter Television Show, The Louie Jones Show,
Millionaire Monday Series by John DiLemme and Atlanta’s WVEE (V-103 FM), to name a few.
Download your free Website Makeover 101 at - Learn the two things a website must do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vol. 11 / What Are Publishers Looking For?

IDEA MEETINGS: By Rick Frishman

Writers understand that publishing is a business, but novice writers seem to think that the business begins when their book goes to print. Not so. The business begins with an idea meeting.

Idea meetings are usually attended by a combination of a publisher's editorial and marketing people, and the attendance may vary by who is available on any given day.

Although they may be scheduled for the same day and time each week, these meetings are basically informal and unstructured, more like group discussions. They usually don't have a written schedule or agenda; everyone sits around a table and the atmosphere is collegial, relaxed, and frank.

Editors inform the group about book proposals to generate discussions in which everyone chimes in. The group asks questions, gives opinions, and volunteers information about similar or competitive books.

Idea meetings are essentially exploratory. Their purpose is to challenge proposals by closely examining them and chipping away to see if the proposed project would make a good book for the house to publish. They discuss whether they think the firm should commit further time and resources to each book discussed.

At idea meetings, proposals can be rejected, but they cannot be given final approval.
At these meetings, the group wants want to see if the book has a strong hook and how it is positioned. The proposal must clearly answer the following questions:

What is the book about?

Is there an audience for the book?

If so, who is that audience?

Where will it be shelved? Books that don't have clearly identifiable places on bookstore shelves get lost. Booksellers don't know where to place them, and potential buyers don't know where to find them.

Can the book be produced so that it provides value for readers? For example, if all the books on a subject are priced in the $30 range, can the publisher deliver this book with a higher word count or information not in competing books and sell it for $12.95?

"A book has to be clearly identifiable as something new in the marketplace," according to Gary Krebs, the Publishing Director at Globe Pequot Press. "New in the marketplace means that it can be on the same topic as something that already exists, but there has to be a new spin, a new direction, which sometimes can be just a format change. Or, you could spin an existing topic for a new demographic such as businesswomen when all the other books were primarily aimed at men."

All decisions are market driven; the group must believe that the book proposed can make the company money. Editors as well as marketing representatives usually won't support a proposal unless they believe that the book can be commercially viable.

If the proposal survives the idea meeting, the editor who championed it usually prepares a presentation report or packet for another committee; one that has the authority to acquire the property. The report or packet includes research on sales figures, competing books, comparable history of the publisher's other books, recent publishing trends, and whether this proposal fits in with its overall vision of what they did in the past and want to do in the future.

At many houses, the champion prepares a profit-and-loss statement (P&L) for each proposed book. If the company decides to make an offer to buy the book, the P&L statement forms the basis for the price the company will be willing to pay for book.

Get my Million Dollar Rolodex at:

Rick Frishman, the founder of Planned Television Arts, has been one of the leading book publicists in America for over 30 years.

Working with many of the top book editors, literary agents and publishers in America, including Simon and Schuster, Random House, Wiley, Harper Collins, Pocket Books, Penguin Putnam, and Hyperion Books, he has worked with best-selling authors including Mitch Albom, Caroline Kennedy, Howard Stern, President Jimmy Carter, Mark Victor Hansen, Nelson DeMille, John Grisham, Hugh Downs, Henry Kissinger, Jack Canfield, Alan Deshowitz, Arnold Palmer, and Harvey Mackay.

In addition to his work at "PTA" Rick has now taken on the new role as Publisher at Morgan James Publishing in New York. David Hancock founded Morgan James in 2003 and in 2007 "MJ" published over 130 books. Morgan James only publishes non fiction books and looks for authors with a platform who believe in giving back. Morgan James gives a portion of every book sold to Habitat for Humanity. ( for the million $ rolodex

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Vol. 10 / Testimonials from Experts

How important are testimonials? Testimonials sell books! For nonfiction books, you should have testimonials from professionals (those who have knowledge in your book’s subject) who are willing to endorse your book included on the back cover. If you have written a medical journal, your testimonials should be written by medical professionals. If the subject matter is golf, your book should include testimonials from golf professionals, and so on.

Send out requests for testimonials as soon as your manuscript is completed and edited. Don’t count on just one or two people for testimonials requests—people are busy and may not respond at all. Send out several requests and make responding as easy as possible. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope along with the manuscript for easy reply. Some people go as far as to send pre-written testimonials where the professional can chose the one they like best. They may suggest the person only need to scroll through the manuscript to obtain an opinion. Anyway you go about getting positive testimonials is fine, just ask politely and get them because they unquestionably matter.

PMA article, How to get great testimonials for your book.

E-zine Author: Carol Denbow
Visit Carol’s new website at

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Copyright © May 2008 by Plain & Simple Books, LLC
All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.
We are always happy to share the information provided in our e-zine as long as credits are included. For reprint permission please e-mail

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Quick Guide to ISBNs for Self-Publishers

By Jennifer Tribe

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a code assigned to every published book that uniquely identifies it in the marketplace. ISBNs make it easier and more efficient for libraries, booksellers and others in the publishing industry to order, distribute and catalog books.

When To Use an ISBN:

You need to assign an ISBN to any content you intend to distribute through outside channels such as bookstores, catalogues or libraries. ISBNs should be placed on

-- print books

-- electronic books

-- videos

-- audio cassettes and CDs

-- CD-ROMs, and

-- other items as detailed by the International ISBN Agency.

You need to issue a separate ISBN for each edition of your book and for every format. For example, if you issued the same book as a print book, e-book, audio book and Braille book, you would require a separate identifier for each. If one year later, you updated the manuscript and re-issued the book, you would assign new ISBNs to this second edition in each of its different formats.

Deciphering the Numbering System

All ISBNs are currently 10 digits. (The industry will slowly be transitioning to a 13-digit system starting in 2005. See ISBN for more information on the change.)

The digits identify:

-- the group (country, area or language area of the publisher)

-- the publisher, and

-- the title of the item.

The last digit is a check digit.

The group number is comprised of one to three digits. Zero is the number for the English language group that includes the United States, English-speaking Canada, the U.K., Australia and other countries.

The publisher number is comprised of two to seven digits. The more ISBNs a publisher uses, the small their publisher number.

Publishers that use more than 100,000 ISBNs are given a publisher number of only two digits. If you apply for 10 or fewer ISBNs, you will be assigned a publisher number with seven digits. Everyone else falls somewhere in the middle.

Thus anyone in the book trade can look at an ISBN and know roughly how big you are as a publisher by the number of ISBNs you have applied to use. This is why self-publishing gurus like Dan Poynter recommend acquiring your ISBNs in blocks of 100 to avoid being labeled “small potatoes.”

Poynter further recommends that you use an ISBN from the middle of your list of 100 for your first book, since a 0 or 1 as your title number will reveal you as a first-timer.

The check digits range from one to 10. Since there is space for only one check digit, the number 10 is represented by an X.

How To Acquire ISBNs

ISBNs in the United States are administered by R.R. Bowker. Bowker charges a fee to process your application. Ten ISBNs cost $225; 100 ISBNs cost $800. Visit for more information, or to complete an application.

ISBNs in Canada are administered by the National Public Library as a free service. Visit for more information or to apply on-line.

For more information on the ISBN system and how it works, visit

About The Author

Juiced Consulting helps business owners package what they know into information products –- such as books, audiotapes and teleclasses –- that they can sell to generate new business revenue. For a free newsletter and other resources, visit

Article Source: Ezine Articles

Friday, April 25, 2008

Vol. 8 / The Importance of a Great Book Cover Design

The Front Cover

In the old days, books were sold without a cover and buyers would bind them according to their own desires or needs. Now, the books cover has become one of the most important selling components to a book. Over half of booksellers feel the cover design is the most important component.

If you are accepted by a traditional publishing house, they will design a book cover for your book. If you use a POD (print on demand) publisher, you can hire them to design a cover, or you can submit your own design. When you self-publish you either hire a freelance cover designer or design your own.

The average person spends 8 seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds on the back. It is a fact, that the front cover of a book is what draws the initial attention from the buyer, if he doesn’t like the cover, he won’t look any closer at the book.

There are specific points to a cover which seem to attract the most attention. The title, size and clarity of the text, the colors, and the size of the book are amongst the top four. Make sure your title not only represents the books contents, but is clear and comprehendible to the potential buyer. The color red seems to attract the most attention to book covers. But since red is also the color most commonly associated with danger, depending on your title and subject matter, red may not be an appropriate color for your book. The size of the book is not so relevant as long as the colors are good and the title is the appropriate size for the books cover. Children’s books may be the exception to “size matters.” Children prefer larger books with many colors on the cover.

Take a trip to the library and pick out several books of different sizes and colors. If you lay them all out together and stand back six or eight feet, you will notice which sizes and colors attract your attention best. To get more feedback for you own book, pick only books similar to your subject matter. Your books title should be easily readable from at least six feet away.

An average of 13 hours is spent designing a book cover. The cost of a professionally designed cover can be as low as $500 and as much as $3,500. It could cost less if you already have artwork picked out, or if you have a good idea of what you want the cover to look like.

The back cover

Since 15 seconds are spent by the average person looking at the back cover of your book, you need to be sure it will sell the book. The buyer is looking at the back cover for a reason to buy the book. He will want to know what the book is about, who’s endorsing it, and why. He also wants to know how the book will solve his issue, whatever that may be; or how the book will entertain him. If all his questions are answered effectively, he will then briefly scroll through the book; now he may buy.

For non-fiction books, your back cover description should start by asking a question about the book subject, or address the problem that the book was written to resolve. For instance, a book about stress-relief might start with “Do you often feel stressed?” Follow that by explaining briefly how your book will solve that problem, or what the potential buyer will learn by reading your book. In other words, how will your book benefit the reader? Most likely, there are other books similar to yours, look at their back covers to see how they have formatted them and what information might attract the reader, then improve on that. Give the reader a reason to choose YOUR book instead of another.

For a fiction book, your back cover should lure the reader into wanting more. An intriguing lead into what lies ahead, but only to those who buy your book.

Testimonials sell books. You should have testimonials from professionals willing to endorse your book included on the back cover. Testimonials for your book should be done by professionals related to the book’s subject matter. If you have written a medical journal, you’re testimonials should be written by medical professionals. If the subject matter is golf, your book should include testimonials from golf professionals, and so on.

Include your bio on the back cover or inside the jacket cover. People like to see a photo of the author as well. They want to be able to relate to you and what you are saying in the book; it makes their reading experience more personal. In your bio, tell them why you are qualified to write this book and why you wrote it.

Make a professional looking picture of your books front and back cover for all promoting and advertizing. JPG is the most popular and most requested format to use when adding an image to online ads and promotion sites.

Take your time to present a well formatted and attractive book cover and you will see positive results when your book is released.

Covers Sell Books

E-zine Author: Carol Denbow
Visit Carol’s new website at

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Copyright © May 2008 by Plain & Simple Books, LLC
All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.

We are always happy to share the information provided in our e-zine as long as credits are included. For reprint permission please e-mail

Monday, April 14, 2008

Vol. 7 / Should I Copyright My Work?

One of the most commonly asked questions of new authors is “Should I copyright my work?” Authors are concerned their work might be stolen by some smuck (sorry, couldn’t think of a better descriptive word) who reprints their work and claims authorship for it. Well, the truth is, it could be. But whether filing a legal copyright will make a difference; that’s uncertain.

Since the 1976 Copyright Act, the need to file a legal copyright has changed. The new copyright act states, “Copyright protection now subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.”

If you find that someone has reprinted your work under their name, the process of claiming copyright follows about the same path whether you have legally or assumedly copyrighted your work. The first step to take is to contact the U.S Copyright office and report the infringement. Also contact Writer Beware (listed below).
For legitimate authors, a rule of thumb is never copy more than three words in sequence of another persons work. If you want to use someone else’s work word-for-word as part of your book, such as a quote or research document, you will need written permission from that person (See Vol. 6).

If you loose sleep worrying that someone will steal your work, by all means, file a legal copyright. The journey to becoming a published author can be stressful enough without this additional concern.

If you’re concerned about the total protection of your work, or feel better with the guarantee of register copyright, visit the U.S. Copyright office online to learn more about the copyright process (see resources).

Copyright symbol © - wrapping the letter “c” will automatically create a copyright symbol on your word processor. Include the month and year, i.e., Copyright © April 2008 by “your name”.

U.S. Copyright Office, “Copyright Office Basics,” Who Can Claim Copyright,, Washington, DC, 2006

U.S. Copyright,
Writer Beware,

E-zine Author: Carol Denbow
Visit Carol’s new website at

Click here to receive this e-zine every month!

Interested in contributing to our monthly e-zine? Please send your comments, stories, requests, and questions to
Copyright © April 2008 by Plain & Simple Books, LLC
All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.

We are always happy to share the information provided in our e-zine as long as credits are included. For reprint permission please e-mail