My Experience with Facebook Parties

by Marilyn Levinson

These days we authors are expected to promote our books. In fact, many of us have discovered that promotion and marketing demand more of our time than it takes to write a novel. We’re bombarded by ads from companies that promise all sorts of financial bonanzas. We’re swamped with advice via how-to books, classes, promotions, and webinars. Every few months a new venue of social media arises. Added to the mix, authors blog about their success stories, touting one method of promotion over another. It’s enough to make your head spin. I zoomed in on one piece of advice that resonated with me: don’t try to promote every which way. Use the method you find comfortable and that suits how you communicate with your readers. Continue reading

Insights, Facts, & Numbers from an Amazon Top Reviewer

by Gisela Hausmann

One common myth says indie authors need only get a few/some/many reviews from friends and acquaintances, then buy an online promotion and their book will (probably) take off.

As an Amazon reviewer since 2012 and a top reviewer since 2014, I can contribute some factual information.

In 2014 I reviewed 75 items on Amazon, including 45 books penned by indie authors. Continue reading

Employing The Long Tail

by Barbara Florio Graham

Many of us have heard The Long Tail or Viral Marketing, but think these methods are only for large corporations or manufacturers.

But we can all use these ideas.

The Long Tail refers to selling things in very small quantities, instead of in large numbers. Many years ago, before this term was coined, I decided to employ what some self-publishers were calling a “slow roll-out” for my third book. Continue reading

PR, Publicity, & Press Kits: How to Make News with Your Book

by Leann Garms

How do you make news with your book, beyond a book review or a book-signing event? That’s really the question and the challenge. The answer is actually simple. You see, it’s not about you or your book. It’s about NEWS.

Book Publicity. PR. Media Relations. Working with the media to get that coveted review, news story, radio interview, magazine feature article or even radio and TV interviews. Continue reading

When You’re the Speaker

by Barbara Florio Graham

As a professional speaker and teacher, I’ve given three-day workshops to Canadian federal government departments that paid me $1,000/day, international conferences where the payment was in prestige and a lovely gift, national conferences that paid a speaker’s fee plus comped registration and meals, and local groups, wheree compensation was a small honorarium and the opportunity to sell my books.

Know what? The best experiences have not been at those high-priced workshops, nor were the smoothest arrangements at international or national conferences.

Well-paid event planners don’t always do better than volunteers. And it’s often up to you to ensure that things run smoothly.

Here’s a checklist I use:

  1. Confirm the date and time early, and give organizers a deadline after which they can’t cancel or change your date/slot unless exceptional circumstances arise.
  2. Make sure you obtain full contact information, with back-up email addresses and phone numbers. Send a bio and a description of the presentation, and check to see that it’s been received.
  3. Request any special requirements, such as a projector and screen, flip charts, or a white board. I never rely on electronics to work properly, and don’t like PowerPoint in any case, so I always ask for two flip charts.
  4. Do you want a special configuration in the room (theatre style, participants at tables, a circle)? Find out if the organizers will photocopy your handouts, and prepare them early so you can send them well in advance. Do you prefer a table or a podium? I always prefer a table, as I’m more visible standing behind a table, and it allows me to move around more. But they may require that a podium with a microphone be used.
  5. Two weeks in advance: obtain the final conference program or the agenda if it’s a single event. Confirm cell phone numbers, room arrangements, and requested equipment; ensure they have the materials you’ve asked to be photocopied.
  6. The week before: are handouts ready and are you sure the person assigned to you has them? I always carry the following with me: a set of originals of my handouts; a copy of my bio; and a brief introduction I’ve prepared, in case the person introducing me doesn’t show up or isn’t prepared; flip-chart markers; and my own filled water bottle with a straw. I make sure I have a few paper towels and extra tissues. I also wear my own badge, which is especially important if they’ve misspelled your name on the one they prepared!
  7. Day before: set out your clothes. Wear something both visible and comfortable. Nobody looks at a speaker’s shoes (unless you’re on TV), so as long as they’re appropriate and shined, your most comfortable pair is essential. You need color near your face, so if your jacket is dark, wear a bright blouse or scarf (men need a colored shirt and fairly bright tie).
  8. Day of: arrive early. Find the washrooms, snag an extra chair to park your coat and bag if they haven’t provided one beside the table or podium. Then greet people, relax, and enjoy your moment in the spotlight.

Barbara Florio Graham is an author and publishing consultant. Her website,, contains a great deal of free information, as well as Simon Teakettle’s popular blog. This article first appeared in Freelance Writer’s Report.

Winging It: LIVE on the Radio

by Barbara Florio Graham

When I was asked to do a two-hour interview on a popular news/talk radio show, I was delighted.

My publisher had hooked the host with a press release connecting the death of award-winning actor, Peter Falk, with my story about working with him well before he created the character of Columbo. The story is one of 34 first-person pieces in Prose to Go: Tales from a Private List.

Securing a spot on this show was a coup. It’s two hours in prime time on a Sunday evening, and is often broken into two separate segments. But I’d been asked to be available for the full two hours. Plenty of time to promote this book, for which I served as managing editor. Continue reading