Dyan Garris Talks About Her Book Promotion

You have been invited to share your promotional experience with others.

Your Name: Dyan Garris

1. Where you are from and where are you now?

I was born in Illinois. I live now in Arizona and Florida.

2. How did you get started writing?

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I wrote a children’s book when I was seventeen.

3. What do you do when you are not writing?

I swim every day. I love to walk as well. When I’m not writing books I’m writing and playing music. I’m a professional psychic. Everything works together.

4. What would readers like to know about you?

I don’t know, but they can ask me and I’ll probably answer.

5. What inspired your first book?

I had an Old English sheepdog that my little brother was fascinated with. I wrote him a little book about the dog’s adventures.

6. How many books have you written?


7. What are the titles of your books and what genres are they?

My genre is all Metaphysical Self-Help. The titles are:
Voice of the Angels – A Healing Journey Spiritual Cards
Voice of the Angels – A Healing Journey – The Journal (for use with the cards)
Voice of the Angels – Meditation Journal (for use with my CD series of music and meditation)
Voice of the Angels – Talk To Your Food! Intuitive Cooking
Fish Tale of Woe – Lost at Sea (A small story with a very big message)
Money and Manifesting

8. How do you decide on that topic or genre?

My work is all self-help. It chose me.

9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track?

Being a clairvoyant counselor, I focus for a living. If I couldn’t focus I wouldn’t have any clients. It’s simply a matter of quieting the chatter of the conscious mind. It’s a mindful focus. I’ve had a lot of practice.

10. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

Of course I have to teach you something while answering this question. We do not “make” money. Money is energy. We create an open pathway for the energy of money to flow to us. I write because I have something to teach and I love to do it. When the creative pathway is open the money follows. It’s energy.

11. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used?

The key to marketing is distribution. You can have the best book in the world and if nobody can find it you won’t be selling very many copies of it. Amazon is great, Baker and Taylor/Barnes & Noble are all very important. Author signings are wonderful ways to connect with people. Radio interviews should be at the top of anyone’s list as well.

12. What are some unique methods of marketing you have used?

The Virtual Book Tour is the most unique thing I’ve done in terms of marketing. It’s great fun.

13. Do you sell through a website? If so, what’s the address? If not, why not?

Yes, websites should be one portal of distribution. I have about 15 websites. The main site is www.voiceoftheangels.com There is a lot going on there. I write a Daily Channeled Message there. For my music one of the main sites is www.myspace.com/voiceoftheangels

14. Where can people order your books?

People can order my books through Amazon.com, any traditional bookstore, or through my website.

15. What format are your books – e-book, print, audio etc?

Right now they are just in print, however, I’m working on getting them into e-books.

16. Will you write more books?

No, Money and Manifesting is the last one for now. It’s at the top of the toolbox of tools for spiritual growth and transformation that I’m almost finished building.

17. What do you have in the works now?

I have two more items that go in the toolbox. One is a DVD animation. The other is another music CD that will vibrate to the eighth chakra. The existing CDs are a series of music and meditation CDs that each vibrate to chakras one through seven.

18. What does the future hold for you and your books?

Looking into my crystal ball, I see…..oh, that would be absolutely no fun to peer in on my future. I’ll just let it unfold.

19. What was the most successful thing you did to promote your books?

I’m doing it. The Virtual Book Tour is just great for book promotion. I’m also very fond of author signings because I like to connect with people directly.

20. What was the least successful thing you did to promote your books?

Well, again, it all depends upon how you define “successful”. To me there is no success and no failure. Those are simply perceptions and usually they are someone else’s perceptions. In my definition of success everything is simply an opportunity.

This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh, author of the Book Promo 101 series. For more information, visit – www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm.

Unsung Patriot by Virginia Vassallo

  1. How did you get interested in the topic that’s featured in your book?

My book, Unsung Patriot, is about my grandfather, Guy T. Viskniskki, and how he started The Stars and Stripes newspaper during World War I. The easy answer to how I got interested in the topic is that I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know that my grandfather started the paper. Admittedly, for many years, I had no idea what the paper was. In fact, I remember asking my mom, “If Guydaddy started the paper, why don’t we get it?” This was in the 1950s; there was no Internet and only the armed forces received The Stars and Stripes.

After my mom died and I found that I had inherited my grandfather’s 437 page manuscript about his experiences trying to start the paper, I thought I should write up something for my grandchildren. It grew – because I had to know more and more. And finally it became a book.

  1. Tell us a bit about your background. What have you done in the past that relates to your book and your topic?

Obviously, being the granddaughter of the man who started The Stars and Stripes and having information only the family had uniquely qualified me to write this book. On another level, I was a history major in college and then became an attorney so much of the writing that I had done has been on either historical topics or non-fiction, such as legal briefs. Since my topic is historical non-fiction combined with family information, I think I am a ‘natural’ to write Unsung Patriot.

  1. What advise would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?

First of all, that person should read my book. Second, The Stars and Stripes Museum/Library in Bloomfield, Missouri, has exhibits covering the whole history of the newspaper and they also have a research library. Third, you can join the European-Pacific Stars and Stripes Association. Initially the group was composed of men and women who had worked for the paper during their time in the armed forces. However, they have recently expanded their membership to include people who are interested in The Stars and Stripes. The yearly dues are nominal and you get 4-6 issues of their newsletter a year plus they meet once a year in various locations. I am waiting for 2009 when they are meeting in Reno, NV, to go again.

Other than those suggestions there is no a tremendous amount of information out there about the newspaper during the First World War.

  1. What do you see as the benefit of participating in groups and organizations? My first thought would be networking opportunities and the chance for personal and business growth. What are your reasons?

Certainly those are good reasons, Nikki, and they are some of the reasons I belong to various groups and organizations. Obviously belonging to the S&S Association is a plus for information about the paper today. I also belong to several genealogical groups because I have a real interest in tracing my family’s origins and those of my husband. Some of those contacts have resulted in sales of my book – probably because of the similarity of interests among the participants. And, besides, some of them have monthly meetings nearby and it’s fun to get together.

  1. Who is the ideal person to read your book? If each person that reads this was going to recommend your book to one person, what sort of person would they want to choose?

Unsung Patriot would appeal to a person who is interested in history, a person who is interested in genealogy, a person interested in military history, a person interested in journalism and newspapers.

As one reader said, “Virginia, I finished reading your book about your grandfather and enjoyed it tremendously. I am so amazed at all your grandfather accomplished and love how he stood up to his military superiors to keep his promise to the regular soldiers. This book is such a memorable way to share his story and the accolades that he received during his lifetime.”

  1. What do you think ignites a person’s creativity?

First and foremost, I think a good imagination is necessary. Even when writing non-fiction, you have to be able to imagine or see how the book will flow together. This is especially true when you are gathering information from a variety of sources.

Believe it or not, for me walking in the woods and fields of our farm helps my creativity immensely. My mind is free-floating, looking at the world around me, wondering what my dogs are scenting, yet it seems I come back from a long walk refreshed and with new ideas. Yet I am not conscious of thinking about anything in particular.

  1. What have you found to be the biggest stumbling block for people who want to start writing?

I think potential authors look to the end result – will someone publish this book? How do I get it published? Do I really want to have to do my own marketing?

It can be daunting and scary.

When I started writing Unsung Patriot, I started writing for my children and grandchildren so that they would know about my grandfather. I never thought I would actually write a book that would be sold at book fairs, in stores and on the Internet. That came much later. I believe I probably wouldn’t have started writing if I had realized what I was really going to do with the end product. I had to work in to the idea of being a published author.

  1. How would you suggest they can overcome that?

Write for your own enjoyment. Write for one other person – a spouse, a child, a grandchild. Don’t think that what you write must be published. Think about just telling your story.

One of my neighbors is 80 something and tells wonderful stories about growing up in rural Kentucky. She has finally written down some of her memories and we are all elated. It brings this small part of the world to life – what it was really like to live here back in the Depression. And it’s a very different that the story you hear of how the Depression affected city dwellers.

  1. What do you find is the biggest motivator for people to succeed? Is it money, security, desire for fame or something else?

I think it varies from person to person. Some people want they approval of their readers. Others want to make lots of money from their books. Still others want to prove to themselves that they can do it.

For me, I think it’s a combination. I wanted my family to know about my grandfather. Now that the book is out there, I would like to make at least enough money to pay for the cost of getting it published. And I am on my way to accomplishing that!

  1. Who is the “perfect” person to read your book?

The “perfect” person would be anyone with an interest in, or a love, of history.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Nikki, I think you have been very comprehensive. I would just like to invite your readers to visit my websites – www.krazyduck.com and www.unsungpatriot.com.

Virginia G. Vassallo



Dyan Garris May Blog Tour

This week, I’m starting to coordinate a special virtual blog tour for Dyan Garris. Some of you participated during the tour we are doing this month to promote her latest book Money and Manifesting. We appreciate every one that has participated with us.

In the middle of May, we are going to do a week long tour to promote the wide variety of life changing products and services that Dyan offers on her website. Please contact me for a full list of her products. If you haven’t visited her website – the address is www.voiceoftheangels.com

For this tour, we are looking for blog owners who deal with the topics listed below. If you would like to focus on these topics on your blog, please contact me. To participate, I simply need each blog owner to review her website and to send me for 5-10 questions about the products or services that she offers. I also have a document that has all the items, the prices and descriptions listed. I can forward that to anyone who needs the list.

These are the topics that we want to focus on during her tour in May.

1. Manifesting
2. Self-empowerment
3. Patterns and belief systems
4. What really gets in the way of people manifesting what they want
5. Music as a way to unblock energy and as a healing tool
6. Meditation, mindful meditation, connection in general
7. Chakra balance and energy field
8. Angels and angel cards
9. Psychic ability
10. Integration of mind, body, and spirit and why it’s so important

This tour will be May 12th through the 16th. We can also schedule blog visits for a couple of days before or after those dates if needed. Dyan Garris is also available for radio interviews – contact me for more details.

In return for your participation, your blog will be promoted through the tour schedules and the promotional messages that I post to promote each blog visit on the tour. This can be a good way to generate new visitors for your site. It also creates a good number of links back to your site.

If you discuss any of the topics listed above on your blog, feel free to contact me to schedule a date for Dyan Garris to be a guest on your blog.


Each person who posts a comment on any or all of the blog tour spots will be entered in a random drawing for a copy of Dyan Garris’ CD – Release. In addition – the blog owner that hosted the winning commenter will also win a free copy of Release. Share your thoughts and comments with Dyan. She will check in throughout the day to answer questions. You’ll learn more and you have a chance to win a CD.

For more information about Dyan Garris and her virtual tour, you can check the full schedule at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/04/dyan-garris-may-schedule.html and here are more details http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/04/dyan-garris-may-blog-tour.html.

Her website is full of great details about all of the items within her “toolbox” and there are many special features. She provides the tools you need to have a full and happy life – www.voiceoftheangels.com and it’s not as hard to achieve as you think. Visit Dyan’s Amazon profile for links to many of her products – http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/AYREZNHQDLRFM/.

Nikki Leigh

Promotional Interview with Nicola Beaumont

You have been invited to share you experience with our readers.

Name: Nicola Beaumont

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

Originally, I’m from England, but I left there when I was a child. Now I make my home in the Southwest U.S. I can’t really remember a time I wasn’t writing something. I suppose the bug bit me when my grade school had a poetry writing project, and then I just never stopped writing—whether it was poetry, short stories, journalistic pieces, and later full-length fiction and non-fiction.

When I’m not writing, I’m reading and editing or doing some type of graphic design or ad layout work. I sleep sometimes, too!

What inspired you to write your first book?

The very first book I wrote was a romance. I had picked up a harlequin, read it, and thought, “This is simple; I can do this.” Hah! 50,000 words later, and a wake-up call as to how awful that book really was, I realized that to pen a novel is easy; to pen a novel that is actually good, is not so easy. That book was terrible…and so was the next…and the next. I don’t think I actually got the hang of how to effectively tell a tale until the third book.

How many books have you written?

I’ve finished five novels or novellas, and have others in various stages of outline or partial. Three of those five will probably never see publication. They were stepping stones to good writing.

How do you decide on their topic?

With fiction, my plots are usually a fancy that just comes to mind. I swirl them around until the basic premises are there, and then I begin writing. My characters do the rest.

With non-fiction, if the work isn’t commissioned, the idea usually comes from a life observation or experience.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

Both! I want my love of writing to make me some money. Seriously, I write first for the love of writing. It is a gift to be able to tell a tale that will whisk someone away to an alternate reality for a time. Of course, I’m not opposed to making money, and so I do what I can to promote, and hope lots of people buy and enjoy my books.

My Christian works, on the other hand, I write solely for the glory of God (Well, everything I write is for His glory, but these in a more direct way). If I make money, that’s great, but if I don’t make money, yet some reader comes to know Christ more fully because of reading something I wrote, then that’s a greater reward than money.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

Gathering book reviews and placing magazine ads have to be the top of the traditional marketing methods I’ve used. Also, website advertising on high-traffic sites.

What are some unique methods?

I don’t know if one would call this unique, but I’ve recently started utilizing book trailers. There’s a terrific site which is currently housing trailers for one year at no charge to the author. http://www.previewthebook.com The trailers there are top-notch quality.

I’m also looking into pod-casting, but instead of the pod casts coming from me, they will come from my characters.

Do you sell through a website?

Much of my work can be bought through my own website, http://www.inicola.net, and what’s not available from me directly is available online through the publisher’s site http://www.thewildrosepress.com or from Amazon, Fictionwise, and other online outlets.

Do you plan on writing additional books?

Always! I don’t think I will ever stop writing. I enjoy it too much.

Promotional Interview with Ginger Simpson

You have been invited to share you experience with our readers.

Name: Ginger Simpson

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

I’ve always loved reading historical romance and was inspired to try my hand at writing one of my own. In 2002 I sat down at my computer and started typing. I felt as if I was telling myself a story and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. That’s when I discovered that I write by the seat of my pants. My characters drag me wherever they want to go and I never know the outcome until I’ve written it.

What inspired you to write your first book?

As I said, I was inspired by my love of reading. I ran out of books that had ‘savage’ in the title and decided to write one of my own.

How many books have you written?

I currently have six books and five novellas published with two more contracted and soon to be released.

How do you decide on their topic?

I don’t really decide. Storylines come to me from no where in particular and I name my characters and let them run with the idea.

What works best to keep you focused and on track?

Finding quiet time when I can sit without interruption and get in touch with my characters. I try to have coffee with them occasionally to ask the questions to which I need answers.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

I’d love to make money writing, but since my royalty checks barely cover the cost of a McDonald’s happy meal, I do it for the love. It’s actually a stress release for me. I can let my characters act in ways that I don’t dare.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

Many of the same that all authors are advised to utilize: personal website, participation in writing, publishing and review loops, handing out promotional materials such as personalized key chains, bookmarks, pens.

What are some unique methods?

For my first release I prepared a trifold containing an excerpt. The front displayed the cover, ISBN and ordering information, and I left these wherever I went. I also included them in things I mailed. I created a book bag with pictures of all my book covers and an invitation to “ask me about my books.” I carried it when I went to car shows and public places. Anything that stirs interest is helpful. I also started a newsletter group that has now grown to over 500. Every month I share information, personal and professional with my fan base. One of my favorites was ordering business-card-sized CDs and downloading excerpts from several books and offering them as a reward for those who enticed others to join my newsletter.

Do you sell through a website?

I can only do that with one book since I exclusively hold the print rights to it. My other contracts stipulate that I can only sell through the publisher’s site or my own.

Do you plan on writing additional books?

Of course. Writing is my life and I’m not happy unless I have at least two works-in-progress. Now writing has become a challenge. Every new work is my hope for achieving a little more notoriety than I did with the previous one.

This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh, Author of Book Promo 101 – www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm.

Promotional Interview with Robin Jay

The Street Smarts Marketing Blog is for speakers, trainers, authors, consultants and entrepreneurs who want to influence the lives of others with your knowledge through books, information products and presentations – and make lots of money doing it. Strong emphasis on gaining visibility, market reach and credibility through effective Internet marketing.

You have been invited to share you experience with our readers.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to be a writer. The old saying, naïve as it is, says to write about that which you know. I had been on more than 3,000 client lunches and saw my sales increase by more than 2,000%. I knew I was on to something. I wanted to share the how-to’s of building relationships by introducing a social aspect into your business relationships with other sales people or business professionals who count on their relationships for their success. I have since learned that you can write about anything if you are willing to do the research. Still, it’s best to write about something you’ve experienced. There is nothing like having had hands-on experience to be able to tell a better story.

How many books have you written?

“The Art of the Business Lunch ~ Building Relationships Between 12 and 2” was my first book. I originally self-published; that edition came out in February of 2004. Then I sold it in 2005, doubled the word count and it was released by Career Press a full two years later, in February of 2006. Now, promoting that book as well as promoting my speaking career, writing articles, blogs, and press releases keeps me incredibly busy – plus I launched a speakers bureau last year. I have begun work on two new books – both non-fiction.

I have contributed to two anthologies in “The POWER of Mentorship” series, including “The Millionaire Within” and “For the Woma n Entrepreneur,” for which I was asked to write the foreword. Don and Melinda Boyer are the publishers of the series and they are remarkable, positive people. They also invited me to be a featured teacher in “The POWER of Mentorship: The MOVIE” which is currently in production. It’s a personal development film that features about 20 teachers whose lessons are interwoven with the story of a young men and his mentor.

And I just found out that a chapter I submitted to “Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’s Soul” has been accepted. That book will be out in November. I wrote about how to order wine when out with clients. Many times, people who are unfamiliar with fine wines become intimidated and hand the wine list over to their clients. That means they’ve given up control of the cost of the meal. It’s not necessary. I share a way to involve your clients and yet retain control of the check. I’m very excited to finally be a part of the Chicken Soup franchise.

How do you decide on their topic?

As I mentioned earlier, I was an expert at building solid, long-lasting business relationships. In fact, my clients and friends started calling me “The Queen of the Business Lunch,” because the nature of my job, selling advertising, required that I stay in close touch with my clients…so I was typically booked for lunches weeks out.

What works best to keep you focused and on track?

Closing OUTLOOK! That and not answering the phone. Seriously, it gets easier when you have a task to complete. I have a paperweight that reads, “The Ultimate Inspiration is the Deadline.” It’s really true. Most everyone I know who writes really works well under pressure. The rest of the time, we just need to focus on the desired outcome. I feel a strong sense of purpose and I love to write. When I can stop working long enough to write something, the time just flies.

Do you write to ma ke money or for the love of writing?

You ought to be able to ma ke a living doing what you love. While I originally dreamed of hitting it big financially with writing, (and still do!), I found that being an author was a great springboard for launching a speaking career. In fact, all speakers should have books. Most of them begin speaking first and then create a book or other product to sell in the back of the room. Personally, I wrote the book, expecting that it would be a huge success. It is, but it’s not necessarily a financial success. My book has won an award and my publisher has sold the foreign publishing rights in TEN languages so far! And there is still more interest in it. I’d say that is a huge success. My topic is a tremendous hit for training and sales conferences. I think the principles, techniques and knowledge in my book is quite timeless. I can’t see a time when it wouldn’t be applicable to business, although I can see needing to update it occasionally.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

I bought ads in the beginning. Of course I was an advertising account executive in my past life, so I believe in advertising. It wasn’t the best use of my resources! Speaking generates book sales, as do appearances. I have sold several hundred books at a time to incoming conventions; I am the draw for their booth, signing books for the exhibitors and attendees. That’s one of my favorite things to do, because I know that my books will get on the plane with their new owners and travel all over the country, spreading the word. Internet marketing is the most important way to get the message out now. Blogs, articles and press releases are strong. Also, it’s important for authors to network. When I speak on networking, I ask the room, “Who do you know who….?” We can expand our circle of influence by getting to know more people. It’s critically important that we know as ma ny people as possible.

What are some unique methods?

Writing columns may not be the most unique, but every time you can put your name in print it will help. My dog, an adorable shihtzu, writes a column in Lucky Dog magazine. Of course she can talk about “Her mommy” and that would be me! I get a byline in a magazine with a circulation of more than 15,000 readers. I also write a column for “Around Your Home” magazine, which goes out to 80,000 high-end home owners every two months. I have a photo and a bio at the bottom of those articles. I don’t get paid to write them, but when I’m out, I have a lot of people ask, “Where do I know you from?” Or they comment on the columns. Everyone knows Georgie, my dog, and asks about her. I also wrote a lot of columns for Hospitality Executive magazine, which goes out to meeting planners and hotel execs everywhere. And I was recently hired (yes, a REAL job!) by the Las Vegas Business Press to write a bi-weekly column on women’s and minority issues. All of this exposure lends credibility and helps me to promote myself and my books.

Do you sell through a website?

Absolutely! My website offers my books, audio books, and my services as a speaker. I don’t know how anyone could get away without having a website anymore. It’s immediate, it’s current and it’s effective.

Do you plan on writing additional books?

I hope I will always write. I have a lot to say about a lot of things. I love teaching, helping and guiding. I also consult as a life coach and I help other authors – whether they want help with their writing or if they are launching a speaking career. I teach PowerPoint and presentation skills. And, because I have self-published and worked with a publisher, I am uniquely qualified to help authors decide whether they should self-publish or sell. I have personally experienced the ups and downs of both sides of that equation. I especially enjoy helping authors so they won’t have to make the same mistakes I have made. My experience has been invaluable.

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

I am a professional speaker and consultant as well as a writer. I absolutely love writing and speaking; I know without a doubt that this is what I was meant to do. I am also a gourmet cook. I love to play golf and work in my garden…but both of those hobbies have had to take a back seat to my career the past few years. I still indulge my desire to cook, usually by hosting dinner parties with great friends or just cooking when company stops by. I’m originally from Cleveland , Ohio and have lived in Las Vegas for more than 33 years. I have always enjoyed writing and had contributed stories to magazines in the past, although I didn’t set my sights on writing as a career until early in 2001.

This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101 – www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm.

Promotional Interview with Kim Baccelia

You have been invited to share you experience with our readers.

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

Hi! I’m Kim Baccellia, the YA author of the multicultural fantasy, Earrings of Ixtumea. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I always seemed to have a story running through my head. In middle school I wrote a horoscope column that was very popular with both my peers and teachers! In both high school and college I wrote for the school newspaper.

Later as an educator, I ran my own writers workshop for my first grade classroom. My students published their own books. My husband even made a computer program where parents followed their child reading their books. I videotaped my students reading and my husband scanned their books. This was a big hit with parents.

Even as a teacher, I would find extra moments to write. During my lunch breaks I would sneak over to the local Burger King. I wrote some of Earrings there.

What inspired you to write your first book?

Not finding enough multicultural heroes in fantasy novels. I was a bilingual teacher for a school district in LA County and found it odd that there weren’t many books, especially YA, that represented the population I taught.

How many books have you written?

Earrings of Ixtumea

is my first novel. I’ve also written a YA paranormal, Crossed Out. Right now I’m working on Bullets of Truth, a contemporary YA that deals with bipolar disorder.

How do you decide on their topic?

The idea came to me to develop a world with Mexican mythology while I was teaching second language learners. I wanted to create a world that had some of the richness of my Mexican culture. Also I love Spanish dichos—similar to our own proverbs. I wove these throughout my story.

What works best to keep you focused and on track?

Getting up early each morning and just writing. It helps to have my own writing space. I have a large whiteboard where I sketch out my story paradigm. I divide my story into three acts. I also have character sketches in my room.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

I write because I can’t silence the stories that run through my mind. I also love to write.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

I’ve purchased advertising spots with sites that are geared toward my market—teen girls. My book is available through Amazon. I have a live journal blog. I belong to two professional organizations—SCBWI and EPIC.

What are some unique methods?

My current virtual book tour. I thought why should I wait to have my book published through a traditional publisher in order to have a book tour? Having my book on a virtual tour opens up a lot of possibilities that are limited by just the book store signings.

Do you sell through a website?

Not yet. My book is available through my publisher’s website at http://www.virtualtales.com

Do you plan on writing additional books?

Yes. I plan on writing a sequel to Earrings. Right now I have a rough outline for books two and three.

This interview is a stop on Kim Baccelia’s virtual book tour. The interview program is a joint effort with Kathleen Gage of Street Smarts Marketing and Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101 – Basics of Book Promotion

Promotional Interview with Hazel Statham

The Street Smarts Marketing Blog is for speakers, trainers, authors, consultants and entrepreneurs who want to influence the lives of others with your knowledge through books, information products and presentations – and make lots of money doing it. Strong emphasis on gaining visibility, market reach and credibility through effective Internet marketing.

You have been invited to share you experience with our readers.

Name: Hazel Statham

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

I live in the UK and have been enthralled by history for as long as I can remember. I felt a compulsion to write at fifteen and completed my first novel-length story at sixteen. The first was quickly followed by two more and I took my inspiration from the Brontes, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. ‘Jane Eyre’ still remains my all-time-favourite and I think, subconsciously, there is a little bit of Edward Fairfax Rochester in all my heroes. Animals are my other ruling passion and until recently, I was the treasurer for an organisation that raised funds for animal charities. Over the years, we have owned everthing from hamsters to horses and we currently share our home with a lovely Labrador named Lucy. I have a beautiful grandson named Daniel who spends a lot of time with me whilst his parents are working and we have a great time.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I don’t really know. I read all the usual classic romances and suddenly found myself writing my own. I loved to create my own characters and situations and it was something I had done in my thoughts for years – I just started committing it to paper. It started to escelate when a work collegue began reading my work and encouraged the other girls in the office to do likewise and soon I found myself with a small readership.

How many books have you written?

Including the first three, which are now long gone, I have a total of nine completed with one still a work in progress.

How do you decide on their topic?

It has to be historical and set in the Georgian or Regency eras I know and love. ‘My Dearest Friend’ was inspired by a dream, whereas ‘The Portrait’ came from a line in a song from the film ‘Hawks’. The Peninsular War inspires me and several of my characters are in some way connected to it.

What works best to keep you focused and on track?

I like to write when I am alone and there is complete silence.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

Definitely for the love of it. I write for myself and publication is just a huge bonus. I would write even if my work never saw the light of day.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

Self-promotion doesn’t come easily to me but I have approached review sites for reviews and have arranged banner and book cover advertising. I live in the UK but have sent flyers (via other authors) to confrences etc. I have also given talks to book groups.

What are some unique methods?

For me, the Virtual Book Tour is quite unique. Living this side of the Atlantic, I am not able to attend book signing events and this gives me the opportunity to reach a wider readership.

Do you sell through a website?

My publisher’s website, www.wings-press.com Amazon and Fictionwise

Do you plan on writing additional books?

Writing is too much a part of me for me to stop now. It is a compulsion that will not be ignored and I am happier when I have a project under way

Nikki Leigh – Author
“Coastal Suspense with a Touch of Romance”

Promotional Interview with L. Diane Wolfe

The Street Smarts Marketing Blog is for speakers, trainers, authors, consultants and entrepreneurs who want to influence the lives of others with your knowledge through books, information products and presentations – and make lots of money doing it. Strong emphasis on gaining visibility, market reach and credibility through effective Internet marketing.

You have been invited to share you experience with our readers.

Name: Author & speaker, L. Diane Wolfe

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

Good day! I am the author of The Circle of Friends series. I’m an optimistic, spunky redhead who believes all obstacles can be overcome! Originally from Oregon, I have lived all across America and currently reside in North Carolina. I began writing at the age of thirteen and focused mainly on science fiction and short stories. Becoming an author was just one of my goals – I also loved photography and eventually became a professional photographer as well. My other passions include roller coasters, animals, healthy living, and my awesome husband, plus I am very involved in our church.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve always been a reader, devouring several books a week, and possessed a vivid imagination. The desire to write originally sparked inside of me when I read Anne McCaffrey’s “The White Dragon”, and over the years I wrote hundreds of short stories. It wasn’t until my mid-thirties that I completed a full novel. LORI was inspired by the wisp of a dream, just enough to see the main characters, and I immediately began writing her story. Halfway through, I had outlines for four more books.

How many books have you written?

Currently I am working on the fifth book in the series, HEATHER. The first four, LORI, SARAH, JAMES, and MIKE have all been published.

How do you decide on their topic?

I had been through a motivational training program that taught success principals, a positive attitude and goal setting, so I poured a lot of that into my books. The stories follow a group of friends from high school through college and beyond and portray healthy relationship dynamics. The theme of the series is overcoming obstacles through friendship and love. So many books out there today, especially those geared towards young adults, are so negative and salacious. I wanted my series to uplift and inspire!

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

The first book (especially fiction) is always out of love – after that, you’d better be making money! Now that I teach seminars on publishing & promoting and plan to start my own publishing company in 2008, the goal is definitely to make money.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

As in, what HAVEN’T I done? In the physical world, I have done over 200 book signings, traveling up and down the East Coast. (I am a real road warrior!) I have participated in book festivals, expos, fairs, library events and even sold books at art studios. Along the way there have been many local and national interviews, plus articles in newspapers. I have made my books available to many public high schools, as well. Early in 2007, I began teaching publishing & promoting seminars at NC community colleges. I’ve also spoken on the subject of overcoming obstacles to many groups and been involved with writer’s clubs.

Online is another world all together! I maintain a website and blog for my series, posting pictures of my fans & readers from around the country. (A big hit, let me tell you!) I’ve written articles for numerous websites, generated online reviews, and have my books listed on dozens of book & club sites, plus listings and mentions on many, many blogs. I also manage an online writer’s club and promote my books through an art community. All of this has made a tremendous impact on the reach of my books, and I now have readers all over the world.

What are some unique methods?

The art community website is the most unique, as I post both my writing and photography. The virtual tours are also unique and I recommend that all authors take advantage of them! Every year I have a big promotional day for my book’s release, which includes free promotional items to those who order. This year fans who ordered on promo day got to make character name suggestions for Book V!

Do you sell through a website?

I do not sell directly through my website, www.thecircleoffriends.net, but have links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Do you plan on writing additional books?

Oh, yes! In addition to completing my current series, The Circle of Friends, I will be writing a publishing & promoting book to tie in with my seminars. As far as novels, I intend to return to my roots with a science fiction book and may co-write a historical romance as well.

I will always write, as it was my dream, and hope that with my publishing company I will be able to assist other writers realize their dream, too!

Promotional Interview with Melissa Alvarez

You have been invited to share you experience with our readers.

Name: Melissa Alvarez

1. Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

Melissa Alvarez, is an award winning author, graphic artist and website designer who obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech. She has always been an entrepauneur and owned several successful businesses with her husband. Melissa became involved in the publishing industry in 2000. She formed New Age Dimensions to self-publish her first book, The Phoenix’s Guide To Self-Renewal, which was released in January 2001. It quickly landed in Amazon.com’s Top 1000 where it stayed until it went out of print. At the time, Melissa was manufacturing the 416-page book in her home and eventually couldn’t keep up with the demand. Melissa says, “The learning process that went with the publication of this book was phenomenal. I jumped into the industry in an unconventional way but it was fun and worthwhile.”

Between March of 2004 and February of 2006, Melissa, founder and CEO, operated New Age Dimensions as a small press. The company had 40 authors and over 70 titles released. During this time Melissa designed the book covers, created the print book layouts and ebook files, designed and maintained websites for the company as well as some of the authors. Melissa had the final decision on contracted books. The company won awards for website design and the books published received numerous five star reviews and won many awards including EPPIE’S, the Oscars of ePublishing.

Because of the industry contacts made when Melissa worked as The Guide To Romance Fiction at About.com, she decided to release her first paranormal romantic suspense novel, Night Visions, under the pen name Ariana Dupré. She wanted the book to stand on its own, to receive good or bad reviews because of the writing, not because she knew a lot of people in the romance industry or because she owned the publishing company. Melissa didn’t want her jobs, past or present, to affect the reviews in any way (good or bad). So she kept Ariana’s real identity a secret until enough reviews came in that she knew the book had indeed earned success on its own. Night Visions became a multiple award winning title that is currently published by Cerridwen Press.

In the past, Melissa has been a regular columnist for Suite Magazine, a writing correspondent for The American Kennel Club, a contest judge, a free lance editor, and she is considered a publishing expert and is listed on a Writer’s Digest Top 100 website as such and has appeared on radio shows in the same capacity. As an internationally renowned clairvoyant advisor, with experience in many different areas of metaphysics and as a paranormal romantic suspense author, Melissa wrote an article about the emergence of the psychic fiction genre for Romantic Times BOOKclub Magazine. She has also been published in The Writer’s Net Anthology of Prose, Paranormal Experiences Volume One, New Age Dimensions Holiday Extravaganza, and was quoted Book Marketing A-Z by Francine Silverman, How To Operate A Successful Pizza & Sub Restaurant by Shri Henkel and Successful Meetings by Shri Henkel.

Melissa is the founder of International Paranormal Fiction Month, a member of Romance Writer’s of America including the following chapters: PASIC, RWA Online, Kiss Of Death, Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal, and From The Heart. She is also a member of the National Association Of Women Writer’s, a Publishing Expert at Moonspinners Ask the Experts (Writer’s Digest Top 100 Website), a Spirituality & Publishing Expert at BookPromotionNewsletter.com. She also operates two paranormal groups at Yahoo.com, and is listed in the top ten psychics on toppsychics.com and bestpsychics.com.

Melissa can speak or write about the following topics:

* The publishing industry – how to get started, self publishing, owning a small press, critiquing, manuscript formatting, romance fiction, the submission process, looking at both sides of the industry as a publisher and author, ebooks, psychic fiction, and many other topics.
* Metaphysics – clairvoyance, past lives & past life readings, ghosts & hauntings, developing your psychic abilities, spiritual awakenings, spirit guides, empathic abilities, psychometry, telepathy, divination, life paths and lessons, connecting with your higher self, unlocking latent abilities, meditation on the go, crystals, chakras, tarot, pendulums, third eye activation, karma, soul quests, palmistry, elemental spirits, protecting with white light and much more.

Melissa can be reached on her cell at (561-452-4555), via email (contact@melissaa.com) or through her websites: http:/MelissaAlvarez.com, and http:/apsychichaven.com.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?

For my nonfiction book, I had created a journal for myself and then my friends and neighbors wanted copies of it. I decided to open a publishing company and publish it myself so it would be available faster. For my first fiction title, I was almost asleep and saw the opening scene for Night Visions running through my head. I got up and typed it right away.

3. How many books have you written?

I have written three nonfiction books (two are currently under consideration), three novellas, and two novels. I’ve also been included in six other titles.

4. How do you decide on their topic?

I write what I like and what I know about. I’m backlogged right now on finishing books that have been requested that I haven’t completed so those are first on my list. After that I’ll decided if I want to do another fiction or nonfiction title. As Melissa Alvarez (my real name) I write business nonfiction, self-help and metaphysical nonfiction. As Ariana Dupré I write paranormal romantic suspense and I’m currently working on several young adult titles as Jara Jordan. I use pen names to keep my genres separate for my readers.

5. What works best to keep you focused and on track?

LOL having my kids in school for six hours straight. Now that they’re on the same schedule I have one big block of time to get a lot of work done – writing and promotion.

6. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

Well, it’s a career for me but I do it for both. I’ve always been a writer and will always be a writer, whether or not I’m making money from it.

7. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

Anything and everything that I can do to get my name(s) out to the readers. I buy advertising, send out press releases, belong to online groups, and talk to everyone about my titles and the business of publishing. Most recently I started an online radio show where I’m promoting other authors through interviews and giving live psychic readings. By doing this, I’m keeping my name in the public eye, introducing authors and others in the metaphysical field to listeners and that introduces readers to my books too. My radio show is live on Friday’s at 11:00 AM EST at http://blogtalkradio.com/MelissaAlvarez .

8. What are some unique methods?

As a writer I need quiet. Now, I can write when my house is full of noise but I find that I can put out more work faster and get more accomplished if it’s quiet or if I tune out everyone else. I don’t listen to music when I write or anything like that.

9. Do you sell through a website?

Yes, my publishers. http://www.cerridwenpress.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419908965

10. Do you plan on writing additional books?

Yes, I’m currently finishing up two nonfiction titles for The Lo
tus Circle and then I’m writing the remaining two books in the Visions series for Cerridwen. After that I’ve got another Talgorian book planned and the young adult title. I’ll be busy for a while. 😉

Please visit my website at http://melissaa.com for a complete listing of titles, their release dates and more. You can also get a free download of a short story that I’ve written when visiting my site.

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