Monday, April 27, 2009

The New Podler

Once again, for those of you who have self-published, there are many great resources available for getting your book reviewed. It can be difficult to get a self-published book reviewed. Many reviewers are overwhelmed with standard published books already and will not want to take a chance on a self-published book. In addition, many reviewers want to review books before they are released to the public; another dilemma for the self-publisher. I have written before about PODBRAM, but today Steven Reynolds wrote a review for John's book for The New Podler Review of Books. You can check out their website and book reviews at Unfortunately, The New Podler will now be charging self-published writers to review their books. Steven Reynolds has chosen to longer write for them since that is the case, although he is also cutting back on his reviews in order to have time for his own reading-for-pleasure list! You can read many of his reviews on Amazon as well, where he is a ranked reviewers.

For those of you who have done some sort of self-publishing, I would encourage you to look into the various organizations dedicated to reviewing self-published books so that you can get some objective book reviews.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Writers, Conferences, and other fun stuff

The other day John and I had the opportunity to meet with a famous young adult (YA) writer, who was kind enough to have lunch with us and offer advice about writing, getting published, marketing, etc. She greatly encouraged John to quit looking toward self-publishing and look to get an agent. The bottom line distinction between the choice to self-publish and the choice to do the hard work of trying to get standard published still seems to be this: if you simply want to see yourself in print, and sell a few books, self-publish. If you want to make a career out of writing, go through the hard work, and failures, and rejections, until you can get standard published, because that is where you will earn money, and respect for your book. So for now, that is the future direction we are looking toward. She also recommended subscribing to the site, for a really great resource for finding agents, knowing how much writers are getting paid for books, etc.

On a related note, however, John's self-published novel peaked again at 32,000 for its sales ranking on Amazon, and at this point we're not sure why, other than by word-of-mouth success, which is great! We have been doing minimal advertising, nothing paid, only mailings (and none in the last 2 weeks), and then the usual: maintaining a Facebook Fan page, a Good Reads page, and a blog on Amazon. He does have a number of book talks/ signings in the next 2 weeks that we have advertised. Whatever the true cause, we're glad that the book has caught on and is still going strong. Hopefully this data will help us when he looks to show agents (for his next book) that he has fans and has been successful on an independent scale, and therefore would be a promising writer to take on.

Also, we are still scheduled to go to the Midwest Writers Workshop, and I am looking forward to any networking opportunities and writing inspiration that this might bring. If it gives even a bit of the inspiration that speaking with the YA author did, I will be very happy. As I have read in many places before, conferences are great places to make connections, meet agents, and bond with other writers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Viral Book Trailers

One marketing strategy that is on the radar for John and I is the making of a viral book trailer for his book. More and more authors are taking advantage of the internet and the popularity of short online videos to advertise for their books. Videos play like a movie trailer, but advertise for the book.

Recently, I saw a viral trailer for the young adult writer, Simone Elkeles. She made her first two with a friend, using a computer program, but for her third hired a Chicago director. In order to make the video "viral", she knew she had to make the video somewhat humorous, so it's almost a parody of her book, but it is fun and is taking off. To see the trailer, go to this site on youtube, or her website:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Writers Conferences

One great way to meet agents, expand your writing skills, and network/ bond with other writers is through writers conferences. This year, John and I are trying out the Midwest Writers Workshop in Indiana, which has an amazing selection of workshops and opportunities. I encourage people to check it out, or let me know if you have been there/ know about it.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Over the weekend, at a bbq of all places, I learned about a most interesting site that I will definitely be checking out with John, my author, and that I would highly recommend to authors and aspiring authors.

It's called Podiobooks, and it is a site where authors can upload podcasts of their books for free. All you need is a good microphone and your computer. You can upload however you choose- short stories, books by chapter, new writing yet to be published, etc. It's a great advertising mechanism or way to "get the word out", and you can also track who is following your podcast!

The site is

Chocolat- latest Good Reads Review

Here is a link to my latest amateur book review for Chocolat, which I read in 2000, but just added to my growing Good Reads arsenal:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Goodreads Review of Anticancer: a new way of life

On, I recently posted a short review of Dr. Servan-Schreiber's Anticancer: a new way of life. My book reviews on Good Reads tend to be short blurbs, as I consider them social, personal reviews more than professional reviews, but I am posting the link for anyone interested in reading a review of this fascinating health/ lifestyle book, and interested in checking out my shelf:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Library Mailings Results

One week in the results of the library mailings are paying off. Two libraries have already contacted us having purchased the book and interested in setting up Q & A sessions, signings, and/ or Self-Publishing workshops.

This is a long road, and not always monetarily rewarding, but is rewarding in terms of the work and recognition that is presenting itself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PODBRAM Review on Amazon

I would encourage all new writers looking for book reviews to consider PODBRAM- a blog devoted to reviewing self-published books. John just received a 4-star, well-written review from one of PODBRAM's reviewers, Dr. Al Past, on Amazon. Hopefully, the review will also make it to their website: