Wednesday, August 1, 2018

How to Build a Following to Sell Your Book

Let's discuss an important topic when it comes to publishing a book - building your following. Many of my authors aspire to either traditionally publish their next books or attract the attention of our foreign rights agents (we have two of them). Key to both opportunities is a strong following to justify the acquisition or overseas sale of the book. So what tips and tricks can you apply to your marketing and promotion to build aforementioned following?
The easiest way to build a following is social media. Social media has different affects: it can justify the case to the agents or traditional publishers. What if your sales aren't commensurate with your following, though? Well, if you have book fan page with thousands of fans, then you can show the potential of followers interested in what you're doing. Every little bit helps. And remember this one important factor: PUBLISHERS ARE A BUSINESS! A SURE THING IS THE ONE THING THEY WANT TO INVEST IN. Please bear that in mind at all times. Business is business and if you can easily justify their investment then your chances of your book being acquired are much like any investment. After all, who are you going to invest in? The sure thing or the one with shaky or no real sales to justify the investment? It's pure logic.
Attend book festivals throughout the nation not just to sell books, but also to invest in the marketing and spreading the book outside of the region. If you're really serious about spreading your name, nothing works better than attending book festivals throughout the country. I suggest picking each one in specific regions of the country.
Now huge piece of advice: keep the demographics of your region in mind. A racy, erotic, super violent or controversial book is less likely to fly in the conservative Midwestern states. I'll never forget the funniest moment ever when I was selling The California Girl Chronicles in Kansas City, Missouri. A woman walked up and asked about the book. The pitch: a young screenwriter tries to break into Hollywood only to be distracted by hot men. Her response, "Mmm-huh..." Yeah, it was funny but not good for sales. Sold $5,000 in books in Chicago vs. $500 in Kansas City. See my point?
Nothing sells the book better than the author, so try and attend events where you can meet and greet readers (e.g., book festivals or multi-author signing events). Book festivals have a built-in attendance rate whereas your efforts to attract people to an unknown author are likely to be met with frustration and the sound of crickets. Multi-author events also have the built-in readers in attendance (you know more people to attract more readers). Without a following (the whole point of this article), you will find it difficult to do random book signings, especially at small, independent bookstores.
The big box chain stores are on the way out so print distribution doesn't have the same value and in fact often makes absolutely no profit because of the ridiculous and dated return policies used. Notice Barnes and Noble have added a restaurant to their stores. They're investing and expanding more to attract people in general with the side effect of getting people into their bookstore. They also push other products aside from books. Amazon and eBooks have killed the print star, meaning print book sales are being bitten into by ePub sales. 
Michelle Gamble is the owner of 3L Publishing. For more information send an email to or call 916-300-8012.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PR Starter Kit to Create Best Selling Books

So let's talk book promotion and persistence and finding the "right" promotional channel. I recently had this discussion about best-selling books. We've had many books go No. #1 on Amazon over the years; but there is no formula for what promotional strategy works. Some publicists might say there is a cookie-cutter formula to going no. #1, and I'm here to tell you that is a load of "boo-rap" (new word for "crap" in publishing LOL). Boo-rap comes from shady publishers trying to sell inexperienced authors on high-priced publishing packages with false promises of going no. #1 based on their supposed concept. Want to hear how those publishers can make those false promises? They usually jerry rig Amazon by doing some promotion with their system by doing an in-house promotion that boosts sales just enough to make a book fly up the rankings. Is that a real best seller? Will the sales be sustainable? Because one-day rankings don't help anything in the big picture, and it's a false best seller anyway.
So let's break down the whole promotional process that in my experience produced best sellers. I emphasize that it's nearly impossible to predict what will work for any particular book.
Book reviews do and don't work. Sometimes the right title can get one great book review, and then boom! The no. #1 ranking hits home. Other times, certain titles can get 20 great book reviews and fizzle. I've watched some books simply not sell no matter what was tried. One review or 20 won't make the difference. It's depressing and frustrating, and no one likes to see all the effort to place all these great reviews to listen to crickets. Believe me, it makes me (the hardworking publicist) frustrated, too.
A big splash, a two-page spread, a winning article, does that work? Sometimes. Don't you just hate me here? One time a book got this incredible two-page spread in one publication. I felt thrilled to see it. I look in our systems - zilch, nada, zip. No sales. How can this be? No answer. Another book (and some books no matter what happens can do no wrong) gets the same treatment and even a cover story - and bam! My in-box is overloaded in sales. Two great media exposures; two different books and two different results, and the only answer is no answer. Like I said, some books are going to fly no matter the media exposure meanwhile other books are going to flounder no matter what I do.
Sometimes books just fall in the middle. Another book gets consistent media exposure - radio and podcast air time galore. Do the sales escalate and produce no. #1? No, the book gets "some" sales. National exposure and yet the book remains in the category of what I call "lukewarm" sales. It never goes no. #1 regardless of exposure after exposure.
The only promise I can guarantee: do nothing and get nothing. You may ask, "Why should I promote the book at all if the results aren't guaranteed and I'm going to have to invest more money?" The answer is bold above. I can promise with certainty that if you don't invest, your results will be no sales. People won't organically see your book on Amazon without any media exposure. I know, some authors think it's enough to post it on Amazon. Isn't Amazon going to automatically market my book for me? No! Not unless you pay for one of their marketing gimmicks.
I offer a promotional package I called The PR Starter Kit. I highly recommend it as an affordable way to get your book promotion underway at a great price of $2500. For that cost, you receive:
  • Strategic planning and identification of key media outlets
  • Media Kit (includes basic marketing materials and press release and FAQ)
  • 25 hours of media relations time to devoted to key markets
  • Custom pitches to key media
The PR Starter Kit is the best investment in promotion. I have found through experience that if your book isn't getting traction after 25 hours of media pitching and exposure, it's not likely to change. I wouldn't encourage investing in more hours unless your book is experiencing traction in the marketplace. 
For more information, send an email to or call 916-300-8012. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

World Premiere of Me

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is The World Premiere of Me About?
A: Hollywood billionaire movie producer Grayson O’Day has a plan to rid the world of poverty through the power of imagination.  He relocates his operation from Hollywood to The Hamptons, and spends a small fortune to build a prototype movie studio.  With construction complete, O’Day needs only one thing to fulfill his vision: a test subject.  The World Premiere of Me is the story of Duncan Ferris and his unlikely journey from classic underachiever to forerunner of the final age of man: The Age of Mind.  The broad theme of the story is: God has a plan to rid the world of poverty, and that plan travels through the imagination of man.  The story is told as an allegory, wherein all the main characters represent one aspect of the theme.  These include Grayson O’Day (God), protagonist Duncan Ferris (man), antagonist Fenton Hardaway (death), and Bud “The Colonel” Stratton (reason). Much of the action takes place in Eternal Sunset Productions studio, which represents the Mind of Man and within the studio there is a 22-acre section known as The Unchartered Territories, which represents Imagination.

Q: This book is unusual in that it uses self-help and spiritual principles to tell the story. What inspired you to write it this way?
A:  While training to become a certified LifeSuccess Consultant, I was urged by Bob Proctor (from The Secret) to write a book.  He suggested that a book is a great way to gain credibility as a speaker and life coach.  My hesitancy to write a nonfiction book about self-help and spiritual principles was due to the glut of such books on the market. I simply didn’t think I could contribute an original or unique book about these topics.  I ultimately combined my love of both self-help/spirituality books and fiction/literature to create a story that weaves spiritual principles into the narration. As a result, I believe The World Premiere of Me is, indeed, a unique and fresh contribution to this genre. My dad, who edited the first draft, said the book was a “modern day morality tale.”  Much of my inspiration was derived from similar books, including The Alchemist, The Shack, and many of the stories authored by Og Mandino.

Q: What were some of the sources of your ideas, principles and concepts weaved into the story?
A: I have been a serious student of self-help and spirituality books since the mid-1990’s.  I’ve read more than 200 books on these topics and I employed the principles, ideas, and concepts of many of these books in The World Premiere of Me.  The most influential books, and those whose ideas were most prominently on display in my book were Your Invisible Power by Genevieve Behrend, Three Magic Words by U.S. Anderson, Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer, The I Am Discourses by Saint Germain, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder, The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles, Directing the Movies of Your Mind by Adelaide Bry, and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Q: Who is your favorite character and why?
A: My favorite character is Duncan Ferris, the protagonist. The reason I love Duncan is he is a classic underdog and he overcomes his obstacles through uncommon persistence.  I also enjoy his sarcastic wit.

Q: According to the book, what is The Age of Mind?
A: Napoleon Hill said: “Imagination is the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known.”  The Age of Mind is the final age in the evolution of man, wherein mankind taps the powerful forces of imagination to transcend all worldly limitations such as poverty, disease, war, and labels.  One Power (God), countless perceptions, harmoniously creating a world of abundance and peace for all, perfectly aligned with the broad theme of this story.

Q: This book depicts ideas and concepts with religious and spiritual roots. How did you incorporate your beliefs in a way that would speak to the masses?
A: It was my intention to create a protagonist who was flawed and relatable, and one who had lost his faith in God. We all walk different paths, but we share common experiences—grief, tragedy, illness, disappointment—that challenge our faith. As such, our concepts of God and prayer differ slightly from one person to another.  No book could possibly explain the complexities and mysteries of death, prayer, or the nature of God.  Even the most learned preachers have inadequate explanations of God’s role in such things as war or children with cancer.  But I believe the masses are infinitely seeking enlightenment on these topics, so I intentionally incorporated my personal spiritual beliefs into Duncan’s story in order to give that dimension to Duncan’s journey while simultaneously providing fresh perspectives to readers.

Q: You describe a lot of different technology, where did you come up with the concepts?
A: A lot of the technology in the book came to me through formal visualizations. Eternal Sunset Productions movie studio came to me in vivid details while visualizing. In fact, the title of the book came to me while visualizing. In my mind, I was seated at the shoreline of a beautiful ocean beach when suddenly a bottle washed ashore.  I grabbed the bottle and noticed a furled up piece of paper inside.  I got the paper out, unfurled it, and read the words printed on the page: The World Premiere of Me.  My first instinct was: What a GREAT title for a book!  That was the first of many ideas that found me during the eight years I wrote this book. 

Q: What is your favorite part of the book?
A: My favorite part of the book is when Duncan is introduced to his Mastermind writing team: fully interactive holograms of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, L. Frank Baum, Walt Disney, and Cecil B. Demille.  I have a similar virtual mastermind group that has been highly beneficial—at times magical—in my own life. The Mastermind chapter of The World Premiere of Me was my way of sharing with readers this wonderfully imaginative and highly powerful concept, introduced to my mind by Napoleon Hill.

Q: Whose work inspires you the most?
A: Og Mandino’s work is particularly inspiring to me because he combines spiritual concepts and fiction to tell his stories.  In his book The Greatest Miracle in the World he has chapter titled “The God Memorandum” which was the most inspirational chapter of any book I’ve ever read.  I also find great inspiration in the books of Victor Hugo, John Irving, and John Steinbeck. 

Q: Where can the book be purchased?
It will be available in print only through 3L Publishing, but the ebook version will be on Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

World Premiere of Me

The World Premiere of Me in the spirit of contemporary movies like The Shack takes readers on a tour de force of the power of the mind.

May 1, 2018, SACRAMENTO, Calif.—School shootings, negative political news, and an overall heaviness have invaded our society. Sometimes we need to be reminded that these gray clouds hanging over our world don’t have to define our lives. That when we use the power of our minds, we can create anything our imaginations can dream. The power of the mind is limitless – and the new fiction book The World Premiere of Me by Fred Ford suggests we are at the dawn of a new age – the “Age of Mind”.

This unique “self-enlightenment” tale is written as a fictional story much like recent movies The Shack or The Alchemist that are simultaneously a story and a nonfiction message that contains “soul nuggets” to inspire readers to use their minds to their fullest. Think and Grow Rich meets The Wizard of Oz in this modern, inspiring morality tale that will appeal to readers of both fiction and personal development books.

Written by Certified LifeSuccess Consultant and thought-leader Fred Ford, this unique tale is one of those rare books that provide a compelling story that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished. In a day and age when dark clouds of negativity blanket our society, The World Premiere of Me is a beacon that shines through and invites the reader to see themselves in the beautiful life God sees them,” said Ford. “It encourages readers to advance confidently in the direction of their dreams and endeavor to live the life they have imagined.”

The World Premiere of Me is about Hollywood billionaire movie producer Grayson O’Day who has a plan to rid the world of poverty through the power of imagination.  He relocates his operation from Hollywood to The Hamptons, and spends a small fortune to build a prototype movie studio.  With construction complete, O’Day needs only one thing to fulfill his vision: a test subject.  The World Premiere of Me is the story of Duncan Ferris and his unlikely journey from classic underachiever to forerunner of the final age of man: The Age of Mind. 

The World Premiere of Me is exclusively available in print on the 3L Publishing website at under Books; the eBook versions are available for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. For more information or to request a review copy or interview with Fred Ford, contact us at 916-300-8012 or send an email to

Monday, March 19, 2018

Reader Views - Grains of Truth

Grains of Truth
Elizabeth Ferry-Perata
3L Publishing (2017)
ISBN 9780996677691
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (3/18)

“Grains of Truth” by Elizabeth Ferry-Perata revolves around a small town in Texas where two friends learn to deal with the reality in life that no matter what they do, it will never be good enough for some. Each friend has their own past history of dysfunctional families, relationships and learning to accept that one can’t change everything.

Sarah and Zoe are best friends fighting all the odds against them, especially in the perception of their “feed store” help label. According to Otis, owner of Otis Feed Store, both his female employees are the lowest of the low, and have no right to act like they are anything else. Tom, Otis’s son, has no back bone when it comes to standing up against his father. The plan is for Tom to marry Angela, daughter of another rich businessman so both fathers’ can merge their business interests.

I found the initial intent of the story to be of interest, but felt there wasn’t a lot of depth to the characters, and found all the trivial conversations and events to be a distraction from the main theme.
The topic of depression in relationship to the character Sarah, and her perception of continual rejection and failed relationships was of particular interest and I would have liked to have seen the author expand on this area of the narrative. This might be excellent information to provide to readers regarding some triggers.

“Grains of Truth” was an easy read. Though the plot was somewhat predictable, I was not prepared for the ending. I found the relationship between Sarah and Zoe to be one that many of us only hope for. I loved that the ingrained thought that losing someone we love keeps us often not being able to accept that they are no longer with us.

Overall I thought the book was touching; the underlying theme is one that many of us have experienced. There are some people who come into our lives for a short time but leave a lasting impression. I would recommend “Grains of Truth” by Elizabeth Ferry-Perata, as it will leave you to contemplate your own thoughts on what life, love and happiness mean to you.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tips to Improve Your Writing Process

I get asked all of the time how I write my novels and my techniques. I am a unique writer in this way. I don't have a specific technique. I write straight from my imagination and allow the words to pour on the page. It's how my brain works. I can't really give "my" method an explanation. I like to think of it like a pipeline from the Universe to my brain. Maybe it's much like those math people who can look at a problem and solve it in their heads. It works in their minds. If I look at a math formula it looks Greek to me.
What I do tell writers is to develop their own process - the one that works for them. I can though provide some tips on how to develop "a" process. So, I thought I would share some ideas I've read about that other writers use.
Create a cast list and give each character a back-story and history. Describe their lives outside of the book. You don't have to use this information in the story, but it will help guide you how to write that character. What is his/her social economic background? What part of the country or world do he/she come from (it will affect their dialects)? Use this information to figure out how it affects his/her speaking and behavior.
Use note cards to review while your working to keep the structure locked in place and help remind yourself of story details. I have a friend who used this method. Each of his projects looked like a shrine. It helped him to track his story-telling process more precisely. I use a notebook with little details about characters so I don't lose track of specifics. Writing stuff down (and I know some people don't even pick up a pen anymore) helps cement information in your brain.
Redundancy and over use of some language bogs down writing and makes it repetitive. We all have those particular words and expressions we use too much. You may find you've used an adjective far too many times. I strongly recommend you identify your overused words and do a find/change. Pull up your Thesaurus and find fresh, new words. I've said it before, so I will say it again: Your Thesaurus is your best friend!
What if you can't quite see the redundancies? Start reading aloud. The overused words will quite literally jump off the page at you. Now use the aforementioned tip above and start revising.
Reading aloud will show you all your awkward writing, too. Nothing will give you a tongue-twister faster than reading your work aloud. If you can't fluidly and easily say a sentence aloud, rewrite it. Think of it like an audio book. Imagine hiring a voice-over specialist and he/she has to read aloud those awkward sentences. Your book isn't going to sound so great, right?
Okay positive quote of the day:
The power of persistence is only multiplied by your ability TO persist!
Now go take on the day and persist in your dreams. 
Looking for someone to help you with your writing? I am a writing coach, and I can be reached at

Monday, January 8, 2018


What if all of the speculation about the Great Pyramid of Giza being constructed by otherworldly beings were true. What if the Great Pyramid of Giza and the other pyramids found throughout the world all had been built by aliens as part of a world power grid? What if these aliens still lived among us, and something very sinister was going on – a conflict so big it involved other beings from other worlds. In fact, not just a conflict in this space and time, but a multidimensional war that spanned thousands of years and existed in layers between time, space, and dreams. What if WE are those aliens?

In the new science fiction tale Children of the Guardians by DB Stearns, the second book in the Harmonic Wars series, the author takes readers on a fantastic adventure into a multidimensional world where a great intergalactic war is about to break out. In a story spanning different points in time, other worlds, and different dimensions, Stearns paints an incredibly detailed picture of an entirely unique perspective on how the planet Earth is really a colony populated by emigrants from other planets. Then based on that premise, he develops the reason, wars, and conflicts that brought our ancestors to live on this planet. 

“My inspiration for Harmonic Wars was the Great Pyramid of Giza,” explained DB Stearns. “I studied it and many other ancient sites that had similar qualities in building materials and techniques. We would have extreme difficulties rebuilding the Great Pyramid today, and most countries could not afford to build to that level of perfection. This research helped me to create my first outlines of the story, and I had envisioned this as a trilogy. Now it has grown into a four-book series. It is best described as Game of Thrones meets Star Wars, but without all the incest. It is an epic story of good vs. evil, with many characters and several ongoing storylines. If you’re looking for the next story to fill the void of Game of Thrones, then Harmonic Wars is a must-have!”

Children of the Guardians is a classic tale of good vs. evil only set against the backdrop of many different times, places and planets. Over 200 years have passed since the villainous Arturo, whose early life story unfolds in the first book Guardians of the Crystal Skulls, mysteriously murdered two Guardians and stole their Crystal Skulls. The year is now 2027, and the G`Alad has strategically positioned themselves politically and physically to take control of the Earth, but they must first find and destroy the last Pyraportal that protects the peaceful Balsarius.

Meanwhile, Guardian Ana must prepare to fight back against her estranged grandson, Arturo. Ana has fled to keep her new charges from falling to the temptations of the evil-tainted weapons that now control the G`Alad and Arturo. Will Ana have enough time to train this new generation of Guardians, or will Ares and Arturo destroy them before they begin? Can Ana and her charges fight this alone – or will she need help from the great beyond? Will the goodly Balsarius defeat the evil G`Alad? The ancient Holy Warrior, Shihan Marcus Kahn returns from 200 years of stasis to face his past, and once again wage war against Admiral Ares and his massive fleet. What will Ana do without the feisty Alana and the rest of her Guardian sisters? Can they still help Ana from Beyond?

This book is an action-packed read loaded with such specific descriptions of worlds only DB Stearns could dream up. Written with great, relatable and sometimes flawed characters and several fantastic storylines all woven together in dramatic intensity, readers won’t be able to put down Children of the Guardians. The great news is that at 660 pages, they will get to prolong the escape into the science fiction fun.

To purchase the print version, please visit the 3L Publishing website and purchase: