Thursday, October 11, 2018

Public Affairs -- The Choices We Make -- Book Review


Rating: *****
Ella, the sharp public relations expert, and Charles Grady, the hot, handsome, bad boy movie star, meet and the sparks instantly fly. As Ella works to repair her bad boy's public image, she finds herself falling deeply in love with the sexy Charlie. Charlie falls for the sweet, smart, loving Ella -- and soon the bad boy is tamed. Love though sometimes isn't quite that easy. On the eve of their wedding, tragedy strikes in the most unthinkable way. Ella must make a heart-breaking choice...
Minnie and Henry, Ella's grandparents, also share a deep love during the 60's while under the shadow of the Vietnam War. Henry is sent off to war and leaves his beautiful, loyal wife Minnie behind. When he returns, things are never the same. When tragedy also strikes their marriage, the aftermath leaves Minnie's life in ruins. Yet she survives and goes on...
Public Affairs is an intergenerational story of true love, family, loyalty, tragedies, and overcoming the unthinkable. It's a story about the choices we make out of love and resilience. Readers will laugh and cry and not be able to put this book down.
THE REVIEW
I don't normally review 3L books because I am biased. Every now and again, I do endorse a book (for my own reasons). Working with Liz on this project happened during a very dark time in my life. Its subject matter became deeply personal and profound not only to Liz, but also to me.  
Liz has an interesting way of bringing strong, important messages into her books in an entertaining manner. She litters the book with sharp, unique, colorful characters who at just the right moments lighten the serious tone. She also creates smart, strong female characters -- whether it's Ella running her own PR firm or her grandmother Minnie acting as the wise matriarch of the family.   
What she presents is a thematically aligned story between these two women. Ella's romance with Charlie, her bad boy turned tamed fiance, culminates with a heartbreaking tragedy that interlinks with her grandmother Minnie's own loss. Both stories involve love, family, tragedy, and the kinds of decisions no one ever wants to make.  
These decisions or "choices" beg important questions about end-of-life choices, war, betrayal, and dealing with truly unthinkable loss. Liz excels at bringing together these stories in an indirect way, but completely aligned and logical. She knows how to make you laugh right when you should be crying.  
Public Affairs is lively, entertaining, and dramatic. She has so many fun characters, from Walter and Klein the gay lovers who style the stars, to Jake and Nancy whose mature love story is unexpected and adds a nice symmetry to the more difficult love stories. She knows how to create a perfectly developed narrative around these unique people. And while it's set in Hollywood and touches upon the fabric of tinsel town, it's not a Hollywood story -- not at all.  
The book calls for readers to think and ask questions. I won't give away the spoilers, but I will say it's not what you would expect. I loved working on this project, and I'm eager to spread the word about it.  
Public Affairs is available on at 3lpublishing.com and launches as an eBook on Kindle and Nook on Nov. 1st.  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Public Affairs -- The Choices We Make


Q: WHAT IS PUBLIC AFFAIRS ABOUT?
A: Public Affairs is an intergenerational story of true love, family, loyalty, tragedies, and overcoming the unthinkable. It's a story about the choices we make out of love and resilience. Readers will laugh and cry and not be able to put this book down.

Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
A: When asked the question “what is family?” I get a variety of responses. One answer that has always intrigued me is kinship care. This refers to a family member or family friend that is raising a child that is not biologically theirs. As a mother, my journey started at a young age and I relied on my parents to help me raise my eldest son. It is through this model, in which I was able to accomplish earning my degrees and following my dreams. Pulling from my own personal experience, I was able to shape and tell a story through the eyes of the characters about how important family ties can remain strong when life brings you daunting circumstances.

Q: THIS IS YOUR SECOND BOOK; YOUR FIRST BOOK GRAINS OF TRUTH EXPLORED SIMILAR ISSUES LIKE SUCIDE. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WRITE ABOUT THE TOPIC AGAIN?
A: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and 44, 965 Americans die by suicide each year. What is even more shocking is the age of suicide. In 2016, the highest suicide rate (19.72%) was among adults between 45 and 54 years of age. Knowing these staggering statistics, I wanted to bring awareness to an issue that is prevalent in our society today both nationally and internationally. I want people to use this as a means to open lines of communication so that people are aware of what to look for or how others may have coped when faced with this life event.

Q: WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER AND WHY?
A: Honestly, I love each one of the characters in this book. My goal was to make each character unique and through their interactions, the reader can see how each character is able to grow and learn about themselves. But, if I had to pick one, it would have to be Minnie. Minnie is a strong, independent and nurturing woman. Her heart is very loyal, and she stays true to her roots. She raises her two granddaughters, Ella and Grace and shows them that they can be capable of doing anything. At the same time, Minnie has a sharp tongue, which keeps the other characters on their toes and the reader laughing.

Q: YOU HAVE A LOT OF HUMOR IN THE BOOK, WHY DID YOU ADD IT TO SUCH A SERIOUS TOPIC:
A: I love to tell stories, and I love to tell stories in a way so that the reader can escape their everyday lives. I use humor to deflect some of the underlying topics so that the reader can stay engaged while still understanding the seriousness of the subject. I believe that this stems from me wanting my readers to feel comfortable with the story. It is through my storytelling that I take my readers on an emotional rollercoaster with the characters.

Q: IF PUT IN HEROINE ELLA’S POSITION, WHAT WOULD YOU PERSONALLY DO?
A: I was faced with a heavy decision two years ago, and through this book I found a way to process my emotions and show to the reader how different characters may respond to disheartening circumstances. As I was writing this story, I wanted to tell the story in a way where I showed readers how individuals may respond to the same situation but in a multitude of ways. Ella is faced with a life-changing decision of the question when to apply Do Not Resuscitate (DNR). It is through the story, that I want the reader to decide for themselves, what would they do? How would they respond to this overwhelming circumstance? I didn’t want to tell them how I would respond to it, I want my readers to come up with their own personal choice.

Q: WHAT DO YOU WANT READER’S TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS BOOK?
A: In our lives, we share bonds with people that we will always stay connected to them no matter what. I want readers to reflect on those connections (friends or family) and think about if they were faced with a difficult decision, whom could they count on and why?

Q: WHERE CAN THE BOOK BE PURCHASED?
A: My publisher’s website at www.3LPublishing.com, Amazon, and eBook versions on Kindle, Nook and iBook. The print version retails for $19.95. The book releases nationwide on November 1, 2018.

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 info@3LPublishing.com 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 info@3LPublishing.com 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 “AGE OF MIND” SHINES LIGHT ON THE MASSES
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 www.3LPublishing.com 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 info@3LPublishing.com.

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.