Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Stop Acting Your Age - Fountain of Youth Discovered


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            January 1, 2018

                                                                        Contact: Michelle Gamble

                                                                        Mobile: 916-300-8012

                                                                        Email: info@3LPublishing.com


AMAZING SECRETS REVEALED GUARANTEED TO KEEP MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT YOUNG
Groundbreaking new book shares incredible secrets to keep senior citizens acting, feeling and looking younger – all without cosmetic surgery or enhancements.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—For centuries we’ve pursued the proverbial Fountain of Youth. Youth is treasured in our culture. The desire to maintain youth has created a multi-billion industry in cosmetic surgery, anti-wrinkle and skin creams, vitamin regimes, and any number of treatments all promising to keep wrinkles, sagging skin, and any host of age-related illness at bay. What if all of these things weren’t really the answers at all? What if the real answer to looking, feeling and acting younger had nothing to do with the latest plastic surgery technique? What if the “secret” to unlocking the key of eternal youth came from within? In the new book Stop Acting Your Age by Thom McFadden, he reveals breakthrough new ideas about aging, which promise to help all seniors look, act and feel 10 to 15 years younger.

In the book, McFadden explains why he wrote the book. “‘How often have you heard a senior described as a “grumpy old fart”?” asked Thom McFadden in Stop Acting Your Age. Well that was happening to me. People thought I wasn’t cool anymore. I wasn’t asked to the parties. The older I got the more invisible I became. People weren’t seeing me or hearing what I had to say any longer. I could have walked into a bank and robbed it and no one would have seen me. That’s when I decided to turn it around.”

McFadden who is known as the “Acting Coach to the Stars” and has spent decades working as an actor realized he could apply his knowledge and experience to create a unique system to help people look, act and feel 10 to 15 years younger.  “I wrote this book because after acting and training actors to perform many roles, including younger than their ages, I decided why not apply this to real people. Many of these actors got great accolades for the roles they played so I thought people in real life could live roles that would be more fulfilling for them. Here is how I did it (and you can too). By going into my actor’s sense memory toolbox and creating a well-rounded, fully dimensional character.”

Using this methodology as the basis for his program, Thom reveals in Stop Acting Your Age age-defying secrets to help seniors:
·      Learn how to live more fully in the present
·      Act on the most meaningful and important things to you in your life NOW
·      Use the “3 Magic Well-Beings” to get as healthy and vigorous today as you were as a youngster
·      Change your mindset from “striving” to “playing” because life should be FUN
·      Learn the power of being a “Social Mixer” and finding your happy place

Stop Acting Your Age is available in pre-sales for print on 3L Publishing’s website (www.3LPublishing.com), Lifestand (www.lifestand.com), and Amazon. It will be available in January 2018 in eBook for Kindle, Nook and iBook (Apple).

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tips to Overcome Writer's Block

If you're struggling with getting your novel out of your head or even finishing it, here are some tips to get your fingers tapping on that keyboard again.

Just do it - sounds like a Nike commercial. Just do this... well, just putting something into action helps create what? A verb called doing! Even if you don't know what you're going to write, grab your cup of Joe, plant your bum in the chair, prepare your hands, and start typing. Just write whatever comes to mind. Let your imagination run wild. You will be surprised if all of a sudden all of that so-called random rambling turns into a real story!

Eight pages a day keeps your novel on its way - yes! Give yourself a page count goal. Stephen King has one - eight pages. He writes eight whole pages and then goes to do what he wants for the day. I'm sure he writes more if he's so inclined, but setting a goal is always good. So, set up your daily page count and make the goal before you move on. I personally write an entire chapter before I leave the keyboard. I like the beginning, middle and end (chapters all are mini-stories with beginnings, middles and ends).

Page count doesn't work for you then set a time of day. If you have a day job, which most of my readers have day jobs, then set a wake-up call for writing before work or an end-of-the-day time slot (maybe when the kids have gone to bed). I tend to write my novels in the evenings after I've served my 3L clients. However, I am the publisher so I give myself permission to write my own novels in-between client work. I do remind myself I am "working" and I am the boss of my own time. If I'm on a roll then I carve out some novel-writing time reserved just for my own book.

A writing coach gives you accountability - so hire me LOL! Sometimes you just need someone to ask you, "So... where is chapter 1?" I like to be gentle and nudge (after all you're paying me to help you not torture you). Accountability is something we all sometimes need. I also like to have my friends read chapters as I write them. When they start begging for more pages, it excites and inspires me to do more. A book coach though is a trained professional to help you keep your project moving forward and not stagnating. Also, if this is your first book, a writing coach can get the very best work out of you so you don't spin your wheels. Wouldn't it be cool to win an award on your first book? Well, my first book won a lot of awards. I can help your first book shine bright, too.

So there you go - four super useful tips to get that novel out of your head and onto paper!

If you would like to hire me to coach your book out of your head and onto the page, please send me an email at info@3LPublishing.com.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How to Write a Press Release for Books

Today for the do-it-yourself-ers, I thought I would give you a brief tutorial on press release writing. My bachelor's degree is in Public Relations. I remember taking the media class and learning the basic rules of press release writing. Any class at that time that indulged my love of writing was always a winner - whether press releases or essays. So, I'm going to take you through each part.
 
Press releases require a standard format. It's the same every time and it looks like this (just replace with your info) for the HEADER:
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       Date:
                                                            Contact:
                                                            Phone:
                                                            Email:
 
PITHY, NEWSWORTHY HEADLINE GOES HERE
Brief summary goes here
 
Location, State-beginning of the lead paragraph.
 
Your press release header should look EXACTLY like this sample header. What is a newsworthy headline? Let's start with that topic.
 
NOT NEWSWORTHY: 3L PUBLISHING RELEASES NEW BOOK
A new book announcement is about as newsworthy as "green grass grows in my yard." Yeah, well everyone's yard has grass (mostly). So the news editor is going to do what with a press release with that headline? Be as interested as watching said grass actually grow.
 
NEWSWORTHY HEADLINE: IMAGINE IF THE GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA WAS INDEED BUILT BY ALIENS - AND WHAT IF WE'RE THE ALIENS?*
 
*That is the headline we're using for DB Stearns' new book Children of the Guardians. I'm going to continue to use examples from his press kit.
 
What do I want you to notice about that headline? Please notice two important things: no mention of something like "new" or "book". The idea is to come up with an interesting headline to make the editors stop and wonder: "Huh, what's that about." And then the goal is to get them to read the summary, where NOW you're allowed to say it's a book (if you so desire).
 
NOT NEWSWORTHY SUMMARY: New book released to positive reviews.
 
NEWSWORTHY SUMMARY: Journey into the fantastic sci-fi experience of the new book Children of the Guardians, the second book in the Harmonic Wars series.
 
Again, no one cares about a new book release. Sorry, the editors read pitches all day long. If they are a book review editor I can assure you they've read that tired, old pitch "new book" or "new product" thousands of times. In fact, the editor of the San Francisco Book Review told me they receive over 1,000 new books a MONTH. They can only feature so many per issue of their magazine. Now imagine that you're one of the thousand authors/publicists pitching yet another new book! You have to figure out a good news hook to stand out from the crowd.
 
Ideas to help you create a newsworthy hook:
 
  1. What are the headlines of the day or month? Does your book's content tie into any of the current issues of the day?
  2. Are there any special holidays or events you can tie your book's content into and create a headline? A forthcoming book on self-love is being released, for example, on Valentine's Day with a headline: LEARN HOW TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE.
  3. Is there something super unique about your book or even groundbreaking? A new writing style. A unique perspective on the world or topics of the day? Find what makes your book unique and emphasize it.
 
Now let's breakdown what in journalism we call the "lead". The lead should be brief and answer the following: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY.
 
SAMPLE LEAD
 
SACRAMENTO, Calif.-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 WE are the aliens, 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.
 
The lead should be direct and to the point. Try and keep it around 50 to 75 words. If you're using a "tickler" like this one then the next paragraph should contain the name of the book and the author. The second paragraph can be a quote from the author about the content being referenced in the lead or a simple summation of the book itself. Here is the second paragraph of this press release:
 
In the new science fiction tale Children of the Guardiansby 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.
 
In the third paragraph, I use a quote from DB Stearns:
 
"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 your press release should average between four and five paragraphs and be a page or a little longer. Do not make it 2 to 3 pages - that is a no-no. Editors don't have time or attention to sit and read some long explanation of your book. If the editor is interested a page or so will suffice. They just want to know the basics. Once they've said "yes" in their minds then they will read (and the media kit should be attached to the pitch) the entire media kit. If it's still "yes" at that point then they will request sample books.
 
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS conclude your press release with where to purchase the book and formats it's available in (print or eBook). This step is as critical as providing contact information.
 
And NEVER send a book (unless the guidelines say it's okay) without pitching it first. Sending an unsolicited book is very likely a waste of time and money. So, only send books to those editors who request it.
 
One more note about SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: If the editor or writer provides specific submission guidelines, please follow them. They have guidelines for a reason. Failure to follow directions can result in more wasted time and money.
 
All right Friend-Os here is the positive quote of the day:
 
Persist to your goals and you shall win! What your winnings look like and the form they arrive in maybe beyond even your wildest imagination.
 
Now go IMAGINE some more!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Excerpt from The Abused - Coming Dec. 2017

So when the day arrived that Kevin pulled up in an Uber car to be dropped off for treatment, no one realized that her ex-husband had become a new patient. Merry stood at the window on the top floor
and pulled back the Venetian blinds to watch Kevin exit the cab to Ms. Fisher’s care. Looking down on her pitiful ex-husband made her feel almost smug. She felt a surge of electrical energy pulse through her body. She couldn’t help but chuckle a little as she watched him trudge in. She wondered if Judge Wilson, who had sentenced Kevin after he got busted in a drug raid with Jude, realized where he had sent Kevin.

“Probably not,” she whispered and laughed aloud.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Abused - Releases December 1, 2017

Three months later Frank had become a complete drug addict. OxyoNtin was but one of his drugs du jour. After enjoying the incredible numbing effect of OxyoNtin, Frank easily moved to heroine after they busted a runner coming up Highway 5 to make a delivery. Frank initially swiped just a little and found he loved the instant high and the sensation of caring about nothing. At first, he thought he could handle it. He would only inject the junk at night or on weekends, but a casual dalliance soon got out of control.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Children of the Guardians: Coming Soon


An epic struggle erupts! The time for revenge draws near. Who will survive as the very fate of humanity is at stake?

Children of the Guardians is an incredible, intergalactic tale about the classic struggle of good vs. evil. Nearly 150 years have passed since Arturo 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 300 years of stasis to face his past, and once again wage war against Admiral Ares and his massive fleet.

Children of the Guardians is the epic sequel to Guardians of the Crystal Skulls. Continue on this suspenseful adventure to save not only the Universe but the very souls of humanity.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Habits and Attitudes Goes to Cabo

What would you have if you took some of the country’s greatest minds, infused some of the most amazing speakers and placed it in the backdrop of paradise? Habits and Attitudes in Cabo! This five-day four-night trip takes place at one of Cabo’s newest and hottest Resorts, BREATHLESS. Watch the video (click here).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

What Reviewers are Saying About Grains of Truth

Overall, I really liked this book. I am really glad I got the chance to read it. Not many books unnerve me with their words, but this one did. I look forward to reading more of Ferry-Perata’s books in the future. ~ Jessyca Garcia, Reader's Choice

It will tug at your heart strings, and keep pulling you back in. A great read. Wonderfully, beautifully written story. ~ Amy's Bookshelf

This is a beautifully written book about the bounds of friendship ... Great story, great characters and an unbelievable twist at the end. Read this book! ~ Imaskeptic 

Available on Amazon (click here).

Grains of Truth takes readers into the lives of two best friends, Sarah and Zoe. Each woman has experienced heartbreak and betrayal in their quests for love. Their lives center on the happenings at the local feed store where each woman works. The store is managed by the affable and caring, Tom who is the only male heir to the chain owned by patriarch Otis. Otis, a larger-than-life personality, has decided his son’s future – meanwhile, Tom has fallen for the “feed store” girl Sarah, and this creates a huge family scandal.

As the scandal erupts into tragedy, Sarah relies on her best friend Zoe for support and comfort. The women lean on each other, as each face many challenges. Zoe’s own romantic history is checkered by bad relationships and a failed marriage that resulted in her son Derek. She too has fallen for the local town doctor and struggles with the idea of a serious relationship after so much personal heartbreak.

Grains of Truth examines deeper realities about love, friendship and loss. Buried within the subtext are questions about how to get through difficult situations and overcome tragedy. It begs questions about how to manage grief and accept life as it comes. It’s also about receiving and trusting love and also learning to let go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Power Chord to My Heart

I haven't been blogging much on the personal side of my life. Maybe as I transformed my life for just this once I decided it didn't need to be on public display.

Now that I'm on the other side of the transformation and floating nicely in the current of my life, I'm going to open up. When I share my personal life, it's an endeavor to help enlighten others. If I can give back to the world through the lessons of life experience hopefully you'll either avoid the same pitfalls or nod and laugh, thinking, "Yes!"

Something important happened in the last year. Something quite literally "mind altering". After falling into the depth of depression and suffering some major life changes and losses, I woke up. I looked at my life and I wondered, "How did I get here?" I was broke, heart broken, and depressed.

I had allowed negativity to take over my positive outlook. I had allowed the negative to cloud the positive. I was living in perpetual fear and anger. I had lashed out at the world. The key though: I had lashed out at me. While I blamed others, I put the most blame and anger aimed at my own heart and soul. It was my fault other people had lied to me. It was my fault, period. Why give so much blame away when I could keep it and marinate it?

A few things happened. I hit rock bottom ... or at least hit the furthest part of my bottom I allowed myself to go. I was doing anything and everything to survive. I wasn't trusting others and I most certainly didn't trust myself. After all, I was the culprit in my own pain and self-blame. Why not heap more inward recrimination, right? Wrong!

About that time, it hit me. I had always lived my life following my passion and purpose, which is to be a storyteller and publisher. Now in my despair and desperation, I had lost my way. I knew what was my purpose and passion, but I was floundering in the desperation and fear vs. confidence and fearlessness.

This is when my daughter's middle name "Faith" kept coming up. Where was my faith? Where was my confidence? How was I going to get back on track. FAITH followed by focus on purpose and action to make it happen.

First, I did the scariest thing ever -- I embraced my fearlessness. Yes, it's an oxymoron when you think about it. I had to have the courage and the faith to be brave. I had to KNOW my purpose and follow it regardless of money or unpaid bills. I had to quit looking back and look forward. Then I took ACTION. I put all of my energy toward rebuilding my business and putting myself BACK on the right path. I had to quit jobs that did nothing more than pay a bill and fully believe that following my purpose would indeed MORE than pay bills but reward my life.

Then I had to address the negative self-blame and lack of self-love. I had to quit looking in the mirror and picking on myself. My joke goes like this: An Olympic athlete doesn't look in the mirror and say, "I'm going to lose today."

Instead, I decided to spend my last 15 minutes before I got out of bed meditating and creating my vision for my ideal life. I started using life-affirming mantras all aimed at positive "I am" statements. Then when I faced that mirror in the bathroom, I quit finding negative thoughts about my body or looks. I used positive statements once more using the "I am" in front of it.

Guess what as energy goes and creates, the negative lifted to be replaced with the positive. What seemed difficult just six months earlier now effortlessly happened. A weight lifted. A lightness of being overcame my heart.

And then I made the final step: forgiveness! I had to forgive those who had trespassed against me. Some of my friends and family fought me on that one. I shouldn't forgive anything. But forgiveness isn't for THEM! It's for ME.

And that weight lifted just a little more ... till it became more like a feather. My mind cleared. My energy lightened. My life transformed!

Where are you at in your journey? If it's become dark, just start with the basics. First, find your purpose. It's a good place to start on your road to recovery!

If you want a more specific assist with your journey, here is a link to my book Second Bloom: 10 Steps to Rejuvenate and Realize a New Life. (Buy Here)


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Anatomy of Great Back Cover Copy

Sex, Drugs, Murder!
 
"As Pete walked into the door's shadows, he paused. He thought he was either walking through the doors of hell or entering the next phase of his life."
 
Welcome to rehab, a place where addicts come to get clean and sober, or in this case ... die!
The Abused is a psychological thriller about nine addicts whose poisonous drug use has destroyed lives, including their own. One after another, each addict arrives to face their demons. One after another, each addict is getting killed.
 
The Abused invites readers into the world of rehab where everyone, including the therapists, have issues. What happens when someone's "issues" become murderous? 
 
Nine go in ... who comes out?
 
 
Let's do the anatomy of what I did to create this effective back-cover copy.
 
Tip 1 - It's a marketing piece not a part of the book and not necessarily a summary. Your no. #1 goal without question is to sell books. The back-cover copy is the SECOND sales tool in your arsenal. Which is the first? The cover, of course.
 
Tip 2 - Create a PITHY headline! Short, snappy and mind-blowing is a winner. The headline needs to distill in 3-4 words the gist of your book. It shouldn't be a sentence. It shouldn't be longer than 4 words. It should be provocative - something to make people stop and wonder. It can be a fun play on words (mine is). It can be something just mind-blowing and interesting. Whatever it does it should capture the reader's attention. My headline plays off Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll... which in any case many addicts come from that mindset, too.
 
Tip 3 (optional) - Use a sentence or a brief excerpt from the actual book. I don't always take this approach, but when you find a sentence that conveys the essence of the book and is throught-provoking, then use that trick.
 
Tip 4: The first paragraph should be a brief 100-150 words summation of the book's story line. It's really hard to distill an entire book down, but you can do it. Remember you only have about 300 words in total for your back cover, so try and keep it short. This paragraph gives you some specifics about the story.
 
Tip 5: The second paragraph is the "sizzle" description. It should be sexy and tell the reader essentially why the book is the one to buy! Is the book scary, a page-turner, sexy, funny, action-packed, romantic? Then tell your readers those things about it. Don't be afraid you're tooting your own horn. Nobody will read it that way. Again, your only goal is to sell books! So SELL them.
 
Tip 6: Brief endorsements can go here, too. Make sure they're only a sentence though - you don't have enough room. Even two-word endorsements by a big name will do just fine.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Abused: 9 Addicts Go To Rehab... Nine don't come out

Sex, Drugs, Murder!

"As Pete walked into the door’s shadows, he paused. He thought he was either walking through the
doors of hell or entering the next phase of his life."
Welcome to rehab, a place where addicts come to get clean and sober, or in this case ... die!
The Abused is a psychological thriller about nine addicts whose poisonous drug use has destroyed lives, including their own. One after another, each addict arrives to face their demons. One after another, each addict is getting killed.

The Abused invites readers into the world of rehab where everyone, including the therapists, have issues. What happens when someone's "issues" become murderous? 
 
Nine go in ... Nine don't come out!  

The Abused -- Coming Soon!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Q&A with Author Liz Perata, Grains of Truth


Q: What is Grains of Truth about?
A: The lives, friendship and lovers of two best friends, Sarah and Zoe. The women work for a local feed store owned by a blustering Texan named Otis. When the “feed-store girl” Sarah falls for Otis’ only male heir, scandal and heartbreak erupt.

Q: What makes this contemporary romance unique from others in the genre?
A: The story of love and friendship is timeless. While it might on the surface seem simple: girl meets boy; family doesn’t approve of the lovers; and girl loses boy – it’s the subtext that offers the fresh ideas. Much more is going on in this story than what appears to be obvious. The book calls for readers to really pay attention and dig a little deeper as the story unfolds.

Q: What is the sub-plot in the story?
A: While we have the romance between Tom and Sarah, the secondary story is about her best friend Zoe and her struggles. She’s a single mom whose ex-husband has betrayed and left her to raise their son alone. It’s nothing new and many women will relate to Zoe. She is like everyone else. She wants true love, and she thinks she’s found it when she meets the town doctor, whom she fondly nicknames “Dr. Sex on Two Legs”. Their love story is less fraught with obstacles – or so it seems. Some barriers in love have nothing to do with the obvious.

Q: What do you think draws readers in the most?
A: The story isn’t a fantasy or particularly unique. It deals with everyday people and their personal challenges and desires. Sarah and Zoe could be the women we all know who live in our neighborhoods. The book’s characters are highly relatable and flawed just like everyone. How the story unfolds and what happens and particularly the subtext are unique and thought provoking. When the reader finishes the book, he or she will be surprised and perhaps enlightened.

Q: What inspired you to write the book?
A: I always had one eye on my children and one eye on my career. I worked a typical Monday through Friday 45+ hours a week job. I was well respected in my field and still am. But, funding got cut one year and I was one of the unfortunate people to get laid off. It was devastating because I thought, what I am going to do? However, I had this opportunity to do something that has always been on my “bucket list”. I had the opportunity to write. As I began to spend time with my children, this idea formed into my head, so I began to write it down. Then I began to write every day. At first, I thought the story was going to be a basic story about boy and girl who meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. However, as I got into the story, I realized that I wanted to write something that will intrigue readers and get them to think about how would they deal with certain situations if they were faced with them. When I made the characters, I derived them from real-world people and situations. Thus, Grains of Truths happened.

Q: Who is your favorite character and why?
A: To me every character is my favorite because this is my baby – my first book, and a labor of love. But, if I think more deeply, Sarah and Zoe are my two favorite characters. I see parts of Zoe in me. She loves her family, and is driven and very focused. For Sarah, it is how she looks at things and tells you how it is.

Q: What are you goals as an author?
A: To create stories where people escape from the hustle and bustle of life and fall in love with characters and places. I want the readers to feel alive emotionally and tell others about their experience after experiencing my stories. I enjoy telling my stories, and I get to spend time with my “families”. I feel like I have the best of both worlds.

Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: I am currently writing my second book Public Truths. It’s a complex romance about a Hollywood publicist who falls for her bad boy client, a major star with a reckless past. Like Grains of Truth, this story has a lot of layers and subtext. I am just now writing it and excited to see how it finishes.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3 Tips to Effectively Pitch Your Book

So you're pitching your book or you've hired someone (hopefully me) to do it. I recently had a client say, he tried many times to get into Experience Life magazine (for his first book). I said, "Did you follow up after you pitched it?" He said, "No." I replied, "Fortune is in the Follow-Up," which is a great older book by Heidi Sloss we published several years ago. Follow-up is critical. Do you give up after one try? Don't give up if you want success and here's why...
 
How many times have you had an in-box full of email? Do you answer all of them right on the spot? Well, I do but I am the exception to the rule. I follow a strict customer service policy of being available and responsive. The only time I'm not responsive is after hours. Now, I have exceptions depending on the client. I have many casual and friendly relationships with clients where I respond regardless. We have that kind of rapport. Clients that I don't have that rapport, I won't respond to on my personal time.
 
Most people don't have that kind of policy nor do they even realize its value - or they are just overwhelmed and not as organized. Whatever the case non-responsiveness is more the norm than the exception. So, keeping in mind that "Fortune is in the Follow-Up" if you want results, you have to follow up with people. So, you contact them the first time, and then you make it a priority to follow up with them at least a second or even a third time.
 
When I followed up with Experience Life magazine, I got results. The editor acknowledged she had been busy, but yes, she would love to receive a review copy. Had I failed to follow up, I would have gotten the same results as my client - nothing. This approach is particularly important when you know your book/product is an ideal fit for the targeted media and yet they didn't get back to you. Niche pitching is really some of the easiest. You know you're going after a media outlet that publishes material related to your book/product. If you're not getting a response from a targeted pitch then following up becomes mission critical to success.
 
Here are some invaluable tips:
 
Tip 1 - Make sure your pitch is working. If your target media isn't responding but you know your book is something they cover then examine how you're pitching. What is your message? What are they looking for in terms of content? Analyze it. Break it up into some specific keywords that they use to describe what they are communicating to their audience. Then use those keywords in your pitch.
 
Tip 2 - Have you identified the editor who is the RIGHT contact? Most publications have a masthead of editors who cover certain "beats". Did you pitch your book on say orthodontics to the guy who only covers dental implants? What is the likelihood he is going to want to see your book? And you can't rely on his kindness to forward your pitch to the right editor. He might or he might not. It's your job to identify who either assigns articles to the writer who covers your topic or the editor.
 
Tip 3 - Always start with a phone call and a follow-up email pitch. Not all editors want to answer voice pitches and won't accept them. Those editors who still answer the phone are more likely to request your book if you actually make human contact with them. They're going to remember a conversation much easier than an email. So, don't be afraid to make a phone call.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Insider's Guide for the Invisilign Patient

Let's get right to the announcements section. Going on press is the second book in the "Insider's Guide" series titled The Insider's Guide for the Invisilign Patient by Dr. Barry Glaser. Meanwhile his first book The Insider's Guide to Invisilign Treatment continues to steadily sell. He's almost out of all of the print copies from the first print run right as the book is about to go from pre-sale to sale. His success is a fabulous case study in social media marketing tactics. Dr. Glaser has come up with his own methods of attracting interest in his book. I wanted to share some of them so you're inspired to try them out.
 
Social Media professional groups - Dr. Glaser is a member of several orthodontist-related social media professional groups where he regularly participants. Key point: participation.
 
Don't join groups, stay dormant, and then do what I call "hit-and-run" advertising. Social media failure point no. 1: using your social media as a simple means to an end. I actually hate it when people use my Facebook page to advertise their products or services. So, don't use a professional group to simply advertise and walk away. Become an active member. Contribute to discussions. Build real relationships with other members. Then when the time is right, mention your book. Do not gratuitously use the group to promote yourself.
 
Join discussion groups - many online discussion groups exist regarding particular subjects. Join some discussion groups related to your book's theme. Again, the key is to become an active member. You must never think of social marketing endeavors as a straight-up method to advertise. All "social" media should involve "socializing" - that is the exact point of social media itself.
 
Linked-In has many discussion groups related to all kinds of subject matter. Do a search and see what's available. I am a member of several writers' groups and public relations groups. I have to admit I'm not always active. It depends upon time management. Like all social media, don't get too sucked into it. You can also waste a lot of time with very little return on investment.
 
Be brilliant in your techniques - huge compliment to Dr. Glaser who has been clever in what he's doing to generate sales. He came up with a contest that if other members of his group posted reviews of the first book, they would be eligible to win FREE copies of the patient-related version. This tactic immediately generated not only reviews, but also more sales.
 
Use key relationships to spread the words through discussion groups - again Dr. Glaser cleverly identified a colleague whose review would spur sales. This method solved a problem too. He didn't want to aggressively promote his book to this group. By enlisting the help of his colleague, he relied on another person to promote it, which gave it more credibility. This method once more generated sales.
 
It's been fun to watch how this book is selling. Hundreds of pre-sales were made for a book sight-unseen, which was remarkable in and of itself. Then the book orders began being filled, and the receipt of the actual book continued to generate buzz. It's a marketer's dream. Word of mouth buzz generating sales! We call this in marketing the "snowball effect" - and it's the goal of all marketing and public relations. You want your formal promotional efforts and traditional media campaign to roll up into a huge ball of success that keeps building.
 
Books that are a flash in the pan don't last. These kinds of books get one key book review or media placement, but the product isn't good enough to sustain the momentum. Luke warm reviews and general disinterest mean sales wane. But when your book is needed and wanted and well done, the sweet spot of "buzz" and "he/she told two friends," etc. is a marketer's dream come true.
 
Dr. Glaser has nearly sold out his first print run on just the first wave of social media. He's been active, smart and aggressive in his activities. It's paid off. He's an ideal case study of what TO do!
 
Now go market your little hearts out ... OR hire me to help you!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Grains of Truth Takes Readers into Love and Friendship

 The Lies We Tell Ourselves to Stay Sane

In the world of a Texas feed store, the line between reality and truth blurs when love and friendship are at stake.

Meet Sarah and Zoe, two best friends who work in a family-owned feed store. Their lives begin to unravel when love sparks between Sarah and the feed store owner’s only heir, Tom. Patriarch Otis quickly makes it known that his only son’s future won’t include the feed store “girl”. The clash over Tom’s love life erupts in a family feud where business is expected to trump love. In the meantime, a romance also ignites between Zoe and the local town physician whom she nicknames “Dr. Sex on Two Legs”. The women are quickly caught up in a family feud that leads to unexpected consequences, loss and tragedy.

Grains of Truth is an intense, emotional and passion-filled story about two best friends looking for that one thing everyone wants — love. It’s a story about friendship and accepting what you can’t change. Grains of Truth will move you to tears and leave you astonished. It’s a must-read story with an unexpected twist.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Little Big Lies Finale Delivers Great Story

The final episode of my favorite show this season, Little Big Lies delivered a great ending. (Spoiler alert: don't read if you want the big surprise ending). 

I hadn't quite figured out why the five women involved in the end were so closely tied in story line except that they were feuding. How the show actually connects the dots at the end was absolutely perfect. Now it makes sense why the police interviews focused on all five.

The stories leading up to the murder left open many possibilities. What I hadn't considered was that Perry could be Jane's assailant. As Perry's abuse toward Celeste escalated, it became obvious that he was probably the one to get the proverbial ax. Other reviewers presented numerous scenarios, but I kept thinking it was going to involve Perry. Additionally, the abuse of Ambella started to point toward the twins whom Celeste was convinced had not been witness to their father's abuse. As I connected the themes behind the stories, it became evident that Perry's role model as an abusive husband might have unduly influenced his innocent boys. 

As a storyteller and novelist, I'm always in search of the great twist. While the ending wasn't shocking that Perry fell to his death, I loved how David E. Kelley put the twist in who actually pushed him. It was not as we say "the usual suspects". Bonnie doing the deed was the shocker. Her curiosity and concern piqued, she follows the women and witnesses the final beating of Celeste. Watching Perry's final violence was heartbreaking. As a woman I could barely stand watching him knock her around. The out-and-out violence was frightening (and apparently Nicole Kidman was bruised herself during those scenes) and realistic. It wasn't shocking that Bonnie was provoked into action. I could almost hear an imperceptible applause. I feel confident no one felt particularly sorry for Perry, but mostly sad for his boys. 

Big Little Lies ended just the way I like my endings -- full of great twists and turns. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Personal Brand

Taking the lead of one of my authors Elizabeth Ferry-Perata who I encouraged to take a social media course designed specifically for authors, I thought I would start to drill down and define my own brand a little better. 

If you've been reading my blogs and newsletter you have a pretty good idea about me. I like what Liz said in her blog, "I am who I am." (See her blog at: http://elizabethperataauthorblog.blogspot.com/).  I have to say that after 51 years roaming this planet and going through numerous amazing and sometimes painful life experiences, "I am who I am." 

Who is that person? I am a good woman. I always strive to do the right thing. I'm nice to everyone, but if someone tries to "bite" me, it's not a question that I will bite back. I know you can't please all of the people all of the time, and inevitably someone just won't like me for no reason at all. Well, I'm not here to win a popularity contest. My goal in life is peace of mind. 

I'm also funny. If you know me at all then you know I'm witty. If you've read my novels in the California Girl Chronicles series then you know I'm the mind behind the "Love My Coconut" T-shirts. I'm also down-to-earth and a little "freaky" as my fiance likes to call me. We joke all the time. He'll say, "You FREAK!" LOL and I don't argue. Far be it from me to argue the truth. 

I like good food, but it's not beneath me to demand once in a while we get a chili dog and French fries. I love to watch the Food Channel and Carnival Eats. One time many years ago, my ex-husband and I took a trip and stopped at many Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives restaurants. YUM!

 I'm first and foremost a writer and novelist. I've defined myself this way since age 10. In fact, I get annoyed with people, who only trifle with writing, who then position themselves as experts. How am I different? I am absolutely, positively in love with writing and books. I don't use writing as a means to add to my platform. I write because I have to write. It's like my arm. Without it I would be crippled. 

I became a publisher because I love books. I also love working with other authors and teaching them our craft. I've bonded with many clients who have become dear friends over the years. You really can't work on something as personal as a book and not become close with clients. 

And I'm a painter. I only recently took up the paintbrush again. The reason I paint in watercolors is perhaps silly: I don't like the smell of oils and watercolors are washable. After ruining a bunch of clothes with oil paints, I figured I would use watercolors. It turned out I like them better. I like the vibrancy and translucent effects you can create. 

In the personal department, I am a mom to two fabulous children, Cole and Cambria. Cole is now 19 and it's a wonder to see my young adult son as he grows and changes. My daughter is an incredible teenager now at age 13. Every person who meets my kids says how amazing they are. They are both incredible human beings. I get asked about those difficult teen years and whatnot. I also say that my kids are just great the way they are. 

I'm single but recently engaged to Christopher Carter. He's brought so much to my life. We've been together a year now and intend to get married perhaps this summer. Chris though is so funny and sweet. He complements my outrageous sense of humor. We often spend evenings just "talking shit" as he puts it. He is my best friend. I'm fortunate and blessed to have met such an incredible man at my mature stage in life. 

My next novel is in the queue and after some issues get resolved I intend to get out there and promote it. I can't release it for a while. 

So... that is who I am.