Monday, June 29, 2015

How an Author’s Blog Enhances Book Promotion Efforts by Sue Chehrenegar (guest blogger)

Recall a time when you felt sad about reaching the end of a book. You wanted to stay longer in the world inhabited by the book’s characters. In other words, you had experienced positive feelings while reading that particular publication.
When a reader experiences such positive feelings, that same person has acquired something of real value from what he or she has read. The delivery of positive feelings represents one of five basic ways by which an author can offer something of real value to readers. A blog can be used to offer readers a taste of the valuable nature of an author’s work.
A blog might also be used to demonstrate a book’s possession of other characteristics that would seem valuable in a reader’s mind. For instance, an author’s recollections might trigger pleasant memories in the mind of the reader. Hence, recollections that mirror those in a book can demonstrate the value of the volume that contains those same recollections. In that way, a recollection on a blog can be used to offer a potential customer something of value.
Perhaps some piece of information in what an author has posted while blogging will manage to connect with a potential customer. That stands as yet a third means for showing that an author’s work delivers true value to those that read it. The connection could concern the actual contents of the promoted volume, or it could relate to some aspect of the process that went into development of the material that was included in that same book’s pages.
Maybe you have provided someone that holds a do-it-yourself attitude with some useful information, because you have put your guidance in a publication. You should not allow the useful nature of your publication to remain hidden. Promote that characteristic by posting useful facts in your blog. That should work to showcase your book’s usefulness, and thus its valuable nature.
A final way that a book can prove valuable to a reader concerns that volume’s ability to serve as a form of reinforcement. The author of a piece of fiction should note that particular fact. Typically, the main character in a work of fiction faces a challenge. The character’s ability to deal with that challenge can work as reinforcement for a reader that faces a similar challenge. Consequently, the reinforcement that might be offered by an author’s work ought to be highlighted in a blog.
Not every book can deliver all five of the values that were mentioned in this blog post. Still, any one volume ought to be able to provide readers with at least one such value. The valuable aspect of a publication can relate to the memories it triggers, the positive feelings it produces, the fact that it connects with readers, the degree to which it proves useful or the way that it reinforces a reader’s idea or opinion. A blog’s ability to highlight any one of those same aspects manages to aid promotion of the author’s published work.

Author’s bio: Sue Chehrenegar has written a short story for the anthology THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE. In order to promote that anthology and her story, she once had a blog called “One Hundred Years of Thoughts.” She shared her own experiences as well as offering information on both the time period of her story. In addition, she demonstrated to writers how  she sought to enter the mind of her main character. Sue called on her experiences as a blogger when composing this article.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Miracles Happen Everyday! Uncover the Mystery of Miracles

Miracles Happen Everyday! Uncover the Mystery of Miracles
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PO Box 1223, Conifer, CO 80433

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Roseanne Dowell, Author (Guest Blogger)

 I live in a make believe world. Okay, not literally, but vicariously through my characters.  I decide where they live, name their towns, or sometimes I let them live in a real city/town.  I prefer small towns, maybe because I’ve always wanted to live in one. I especially like towns with Victorian houses and apparently so do my characters, because I use them a lot.  I often say I must have lived during the Victorian area, probably as a mean old nanny. I’m sure I wasn’t the lady of the house, and by house I mean mansion. Queen Anne Victorian homes are my favorite. I love the round turrets, all the gingerbread, and wrap around porches. It was always my dream to buy one and restore it. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be and I’m past the point of wanting one now.

Back to my make believe world. I’d like to say I choose my characters, but truthfully, they choose me.  Sometimes I even get to name them, but if they don’t like the name, well believe me, they misbehave until I change it. And, yes, that’s happened several times. Just because I like a name doesn’t mean they do. The last time it happened it wasn’t even a main character. She was only in the story for a short time, but boy was she stubborn. She refused to talk to me and anything I wrote was garbage, better known as dreck in the writing world.

As I’ve said previously, I write many different of genres, from Women’s Fiction to Romance to Mystery and even Paranormal. Most of my books are a combination of romance and another genre. As a reader, I’ve always favored mystery and romance, so it only made sense to combine them.  Mine would be classified as cozy mysteries, the gory stuff takes place off scene.

 I also love ghost stories – not evil mean ghosts though. One such story is Shadows in the Attic and another Time to Love Again. I’ve always been fascinated by ESP, hence my story Entangled Minds – previously published as Connection of the Minds.

My character’s ages range from their mid twenties to middle age and into their seventies. Yes, seniors need love, too. Geriatric Rebels is a favorite.  It’s fun working with different characters, and I especially like when they add a bit of humor. I really form an attachment to them. Once a character chooses me, I make a character worksheet so I know everything about them, not just what they look like.

I love creating my characters, picking their careers, anything from housewife, authors, teachers, floral designers, and interior designers. Sometimes their careers play a part in the story, sometimes not. The character in my work in progress (WIP in the writer’s world) is a former teacher. It’s not a big part of the story, but it’s something I needed to know. She’s a real character in the true sense of the word. She came into being in a previous story, All in the Family. It started out with her having a small part, but Aunt Beatrice Lulu (ABLL) grew into a big part of the story. Once I finished that book, she popped up again and demanded her own book. Problem is, she takes fits and goes into hiding every so often, which is where she’s at right now and has been for some time. Sometimes she pops up for days of writing. Other times, I get a paragraph or two. I’ve never had a character do that before.
Oh, I’ve had writer’s block a time or two, but once I’m over it the writing flows. Not so with ABLL.

  It’s also fun describing my characters, their hair and eye color, height, even their weight. I’m often asked if I’m a plotter or punster. I tried plotting once and ended up blocked for almost two years. For me plotting doesn’t work. I usually know the beginning and end of  my stories. What happens in the middle is as much a surprise to me as it is to my readers. ABLL is full of surprises. What that woman doesn’t get into. So even though she goes into hiding, it’s generally worth it when she reappears. I’m not sure where she came from, but I’m sure enjoying working with her. Okay, I’ll be honest, a little bit of her is me, a little bit my sisters, and even my mother. She’s a combination of all the people I love and it’s so much fun living in her make believe world.
You can find my books on Amazon.
First and foremost, Roseanne is a wife, mother of six, grandmother of fourteen and great-grandmother.
As the second youngest of six children, Roseanne always had a vivid imagination and loved to make up stories.  An avid reader, she often dreamed of becoming a writer. Roseanne started writing when her children were young, but only began submitting her work about six years ago.  During a Book Club meeting, Roseanne admitted her dream to write. Members of her Book Club encouraged her to pursue her writing and to submit her work.

Although Satin Sheets was her first published novel, Roseanne had over forty articles and stories published in magazines – Good Old Days, Nostalgia, and Ohio Writer and several online publications. She also taught a several writing courses for Long Story Short School of Writing and the Encore Program at Cuyahoga Community College.

You can learn more about Roseanne from her website or her blog


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Awards Are Publicity Gold by Carolyn Howard-Johnson (Guest Blogger)

Awards Are Publicity Gold
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson,
author of the multi award-winning book,
The Frugal Book Promoter, now in its second edition
It is award season once again. It's exciting to see many of my author friends' books win, place, or show. I hope they remember that--way back when the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter was published--I told them their book doesn't have to be a top winner for the success to be newsworthy.
Nothing has changed since then. Media editors still see awards as anything from a sure-fire feature story to a filler. But I fear that many authors still don't utilize their awards to their fullest potential.
A list of things authors should do with their awards once they've won them appeared in the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter and, because that information is so important, it appears in the just-released second edition (, too. Here is the list authors (or folks in any business, really!) will want to keep for the day when they have an award they can use to help with their branding.
·       Add your new honor to the Awards page of your media kit. If it's your first award, center it on a page of its own. Oh! And celebrate!
  • Write your media release announcing this coup. (See Chapter Eleven of the second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter to learn to build a targeted media list and Chapter Twelve to learn to write a professional media release.)
  • Post your news on media release distribution sites. Find a list of these sites at
  • Notify your professional organizations.
  • Notify bookstores where you hope to have a signing and those where you have had a signing.
  • Notify your college and high school. Some have press offices. Most publish magazines for alumni and their current students.
  • Add this information to the signature feature (see Chapter Twenty) of your e-mail program.
  • Add this honor to the biography template you use in future media releases—the part that gives an editor background information on you.
  • Use this information when you pitch TV or radio producers, editors of newsletters and newspapers. and bloggers. It sets you apart from others and defines you as an expert.
  • If your book wins an award, order embossed gold labels from a company like You or your distributor can apply them to your books' covers. If you win an important award, ask your publisher to redesign your bookcover or dustcover to feature it a la the Caldecott medal given for beautifully illustrated children's books. If you don't know this medal, visit your local bookstore and ask to see books given this award. It's one of the most famous and most beautifully designed.
  • If your book is published as an e-book only, ask for the contest's official badge or banner to use. If they don't have one, make one of your own using
  • Be sure your award is front and center on your blog, your Web site, your Twitter wallpaper, and your social network pages.
  • Your award should be evident on everything from your business card to your checks and invoices. I use the footer of my stationery to tout my major awards.
  • Don't forget to put your award in your e-mail signature.
  • Frame your award certificate and hang it in your office to impress visitors and to inspire yourself to soar even higher!

~This is just a blog-size excerpt from a complete chapter on awards in The Frugal Book Promoter ( by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, including information on how to improve your chances of getting an award. Carolyn brings her experience as a journalist, publicist, retailer, and author of her own books to the how-to books she writes for authors. She is celebrating the release of the 2nd edition of this USA Book News and Irwin award-winning book, and now the 2nd edition now carries its own honors. Learn more about the whole series at  

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
nstructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program
uthor of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books including the second edition honored by USA BOOK NEWS

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Looking for Guest Bloggers

I am looking for Guest Bloggers that will post articles about the following: 

social networking
book reviews
book promoting
marketing your books
author interviews
book tours

Contact me at 
Subject line: Guest post
Email Body: Propose your article.

Thank you,
Linda Barnett-Johnson
Editor/Virtual Assistant for Authors

Monday, June 15, 2015

Call For Submissions for The Inkitt Community

Writing contest for Mystery / Thriller authors: Fated Paradox, Inkitt’s latest contest is open for submissions!


The Inkitt community
Inkitt is a free writing platform that helps authors reach their full potential. Users collaborate with fellow writers and readers to give each other feedback and improve their work. Inkitt’s vision is to help writers get the exposure they deserve and the publishing deals they covet, without having to jump through the fiery hoops of traditional publishing or wade in the shark-infested waters of self-publishing. They are opening a newwriting contest for entries in June.
The theme for the contest is “Fated Paradox: Tales of gripping suspense”. They want you to keep them on the edge of their seats with your best mystery and thriller stories. Submit accounts of murders and red herrings, or have them biting their nails over stories full of adrenaline and espionage. Leave them breathless with your tales of unmatched suspense.
Contest guidelines
They accept original fiction stories of any length. Entries must be posted on the Inkitt contest page to be considered eligible. The contest opens on June 4th and closes on July 4th. The contest is completely free to enter, and authors will retain all rights to any and all works submitted in the contest. The top 10% based on reader votes get the chance to be picked by the Inkitt staff for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize.
1st Prize: $50 cash, 5 printed copies of the winning story with custom Typography (created by Inkitt’s designer).
2nd Prize: $40 cash
3rd Prize: $20 cash
All entrants will have the chance to show their work to a rapidly growingcommunity of authors and readers hungry for high-quality fiction.

Submit your stories here:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Contest Winners of 2014 Creative Writer's Notebook Short Story

To all who entered the 2014 Creative Writer’s Notebook Short Story Contest, here are the winners and honorable mentions. Thank you for entering and congratulations to all whose entries are named on this list. I will need you to send me the digital Word file of your short story as soon as possible along with your bio (updated if I already have one on file because of other contests).
If your story or other entries did not make the list this time, please keep trying. The 2015 Short Story Contest begins shortly and you have until Jan 31, 2016 to get your entries in. I will send out the guidelines later this month.
Again, thank you all for entering. The Judges’ comments and scores will be forthcoming.
Mary Lois
Mary Lois Sanders
Publisher/Managing Editor
Creative Writer’s Notebook
Court Jester Publications
2014 CWN Short Story Contest Winners and Honorable Mentions
The Bunker
The Melody Caper
Left Out in the Cold
MAURER, David L.
Last Chance
The Cook
Ghosts In The Library
CRANDALL, Patricia
There Are No Dahlias in Detroit
CHIZAK, Lawrence J.
Catching the Critter Under the Bay Window
ROBINSON, Cathleen
A Pinch of Spice
CRANDALL, Patricia
WARNER, William J.
What Happened on Serpentine Hill
ROBINSON, Cathleen
Last in the Stick
WARNER, William J.
Why Eat Alone
The Virgin Heart
RUSSELL, Vanessa
Bad Decisions
SMITH, Ray Allen
The First Time
Coming Home - 1968
RIDGE, Francis X., Jr.
Duende Moments
Dark Purpose
Alpaca Games
Itchy Wishy Twitchy
MALINGER, Christopher
The Lovesong of Akina
JOHNSON, Millard
A Matter of Time
FISLER, Barbara C.
Jack and the Diamond Smugglers
GRAHAM, David B.
Free to Be Me