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Interview with Linda Leon

Rock Star Marketing For the Emerging Author:
How to strategically market your book
Tell us about your latest book.
I have currently written the book Publishing and Publicity for Smart People and Rock Star Marketing for the Emerging Author.  I wrote these books to solve a problem that I saw facing authors in the writing community. The problem that I saw was that there is an overwhelming amount of information online that shows authors how to market their books. Too much information can be as bad as too little information.

What I decided to do was to write books that would not overwhelm the author with information. Yet at the same time provide a quality resource that they could use. With the goal that by the time they finished reading my book, they would have already been marketing it. It is formatted to use the information immediately as you are reading. That is what makes the books unique. You can purchase the books at my website at www.bookmarketingprofessionals.com. They are available on Amazon and other distribution networks.

What formats is the book available in?
They are available in both e-book and print.  Many people prefer the e-book because it has lots of live links.

What advice do you have for other writers?
The biggest advice that I have for writers is not to quit.  It is so easy to become frustrated with the book marketing process.  You have to be resolute and determined if you are going to make it professionally in the book business.  There are a lot of rewards that will be associated with sticking with a writing career.  If you have ever had the goal of personal freedom it can create that path for you but it is not an easy road.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
My favorite quote is do not despise small beginnings.  This quote is from the Bible and it has been a great aide to my life.  When you realize the power of small things you will gain the ability to endure.  You must have a strong mind and determined spirit to become a professional writer.  The reason why small beginnings are so powerful is because they accumulate, resulting in something that becomes huge.  There is much power in just the number one.  That first book sell let’s you know that there is certainly a market for your book.  If you can sell one, you can sell one million.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is that it will give you the ability to create the life that you want for yourself.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
People can learn more about me at my website at www.bookmarketingprofessionals.com or they can contact me at info@bookmarketingprofessionals.com.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I think readers will enjoy my books because they contain solid information without all the stuff and fluff. I think people should buy my books because they will help them to create income. It will show them a direct path for book marketing. It will help them to avoid pitfalls within the book industry. It will also provide long term tools and resources they can use for the life of their book marketing experience.

The people who should buy my books are writers just starting their journey. It would help independent authors that have books in place but do not know how to market a book and have little understanding of the book industry. It would also be a good resource for seasoned writers to provide more ideas on how to create income for their books. The books are resource tools for any writer.

Where can a reader purchase your book? 
Rock Star Marketing For the Emerging Author

Publishing and Publicity For Smart People

Publishing and Publicity For Smart People:
How to strategically plan, publish and promote your book
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
This is the best time for self-publishing authors. The doors have been swung open for you to succeed.  All you need to do is to learn the craft and be determined to sell books.  If you have written a good book and connect to an audience it will sell.  Prior to this period in time traditional publishers were the gatekeepers in terms of the public’s creative writing voice.  That barrier has been removed.  Learn how to create your own professional product and sell it.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing I spend most of my time helping authors.  Book Marketing Professionals is a one-stop shop for authors writing, publishing and marketing needs.  We love helping people not only with their book business development but personalized coaching. The type of work that I do is very rewarding and my life has been enriched working with so many wonderful people.



The Importance of Networking

After I signed my first contract with a traditional publishing house (I admit it, I cried I was so excited!), I saw myself tapping away at my laptop, a happy camper creating good and compelling stories on a blank screen one year, then starting all over with a new story and doing it again, and so on. Boy, was I wrong. There's the major detail of getting the word out about my novel and, then the next step, getting it into the hands of readers.
The hard part for me, is promoting, selling what I write. The business aspect of writing, having never worked a sales job in my life, remains a challenge. An agent would help but I don't have one. We as writers can write tremendous stories that are at risk of becoming the best kept secret in town unless we can somehow get the word out, grow and nurture a large following and accumulate more than a local audience. I haven't done this yet, but I've had a few chances.
The book business has changed dramatically over recent years and by no means is the metamorphosis done. My hometown of St. Louis was recently voted the number one city for independent bookstores, but since that title was bestowed, two bookstores have gone under and another large one will soon close. If there's been a more difficult time in history to break into this business, I'd like to know it. Millions of people are, or have written, books. How can one stand out and have a better chance at greater distribution to the point of quitting the day job? I'm not there yet either, but here are my suggestions. One relates to the craft of writing and one to getting a foot in the door somewhere, anywhere.
No matter how great we may think we are as writers, we can always be better. Two extremely helpful books on the art of writing are Story by Robert McKee and The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. They break down writing and story to their essentials. I have no vested interest in these books other than they helped me write better stories. There are other great books on writing too. Who suggested the books to me in the first place relates to a chance I had at getting my foot in the door.
To do this, we have to network, make the right contact(s). It may only take one. If you've written a novel, go to local book signings of known authors in your genre. Look up their websites. Meet them but don't stalk them. Mention you have a book you're looking for help with and see how they respond. Trust me, they've heard it before. That's how I met Ridley Pearson, who was kind enough to refer me to his assistant who referred me to his former editor in California. I hired this editor (for as long as my money lasted because he didn't come cheaply), to edit and critique a much earlier version of my manuscript. He told me of the two books mentioned above. My knowledge of story and writing grew and, if I could convince this editor my manuscript was worthy of his standards, he'd pass it on to an agent and publisher and put his name behind it. I had a chance for a much broader market, but my writing wasn't up to speed years ago. It cost me a grand for that shot which didn't pay immediate dividends, but did help push me forward, better prepared.
I attended one writer's seminar last year at my publisher's suggestion and highly recommend it for every wannabe writer. Choose one in your genre. Mine was out of town and, with hotel and fees, cost about $500-600 for the weekend. Conferences usually have not only best-selling authors, but publishers, agents and other writers, either published or wanting to be. The genre closest to my writing is psychological suspense/crime fiction. I rubbed elbows and ate and drank with Jeremiah Healy, Steve Hamilton, John Gilstrap, and Hank Phillippe Ryan during my conference. I struck up a relationship with Jeremiah Healy and we got to talking about movie deals because my novel Counterfeit drew early attention from New Line Cinema staffers and from an underling of director Sam Raimi (I had joined Publisher's Marketplace on-line the year before, for $25 a month you can pitch your novel to anyone who's a member, that includes agents and movie houses). Talks fizzled with both, but Mr. Healy gave me his personal e-mail address and was so kind he collaborated with me on a movie synopsis for Counterfeit, spending hours of his personal time on our synopsis. I failed to defer to his expertise when he suggested to compress several characters into one and simplify my complex plot for Hollywood, and as a result, we couldn't resolve our artistic differences. The point of this is I had another shot at greater exposure, even though I probably blew it for now, but I had a shot. I also have his third draft of the synopsis and will modify it to my liking and send it to another contact of mine. Why did Mr. Healy do this for a relative unknown? He said he was paying it forward and, if I ever make it to his level, I will do the same. Network, network, network. Like I said, it only takes one. 

A licensed clinical social worker, Scott L. Miller earned his Master’s in Social Work at St. Louis University and has worked with adults, children, and the elderly in state and private hospitals in St. Louis city and county over thirty years. Working at the old Malcolm Bliss and St. Louis State Hospitals provided him with his early psychiatric training and gave him his first taste of the street life captured in his second novel, Counterfeit. The protagonist, Mitchell Adams, is a Ph.D. social worker in private practice in present day St. Louis.

Long fascinated by the wonders of the human mind, he quit writing exceptionally bad poetry and studied fiction writing under the late John Gardner and later at Washington University. He began writing and re-writing versions of his first novel, The Interrogation Chair, in lieu of sleeping at night. The sequel, a stand-alone second novel, Counterfeit, was published in 2013 by Layla Dog Press, a subsidiary of Blank Slate Press. The first in the Mitchell Adams series, The Interrogation Chair, initially self-published May of 2011, has been re-written and planned for release as Interrogation in October 2014.

He is currently working on a third Mitchell Adams novel, working title The Virtual Suicide Machine, from his home in Chesterfield, MO, where he lives with his wife Beta and their barn of beagles and cats. He occasionally finds time for sleep now, unless the animals hog the bed.  


Excerpt: Getcha Life!!! by Tyra Jackson & Natalie Hundley

Title: Getcha Life!!!

Author Name: Tyra Jackson & Natalie Hundley 

Genre: Adult Urban Fiction
Purchasing Link:

Book Description:
What if you were the youngest of five sister’s trying to navigate your way through life’s difficulties without proper guidance and dealing with a dysfunctional family? In this exciting new book, India is the youngest of five sister’s Jasmine, Ava, Jade, and Imani. As she is growing into a more mature young woman, India finds herself struggling to navigating her way through the various pitfalls of life, and at the same time trying to be the best self that she can be. With little trust and disappointments from the men and women in her life, she sets out on a journey to better herself and create stronger relationships, including the ones with her sisters.

India’s life experiences take’s her on a roller coaster of different situations and emotions. She realizes that continually being stuck in dysfunction is not the best way to live. By her using these experiences as lessons she realizes that getting her life together is her true inner growth. Take a interesting journey with India and her sisters as their story unfolds with twists and turns that ends with a surprising revelation.

Author Bio:

Tyra Jackson was born a native of Illinois. She has a BBA in Health Administration and also has been educated in the disciplines of nursing, massage therapy, and aesthetician. She has a passion for the arts and love’s to express her creativity through writing and other creative art forms. Being the positive person that she is, she likes to encourage others to find their passions and work on their own dreams. She is currently working on the sequel to this wonderfully amazing book.

Book Excerpt:

It’s about 3:00 o’clock and I hear the front door close and I am surprised because Milan usually gets home about 5:00 pm. So I yell out, “Milan is that you?” I come out to the living room and Milan looks angry. I say, “Babe what’s wrong with you?”  He says, “Where were you last night India?” I look at him funny and I said, “I told you Milan.” Then all of the sudden out of nowhere Milan slaps me across my face and I stumble a little from the force of his hand. I grab my face and turn back around and look at Milan with a look of shock in my face. I yell out, “Milan!!!?”  He grabs me by my shoulders and said. “Why did you lie to me?” I say, “Milan, your scaring me!” He says, “India where were you?” I begin to cry and Milan says, “When I went to work my co-worker Mike ask me if we were still separated because he seen you coming out of the house next door to him this morning and nobody lives there but this guy name Tyson. 
He is shaking me now and I say, “Milan stop!” He says, “You’re cheating on me now?” I break loose from Milan and start to run towards the room and he grabs my wrist tight. I say, “Milan you’re hurting me, let go!” He backs me into a corner and I look up at him and I can see the anger and hurt in his eyes.
He put both his arms on the wall on each side of me so that I was trapped in his space and he looked at me and says, “India how could you do this to me, to us!” I am crying harder and I say, “Nothing happend Milan, nothing!” I try to inch my way around Milan and act like I was going to sit and talk to him but as soon as I was clear of his hold I ran. I found myself running out of the house down the street and around the corner.
I called Khandie to come and get me as soon as she could and she said she was on her way.  I hid in between two buildings just in case Milan was looking for me while I waited on Khandie.  Then about ten minutes later Khandie was pulling up and I jump right in her car and we pull off. 
I tell Khandie what happened and she says, “India you know you had no business going over Tyson’s house last night, I’m sure Milan feels hurt and betrayed. He had to find out from a co-worker too, he must feel embarrassed.” I say, “I know Khandie but the way I have been feeling lately after all the stuff I been through, I just thought I deserve some happiness, love and passion.” Khandie says to me, “India a one night stand is definitely not love, that is a false sense of love, do you really think that love is you giving up your precious body to a man that knows nothing about you? He can get that from any woman out there in the streets. You are seeking for a man to fix what is broken in you and he can’t do that. It has to be fixed from within you India, you have to love and respect yourself or nobody else will. So please stop searching for external help and do it internally within you.”
I say, “Khandie your right and nobody ever broke it down to me like that and I have four other sisters. Maybe they don’t know how to love themselves that’s why we can’t love and support each other.” Khandie says, “India break that cycle so you can help yourself and your sisters. But the important thing is when you have your kids you can teach them from the beginning how to love and respect themselves first in order to respect others.”  I say, “Thank you Khandie you are a true friend, I just don’t know how to start.”


Read Me a Story Blog Hop

Welcome to the "Read Me a Story Blog Hop"

Anyone can link up to this blog hop. 
The more the merrier!

Aren't blog hops/blog link up parties just great?! They give you the opportunity to meet other great people who have similar interests to you. Networking awesomeness! 

In this blog hop you'll be able to find out about fantastic books and sample them. Read excerpts and/or watch as the authors read you a piece from their book.

AUTHORS this is your chance to show off your talent. 

To join the blog hop:

Make a blog post on your own site where you share an excerpt from your book. This can be a written excerpt of you might decide to embed a YouTube video of you doing a short reading from the book instead. Which ever you prefer.

Make sure you include a link to where your book can be purchased in the blog post so that readers know where they can get a copy.

Add the link to your blog post to the Linky below. * Don’t link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*

* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *

Please visit AT LEAST TWO OTHER LINKS from the Hop and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, authors, and others who are as passionate about literature, so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!

If you like, grab the image above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you’re linking up. If you’d prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!
The Blog Hop will remain active until 5th September so make sure you check back through out the week for new entries.

get the InLinkz code

Video Content that answers book club questions.

As an adventure travel writer I love to travel and spend time writing about my explorations.  I also love sharing Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i with book clubs, but I cannot be available for Skype meet-ups. Brief video clips answering the most common questions I receive from readers about my book seemed a very good answer to this dilemma.  To this end I created an introductory video explaining why I felt the need for a second edition that directs them to my video playlist.

Why a New Improved Wai-nani? 

In the story I weave myth, legend, and actual historical incidents that raises the question in the minds of readers “What is True?”   In this clip I address this very important question.

Is the story historically accurate

Each of the thirteen clips I created answer specific questions about the Hawaiian culture. For instance, the death of Captain James Cook at the hands of the Islanders has long been a controversial topic in Hawaiian history, so I presented my position on the matter.

Did the Hawaiians stab Captain Cook in the back? 

Here is my response to the question “Did Hawaiians have “Love Games?”

Did Hawaiians Have Love Games? http://youtu.be/rmUxhOyKJzA

It is my hope that sharing in this way readers will not only come away with a better understanding of the ancient Hawaiian culture, but that they it will give readers a more personal connection with me.   It is my hope that people will find my videos about Wai-nani, entertaining and informative and will share them with friends!

Linda Ballou 

YouTube SEO Cheat Sheet

YouTube is a great way of building your author brand and marketing your books. Not only one of the world's most popular social media sites, YouTube is also one of the top method's of search. 

This infographic (http://cdgwebdesign.com/advertising/youtube-seo-cheat-sheet/) gives a great overview of how you should be using SEO on your YouTube videos to get maximum visibility. 

Are you using video as part of your marketing plan? What kinds of video content are you uploading to reinforce your author brand? Leave a comment below with your 2 cents.


- See more at: http://sharethis.com/publishers/get-sharing-tools#sthash.4O6YGQQT.dpuf
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