How to promote yourself as a writer and build an audience

 How to promote yourself as a writer and build an audience, guest post by Michael B. Judkins @MJudkins2 @iReadBookTours

The best method for a writer to build a platform or audience is simple… be yourself and create something worth reading. When starting your journey of writing, create the story that’s inside of you with humanistic appeal and sincere emotions that will attract your reader. This method will inspire you as the writer to stay focused on the project, yet, remembering what your audiences will gravity towards. Here is my list of the most effective ways to promote yourself as a writer and build an audience:

  1. Be yourself and write a great story
  2. Find your audience through your writing
  3. Network with friends and family, co-workers, store owners etc.
  4. Create a blog or website for an online presence
  5. Revise, revise and revise
  6. Ask for help
  7. Find a graphic designer/editor/ copyeditor that works with you
  8. Add depth with the characters and bring them to life with humanistic appeal
  9. Remember back story
  10. Lastly, keep writing!

Although, this list may not meet some writers' expectations of how to promote yourself or your writing. It’s a fundamental list of to-do’s that would help separate yourself from another writer in a saturated market. Remember, creating a great piece of work will bring or build your platform in the literary world.

However, the business of writing is about promotion, marketing and finding your niche to sell your works. The creative process of telling your story or writing a strong poem, short story or essay/ blog post, will foster the relationship between author/ writer and a potential reader. Allowing the reader to learn about the writer, embark on the journey with the writer, will hopefully, when a connection is made, result in a purchase.

As a writer, you want to give the reader the opportunity to get to know you as a person, a visionary, creative, and a motivator whether it’s through storytelling or business writing. Keep your audience in mind when writing and create a piece of work that is suitable to your own standards and foster a sense of togetherness to attract potential readers to your writing.

What does that mean? It means to create from your heart, imagination and back story (life experiences) and allow the reader to find you through their own journey. Most of all, remember the business of writing, promotion, marketing, cover art, editing, and finding your niche in the market. I hope these suggestions help and enjoy your writing.

 How to promote yourself as a writer and build an audience, guest post by Michael B. Judkins @MJudkins2 @iReadBookTours
Michael Barry Judkins was born in the Bronx, New York, along with his four brothers and sisters. Michael’s childhood memories, although bittersweet, provided a rich foundation for him to draw upon later in life as an accomplished author.

Delightful memories of trips to the zoo or picking apples with his mother contrast greatly to daily reminders of what any hard-working family must battle in building a life in an urban setting. Domestic violence. Drugs. Gangs. All play their part in shaping a person – whether for good or bad is often an individual’s choice.

After spending years immersed in typical, reactive adolescent behaviors like skipping school, smoking and drinking, Michael began experimenting with other alternatives to developing new relationships and helping resolve social issues. As he took these first, proactive steps to be part of the solution, and not the problem, the germ of the idea for his first book – Sentimental Me – was born.

Graduating from high school a year early, and after a foray into the music business, Michael completed a BS degree in Human Services and MS in Mental Health Counseling. A daydreamer for as long as he can remember, Michael’s inability to forge a relationship with his beloved father before he passed when Michael was only two years old still haunts him today. His mother’s cherished memories of his father’s spirit and honored Armed Forces service, while providing some solace, also serve to make Michael wonder what might have been, if only…
 How to promote yourself as a writer and build an audience, guest post by Michael B. Judkins @MJudkins2 @iReadBookTours
Today, with several poetry collections and short stories in the works, Michael’s first release – Sentimental Me – displays his ability to wrest good from bad, to display the courage to dig deep within himself to help others. Through an inspired melding of his unique voice and inspiring photographic images of nature, Michael provides the reader with a unique perspective of the human condition, inspiring others to follow their own creative paths without boundaries.

Michael now resides in Allentown, P.A., and welcomes all readers to feel free to contact him at to discuss your reaction to his work, or learn more about upcoming releases.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook


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Interview with Nihar Suthar

Interview with Nihar Suthar

Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is titled The Corridor of Uncertainty. It was released on February 1, 2016 by Pitch Publishing, and is a narrative about the miraculous rise of the Afghan cricket team. Cricket surprisingly is uniting the entire country of Afghanistan from violence and political unrest. The book itself is unique because it blends together politics, religion, and culture of the little known Middle East region together with sports like never before. Readers do not have to know anything about sports to enjoy the book either.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
I’m using several marketing methods to promote my book. The most obvious method is to promote my work through social media and a strong online presence. However, through my experience, I’ve found that two stronger methods of promotion are: 1) sending out my book for reviews to well recognized sports columnists (since The Corridor of Uncertainty technically is a story about sports) and 2) running book giveaways on GoodReads.

To my surprise, many high profile people have been very willing to review my book. I reached out to Jacques Kallis (one of the most famous South African cricket players of all time), Joseph Romanos (a highly recognizable sports columnist in New Zealand), and several other writers. Almost all of them responded positively to reading the book and writing a review. Joseph Romanos published his review in several newspapers and it helped me generate more than 10,000 additional views of my book. Ultimately, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to experts in the field which your book addresses. It helps to better the reputation of your work by having good endorsements.

GoodReads book giveaways are also amazing. I ran two giveaways (for one week each, and only gave away one signed copy of my book). On both occasions, I had close to 1,000 people enter the giveaway. In addition, close to 400 people added my book to their “to-read” lists after seeing it listed on GoodReads under a book giveaway. Book giveaways are thus a great way to gain exposure.

What formats is the book available in?
My book is available in both paperback and ebook format. I believe both formats are important. I know the audiobook market has also been growing, so I would like to see my book in audiobook format at some point in the future as well!

What advice do you have for other writers?
Don’t rush in trying to release your book. Too many authors just want to get their book out as quickly as possible. As a result, they take shortcuts on editing, formatting, etc. This results in a bad book that obviously nobody will want to read. Take as much time as needed and do it right.
Also, I’ve helped so many “writers” who say they want to publish books. They start writing, but quickly lose motivation and discontinue their work halfway. Be disciplined to write every single day and complete your books.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
People can find out more about me and my writing at All my social media links are on that website as well. I’m not hard to find J.

How long did it take you to write your book?
From the day I first had the idea to write The Corridor of Uncertainty to when it was actually released into the market took two full years. It’s strange because writing the book probably only took me about six or seven months. However, the research for the book took a year. I had to immerse myself in the Middle East region. I also traveled with the Afghan team for a month and learned basic Pashto, the official language of Afghanistan, to make sure I was telling the story as accurately as possible.

So, the research and writing process combined took about a year and a half. After that, the process of getting the book published took another six months, for a grand total of two years from the beginning to the end of the project.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Absolutely. I learned so much about the Middle East region (in terms of history, culture, etc.) that I never knew before. That’s the beautiful thing about writing. You’re always learning something new.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
The easiest and most recognizable place to find my book is on Amazon. However, it is also available in several other bookstores and on several other websites around the world.

Who inspires you?
My guru, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, inspires me. He is extremely humble, but also on a constant mission to make the world a better place. That is what I admire most about him. One of my favorite quotes that he said is, “In the joy of others, lies our own.”

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I prefer traditional publishing, so that is the route I have personally taken for my books. I believe there is a certain level of prestige associated with traditional publishing that you cannot always achieve with self-publishing. As I mentioned, anybody in the world can self-publish a book. As a result, there are many books out there that are not properly edited or formatted that can give self-publishing as a whole a bad reputation.

However, traditional publishing has its downfalls as well. You may not always retain the rights to your work with traditional publishing. It’s also a slow and much longer process to go with a traditional publisher in terms of time taken to get your book published and out to the market. Still, I prefer traditional publishing because of the prestige.

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The Power of Persistence

The Power of Persistence, Guest post By Jeremy Burns @authorjburns​

We’ve all been there. The excitement for our newly finished book. The praises from our first readers feeding our enthusiasm. The news story of the latest up-and-coming novelist to hit it big. This is it. The moment all your hard work has been building toward: the release of your break-out book, the one that makes you a household name and changes your career forever.

Only it doesn’t. It takes forever to finally find a publisher. And once it does, despite the marketing team’s enthusiasm and a slew of five-star Amazon reviews, your first royalty check won’t cover a nice vacation, much less support your family long-term. While big-name authors rake in millions for churning out formulaic sequels and overseeing an army of heavy-lifting co-authors, your labor of love is barely noticed in the ever-growing sea of books readers have to choose from.

So what do you do? All your high expectations have been dashed against the unforgiving shores of a tough market and you’re reeling from the aftermath. Do you give up, frustrated with “rigged marketplace” or a modern readership who doesn’t appreciate true talent? Or do you press on?

The Power of Persistence, Guest post By Jeremy Burns
We live in simultaneously the best and worst time for new or up-and-coming authors. If you want to get your book published, it’s phenomenal, as there have never been more opportunities to get your book into the hands of readers. However, if you foresaw getting a million-dollar advance for your debut novel, chances are you’re going to be disappointed. The big houses tend to be much more risk-averse to non-proven entities without huge sales records under their belts. Like the big movie studios, the traditional houses have largely become tentpole businesses, focusing on the perennial bestselling authors who bring in the vast majority of the publishers’ revenue. No one is surprised when Brad Thor’s or James Patterson’s latest book hits #1 on the NYT bestsellers list. Authors like that are proven entities, and publishers know that, despite seven-figure advances and massive marketing budgets, those releases will more than recoup their return on investment.

Whether you aspire to become a tentpole author yourself or just to make a good living writing fulltime, the answer is the same: learn, grow, and persist.

I had big hopes for my debut novel, From the Ashes. At first, I was sure I would land a deal with a big publishing house. I pitched to agents at Thrillerfest 2009 and 2010 and received a number of favorable responses, but none of them panned out. In 2011, an author friend of mine introduced me to his publisher, who had released his debut to mega sales (including three weeks in the Kindle Top 10 which led to international rights being sold in eight countries). When From the Ashes released, I anticipated similar results, but some crucial elements in the market had changed, and my sales, though solid, came nowhere near the bestsellerdom of my friend.

Similarly, The Danite Prophecy, which was initially written as the sequel to From the Ashes, was ready to be published by my current publisher. But when a number of first readers, including some bestselling authors, recommended I pitch this one to bigger publishers instead, I became enamored of the dreams of bestsellerdom again. This could be my breakout hit, they all said, so I rewrote the book as the first in a new series and landed the top agent I had unsuccessfully pitched to years back. But it didn’t take. Most editors loved it, but I was a risk, an unproven entity. To this day, The Danite Prophecy, the book that was going to be my big breakout, remains unpublished, nearly four years after its completion.

My current publisher used to helm a major New York house, working with and developing talents that are now household names. But unlike the one-strike-and-you’re-out mentality of many big houses these days, he takes the longview approach, building a brand, a readership, and a career over a number of books. My agent, who has been working in the industry since the ‘80s, offered similarly sage advice for my expectations of an advance big enough to quit my day job with. Just as most CEOs started at a low rung on the ladder, most authors don’t strike sales gold on their first release these days. They got to where they are through hard work, determination, and continually striving to improve.

Nearly two years after its release, From the Ashes became a #1 Amazon category bestseller, beating out hit releases by tentpole authors like Nelson DeMille and Steve Berry in the Historical Thriller category. It was nearly two years after its initial release, but it happened. And then, a few months later, it climbed the charts to hit #1 again. And then, a few weeks before my second published book, The Dubai Betrayal, released, From the Ashes finally became a national bestseller, hitting #3 on the overall Nook bestseller list. Beating out, well, everyone, except John Sandford and Christine Feehan, perennial New York Times bestselling authors whose new books had just released the day before. This more than four years after From the Ashes first hit store shelves.

I still believe I will someday have my big breakout book, one that changes my writing career forever. I believe that a big New York house will buy The Danite Prophecy and its sequels. And I believe one day I will be a tentpole author, able to fully dedicate my professional life to writing the best books I can, complete with expensive and resource-intensive research trips. It may not come with the next book or the one after that, but that’s okay. This is a marathon, striving to build a lasting career and brand. And that takes focus, determination, and realistic pacing expectations.

Persistence and a longview approach are crucial to achieving the success you’re dreaming of. Your new book may not become the overnight blockbuster you’re sure it could be, but every minor success can lay the seeds of greatness if you don’t allow yourself to get disillusioned. A dedication to improving your craft, writing with passion that draws in readers, and a determination to keep growing your audience through increasingly compelling stories will ensure that, when the right opportunity for your newest book to become the breakout career-maker you’ve always dreamed, you’ll be ready. And so will I.

The Power of Persistence, Guest post By Jeremy Burns
Jeremy Burns lived and worked in Dubai for two years, conduct- ing first-hand research in many of the locations featured in The Dubai Betrayal and immersing himself in a variety of Middle Eastern cultures. His first book, From the Ashes, introduced Wayne Wilkins and is a two-time #1 category bestseller on Ama- zon, with more than 95,000 total ebook copies downloaded to date. A seasoned traveler who has explored more than twenty countries across four continents, he lives in Florida with his wife and two dogs, where he is working on his next book.

Visit Jeremy Burns online at:

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Book Showcase: Regina Shen Series by Lance Erlick

Book Showcase: Regina Shen Series by Lance Erlick @LanceErlick @iReadBookTours

Regina Shen:  Resilience (Book 1)

Book Showcase: Regina Shen Series by Lance Erlick @LanceErlick @iReadBookToursRegina Shen is an outcast forced to fend for herself in a world that bans books and artifacts from before the Great Collapse. An approaching storm could be the least of her problems. The World Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls. Those walls were built to hold back rising seas caused by abrupt climate change and as a place to dump outcasts.

A hurricane threatens to destroy Regina’s world, tearing her from sister, mom, and home. Now Federation agents claim she has unique DNA that could prevent human extinction. It's too bad she doesn't trust them enough to barter fairly, let alone with her life. Three-hundred-plus-year-old Grand Old Dames rule the all-female Federation using a rigid caste system. Their notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past to suppress dissent, and pursues Regina for her genome.

Regina survives by her wits on swampy islands and thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With her photographic (eidetic) memory, she defies Antiquities by consuming salvaged books not available in the Federation, which makes her an outcast even among her exiled peers. With Antiquities in pursuit, Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for her family. Does she have the resilience to survive both the storm and Antiquities?

​Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Regina Shen:  Vigilance (Book 2)

Book Showcase: Regina Shen Series by Lance Erlick @LanceErlick @iReadBookTours
After two years of training, outcast Regina Shen prepares to jump the barrier wall into the World Federation to hunt for her sister, but nothing goes according to plan. The Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls.

For two years she avoided capture. Now the Federation is desperate to exploit her unique DNA in order to prevent human extinction. She would rather die than help the people who kidnapped her sister. The Federation’s notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past, and pursues Regina for her genome. Now Demarco has a ruthless rival who aims to capture Regina as a means to overthrow Demarco.

Regina has survived by her wits on swampy islands and salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books not available in the Federation. Her photographic (eidetic) memory, access to these books, and an amazing teacher just may help her reach the university town in the Federation where they’re holding her sister. Pursued by Antiquities, Regina jumps the wall into the Federation.

While making new friends and enemies, she must use her wits to avoid letting either of two rival inspectors capture her. Can she rescue her sister from an obvious trap?

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Regina Shen:  Defiance (Book 3)

Book Showcase: Regina Shen Series by Lance Erlick @LanceErlick @iReadBookTours
On the run, outcast Regina Shen is determined to stop the Federation’s relentless attacks on her family and friends, but the stakes are much higher now and she is deep in foreign and hostile territory.

The Federation condemned Regina to live on the seaward side of barrier walls, but she crossed into the Federation where she continues to survive by her wits. Competing Federation agents vie to capture her and use her to acquire power, based on her genome being the key to prevent human extinction. When her sister is kidnapped again and agents close in, Regina flees west with a friend across deserts created by abrupt climate change.

Raised on swampy islands and underwater salvage, they must adapt to different harsh environments. Guided by her photographic (eidetic) memory of illegal print books from before the Federation, Regina is determined to defy the Federation and find a treasure big enough to barter for freedom for her and her sister. In the cat-and-mouse game, can she find allies and ways to escape the Federation dragnet long enough to discover something to trade?

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Book Description for Regina Shen: Endurance (book 4):

Book Showcase: Regina Shen Series by Lance Erlick @LanceErlick @iReadBookTours
Betrayed by her own mother, outcast Regina Shen has been trying to free her sister. Instead, she becomes a pawn in the World Federation’s struggle for power and succession.

Worldwide fertility has collapsed and the World Premier is dying, leading to a crisis of leadership. Battle lines are forming and Regina holds the keys to resolving the fertility crisis with her genome and elevating whoever can capture and control her into positions of power. Using her photographic (eidetic) memory of illegal books, she also holds the key to locating ancient artifacts that could save or destroy the Federation. In holding these keys, Regina should be treated as a queen, but outcasts aren’t even allowed to become citizens.

Having survived the swamps, deserts, and wilderness, Regina continues to try to barter for freedom for her and her sister, but the stakes are too high. Federation agents hound Regina to uncover ancient artifacts and serve herself up as a lab specimen to prevent human extinction. The disgraced Inspector Joanne Demarco pretends to be Regina’s ally to get her to deliver the location of ancient DNA vaults that could change the balance of power. Meanwhile, ruthless rivals are willing to do anything to destroy Demarco and control Regina.

Regina’s new journey will test her endurance, her ability to recognize opportunities, and her knack for avoiding capture. She will also face a tragedy and a strange twist of destiny that will shake her to her core and get her to question everything. Will she be able to overcome adversity or will she descend down an even more dangerous path?

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Author's Bio:

Book Showcase: Regina Shen Series by Lance Erlick @LanceErlick @iReadBookTours
He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.

Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.

In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.

Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads


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Book Review: The CleanSweep Conspiracy by Chuck Waldron

Book Review: The CleanSweep Conspiracy by Chuck Waldron

Title: The CleanSweep Conspiracy

Author: Chuck Waldron

About the book:

Matt Tremain publishes Verité, a modest blog dedicated to writing about the truth and exposing scams. Currently, he’s following up on rumors concerning something called CleanSweep, a mysterious project in Toronto, Canada.

Book Review: The CleanSweep Conspiracy by Chuck Waldron
Matt gets his break when a whistleblower connects CleanSweep to billionaire Charles Claussen. Claussen plans to rid Toronto of undesirables, beginning with street people and extending to any citizens who don’t match Claussen’s restrictive screening matrix.

With the help of a high-ranking government official, Claussen plans to incite riots and violent unrest, conning Torontonians into sacrificing privacy and civil liberties for illusionary security and safety. Toronto will be reduced to a repressive city-state.

The information overwhelms Matt, who doubts he has the courage, skill, or readership to take on CleanSweep. But the murder of his source convinces the blogger to take a stand—although he’s too late to prevent chaos from gripping Toronto’s streets.

To get the word out, Matt’s going to need allies. He may have found some in a Toronto police detective and a local TV reporter pursuing the same story—presuming they aren’t allied with Claussen. If they are, Matt’s going to become yet another victim of CleanSweep, and the truth will be buried forever.

Watch the video for my full review:

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