Monday, March 12, 2018

A Haunting On Long Island Ghostly Celebration and Author Interview with Michael Phillip Cash

Who says you have to wait until Halloween to enjoy a good ghost story? Not us! And, why just stop at one ghost story? How about FOUR AWESOME tales of spirits, hauntings and creepy happenings? That's what readers will get with Michael Phillip Cash's four book series A Haunting on Long Island. 

Michael Phillip Cash is an author who's taken a life-long love of all things creepy and scary and woven them into a series of ghostly novels. The series includes:

  • Stillwell
  • The After House
  • The Flip
  • Pokergeist

I asked Michael a few questions about his books and here's what he had to say...

Name your favorite television ghost and explain your choice.

Ghost Adventures. Those guys have guts and they take you in to the history of each location. A lot of my stories were inspired by their adventures. They’ve visited some incredibly haunted and scary locations over the years. I never miss an episode of Ghost Adventures!

What has been the most difficult thing about self-publishing your books?

You can’t expect to get rich – at least not right away. You’re not going to buy a yacht or a private plane on the royalties. You really have to love what you’re doing. Write to express yourself. Keeping this in mind can be tough when sales are in a slump, but once you breakthrough and begin making progress anything is possible.

What has been the best thing about self-publishing your books?

Thinking about buying a yacht or private plane one day. But seriously, having the opportunity to do something I really love doing – expressing myself through my writing – has been awesome. Connecting with my readers and followers is also incredibly gratifying.

What’s your best advice for other self-published authors?

Keep writing books. Then publicize the hell out of yourself. You are a brand. Make yourself well known and people will find your books. Use social media ad nauseum. These are the best ways I know of when it comes to be making it as a self-published author.

Michael Phillip Cash is the author of the four-book series A Haunting on Long Island. Readers can connect with Michael on his website and Facebook.



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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Challenge Yourself Every Day to Market Your Book – 31 Days of Book Marketing Tasks

Book marketing is much more manageable if you challenge yourself every day to try at least one new thing to market your book. Sitting around, waiting for readers to first find, read and review your book is a waste of your valuable time. Complaining that sales and reviews are slow is counterproductive to your book marketing efforts. Even when you delegate some of the marketing to outside sources, you still need to be proactive about marketing your own book.

Below are a month’s worth of things you can do each day to market your book. Some are simple and quick and some require a bit more work. It’s up to you to decide how much effort you’re willing to put into your daily marketing tasks.

  1. Conduct a Google search for book blogs that spotlight your genre
  2. Search Amazon for book reviewers who’ve reviewed books in your genre
  3. Schedule a free promotion
  4. Start or work on your author blog
  5. Join a Goodreads group and introduce yourself
  6. Join a LinkedIn group and introduce yourself
  7. Write a LinkedIn article that does not promote your book
  8. Write a character interview
  9. Fine-tune your book blurb
  10. Build your newsletter mailing list
  11. Schedule social media posts
  12. Create a Goodreads giveaway
  13. Write a press release
  14. Write a guest post
  15. Create a media kit
  16. Record a podcast
  17. Make a video
  18. Schedule a bookstore book reading
  19. Search for social media influencers
  20. Create a slideshow
  21. Design bookmarks
  22. Design business cards
  23. Have a photo shoot
  24. Rewrite your Amazon book description
  25. Plan a promo event with other authors in your genre
  26. Update your author website
  27. Update your social media bios and graphics
  28. Update your email signature
  29. Set up a speaking engagement at your local library
  30. Create a Rafflecopter giveaway
  31. Brainstorm new book ideas

If you're overwhelmed with book marketing let me know. I can help! Submit a contact form here to get started. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Five Reasons Why Authors Lose Social Media Followers

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last five or so years, chances are you’re well acquainted with tweets, shares and followers. Social media has become overwhelmingly beneficial when it comes to branding ourselves. Every author should be using social media as a marketing tool.

If you’re not contributing your content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and all those other social media platforms then stop what you’re doing and sign up for accounts immediately. If you’ve already been using social media to market, brand and promote yourself and your books then kudos to you.

However, are you using those platforms responsibly? If you’re finding yourself losing too many followers then it’s time to check yourself. Here are my top five mistakes that just might be causing you to lose social media followers.

1. Not posting often enough.

Your followers made a conscious decision to follow you. Don’t make them go days or weeks without hearing from you. They’ll begin to think you’ve stopped writing books and you don’t want that. Consistent posts keep followers engaged and involved.

2. Posting too often

Just as there is too little posting, there’s also too much posting. Many people site too many posts as a major reason to unfollow someone. Strive for a happy medium. However, remember that not all social media platforms are created equal. For example, posting several tweets to Twitter a day is acceptable, while one or two Facebook posts per day are best.

3. Being too promotional

If all your social media shares are about you…guess what? You’re going to be dumped. No one wants to hear the same sales pitch several posts in a row and no one wants to read your “buy my awesome book” tweet over and over again. Switch things up by sharing posts that include interesting content that doesn’t relate directly to you or your book.

4. Being political or religious

Unless your book is about politics or religion, then heed the age old advice – don’t discuss politics or religion in your social media posts. Regardless of where your political and/or religious views fall, chances are excellent that you’ll end up alienating someone. That will get you unfollowed in a heartbeat.

5. Being all things to all people

Try to keep your social media posts geared toward a specific theme. If your thing is writing, books, authors, literature…you have plenty of material to work with, without having to go off in several different directions. Your followers will come to expect certain content from you, which will eventually position you as an authority in your field. Posting an occasional photo of your dog, cat or meal is fine, but it’s best to keep those to a minimum.

If you’re overwhelmed with social media content creation and management let me know. I can help. Submit a contact form here to get started.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Five Reasons Why Authors Need Blogs

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned how important websites are to authors. Your author website is the central location for all your information. It’s the primary place to send your potential readers. However, there’s something just as important...

Many authors have websites, but they often forget one primary marketing tool – a blog. Below are my top five reasons why authors need blogs.

1. Blogs provide you with the opportunity to consistently update your content.

Whether your blog lives within your author website, or a link to your blog is prominently displayed in your website menu, you need ways to get potential readers to visit. Consistently posting new blog content is the best way to do this. This keeps potential readers coming back to your website to find out what you’re up to.

2. Blog posts become social media content.

Every single blog post you publish should be shared across all of your social media platforms. Fresh content enforces ongoing beneficial social relationships. 

3. Blogs are a form of engagement marketing.

Your blog posts are marketing tools, designed to attract and maintain reader engagement. Post comments provide you with the opportunity to interact personally with your readers.

4. Blogs are vehicles for giveaways, news announcements and other events.

Blog posts are excellent ways to let your readers know about your latest giveaways, book promos, new book releases, book signings, etc.

5. Blogs are great places to collaborate with other writers.

Inviting other authors to guest post on your blog gives you the opportunity to network and build beneficial relationships with other writers, who will often invite you to guest post on their blogs in return.

As you can see, blogs shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re important marketing tools that every author should be using. If you’re overwhelmed with setting up a blog or with blog post writing let me know. Submit a contact form here to get started. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Are Blog Tours Dead?

I contribute to several online writers’ groups and I recently spotted a thread titled “Are Blog Tours Dead?” Savvy authors are always looking for newer, better ways to market and promote their books, and they’re often cautious of using services they’re either unfamiliar with or skeptical of. For years, the Blog Tour aka Book Tour (terms used interchangeably) was the go-to marketing method for authors. Are they dead? In a word, YES.

To clarify my Yes answer, I’ll say this – the traditional book/blog tour is dead. Why? For a couple of very important reasons:

Book bloggers are tired of them.

Traditional tours have absolutely no pay off for the blogger. They’re time-consuming, spammy and have the potential of getting a blog shut down…for good. Google considers the typical cut and paste, HTML-provided tour content to be nothing but spam and punishes them by burying them in Google searches. goes even further. They give no warnings if they find blogs that post this spammy content on blogs. They’ll shut you down, no warning, no questions…period. All your hard work will be gone in the blink of an eye, never to be recovered.

Readers are tired of them.

Readers and blog visitors are tuning them out. Traditional cut and paste tours all look alike. They bring nothing new to potential book readers. Wading through spammy post after post is tedious, uninteresting and boring to readers.

So what is the ideal alternative to the typical cut and paste, spammy book/blog tour then?

Promoting your book with an all-original, custom designed online book marketing campaign is still the perfect way to bring something new, informational and interesting to your potential readers. It provides book bloggers with high-quality, engaging content for their readers, while allowing them a day off from posting. 

Taking the time to share never before published, high-quality content will produce a much higher ROI for you. Sure it takes more effort than simply distributing cookie cutter HTML code to a bunch of disinterested bloggers, but isn’t your success as an author worth the extra effort?

If you’re unsure of, or overwhelmed with, the prospect of creating, scheduling and monitoring a high-quality book marketing campaign let me know. I can help! Submit a contact form here to get started.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Five Ways to Stay Motivated While Writing (Or While Doing Anything That Needs to Be Completed) by Judith Ann Kohnen Author Guest Post and Book Swag Giveaway

I recently reached out to romance writer and award-winning novelist Judith Kohnen to ask her how she stays motivated when writing. Judith is the author of the acclaimed Mandy Story romance series. She shared some wonderful information with us so read on...but don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the page to enter for a chance to win this GORGEOUS DaVinci Beads Musical Bracelet and a signed print copy of For the Love of Mandy:

by Judith Ann Kohnen

So many things can throw us writers off guard as we attempt to finish our masterpieces – or so we hope that’s what the work becomes once we’re done with it. The trick is getting it done.

Here are five sure ways to create more motivation, discipline, and dedication concerning your writing (or actually concerning ANYTHING you hope to achieve):

  1. FOCUS.  By this, I’m not talking about focusing on your computer screen or on the paper you’re writing on, or if it’s housecleaning you’re hoping to complete, it’s not the toilet brush in hand that needs your focus. It’s the task or element of desire that needs your attention. You can’t have your mind everywhere, worrying about bills or the leaky faucet, or wondering what to fix for dinner. The magic with “focus” lies in knowing that LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE. So, whatever you’re focused on, whatever you’re thinking about most, and whatever you’re feeling inside, that’s what you’re going to get more of. If you’re focused on getting the writing done, or some other dream project you desire, or even to complete your housework, you MUST focus on your desire and stay focused. Read on for tips on how to begin to accomplish this.
  2. LOVE.  There is no greater thing than love, so what better way to “attract” something that never fails? Whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re trying to achieve, there must be love in it, some bit of passion that can drive you forward. We writers can say we love to write, but it’s not the same as being “in love” with our writing and focusing love onto the work in front of us. We can lose our zeal when ideas aren’t flowing as we want them to, so this is when you have to turn to ways that will have you loving and “feeling” more of that love so you can put your best foot forward.
  3. CREATE.  So, if the other two ways are failing you (and you can be sure they will from time to time), and you’re feeling absolutely in a rut, unmotivated, and you’re not getting done what you need to have done, you begin to create ways to get you out of that rut. One sure way I find that works is to create a goofy and fun song to sing with lines that are so ridiculous and silly, it makes you laugh while you’re singing it. The goal here is to “shift” your negative energy into more positive energy. When we laugh and feel good inside, our energy changes and lifts. Whatever can place a smile on your face, or lift your spirits in some way, find it and experience it. Put on some music that gets your body moving and your senses whirring with fun and love energy.
  4. DECLUTTER. Your home is your life, and whatever is happening in your life affects the mind, thus affecting how effectively we think and create our desires. If your workspace is cluttered, your mind will be cluttered. If you’re working in a space where the energy is negative and not flowing because of all the junk (think about the corners of a room where cobwebs gather and dust gets trapped because energy has to shift against it as it’s trying to flow), you’ll get little done. If energy keeps having to shift around all your junk and clutter to flow, you, too, are in the midst of corrupted and negative energy and it’s affecting how you perform each day.
  5. VISUALIZE. See yourself reaching the end of your task or project as though it’s already completed. Visualize yourself moving forward with persistence. See yourself as the INNER you. The one who wants to come out to play and give to the world. You could actually sing about your success to strengthen your visuals. So, with melody you might sing (and dance to the tune every time you break to go to the bathroom), “I’m reaching the end of my project, oh yeah … I’m achieving my dream, ‘cuz I’m a mean-machine … This is how I do it … love to sock it to it … zip-zippity day … I’m gonna have my way … do-dah-do-dah!” To assist myself in completing my first book, I would visualize it already in book form, see myself at a table autographing those books and handing them out to interested readers. Meanwhile, I was singing “I feel good, my novel is perfect now. I feel fine …” Anyway, you get the picture! Most of all, BELIEVE IN YOU and believe in dreams come true.

Judith Kohnen is the author of One Chance, One Moment and the recently released For the Love of MandyBooks One and Two of The Mandy Story. A nine-time award-winning author, Judith hopes to continue to inspire readers with stories of hope, healing, and entertainment.

Readers can connect with Judith via her website and her Amazon Author Page.



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Friday, February 2, 2018

Five Social Media Tips for Authors

As a marketer, it’s important for me to stay on top of marketing tips, techniques and trends. It’s important for any business owner to do this, if they wish to succeed. Authors are in the business of writing and publishing books. Therefore, their book sales directly depend upon their marketing efforts. This includes social media marketing. However, time and again I come across authors who do little to no social media marketing.

I can honestly understand the reasons for this. Social media is time-consuming, confusing and at times frustrating. It can feel as though you need to be dozens of places at once or you run the risk of quickly losing your audience. Be that as it may, social media engagement is a critical element to any book marketing campaign.

To break things down, I’ve compiled five social media tips for authors here.

1. Sign Up with As Many Social Media Platforms as Possible

I know this sounds like a no-brainer. It also sounds overwhelming. You may be asking yourself who has time for all that? Probably not you, since you’re already busy writing, editing and publishing your books. But I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to be active on as many social media platforms as possible. If you’re really strapped for time then you should at least sign up for the major platforms: 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

2. Use a Posting App

No one expects you to sit at your computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, sending tweets and posts. Signing up on Hootsuite or another automatic posting site will make things super convenient.

3. Be Engaging

No one wants to see post after post that screams BUY MY BOOK. If you make it all about you, you’ll find yourself quickly unfollowed. Take the time to retweet and comment on the accounts of anyone you follow, who follows you and accounts you find interesting.

4. Update Content Frequently

Be sure to go over your social media accounts on a regular basis to be sure your account info is updated to reflect your new book, current events, etc. Freshen up your social media headers and profile photos whenever necessary.

5. Prepare Posts Ahead of Time

In your downtime, you can make a list of possible post ideas, create interesting content, take photos to share…any number of things, so that you to have quality content to post at anytime. Having a good supply of quality content at the ready will make social media engagement much more manageable.

If you’re overwhelmed with social media engagement or just not sure how to go about building your brand via social media then contact me. Submit a contact form here to get started.