Monday, April 30, 2012

What is Your Author Platform?

In the bad old days of publishing, it was extremely difficult to get a publisher, or even an agent, unless  you had what is called a "Platform," that is, a group of people who would most likely buy your book.

Celebrities, even those who couldn't spell their own name, could get a book deal. Millions of people knew and loved them. They had a platform.

People who did a lot of public speaking, with a long mailing list, had a platform.

Today, in the good new days of Indie publishing, you still need a platform. Not to publish, but to sell. It's so much easier to get published, but there are so many more titles competing for attention.

The difference today is you can BUILD a platform. Social media are free. Blogs are free (in most cases).  You can promote your book through your own Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other accounts. You can also promote it on other people's blogs and internet radio shows. You can approach online book reviewers.

Plus, you can still pitch your book to the traditional media. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen have sold over 157 million Chicken Soup books so far. They give much of the credit to their willingness to be guests on hundreds of radio shows, no matter how small the audience.

All it takes to get in the traditional media (and much of the online media) is a good press release and time. By the way, as a former journalist, I know from experience that you must have a press release if you want the media to take you seriously. (See the previous post on having a Media Page)

You might need to hire someone to guide you through the maze and/or do the work for you, especially if time is an issue. But you must, I repeat, must, build your platform. No book, no matter how good it is,will automatically sell itself. People have to know about it.

It's easy to get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. In most cases, people need to be exposed to a marketing message from seven to 16 times before they buy. So, no matter what happens, or doesn't happen, continue to build your platform. Eventually, you will create a critical mass of awareness. If your book is any good, it WILL start selling. People who buy your book will tell their friends. Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful selling tool you can have. But to get it, you must build your platform.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Do You Have a Media Page?

If you have a website for your book, and you should, be sure to create a dedicated media page.

This is where you put your press release (essential to have one) and any media featuring you, such as active links to radio interviews, embedded TV interviews, reviews and so on. As you get more media coverage, you can also create a list of the places you and your book have been covered.

The reason to create such a page is that it makes it easier for journalists to find you and to find out information about you and your book. A few years ago, journalists were surveyed about where they got ideas for stories. About 80% of them said they found story ideas and sources on the web. That was several years ago, it's probably a much higher percentage now.

In addition, having all the relevant information about you and your book in one place makes it easier for journalists to write stories about you, especially when they are on deadline and need to have an answer to a question fast.

Another reason to have a media page is that the more media coverage you have, the more you can get. When journalists see that you already have coverage, they decide you must be an interesting person for them to interview, as well. Fame breads fame.

For more information on getting Free Publicity in the traditional media and the New Media, you might want to check out my book, You Can Be Famous! Insider Secrets to Getting Free Publicity.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Santa Cruz Husbands are Being Murdered

Santa Cruz husbands are being murdered. The local news media is buzzing because a dark-clad figure witnesses describe as Death had been seen lurking nearby each time a murder is committed. When new widows start hiring real estate agent Regan McHenry to sell their houses, she discovers all the murdered men have something in common: their wives belong to a walking group called The Widow’s Walk League. No wonder Regan is worried when the group’s leader starts paying special attention to her husband, Tom. Regan invites you to attend Woodies on the Wharf and go to a séance with her as adventures unfold and she tries to keep her husband safe in the fourth book in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mystery Series. Regan’s best friend, Dave Everett, Santa Cruz Police Community Relations Ombudsman, is back to lead a new cast of quirky characters and struggle with Regan’s amateur detecting.

Nancy Lynn Jarvis, author of several mysteries, began writing as a game. "I decided that if I were to write anything, it would be about a place that I knew, and an occupation that I knew," Jarvis said. "It was kind of a giant Sudoku game."

Her novels at set in her hometown of Santa Cruz, California, and her protagonist is a realtor. Jarvis is a Santa Cruz realtor. Originally, two of the main three characters were named after Jarvis and her  husband. But the story incidents began to affect her emotionally so she changed the names. "Once I did that, the writing became easier.

In her books, she makes up the murders, but the real estate stories, and she has a lot of them, Are all true, and many of them are funny.

The audience for Jarvis' books is primarily women over 40. She writes in what is called the "Cozy" Mystery style and patterns her work on Tony Hillerman and Agatha Christie. She has lately been compared to Sue Grafton.

Jarvis' latest work-in-progress is about an 83-year-old woman who plans a heist. "This one has a lot more humor in it," Jarvis said.

See all of Nancy Lynn Jarvis' books on Amazon

On May 6 and 7, her book Backyard Bones will be FREE as a Kindle download.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Birth of a Gangster

Law-abiding accountant Vincent's life is forever changed when his gangster cousin sends men to kill him. The attempt failed, and Vincent vowed to take revenge. But revenge is a dish best served cold, so Vincent becomes a powerful gangster himself, in order to position himself for the final showdown.

This action-filled story reveals a dark underworld of violence drugs, party girls, corrupt police officials and politicians, all of whom Vincent deals with as part of his dark plan.

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Overcoming Life's Challenges

The Definition of Tamara: The Resilient Palm Tree by Tamara Smith

This autobiography/self-help book shares optimism and hope to inspire readers to confidently face each daily challenge that life presents.  While this may be viewed as an eccentric outlook on encountering life’s obstacles, it’s much needed in the somewhat pessimistic world we live in today, the author believes.

Utilizing personal stories and factual information, Tamara Smith discusses such sensitive issues as sexual abuse, domestic violence, and chronic illness, and demonstrates how the use of religion and support systems during periods of extreme stress are the pathway to resiliency.      

 The book is available at:,, and local bookstores in paperback (ISBN13 978-1-4691-6601-8), hard cover (ISBN13 978-1-4691-6602-5) and e-book (ISBN13 978-1-4691-6603-2).

Bondage, Murder and a Boytoy

New Mystery Twists Stereotypes

“Sex in the City meets James Patterson.” Blueink Reviews.

If four men hired and kept a prostitute for their shared use, would that be a surprise? Perhaps not, but four women doing the same thing certainly would be, and provided the inspiration for debut author, Mary Firmin’s thrilling novel, DEADLY PLEASURES. When Megan and her three best friends hire hunky stripper, Michael Harrington, as their time-share Boytoy, they are unaware he is a suspect in a series of bondage murders. Set on the West Coast and Catalina Island, among the yacht clubbing wealthy, the four women find themselves intimately involved, along with their sweet-talking lover and a handsome detective, in the unraveling mystery. But who is the Bondage Murderer? And who will be the next to die? The answer to these questions is only found after a wild ride through L.A.’s private sex clubs, bondage parlors, and the lavish homes and yachts of the rich and famous.

DEADLY PLEASURES by Mary Firmin was praised by Kirkus Reviews, November, 2011. “Firmin’s first novel is a first rate murder mystery.” Further accolades from Kirkus, call it “a swiftly paced tale of lust, seduction, duplicity and horror, that keeps the pages turning.” ForeWord Clarion Review, January 2012, gives DEADLY PLEASURES a “Five out of five stars,” rating, and states, “Firmin writes more like a seasoned storyteller than a debut novelist.” DEADLY PLEASURES also won Editor’s Choice, and Rising Star Awards.

DEADLY PLEASURES by Mary Firmin, available at your booksellers.
ISBN: 978-1-4620-4238-1(SC ISBN)
ISBN: 978-1-4620-4238-8 (HC ISBN
Also available at: Kindle. Nook.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Re-Create Yourself

Jason Scott Johnson is a Hollywood Personal Trainer, a World and U.S. Kickboxing Champion (in two weight classes), an Iron Man competitor and a former Force Recon Marine.

As fit as he is, his book is written to help people of all fitness levels to create the body and life that they want. Perhaps what is most amazing is that he shows you how to have fun while burning fat, increasing lean muscle and becoming fit and healthy.

Read a Sample Chapter on Amazon.

Darkest Secrets of Persuasion and Seduction Masters

There are a lot of very persuasive people out there who intend you no good. This book will teach you how how to protect yourself from the manipulators.

Tom Marcoux, America's Communication Coach, is the author of 12 books that increase your strength and self-protection--and help you make your dreams come true.

Read his Blog       Get a Free Chapter of his book

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I promote this blog to my 26,000 Twitter and Facebook contacts, as well as appropriate LinkedIn groups.
Welcome to the Independent Authors Blog, the site where authors promote their books and learn how to market them.

Since I'm the creator of this blog, let's start with my book, Swords of the Dead.


Storyline (known a logline in Hollywood): A rogue fight club brawler and his team of misfit martial artists are hired by a beautiful mystery woman to destroy Ninja Zombies that have invaded her small town.

Here are a few of the Rave Reviews:

"Kaus brings a legendary twist to the Zombie genre.. ...a wild ride of quick-witted humor, fantastic weaponry and blood-spilling surprises from start to finish. A must read for any lover of Action-Horror!"
-- Gowrie Heather Hayden - Mixed Martial Artist, Stage Combat Weapons Specialist: Fantasy Women
Battles, Warrior Showdown 

Zombies, Martial Arts, Girls and swordplay -- a breathtakingly new vision in the Zombie craze!! This is how Zombie stories should be done!! Swords of the Dead does Action-Drama Right!!
-- Rydell Danzie, Director,Writer, Ynot/SinPelo Ent
"Swords of the Dead is an action packed, exciting, and quite humorous zombie tale.  What is more deadly then zombies?  The answer Kaus provides is Ninja Zombies!"
-- Daniel Simmonds, The Rotting Zombie blog

Read more Rave Reviews at