Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Signs that You’re Not Ready to Publish

When I speak at events, or get emails from authors, a lot of them say: "I'm ready to publish." In fact many of them are, but the lion's share of these folks really aren't. Wondering which category you fall into? Here's a list of some ways to know that you're just not ready and what to do to improve your publishing game.

1) You haven't researched the (publishing) industry: This is pretty important. You need to understand your industry, what's going on and what changes are going to affect your book and publishing experience. How can you do that? Get to know the trades that report on publishing, read them, read blogs, know what is happening in the industry. Believe me, it's not only good to stay current but it could save you a lot of time and money. And who knows, you might even learn a thing or two about this often chaotic market!

2) You haven't researched your market or genre: This is another biggie and oddly enough, very often overlooked. Do you know what's selling in your industry? Who else is writing about your topic? Have you bought or read their books? It's important to know what's trending in your market, what's selling and what isn't. It's always good to read other people's work because you really want to know how others are addressing the topic that you're going to be writing about. Not only that, but these could be great people to network with.

3) You hope to get famous: Another hot button. First, who really wants to be famous in the age of Twitter and YouTube? OK, well maybe you really do. If that's the case, don't spend too much time dreaming about it in publishing because fame is always preceded by hard work, and a lot of it. The problem with bestselling authors as Amanda Hocking and others who have started with nothing and become success stories is that everyone wants to emulate them. It's wonderful to have a goal but it's not always realistic. Most authors who have attained great success didn't just show up at the fame-party ready to sign autographs. Most of them probably spent months working tirelessly to get the word out about their book. Could fame happen? Maybe. But first focus on the work.

4) You believe that book sales are what it's all about: It's not the end-game, trust me. Book sales are often elusive and never, ever guaranteed. We recently had an author say that she was considering hiring a marketing firm who promised her X number of book sales. Unless they planned to buy the books themselves there's no way anyone can know how many copies of a book will sell. Create other goals or other mile markers. Yes, we all want to sell books and sure, at some point that will happen, but much like point #3, this is always preceded by a lot of hard work.

5) You haven't started marketing your book: So you're at the threshold of publishing and haven't done a single thing to market your book? That's bad news. Why? Because there were 300,000 books published in 2012, and if you want to break through that noise you'd better start early.

6) You're impatient: Book publishing and impatience are not a good mixture. A publishing study done by IBPA (see cited that it could take up to two years to show any returns on a book you've been working on. Now, two years might seem like a super long time and yes, it is. But candidly everything in book publishing and marketing takes a while. I hate to be the one to break it to you but there's no place for impatience in this industry. This was a hard one for me, too. If you look up the word impatience you'll see my picture there. Take a deep breath and a step back. As long as you're doing everything you can, and you're doing the right stuff, you'll eventually see a return.

7) You have no marketing plan: It doesn't need to be formal, but you should have an idea of what you're going to do to market your book. Some kind of guideline, something that gives a structure to your plans, your goals, and your marketing efforts.

Finally, let's talk about editing. This extremely important step is often overlooked by authors. Why? Because it's easy to find someone to edit a book, right? Wrong. Editing is a pretty specialized skill set, someone who can find "typos" isn't a good editor. You want someone to help you raise the bar on your work and create a final product that is something you can really be proud of. An editor will give you critical feedback (especially if you've hired a content editor, which I highly recommend), and often improve your work beyond what you might have been able to do on your own.

It's good to remember that publishing isn't just about finding the right place to print and publish your book, it's about a lot more than that. Publishing is a business, if you treat it as a business model you will always succeed.

So, ready to achieve success in publishing? Check out 10 Surefire Ways to Succeed in Publishing:

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

This Friday's Podcast Guest: Sola Olu

Sola Olu joins us this week to discuss her new memoir, The Summer Called Angel: A Story of Hope on the Journey through Prematurity. What began as Sola's journal has become a tool to support and educate other parents of premature babies.

Premature birth remains the number one killer of newborns in the United States. In fact, with approximately 1 in 8 pregnancies resulting in premature birth each year, the U.S. has one of the worst records in the world, and certainly among developed nations. The statistics are not only appalling, but surprising, and many parents are shocked, frightened and confused when as they attempt to navigate the world of the neonatal intensive care unit. After she and her husband endured this agonizing experience, not once, but twice, Olu was inspired to help others in the same situation. With equal parts information and emotional candor, The Summer Called Angel will help parents identify with the challenges of prematurity and preeclampsia, as well as the general NICU experience.

Click here to listen to the podcast

Like what you heard? Order The Summer Called Angel is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Poetry and Prose Corner November 2012


I found healing one bright day.
My thoughts and words felt like play.
Not like the work I did before.
The writing then was a chore.
My serious work was to blame.
What I needed was a child's game.
It was as if a spell had broke,
When my words rhymed that I spoke.
Easy and free my heart spoke to me
Words that rhyme set it free.
My book of healing now, it seemed
Came from my heart – I felt redeemed.
I laughed and wrote as fast as I could
All the sadness and pain I understood.
I felt relief with rhymes from my heart,
Just like when I practice yoga and art.
This seems to be true, that rhyming is fun,
But much more happens when you're all done.
The language of rhyming is a self-healing art.
It comes from reflection of what’s in your heart.

~Denise Demaras

Tree Dance

I stand at my window
Watching you
Watching me.
Your graceful arms
– reaching, searching –
Twist with the charm of
A prima ballerina
Defying the fury of
Harrowing winds.
Swooping low to the waiting ground,
Reaching up into piercing gray heavens,
Laughing, dancing to unheard music,
Defying the storm winds
That want to consume you.
Making me want to come out and play,
But fearful of danger
I cower in safety
And watch you dance…
And watch you dance.

Dennis S. Martin
Lulu Storefront:

Monday, November 19, 2012

This Week's Podcast Guest: Sola Olu

One of the most wonderful things a couple can hear is that they are going to have a baby. With joyful anticipation (and a healthy amount of pre-baby jitters) they prepare for their child’s arrival by shopping for tiny clothes, a stroller and a crib. There is no way to prepare, however, for the news that something is wrong with the fetus. Sola Olu's new book, The Summer Called Angel, A Story of Hope on the Journey Through Prematurity chronicles the struggles that she and her husband faced after the premature births of not one, both both, of their children.

Sola's book, which began as her private journal, gives a real time account of the horrifying complications that occur when a baby is born before the 37th week (a 40-week pregnancy is considered “normal”). These life-threatening issues include weak muscles, an underdeveloped brain, and heart and lung problems. As she and her husband nursed their tiny babies through one medical emergency after another, they drew on their faith in God and love for each to get them through 
Join us on Friday when Sola Olu speaks about her mission to engage, educate and comfort other parents of premature babies.  

The Summer Called Angel is currently available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Quick Tips for Contests & Giveaways

by Joel Friedlander

When authors think about book marketing, they often begin with a groan. It seems like an endless trudge from one social media site to another, trying to spark interest in readers who have hundreds of offers, ads, and other promotions coming at them every day.

That’s not a pretty picture.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, and authors who find ways to stand out from the crowd get a lot more eyeballs on their books than those who sink without a trace.

One of the easiest ways to generate some interest and enthusiasm is by making your promotion more fun, and more rewarding for people who participate.

That’s where contests, giveaways, and freebies can boost your marketing to a whole new level. Let’s take a look at some ways you can use these reader-engagement and promotion tools to gain more attention for your books.

Contests Engage Readers

Like most of these promotions, contests are mostly used around the time authors are launching a new book and trying to get some attention while it’s still hot off the press.

But you don’t have to be limited to running contests during your launch. You can also tie them to holidays, special events, and any other time when there’s some link to the subject matter of your book; you can also do them just for fun!

And who doesn’t want to win something? What you give away is up to you, but you might be surprised how many people will enter your contest even if the prize is something modest, like a $25 Starbucks gift card.

Contests bring traffic to your site, put names on your email list, and help spread your brand.

Tips for using contests:

Choose a prize or prizes for your contest carefully. Most authors want to give away a copy of their book, but you have to ask yourself whether that’s going to motivate people to enter.

Consider giving an e-copy of your book to everyone who enters your contest and you might get a head start on your word-of-mouth marketing by putting your book into the hands of a lot of people over a short period of time.

Keep the entry time limited, since our attention spans seem to be shrinking all the time. A contest that goes on for a month will likely lose steam.

The bigger the prize, the more interest and attention your contest will generate. If your budget is very limited, get some other authors together and run the contest jointly, with everyone contributing to the prize and sharing in the excitement on their own blogs. You can amass a lot of books in the same genre from different authors, for instance, for a more impressive prize, or chip in and give away a more expensive gift than you could manage on your own.

Clearly state the rules and deadlines for the contest when you ask for entries. Make sure your rules and deadlines are simple to understand.

Entries can take any form you like. For instance, if you want more comments on your blog, make commenting the way people enter. If you want links back to your blog, make the entry a blog post on the entrant’s own site that links to yours.

Be careful what you ask for. Don’t make posting a review a condition for entering your contest, as e-retailers have to be careful about authors trying to “game” their ranking system. You don’t want to run a contest and end up getting banned or demoted.

When the contest is over, get those prizes out right away. Follow up to deliver the goods, and make sure you post an article telling everyone who the lucky winner was.

Freebies and Giveaways

Besides being declared the “winner,” the next best thing is to get something for nothing. Giving stuff away is one of the most common marketing techniques, and it’s easy to see why.

If I offer to give you something of value in exchange for a few minutes of your time, or your email address, or for taking a survey, you’ll balance what the cost is against your own perceived value of the “freebie.”

Most authors want to use their book as what they’re giving away but, again, think about whether your new, and therefore mostly unknown book, is really the best thing to motivate people to take part in your promotion.

More on Contests and Giveaways

There’s a whole science to running contests that focuses on social media sites. If you have a good-sized following on Facebook or Twitter, a contest can be a great way to engage with your readers, spread the word about your books, and make a lot of new fans.

For instance, you might run an entire contest on Twitter and gain a lot of new Twitter followers at the same time.

If you decide to use Twitter for your contest, you’ll want to create a unique “hashtag” so people can follow your contest. This is a way to tag tweets so they can be filtered out of the stream of all tweets, and it will allow people following the contest to stay up to date with developments.

On Facebook, the most common request is to ask readers to “like” your fan page in order to enter. That’s a very low barrier and, depending on what the prizes are in your contest, you may want to raise the bar and ask for a comment, a suggestion for topics for your next book, or for results they’ve achieved using your ideas or your program.

These forms of feedback can be very helpful to your other promotions down the road, since you are soliciting testimonials at the same time that you’re running your contest.

The best guides for authors who want to incorporate contests and giveaways into their book promotion is to see what other authors are doing, and to approach it as if you were going to enter the contest yourself. Is it worthwhile? Will the prize motivate you? Is it fun?

Be creative, and use these proven promotional tools in your book launch. Your readers will thank you.

Joel Friedlander is a self-published author and book designer who blogs about book design, self-publishing and the indie publishing life at He's also the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, where he helps publishers and authors who decide to publish get to market on time and on budget with books that are both properly constructed and beautiful to read.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book with a View November 2012

Title: Family Likeness
Author: Dr. Wilson Awasu
Pages: 96
ISBN: 978-1-4327-7915-3
Genre: religion, Christian education
Published: Outskirts Press, 2012
Reviewer: Sarah Moore

I will start this review by offering a disclaimer. I sat down to read Family Likeness already a fan of Dr. Awasu’s work and the way in which he reaches out to his reading audience with an approach that is personal and inviting. I have had the pleasure of reading two of his previously published books, Kim’s Confessions and Kathy’s Good News, and both of them share emotion without filters so much that you feel as if you have stolen someone’s journal. But, as is also the case in the new release Family Likeness, the real intent of Dr. Awasu’s approach is to show readers the commonality we all have in our doubts and hopes when it comes to exploring notions of prayer, faith, and a connection to something greater than ourselves. Whether we have been sitting in a wooden pew every Sunday morning since childhood or we question if any higher power exists, the desire to understand our spiritual selves is there.

To be fair, Family Likeness is a book primarily designed for readers who accept the Bible as fact and who use the words of this holy book to guide their daily decisions and worship. Dr. Awasu encourages Christian believers by documenting numerous stories from the Bible and placing them against similar experiences held by people he has encountered in his many years of teaching and working in missions. From the struggle of Abraham and Sarah to have a child to Jesus’ disobedience toward his parents as a adolescent to God’s own struggles with prayer while in human form, Awasu selects relevant examples of issues over which we still worry in modern society and offers insight on how to approach these concerns in ways that line up with how Christians are taught to live. And, the stories that Awasu shares are breathtakingly powerful, including his conversations with a rape victim, a drug addict, and a man simply searching for his life’s purpose. He shows us that as family of believers, Christians are called to live with expectations no different than their brothers and sisters whose lives were on display in the Bible.

It must be said, though, that Family Likeness should not be pigeonholed as a self-help book for Christians. Whenever I am reading a book about theology, whether it claims Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or another belief system as its subject, I want to see that the text is strongly sourced. Go back to the writings that are holy to each of these groups and show me how your assertions line up with the specific philosophy. If an author wants to make the case that Islam is the most progressive religion for women, then I will want to read multiple passages from the Koran that support this perspective. And, in Family Likeness, Awasu makes Scripture his foundation. You rarely read more than a sentence or two before the author references a chapter and verse to corroborate his thoughts. So, even if you approach Awasu’s work as an academic and not as someone who necessarily embraces the theology, you will find rich content for reflection. And, perhaps allow yourself to open to a “heart encounter,” as Awasu hopes.

Family Likeness drives home the idea that what we face in our supposedly ordinary lives is not all that different from what the characters in the Bible encountered. We can use the Scripture as lessons upon which to model our own reactions to circumstances. In this new release, Dr. Awasu has created both yet another intimate exploration of emotion in life’s more personal moments as well as a great series of historical parallels to review and see through our individual lens. If you want to read a book written by an educated man who brings passion, knowledge, and a wealth of experience to each page, and if you crave more insight into your own spiritual walk, Family Likeness is a book to add to your collection.

Title: Shudderville, Part I
Author: Mia Zabrisky
Publisher: Mia Zabrisky Books
Publication Date: August 30, 2012
Reviewer: Dana Micheli

When I picked up the first installment of Mia Zabrisky’s Shudderville series, I fully expected a good read; after all, it had an intriguing name and an even more intriguing plot. However, I didn’t expect to be completely blown away. That was my mistake, and one I won’t be making again where Zabrisky’s concerned. Shudderville provides a glimpse into the darkness of the human spirit that’s eerily reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe. I apologize for the cliché, but it literally sent chills up my spine.

Since the tragic death of her beloved daughter, Sophie McKnight’s life has descended into a hellish blur of agony-filled days and alcohol-soaked nights. She has no social life to speak of; just her best friend Cassie and half-hearted fantasies about the odd next door neighbor Sophie knows as the “goateed man”.

Cassie also has another neighbor, the elderly, frail Tobias Mandelbaum. Mandelbaum seems harmless enough, but Sophie soon learns he is no ordinary man, for he knows details about Sophie’s past that she has never told a living soul. He also claims to have the ability to make any wish come true. When he first asks Sophie to make a request, she thinks the old man is crazy. But then she starts to wonder: what if he’s telling the truth? What if she can have the one thing she so desperately wants? Ignoring the goateed man’s warning to stay away from Mandelbaum, Sophie makes her wish and learns that one cannot bargain with evil without paying a terrible price.

Shudderville is a subtle yet profound story that will leave even diehard thriller fans open-mouthed and hungry for more. It also places Zabrisky in a small, elite group of literary suspense writers.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Practing the Golden Rule

Love one another as you would love yourself. Wouldn't it be a perfect world if you could do it! The good news is that, with practice, you can. It is simply a matter of following what your heart tells you to do.

So, you've had challenges in your pasts. The question is, what can you do to undo the damage of what has come before? It's very simple. Just seek out the person who you may have wronged and apologize. If that person can't accept your apology, don't react. Just accept that the person is not in the place to forgive yet. Don't let your ego get in the way. Let it go.

This has been a life-long lesson for me and I still have a way to go, but I'm getting better with each passing day. What I've had to do is to remember that I'm only human. Then I've had to forgive myself for my errors of omission or commission. I encourage you to do this too.

Self-forgiveness is the first step toward freeing yourself from the trap of judgment. Without practicing it, you will only continue to beat up yourself. You can be your own worst enemy. Choose a better way. Freedom can be yours.

Look on the light side of life and realize that you are only human too. Nobody is perfect except within their souls. That's the place from which you want to draw in order to practice unconditional love. That means to accept the other person no matter who they are or what they do.

If someone slights you in some way, turn the other cheek. Don't let your ego react. Recognize that the other person is only human too. Remember all the loving qualities that person possesses. The pathway to unconditional love is not easy, but it's, oh so, rewarding. At all times, remember The Golden Rule.

Another important key to being in the right place to practice this important rule is to remain aware. Don't let your troubles stand in the way. Take time out to let them go. Spend some time meditating, go for a walk, or do anything that distracts you. Stay in the present moment. Then remember that life is good and that it's supposed to be about joy.

The most important thing is to not let anything take you away from your joy. If you can do that, nothing will ruffle your feathers. You may even see the humor in difficult situations. Just remember not to laugh inappropriately. That might just spell out trouble. Keep the joke to yourself unless you are sure it will entertain another.

Perhaps the most important lesson that Jesus taught was The Golden Rule. If only everyone practiced it, we wouldn't need The Ten Commandments. Lead the way by the power of your example. It will inspire others to follow suit.

Just continue to remain aware. Continue to affirm that you can do it. Then put it into practice. The rewards will be amazing. You will remain on the path of freedom and lead others to follow you. You can do it. Now is the time to begin!

Written by Davis Aujourd'hui

Friday, November 9, 2012

Jewish Book Fairs and Festivals for Jewish Authors

By Scott Lorenz

If you are a Jewish author or specialize in writing about Jewish issues, you should consider reviewing this list of book fairs in the Jewish community. Book fairs are excellent places for authors to interact with the public as well as network with book industry leaders, publicists, and book editors.

Book festivals and fairs are held year round all over the world. As a book marketing specialist, I am the first to impress on authors the new and powerful marketing avenues open to all authors on the Internet – from websites and book trailers to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While these are excellent tools when used properly, authors should never overlook opportunities to meet the reading public face-to-face.

If you are a Jewish author or specialize in writing about Jewish issues, you should consider visiting some of these book fairs in the Jewish community.

1. Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor. November 4 – 18, 2012. Contact Karen Freedland, Cultural Arts and Education Director, at 734-971-0990. You can also visit

2. Jewish Book Council’s Jewish Book Month will be held November 7 - December 7, 2012. Jewish Book Month is an annual event on the American Jewish calendar dedicated to the celebration of Jewish books. It is observed during the month proceeding Hanukkah, thus the exact date changes from year to year.

3. Valley of the Sun JCC in Scottsdale, AZ will be hosting the Arizona Authors Speaker Series monthly from October to April. The event will take place on the 3rd Monday of each month from 1:30pm. Arizona contributes much to the literary world with authors and as a story setting. The Valley of the Sun JCC will be treated to appearances by authors who are either from, reside, or use Arizona as a locale for their books. The authors will speak about their life and writings. You need to be a Brandies member to join this group. Guests and JCC Members are welcome for a $5 fee. RSVP’s are required to Merrill Kalman: or 480.296.3355

4. Valley of the Sun JCC in Scottsdale, AZ will also be hosting “Exceptional” Characters in Books & Film, which is co-sponsored by CJSN. The event will take place the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 1:00-2:30pm and will be featuring books with protagonists with disabling conditions; our discussions will focus on the way the disability impacts the characters and the plot.

5. JCC of Metro Detroit’s 61st Annual Jewish Book Fair will be held November 7 – 18, 2012. At this event, fabulous authors from all over the world will present their books. For further information, contact Dalia Keen at 248.432.5467 or email or visit

6. Shalom Austin’s Austin Jewish Book Fair will be October 28 - November 4, 2012. The schedule features lectures and discussions with acclaimed writers, the annual Book Lover’s Luncheon, and an onsite bookstore in partnership with Barnes & Noble. The total cost for the Book Fair Package is: $25 JCC Member /$30 Non-member. Each individual event is: $10 JCC Member /$15 Non-member. Check out for further information.

7. St. Louis JCC’s 34th Annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival presented by Maryville University - St. Louis will be November 4-15, 2012. All author events take place at the Staenberg Family Complex unless otherwise noted. For more information, please call the
St. Louis Jewish Book Festival Hotline: 314.442.3299 or visit

8. Marcus JCC Atlanta’s 21st Edition of the Book Festival of the MJCCA will be November 1-18, 2012. For 20 successful years, the Book Festival of the MJCCA has provided our community with a literary extravaganza featuring an exciting lineup of the year’s most exceptional authors, speakers, and celebrities. Please join thousands of your fellow book lovers to listen, meet, and interact with your favorite authors in a variety of forums, including author meet-and-greets, book signings, a community read, and panel discussions. Check out for more details.

9. Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford will host the 20th Annual Mandell JCC Jewish Book Festival - Celebrating Israel, Debuts, Dads & Dudes with events taking place November 18, 2012, January 23, 2013, March 16, 2013, and May 9, 2013. Please visit for complete details.

10. Columbus JCC is finalizing the fantastic 2012 line up for JCC Bookfair 2012! For more information about sponsorship contact Bookfair Director Debbie Vinocur at or 614.559.6214. Check for updates as they become available.

11. Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston, TX will be holding their 40th Annual Jewish Book & Arts Fair from Oct 28 - Nov 11, 2012. For a calendar of events and complete brochure, visit

12. JCC of Greater Washington will host the 43rd Annual Book Festival from November 1-11, 2012. The festival will present an exciting line-up of best-selling authors as well as up and coming writers new to the literary scene. The nine-day Festival will be packed with engaging author events, children's programs, book signings, and a bookstore brimming with Jewish must-reads. For details, to request a Book Festival brochure, or to join the Book Festival Committee, contact the Book Festival Director Lynn Gittleson at 301.348.3840 or or visit

13. San Diego Center for Jewish Culture will host the San Diego Jewish Book Fair 2012 from November 3 - November 11, 2012. The San Diego Jewish Book Fair is the largest and most respected Jewish Book Fair in the nation and the largest literature-related event in San Diego County. For tickets and further information, visit

14. Mandel JCC in Beachwood, Ohio will be celebrating the 13th Annual Festival of Jewish Books & Authors from November 4-18, 2012. Stay tuned for details and a full listing of authors, which will be announced this month! For information please contact Julie Frayman at or 216.831.0700 ext. 1316.

Please check back at for announcements.

15. The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee in Florida will host the Jewish Book Festival Wednesday, November 14, 2012 with a lecture and Q&A with author Lloyd Constantine. For questions, contact Len Steinberg at 941.371.4546 ext. 106 or visit

16. JCC Dallas will host the J Book Fair October 11, 2012 - March 3, 2013.
For more information, please contact Rachelle Weiss Crane at or 214.239.7128 or visit

Book fairs typically seek out guest speakers. By volunteering to speak at a Jewish book fair, you will pique the interest of new readers and potentially gain a few new fans. Additionally, you can add the speaking appearance to your resume. Be sure to plan ahead because book fairs, speaking engagements and readings are all planned months in advance. For a complete list of book fairs and festivals visit

The bottom line: Reach out to the Jewish community and attend a book fair! You will be happy you did.

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Join Us for A Conversation with Author Luke Hays

If you're interested in mysteries, murders, and mystics, be sure to tune in when I speak with Luke Hays about his new novel, Psychic Detective.  Set in 1883, the story centers around New York Pinkerton Detective Henry Larsen, who is called to California to solve a string of brutal killings in the small town of Littleton.

To say that Larsen is a gifted crime solver is an understatement, for in addition to his traditional sleuthing skills, he is also a psychic. Of course, given his profession and the era in which he lives, he can't let anyone find out about that! No matter what, Larsen will do whatever it takes to find the killer before he can claim his next victim. 

Luke Hays, a born and bred New Englander, has been a prolific writer since grade school. At 21 years old he has already published two novels and is currently working on a third; which is the second installment of  his trilogy, The Blood Line.  

Click here to listen to the podcast

Like what you heard? Psychic Detective (as well as Luke's first novel, The Sorcerer's Apprentice: The Blood Line) is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and
Outskirts Press

Also, be sure to check out Luke's blog, Rise of the Fallen. where he offers his thoughts on writing, as well as reviews of the latest movies.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

WITS Announcements November 2012

As a subscriber to Writers in the Sky Newsletter, you are entitled to share your announcements with our readers. See guidelines at and send your material to us before the 24th of each month to make the next month’s issue. Anything posted in WITS Newsletter is also shared with our blog readers at

WITS client Tiago Bernal has released Messages from the Future Part I, the first instalment of his three-part interactive game book. The human race is facing extinction in the very near future, unless a few brave individuals are willing to stop it. Are you one of these people? We dare you to find out. If you decide to accept this challenge, you will find yourself in the midst of an adventure that will take all of your wits and courage to survive. To check out the trailer and buy Messages from the Future, visit:
Read the first chapter for free and then decide if you want to download the 3-hour-long mp3 audio book of More Than Meets the Eye ~ True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife for only $7.00
Need a Video Trailer for Your Book?

Daniel Harker (Dharkerwv Multimedia Productions) can create a video trailer for your book. See the video he did for Yvonne Perry, he was great to work with—very conscientious about the message as well as the audio-video component. He was also prompt in responding to my emails.

If you are interested in querying Dharkerwv Multimedia Productions, please contact Daniel at Place "Query for Book Trailer" in the subject line.
Each story in The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children focuses on life skills such as environmental awareness, helping others, being true to one’s self, overcoming fear, and following inner guidance.
Beginning November 26, Michael Loyd Gray's latest novel, King Biscuit, takes a tour around the blogosphere. Join us as we celebrate another great story by this master of literary fiction! Visit the tour here:

We Are One in Spirit Podcast allows people of all walks of life to discuss their spiritual journey and life-transforming experiences that remind us that we are all ONE IN SPIRIT. Uplifting, enlightening, and insightful topics include healing, empathy, intuition, spiritual/psychic gifts, metaphysics, soul development, afterlife, spirit communication, and more. This interactive teleconference offers listeners a chance to chat directly with Yvonne Perry and her guest experts about spiritual matters of soul development. This interactive podcast has with a question and answer session at the end of each guest presentation. To participate on the phone call/Webinar or listen to the free replays, please subscribe to our blog so we can send you a reminder with the call-in info.
Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those around You is a guidebook for empathic people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else. See all purchasing options at
State of Appreciation is a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization. Offers empowering articles, gifts, and free contemporary and classic empowerment downloads free at
If you are looking for someone to create an original piece for your book cover, you may want to connect with Diane Daversa on Facebook:!/pages/Diane-Daversa-Fine-Art/109782219119036
Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience is about how to embrace multidimensional frequencies, lessen physical and emotional symptoms of rapid spiritual ascension, and offers tips to make the ascension process easier and quicker.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blogging Contest: Win Cash & Get A Full-Time Job

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last half-decade or so, you've heard talk about how inbound marketing - and the strong role that content creation plays in it - have become an increasingly important part of the marketing and business mix. Inbound leads cost less, convert at a higher rate, and have higher average customer values - so why would businesses not invest in generating more of them?

As someone who's consulted with hundreds of companies about their marketing programs, the most common roadblock that I've seen is the ability to create a high velocity of keyword-rich and persona-oriented content. Just saying that sentence hurts my head! The latest research indicates that producing enough content marketing is the biggest challenge for North American marketers.

Read more about the contest here.

WITS Podcast Schedule November 2012

Writers in the Sky Podcast is a Nashville-based talk show about writing, publishing, and book marketing. An educational tool for people who want to learn more about the craft and business of writing, this show offers interviews with authors and writers, as well as the latest news about books currently on the market. You will also learn about publishing methods and marketing techniques as we interview publishers and publicists. Listen to archived shows via RSS Feed. Download WITS Podcast on iTunes for your iPod or iPad.

Join us November 9 when Luke Hays discusses his second novel, Psychic Detective. It is the spring of 1883, and a brutal killer named the Grim Reaper is terrorizing Littleton, California. When Pinkerton Detective Henry Larson arrives from New York to work on the case, he clearly has special skill as an investigator. Little do the other cops know, this "special skill" is Larson's spot-on psychic ability.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Editor's Corner November 2012

Happy November, everyone! I am writing you from eye of Hurricane Sandy (also known as New York City). As I sit here, praying my electric stays on, I am once again reminded of our dependence on technology. All day long, my Blackberry has been buzzing and beeping with concerned texts and emails from family, friends, and our wonderful WITS clients (as well as warnings from some Emergency Center to stay indoors), all reminding me that I’m not alone.
But what if the power does go off and I lose my internet connection? No TV, computer, or cell phone? What would I do? I may have to –God forbid—pick up a pen and write the old-fashioned way. This is troubling, and yet, somehow exciting. Because isn’t that what writing is supposed to be—just the writer and his/her thoughts? Jane Austen didn’t have a laptop, and the Founding Fathers didn’t proofread the Constitution while listening to their iPods, yet their magnificent creations continue to inspire, guide and entertain millions of people.
The first purpose of this little rant is to remind all the writers out there that whether you have the latest gadgets or not, the thoughts, feelings and words to create the next masterpiece are within you. The second is a reminder to be thankful for everything you have—friends, a roof over your head, and yes, those devices that make our lives a little easier each day.
Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.
Dana Micheli
Writer and editor, Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services

Monday, November 5, 2012

Need a Break from Politics? Change the Radio Dial to the Aspects of Writing Show!

Tune into the Aspects of Writing radio show on Tuesday, November 6 (2pm PST) when host James Kelly and I discuss "Finding the Right Editor".  The show will cover the importance of working with an editor, how to find editors who will improve your work while preserving your voice, and what you can expect to pay for editing services. The other guest is author B.J. Rudell. Rudell's first book, Only in New Hampshire, garnered national acclaim, including "Writer on the Rise" honors from Campaigns & Elections magazine, and for which he garnered more than 40 media appearances on  CNN, Fox News, and other news outlets.

I have been on James' show several times and am always so impressed with his professionalism and commitment to helping writers reach their full potential. He guides aspiring authors through the entire process (including a realistic budget) and even helps them utilize funding sites so that they can raise the money necessary to get their book ready for market.

Currently, James and I are working together to assist first-time author Jan Coursey with her amazing novel, Time is About to Tell. I am providing developmental editing; then, every other Tuesday, Jan and I join James on Aspects of Writing so his listeners can learn more about the editing process. It's a win-win-win situation!

Aspects of Writing is broadcast on KLAV 1230 on the AM dial. You can also listen on your computer by visiting Aspects of Writing or view it live at

Please feel free to call into the show at 866-820-5528. We'd love to answer your questions!

This Friday's Podcast Guest: Luke Hays

Join us this Friday as author Luke Hays discusses his historical fantasy novel, Psychic Detective. It is the story of Henry Larson, a brilliant Pinkerton Detective from New York City. When Larson is asked by his superiors to help solve a string of brutal murders in California, he cannot refuse. But this is no ordinary case, and Larson will need to use everything in his arsenal, including his psychic gifts, to catch the killer.

The most fascinating aspect of this story is that it's set in 1883. Nowadays, it's not that usual to hear of police using a psychic to help them solve a difficult case; there was even a television show about a medium who communicates with the dead to help law enforcement. Henry Larson's nineteenth century colleagues, however, might not be so accepting!

Hays, a native New Englander, has been writing since childhood, and at 21 years old is already working on his third novel.Be sure to tune in as Luke discusses the inspiration for his work and his writing, publishing and marketing advice for other writers.