Book Marketing Tips: Guest Shelley Schanfield, author of The Mountain Goddess

Shelley Schanfield’s passion for Buddhism and yoga arose sixteen years ago, when she and her son earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do. The links between the martial arts and Buddhist techniques to calm and focus the mind fascinated her. By profession a librarian, Shelley plunged into research about the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. Its transformational teachings soon prompted Shelley to hang up her black belt and begin a yoga practice that she follows to this day.

Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. When she didn’t find one that satisfied her, she decided to write her own novels based on the spiritual struggles of women in the Buddha’s time. She published the first book in the Sadhana Trilogy, The Tigress and the Yogi, in 2016 and will publish the second, The Mountain Goddess in early 2017.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz.  Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

I’m very excited about publishing The Mountain Goddess, the second book in The Sadhana Trilogy, novels that follow the transformational journeys of women who knew the Buddha. They are set In a time when ancient India was torn by political and religious strife. (The first, The Tigress and the Yogi, was published in January 2016 and has garnered excellent reviews.) In the second book, rebellious and beautiful Dhara, a warrior’s daughter, captures the heart of Prince Siddhartha, who will become the Buddha. Her lust for power and his yearning for spiritual freedom threaten their love and their kingdom.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

With my first book, I had already established author pages on Facebook and Goodreads as well as a website and presence on Pinterest.  I also purchased reviews from Foreword Clarion and Blue Ink, which my local booksellers recommended as respected sources for information on indies. My first book won a bronze the IPPY awards in 2016, and I’ve entered the second book for 2017, as well as signing up for reviews from Foreword and Blue Ink.

What’s your opinion on blogging?  Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales?  If you blog, do you blog often?

Most of the best advice I’ve read says don’t blog unless you have something to say, so to date I have not pursued that angle. But I’m beginning a whole new bunch of research for Book Three, and I’m beginning to have a sneaking desire to write about that and some of the work I did for the first two books. So sign up on my web site to see what I’ll be doing there..

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool.  What social networks do you use and do you find any of them effective?

As I mentioned, I’m on Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.  I found my Facebook author page was a great way to advertise my book launch and have tried out some advertising which had nice responses. On Goodreads, I ran a book giveaway for my first book and got over 700 entries and good, honest reviews from the winners.  I also run an ad campaign on Goodreads which is cheap and easy and gets a steady stream of clickthroughs, which helps get my name out there.

I’ve found that the book blast I did through PumpUpYourBook.com really pumped up my Twitter followers, so I’ll be doing more there.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?

Check out my Virtual Book Tour through PumpUpYourBook. I’m excited to see the results from it.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

Honestly, word of mouth, which includes reviews posted on Goodreads and Amazon.

Pump Up Your Book Announces Daniel A. Blum’s The Feet Say Run Virtual Book Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Feet Say Run

Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Daniel A. Blum’s THE FEET SAY RUN (Gabriel’s Horn Press) virtual book tour April 3 – June 30. Daniel will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new literary fiction that critics are saying is ‘eccentric, hilarious and, in the end, very moving’!

Daniel A. Blum grew up in New York, attended Brandeis University and currently lives outside of Boston with his family. His first novel Lisa33 was published by Viking in 2003. He has been featured in Poets and Writers magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and most recently, interviewed in Psychology Today.

Daniel writes a humor blog, The Rotting Post, that has developed a loyal following.

The Feet Say Run is a phenomenal book. At the age of eighty-five, Hans Jaeger finds himself a castaway among a group of survivors on a deserted island. What is my particular crime? he asks. Why have I been chosen for this fate? And so he begins his extraordinary chronicle.

It would be an understatement to say he has lived a full life. He has grown up in Nazi Germany and falls in love with Jewish girl. He fights for the Germans on two continents, watches the Reich collapse spectacularly into occupation and starvation, and marries his former governess. After the war he goes on wildflower expeditions in the Alps, finds solace among prostitutes while his wife lay in a coma, and marries a Brazilian chambermaid in order to receive a kidney from her.

By turns sardonic and tragic and surreal, Hans’s story is the story of all of the insanity, irony and horror of the modern world itself.

If you’d like to follow his tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2017/03/07/%f0%9f%93%9a-pump-up-your-book-presents-the-feet-say-run-virtual-book-publicity-tour/. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson

Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours

P.O. Box 643

Chincoteague, Virginia 23336

Email: Dorothy@PumpUpYourBook.com

Pump Up Your Book Announces Darin Gibby’s Chasing Hindy Virtual Book Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chasing Hindy

Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Darin Gibby’s CHASING HINDY (Koehler Books) virtual book tour April 3 – June 30. Darin will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new thriller that critics are saying is a well written face pace novel!

In addition to a thriving career as a novelist, author Darin Gibby is also one of the country’s premiere patent attorneys and a partner at the prestigious firm of Kilpatrick Townsend (www.kilpatricktownsend.com). With over twenty years of experience in obtaining patents on hundreds of inventions from the latest drug delivery systems to life-saving cardiac equipment, he has built IP portfolios for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to securing patents, Gibby helps clients enforce and license their patents around the world, and he has monetized patents on a range of products.

Darin’s first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system. His second book, The Vintage Club, tells the story of a group of the world’s wealthiest men who are chasing a legend about a wine that can make you live forever. His third book, Gil, is about a high school coach who discovers that he can pitch with deadly speed and is given an offer to play with the Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil soon discovers, however, that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, he is highly regarded in Denver’s legal and business community as a patent strategist, business manager, and community leader. He is also a sought-after speaker on IP issues at businesses, colleges and technology forums, where he demonstrates the value of patents using simple lessons from working on products such as Crocs shoes, Izzo golf straps and Trek bicycles.

An avid traveler and accomplished triathlete, Darin also enjoys back country fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He lives in Denver with his wife, Robin, and their four children.

Chasing Hindy is a phenomenal book. Addy’s dream as a patent attorney is to help bring a ground breaking energy technology to the world. Addy’s hopes soar when she is wooed by Quinn, an entrepreneur, to join his company that has purportedly invented a car that can run on water using an innovative catalyst. After resigning her partnership to join Quinn, Addy discovers things aren’t as they seem. The patent office suppresses the company’s patent applications and her life is threatened by unknown assailants if she doesn’t resign.

When she is arrested for stealing US technology from the patent office she realizes Quinn has used her. Now, Addy must find a way to clear her name while salvaging her dream of propelling this technology to the world, all while powerful forces attempt to stop her.

If you’d like to follow his tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2017/02/16/%f0%9f%93%9a-pump-up-your-book-presents-chasing-hindy-virtual-book-publicity-tour/. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops and enter his $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson

Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours

P.O. Box 643

Chincoteague, Virginia 23336

Email: Dorothy@PumpUpYourBook.com

Sci-fi book about dogs launches Cobb 13-year-old’s career as author

In a way, Emily Rose Ross blames McDonald’s.

Or maybe she has McDonald’s to thank for the fact that at age 13, she’s a professional author. Her 218-page sci-fi fantasy book, “Blue’s Prophecy,” will officially be released on May 15 by TitleTown Publishing, based in Green Bay, Wis.

Back in fourth grade, Emily was “regularly dragged” to McDonald’s by her dad, Richard, for “homework time.” Emily would get her assignments done quickly, but her big brother had more schoolwork. Emily, often called Emmie, had to busy herself.

She did so by drawing pictures of dogs, then making up stories to go with them.

Read the rest of article at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

How to Create a Professional Author Page in Amazon Author Central

Guest post about Amazon Author Central pages by the uber talented writer–and my editor for Kindlepreneur –Val Breit from KeepCalmWriteOn.com.

Using Amazon Author Central and creating an Author page can make a big difference in your book sales.

Read the article at KindlePreneur.

Make the Most of Your Book Back Cover With These Tips

You have heard over and over from experts and read online how important your front cover is.  It is true.  How your cover looks is even more important that what you write inside the book. Because if your cover is not terrific, then no one will ever know how brilliant your writing is. It is the front cover’s job to convince a potential reader to flip the book over and read the back cover.  It is the job of the book back cover to convince a reader to flip open a book and read a few pages.

Read the rest of article at BookWorks.

Five Cautionary Points to Ponder Before Publishing on Amazon

So, you are about to self-publish a book in e-book or print-on-demand format. It seems like a no-brainer to sign an exclusive contract with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and up goes your book to Amazon’s vast online audience. After all, presumably they own 60 or 70% of the e-book market. This super rich company has overall product revenues of more than $107 billion and more than 304 million active customer accounts worldwide.

Read the rest of article at AuthorLink.

Self-publishing Success Stories: How I Do It – with C J Archer

This week in our series celebrating super-successful indie authors, we talk to Australian historical fantasy novelist C J Archer, USA Today bestseller and author of over 25 books. Read on to find out how she does it, and to be inspired for your own self-publishing career, whatever genre you write.

Read the rest of article at Alliance of Independent Authors.

Book Excerpt: Sealed Up: The Course of Fate: Book One by Steve Dunn Hanson

Title: Sealed Up
Author: Steve Dunn Hanson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 402
Genre: Action/Adventure/Suspense

The Da Vinci Code unsettles. SEALED UP shakes to the core!

UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, in a funk since his young wife’s death, learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.

Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through a literal jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.

When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.

And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?

Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense-driven and thought provoking tour de force begs a startling question: Could it happen?

Purchase at Amazon

First Chapter:

Thursday, December 21, 2000

NAJA, CHIAPAS, MEXICO

Nacom was dying.

Guanacaste trees filtered the twilight into gold slivers that shimmered across Laguna Naja. The lake bore the name of the Lacandón Maya village nestled against it. Kish squatted on the ribbon of beach that framed the giant pond and stared at the darkening blue water. His black hair hung like string around his face, and his white tunic draped him like a sack. Koh Maria told him to wait there. She said her grandfather wanted to speak with him.

Kish knew what Nacom wanted.

“Who will follow a nineteen-year-old shaman,” he groused. Guttural growls of howler monkeys sounded like mocking laughter, and his shoulders slumped. A sharp tug on his tunic pulled him from his petulance.

“Now,” Koh Maria said.

Kish followed her to Nacom’s hut where she pushed open two square-ish boards hinged to weathered posts. Inside, roughhewn mahogany planks of random widths formed the walls. The shaman’s shriveled body lay in a hand-loomed hammock of faded palm-green and corn-yellow stripes. He cracked open his eyes as Kish stood beside him. With the back of his hand, he dismissed Koh Maria.

“You. Chilam.” Nacom whispered. “Itzamná speaks.”

“Priest? Me?” Kish stuttered as he shook his head.

“Obey!” Nacom responded, and his finger pointed to the arcane mahogany box beneath his hammock. Kish did not know what was inside, but something about the box unsettled him. The old man moved his fingers back and forth. Once. Twice. Kish was to pick it up. His hands quivered as he set the box on the simple table by the hammock’s side.

Nacom mumbled something. Kish bent closer. Nacom spoke again. “What day?”

Kish replied in Hach T’ana, the pure Mayan tongue: “Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Uuc tun. Canlahun uinal. Uuclahun kin.” December 21, 2000—winter solstice.

“Yes,” Nacom slurred. “You prepare. Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Bolonlahun tun. Uaxac uinal. Hun kin.” In four-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four days. His hand moved to a thin cord around his neck. He labored as he pulled it from under his white tunic revealing a small key. Kish was to remove it.

With care he raised the old man’s head and slipped the cord over it. For a long moment Nacom lay still; his breath hardly there at all. Then the index finger of his right hand pushed toward the box and wiggled. Kish fought his anxiety as he inserted the key.

“Should I open it?” His voice was high, tense. Nacom’s head bobbed a little. Kish turned the key and raised the lid. A rectangular-shaped object on top was enfolded in white cotton cloth. The one on the bottom, shaped the same but thicker, was wrapped tight in the black pelt of a jaguar and bound with four cords. Kish reached to pick up the white one.

“No!” Nacom’s fingers lifted an inch as he forced out the word with startling firmness. “You. Prepare. Listen Itzamná.” His breath was heavy. “You. Keep box. Sacwa’an (white). Study. Follow. I’ic’ (black). No you. Give. Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Bolonlahun tun. Uaxac uinal. Hun kin.” In four-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four days. His breath was a gasp and almost ceased. For a long moment there was no movement; no sound, except for Kish’s own nervous panting. Then Nacom whispered, “Not fail. Lock box. Koh Maria.”

Kish closed the lid and fastened it. His hands shook as he put the cord with the key around his own neck. He scrambled to the doorway and motioned to Koh Maria. She entered, opened her eyes wide at Kish’s ashen face, then went to her grandfather and held his hand. His face puckered into a tiny wrinkled smile. With effort he lifted his eyes to reveal red-veined film, and words like a ghost-rustle parted his lips. “The box. Kish.” Koh Maria nodded.

With a gurgle, Nacom breathed in.

Breathed out.

Then no more.

From Books to Movies: Interview with Bestselling Author Sheila Roberts

I have a very special guest today. Bestselling author Sheila Roberts has seen her books translated into over a dozen languages. Her novels On Strike for Christmas and The Nine Lives of Christmas were made into movies for the Lifetime and Hallmark channels. When she’s not hanging out with her girlfriends or dancing with her husband she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.  Her latest book is the women’s fiction/romance, Starting Over on Blackberry Lane.

Thank you for this interview, Sheila.  Can we begin by having you tell us how you got started writing women’s fiction?

Sheila: Many years ago, my mother-in-law and I decided I should write a story based on her life. My skills weren’t quite up to that project, but it did whet my appetite for more. I’d been writing short stories and magazine articles for years – was even writing stories as a child, so writing had already become an addiction. I came up with another idea, a historical set in Regency England about a lady thief, and that was the first book I saw published. That book is long since out of print and the publisher out of business, but I’m still here, telling stories that I hope will entertain and encourage women. Over the years I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction, some under different names. This book is number 41 for me.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book, Starting Over on Blackberry Lane?

Sheila:As the title implies, it’s about starting over. I have characters starting over with home improvement projects, careers, and love. I hope it will be a theme that resonates. At some point in our lives we all face the challenge of starting over, whether that’s in our career or in a relationship. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a new plan.
Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

Sheila:I have three different women at three different stages in life, each facing her own unique challenge. One has canceled the engagement and is hesitating at the edge of a new career adventure, working up the nerve to dive in. Another finds herself in the middle of a home improvement mess and needs to start over with someone other than her husband in charge. (Oh, how I could identify with the stress of remodeling! Been there, done that more than once.) My third heroine has hit middle age like a brick wall and is ready for a change, starting with a new relationship. I enjoyed launching these fictional friends in new directions. It’s my personal opinion that it’s never too late to find your soul mate, to make a dream come true. To do anything you set your mind to.  

How exciting that your books were made into movies for Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel.  Can you tell us how that happened?

Sheila:Producers are always on the look-out for material and I just happened to get lucky. The man who produced both movies is wonderful to work with and even allowed my husband and me a cameo appearance (in THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS). Of course, both movies were different than the books. Time constraints force the person writing the script to choose the highlights and let other things slide, sometimes even entire plot lines. But that’s okay. Once an author hands over her book then she has to allow it to become someone else’s brain baby.
What’s your secret for cranking out book after book?

Sheila:Ideas. As long as I keep getting ideas I suppose I’ll keep writing.
What’s next for you?

Sheila:I’ll have a Christmas tale coming out in November. Maybe if I’m lucky, someone will want to turn that one into a movie.

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