Sharing Experiences by Steven Fujita, author of To Up to 10K

Title: Toe Up to 10K
Author: Steven Fujita
Publisher: BookBaby
Pages: 168
Genre: Self-Help
Format: Ebook

In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs.

“Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.

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Sharing Experiences

In June 2012, I came down with meningitis, and as a result, damaged my spinal cord.  I was paralyzed from the chest down, and wasn’t guaranteed to walk again.    But it was an open-ended question, and I really felt I would walk again.  However, I wanted to know how long it would take, and the stages I would go through, and how long each stage would take.  Additionally, I wanted to know when the other consequences of spinal cord injury, such as bowel and bladder issues would resolve, if at all.

It was really difficult to find information, even with today’s instant internet browsing.  So, early on, I resolved to write a book about my recovery, which resulted in Toe Up to 10K.   And I decided I would include the embarrassing subjects of bowel and bladder issues.  However, as I was writing the book, I experienced a significant recovery.  I know all individuals are different, and people with the same type of injury as I have will not walk again, no matter how hard they exercise, but I believe many people do benefit from rehabilitation exercises and do walk again as a direct result of those exercises.  So, the book’s theme changed from what it’s like to damage your spinal cord, to one of how I recovered from a spinal cord injury.

The book I wrote serves two purposes. First, it gives the reader a glimpse of what people experience when the spinal cord is injured.  I also wrote about my own timeline and stages, so people newly diagnosed with a spinal cord injury can have a timeline for comparison.  Second, I believe the book serves an inspirational purpose.  I know 100% of people who try will not walk again, but 99.99% of those who walk again try very hard.  Later, after I recovered, I found out that I was given only a fair chance of walking again.  I wanted to inspire those who are facing the same challenges I faced, and perhaps they could adopt the same strategies I used during my recovery.

I learned the power of social media and message boards to share experiences.  Even after two years, I still learn about strategies to deal with spinal cord injuries, and also share my experiences with other people in the Spinal Cord Injury community.    Sharing experiences lets you know that others have gone through what you are going through and lets you share information to others of what you have gone through.

Steven Fujita was born in Los Angeles and raised in Torrance, California. He attended college in Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Long Beach, California.

Listen to Steven Fujita’s interview on the Book Club with John Austin, which aired November 2, 2010, about his novella, Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker’s vampire novel, Dracula.

His other book, $10 a Day Towards $1,000,000, is available on Kindle. This book promotes the idea of using time and savings to build wealth.

His new book, Toe Up to 10K, was released in September 2014. This book chronicles his recovery from spinal cord injury he sustained in 2012.

Visit his website at:

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How to Promote Your Book With Quote Images

Don’t you just love those quote images or sometimes called ‘teasers’ that authors promote with on Twitter and elsewhere?  Here’s one I made with my own image program for one of my clients:

But what if you don’t have an image program and would like an alternative way of doing them?

I have come upon an excellent article that lists different sites you can go to make your own quote images to promote your book.  While you can’t really customize these with book covers and added text beside the quote, these are marvelous and they are free.

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Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Glenn Bassett

Title: Wordplay
Author: Glenn Bassett
Publisher: Organization Diagnostics
Pages: 270
Genre: Business
Format: Paperback/Kindle

WordPlay lays out the functions of language as the foundation of what is loosely called mind. Studies of language in primitive cultures by anthropological linguists demonstrate the existence of a basic set of words called semantic primes in every cultural setting. Language is extended and elaborated on the foundation of semantic primes to construct a mental map of the perceived phenomenal world. Once in place, a rich culture of language is passed on from each generation to the next by example. Words ultimately become so ubiquitous and necessary that they take on a reality all their own. Mental maps become more real than the reality of direct experience.

Establishment of a critical capacity for knowing truth demands a study of psycholinguistics. The fund of social psychological research made available through research over the past century offers a window on the way words are used to captivate, illuminate, intimidate, inform and imbue us with intelligence.

WordPlay is a compilation of the most salient research that pertains to language use. It is a layman’s introduction to psycholinguistics. The emphasis is on how words shape behavior and become the substance of the mind. This is knowledge of those habits of mind that can interfere with straight, clear thinking. It is antidote to functional social ignorance of our rich language culture.

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Thank you for your time in answering our questions  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book?
I have read widely in linguistics and concluded that the subject as usually presented is excessively formal and impersonal.  In trying to be scientists, linguistics scholars have focused on the mathematics of computer language or the presumed contribution of genetics to the uniqueness of language to humans.  There is an extensive body of research into the ability of other primates, mostly chimpanzees, to acquire a limited level of language in the laboratory.  The results have been surprisingly encouraging. Some chimps and a bonobo have become conversant in a lexicon of several hundred words, most using sign language.  Linguists have yet to come up with an explanation for how this happens in primates, much less how humans typically acquire language from infancy with such ease.  The issue of language as a coping personal tool seemed unaddressed.  WordPlay takes that issue on and explores it in depth.
Is this your first book?
No, I have published or written a dozen other books, mostly in the field of management. My Ph.D. is in Management which, at the Yale graduate school, is a hybrid of social psychology and operations research.  WordPlay allowed me to take the Social Psychology limb of my degree, combine it with research into Neuropsychology and Cultural Anthropology and extend my interest in primate language learning into the realm of human language acquisition and usage.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
I began with articles, then books written for the editors at the American Management Association’s Book and Journal division.  They were superb editors who helped me hone my writing skills up to a professional level.  Later as a University Professor I negotiated book contracts with academic publishers that would support my professional status.  My interests have always been much broader than just the management field, and it was natural that my broad interest in the social sciences would lead me into the realm of psycholinguistics.
What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry?
When I began writing for publication, editors were still looking for and nurturing talent.  That has all changed.  Publishers rarely gamble on unknowns today.  They want sure things from known names.  Celebrities publish readily because there is certainty in sales and profits.  Unknowns must now self-publish and take the risks publishers no longer want to take.  That has opened a whole new business of printing and distribution support for self-publishers.
If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?
It is always nice to let someone else take the risks of business enterprise but if youhave something worthwhile to say it may be necessary to roll the dice on your own dime.  With WordPlay, I am breaking ground by popularizing what has been an over intellectualized academic field.  The people I am working for are wonderful and, whether I win or lose, it is a grand experience.
Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published?
I couldn’t do this without the support of Amy Collins and her group at New Shelves Distribution.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Write what you are passionate about, seek out solid editorial support, find any avenue you can to put your book in print and don’t be afraid to take the necessary risks.

Dr. Glenn Bassett is Professor Emeritus of Management and former Dean of Business at the University of Bridgeport.  A graduate of Berkeley and Yale, as well as a former corporate staffer at General Electric, Dr. Bassett’s career has focused on applied Social Psychology.  WordPlay is the result of exended research into the science of psycholinguistics. He is the author of numerous articles and published books, including The Managers Craft.

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Interview with Daron Kenneth, author of Pieces of Me

Title: Pieces of Me

Genre: Poetry

Author: Daron Kenneth

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 108

Language: English

ISBN – 978-1-46852-289-1

Pieces of Me, is Daron Kenneth’s newest offering of poetry that takes the reader on the real and often surreal ride through the mindscape of the author’s soul. Pieces of Me is an electric journey into some of life’s richest and most memorable moments.

Purchase your copy:


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
My books are merely my personal reflections on the things that I observe and that they were things that inspired me to write about.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
The biggest challenges are being able to retain a books interest and to try to have the reader see things from the point of view even after it is finished.
Do you plan subsequent books?
I’ve written seven books now and even though they are all different from each other they are all similar. I plan to write more short stories, they are my favorite.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in high school when I took a creative writing course and started writing poetry. I’ve never stopped writing, I write every day.
What is your greatest strength as an author?
My ability to write in a way that is describing something in an interesting (or hopefully interesting way).
Did writing this book teach you anything?
The writing of this book has taught me that I need to write things from points of view. I write when I am manic as well as depressed but should only write when I am in a manic state as it is when I am most descriptive.


Author, Daron Kenneth, a teacher, writer, play wright and poet gives us his current collection of poetry and insightful observations about the things that mean the most: life, love, friendships and relationships.

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Writing, Caregiving and Alzheimer’s Disease by Barry Tutor


Like most, I knew about Alzheimer’s disease. It causes old people to forget. When my relationship with this disease began, it highlighted how little I knew. Following my widowed mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I researched this disease to gain insight about my new role as her caregiver and decision maker. What I learned and experienced during her affliction still left me somewhat unprepared for what was yet to come. Sixteen months following my mother’s diagnosis, my dear wife and best friend was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Though now I was familiar with this silent killer, my wife’s diagnosis set into motion many changes and challenges in our lives. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every sixty-eight seconds. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the top-ten causes of death that is on the increase and has no means of prevention and no possible cure. Given these facts, support for those afflicted relies on increasing levels of caregiving as the disease progresses. Let me explain something about this “old folk’s disease.” Alzheimer’s affects more than just parents and grandparents. It is also the disease of siblings, spouses, and children. Alzheimer’s forces many families to decide between home versus institutional care. An estimated fifteen million caregivers provide some level of care to the Alzheimer’s victims still living at home. No matter what level of care you are providing, the importance of preparation is paramount. Arming yourself with knowledge begins that preparation process. I was unprepared for the roller-coaster ride my life became as the sole caregiver for two Alzheimer’s victims. To meet their varied challenges, I adapted and developed multiple techniques for targeted personalized care. If only I knew then what I know now. By sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to better prepare you for your caregiving journey.

Purchase your copy:

Trafford Publishing

Writing, Caregiving and Alzheimer’s Disease

When you become a new author questions always arise from interviewers, publicists and readers: “Why did you write this book” or “What was your inspiration?” While I would have enjoyed writing about wizards, superheroes, spies or master detectives I chose instead to write Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To about the true heroes that often go unnoticed in the world of Alzheimer’s care. This is a world I know far too well as I have faced the horrors of Alzheimer’s twice; my late mother lost her battle in 2010 and my wife is currently in her fourteenth year fighting the disease. What sets my book apart from most who have authored similar books; I cared for both of them on my own and simultaneously until I was forced to put my mother into Alzheimer’s assisted living in 2007 because, even though I am talented at all things caregiving, I could not be in two places at once.

At present, there are some 5 million Alzheimer’s patients in the United States and most are cared for by approximately 15 million caregivers. What do the majority of these 20 million people have in common? When the newly diagnosed receives the bad news, they are essentially cast to the wolves with little more than a patient starter pack of medication and instruction to go to the Alzheimer’s Association website for assistance.

In Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To I assist caregivers in recognizing many aspects of caregiving and planning that are often overlooked when assuming the responsibilities of another adult’s life as the disease takes over. Along with addressing the activities of daily living I make the reader aware of facility planning, financial and legal preparation, hospice care, psychological issues, clinical trials, and evaluating institutional care facilities should home care become unrealistic or impossible. In my interactions with other caregivers, both professional and volunteer, I found that I was not alone in my “seek, and ye shall find” instructions from the diagnosing physician. While I am an experienced computer user, it dawned on me that so many of the people that receive this diagnosis and the “instructions” may not be computer savvy enough to access the necessary information for what’s next.

One of my inspirations for writing Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To came from another author. A few months after my mother was diagnosed my wife and I attended a health fair where an independent author was speaking about her husband’s diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s and his care. Being fairly new to Alzheimer’s care, like most others in my situation, I welcomed the chance to gain more information from someone who had been there before. By the fourth chapter, I realized this woman did not author a book about Alzheimer’s care but instead penned a book about Alzheimer’s care in Fantasyland. I occasionally think back to her book having spoken with hundreds of other caregivers, watched over my mother until her death and while I stand watch over my terminally ill wife of nearly 32 years and feel this woman must have had it pretty easy in caring for her Alzheimer’s patient.

I did not set out to write the next bestseller but instead an unvarnished, no holds barred look at the real world of Alzheimer’s caregiving. While I would like to sell many copies; becoming the next longtime resident of the bestseller lists; I am a realist that understands that nobody, let me repeat nobody, expects this disease to come barging into their lives until after losses begin.

When I began my “career” as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, I knew little more about the disease than it causes old people to forget things. In that regard, I feel I was as informed as the average person that has not experienced Alzheimer’s or the caregiving involved. Every 68 seconds someone receives the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It is imperative that the potential Alzheimer’s patient, as well as his or her caregivers, understand the disease, caregiving requirements and how to plan for the future.

The purpose behind my book is to help current caregivers, especially those who are new, potential caregivers of which there are many and the Alzheimer’s patient who may not fully understand that Alzheimer’s is a progressive degenerative neurologic condition that is always fatal and there currently exists limited treatments to assist them through the course of the disease.

I have written my book with an “I have been there, so I know what I am talking about” attitude. I wish for the reader to come away with an appreciation of what my wife and I lost when Alzheimer’s invaded our lives, but also the level of care that I render everyday from a knowledge-base of observation, in-depth research and the love and respect that I have for my best friend.


As a lifetime problem-solver, I faced the challenges of caring for my two AD victims by researching the disease and developing caregiving skills to assure their comfort and care.

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Interview with Randy Coates, author of More Precious Than Rubies

Title: More Precious Than Rubies

Author: Randy Coates

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 174

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Paul Brager is twelve when his father tells the story of Iduna and her apples. Mr. Brager always tells stories before bed to entertain Paul’s little brother, Adrian—a ritual that has become even more important since their mother died. Iduna was a goddess who grew apples that made the gods younger and stronger, but one day she disappeared, along with her apples. Paul doesn’t think much of the myth; he has other things on his mind.

Paul and his best friend, Chad Tremblay, are excited to start the school year as seventh graders at Dorian Heights Public School. Even when they hear about the new principal, Mr. Theisen, they aren’t worried about ending up in his office. When Paul finally meets the principal, however, he finds him to be strange, mysterious, and extremely fond of apples. That’s when things start going wrong.

Theisen develops an uncomfortable interest in Paul, claiming he once knew Paul’s father. It becomes apparent to Paul and Chad that Theisen is after something, maybe some kind of treasure—and it involves the Brager family. Paul believes his family must be protected and that Theisen must be stopped. Still, he can’t get the story of Iduna’s apples out of his head; there seems to be an odd connection to the tale his father told. He and Chad want to know the answers, but learning them may put their lives in danger.

amazonWhat was the hardest part about writing your book?

I wanted to make this book in the genre of fantasy since many children’s books aim at fantastical happenings to draw in their audience; however, I am not very knowledgeable about mythology which plays a major part in my novel.

The most difficult part in writing this book was to first research various myths and then, secondly, to tie in the myth with a school setting. Since I wanted the book to be in the present and not to involve time travel, Ihad to think of a way to bring the mythology to the students.

Do you have a favorite excerpt from the book?  If so, can you share it?

The novel takes place most of the time in an elementary school and involves many scenes in which students interact with each other and with their teachers.

As a teacher myself, I have been witness to these types of interactions. Therefore, I believe that these scenes in the book are the best-written and the most intriguing because I use precise dialogue that one would use in schools. Plus, I believe that I have accentuated the type of rapport between students even when they don’t always agree with each other. Students have a habit of not getting along one moment, then getting along the next.

What do you hope readers will take away after readingthe book?

I hope that the story entertains young readers. It is not the kind of sprawling fantasy book that is so popular today with whimsical creatures and heroic people; however, it is engaging in its simplicity of showing human frailties and emotions. Plus, there are still conflicts that are overcome by people workingtogether.

Ialso hope that my readers are stimulated by my use of Norse mythology and are spurred on to learn more about it the way Iwas when I researched the content.

Who or what is the inspiration for the book?

The book is based upon the reoccurrence of a story in Norse mythology: the tale of lduna’s apples. lduna had an orchard of apples that, when eaten by the Gods, brought them strength and vitality.

In my novel,the apples make a reappearance and, because of their power, one might consider them “more precious than rubies,” gems that are comparable in colour and value.

Have you had a mentor? If so, can you talk about them a little?

Probably the most influential person in my life was a teacher who taught me English Literature in high school. Sadly, he died ten years ago.

He taught me the value of the written word and was a writer of poetry. He knew how to communicate creatively with his students and he made us discover meaning in literary passages where we thought none existed.

My parents have also been an influence. Though never writers themselves, they always encouraged me to pursue my interests and never dissuaded me from my creativity although I don’t think they always understood it.

I have heard it said in order to be a good writer, you have to be a reader as well?  Do you find this to be true? And if you are a reader, do you have a favorite genre and/or author?

In almost every interview with a writer that I have read, the writer says that one must read voraciously to become a great writer. I agree with that. As a teacher, I have also come across this statement in the curriculum guidelines for Language Arts in schools.

When I read, I take particular notice of the nuances of the author, how he composes his sentences, and so on. Often, sometimes subliminally, I find these authors’ styles influencing my own.

As a reader, I do not have a favorite genre. I just know that if the characters are appealing to me (e.g.,make me feel for them), then I would read the book, regardless of genre.

Interestingly, watching a movie sometimes causes me to read the book that the movie is based upon,and vice versa.

This is why I am reading Doctor Zhivago at the moment.

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre

Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy” by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Melodie got her start writing comedy. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humor Conference. She has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 6 novels. She has won 9 awards for fiction, including the 2014 Derringer Award.

In addition to writing, Melodie has been a bank manager, hospital director, college instructor, association executive, and possibly the worst runway model ever. She lives in Oakville Ontario, where she is lamentably addicted to fast cars.

Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.

Melodie’s co-writer, Cynthia St-Pierre wrote promotional, packaging and communications materials; penned articles for business periodicals; and a chapter of How to Successfully Do Business in Canada. Currently a member of Crime Writers of Canada, she has one award for fiction and has been a writing contest judge. Best of all for a mystery writer, Cynthia has received a York Regional Police Citizens Awareness Program certificate, presented and signed by Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

In addition, Cynthia grows vegetables in her backyard, makes recipes with tofu, and speaks English-accented French with husband Yves. Visit Cynthia’s blog (in the voice of character Becki Green) at

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

The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.

  1. THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo
  2. DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce
  3. A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre
  4. CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris
  5. A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti
  6. LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery
  7. PELICAN BAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen
  8. SAFE HARBOR by Rosemary McCracken
  9. SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod
  11. ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino
  12. DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.

Wow! Quite a bundle! Melodie Campbell and Cynthia St-Pierre chatting here. We’re good friends and co-authors of the included A PURSE TO DIE FOR—Top 100 Smashwords and Amazon Mystery bestseller—featuring a fashionista who investigates murder after the reading of a shocking will.

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


We gave A PURSE TO DIE FOR away for free! What a crazy concept! Hmm…now that I think about it, we’re practically doing the same thing again with this bundle—digital list price $7.99 divided among our publisher, 12 books, then split again between Mel and me. But the entire point of writing is to reach and entertain readers, am I right?


Cynthia has mentioned what we did when our book first became available. Here’s what I did when we received the contract and before the book was published: I already had a website and blog operating, so I started doing some social media promotion to readers who had bought my first book.

After that, what happened?


A PURSE TO DIE FOR was downloaded more times than we could have hoped for and many readers generously chose to leave reviews. My favourite review quote is “If Agatha Christie wore Armani and Louboutins”.


Cynthia hit it on the head. The big advantage of the free period was the increase in number of reviews. We have 63 now! And potential readers can read these to get a good idea of what others thought about our book. Sort of like getting ‘testimonials.’

What did your publisher do to promote your book?


Imajin Books produced an amazing trailer for A PURSE TO DIE FOR.


They paid for some advertisement in social media markets, and they tweeted about the book (and still do regularly.) They also hold twice-yearly sales and advertise those sales.

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?


I enjoy blogging—I started blogging August 2010, almost two years before we had a mystery to promote. I try to post twice a month. It’s difficult to say whether Vegetarian Detective is helping sell A PURSE TO DIE FOR and/or DEADLY DOZEN, but there have been over 34,000 pageviews of my colourful veggie recipes!


Blogging definitely helps. My personal blog is a comedy blog and has almost 40,000 hits (in 3 years) and I know many of those people have bought my books. But I find guest blogging is quite successful, particularly as you can reach a new market that may not be aware of your book. I’ve done over 120 guest blogs in the past 4 years.

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?


I network on Twitter, Google+. Effective? Well…DEADLY DOZEN: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels by Bestselling Imajin Books Authors made #4 in Mystery Anthologies on (Canada) while still on pre-order! That’s the result of all of us authors blogging and tweeting and Google+ing.


I use primarily Facebook and Twitter, but I’m also on Linked In and Pinterest.  Facebook works almost as a newsletter would to my readers. Twitter is where I often attract new readers, who then follow me on Facebook.

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


Bloody Words! I’m not cursing, Bloody Words is a Canadian mystery reader/writer conference. Sadly, in June 2014 Melodie and I attended the last Bloody Words to be produced. I was a panelist and Melodie was Master of Ceremonies! By the way, things have come full circle for Melodie and me and the Bloody Words conference. You see, it’s at Bloody Words 2006 that Mel and I first met.


Yes, Bloody Words will always be dear to my heart, Cindy!

I’ve been a presenter at another conference, When Words Collide in Calgary, for two years running. This has brought us some new readers, as I present using examples from A PURSE TO DIE FOR. I teach Crafting a Novel at Sheridan College, and have for years. Some of my students become readers, and they pass the word along. As well, I do lots of in-person bookstore and library readings.

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?


I’d say giving A PURSE TO DIE FOR away for free was most effective. It put us on the mystery map. And now we’re proud to be part of the DEADLY DOZEN! Have you read us yet?


I agree with Cynthia. Next up, I’d say Twitter. It surprised me, but people really do buy books after viewing links on Twitter. When people retweet on Twitter, they expose your book to a whole new audience. So we make a point to retweet other author tweets when we see that they’ve been generous in retweeting ours.


Cynthia: (our joint author site)


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Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on David Lundgren

David Lundgren was born in “a pokey town in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia)” and spent the first 18 years of his life there. He grew up in an environment “that seemed to combine the best elements of both an American and English heritage with a hybrid African lifestyle.” Lundgren is also a musician, which gave him the creative spark to create the Melforger series. He spends his time in San Francisco “teaching, enjoying frequent – and often frustrating – games of tennis, trying to learn the blues on piano, attacking Sudoku puzzles with relish, and attempting to make some headway with the ever-increasing pile of books that is waiting patiently at my bedside, developing its own gravity.”

His latest book is the fantasy/science fiction, Rhapsody.

For More Information

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

Rhapsody is the final book in The Melforger Chronicles trilogy. It follows Raf, a sixteen year old boy, who is trying to get to grips with his rare ‘talent’ which lets him use music in bizarre and powerful ways (this is fantasy after all!). He has just discovered what is behind the decay that has been destroying the enormous forest he lives in (their villages are hundreds of yards up on natural platforms – so collapses are no small threat). It turns out that the cause it the ruler’s cousin, Pavor, the same person who he only recently managed to escape from and who is now attempting to take over the city of Miern. Raf and his companions have no idea how they’re going to deal with the sinister and disgusting man – he has a corrosive darkness to him that is powerful in its own right – but no sooner have they set out through the desert when they’re entangled in dangerous plots that flare up around them. Raf knows that it’s up to him, the melforger, to deal with the madman, but he and his companions find themselves flung along dangerous paths, and with no time to spare, the story races toward an intense – and unexpected – climax.

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

I visited local (and international) schools delivering creative writing workshops and talking about the writing process – and obviously discussing the book, too. In order to rise to the top of the millions of books on offer out there, I really wanted to try to get in touch with teens on a personal level, chat to them about writing, inspire them to be more proactive in writing, and, in the process, present my story and my personality as a buy-in so they have more reason to read The Melforger Chronicles.
(p.s. – I did not go through a traditional publisher; I chose instead to hire an editor, publicist and designer to work on the book with me)

After that, what happened?

Well, the trilogy has had some fantastic reviews! One school even ran a competition of sorts on writing reviews (the winners are on the website). Not only that, but I was flattered to have my book chosen as a class reader in a prestigious private school.

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?

I think that blogging is probably one of the more important channels to utilize in marketing – particularly if you’re looking to pull in a teen audience. Social media is the way forward without a doubt. Now that Rhapsody is finished, I plan to work on that part of it a little more. Younger generations – many of whom are enthusiastic readers – have grown up with blogging; it’s a natural, convenient medium for them – and one that pulls together huge crowds of potential readers into online communities. I don’t see that doing anything but expanding – rapidly – in the future.

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?

Building an avid audience online is, in my opinion, going to be a keystone to success as an author. I’ve used Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter extensively, and have my own website ( Facebook is a useful tool to give people exposure to your work and the convenient ability to efficiently ‘spread the word’ which is so crucial. Not only that, but most teens congregate in various communities online, and if you manage to win over a few readers in that group, they can work as evangelists for you and spread the word into circles you simply don’t have access to.

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

I’m trying to think outside the box, really. Social media, visiting local schools, radio interviews – they’re all parts of the book’s marketing. The trick is, with almost overwhelming competition, you need to find ways to stand out. I’ve had competitions in which T-shirts with the Melforger logo on them were prizes (great free marketing if they wear it!) and offered a few free book giveaways. It’s trying to find ways to build momentum and encourage fans to actively recruit new readers for you – by word of mouth.

Another vital aspect to marketing is soliciting reviews. Amazon is king (whether we like it or not) and algorithms and psychology result in books that are reviewed (and reviewed well) bobbing to the top. It’s largely just a statistics game. Reviews are one of the sole ways to get your books exposure on Amazon, and I’ve been putting a lot of effort into finding new ways to encourage people to write reviews (honest ones, obviously!).

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?

For me, it would have to be a tie between using Facebook (and the interweaved social circles it gives you access to) and visiting schools to speak to teens directly. Selling yourself, your story, your personality as well as the book has proved to be a great way forward – and besides, I love talking to the students about creative writing and trying to get them interested in writing themselves! I don’t think there will be any silver bullet of marketing in the future; it’s almost inevitably going to be a mixture, a strong presence in a few different channels, putting a lot of effort into your online presence and giving people a reason to want to follow you and talk about you. And, somewhere in between all that vigorous work, finding time to write more!

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Interview with Ed Grizzle, author of It’s Your Decision

Title: It’s Your Decision

Author: Ed Grizzle

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 128

Genre: Family Relationships/Parenting

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Children are gifts from God, but parenting those children can often be a difficult task. In It’s Your Decision, author Ed Grizzle shows how parenting can be successful when it’s carried out according to God’s plan.

Using his life’s experiences as a guide, Grizzle explores the importance of making the right decisions in life—from choosing the right lifestyle and the right mate and to raising children according to what God has planned for you.

It’s Your Decision discusses

• planning for children;

• knowing what children need;

• being aware of the important years in a child’s life;

• understanding that children will test parents;

• valuing the role of grandparents;

• dealing with abused children;

• communicating openly and honestly;

• clarifying family roles.

Grizzle presents a guide to strengthening lives and making your family life more enjoyable. He shows how this is possible when you accept Jesus Christ into your life; he will show you the way in the difficult times.


What was the hardest part about writing your book?
Since I was not good in English in school, it took more work to make sure it was properly and grammatically correct.

Do you have a favorite excerpt from the book? If so, can you share it?
Sharing my life story with the reader. I wanted to let the reader know that no matter how bad things in their life were, a relationship with Jesus Christ can make all the difference in the world.
What do you hope readers will take away after reading the book?
That no matter how bad things may be in their lives. a relationship with Jesus Christ can and will make life so much better.
Who or what is the inspiration for the book?
Jesus Christ and my wife Mary. Mary convinced me that I need to write the book.
Have you had a mentor? If so, can you talk about them a little?
As I say in the book, I have had 5 true mentors down thru the years that helped me through my problems. The most important was my wife Mary.
I have heard it said in order to be a good writer, you have to be a reader as well? Do you find this to be true? And if you are a reader, do you have a favorite genre and/or author?
My personal opinion is this is not true.  I never was and still don’t spend time reading.  I feel that I became a good writer even though I was not a good reader of my desire to share my life with the reader.

Ed Grizzle started a ministry called It’s Your Decision that helps addicts, prostitutes, and others who face difficult circumstances. He and his late wife, Mary, raised two children. Grizzle currently lives in Illinois
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Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Margay Leah Justice

Descended from the same bloodline that spawned the likes of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay Leah Justice was fated to be a writer herself from a young age. But even before she knew that there was a name for what she was doing, she knew one thing: She had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope. Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including the challenges of single parenting, the harsh realities of living in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of dealing with a child who suffers from bipolar disorder. But along the way she has rediscovered the amazing power of words.

Margay currently lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, two cats, and a myriad of characters who vie for her attention and demand that their own stories be told. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, knitting her way through a stash of yarn that almost rivals her tbr pile!

Her latest book is the romantic suspense/women’s fiction, The Scent of Humanity.

For More Information

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

Sure thing! The book is about Silvie Childs, a woman who’s old nightmare resurfaces to haunt her when her young niece is nearly kidnapped. When Silvie was about her niece’s age, she was almost kidnapped herself and she never quite got over it. So when it happens to her niece, she decides to do something about it. This brings an old friend back into her life, who just so happens to be the detective working her niece’s case, Nick Fahey. Nick and Silvie have history and it works its way into the present in many interesting ways.

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

Posted about it on my blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

After that, what happened?

Well, I sold two copies the first day it was published!

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?

I think blogging has become an essential part of the writer’s life. I use it as a way to get my name out there, but also to help other authors like me to get their work out there. I love to help out other authors.

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?

Twitter and Facebook are the main ones, right now, and it’s hard to say yet. I think every little bit helps.

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

By submitting my book as a prize in contests.

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?

Oh, that’s a tough one! Probably guest blogging.

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