10 Things You Need to Know BEFORE You Market Your Book

10 Things You Need to Know BEFORE You Market Your Book

1. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR BOOK MORE THAN YOU DO. My father once told me that no one cares about your money as much as you do. The same is true when it comes to your book. There’s nothing mean or sinister about that observation. It’s merely the truth. Book marketing people, even with the best of intentions, have more than one client. You need to learn enough to make good decisions on your own. You also need to be willing to work. If you are not willing to learn new skills and work hard to promote your book, then chances are, as an independent publisher/author, you will not succeed. 2. Filling your garage with books only makes the printer happy. Many companies “publish” your book and make their money printing it. They will sometimes tell you...

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Writers Wanted: No Talent Required, Part 1

Writers Wanted: No Talent Required, Part 1

Does that statement make you as angry as it makes me? I’ve been a professional writer for more than three decades, having published articles, poems, short stories and 31 books, including 21 novels (published mainly by major New York publishers such as HarperCollins and Warner Books). I’ve also had six screenplays produced and sold others. Now when people ask what I do and I tell them I’m an author, they often say something like, “That’s nice. So is my daughter.” Who’s still in junior high. When I first started writing novels I was the only person I knew who’d had a novel published. I honestly think we’ve reached a point where there are more writers than readers. With the engine of supply and demand driving the...

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Addiction & Cathedral of the Senses

Addiction & Cathedral of the Senses

I’ve received a lot of feedback on the Cathedral of the Senses novel and how it helps with “addiction issues.” Here is a sample: “I was at my AA meeting the other night and I shared about what Cathedral of the Senses has done for me. Of course I couldn’t really say the title from the podium but people approached me after the meeting and I told them the title and the website.” The book doesn’t deal with “addiction” in terms of a specific program, yet it deals with the root causes of addiction and acknowledge them in ways that people with addiction issues can understand. An example is the lyric from the song “Paradox” (part of a music soundtrack accompanying the book). The song is performed by Nathan Saith and can be heard...

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Writing the Novel webinar

Writing the Novel webinar

My Writing the Novel webinar is now available for FREE via YouTube. Click Here to view. This webinar is based on my book, Writing the Novel. The original LIVE webinar (recorded June 11th) was sponsored by IBMG (Independent Book Marketing Group). The day before, I did a 3-part webinar with publishing pro Stan Corwin (cited by Writer’s Digest as “One of America’s leading publishing pros”): “Traditional Publishing in an Amazon World.” CLICK HERE TO START WATCHING Part 1 CLICK HERE TO START WATCHING Part 2 CLICK HERE TO START WATCHING Part...

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IBMG at Palos Verdes Street Fair

IBMG at Palos Verdes Street Fair

It’s always fun to hang out with other writers – especially writers willing to freely share ideas and resources, like the group of authors at the IBMG booth at the Palos Verdes Street Fair this past weekend. (L – R: Authors Stephen Smoke, Ildy Lee, Beth Whittenburry, Cat Spydell, Vickey Kall)

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Ping Ping Panda book released

Ping Ping Panda book released

Ping Ping Panda: The Power of Personal Responsibility is the sequel to Bernadette Shih’s extremely successful children’s book Ling Ling: The Most Beautiful Giant Panda in the World. Stephen Smoke is the co-author of the new book. The new story is about a panda in Western China who learns the value of personal responsibility. When Ping Ping spends all his money during one afternoon with his friends, the young panda’s father refuses to give him any more. “When I gave you money for the summer I told you it was your choice how you spent it.” When Ping Ping’s friends hear about their friend’s money problems, they suggest that if Ping Ping’s father really loved him, he would give him more money. The rest of the story is about how taking personal...

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Call Ripley: I Just Met Someone Who’s NOT Writing a Book

Call Ripley: I Just Met Someone Who’s NOT Writing a Book

Is it just me, or does it just seem like everyone in the world is writing a book? Last weekend I attended a small social gathering and when it was brought to the attention of the group that I was a “real writer,” each guest—except for one elderly man—felt compelled to tell me about his or her book. The most common opening line was, “Everyone tells me that I should write a book. My life is just one crazy story after another.” Another common theme was, “I don’t care if I make any money. It’s a legacy I’m leaving my kids, their kids, their kids’ kids…” You get the picture. When I first came to Los Angeles I made a good portion of my income ghostwriting for doctors. Doctors are smart people. They have...

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