3 Tips For A Successful Book Promotion

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Your humble host. your humble host

There is a golden rule of promoting, which I will get to in a second, but first allow me to create a simple analogy to help illustrate the later point. And there’s math, too, so stay with me.

We’ve talked about putting out a quality story as an imperative HERE; this builds on that, and about being daring in your writing – also a must – HERE.


If you tithe 10% of your money to your church (off the top, before taxes), then the Reverend is getting all those 10%’s.

Expenses aside – and they are considerable for any church – for every 10 people he gets to become members of his church, the reverend gets the equivalent of what 1 church member makes. On average…

If a reverend has twenty members averaging $50,000, he makes $100,000. A hundred members? He’d make a half a…

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Independent Publisher 2 Is Here

The WordPress.com Blog

The popular Independent Publisher design is a WordPress theme that has long been beloved for its simplicity and legibility. So we are happy to announce that it has been improved, ever so slightly, with the design talents of Caroline Moore and Kjell Reigstad.

Introducing Independent Publisher 2:

Independent Publisher was first designed, developed, and released four years ago by Raam Dev in his introductory post to the Independent Publisher Project:

“I’ve been using WordPress for the past 8 years and in that time my site has always had a modified version of someone else’s theme. I always found it easier to start with a theme created by someone else and simply modifying it until I had it the way I wanted.” —Raam Dev, 2013

I recently caught up with Raam to learn about the origins of Independent Publisher.

JM: How did Independent Publisher come to be?

RD: I…

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Excerpt from Ravynwyng Chronicles Universe Volume 1: The Beginning



Several loud bangs made them jump and their ears rang. The window nearest Jennie crashed inward and two figures climbed through. One ran to the door as it banged open and Scarlet staggered into the bedroom. Her sudden entry knocked Lyta off balance and she nearly fell. Ravyn knelt on the bed and ripped the blindfolds from Jennie and Nicole. She cut the ropes that bound their ankles. With the blindfold removed, Jennie cried out when Scarlet lunged at her with a knife. Ravyn spun and blocked the blow with her left arm and kicked out at the same time. Scarlet hit the floor hard, but retained the knife.

“Finish untying them and get them outside!” Lyta turned back to the door.

“I can’t! They’re handcuffed to the bed!”

“Shit!” Lyta hurried over and pulled a set of keys from her pocket. “Use the smallest!” Shouts and thuds came from the living room.

As she grabbed the keys, Ravyn noticed Scarlet lunge at Lyta. “Look out!” Ravyn knocked her friend aside. At first, she felt a hard blow. Next burning pain radiated across her upper back. Ravyn collapsed; keys and knife hit the floor.

Lyta dove at Scarlet’s legs and brought the woman down. She disarmed her by breaking her right wrist. “One more move and I’ll snap your neck like a match stick!” Lyta harshly whispered. Scarlet stopped struggling and allowed herself to be handcuffed.

Satisfied that this particular fish wasn’t going to get away, Lyta spoke into the mike. “Lynn, get in here! Ravyn’s hurt!” She retrieved the keys and freed Nicole and Jennie. They hurried to Ravyn.

Barely conscious, blood soaked her shirts; Ravyn felt a hand lightly caress her cheek. “Jennie?” Even though she kept still, pain coursed through her. Vision dimmed and voices sounded distant.

“Ravyn, don’t move,” Nicole said as she accepted the medical kit from Lynn.

“I’m here.” Jennie kissed Ravyn’s cheek. “Do as Nickie says, ok?”

“Is Lyta all right?” Ravyn fought the darkness that threatened to enclose her mind.

“She’s fine, Ravyn,” Nicole assured her as she donned a pair of gloves. She cut away the vest and shirts. “Jennie, there’s a bottle of alcohol in the bag and bandages.”

She found the items. “Nicole, is there anything I can do?”

“Keep Ravyn calm while I take care of this cut. I don’t have a local to give her, so it’s going to hurt like a hell when I clean and bandage it.” Nicole glanced at Lynn. “I’ll need you to hold her shoulders down.”

“Not a problem, Nickie. I tried to get hold of a local, but no luck.” She set her weapon down. “Give me the nod when you’re ready.”

Lyta searched the pockets of her prisoner and found three cell phones. She stuffed Nicole’s and Jennie’s phones into a vest pocket. She also found a wallet, another knife, a Glock, car keys, and loose change. Smiling in satisfaction. Lyta opened the back of Scarlet’s phone and removed the SIM card. With her own cell phone, she took pictures of the items in the wallet and several shots of the prisoner.

“You’ll pay for this, Lyta Dinet. The boss doesn’t like it when people don’t do as they’re told,” Scarlet said. “Give us the stuff and we can forget the whole thing.”

Lyta ignored her as she brought out a piece of rope and tied Scarlet’s ankles together. “Nickie, I’m going to the other room.”

“I need your help.” Nicole opened the bottle of alcohol. “Lynn, hold down Ravyn’s shoulders. Lyta, I need you to hold down her legs.”

“All right.” She picked up her weapon and moved to Ravyn’s legs. “Why the hell did she do that? She could’ve been killed!”

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Writing Tip — 44


I have a confession to make. I really hate commas. Those little buggers are out to get me, I just know they are. No matter how often I read the rules for comma use, they trip me up in my writing and editing. For some strange reason, my mind refuses to absorb the information. One of the critiquers in Writers World (an FB writing group I belong to) I swear I must drive her bat shit crazy with  my wrongful use of commas. She has the patience of a saint when it comes to dealing with my problem. Either I don’t have them where they should be or have them where they should not be. I know it’s enough to drive me up the bloody wall. Before my writing improved, my biggest problem was head hopping. I finally mastered that, and slowly getting the hang of showing not telling. But commas? You would think something so small would be easy to master. Not for this writer. Back to editing. Which is all I seem to be doing lately. Tonight I will again read the rules for comma use and hope some of it sticks with me.

 What is your bane when it comes to writing?

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Questions for Beta Readers


Questions for Beta Readers

What is a Beta Reader? The short answer is someone who evaluates your story. Long answer; they give you feedback on your story. They are like beta testers for software, looking for bugs and problems. A good beta reader points out holes in your plot, point of view problems, and chronology problems. They point out confusing areas and let you know if you’re describing things too much. They let you know when something just doesn’t make sense in the story. When they finish reading your book, the good ones include their comments either in the document or in a separate document. My beta reader made her notes at the end of each chapter.

Did the story keep your interest from the start? If it didn’t, why?

Were you able to determine who the main character is and where and when it takes place? If not, what needs to be changed?

Were you able to connect with the main character? Could you feel their excitement, fear, or pain?

Did you like the setting was there enough detail or too much?

Did any point in the story drag or made you lose interest? If so, where?

Did anything in the story confuse you or frustrate you? Where and in what way?

Did the timeline seem plausible and move in a linear fashion? Were there any inconsistencies?

Did you find the characters believable? Do you think any of the characters could be improved?

Were you confused by the any of the characters? Are there too many or too few? Was there enough difference in the character names?

Was the dialogue crisp and help move the story along? Did it seem natural? Did you have any trouble figuring out who was speaking?

Was there too much description or not enough? Was there anything that should have been expanded on?

Is there enough tension, conflict, and intrigue keep you reading?

Did you like the ending? Did it seem believable?

Did you notice any major problems with punctuation, grammar, or spelling errors? If so, where?

Do you believe this writing style fits the genre? If you don’t, why?

What scenes did you like the most?

Should anything be shortened or deleted?

Any parts you think should be expanded on?

What is your overall opinion of the story?

What is your overall opinion of the characters?

When dealing with beta readers you need patience. Remember, they are taking their free time to read and comment on something you wrote. Beta readers have lives of their own and the responsibilities that go with their life. Don’t pester them, asking how far along they are or when they expect to finish.

May the words ever flow!

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Writing Quotes — Elmore Leonard


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The Ultimate Guide for Independently Published Authors – Chapter 1

Don Massenzio's Blog

ultimate guideIntroduction

This book is something that was put together over the past year as I navigated my way through the world of independent publishing. A lot of this voyage was guided by trial and error. I spent a great deal of time and a minimal amount of money determining what works and what doesn’t. Have I mastered everything involved in the independent publishing platform? Not at all. I still have a lot to learn.

I put together this book to help others who are either beginners or seasoned in the area of independent publishing. I have compiled my own experiences and ask that you use this book as a set of guidelines gathered from one person’s experience. I welcome a productive discussion around the topics in this book and view it as a dynamic tool that I will adjust as I learn more on my own and from you as…

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