• Today Tal Gur talks about his inspiration to write 'The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals'

    Hi Tal, welcome to my blog :)

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    In the case of The Art of Fully Living book, the story seemed to be wanting to come out. Conscious that many more people wanted to hear my 100 life goals story, I began to dare thinking that I could write a book that can turn to a bestseller. For years, since the beginning of my journey, people had repeatedly said to me, “you should start writing your story.” I kind of laughed it off because I never thought my English was good enough for writing it properly. Over time, however, I realized that this was not true anymore. I played with the book idea for a while until one day, I decided to plunge into it full steam.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I was born in Israel but I feel at home in many places, especially in Australia. Aged 21, I embarked on a long motorcycle trip in Australia and immediately fell in love with this remote and spectacular corner of the world. A few years later I moved there and made it my second home. Since my move to Australia, being inspired from the satisfaction and sense of achievement that came from pursuing my Australian dream, I found myself constantly seeking new challenges, overextending myself in all aspects of life, ultimately resulting in happy and fulfilling journeys.

    3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

    I wrote a book called The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals - It’s a blend of memoir and self-improvement guide. The very structure of the book models my immersive approach to goal-driven living: each chapter of The Art of Fully Living is dedicated to a year of focus—socializing, fitness, freedom, contribution, love, adventure, wealth, relationship, spirituality, and creativity—and follows my endeavors as I work toward fulfilling 100 life goals in 10 years. I’m still contemplating my next book.

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

    For me, the best way to raise awareness of my book was to simply ask for help from anyone I know, including my blog subscribers (https://fullylived.com/blog). The way I see it, launching a book involves a lot of asking and it requires courage and vulnerability to reach out, to connect, to ask, and to potentially get rejected....

    5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

    Amazon: https://amazon.com/dp/B07698X75W

    Website: https://fullylived.com/art

    Thank you for talking about your remarkable journey, I am sure everyone will be eager to find out more.

    Natasha :0

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  • My Guest Ken Harris Shadow Moon Educational Theatre Presents Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender

    Welcome Ken to my blog, please let everyone know about your wonderful new book Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender.

    "Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, Natasha!

    Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender was an idea in my head I would say as early as 1985 when I was 8 or 9 years old. Then, I was a big reader of comic books. I was baffled as to why the parents of popular super-heroes like Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, and so many others have to be killed off or deceased to make a hero dedicated to being a crime fighter. I even took it a step further, I imagined it would be nice to have a child-hero like me saving his accident prone parents. In my little mind, this was a story someone in Hollywood or the publishing industry would take advantage of because it was something different. I just assumed one day someone will come up with my ideal story of a kid using his defected gadgets to protect his mom and dad all the time. It never happened.

    I am a contributing writer for the Point of View newspaper at http://afampov.com. As a member of Stand for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving literacy for struggling children, I put a lot of focus on the group's activities on the local and state level in Massachusetts to convince lawmakers to implement bills supportive of improving resources needed to rectify the literacy gap. I am a volunteer teacher. I also work as a Greeter at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA. I pretty much help visitors and students with any information of events, classes, and special functions occurring. I am a people's person and truly enjoy interacting and helping people.

    All of my 3 books are available as an Ebook and paperback on Amazon. I like the fact that potential customers have the choice. My first book was an YA science-fiction horror titled, "The Serpent Scrolls". Then I ventured on a nonfiction chapter-book called, "The Sea Adventures of Robert Smalls." I am currently working on stories for my shadow puppet plays that I will have on my blog beginning in June at http://kennyduaneharris.blogspot.com. My goal is encourage the use of shadow puppets in the home or in schools. Shadow puppets is a fun-skill builder. It expands children's imagination and fine motor skills. It is simple to make. Creating figures out of black card stock paper, using a cut-out box for the stage with a screen made of parchment paper, and a light source really can be a fun skill builder.

    My first Shadow Puppet Story titled, "Where in the Galaxy is Dr. Getto" is about and astronaut who teams up with a robot and they seek to explore the galaxy in search of their father and creator. The first monthly segment will focus on a reoccurring theme- running away only leads to loneliness and regret. I am excited to use this ancient art form of shadow puppets to scatter the seeds of inspiration for the young minds of tomorrow.

    I use Facebook and a website called next-door.com. I am new at this marketing business but I feel they key to successful marketing is to develop a relationship with your readers. I must offer something unique, fun, and significant to their lives. I feel sharing my passion for shadow puppets via social media may be the key.

    Readers can learn more about me and find my books and blog/videos on Amazon at amazon.com/author/harriskenneth

    Thank you and never give up on your passion!

    Kenneth Harris

    amazon.com/author/harriskenneth

    http:kennyduaneharris.blogspot.com"

    Thank you Ken. I notice that you are getting some great reviews on Amazon. If you would like to buy a copy of Ken's book then just click on the links above.

    Natasha :)

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  • My guest today is Dawn Chandler, a multi genre author from Idaho

    Welcome Dawn to my blog, thank you for joining me today. Please let everyone know about your writing journey.

    1. What made you want to write a book?

    I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first full length novel when I was in middle school. I was always writing stories and tales.

    2. Tell us about you and where you live.

    I live in Idaho on a small farm. I have a menagerie of critters including donkeys, ponies, mules, Texas Longhorn, dachshunds, cats, rabbits, goats, ferrets, turtles, and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. I enjoy drawing and doing children's books as well as writing my novels. I am very outdoorsy, I like hiking, rock climbing, camping, swimming and spending time in my garden.

    3. What have you written and what are you working on now?

    I have written The Dark Lady, the first in a series of medieval romances. Dark Christmas, a short story that falls in between book one, The Dark Lady, and book two of my Dark Books Series. The Infamous A.H. the first in my London Series based in 1800 London. Dan's Dirty Day, a children's book. I am currently working on finishing edits on a fantasy, The Legend and the second in my Dark Books Series, From Under a Dark Shadow. First chapters can be read at www.dawnchandler.net

    4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?

    I am on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, my blog and my website. My promotions do fairly well through Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

    5. Where can readers find your book for sale?

    My novels can be found at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Smashwords.com, Audible.com, iTunes.com, BlackOpalBooks.com

    They are available in ebook, print, and audible.

    Thank you, please let me know if you need anything else.

    My books are

    The Dark Lady

    Dark Christmas

    The Infamous A.H

    Dan's Dirty Day

    If you would lke to buy one of Dawn's books then please visit her Amazon page at https://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Chandler/e/B00DWGYZ7S

    Thank you Dawn for sharing.

    Natasha :)x

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  • Going crazy promoting my books! Or am I just wrestling with a crocodile?

    By writing this article I am expelling the book promotion demons that torment me but as I write, I am feeling guilty, as I would much prefer to be writing my next epic creation. Does it have to be like this?

    Over the past 6 years, I have tried everything to promote my books and have yet to find any scheme that actually sells enough to cover the cost of the ad or service I have stumbled upon.

    I follow avidly my most inspiring self-published authors, Mark Dawson, Nick Stephenson and Joanna Penn, who publish and run webinars regularly offering the best promotion advice ever. I try many of their tactics but still my books are not getting noticed.

    Many authors are not consistent with their promotions and like me try one thing after another, not wanting to spend too much money, with the hope that we may see a sale. All too often we spend a little too much time and money on advertising with minimal results.

    So the key problem with my book promotions is a lack of structure and also my free book subscriber list is minimal.

    Another reason that I think that my sales may be low is because my books are for a niche market. I think that most like to read crime novels, thrillers and romantic tales. My books are for children, teenagers and I have one fantasy novel Chanctonbury that is popular with mature ladies. Alas, my play ‘A Flea in the Paw’ is lost at sea! I am always hopeful that sales will improve as the feedback I am getting is that my books are good.

    What doesn’t work for me?

    1. I have targeted my Facebook ads to those that like dystopian novels. I have had very few people clicking on my ads to see what 3004 and 3006 are about – no sales. At the time of creating a Facebook ad, they suggest that your ad will reach thousands of people but the reality is hundreds only.

    2. PR companies are expensive and promise you the earth. They may send out your press release to a huge pool of contacts but the reality here is that the reviewers and bloggers are inundated with review requests and I only get one or two reviews and never got a review in a newspaper.

    3. Paying for targeted traffic to your website – I tried this and 3000 clicked on my page and despite there being a free book at the time – nobody downloaded my book. Is this traffic real - I think not?

    4. Twitter – I enter posts – I follow many – no sales.

    5. Attending fairs and markets – I was invisible!

    6. Amazon (AMS) marketing service – I actually sold some of my extraordinary ‘Chanctonbury’ and my dystopian novel 3004 – such a good feeling – I smiled but I didn’t quite cover my advertising costs.

    7. I just tried a paid Google keyword ad – over a week, I had 47 people click on my website, paid £9.55 but had no sales.

    So what could I be doing to promote my books without spending too much money?

    I need to have a weekly advertising plan that I am able to keep to despite having a busy life. This could include:-

    1. Increasing my email list by offering a free book on my website and on Instafreebie – so I pay 20 dollars a month to Instafreebie which means I am able to see email addresses for those that have downloaded ‘3004’ – these kind people want to hear about further book releases – hooray!. With the new data protection laws, you do have to make it clear when people subscribe to your list that you will be contacting them in the future with book release details and offers and will not inundate them with emails. The thought is now that these subscribers actually like what you write and will be interested in other books produced. I really don’t want to be a nuisance but must try and contact them with an article of interest and a little book promotion at least once a month. The subscriber list is growing as we speak.

    2. Some say you shouldn’t target your Facebook ads as you will get a larger audience – I will try this or just post on my book page using # on key words but no more than three of these and I should get more views than normal and perhaps sales. I will let you know.

    3. I know I need more reviews. Once I get 50 reviews for each book then Amazon should make my book more prominent. So my quest goes on to find reviewers that have time to review my book. This aspect of a writer's life is time consuming but necessary and it makes me sigh.

    4. I will try again to promote Chanctonbury on Amazon (AMS) and follow again, Mark Dawson’s excellent instructions. After I have got a few more five star reviews for Chanctonbury, I will use this service to promote this book.

    5. I organised a book show this year in March (The beast from the east nearly gave me heart failure) – The UK Southern Book Show on Worthing pier and over 60 authors took part. It was wonderful, despite the weather, to actually see people attending the show - interested in listening to talks on writing, publishing and most importantly of all – willing to support UK authors and buy their books! I am looking for a venue for next year in the South of England to hold another show in sunny May 2019 :).

    6. I will continue to host guest posts from other authors on my blog on my website as I like to help others promote their books if I can. This gives both them and me web presence.

    7. Lastly Instagram – apparently there are many readers there and I have read if you post photos of your life and add that famous # to book related keywords you will have a good response – I will investigate this.

    I dream that someone could promote my books for me and would be willing to share the £1 profit I make on each book sold. If anyone does know of such a person then let me know - no crocodiles though ;).

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  • Las Vegas YA and Children's author, Tina Kirchner, talks about her books and her marketing journey

    Tina Kirchner is my guest today. Please tell everyone about your yourself and your books.

    "I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and currently reside there with my husband, one of my two children, and the Kirchner Zoo, which is five dogs and three cats. I love being outdoors and practically stay outside when the weather is over 60°. Activities I like besides writing include playing tennis, doing yoga, hiking, biking, painting, gardening, and walking the dogs. I love all animals, but wolves are my favorite. My preferred reading genres are fantasy and paranormal, but I’ve read a little of everything.

    Finding My Niche

    I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t get serious about writing until after I had children. Reading picture books to my kids re-sparked my desire to write and do art. However, after trying to write 800-word picture books, I realized that I enjoyed writing middle grade stories more. Two middle grade series of mine, Pirates Off and The Troubled Souls of Goldie Rich, were published by Short on Time Books. Pirates and zombies are two of my favorite subjects, and I hoped paranormal mixed with fast-paced action and adventure would encourage reluctant readers. Middle grade is great to write, but it has limitations. When I came up with Dagger & Brimstone, the premise would only work for young adult, so I switched gears again. I could add some horror to my stories in YA. It’s kind of funny that I started out trying to write picture books and moved onto longer works. Of late, I’ve been writing short stories that are usually under 2,000 words. My advice to new writers, try a variety of works and play around with different point of views as well.

    My Thoughts on Book Marketing

    I’m not going to sugarcoat book marketing—it’s tough and time-consuming. Natasha’s Promotion Tips are great. If you haven’t checked out the page, do so. At the very least, a website is a necessity for an author. Several web-hosting services, such as Weebly and Wix, offer free websites and even provide templates to get started. I have a website set up exclusively for my books and art and another for my blog.

    I promote on Twitter; however, tweets can get lost as fast as they’re posted. It helps when followers retweet and like tweets. I make it a point to retweet and like posts to help friends or for tweets that I enjoy. For writers searching for an agent, Twitter pitch parties are a free outlet to showcase your writing.

    I’ve also created book trailers for the first books in my three series and posted them on YouTube. They haven’t gotten a ton of views, but they were a lot of fun to create. It was like producing my own mini-movie. Buying even a few seconds of video online can get expensive, so I took my own shots. I have snippets from the beach, forest, desert, graveyards—anything I thought I could eventually use to go along with my books. The only actors I used are my husband and one of my dogs, Turbo. They didn’t charge a fee. The recommended length for book trailers is under two minutes, so my stored snippets are really short.

    Just like writing, authors need to keep working on marketing. It’s not easy, but it’s a part of the process to get your books into readers’ hands.

    A Great Quote

    I saw a quote posted on Twitter by author Lacey London, “Other authors are not my competition, I stand with them, not against them.” This is so true. There may be plenty of books circulating, but there are millions of readers, too. That’s why it is awesome when blogs like Natasha’s allow authors an outlet to promote their books. Another way to help fellow writers is to write a book review, no matter how short, for any book you’ve read. Retweet and share posts. Critique groups can be a tremendous help as well. I’ve been with a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) group for 10 years. We give suggestions, honest feedback, and share writing, contest, and promotion tips. Best of all, we support each other.

    And Now, Here’s My Book Plug

    My book series are all available on Amazon. Here are the links to book one for each series:

    YA - Dagger & Brimstone: Town from Hell https://goo.gl/8xnXVw

    Middle Grade - Pirates Off the Deep End https://goo.gl/ZabnGB

    YA (Safe for Middle Grade) The Troubled Souls of Goldie Rich: The Zombie Next Door

    https://goo.gl/62krdP

    Book Trailers:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbrxjR71DEqajxbWfbgf0rQ

    My website: www.twkirchner.com

    Follow me on Twitter @TinaInLV

    My blog: https://aceinlv.wordpress.com/

    Thank you Tina for sharing with everyone, I think that other authors will appreciate your honesty.

    Natasha :) x

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