Category Archives: Featured

Picking the right editor!

Nina Soden

editorAs a self-published author, the idea of finding an editor can be very daunting. Everywhere you look, there are a thousand people, with a wide range of experience, offering editing services that vary in price and level of detail. To say that making a decision on which editor is right for your project is easy would be stating a blatant lie. With so many choice… to many choices… you may be tempted to just hire the first editor you meet, but that could turn out to be the biggest mistake you could make for your manuscript. 

I consider myself lucky, in that I was able to find and connect with an editor early on who I feel really “gets” my writing style and author voice. Does that mean I would never hire a different editor? No, but it means that while things are working… we’ll keep working. Writing is a…

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IAAW3 copy

These steps are a guide to aid you in a successful book launch. If you missed the first steps, you can find them here:




You read all the time about book promotion or book marketing and I know it sounds like a helluva lot of work. It is. There’s no way around it. But if you want a successful book launch or your best chance at becoming a bestseller, then you need to take a look at your options and get organized.

During this stage of your book launch, you want to build interest in your book. You will want to share the process to get your followers more deeply involved and to create demand for your book.

  • You can start by getting your followers engaged in the production of your book.
  • Seek and publish interviews with the leaders in your field.
  • Start getting review commitments.
  • You should also begin laying the groundwork for a book marketing and publicity campaign.



It’s time to make creative decisions like what to edit, which cover to use, and what the title of your book should be. Document that process and get your fans involved in key decisions, it will pay off on launch day.

Facebook Live Video

Facebook Live video generates massive engagement within the platform. In fact, according to Facebook’s own data, Live videos on the platform are watched on average three times longer than regular videos. Take advantage of this during the production process by live streaming as you make key decisions about the book such as choosing the artwork, title, and launch date.

Poll Your Fans

Polls are an incredible way to better understand who your audience is and what they actually want. Try coming up with three or four different title options and see which performs the best in your communities. Doing so will lead to more informed decisions while simultaneously giving your potential readers some sense of ownership.

Split Test Your Creative

In a similar vein to polling, it’s a good idea to use advertising tools like Facebook as a way of testing titles and cover artwork in a much more public setting. Run an ad split-testing multiple title choices, the one with the most engagement wins. Doing this will give you a better idea of what the entire market is looking for.

Create Q&A Videos

Q&A is a fantastic format that people tend to gravitate towards because it provides specific context. Using Facebook Live, or regular video, try taking the time to collect a few questions about your topic or your book from your community and give thoughtful answers to them.

Create a Q&A Podcast

The beauty of video is that once you are finished with it you will have perfectly good audio to use. If you’ve done the Q&A video I would suggest that you pull the audio from those files and turn it into a podcast for some additional reach.

Create a Book Trailer

If you have the time and the dollars to spend, creating a book trailer can be a fantastic way to promote additional excitement for your book launch. The best book trailers focus on the main problem that the book intends to solve while not giving away too much information.

Create an Explainer Video

If you don’t have the dollars to get a professional book trailer done or if you want to create more videos, consider getting in front of the camera and explain what the book is about, what problem it solves, and who it’s for. It may not be fancy, but clearly explaining your book is never a bad thing.

Work With Your Book Launch Team

As you move into the pre-launch stage of your journey you will need to start recruiting people to be on your book launch team. These are the people who will be your biggest advocates. They’ll write your early reviews, they’ll introduce your book to their friends and audiences, and they’ll help you get the initial rankings that you’ll need to build a sustained machine. Reach out to the community you’ve built thus far in order to recruit.

Send Out Review Copies

Don’t wait until two weeks before the launch to send review copies to people who have the power to drive massive awareness. Your goal should be to send them review copies with more than enough time for them to go through it and formulate an actual opinion. Once your final draft is done look into sending them out immediately to get that process started.

Get Early Amazon Reviews

This is the same concept as above, send members of your book launch team early copies so that they can have honest reviews prepared for launch day. The trend with Amazon is proof of purchase to give a review. There is a way around that but I forgot what.

Create a Media Kit

As you move into the pre-launch stage you are going to be doing quite a bit of “pitching”. Take the time in this stage to create a media kit that will save you time and energy in the long run while helping you look more polished when compared to other self-published authors.


Use HARO to Get Media Mentions

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) can be a fantastic tool for getting media mentions and getting featured on various websites. By signing up you’ll receive an email whenever a reporter is looking for something you may be able to weigh in on so it’s a fairly “passive” source of gaining additional exposure before the real push starts.

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More to come on “Your Road to Launch” – stay tuned 🙂

Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt


Wednesdays Visual Writing Promptline orange

Visual writing prompts are an excellent method to spark your creativity. They are a means of exploration into your journey as a writer. Taking part in writing prompts can lead you into depths of writing discovery that may have otherwise eluded you.

Taking twenty minutes to participate in prompts like this on a regular basis can unlock your true potential as a writer.

Good Luck!

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The Challenge

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dared go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours.

  • Use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing.
  • Start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog.
  • Or just practice your skills.

It’s true that a picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered!

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Please post a link to your writing in the comments section 🙂

I look forward to reading your writing.

Have Fun!


NaNoWriMo Building Your Buddy List copy

NaNoWriMo Buddies serve many purposes. They are there to encourage us, bounce ideas off of, to gain insight from and to be encouraged by – and we are there to do the same for them in return.

Here are some tips that will help you make the most out of your relationships with your buddies. They are a resource for you and the writing challenge you’re invested in. They’re invested too and can benefit just as much from open lines of communication.

Making the Most Out of Your Buddy List

  • Don’t be tempted to send out open invites to buddy up with just anyone. I made that mistake yesterday before thinking it through. You will make a mess of your list and probably won’t benefit as much as you would if you take some time and do some vetting.
  • Connect with people who you share your genre, inspire you, or that you’ve gotten to know through the forums.
  • When someone ads you as a buddy, you can return the favor by selecting their name and adding them back.
  • Don’t add everyone. You want to keep your buddy list manageable and fill it with people who will help you to succeed.
  • Take the time to check out your prospective buddies bio’s, novels, and excerpts.
  • Reach out to your new buddy, make it personal.
  • Check your buddies word counts and cheer them on.
  • Check your NaNo email every day.

Do You Have Any Buddy Advice?

I am looking for new buddies…

Come check out my profile on NaNoWriMo: Michelle Rene Goodhew


images (19)the feeder

 Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect

Samual Johnson


Dean scratched his head and slid down the laundry room door, taking a seat on the cold kitchen floor. This was as good a place to hide as any. No one could see him through the front windows or the backslider, and that was good because he was crying.

Dean looked down at the piss yellow paper containing his case number and the words Ferndale District Court printed in a fading blue ink. Glancing further down the page his eyes froze on the sheriffs scrawled out words that screamed up at him, DWI! He took a sharp breath as if looking at it for the first time, “FUCK”!

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck……FUCK!” he swallowed hard and sighed against the building pressure in his throat. Accepting the fate of his dumbass mistake a little more each time the word escaped him.

Halloween is when he’d got it, and a fucked-up mess is what it was. The last-minute bar-run at 1:00 am because after all, his party had been uncommonly boring…

…He was wasted, not much of the evening would leave any lasting impression. Dean had learned to ride young, it was just another thing he was naturally good at. And he could do it surprisingly well piss drunk but normally didn’t. Introduce the reader to deans biker side

The cops had seen him leave the bar. They casually swung in behind him, tripped the red-and-blues, and offered up the same excuse they’d given out all night. They knew he was drunk, just another easy target. It was against the law, sure, but it’s how they intended to meet the night’s quota. He’d have the charges dismissed when it finally went to court. He had a car full of witnesses that would step-up and testify that his headlights had been on.

The cop knew him, they all knew him, he tended to make a lasting impression on most. Dean didn’t usually mind the local cops, and they genuinely liked him. It was a surprise to them to find him behind the wheel in such a state. You could see the disappointment they felt, but Dean was a character, and naturally brought humor to the situation.

His face contorted in confusion, and the street swayed up… then down. The glistening pavement shining up into his bloodshot eyes as he stood bracing himself like a sailor fresh off the water. Was it that you were not supposed to take the breathalyzer but you were supposed to take the drunk-man-walking test, fuck… he was so slammed off his buddies moonshine he just guessed and guessed wrong of course.

What shitty luck this was, he dreaded going in to tell his boss. He had missed so much work after his breakup with his fiancé. Good riddance. But the depression hit him pretty hard whether it was the best thing for her to be out of his life or not. He’d missed so many days he was surprised he wasn’t fired already. And now this embarrassment, yeah, that ought to go over well with the boss.

Of course, his boss had the look of disgust and some slight contempt smothered over that. The uptight Canadian commuter wasted no time at all before firing Dean on the spot. Holy crap, no way. He was beside himself, they couldn’t fire him because of that, could they? But the decision was final, so he gathered his belongings and left quietly.

The great thing about being fired by the one asshole that worked there was that he got written recommendations from everyone else. They had loved him, and that seemed right to him. After all, he had busted his ass for them, he’d even worked through the night several times, he’d come in early, stay late, always got the job done on time and done well. Fuck…it was his dream job, he loved it, now he was screwed. A mortgage to pay, new car payments, shit! His heart just dropped.

He filed for unemployment, they fought it, but he won. Turns out they didn’t have the right to fire him after-all. Looking back he should have sued them, but that was then, and his heart wasn’t in it. He loved the company, it was the Canadian that fucked it all up.

He stewed and simmered in the unemployment ring, jobs were impossible to come by in the failing economy. He could just pay the bills, he lost his car to repossession. He couldn’t afford what it would take to get his license back anyway. So he sat around…watched a lot of Tv… and got bored. His friends just drifted, he wasn’t up for them with his self-esteem in the dirt anyway. No one called, at least not that often, so he played around on Facebook to keep the loneliness at bay.

About two months of that and a Farmville bill of $200 all became a wakeup call that rendered the social media hangout a bust. How humiliating. Farmville? Really? Wow! So he shit-canned the social media entertainment altogether. He passed the time doing yard work, job-hunting, and going through every item he owned, organizing and reorganizing. The days turned into months and it was all a blur of the same monotony. Fuck! He was bored.

When the social networking stopped, the web surfing began and finally, YouTube was discovered. It was fantastic! The level of entertainment just couldn’t be matched. Dean slouched down into the couch, becoming part of the large cushion that cradled his ass. His belly was just starting to bulge after two months without work. Depression was an understatement at this point.

But this discovery of YouTube cheered him up a bit. There was an endless barrage of video relating to just about anything under the sun, and beyond. He was hooked. Ghost stories are where he settled-in for this session. Deans curiosity for ghosts was about unquenchable.

Most of the footage on spirits that he found was complete crap, obviously faked, and just about enough to piss him off. But he wandered through the list of videos, scanning the titles and screenshots for something that would give him a bit of a scare.

He found a playlist of some ghost show that he thought had originally been featured on a familiar network. This was a pretty good set of videos that could set a small creep factor to play on his mind.

Yeah… this was entertainment. Never mind the glare of the Tv that the videographer had taped the show from. Yep, that was a bit irritating, but the cable had been shut off about ten days ago, so this was it.