Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Guest Post : Creating Something For Free by Penny C Sansevieri, Author of 'How To Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon'

- Penny C. Sansevieri
          I talk a lot about “owning the shelf,” meaning publishing a lot of books. But what if you just have one book that you’re trying to market? Making that one book free all the time does not make sense. Instead, consider this: at a recent conference I was at I spoke to an author who wrote a science fiction book about three years ago. It did poorly, he admitted, and he wondered if there was anything he could do. Since the book was long (400 pages) I suggested that he cut the book into segments, design new covers and have the books released in a series as an eBook on Amazon. Many romance authors already do this, but few authors that I’ve spoken with have ever done this to invigorate an older book or to create more books on your shelf. By chunking up a longer book, you create more interest by drawing readers into your book via a series. In some cases you may feel there isn’t a natural breaking point for the book, but I would argue there is. Consider bringing in a seasoned content editor to help you decide. The point being, you may be sitting on a lot of tools already. Turning one book into a series is a great way to drive more attention, more readers, and more sales. And, if you do that, you can have one book that’s always free.
          The importance of free is often misunderstood and underestimated. We live in a society of readers being inundated with options and new books. Last estimate there were 3,500 books published every day in the US, but this number does not include books that go straight to digital since those aren’t often counted (many authors publish directly through KDP without an ISBN number which is normally how these are tracked). Needless to say, the competition is great. Sometimes standing out means reaching your tribe one reader at a time, and while this might sound tedious, it does in fact work.
          I spoke to some authors at Romance Writers who were big-name, bestselling authors who told me that they were worried because their sales were dropping and what should they do? Many of them started writing in an age where they could easily own the market. There wasn’t a ton of competition and a single post on social media could sell a hundred books. Sadly, those days are gone. If you’re reading this thinking: this is me, my sales are dropping! Take heart. You can turn this around. Restart your thinking and pretend that today is the first day of your writing career. Starting with a fresh look is often the best way to kick any marketing campaign into a better, and often higher, gear.

          Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Professor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of fourteen books, including How to Sell Books by the Truckload. AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through online promotion and their signature program called: The Virtual Author Tour™ To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at
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Copyright ã 2015 Penny C. Sansevieri

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon by Penny C. Sansevieri : A Review

Book Title: How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon - Power Pack: Sell Books by the Truckload and Get Reviews by the Truckload by Penny C. Sansevieri
Category:  Adult Non-fiction, 158 pages
Genre: Book Marketing and Publicity
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: March 3, 2015
          Amazon wants you to sell a lot of books. And How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload teaches you exactly how to do it. Internationally renowned Amazon book marketing expert, Penny Sansevieri, has created the ultimate guide for mastering the Amazon marketing system. 
          And in moments it can be right at your fingertips! The savings in time you’ll gain is enormous—when compared to painstakingly researching this information yourself. 
          When you follow Penny’s time-tested proven formulas you’ll instantly skyrocket the exposure you receive and kick your book promotion campaign into overdrive! 
          Plus, you can bypass all of the misinformation out there about how Amazon works. That’s because every secret you need to know to understand the Amazon marketing system inside and out is right here. Penny Sanseveri takes you step-by-step through simple and dynamic processes that show you how to: 
·         Get top visibility for your book on Amazon
·         Increase sales through perfectly-timed pre-order campaigns
·         Leverage a secret tool to get hundreds of reader reviews
·         Use Kindle Unlimited to your greatest advantage
·         Boost sales by knowing when to give away your e-book – it really works!
·         Use keywords and book descriptions that puts your book in front of tons of buyers
·         Identify and locate secret categories that drive bigger sales

Get your booked ranked #1 in your category!

How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload is your must-read, go-to resource if you want to really understand the inner workings of Amazon, so you can sell more books. Order right now and you’ll also receive these FREE BONUSES: 
BONUS #1: Free listings to book bloggers, fiction bloggers, and romance bloggers! Includes hundreds of bonus resources!

DOUBLE BONUS: Includes a special book marketing discount coupon! 
          In this age of books losing their appeal over other forms of entertainment on one hand and too many authors writing in various genres on the other hand, actually writing a book that interests the readers, publishing it, promoting it and getting it reviewed – all on the way to finally making it a bestseller, is a herculean task. ‘How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon’ is a book that describes best, the actual process of selling the books as an author on Amazon, one of the world’s biggest book sellers. It offers tips for authors that are guaranteed to help the sales of the book. But it is not only for authors. It would surely cater to a wide range of readers.
          New authors would want to read this to get guidelines for launching and promoting their book. Authors with more than a few books to their credit can read this to learn new tricks to better promote not only their latest but also their older books. Book promoters and tour organisers can read this book to understand which points make a book a successful bestseller. Bloggers and reviewers can read this book to finally understand the various ‘promoting pitches’ that request a review. Or better, if you are an aspiring author, read this. It will change your whole perspective on publishing.
          Having been in the blogging line for two years now, we have got review requests in every imaginable way. We have seen the best and the worst, we have seen review requests that made us want to turn away as fast as we could, review requests that interested us in their wording, making us take up the book even if the genre was not our most favourite. On a personal level, ‘How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon’ taught me, as a reviewer, the realities of how big the site actually is and the way it advertises, promotes and lists books. This book is honest. It gives you perfectly usable, feasible ideas of how to exactly increase sales. It is not larger than life, it doesn’t offer unbelievable goals, and it respects everyone involved in this profession.
          ‘How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon’ starts with a detailed, understandable explanation of the actual algorithm the site uses (in non technical, layman terms) so that authors and readers alike could understand a lot of things starting from Amazon’s book recommendations and why some books gain more publicity than the others. Then it moves on to usable tips and tricks for authors on how to make their book’s title sound interesting and how to use the system to their maximum benefit. It includes samples of successful books (Readers Muse is glad to note that one of the example books used in this book has already been successfully reviewed by us – the background of what actually happened was amazing to read!)
          The final section on how to request book reviews and the tips for bloggers that emphasises the need for detailed reviews instead of just saying you loved or hated it, was very enlightening. It gave meaning to our practice of writing proper, detailed reviews. The images and the snippets detailing the ranking process were a valuable addition to the book. The author’s expertise in this field is evident in the tone and phrasing of the book.
          On the whole, ‘How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon’ is a perfect guide – to writing, publishing, promoting and reviewing a book. After all, it is the combined efforts of the authors, publishers, promoters, bloggers, reviewers, readers and every single person who contributed to make the book what it was, that makes any good book a bestseller.
          Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. 
          Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of fourteen books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet."  
          AME was the first book marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically harnesses social networking sites, Twitter, blogs, book videos, and relevant sites in order to push an author’s message into the online community. AME has had over eleven books top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal. 
          To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at
PRICE: $ 6.99 for paperback, $ 2.97 for Kindle

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Interview with D D Marx, Author of 'Beyond Believing'

RM: Hello, First of all, thanks for agreeing to answer the questions I have for you J
I really enjoyed reading ‘Beyond Believing’ and it is a book I am going to treasure forever. The words connected to me on a different level and I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. I thank you for this opportunity to ask you some questions I had while reading this amazing book. This is not going to be a usual run of the mill set of questions, please feel free to answer them as per your preference!
DD: I am so THRILLED, HONORED and TOUCHED that you enjoyed it! I can certainly put you on the list to review the next two! J
1.    Tell us a little something about yourself (obviously NOT what was in your author bio at the end of the book!)
Let’s just say I’m not very good at following directions, including recipes.  This translates into me reading ingredients and mistaking them for instructions. A perfect example to demonstrate how horribly wrong this can go is when I offered to make a dessert for the first wedding shower I attended. I offered to bring a “fruit pizza”. I thought, “Perfect! Something light, fresh AND sophisticated”. The results were far from fabulous. As I began to make my masterpiece, I started reading and mixing the “ingredients”, one after the other, including the granulized Jell-O packet.  When I got to first “instruction” it read “bring Jell-O to a boil.” It was then that I realized my irreversible, humiliating error resulting in me showing up empty-handed to the shower. It turned out to be a great lesson on trying NOT to be an over-achiever of fancy.
2.    When you started this book, did you plan it out to be a trilogy? If so, what prompted you to keep such a catchy title?
No, it actually started out as a single novel and the original title was going to be “Hank and Frank” which are the nicknames of two of the main characters. As I went through the journey of writing the story, I realized there was so much to explore with the characters that it felt like an injustice to try to pack it all in one book, which is when I decided to make it into a series. The original title didn’t embody the soul of the book so I really soul-searched long and hard to come up with the name, The Beyond Series! It really captures the essence of how these characters and their journeys are so divinely connected.    
3.    Why ‘Beyond’?
The word “beyond” encapsulates the underlying theme of the book. Throughout the book events and circumstances happen to these characters that can be considered “beyond belief”. The title is not only a play on words but a metaphor of sorts. It makes the reader question concepts like coincidence, fate and happenstance. Is it really just coincidence or is there a higher power at the helm, guiding their path.     
4.    I have read about your friends and your life events being an inspiration for this series. Could you tell us a bit more about that?
Everyone goes through struggles in life whether it be a loss, a disease, financial or relationship struggles. Challenge come in many different forms and takes on different shapes and sizes. Some are hard to comprehend, like September 11th. I wanted to write about the experiences I have been through and try to incorporate hope and humour to encourage people who might be going through a hard time right now.
5.    Which character was your favourite while creating?
My favourite character is Finn.  He is someone that is completely fictional so it was fun to explore who he was, where he came from and the struggled he endured.

6.    Which character (your creation, of course) do you relate to the most? (I am guessing it is Olivia!)
Yes, Olivia’s life closely mirrors many of my personal experiences but with some added flare to for interest. It was fun to mix in fiction with reality to add some spice to the story!
7.    Dan’s life and end shook me to the core because I had a buddy who faced something similar and the twist at the end was amazing. Do you, in real life, believe that these happy coincidences could occur?
In my personal experience, I absolutely, whole-heartedly believe there are no coincidences. I believe everything happens for a reason and even if the path you are on ends for some reason, it is to take
8.    In further books of the series, would we travel with the same lead characters?
Yes, I will continue the journey with both of these characters.  They both went through parallel hardships on their journey to each other so you can expect them to overcome some challenges as they continue their journey together.
9.    How difficult was it, writing first person narratives from two different characters’ point of view?
I really approached the book as if I were telling a story to a friend. I imagined I was sitting across the table from my audience. It was so intriguing to take on the persona of two completely different characters, even different genders from different parts of the world. I had to immerse myself in their surroundings.
10.                       Is Paris one of your favourites? If so, could you tell us, in one line, something that would make us go there and visit at least once? (The city doesn’t need that type of advertisement, but I would like to hear about it in your perspective!)
Are you sitting down? I have never actually BEEN to Paris – GASP! So if I convinced you in the book then I am honoured and humbled.  It is definitely on my bucket list for the “Love Lock” Bridge alone!
11.                       The book was laced through with humour. That stood out mostly, and the characters were self deprecating sometimes. Was this style naturally yours, or did you write that way to suit the characters.
This is my normal voice. I have a pretty sarcastic, self-deprecating sense of humour which is what I lead with.  My family and friends have always encouraged me to pursue story-telling, writing or comedy because it seems to come somewhat naturally to me and is situations are relatable.
12.                       When can we expect the next books in the series? I really look forward to reading them.
My goal is to have all the books out on the market within 18 months to keep my audience engaged. So look for Beyond Love to be out before Christmas and Beyond Forever to be released summer, 2016
Now for some rapid fire questions!
Your literary inspiration?
There are many but one in particular that changed my life is Paulo Coelho who wrote The Alchemist
Your favourite comfort book?
Anything romance related that sucks me into a different world.
Could you name the top five books in your shelf?
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (Unfathomable Perserverance)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Inspiration)
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey (Humor)
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (Endless Love)
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (Laws of Attraction/Positive Thinking)
Are you a fan of a series of books? If so, which?
I love a Trilogy because if you fall in love with the characters you have the anticipation of more.  I’ll admit it - the Fifty Shades series.  
Which is your preferred reading environment?
My bed
Which environment helps you write better?
A quiet, comfy and cozy work space that is warm and inviting.
Paperback or digital books?
Your hobbies?
Traveling, Shopping, Movies, Live Music, Reading…
What do you think is the most striking and important feature of any book – its cover or summary?
The cover has to grab me for me to even pick it up!
One advice for aspiring writers?
Just start writing but about the story in your heart!
If you could change one thing in the world with your words, what would it be?
Stop all of the senseless violence and hatred. Love is the only answer!
NOTE FROM READERS MUSE: We extend special thanks to the author for answering our questions in such short notice. Your answers were really candid, amazing and I really enjoyed this interview!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Beyond Believing by D D Marx : A Review

Book Title: Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx
Category: Adult Fiction , 248 pages
Genre: Romance, Chick-Lit
Publisher: Next Century Publishing
Release date: April 6, 2015
Content Rating: PG-13
          When Olivia gets news of her best friend Dan’s fatal car accident, her life is shattered. Consumed with grief and struggling to find any meaning or purpose to life, she trudges along with a gaping void in her heart. Finally, when her frustration reaches its peak, Olivia decides to put her trust in the depth of friendship the two of them shared. That trust finally allows him to breakthrough to her, and Dan begins to guide Olivia through the twists and turns of her life, leading to something new and entirely unexpected.
          When Olivia exposes a gigantic internal scandal at work, her career implodes. With no job and nowhere to turn, she escapes to Palm Springs for the sympathy and care of her beloved cousin, Garrett. However, with only weeks left before the opening of his newest store, “Gin and Tonic,” Garrett isn’t quite the comfort Olivia had expected. She yet again tries to find her way, and in the process meets someone who begins to fill that void in her heart. She’s never before experienced a love like this; it heals her soul and rekindles her spirit – and just may have been the design of her dearly departed friend all along.
          Beyond Believing is a sweet, funny, and romantic story that touches the heart, serves up delicious twists and turns, and shows the reader that there’s no such thing as “coincidence.” Author D.D. Marx regards this book as her “love letter to friendship,” written in memory of her best friend, Dan.
          Starting from the first line, Beyond Believing captured my attention.
          ‘My Name is Olivia Henry, and I am addicted to friendship.’
          Seasoned readers would have already deduced a few things from this single line. Beyond Believing is a heart warming tale of friendship, love and is a first person narrative from two different points of view. Olivia Henry and Finn McDaniels belong to two different countries. One is from Chicago, a friendship addict who places more importance on people, and the other from Scotland, and who has another smashing opening line.
          ‘My name is Finn McDaniels, and I am an obsessed foodie, not eating, but cooking.’
          I could relate to that! But the amazingly memorable lines apart, the story follows the lives of these two characters as they grow up from careless kids to professionals who want to passionately work for some cause they like. Olivia’s journey from school to college to the various jobs as she deals with the loss of a friend and tries to find a soul mate is filled with relatable moments and a sense of being connected with the reader. Finn, on the other hand, is obsessed with cooking and decides to professionally train himself in that art. He reaches Paris and decides to work there, where he meets his future wife.
          All through the story, even though the readers can find parallels between both the narratives and people who are exceptionally good with following names and individual characters would find the common link between these two seemingly different narratives, the suspense is well maintained and the visuals are so stunning that we could actually VIEW the story as it unfolds. What happens when these two people cross each other’s paths is not even the central point of the story. It happens well into the last few chapters of the story.
          But all readers can note the parallels between the lives of Olivia and Finn – the school day friendship, the loss of a loved one, a supportive family and the search for a work they feel passionate about. They are as similar as they are dissimilar. Olivia is unsuccessful in the life partner department and Finn succeeds in marrying his love, but loses her. But their paths do cross in the most unexpected way possible.
           When you read Beyond Believing, you travel with these lead characters as they approach life, and handle all it throws at them – not with an amazing grace like most heroes would, but falling down and staggering back up, like normal people do. They are not larger than life, they are not the perfect models of human characterisation. They are prone to weaknesses, they are prone to disasters, they are victims to the play of fate and they cope with it. They try to deal with it. They feel the presence of the person they loved and lost in the little things that happen in their lives. One lost a best friend and the other lost a spouse, two different people, two different genders, but the emotions are same.
          The plot is simple in its brilliance. The story is realistic fiction. The language is simple and memorable, with the dialogs having a lot of impact both on the reader and on the flow of the story. The characters are deeply sketched and are described so clearly that you could visualise them. The overall story adheres to the summary well and the cover page is attractive. Beyond Believing is a must read. It definitely would strike a chord with you. It is a story for everyone, and is sure to rekindle your memories. A beautiful, well written, humorously phrased story.
          D.D. Marx is a contemporary romantic fiction writer and blogger, as well as a lover of all things social. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton, as well as the Second City program in Chicago, where she currently resides. A proud aunt and self-described hopeless romantic, Marx has always has a knack for humorous and engaging storytelling. Her pen name is a dedication to her beloved friend Dan, who continues to guide and inspire her in her daily life.
PRICE: $22.46 for Hardcover

Thursday, April 23, 2015

KIDNAP: PART ONE OF Guy Erma & The Son of Empire by Sally Ann Melia : A Review

Book Title: KIDNAP: Book 1 of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire by Sally Ann Melia
Category:  YA Fiction, 100 pages
Genre: Science-fiction and Fantasy
Publisher: Dickson House
Release date: May 17, 2015
Content Rating: PG

          I don’t want to go… Do I have to go?
          13-year-old Prince Teodor of Freyne knows his duty to the memory of his father and his kingdom. Always, he must help those less fortunate than himself. Yet a frightening nightmare fills him with foreboding, but still he must do - into the Dome.
          13-year-old Guy Erma lives in the shadow of the Dome, he has no father and no mother and his future is uncertain, he must start earning a living when he turns 14. He knows not where he will live or even how he will eat, and his only dream is to enter the military academy - at the heart of the Dome.
          Two boys as different as any two boys might be. One act of cruelty will throw their lives together, but who dare they trust?
          A YA Sci-Fi thriller usually resorts to certain stereotypes that the writers (and unfortunately some readers) think are necessary for the book to be a bestseller. These stereotypes make the book and the content (however different the story might be) seem repetitive. Thankfully, Kidnap breaks not one, but all of those ‘set rules’.
          From page one to the appendix, (yes; the appendix, which is a glossary for the Sci-Fi terms used in the book) the book was racy, vivid and written very creatively. The first few pages of the book are the ‘make or break’ for the reader because of the new concepts and unfamiliar terms that are introduced aplenty. But once you manage to use the appendix and get familiar with the terms, the book moves at a pleasantly fast pace.
          The story is a parallel comparison between two thirteen year old boys, one, a prince of a kingdom and two, a reluctant fashion model bastard child who wants to join the most elite military force of the kingdom. For a story that happened ‘long, long ago on a planet far, far away’, the technology described is amazing. There are droids – mini cameras that can be ‘pinched’ and there are domes and cathedrals that are antique on the outside and sleek on the inside.
          But in the eons that separate the story and the present, one thing hasn’t changed – the underlying politics that interferes on every level from military selections to dinner menu and dance rehearsals. The prince (heir to the empire) is kidnapped and the suspects range from the Queen’s political opponent and the Emperor who wants to marry her to produce his ‘heir’. The plot doesn’t have too many holes but a lot of unanswered questions (that is not to be mentioned in detail because this book is just the first one of the series).
          Overall, the language (at least the part that doesn’t have the story – specific, specially coined words) is impeccable, crisp and clear. The story is new and unique in some contexts, but falters in the lack of certain explanations that would have smoothed out the obvious crevices. The book made me want to read the second part as soon as the first part was over, because, after all, this was just a chronicle of all events that happened in one day! Who wouldn’t want to read what happened in day two? Talk about cliff-hangers, this author has them mastered.
About the Author

          The author was born in Wallasey, England, in 1964, and moved to the South of France when she was eleven. She spent her teenage years living in the cosmopolitan city state of Monaco and became immersed in its many languages and cultures. An English girl in a French school, for three hours each week she would sit at the back of the class as her colleagues learnt English. To pass the time, she wrote stories. This led to a lifetime of writing novels, scripts, stories and articles.
          In her working life, Sally writes marketing communications and manages large international websites.
          In 2010, Sally joined the Hogs Back Writers, a club located on the outskirts of Guildford, and she set about turning an old manuscript into this novel: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire. Sally currently lives in Farnham, and she is married with two children.