Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Writing Strategy: Pen Names and Pseudonyms

Today's guest post is by freelance writer Elaine Hirsch.

Using pseudonyms for the purpose of identity concealment while writing provocative and engaging literature is a time-honored practice. The Founding Fathers wrote the seminal Federalist Papers under the collective pseudonym Publius. There were even opposing views to the Federalist Papers written under different pseudonyms such as Cato and Brutus.

Pseudonyms have been a mainstay of literature, sometimes as collective pen names (Ellery Queen), or as aliases. Stephen King used the name Richard Bachman ostensibly to test whether his success as an author had anything to do with his own persona. While it may not do to write one's master's degree dissertation under a pen name, outspoken academics have long disguised their writings when necessary, and still do so today.

Online privacy and the possibility of anonymity are two transcending issues of internet communications. Pseudonyms abound in the blogosphere, and they are utilized for different reasons.

For example, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, whose real name is Richard Starkey, adopted the name because of the abundance of rings he wore. Despite having little to do with his actual name, Ringo Starr stuck and Starkey has since been known as Ringo Starr for his contributions as a drummer for the Beatles.

Keeping one's employment is also a logical reason for using an online nom de plume. Notorious blogger Belle de Jour turned out to be Dr. Brooke Magnanti, a research scientist who blogged about her life as a London call girl while finishing her forensic science doctoral studies at the University of Sheffield.

Others may want to start out with pseudonyms until they find their voice, or until they feel comfortable their writings aren't going to get them fired immediately. Such is the advice of Dr. Allen Roberts, an American emergency room physician for whom blogging became an emotional outlet.

Keeping oneself out of jail is another sound reason for writing pseudonymously. Fake blogger JT LeRoy may have been a literary hoax perpetrated by author Laura Albert, but the character's online musings could have attracted the attention of law enforcement.

Pseudonymous writing does not translate well to all situations or topics. Whistleblower blogs may necessitate pseudonymous authorship, but academia generally shuns pseudonyms use since it doesn't conform to the responsibility and credit principles of attribution. In any case, writers, readers, and critics should keep in mind that whatever a pen name's ups and downs, there are certainly situations where pseudonymity is justified and even necessary.

Elaine Hirsch is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education and history to medicine and videogames. This makes it difficult to choose just one life path, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

SEO Marketing Tips to Help Get Links to Your Site

SEO Marketing Tips to Help Get Links to Your Site

The most effective way to get links to your site is through content and SEO marketing.

Here are the four of the most popular SEO marketing content strategies to use:

1. Write keyword rich and quality blog posts and alert your social networks that there’s fresh content on your site. If it’s valuable content, readers will be motivated to share it with their networks, moving it to viral status.

2. Do guest blogging on quality and ‘relevant to your platform’ sites.

3. Post quality and polished content to article directories that other website and blogsite owners will find of value and can post to their sites for free.

When writing for article directories or even guest blogging, make your ‘author bio’ as compelling a possible. You want to get people to click on your link. Your ‘bio’ is just as important as your article content. The reader needs to know that by clicking on your link, she will be benefited with more valuable information.

As an example, Joe Smith could use the following as his author bio:

Joe Smith is a published author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer. Learn more about writing and marketing at www.

It’s not likely that people will really care about what Joe Smith does – what they want is to know what will be in it for them if they click on his link. It’s all about the WITFM (what’s in it for me).

So, a more effective author bio might be:

To learn more about writing and marketing and to pick up two free e-books on writing and marketing, go to and sign up for his free newsletter, A Writer’s World.

Do you see and understand the difference? Make the reader want to click on the link.

4. Create and publish informational videos to sites like YouTube. Video marketing is gaining momentum in being a ‘heavy hitter’ for creating visibility and website traffic.

Another 'SEO marketing tips' strategy to use to get traffic to your site is ‘link bait.’

With this strategy you submit well written and valuable articles to sites like and even article directories like Associated Content and Ezine Articles. If the article is very informative or entertaining, or the ‘good’ form of controversial, it will get picked up by the site and put on its home page. Now you’re talking lots of visibility and traffic resulting in lots of links.

Most, if not all, of the 'SEO marketing tips' strategies discussed have the potential to make your information marketing content go viral; this generates more visibility and traffic to your website, increasing your links.

There is obviously much more involved in SEO marketing, but this is part of the basics.

Related Articles:

Websites That Work: 7 Key Factors (Part 1)
SEO and Marketing: Basic Tips and Definitions
About Blog Post Titles


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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Power of Kindness

I know this is a departure from my regular postings, but I read a touching story yesterday, sent from Hope Clark, in the Funds for Writers newsletter. It told the story of a freshman nerd who got bullied and a kind stranger who took action.

The gist of the story: Walking home from school one Friday, a boy noticed another boy (the nerd) carrying a load of books. Watching, he saw a group of kids deliberately knock him down. He felt sorry for the boy and instead of just walking by, he stopped and helped. The boys ended up becoming best friends.

Years later, when graduation came around, the nerd had thrived during high school and was giving the graduation speech. He revealed that the Friday he met his best friend, he planned to kill himself that weekend. That's why he had all his books and belongings from school, to save his mom the grief of having to get them. His best friend, without ever knowing until then, had saved his life with a simple act of kindness and friendship.

This is not the only story about how a kind act actually saved someone's life; there are many such true stories.

The point is: One small act of kindness can turn someone's day around, can turn anger into calmness, can save a life.

And, that act of kindness can have a rippling affect. That high school nerd went on to become a doctor - who knows how many lives he saved or might save. But it doesn't have to be in the form of a doctor, it can be another act of kindness, a smile, a helping hand to someone else.

I recently listened in on a webinar about breaking through your own stumbling blocks, no matter how deep rooted they are. One of the points delved into the fact that each of us is from an original source, most of us consider that source God. Since we're all created by God, we are all basically one.

While this isn't a great revelation, this philosophy has been around a while, it does remind us that we should do unto others as we'd have them do to us . . . since we are all one.

Would you prefer a kind word or an angry word, a smile or a frown, being brought down or encouraged, a slap or a kiss. You get the idea.

Our actions cause reactions in those we interact with - you just never know what that one simple act of kindness or friendliness will cultivate.

The world has many heroes, such as firefighters, those in the military, the police, rescuers, and so on, who risk their lives to help others and save lives. A kind word, an act of kindness, a friendly gesture, while not heroic and on a much smaller scale, has the same capability.

Years ago I listened to a speech about how during the gold rush people worked hard to search through dirt and rock to find gold. It brought out that we should do the same toward people. Rather than quickly finding fault, take the time and effort to search for the good in others. Search for the gold.

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, editor

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Testimonials and Forewords for Your Book

Today's guest post is by Dan Poynter and it has valuable information on getting valuable testimonials and forewords for your book/s.

Gathering Testimonials & Forewords
by Dan Poynter

More than 300 titles are published each day. There is no way anyone can know and rank them. That is why the book industry relies so heavily on blurbs.

A blurb is a short sales pitch or review of a book usually printed on the jacket or in an advertisement. The word was coined by Gelett Burgess, a Boston-born humorist and author [1866-1951).

Testimonials, endorsements and quotations or “blurbs” sell books because word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forces in marketing. Anything you say about your book is self-serving but words from another person are not. In fact, when readers see the quotation marks, it shifts
their attitude and they become more receptive.

Harvey Mackay placed 44 testimonials in the frontmatter of Swim with the Sharks; he had endorsements from everyone from Billy Graham to Robert Redford. Did these luminaries buy a book and write unsolicited testimonials? Of course not. Mackay asked for the words of praise.

Your mission is to get the highest-placed, most influential opinion molders in your field talking about your book. You have more control than you think over whom you quote, what they say and how you use their words. The easiest and most logical time to gather blurbs is following peer review of the manuscript. Testimonials are not difficult to get if you follow this two-step process.

Most testimonials are superficial, teach the reader nothing and lack credibility.
—Ron Richards, President, Venture Network.

Step #1. Send parts of your book out for peer review. Smart nonfiction authors take each chapter of their nearly complete manuscript and send it off to at least four experts on that chapter’s subject.

Step #2. Approach your peer reviewers for a testimonial. Now the target is softened up. You are not surprising them by asking for a blurb for a book they haven’t even seen. In fact, since you matched the chapter to their individual interest, they have already bought into the project and
become familiar with your work.

Now, draft the (suggested) testimonial yourself. In order to get what you need and in order to control the blurb, draft a suggested testimonial. Then include a cover letter like this: I know you are a busy person. Considering your position and the direction this book takes, I need a
testimonial something like this: . . .

Drafting a testimonial is a creative act; it takes time and careful thought. Editing is easier than creating. Your endorser does not even know how long the blurb should be. So, provide help. Some 80% will just sign off on your words, 10% will add some superlatives and 5% will get the idea and come up with something much better.

Forewords are approached in the same manner as endorsements. What you get back from the writer is just longer.

Gather testimonials by putting words in their mouths.
Dan Poynter does not want you to die with a book still inside you. You have the ingredients and he has your recipe. Dan has written more than 100 books since 1969 including Writing Nonfiction and The Self-Publishing Manual. For more help on book writing, see © 2003

Other Articles You Find Interesting:

Marketing Exposure by Nancy Sanders
Plan a Virtual Book Tour: The First Steps
Book Sales Getting Musty?

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

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Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Monday, November 21, 2011

What is SEO and SEO Marketing?

If you’re like the majority of people, you may be wondering what SEO is. Well, it’s simply an acronym that stands for ‘search engine optimization.’

According to, “Just about every Webmaster wants his or her site to appear in the top listings of all the major search engines.” SEO is the means to accomplish this.

SEO marketing is the strategies or techniques used to create visibility and website ranking within the search engines, such as Google and Bing.

Every online marketing strategy includes promotion, and SEO marketing is a promotional tool under the marketing umbrella. The marketing umbrella covers the creation or manufacturing of a product or service, research and development (R&D), distribution, and any other elements needed to get a product from creation to the consumer. Promotion creates visibility, which in turn leads website traffic and customers.

Utilizing online promotion means you will be using the internet and search engines. SEO marketing is the process of getting the search engines to find and rank your website and your content. You obviously want a high ranking so when a searcher (potential customer) types in a search term (keyword), your site may be one of those on that first search engine results page (SERP), or at least within the first few pages.

Another explanation of SEO marketing:

It is basically the steps you take to have Google, Bing, and other search engines find, index, and put your website on one of their first SERPs whenever people use ‘your keyword’ to search for something.

In essence, SEO marketing is kind of a popularity contest.

When you use effective keywords within your website (title and meta tags) and in informative posting content, Google and the other search engines will find, index, and rank you. This allows you to be picked up and shown on the search engines’ results pages for specific search terms. When a ‘searcher’ finds your link on the SERP and clicks on it, you get a link to your site. The more inbound links to your site – relevant to your keywords or not - the more Google and other search engines ‘like you’ and consider you an authority.

Going a bit further with this, getting links from other sites with the same keywords in their links that you have in yours, is much better. This is considered as a higher ‘ranking vote’ by Google and establishes your site as having more authority. The more ‘link votes’ you get, the more Google will perceive your site as valuable and give you a higher authoritative ranking.

To be found and ranked by Google and other search engines, you need to add effective and relevant keywords to your site and content. To do this, you can go to

Click on the Google Keyword box and it will take you to the Google Adwords search tool.

Using relevant and effective keywords is essential in SEO marketing

For an in depth look at attracting customers through SEO marketing, you can check out:
Attracting Customers With Informational Marketing

Related Articles:

SEO and Marketing: Basic Tips and Definitions
5 Marketing Reminders for 2011: Basic and Simple
Book Promotion: Creating an Informational Funnel

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

And to be sure you don’t miss any posts here, simply subscribe to my blog (RSS feed).

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Writers on the Move: Book Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

Today's post is short and sweet and links to some great gift ideas for everyone.

Writers on the Move (WOTM) has a number of amazing author members and as a feature for our readers (offering great gift ideas) and a promotional strategy for our members (since we're a marketing group), as of this year we'll be having a Writer's on the Move: Books as Gifts for the Holiday Season post and hopefully next year we'll make a free downloadable e-book, rather than a post.

The post is up at the WOTM site, but since there are a number of links involved, I'll simply link to it:

Please be sure to check it out!

Until next time,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Marketing Strategy: Blog Commenting and Sharing Posts

As manager of a marketing group I'm always on the outlook for ways to generate and increase visibility, readership, and subscribers . . . and increase traffic. I find it interesting that people in general don't seem to get some of the very simple marketing strategies they can use to increase their own visibility and that of others at the same time.

One of the simplest marketing strategies to use is commenting on blogs, quality blogs in particular, and sharing those blog posts through all available clickable social networks.

Many writers/authors don't realize that when you comment on a blog, it's picked up by the search engines. And, by leaving a clickable link back to your site in your relevant comment, you may very well draw traffic.

Aside from the search engine visibility aspect of commenting on blog posts and sharing them, this strategy establishes connections.

By commenting, you form a connection with that blogger. Since, the majority of bloggers pay attention to who's commenting on their sites that blogger will actually see YOU, thereby forming a connection.

Tip here about the service you're using to leave that comment: Always make sure you add your name and website address when applicable. If you're using Blogger, be sure to complete your Blogger profile information, which should include your links.

While this may take a couple of minutes to initially set up, it's more than worth it, because each time you comment your name and link are visible and usually clickable.

Also, by sharing informative, interesting, or entertaining posts, your provide a service to those who follow, friend, or connect with you. This simple act creates a relationship between you and your followers or connections, establishing you as a source of information, and if it's informative content you're sharing, you'll enhance your expert status. And, building your expert status or authority is a key element to building traffic and subscribers.

According to an article in, "Social Signals and SEO: Focus on Authority," it's all about "building your own audience and establishing your own authority."

Some of the most popular sources to share information are: Twitter, Facebook, GoolePlus, Linkedin, StumbleUpon, Digg, and Technorati. If you know of others, please share!

As an interesting side note: A StatCounter Global Stats report shows StumbleUpon as the top social media site in the U.S. from August to September 2011.

Okay, back on track. As the website or blogsite owner it's your responsibility to have SHARE buttons in place. If they're not in place, a visitor to your site can't share the post. Adding SHARE buttons is a simple task with content management tools, like Wordpress and Blogger.

In Blogger, just scroll down the Gadgets list in Design and find a SHARE gadget.  In your WordPress' Dashboard go to Plugins, Add New, then do a search for SHARE plugins and find one that you like.

So, to increase your own visibility and help your fellow writers/authors/bloggers, SHARE those posts you read. Even if you don't have the minute it takes to type a relevant comment - CLICK ON THOSE SHARE BUTTONS!

Related Articles: 

Book Promotion: The Foundation
Book Promotion: Creating an Informational Funnel
Book Promotion: 20 Strategies that will Broaden Your Reach – Part 1

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

And to be sure you don’t miss any posts here, simply subscribe to my blog (RSS feed).

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 Point Website Check Up

Today I have a guest article from the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter that gives 10 excellent steps you need to take to be sure your site is doing what it's intended to do: be effective in funneling in visitors, keep the average surfer there long enough to see what you're offering, and supporting conversion. And now, off we go:

Your 10 Point Website Check Up 
by Penny Sansevieri

So you have a website, congratulations! Now let's make sure it's doing what it is supposed to be doing for you. Read: selling your book or product. While websites will differ in color, layout, and target audience, there are a few things that need to remain consistent. Let's take a look at them.

1. Editing: Your website needs to be edited. There is no discussion on this topic at all. And don't self-edit. Hire someone to go through your site page by page and make sure you don't have any typos. Finding mistakes on your site is like finding typos on a resume. Doesn't bode too well, does it?

2. Website Statistics: do you know your site stats? Did you even know you can get them? Site statistics are part of every website design. If you don't have access to them make sure you get this. A good site stat service is Google Analytics, pretty comprehensive actually and easy to integrate into your site. You should know your traffic patterns and learn to read these reports (it's a lot easier than it sounds). This way you'll know what your site is doing and what it isn't.

3. Media Room: even if you have never had any TV or radio appearances, you should have a media room. The media room is a great place to list all of your accomplishments as it relates to the book. Also, a good place to put your bio, picture (both of you and the book cover), as well as media Q&A, and a host of other items (I'll cover the art and science of a good media room in an upcoming piece).

4. Website Copy: Your website isn't a magazine, people don't read, they scan. Make sure your site isn't so crammed with text that it's not scannable. Ideally your home page should have no more than 200 to 250 words. Also, make sure you have a clear call to action. You want your visitors to do something on your site, yes? Make sure they know what that is, clearly and precisely.

5. Store: Yes, you should have a place for people to buy on your site, even if it means sending them off to or somewhere else to make their purchase. One key factor though: don't make them hunt for it. Shorten the staircase. In other words, make it easy to find your stuff and then give them the quickest route to get there.

6. Design: I have two major rules in life: you should never cut your own hair or design your own website. Period. End of story. Why? Because much like editing our own books, we're just too darned close to our message to be able to do it justice. Also, most of us are writers, not designers. Hire someone, invest the money, you'll be glad you did. When you're designing, also remember that your homepage should only do one thing. Your website can sell a lot of things, including any consulting or speaking services you offer, but your home page should be focused in on one major item. Surfers spend an average of 1/50th of a second on a website, if they have to stop and try and figure out what your site is about they will leave. I call it surf shock or analysis paralysis. Don't make them guess what your site is about, or you will lose them.

7. Social content: make sure that you have something "social" on your site, whether it's a blog, forum or even your very own social networking page. The easiest and best of these is a blog, in my opinion.

8. Update often: search engines like sites that have a lot of fresh content, this will really help you with ranking in major search engines like Google. If you have a blog, you should plan to update it twice weekly at least.

9. Share and share alike: make sure that your content is easy to share. If you don't have sharing widgets on your site (Upload to Facebook, Tweet This!, Digg, Delicious, etc.) then get your designer to add it to the site asap. Most blogging software comes with this all ready to go.

10. Placement and remarketing: first off, make sure that you understand how people surf, meaning where their eye goes to when they land on a website. The first place is the upper left hand quadrant of a site, that's where your primary message should be. Then the eye goes to the center of your site. These two primary places are significant in conversion. You should have a clear message, and a clear call to action (whatever that action is). I also recommend funneling your visitors into a mailing list. You can do this via a sign-up on your home page and then an ethical bribe to encourage them to sign up. What's an ethical bribe? It's something you give them (of value) to get something - you might give them an ebook, a checklist or a special report. Just make sure it's something your readers want.

Bonus tip: Understanding Anchor Text

If you ask any Search Engine Marketing Expert they will tell you the importance of anchor text. So what is this exactly? It's the hyperlinked text that you click on to follow a link. Most people overlook this text, using words like "click here" or other nebulous terms. If used correctly, anchor text can really help with your site ranking. It's not that difficult to implement really, you just need to understand a few basic concepts.

First, anchor text should be descriptive. It should describe the link you're sending people to using keywords that reflect the page you're recommending.

Second, if you know the high-traffic keywords for your market you can use those as well to describe the link (but only if the keywords relate to the page you're sending visitors to).

Third, knowing where to use anchor text is almost as important as the text itself. All external links should be anchor text, but often web designers forget internal links (i.e. links leading to pages within your site) although they are equally as important. Your home page is also critical for anchor text links. If you have a blog (and you should) make sure that any article, website or blog you reference has anchor text in the hyperlink.

Creating these hyperlinks is easy, especially if you're using them in a blog. Most blog software has some very simple one-click anchor text creation widgets.

So take some time and go through your site, make sure that anything you have hyperlinked is anchor text. Stay away from nebulous terms like "click here" or "follow this link" because you won't get picked up by search engines that way. Make sure the text is focused and specific. How long can anchor text be? It doesn't have to be long, but if need be, it can be multiple words. Keep in mind that as long as the words are relevant to your topic, the anchor text verbiage is all that matters.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

Related Articles:

Book Marketing: Choose a Website Domain Name
How to Drive Traffic to a Website Using Expert Informational Content
Book Promotion: The Foundation
Book Promotion: Creating an Informational Funnel

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

And to be sure you don’t miss any posts here, simply subscribe to my blog (RSS feed).

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Marketing Exposure by Nancy Sanders

Today, I have the great pleasure of featuring an article by a multi-published author, Nancy Sanders. With over 80 books traditionally published, Nancy knows what she's talking about and she says exposure is a key element to generating sales.

Marketing Exposure

by Nancy Sanders

When your book gets published, a good way to generate exposure for it is to submit it to various state reading lists that it qualifies for.

Even if your book does not get selected for the list, it is still being read by teams of professionals in the world of literature. This in itself is good exposure.

And if it's selected for reading lists, the exposure is really great!
Cynthia Leitich Smith has compiled a great list of state reading lists on her Official Author Site at: Check it out!

It can be daunting to look at the huge list of state awards and reading lists, at first glance.

But if you break it into smaller chunks, it can be very workable.

After I submitted my manuscript to the publisher on my deadline for my book, America’s Black Founders, ( I knew it would take nearly a year for the manuscript to go through the process of becoming a book.

So during that year, I planned small sessions when I would sit down and go over various links to lists for awards and state reading lists. My goal of course was to win an award or be selected for a reading list, but secondary to that was exposure for marketing to increase the sales numbers of my book.

So over the months, I compiled a list of links that worked. I read about each different state reading list. I made a file of the ones my book qualified for and that interested me to submit to.

I especially noted the deadline for each one. I arranged them in order according to their deadlines so I could see at a glance which ones I needed to work on first.

I tried to enjoy this process and also kept in mind potential future books I might do this with, so I felt it was worth my time to create this master list that I could use again in the future.

After I compiled my list of state reading lists and awards that my book, America’s Black Founders, could qualify for, I looked over that list.

For some state reading lists, all you have to do is e-mail them the name of a book you’d like to nominate.

So I did! And of course, I nominated mine!

For other lists, someone who was a teacher or librarian had to contact them and nominate my book. So I contacted my teacher and librarian friends and they were happy to send in the nomination.

For other lists, anyone could nominate the book, so I contacted a writer friend who also had a new book coming out and we swapped. I submitted her book for nomination and she submitted mine.

Networking is so important in this industry! This is just one example of what you can do to help market your book when you network with friends and fellow writers.

As I looked over the list I had compiled for state reading lists and awards, there were a number of them that required either a copy of my book or a fee, or both.

I contacted my publisher about these.

I sent my publisher the list I had compiled. Then they met and they discussed the budget they wanted to commit to my book for this type of thing.

Then they got back to me and offered to submit my book for the reading lists and awards that they felt were important to them.

By now, I had my own list left. I went over this list and created my own budget for this according to the worth I gave to each place. Then I submitted my book for these.

Whew! All in all, by the time my book came out and over its first year, it was submitted to a number of state reading lists and awards.

I was hopeful it might win something. But even if it didn’t, I know it’s gotten some great exposure. And I know that will help sales.

And the good news is, it actually did win an award! America’s Black Founders was selected as the Award Winner in the “Best Books 2010″ Awards in the Children’s Non-Fiction category, sponsored by USA Book News! It also won Honorable Mention for Children’s Books in the New England Book Festival.

Another great way to build exposure for your book is to create its very own website! And right now, on my blog, I’m sharing step-by-step instructions on how to create a website for your book (or on a writing-related theme if your first book is not yet out). You can follow along at This information is based on the strategies and tips several of my publicists from different publishing houses have shared with me over the years.

Nancy I. Sanders ( is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 80 books including the ground-breaking book for children’s writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career. To learn more about this book and how it can impact your writing career, visit the website at Nancy is also available for Virtual Author Visits for your writer’s group or small group of writing friends. Contact her at for more information.

Related Book Marketing Articles:

Book Promotion: The Foundation
Book Promotion: Creating an Informational Funnel
Inbound Marketing – What do Your Readers Want?
Book Promotion: 20 Strategies that will Broaden Your Reach – Part 1

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

And to be sure you don’t miss any posts here, simply subscribe to my blog (RSS feed).

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Anessia's Quest: On Its Book Tour

Title: Anessia's Quest
Author: Karen Slimick Arnpriester
Genre:Christian, Drama, Suspense,Adult
Publisher: Selfpublished
Publication Date: January 18, 2011


Anessia’s Quest follows the life of a woman born into dysfunction and neglect. The story takes you on her journey. A journey that begins with abandonment, abuse, and physical injury. Pagne (Pain) believes she is all alone, thrown away, but soon discovers that she is protected and guided by her guardian angel. A powerful relationship develops between this lost child and her loving protector that manifests as a unique method of communication.

Pagne encounters other broken people that become her family, friends and community. Her grace and compassion alter their destructive paths. She moves through her life unaware of the impact she creates, her purpose on Earth.

Her life is filled with tears, laughter, joy and heartbreak. She faces challenges that include ultimate betrayal, loss and shame. Challenges that are only bearable due to her trust and faith in heaven’s love and value for her. Love that is reinforced by her angel. She discovers the events that led to her mother’s indifference and neglect, and must decide how much grace she
can extend to a woman she has hated for most of her life. The ultimate test of forgiveness.

When she faces her death, Pagne discovers the true value and power of forgiveness and love. She is shown how her life created ripples that spread into waves of glorious influence. She was not an accident, she was placed on Earth with divine intent.

Author Bio:

Karen Slimick Arnpriester is a creative, passionate and adventuresome woman. She raised her two children, adores her seven grandchildren and is now a foster mom of two young ladies. She has been a self-taught graphic designer for twenty five years and started her own business twenty years ago. Her faith in God is strong and she believes that we are Christ’s hands, feet, arms and wallet. This translates into her involvement in youth ministries, local women’s shelter, street ministry, the elderly, as well as many other outreaches over the years. Her home has been available to single moms and their children, allowing them to get a fresh start.

ANESSIA’S QUEST is her first novel. The desire to write began two years ago as a hobby. She had an idea for a beginning and the end. The rest of the story flowed and took Karen on a journey. She cried and laughed as she followed the twists and turns of the characters. Once friends read the book, she was strongly encouraged to share her story with others.

RAIDER’S VENDETTA is Karen’s second novel. It will be released in October 2011. It is a psychological thriller between the main characters,Charley and Raider. Charley’s faith and ability to survive is challenged by
the rage of a shattered man.

Her third book, which addresses bullying, is in the works and should be released in 2012. The tentative title is HEY! LEADBOTTOM!

This author wants to take her reader to a place where they can evaluate their beliefs and who God is in their life. When asked why she limits herself to Christian fiction, she simply explains that it is where her heart is. If she commits her precious time to writing, it needs to be of value and have God’s ultimate purpose in mind. Bringing his children home to him. Karen welcomes God’s influence in her writing and prays that she is fulfilling His destiny for her life.

The Next Stop:
November 11-Review@Terri Forehand, Blog

Purchase Links:

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Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Ghostwriter: 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business Part2

Today, I'm back with Part 2, features two through five, of "A Ghostwriter: 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business."

2. A Ghostwriter Provides Informational Content

Information rules in today’s ever changing world. Providing informative and/or instructive content to your staff, customers, and potential customer is now essential, especially with business transparency being a desirable feature that employees and customers look for.

While businesses and marketers can generate their own content, a ghostwriter frees up company time for more productive and revenue generating work.

‘Informational gifts’ is another content product that businesses need to be aware of. Of the thousands of websites within your industry available for customers to find and subscribe to, why should they choose yours? That’s where an ‘ethical bribe’ comes in to play. Providing an informative report or e-book with valuable information that your potential customer will appreciate tends to motivate that individual, company, or visitor to click on your opt-in box, thereby increasing your mailing list. And, every business knows the importance of having a mailing list – it’s crucial with the increasing e-commerce trends.

It’s this offering of valuable and quality information that helps build a relationship with your site’s visitors and keeps them coming back. This ongoing relationship will eventually lead to an increased mailing list and sales.

3. A Ghostwriter for Your Business’ Landing Pages and Products

The first impression an online searcher – potential customer searching for your product or business type - will have of a business, is its landing page. Obviously, a business needs to have an attractive, quick loading, SEO friendly, and informative page. Now, while a ghostwriter will most likely not be a web designer, she can create the needed content for the site, content that will engage the visitor and motivate him to subscribe to the mailing list and make contact with the business.

The mailing list is what generates long-lasting relationships and sales. Through the mailing list you can offer information, along with product and/or business promotion. Marketing experts advise though, to offer a 75 to 25 percent ratio of information to promotion.

Again, information is what people want today; they want to know how to find a solution to their problem or need, and they want to be informed. If you provide that, you will have sales.

Along with creating effective landing page content, a ghostwriter can produce product descriptions and guides. Through the information you provide and additional research, she can create informative and customer appreciated content, thereby fostering customer loyalty.

4. A Ghostwriter – Copywriting and Keywords

In addition to writing articles, newsletters, e-books, reports, and other content, a ghostwriter should know copywriting. While this skill isn’t essential for some aspects of the job, it is important in the event a client requires projects such as landing pages, email marketing, product guides, articles, or other.

And, being aware of SEO and keywords will help the ghostwriter create traffic effective content, leading potential subscribers and customers to the business’ website.

Knowing copywriting and SEO is a surefire way for a ghostwriter to increase her value to business clients.

5. A Ghostwriter Must be a Good Writer

Lastly, the number one quality a ghostwriter needs to have is being a good writer. It’s also a good idea for the ghostwriter to specialize in a couple of different areas – this also increases her value to specific clients.

If you are thinking of hiring a ghostwriter, you might ask for samples and/or testimonials. Note here: testimonials from ghostwriting clients may be difficult, if not impossible to come by . . . for obvious reasons. If the ghostwriter can’t provide testimonials, it’s important to understand why and ask for writing samples instead.

You can check out Part 1 here:

A Ghost Writer: 5 Features That Can Help Your Business Part 1




Professional, Reliable, and Experienced Writing Services


Building an Writer’s Portfolio
Building a Profitable Information Product Business
Writing for Money – Breaking Into Freelance Writing

P.S. To get weekly SEO writing tips, content marketing tips, and more, right in your inbox, get free access to the Article Writing Doctor: CLICK HERE!

Karen Cioffi, the Article Writing Doctor
Prescription for Your Content Marketing Needs
Content Writing Training and Services for Natural Healthcare Professionals (and Small Businesses too)


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Write for Money System

I've written articles about this, and have purchased a number of  'write for money' strategy systems over the years. And, my advice to all is to look into one product you think is realistic, you think you can do it, and you will actually follow through with.

Attending a number of marketing teleclasses and webinars, it's said over and over again, you can buy the most effective program or course available, but if you don't actually follow through with it, you've wasted your money.

This is the number one reason why people don't succeed with proven strategies, programs, courses, or other. You have to 'walk the walk' in order to achieve success.

I was recently sent information from my writing coach on a proven 'write for money' strategy that the creator, Jimmy Brown, has used since 2000 to make a living online. And, if applied, this strategy does makes money.

I just bought The Copy System and it delves into, and teaches, Jimmy's successful 'write for money' strategy to earn an income online. He’s been doing this since 2000, and has had consistent duplicatable results.

He decided to share this effective 'write for money' and marketing strategy for a short period of time and the product will be removed from his line of products on November 9th. Since the time deadline is just about here, he’s reduced the price by half and you can get it HERE for only $47.

According to Jimmy: “Over the years I've never Twittered and I've never Butterflied. (Although I've watched a few butterflies twitter in the back yard. :-) I've not done the bum marketing thing, nor have I done the stompernet thing. You won't find me doing huge product launches or sneaking in the backdoor at the search engines wearing a black hat.”

Jimmy’s write for money strategy: creating informational products and marketing materials (article marketing) and have other people sell them for him.

It’s not complicated and it’s worked consistently for over 10 years with just three simple steps:

1. Create your own informational product
2. Build your own list
3. You use affiliates

This course comes with a number of bonuses, so be sure to check it out HERE.

And, be sure to download the FREE report (no subscription) The Internet Marketer's R.O.U.T.I.N.E. at the top of the page – it’s another great tool that works hand-in-hand with The Copy System.

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

Don’t miss any posts here, simply subscribe to my blog (RSS feed).

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Friday, November 4, 2011

Free Writing Workshop: Create and Sell an Informational Product

I'm presenting another free workshop for Writers on the Move. We skipped an October workshop because of the Muse Online Writers Conference, but we're back now.

Here are the writing workshop details:

Title: Create and Sell an Informational Product
Presented by: Karen Cioffi
Date: November 18, 2011
Time: 7PM, EST (U.S. Time)
Workshop Format: Live Online Chat
Handout: Yes
Fee: Free


Surely, you’ve all hear by now about informational products. If not, it’s all about creating a product that provides needed or wanted information to others . . . information others will be willing to pay for.

And, it’s not difficult at all.

So, what might be an example of an informational product?

Simple, anything that, again, will provide people with information / knowledge they need or want. Information that will solve a person’s problem or will help them get where they want to be. It might be a report, an e-book, a workshop, you get the idea.

To help you get in the informational product game, Writers on the Move is hosting a writing workshop presented by Karen Cioffi that will give you the steps you need to get where you want to be: creating and selling informational products.

To register for “Create and Sell an Informational Product” email Karen Cioffi at: karencioffi [at] ymail.

The workshop is free, but all registrants will be added to the Writers on the Move and the presenter’s mailing list.

Details to the LIVE CHAT will be provided upon registration.

We'll be offering (at the discretion of the presenter) an After Workshop Package of this workshop for those who didn't register and would like to purchase it. It'll include the live chat transcript, the workshop handout, and possibly a podcast. Be sure to Get Yours when it's available!

eBooks that will help you create and sell informational products:

How to Create an eBook and Its Many Uses
How to Attract Customers With Informational Marketing
Writing, Publishing, and Marketing

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

And to be sure you don’t miss any posts here, simply subscribe to my blog (RSS feed).

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Become a Freelance Writer: Interview with Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer's Coach

Today I have the pleasure of featuring an interview by Donna McDine with Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer's Coach.

Ready to start a freelance writing business but you don't know how?

Have you been looking online for someone or something that will help you?

Then find out more about the Working Writer's Club in this interview with the club's founder and president, Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer's Coach.

The Working Writer's Club might be just what you're searching for!

Q: Suzanne, as the founder and director of the Working Writer's Club what is the first thing you would like people to know when visiting

A: I'd like visitors to know that our club is all about helping freelance writers learn to write better, make more money, and live the writer's life they've always dreamed of living.

Q: Having created your own successful freelance writing career you know what it takes to build momentum. What is one of the most critical steps a writer needs to take consistently to develop their own freelance writing career?

A: The most critical step is to develop your goals - you have to KNOW what you want before you can figure out HOW to get there. Yet, this is the one thing that so many new writers don't take the time to do - or at least they don't take enough time to do it well. They may think that "write a novel this year" is a goal. But actually, I think of a goal as something even BIGGER than that. Writing a novel is an action step toward a goal rather than a goal itself. To get to the goal, consider WHY do you want to write a novel? What do you want this novel to do for you or your career? Your answer to that question is closer to your goal (or at least one of your major goals).

Q: What advice would you give to a newbie in freelance writing? And the intermediate freelance writer that has seen some success, but seems to be in a holding pattern at the moment?

A: Whether you're a newbie or an intermediate freelance writer - or even a very experienced, successful writer - continue to learn from other successful writers.

Join our club or another organization for writers. Then take an active part in whatever group you join. Next, develop a focus for your writing and create no more than 3 major writing/career goals for yourself that you hope to attain within the next 12 months.

Also, constantly evaluate what you're doing to see if it's getting you closer to your goals. If it isn't, then change what you're doing.

Q: By becoming a member of the Working Writer's Club what can a freelancer expect?

A: Well, for one thing, you can expect us to help you create a focus for your writing career or your writing business. And, we can help you create no more than 3 major goals - so you'll get really, really clear about WHAT you want, WHERE you're wanting to go, and then we'll help you stay focused so you take the steps to attain your goals and build your writing career and/or your writing business.

Q: With the wealth of freelance writing information available on the Internet what makes the Working Writer's Club unique?

A: I think the one thing that makes the Working Writer's Club unique is that we're not out to get you into our club so we can sell you a bunch of other high priced programs or products. We just want people who love to write and want to build a business or a career around writing to join our club and make use of all the resources, information, training, networking and support they'll receive for just $9.99 per month. I think another unique thing about the Working Writer's Club is that we all genuinely have fun helping each other be more successful.

Visit the Working Writer’s Club today and explore all they have to offer.
Thank you for your time. We look forward to your visit.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
Working Writer’s Club Publicist and Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Angel Kids

PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE, and SIGN-UP FOR MY FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, A Writer’s World. You’ll get two e-books if you do!

And to be sure you don’t miss any posts here, simply subscribe to my blog (RSS feed).

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor

Karen Books Page:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Walking Through Walls is Taking Another Tour Around the Block

Well, I'm at it again with another tour for Walking Through Walls, but this time I'm not doing it on my own, I'm going with World of Ink Tours.

And, the tour begins TODAY!

You might be wondering why I'm having another virtual tour for Walking Through Walls, and the answer is two-fold:

1. I have tremendous belief in my middle-grade fantasy adventure story, Walking Through Walls, and want to give another opportunity to attract new readers, and I'm also promoting my first book, Day's End Lullaby.

Day's End Lullaby is a soothing, lyrical, and rhyming children's bedtime picture book with the sheet music to the lullaby included in the back of the book. To learn more about Day's End Lullaby and read some great reviews, and even a singing video review, go to:

To learn more about Walking Through Walls and read some great reviews, and check out a couple of interior illustrations, go to:

2. These books are great holiday gifts and wanted to share them with readers.

Now on to the schedule for the World of Ink Karen Cioffi Book Tour:

November 1st
Families Matter Blog - Interview

November 2nd
World of Ink Network – Spotlight/Guest Post

November 3rd
American Chronicle – Interview/Spotlight

November 4th
The Writing Mama – Interview

November 6th
Utah Children's Writer Blog – Guest Post: Tips for Writing eBooks

November 7th
The Maggie Project – Guest Post: Writing in Rhyme

November 8th
Writing to the Hearts of Children- Spotlight

November 9th
MomnBaby Network – Spotlight

November 10th
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Interview

November 11th
Families Matter Blog - Book Review: Walking Through Walls

November 13th
MomnBaby Network – Book Review: Day’s End Lullaby

November 15th
The Crypto-Capers Review – Day’s End Lullaby

November 16th
BlogCritics: Mom Prefers - Author Spotlight

November 17th
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Book Review: Walking Through Walls

November 18th
Families Matter Blog - Book Review: Day’s End Lullaby

November 21st – Book Review & Giveaway

BlogCritics-Book Review: Walking Through Walls

BTR’s World of Ink Network: Stories for Children show.
Live Radio Interview at 2pm EST

or call in to listen or ask questions (714) 242-5259.
You can also listen on demand after the show airs!

November 22nd
Stories for Children Magazine FG Interview

November 23rd
The Writing Mama – Guest Post: Back story of Walking Through Walls

November 27th
Roth’s Inspiring Books & Products – Book Review: Day’s End Lullaby

November 28th
Strands of Thought – Interview

You can check out my sites and links:

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing