February's Buzz...

by: Jay Johnson

Be sure to check out:
The Aton Project Newsletters at: http://www.self-publishinghelp.com/TheAtonProjectNewsletters.html. This newsletter, by author Tony VanSluytman, has been receiving rave revues despite it not being directed to writers.
FREE Writing Course http://http://banyonsbookdoctor.com.
We are quite proud of the contributions of these two dedicated authors and wish for you to learn more about them.

*** Moonspinners Writer's Page (http://www.maureenmcmahon.com), the website of Maureen McMahon, has been voted one of the 101 Best Websites by Writer's Digest 2006 - specifically her Ask The Experts section, created in collaboration with fellow author Fran Silverman (http://www.maureenmcmahon.com/bookmarketing.html).

The Experts Site is composed of 150 subscribers to Fran’s newsletter, Book Promotion Newsletter (http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com), who answer book marketing questions at no charge.

Download: 10 Ways to Promote Your Book...

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Screenwriting Advice Article!

You are the Box Office Smash: The Personal Screenplay
by Gordy Hoffman

Right this very second, in the heart of every struggling, undiscovered screenwriter, in the dark, hidden corner deep within, there is a voice, a clear whisper, saying one thing:

You're never gonna figure this out.

And this is not referring to the story with its gaping hole, the finale missing a payoff, the hit and miss humor, the flat title.

I'm talking about freedom. The freedom to work as a screenwriter. Compensation for a home for family and a life. The resources to wake up and ply your craft and pay the freight, without obstacle. The chance to see your writing made into pictures, to work with the industry's best, to fulfill this goal of professional screenwriter. Hollywood success.

Behind this voice is the idea that somehow, some way, you'll find the hero, or the hook, logline or pitch that will punch your golden ticket. If you could only figure out what the studio wants, if you can only get a solid bead to this game, you know you can write and execute. What is the script I should write to get an agent? What is the one that will sell? It's not that I don't know how to write, I know how to write screenplays, I just need to know what they want, even though I think I know what they want, but I don't think I have the idea that they want. Yeah.

I'm not gonna figure this out, whispers the voice.

Why this uneasiness? Does it originate within ourselves? I don't think so. But where does it come from? The daily obsession with box office grosses? The news of the seven figure deals to newbies? The endless procession of boneheadedly conceived franchises-in-waiting arriving in the theatres every Friday? People winning Academy Awards for movies you would not be caught dead writing? Recognizing an idea you came up with years ago on your couch, produced with a $130 million budget drowning in CGI?

All these things are but a few of the possible reasons why this seeds unhealthy doubt and confusion in the modern screenwriter. Tracking these forces outside us and beyond our control in an effort to trudge the path to a successful screenwriting career will prove to most to be unproductive and corrosive. Basically, trying to figure out what Hollywood wants will land us in a resentment that makes "giving up" a sane response to the very challenge which used to inspire us. In short, we cannot chase a perceived trend and remember our dreams.

You cannot look at the marketplace and find your voice. You can find ideas, trends, and inspiration there, perhaps, but you can find these things driving in traffic as well. But listening to your voice is the key to creating original, compelling stories.

Your life is your own story. You have a completely unique thread of experience. By allowing yourself to express these emotional experiences, your screenplay, your story, will be different from any other and powerful, as original as your fingerprint.

Why is it powerful? When we have the courage to be specific about what we know about living, we create an authentic world an audience recognizes as the life they are living on planet Earth. This connects your audience to your story. This connection is the foundation of the phenomena of story.

Why does story mean so much to us? We recognize the triumphs and tragedies of our lives, with all the hilarity and tears. By seeing it, we are validated and it underscores meaning and purpose to living.

If we don't use what we've collected in life in our hearts and spirits, then our story loses its authenticity and the connection the audience should make fails. They do not see themselves, and when they leave the theater, they do not call their friends. When people do not call their friends after seeing a movie, the movie bombs.

When a writer opens their person to their work, when they allow themselves to be vulnerable, to risk exposure of the secrets of their life story, they take a huge step towards creating a screenplay of substantial value, a screenplay with a greater potential of a large number of tickets sold.

This is precisely why art and commerce have remained bedfellows for thousands of years. To look at the relationship between art and commerce as adversarial or incompatible is just plain foolish. Art happens when people invest their spirits in their work without fear, and story is artful when the writing is truthful and the writer is authentic.

And what do we have to be honest about? We can only lie about what we know, and we can only tell the truth about what we know. And that is what has happened to us, our life story. This is what we share.

This is not a pitch to write "what you know." This is not about writing stories about where you work or where you live. This is about writing about what you felt. You can imagine characters and worlds and actions and speech you've never personally experienced, but if you remember to infuse your choices with your emotional and spiritual struggles and victories as a human being, your screenplay will be different in the very best sense of the word.

The question you have to answer is not what does Hollywood want today. The question is how honest of a writer do you want to be. I guarantee you can write a blockbuster, you can write a box office hit. This will happen when you find an audience. And the correct path to this crowd of people is listening to yourself. If you practice, you will develop an inner ear for who you are and what you know and you will become masterful in loading your work with your fingerprints. Writing is personal work. You are the guitar. You are the box of paint. Give of that and your audience will remember why life is good and they will talk of you.

About the Author
Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival for LOVE LIZA, Gordy Hoffman has written and directed three digital shorts for Fox Searchlight. He made his feature directorial debut with his script, A COAT OF SNOW, which world premiered at the 2005 Locarno Intl Film Festival. A COAT OF SNOW made its North American Premiere at the Arclight in Hollywood, going on to screen at the Milan Film Festival and the historic George Eastman House. Recently, the movie won the 2006 Domani Vision Award at VisionFest, held at the Tribeca Cinemas in NY. A professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Gordy is the founder and judge of BlueCat Screenplay Competition. Dedicated to develop and celebrate the undiscovered screenwriter, BlueCat provides written script analysis on every script entered. In addition, Gordy acts as a script consultant for screenwriters, offering personalized feedback on their scripts through his consultation service, www.screenplaynotes.com. For more articles by Gordy on screenwriting, visit http://www.bluecatscreenplay.com.

A Radio Show for Writers and more...

A new radio show devoted to book marketing made its debut on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 on Achieve Radio, noon to 1 p.m., MST. Host Francine Silverman will talk with authors, publishers and publicists, providing listeners with a unique perspective on book promotion.

To access Book Marketing with Fran, go to http://www.achieveradio.com and click “Click to Listen” at top of page. Should you miss the show, click “Shows & Hosts” on the left and scroll down to Fran’s show and click, “More-Click Here” for the archives.

Patricia Fry, president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network) and author of 24 books, will be Fran’s first guest. Patricia’s latest book is The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book (Matilija Press 2006), a comprehensive guide for hopeful and struggling authors.

Fran is author of Book Marketing from A-Z and editor publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com

Issue 157: Feb. 25, 2009

ISSN 1545-5599
Issue 157: February 25, 2009

Issued every other Wednesday since 2003

In This Issue:

(1) Feature Article
(2) Grist for Your Mill
(3) Wonderful Websites
(4) Progress Report


Remember - I'm in Florida.

I had a small article - I guess you'd call it a filler - published in the March/April edition of Writers' Journal in Writers' Notebook on page 42. Entitled "Agents," it deals with my mistake in thinking I needed an agent for Talk Radio Wants You. It pays to go a bookstore once in a while and rummage through the magazines. That's how I got the idea.

What is especially nice is the accompanying cartoon of a smiling author sailing above the editor's desk as one editor looked up at the author and commented to his colleague, "All I said was that his story outline had possibilities."

For your information, the editor, Leon Ogroske, wrote: "We are interested in articles discussing how writers use new and fresh angles to break into interesting writing markets." His email is writersjournal@writersjournal.com

To my clients - If you plan to go out of town and not have computer access, please let me know the dates. It's frustrating to learn that a radio host is interested in you and you are not around.



By Rick Frishman
Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Author 101 Newsletter"

What The Media Loves

1. News
Above all else, the media wants newsworthy items. The first thing they ask is, "Will our audience care about this?" News is what affects people's lives, what they discuss at the dinner table and around the water cooler. For the media, news is not just about delivering information; it's about entertaining first and educating or selling second. So, provide your information in an entertaining fashion.

2. The Big Three: Sex, Money, and Health
Stories that involve sex, money, or health attract attention. The media believes that the public is obsessed with sex, money, and health, and if you link your story to one or more of them, it will increase its media appeal.

3. Brevity
Save everyone time and effort by sending short, concise messages, preferably by e-mail. Cut to the chase--be direct and without subterfuge. State what you're pitching and how it will help the intended audience. Long missives often go unread.

Faxes can be unreliable. Some newsrooms, stations, and offices have only one fax machine, or one per floor, and it may be operated by an intern or a clerk. In large organizations, faxes are often undelivered or delivered to the wrong person. If you send a fax, follow up with an e-mail to be sure it is received.

4. Targeted Pitches
Every story isn't for every outlet. Research the audience you wish to reach and identify which outlets best target that audience. Before making your pitch, study each media outlet: read its articles, watch and listen to its programs, and visit its Web sites. Customize your pitch to stress how it will benefit each outlet's specific audience. Send business stories to business reporters, not to lifestyle reporters, unless the story has a lifestyle angle.

5. Relationships
Media people like to deal with people who build relationships rather than merely try to sell a story. Although individual stories are important, people in the media know that careers are built by forging strong relationships. To the media, professionals build relationships and they prefer to work with professionals in their network rather than one-shot wonders.

6. Preparation
Do your homework. The media likes to work with people who have their acts together and can deliver what is needed. Focus on making the media's job easier. Know your subject inside and out and have written materials completed and on hand to send upon request. With products, send three copies of the product to the media. Being prepared shows commitment and that you're a dedicated professional.

7. Broad Appeal
The story behind your product or service should be able to reach a wide variety of individuals. You want something that makes audiences say, "I know someone who could use that." The media looks for stories that people will identify with. Search for broad themes that deliver some punch.

8. Tie-ins
The media wants stories that feed into larger items such as breaking news or trends. It looks for topics that will spawn families of stories. For example, during mining disasters they go for stories about safety, corporate greed, the closeness and tradition of mining communities, handling grief, treating trauma, technical and scientific advances, and the environment.

9. Experience
Reporters, editors, and bloggers like to see how others have covered your story; send articles that others have written about you or your product or service. Producers and podcasters want to know how you came off on camera or radio; give them a list of shows you've appeared on and offer to supply tapes for their review.

10. Visualization
The media loves stories that they can picture. In your written materials, use visual terms to create images and tell stories that illustrate your main points. The better the media can visualize your story, the better it can visualize its audience visualizing your story.

11. Celebrity Connections
Explain how your product or service is linked to well-known personalities. The public craves information about celebrities, and products related to them get plenty of ink.

12. Prompt Response
Since the media works tight deadlines, time is always of the essence. Respond promptly to requests. Send requested material by the fastest route: hand delivery or overnight express. Delays can cause postponements or cancellations. You're always in a race with the clock.

13. Courtesy
Be respectful to everyone you come in contact with, especially those who answer the phones. Before speaking with media contacts, learn the proper pronunciation of their names. Butchering a media contact's name will get you off to a rocky start; it will put you in a hole before you begin.

14. Visual Aids
A picture is worth 10,000 words. Send charts, graphs, photographs, illustrations, and other graphic aids that reporters can stick under their editors' noses to show why your story merits telling.

15. Send Warnings
Before sending unsolicited material, you should notify your media contacts that it is coming with a quick call or e-mail. If they tell you not to send it, respect their wishes.

Rick is founder of Planned Television Arts and one of the leading book publicists in America for over 30 years.
Subscribe at http://www.author101.com and receive Rick's "Million Dollar Rolodex"



Valerie Connelly, founder and owner of NIGHTENGALE MEDIA, has launched YourBookTube.com --- Where Book Videos Sell Books and explains here how it works:

In 2002, promotional book videos came on the scene as a means to marketing books. Yet until now, consumers had no centralized place to go to find these videos. The purpose and goal for YourBookTube.com is to amplify the impact and effectiveness of the book video concept to realize increased book sales online for authors and publishers.

We expect http://www.yourbooktube.com to become the definitive, most easily accessed, non-competitive, centralized online library of book videos. The site makes it easy for readers to make literary choices by watching book video promos from all producers on one completely categorized, comprehensive, fully optimized website. YourBookTube makes it easy for readers to purchase the book either from Your Book Tube Shop, a fully integrated, Amazon-powered book shop, or to go to the publisher's or author's linked bookstore. Best of all, YourBookTube provides a non-competitive, beneficial tool to every contributor with FREE advertising, article marketing and reciprocal links. We've had a tremendous response so far, with more than 90 videos from Readerviews. We're nearing 300 videos on the site in less than a month's time, with new ones arriving every day. This is exciting!

1. All uploads are FREE
2. All common video formats accepted.
3. Fully optimized site
4. Unlimited bandwidth
5. Categorized content for all common book genres.
6. Full video description included.
7. Viewer voting and reviewing options included.

All the book videos produced by Nightengale Media through their http://www.WEB4W.com services use licensed music from Free Play Music http://www.freeplaymusic.com. "Freeplay Music eliminates copyright infringement anxieties by offering convenient and inexpensive music licensing services to production companies, prosumers [a music techie term meaning professional consumers] and individuals producing commercial works," explains Free Play Music founder, Scott Schreer.

In simple terms, book videos are commercials for books and effective commercials do their work in 30 to 60 seconds. Take longer than that, and the viewer mentally tunes out. On the internet, spending longer than a minute is rare. An effective book video needs engaging content revealed through pictures, music, text, and if appropriate, professional voiceover.

Go to http://www.yourbooktube.com to upload book videos to this centralized site where readers can find and view book videos easily and quickly.

Nightengale Media LLC is the parent company of Nightengale Press, http://www.nightengalepress.com, an independent book publisher since 2003 which will be publishing its 18th title early this year. Nightengale Media has also produced websites and videos for Nightengale Press authors, non-profit organizations, and other businesses over the years http://www.WEB4W.com. And now, Nightengale Media LLC is expanding these efforts with YourBookTube.com.

Lillian Bjorseth shared with me that the third edition of her bestseller, Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last, has just been released. She told me she chose the route of updating the book rather than writing more books because she said the book appears to have a life of its own! Check http://www.duoforce.com/ldb/bookorder.htm for an overview of her book.

She’s interested in exchanging book reviews on amazon.com and LinkedIn with other business book authors. You can reach her at lillianspeaks@duoforce.com

Fenella Smith has a radio show on LA Talk Radio, http://www.latalkradio.com/Fenella.php, about automotive industry employees who love their company. All of her guests are "regular" people who have been able to do remarkable things as a result of them working for their automotive company.

Since I don't have any clients who fall into this category, I thought maybe a subscriber might work for an automotive company. You can reach her at fenellasmith@thinkingbeyondyourcurrentcircumstances.com

Radio host David Wolf sent me a release about a new Internet radio show that will interest business authors.

"Each week, beginning February 25th on SBTV.com, you can listen in to The Michael E. Gerber Show at www.sbtv.com/gerber and gain new insights into how to solve many challenges you're facing in your own business, to create a new, extraordinary small business, and to transform your life by awakening the entrepreneur within you," he wrote.

"To schedule a segment on the show, send an email to dwolf@sbtv.com with Gerber Show in the subject. Shows are pre-recorded every Friday between 12 noon and 1:30pm EST. Our producers will work with you to get you on the show live with Michael E. Gerber."

Also, Small Business Television, is looking for new, informative small business related articles for the site....
We’ll give attribution/link in return.
Please reply to David's email. http://www.sbtv.com

Ilene L. Dillon, MSW, contributed the following:
The first-ever Conscious Relationship Summit Virtual Conference is scheduled for March 30-April 3, 2009. It's a full week of webinars with 35 of the worlds' top personal growth and relationship experts, like Jack Canfield, Terry Real, Harville Hendrix, Pat Love, David Schnarch, David Richo, Susan Page, Guy Finley, Hal Runkel, Susan Johnson, Rhonda Britten, Steven Stosny, Gay and Katie Hendricks, and the list goes on...
Ilene is one of the featured speakers, offering a session on Emotions as Spiritual Guides in Relationship.

According to Ilene, the cost of this Conference is phenomenally low, even without the Early Registration discount, which expires March 1st.
Attendees participate by telephone or internet LIVE from the comfort of their home or office.

This is a fundraiser, with proceeds benefitting 12 international charities for families and children in need, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Children's Defense Fund.

The recorded programs can be downloaded to your iPod.

Participants will also have immediate access to a very valuable Bonus Package donated by sponsors and our presenters.
"I am thrilled to be participating in this Summit Virtual Conference, which has been organized by David Steele and his Relationship Coaching Institute," says Ilene. http://www.relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
Register at http://www.consciousrelationshipsummit.com

Ilene is host of Full Power Living, http://www.emotionalpro.com



Looking for a writing or blogging job?

Try these sites:




These are spots I found for my clients:

Dr. Michael Beitler was the guest of Mancow Muller, host of the syndicated show, Mancow, on February 23, 2009 at 7:10 (CT). http://www.mancow.com

Michael will also be the guest of John, host of the Freedom and Truth radio show tonight (February 25, 2009) at 11 pm (ET). http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freedomandtruth.

Michael is author of Rational Individualism: A Moral Argument for Limited Government & Capitalism (Practitioner Press International 2008) and Strategic Organizational Change (Practitioner Press International 2006) and host of Free Markets With Dr. Mike Beitler on the VoiceAmerica Business Network. http://www.mikebeitler.com

Dawn Mushill will be the guest of Shelia Smoot, host of Shelia Smoot on Your Side on WAGG 610 AM, Birmingham, AL on March 5, 2009 at 3:30 p.m.(CT). http://wagg610.com/info/sheliasmoot.html

Dawn is author of Customer Service and Beyond (Femme Osage Publishing 2008). http://www.customerserviceandbeyond.com

Celeste Terry will be recording a program on March 3, 2009 with Stefanie Small, host of Birth2Work Radio on http://www.birth2work.org. The air date is not yet scheduled.

Celeste is author of Transforming Non-Profits For Relevancy in Challenging Times (2008)

Walter Brasch will be the guest of Beth Pickett, host of Countdown to College Radio, on February 27, 2009 at 9:30 am (PT). http://www.countdowntocollegeradio.com. On March 11, 2009, he will be the guest of Stanley El, host of The American Dream, on Rowen Radio 89.7 WGLS FM, the station of Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. http://americandreamradio.wordpress.com

Walter's newest book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (BookSurge Publishing 2007). http://www.walterbrasch.com

Melissa Zollo was the guest of Lisa Hayes, host of The Relationship RX Show on Law of Attraction Radio Network on February 19, 2009.

Melissa is author of two audio programs: Discover the Power of Imagination and How to Unleash the Power Within and Attract Money

Rebbie Straubing will be the guest of Valerie Connelly, host of Calling All Authors on Global Talk Radio, on March 3, 2009. Community URL: http://www.callingallauthors.org

Rebbie is an internationally acclaimed thought leader, founder of YOFA® (or the Yoga of Alignment) and the creator of the YOFA jhe Sessions (remote Inner Alignment sessions). She is author of Rooted in the Infinite (YOFA 2006) http://YOFA.net

Gerri Helms will be the guest of Dr. Rita Louise, host of Just Energy Radio on http://www.justenergyradio.com on March 6, 2009.

Gerri is author of Trust God and Buy Broccoli (Femme Osage 2007). http://www.lifecoachgerri.com


Francine Silverman, P.O. Box 1333, Riverdale, New York 10471, is author of:

BOOK MARKETING FROM A-Z (Infinity Publishing 2005) written by 325 paid subscribers to Book Promotion Newsletter. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/102-0106967-2029708?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Book+Marketing+from+A-Z&x=22&y=24

Subscribers are entitled to a 20% discount on the book. Contact Fran at franalive@optonline.net for code. The publisher's toll free number does not work outside the continental US and orders cannot be processed from its website for shipping outside the US.

Subscribers in foreign countries who wish to purchase the books with the discount may email Michelle at michelle@infinitypublishing.com or fax an order (610/941-9959). She will provide confirmation that your order has been received and will be processed promptly. When using these options subscribers should put everything to Michelle's attention and reference the Promotional Code (contact Fran for code).

If emailing Michelle, DO NOT put your credit card number in any email correspondence as this is not secure.

Issue 156: Feb. 11, 2009

ISSN 1545-5599
Issue 156: February 11, 2009

Issued every other Wednesday since 2003


http://www.FiveStarPublications.com - Your partner in publishing since 1985
http://www.AuthorsandExperts.com - Your economical path to publicity and more.
http://www.SchoolBookings.com - Connecting authors and illustrators to schools.
http://www.KidsCanPublish.com - Where the writers & illustrators of tomorrow get published today.

Call Five Star Publications for a free consultation. 480-940-8182



I will be away in S. Florida from February 27 to March 7, 2009. I will be on the computer less often but please continue to write.

In This Issue:

1) Feature Article
2) Grist for Your Mill
3) Promotional Coup
4) Wonderful Websites
5) Progress Report
6) Kudos
7) Correction


Pen Names: To Hide or Reveal - That's the Question For Authors

By Scott Lorenz

A rich tradition has existed for hundreds of years for fiction writers to use pen names. The most famous pen name, of course, was Samuel Clemens writing under the name Mark Twain.

A lesser known use is Romance writer Nora Roberts who uses the pen name J.D. Robb when writing suspense novels.

“Alice in Wonderland” was authored by Lewis Carroll which was a pen name used by Charles Dodgson who had gained a considerable reputation as a mathematician and didn't want to create confusion by writing fiction under his real name.

As a book marketing expert I have represented a long list of authors, some of whom have chosen to use pen names. Others have asked me about the wisdom of using a pen name. My general response is to advise against a pen name but there are good reasons not to sign a book with your real name.

Nora Roberts certainly has a marketable name. After all, her name has appeared on the NY Times Best Seller List for a combined 660 weeks - 100 weeks in the number one spot. Over 280 million copies of her books are in print, including 12 million copies sold in 2005 alone. So with a marketable name like that, why would Nora Roberts ever want to use a pen name? (By the way, Nora Roberts also is a pen name; the author was born Eleanor Marie Roberts).

In 1992 Putnam publishers asked Nora Roberts to come up with a second pen name because they could not keep up with the prolific writer's romance novels let alone the new genre of romance suspense novels she wanted to write. So she took the initials J.D. from sons Jason and Dan and shortened Roberts to Robb. She also has written under the pen names Jill March and Sara Hardesty.

One of my clients served as a Navy Seal in the Iraq War and then returned to write a book on the war that was critical of Islam. To protect his personal safety and maintain security for his family, my client wrote under the pen name Chuck Bravedy. The author was concerned that extremists living in America would be offended and angered by his controversial book and come after him or his family.

My biggest concern for Chuck Bravedy was security. Could one of these terrorists hunt him or his family down and kill them? What if an extremist was offended by an opinion in the book or by something my client said in an interview? (Think about Salman Rushdie). It's harder to find somebody who's “not in the phone book,” so to speak. Being anonymous can be a good thing. The fact that Bravedy's name was “not in the phone book” raised some attention from the Pentagon who called me to inquire about Chuck Bravedy because they did not have his name in their files. The Pentagon was concerned because they want to keep phonies from impersonating military officials.

One client I represented, who asked my advice about using a pen name, was a former CIA operative. He was concerned about the impact a pen name would have on promoting his book. He wondered whether radio and TV interviewers would be willing to use the pen name during an interview or would insist on using his birth name. Some CIA friends of my client also had published books and used their real names without problems. To cover his bases while he decided, the former CIA officer went ahead and registered web domains under his real name and under his pen name. After talking with him about the options, my client decided to use his real name.

I also have represented authors who used a pen name because they had a past they were not proud of and wanted to protect their family members and loved ones from public embarrassment.

From a marketing standpoint, if your real life identity is associated with a business and you want the book to promote your business, or vice versa, than a pen name should not be used. But if you have success, and don't want that success threatened by pursuing an avocation of writing, than a pen name would be in order. Pen names may create marketing challenges, most of which can be overcome, and so the marketing implications need to be examined before publishing.

Reasons for using a pen name include
· To avoid embarrassment
· For personal safety or security
· If you write under more than one genre
· If your name is hard to pronounce or spell
· If your name is not marketable
· If your name conflicts with the name of another author
· To hide gender (a male writing in predominantly female genre)
· To avoid confusing readers if you are well known in another field

If you want to hide from the public and from people you work with or worked with, etc., than a pen name is fine. But, if it's not important than why bother? So, my vote is to use your own name. Here are just a few points to ponder.

· Use real name if you are not trying to hide from anyone.
· Use real name to brand your name for speaking gigs or consulting assignments
· Use real name if you are planning to write a series of books
· Use real name so acquaintances can better locate your published works
· A real names builds trust and confidence amongst readers
· Its far easier to brand a real name than a pen name
· Expertise is validated by an individual's real life experience
· Long-term loyalty with readers is easier to build with real name

If you want to brand your name for speaking gigs or for consulting engagements then use your own name. Furthermore if you are planning to write a series of books then using your own name makes the most sense to me.

Scott is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm with a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. He has handled public relations and marketing for numerous authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert, Scott is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Learn more about Westwind Communications' book marketing approach at http://www.westwindcos.com/book or contact Scott at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090.



Lillian Caldwell heard about a program to be held at the South Milwaukee Public Library on Feb. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. "The focus is on romance writers and will be a meet-and-greet with readers," she explains. "The organizer is gathering books, from publishers and from authors, which will be given away at the event. Since I write romantic mysteries, I'll be there with bells on and I'm wondering if there are any other readers/writers in our group who would also like to come or contribute a book. Links to your sites will be printed on the promo literature, etc. .....This is the first event of its kind in my neighborhood, but it could be a template for others all over the state!"

Lillian Caldwell also sent me a request for authors from blogger Wendy Burt-Thomas, whose latest book is The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters (Writer's Digest Books 2009).

10 Questions for (insert author's name)
Thanks for responding to my HARO request for authors. I'm a firm believer in writers helping writers and think this approach will help my blog visitors (mostly readers and writers) and help promote your book. My blog is based on a column I've written for WritersOnTheRise for four years called "Ask Wendy" (I answer writing-related questions.) The blog is: http://www.AskWendy.wordpress.com
Please respond to the following 10 questions -- and have fun with them!

Short bio: (other books, latest book, freelance writing, where you live, etc.)
1. Tell us about your latest book.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
7. Favorite quote
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
9. Advice for other writers
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. Can be funny, embarrassing, inspirational, etc. ("I once pitched an agent at a urinal. It did not go well.")
Short pitch on where to buy your book, your Web site, blog, etc.
Please be sure to send a photo of yourself and your book!

SIDENOTE: If you have a reading/writing-related blog, I'd love to stop by on my current blog tour for "The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters" I have a pre-written Q & A that many hosts use, but some also send me a couple customized questions. I'll continually stop in to answer any posted writing questions from your blog's visitors. No pressure at all. It's not contingent on me running your answers on my blog!

To view my Q & A, go to:
click on media center
click on Q & A
Thanks again for sending your answers. I'll send you a link on the day your Q & A runs so you can put the link on your blog/Web site if you want.


For the first time, Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles and Mystery Writers of America/SoCal are joining forces to present a new venture, the California Crime Writers Conference, to be held June 13-14 at the Pasadena Hilton, Pasadena, CA. The conference is titled “Breaking In & Breaking Out: Plotting the Write Course,” and is the next incarnation of the successful No Crime Unpublished conference held biannually by Sisters in Crime/LA.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson will be presenting a class on marketing your book online on Saturday June 13. The time is to be announced. The public is welcome. Learn more at http://www.sistersincrimela.com/ccwc.htm

Carolyn's latest book is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success (Red Engine Press 2007). http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com

Cleaning House?

Book Place in Novato, Ca. sells new and used paperbacks. The website, http://marinlibraryfriends.marin.org/BookPlace.html, states: "All proceeds are used for special programs, needs, and materials for the Marin County Free Libraries. Donations are welcome. We accept books, media and software. No donation is too large or too small. (Please no magazines, textbooks, Readers digest Condensed Books, or records.) Donations may be delivered to our shop during regular business hours." 1608 Grant in Novato 415-209-0212.


Having relationship problems?

Jane Straus is looking for ordinary people who have any kind of relationship problems for her radio show, Ask Jane Now, http://www.AskJaneNow.com. Her email is janestraus@gmail.com



Max Elliot Anderson, author of children's books for boys, often searches the Internet for others who share his concern about good reading material for boys. "Recently I discovered a web site called Boys Behavior," he said. "We began corresponding about this subject. I added a link to their site on my blog. Then, because of our mutual interest in helping boys become readers, I was invited to write an article. Find a link to Confessions of a Reluctant Reader here: http://booksandboys.blogspot.com

"One of the stipulations, concerning this article, was that I could circulate it to all of my contacts as well. I'm in the process of syndicating the article now and alerting all of my contacts."

NEWSPAPER CAPER, TERROR AT WOLF LAKE, NORTH WOODS POACHERS, MOUNTAIN CABIN MYSTERY, BIG RIG RUSTLERS, SECRET OF ABBOTT'S CAVE, & LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF are compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo and adventure author Jack London.



Sign up for free at http://www.the-bookplace.com

I discovered a fabulous site for finding out information on addresses, phone numbers and faxes. There is a "small" fee for sending press releases but once you have the information, you can send the releases youself. You might find yourself spending hours there if you want to reach newspapers, radio or TV stations, or magazines.

Go to http://www.bachelormedia.com/press-releases

This from Lillian Caldwell:

"LibraryThing is a site for book lovers and their books. Members add their books--over 30 million so far--get recommendations and talk," she writes.



Following are the spots I found for my clients:

Dee McCrorey is host of two shows on Blog Talk Radio - Coach for Innovation, focused on the "how-to" of innovation, and Big Dreamers! The Reinvent Success show that focuses on the "who" of innovation. These authors are part of her 7-part series, The Evolving Enterprise.

Donna Maria was her guest on February 1, 2009 at 9 pm (ET) and the topic was "Corporate Nest to Indie Business Owner: X Ways to Create Portable Job Security in a Down Economy."

Donna's latest book is Lifestyle CEO Book: How to Break all the Rules, Build Your Own Corporate Ladder and Create the Life You Love (Lifestyle CEO Media 2006).

Lorraine Cohen will be her guest on March 22, 2009.

Lorraine is host of Powerfull Living Radio Show on Internet Voices Radio.


Shoshanna Katzman will be the guest of Michael Jon Kell, M.D. on Mind, Brain & Body with The Doctor on March 6, 2009, 8-9am (PT) on Voice America's Health & Wellness channel. http://www.mindbrainbody.com/the-radio-show

Shoshanna is author of Qigong for Staying Young: A Simple 20 Minute Workout to Cultivate Your Vital Energy (Avery Penguin Group 2003), and co-author of Feeling Light-The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness (Avon Books 1997).

Betty Jo Tucker was a guest on The Howard Gluss Show on http://www.wsradio.com, on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 8 p.m. (PT). Bill Klemm
W. R. (Bill) Klemm, D.V.M., Ph.D. was Howard's guest on February 10, 2009.

Betty's latest book is Confessions of a Movie Addict, and Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick (Hats Off Books 2004). She is host of Movie Addict Headquarters on Blog Talk Radio. http://www.reeltalkradio.com

Bill is Professor of Neuroscience, Texas A&M University. His latest book is Blame Game. How To Win It, and the theme was relationships in honor of St. Valentine's Day. His previous books are 'Dillos - Roadkill on Extinction Highway (Benecton Press 2007), http://dillos.us, and Thank You Brain for All You Remember (Benecton Press 2004), http://thankyoubrain.com, about what science reveals for improving everyday memory. http://www.thankyoubrain.com.

Dr. Michael Beitler was the guest of Joe Bechtold and Nick Jones, hosts of Today's Political Landscape on Blog Talk Radio, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/todayspoliticallandscape on February 9, 2009 at 9:00 PM (ET).

Michael is author of Rational Individualism: A Moral Argument for Limited Government & Capitalism (Practitioner Press International 2008), and Strategic Organizational Change (Practitioner Press International 2006). He is host of Free Markets With Dr. Mike Beitler on the VoiceAmerica Business Network.


[I wasn't actually responsible for this gig. I got Michael on Hans Meyer's show, The Political Atlas, and Hans recommended Michael to his colleague, Joe Bechtold. It's nice when that happens. One host suggesting a guest to another host].

Charles Jacobs will be the guest of Paul Bruno, host of Career Czar on All Talk Radio on Febrary 20, 2009. http://www.alltalkradio.net/careerczar

Charles's latest book is The Writer Within You - A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing and Publishing In Y0ur Retirement Years (Caros Books 2007). http://www.retirement-writing.com

Walter Brasch will be the guest of Hans Meyer, host of the Political Atlas on Feb. 26, 2009 on the Free World Radio Network. http://www.freeworldradionetwork.net/programs.htm
Walter's newest book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (BookSurge Publishing 2007). http://www.walterbrasch.com

I had sent bios to Sahvanna, owner of Soulsjourneyradio.com, who passed them on to hosts of her various shows.

In January, Allie Thiess was the guest of Dr. Lynn Lawrence, a Psychic Psychologist and psychic Advisor, and host of On the Record on Souls Journey Radio. http://soulsjourneyradio.com/ontherecord.html. On January 19, Nancy Lee was on the Karen Lewis show and has been invited back on March 30, 2009. http://www.soulsjourneyradio.com/page/karen-j-1

Allie is author of Gypsy Magic For The Soul book series, published by Gypsy Girl Press in 2006 - 2007.http://www.GypsyAdvice.com

Nancy is host of LIGHTS ON with Nancy Lee, and the author of Voices of Light ~ Conversations on the New Spirituality (Chrysalis Books 2003) http://www.Swedenborg.com, a compilation of 14 of her best interviews from her show when it was on KCOL Colorado for seven years, and Awakening the Mystic ~ Adventures in Living From the Heart (AuthorHouse 2006). http://www.nancylee.net



Cindy LaFerle has a new weekly Midpoint column online. "The Oakland Press, a Detroit-area daily, is now carrying the column and it will appear every Thursday in their online edition," she says. "You can read it for free online, whether or not you subscribe.

"Midpoint will cover topics of special interest to women in midlife, aged 40 to 65. (But men can read it too!) I hope you'll bookmark the Oakland Press Web site and come back to read my column on Thursdays.

"I will be happy to hear from anyone who's got midlife books or topics to share, space allowing."

Here's the link to the introductory column:


Cindy is author of Writing Home (Hearth Stone Books 2005), essays on home and family life, gleaned from her earlier newspaper columns. http://www.laferle.com



In writing Rabbi Ed Weinsberg's book's subtitle in the Progress Report, I inadvertently wrote "Review" instead of "Renew" Your Life."


Francine Silverman, P.O. Box 1333, Riverdale, New York 10471, is author of:

BOOK MARKETING FROM A-Z (Infinity Publishing 2005) written by 325 paid subscribers to Book Promotion Newsletter. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/102-0106967-2029708?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Book+Marketing+from+A-Z&x=22&y=24

Subscribers are entitled to a 20% discount on the book. Contact Fran at franalive@optonline.net for code. The publisher's toll free number does not work outside the continental US and orders cannot be processed from its website for shipping outside the US.

Subscribers in foreign countries who wish to purchase the books with the discount may email Michelle at michelle@infinitypublishing.com or fax an order (610/941-9959). She will provide confirmation that your order has been received and will be processed promptly. When using these options subscribers should put everything to Michelle's attention and reference the Promotional Code (contact Fran for code).

If emailing Michelle, DO NOT put your credit card number in any email correspondence as this is not secure.

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