Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 16: Book Blog Content: Publishing Industry News

Christian Fiction News
for the week ending September 30, 2009
Day 16: Book Blog Content: Publishing Industry News Edition

William Safire, The Oracle of English Language Passes

Obituary Note: Author, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and "oracle of language" William Safire died Sunday. He was 79. "There may be many sides in a genteel debate," the New York Times observed, "but in the Safire world of politics and journalism it was simpler: There was his own unambiguous wit and wisdom on one hand and, on the other, the blubber of fools he called 'nattering nabobs of negativism' and 'hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.'"

Whitaker House Latino Christian Reader's Quest

Christian Retailing-- Whitaker House is releasing its first two Spanish fiction titles this month—translations of two contemporary novels by Sharlene MacLaren, the company's top-selling fiction writer: En medio de la tormenta (Through Every Storm, 978-1-603-74165-1, $9.99) and Un largo camino a casa (Long Journey Home 978-1-603-74164-4, $9.99)

"Both Christian and general market retailers have been asking us for good Spanish fiction for quite some time, but we wanted to wait for books that would translate well," said Vice President Bob Whitaker Jr.

This is Day 16 of 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog.

Another example of book blog content is news, specifically literary news. At Christian Fiction Blog we provide Christian publishing news. At your blog you may look at providing literary news to fit your genre. If you are an author, you may also think of providing literary news for your readers. One of the new services DeeGospel PR provide is Reporting/Press Secretary Services. We will report about your current events for you to add to your online press room or we will add your news to our company press room. Out of all the services I have I like this one the most, because for the author you can control your media outreach for the fraction of the cost. This Reporting Service feature began because of the Christian Fiction News feature I provide at this blog.

As you decide the type of content you will provide on your blog understand that providing industry news offer you a few advantages of the other book blogs:

  • It builds credibility with your readers and peers
  • You become an industry source
  • You increase your blog's opportunity to become syndicated
  • It increases your blog's subscriber base
  • It opens the doors for monetizing your blog
There are many ways to get industry news:

  • join industry leader forums
  • subscribe to literary news sources like Publisher's Lunch, Publisher's Weekly and Media Bistro
  • join a professional organization. I belong to the Atlanta Press Club
  • subscribe to newswires like Associated Press and PR Newswire
  • meet industry insiders at banquets and conferences. Many of my services I met at The Christys Book Awards Banquet, ACFW Conference, Press Parties in the area
  • report on your blog. Provide content only you can provide. Remember my blog began because of articles I couldn't place in the paper. Make your blog your very own column.
Your homework assignment for Day 16 is of course to create an Industry News Blog Post. Send the link here and at the group so we can take a peak at it.

If you have not joined 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog, there is still time. We're only on Day 16. I'm taking my time and you can take your time through the course. Click here to join it's free.

As a book blogger, you can add more value to your brand by providing similar content to your blog. In the coming weeks I will be seeking reporters to add to my service. Follow me on Twitter to receive that announcement

Monday, September 28, 2009

Last night i submitted a requested full manuscript to an editor of a publishing house. I am excited about this opportunity, but not for the obvious reason. I believe God will bless me with this contract, because of three things:
Continue reading "The Conquered Writer" »


Friday, September 25, 2009

E. Lynn Harris Book Tour Tribute: Mama Dearest

Today throughout the Blogosphere Book Bloggers are participating in the E. Lynn Harris Tribute for the release of his last novel, Mama Dearest.

E. Lynn Harris's family, friends and fans mourn the passing of our beloved author. He died on Thursday, July 23, 2009 in Los Angeles. He was 54.

book synopsis: One of E. Lynn Harris's incomparable heroines, Yancey Harrington Braxton, is working her way back to Broadway and beyond. And this diva supreme always stirs up drama in and out of the spotlight....

Friday, September 25, 2009

E. Lynn Harris Day: Author tribute tour at bookstores across the country

Click here for locations

Here in Atlanta. There will his family will host a memorial service for him at the GA International Convention Center from 6-9pm.

Day 15: Author Interviews Part 2

This is Day 15 of 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. We are still discussing Book Blog Content and the Author Interview.

On Day 14 I introduced you to the Author Interview Blog Post. Today I want to give you some tips on how to obtain author interviews, because I understand that some of you are not as bold as me and the rest of you may not have to contacts or the knowledge about the proper way to contact an author.

1. Use Social Media to find your favorite, most interesting author.

One of the best thing about social media now is that more celebrities, especially bestselling authors are online. As more publishing houses focus on online marketing to galvanize their readership they will be seeking bloggers to help them spread the word about their authors. You can beat them to the punch by reaching joining Author Fan Pages and following them on Twitter. Use the "send Message" feature on Facebook or the DM feature on Twitter to invite them to be interviewed on your blog. There are also many authors on MySpace.

2. Contact their Personal Publicist

Newsflash: many authors are still not online and others don't provide personal contact information, because they have such heavy writing schedules. They hire a publicist like me to handle customer relations and media management. Check their website to get their publicist contact information or contact me. I have a list of current publicists for many published authors.

3. Contact the Publishing House Publicity Department

Most major publishing house has a publicity department or have a contract with a literary pr firm like DeeGospel PR to handle their author's pr and marketing efforts. Visit the publishing house website to get that information.

4. Attend their booksigning

Many of the authors I have interviewed lately I interviewed at their book signing. With the launch of smart phones you can podcast, tweet, facebook chat, microblog, and vlog an author interview with the author in less than five minutes. I love those the most.

5. Email the author. self explanatory

Now that you have their contact information what do you do?

Day 16: We will talk Contact Etiquette: how to email, tweet, and socially meet.

Weekend homework assignment: locate three of your favorite authors online and obtain their contact information.

Subscribe to Christian Fiction.

Join our Christian Fiction Network

This week I will be giving a weeklong homework assignment at 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. Join the group to be a part of the event. It's free.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trailer Park Thursday: The Last Word

Welcome to Trailer Park Thursday. Today we're featuring Kathy Herman's The Last Word(David C. Cook)

The Last Word, by Kathy Herman from David C. Cook on Vimeo.

Police Chief Brill Jessup pored over the department’s budget for the rest of the fiscal year and couldn’t see any way she could afford to hire another patrol officer without going to the city council. She sighed. The last time she asked those tightwads for additional funds she practically had to beg.

A strange noise interrupted her thoughts. She peered through the blinds on the glass wall into the bustling detective bureau and listened intently. There it was again.

A burly man appeared in the doorway. He bumped off either side, then staggered into her office. Facedown. Hands dripping with blood, clutching his abdomen.

“What in the world …?” She jumped to her feet, frozen in place.

Detective Sean O’Toole looked up and stretched out his hand toward her, his eyes screaming with pain. He collapsed in front of her desk and hit the floor.

“Officer down!” she shouted. “I need an ambulance—now!”

She hurried around the side of her desk, grabbed the clean hand towel next to the coffeepot, and got down on her knees. She laid the towel over the bloody wound and applied pressure.

“Sean, talk to me. What happened?”

The detective’s face was ashen. “He c-came from behind … put me in a choke hold … stuck a knife in my gut … said he was coming after you—to f-finish the job.”

“You never saw his face?”

“No. Hairy arms. White guy. Navy blue short sleeves. Smelled like c-cigarettes. Deep voice.”

“Where did this happen?”

“Hallway. Watercooler.”

Sean moaned, his face pallid and contorted with pain, his eyes slits of icy blue.

“Come on, Sean, stay with me.”

Detective Captain Trent Norris burst into her office. “I’ll take it from here, Chief.”

“How did he get from the watercooler to my office without someone in the DB seeing he needed help?”

“I guess we were all focused on other things. It’s been crazy.”

Trent got down on the floor and swapped places with her, his palms pressed over the wound. “Hang in there, buddy. The paramedics are just down the block. They’ll be here any second. You’re going to be fine. Stay with me. Talk to me.”

Brill sprang to her feet and hurried over to the officers who crowded outside her door. “O’Toole was just stabbed by some lowlife who snuck up behind him at the water cooler. We’re looking for a white man wearing a short-sleeve, navy blue shirt, possibly bloodstained.”

She locked gazes with Sean’s partner. “Detective Rousseaux, secure the scene and make sure it’s not compromised.

“Captain Dickson, lock down the building and search every corner of every room.

“Sergeant Chavez, set up a containment for two blocks around the building.

“Sergeant Huntman, clear the route to St. Luke’s and make sure we have officers in radio cars ready to escort the ambulance. Come on, people, move it!”

The officers scrambled in all directions, and she ran out to the restroom.

She tore off paper towels until she had a stack, folded them in half and held them under the faucet, then pressed out the excess water and rushed back to her office.

She got on her knees and gently pressed the wet towels onto Sean’s forehead, all too aware he was sweating profusely and still bleeding despite the pressure Trent was keeping on the wound. “We need something to elevate his legs.”

She went over to the bookshelf and grabbed several thick books and put them under Sean’s feet, hoping he wouldn’t die of shock before the paramedics arrived.

Lord, don’t take him now. He’s young. He’s got a wife and three kids.

“Come on, buddy, talk to me.” Trent patted Sean’s cheeks. “What else do you remember about this creep?”

“Tell Jessica I love her. The kids, too. Promise me.”

“You’re not going to die,” Trent said. “The bleeding’s slowing down. Talk to me, Sean. We want whoever did this to you.”

“He’s coming after the chief. Going to kill her.”

“Who’s going to kill her?” Trent’s dark eyes shot Brill a glance. “Give us something else. You’re too sharp of a detective to have missed anything.”

“Had a mark. Top of right hand.”

“What kind of mark?”

“A tattoo. Or b-birthmark. Size of a quarter.”

Brill heard voices and heavy footsteps in the DB, and seconds later two paramedics glided through the door and asked her to stand aside with Trent.

She observed in disbelief as the pair worked to save her detective’s life, heartsick that she might have to tell his wife and children he’d been murdered on her watch—and just feet away from armed police officers.

She started to brush the hair out of her eyes and realized her hands were bloody. She shuddered with the realization that whoever thrust a knife into Sean O’Toole had threatened to finish the job when he got to her.


Five hours later Brill sat at the conference table in her office with Detective Captain Trent Norris, Detective Beau Jack Rousseaux, Patrol Captain Pate Dickson, and Sheriff Sam Parker trying to assess where they were in the case.

“It’s a miracle Sean made it through surgery.” Brill looked from man to man. “We could be sitting here planning his funeral.”

“He’s too stubborn to die,” Beau Jack said.

“Stubborn’s no match for a knife blade, Detective. I want this animal locked up.”

“Don’t forget he threatened to come after you,” Trent said.

“How’d he get in here, anyway?”

Pate’s face turned pink. “One of my sergeants, Tiller, reported that a white man dressed in navy blue coveralls with the Miller’s Air Conditioning logo on the pocket was standing outside the door when he arrived this morning. The guy said he was here to fix the AC. He had a toolbox and a big smile. Dark hair and mustache. Big guy. Looked fifty to fifty-five.”

“So the sergeant just keyed in the combination and let him in without checking with maintenance?” Beau Jack said. “Real smart move.”

Pate stroked his chin. “Come on, Miller’s service people are in here all the time. The sergeant let down his guard. We’ve all done it.”

“Yeah, well, my partner nearly died because Sergeant Tiller let down his guard.”

“What’s done is done,” Brill said. “It’s not like we have a precedent for this kind of thing in the Sophie Trace PD.”

Beau Jack stuck a Tootsie Pop in his mouth. “I guess we do now.”

“We definitely need to tighten security,” Trent said. “Since we have no idea who this guy is, everyone we bring into the DB to be interviewed will be suspect.”

“I can’t spend the rest of my life in fear of this nutcase coming after me,” Brill said. “I have a job to do. Trent, you take charge of tightening security. All of us need to heighten our awareness of our surroundings. Anything or anyone that doesn’t feel right, check it out.”

Sam’s white eyebrows came together. “I can’t believe y’all were that trusting. My deputies would never let unauthorized individuals into a secured area. They’re trained to follow protocol.”

“So are my officers.” Brill forced herself not to sound defensive.

“But those of you in the county sheriff’s department deal with a broader range of criminals. Until now, the Sophie Trace PD had no reason to fear an officer being attacked in a secured area.”

“I’ll cover it in each briefing,” Trent said. “From this day forward, no one gets in the secured area until he has clearance. I don’t care how inconvenient it is to check him out.”

Brill looked over at Pate. “Tell me about your search of the building.”

“No evidence was found in the building, ma’am. My officers searched every nook and cranny and checked the sinks for hair and blood. Doesn’t appear the attacker stopped to clean up.”

“How’d Chavez do with the containment?” she said.

“He contained a two-block area around city hall, checked license plates, and talked with pedestrians. That yielded one female witness who passed the suspect on the sidewalk around 10:45—just after O’Toole was stabbed. The suspect was headed down First Street at a pretty good clip. Our witness says he was overweight, average height, dressed in navy blue coveralls and a black windbreaker and carrying a gray toolbox. She said he was wearing sunglasses and did not have a mustache. She’s working with Tiller and our sketch artist. We ought to have something soon.”

“Did she see which way he went?” Trent said.

Pate shook his head. “Once he passed her, she didn’t give him a second thought until Chavez questioned her.”

“Well,” Brill said, “I’m eager to see the sketch. If this man has threatened to come after me, I’d sure like to see if I recognize him.”


A short time later, Brill sat at her desk and studied the artist’s sketch of the man who stabbed Sean O’Toole. Sergeant Tiller was the only one who saw the suspect’s eyes, and the female witness was the

only one who saw his mouth without the mustache. He looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t put a name to the face or even explain what it was about him that looked familiar.

Her cell phone vibrated, and she read the display screen.

“There you are,” she said. “I guess you got my message?”

“Honey, I’m so sorry,” Kurt Jessup said. “I’ve been following the news. I’m glad Sean pulled through. Must’ve been horrible for you.”

“I thought we were going to lose him.”

She told Kurt everything that had happened from the time Sean O’Toole staggered into her office until the paramedics took him to St. Luke’s in an ambulance—except that the assailant told O’Toole he was coming after her to “finish the job.” Why get into that over the phone?

“Sounds intense. You must be emotionally drained.”

“I don’t think it’s caught up with me yet. It was surreal washing Sean’s blood off my hands, and I had to throw away my uniform shirt. Beau Jack lent me the extra shirt he had in his locker so Emily wouldn’t have to see the mess. Does she know about the stabbing?”

“Yes, but I made sure she’s not planted in front of the TV, listening to the gory details. It’ll just trigger thoughts of the hostage ordeal, and we both know she’s not over it.”

Are any of us? Brill glanced up at the clock. “I’ll be home in forty-five minutes. Is Vanessa there yet? I can hardly wait to see her.”

“She’ll be here between seven and eight. Said not to plan on her for dinner.”

“By the time I get home, it’ll be too late to cook anything,” Brill said. “And you know what Friday night is like. If we go out, we’ll have to wait forever, and I don’t want Vanessa to come home to an empty house.”

“I’ve got it covered, honey. I bought a baked chicken and a quart of potato salad at the grocery store. We’ve got stuff here for a green salad. That should work.”

“What would I do without you?”

Kurt laughed. “I have no idea.”

“I’ll see you soon. I love you.”

“Love you, too.”

Brill hung up the phone and looked out the window. Through the leafy trees and beyond the ridges of hazy green foothills, the blue gray silhouette of the Great Smoky Mountains dominated the early evening sky. She sat for a moment and just enjoyed the beauty and the calm.

Lord, thank You for letting Sean pull through.

Her office phone rang, and she picked it up. “Yes, LaTeesha.”

“Captain Donovan from the Memphis PD is on line one for you.”

“Thanks.” She pushed the blinking button. “Hello, John.”

“Hey. It’s great to hear your voice. Saw you on the news last fall. I figured you’d make a name for yourself, but I didn’t think you’d go to such extreme measures.”

She smiled. “Things got pretty crazy, all right. So are you enjoying my old office?”

“Not today. I’ve got bad news … Zack Rogers was stabbed night before last. Happened in his driveway. Some worthless piece of garbage came up behind him and stuck a knife in his gut, and said to tell District Attorney Cromwell he was coming after him. I didn’t call you because the doc said Zack was going to be all right. But his heart gave out …”—John’s voice cracked—“an hour ago. No one saw it coming. His kids are still in high school, and with their mother dead … well, it’s a tragic loss. I knew you’d want to know since you and Zack were partners for so long.”

Brill felt a wave of nausea sweep over her, a decade of memories flashing through her mind in an instant.

“The thing is,” John said, “we knew Zack was being targeted because one of my detectives was stabbed last week, and the perp told him he was coming after Zack. We offered Zack protection, but you know how independent he was—bound and determined he could take care of himself.”

Brill’s heart pounded so hard she was sure he could hear it. “John, one of my detectives was stabbed today just outside the detective bureau. The attacker told him he was coming after me, to finish the job. This can’t be a coincidence.”

There was a long moment of dead air, and she figured John was processing the implications.

“You and Zack helped put away lots of perps, Brill. And Jason Cromwell was district attorney during the time you two were partners. Did anybody ever threaten you?”

“Are you kidding? All the time. We blew it off.”

“Well, looks like one of them was dead serious. Anybody in particular stand out?”

“Sure, Bart and Sampson Rhodes. But they’re lifers and not eligible for parole. Zack and I busted them what, nine or ten years ago? If they had been serious about taking us out, they could’ve snapped their fingers and gotten it done in nine or ten minutes.”

“Maybe they’re patient,”

“Or maybe this is someone else,” Brill said. “Someone who was forced to wait a long time for the chance to get even—someone who served out his sentence. Someone who wouldn’t think of hiring a hit man, but rather delights in the systematic elimination of the people who put him away. Someone who enhances his enjoyment by first stabbing a person who is close to the intended victim and making sure that person lives long enough to tell the intended victim that he or she is next.”

“You’ve worked with the FBI profilers so long you actually sound like one.”

“Unfortunately, John, I think I’m right.”

©2009 Cook Communications Ministries. The Last Word by Kathy Herman. Used with permission. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

RAWSISTAZ Literary: You Get What You Don’t Pay For

A few weeks ago I received an email from a Christian Fiction Blog (www.christianfiction.blogspot.com) subscriber that surprised me. He/she thanked me for my blog (it turned 5 this past July) and told me that she/he had printed many of my posts and put them in a notebook. For years he/she had been using my tips and it had proven successful for the author. Although I was flattered by the knowledge that someone found a post or two helpful, he/she knocked the wind out of my sail.

As great as I love to give great content to my readers, I also love to provide for my daughter. I wondered what value are my words to the reading community. I wondered what are authors willing to pay for, and most importantly, is what they’re getting for free worth it?

Last week at The Writers View, an online community of Christian publishing industry professionals, we discussed the devaluing of service providers (reviewers, virtual assistants, proofers, copy editors, PRs.) We learned some publicists had been stiffed by their clients, authors been jerked by their publishing houses, publishing houses robbed by their distributors…the list goes on, a chain reaction from top to bottom. The only reason you may have not experience it yet is ...Click Here to Read More

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 14: Book Blog Content- The Interview

This is Day 14 of 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. We are still discussing Book Blog Content.

Before I began Christian Fiction Blog I ran a column for Suite 101 called African American Women Writer's Finding Voice. In this column I interviewed and later befriended some of the best women in publishing: authors, literary agents, publicists, editors and poets. That column gave me the fuel and the readership to take a deeper look at blogging, as my online source for providing an information asset. To this date the interviews that I host on this blog are some of the highest viewed content here. If you plan to build a book blog, even if the book blog is just about you and your writing, I encourage you to add some interview posts to bring credibility and more readers to your book blog.

You can create interviews in 3 different ways:
  1. as a blog post. Here is an example of my interview with Nicole Seitz
  2. as a podcast. I host Media Candy. We interview their and crosspromote the show in the christian fiction blog sidebar or with independent show notes posts.
  3. as a vlogcast. Stay Tuned for Media Candy TV. coming soon. A vlogcast is interviewing via live video streaming or VoIP technology like Skype.
A few interview writing tips:
  • When you are writing an interview, please note the proper format. Questions are italicized. The answer is written in plain text. This helps the reader differentiate the question from the response.
  • write a one paragraph(two-three sentence) bio of the subject with a link back to their online hub(blog, site url, facebook fan page, social media release)
  • if they have a current title, link it to your amazon associate, bookstore affiliate or chitika account(i will tell you why soon, just do it for now lol)
  • submit the interview to the interviewee with the url link before you post
Below is an example of a print interview blog post...

My Soul to Keep author, Melanie Wells stopped by Christian Fiction Blog to participate in our 1Question Author Interview Series-The Valentine Edition. 2 Questions/Couple. Cute. The questions:

Who are your favorite fictional couple?

I hate to be a cliche' but I'd have to say Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara. They're a charming, cantankerous relational disaster. You just want to smack 'em both.

And what have you learned about them that helps you build the romance arc of your own stories?

Like Rhett and Scarlett (at this point, any southerner knows to add "bless their hearts" -which is required if you're insulting someone) my characters are extremely flawed. My books tend to be populated with broken - or at least bent - people. But they're so likeable, you're rooting for them anyway. Dylan Foster (bless her heart) just can't quite seem to get it right, which keeps the tension running all the way through the story. You WANT it to work out between her and David-who-owns-a-funeral-home-in-Hillsboro, but you're also sitting there thinking, Dylan, you need to go to time out, and David, for crying out loud, get a SPINE and stand up to this woman. They're a mess. That's what makes the story work. Happiness is sort of boring, if you think about it.

Subscribe to Christian Fiction.

Join our Christian Fiction Network

This week I will be giving a weeklong homework assignment at 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. Join the group to be a part of the event. It's free.

Day 13: Book Blog Content: The Preview

This is Day 13 of 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. We're talking blog content, specifically The Preview Post.

From time to time you will be asked to participate in a blog tour for an author, publicist or publishing house. Should you choose to accept they will send you a boilerplate blog post that will look like a press release from there they will give you instructions on how to post or they will give you the xml code for your post. If you want your blog to stand out you need to one thing. You need to turn that bpr into a Blog Preview Post that fits your blog. You don't want your readers to have read the same post somewhere else, because then your content isn't competing with another blog. It is exactly the same as another blog. So why does your blog have value? You need to go back to the purpose of your blog and create a preview that reflects that.

Your preview can contain:
  • a book summary
  • author bio
  • excerpt of book
  • book trailer
  • whatever you think your blog subscribers are attracted to the most
below is an example of a book preview i did for this blog...

For July I have a Young Adult Series that will bend your mind. Ted Dekker's The Lost Books. The series began in 2008 with Book 1 Chosen.

n New York Times best-selling author Ted Dekker's latest novels--Chosen, Infidel, Renegade and Chaos--four young warriors from another reality are on a life or death quest to find the 7 Lost Books of History. Books with the power to create and destroy. Books that hold the destiny of not only their world, but ours as well.

Lunatic and Elyon are continuation of the series, although we once thought the series was over. Kaci Hill helps Dekker co-write the two novels, which is a great spin to the series.

If you want to get a fast fantasy for the young, old, romantic, dark...a good read period, check out the two new installments to The Lost Books series.

Day 12: Book Blog Content: The Review

For Christian Fiction Blog subscribers: I will be sending 9 posts your way today. Be advised.

Day 12: Book Blog Content- The Book Review

We took a catch-up break at 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. Thanks to the bloggers who've been patient. Today I hope you don't become overwhelmed with these posts. I'm simply getting us to Day 21 as we should be and showing how easy and fast blogging can be. I created all these posts in one hour. I'll tell you how tomorrow.

Onto the content...

We've built our blogs or have an idea of the blogs we will create. Now it is time that we look at the different types of content we should have on our book blogs.

1. The Book Review

I was a bit iffy about spotlighting the Book Review post first, because I don't want you to think that the only purpose of your blog is to provide reviews. No. But we will start here, because this is the easiest content concept to grasp.

As you know I am a book reviewer for national publications. I am also an Amazon reviewer and provide reviews her on Christian Fiction Blog. Reviews are very simple. Click here to read an article I written for Novel Journeys on reviews.

A book review blog post should be short(under 250 words) and provide 2 things:
  1. a book summary in your own words.
  2. a rating with buttressed points for the rating.
It is important that you read the entire novel to build your book summary. Oftentimes the summaries that come in the press release are not exact, specifically if you're working with arcs. Your ratings should be based on a point system that you create. I use a five point system, giving a point for: plot, character, theme, style, voice, setting.

Below is an example of a book review. Romantic Times.

African-American Inspirational

Somebody's Sinning in My Bed

By Pat G'Orge Walker

3 tambourine players, MILD

G'Orge Walker's fans might not like her switch from comedy to mainstream women's fiction, because her sassy and distinctive voice doesn't shine through as well as her previous novels. Her new style is more reminiscent to Victor McGlothin and Lutishia Lovely's church dramas, than Reshonda Tate Billingsley or Victoria Christopher Murray's. What she has accomplished is the ability to turn a church drama into a wild and inspirational frolic.

First Lady Chyna Young regrets her marital indiscretions when her husband Pastor Grayson Young dies in a night club fire. With the help of her sister, Janelle, she tries to keep her marriage failure under cover. All that changes when her first husband, Cordelle returns. Is more drama or real love in her future? (Dafina, 320pp, $17.95)

Dee Y. Stewart, Romantic Times Reviewer (reprint)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


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Here are places you can find me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 11: Recogninizing Oprah Book Club Picks Before She Does with Lists

This is Day 11 of 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. One of the fun things about running a literary blog is championing great books no one has read about before. As I stated before I began this blog to showcase Christian titles that did not make it into the mags and newspapers I reviewed for. Soon after the blog went live I received requests from publishing houses, authors, agents and editors to take a look at what they were working on. I am honored to have read some of the best stories of our time.

Next week we will get deeper into the types of content your book blog should provide. But before we do I want to talk briefly about a feature I use here that not only drives traffic to the blog, but buttresses the mission of why I do what I do.

For the past five years I have ran my own book awards. We've done:
  • book of the month picks,
  • annual top 25
  • beach read contests
  • reader's choice
the gamut of reading award lists to spotlight my book faves.

I'm excited, so excited for Uwem Akpen's Say You're One of Them , our 2008r Summer Beach Read Festival Winner. Today Oprah announced that his debut short story collection would be an Oprah Book Club Pick.

As book bloggers you get the good job of separating the wheat from the chaff and to be ahead of even Oprah when it comes to a great read.

Your homework assignment for this weekend is to build your own book award lists, upload it to your blog, then link it back in our forum. If you can't think of any, then create a top ten list of your favorite books with a reason why you chose them.

On a side note: When people ask me what is the best book marketing advice I can give. I always answer write a well-written, compelling, relevant page turner. This book as I have said for the past two years is, along with other avid book readers, reviewers and critics. I hope you now pick up the book so you can add to our discussion.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wisconsin Christian Writer's Conference

Registration closes October 1st and late registrants will not be admitted

When: Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Hosted by: Lisa Lickel, Wisconsin Area Contact, ACFW
Jaime Wright-Sundsmo, Wisconsin ACFW Member

Location: Walnut Hill Bible Church
1900 East St.
Baraboo, WI 53913 Directions

Fee: $25 per person (no ACFW membership required)

Featuring: Workshops, giveaways, group activities, and fellowship with praise and worship!

Workshops: (More to be added!)

  • Part 1: Steps to Publication - Andrea Boeshaar
  • Part 2: Steps to Publication - Andrea Boeshaar
  • Help, I'm Stuck! - Lisa Lickel
  • Nuts & Bolts of Submission - Lisa Lickel (Beginners)
  • Pitch to Me - Practice your verbal pitching in a non-threatening situation!
  • Ginger or MaryAnn? - how writers are like the characters of Gilligan's Island - Erica Vetsch
  • Writing your Story, Telling His - Michelle Van Loon
  • Discovering Your Writer's voice - Michelle Van Loon

Reality Show: Who Wants to be an Author - Prepare to learn and Vote!!

Lodging: Please click here for options!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 10: Participate in Meme to Meet More Book Bloggers

This is Day 10 of 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. We slowed down a bit to catch some newbie bloggers up. So today let's do something fun and simple that help you learn more about blogging and meet more book bloggers like yourself.

This week I'm participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Today's Challenge is to answer 1 or 2 of the questions below in five words or less. Here's my response. Hope you join in on the fun!
  • Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack? I drink lemonade sweet tea.
  • Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? I write in review copies only.
  • How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? I use book jewelry.
  • Laying the book flat open? Never
  • Fiction, Non-fiction, or both? Both
  • Hard copy or audiobooks? Hard copy
  • Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point? will read entire good book
  • If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away? no
  • What are you currently reading? The Hope of Refuge
  • What is the last book you bought? Breaking Dawn
  • Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time? More than one
  • Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read? I read all day.
  • Do you prefer series books or stand alone books? Doesn't matter.
  • Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over? Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie
  • How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?) date received

Are you Screaming at Your Book Synopsis?

  • Are you planning to attend a writer's festival this fall or submitting a query to a publisher or agent?
  • Do you have a polished query and proposal that is written in language editors and agents want and understand?
  • Do you know where to start?

If your answer is no, I have a solution. I offer Book proposal creation services through DeeGospel PR. The Book Proposal Kit includes:

  • a query, to pitch to agents and editors
  • a book proposal(to provide once the agent or editor is interested)
  • and some Media Candy
This book proposal includes:
  1. A fact sheet about the book and author
  2. Comparative Market Analysis that compares your novel with current titles similar to either your genre or the publishing house you seek to become a member of, which specifies why your book is ready for the marketplace
  3. A book marketing plan
  4. Book Synopsis
  5. A Copyedit of your Sample Chapters
Media Candy Bonus:
  • 20 minute Consultation about your story that consists of a plot content analysis based on your synopsis
All of this is yours for $250. Hit the button below to get started. If you don't have the full amount, then hit me up I will work with you on a payment plan.


Social Media PR Release for Authors

DeeGospel PR is proud to announce the launch of it's Social Media Release Service for Authors and Publishers(SMRPs.)

As publishing house publicity departments spend more time online marketing their authors, publicists and authors need to understand online marketing better and they need to have the proper technological tools to have a conversation with bookclubs, bookstores, media and book buyers online. Authors, publicists and publishing houses need a social media release.

What is a social media release?

Like a news (PR) release the social media release will provide current press coverage of the author, links to the authors website and publishing house but so much more. In one white paper document it can house many promotional items at once:

  • book trailer
  • audio excerpt of current title
  • author television interview
  • online press room (which includes traditonal press releases, author bio, book info)
  • media tip sheets
Why does an author need a social media release?

The social media release's purpose is:

  • to provide an easy workspace for media to navigate through and find the important pieces they need to build an article or show guest spot around
  • to increase your author's visibility in major search engines, book sites and online places where your ideal reader gather with search engine optimization(seo) and keyword links.
  • to take full advantage of the latest technological communication advancements that will increase communication between the author and their ideal reader
  • to use a framework that will become the online hub for all your author communication, as well as funnel that communication to various online channels at once
  • to house traditional press releases in an online press room
What makes our SMRPs ideal for authors and publishers?

DeeGospel PR specializes in literary public relations and marketing. We have a proven success rate in building online awareness of our past clients with our social media release system. We know how to turn over information to book review, lifestyle events editors, book clubs and talk show producers faster than most literary pr firms. In fact, pr firms turn to us for guidance on how to use current online technology to galvanize readers. Also our social media releases are lower than our competitors.

Do I need a new Social Media Release every time I have new news?
No and that's the beauty of it. Your SMRP will be housed on the DeeGospelPR server. We will revise your news release for free for the first 90 days. After 90 days we will give you the option to move your release to your server. Or you can continue to house your review for $10 a year.

How do I obtain an SMPR for my client or myself?

Click the Buy Now button below. Once you pay for your service. We will contact you to put the release together. Our turnaround time is 3 to 5 business days.

What if I cannot afford the full price(the economy has my wallet shrinking?)

Email me at deegospelpr at gmail dot com to work out a payment arrangement. I do understand.

Can I see an SMPR before I purchase?

Sure. All of our SMPRs are crafted to fit the author brand. Contact me and I will send you a snapshot of one.

If you have further questions about the DeeGospel PR SMPR for Authors and Publishers contact me at deegospelpr at gmail dot com

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 9: Blog Links that Matter to Authors and Readers

This is Day 9 of 3o Days to Build a Better Book Blog. This week we are still setting up are blog with an emphasis on features essential to a book blogger.

If you are an author (published or wannabe) you need to begin forming relationship with your peers, bookclubs, distributors, bookstores, gatekeepers, and so on. Blogging is one of the fastest ways to not only start that relationship, but become a part of the community of readers that want what you are writing.

When I began blogging exclusively about Christian Fiction five years ago David Long Acquisitions Editor at Bethany House Publisher , who runs Faith*in*Fiction blog reached out to me and asked me to join in a conversation about contemporary fiction and faith. (Remember in Day 4 I talked about the importance of identifying the type of blogger you are and have a clear vision (Day 1) about the direction and focus of your blog. )

Back then I didn't have all the bells and whistles(social bookmarking, microblogging, podcasting thingees) that I have now to promote myself in the blogosphere. I only had relevant content and relevant links that I knew mattered to readers like me.

What I wished I had known before I began generating five years of steady content was the power of having relevant links in my sidebar. Once I met Dave and began to meet other faith*in*fiction community bloggers linking them here brought some important things to my blog:
  1. It brought readers who I didn't know personally to the blog
  2. It brought industry professionals, whom I never would have met unless I attended a writer's conference for years to the blog
  3. It brought writers I didn't know anything about
  4. It brought more writing opportunities
  5. It gave the blog more credibility
  6. It brought more content to talk about on the blog
From joining that community. My blog and I have befriended more than 200 Christian Fiction Book Bloggers.

So how do you meet other bloggers like you and then participate in some coalition building?

You meet more bloggers by:
  1. Search, visit and comment on blogs similar to yours.
  2. Search for online forums where writers who are specific to your blog hangout
  3. Attend local meetups
  4. Attend local writer's festivals
  5. Start Here. There are book bloggers participated in this event with you.
Coaltion Building. What is that?

One of the main reasons bloggers fizzle out is that they don't think anyone cares about their blog. No one is commenting(or not enough.) They don't think their blog matters. There vision to help people when they began the blog begin to sour, because from where they sit no one is listening.

I've had times here on the blog when I've written something I thought was profound or I had discovered a book I wanted everyone to read, to learn that a handful of readers read the post. But when I found a place to not only connect with, but to feed my blog from it gave me incentive to continue blogging and the friendships that I have developed fostered a sense of accountability.

Moreover, it's fun to to participate in a dialogue between many bloggers about the same subject.

Your Homework:

Yes, we are building a Book Bloggers Collective of our own at BlogCatalog called Book Bloggers United. If you are a member of the 30 Days, then in the Facebook Page Wall make sure you add your blog url to the wall. Then I want you to do five things:

  1. Join Book Bloggers United at BlogCatalog, get the badge for your blog's sidebar.
  2. Use a Links Widget to link all the other bloggers to your blog's sidebar. (Don't forget this blog.) Title the Link: Book Bloggers United. Place this widget underneath the Book Bloggers Badge
  3. Obtain a Technorati Account, then place your account profile url in the Day 9 Discussion Board
  4. If you don't already have a facebook fan page for your blog., then place your Facebook profile url in the Day 9 Discussion Board.
  5. Come back to 30 Days, because I will break down BlogCatalog, Technorati and Facebook Fan Pages for the Book Blogger this week.

Quick reminder: If you are not a member of 30 Days, you will not receive the full gumdrops of the next three posts. I only blog full posts about this series on Mondays and Fridays. Registration is free. Visit here to join.

related links:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11: Patriot Day

Proclamation from President Obama regarding Pariot Day and National Day of Remembrance and Service...

Through the twisted steel of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the scarred walls of the Pentagon, and the smoky wreckage in a field in southwest Pennsylvania, the patriotism and resiliency of the American people shone brightly on September 11, 2001. We stood as one people, united in our common humanity and shared sorrow. We grieved for those who perished and remembered what brought us together as Americans.

Today, we honor the lives we lost 8 years ago. On a bright September day, innocent men, women, and children boarded planes and set off for work as they had so many times before. Unthinkable acts of terrorism brought tragedy, destruction, pain, and loss for people across our Nation and the world.

As we pay tribute to loved ones, friends, fellow citizens, and all who died, we reaffirm our commitment to the ideas and ideals that united Americans in the aftermath of the attacks. We must apprehend all those who perpetrated these heinous crimes, seek justice for those who were killed, and defend against all threats to our national security. We must also recommit ourselves to our founding principles. September 11 reminds us that our fate as individuals is tied to that of our Nation. Our democracy is strengthened when we uphold the freedoms upon which our Nation was built: equality, justice, liberty, and democracy. These values exemplify the patriotism and sacrifice we commemorate today.

In that same spirit of patriotism, I call upon all Americans to join in service and honor the lives we lost, the heroes who responded in our hour of need, and the brave men and women in uniform who continue to protect our country at home and abroad. In April, I was proud to sign the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which recognizes September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Originated by the family members of those who lost loved ones on 9/11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance is an opportunity to salute the heroes of 9/11, recapture the spirit of unity and compassion that inspired our Nation following the attacks, and rededicate ourselves to sustained service to our communities.

Throughout the summer, people of all ages and backgrounds came together to lend a helping hand in their communities through United We Serve. As this summer of service draws to an end, we renew the call to engage in meaningful service activities and stay engaged with those projects throughout the year. Working together, we can usher in a new era in which volunteering and service is a way of life for all Americans. Deriving strength from tragedy, we can write the next great chapter in our Nation’s history and ensure that future generations continue to enjoy the promise of America.

By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as Patriot Day, and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2009, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001. I invite the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and interested organizations and individuals to join in this observance. I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with other ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


Chatterbox Question: I know that half of my readers are GOP and half our democrat. My request for today is don't use my blog to debate the President's proclamation. This proclamation was approved in 2001. What I would like to know is what do you most remember about 9/11/01 and what could you contribute to your personal world in remembrance of all who have sacrificed for us?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Tyler Perry Show Reviewed

Last night Tyler Perry hosted THE TYLER PERRY SHOW, a one-Hour Special Profiling His Latest Film, I Can Do Bad All By Myself Film’s Stars Taraji P. Henson, Adam Rodriguez, Gladys Knight and Pastor Marvin Winans Join Perry for One-Hour Special. Henson

Knight and Winans performed songs from the film. Henson Skyped in and Adam...sigh. I'm a longtime fan of CSI Miami, so you know. Besides I have a source who saw the movie Tuesday, who gave it a good review. I'm hoping good things.

More facts about last night's show...

The special, taped at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta before a studio audience, features Perry interviewing Henson, Rodriguez, Knight and Winans about their roles in the film, their lives and their careers. Henson is Skyped in from China, where she talks about working on the movie Kung Fu Kid; Rodriguez talks about his plans on CSI: Miami; Knight discusses her strong faith; and Winans and Perry talk about Madea’s creative interpretation of the Bible. In addition, Knight gives a soulful performance of “Need to Be” from the movie’s soundtrack, and Winans gets the audience members on their feet with a passionate rendition of the song “Just Don’t Wanna Know.”

Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, a Reuben Cannon/Lionsgate Production from Tyler Perry Studios, is an uplifting drama infused with music and Perry’s trademark mixture of laughter and heart. In addition to Perry, Henson, Knight and Winans, the film stars Adam Rodriguez, Brian White, Hope Olaidé Wilson, Kwesi Boakye and Freddy Siglar. It features musical performances by Knight, Winans and Mary J. Blige, who sings an original song penned by chart-topping R&B writer/performer/producer Ne-Yo.

In I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Madea (Perry), America’s favorite pistol-packing grandma, catches 16-year-old Jennifer and her two younger brothers looting her home. She decides to take matters into her own hands and delivers the young delinquents to the only relative they have, their Aunt April (Henson). A heavy-drinking nightclub singer who lives off her married boyfriend, Randy (White), April wants nothing to do with the kids. But her attitude begins to change when Sandino (Rodriguez), a handsome Mexican immigrant looking for work, moves into April’s basement room. Making amends for his troubled past, Sandino challenges April to open her heart. And April soon realizes she must make the biggest choice of her life: between her old ways with Randy and the new possibilities of family, faith and even true love.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Day 7: 7 Sidebar Must Haves for the Book Blogger

As we begin to have a richer understanding of our blogs and as we begin to itch to build this blog baby, let's take a moment and piggyback on yesterdays discussion. What book blogs you love and why? What you saw on some book blogs you don't want on your blog and why? Thanks for sharing your answers with me so far.

Everyone's answer will be different, because of your own personal aesthetic, vision for your blog and the type of blog you're building. However, there are five widgets you must have in your sidebar to be effective.

  1. Your About Me Widget
  2. Your RSS Link and Subscriber Count
  3. Newsletter and Email Subscription Links
  4. Top Place to Find You Online(Twitter or Facebook)
  5. Book Review Links List
  6. Book Review Submission Form or if you're an author your Bookings Request Submission Form
  7. Your Phone or Skype Number
Let's talk about these in more detail at 30 Days...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Day 6: Analyze Your Favorite Book Blogger

This weekend I have had a blast reading your responses on Facebook about your blog setup, retooling faux pas and a better understanding of how important it is to think about the big picture when you're building your blog. There are so many literary type blogs out there. Some you can tell had a great idea, then fizzled out when no one responded to their posts. There are some that are pr dump sites masquerading as book review blogs. So much stuff... And it's all good. It's good because all that blog gunk helps your thoughtfully produced book blog gain more credibility, relevance to the industry, and most importantly, it helps you stand on top of all that gunk.

The best way for me--when I sat in your seat-- was I checked out other blogs. I observed what I didn't want and what I needed.

Today in Day 6 of Building a Better Blog. I want you to visit three of your favorite book blogs and do the following:
  • goto the discussion forum and post the link to the 3 blogs you selected
  • tell us what you thought you needed
  • tell us what you thought you didn't
This week I will:
  • debunk some things I typically see on blogs that don't matter a hill of beans
  • share three tools all book bloggers need on their blog
  • tell you whether what you think is what you need to take your book blog to the next level
Let me share you my favorite book blogs. Checking these blogs out will help you see possibly blog the way I do:
It's not too late to join in on the fun. Visit 30 Days to request an invite. It's Free and You can start at Day 1 whenever you want. New registrants are joining every day. One good reason to join is that I don't share the entire content of Tues-Thursday posts. I answer your personal questions about your blog. You get to chat with other book bloggers like you. Also registrants will receive my September Edition of Dee's Goody Mail. (Tia, I hope to have it out tomorrow.) So what do you have to lose? You're already on Facebook...lol

Photo Credit: Another cheat. my Fifth favorite book blog-Brandywine Books

Get Ready to Live Without Fear

In the book Prince Caspian[C.S. Lewis,] Lucy sees Aslan, the lion for the first time in many years. He has changed since their last encounter. His size surprises her, and she tells him as much.

"Aslan," said Lucy., "you're bigger."

"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.

"Not because you are?"

"I am not. But every year you grow up, you will find me bigger."

And so it is with Christ. The longer we live in Him, the greater He becomes in us. It's not that He changes but that we do; we see more of Him.
-Max Lucado's Fearless

I will not bore you again with my fears. LOL. Instead today I will share a book with you that is helping me become the lioness I know is inside of me.

For the week I will be using a Battling Fear regimen that is found in page 191 of this book. I would tell you the regiment, but I believe this book is so important that you need to have your own copy. You need to keep the book next to you when fear starts to creep in.

I didn't know how much of my daily life was built around fear. Things I didn't think had anything to do with fear. I notice my daughter. Many of her challenges are fears that I placed in her. I am thankful that Thomas Nelson sent me this book. I hope to change the kingdom around here.

So far life at home has been pretty peaceful, my bills are miraculously getting paid, i'm not hovering in a ball in my closet. I am very thankful. I will keep you posted of my developments.

Unlike the book reviews I've written before I just don't have it in me to break it down in pieces and pontificate about the book. Simply, you need this book. Our country needs this book.

Tyler Perry's 34 Street Films & the Future of Christian Fiction

This year Tyler Perry Studios formed 34th Street Films to house projects not written or directed by Tyler Perry. We know that Christian Fiction author Stephanie Perry Moore's teen series will become a Made for DVD Series,Georgia Sky under 34th Street Films. However, I wonder what will TPS do for Christian Fiction, especially African American Christian Fiction? Although there is an obvious consumer market for these stories, why are Christian publishers still hesitant about acquiring more? Or should we follow Tyler Perry's lead and create our own?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Day 5: 5 Good Rules about Book Blog Names

We're in Day 5 of Build a Better Book Blog, and we're still at the setup phase.

In Day 4 we discussed ten types of book blogs. Over the weekend you have had time to decide what type of book blog you want to set up or the type you want to refocus your current blog to. Whatever the case it is important to develop a focused idea of your blog. Choosing a name that let's the reading community know exactly what you represent makes it easier to find you and to hang around on your blog. It's one thing to set up a blog, then do nothing with. But if you want to build a better book blog you need to start at the beginning...your blog name.

Today we will talk about the all important blog name, why it's important, and the rules that will help you make your selection.

1. Decide upon a Blog Name that makes the focus of your Blog Crystal Clear.
The point is a newbie web user will look at the name of the blog and have an idea of what kind of blog it is. The Brown Bookshelf has to do with books, Christian Fiction is about Christian Fiction, Romance Divas Divine Blog has to be a blog about more than one romance reader or writer or both. When you choose your name make sure you choose a name that a fool would know what your blog is about.

2. Choose a Name that brings Readers to You Easy

To read further, please join the FREE Series here.

Photo Credit: Just Your Typical Book Blog


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Day 4: Which of the 10 Book Blog Types are you?

So far this week we have talked about blog setup basics- platforms, templates, and the blogger's vision. But unlike other series on blogging we are focusing on the book blog and its many forms. The shape of these blogs is our discussion today.

There are six basic book blogs:
  1. The Book Review Blog
  2. The Author FanClub Blog
  3. The Publishing Industry News Blog
  4. The Blog as Book
  5. The Genre Blog
  6. Book Alliance Blog
  7. The BookClub Blog
  8. The Author as Human Blog
  9. Bookstore Blog
Now that you know what special contribution you would like to bring to your blog, what platform that works best for you, and some design tips and goodies to make your blog stand out you are ready to decide what type of content you want on this blog.

Why do you need to have one clear content focus for your blog?

  1. So that you can brand the blog with your unique imprint.
  2. So that publishers can identify and validate your blog when they are seeking bloggers to become readers for their house
  3. To help your audience find you easier in search engines
  4. To stay true to the special contribution you will bring to the blogosphere.
Let's talk about these four forms in detail with some examples to guide your decision making.

1. The Book Review Blog
Example - http://oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/ and http://neglectedbooks.com/
Book Review Blogs purpose is to review books. Most of the content is blog reviews written by the owner and contributing bloggers.

2. The Author FanClub Blog
Example: http://sherrilewis.blogspot.com
The Author Blog's purpose is to serve as a virtual fan club president. Readers can chat with the author, stay up to date with their schedule, and the author shares his/her writing world with her fancs.

3.The Publishing Industry News Blog
Example: http://www.bookslut.com/blog.html/
The purpose for this type blog is to provide information about the publishing industry, the good, the bad, and the i wish I didn't know so much now.

4. The Blog as Book
The Purpose for a BaB is to use the blog platform as a writer's notebook, a membership site where bits of the book is fed to their subscribers, or a blog that's content can be repackaged into a book.

5. The Genre Blog
Example:UrbanChristianToday www.urbanchristianfictiontoday.com
This blog focuses on a specific genre, trends, tips for writers and book reviews.

6. The Book Alliance Blog
Example: The First WildCard Tour. http://firstwildcardtours.blogspot.com/
The purpose of this blog is to be the online hub and information center for a blog alliance of book reviewers.

7. The BookClub Blog
Example: www.rawsistaz.com
The purpose for this blog is to serve as an online hub for the members to plan and get together.

8. The Author as Human Blog
Example - http://journal.neilgaiman.com/
I love Neil Gaman's blog. This is a great example of the author as human blog. It's purpose is for the writer to share his/her writing life with not just his readers, but to the world. Author as Human Blogs are some of the best written blogs online. Author as Human Blog aren't always published, but aspiring authors as well.

9. Bookstore Blog
Example - http://inkwellbookstore.blogspot.com/
It's purpose to share what is going on at the store and how it reflects the current state of the industry.

10. a Bonus type. the hybrid.
Example: Christian Fiction www.christianfiction.blogspot.com
The purpose for CFB began with an intent to be a book review blog, but then uncovered stories that needed to be told. This type blog couples the news format and the author as human , but a heavy influence on reviews. See what I mean?

Now that you see all these types you will have a more focued view of your online space. It is important to remember in the beginning of your new blogging platform you are still a novice.

SO the weekend chatterbox question is What type of book blogger are you?

Related Posts:
30 Days to Build a Better Book BLog

Day 3: Blogalicious Templates, Free & Upgraded


Yesterday after I presented Day 2, a member in the 30 Days group asked me, "If she paid a provider to build the blog would she need to know html?"

So far we are having fun at the 30 Days Blog Upgrade Eduspace. We've been introducing each other to our blogs and setting up our first committed blog. As I had expected everyone was gung ho to tinker with their blogs. Therefore the question above and a few others resonate with today's post, "Blogalicious Templates, Free & Upgrade."

One thing that took Christian Fiction Blog to a new level a few years ago was changing the layout to something unique. There are so many blogs out there, and unfortunately many of the book blogs look more boring than a public library design wise. While others have so much book graphic clutter that it hurt your eyes to focus, so you give up and move on.

  • Wouldn't it be nice to have a blog, readers love to turn to to find a great book?
  • Wouldn't it be nice to have a blog designed in a way that readers actually stick around and read excerpts and reviews?
  • Wouldn't it be nice to know that your blog represents what's special about the story you want to share with the world?

When I launched the blog I picked the white minima design that was offered through Blogger. I am a big fan of white space and black text. My aesthetic is toward a clean design. I guess my architectural background may be to blame. I also believe that it is important for readers to be able to see your text. As more internet users use their mobiles to log on, it is important to note that good design isn't just about the blog being pretty, but it being user friendly, especially on the eyes. For a while I transitioned from one Minima template design to the next. Last year, however, I changed the game and picked a clean, hipper XML design with a universal color palette that also honored my need for white space.

I think the red, white and blue has taken good care of Christian Fiction Blog. But I'm also a free spirit. I don't like to get too attached. Christian Fiction has had this design far longer than the others, so it's time for an upgrade.

Before I make a change I want to chat with you about your blog template and design. For next to nothing you can customize any blog with very little knowledge of code. So don't worry. In fact, I will not break down graphic design how to's, the html color map, defining design & layout terminology, or the power of Corel and Photoshop. Nope. I' m talking free or dirt cheap, easy and super easy upgrading.

Let me introduce you to some free downloadable template sources for your blogs and some blog layout divas and divos who can upgrade you.

To continue you must register to 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog. Come on. It's free. You can start your 30 days whenever you wish, step away from it and come back later. No worries.

Related Posts:

  • Day 2: 5 Book Blogs for 5 Blog Platforms

  • Day 1: If you Knew why your Blog was Special...?

  • The Before the Big Day: Why is Blogging having a Resurgence?

    Tuesday, September 01, 2009

    Day 2: 5 Book Blogs for 5 Blog Platforms

    After yesterday's post I received three kinds of responses:
    1. Is it too late to join (quick answer No. rolling admission, just pick up at Day 1)
    2. I don't have the time to commit, but I will some day. (quick answer, just register and pick up at Day 1 when you can.)
    3. Do I build a blog now and how?
    Let's pause at the last response. "Do I build my blog now?"

    Yes, but you build it first on pen and paper. You don't want to set up a blog one place then learn later that it would be better supported someplace else. It is critical to take the time in the beginning to plan and research the tools you need to build a better blog than what you have.

    There are five questions that will help you make your best choice:

    1. Am I willing to self-host this blog? That means will my blog sit on my server or do I need a an open source blog that is free to build online.
    2. Does my blog need to be able to perform simple functions or advanced ones? For example can I feed my constant contact mailing list into my feed.
    3. How is easy will it take to set up?
    4. What parameters do I have to layout and design? (something you talked about in the message board)
    5. Is customization a must for me?
    As I describe the three main blogging platform out there, you check off which platforms say yes to the answer to your questions. I will provide great examples of each platform here at 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog.

    It's not too late to sign up. You begin your course at Day 1 and work yourself up at your own pace.


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