“Humbled For A New Book Review By OnLine Book Club – My Book “Addicted To Dimes” – 3 Out of 4 Stars!

I was a little nervous when my book got chosen to be reviewed by a large online book club. Why? Because most times the reviewer may not be an addiction/recovery genre typical reader of these types of books, let alone a memoir. I can honestly say the reader chosen was both honest and got most of the points I made sharing my life story that included gambling addiction and my road into recovery journey. She also gave some points to help my writing in future books. But I will let you be the judge of the Book Review I was given…

Official Review: Addicted To Dimes

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GA Porter – [Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Addicted To Dimes” by Catherine Townsend-Lyon.]

Addicted to Dimes by Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a memoir about the author’s personal battle with gambling addiction. The book explores the author’s past experiences and decisions which eventually culminated in a financially and emotionally devastating addiction and the difficult ordeal of the recovery process. The author is open and honest about her mistakes, her family dysfunction raised in, and past abuse, and the long-term consequences gambling has had on her marriage and friendships.

The first section of the book is an introduction to the author’s early life. She grew up in a dysfunctional family and suffered abuse at the hands of her parents, as well as sexual trauma by outsiders. As a teenager and young woman, the author felt stifled by her mother’s overbearing control, particularly in controlling her own hard-earned money. She outlines decisions she made and relationships she began while searching for a replacement “unconditional love” that she did not receive from her parents. The hardships of her early life may have made the author vulnerable to the lure of addiction, and the continuing dysfunction may have added fuel to the fire later in her life and as roots to her addiction.

The author gives the description of her family dysfunction and past to illustrate the person she used to be before the addiction took over her life. The addiction began slowly, but over time grew and drove her to drastic actions. As stress piled on her, gambling became an outlet for her emotions. She also adopted the gambler’s mentality of placing bets to win money she desperately needed to pay bills, but in the end, would lose more money than she came in with and an action of the cycle keeps you chasing your loss. Over the years, the author would borrow money, steal from friends and workplaces, and jeopardize everything she and her husband worked for to maintain her gambling habit before fully committing to the recovery process.

Catherine was inspired to write this book after reading the newspaper of a local woman’s suicide due to gambling addiction and on the news. She wrote this book to give hope to those caught in the addiction that recovery is possible as well as to inspire empathy and bring awareness to others. The recovery process took a long time for the author and she described the “rock bottom” situation that appears to have been necessary for her to fully commit to the recovery process. She describes her own missteps, triggers from family fights, work stress, and some aspects of therapy which were most and least helpful for her. In the end, she appears to have been successful, even if still in financial hardship, and you feel her drive to fight for her life back.

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I rate Addicted to Dimes 3 out of 4 stars. It is heartbreaking to see a woman’s life in ruins and the impact on her husband and friendships. However, a sizeable portion of the book is dedicated more to her family drama which leads to the actual gambling addiction. While I enjoy the author’s honesty and self-awareness, sometimes it feels voyeuristic to see so much into her family life and affairs. The author explains, though, that her “war stories” from gambling were not shared because oftentimes they can be triggering to other people currently fighting the addiction.

The book is instead focusing on the repercussions on her life and how she takes control and accountability. It is also worth bearing in mind that the author is not a professional writer and so sometimes the book reads as a private journal entry which is how her book came to be, from her early year journals in recovery. The author includes phrases such as “OMG!” which can be somewhat distracting. It is also important to remember that this is not a self-help guidebook, but a personal memoir. This book may appeal to readers who are themselves battling a gambling addiction, or any addiction for that matter, or to those who have loved ones affected by gambling addiction.

It may also be noteworthy for people who do not have any gamblers in their lives, but still wish to see how this addiction can be devastating and to see the victims as real people, rather than as statistics, so I highly recommend it.

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“Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat”
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon


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Cat’s Fall Special “Spotlight” ~ I Welcome Writer of Music, Performer, and Author, John Tracy To Cat’s Den…

Hello and Welcome Friends, Readers, and Music Lovers!

I am so excited to do something a little different for all my friends and readers who love music! Since starting my new “Fall and Winter Featured Spotlights” for everyone, I wanted to share a new friend I met on Twitter who is an author, but mainly a writer of lyrics and a performer of fantastic music.

Please meet John Tracy, everyone!

His style of music is a soulful mixture of soft rock, meets country, meets a little blues
( just my own opinion)!!  He is dynamic with the unique set of talents as an author, writer, and musician. You can take a sneak listen of his songs including his newest release right from the home page of his website; John Tracy Music!  Here is a little more of John’s musical side…

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John Tracy has a reputation for crafting lyrics that cut right to the heart of the matter, making his music relevant to all of us on this human journey. Inspired by his folk, blues and acoustic rock influences, his songs fortify the human connection – truly REAL MUSIC FOR REAL LIFE.

He is a national charting artist having two singles from his latest album “Happy Ever After” reach the top 10. His newest single, “Fairytales Come True” was the number one most added song two weeks in a row in its release to radio and stayed in the top 10 for five weeks, topping out at #5 on the National FMQB Adult Contemporary chart.

The title track from the album, “Happy Ever After” also debuted as the number one most added song in its initial week to radio and rose to #10 during its time on the chart. Both singles were included in the United Kingdom’s “Brit Rock Show,” syndicated to 81 UK radio stations as well as five other syndicated shows across the UK and Europe. Their associated music videos have attracted attention from all over the music video programming spectrum, including video-on-demand, multi-market, retail pool/content providers and internet programmers, being shown in prominent retailers, nightclubs and restaurants in the US and Canada. 



“My Writer Interview With John Tracy”

 

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?  Hey everyone – so happy to be with you today!


Tell us your name and a little of what you do?

I’m John Tracy and am a performing songwriter. Actually, in addition to making music, I also wrote a book titled “Of Life, Love and Family – real-world insights into our most important relationships.”

of Life, Love and Family

by John Tracy Wilson on Amazon!


Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX and lived there until about five years ago when we moved to Virginia. I now am living in Richmond.


Tell us more about you? Like your education, family life. Etc.

I am married to my soulmate, best friend, anchor, and business partner, Teri. We celebrate our 34th anniversary this month. We have two amazing daughters (though who doesn’t think their kids are amazing?). Both are grown and have launched out into their own lives.

I am a full-time songwriter and performer. It wasn’t always that way as I had my turn in the corporate world, but that’s a long story for another day.


Do you have any latest news?

Well, let’s see – I released a music video a little over a month ago titled “Midnight Moon.” It’s a song I wrote in response to all the craziness going on in the world today. I actually wrote it at the beginning of this year, but it amazes me how almost every day it finds new relevance.

The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDzfokXMUwM

Are you a writer?

I am a writer – mostly a songwriter, but a few years back I was encouraged to write a book, so I tried my hand at being an author. I almost found it refreshing. In a song, you work so hard to condense the story you want to tell down to fit into a melody. When you are writing a book, you have more freedom to tell the details.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing songs in my early 20s. From an early age, I was drawn to music. My mother had this amazing album collection of all the 50s and 60s greats. We had this huge console stereo system – the kind that sat in a big cabinet. I would play her albums for hours.

As I became a teenager, I turned my attention to the 70s singer-songwriters who seemed to write about the things that I was going through. Their music spoke to me on a deep level. At 16 I started to take guitar lessons and before long, I was dissecting my favorite songs on my reel-to-reel, learning how to play each one note for note.

By the time I started my 20s, I wanted to do more than just play the songs of my musical heroes. I wanted to make my own music. So I started attending workshops and reading books on the art of songwriting and developed my own style from there.

What inspired you to write your first book

I wrote my first song right around 20.  Now over the years, I’ve probably written more than 100 songs. I have five albums out and am working on my sixth, which should be out later this year.

I wrote my first book in 2011 at the prompting of my mentor. It seemed there was more I wanted to say that would fit nicely into a song, so I sat down and penned my first book – “Of Life, Love and Family.”


How did you come up with the title?

When I perform, people always are interested in where my songs come from. So that’s where I started. I took some of the fan favorites and began by sharing the backstories. From there, the book seemed to take on its own course as I opened up about the relationships closest to me, the good ones and the hard ones, and the lessons I learned on how to bring more quality to our most important ones. The title just seemed to be a natural fit.


Do you have a specific writing style?

In my songwriting, I am very poetic. I work hard to make every word count, spending hours finding just the right words to meld with a particular melody. It’s not just about rhyming. It’s all about the flow of the song and what it has to say. Each lyric is important.

When it came to the book, I continued in that same writing style.


How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Virtually all my songs and my book are about my personal experiences. I am very transparent in my writing and openly share not only the victories but the struggles on my journey. I have people tell me that is what draws them to my work – they find themselves either within the songs or the pages of the book.

To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Not necessarily, although things like travel can bring on new inspirations. As creators, I think we are always chasing that muse. Sometimes she shows up in the everyday things and sometimes she’s a bit more elusive.

 

Who designed the covers?

That’s all over the place, but most recently, my wife Teri has helped me with that. That’s always such a challenging project. Whether it’s a book cover or an album cover, you want people who see it being intrigued. It’s everyone’s first impression.

 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think the biggest message in both my songs and in the book is that there is hope. For me, I am a man of faith and I draw my strength and hope from my relationship with my creator. I want everyone to experience that peace. I want everyone to feel love and acceptance and to pass that on to the next generation.

 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer?

That’s a tough one. I wish I had more time right now to enjoy other people’s creative work, whether that’s reading a book or listening to music. Sure, I listen to music a lot to see what the current trends are, etc. But I’m working on an album project and as most creators can attest to when you are in the middle of that process, it is all-consuming. I have to save reading for pleasure and listening to music for enjoyment for the times when I am in between new works.


Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?

Outside of my wife, who is my business partner and biggest supporter, I think my mentor, Tim Sweeney, was instrumental in encouraging me not to give up on my dream. He is the reason I wrote the book. His belief in my art and his support kept me moving forward when likely I might have given up.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

As far a songwriting, once I’ve recorded a song, it’s a finished work. It’s like a child birthed – I send it on its way into the world. Until it’s recorded, I’m always tweaking things here and there to make sure it’s the best it can be.

As for the book, writing it was actually such a stretch for me. It was so outside of my comfort zone. It’s a completely different way of writing than creating a song. However, now that it’s out there, I’m not sure I would change anything. I felt inspired as I was writing it, totally in the moments of creativity. I think if you go back after the fact and change something, you’ve disrupted the flow of what that creativity released.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned so much. The first is that I could do it. It’s a different process than writing a song. I’ve trained myself over the years in the craft of songwriting, but there’s a craft to writing a book, too. Gathering your thoughts and making sure you stay on target in your writing and making sure every word you use counts in telling the story.

But I think for me writing is a cathartic exercise. Particularly the book. It forced me to work through some of my harder relationships, the ones that didn’t end up so good. Through being open and sharing my heart in my writing, I began the healing process from years of hurts. It’s an experience I wouldn’t trade.


If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I’m not sure my work is suited for that. I would love for my songs to fit into a movie at some point. I love watching movies and hearing how songs perfectly compliment a scene or set the stage. I think it would be a thrill to have that happen with one of my songs.


Any advice for other writers?

I think this applies no matter what you are doing – stay true to who you are or your art won’t be an expression of you. Making the creative process a profession requires a lot of hard work, a lot of self-confidence, a thick skin and continual evaluation of whether what you are creating is relevant.

Success isn’t necessarily measured in financial terms. To me, real success is measured in the number of lives you inspire and the positive impact you leave on those around you. That’s not the definition of success most are looking for.

Share one thing about you that will surprise readers?

I’m not sure after listening to my songs or reading my book that there is much left to surprise anyone. I’m very transparent in my writing and share openly my love for my daughters, my wife, the importance of family, my struggles and joys, my hopes and aspirations, as well as my faith.


Will you write another book?

I will continue to write new songs as long as I am able, but I’m not sure about writing another book. My mentor thought I might have two or three left in me, but honestly, I’m not so sure that’s what I feel inspired to pursue right now.

 

What are you reading now?

I look forward to being able to get back to reading once this album is released. My favorites to read are autobiographies and inspirational stories that can move and inspire me, books that help me become a better version of myself, both as a husband/father and as an art creator. (Maybe start by reading Cat’s Memoir! LOL ).

 

Do you remember the first book you read?

It was probably back in grade school – I remember losing myself in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.” Both books open your mind to vivid imagery as you are reading and they still stand out to me today.

Tom Sawyer 1876 frontispiece.jpg

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1876 1st edition.

(continued);
I think as far as music, the first time I heard an album that really moved me was when my sister brought home James Taylor’s “Mudslide Slim and The Blue Horizon.” There was something about his music that stirred me somewhere deeply…

 

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

For some reason of late, I’ve been thinking about Abraham Lincoln. Probably because of all the craziness in our government right now. He was such a man of integrity. I think that’s hard to find in today’s politicians. I would have loved to sit down with him for a chat.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

I love good food and movies. If I hadn’t become an art creator, I think I would have loved to be a food critic. I can’t imagine anything more fun.

Favorite Music?

I listen to a lot of music on a more critical basis to see what current trends are. When I have time to kick back and listen for the pure pleasure of it, I always go back to what first inspired me. I think the music that still moves my soul comes from the 70s singer-songwriters. It has that comfort feeling to me like being home.


Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I hope I don’t see that future. Being a songwriter is part of who I am. Even if I no longer pursue it professionally, I hope I never have to give up this passion I have for making music.


What do you want to be written on your headstone as part of your Legacy?

Wow, that’s a tough one! I believe that our legacy is not in our worldly accomplishments – fame, fortune, title. It’s in the quality of the relationships we build and the love we share along the way. I would hope that my headstone reflects that this is exactly how I lived my life.


Do you have a blog or website where readers can visit for updates, events or updates and Connect with you on Social Media?

Absolutely – you can find me at John Tracy Music. I am also all over social media – Twitter  – Find me there @johntracymusic – Instagram  – And on Facebook too!

I thank you for sharing with me and my readers all about you John, and about your beautiful music and the book! We may have to swap books with each other. 🙂

It’s been a pleasure! Thank you so much for allowing me to share my passion with you.

 

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I have to add this little tidbit from John’s website that I think would be fun for a home party or reception? He PERFORMS IN YOUR HOME on Request! WOW! What a fabulous idea…Learn more here: to have a concert in YOUR home or backyard if you live in or around the Richmond, VA area…


“Interview Presented by Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den of Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon” 

 

Author – Writer SpotLight on Tony Roberts of “Delight in Disorder”…

Since fall has arrived and winter not far behind, readers will be gearing up for READING! Reading awesome new books, visiting blogs and websites, listening to music, and getting ready for the holiday season too. So I thought I would start a new fun feature on “Spotlighting” bloggers, authors, musicians and more as “the real writers they are.”

A more in-depth profile of their writing as a writer and learn what makes them tick. We all write for many reasons like just writing from the heart in a journal, write to author a book, or even write lyrics for music, or even write as a profession.

So let’s have some fun learning more about the person and their “craft as a writer.”  My First Guest?  I WELCOME Tony Roberts! An author, blogger, writer, and mental health advocate…

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About Tony Roberts:

Tony was born and raised in the Hoosier heartland just south of Indianapolis.

“I grew up worshiping high school basketball and once had the honor of playing in a televised “game of the week.” 

I went to Hanover College (alma mater of both Mike Pence and Woody Harrelson – go figure). After many detours into sex, drugs, and more folk rock than roll, I wound up at a seminary and became a pastor. It was then that symptoms of depression and mania culminated in a psychotic episode that became pivotal in my life, for better and for worse. After graduating from Hanover, I obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. While there, I did ministry assignments at a state hospital for persons with developmental disabilities, as well as at a women’s prison, and an inner-city hospital.  

I served two decades as a solo pastor. I then shifted to writing, speaking, and leading small groups. In March of 2014, I published my spiritual memoir, Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission. Having served in pastoral ministry and gone mad, it’s now my mission to bridge the gap between faith communities and the mental health world.

I now live to write and write to live in Rochester, New York. I also have a “delightful domain” on Lake Caroga, the gateway to the Adirondacks.  My greatest earthly delights are my four children and two grandchildren.

Tony is also an author of his book; “Delight In Disorder” available now on Amazon and Amazon Kindle store online.

Product Details

“What makes Tony’s devotional so compelling is that bipolar disorder continues to periodically beat the crap out of him, and he still believes.”

– David Zucker, Mental Health Advocate, University Presbyterian in Seattle.

 


 

“A Writer Interview With Tony Roberts”

 

Hello and welcome to Cat Lyon’s Reading & Writing Den, New Writer Interviews.
My name Catherine Lyon, Author…  Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?

Tell us your name and a little of what you do?

Tony Roberts. I am the author of Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission and the co-founder of Delight in Disorder Missions. I write, speak, and facilitate small groups with the aim to build hope and foster compassion for those with mental illness, like me.


Where are you from?

I was born and bred in Indiana, where I now live. I spent much of my pastoral career in Upstate New York.


Tell us more about you? Like your education, family life. Etc.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and theology from Hanover College and a Masters of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.

I am blessed to have four children (ages 25, 23, 16, 13) and two grandchildren who are the delight of my life. My birth family means a great deal to me. We live close and care for each other.


Do you have any latest news?

My blog, delightindisorder.org is growing. I will be featured in an upcoming issue of bp magazine. Plans are underway to develop a podcast with commentary as well as interviews with persons in the faith community and mental health fields.

Are you a writer?

Yes. Writing is my vocation.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written in various forms since I was 7. My first piece, “Ode to My Pet Rock,” was a hit in my family. I wrote satirical stories in high school, college, and seminary. I wrote over 100 articles for school newspapers. I studied Creative Writing and penned a novella called, Life (in obvious places).

Why? For the same reason as Isaac Asimov. “I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.”

What inspired you to write your first book?

It started out primarily as therapy. I had lost much of my memory and I had lapsed in my practice of reflecting on Scripture. This was a way of reclaiming both. I’ve been told that if we first write for ourselves, others will need to read what we write.


How did you come up with the title?

“Delight in Disorder” is a 17th-century poem by Robert Herrick about a dress that is beautiful in its imperfection. The subtitle (Ministry, Madness, Mission) was given to me by a friend when I described the stages of my pastoral life.


Do you have a specific writing style?

No. Sometimes I jot down notes. Sometimes I sketch outlines. Sometimes I start with a Scripture quote, sometimes I weave it in. Sometimes I move right to the word processor and edit as I go.  If there is one “style” is have is a commitment to editing.

~Paul Velery once wrote, “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.” I believe this about any writing. When I read my published work I cringe, knowing I could have spent more time on it.

How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All my writing is based on my own life.

To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

My memoir only required introspection. I could sit in my basement and stare at brick walls, which I often did.

My current writing is more collaborative. I have traveled various places to meet faith and mental health care advocates and learn more what is going on and how we can improve.

Who designed the covers?

Nicole Miller of Miller Media Solutions.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want people to read my memoir and find hope in Christ for those with troubled minds.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer?

Tim Keller is currently on my memoir. Favorite all-time would be Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?

Leanne Sype, my editor.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I’m always thinking of changing I would have liked to make. But I now see I’ve given birth to it, it has a life of its own.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned many things — some brought me joy; others, sorrow. The biggest thing, I learned, though, is I can delight in the One who delights in me.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

How about Russell Crowe? He makes a pretty good tortured soul.

Any advice for other writers?

Read. Write. Walk. Repeat.

Share one thing about you that will surprise readers?

In college, I was given my first tour by Mike Pence and later partied with Woody Harrelson.

Will you write another book?

Probably. Right now I am focused on electronic media, but I will likely get back to my first love eventually.

What are you reading now?

Nobody Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers.

Do you remember the first book you read?

Bible story books from my grandmother’s house.

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Singer/songwriter John Prine because he is the best storyteller I know.

Do you have any hobbies? Cooking.

Favorite Music?

Americana: John Prine, Iris Dement, Jason Isbell, Zoe Muth, …

Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do? 

 Listen to music. Cook. Share stories with friends and family.

What do you want to be written on your headstone as part of your Legacy?

“He delighted in the One who delights in us.”


Do you have a blog or website where readers can visit for updates, events or updates?  
Tony Roberts, Author of Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness 

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I thank you for sharing with me and my readers Tony! 


You can connect with Tony on Social Media!
Facebook
Twitter

Social Media Still An Exceptional Place To Build Your Brand As An Author…

Hello, and Welcome Everyone!

Today my dear friend and PR expert, Marsha Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations is our Guest and will be sharing why Social Media is still a great place to build your brand as an author. Engaging and interaction with your readers is also a vital part of building a following too!

So let’s see what Marsha has to say.

Marsha

Why People Share On Social Media And Why That Matters To Brands

Every day people start their day by checking in on social media – and before too long the sharing of memes, posts, videos and cat pictures starts in earnest on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. What’s driving all that sharing?

Lots of things, probably, but to boil it down to its essence, people share on social media because they come across something that appeals to them and they think it will appeal to like-minded people. They share because they like the feedback they get from sharing. And they share just because it’s fun. So what does that mean to you and why does it matter to your brand? After all, you’re looking for results!

It all boils down to understanding how and why social media users behave the way they do. This information is valuable because if you understand the needs of your social media audience it will help you make decisions that influence those users to act in a way that benefits you or your brand. Let me share (there’s that word!) just a few key points about sharing on social media: 

  • They’re building their personal brand. Each time a user shares something on social media they are taking one more step in strengthening their personal brand. Yes, you may be surprised to hear that individuals have their own brands, but it’s true. Think about it, you may have some friends that focus on sharing pictures and updates about their fishing and boating hobby while others may focus on sharing humorous headlines, jokes, etc. While the former is presenting themselves as a fishing enthusiast, the latter is positioning themselves as a source of humor. Each of them has their own “personal brand,” which you come to expect on social media. If you’re a boating or fishing company, our first user would be valuable to you – and finding ways to encourage them to make you part of their personal brand through content would be imperative.

 

  • They gain personal satisfaction. Let’s face it As when your post about your daughter’s graduation gets 100 plus likes on Facebook, you get a big dose of personal satisfaction. That’s because these reactions are a reward and your mind sees it as exactly that. Those likes actually trigger a chemical reaction in the mind causing dopamine to be released. The “reward molecule” makes getting likes feel good, encouraging you to post more in an effort to obtain that same feeling again and again. Users know sharing interesting and valuable content gets them more likes, and that content has to come from somewhere. If you’re a brand, you can capitalize on this by ensuring that you’re sharing the best, most share-worthy stuff.

 

  • They’re building their audiences through sharing. When users are building their personal brand through the content they post and enjoying the euphoria that comes with it, they’re almost definitely going to try to grow their audiences. Just like brands, people also want to have more followers, more friends, etc., but for different reasons. These followers are gained through consistently posting content that represents their personal brand, on the right channels at the right time. Brands like Arby’s have done an excellent job of capitalizing on this desire of users, by sharing content that subtly appeals to many small niches, causing those individuals to them to help them reach more people, like Catherine’s Book Promotion Brand!

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Getting into the minds of social media users is an important precedent for ensuring that your brand is doing all it can to attract and convert your target audience to grow your business.

Make sure you aren’t just looking at social media as an advertising avenue, but also a place to share valuable, appropriate, engaging and entertaining content that will get social media users to make you part of their personal brands and share it so they can get the responses from their peers they desire.

Your brand will benefit – and so will your followers who are the recipients (and sharers) of your interesting and relevant content!

Just thought I’d share that!

Marsha Friedman

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About Marsha Friedman
Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports, and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity which includes many authors!

 

 

News For Authors and Writers From The Web and Guest Article Courtesy of TCK Publishing.

last month I was invited by my dear friend Marilyn Davis to write an article for her fabulous writers’ website “TwoDropsofInk” titled; Authors: Book Promote Like a Pro!
In my article, I clarified the differences between literary agents, publicists, and book promoters…

how to get a literary agent contract

Literary Publicist

Literary Publicist: Is a person who publicizes, especially a press agent or public-relations consultant. They are an expert in current or public affairs, and an expert on federal or international law.

Literary Agent

Literary Agent: Is a person who represents writers and their written works to publishers, theatrical producers, film producers and film studios, and assists in the sale and deal negotiations of the same.

Literary Book Promoter or Marketer 

Literary Book Promoter or marketer: Is a person who promotes, especially as an active supporter, advocate, or paid publicity organizer to promote one’s work through various forms like press releases, through social media, and more. That is what I do

So now that we know the differences, I came across another fantastic article on TCK Publishing about:  How To Get A Literary Agent. When I got my email newsletter from them, it had a great article and guide on how to go about this. So I emailed “The Guy,” Best Selling Author, Tom Corson-Knowles to ask if I could share some of this article and HOPE writer’s that you will go read the rest and view The Guide he was kind enough to share with us on their website within the article here: “How To Get A Literary Agent”.

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how to get a literary agent

In the weird, wonderful world of publishing, there are a few key figures that everyone knows about: publishers, editors, and literary agents.

But do you really know what those folks do all day?

In an age when anyone can upload a file and start selling their book on Amazon in a few clicks, why do these old-school roles still matter? How do they add value to your publishing journey?

Let’s take an in-depth look at the literary agent, one of the key figures in the traditional publishing industry. We’ll check out what they do every day to help you and your book succeed, what it might cost you to work with an agent, and how you can find an agent.

We’ll also talk with publishing industry experts and agents themselves about what to do—and not to do—if you want to work with an agent, and how to get the most out of your relationship.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Literary Agent?

No matter what creative industry you’re talking about—film, TV, books, music—there’s usually someone called an “agent” working in it.

That’s because, when you get right down to it, creative people want to be creating, not worrying about business matters. But the businesspeople who put that creative material out to the public want to make sure little things like deadlines are met, and that contracts are signed, paperwork is filled out, and so on.

So a kind of go-between developed between creative professionals and business types: the agent.

Agents are kind of like business managers for creatives: writers, actors, artists, musicians, and so on. They handle all the nitty-gritty details so that you can get on with the important work of creating.

What Does an Agent Do?

Agents do a lot of things that authors can do for themselves, but that takes a lot of time and effort to keep on top of.

The key part of any agent’s job is getting their clients work. They negotiate deals like publishing contracts or speaking gigs, keep track of licensing arrangements, and coordinate payment from all those different deals.

But agents do far more than just making deals!

Literary agents, in particular, often partner with the authors they represent to improve a manuscript, working together on edits and development to refine the book until it’s sure to knock the socks off a publisher.

The agent also puts together a query and pitch package for the book to submit to publishers, helping put the manuscript’s best foot forward and show exactly why the publisher should pay top dollar for that book.

A great pitch package is more than just a summary of the book. In nonfiction, it includes a summary of every chapter and its content, a basic marketing plan, an examination of other comparable books on the market, and more.

Basically, it’s a mini-business plan for your book…and that takes a lot of work to put together! Agents know the style, format, and content that will appeal to a busy acquisitions editor and they can put together a package that’ll impress.

“Former agent Elizabeth Evans (now an independent editor) says, “It’s not often discussed in the publishing process, but I think an important part of being a good agent is understanding how to help a writer create his or her most powerful work.”

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A Day in the Life of an Agent

Agents spend most of their time reading submissions and sending notes on the books that come across their desks. They field dozens, if not hundreds, of queries every week and have to quickly evaluate whether the book is ready to publish—and whether it has market potential.

If something interesting and well-written comes across their email, they’ll request the full manuscript to review, to make sure that the writing through the whole book lives up to the promise of the query and the sample pages.

When a book really hits home, they’ll offer to represent the author—you!—and then start the process of working with you to refine the book, create a pitch package, and find a publisher.

If you’re lucky, the agent will be able to start an auction for the rights to publish your book, getting several interested editors at different publishing houses to bid on it. The combination of the most money and the best terms and marketing support wins!

Once the book is under contract with a publisher, the agent’s work doesn’t end! Now, your agent will help coordinate edit timelines, marketing support, book tours, and more.

They’ll also keep track of contract details and collect your royalties on your behalf.

Once the book is published, some agents will also help sell subsidiary rights, which are other ways to make money off your writing. Some agents represent subsidiary rights themselves, while others have someone in their agency whose entire job is to handle subsidiary rights.

These rights include film or TV options, foreign translation rights, audiobook rights, and more.

All in all, subsidiary rights can add up to a lot of income for you as the author! But making all those deals can be very time-consuming, so it’s really handy to have an agent pursuing all those options on your behalf.

An agent’s day varies constantly, but on an average day, your agent is probably:

  • Calling editors to discuss possible projects
  • Checking royalty statements for accuracy
  • Making notes on a client’s new marketing plan
  • Scanning Publishers Weekly to see what’s been selling
  • Writing a query for a new book
  • Responding to pitch emails
  • Fielding phone calls and emails from clients
  • Taking notes on client projects
  • Reading new manuscript submissions (often after standard working hours!)

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There is so much more to learn from this fantastic and helpful article!
I thank TomCorson-Knowles for letting me share some of this with all my writer and author friends here. Please stop by and read the rest of how to get the very BEST AGENT possible and to see if you need one!

Check out what they offer for all your publishing needs…


“CAT LYON’S Reading and Writing Den”  ~ See How I can Promote Your Books!
“Lyon Literary Media & Book Promo Service”

“We The People Will Never Forget 9/11” I Know I Won’t…

I still remember where I was…

We were still living in Southern Oregon when 9/11 happened. I’d just got out of the shower getting ready to go to work. I had the TV on listening to CNN as I got ready and breaking news came on. They were saying a plane had just flown into the world trade center. So I came out of the bathroom and was fixed to the TV.

A few seconds later I watched the horror unfold as the second plane came as CNN is on air and BAM! The plane slammed into the next tower. I stood in front of the TV in shock! I could NOT believe what I just saw happen in real time!!!  I just stood there feeling sick and numb at the same time. So, NO, I like many, many people will never forget what happened that day on 9/11/2001…

Where were you? What were doing when you heard? Do you feel the SAME TODAY as you did that DAY?

Remembering September 11th

“LET US STAND UNITED AS ONE IN THIS DAY OF REMEMBRANCE”

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AMERICAN FLAG FLIES AS WORLD TRADE CENTER SMOKE AND DUST LINGERS IN AIR.

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September 11th Terrorist Attacks

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   ” UNITED WE WILL STAND TOGETHER! “

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Remembering September 11th

Sound Advice When Dealing With Book Reviewers…Guide For Indie Authors.

Guest Post By LaFifeReviews  Ms.  Latoya Fife ~ September 5, 2017 by 

Book Blogger Confessions: Tips for Indie Authors

Book reviews have become a valuable marketing tool for commercial and indie writers. When I look at the top selling books on Amazon and Goodreads, I realize they usually have a ton of reviews. The modern writer’s job does not end when they hit submit and send their creative babies off to publishers. As the publishing world evolves the lines between publisher, author and publicist blur. One powerful tool that can make or break an author is the book review.

Popular book sites like Kirkus and Indiereader know the importance of a professional book review. Authors pay $250-$500 to get a review that will hopefully give them access to an audience that will buy their books. Kirkus and Indiereader both go a step further than the professional review, offering publishing services such as editing and marketing. There is a debate in the publishing industry about the value of a paid review. With the rise of blogging, more book lovers from different careers and backgrounds have brought to life the freelance occupation called the “Book Blogger”.

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Book Bloggers are book lovers
who offer free, honest and in-depth book reviews. Successful book bloggers make money through advertising on their blogs and other freelance opportunities. Book Bloggers, unlike a paid review service, have nothing to gain from giving a positive review. This article will help writers get the most out of the writer blogger relationship to improve craft and to gain exposure. After reviewing other book blogger’s review policies and my experience as a book blogger and a lover of books, here are some tips for indie authors to create a positive blogger-writer relationship.

Submit a finished product.

I cringe when authors submit a book filled with errors, some authors would even let you know ahead of time that it’s not the finished product. Book bloggers introduce books to their audience of readers, putting your best foot forward is best when you want to potentially grow your readership. Some authors confuse beta readers and book reviewers. Beta readers are readers that read mostly fiction to correct errors and to add suggestions in regards to character development, plot etc. Book reviewers are book lovers who read for enjoyment, they are giving you a sneak peek into the thoughts of your reading audience. Book reviewers critique the finished product, beta readers’ help with the development of your product. As a book lover with a lot of books to read and very little time, a book that’s has been thoroughly edited has a better chance of getting a review.

Read Book Blogger’s review policies and submission guidelines thoroughly before submitting a book.

Policies and submission guidelines are created to ensure a smooth process. Book lovers/ book bloggers create policies and submissions based on preference and experience. For example not reading submission guidelines an author might submit their nonfiction book to a fiction reviewer’s blog. Also, some bloggers request books or galleys in formats that support their devices. Sending the wrong format may delay your review and as an indie writer, your time means everything.

Remember to never lose your cool.

Most professional readers are readers who study the craft of fiction or literature. Writing a book is not an easy task, as a literature student, I understand the complexity of creating complex characters and making sure my plot is well-developed and consistent. As a book blogger to give a constructive review, one must separate those feelings of understanding and critique a book based on the product that is presented. One important piece of advice I received from a mentor is as a writer you must listen to all feedback and apply constructive advice based on your style. When I go on sites like Amazon and Goodreads and I see some authors respond negatively to unfavorable reviews, it deters me from reading that book. As an Indie Author creating a good positive image helps build a good brand and it lets the reader feel safe, to be honest with their favorite writers. Book Bloggers don’t enjoy giving unfavorable reviews but giving constructive criticism helps writers write better books.

You can get a list of book bloggers that you can contact to review your books from sites like “The Book Blogger List and The Book Review Directory. Book Bloggers can help indie authors grow readership and improve on your craft...

Submitting a book to a book blogger is an opportunity to get unbiased feedback on your book without the conflict of interest when purchasing critique. So go check out The Book Blogger List Authors  and BeingAuthor.com Today!

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About the Author (@marvelustalent)

Writing and literature student and Book Blogger at LaFifeReviews. Ms. Fife has posted reviews online and an article on school readiness on her school’s website. Latoya Fife is a life long learner with a great passion for reading books and connecting readers to her favorites.

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“CAT LYON’S Reading & Writers Den” ~ Author, Catherine Lyon