Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Important Benefits of Press Release Distribution

by Mickie Kennedy
eReleases /
Every once in a while someone on the Internet declares that
press releases are dead. Largely this is meant to attract
traffic and links. Being controversial is a great way to get
people talking. Often these "link bait" authors know they
are wrong and just want to stir the pot. Other times, they
want to position their own marketing product as the current

Long Live the Press Release

The problem is that the press release is still alive and
well, and even in this age of new media, press releases have
adapted to help companies get valuable publicity for
spreading their message. Today's press release still helps
companies get media coverage (even on blogs and podcasts
now), and they can also provide SEO benefits.

The benefits of press release distribution are numerous.

Here are 7 of them:

1. All businesses can benefit from press release
distribution. No matter what industry you're in and no
matter how small or big your company is, you can benefit
from press release distribution. Even if you don't have that
"Oprah story," you do have stories that can get you coverage
in trade journals, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and other
publications that cover your industry. Of course, you can't
get that publicity unless you tell your story.

2. Press release distribution is fairly inexpensive. Most
companies write their own press releases. The only expense
comes with hiring a press release distribution service to
get the story in the hands of key media members. But even
this is inexpensive, and when compared with paid
advertising, press release distribution is almost always the
more affordable option.

3. You can boost your company's visibility. This is
especially important for small businesses, but even large
corporations need to fight for consumer mindshare. By
sticking to a long-term press release distribution strategy,
you let customers know who you are, what you do, and why
they need you. You also gain the attention of journalists,
and over time, they start to trust you more and give you
more media coverage.

4. Press releases can establish you as an industry expert.
Why is it important to be seen as an expert? First,
expertise helps you gain the trust of your customers. Once
they trust you, they're likelier to buy from you. But being
an expert is also good for media relations. Whenever the
media needs someone to comment on a story related to your
industry, you want to be the one they call on.

5. Good press releases can spread far and wide. A while
back, I talked about the importance of targeting smaller
local media outlets. One of the reasons I gave is that most
major media outlets get a significant percentage of their
stories from local media outlets throughout the world.
That's how the news industry works. One reporter picks up a
story, and then it spreads from one publication to the next.

6. Use your news to get more customers. With today's online
press releases, the media is no longer the only audience
you're writing for. 80 million people get their news online
every day. Many of these people are your customers. So, you
need to keep your buyers in mind when writing your press
releases. And no, that doesn't mean turning your press
release into an advertisement.

7. Investors keep up with the news too. Press releases
highlighting the successes and advancements made by your
company can be powerful tools for attracting investors. Make
sure to set up an online news room on your website for
investors to browse through.

This article previously appeared in PR Fuel (, a service of Press Release Distribution (

About is the online leader in affordable press release distribution. The company's website - - features tips and resources for those wanting to learn more about press releases and public relations. eReleases also publishes a free, weekly newsletter titled PR Fuel that showcases advice and articles from experts in the media.
Business: 410-931-2966
Toll Free: 800-710-5535

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jules Vern predicted eBooks in 1863

This article was passed to me and I checked it out. How cool it is to have proof that sci-fi writers get it right before anyone else! So, here it is all you UN-believers in the science-fiction was of life.
Thanks so much Sophie for the share.

As your site is an authority on literature, I wanted to share this illustrated article with you which explores how many modern gadgets were being written about decades before they were invented:
From Jules Verne describing eBooks in 1863 to Nikola Tesla predicting the rise of the Blackberry a century ago, I'm sure you'll agree that the technological prophecies highlighted here are eerily accurate. As this fun look at tech predictions is of direct interest to your readership, you're welcome to freely share it on your site - a link back to as the original source would be highly appreciated when doing so.
If you have any content you would like me to share please do send it on to me for consideration.
Many thanks and keep up the great work,
~ ~

Author Spotlight: J.T. Barber

“In life, there are no real excuses.  The only limitations are the snares that one sets for themselves.  If you have a goal, go after it with ALL tenacity.  Claim it as if it is already in your possession.  If you are not happy with the return of your harvest……CHANGE YOUR SEED!”  ~J.T. Barber

Reflections of a Whisper - a novel by J.T. Barber

Have you ever wondered why a certain thing was happening to you?  Have you ever asked yourself, ‘How did I get here?’ 
Several characters in this book asked themselves these same questions.  One woman in particular, Minnie, is faced with the awesome responsibility of making decisions that will affect her entire family.  But what she has yet to realize, is that her entire family had made decisions, long before she was ever born, that would put her directly in this position.
Reflections of a Whisper is a thrilling journey that will lure you into a tale of secrets, love, and loyalty.  This first installment will guide you through a woman’s present, shielded from her past, as she carves out her future.

Author Bio:
Motivated by the words of the late James Brown, J.T. Barber conceived the question: Is it possible to make literature as universal as music?  A good song with great lyrics can pierce the hearts of many regardless of race, ethnicity or corresponding stereotypes.  With a burning desire to find an answer to her question, J.T. decided to test her own skills as a writer.  After several long years, J.T. discovered that she had birthed a hefty manuscript.  This manuscript would be later developed as a book series, which she is now ready to introduce to the world.  The first installment of the series, Reflections of a Whisper, is due to be released September 24, 2011.  It is J.T.’s optimism that readers of all ethnicities will be touched in some way by this story and it’s ensemble of characters, hoping to help us all redefine the colors of black and white.
J.T. Barber is a writer and firm believer in innovation.  She looks beyond invisible walls to search for answers to questions that no man or woman has been able to offer up.  She also invites readers to think outside the box, take a ride on a fantastic voyage as well as dive deep into the core of what it is to be human.  J.T. exposes daily living through riveting storytelling and has a passion to captivate an audience through sultry yet simple down to earth script!  She is compelled to share and impact the lives of all she comes in contact.  A public speaker by nature, J.T. moves crowds and has mass appeal as the “Author with a Vision”. 
J.T. Barber is a native of Philadelphia, Pa.  She started her writing journey in the eighth grade, with poetry.  J.T. went on to study Interpersonal Communication at the University of Delaware.  And after years of personal study and travelling the country, she has since returned to school to major in Business.  J.T. has found solace in cities like Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, Las Vegas, NV and Seattle, WA.   But she thought it to be important to return home to Philadelphia to embark on the next great journey in her life, becoming an author.


For more information, visit:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Romancing Your Darkside #3: A. Jacob Sweeny

First I would like to thank Patti for letting me guest blog on this page. I will include a small introduction to my novel Pulse of Heroes and then share some of the inner workings of my mind.

Pulse of Heroes weaves together elements from several different genres: romance, suspense, myth/fantasy, paranormal, history and at its core, a heroine’s journey and transformation. A. Jacob Sweeny has crafted a true and sensitive coming-of-age narrative of a quirky teenage girl protagonist becoming a confidant young woman with her own voice. At the same time, she draws the reader into a gripping adventure filled with fantastic historical elements and the crushing intensity of first love. Pulse of Heroes is a YA/crossover novel with memorable characters and several story arcs. It has a multi-cultural perspective with characters from around the globe, and a prominent female point-of-view. It is the 1st installment in The Pulse series.

Here are excerpts from Pulse Of Heroes latest reviews…
“I love this book! Move over Edward and Bella, a new power couple has hit the scene! Michelle and Elliot from Pulse of Heroes by A. Jacob Sweeny will give Stephanie Meyer's characters a run for their money! I have read so many books, and it takes a lot to knock my socks off but A. Jacob Sweeny did just that! With her original storyline and unforgettable characters she has an award winning series in the making.” 
- Dawn Hagan, I love Books Blog-page- 

“Sometimes I will come across a novel, which I classify as a rare jewel: a book that captivates me from beginning to end… an amazing story that it is impossible for it to not capture my heart and Pulse Of Heroes is a rare jewel. There are only two other series' that I consider rare jewels: the Twilight series, and Vampire Academy ... I was wondering when the next book would come along that would really pull me in, make me feel emotionally attached to the characters, make me care about them in such a way that I would think about them weeks, months after I had finished reading the story and Pulse of Heroes did just that.”
- Treasured Tales For young Adults Blog-page-

“I have been waiting for a book to come along that has a new paranormal twist to it, Pulse Of Heroes is exactly that book! This book made me laugh, I wanted to slap characters, hide or cry out for help, and most of all it made me cry. Happiness, loss, pain, terror, and true love brought on an arsenal of tears that I couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. I am absolutely on the edge of my seat for the next installment of this powerful moving series. I loved this book the same way I loved Twilight and The Hunger Games. The author signed my book "Enjoy the adventure and fall in love a little too". Her words were far shortcoming of what I experienced. Mirabolante the Italian word for astonishing is only cracking the surface of the multitude of words I really want to use.”-Anne, Paranormal Book Club-

Why I wrote Pulse of Heroes?
My true love is Ancient History, young people, and telling stories. The genesis of writing Pulse of Heroes came to me after I decided to no longer pursue a teaching career as a history teacher. Yet, I still loved telling stories about history and about all the connections that the ancient world has with the present. For example the fact that the word ‘sugar’ is a direct link to the ancient Sumerian word ‘sukar’ which meant beer/sweet in ancient Mesopotamia. It was later transferred into Hebrew to mean beer and later sugar in the Old Testament, and hence we still use it today. My other goal was to construct a coming of age story of a regular teenage girl; one that has dreams, insecurities and strengths, like any other young adult. It was after I finished writing a historical screenplay, that the seed of a novel implanted itself in my brain.

I wondered how I was going to present all these elements in a story without boring young people to death, or scaring them away, or without being preachy, or overly academic. And most of all I did not want to write a historical Fiction tale. Not to mention that I also wanted to convey a gut wrenching passionate romance where readers could actually taste the tears of feel the passion and the love.  Yet I didn’t want it to seem cheap or overly cheesy.  I also sought to present sexuality in a more neutral ‘organic’ setting. No sluts or virgins scales. That was when I came up with the love story between Michelle and my beautiful immortal guys (I had them in my mind for years but with no story) who have lived for thousands of years and have been personal witnesses to many things around the world. I then wove this idea to a coming of age story of sixteen year old Michelle because I wanted to present a strong female voice rather than a helpless girl waiting to be saved. I have her falling in love with Elliot who is one of the immortals, and through him and his relationships with his immortal friends that come from around the world, that the reader gets exposed to the treasures of the pasts. 

A. Jacob Sweeny holds a degree in History with an emphasis on Ancient Near East. Her immersion in world myths and her archaeological fieldwork provided the initial spark that led to the development of Pulse Of Heroes. Besides writing, A. Jacob Sweeny is a strong advocate for the protection of women and children worldwide. She enjoys cooking spicy food and regularly suffers from bouts of creative insomnia.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Changing Roles of Authors and Publishers in a Digital Marketplace

By Donald Jacques, President, Az Publishing Services, LLC

As the opportunities to reach out over the digital network of the Internet have exploded in recent years, and with the recent severe down turn of the economy, we find that the impact of the large publishing houses has shifted dramatically.  As a result, the roles of all those involved in the publishing industry have rapidly changed, and are continuing to evolve every day.

The Author

The role of the Author has grown over the past few years, particularly with the opportunities available to reach out to readers directly through websites, blogs, and social media.  This market is hungry for new material, and the nature of the Internet offers wonderful opportunities for the author to be able to research, compose, compile, market, and distribute their work.

However, Authors are asking for trouble when they offer "too much" of their work for free.  These Authors must realize that in order to make ANY return on their investment, they must market their works in a reasonable manner.  This means acknowledging and engaging methods of selecting scenes from their work to offer for free that will entice readers to purchase that work.  As authors offer complete works for free – with no "up sell" price, they inevitably devalue their own work, and potentially the work of others.  There is nothing wrong with offering some things for free to get readers' attention – but beware, when readers get used to getting large quantities of work for free, they will – as a group – begin to expect more of it for free, ultimately making it more difficult for all authors to make a decent return on their investment of time to develop the work in the first place.

The author's role in publishing a work includes:
  1. Performing the research, whether fiction or non-fiction, don't cheat the readers by releasing shoddy work with poor research of the subject matter.
  2. Write well, whether fiction or non-fiction:  Learn to compose prose or poetry with well-planned segments that follow well-established guidelines that have shown good results in the past.  Readers have not changed much in the last thousand years; they still expect reasonable reading material, or they will discard it.  And once burned by an author, it is a hard sell to get them to return.
  3. Trust in Professional editors.  Be willing to pay for at least one such professional edit BEFORE submitting the manuscript to a publisher – or agent.
  4. When an editor returns the manuscript with suggested changes, be a good sport and at least review them.  Chances are, at least half of the recommended changes are well worth the time to make, and ultimately the manuscript will benefit greatly.
  5. Work with a publisher.  A Reputable publisher.  Talk to other authors, and get recommendations (see Publisher role below).  Whether selecting a Traditional, Vanity, Print on Demand, or Subsidy publisher, be sure the choice is well thought out.  Publishing a book is NOT cheap.  And if anyone says so, they are lying.  Period.  A publisher interested in publishing your work (for pay or not) will have steps for the author to follow, and rules to comply with.  Trust the reputable publisher, and follow their guidelines.
  6. No matter what anyone tells you, the author must take a very active role in their own marketing and publicity or they may as well not get into this business of authoring in the first place. Once upon a time, the publisher took care of all this, but that was before the economic instability of our country and that of the large corporations, such as the Big 6 Publishing Houses, started buckling under their own weight. If you are not a marketing person, then get educated from online sources or books written by the experts.
The Publisher

The Publisher's role has changed by diverging into multiple market segments as digital technologies have brought printing costs down, and introduced Print-On-Demand opportunities for both authors and readers.  New vendors have been able to introduce new service options, and allowed the shark to become harder to detect when shopping a manuscript.  Currently there are four (4) major types of publishers:
  1. Vanity – A vanity publisher is characterized by the simple point that they will print whatever the author gives them, and they will just as easily give the author the bill.  Seldom if ever is there any editing, relevant cover design, and almost never is there any marketing.  Be wary, as some of these publishers will use a detailed contract to steal the author's rights to the work.  Print shops are also included in vanity publishers, not because they own any rights as a publisher, but because they do the production and publishing services involved in printing books.
  2. Subsidy Publishers – A subsidy publisher publishes the author's work for a price.  However, unlike vanity, a subsidy publisher will often provide the author the opportunity to purchase editing, cover art services, and sometimes offer distribution beyond their own website.  Generally, subsidy publishers print using web presses, and seldom print less than 500 or 1000 copies of the book.  These services can be very expensive to the author.  A subsidy publisher will recommend editing, cover art, and marketing elements, but will leave them up to the author to either pay for, or execute themselves.
  3. Print-On-Demand Publishers – POD publishers are similar to subsidy publishers except that POD publishers will typically print only the number of copies of the book the author desires – anywhere from 25 up to 500 copies.  Reputable POD publishers will recommend a web press for quantities above 500 or 1000.  POD services are usually less expensive than subsidy, because they print in smaller quantities, but be aware that the cost per book will always cost more when fewer are printed.  A POD publisher will recommend editing, cover art, and marketing elements, and may offer these services, but will leave them up to the author to either pay for, or execute themselves.  Some POD Publishers are now developing or connecting with digital distribution networks, and even engaging in limited marketing efforts to assist their authors.
  4. Traditional Publishers – It used to be that traditional publishers would accept an authors' manuscript, and pay for editing, cover design, marketing, even include book tours, and an advance payment to the author.  Times are changing, and advances are increasingly reserved for celebrity authors, or authors with an existing sales history.  Also falling by the wayside is the book tour and marketing.  More and more, traditional publishers are setting aside marketing due to budget constraints.
The reputable publisher's role is to guide authors into the readers' market by facilitating authors' efforts in:
  1. Offering constructive acceptance/rejection when a manuscript is submitted.
  2. When accepted, the publisher should facilitate their own editing services.
  3. Encourage the Author to apply appropriate edits.
  4. Facilitate selection and/or design of a cover that relates to the content within.
  5. Provide ISBN for digital edition books, and ISBN/barcode for printed books.
  6. Provide solid book layout, and printing services to the author.
  7. Provide guidance to the author to market themselves, and their book,
  8. Provide guidance and/or services for website and/or blog development,
  9. Provide distribution through at least Amazon, the Publisher's site, and other channels as available and reasonable for Author's market niche.  Brick and Mortar chains aren't practical anymore – except to Traditional Publishers with deep pockets.
  10. Provide reporting of royalties earned, and appropriate tax documents.
A final word about the national chain book stores: These chains typically deal only with the big 6 traditional publishers who can deliver large quantities of their books on consignment and pay premium prices for floor and shelf space within the bookstore.  These larger chain stores typically hold a book on the shelf for a "sales window" of between 3 and 6 weeks.  If the book does not sell in this time, it is removed from the shelf to make room for newer books and is shipped back to the publisher at the publisher’s expense.  While web bookstores offer the opportunity to keep a book available, any book is quickly lost in the sheer volume that such a chain bookstore must maintain.  Attempting to maintain this volume is beginning to take its toll on these bookstores and the "sales window" for a book is continuing to dwindle. Such online powerhouses, like Amazon has become saturated with every conceivable book, no matter if it is sellable or not. It has become very difficult to find those diamonds in all that rough writing. Your job as an author is to provide those diamonds by gaining qualified editing, find quality book production, and then make educated choices in your marketing plan. 

Donald Jacques - 
I have been an observer all my life, and since turning 50, I find myself noticing some things that never seemed to matter before.  Follow these observations in my Blog: Reality Check.
My interests are many and varied, but two are close to my heart.  Space is our next frontier, and we are sorely in need of new heroes and villians we can love and hate.  The Space Settlement Corporation is not just a hobby anymore, but an effort to bring together people who actually wish to go to space.  Check out the Space Settlement Corporation.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Authors Supporting Authors: Stacey Kennedy

*waves* I’m a multi-epublished author and have been published for a year. Epublishing was a good first step for me. Seeing that I had no experience writing, except for what I learned in college, I needed a mentor. I found that in epublishing. Every editor I worked with taught me more and I gobbled up everything they had to show me.

Months after my first story was released, I had written an urban fantasy romance, Stolen Dreams. I shopped it around to epublishers and also print publishers, but got a big fat rejection from each of them. I happened to disagree. I loved this story and believed in it! So what did I do? I hired an editor and self-published it. To my surprise, it went straight to Amazon’s Bestseller list.

Trust me when I say I was shocked and thrilled! At the same time, an opportunity presented itself. Sure, my bank account loved me, but I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by. I did something that I never thought I’d do. I pulled the story from distribution. Why you ask? Because now, I had a history with the story, a fan base and felt more confident about it.

Long story short, I shopped the story around to a few of my dream agents. I’ve always wanted to be represented and to eventually sell a series to New York. It turned out that this story wasn’t exactly right for the agents, but in fact, had found a perfect home at Ellora’s Cave—an epublisher that I’d been trying to get into for some time. I was ecstatic with that outcome.

However, this story introduced me to Lauren Ruth, an agent at BookEnds. She loved my voice and style. WOO HOO! From that introduction, she offered me representation. Yes, I happy danced all over the place. I’m so excited to work with her and see where it takes me.

Where am I going with this?

Taking chances is the best advice I could give to any aspiring author. Even though, Stolen Dreams was selling well, I took the opportunity and used it to my advantage. That story not only got me into Ellora’s Cave, but was how my writing got in front of an agent, who eventually signed me. If I hadn’t self-published the story, simply forgot about it because it’d been rejected, none of this would never have happened. The last piece of advice is write for fun! Your love of a story always come through. My latest release came from the result of my being exhausted from writing a full length novel. It’s a humorous, paranormal romance that made me laugh the whole way through. Sometimes, authors need a break to remind themselves why we love what we do and just to make it as fun as possible.

A witch with unruly magic, a demon gone good, lava-hot passion and a tornado of emotions–just another night in Strange Hollow.

For Bryanna, a witch from the Asheville Coven, magic is on the fritz. Shunned by her coven and her boyfriend Layton for her unruly magic, she seeks a new life for herself. It just so happens, fate steps in and brings her to Strange Hollow–a place where being different is not only acceptable, but encouraged. When Bryanna arrives in Strange Hollow, Zeke, a demon gone good, is burning with Hell’s fire over her. Not only has she set his world ablaze, but he’s found one soul he can save. He’s determined to free her from the insecurities that have damaged her soul. Together they experience lava-hot passion as they weave their way through a tornado of emotions. But when Layton returns for her, will Zeke’s attempts to break the unworthy cage woven around her be enough to keep her in Strange Hollow forever?  
Whatnots & Doodads buy link - -
Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance Ebooks Bestseller lists. If she isn’t plugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got her nose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband. Be sure to drop her a line at, she loves to hear from her readers.

SECRET WISHES, Pact of Seduction Book OneCOMING SOON with Loose Id
SUPERNATURALLY KISSED , A Frostbite NovelCOMING SOON with Ellora’s Cave