Authors and Publishers: Six things to do immediately to get more readers and keep them


Easy ideas to help blogs… like mine!

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

We are in a battle for attention. Here are three things to consider today to get readers’ attention and keep it:

1. List posts, like this one, are popular because they are easier for readers to scan. (They’re also pretty quick to write.)

2. There’s a good chance your blog posts are too long. Mine often have been. I changed that once I realized how few people give blogs a deep reading. You probably aren’t reading this. You’re scanning this for what you can use.

3. I put the font for this blog in bold after a few readers complained the font was thin. Some readers, either because of their devices or their eyesight, still had problems reading the font. I bumped it up again.

4. When you write a blog post, you often have the option of adding links outside your blog. Click the underlined word and blog readers…

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The Castaways Take Off!!


The Castaways Radio Show Debuts Tonight! #castaways #dyingdays #ike

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Greeting dudes and chicks!…Tonight’s the Night!!!

The first radio broadcast by The Castaways (Armand Rosamilia, Becky Pourchot and me) will air tonight – Friday, July 26 – from 7:00 – 10:00 pm on Surf 17!!!

Our program will be dedicated to the artistic and creative side of Flagler Beach and beyond.

welcome to flaglerOur first show was recorded Tuesday and considering we had no appreciable radio experience and no rehearsal time we had a blast. We had no idea what we were doing, but we stumbled through it anyway! Since it was our introductory show, we naturally took some time to introduce ourselves – and then we moved on to cover a range of topics from our personal writing preferences to some advice to aspiring writers.

Mixed in among the talk and the shenanigans we also played some good songs.

You can listen to us wherever you are simply by tuning in…

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Interview with an American Hero


Very cool post from author Tim Baker… read it. Now.

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This story began in 1970 when I was ten-years-old.

I purchased a P.O.W. bracelet, which I still have. About a year ago, a friend suggested I try to locate the man named on the bracelet…

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                Not only did I try, I succeeded.

            Captain Leon Ellis, as he is named on my bracelet, and I exchanged several emails and as it turns out, he has gone on to do amazing things with his life.

            After being shot down Capt. Ellis spent more than 5 years in North Vietnamese prison camps. Upon his release, he remained in the Air Force and eventually retired as a Colonel. In civilian life he decided to draw on his experiences as a POW to write an amazing book called Leading With Honor.

            In the book, Lee uses the unimaginable things he and the other captives endured to teach invaluable lessons in…

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My interview with Armand Rosamilia


Here is an older interview I did just now making the rounds!

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Name: Armand Rosamilia

Age: 42

Where are you from: Born and raised in New Jersey. Newark and then a little fishing village called Belford growing up.

A little about myself: I’m not as gruff as my pictures might lead you to believe. I am also very fast for my size, and I can sing like a hummingbird. Actually, not much of that is true. Sadly.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Where to begin? The Miami Spy Games series will be launching fully very soon after the first short story did quite well, with 13 in total coming this Fall. I have so many more projects coming out it is quite an exciting time for me. Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days is my latest.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started as a kid, writing really bad Koontz rip-offs that made no sense. Now…

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This is the Tale of Our Castaways


I got a radio gig! As if I’m not all over the place as it is!

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Greetings dudes and chicks and all the ships at sea – I’m here to tell you about my latest adventure – so just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

It all began a few months ago when Armand Rosamilia, Becky Pourchot and I met a guy named Vern Shank at a local event called Entrepreneur Night. Over the course of the evening Vern told us that, among other various gigs, he was starting a new radio station here in Flagler Beach. Somewhere during the conversation Becky suggested that the three of us do a radio show dedicated to the Flagler Beach creativity scene.

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After three months and several discussions between Vern and Armand, the show will soon be a reality (not to be confused with a reality show).

Beginning on Friday, July 26th our show, “The Castaways: A Three Hour Tour” – will air on

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Social Media Marketing for Indie Authors (and Dummies)


Any blog post mentioning me is obviously worth reading, but this one is even worth it for the rest of the words!

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One thing I hear quite often from readers is that “writing a book must be hard.”

Well, it’s definitely not easy, but truth be told, writing the book is the easy part. It’s the “getting it out to the world” that’s the hard part.

Ask 10 Independent Authors about their marketing strategy and you’ll get 20 different answers.

The good news is, there is a ton of ways to promote your work. The bad news…you have to figure out which one(s) will give you the most bang for your buck.

I hang out with two other indie authors on a regular basis (Armand Rosamilia and Becky M. Pourchot) and we have devoted a lot of conversation time to the “best” marketing ideas. We’ve discussed ideas from newspaper ads to radio broadcasts, we go to art-related events regularly and we routinely harass local businesses into selling our books and…

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Authors and Bookmarks


Back in the early days of publishing (for me… we’re talking 2005) I always had a huge stack of bookmarks at my disposal. I did a new bookmark for every release I put out with Carnifex Press and every one of my own releases got the bookmark treatment with the website on one side and the book cover and ordering info on the other. Of course, when Carnifex Press went the way of the dodo I was stuck with about five thousand useless bookmarks. I guarantee there is a heavy box filled with them somewhere in my garage. It was also the last time I used anything other than a business card to promote my work. 

Author Tim Baker swears by bookmarks, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a handful of them in his pocket and within easy reach. Hell, if you even glance at him he’ll do this ninja move and put one in your hands. At some point I’m sure he’ll be so proficient in it he’ll be able to sever someone’s neck or slice through an Achilles heel. 

I’ll be the first to admit I’m firmly in the creative end of my writing career and ignore the business end to a fault. I’m sure it’s one of the many reasons I don’t have a new car, a real place to always live, and money in my pocket. I do earn a living doing this writing thing but sometimes it’s a stretch when you are borrowing a few bucks for gas or living off the generosity of others. 

Tim has been arguing with me for months about proper promotion. I’m arrogant when it comes to this as a career, but I also listen every now and then. Apparently my Special Gal was listening as well, because when I casually brought up the idea of doing bookmarks for my Fourth of July book signing at Kokomo’s Cafe in Flagler Beach Florida in the event I sold out of the handful of print books I had on hand, she immediately went into action. 

She might not be a creative type when it comes to writing, but she has a killer business sense and enjoys being creative when it comes to promotion and such. As a commercial property manager, she has to deal with signs, flyers, contracts, promotional items and so much more… and she took over for me when the bookmarks were mentioned. 

I love them. I don’t currently have a scanner or I’d add one into this post, but suffice it to say I am quite happy with what she did: she made me a Flagler Beach Fiction Series bookmark, with beach backgrounds, the first two print book covers and my contact information. And she designed it, got in touch with a local Jacksonville printer who did them within a few days, and I had them for my signing, where I handed out quite a few. 

AMENDED: Thanks to David Royall for scanning and sending me the bookmarks, which are now attached at the end of the post! 

But did it help? And will they help sell books? I’m still not sure. I know JA Konrath talks about any promotional items like bookmarks, pens and postcards as being nothing more than a waste of your money, but with the rules changing all the time and independent authors challenging what came before, I’m curious if this will be a great thing, or did I waste my money?

What do you think about authors using bookmarks and other promotional items to call attention to themselves, and does it sell your work? Really sell you as an author and put money right back in your pocket?

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