Friday, September 28, 2007

Author's Corner features Jim C. Hines

The Street Smarts Marketing Author’s Corner is pleased to introduce Jim C. Hines.

Mr. Hines made his first professional fiction sale with "Blade of the Bunny," an award-winning story which appeared in Writers of the Future XV. Since then, his short fiction has appeared in places like Realms of Fantasy, Sword & Sorceress, and Turn the Other Chick. He's written four books for DAW, including the popular goblin series.

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)
I'm a 33-year-old father, husband, and geek who started writing back in college. I couldn't bring myself to finish a five-page term paper, but I wrote a 100,000-word novel in my free time. That was a bit of a clue. It wasn't a very good novel -- the first one never is -- but it was enough to get me started. And once I started submitting and collecting a few rejections, the stubbornness kicked in. I was determined to break in, and I just kept submitting and practicing and learning whatever I could. That was twelve years ago, and I've been writing steadily ever since.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Well, the first published book came about when I was reading a fantasy novel from the monsters' point of view, which I thought was a brilliant idea. But the more I read, the angrier I got. Looking back, it may have been a wonderful book, I don't know. All I remember is she wasn't writing it the way I wanted her to. Finally, I got so frustrated I tossed the book away and started writing my own story. One month later, I had finished the first draft of Goblin Quest.

How many books have you written?
I've written eight or nine, but the early ones ... well, let's just call them my "practice books." If I'm lucky, those will never see the light of day. At this point, I have two books in print, with two more under contract with DAW.

How do you decide on their topic?
A lot has to do with consequences. Once I finished the first goblin book, I started thinking about the consequences of what had happened, how it would change my hero and his world. The books all stand alone -- I hate cliffhanger endings -- but at the same time, I don't believe anyone's story ever truly ends. I also tend to see images of certain scenes that make me do a full Keanu-style "Whoa." I may not know the entire plot of a book, but I'll know I want to get to that scene.

What works best to keep you focused and on track?
I write during my lunch break: one hour a day, five days a week. Occasionally I can squeeze out some extra time in the evenings or on weekends, but I've also got a full-time job and two young kids, so extra time is a rare and precious thing. The fact that I only have a limited amount of time to write seems to help me get started and stay focused. Also, deadlines help a lot.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
Yes. Mostly for love, though. Very few writers make Rowling-type money. And as frustrating as the writing can be, the feeling of getting a scene or a character right is a delightfully addictive thing.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?
I've done bookmarks, which I send out to bookstores and conventions. I've made the first chapter of each book available online. My publicist and I work to set up booksignings around the state. And of course I have a web site at and a weblog at

What are some unique methods?
I've tried a number of different things. I made up an online "What Goblin Quest Character are you?" quiz, which got picked up on a number of blogs. I made up Goblin Hero temporary tattoos for the second book, and they've been quite popular. And then of course, there was the "Save Jig from the Strippers" campaign. . . .

Do you sell through a website?
My web site includes Amazon links for every book and anthology I've done. I don't do direct sales, though.

Do you plan on writing additional books?
I'm currently working on book two in a new series, and I plan to keep on writing until . . . well, probably until I'm dead. Maybe longer, depending on whether or not SFWA decides to allow zombie members.

This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101 – and Kathleen Gage, The Street Smarts Marketer.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why write an eBook? Why not!

I found another excellent article that is well worth posting. eBooks can be a great way to get your information to market, build market visibility and credibility as well as generate revenues.

Pamela Jacob has done a great job addressing many of the benefits of eBooks and why you should add this to your marketing mix.


Why write an eBook? Why not!
By Pamela Jacob

I am getting ready to launch my second book. It is amazing how sharp and clear one can get when you write a book – it really sharpens you senses and your knowledge.

E-books can be wonderful tools and they are worth all the effort you put into them – when you take the time to write down what you are an expert at and compile what you know, you will be amazed at the breadth and depth of the knowledge you have in your own expertise.What an amazing way to let people know you are an expert in your field, it gives you such credibility.

What a fantastic way to promote your business while bringing in new streams of revenue…E-books production cost is inexpensive. Just think about it: you don't need a publisher, an agent, a printing press, offset film, ink, paper, or even a distributor.

You just need a great concept, the ability to write it or to hire a writer, and the right software.E-books are easily and rapidly distributed online. They are also easily updated; they do not require a second print run. All you need is to go into your original creation and modify the text or graphics. Because of this flexibility, e-books can change and grow as fast as you can type.

E-books are also immediately obtainable. You don't have to go to a bookstore or search through endless titles at an online bookstore. All you have to do is download it from a website, and presto! It's on your computer, ready to be read.E-books are interactive. This is one of the most unique and specific qualities that e-books offer. You can add surveys that need to be filled out, order forms for customers to purchase your products or goods, sound and video that draw your reader into the virtual world of your e-book, even direct links to relevant sites that will expand your e-book outward. The potential is virtually limitless.

E-books have a particular kind of permanence that other mediums do not possess. Television shows and radio shows air once, and then may rerun a few times. E-books remain on your computer for as long as your choose, and they can be read and reread whenever you choose to. They can even be printed out and stored on the shelves of your traditional home library.

E-books have no barriers in terms of publishing. You don't need to go through the endless process of submitting your manuscript over and over again, and then once you land an agent, having the agent submit your manuscript over and over again. Nor do you have to shell out thousands of dollars for printing a self-published book.

All e-books require is a writer and appropriate software. Figure out your market, write your book, post it on your website, and with the right business savvy, your audience will come to you.Finally, you have creative control over your e-book. You don’t have to compromise with an editor or the publishing trends of the time.

You don't have to haggle with a designer or wait for copy edited galleys to arrive by snail mail. You are in complete control of the design and the text.You and you alone have the resources and power to put your knowledge in an e-book. What a tremendous marketing tool you create when you put together an e-book.Don’t let a minute more pass you by! Start writing!

Pamela Jacob has been in the field of design and web development for over a decade. She is owner of Artista Design "Creating the Image You Need to Attract the Customers You want". She recently released her second book titled – The Ultimate Guide to Free Traffic – The key to your online success! Visit

I agree with Pamela. Just start writing.

In success,

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ten PR Secrets No One Will Ever Tell You

In order to stay current on the latest and greatest in my industry, I subscribe to numerous blogs, Ezines and information pieces. One Ezine that I particularly enjoy is Book Marketing Expert, by book marketing pro, Penny C. Sansevieri. Penny has some outstanding information for anyone interested in learning more about book marketing. Her information is practical, easy to understand and very valuable.

Recently Penny wrote an article that I wanted to share with you. There are some great pointers for anyone who is looking for excellent information on book publishing.

Ten PR Secrets No One Will Ever Tell You
Penny C. Sansevieri

When you're trying to pitch your book, the last thing you need is old, outdated or false information. PR and marketing guidelines change frequently, and what worked five years ago no longer works today. For some red hot publicity that will get you to the top of the pitching file, we've unveiled some PR secrets you won't hear anywhere else but here.

Trying to get on Oprah? Here are some things we're betting you never knew about getting on her show:
Sending samples and books to the Oprah Show is pretty standard fare for most publicity people but did you know that Oprah's producers actually prefer finding products or books on their own? Instead of pitching the show, why not pitch some publications in the Chicago area instead and let a Producer at the Oprah Show "stumble" on it themselves! If you think that Oprah's producers are just in Chicago, think again. The show is known for having "scouts" all over the country; this means that if you're in Seattle publicizing your book, you might just be getting on the radar screen of one of the most powerful shows on television.

And speaking of getting on a national show, we all know this can be great PR for your book, but did you know that if you don't have proper distribution it might dissuade a producer from featuring your book? You bet. By now most Producers are well aware of the avalanche of books that have inundated the industry. They don't want to look bad for picking a book or product no one can get, so be sure and add an info sheet in your media packet telling the Producer that your book is available nationwide.

Trying to decide when to send out your release? Well, timing does matter! If it's business related, avoid contacting the press between the 15th and 22nd of April, July, and October. That's when publicly held companies release quarterly earnings reports. As for days of the week, Monday is the worst day to send your release. The best day? Thursday. Thursdays are notoriously slow news days.

Got an event coming up? It might make more sense listing your event on craigslist rather than pitching it to local media. Why? Well, if your event is free you can list it on craigslist at no charge and you could potentially drive crowds to your event, as opposed to the sometimes hit and miss efforts from traditional publicity. A couple of things to remember are that you can't list events in multiple cities at the same time; the folks at craigslist check this periodically. Events are kept live on the site until the event date has passed.

Despite what some folks might tell you, faxes do not work. While it might be easy to toss a press release on a fax machine and start sending it out to some media contacts, I can guarantee you 99.9% of the time they'll be ignored and tossed. Do press kits really work? Well, yes and no. The days of the fancy press kit filled with equally fancy gifts are gone. In fact, more and more the media are paying closer attention to press kits that are more powerful in substance then they are in flash. So keep your press kit lean, mean and real - you'll not only save yourself a lot of expense but you'll probably get your book noticed a lot quicker.
Now the second piece to this is how valid your kit is. By "valid," we mean how much of the information is verifiable. When the media gets your kit the first place they might go to verify the contents is the Web. If your Internet presence doesn't match what your kit says about you, you've probably just lost the interview.

When you're pitching a magazine, many PR folk will tell you to pitch them six to eight months out. The truth is pitching times have shrunk -- we've seen magazines accept pitches with only a three-month window. Call first to check when a particular issue will close before assuming you've missed your window.

If you want to get into publications like The Washington Post or Newsweek, don't pitch them, blog on them. Both of these sites (and many other sites with high profile publications) have added a new "Blog Round Up" box on their sites. It reports on people who have blogged on their stories. All techie-babble aside, here's what you do: blog on one of the articles on their site, link it using a trackback link and submit this to This site will report back to these publications, and they'll link to you (and your site) and, voila! A feature on Newsweek or whichever publication you chose!

So you see, it's not always about creating the perfect pitch or press release. Sometimes it's about being unconventional, innovative and a tad adventurous. We hope our secrets help you unlock the powerful publicity kingdom! Wishing you Publishing (and publicity) success!

Visit Penny’s website at

In success,


Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Street Smarts Marketing Author’s Corner Features Elena Dorothy Bowman

This week’s featured author is Elena Dorothy Bowman. Elena writes in several genre's including: futuristic science fiction and mystery romance novels that have a touch of the paranormal running through them. Currently, she has written eight novels and one novella.

1. Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)?

I grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts with my parents and four brothers. Graduated from the local high school and went on to a secretarial school. It wasn't my choice, it was my parents. Since I was more interested in aeronautics I joined the local Civil Air Patrol to satisfy my obsession with flight, and yes, we did fly.

After graduating from the secretarial school I met and married my husband, and went to work for the United States Navy in Washington, D.C. with the Bureau of Ordinance. My husband, who is a Navy veteran, decided to enter Northeastern University, so we came back to Massachusetts and I took a position with the Department of The Army while my husband was earning his degree in Engineering.

After the birth of our second daughter I decided to stay home to raise our girls. In the following years the birth of my two sons added to our family. After the birth of our second son, we moved from my parent's home in Dorchester to our own home in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Due to financial problems I went back to work for an aerospace company, and in doing so, entered their college program to earn a degree in Engineering and Management.

Graduating with honors, I was promoted to a software engineer in their Missile Division. I tested, researched and wrote technical papers dealing with the work I was engaged in. Meanwhile, my children were growing up and each have entered various colleges and earned degrees in Engineering, Physics, Gemology, Film, while one decided to change disciplines and is pursuing a degree in Law. My husband and I worked for the same company for more than 25 years, and we both retired at the same time. I now write full time.

I have been writing for over thirty years. I actually started writing when I was a teenager, although I didn't submit any of it for publication. I started to write in earnest as a challenge to myself. I really wanted to see if I could write a full-length novel, not just short stories or the technical papers that I was working on. The only professional organization I presently belong to is the National League of American PenWomen where I am the President of the Merrimack Valley Branch of the NLAPW.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
I started writing fiction seriously during my lunch hours at work. I needed the diversion since most of my writing at that time was devoted to technical writing. With my first published novel, I guess it started with my smoking. Yes, I used to smoke. I don't now, haven't for many years. But one day while sitting in my office during a break, after a real rough morning, I lit a cigarette.

I watched the curled smoke from my cigarette rise toward the corner of the office disappearing into a crack in the wall. I watched this for several minutes wondering where the smoke was going. Was it just being swallowed up into the wall, or did it vanish into the nooks and crannies that were hidden from view and led to God knows where. Needless to say, my imagination took hold and before I knew it I was writing the first chapter to my science fiction/mystery/romance novel Sarah's Landing-I-Contact.

I have since taken the smoking aspect out of the story and replaced that part of it with a human being — the lead character — which ultimately led to the birth of four complete novels in The Sarah's Landing Series.

All four books in the series have been released in ebook format by Write Words, Inc., The print editions will be released by their imprint Cambridge Books.

3. How many books have you written?
At present, I have written eight full novels and one novella. All of my books have been published in ebook format by Write Words, Inc.'s Two are presently in trade paperback editions, with the others to be released by Write Words, Inc.'s Cambridge Books.

4. How do you decide on their topic?
With the first novel I wrote, I had already decided on a science fiction theme. Deciding on the title took more time than I thought it would, but I finally ended up with Sarah's Landing-I-Contact. I didn't expect to write a series, but that's what happened. Sarah's Landing became a four novel series. After I completed the first novel, the thought for the second, third, and fourth, novels just seemed to make themselves known and wanted to be written.

When the series was complete, I thought of trying a mystery, and that too, ended into a three-book series. The thought for another novel thrust itself forward when I wondered, what if the continent that existed in times past, didn't really completely disappear…that's when Time-Rift was born.

The novella was based on a true story.

5. What works best to keep you focused and on track?
When family members are busy doing their own thing and leave me be. Sometimes the afternoons are quiet enough to keep me focused. But now that the kids are up and out, as long as there isn't anything pressing, I can devote my time to writing.

6. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
Well I haven't been as successful as JK Rowling, so I guess it must be for the love of it. My husband says I'm obsessed.

7. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your books?
Book signings at major book stores, Press Releases, interviews with local newspapers and television stations, Library Author Days, postcards, gift shops and word of mouth.

8. What are some unique methods?
Through the Internet with all the available opportunities I find. Writer's groups, some paying, some not, blogs, MySpace, gather, and many other avenues.

9. Do you sell through a website?
No, I sell through book signings, groups meetings, book stores and gift shops, neighbors I catch walking around the neighborhood and any other place I can.

10. Do you plan on writing additional books?
Yes, actually, I am close to completing one book and have another in the works. I would say the one I am presently working on might be considered science fiction or paranormal. The other I have in the works is more of a historical novel which could end up into a series. I am not too clear on that at this point in time.

(You can visit Elena's blog at

This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101 – and

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Monday, September 17, 2007

One author's tip for marketing a book

Looking for a great way to get the word out about your book.

Author, Saundra Goodman has one piece of the puzzle working in her favor. Libraries. Recently Ms. Goodman, author of "Got Teeth? A Survivor's Guide" called her local library to inquire about presenting her book for purchase in their system.

When the head librarian ran a check on the ISBN# in their system she said two libraries had already purchased the book: the Mid-Hudson Library in New York covering five counties, and the Kitsap Regional Library in Washington sate.

"Well, blow me down - I was delighted," Goodman said.

The librarian went on to tell her that because the book is nonfiction, about oral health, and there's not much written about that subject she's going to explore buying her book for the local library.

No doubt it helped that two libraries already bought the book.Saundra recently contacted the Baltimore Regional Library in Maryland, which agreed to purchase copies of her book.

"Got Teeth? A Survivor's Guide" is a comprehensive look at oral hygiene, dentures, loss of teeth, care of teeth and just about anything the layperson would want to know.

Written from a patient's perspective, the book will answer just about any question you have on the subject of teeth. To learn more about Saundra Goodman and her book, "Got Teeth? A Survivor's Guide" visit and

In success

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fair Use on Quotes

Recently, I posted a question in a number of forum groups I am a member of to find out what the guidelines (and laws) are when you want to use a quote from someone famous in a book.

I have to say, ask a dozen people for an answer on something, you're likely to get a dozen answers. Some were factual answers, many were subjective.

The following response came from Peter N. Jones. Peter is the director of the Bauu Institute and Press

Here's what he wrote:

It depends on when the quote was said or "fixed in a tangible medium". If it is older than say 1922, the quote is most likely in the public domain and not subject to copyright.

However, if you are quoting a translation, it is the translation date that applied, not when the quote was actually said/fixed. So, quotes from say Cesear are in the public domain, but if the translation of the quote was done after 1922, then it is NOT in the public domain (the translator holds the copyright).

You can get away with using quotes if you follow the "fair use" doctrine, which basically states that if you are using the quote for certain purposes it is ok. Certain quotes from famous people of the 20th century are not in the public domain, despite the fact that the sayer has moved on - in these cases the estate owns the copyright and you must get pemission from them.

One example is Martin Luther King speeches (all of which are now owned by the estate). However, under fair use you can still quote his speeches if you do it right.Here is the fair use doctrine.One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords.

This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the Copyright Act (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” Although fair use was not mentioned in the previous copyright law, the doctrine has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years.

This doctrine has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;the nature of the copyrighted work;amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; andthe effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author's observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself; it does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of “fair use” would clearly apply to the situation.

The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered “fair” nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.

FL-102, Revised July 2006

End of response.

Thank you Peter for such a detailed answer.

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Speaker

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Author's Corner Features Hazel Statham

This week’s featured author is Hazel Statham. Hazel lives in Staffordshire, England. She started writing at fifteen and has written on and off ever since. She had her first two novels published in 2005. Currently, she has nine books completed with another in the works. Hazel has always been fascinated by history and writes mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras, although she has been known to stray into Medieval times.

1. Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

I live in the UK and have been enthralled by history for as long as I can remember. I felt a compulsion to write at fifteen and completed my first novel-length story at sixteen. The first was quickly followed by two more and I took my inspiration from the Brontes, Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. 'Jane Eyre' still remains my all-time-favourite and I think, subconsciously, there is a little bit of Edward Fairfax Rochester in all my heroes. Animals are my other ruling passion and until recently, I was the treasurer for an organisation that raised funds for animal charities. Over the years, we have owned everything from hamsters to horses and we currently share our home with a lovely Labrador named Lucy. I have a beautiful grandson named Daniel who spends a lot of time with me whilst his parents are working and we have a great time.

2. What inspired you to write your first book?
I don't really know. I read all the usual classic romances and suddenly found myself writing my own. I loved to create my own characters and situations and it was something I had done in my thoughts for years - I just started committing it to paper. It started to escalate when a work colleague began reading my work and encouraged the other girls in the office to do likewise and soon I found myself with a small readership.

3. How many books have you written?
Including the first three, which are now long gone, I have a total of nine completed with one still a work in progress.

4. How do you decide on their topic?
It has to be historical and set in the Georgian or Regency eras I know and love. 'My Dearest Friend' was inspired by a dream, whereas 'The Portrait' came from a line in a song from the film 'Hawks'. The Peninsular War inspires me and several of my characters are in some way connected to it.

5.What works best to keep you focused and on track?
I like to write when I am alone and there is complete silence.

6.Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
Definitely for the love of it. I write for myself and publication is just a huge bonus. I would write even if my work never saw the light of day.

7. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?
Self-promotion doesn't come easily to me but I have approached review sites for reviews and have arranged banner and book cover advertising. I live in the UK but have sent flyers (via other authors) to conferences etc. I have also given talks to book groups.

8. What are some unique methods?
For me, the Virtual Book Tour is quite unique. Living this side of the Atlantic, I am not able to attend book signing events and this gives me the opportunity to reach a wider readership.

9. Do you sell through a website?
My publisher's website, Amazon and Fictionwise.

10. Do you plan on writing additional books?
Writing is too much a part of me for me to stop now. It is a compulsion that will not be ignored and I am happier when I have a project under way.

This interview was done in conjunction with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours –

The Author's Corner is a weekly feature of The Street Smarts Marketing and Promotion Blog and Kathleen Gage, The Street Smarts Marketer.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How to Make Money Writing Free Articles

Part 3 of a 3 Part Article.
from Kathleen Gage

Case in point: Not long ago I was contacted by an editor for the largest trade journal for the specialty items industry. She asked if I would be interested in writing a review for the publication. Since it was a great market fit, I agreed.

When I inquired as to how she had located me, she said it was from an article of mine she had read online which directed her back to my website. She found my website to substantiate my professionalism and thus the desire to interview me.

I have also had countless radio interview opportunities that came to me by way of an article I wrote. Hosts are in need of credible experts. Articles offer them the opportunity to find much needed, articulate experts for their shows.

The point is not only does your article need to be top notch, everything that represents you does too; like your website or blog.

Although you may not receive payment for most of the articles you submit online, they may very well create paid opportunities. I make a very high percentage of my revenues from my writing. However, I utilize the opportunity to strategically post no-fee articles throughout the Internet, drive readers back to any number of my websites and mini-sites, and create opportunities for people to download a free resource in order that I can continue to keep my name in front of them.

Over time, I am able to sell information products, books, coaching and mentoring services and private consulting because I have built name recognition, credibility, expert status and most of all, trust. Although I was not paid for the initial writing, ultimately there is money to be made because I utilized the article writing as part of my long-term marketing strategy. Do you?

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Huge Make a Wish Foundation Fundraiser

How would you like to learn from industry experts like Yanik Silver, Willie Crawford, Stuart Tan, Anik Singal, Shawn Casey, Alex Mandossian and more.

On September 12th you CAN! Those of us who are presenting sessions on our areas of expertise are doing so for free with the goal in mind to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for The Make a Wish Foundation.

Here's what the headline of one media release read...

"Elite Group Of Speakers Raise Hopes And Funds For Children Battling Life-Threatening Illnesses"

"You, Too, Could Be A Wish-Granter And A Life-Giver Simply By Simply Lending An Ear During The Charity Tele-Marathon 2007!"

For details go to

Please join in. There is no cost to listen in and you can donate only if you want to.

In success

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Monday, September 10, 2007

How to Make Money Writing Free Articles - part 2

This article is part 2 of a 3 part series.
Continued from previous posting.

For Ezines, do the same search but replace “article directories” with the word “Ezine.” You can also look in Ezine directories for numerous listings specific to your topics and market.

Ezines are different from article directories. Directories may take articles in hundreds of categories while Ezines are targeted to specific topics and markets.

Be sure to utilize a very targeted approach for distribution of your articles to Ezines. For example, if you specialize in articles specific to pet owners, submitting to a business Ezine is likely to be a complete waste of time. Submitting to Ezines specific to pet owners will give you greater results.
The number of locations you can submit to it is almost unlimited. This in itself can create challenges. How do you know where the best location is? Spend time reviewing the directory or Ezine. Subscribe to the Ezine to find out how consistently it is distributed and review the quality of information included in the Ezine.

Look for quality when selecting locations for article submission. Virtually anyone can be published on the Internet, often with no restrictions. This means the quality of writing can be mediocre at best, and yet the writer still gains visibility.

Consider all of these are factors when you submit articles.

-Distribution and reach
-Ease of submission
-Demographics of readership

Another challenge is that some people use articles as a blatant form of advertising rather than a valuable resource of information to the reader. Avoid this temptation! Although you may gain in the short term, over the long haul you will be viewed as less than professional.

A huge benefit of posting to various article directories and Ezines is that your articles can and will be viewed by editors, publishers and journalists from many other publications, including trade journals, traditional publications, and radio and televisions producers. Many opportunities have been created by way of articles on the Internet.

(to be continued)

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Saturday, September 08, 2007

How to Make Money from Writing Free Articles

How to Make Money from Writing Free Articles (3 part series)
By Kathleen Gage

I work with many speakers, authors, trainers and consultants who want to gain visibility on the Internet and within their market. Many have heard they can achieve this outcome by submitting articles to various online directories and Ezines. Although this is true, there are pros and cons to using this strategy.

When done correctly, article writing and distribution can be an incredible tool for marketing a site, business, product, service or person.

The upside of online submissions is that in a very short period of time your article can be submitted to dozens, even hundreds, of online locations. In some cases, you will reach thousands of readers within hours of your submission. In some instances, your article will be visible on a site, directory or blog within minutes of posting. In addition, articles can remain online for an indefinite period of time, allowing for continued visibility for the author.

For those new to posting articles, finding locations can be challenging. To find directory locations simply do a Google or Yahoo! search with the words “article directories + your topic”. Replace the words “your topic” with your actual topic or market.

One of the most popular article directories is Christopher Knight‘s directory is by far one of the best you will find. There are others like it, so do your homework and you will find many directories that are a great fit for your articles.

(to be continued)

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Author's Corner features Nikki Leigh

The Author's Corner is presented by Kathleen Gage and The Street Smarts Marketing and Promotions Blog.

This week's featured author is Nikki Leigh. She is an award-winning author. Nikki has done promotional work for over fifteen years. When she signed the first book contract, she knew her marketing background was a big advantage. Her new book -Book Promo 101 is a way to share the things she's learned. It gives information about many types of promotion.

Tell us about yourself - where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)
I'm from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I started writing when I was a kid in school. But, I didn't get serious about getting back to my writing until about 15 years after I graduated. A woman suggested that I read The Artists' Way and that helped me to overcome so many personal concerns and doubts. At that time I joined an online writers' community and I dove back into honing my craft. In 2005, I was in a position to make a career change and I decided to dive into freelancing fulltime. That has allowed me to work on a wide variety of writing projects and it led to four business books and seven ghostwriting projects. This is in addition to my fiction books which are in print. When I'm not writing, I work with my business clients to do bookkeeping, promotional work and business consulting.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I started to form an idea for a book over twenty years ago and finally got back to work on it in late 2002. The story was coming together, but I couldn't figure out the right place to set the story. In 2001, I visited Cape Cod which was my first idea for a setting. On the same trip, I visited Cape Ann, Massachusetts and that's when the story really took shape. Since then I've released 2 other books set in that area and I'm working on the fourth Misty Cove book.

How many books have you written?
I have four novels in print, four business books in print. My first anthology, one novel is being re-released after some changes and my first author promotion book is being released this fall. I've created a writer's resource ebook which I plan to release in October. In my freelancing work, I've ghostwritten seven books - five promotional books, a novel and a restaurant management book. One of my recent freelancing clients is talking about putting my name as a co-author on the book I wrote for him.

How do you decide on their topic?
My business topics and ghostwriting topics were based on my business and promotional experience. I use that experience to choose the projects I want to work on. All of my novels are centered near the coast and lighthouses. I enjoy history, the coast, lighthouses and the lifesaving service, so I work these topics into my novels.

What works best to keep you focused and on track?
Deadlines and the desire to see the project completed are two great ways to stay focused. With my freelancing, bills coming due also keeps me focused to finish projects.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
I tell people that my fiction is a labor of love. At some point, I'd love for my fiction to pay better, but I'm still building readership and visibility at this point. Although my promotional launch for my Cape Hatteras mystery has helped to propel my sales in the last few months. My business and promotional books are more about making money since my freelancing keeps the bills paid. My author promotion book is a combination of the love of writing and making money. It's an awesome chance to share the things I've learned over the last 16 years in promotional work.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?
I have an extensive website which features information about each of my books, the settings, the characters and much more. It also has writing and promotional articles for writers and readers. I've attended some writer's events and have held a number of online chats. I send press releases about my books and special events. I've got several online message boards that I use to promote my books. I offered to moderate a panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book which helped me meet a lot of people and I had a chance to brainstorm with Dr Bill Bass (of the body farm) and Jeffrey Deaver. In October, I'm scheduled with a couple of friends to do a workshop about setting development in stories. In the past, I've taught a series of character development classes that developed and I'm hoping to rework the classes to offer again in the near future.

What are some unique methods?
I'm the Self Promotion Topic Editor on and this gives me good visibility. I've hosted a couple of chats for Inspired Author about writing related topics. When Lilah and the Locket was released, I planned a week at the beach (where the story is set) and I contacted my preferred businesses before the trip. I then visited these stores with the book and they are being sold in 7 stores along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For more information, visit A couple of years ago, I created a fundraising event for a local animal shelter and that's where Lilah and the Locket began. Details are posted at: Lilah and the Locket features a couple and their dog - the characters are based on a real couple and their dog. This was part of the Pets 'n Portraits event and has opened up interesting ways to promote the book and they just asked if I'd like to write a sequel - of course I said “YES!” I formed an author co-op and we promote one another and the group. The website is

Do you sell through a website?
I use my websites -, and there are links from to my sale pages. My books are also available on Amazon, Borders, Abe Books and I promote that they can be ordered at any bookstore. The ebook versions of my books are available on many online ebook sale sites.

Do you plan on writing additional books?
Most definitely. I'm working on plans for my next two novels, three short stories and the next book in my author promotional series and I have a new character who will be the focus of a series of short stories.

This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101 –

Monday, September 03, 2007

Good SEO information

SEO is something that is a deep mystery for many people. It can take quite a bit of time to fully understand. Just when you think you have it all figured out, there is more to learn. That’s just the name of the game with the Internet.

SEO simply means Search Engine Optimization. There is also SEM - Search Engine Marketing.

The fact is, some people make it much more difficult to understand than it needs be. Simply put SEO means you optimize your site for better position with the search engines. The more you are optimized the easier it is for your site(s) to be found.

There are things you want and need to do and other things you absolutely should not do.

There are also things that the layperson can do and with other aspects of SEO you may need to hire or contract an SEO expert to handle.

For some excellent information on the do's and don't's of SEO check out

In success

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

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