Allan Mayer’s Weblog

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I have been getting some very interesting comments recently through this blog. Take this one, for instance, from C.F. Jackson regarding my post on bookmarks:

 Great idea! Many authors get lost in doing those things that they can’t do and control. As a published author you’re now an entrepreneur who has to be in the mindset to “Always Be Marketing”.

 Whatever it is… let them know about you, your book, and how to find you.


Continue to make it happen! 
Won’t Be Denied,
C.F. Jackson.
So I replied:

Thank you so much C.F. Jackson for your encouraging remarks- my thoughts exactly. I wonder if you would like to contribute to my series: Tips from published authors. I am particularly interested in short articles on marketing from authors who have not gone down the ‘conventional’ path.

Best Wishes,

C.F. wrote back:
 Hey Allan,


 It’s my pleasure! I really enjoyed the insight you’re offering in a light and colorful way. I hope authors take the time to open up and do something new and different. I would love to add to your series. That would be awesome! ;o) Tell me what you’d like for me to do and we’ll help our fellow authors and writers succeed.

Thank you for the extraordinary offer…
I really do appreciate it.


Continue to have a great week!

 So I said:

Hi CF-

(Do you get called CF, or is there a name?) thanks very much for agreeing to contribute to my blog. My aim is to make it as varied as possible, so I’m asking for as many ideas on marketing as possible- particularly ones that have been found to work.
Have a look at the four ‘Tips from Published Authors’ posts on my blog. Send me something which says a bit about yourself and what you do, with a picture and picture of a book cover if that is appropriate. I’ll put it out with links to you.


 I particularly liked what you said about being an entrepreneur now- it hasn’t been quite put that way yet, but it is so true.


 My book is being published next week, so it will be all systems go. Thanks again for your encouragement- writing can be lonely, but I’m finding a big supportive network out there,


 Look forward to hearing from you,




Hey Allan,
It’s my pleasure! Many of my subscribers never thought about being an author as being a business or being an entrepreneur.


My desire is to open their minds to the bigger picture of being an author and all the benefits to creating a business.
Allan, I’ll be attending a 3 day conference on marketing online this weekend. I will be gathering some great content however you’re welcome to post any of the content on my site. I’ll provide you with each item you request early in the coming week. Yes, C.F. Jackson is the name I go by as an author and in business. One of the key things I learned is to ensure and keep everything easy to remember. ;o)


 I wish you much success with your book launch in the coming days and week. You have a topic that must be heard.
May I share a book marketing video series to you?  
Continue to have an awesome Friday!
 Live Life to Leave a Difference,
C.F. Jackson

P.S. Sign Up For Your Free Website
Makeover Workshop eCourse..




By this time it occurred to me that I was in touch with someone who really knew what she was talking about-

thank you so much for your generous offer and for sharing your gift with me. I’ve been listening to your ‘How to Market your book on the internet’ series- there are a whole bunch of new writers publishing POD books through YouWriteOn over the next couple of weeks who would find great value in these. Is it possible for me to share these through my blog/website- either the series, or if I could use the intro I could then point them to your site. I will also add a recommendation to the YWO message boards.

 Hope you are having a good conference,best Wishes,

C.F. replied:



Hope your week is going well. Today, I’m back on track after a 3 day weekend of seminars. Thank you for watching the video series and finding value in them and desiring to share them with other authors and writers. I would appreciate the sharing of the video with your community and with the YouWriteOn community.

I’ve attached the embed code for the first video that you can post into your blog posting for your site. Should you have any questions or any thoughts please feel free to ask.


So I set about embedding the video into this post, only to find that WordPress doesn’t support this. But never mind: what I will do is direct you to C.F. Jackson’s site, where there are all sorts of things for people wanting to promote their work, such as the How to Market your book on the internet.


 Go to:

 …but once you’ve been there, please don’t forget my humble little blog!


 C.F. Jackson is a website makeover trainer and a fellow author. She helps authors who are non techie / non web designers just like you understand and better utilize book excerpts, subscriptions forms, book reviews and videos on websites, to capture more subscribers, readers, and sells. She has helped many authors generate more sells and subscribers. With Website Makeover Workshop, you can more effectively sell online by learning how to market your book online by creating a website with a purpose. The question is this: What if everything you believed about your website was wrong?


 Won’t Be Denied,
C.F.  Jackson






The free site for self publishers


Today I noticed a referral to my blog from a new source: . Robert Kimber, self-published author of  Longlight and Call Monkeys has provided self-published and POD published authors with another way of promoting and selling their books.

This came out of a conversation between Robert and Gwenda, otherwise known as ‘Dogeared’ and ‘PinkFox’ on the YWO messageboards. If you have a book to sell, just click on the link above for more details.




It must be getting to me: the waiting, the constant search for new marketing ideas, the doubts about the quality of POD published books on some of the other blogs.

Last night I had a dream that my book had arrived. It had cost me about £20. The publisher (YWO) had not used my book cover but some insipid torquoise creation, and pages were falling out.

Even worse than that: the title had been changed. Instead of ‘Tasting the Wind’ it was now ‘Tasting the Christmas Carols.’ (OK you Freudians out there, if it had been ‘Tasting the Christmas Parsnips’ fair enough, but ‘Christmas Carols?’)

 But there was still worse to come: When I looked at the back cover I soon realised that it was someone else’s front cover, and that they had bound two books together…

I woke up in a sweat. So I’m taking a day off the usual subject, and today will mainly be blogging about…

                                                                      CUDDLY BUNNIES…



Now if Dean Koontz can write books in the name of his dog, I’m sure I can take time out to tell you about my furry friends.

Unfortunately Tilly (front right) and Snowy (back right) are no longer with us. To my great disappointment neither of them has yet done a Trixie Koontz and written a novel from beyond the grave. (OK, if you don’t believe me check it out at: )

The little one, smudge, is now eighteen months old and has already fathered twenty little smudges- most of them with the nose markings which gave him his name. We decided to draw the line at twenty- or rather the vet did- a sharp line in a very tender place. Since then, Smudge seems to have lost his competitive edge when it comes to priority at the food bowl, but he seems happy enough.

Fact is, when we bought smudge we were told he was a girl. We had bought her/him to provide a friend for snowy when our first rabbit, Bonnie, died from a tumour. Then Snowy went the same way.

One day I looked into the hutch. Smudge was lying on ‘her’ side, and I was shocked at what I saw. Surely we weren’t going to lose a third rabbit to a tumour in such a short time. Then I looked closer, the cogs in my brain began to turn, and I realised that a long fleshy object between a rabbit’s hind legs is not necessarily a tumour.

Next thing, Tilly was pregnant. Unfortunately she died giving birth, and left two babies. The success rate of hand-rearing is miniscule. We tried, but they only lasted a week.

We missed having Tilly in the house, as she was one of the most ‘spirited’ rabbits we had ever known. The house is ‘rabbit proofed’ but one day when Tilly was in the kitchen we heard a large crash. Tilly had jumped onto a chair, from the chair to the table then onto the top of the hutch- where the treats were kept. We got to the kitchen to see a guilty looking Tilly scampering across the table, and a very happy Snowy helping herself to the contents of a packet of bunny-chocs which were scattered across the kitchen floor.

Keeping a succession of house rabbits has taught me that each one has its own distinctive character. We now have Smudge, Dusty, and their baby, Brandy. Each one is  totally unique in character, but as yet not one of them has demonstrated a talent for novel writing.

I live in hope.

Information overload? Take a moment to go 'Ahhh.'

Our house rabbits Dusty and Smudge had a litter of nine earlier this year (which came as a surprise because we thought that Smudge was a girl!) For those of you who are suffering from information overload I’ve put this on to make you stop and go ‘Ahhh’ before you continue on your relentless quest through cyberspace…

Hope that feels better, now onto the blog…

I will be writing more about blogging, but just a quickie to draw your attention to Julia McCutchen’s website ‘The Writer’s Journey’  and her  ‘ask the author’ teleseminars.

On Thursday 27 November at 8pm (UK time) there is one about blogging, and its importance as a marketing tool for people who are self-published or who have published through small presses.

You have to register for a place on the live seminar. To do this costs £15, which includes a copy of the event on MP3.

If you are a cheapskate like me don’t worry, there are lots of freebies on Julia’s website, and if you sign up you will receive her regular inspirational newsletters.

You can find her at:

Thanks to Lucy Fox for this contribution. I’ve included it in the ‘Tips From Published Authors’ series as next month she will be one, thanks to YWO. 


Hi Allan, Just popped in to add a couple of things I found to help market our books.

Before I add them, with regards to the article asking why we don’t ‘cut out the middle man’ and go direct to Lightning Source, I have this to say. From what I can gather, only publishers, NOT authors are allowed to sign into their site, let alone try and get anything published off their own bat, and, as authors,not publishers, we most certainly aren’t allowed to buy an ISBN.

Legend will be doing a great deal more than ‘just getting an ISBN’ for us. There is masses of work to be done before Lighting gets hold of our precious babies. Especially with regard to word submissions, as Lightning do not accept books in this format. There are also many different covers to be generated for those who haven’t submitted their own.

Also getting back to cost. £39.99 is nothing when you consider that YWO/Legend will be supplying the obligatory library copies. Other companies charge £50 just for that service. If we were eligible publishers and bought our own single ISBN it would cost over £100!

Anyhoo, that’s my ha’pence worth. Here are a couple of things that may be of interest:
Quite a lot of info links from this page.

One way to promote your writing is through book signings. Here are some suggestions:

– Develop a strategy.

 – Collect reviews,blurbs and reader comments.   These may get the interest of some bookshop managers.

–  Gather names, addresses, and phone numbers From the Internet of stores you think would be interested in your book . 

 – Speak to the  bookstore managers by telephone. Tell them that you are local author, and that your book is in their system.
– Ask if you can arrange a book signing. Have your  ISBN ready, and your diary- the manager or their in-house worker will organise the event.

As my book is for children, I will be approaching schools. I have the invaluable help of a teacher who is going to give me instuctions on how to go about it. I’ll pass it on when I know.

Also, try this link- 
I’m still looking for ways to get noticed.  I have lived in quite a few places, so I will see if I can plug it there.  I’m even having my sis promote it in the States.  She works for one of the biggest law firms in Chicago and is going to put it on their network that goes around the world.  I’m going to send a copy to the truck stop Dysarts in Maine and the motel in Prince Edward Island where I wrote a load of it before I got on the plane home.  Also, I must fish out the example press release I found on Dan Poynter’s website.  Maybe you could go and look at his site yourself.

and this blog

Toodle Pip and keep up the good workxx

Good luck to all in your endeavours.


If you haven’t stumbled upon it yet I would highly recommend ‘Stumbleupon.’ All you have to do is Google it, download the tool bar and fill in the questionnaire about your interests, and when you click ‘Stumble’ you will be presented with a page geared to what you are into. I have subjects such as writing, literature and humour in my list. It can be quite addictive, and I’ve also stumbled on pages with free writing resources such as:

50 Awesome Open Source Resources for Online Writers

Writers’ Digest 101 Best Sites

and ‘Authortree’

You also find little gems like this:

19 Things That It Took Me 50 Years To Learn
By Dave Barry…

1. Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings”.
3. There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”
4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
5. And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories, decides to deliver a message to humanity, He WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.
6. You should not confuse your career with your life.
7. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
8. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
9. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
10. Never lick a steak knife.
11. Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.
12. The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.
13. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
14. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
15. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.
16. “The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.
17. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
18. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
19. Your friends love you anyway.

Thought you’d like that. Til next time…

This is my ‘promotional picture’ take 342. (It took me ages to get one that looked ‘cute.’)

I’ve been adding my details to all sorts of social networking sites with a view to promoting my writing. An unexpected side effect of this has been the number of e-mails I’ve received (particularly from Bebo) from women who want to complete my sexual education.
The funny thing is that each time I’ve been asked to delve into my Bebo inbox (oo-er matron) I’ve found myself thinking ‘could this be a publisher…’ only to click and find that it’s Kylie, or Sheena, or Lola, and that they are all feeling horny… for me!
I was even thinking of unsubscribing from FaceBook, which seems to be sending me increasingly juvenile notifications. But then I got one which said that I had been ‘reviewed for dating’ and that one person considered me ‘Cute.’
Then I got this absolute gem:
In total, you were reviewed for dating 84 times and one person expressed interest in you. You are more desirable than 44% of 37,372,809 people. Recently you were viewed 8 times and no people expressed interested in you
Wow! How reassuring is that! There are more than 44% of almost forty million people who are bigger mingers than me. Thanks FaceBook, I will sleep well tonight.

Cute? This is what I really look like…

(This is me ‘on the pull’) 

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