Friday, March 7, 2014

What Makes You Want To Write?

This post if for my readers who also happen to be authors. If you are like me, you have that one song that has the right music, the right beat, that gets your fingers moving across the keyboard. One song that gets me writing, (because I write books mainly about bad relationships) is  The Worst by Jhene` Aiko.
I am greatly inspired by different genres of music. I pick the type of music that matches my mood. Nothing special.
If I am in a real pissy mood, I pick a song that matches that. (It seems like this mood helps me to write some of my best scenes by the way :)
What kind of music do you write to?
What makes you want to write?
Please share your comments below.

 Until next time,

P.S. Have you joined my mailing list yet? If you haven't already, what are you waiting for? Sign up here.  I'm giving away something special just for joining me.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's Hard To Build A Brand

Branding is one of the hardest things a business person has to face. But not taking the time to do it could actually cost you your business.

I hate branding.

Yes, I said it!

It takes way too much time and effort.

The problem is if you are not sure early on exactly what you want your message to be, you will find yourself being very frustrated and very confused. You will also start sending mixed signals to your audience; and eventually they will not want to follow you anymore.

I speak from experience.

I started out in 2004 publishing books. I started a company called Blackberry Literary Services.

I knew from the start that I wanted to become known as the person that people could come to that were serious about publishing their own books.

So, I came up with a slogan and a logo and I began to put those on everything.

I had my elevator speech down pat.

People knew me as the person who had them covered when it came to self-publishing.

But then a few unfortunate things happened to me in my life that caused me to doubt my business.

I started focusing on other things.

One week I was the book publisher.

The next week I was the invitation girl.

After that, I was the nursing assistant.

You see, I had branded myself as the self-publishing expert in Flint.

But then I started trying to become something else.

So, when people would say "don't you help people publish books," I would say, "yes, sometimes."

Soon, my referrals stopped. People weren't telling their friends about me anymore.

I went from making $5,000 a month, down to nothing.


I had built a brand, then destroyed it with my own hands (and mouth).

That's why I say that building a brand is hard and I hate doing it.

You can't change your mind, or else you have to change the whole damn thing! (Pardon my french.)

That is why it is so important to make sure that the business you go into is one that you won't get bored doing, and is one that has a strong customer base.

'Cause we all know that when the customers dry up, so does the moolah.

And if your business is not bringing in the cash, you don't have a business.

Since then, I have changed my business structure, but now I have learned that you don't have to put your eggs in one basket.

I have learned that I can still be the book girl, and when people come to me with things outside of what I do, outside of my brand, I can point them to someone who can help and still get paid. ( I will explain this more in another post)

But this way, I don't get burned out, and I don't have to stray from my brand.

So, what kind of brand are you trying to build? Tell me about it.

Do you agree that building a brand is hard, or has your experience been different from mine.

Let's talk about it.

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meet Natsuya Uesugi, author of the sci-fi novel "grydscaen beginnings"


Natsuya Uesugi is a systems analyst and has worked in the design of aerospace, semiconductor and financial systems. With a Master’s Degree in International Management and a minor in Japanese, Natsuya has been around computers most of his life. He also studied animation and game design in Art School, where he finalized the character designs and personalities for the main characters of grydscaen. He enjoys skydiving, cosplay, anime and writing poetry. He would like to make a graphic novel of grydscaen some day. 

Grydscaen: Beginnings 

Excerpt – Sample

Copyright © 2011 by Natusya Uesugi. ISBN 978-1-4628-8673-9
CHAPTER 1: Ameliano “Lino” Dejarre
It was early evening. Lino was ten. He was standing in front of his mother, Julianna. She was wearing a black satin evening gown with a plunging neckline, black pearls around her neck and black long gloves. She was leaning down and fixing the cuffs on Lino’s pants. He was wearing a suit with a black jacket, a black tie and a white shirt. Riuho was seated on the bench in the hallway of the palace swinging his feet back and forth, he had on a suit jacket, white shirt and black shorts. He put his fingers in his mouth and started sucking on them.
“Stop that Riuho,” said Julianna, his mother. Riuho took his hands out of his mouth and continued swinging his feet. He was nine, one year younger than Lino.
Lino’s mother stood up as the nanny approached them. The nanny was wearing a maid uniform in black and white with a lace hat on her head. She had a white apron tied around her waist. She took Riuho’s hand and he stood up and then she came over to Lino.
“Time to go,” said Lino’s mother and pushed him towards the nanny. The nanny took his hand and walked with Lino and Riuho into the Phoenix Ballroom.
The guests were milling about the hall. There was wait staff passing out drinks. This was the state dinner for the Prime Minister. Julianna went over to Lino’s father, Charles Dejarre, the Viceroy. He was wearing an elaborate outfit with epaulets in a military style. His outfit was a long coat with tails, a vest, a white shirt with lace cuffs, ruffles around the neck and red and gold embellishments. He was an opposing man, very tall with brown hair and dark eyes. He put out his arm to Julianna and waited at the back of the Phoenix Ballroom. The imperial anthem began to play and the Viceroy walked with Julianna up the center of the room to the throne. He released her arm and she sat down in the smaller of the two thrones and posed herself in the chair. Charles sat down next to her. The crowd clapped. Charles put his hand out to the side and Justine, the Viceroy’s Trance Channeler appeared from the side of the platform and came to stand to Charles’ left. Justine was wearing a white Trance Channeler jumpsuit with straps, a long white cape with an elaborate collar and a white headdress. The ends of her fingers were covered with long pointed silver rings. She bowed to the Viceroy and took up her place. Charles raised his arm and the Prime Minister came out from the other side of the stage and stood in front of the Viceroy. Charles began to speak as the music died down.
“Today we honor the Prime Minister, Alistair Junesse for his work on the political treaty with the Inlan Islands. Please show him your respect. And enjoy yourselves this night.”
Music began to play again as the Prime Minister turned toward the audience and the Viceroy and his wife, Julianna got up and came down from the platform to mingle with the crowd. Julianna went over to the nanny and started speaking with her.
Riuho was restless, he stuck out his foot and pulled away from the nanny who was holding his hand. Lino just stood by the nanny without causing any problems.
“Go play with your brother in the garden,” said Julianna to Lino. The nanny released Riuho’s hand and Lino came over and pushed Riuho out to the left of the Phoenix Ballroom past Justine and around the corner.
The nanny stayed in the hall talking to Julianna for a while, and then went to the pantry to prepare some food for Lino and Riuho. Julianna went back to her husband and mingled with the crowd. Julianna engaged the Prime Minister’s wife. The Viceroy left her and went to talk to some ministers from the United Municipalities.
The garden was off the back of the Phoenix Ballroom and wrapped around the ballroom and extended outside the assembly hall. There was an external hallway that led to the meeting rooms but the garden was off to the right. Lino pushed open the elaborate glass door with gold piping and embellishments and opened it onto the picture garden. There were cut bushes and flower beds and a wire bench in the center of a circular cut out of plants. There were also large alabaster statues of angels and of the gods and goddesses from the Parable of Thoth along with circular pathways that surrounded the central area. Along the outside of the garden was the ministers hall and an external corridor with large white marble pillars.
Riuho ran through the door and out into the garden and sat down on a bench of which there were many spaced throughout. Lino came over to him. You could see the glass windows of the Phoenix Ballroom.
“Lets play gift of the goddess,” said Riuho swinging his feet back and forth.
Lino frowned, “We shouldn’t, Dr. Ren told us not to do that with people.”
“No I want to play,” said Riuho and lifted his hand and put his palm up and closed his eyes. A light formed around his hand, the aegis or manifestation of his psychic power, and then his palm started to glow and a light danced around his fingers.
“Put that out,” said Lino grabbing Riuho’s hand.
“No you start,” said Riuho and the light coalesced into a red sphere and hovered in the air over his hand and then moved up and went shooting down the path into the center of the garden. Riuho ran after the light and then it raced forward and hovered in front of Lino’s face.
Lino hesitated for a while and then put his hand out in front of the light and closed his eyes and used his mind to send the sphere out past a row of flowers. Riuho ran to the light and caught it and stopped it from travelling and then sent it back towards Lino with his mind.
Lino caught it and ran forward and sent it back towards the center of the garden. Riuho ran through a bed of flowers and caught it and sent it back.
Some guests came out into the garden and watched the two of them playing.
“The Viceroy’s children are so cute,” said the Lady.
“And so well behaved,” said her escort and continued back down the corridor.
Lino captured the light and then concentrated and made it larger and changed the color of it to white. It sparked as it flew through the air. It started moving faster. Riuho ran at it and caught it with his mind. There was a row of statues along the Phoenix Ballroom outside the windows. Riuho sent the sphere back towards Lino. Lino ran at it. Riuho ran towards the row of statues. Lino sent out his psi trying to capture the psychic projectile and took control of the sphere. The light slammed into a statue and it exploded and blew up the statue and the window behind it. Glass shattered and fell on the ground. The guests inside the Phoenix Ballroom turned stunned at the noise.
Julianna came out of the ballroom and came over to Riuho and Lino. Riuho didn’t move. Lino felt terrible, his psychic power had destroyed the statue entirely. Guests came out to the garden. Then Lino’s father came out and glared at his sons.
“Who did this?” came Charles’ voice, bellowing and accusatory. Lino was so scared he didn’t say anything. Riuho was closer to the statue. The Viceroy grabbed Riuho’s hand and pulled him down the corridor and shoved him off to a minister. Julianna leaned down to Lino and put her hand on his cheek.
“Are you alright? That must have been scary,” she said comforting Lino. Julianna brought Lino back inside and handed him off to the nanny. Julianna went back to the guests and Charles.
The nanny took Lino to the kitchen and served him some food and they spent the rest of the party there.
The party went on for another few hours. When the night came to an end, Julianna pulled Lino behind her. He dragged his feet he was tired. Charles picked him up in his arms and carried him to the car and put him in the back. The nanny got in next to him. Charles kissed Julianna on the cheek.
“You are not coming with us?” Julianna asked.
“No I have some things I need to do at the palace. I will see you tomorrow,” said Charles.
Julianna kissed him and she got in the car. The driver closed the door and then got in and they drove off into the night to the Hallet Hall House. Charles walked back into the palace and went up to a minister.
“Draw up the papers to have him gone,” said Charles. The minister bowed and went about his job. The hall had already cleared. Only the Viceroy and some other ministers were left.
Two days had passed by and Riuho had still not returned. Lino’s father had also been away. Lino had been up in his room in the Hallet Hall House until he heard a commotion and came down the stairs to the main staircase that led to the central foyer. The staircase was long and the central stairway led to the foyer and the front door. There was a glass chandelier over the staircase and the floor was grey and white tile. There was a statue of the goddess near the door. Bowry, the butler was standing at the door as well as another servant dressed in white.
Lino stayed on the staircase half way up, his father’s loud voice was scaring him. Riuho was still dressed in the suit he had been wearing at the party, he was pulling against his father who was holding him by the arm.
“Take him,” said Charles and pulled Riuho forward.
The servant next to Bowry came over to them and took Riuho’s hand. Charles was yelling. It scared Lino, he hid his eyes behind his arm as he continued to peek out and watch. Lino’s father pushed Riuho towards the servant and into her arms. Riuho looked scared. Julianna walked towards them.
“No, he is not your son anymore,” said Charles.
Julianna pleaded with him and tried to go toward Riuho but Charles put out his arm and stopped her.
Riuho fidgeted under the servant’s hold and looked over at his mother. Julianna started to cry. Charles put his hand out to the servant.
“Give me his cit card,” said Charles angrily.
The servant went into her pocket and handed Charles Riuho’s citizenship card. The white and blue card had his name, a picture, an identification number and a chip in it keyed with his DNA.
“You can’t take my son away from me,” cried Julianna.
Charles glared at her and said, “it is already done.” And then he waved off the servant who started walking with Riuho towards the front door.
“Mother?” asked Riuho sounding a little scared. Julianna took a step towards him but Charles pushed her back.
The servant walked Riuho towards the door and then closed it behind her and they were gone. Gone to the Echelons to never return to the City. Riuho was no longer a citizen, the paperwork had been done, his citizenship as of that morning had been revoked. Charles waited for a second and put his hand on Julianna’s shoulder and looked her in the eyes. She was crying. Charles left out the side door. Julianna fell to her knees and continued to sob. Lino came down the stairs and put his hand on his mother’s back and tried to comfort her but he was too young he didn’t understand. She turned towards Lino, still down on her knees, and hugged him as she continued to cry.

Contact Author Natsuya Uesugi:
Book: grydscaen beginnings
ISBN: 978-1-4628-8673-9
Publisher: Xlibris

Phone: 480-577-7624
-          Contact tab to get in touch with author

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Celebrities Teach Us About Book Promotion

Hilary Duff at her book signing.
When a celebrity becomes an author, it seems as if the whole world knows about it because their book promotion team works hard to make that happen, right.

So why doesn't the whole world know about our books as self-published authors?

One big thing I have noticed about celebrities is that everything they do, their fans (and even those of us who could care less) know about it. And they show up by the masses in support.

Authors are celebrities, but the vast majority of us have not embraced that fact just yet.

If we did, we would understand the importance of having a book promotion team, a glamor team, a publicist, and so on and so forth,

Noticed I said team. You have to learn how to delegate in the areas where you are not the strongest, or those areas that are going to take too much of your time away from writing. (That's what authors do, right?)

A book promotion team can help us to get the word out about our books much faster than we can doing everything alone.

We need book bloggers because their job is to blog about books, and the more blogs our books appear on, the better our chances are of having our books purchased.

Our glamor team can make sure that we look good for any photo opportunities that may arise. You know what they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Our publicist can make sure that the newspapers and magazines know who we are and when we will be in town signing books, or when we will be having our next big event, and so on and so forth. They work hard to publicize us so that people know why they should take notice of us.

If we really understood the celebrity status we possess as being authors, we would really start to treat our book promotion as an integral part of our career.

Celebrities go all out. They happen to show up where they know cameras and other influential people will be so that they stay in the forefront of the lives of their loyal fans and followers. They constantly tweet about their contests and update their statuses (well, it's probably someone they have paid to do it, but, you catch my drift). We like and share their statuses, we follow them, we retweet them. Why? Because they are someone that we admire, right?

As authors, our book promotion should make us someone that our readers admire. Someone that our readers want to retweet and follow and be wherever we are.

So, I want you to take a look at what you are doing to promote your book. Are you seriously taking your career as an author as seriously as you should? Be honest. Most of you, the vast majority of you, are not. Don't feel bad. I said the vast majority (myself included).

Start to take your own writing career seriously. Build your team of people that are going to work to make you stand out so that you too can become a household name.

Start embracing your celebrity.

Until next time,

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What is Ambition

So many people lack ambition, which is a strong desire to do or achieve something that requires hard work and determination.

A lack of ambition is why so many people never see the types of results that they want in life. We all have the power to change that.

In this short video, learn the one thing you have to do if you want to see change in your life.

 Until next time,

To get more advice, encouragement and support, click here

Monday, February 17, 2014

Looking For A Way To Brand Yourself? Hire A Publishing Professional.

I just posted this video on a cool way to gain exposure, increase your business and get more sales. Bet you never considered how a simple book could propel you to instant expert status. Check out the video below, and if you are not a published author already and you are in any profession, you and I truly need to talk. You can email me directly at to get started today.

Here's that video:

Until next time,

Two Sites For Your Book Promotion

Book Promotion is hard enough. So, I'm about to help ease some of your burdens. Instead of only offering one site for book promo, I am going to offer two. The Self-Published Life and Book Promo will team up to provide two sources of book promotion for authors needing to add to oomph to their marketing mojo.

We are hard at work trying to come up with new and exciting ways to help authors sell more books. I mean, let's be honest, not many people write books not caring how many copies they sell.

Some of us actually write and publish books with the hopes of making enough money to quit our day jobs and write full time.

The more times people see and hear your name, the more eyes that will end up seeing your book.

So, I am writing this post to ask for your input.

What do you as an author struggle most with when it comes to your book promotion?
What do you think should be added to book promo packages?

Book promo dot net will be focusing more on teaching authors how to better promote their books, as well as offering various services to help them to get their name out there.

The Self Published Life will host the featured author stories.

More details are coming soon.

Like for instance, I don't know if you take advantage of the promotional activities you can do with amazon to propel your book to bestseller status.

I will be doing an exclusive webinar in a few days to cue you in on some ways you can gain maximum exposure for your ebooks.

Ebook promotion is especially difficult, and you can't just rely on posting about your book in groups on Facebook. There is a great big world out there online, and I am going to help you uncover it.

But, this exclusive webinar is reserved for members of my mailing list.

Have you joined yet?

If not, click here, and when you join me, you will get a special gift.

Talk to you soon,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Promo Dot Net Is Now Home

Hey everyone,

Sandra here. Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that The Self-Published Life has moved to a new home on the web: All of the featured stories have also been moved over there, so go and check it out. Be sure to sign up for The Hot List so that you can get exclusive content just for subscribers.

Talk to you soon,

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Meet Crow In The Hollow Author, Brian W. Parker

February's Featured Author is Brian W. Parker, author of 'Crow in the Hollow.'

Bio: Brian W. Parker has been drawing and coming up with stories since he could walk. He’d stop, if his overactive imagination would give him a rest. (Wait, that’s not true at all.) He’s the creator of the graphic novel series YOU CAN RELY ON PLATYPI, and Crow in the Hollow is his first novel.
He currently lives in Gresham, OR, with his lovely (and very patient) wife, Josie , a self-impressed orange cat named Peanut, and one easily excitable Yorkie named Shaft.

'Crow In The Hollow' Excerpt:

In the blue cold of winter, the people of Orin’s Hollow sat in the town square, talking excitedly amongst themselves–their faces lit by the flickering orange light from the tall bonfires.
They sat and waited to see magic with their own eyes.
The man they waited for only came once every five years, and always in mid-winter during the Sundering celebration. Now, as they sat together, men, women, and children all breathless with anticipation, the Storyteller walked quietly across the boarders of the town. He appeared, as always, on the old bridge that crossed the Shadow River just as the last light of day left the frost-covered branches. A wind began to stir, whipping the little flames of the gas lamps in the square into a tizzy, and lifting clouds of ice crystals free of the trees. It cast them about in an ephemeral dance that swirled and twisted through the air, quickly taking the form of a man. He stepped into the Waking World like a shimmering winter breath made flesh and bone. 

How to contact the author:

Purchase your copy of 'Crow In The Hollow"  from Amazon:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

SEO For Authors: Can Your Readers Find You?

 I will just have to come right out and say it; and you may hate me later. But the truth is very evident: the vast majority of authors have no clue about SEO. Sadly, this is a huge reason as to why your book sales are suffering tremendously.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. What it means is pretty much, having your product set up to show up when people are online looking for things. For instance, when you type in 'red shoes' on Google or one of the other search engines. Well, if you have a site that sells red shoes, and your site is set up properly, your site will be the one that people find.

One of the best methods for SEO is the have a blog. People are completely missing the boat when it comes to blogging. Blogging for your business, no matter what the type, can add hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions to your bottom line.

Of course, all of this stuff can get complicated.

You are not an internet marketer, right.
You're just the lady who sells red shoes, right.


You have to educate yourself on how things work online because online is the way of the future.

You can be the red shoe lady dot com. And you can write blog posts on how to find the perfect red shoe, what clothes work best with red shoes, how to find red shoes for any pretty much catch my drift, right. I hope so.

You want to get as many Google searching eyes as you can to find your red shoe site. And you help them to do so with SEO.

I hope I haven't scared you.

But it is something that definitely has to be learned.

Until next time,