Out of the Box Book Marketing Ideas.

Have you published a book and are having trouble getting exposure? I totally understand.  It can be really hard when there are thousands and thousands of books on Amazon and you feel like just a guppy. There are ways you can do things to help your book launch, but I will write about that in another blog post. Like you, I have had trouble getting my books ‘out there’. When you have a limited budget and haven’t yet learned how to run Facebook or Amazon ads you have to get creative. Here are some out of the box book marketing ideas I have used this year to get my books out into my local area.

Out of the Box Book Marketing Ideas.

Independent Local Bookstores-Local bookstores are a great way to start getting exposure for your books and most indie store owners are thrilled to help locals out. All I did was call my local stores and say, “Hi, I’m a local author and was wondering if you had a local author section and if so, how does a local author get their books into your store.” Every store I called takes books on consignment which means they take a small percentage of each copy they sell. So far, this has worked out fairly well for me. I even have my books in a local comic book store.  I may not sell a ton of copies but at least I’m getting exposure.

Benefits-I have donated my books to various benefits in our area for raffles and silent auctions.

Out of the box book marketing ideas

Photo courtesy of Diz Play via Unsplash








Donate to the Library-My books are in several libraries in our area.


Author Events-Many local bookstores hold author events or open mic nights. I have been to four events this year and they are a lot of fun. I love meeting other local authors as well as meeting new readers. These events have also led to my books being seen by people that don’t know me. For example, I participated in an event at a local comic book store. At this event, I sold four copies of Don’t Eat Your Boogers and two of those copies were bought by gentleman whose wives were teachers.  When I got home that night, I received a message on Facebook from a local bookstore owner who wanted to carry Don’t Eat Your Boogers in her store. Her teacher friend brought it in and she fell in love with it.

By keeping these techniques in mind, you will be starting to build a local audience in no time.  Do you have any other out of the box book marketing ideas? I would love to know.



Mind Blowing Reads From The Midwest.

We have officially started the summer season. Are you looking for a new book to read? Something different, maybe from an author you have never tried before? Sure, there are sizzling authors out East and out West, but what about authors from the Midwest? Well, I’ve got a list for you today from some of the best authors from the middle of our great nation. Check out these mind blowing reads from the Midwest.











True Stories







10,000 Miles with 10,000 Reasons: A Journey Into The Heart Of Africa by Nancy Frantz– Read the amazing story of a couple who journeyed to Africa to adopt three orphaned children from a remote African village. Sparked by the couple’s one correspondence with a 13 year old girl, they started on the most extraordinary journey of their lives.










Finding Peace After Abuse by Junion Seabaugh– This is an inspiring book about one woman’s recovery from physical, sexual and emotional abuse and how her faith in God brought her through it.











Bold-The Birth Of Fine Art by Celly Luyinduladio– This is a book of realistic and visionary poetry about life.









Shadow Of Soul by Carrie Lowrance– Shadows of soul. Everyone has them. Shadows of pain. Shadows of anger. Shadows of broken love. Those emotions and situations that follow us all through our lives. The memories we can’t forget. The loves we’d give anything to get back-or gain in the first place. The shadows that haunt us forever. Take a walk through the shadows in this deep, dark desolate book of poetry and find out what you have been suppressing in the shadows of your own soul.







Shelter at the Lighthouse by Ahava Maure– These poems explore one’s dual perception of a love experienced and aims to explore beyond written expression.










The Knight Of Cups, The Danse Book 1 by Kevin Wright-This book is about a Chicago cop named Tom Chapel who discovers the world is darker than he ever thought possible. Where creatures like vampires lurk in the alleys and where the most dangerous predator is not what you would think. Are his experience and skills up to the task?







Zombie Turkeys by Andy Zach-This is a unique story about an underdog reporter named Sam Melvin whose life changes forever after meeting zombie turkeys. He and his editor must stay alive as they track this turkey apocalypse.









Rabbit in Red by Joe Chianakas– Bill Wise has blood in his past and Jaime Stein has felt the betrayal of death. Both love horror movies. Now nineteen teenagers have gathered at Rabbit in Red studios to be involved in the competition of their lives, created by horror produce Jay “JB’ Bell. Can Bill and Jaime come face to face with real horror and save their friends? Or will they all fall victim to Jay’s twisted plans?










No Ordinary Season by James V. Jacobs-This is a story about a high school cross country team and the human lessons they learn on their journey to become a better team.









Killer Within Her Eyes by S.J. Salvatore-Scarlett Preston is a teenager who is afraid to fall in love with her best friend. Then her brother R.J. is murdered. Her older sister, McKinsey,  is coming to terms with who she is as a person and also has a dark past that haunts her on a daily basis.  As their lives come tumbling down, they confide in each other. Alex Dent is a no nonsense, get to the truth cop out of Colorado, but when this murder case lands in his lap, it threatens to destroy his way of life. Follow these characters as they unveil themselves through this twisted story of love, sex, murder and injustice from a psychotic individual  hell bent on revenge.









Beneath The Bridge by Jason Henderson-A father and daughter are on the run from Seattle where her mother was murdered and California where her boyfriend turned out to be more than she bargained for. Jake Dickson struggles to fit in at school and is absolutely struck by the new girl, stopping at nothing to meet her. Even if involves a trip to a local lot under a bridge where the school bully and a local Goth hang out. While together during their first meeting, a man appears covered with blood. The four teens must form friendships and shed their pasts while exploring the strange events under the bridge.









Under The Tequila Sun by Sam Saladino– This book focuses on a children’s home, a vindictive teen, and a talented artist who paints with passion and revenge. This story combines a colorful cast of characters, other various situations and suspense.









Thuringer: The Officer by Brandon C. Hovey– This action book with elements of science fiction tells the story of Martin Thuringer, an officer of the United States Earth Navy.

Science Fiction.









The Worlds Of Earth by Pauline Marquez– When Jennifer Hanning’s parents went out for a walk after dinner one night, her father disappears. Her mother returns and is terrified to talk about what happened. To make matters stranger, Jen is having nightmares where a voice is summoning her into the same forest where her father disappeared.  Join Jen on her journey to find this mystical being that has been calling her name, as she realizes how much trouble her father is in and  is quickly drawn into a war that has been waged against Mankind since the very beginning.










KC’s Redemption by Judy Doyle– This book is about a convicted felon who is determined to show her family, friends and community that she is repentant. Elliot is adjusting to life outside of prison but struggles without support from a very specific person. Can she overcome her fears as she is harassed by a stalker?

Young Adult









Stranded In Time by Kelly Sue Landon-A great time travel mystery set in the 1970’s about a college student trying to learn more about her Mother’s past.

Cozy Mystery









Muder In The  Library by Linda Lowery– This is a book about Larissa Lou Rue, reference librarian and sleuth who has to keep patrons in line while battling a tornado, a rabid group of quilitng ladies and library ghosts.










Baby Baby by Victoria H. Smith-This book is about a case of mistaken identity, a billionaire with a second chance at life and the doctor who falls for him.










Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green) by Carrie Lowrance-Do your kids have too much green in their diet?  Then tell them, “Don’t eat your boogers, you’ll turn green!” Goober McGee has a bad habit. He eats his boogers. His older brother, Sludge, warns him that he could get a case of Boogeritis. Goober thinks he is just pulling his leg. But one day he wakes up and he is all green, everywhere! Goober is in a panic. How does he get rid of it? Follow Goober on his quest to get well by learning to try new foods and promising to never eat his boogers again.



Running Around The Writer’s Block?

For most writers, ideas flow naturally like a waterfall. Most of us can’t get all our ideas out before the ink runs out in our printer. Our rapidly typing fingers can’t keep up with our thoughts. We would rather be on a caffeine high than not be able to finish the last paragraph or sentence. But then there are times when you can sit at a computer and stare at nothing. Have we lost our spark? Will the words ever come back? Why has the spigot of words suddenly stopped? Hey, it happens. And when it does, it sucks. Are you feeling that way today? Are you running around the writer’s block in your head, trying to chase the ideas that just won’t come? No worries, I have just the solution for getting your ideas back on track. Today’s post is a list of sites that post prompts and other ideas to help combat the horrible lack of words we all get from time to time.

Are You Running Around The Writer’s Block?

The Story Starter(thestorystarter.com)-This site will randomly generate a thought-provoking “story starter sentence” from over 215 billion prompts.

Writingprompts.tumblr.com(www.tumblr.com/search/writing prompts)-Although it is geared toward teachers, these prompts can be helpful for everyone.

Creativity-portal.comThis web site not only has prompts but also articles on different challenges that face writers.

Six Word Memoirs(sixwordmemoirs.com)-This web site has a collection of micro-memoirs. You can check out their YouTube channel for inspiration and also submit your best six word missive to be featured on the site’s homepage.

Are You Running Around The Writer's Block?

Photo courtesy of Alex Knight via Unsplash

Other Ideas To Combat That Pesky Writer’s Block.

Get outside-Going outside for a walk can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Spend some time in the water-Go for a swim or take a shower. I truly believe there is something in the water that releases creativity, I get a lot of ideas when I’m around water.

Learn a new skill/do something new-Sometimes learning something new or trying something new can release creativity. So learn a new skill or go do something new, like take a cooking class or something way more adventurous.

Enjoy the atmosphere of a coffeehouse without leaving the house-Okay, I know this sounds totally counterproductive, didn’t I just tell you to go out and do something? Well, sometimes the quiet hum of a coffeehouse can unclog the brain cells as well.  However, some days you just have too much to get done. If you’re looking for that coffeehouse hum at home, turn on some coffitivity.  It’s free and brings the coffee house atmosphere to you.


Everyone needs a break sometimes to just step away and come back. I hope these suggestions will spark your creative juices again and you’ll be back to writing again in no time.





My 10 Favorite Books About Writing.

Are you wanting to start a writing career but all the information out there is making your head swim? I feel you. I’m being constantly bombarded with this books, classes and courses constantly. It is enough to make anyone’s head swim.  Today I have decided to make a list of my 10 favorite books about writing.  Some are self-published by some of the best writer’s I know and others are tried and true classics, ranging from freelance writing, to ghost writing to writing children’s books.  I highly recommend starting with one of these and then branching out for more information as you need it.


  1. Stephen King-On WritingThis classic book is full of great stories and tips from the master of horror. Regardless of what you want to write, there is a treasure trove of information to gain from this book.


2. Make Money  Freelance Writing: 7 Steps To Starting Your Freelance Business and Earn Your First $1000 by Gina Horkey and Sally Miller  Gina Horkey is the founder of Horkey Handbook, a website for those interested in freelance writing, while Sally Miller is an author and freelance writer in her own right. Let these two dynamic ladies teach you how to start a freelance business from scratch. Learn step by step how to become a freelance writer and build the business of your dreams.








3. How To Make Money Ghostwriting by Cruz Santana and Sally Miller-Are you interested in learning more about ghostwriting? Do you already have a freelance writing business and want to level up your skills? This book will teach you how.  Cruz Santana and Sally Miller will show you the steps you need to take to land clients you will love.









4. Writer For Hire by Kelly James EngerThis book is broken down into 101 tips for being a successful freelance writer, making it easy to implement one tip at a time.









5. You Write, They Pay by Susan Anderson-This  is another great book about how to start a freelance writing business.










6. The Elements Of Style(Classic Edition, 2017)-This book has been a standard in writing since over a century ago. If you’re looking to have a better understanding of grammar, you need this book. (And so do I, time to order an updated version for myself.)  🙂










7. The Writer’s MarketThis book is another standard when it comes to writing and publishing your work. It is available in various genres like Novel& Short Stories, Christian and Poet’s Markets to name a few.








8. Yahoo! Style Guide-If you are just starting to write for the web, this is a very valuable resource. It covers topics like constructing clear and compelling copy, writing eye-catching and effective headlines, creating better blogs and newsletters, etc.








9. The Everything Guide To Writing Children’s Books-If you’re looking to write and publish a children’s book traditionally, this is a great resource.








If you’re looking to self-publish a book whether it be fiction or children’s check out my recommendation below.

10. This book is written by yours truly to help writers become authors. I line out five easy steps to publishing your first book and also include the link to an article I wrote called “How I Wrote A Children’s Book: From Idea To Execution” about how I wrote my children’s book, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green). Here is the link:







Whether you are looking to start a freelance writing business, write a children’s book, or just write a book period, you are bound to find some valuable resources here.  So pick a book and dive in, your new career is waiting with the turn of a page.



4 Tips For Finding Your Perfect Book Cover.

In last week’s post, I went over five tips to get you started writing your book. The next step is finding a cover. This is not a process that you should rush through. Choosing the perfect cover is very important and could mean life or death for your book. It is the first thing that catches a readers eye in a sea of books online. It is the image that draws someone in.  At the last event I was at, a young man picked up a copy of Shadow Of Soul, looked at the cover for a minute, and then flipped it over to read the back. While reading, he kept nodding his head as if totally drawn in by the description. He wound up buying a copy of the book. Also while at this event, I sold a few copies of my book Don’t Eat Your Boogers. The funny thing was, the adults would pick it up and read the back and then ask how much. They never even flipped through it. Kids were drawn to it right away and flipped through the pages.  Do I say all this to brag? Absolutely not. My point is, these covers drew people in. So, how do you go about finding your perfect cover? Here are three tips for finding your perfect book cover.

4 Tips For Finding Your Perfect Cover

4 Tips For Finding Your Perfect Book Cover.

Tip #1: Envision a cover to go with your story– Think about all the elements of your story and what image would best evoke the heart of your story. Think about if you want people on your cover. Think about the colors you would like to see in your cover. (For example, Shadow Of Soul is a book of dark poetry so I chose a cover with a tombstone and a raven to evoke a dark, spooky mood.)

Tip #2: Don’t design your cover yourself-Please, please, please do not design your cover yourself, even if you have graphic design experience. Your book deserves to have a cover designed by a professional. You want it to be beautiful and eye catching, not just…bleh.

Tip #3 Use a professional-Here are my top three picks for getting a great looking cover for every budget.

*Selfpubbookcovers-I absolutely LOVE this company and have bought six covers from them. Prices range from $69-$100 and over. The best part is you can customize your cover, you get files for both print and e-book automatically, you can download instantly, and once you buy it, they take it off the site, never to be sold again.

*JH Illustration-Illustrator Jeanine Henning did the cover and illustrations for Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green). She is a joy to work with, very professional and is happy to answer any questions you may have. She does both adult and children’s books and comes highly recommended.

*Fiverr– There are a vast amount of illustrators here that draw in all different ways. Take a look and see if an artist catches your eye.

Tip #4: Take your time– As I said, this is not a process to be rushed. I picked out six different covers for my next book alone and had to take some time to really narrow it down. As I say, finding the right cover is like seeing your first born child, you just fall in love.

By keeping these tips in mind, in the end you should be able to find your perfect book cover. Happy hunting!

Do you want to know more about this publishing a book thing? Then check out my e-book, From Writer to Author: How To Publish A Book In 5 Easy Steps.




5 Steps To Start Writing Your First Book.

Writing a book is a daunting experience. I would know, I’m writing one right now. Although I have published four books already, three books of poetry and one children’s book, this is still a whole new ballgame to me. Why? Because I’m writing my first real full length book, which is a big undertaking. Because this includes research, character development, figuring out the twists and turns, working with story flow, etc. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have dreamed of being an author since I was nine years old and finally made my dream come true. Do you want to write your first book but don’t know where to start? Then read ahead for a five step process to get you writing that first page.

Step 1: Gather your ideas-Do you have several different ideas running around in your head and can’t decide where to start? Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s hard to make a decision when you have a lot of great ideas playing tag in your head. The best thing to do is to sit down and write out your ideas. Write down the basic plot, character sketches, ideas for twists, etc. Flesh out each idea as best you can.

Step 2: Choose an idea-After making the list above, go do something else for awhile or if it’s night time, go to sleep. Either way, spend some time away from your list and then come back to it either several hours later or the next day. Read over each idea and pay attention to what resonates with you or moves something inside you. More than likely, if you have an emotional response to something, then that’s what you should start on. This happens to me a lot.

Step 3: Do some research-Is there a scenario, disease, or illness in regards to your plot or one of your characters you either know nothing about or just the basics? Then go online and research just the surface and use that to develop your characters in the beginning. Once you get the basis of each character down, you can go and flesh them out more. If it’s a scenario, take notes and write out the scene in it’s most basic form.

Step 4: Outline-When I’m getting ready to start a book, I sit down and outline the first three to five chapters right off the bat. Why not the whole book you ask? Because I don’t always know where the story is going to take me. I definitely have the end in mind but sometimes I’m not 100% on how I’m going to get there. I may think my character will do this or that but then I decide something else. I may decide a scenario is going to play out in this way but then decide this other angle is much better. This is why I start with just the first three to five chapters and tweak along the way.

Step 5: Start writing-Now that you have chosen an idea, done some research and outlined at least your first three chapters, you are ready to start writing. For me, my first draft is probably the best part because it can be messy and full of grammar and mistakes and it doesn’t matter. Once you are done with at least one chapter (and if you feel comfortable) let a friend or family member read it. This way, they can catch the little mistakes (grammar, spelling, punctuation) that you can go back and fix easily. They can ask questions and help make something clearer that you may have missed. Once this is done, go back and edit your characters/story line as you see fit. It is your manuscript after all.

Bonus Tip: Always keep a paper and pen near by to write down ideas, character names, conversational snippets, etc. This happens to me all the time. I am always paying attention to people’s names and sometimes I have conversational snippets come at me out of nowhere in my brain. Once home, I type them out on my computer and depending upon what book it’s for, I will tuck it into the appropriate folder.


Now, starting to write your first book doesn’t seem to daunting, does it? By using this simple five step process, you will be on your way to starting your first book in no time. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect right off the bat, it just has to be uniquely yours.


Do you want to know more about publishing a book? Then check out my e-book From Writer To Author: How To Publish A Book In 5 Easy Steps.




One Too Many Times

One too many times I’ve cared too much

One too many times I’ve laid it on the line

And here I stand again

Ready to confess

My heart’s one last test

God forbid if I die from fear

I smile as one last tear

Lands dormant on the breeze

Which flirts with my hair, a light tease

As I look up and see, my heart hanging awkwardly from your teeth

Waiting for you to kill me

Knowing I’ll never find joy

In the victory

Of love

As I now see it

One Too Many Times

Photo courtesy of dimitriwittmann via Pixabay




Slipped Away

I miss you so bad

Thinking about you all day

Wondering if you got my message

And if you’re okay

I miss you

The friendship

The trust

Thinking of all that could have been

Cut short due to your blindness

The lack of the spark

Fizzled to ash

The same spark

That set me off

Leaving me on fire

For those to watch as I flounder

Such a blaze

Even my own tears can’t put me out

Burning mind, heart and soul

Charred to empty holes

For only the cool breeze to pass through

Left to repair the self inflicted damage

Never caused by you

Still haunted in the hour you slipped away

I would give anything to have you back

To take up the slack

I miss you…

Slipped Away

Photo courtesy of Cathal Mac an Bheatha


I Thought

I thought you were the love of my life

You’re not

I thought we were supposed to be together

We’re not

Everyone said so

(Even those who didn’t know said so)

Hell, you don’t even know

But now you do

I’m talking about my love for you

We have so much in common

I thought we might be soul mates

We’re not

I thought you might learn to love me

You won’t

I keep thinking I’ll get over you

When the truth is

I never will

I Thought

Photo courtesy of Ashes Sitoula via Unsplash



What Are Some Of Your Favorite Poetry Books?

Do you have a love of literature? Do you love the gentle rhythm of rhyme and verse? Do you get caught up in emotions splashed on the page and sonnets depicting the deepest of emotions? I know I do.  Those who know me know that I love poetry. I love everyone from Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe to Jalaine Halsall and Leghorn Faust. Today I thought I would share some of my favorite  poetry books and ask you, what are some of your favorite poetry books?

New Enlarged Anthology Of Robert Frost’s PoemsThis book contains all of his best stories and poems. I love it.










To Hell With Love: Poems To Mend A Broken HeartIf you are going through a breakup, this book is a must have. It covers all aspects, from the initial breakup to feeling like you can’t live without the person to revenge to healing.









Edgar Allan Poe: Collected Poems This book contains two of my favorites, The Raven and Annabelle Lee.









Halfway Up The Stairs by Jalaine HalsallI recieved this book from my poetry instructor in college. He picked out a book for each of us in class by a poet that reflected our own writing. He did a good job, it’s an excellent book. I will keep it forever.









Via Storm Clouds by Leghorn FaustI recently came across this poet via a zine from a local bookstore. His poetry speaks to me and reminds me of the emotions felt in my own writing. I find the poems in this book and those that contributed, to be brilliant.











As I have said before, poetry has the power to change lives, heal hearts and change minds. So, who are some of your favorite poets? What are some of your favorite poems? What are some of your favorite collections of poetry? I would love to know.  I always like to find new words to touch the heart and soul.