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Obsessed with books, eBooks, marketing, & chocolate.

FaceBook Pages: A Great Example

December 10th, 2009 . by Peggy

Check out the Facebook page run by Self-Published Author Carla Johnson-Roorda about her book “Magnetic Real Estate Photography”, which by the way, is a really great book. (Now also available at

Hers is an excellent example of how to “work the page” – she updates it regularly, keeps it focused yet interesting, and spreads her reach to parallel industries, such as real-estate investing. Nice job again, Carla!

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Another Writer’s Wrecipe – Oatmeal Cookies

October 6th, 2009 . by Peggy

This recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Cookies makes so many that I overflowed my little glass cookie jar. Is that a problem?

Blend first for about 3 minutes with an electric hand-mixer;
- 1/2 pound (1 cup) chilled margarine
- 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla

Then make a well in center and blend in;
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used2 teaspoons of the Poudre Douce again from Victorian Epicure)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups rolled quick oats

(Optional: 1 cup raisins.)

Blend all together, and drop by lovin spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack. Eat until the book is done.

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The World’s Top Twitterers

August 27th, 2009 . by Peggy

What does it take to make the top 100 Tweeters? Check out these interesting facts about the world’s most popular popularity contest.

As you read this, remember:

  • tracks 4,069,598 Twitter accounts.
  • These stats were taken as of 19:00 GMT -8, August 25, 2009
  • Some of the definitions below are rough descriptions because some things on Twitter (and the internet in general) seem to defy description.
  • Note that this list is of those with the most followers. This does not take into account two other important stats on Twitter: who is following the most people (and the ratio between that and followers), and who has the most Tweets.

If you examine the top 100 list at, you’ll notice the following trends…

  • Ashton Kutcher is still number one. Nobody really knows why.
  • The White House ranks dead last, at number 100. (But Obama himself ranks #9.)
  • Twitter themselves only rank #5 in their own arena.
  • Two of the top 100 are not human: they are cats. (Sadly, there are no dogs represented.)
  • A cat (Socks) is more popular than the White House, Larry King, Levar Burton, John Legend, and Nightline.

Of the entire population of the top 100 people;

  • Only 7 of the top 100 are not Americans.
  • Only 2 are strictly political, non-corporate entities: the White House, and #10 Downing Street
  • There are still nearly twice as many men as women on Twitter, as individual ID’s go: 24 women to 43 men.
  • 29 of the top 100 are corporate entities, tweeting for marketing purposes.
  • Only two of the individual identities are (publicly) not heterosexual.
  • Of the individual entities, only 9 are of African-American descent. This includes Oprah, Athlete Shaquille O’Neal, the President, Rapper and Marketer Sean Coombs (P. Diddy), Rapper 50cent, Rapper Soulja Boy, Singer Mariah Carey, Rapper MC Hammer, Actor Levar Burton and Singer John Legend. (Again, notice that only two of these are women.)
  • The top three seem to be indicative of most of the list: Ashton Kutcher (white American male), Ellen Degeneres (white American woman / philanthropist / slightly quirky / stylish / TV star) and Britney Spears (white American entertainer, of a sort).

I must ask myself:

  • If we are using Twitter for marketing purposes, how many of us know for sure that this is our market, or are we just racking up numbers?
  • If Twitter is designed for mobile use, and the biggest group on Twitter is men, does that mean that more men than women are using their cell phones for more than just making phone calls?
  • Why in the hell are people following Ashton Kutcher?
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Successful Self-Publishing: Interview with Rick Passek

December 15th, 2008 . by Peggy

Listen LIVE this Wednesday and call in with your questions for Rick Passek, author of The Freshman FlyFisher. We’ll talk about niche marketing for self-publishers.

To listen, simply click to:

You can call in LIVE with your questions at (347) 205-9352 during the show, which runs from 3:30 to 4:40 Pacific Time on Wednesday December 17th, 2008.

Rick is a really entertaining personality, and I was very proud to edit his book. Anyone who is thinking of self-publishing a niche title really should listen to this interview, as Rick really will tell it like it is, warts and all. See you on the air!

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OOPS – The Grinch Stole My Podcast

December 2nd, 2008 . by Peggy

My apologies to anyone who was listening today to my Christmas special broadcast when we hit dead air about 1/2 way through. There is a “dead zone” in the middle, but if you hang in there, I do actually pick up again not far from where I left off.

It’s a good thing nobody heard my bad language when I realized that the switchboard at BlogTalkRadio had crashed – this is a family show, after all! We did have callers that were cutoff while waiting on hold, and I have no way of finding out who you were. If you comment below and identify yourselves, I promise I’ll make it up to you with a free book from one of my authors, shipped to you just in time for Christmas. (Limit to the first 5 people who comment, please.)

Join me the day after tomorrow when I return to my regular schedule, as Author Chris Flett will be my guest. Chris’ book is published with Wiley, and is titled, “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening up the Alpha Male Playbook”. We’ll be talking to Chris about female authors and marketing / positioning your book business.

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Publicity in Self-Publishing: 3rd Interview with Kim Plumley

August 29th, 2008 . by Peggy

Here’s the third telephone interview with Kim Plumley. This one focuses on how to find your media “hook” – that is, the thing that demonstrates why you and your book are relevant. This is key to getting the attention of the media, and of the public.

Kim is the CEO of Publicity Mavens, a literary publicity firm based in Western Canada. This is number 3 of 3 podcasts in this series, all of which are at

I hope you enjoyed listening to these three podcasts as much as I’ve enjoyed making them. I promise we haven’t heard the last from KIMPOSSIBLE!

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Publicity in Self-Publishing: 2nd Interview with Kim Plumley

August 29th, 2008 . by Peggy

Here’s the second telephone interview with Kim Plumley. Authors, let’s talk press releases!

Kim is the CEO of Publicity Mavens, a literary publicity firm based in Western Canada. This is number 2 of 3 podcasts in this series. Listen while Kim tells us all about press releases, right from what makes a good press release, to how to manage what happens after it comes out!

If you don’t want to miss the last one, just subscribe by clicking on the blue “Subscribe to my RSS Feed” bar at the top of this page. You’ll get an email whenever new content is added.

Thanks again Kim!

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Publicity in Self-Publishing: Interviews with Kim Plumley

August 27th, 2008 . by Peggy

Kim Plumley of Publicity MavensHere is the first of 3 great telephone interviews with Kim Plumley, or “KimPossible”, of Publicity Mavens. Kim talks about the difference between publicity and marketing, press releases, and much, much more.

Kim is the CEO of Publicity Mavens, a literary publicity firm based in Western Canada. In these three podcasts, Kim talks frankly about why self-published authors in particular need a publicist, what a good press release is, and how to find your “hook” with the media. Kim generously gives us her advice and holds nothing back. Thanks, Kim!

Podcast 1 – The Difference Between Publicity and Marketing
(Plus a bunch of other valuable info that Kim just threw in to be cool…)

Podcast 2 – Press Releases
(Coming Friday!)

Podcast 3 – Finding Your Media “Hook”
(Coming Friday!)

If you don’t want to miss the next two, just subscribe by clicking on the blue “Subscribe to my RSS Feed” bar at the top of this page. You’ll get an email whenever new content is added.

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Self-Publishing in a Recession

August 20th, 2008 . by Peggy

There are three categories of achievers in life and business: top, medium, and bottom. A recession is the perfect time for these to really show their potential.

Think of a wild horse, living on the prairie. Constantly on the move, these animals form strong family bonds. When there is plenty of fresh grass to eat, all of the animals are as healthy as heredity can make them, there are plenty of new foals, and none of the animals must work too hard to survive.

Now imagine a drought. The grass stops growing, and all the animals must compete for the limited food source. Some live off their fat for a time, the mares find renewed energy to search for food so as to protect their foals, and stallions fight for control over territory. It’s not true that “only the strong survive”, because what really happens is that the 3 levels of success, top, medium, and bottom, simply polarize into two levels.

The law of nature dictates that there will always be leaders, and there will always be followers. It’s difficult to be a leader without a few followers, so we know that there will always be a few that make it through the toughest times, if only because of pure luck. But the polarization of the herd into two groups happens very quickly when resources dry up. The middle achievers tend to blend into either the top or bottom groups, and most tend to drift into that bottom group. Once that happens, the bottom group shrinks overall. But by far the most interesting thing that happens is that the animals that stay in the top achiever group tend to reach new heights of success.

In that top group, those leaning more towards medium are weeded out and drift into the shrinking bottom group. Those left in the top group are stronger, leaner, faster, and tougher. They don’t just reach the peak of survival possible during a tough time, but the external forces of drought and competition for food become less important than they were when times were tough: by every standard, they excel.

One might argue that the best time to undertake a self-publishing project is during a recession. Those leaning more towards medium than top leave the top achiever group, meaning that there is less competition. Those at the bottom are more hungry than ever for information that will help them climb back up to the top of whatever mountain they need to climb. Total commitment to a project is indicative of the type of achiever that will not only climb to the top, but stay there, and publishing is one of the best ways to cement your place in your market.

Which type of mustang are you?

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Podcast: Interview with Alexa Clark

July 29th, 2008 . by Peggy
Alexa is the genius (will she laugh when she reads that?) behind the Cheap Eats series based in Toronto and Ottawa. The above player links to the promised .mp3 of our conversation last week, where we talk about social media marketing, and her experience of how that works best for promoting books.

As Alexa states: “The biggest thing about social media that it really is social. The nature of the technology is designed to build a relationship and have a conversation, and by extension, to build a community. It’s about conversing with you, to you and about you. The online community is becoming more rarified around shared experience and attitude.”

This interview turned from a 10-minutes-or-less quickie into a really deep 33 minute discussion about her philosophy around social media marketing. I’ll try to schedule more of these conversations with Alexa, because she’s a true road scholar in the world of book marketing. I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I did!

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