Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Advertising – Covers, Titles and Key Words by Sally Cronin

I am continuing the series on media training and marketing for authors which is adapted from my media training course for small businesses and charities. Authors are small businesses with a product that needs marketing to obtain sales. Once you start thinking of yourself as a business it tends to focus your mind differently.

One of the jobs that gave me some perspective on marketing and promotion, was the several years I spent as advertising sales manager for a free paper in London and then a holiday publication company.

Part of my job was writing copy for clients who could not afford to spend a fortune with an agency. This was quite an interesting challenge because most companies, whatever their product wanted to put their name in large letters front and centre. So for example:

Great name, but what does the person who is looking for a new car see when they are skimming the adverts for cars?  Steve Smith and Sons.. but that is not the product for sale and is not going to grab the attention of the person looking to buy a car. If you are looking for a car, you are more likely to be interested in reading the same advert, but arranged very differently.

Using key words effectively will significantly increase your chances of reaching your customers.

Unfortunately this is also a mistake that we tend to make when we market our books.  Unless we are J.K Rowling or any other bestselling author who has a dedicated following, putting our names in very large print on our book covers is not going to achieve sales.

For an author trying to sell a first book and even others that follow, it is almost impossible to stand out from the other millions of books on sale on the primary online bookseller Amazon.. or even on the bookshelf of your local bookstore.

If you look in the average bookstore, novels are shelved alphabetically, not usually by genre, there are no reviews and they rely heavily on cover and back blurb to encourage you to buy. Non-fiction books do have an advantage as they will normally be listed by subject matter which does narrow the field somewhat.

Both however need to have a cover that reflects the contents of the book fiction or non-fiction or, is so visually stunning, that it invites readers to explore further. And very importantly, books need a title that screams out to the reader “buy me, I am the most informative, entertaining, interesting, relevant, novel, self-help book, inspiring story you will ever read” and also find away to convey all that is between the covers!

This is not easy since most titles are only usually between 1 and 5 words.

Finding a book title that sells your book.

There are millions of books available today digitally. This is why it is so important that your title leap out from the page and grab potential reader’s attention. Novels are tough as most of the words used to describe each genre are well used. For romance novelists it must be a nightmare since the words love, destiny, fate, romance, desire etc have to be used in a title in the most imaginative way.

With non-fiction it is not easy but it is simpler – providing you get your USP (unique selling point) in the title….remember that there could be thousands of books that are cover your particular subject matter and you want the reader to buy your book.

So what is your unique angle that makes your book different from all the other books on a particular subject that can be  incorporated in your title? This is where using MY comes in handy.. for who is more unique than you? Instead of A Lonely Childhood.. My Lonely Childhood etc.

Finding an original title for a novel can be tough since there are only so many words within each genre that you can use to convey the subject of your book.

Obviously the genre is a starting point – SF – thriller – comedy – Romance – Humour, Children’s etc, and my suggestion is that you take a good long look at other newish books in that genre so that you are not duplicating – write several down and still see if you can get something unique into your own title – try it out on all your friends and family and when you have your title, it is also important to Google it to see if anyone else has a book by that title.

You may find one or two but if you play around with the wording you can usually find one that is not already in use.

Remember – this is your advertising headline for your book – it has to grab the attention of your potential readers and also those that can help you promote the book.

Using Key Words as Taglines.

Your book cover and the wording are your advertisment and whilst it is not a good idea to crowd the cover with text, having a tag line can help.

This is a recent release by Jane Harper:

If the book had just been the image and the title, the book would have had no identity. The fact that it is written by Jane Harper would have attracted her fans; but what about a reader who is browsing to find a murder mystery or thriller, who had not read any of her books prevously?  But because of the key words and endorsements, the moment you look at this advertisement for the book you know exactly what is between the pages.

Here is another example of a non-fiction book that uses key words to attract the attention of readers. This is written by Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings, who is a best-selling author, historian and journalist who can use his name as key words as can J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and other established best-selling authors. As you can see the use of any form of testimonial is important as is the use of specific words to identify that you are going to be reading about Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939 – 1945.

Book available:

Here are some more examples that show you how tag lines can provide you with that USP that makes your book stand out from the crowd.

“Your genetic makeup – Your grandmother’s legacy……..”. “Training a deaf dog – The hand signal manual”. “The Passion and the Anquish”…..Horror Stories from Beyond the Grave. “Murder at the Fair……. Do you dare ride the Ghost Train?”

If you have already received an editorial or advance reader review then you can certainly put a few words on the front cover with the name of the reviewer that are appropriate. It may not be The Guardian or The Sunday Times but it is still a recommendation to buy.

Note: If you convert your print books to Ebook after you have received reviews.. make sure to mention one or two on your Ebook cover.

Note Two: If you are publishing with Kindle rather than as an independent self publisher you will find that there are restrictions on some wording that you put on the front cover. Check that out before completing your cover design.

So this is effectively your car advertisement, and when you are designing your cover, you do need to think about those select few key words you are going to include in addition to the title and your name to attract readers to buy your book.

Book Blurb.

Amazon offers you the chance to put our back blurb on the selling page so that readers can find out more about the book. This is also part of your advertisement and whilst you should not writer a chapter on the book, you should let a reader know what they can expect.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes.. If you were looking for a book to read, what would make you click the buy button.

Genre – basic story plot – main characters and importantly work your key words into the blurb as well. Add in some teasers too..

“Can Sally get to the chocolate before the cookie monster eats it all?”

You can also put some headline reviews from any advance readers here, especially if there was not room on the front cover.

“Fantastic edge of the seat read” – T.Jones – “Couldn’t put this thriller down until I had finished” – B. Smith  –  you get my drift.

Authors Page.

This is a headliner and a place where not only can a reader find your books but also something about you the author. A photo does help.. it makes you relateable.  Then something that gives a reader some confidence in your writing ability before they buy your book. This does not necessarily mean listing everything you have ever written, but by the way your write your biography.  This is an example of your work and if you don’t interest the reader or impress with your style of writing they may not feel like buying the book.

Check out the bios of succesful authors and find a style and content that you like and use that as a formula.

Categories and key words on Amazon as part of your advertisement tool box.

On Amazon you do have a number of different options to choose when you upload your book in addition to your cover and blurb. These include the option to choose a number of relevant categories, and very important key words that a potential reader might search for to find their next book.

Back to the example of the advertisement for cars!

If readers do not know your name, they are not going search for it and find you. So you have to be in the right place in the bookstore so that they at least might catch sight of your title and cover.  This requires you to be very specific with your chosen book categories and key words.

On Amazon you can use up to 5 – 7 key words for your book but you may find more impact by combining multiple key words together which is useful. Two or three together have more impact than just one. For example Rapid Healthy Weightloss is more specific than just weightloss Give up Smoking, Cooking with microwaves, Lancaster in 1960.

For fictionMurderer for Hire, Romantic short stories, Love Poetry, Thrilling Flash Fiction, Historical Romance etc.

NB.I suggest that you take a look at any older books that you have on Amazon, as they have introduced more options  for categories in the last couple of years. Here is a link also to a post that might help you with key words. Also check the blurb and  see if that might need a little TLC.

Having established a place on the bookstore where the casual reader can find you, you now need to reach out and let specific fans of your genre or non-fiction book know how to find you there.

Next time… joining the right waterholes to find your potential readers for both print and ebooks.

Here are the previous posts on Press Releases, preparing for radio and television interviews:


William Price King Meets Some Legends – Sir Tom Jones – Country Music and Sex Bomb

We pick up the story at the end of the 1970s when Tom Jones was still struggling to maintain his presence in the charts. This heralded a change of both style and tempo and I will hand you over to William Price King to pick up the story.

From 1977 through to 1987 Tom Jones focused on recording country music. Although he had nine songs in the US country top 40, he stayed outside of the UK charts and the Billboard 100 for nearly a decade. His country hits included “Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow #1, Darlin’ #19, What in the World’s Come Over You #25, A Woman’s Touch #16, I’ve Been Rained on Too #13 and Touch Me #4.

Here is the country #1 hit “Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow” which stayed in the Country top 40 for ten weeks and also reached #1 in the Canadian RPM and Easy Listening Charts.

Sadly Tom Jones’s long term manager, Gordon Mills, died of cancer in1986, and Jones’s son, Mark, became his manager. In 1987, Tom Jones re-entered the singles chart with “A Boy From Nowhere,” which went to No. 2 in the UK.

“Kiss” by Prince was covered by Tom Jones and the Art of Noise in 1988 became a big hit for Jones, reaching #5 on the UK Singles Chart and #31 on the US Dance Chart, as well as being a chart topping song throughout the world. The video for “Kiss” was much seen on MTV and VH1, and won the MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video.

With increased presence in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, Tom Jones was again front page news. In 1989 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and partnered with singer Van Morrison to release the 1991 Album Carrying a Torch“.

Glastonbury Festival in 1992 was instrumental in developing a new relationship with younger audiences, as did appearing in cult shows in the US such as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The Simpsons.” These were not his only acting credits in the 1990s as he also appreared in the films ‘Mars Attacks!” in 1996 and “Agnes Browne” in 1999

Tom Jones had signed to Interscope Records in 1992 and released the album “The Lead And How To Swing It” and its first single release “If Only I Knew“, went to #11 in the UK charts. He went on to perform the single at the 1994 MTV Europe Music Awards, which he also hosted.

“You Can Leave Your Hat On” is a song written by Randy Newman which appeared on his album “Sail Away,” in 1972. The song was covered by Jo Cocker in 1986 and by Tom Jones for the soundtrack of “The Full Monty” in 1997.

In 1999 Jones released the album “Reload,” a collection of cover duets with artists such as The Cardigans, Natalie Imbruglia, Cerys Matthews, Van Morrison, Mousse T, Portishead, Stereophonics, and Robbie Williams. The album went to No. 1 in the UK and sold over 4 million copies worldwide.

Sex Bomb” is a 1999 song Jones recorded in collaboration with producer Mousse T. It was released in May 2000 and became the biggest single from Jones’ 1999 album “Reload,” reaching No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart. “Sex Bomb” was composed by Mousse T, and Errol Rennalls.

Apart from musical accolades and chart success, Tom Jones was also favoured by fans in high places. In 2000 President Bill Clinton invited him to perform on New Year’s Eve at the millennium celebrations in Washington D.C. Across the Atlantic Tom Jones also performed for her majesty the Queen at her Golden Jubilee celebrations. Other honours followed including a BRIT Award for Best British Male.

Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” was written by singer songwriter Randy Newman and first released in 1966 by Eric Burdon . The group Three Dog Night covered the song in 1970 and it went straight to the top of the charts in the US. In the year 2000, Tom Jones, along with the Stereophonics, covered the song and their version hit #4 in the UK Singles Chart. Singer Kelly Jones shared the vocals with Jones. This new arrangement had a livelier, punchier sound than the Three Dog Night version and the video featured an appearance by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.

Some hit albums and singles followed and in 2002 Tom Jones released the album “Mr. Jones,” which was produced by Wyclef Jean. The album and the first single, “Tom Jones International,” were top 40 hits in the UK.

Jones received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 2003. The following year, he teamed up with pianist Jools Holland and released “Tom Jones & Jools Holland,” a roots rock ‘n’ roll album. It peaked at No. 5 in the UK.

On 28 May 2005, in celebration of his approaching 65th birthday, Tom Jones returned to his homeland to perform a concert in Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd before a crowd of about 20,000. This was his first performance in Pontypridd since 1964.

Tom Jones collaborated with Australian pop singer John Farnham in 2005 and released the live album “John Farnham & Tom Jones – Together in Concert.” The following year Jones worked with Chicane and released the dance track “Stoned in Love,” which went to No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart.

Sir Tom Jones,  was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1999, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 at Buckingham Palace for his services to music.

After receiving a knighthood Jones stated: “When you first come into show business and get a hit record, it is the start of something. As time goes by it just gets better. This is the best thing I have had. It’s a wonderful feeling, a heady feeling.”

Buy Tom Jones Music:

You can buy Tom Jones’ autobiography:

You can keep up with news and performances:

Additional material:

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

You can find all of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link:

Thanks for dropping by and we hope you have enjoyed this week’s performances.. Your feedback is always welcome. Sally

Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Preparing for an interview on camera….

In the last few years I have been very lucky to interview some fascinating people on camera. Mainly live shows that as profile interviews have lasted 30 minutes or so. These included: – astronauts from NASA – a former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy – Doctor Allison Cronin of the Monkey World rescue centre – Charles Tobias, President of Pusser’s Rum. Also successful authors and those writers just beginning their careers.

Some had been media trained for their particular job, but for many it was their first experience of being live in front of a camera.

Today there are a number of options available for online interviews that are filmed with YouTube and other platforms offering access to millions of viewers.

I do suggest that you get a couple of radio interviews under your belt first as it will boost your confidence before facing a camera. I went to the extreme to get my nerve up. I applied to The Weakest Link in the UK and was accepted as a contestant. I managed to make it to the 6th round and was voted off… Tactically of course!!

Whether you are facing the several cameras of a major network programme or a one to one interview with one camera, you still need to pay attention to visual details.

In my last blog, I covered the radio interview which can be daunting enough. A microphone and thousands of listeners can be a challenge. But, if you are an author, going on camera offers you a fantastic opportunity to visually promote your book and with graphics these days you can still feature your E-book.

The preparation for the television interview is the same as for the radio interview and I suggest you pop back to yesterday’s post and make a note of the tips there.

You and the person doing the interview – preferably themselves and not their researcher, need to communicate with each other to ensure that this interview, which can be from 5 minutes to an in depth 30 minutes, is interesting, thought provoking and stimulating for those watching.

It is in everyone’s best interest to make this work so having sight of the questions you will be asked is essential so that you can make sure you have a practice run (or five) before the interview. Ask someone to stand in as the presenter and ask the questions until you feel you are able to give concise, interesting answers to them.

Here are some tips that might help you prepare for what is an amazing opportunity to get your current book and your writing in general in front of the buying public. If they have tuned into the show in the first place, they will be already interested in either you or the topic of your book and it is a captive audience.


I am much happier, to be honest, behind a microphone than I am in front of a camera. Some of my camera work was during a hiccup in my weight management and every extra pound showed. However, I have learned that you do not need to be beautiful, young and slim to come across well on screen. Personality and likability are much more important. That and of course being prepared! It is actually tough to get on mainstream television unless you are and author such as Wilbur Smith or J.K. Rowling, or have done something stunningly interesting or are asked to voice an expert opinion. With the move back to regionalisation the opportunities are even less and it is important to explore the new generation of local Internet television stations that sprung up in the last few years. You also now have an opportunity for interviews with book bloggers who use software to record face to face and whilst not the highest quality are still more compelling that voice only.

If guests that I invited onto my radio show were nervous you can imagine the reaction when I started contacting people to appear on one of our live television chat shows. Somehow the word “live” conjured up all sorts of horrors and I have been begged to record a show and put out later. Actually the way we recorded shows was as if they were “live” anyway as it saves hours of editing!

I always liked to talk through the interview before sitting down for sound checks and as in radio I always communicated a number of times with the guest by email to nail down the topics we are going to cover. This helps make sure that the viewers, the guest and myself got the most out of the experience. For me having a guest leave the studio wanting to come back for more and receiving positive comments from viewers is what it is about and well worth the effort of being prepared.

However, the addition of the cameras to the interview does add the need to think about what you are wearing and also body language as they need to be in line with what you are saying to the viewer. I once had a young woman turn up to talk about care for the elderly looking as if she was just out for a night clubbing! So here are a few tips on what to wear (check with the specific production team in advance as they may have a blue screen rather than green or different background graphics) and how to position yourself for your interview without looking too posed and rigid.

  1. You don’t need to look at the camera unless you wish to say something directly to the viewers. Look at your presenter and since 99 per cent of interviewers are not interrogators but keen to make you look interesting and great for the audience, you need to relax. One word of warning, if you keep sneaking looks at yourself in any monitors that are placed in the studio you will start to look a bit shifty.
  2. If you are near a camera, you must assume it is on and that your microphone is too. This means as on radio that you need to edit your general conversation otherwise you may give the viewers a slightly different image to the one you than intended. This does not mean you cannot be natural but you need to think about what you say carefully.
  3. Find a position that is comfortable – sit back in the seat of the sofa or the chair, cross your hands in front of you, knees together and lean slightly forward it will make you look more assured. I actually prefer being around a desk rather than a sofa but you will have to go with what is the usual set.
  4. There will usually be a sound check and everyone else will remain quiet when the producer asks you to test. If you are nervous it can be difficult to sustain dialogue for several minutes whilst levels are adjusted so start with what you ate for breakfast and work your way through the day until told to stop. If you are on the breakfast show then talk about what you ate yesterday.
  5. Don’t be afraid to move once the interview is underway – as long as you don’t continuously wave your hands around in the air they can be very useful to demonstrate a point you are making. Similarly if you are both on camera at the same time, nodding your head or moving your body in response to your interviewer’s questions or comments adds colour to your interview. There will usually be three or four cameras capturing different angles and feeding back to the production desk. Assume that you are in frame the whole time!
  6. Try to keep your movement smooth and graceful.
  7. Don’t forget to smile unless of course the topic of conversation at that point is about funeral directors or something similar. You do not need to grin, a slight smile and nod of the head makes you look confident and relaxed.
  8. These days the dress code is not as rigid, but with the use of green screens in the background it is a good idea to not wear a matching green blouse or shirt. Stripes tend to be distracting and anything with a small intricate design as it is hard for the camera to pick up. This goes for wearing lots of rings on fingers and dangling earrings offering another excuse for the viewer not to listen to your message. Another colour to avoid is white as it can glow. A light pastel colour is great but black and bright red can be too harsh. I find a block colour such as dark grey or black with a brighter scarf is quite flattering. For guys wear a mid- blue shirt or some of the grey shades. (Check with production team for their preferences)
  9. You want the viewers to focus on what you are saying which means that it is your face and hair that should get all the attention. (You don’t have to go to town, and at bigger stations there will be hair and makeup teams). This means that even if your legs are fantastic a short mini-skirt will definitely not enable the viewers to absorb your message you have so carefully prepared. (Obviously this applies to the ladies or if you are a Scot who is wearing a kilt)!
  10. If you are a slimmish man you can get away with leaving your jacket open and these days things are a little less formal so a shirt and optional tie is acceptable especially in the summer months. If you are on the plump side then keeping a well-fitting jacket closed will help slim down your silhouette.
  11. As long as your makeup is matt finished and natural looking there is no need to go overboard with theatrical paint. Men who have a bald spot can blot that with some powder and you can use slightly darker foundation to prevent your face being bleached out by the lights. As mentioned, most studios will have someone on hand to help you with that when you arrive.
  12. Returning to the radio interviews and strategies. If you are well prepared and have your three to five topics ready and practiced the supplied questions, you should not need notes. This is especially true if you have already sat down with your interviewer before the show. However, if you feel that nerves might make your hands shaky you can hold a copy of your book if in print or keep your hands loosely clasped in front of you. Get your main points out early and if you have more time you can always expand on them or use any remaining points to complement them.
  13. My top tip is to forget the audience and put yourself in the situation where you are having a two or three way, relaxed conversation with friends or colleagues, but remember you still want them to get the message you have prepared.
  14. You will need to up your energy levels and also the variety in your voice without shouting. This is particularly true for your first television interview when nerves will tend to flatten and soften your speech.
  15. Make sure you have a pit stop before sitting down for your interview and also have plenty of water – it can be hot under the lights and you may sweat and also become very thirsty with nerves.
  16. If you should be interviewed standing up try not to fidget by rocking back and forth or up and down on the soles of your feet. Do not put your hands in your pockets, keep them in front of you ready to use if you need to illustrate a particular point.
  17. At all times remember that this one interview could be the starting point of a regular guest spot. By having an opinion, by being interesting you could be asked back even if it is not about your particular area of expertise or because you have sent out a press release about your own product or service. Most of my regular guests began by coming on a show to talk about their projects but were interesting and dynamic enough to offer great contributions to other topics and discussions.
  18. At the end of the interview remain seated until you are told by the producer that the show is over and you will be assisted to remove your microphone.
  19. As with your radio interview, make sure that you have given the buying details of your book to the production staff in advance. A cover shot with availability either on Amazon or your own website.
  20. Some stations will make the footage available to you but it will probably be the link to online playback. You can also ask someone to record the interview so that you can watch later. Do not be overly critical. Practice does make nearly perfect.

Final note.

When marketing your books, do not dismiss the community radio and Internet television stations when sending out promotional material. They may only serve a few thousand within their catchment area but 10,000 interested listeners or viewers who have tuned into listen or watch your interview will all have the ability to buy online. Local stations are also more inclined to promote a local author than the mainstream channels and stations.

©sallygeorginacronin Media Training the Manual

I hope that you have found useful and I will be back next week with posts on how to attract some more local attention. I look forward to your feedback.. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Pet Health – House training – reward not punishment for you or your dog.

There is nothing more endearing than a young puppy gambolling around the house and garden and bringing a great deal of fun and laughter into our lives.

When I first brought Sam home, when he was just 8 weeks old, it ended 18 years without a pet in the house. I had made the decision that I had to be working part-time before I got a dog, as I feel that it is not kind to leave them on their own for hours at a time.

This is especially the case with puppies – they not only have a very short attention span and get bored very easily but also have very small bladders.

I can remember some advice that I received when I had my first puppy in my twenties and I had not followed it then and I didn’t with Sam. The method of rubbing your dog’s face in any accident they might have had in the house is both cruel and unnecessary. Particularly if it is several minutes or even hours after the event. Puppies are like babies and do not necessarily have all the social graces at first but unlike babies they learn very quickly and can be house trained simply and kindly.

We were very lucky in as much as we had a very useful utility room, next to the back door which was the right size to accommodate both bedroom and prepared toilet areas.

Dogs do not foul their own beds so a clear definition needs to be made. Place some waterproof material under lots of newspaper by the door as far as possible away from its bed and drinking water, and leave the puppy in this small play area when you are either out of the house or cannot watch over them.

I put a gate up across the door between the utility room and the kitchen and Sam could watch us when we were cooking dinner, which is not a good time to have a puppy under foot. The first night we walked him in the garden late and got up early the next morning and discovered that he had just had a pee on the paper by the door. We took him out immediately and began a routine, which I will explain in a moment.

The next morning at the same time, we found Sam with both legs and eyes crossed hanging on for dear life. He made it outside to the garden and stood for about 40 seconds with a glazed look on his face.

He was a bright puppy and no one had house trained him in the previous 8 weeks, because he lived outside in a shed on straw. He instinctively knew that he should not soil his living area and that extended to the rest of the house as he gained more access. To this day the only accidents he has had in the house have been if he was unwell and it was unavoidable. He always asks to go out and you have to learn to understand the difference between pestering for attention and food and the absolute necessity your dog has to go out and relieve himself.

Here are some tips for house training your new dog. I am not a keen advocate of cages and crates that seem to be the modern approach to house training, as I believe them to be too confining. Yes a dog needs a safe place to retire to when they feel they wish that, but you can provide that in a quiet and safe room away from the main living areas.  To be honest, the dogs I have owned, have always wanted to be where we were, and it was usually a sign that they might be unwell that prompted them to remove themselves. What is very useful is a playpen with a solid washable floor that you can put newspaper down on, and small wheels – you can safely leave your puppy with suitable chew toys for entertainment and also where you can limit access to other areas of the house. With the wheels it means you can take the pen to the various rooms you are in easily and without accidents. It is much bigger than a crate and despite having to top will serve to give the dog a sense of security..

Tips for house-training your pet.

1. As with humans there are certain functions that stimulate the need to go to the loo and although it is an excellent idea to take a new puppy out every one or two hours there are certain times that you should try and stick to.

  1. Immediately your puppy wakes up in the morning or from one of their frequent naps.
  2. Last thing at night.
  3. Shortly after their meals.
  4. Before greeting sessions with visitors (otherwise they will go during in excitement)
  5. After a session of playing.
  6. Every hour for a few minutes.
  7. When training your puppy you need to establish both routine and also purpose. Keep toilet and play times separate so that when you go out on the hour or every two hours you are not distracting the dog from going to the toilet, going back inside and then pestering you five minutes later because they have a full bladder.
  8. Take the puppy out on a lead to a specific area of the garden, this will encourage the dog to know that when on the lead he is working and will help when you begin to walk him off your property on the street.
  9. Make sure that you keep the designated area clean, from a hygiene perspective but also because dogs do not like soiling over previous poops and will look for somewhere else.
  10. Develop a word for the puppy for the process that you will continue to use as they get older.
  11. Stay with the puppy as it will prevent him getting distracted from the task in hand.
  12. Reward him when he has either peed or pooped with your chosen word and telling him he is a good boy etc. You can also give him a small treat like a piece of cheese so that he begins to associate the action with the reward.
  13. Then spend a few minutes with the puppy off the lead having a game or taking them for a walk around the garden. If he has had vaccinations then you can take him out, which in itself will be a reward.
  14. Learn to interpret your puppy’s body language and vocal patterns so that you know when he needs to go out. If your puppy suddenly starts sniffing the ground and running around it usually means that he is looking for a place to go to the toilet. If you are not quick enough to get to him then distract him with clapping hands or  a word loudly in a non-aggressive manner (no point in scaring him into an accident). Pick him up swiftly and take to the designated place in the garden (not right at the bottom, as you may not get there unscathed). Place him on the ground and praise him thoroughly when he has finished doing what he needs to.

What happens if the puppy has accidents in the house?

You will be very lucky indeed to get away without any accidents during the lifetime of a dog but certainly make allowances for puppies at night. If you have given them more access to the house they will not always be in reach of their usual paper in their sleeping area so be prepared to clean up after them.

Do not use ammonia-based products as this will smell like pee to your puppy and he may decide to use this spot as a designated toilet area. Clean thoroughly with hot soapy water and there are some pet safe disinfectants that you should buy at the same time as you buy all your new puppies accessories.

It is likely at first that your puppy will have accidents at night and of course if he is in the utility room he is unable to attract your attention. Playpens are great for keeping in your bedroom at night so that the puppy can alert you with his cries. He will do so, and if you are prepared for a few sleepless nights then this is one option. I personally prefer a utility room or bathroom with a specific area for accidents and make sure that the puppy is walked as late as possible at night and as early as possible in the morning, even if it means going back to bed for a couple of hours.

We all know the discomfort caused by the need to desperately go to the loo without a toilet nearby and dogs are no exception, they will let you know and you will need to learn to understand their language and be patient with them and yourself.


Something to think about!- Voluntary Work -A hugely valuable sector of the workforce and beneficial to those who volunteer.

In this series I take a look at life and the elements that we need to think about to ensure that we take the best care of ourselves and our families. Also some of the topics that we perhaps don’t like to talk about…

There are over three quarters of a million volunteers in the UK who work unpaid for a number of enterprises including the largest, the Charity sector. There are also thousands here in Ireland you contribute their time on a regular basis. This does not include those who might give up a few hours or even days each week to help out neighbours, friends and family.

This might range from mums helping out at schools, teenagers working after school and weekends for charity shops, grandparents taking on the role of childcare, retired men and women continuing to use their work skills in mentoring roles, or even walking dogs for an animal sanctuary.

I have some links at the bottom of the post that will give you an idea of the enormous scope of the voluntary sector and its importance for non-profit organisations, and definitely for the volunteers themselves. They have all the information you need to get started and other links to check out.

Volunteering by its very nature means that payment does not come into the equation, but expenses may be met for travel or clothing. That has a huge impact on the bottom line of any organisation and can insure that more of the donated cash is available to help those supported by the charity. Many would not be able to function without a voluntary workforce and that is another reason to pay tribute to all those who give up their time to help.

It is not only non-profit organisations that can benefit from the expertise of the retired work force. Start-up businesses who have a tight budget can gain much by asking for guidance from those who have worked in their particular sector at all levels. It is sometimes more important to find someone who understands the front line service issues, as it is a senior executive to act in an advisory role.

The elderly sometimes need a helping hand, a friend to listen, someone who drops by each week, will take them to doctor visits or to church. Sharing a meal with someone elderly is an amazing thing to do as we all know what eating alone can be like. For the very young there are reading groups or perhaps a need for a surrogate grandparent.

With training you could also be the voice on the telephone, that a person at the end of their tether reaches out to, preventing an unnecessary tragedy.

For those who live alone, giving a few hours a week to their church, local school, charity or social club will also provide an opportunity to build new friendships and interests. Certainly it has been found that from a physical and mental perspective, volunteering can help prevent a number of age related diseases.

Both the links that I have given you have a huge amount of information, so if you have experience in any field that might be useful, including being a mum or dad, and are currently either unemployed or retired with time on your hands then you might consider it.

Over the last 40 years working in industry as well as a freelancer I have considered the volunteers as an essential part of my working team and I have also acted in the role of unpaid consultant. Here are just a few things to consider.

If you have been out of work for some time, perhaps because of family commitments or ill health, and are thinking of getting back into work, you might consider volunteering for a time, finances permitting. Not only will you learn new skills but also regain your confidence about entering today’s more modern workplace. For example, there are always jobs to be found in the retail sector and by working in a busy charity shop, handling cash, dealing with merchandise and customers you will find it is a great entry position to a full time job. You will certainly be able to offer a reference when applying for other positions.

If you love animals, becoming a dog walker would give you a schedule, exercise and a non-judgemental co-worker! Even carrying out some of the less fragrant jobs in an animal shelter that makes the environment of abandoned pets a happier place, has its merits.

There may be opportunities within a voluntary position to learn computer skills which will not only affect your employability, but also be very useful in your personal life.

When I have been interviewing for positions at all levels within an organisation, I have usually found that those who detail out their voluntary work on their resumes are candidates who will find themselves on the short list.

Yes qualifications and experience are important but so are a work ethic and a commitment to helping others. This is particularly important for young men and women starting out in employment. The same applies to those who worked after school and during their holidays to earn money. They took useful skills with them when finishing their education, most importantly in how to build effective relationships with co-workers and customers.

If you have knowledge then don’t hang onto it – it took you years to develop this and your skills and by sharing both with those who are less experienced, you will be responsible for driving the next generation of successful businesses.

If you retire at 65 and live to 95 that is 30 years. Great if you want to travel, write, spend time with grandchildren and other family, but if you ever get to the point when you find you have a few more hours on your hands than expected, you are never too old to lend a hand to a good cause and benefit others.

You might even start by blogging and sharing your years of experience in that way.

Mavis my PA is a very good example that you can teach an old dog new tricks!!

Here is the previous post in Something to Think About

I hope that you have found useful.. look forward to your feedback… thanks Sally

William Price King meets some Legends – Sir Tom Jones – 1960s – Las Vegas, Elvis Presley and Delilah

Welcome to part two of the life and music of Sir Tom Jones. It is now the mid-sixties and the charismatic star has a growing legion of fans who loved his voice and dynamic performances. As the music scene began to evolve however, Tom Jones was going to have to evolve with it to maintain his popularity.  I will now hand you over to William Price King to take us through the rest of the 1960s.

After performing on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1965, Jones dropped by Colony Records in New York and asked if they had any works by Jerry Lee Lewis. He was given the new country album on which he discovered and recorded the song “Green, Green Grass of Home.” The song reached #1 in the UK, staying there for seven weeks. The song also reached # 1 and on Billboard’s pop chart and #12 on the easy listening chart.

It was now 1966 and the music scene was changing with groups taking center stage. Tom Jones found that his popularity was not quite as buoyant as it had been, and his manager Gordon Mills, moved his star towards a new and more mature audience as a crooner.

With the success of “Green, Green Grass of Home” behind him, his career resumed its upward momentum and Tom Jones topped the charts again in the UK, remaining there for much of the next ten years.

In 1967 Tom Jones began his first residency in Las Vegas at the world famous Flamingo. His signature dress code of tight trousers and shirts opened almost to the waist were a huge draw for his adoring female fans of all ages. He began to record less and focus on his club act, and things could get a little rowdy at the Caesar’s Palace with enthusiastic audience participation in the form of projectile female underwear and hotel door keys.

Away from the fans, Tom Jones found time to enjoy his friendship with Elvis Presley, begun in 1965 on the set of ‘Paradise, Hawaiian Style. They spent a great deal of time in each other’s company, and would duet together in Elvis Presley’s private suite, remaining firm friends until his death in 1977.

“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” penned by Lonnie Donegan and Jimmy Currie, was first released by Donegan as a single in 1962. Donegan asked Jones to record the song, saying that he would “sing the pants off it.” Jones accepted the offer and his cover of the song reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart in 1967. Less successful in the US, the song was reissued in the US in 1969 and peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

The singles that Tom Jones did take time away from Las Vegas to record, all did well, and with a growing fan base unable to travel to his club performances, it was important to keep his music in the charts.

The song “Detroit City” is a working man’s complaint which describes the alienation felt by many rural southerners in the mid North. Written by Danny Dill and Mel Tillis and recorded by Bobby Bare in 1963, this song won a Grammy Award for the Best Country & Western Recording for that year. Tom Jones’ cover of this song in 1967 is very strong and plaintive and features Bare’s spoken recitation. Jones’ version of “Detroit City” earned him a place in the UK Top 10.

From 1969 to 1971, Jones starred in his own TV show, “This Is Tom Jones,” which was based in America and aired in both the U.S. and Great Britain. As a result of the show, Jones was nominated in 1969 for a Golden Globe for “best actor.” From 1980 to 1981, he had a second television variety show, “Tom Jones,”that was produced in Vancouver, Canada, and lasted for 24 episodes.

Jones appeared on 31 December 1969, on the BBC’s review of the 1960s music scene, “Pop Go The Sixties,” performing “Delilah.” In 1970, Jones teamed up with Raquel Welch and Producer/Choreographer David Winters of Winters-Rosen Productions for the television special “Raquel!” The multimillion-dollar television song and dance extravaganza was filmed around the world and included production numbers of classic songs from the era, lavish costumes, and guest performances from Jones, John Wayne, and Bob Hope.

“Delilah” had been recorded by Tom Jones in 1968 as a soulful rock-and-roll piece featuring a big-band accompaniment set to a flamenco rhythm, with music by Les Reed and lyrics by Barry and Sylvan Mason. Reed and Mason received the 1968 Ivor Novello award for “Best Song Musically and Lyrically” for this piece. “Delilah” became a #1 hit in several countries around the world, reaching #2 in the UK and was the sixth best selling single of that year.

Buy Tom Jones Music:

You can buy Tom Jones’ autobiography:

You can keep up with news and performances:

Additional material:

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

You can find all of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link:

Next week some more great music through the 1970s. I hope you will join us again and your feedback is always gratefully received.

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Food Safety – Listeria – An invisible and unwanted visitor.

Smorgasbord Health 2017

We often hear horror stories of insects or small animals found in food that we buy – let me tell you the worst thing is to find only half an insect or small animal after you have eaten the rest of the food!!

There is no doubt with careful hygiene and thorough cooking methods in the home the risks are minimised, but more and more we are becoming social animals who eat out in restaurants, or who compromise, and buy ready prepared meals in our local supermarket.

I cannot say in all honesty, that everything that I put into my mouth, is prepared by me alone from fresh, guaranteed organic sources. With the best intentions in the world it is impossible not to have food in your house that has not passed through several human hands before reaching our table.

Although food handling regulations are much tougher, I am afraid the reality is that many of those hands will have been unwashed!

The best that we can do is prepare from scratch when possible, and ensure that we cook all food to the correct temperatures, that are sufficient to kill the majority of bacteria and viruses.

In this post I am going to focus on Listeria, which is a genus of rod-shaped bacteria found in animal and human faeces, on vegetation and in some soil and water. It is a parasite that thrives in warm and cold-blooded animals, including of course humans.

A member of the Listeria family is called monocytogenes and can cause the illness listeriosis. It is unfortunately very resistant to a number of first line defences, such as freezing, drying and to some extent heating. It can grow in temperatures ranging from just above freezing to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, including the temperature range we use for refrigeration.

The most common source of infection is ready to eat meat foods, including hot dogs, cut meats, dry sausage and pre-cooked poultry. Although the preparation of dairy products such as soft cheese includes pasteurisation, the food can become contaminated after cooking.


As is usual in these cases the very young and very old are the most vulnerable. However with listeria, pregnant women are definitely at risk, which is why it is usual to recommend they do not eat products such as soft cheese during their pregnancy. They are at risk of miscarriage or premature labour, and the infection of the new-born baby.

Anyone who is already ill, and has a weakened immune system, will be susceptible especially those undergoing cancer treatments. Certain medications can leave you open to infection such as cortisone.

Most healthy children and adults are resistant to Listeria, and most people who are infected will recover within a few weeks. There have been cases however that have developed into life threatening conditions such as blood poisoning, meningitis or encephalitis.


One of the problems connected with detecting the presence of the virus is the length of time between contamination and the first symptoms appearing at usually around three weeks. It is further complicated by the varied nature of the symptoms, but the most common ones are similar to the flu with a fever and muscle aches. There will likely be a gastric upset and in most cases stiff neck, headache and confusion.

The danger in the case of a pregnant woman is that she might only experience mild flu like symptoms and be unaware of the danger to her unborn child.


It is impossible to eradicate Listeria completely but you can take precautions that will limit your exposure.

  • As with all food you really must prepare appropriately.
  • As with other bacterial and viral contaminants, storing your food correctly is very important. Always store your meat and poultry at the bottom of the fridge so that they cannot drip on other foods and always put cooked foods on plates that have not held the raw meat.
  • Wash your own hands regularly and encourage your family to do so, as they are likely to be in and out of the kitchen and fridge at some stage during the cooking process.
  • Thoroughly cook and re-heat meat, fish and egg products and do not consume raw even if you are an avid steak Tartare fan.

On the subject of pasteurised milk vs. raw milk

The governmental guidelines are that you should not drink milk that has not been pasteurised. Even if you live on a farm, milk straight from the cow could have been contaminated by the animal’s faeces. There is a trend in recent years to drink raw milk and there is some nutritional sense to the argument and Ireland has recently made it legal to buy raw milk from farmers and recognised outlets. Here are some of the reasons that the campaigners state are important to be taken into consideration.. I have also included a link for you to head over and check it out.

Raw Milk Benefits – Nutrition

A recently published study of over 8,300 children in rural parts of continental Europe found a significant reduction in asthma development of 41% for raw milk drinkers. They were also half as likely to develop hay fever as those who drank shop bought or boiled milk. This research has linked the benefits to whey proteins in the milk which are destroyed in the process of pasteurisation (1).

The first raw milk conference was recently held in Prague. Some of the study results included significant reductions in asthma, atopy and allergies in children who drink raw milk. In most of these studies the children drinking raw milk lived on a farm. The children in the control groups usually lived in rural areas but drank shop bought, pasteurised milk (2).

A small study has shown children who are allergic to shop bought milk and react immediately to its consumption are able to tolerate raw milk without experiencing any adverse affects (2).

You may not have heard of glutathione but it is a potent anti-oxidant manufactured in our bodies which keeps vitamins C and E (also anti-oxidants) in their reduced, active forms. Anti-oxidants are essential to keeping free radicals and other toxins under control and one of the most foundational of these is glutathione. Raw milk is one of the best sources of the amino acids needed to manufacture glutathione; unfortunately these are denatured in the pasteurisation process thus preventing the body from manufacturing it (3).

You can find more information on raw milk:

More ways to safeguard yourself against listeria.

  • Keep your kitchen and utensils spotless using very hot water and soap.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruit thoroughly.
  • Ensure that any soft cheeses are from a reputable source. Buying direct from the market or from the supermarket deli counter may not be the wisest choice. At least if the product is wrapped and sealed at source it will have not had the same opportunity to be infected. Some of the cheeses that are possible sources of the infection are Feta, Brie, Camembert, Blue Cheeses and other cream cheeses, as these have not been pasteurised.
  • When you have cooked food never allow to stand for more than two hours before eating. They should be kept at temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit; anything below that and the L. monocytogenes will thrive.
  • When you are out for a meal do not accept any meat that is totally uncooked in the centre, particularly minced beef products such as burgers. Send back and ask for a fresh plate, bun and salad.
  • Always refrigerate food that you have bought within two hours of purchase. Take cooler bags with ice packs to the supermarket if you are intending to be longer than that.
  • If you are pregnant you should avoid the above soft cheeses altogether along with smoked fish, sushi and pates and meat pastes from the deli. Canned pates and meat spreads have been treated to prevent bacterial infection but they contain preservatives and other additives that you may wish to avoid.


If you develop a stomach upset with flu like symptoms and a stiff neck it is likely that you have listeriosis although a blood test would be needed to confirm that diagnosis. Go to your doctor and if he determines that is the problem you will be treated with antibiotics.

  • Pregnant women will be treated immediately and this will help to protect the foetus from infection.
  • As with any gastric upset the very young and elderly become dehydrated very quickly which can lead to further complications. Always ensure that you are taking in plenty of fluids to help your body flush through the virus and as soon as you can eat foods that will help your body boost both your immune system and restore your friendly bacterial balance.
  • Onions and garlic have anti-bacterial properties and drinking green tea can also help.
  • When you are ready to eat food, prepare vegetable soups and eat bananas to help restore mineral and electrolyte balance.
  • Do not drink alcohol or other stimulants as your liver needs to recover and get on with the job in hand which is eliminate toxins from your body.
  • Rest and allow your body to recover before undertaking any exercise or any vigorous activity.


Smorgasbord Media Training for authors – Radio or Podcast Interviews.. Gold dust – Get prepared.

I have had a number of emails recently about getting interviews on local radio or the growing trend for podcasts.  So I am going to be sharing some of the posts from my booklet Media Training.  I used as part of training courses that I ran with my video production company where we would take business people, charity administrators and authors through live radio and on camera interviews.  The course also covered how to construct a press release and to create a local market for any new product including books.

Over the next few weekends I shall be sharing a number of chapters from the book.

Some of the posts first appeared in 2015.. but since I am planning on starting author interviews as podcasts in the New Year.. I thought it was time to air them again.  Put your name in the comments if you would like to be a guest

This week how to prepare for your live or recorded interview.

Wonderful news, your hard work in promoting your new book on social media and locally has paid off and you get the call or email. An invitation to do an interview on a radio station, television show or author promoting podcast.

Getting an interview on a radio show or an established author podcast is gold dust for an author and as such requires you to take a deep breath and celebrate. Millions of Indies out there would love the opportunity to get their voice heard about their work so give this serious thought.

Usually the request will come in by email rather than over the phone as it depends on what you have put down as your contact details. To be honest I do not put my phone details on any of my own press releases or social media. Even though I have been on the other side of the microphone or camera as the interviewer, I also like the opportunity to check the show, station or podcast out first.

99% of the time they are totally legit and a great place to promote your book but on the off chance that you have been invited onto the Naked Author, you might want to just take a pause before leaping in.

‘Live… You mean I have to talk to thousands of people… Live!!!!’

Not all shows are recorded and in fact my radio shows and Internet television interviews were nearly all live.

These days many stations both radio and television are nervous about the spontaneous nature of some guests in relation to expletives, non- PC remarks etc and whilst there are some filters available they are not prepared to take the risk so pre-record.

I love live interviews and whilst I might make sure my guests are well primed before the microphone is switched on there have been moments……

However, live or recorded, provided you are reassured that you will not be sitting naked on a sofa during the interview or on a podcast or show that makes you personally uncomfortable… Dive in and enjoy the experience.

And as you do so remember that every minute you are on air is FREE advertising that usually costs hundreds if not thousands for every 10 second segment.

And to make the most of this opportunity you need to prepare.

First get in the right frame of mind.

This is about you and your book. It is a chance to talk about the writing process, the research, the characters, the plot, your background, your future projects, your other writing such as your blog, how to buy the book, how to connect with you etc.

So there are nine topics for conversation already and you have an interview time of between two minutes on prime time to the luxury of fifteen to twenty minutes on local radio stations or podcasts.

Here is how it would go on one of the interviews that I would air with an author. It is a two way process and this is what I would expect from my guest to ensure that not only do the listeners get the best from the segment but that the author also achieves what they need. I was lucky as I had the luxury of around 12 minutes minimum for an interview with my guests and sometimes if we had a lot to cover I would stretch that by incremental segments of 12 minutes broken up my music.

The interview

Me on the radio  – my happy place.

I have always enjoyed doing my own research on my guests so that I know who I am going to be talking to and the topics that I feel are important to cover during the interview. However, bless the guest who has given the matter some considerable thought and come up with key points that they feel should be discussed.

This is important as you have a small window of opportunity and if you are to get the full value from it you need to contribute to the process.

When you are invited for an interview on radio you will need to establish how long your interview will be for.

Depending on the length of time you are allotted you should focus on three to five key points for discussion about you and your book.

I like to be as prepared as my guests and if they are an author I always read their book in advance of the interview and prepare my questions. Some presenters have their own researchers and so will be working from questions prepared by them. Do not be afraid to ask if they might let you have the questions in advance. Then if they do not cover what you consider to be the key points about your book or yourself you can return to them with the addition of further questions.

I usually ask my guests to submit their key points to me by email the week before the interview and this gives me a chance to incorporate into my own research.

I have always believed that a well prepared interview is good for me, my guest and the audience. I am not an investigative journalist and my aim is not to ambush my guests but make sure that they are as comfortable as possible about the process and that they are not sitting there waiting for some horrendous question from left field.

When my guests arrive I always have a brief chat beforehand and outline the topics I will be covering – theirs and my own so that even if there are some further additional items to be included they have a chance to prepare for them.

If the person who is your interviewer does not offer this, then do ask if you might spend a couple of minutes before you sit down to ensure that THEY have everything THEY need for the programme!

People buy People first, I will always do a brief introduction to my guest but will also ask some general, personal and informational questions to both put them at ease and to also build a connection with either the listeners or viewers. Be prepared by putting together a short bio at the beginning of your topics that you do not mind other people knowing – where you were born – being local or living in the area a long time can be important – what you do for a living – etc. I would then introduce the topic of the book – the title and a brief sentence about the contents.

Then into questions about you and your book.

Of course every book will have specific key questions and that is for you the author to identify and communicate before the interview. It also gives you an opportunity to prepare the answers. Not that it comes across well if you sound as though you are reading them off, but practice them in advance and you can always give yourself some key words written down that you want to make sure you include for each question.

You will have had my questions about your book as well and this should provide ample content for a well thought out and informative interview.

Something to think about.

  1. Before going on the specific show listen to it several times to get a feel of the type of interview, length and also the presenter’s questioning style.
  2. Bring some index cards with your key points highlighted and any questions that you have practiced with.
  3. If given the choice of telephone interview or in the studio opt for the studio. The interview is likely to be longer and you will find you can be more relaxed and are more likely to make an impression on your presenter. Also in my experience it is harder for the presenter to ask you really tough questions when you are not at the end of the telephone and are looking them squarely in the eye.
  4. You would never send out an email or a manuscript without editing and spell checking (one hopes) and similarly you can rehearse and record your interview if you are really interested in hearing what you sound like in advance. Whilst there are no visual clues on the radio as to your personality you will be surprised what a difference it makes to your delivery if you are smiling. Of course if you are talking about death and destruction a certain amount of solemnity is required but generally sounding upbeat and lively will win over the hearts and minds of your listeners.
  5. When in the studio do remember that sometimes the microphone may stay live. There will be a red light by the door which will confirm that one microphone is up at any given time and as you will be sitting close to the presenter you need to be careful of asides that might be inappropriate.
  6. Always ask where the best place to sit is in relation to the microphone, some are very sensitive and you need to remember this if you are going to emphasis a point by raising your voice.
  7. You will be asked to do a sound check if the microphone has not already been set. It is customary to do a quick introduction to yourself and keep talking until told to stop. I usually ask my guests what they had for dinner last night….
  8. The one letter of the alphabet that might catch you out is the “P” – it can pop. Practice any words that start with it.
  9. Make sure that you give a point of contact, most presenters will ask you for a website or a place that people can contact you or ask for listeners to do so through the station. Give those on a card to the interviewer before you start and keep a copy for yourself.
  10. As an author you might consider giving a copy or even three as a prize – radio stations love freebies to give away. If in E-version then free downloads.
  11. If you are doing a telephone interview externally, make sure that you have turned off your own radio – use a landline and switch off your mobile phone. Have the number of the studio to hand in case you are cut off.
  12. Most stations and podcasts will put the interview online and you can ask for that link to be sent to you when it is uploaded. A very valuable addition to your marketing portfolio and should be networked through your blog and social media sites.
  13. Most important.. Where can the listeners buy your book, after all that is why you are here.. YES

Next Saturday – an interview live on camera! Oh my..

©SallyGeorginaCronin – Media Training 2012

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have found useful… I look forward to your feedback.. Don’t forget if you would like to be a guest on my interviews in the New Year please leave your name in the comments.

Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Getting a foot in the door – Press Releases and door knocking.

Despite the fact that it is very difficult to get the attention of the mainstream media, I still believe that you should make every effort to get your book noticed.  If you have done everything right – well written, edited, formatted and produced either in print, E-book or both, then it deserves your best shot.

This includes sending out press releases.

There are certainly a couple of things to consider.  Most self-publishing companies are not going to do your marketing for you.  You can pay quite a bit of money to a PR firm to compose and send out press releases to their contacts, and if you feel you will get a return on your money, then it is probably the most effective way to go.  They will compose your release and then direct it to specific contacts in the media who would be most interested in your genre or books in general. And, because they are a recognised PR firm they are likely to get it as far as the journalist in question.

Unfortunately today, unless you have a high profile name – either author or celebrity, your press release about your book, that you send in your own name, is unlikely to get past first base.  Short of changing your name by deed poll to J.K. Rowling, you are going to have to make sure that both the subject line of your email and the title of your book intrigues.

How can they find out more about you?

Also it is a good idea to have created some form of digital footprint so that if you peak someone in the media’s interest, they have access to information about you and your book before they consider contacting you.

I suggest that you use the usual social media – including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as your own website or webpage.  You notice that I put LinkedIn first as I use this one primarily for work and business related posts and my profile is geared towards my professional career rather than the more personal one on Facebook.

It is very important that you have an Amazon author page.. with a well thought out biography that is relevant to your profession which is a writer. Even if at this stage you only have one book… there will be others and if you do not have a website or blog this is a point of reference that someone searching for information is going to be checking.

You can also expect to be Googled.. This is where having an online presence, blog, social media and also interviews that you have done on other authors websites will be picked up.

Do make use of your contacts, it is a good idea to set up a page on Facebook for your new book and ask your contacts to like it.  You can put a lot of information on the page that can be accessed by anyone doing a search on you.  Never, be afraid to ask your contacts on any of your social media sites for help.  Your contacts, particularly if you have a few hundred on LinkedIn may in turn have someone they are connected to who might be able to help get your book noticed.  There are also groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn that may be interested in the subject or the genre of your book.  There are also groups of self-published authors and those who will promote your book for free.

You are reading this on a blog that has several ways that you can promote your books and also be interviewed.

Press releases and door knocking.

With any press release I suggest that you start locally, as I mentioned before the nationals will pick up on good stories that have attracted attention at a local level. However, if you decide to go for the nationals at the same time make sure you have researched the individual journalists or columnists who would be appropriate for your book subject.

You can find most of the information regarding local and national journalists online at the contact page for the publication or radio station (always include) and you can then send a personalised release.

If you are sending your press release out en masse, then make sure you bcc the email addresses, it is very annoying to find your email address plastered all over an general email.  Also your server may block multiple emails as spam and I usually keep emails to four or five addressees at a time. I also like to track response to those I send out and then tweak my press release if needed.

Also do not send an attachment as this can be bounced.  Instead include everything in the body of your email. You can create in a word document with your book cover pasted in and the body of your press release.  Remember this is a sales message however, that requires a call to action, so first and foremost you need to have a an attention grabbing headline for the subject box.

Think about what might make this journalist who receives hundreds if not thousands of emails per week to open yours.  Is there a topical link to current news – what is the Unique selling point of your book and your title. Dogs are loved the world over so to use as an example this press release is for Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story.

Make it easy for them to find information out about you and your book and to contact you if they wish to.  Keep the body of the press release to fewer than 500 words. You can expand on this if you put together a CV version to send out with books by post or in person. (mine below).

Press releases are usually written in the third person.

The body of the press release expands on the Who- Why – What – When- Where and How of your book. Front cover, back blurb – emphasise any unique points that makes your book different from anyone else.  Remember that editors and presenters are likely to see hundreds of emails and if you want yours to stand out it needs to be as interesting as possible.

Repeat details about yourself with links to websites include the exact URL and if you have a web page or blog then link to that too.

Make sure that you have all the relevant contact details so that you can be reached to take the issue further.

Press Release:  Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story by Sally Cronin – A book for all dog lovers – New on the shelves – 16th September, 2017

About Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member. Millions of families around the world believe that their pet, dog or cat, is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.

Sam shares his life, from three weeks old when he is chosen by his new mistress, through his early years living in rural Ireland with his best friend Henry, a feral and very smelly old cat. Then he tells the story of his adventure crossing Europe, driving two thousand kilometres to his new home in the mountains of Spain, where he discovers new friends and adventures.

He describes his life articulately, and with wry humour, and on occasion deigns to speak; emphasising his need for cheese and hard boiled eggs.


One of the early reviews for the book (ask someone you trust to do an editorial review for the book so you can use on publication for marketing purposes until you  have received other reviews)

Delightful Read  on January 3, 2015

Meet Sam and you’ll know why a dog is man’s best friend. Being the owner of a dog for the first time in my life I greatly appreciated Sam’s viewpoint on different aspects of a dog’s life ranging from dog language, going to the vet, car trips, walks, friends, love at first sight, scents, food and, most importantly, being head of security.

The book reads like a personal memoir with photos of the author, her homes in Ireland and Spain, the beaches and, of course, beautiful Sam . It is a pleasant, gentle read that warmed my heart. As far as the type of books where dogs are the protagonist Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is a delightful read.

(Buy links for where the book is available in print and E-versionsAmazon Author Page, Barnes & Nobel, Smashwords etc. You can use a universal link but sometimes that can be a click too far for some journalists. They are more likely to click through to Amazon.)

Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story is available from all online bookstores including Amazon:

Review copy available on request.

Also by Sally Cronin

Available Amazon UK:


About the author Sally Georgina Cronin –   Wexford, Ireland

Sally Cronin is an effective communicator, project manager and coach with over thirty-five years’ experience at a senior level within key industries in Ireland, UK and Spain, including: Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Nutrition and Multi- Media broadcasting. Published author since 2001 with 11 titles in print and E books. Blogger of health and lifestyle topics which receives 200,000 views a year and an established presence on key social media sites of over 30,000 followers.

Availability for interview by Skype, landline or locally in person.

Contact details.
Mobile Telephone: XXXXXXXXXX

Any further information please contact or refer to the following websites. N.B. If you have a Facebook Author Page, then by all means add that, however you might want to hold off on sharing your personal FB or any other site where you might have shared photographs of you enjoying yourself a little too much on a night out!


Press Release End.

Once you have prepared in word, check and double check.  Spelling, grammar, contact details etc.  Then get other people to read it.  Did it interest them?  Did it read well?

Do not be disappointed if you do not get a call back or a response.  You are competing with many other press releases on every subject. Quite a few will be from other authors with requests for interviews or even a mention. This is another reason to start locally as there are less likely to be as many authors promoting their books at the same time. Also whilst there is an accepted format for press releases the purpose is to attract some attention and thinking outside the box may just do that. Images of yourself and your book cover should always be included but remember not to attach.. always insert into the email in the body of the press release.

I have used PrWeb for Press Releases in previous years as a third party which can get you through more doors.. but they have got quite expensive.. However here is a useful link with recommended Free press release distribution sites and also some that are very reasonably priced.

I also have a list of the Book Reviewers and Editors for most of the nationals in the UK.. it is time consuming to compile as I also source the editors of the online media, including editors of Women’s magazines. However, that list is then yours for any following books.

Dropping in with your book and your CV.

I did mention yesterday that you can get some real traction locally if you drop a copy of your latest book (and if you have more, then add two of your most popular) personally to your local media.  Your local community radio stations are often delighted to get an interview with an author on their doorstep, especially if it is a local story that you have written about. It has worked for me twice…and now we are back in Ireland I am about to try my luck with my next book.  I will be dropping the latest book and some of my others with a covering letter to two radio stations along the coast.. and also my broadcast CV as I would love to get back into radio part-time.

This is your chance to tell them more about you at the local level.  Are you involved in local charities, organisations, sports clubs.. Anything that shows that you are an active part of the community.  Something about your work background and interests.

Here is my Writing and Broadcast CV as an example.

Sally Georgina Cronin
Email – Wexford, Ireland

Mobile Telephone: XXXXXXXXXX

Sally Cronin is an effective communicator, project manager and coach with over thirty-five years’ experience at a senior level within key industries in Ireland, UK and Spain including: Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Nutrition and Multi- Media broadcasting. Published author since 2001 with 11 titles in print and E books. Blogger of health and lifestyle topics which receives 200,000 views a year and an established presence on key social media sites of over 30,000 followers.


Director Moyhill Productions a freelance production company offering cost effective video options to businesses, authors, musicians, schools and colleges. December 2011 – April 2013.

Station Director of start-up Internet television Station. June 2010 – November 2011 Unpaid consultancy position -News Editor and presenter. Programme development and production. Staff selection and training. Newsreader, Current Affairs editor – Chat show host.

Radio Presenter. Expressfm 93.7 June 2008-October 2010 – voted Best Female Presenter 2010 The Sunday Morning Show – The Thursday Afternoon Health Show – DriveTime.

Radio Presenter, Ondacero International Radio, Marbella, Spain, 2004–2008 – Guest-presenter of The Morning Show and The Main Ingredient, and producer and narrator for three Short Story series.


All my books are available through the publishing website, and Amazon: also on Goodreads and Smashwords. Full details of the books with reviews can be found on

My first book was based on my journal recording my loss of 70kilos at age 42. Size Matters, Especially when you weigh 330lbs received both local and national media coverage at the time and in 2014 was converted into an E book that is now selling to a much wider audience.

Just An Odd Job Girl was a light-hearted look at marriage, divorce and the aftermath for a woman who is 50 and traded in for a younger model. In both print and E book.

Just Food For Health began life as a workshop manual for my clients and provides a comprehensive guide to the body, major organs and the foods that provide the essential nutrients needed to be fit and healthy. Only in print currently due to the length and the illustrations.

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is the memoir of an articulate collie that pretty much changed our lives from the moment he arrived into our home aged 8 weeks. A book for all ages and written from Sam’s perspective which was usually a humorous one.

Turning Back The Clock is an anti-aging guide which looks at the strategies we can all put into place to slow down the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the aging process. We are as young as we feel so being fit and healthy is important but so is the right attitude.

Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot is a men’s health manual which covers the specific issues that face men, particularly in middle-age. This includes sexual dysfunction, heart disease and other lifestyle related medical conditions.

Media Training the Manual was based on my experience in advertising sales management, retail management, broadcasting and publishing. It focuses on the development of a relationship with local media to assist in promoting organisations such as charities and small businesses but also individuals such as authors and artists.

As well as non-fiction books and novels, I published my first collection of short stories, Flights of Fancy which included the novella The Sewing Circle in 2014.

This was  followed in December 2015 by Tales of the Garden a collection of fairy stories that brings to life statues and areas of the garden with magic and sorcery.

Two more collections have been released in 2017. What’s in a Name? Volume one and two in eBooks, with a combined print version to be released in September 2017.

My current work in progress is Tales from the Irish Garden with illustrations by Donata Zawadzka – Fairy Tales for all ages. Also in 2018 – The Village Square – following the lives of villagers at war from 1939 to 1945.


I have been blogging since September 2013 and cover subjects which include health, music, publishing and humour but there is a strong focus on the promotion of other writers. I have several long running author promotional series which are based around the virtual Cafe and Bookstore. I also promote other bloggers in the Blogger Daily.

Current series including Smorgasbord Laughter Academy, Cook from Scratch, Smorgasbord Health – Top to Toe and Odd Jobs and characters. Guest writers who contribute regularly include Jazz Singer, composer and musician William Price King, Carol Taylor, Julie Lawford and fantasy author Paul Andruss who is Writer in Residence.

My aim is to create an online magazine approach with wide ranging topics and genres of fiction.

Further details can be found at this link for my About Me page on


I have spent the last four years building up my presence on social media, particularly Twitter which is the second largest referrer to my blog. It is also vital as an author promoter, even in as a free service, to have a viable platform which provides a substantial potential readership.

Social Media connections.

A final few words

I am looking to get back into radio part-time so I have included my experience in that field. It is important that you too include any experience you have had as a public speaker or previous radio or television interviews.

Do not forget about local online news sites – I expect your area has one or two that are very popular and would be delighted to do an interview or publish and article about you.

Tomorrow – preparing for an interview on radio –Your press release or personal approach has been noticed and you get the call. 

Part one of this series:

I hope this has been useful and of course look forward to your feedback.. thanks Sally.



Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Introduction and Opening the Door – Don’t be shy!

I have been an Indie Author for 20 years and without a massive budget behind me to get noticed, I had to push open a few doors myself. For most of it is very hard to self-promote, even for someone like myself, who have a background in public speaking at conferences and major events.

We have a tendency to think global with our marketing because we have access to the world via the Internet. But I have always sold more books, especially print books by creating a market in my local environment. When I first began marketing my books there was no Amazon, worldwide web or global readership to the same extent and we relied on local media picking up the story. This sometimes led to nationals then taking an interest. That is how it worked with my first book Size Matters and I enjoyed both local and national coverage. The same applied to my family health book – Just Food for Health that sold well at book fairs, health events and summer fetes.

Most authors that I speak to are seeking international recognition for their work and to become a bestseller. But, there is no harm in getting some much needed experience locally first, before stepping onto the worldwide stage. One reason being, that most national radio stations and media, will be looking to interview authors who have had some experience of being behind a microphone or in front of a camera.

I have interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life on both local radio and Internet television and the vast majority of my guests have had very little experience of being in front of a microphone or a camera.  But I know that several have gone on to be interviewed on major radio stations regularly such as the BBC.

If you want to market your book you have to get over your modesty!

I have heard the expression “Oh I couldn’t possibly” almost as many times as I have had guests. Very often from people who are heading companies or organisations and who seem unaware that this is a fantastic opportunity to promote either themselves or their business.

It is a bit like a rabbit in the headlights. Position a microphone or a camera directly in front of a normally confident individual and they will freeze and become monosyllabic.

Today, if you want to succeed you need to embrace the media, develop a relationship with it and learn how to use to your best advantage.

On the other side of the coin, I find it fascinating that all the media training advice out there implies that the onus is on the interviewee to be prepared and to make sure that they have their message straight. The talk is about ‘soundbites’ and keep coming back to your message. Actually the most important aspect of this is not to bore the pants off the people listening or watching you. Yes, you need to treat this as a selling opportunity and it can be great for business but remember that ‘people buy people first’ and if that initial reaction is not there then however carefully you have prepared your ‘soundbites’ your audience will have either switched off or taken a dislike to you and therefore your product.

With mainstream radio and television your interview is likely to be because you are an expert in your field or have accomplished something significant that is worth a mention to the nation or to a large localised area. You are unlikely to get more than 2 minutes 40 seconds on television or 5 to 7 minutes on radio. However, as the number of Internet television stations grows and with the excellent service provided by community radio you may find yourself as a regular guest for longer interviews providing an ongoing marketing opportunity.

The best length for an author interview is ten minutes and needs to be well prepared to make sure that your message is conveyed effectively… Which is; my book is well written, well researched, has great characters and story and is definitely worth you buying it. With time to get the where and how in at the end.

This media training programme is about developing your particular media style that can be adapted for radio or television and it also develops another skill which is essential if you are to win over the hearts and minds of journalists and presenters – the ability to edit whatever you are talking about into articulate, interesting and succinct information that keeps the audience riveted to their seats.

First though – how to you come to the attention of the media?

Kelli Brett – The Main Ingredient and also Editor Cuisine Magazine in New Zealand –


My radio career began because I had written a book and took it into the local English speaking station in Marbella intending to drop it off with a note asking if they might like to interview me at some stage. The lead presenter and producer Kelli Brett had come out of the studio because her next guest had not turned up, and when she heard me talking to the receptionist she whisked me away to take the vacant slot.

I never looked back and in fact I ended up not only with a weekly health segment but also was able to utilise my writing talents as producer of the short story series that ran for three years.  Kelli taught me a great deal about radio presenting and I have a great deal to thank her for.  Not only that, because I was on radio, I was able to promote Moyhill Publishing, that was just coming into being at that time and it brought several local authors to our doors.

It was the same in the UK – I had just published Just Food for Health, and posted it out to the local stations. Adrian Knight who was then presenting Drive Time on Expressfm in Portsmouth called me up and asked me on as a guest. Before I could say I was not that sort of girl I was co-presenting Drive Time twice a week – had my own Thursday afternoon show and the Sunday morning show.

You may also have a specialist knowledge that a radio station in particular would consider worth using on a regular basis such as a lawyer, doctor, alternative health practitioner, teacher, drama critic, astrologer.  And if you have written a book on the subject this an excellent way to market it.. Regular presenters get their own page on a radio station’s website and is another opportunity to present your book or books.

This applies in not just Ireland and the UK but where you live… Radio stations in your area will include a number of online productions that are looking for good content.

The key to getting their attention is in using a method that will not be dismissed, binned or deleted and you will need to do some homework in advance to make sure you are directing your approach to the right person and that when they receive it they feel that they want to take it further.

If you are an author with a new book, then you will be sending out a press release to all media in the area, but you need to remember that radio and television stations receive hundreds of emails with requests for coverage and this first point of contact is vitally important.

Remember what I said in the introduction – People buy people first and this is a sales pitch. As such it needs an opening – middle information piece and a close. I was a sales trainer for many years and you will be pleased to hear that the philosophy behind selling has not changed one iota despite the fact that we have so many new delivery methods for the pitch.

This is where sending an email containing a professional looking press release addressed to the most appropriate contacts at the radio station will help. But probably the most effective is dropping off a copy of your book with a well written biography to the reception desk of a station addressed to either the prestent to interviews authors or the station director.


Tomorrow I will be covering the press release that you can send out to your local newspapers to create news about your new book. And also a copy of my writing and broadcast CV which is different from my work orientated version.

Thanks for dropping by and look forward to your feedback. Sally

©Media Training the Manual 2009