Smorgasbord Weekly Round up – Sir Tom Jones, King Arthur and other VIPs..

Welcome to this week’s round up and a week of two halves. One half had failing internet, which like a dodgy hair piece, was all over the place for four days. On for 10 minutes and then off for 20 minutes and variations along that theme. Thankfully I had scheduled posts so that I could take a writing break, but it was frustrating to say the least.  The good half of the week is that I got on with Tales from an Irish Garden and made good progress.. A way to go yet, but it will get there in its own good time.

Apart from that I was lucky to have great guests and their contributions to entertain you, and I am very grateful for their time and effort.

William Price King provided us an insight into the career and music of Sir Tom Jones in the mid 1960’s for the rest of the decade. A very busy time for him both in chart success and his residency in Las Vegas.  Here is a later performance of Tom Jones and Pavarotti which you might enjoy as you browse.

Also this week we enjoyed the latest post from Carol Taylor who turned my post on the health benefits of mushrooms into a fantastic feast. Carol has put so much love and effort into her recipes that even those who don’t normally eat some of the foods we feature, are giving the a try.. Don’t miss…

Delighted to welcome Debby Gies with some posts from her archives and this week she took us through the various social media platforms available to us as writers, and the pros and cons

Also with a post for all dog lovers Pete Johnson of Beetley Pete, shares some tales of Ollie… fabulous face and the only creature who can wear wrinkles well…

Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss – Smorgasbord Reblog – A companion piece to the post on King Arthur last week.

On a personal note.

This week’s episode of Odd Jobs and Characters was very kindly hosted by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and thank you to everyone who went over and commented and shared. If you missed you might like to find out how I managed to cook 3000 meals a week in a boarding school.. and still have time to wave a feather duster.

The next episode next week will be on my own blog before resuming its travels around blogland.

A quick look at my WIP with a story that appeared earlier the year with an illustration by Donata Zawadzka

A new series – Media Training for Authors -ways to promote you and your books locally and on a national scale.  All four posts so far.

New Series – The Sunday Interview – The ultimate Bucket List

The first guest was our resident food expert Carol Taylor who shared the top two items on her ultimate bucket list. I am sure that they will both come true. Tomorrow the author, poet and fabulous blogger, Sue Vincent.

Book Promotions – Air Your Reviews

Cafe and Bookstore Author Update

Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

New Series – Something to think about – this week volunteering – helping out charities, school, libraries can be both rewarding and teach you new skills.



Smorgasbord Health 2017

Pet health

Thank you for all your visits, likes, comments and shares during the week… it is so appreciated.





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


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Rebekkah Ford and Christina Steiner

The first update today is for Rebbekah Ford and  Beyond the Eyes, the first book in a three book YA series and published in 2012.

About Beyond the Eyes.

Paige knows evil exists in this world, but she never imagined it would want something from her.

In the small town of Astoria, Oregon, surrounded by deep forest and endless mountains, another world thrives . . . a menacing one where dark spirits dwell in soulless humans. Seventeen-year-old Paige Reed lives in this lush, picturesque setting. She’s not your average teen, though she appears to be. Not only is she heartsick, but she’s been receiving cryptic premonitions from a ghostly voice since the age of four. After she hears a haunting message about herself, supernatural occurrences begin to confuse her.

Nathan Caswell seems to peer into Paige’s soul, evoking a magnetic energy between them they cannot deny. They’re connected. But he’s no ordinary guy. He tracks dark spirits and becomes alarmed when they set their sights on Paige.

When two power-hungry malevolent beings make demands on her, she realizes then the fate of mankind rest in her hands. Her world quickly turns inside out where the impossible becomes possible, and in the end she’s faced with a life changing decision that will not only alter her existence but the world as she knows it.

Can a deeply troubled teen overcome her own demons in order to fight those lurking about? With the past and present colliding, Paige must make the ultimate mortal choice. Will it be the right one?

One of the latest reviews on Goodreads.

Diana Blick rated it it was amazing and Five Stars

This is a great young adult paranormal; it is both fantasy and romance. It is well written and thoughtful, and the characters are well developed and not overly filled with teen angst though there is a bit of teenage emotion. Its premise is not exactly unique nor radically different from others of its kind but certain elements are different and rather interesting such as the “soulless” ones, a spiritual concept that has occurred to me on occasion as an explanation for some of the evil we see in the world. I also liked the concept of dark spirits as opposed to the popular religious idea of demons.

While the “immortals” are nothing new and their making and qualities are derivative of a number of various legendary creatures or supernaturals imagined by others, they are still just a bit different in concept. The author’s use of other legends such as Solomon’s ring were well thought out and fit perfectly in the story. I’m definitely jonesing for book two!

One small word of warning: This series is definitely only for older teens since it does have descriptions of premarital sex. The scenes are tasteful and not overly graphic and occur in a loving and committed relationship context so I would be ok with it for 16 and up, but some parents might be uncomfortable with it.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also on Amazon UK:

Also by Rebekkah Ford

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Rebekkah on Goodreads:

Connect with Rebekkah via her website:


The next author is Christina Steiner whose recently released children’s book Shimji, The Channel Island Vixen is a finalist in the McGrath House Independent Book Awards:

About the book

Shimji, a young Channel Island vixen, dreams to go where no Island fox has ever gone: to the place her ancestors came from thousands of years ago. By talking with a sea lion named Malibu and a seagull named Topanga, she finds the island’s harbor and stows away on a boat headed to the California coast. During her adventure on the main-land, Shimji befriends wild and domesticated animals. She learns from their different ways and thus gains knowledge of the world. Her curiosity satisfied, Shimji longs to return home, only to be discovered by humans. Scientists want to send her to a zoo. Can Shimji escape and find her way back to her island home?

One of the recent reviews for the book

This book is adorable. I purchased it for my grandson who just turned 4 and we read it together as a chapter book. The tale is about Shimji, a Channel Island vixen, who sneaks off to the mainland for a look around the home of her ancestors. She runs into a delightful variety of animals who help her along on her adventure before she decides to sneak back home, a task fraught with some challenges.

Shimji is a sweet character with a courageous and friendly nature, and the animals that she encounters are a hoot with distinctive personalities and voices. The opossums made me laugh out loud, and Blackout, a domesticated cat, is a riot as he explains how he manages his humans. The gulls are pretty funny too. Throughout the book, Steiner weaves in a bit of history about the island foxes as well as information about all the different animals Shimji meets.

A highly enjoyable book for kids with gentle characters working together to help each other. My grandson gave it 5 stars, and I second the opinion.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Christina Steiner

 Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Christina Steiner on Goodreads:

Connect to Christina via her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and if you are in the Bookstore and have news to share please email me on

Smorgasbord Reblog – Who Was Arthur – Part Two by Paul Andruss

This is the companion piece to last week’s post about the legend of King Arthur by Paul Andruss:  the legend continues.

As we saw the more historians try to track down King Arthur, the more he slips through their fingers.

’On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain’ (De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae), by the British monk Glidas, is the only surviving document from around Arthur’s time (about 500 AD). The work contains a historical section written from memory, but is basically a rant against 5 British kings ruling a generation after Arthur. Gildas mentions the Battle of Badon against the Saxons, but not Arthur. The Venerable Bede relied on Gildas when writing his Saxon history almost two centuries later and does not mention Arthur either.

The first surviving mention of Badon as Arthur’s greatest victory comes from a compilation of ancient documents copied out in 1100. In it are two works: the ’History of the Britons’ (Historia Brittonum) and the ‘Welsh Annals ’– which are a year list with events noted against some of them. Between them they mention Arthur’s 12 battles – ending with Badon – and record the Battle of Camlann in 537 – where Arthur and Mordred fell. The ‘History of the Britons’ is thought to be written in 830 by a Welsh monk called Nennius. Although historians doubt this, they think the date is correct. The accompanying ‘Welsh Annals’ were written about 900.

William of Malmsbury wrote ’Deeds of the English Kings’ (Gesta Regum Anglorum) in 1125. He briefly mentions Arthur as aiding Ambrosius and winning the battle of Badon, but gives no more details than those found in Nennius. He writes…

‘It is of this Arthur that the Britons fondly tell so many fables, even to the present day; a man worthy to be celebrated, not by idle fictions, but by authentic history. He long upheld the sinking state, and roused the broken spirit of his countrymen to war.’

Geoffrey of Monmouth was the first to provide a biography of Arthur in his ‘History of British Kings’ (Historia Regum Britanniae – 1138 AD), where two whole sections are devoted to him. It is not entirely the story we know – there is no Sword in the Stone, Camelot, Grail Quest, Round Table or Launcelot for Guinevere to have an affair with. There is not even a Guinevere, Geoffrey calls Arthur’s wife Ganhumara.

Head over and discover more about the background to the legend we know as Arthur:

About Paul Andruss

Paul is a modest but very talented author and he has two books currently available. I have read and reviewed Thomas the Rhymer earlier in the year, and here is a reminder of that review and also the link to download the epub version of the books for FREE.

Paul also has a pdf file available and you can read for FREE by obtaining a copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers and also from Kobo.

You can find out how to download from Paul’s site and also links to the other options at this link.

It would be amazing if you do download and enjoy the book as much as I did. If so then it would be great if you could put a review on Amazon by adding in a sentence at the beginning – Disclaimer: I was gifted with a copy of this book from the author..  Or you can leave a review on Facebook and tag Paul in the post by using his full name Paul George Boylan.

Thomas the Rhymer

Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen.

Finn Mac Cool

Finn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, explicitly sexual and disturbingly violent, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page:

You can find all of Paul’s posts in this directory:

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you will head over and read the rest of the research into the Legend that is King Arthur. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Teagan Riordain Geneviene and M.C.V. Egan

The first author to have received a great review recently is Teagan Riordain Geneviene with her Three Things Serial Novella.

About the Three Things Serial Novella

Everything about this story was determined by the random “things” readers sent. Absolutely nothing was pre-planned. First came the narrator, Pip, aka Paisley Idelle Peabody. I imagined the voice of Lucille Ball as Pip, telling a story of her youth. Then came the 1920s setting, inspired by oscillating fan. Next the “things” brought characters, particularly Andy who came back for another serial. Eventually a thing gave me the Florida setting. I think you get the idea of how this worked.

Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures. In this story a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped. Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos and other “things.” Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Ca d’Zan.

Here are two recent reviews for Three Things Serial: Ballerina, Fireman, Movie Star.

By Vashi Quiroz-Vega: Author Spotlight

The Three Things Serial Story is a spontaneously written (“pantser”) story. Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by “things” left by readers of the blog Teagan’s Books, episode by episode. Each week readers left three more things. The story evolved according to what those random things inspired. The serial began with oscillating fan, which brought me the vision of the 1920s setting. The era and narrator continued in two more serials that followed. While it was not great literature, it sure was a fun ride! Here’s a trailer to put you in a Roaring Twenties mood.

Author Teagan Geneviene has spun a delightful little mystery. “The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story” takes the reader back in time with characters and dialog that ring true. The story not only kept me guessing right from the start, it offered a charming tale with lots of surprises along the way. Well done!

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by Teagan Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books and find out more about Teagan Geneviene:

Connect to Teagan via her blog:

For the second update today new reviews for M.C.V. Egan’s book published in January 2017; Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color

M.C.V EganAbout the book

Color coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary , Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers.

Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

The most recent review for the book

Seriously, how is it that I thoroughly enjoyed this color coded story of the death of a loved one? I SURE DID! Not that I wanted a character to die, it was the crafting of this story by the author that was fantastic.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I feel that M.C.V. Egan did a remarkable job at telling a beautiful story of Bruce, the Sculptor, his loves which were his ex-wives, his current wife, his current love and his children.

WOW…I had never read a story before where each chapter was devoted to an individual character in the story. I was given unique insight into each character by the author doing this and the story flowed beautifully!

This was not a somber read at all. Actually, quite enlightening and even some chuckles. Although the total number of pages in this story are short, I didn’t feel it was a short story at all.

This author wrote this story very artistically in a manner perfect so that even those not familiar with the “art world” could very easily envision and understand. Well done M.C V. Egan, a highly recommended read by me!

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also by M.C.V. Egan

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Read all the reviews and buy the books:

61axflh-oml-_ux250_ Connect to Catalina Egan via her website:

If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and have a new release or a great new review you would like to share contact me

Post from your Archives – How are you spending your most valuable time on #Social Media by D.G. Kaye

Delighted that Debby Gies, author D.G. Kaye has sent me some links to share over the next four weeks (or more) from her archives.

We all have posts that we wrote a year or so ago, or even longer, that are not read as much these days, as new posts take up your readers time.

However, why not share them over here to my readers?

Not only is this a chance to showcase your posts, but also your blog and books. Start off by sending me four links to the posts you would like to see given another boost and if you like the experience you can always send me more –

In this post Debby Gies clearly lays out the social media platforms that can help you establish a presence online… that big break into the bestselling market or even a film deal… You will be searched for online, to see if you already have a following of some kind, to make it easier to market you. If you are not there, how will they find you?

Over to Debby Gies…

As writers and authors, many of us use various social media channels to help brand our names and blogs. The age old question that seems to plague many of us is, what’s working for us in terms of gaining more following and readership?

The question may seem simple, but the fact is, different platforms seem to be more and less effective for each one of us. I’m no SEO expert by a longshot, but from what I’ve gleaned from my own experience, and from reading about some experiences of others, certain platforms just seem to work better than others, depending on the type of posts made and sometimes depending on the genre we write in.

The first step to success in gaining followers is to engage with readers and commenters when they do visit our posts. Depending on the genre we write in, and the particular social site we’re posting in should dictate what types of things we should post. We can all try out different sites to see what the feedback is, but keep in mind the more sites we’re on, the more sites we have to babysit.

There’s nothing wrong with posting on many sites and weeding out where we’ll find our most engaged readers are. From there we can decide where to focus more of our attention. Remember, readers want informative information, entertaining posts, and posts pertaining to writing. And when posting about our books, we should be focusing on an interesting element of our book, or perhaps a promotion we’re running to inform readers about the opportunity. Also keep in mind that social media works by informing and sharing. This means, sharing posts from others too because that will bring us more connections with others, and in turn, these people will eventually become willing to share back our posts on their channels.

Every platform seems to have their own niche and focus. The main thing to keep in mind is not to push people by constant posting to buy our books. Nobody wants to be sold to. If we put out good info and engage with our readers and they like what they see, then we can talk about our books, share a promo on our pages and gain more interest because once a follower enjoys our posts they may very well be interested in our books and letting them know our books are on sale is a good thing.

What and where should we post for effective engagement?


I recommend posting things that are relevant to the things we write about, and gear the posts to the type of social media we’re posting on. When I say this, I mean, take LinkedIn for example, LinkedIn is a site to make connections with others in our field, ie: writers, editors, publishers, artists, promoters, etc. LinkedIn is also a place that anybody can look at our resume and works and take opportunity to contact us for a potential job or interview related to our expertise, etc. So I post my blogs there and articles of interest related to the writing field that I come across.

You can also write, post and publish your own articles on your page there. There are numerous groups we can join and interact with others there. I’ve met many new interesting people on that site. Another important aspect of LinkedIn is that connections can endorse us for skills. That can look attractive to someone who is sniffing out our profile. When I first began learning about self-publishing, I spent a lot more time on LinkedIn participating in group forums with other writers, and I can say I learned a lot from them.

I find now that I don’t have the time to spend in forums, but I still check in every day, as new people request to connect with them frequently, and I also receive messages from connections, sometimes asking to participate in a group or an invitation to connect or to an event. LinkedIn should be a site that all professionals join. One never knows what opportunity may be offered us from there.


Twitter is great for sharing posts to bring blog traffic over to our site. It’s a great site to gather like-minded followers who like to read what we’re putting out. We can link to anything from there and using the appropriate hashtag to gain specific readers to the type of content we’re posting is just one way of gaining new readers of our content. We can advertise our books sales, post quotes and add links to our websites for those who like the meme or quote we posted the link to, to draw them over to our blogs, just to name a few things to do there.

The point is to respond to tweets, share back by tweeting posts of others who take the time to retweet us and follow. I spend 20 minutes every morning catching up on notifications and checking out new followers and sending out tweets.

That’s all I can manage in my busy days, but there are apps such as Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to pre-schedule posts at various times. Those are apps I haven’t mastered very well because I’m not a pre-planned tweeter. But throughout the day and evening, when I’m reading an article or blog of interest, I’ll always hit the ‘twitter’ button to tweet out the post I’m reading, so in essence, I still tweet intermittently through the day and night, but I only go there once a day to respond and check out new followers, and after looking at their profiles, decide if I will follow back. I say this because, we all get those ‘followers’ who sometimes have no connection to our writing world. We’ll all learn how to sniff out these followers by clicking on their profiles and most of the time they have no avatar, no website, and an ‘egg’ is representive of their avatar. That’s usually a flag for me not to follow.


Facebook is an interesting platform. Before I began writing books, I had de-activated the app because I didn’t enjoy the world seeing my posts, but that all changed when I wanted to start selling books and had to put myself out in the public eye. If we’re writing books, we should have a Facebook author page, and in order to get that you must first open a personal page. Personal is a word I now use lightly because once upon a time, that’s what my page there was for, personal friend’s and family to share family photos, events, milestones, etc. I opened my author page to post my blogs, articles pertaining to writing, promotions, anything to do with my books, you get the picture.

What happened? Well it seems that many of my followers from my author page had found my personal page and began ‘friending’ me and I felt I had to friend them back. So ultimately, over time, my postings have changed on my personal page to more posts related to the things I believe in, and things I write about. I’ll post all my blog articles on that page since I’ve found my readers coming there more than to my author page. I post memes that are funny pertaining to women, aging, menopause, etc. And I post many quotes and memes on kindness. I usually go there in the evenings when I have some time after blog reading to check out other posts, see who has ‘liked’ my posts and thank them, and scour around to some of my favorite pages on Facebook to find some inspiring or funny post to post on my page.

I also tend to use my page as a sounding board for little incidents I encounter occasionally that I want to rant about or share a laugh with others about. Facebook is also good for creating an event page when we’re running a promo, and you can pay for ads where they will ‘boost’ your post to get more eyes on it. The ad thing isn’t always a success for everyone. Some authors say it was a waste of time, some like it. From what I gather, depending on the genre we write in and the audience following us is what makes those ads more or less successful. I haven’t tried it yet, so I’m no authority.


Instagram, I feel, is a more personalized type of site geared toward people’s passions. I am by no means a pro on that site but I was curious to join because I’d heard that many writers like that site to post personal pictures, book photos, quotes from their books, and snippets of personally liked things there. Apparently, many readers love to get to know more about their favorite authors and snippets from their everyday life. I believe Instagram has recently begun allowing us to make short little videos now we can post there as well as letting us post live links. I haven’t tried the videos yet. Instagram is mostly a mobile based app.

So it’s quick and easy to add a photo from your phone or a video you’ve made on your phone, add a caption or a link to your post or book, or your website, etc. to gain more followers of your work and make friends. I often send a photo from my Facebook page over to Instagram and write a caption with a hashtag because just like Twitter, if you hashtag your posts, people who follow those hashtagged categories will be able to see them.

I don’t go to Instagram nearly enough to use it to its full potential, but I am there and so are hundreds of my photos. Once or twice a week I go there to see how many ‘likes’ I’ve received and to check for messages.


This is another interesting app I use. Again, I don’t spend much time going to my actual site but I have 40 boards set up there with categories I like to post in. When I come across a blog post I enjoyed and think it would fit one of my boards, I always ‘pin it’ to one of my Pinterest boards. I send all my own blog posts there. I have a board where I send all my author friend’s book covers to, and a board with everything to do with my own books: excerpts, interview links, book covers, etc. There is a myriad of things you can pin there, and other people who enjoy our pins sometimes invite us to be able to pin articles to their boards. It’s great because we can create our own boards of interest and those who are interested in our board topics will see our posts. Again, don’t forget to edit before pinning with your website or a link, it’s just another outlet to draw readers to our work.


I send all my posts and many blogs I read to Google. Besides being another place where readers can find us, Google is one of the biggest search engines in town, and the more you feed it, the more discoverability you will have on the web. When I Google my name, D.G. Kaye, I come up on the first 19 pages of Google, that’s good stuff!

So these are the sites I use to send my posts and other interesting articles I come across, to. There are many other social sites around, but I have my hands full keeping up with these, and for now, I have my time allotment system in place for all of them. But I know in the near future I am going to want to revamp my system and probably delve a bit more into getting more out of social media than I’m currently taking from it. At least I’m linked up and gathering followers in the mean time and that’s a big plus for us to keep building our platforms.

What’s working for you?

If you aren’t already connected with me, please visit me at any of my sites and let’s connect!

Author Page:
About me:
Twitter: (yes there’s a story)

Thanks to Debby for sharing this post from her archives and I am sure it will to clarify which social media platforms are of most use and interest to you.

Books by D.G. Kaye


A recent review for the memoir, Conflicted Hearts on Goodreads.

Lisa Thomson rated it 5 Stars

D.G. Kaye takes you into her life in an irresistible way. You feel like a fly on the wall of her childhood home(s). She had many homes and consequently, young Kaye had not known a world of stability. Ever since she could remember as a small child, her parents fought and often her narcissistic mother ‘won’. She didn’t know from one day to the next whether her father would leave them.

As a child and adolescent, Kaye had no understanding of her mother’s personality. On the one hand, she admired her mother’s beauty and on the other, she feared her temper. The relationship was one fraught with contradictions beyond comprehension. All Kaye wanted was to make her mother happy and keep her from destroying her father’s emotional health. This is far too much for any child to bear, but Kaye did for many years.

The memoir takes the reader through her childhood difficulties, her adolescent rebellion and finally freedom, into her young adult romances and career. Finally, D.G. shares how she met the love of her life but as well, the ongoing heartache of dealing with her narcissistic mother and her own health issues. Kaye is not only a fabulous writer, but she is a true warrior. If you want inspiration for overcoming life’s challenges, or if you are dealing with a narcissistic parent, then this is a must read

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

About D.G. Kaye

d-g-kayeI’m a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. I write to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.

When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life, otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parent’s relationship. I often wrote notes and journaled  about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.

Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times, as I worked my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.

Ever the optimist, that is me. I’ve conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word No, or to use the words ‘I can’t’ have kept me on a positive path in life.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in  return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Don’t forget, if you have some posts in your archives to share to a new audience them please send four to me at

Thanks for dropping by…

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – D. G. Kaye and Mary Anne Edwards

Welcome to the showcase for recent reviews. If you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore then you are still very welcome to share your latest review here and go into the bookstore as well.

First review is for the memoir P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by D.G. Kaye.

About P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

The most recent review for the book

A Courageous Revealing on September 1, 2017

Parenthood does not come with a user manual. Children learn parenting skills from the adults in their lives. They generally emulate what they see and experience. If their lifelong experience is a negative one, they might be inclined to perpetuate it. But this does not have to be so.

In her compelling memoir, P.S. I Forgive You, D.G. Kaye reveals the habitual neglect and abuse she and her siblings suffered at the hands of an envious, threatening, narcissistic, and deceitful mother.

It takes courage, strength, and determination to prevail over hardship, especially when it is a constant in childhood; especially when a parent perpetrates neglect and abuse. But it is not impossible to overcome adversity when one focuses their intention.

Kaye shows us how to take the energy consumed by feeling mistreated, hurt, fearful, and guilty, and instead make it work for us by directing that energy toward building self-esteem, fortitude, and positive intention. She tells us how she reacted as a child, and then shows us how, as an adult, she turned a negative into a positive. Acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness are major players in this scenario, a dynamic that tested the author’s resilience, challenged her conscience, and ultimately allowed her to triumph over the all-consuming adverse conditioning perpetrated by her demanding narcissistic mother.

I highly recommend this book to anyone whose childhood was hijacked by a neglectful and abusive parent, and who would like to learn how to break free and live a happy healthy life.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow D.G. Kaye on Goodreads:

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.

Flirting with Time is the 5th book so far in the Charlie McClung Mystery series by Mary Anne Edwards.

About The Charlie McClung Mystery series

The Detective Charlie McClung mysteries are gripping yet tender novels. The books are set in the early 1980s, a time without cell phones or laptop computers making life more simple but solving crime more difficult. The plots are filled with twists and turns. The characters are believable yet complex. They are people you know or want to know.

About Flirting with Time – Book Five of the series

Do you know what it’s like to feel someone stalking you, shadowing every move you make?

For months now, Detective Charlie McClung and his wife have been tormented by an elusive figure, toying with them, almost daring the detective to catch him.

Any hopes that this is the work of a harmless prankster vanish when an innocent man is found brutally murdered.

McClung will go to any lengths to protect his family, but how far is too far?

The most recent reviews for the book

Another Great Book on September 2, 2017

This is the fifth book in the Charlie McClung Mystery series by Mary Anne Edwards and it was another great story. They just keep getting better and better. There was suspense with a dash of romance. I loved this book. A must read!

I have enjoyed the progression of Charlie and Marian’s ‘love affair.’ Something or someone is always trying to inflict harm on one of them. This just serves to strengthen their relationship. Their friends all rally around to try to protect them. The characters are believable and the reader can ‘picture’ what they look like and their personalities. I like the continuity and progression of a series. While it is a big help to have read them in sequence, the reader can pick up on the characters and their relationships quickly.
I can’t wait for Mary Anne’s next Charlie McClung Mystery. Charlotte Pinkston


Read the other reviews and buy Flirting with Time:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by Mary Anne Edwards

Read all the many reviews and buy the Charlie McClung Series:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Mary Anne Edwards on Goodreads:

Connect to Mary via her website:

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will check both these authors and their books out.. Thanks Sally


Sally’a Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – A Girl Named Truth by Alethea Kehas

Welcome to a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore.. Alethea Kehas with her memoir, A Girl Named Truth.

About A Girl Named Truth

Some mystics believe we choose our name, along with our life’s lessons, before we are born. The name we select becomes our constant guide, helping us to navigate the journey ahead. In her memoir, A Girl Named Truth, Alethea explores the subjective nature of truth while she untangles the uncomfortable wrap of narratives she was raised on. Her name serves as her beacon, guiding her to heal and find the inner voice of her own truth.

The author’s story begins with her formative years, when her mother left her father and went into hiding with the Hare Krishnas. Months later, the young Alethea finds herself living 3,000 miles away from her extended family, trying to love a new father and forget the one she has left behind. Only she never forgets…A Girl Named Truth is a story of loss, love and the redemptive power of awakening a silenced voice.

An early review for the memoir

This is an inspiring and beautifully written memoir, a must-read! I was hooked from the first chapter as her life unfolds in front of us, incorporating all of the characters who formed her being into what it is today. Incredibly moving story, I could not put it down! Highly recommended!

Buy A Girl Named Truth:

and Amazon UK:

Alethea Kehas has also contributed to a number of short story and poetry anthologies

You can find all Alethea’s books on her Amazon author page:

About Alethea Kehas

Alethea Kehas has been obsessed with the origin of her name for as long as she can remember.

My spiritual and healing journey led me to write my memoir, A Girl Named Truth, and to delve into the study of metaphysics. My business, Inner Truth Healing, evolved after I became a Master/Teacher of Shamballa Multidimensional Healing.

Now I devote my non-writing and motherhood time to helping others heal and discover the deeper Truth within.

My current writing project involves a series of books for young adults that contains metaphysical teachings in a fantasy setting. As a life-student of the mysteries, I am in my third year of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness and am studying yoga with the intention of integrating it into my healing practice.

Connect to Alethea via her website and social media.

Facebook author page:

I would love you to welcome Alethea to the Cafe and Bookstore by commenting and sharing the news of her memoir.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Judith Barrow, Charles E. Yallowitz and Sandra J. Jackson

Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and there are new releases and fantastic reviews to share. The first author is Judith Barrow whose latest release A Hundred Tiny Threads has received another wonderful review.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.

The most recent review for the book

A great foreshadowing on August 31, 2017

I greatly enjoyed Judith Barrow’s Howarth family trilogy, so I was delighted to find that she had now written a prequel, and A Hundred Tiny Thread is a wonderful addition to the story. In some ways I like it even better. Having read the trilogy, of course I know how the marriage of Winifred and Bill finally works out, but that does not hinder, in any way, my curiosity as to how it all began and it is a gripping and moving story that explains so much and yet leaves me constantly thinking, if only…

I would guess that this book would be just as welcome for people who have never read Pattern of Shadows. It is a story of two people, of no consequence in the eyes of history perhaps, but who play their part in some of the most traumatic events of the last century.

Bill is caught up in the horrors of the First World War and the atrocities of the Black and Tans, and Winifred is swept into the women’s suffrage movement and the violence that greeted it. But they both face private traumas too, in mines and chicken sheds and in births, deaths and scandals. Both, in their different ways, have a absolute determination to survive, but while Bill’s is on an almost animal level, Winifred shows the greater character.

As I said, if only… An excellent read.

Head over read the reviews and buy the book:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads:

Connect to Judith via her blog:

The next featured author is Charles E. Yallowitz with his latest book in the Legends of Windemere Series: Path of the Traitors

About Path of the Traitors

Hated and distrusted, Queen Trinity must leave the shadows and reach for redemption.

With their final battle on the horizon, the champions are faced with a long-lost piece of the prophecy. Unable to search for the crests that are rumored to be the key to survival, they must turn to a band of their former enemies for help. Sinister desires and hopes for redemption collide as Queen Trinity of the Chaos Elves leads the hunt and struggles to keep her companions on the path of heroism. Monsters, traps, mysteries, and their own pasts will rise up to stand in the way of these people who have spent their entire lives committing sins. Throughout it all, another old enemy is lurking in the shadows and determined to claim her own delicious prize.

By the end of their journey, those who survive will learn that being a hero is more than simply stepping into the light.

Head over and buy Path of the Traitors:

A selection of the most recent books by Charles Yallowitz


The most recent review for Ritual of the Lost Lamb released July 2017

A darkness has fallen on Windemere and even the gods and goddesses aren’t sure what to do. Heated debates ensue as one god pits against another while the Baron looks on gleefully. His rescue is almost at hand and he still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Luke Callindor is his prisoner and he intends to wreak as much pain and destruction as possible. How much can a champion take before he gives up the will to live?

Luke’s capture has fragmented the rest of the champions’ spirits as they know deep in their hearts that the final battle is coming and they need Luke’s leadership and strength if they have any hope of defeating the Baron. The group has one goal: rescue Luke using any means necessary. Nyx gathers what is needed to perform the ritual of the lost lamb with the help of the others. Dariana uses what psychic abilities she can to stave off a new enemy (thanks to her father, the Baron) but when the gods ask her to kill a family member, will she be able to or is this another test she’ll fail? Everyone’s lives are at risk in this dark installment of the Legends of Windemere, leading up to the final battle.

There’s a lot of darkness in this book but adds to the contrast between the Baron and the champions. While the Baron and his latest ally unleash death, destruction and pain on everything the champions hold dear, there’s a glimmer of hope. Each champion has the power to defeat the Baron and the only question remains: will they cross the line or will they die trying?

Brilliantly written, this is Yallowitz’s best book yet. He takes us deep into the bowels of darkness, thrusting the champions into unwinnable situations and we, the readers, get to witness it. The torture scenes with Luke were hard to read yet done with a subtlety I found refreshing. The new enemy (won’t say who it is because I don’t want to spoil it for you) gives new meaning to a demented evil creature. The ending was so well done, I applauded. I can’t wait for the final battle!

If you enjoy epic fantasy with a dark side, give this a read. It’s a stand alone (as is each of the books in the series) but I recommend reading the previous books first. Trust me on this.

Favorite Character/Quote: “They think eradicating evil is the way to save the world, but too much good could be just as dangerous. One can really only keep darkness at bay or you risk wasting the limited years that you have been given in complacency. After all, not all of us can ascend.”

Read all the reviews and buy the books: E Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads:

Connect to Charles via his website:

Another new release on September 14th for Sandra J. JacksonPlaying in the Rain ( Escape Series Book 1).

About Playing in the Rain

There’s nothing harder than pretending to be unaware, robotic even, but that’s exactly what A2 has to do once the drug starts wearing off. Constantly being followed by the camera’s red eye, A2 is mindful of her every move as she tries to understand where she is and why. Things get more complicated for her when she is introduced to another robotic girl.

Who is she and how did they both get there?

Head over and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Also by Sandra J. Jackson

A review for Promised Soul

A Very Human Fantasy on November 28, 2016

Promised Soul by Sandra J. Jackson is the story of an ordinary person going through an extraordinary adventure. Krista, a Canadian, discovers she has a connection with a young woman named Mary, who lived in the early 1900’s in England. What I liked about this novel is that the characters face unusual situations and events like normal people. Jackson has tapped into the behavior of functional human beings. It is refreshing that she did not give her heroine supernatural powers to deal with supernatural occurrences; instead, she evokes empathy with her characters by her precise and accurate depiction of real people. Krista has doubts and questions, just like most people would in her situation. Another thing I appreciated about Promised Soul is the how the characters care for the welfare of others. Although Promised Soul is technically a romantic fantasy, Sandra Jackson makes it real.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

Read many more reviews and follow Sandra on Goodreads:

Connect to Sandra via her website:

Please help share the news of these authors through the community… thanks.

Thank you for dropping by and if you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore with a new release or great recent review then please let me know in case I miss.. Thanks Sally


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.