Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 4th – 10th November 2019 – Books, Reviews, Videos, Health and Humour

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

We arrived back from two weeks in the UK on Thursday in slightly rougher sees than we might have liked but you can expect this in November. My two sisters had been on the Ventura for a cruise down to Portugal and back and they certainly had much rougher seas than we did and in fact it made the papers when a passenger shared a video of the water exiting one of the swimming pools and flooding a lounge. Both my sisters are good sailors and very little seems to phase them… they thought it was a storm in a teacup!!!

Anyway, it has taken a couple of days to catch up online as I was off more than I was on during our time away. It gave me time to get some reading done and expect some reviews over the next couple of weeks. I also began plotting out the direction that the blog will take next year and how I can increase author and blogger promotions. There will be more reviews on a more regular basis and there will be a return of the Posts from Your Archives series for both new bloggers and those of you more established.

This week sees the start of the last major outside projects with the removal of the old broken down fence between us and our neighbour’s garden and a brand new post and concrete wall, making the garden fully child and dog safe for the next owners of the house.

A couple more inside jobs and then in the spring the house goes on the market and we shall be off further down the coast between Wexford and Waterford, two historic cities with a great deal of cultural appeal and great amenities.

Highlights of the coming week.

There will be the usual Cafe and Bookstore updates with recent reviews and several new books on the shelves. The Blogger Daily will resume and plenty of fun with afternoon videos and funnies.

MondayThe Travel Column by D.G. Kaye and this month Debby is taking us to the lovely not-so-well known little gem of a place, Puerto Peñasco, for a tropical escape in Mexico.

Tuesday – William Price King shares the life and music of jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

Wednesday – Carol Taylor and I join forces to share the mineral Manganese and some recipes to include regularly in your diet to ensure that you do not become deficient.

Thursday – our Italian food expert Silvia Todesco shares a wonderful almond dessert that would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

Friday The Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair kicks off with a selection of children’s books in the Cafe and the first of the guest posts. D.G. Kaye will be sharing her expertise in writing memoirs.

The Weekend – Another post from Mike Biles about Britain’s history and Allan Hudson joins me for the Sunday Author Interview. There will also be two more stories from my Flights of Fancy Collection.

Time for the review of this past week’s posts.

This week Mike Biles lifts the lid and reveals the truth about one of my favourite books and television series as a child..Lorna Doone…

Lorna Doone a Romance of Exmoor, R D Blackmore, London & Glasgow, Collins clear type press

My guest this week is multi-genre  bestselling author P.C. Zick who shares the inspiration behind her popular Crandall Family Series and what we can look forward to later this year.

My review for the latest book by Frank Prem – The New Asylum

I have put together a pdf of the recent book marketing series so that you have all in one place. It is free and the content page and email is in the post.

It is remembrance Sunday and as it was Poet’s Choice this week on Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka challenge… I have written a double etheree ‘Young Soldiers’. I also wrote a Haiku for the header.

Two more stories from the Flights of Fancy collection and Free book offer.

A combination of language issues and an unhappy marriage offer a parrot the chance to put things right!

An old woman reflects on her life using the changing colours of her bedroom curtains to tell her story.


New Book on the Shelves

Author Updates

My go to recipe to bring as many nutrients together on one plate – Brown rice pilaf


Thank you very much for dropping in this week to like, comment and share.. I am so appreciative of the support. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – The Book Marketing series by Sally Cronin – FREE pdf.

Thank you for all your support during the recent book marketing series and the positive comments.

I have now created a pdf of the series which is available FREE… just email me on for a copy.



Setting up your Amazon Author Page

Setting up your Goodreads Author Page

Attracting your readers, Covers, Book Titles, Tag Lines and Key Words.

Online Watering Holes for Authors – Part One – Is your blog book marketing ready?

Twitter – New look and step by step guide to Book Marketing useful functions.

Facebook and LinkedIn, in relation to book marketing and also the benefits of joining an exclusive watering hole on social media platforms.

Getting yourself noticed locally – Media.

Preparing for an interview on Radio or a Podcast.

Preparing for an interview on camera.

About Sally Cronin

 Look forward to hearing from you – – your email will not be used for marketing purposes.


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – AWOL – Benny Goodman – Magnesium – The Magic Carpet – Television Interviews and all that Jazz…

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

On the news front I will be offline from this Thursday to Monday 28th October and for a few days in the first week in November. I have however left some posts for you… the regular book promotions and also some surprises.

Delighted to share the news of the start of a series by guest writer Mike Biles, author of A Bit About Britain’s History who will be joining us every Saturday until Christmas. His first post next Saturday is about the visit he made to author Rudyard Kipling’s home.

As Just an Odd Job Girl has now finished, I am starting a new serialisation, this time of my first short story collection from 2009, which has just received a lovely review. The first two stories from Flights of Fancy air next weekend.

And I would be grateful if you could pop in on Sunday when Eloise De Sousa will be my guest on the Sunday author Interview

I will be online again by Monday and will respond to any comments then… I will also catch up with any retweets etc on social media.

On with this week’s posts.

As always my thanks to the contributors and guest writers for the time and work that goes into preparing the posts for the blog and to you for keep coming back to read them.

William Price King shared the life and music of the renowned King of Swing, Benny Goodman.

Magnesium – Calcium’s BFF and a deficiency alert One of the minerals that most people focus on is calcium (the last column) but it is in fact magnesium or the lack of this mineral in our diet that may be the contributory factor in many of the diseases that we suffer from, particularly as we get older.

If you are a regular visitor to the blog you will be familiar with Jessica Norrie and her Literary Column which ran in 2018 and has enjoyed a revival this year too. We also get to enjoy an extract from Jessica’s latest release – The Magic Carpet

 Last week I covered the basics of the preparation needed before a radio and podcast interview  This week preparing for an interview on camera.

This week in the Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 145 we are being asked to write in response to the photo prompt selected by last month’s winner of the challenge, Diana Wallace Peach.. I have composed a double Etheree – The Moonlight Concerto

This weekend the last two chapters of my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. A surprise visitor changes Imogen’s future.

The final chapter…a new life

In the UK according to overall cancer statistics from Cancer Research UK there were 363,484 new cases in 2016, and 164,900 deaths in 2017. There is now a 50% survival rate over 10 years but, 38% of cancers are preventable.

This week I am share the the impact on a child’s body of a high sugar diet and lack of nutrition in relation to their brain development and hormone production as they head into puberty.

In her final post Linda Thompson shares the sadness of loss. In this case when a relationship dies and we have to leave elements of our previous life behind. Thankfully most of us find another safe haven.

New Book on the Shelves

Author Update #reviews


Thank you very much for dropping in and all your support this week. I hope you will pop in next week thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing for Authors – Preparing for an interview on Camera – Sally Cronin

 Last week I covered the basics of the preparation needed before a radio and podcast interview

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. Many thankfully only show the guest from the waist up without the long shots that show a magnitude of sins! But as with the radio and podcast interview, the opportunity to talk about your book, even for a few minutes is too good to pass up.

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!!

Paying attention to visual details

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 last week’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.

In the Television Studio

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 on 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  press releases and 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.

I hope that you have found this series helpful with regard to marketing your books on blogs, social media, locally and on radio and television. You can find all the posts in this directory:


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – The Bahamas, Chocolate, Flash Dance, Guests and Laughter.

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed here on Smorgasbord.

There are a few things going on around this neck of the woods in the coming weeks, including a bit of break from routine for me as I head off to dog and house sit for my sister whilst she takes on the Bay of Biscay in November on a cruise!

I will make sure the regulars are posted and there is plenty to read on the days that I am traveling. I intend to do some work on writing projects when I am away, but the good news is that the current WIP is now moving into the formatting phase and I hope to have it available by early December. It is a bit of a departure from my usual short story collections as I also include verse and flash fiction. I will let you know more about it nearer the time.

This year’s Christmas promotion

I am also plotting this year’s Christmas book promotions and I will be sharing a post in the next week or so about the International Christmas Book Fair which will including some guest posts on writing from some of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, offering additional separate promotional opportunities.

In the bookstore there are authors from all around the world and I want to make sure that every author is promoted. You won’t need to do a thing.. although it would be great if you would share the posts. Look out for news of this promotional feature in the last week of October with a start date of mid-November.

My thanks as always to the wonderful regular contributors and guest writers who share their work with us here. And also to you for your constant support for the blog.

Time to get on with this week’s posts….

The Travel Column this month with D.G. Kaye, is in response to the tourist board of the Bahamas request for visitors to resume their holidays on the Islands, recently devastated by the recent hurricane. Tourism is the main source of income for the Islands and without it reconstruction will be severely hampered.

We are coming to the end of the re-run of Jessica Norrie’s Literary Column from last year, with one more to come at the end of November with some great gift recommendations.. In the meantime, Jessica who was reaching a milestone birthday at the end of last year, shared books that were released in the year of her birth.. It is an interesting exercise to check which bestsellers were released at the same time as you were! The link is in the post.

Robbie Cheadle rounds off her popular series on the York Chocolate Story with the conversion of the factory to make munitions and the production of high energy sweets for life rafts.

This week my guest is Deborah Jay, with an extract from The Prince’s Man – Book One of the the Five Kingdoms Series..

If you are offered the opportunity to do a podcast or radio interview then grab it.. but also do your preparation to make sure you are getting the right message across to encourage readers to buy your book.

My book review for Silent Heroes by Patricia Furstenberg. 

I recommend that if you are unfamiliar with why and how the young men and women of our armies are involved in this conflict, that you read Silent Heroes. It is a way to honour their service, that of their canine brothers-in-arms, and the bravery of the Afghanistan population, trying to exist in a country torn apart by devastating conflict.

Chapter Seventeen and the Opening Weekend of Killbilly Hotel has is moments…including a dead body in the lounge!

Most guests are appreciative of old world charm.. but others not so much….drastic measures required..

This week for Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 148 Colleen Chesebro has given us the prompt words ‘Empty and Space and I have selected the synonyms ‘Hollow and Distance‘  A butterfly cinquain– Rejection.

In Linda Thompson’s third post, she explores the phenomenon that is the mystery of the missing sock.. it is rampant in our household too and I suspect from all the mentions online that it is now an epidemic…

This is the final post of Melanie Stewart who blogs at Leaving the Door Open: A Daughter’s stories about an aging parent. This week When The Money Runs Out

This is the final  post from Peter Mohan who blogs at Cheers, Govanhill as his alter ego .. Boy David.  Why Govanhill is just like the south of France

a deckchair pictured below the M74 motorway extension in Govanhill

Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the reproductive system. Karen Ingalls is an ovarian cancer survivor and therefore supremely qualified to write this article.. The post carries an important message about understanding how our bodies work and how we should be on the alert for anything that seems out of the ordinary. 



The Obesity epidemic – Part Four– Finding a point to intervene in the life cycle – 7 – 14 –  School Lunches This week I am going to cover, what I consider the best time to intervene in the obesity epidemic, to achieve the most effective results.

New Books on the Shelves

Author Update #Reviews

A chance to showcase some fantastic posts from fellow bloggers.

Thank you again for dropping in to visit and hope you will join me again next week for more of the same.  Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Radio or Podcast Interviews – Grab the opportunity by Sally Cronin

I was very lucky to be a radio and television presenter from 2004 – 2012 and in that time I interviewed many authors about their books. The key to an interesting interview for the listeners or viewers is in preparation and research, not just by the presenter but by the author too. The purpose of the interview is to encourage people to buy your book and read it, and that is a key element you should keep in mind when answering questions.

This week a look at how you can prepare for you interview on radio and next week on camera.

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.

Following sending out your press releases you hopefully will get some response from the media with a view to interviewing you about your book. 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. However, I would always ring a possible guest as it helped me identify how confident they would be on air. Some authors needed a little more help than others in preparing for the experience, especially when I uttered the terrifying words, ‘It’s a live interview’….

‘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, this is a wonderful opportunity to promote your book so 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 following:

  1. Your inspiration behind the book
  2. The research needed for the story
  3. The writing process
  4. The inspiration behind the characters
  5. The plot of the story (blurb)
  6. Your background
  7. Your other books or blog
  8. Your future projects
  9. How to buy the book
  10. How to connect to you.

So there are ten 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.

It is important not to just answer with monosyllabic responses… The aim is to use the allotted time to its best advantage, however short that might be. Answer the question as fully as possible and during your practice interview leading up to the interview you can edit your responses. This is why it is important to have asked for the proposed questions in advance. Try to get your answers down to around 100 words but as content rich as possible to ensure your key message which is to sell your book is accomplished. Your presenter will appreciate that very much.

The above paragraph is 100 words and would take around 30 seconds to speak.

If you only have a five minute interview and want to get 10 questions answered fully, it helps to be prepared.

It will also encourage you to not drop some common verbal punctuation into the conversation such as ‘um’ ‘you know’ etc. Which is another reason to record yourself on you phone and listen back to discover how often you use them. It is a sign of being unprepared and they waste valuable time.

Of course it is important to sound natural and don’t be afraid to respond to other questions that might naturally occur in response to something that you have said or the presenter has suddenly thought of. Which is why it is a good idea to also practice with someone else before the interview and to keep it conversational rather than too stilted.

It is important to remember, that if like me, you use the occasional swear word, that they don’t pop out unexpectedly.

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. If you are nervous about all the people who might be listening, imagine that you and the presenter are friends having a conversation. That you have the opportunity to share your passion about your book with someone really interested in knowing more about it.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Most important.. Where can the listeners buy your book, after all that is why you are here..

Next Saturday – an interview live on camera!

©Sally Cronin 2019.

You can find the other posts in the series in this directory:

Thanks for dropping in and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – First Class Jazz, Guests, Food,Books with a dash of Humour thrown in..

Welcome to the weekly round up with some of the posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord..

This week has been interesting with the tail end of Lorenzo and with two more storm fronts rolling in behind it. I almost got my wish for my own swimming pool right outside the front door but thankfully we had one sunny day in the week and another today to evaporate some of the moisture. I have decided that my arthritis in my knee is actually rust and am going to see if the DIY hack of using WD40 might help.

But I cannot complain as the tiny pansies that I planted along with the mini cyclamens are thriving despite wind and rain and they are clearly Irish born and bred.

The week’s continue to fly by and hard to believe it is October, until you go into the supermarket and see that Quality Street is back in tins, two for a tenner and frozen turkey’s are on special! They do draw the line at mentioning the ‘C’ word but any week now..

Anyway… here are the posts from the week and thanks to the contributors who give up their time and offer their expertise to us all.. and to you for your continued support.

This week William Price King shares the life and music of Bill Evans, American Jazz pianist and composer (1929 – 1980).

Author Robbie Cheadle has been sharing  The York Chocolate story with us, following her recent trip to the UK. The York Chocolate Series Part Four – Chocolate in wartime First World War 1914 – 1918

Annette Rochelle Aben takes us through the Universal Energy of October… what does it hold in store for you?

The series continues after the summer break with a look at the minerals we can become deficient in… this week we feature Calcium and Carol Taylor whips up a couple of great recipes to make sure you and your family are getting sufficient.

Silvia Todesco shares the recipe for a wonderfully warming autumn soup..Orange Creamy Butternut..


Today my guest is Marian Longenecker Beaman talking about her recently released memoir Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

It is my mother’s birthday today and she would have been 102. Goodness knows what mischief she would have been up to if still with us, but I have a feeling that she is probably with my father and has got him suited and booted and going to a dinner dance tonight. Happy Birthday Mollie Eileen (The Duchess) 1917 – 2012

Imogen heads off to the wilds of Cornwall to start working at Killbilly Hotel… with a very spooky welcome..Chapter Fifteen – Killbilly Hotel, Cornwall and a Gothic Welcome.

The new job begins training up the staff for the opening weekend party. Chapter Sixteen.

This week it is poet’s choice for Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 147 and since time is whizzing faster than I can keep up with… I thought I would remind you just what October is really all about…time to get prepared for the night of reckoning….The Spell by Sally Cronin

Delighted to share my review for the latest children’s book by Eloise de Sousa.. Space Dust which is available in print.

Getting yourself noticed locally – Media

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.

New Book on the Shelves

Author Update #Reviews

In her second post, Linda Thompson shares her encounter with Donna C… who matured faster than her fellow schoolmates and had two elder sisters to give her a head start. Linda also has some wisdom to share on body image.. Thank you, Donna C., Wherever You Are

Hippy girl clip art

This is the third post of Melanie Stewart who blogs at Leaving the Door Open: A Daughter’s stories about an aging parent.  In this post, Melanie’s mother faces the loss of a friend who had become like a sister to her. Saying Goodbye, a Story of a Friendship

This is the third  post from Peter Mohan who blogs at Cheers, Govanhill In this post witty observations on the absurdity of modern life. I’m not going to Polmadie at this time of night

A statue of Oor Wullie dressed as Jimi Hendrix, one of many across Glasgow

The Female Reproductive System – The fertile years 10 – 50 years old. In this third part of the series on the female reproductive system a look at some of the health issues that might occur in the 40 years that it is active.

In  part two of this series I looked at diet from two to seven years old with the emphasis on  developing a healthy immune system in a relatively short window of time. This week I look at declining activity levels for this age group.

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have a fantastic week ahead… Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Getting yourself noticed locally – Media and Bookshops – Sally Cronin

Getting yourself noticed locally – Media

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.

I interviewed many authors on my Sunday Morning Radio show and one of the elements to a book that really gets the attention of the press and radio, is if the book has a local connection. With a story that is set in the area or a history book about the area or a well known character from the area.  This also applies on a wider scale, and certainly it does not harm your chances if you mention Ireland or something Irish in the title or taglines.

Sending out press releases to your local press and radio.

There are certainly a couple of things to consider when marketing your book, and one of those is cost.  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?

These days it is important 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  Never, be afraid to ask your contacts on any of your social media sites for help.  Your contacts 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.

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 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 – Published October 5th (not the actual date of Sam’s book)

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.

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 over 200,000 views a year and an established presence on key social media sites of 45,000 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.


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?

Follow up

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.

After a week follow up your press release by a phone call to the person you sent it too. If you get put through, remind them who you are and that your press release was regarding you latest book by name.(they may have had 30 such emails). and that you wondered if they had any questions they would like to ask you about the book.  Either they will tell you they are not interested or they will offer you an interview…..

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.

You need to do your research to find the right person to direct your press release to, so focus on a radius of around 20 kilometres of your home town. If you want to send your press release to a wider audience, then you might consider a press release distribution website.. here is one link mainly for the USA.. but there are others in the UK.

Dropping in with your book and your Press Release Personally.

I found that the most effective method of getting your book and your press release noticed is to drop them off personally. A physical copy in their hands is much more difficult to say not to!

I was living in Spain when my first book Size Matters was published and I dropped it off at the local English speaking radio Station.. Whilst I was chatting to the receptionist the morning show presenter Kelli Brett came in, frustrated because her guest – a famous male ballet dancer had decided not to turn up.. She asked if I would like to go on her show to talk about my book. I leapt at the chance and as a result I became the show’s health consultant for four years, and let to me also editing and presenting the Short Story Competition for two years.

When I was back living in the UK to look after my mother, I dropped Just Food for Health off at the local station in Portsmouth, and after the first interview I ended up with two shows a week, including the Sunday Morning show, and co-presented Drive Time twice a week for two years.

Dropping in works with bookshops too.

One of the questions that you are likely to be asked in an interview in the paper or on radio is ” Where is your book available”. It is very helpful to have at least one bookshop in your local area carrying your books, and the more the better. I have found it useful to call in with one of the books and ask if they will place it on the counter and if it sells to take more. Some chain bookstores will have a central buyer, but for small indie bookshops you should find the owner or manager more than happy to help you.

They may take more if you happen to mention that you are hoping to be interviewed in the local paper and on radio and that they would love to mention their shop for people to buy.

Be aware that most bookshops will take 30 to 40% commission on books they sell and some can be a bit slow to pay.. But if you have more than one book they may also take others depending on the sales of the current one.

You can also look at other outlets too. For example my family health book was sold through Hair and Beauty Salons where mums would be sitting in the waiting room  One of the health books was on the magazine table with a label saying available at the reception desk for £15. The salon took £5..I also had copies in two dentists and they sold a number of copies. The book is A4 with 360 pages so is heavy. Buying direct saves readers the postage they would have to pay buying through Amazon.

A final few words

When approaching radio stations it is important that you include any experience you have had as a public speaker or previous radio or television interviews. This will give them confidence that you will give a good interview for their audience.

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.

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

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


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – A Fairy Story, Evergreen, Chocolate, Health, New Books and Reviews oh and a lot of laughter..

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might of missed this week on Smorgasbord.

September 29th each year is a very special date for us… and I thought I would share with you a fairy story that explains its significance.

Once upon a time there was a red-headed girl who was assistant manager in a hotel in a small hamlet in Mid-Wales.  Bontddu ( the dd is th in Welsh and the u is ee so pronounced Bontthee) I mention this as my mother insisted on telling everyone that Sally was working in a hotel in Bonteedudu!

I had been there for 18 months and to be honest, the little time I had between shifts was spent either sleeping or walking (I had no car) to the two towns equal distance 5 miles each way. Dolgellau and Barmouth a delightful seaside resort with a long sandy beach.

I had been married before for seven years and that had foundered around the four year mark but dragged on for another three (I must have broken a mirror). I was quite determined that I was never getting married again after this experience, and to this end I still wore a wedding ring to deter any possible overtures I might have been lucky enough to receive.

On one sunny Snowdonia morning (rare at certain times of the year) I intercepted a phone call in reception from someone wishing to book two rooms for two weeks.  I will admit that I was quite taken with the soft Irish accent of the man on the other end of the phone, and having reserved the two rooms, I put the receiver down and turned to one of the receptionists and uttered the famous last words ” He sounds rather nice, I think I’ll marry him!”  Much hilarity ensued and a week went by.

On the day of the reservation I had been off for a few hours and returned to assume restaurant management duties.  In those days I was required to wear a long dress in the evenings at dinner and guests were formally accompanied to their tables.  It was not long before I identified the Irish accent as Room 40.  Tall, dark haired and very handsome, a veritable Prince Charming.  To be honest I was all of a twitter (not the 140 character kind) and during the course of my duties I enquired of room 40 if he had been given sufficient crackling….

To cut a short story even shorter.  I arranged a number of meetings and dinners for Room 40, and two weeks went by without so much of flicker of interest from said resident.  If not for the opportune intervention of a couple who were regular guests at the hotel it may well have remained a disappointing encounter.

They enquired, obviously in earshot of Room 40, if my divorce had been finalised.  I replied that I had received that particular gift on my birthday back in February, and that I was officially free again.  Well, talk about Speedy Gonzalez…. before I could say I was not that kind of girl, the next day I was taken out on my day off for lunch, treated to a Chinese Takeaway when I got off duty that night, and presented with a Celtic pendant for all my assistance..

There must have been more than MSG in the Chinese because I suddenly heard the words “I think there is only one thing for us to do, will you marry me”

I think my flabber must have been well and truly gasted because before I could laugh at this insane proposal, on our first date, barely past first name terms, I said yes.

That was 29th September 1980, 13 days after his arrival at the hotel and into my life. And forget the long engagement.  He found us a flat in Dolgellau, posted the bans at the local registry office and 39 years ago on November 15th, we were married on a wild and blustery Welsh morning.  Even more shocked than the bride where her parents, the groom’s parents and my boss.

After the proposal David left to get the flat organised whilst I went into the hotel for the normal busy Saturday.  My boss was enjoying his morning coffee with the local paper when I announced casually I was getting married… “Who the hell to”…was the response and mine ” Room 40″

We have travelled the world together, lived in 17 homes both temporary and permanent, worked side by side and on occasion in separate countries.  We have had our moments but they have been brief and usually down to me being a bit of a handful! We are best friends and have shared laughter, loss and humour, and somewhere I believe there is a very smug fairy godmother….

Time to get on with this week’s posts that you might have missed….

As always my thanks to contributors and guests who take the time to write such amazing posts, that are informative, entertaining and inspiring.  And to you for dropping in and being part of the week.

Jessica Norrie is exploring books that are set on the coastline in various places around the world. I love the sea and hope that when we buy our final house it has a view of the ocean and all its changing moods.

Today my guests is Abbie Johnson Taylor who shares her inspirations and writing with an excerpt from her latest release The Red Dress.

The York Chocolate Series – Part Three – Chocolate in wartime Second Anglo Boer War 1899 – 1902 – In 1899, war broke out for the second time between the British Empire and the two Boer Republics in South Africa. In advance of Christmas 1899, Queen Victoria asked Cadbury, which held a Royal Warrant as suppliers of cocoa and chocolate products, to produce tins of chocolate to send to the British men fighting in South Africa as a gift..

A combined post today with a new book promotion and my review for The Quest for Home, the second book in the Crossroads Trilogy by Jacqui Murray.

Previously  Imogen takes a temporary job selling advertising for a local paper and ends up running a very interesting section … selling personal services! Chapter Thirteen – Makeover and the art of buying a car.

Previously  Imogen went into Central London for a much needed makeover and shopping trip, which brought to mind her friends escapades when buying a new car. She now moves on to a private school where she finds more interesting characters. Chapter Fourteen – Mayhew School for Boys and Girls.

Time for this week’s response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 146 and this week we are tasked with finding synonyms for the words ‘Fall and Give‘.. and I have chosen ‘Drop and Gift’..

This week on the  Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills   the challenge was to write a story in 99 words on the subject of someone unremembered…The Close Match

This week I am going to Facebook in relation to book marketing and also the benefits of joining an exclusive watering hole on social media platforms

This week a song that many of us remember and still love today.. Evergreen by Barbra Streisand from the 1976 film “A Star is Born

Linda Thompson’s first post is a wonderful, nostalgic look back through the years to special family dinners and how it is so important that our elderly parents are given the opportunity to still feel useful in our lives. A Place at the Table for All

This is the final post from educator and author Pete Springer .I think most of us who have finished our careers allegedly to retire, find there are elements of our jobs that are missed, and in this post, Pete shares the ones that he misses the most about teaching. What I Miss Most About Being a Teacher by Pete Springer

This is the second post of Melanie Stewart, she is faced with a logistical nightmare to get on the road for a trip and deal with a sudden change to her 87 year old mother, Ginny’s cable set up. The Cable Debacle.

This is the second  post from Peter Mohan who blogs at Cheers, Govanhill as his alter ego .. Boy David. I selected this post as we head into the late autumn and we get visitors both of the garden variety and field. Footprints in the Butter – Cheers Govanhill.

a collage of mice, all over the flat

New books on the shelves

Author Updates – Reviews and offers.

The major organs and systems of the body – The female reproductive system, the endocrine system and hormones.


The obesity epidemic and finding a point to intervene in the life cycle – this week the diet of two to seven year olds, can determine their health in adulthood.


Thank you so much for being part of the week here on Smorgasbord, and I hope you have enjoyed your visit.. please pop in again next week.. thanks Sally.



Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing – Online Watering Holes for Authors – Facebook, Exclusive Watering Holes, and LinkedIn by Sally Cronin

So far in this series I have focused on Amazon Author pages, Goodreads and the book marketing potential of your covers, titles, tag lines and key words and making best use of your blog:

This week I am going to Facebook in relation to book marketing and also the benefits of joining an exclusive watering hole on social media platforms.

This is not intended to be the definitive guide to Facebook, but just some suggestions to new authors who are getting started. I am sure that those of you with established pages find them successful for your marketing needs, and am only sharing my own experiences.

When I first joined Facebook ten years ago it was to keep in touch with friends from work and places we had lived. It was a simpler time, and people chatted about their everyday lives and you shared as much or as little as you wanted to.

Over the years it has become increasingly more complicated, especially if you are a blogger and author looking to market your books and blog without creating a page and being constantly hassled to upgrade, pay to advertise etc. Which I did for a year, until I realised that my page was followed by those already following me on my personal page, and therefore I was spending my time growing a following that I already had.

There are new policies introduced on a regular basis that impacts your visibility. Posting and interactions with others is filtered, and not everything that you should be seeing is available to you or your friends. Also Facebook will decide to put posts into places such as Timeline Review for that adds time and additional effort to ensure that they are shared with others.

Another interesting issue that impacted authors was concerning reviews on Amazon, and the purge of hundreds of thousands of reviews from ‘friends’ and therefore assumed to be paid for or fake.

First: when you are in contact with hundreds and even thousands of authors who are also readers, they most likely will review your book. That does not mean that they are fake.

Secondly: Allegedly Facebook sold all our information to Amazon which is the only way they knew about our ‘friends’.

Following the 2016 election and alleged fake news…. things got even more stringent and now, if you so much as dare post anything Facebook considers to be spam or unacceptable by their algorithms, you are rapped on the wrist for contravening community standards, and if they feel justified in blocking your content or suspending your account for a week or longer.

Earlier this year I found myself blocked from sharing any external URL on Facebook, or even sharing posts from Facebook to my own account. I went through the futile attempt to appeal, speak to a living person, reason with an adamant robot, and shut down my account and left for six weeks.

But, I kept getting messages from Facebook to my email about how I was missed by my friends and why had I stopped posting and when was I coming back. So I checked and found that despite closing down my account very firmly, it was alive and well and still active.

I missed my friends from Facebook and keeping up to date with all of them, and finally succumbed and began posting again. Also over the ten years I had developed over 4000 connections, most of whom are authors, and I didn’t want to lose contact especially as many are in the Cafe and Bookstore.

But in the meantime I had checked out some forums to find out how to avoid being blocked and suspended again.

The biggest problem is being labelled as spam and so if I share for example, Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Update, New Book on the Shelves, Book Marketing that could be up to eight posts in the week… Facebook would just see Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore and conclude that it is eight identical posts.  The same applies to most of my other posts which usually have Smorgasbord in the title. So sometimes branding your blog can be a disadvantage if you are a serial blogger as I am.

One useful tip that can get through as the URL does not contain the blog name or frequent named series is before you publish your WordPress blog post.

Click on Get Shortlink

Cut and paste the short link into Facebook manually then post.. that usually seems to work for me… but I am still careful about how many times a day that I post.

I have now managed to keep out of trouble by following this different posting process, but most of you should not have a problem if you are only posting external URLs once or twice a day.

You might find this posts interesting on the subject of staying out of Facebook jail:

As a new author to Facebook, without already having an established personal account, you might consider creating your own page on the platform, and to use it as a way to sell books direct.

The one drawback of starting from scratch is that it will take some time to establish connections. However, one way to do that is to join some of the writing and author groups that are well established and connect to their members directly.  More about these groups shortly.

I am not planning on reinventing the wheel and here is a very informative post on how to set up a business post on Facebook:

If you already have an established personal account on Facebook you can still market your books using posts from your blog and other’s blog, provided you don’t use the direct selling link.

The biggest red flag to Facebook is an external selling link such as Amazon. But you can still market your books and promote your blog on your personal account and boost that exposure by joining two or three key groups that have been established to reach new readership.

Once you have joined the groups you can also upload book marketing and blog promotion links directly into them. Again you will find that groups have also a policy against direct selling links, but those can be in your original post on your blog, or even someone other’s blog who is promoting you.

Exclusive watering holes for like minded writers and readers.

Whilst the main watering holes are helpful in getting your book noticed, you can make an even more effective impact by joining groups where your specific genre is appreciated and sort after.  Or where you are part of a community that shares and supports each other not just on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and your blog, but across all of the platforms.

Here are some groups that you might like to join on Facebook and Twitter, and in particular the ones that  that I belong to. As an author it is good to be in the company of others and don’t forget that authors are readers too.

The Literary Diva’s Library for book news, reviews and interviews:

The Literary Diva’s Library started as a creative collaboration between admins D.G. Kaye, Colleen Chesebro & Sally Cronin with the intention of providing a place for independent authors to get the word out about their books, through thoughtful reviews, and book promotions. Think of us as the place to find your next favorite read!

As a member of this group you can share book reviews you’ve written, book reviews written about your own books, and book promotions featuring price specials including and announcing release dates.

Other posts that can be shared are those that discuss how to write book reviews, how to design book covers, and other book review related information from Amazon, GoodReads, and publishing platforms like Draft2Digital.

Currently at 217 members and again growing, it is small enough that you will soon get to know everyone, and if you interact by liking,commenting and sharing posts, visiting co-member’s blogs etc, you will find that in a short space of time you are being shared too.

Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Group-

A supportive group for authors, bloggers, and book bloggers to create a community of like-minded individuals. Admins are M. J. (Marjorie) Mallon and D.G. Kaye (Debbie Gies). and is a great place to share your blog posts and news about your books. Currently 150 members but growing.. and you get to know people better than in some of the larger groups. Too big and you get lost in the noise..

The Poetry Sharing Group:

Again another supportive group and if you are already a member of the blogging community you will be familiar with many of the faces here. Robbie Cheadle is our Admin and has grown to 108 members quickly. If like me you participate in poetry challenges, or you have a poetry collection being released, this is a great place to showcase your work.

An example of some of the other groups that are more genre specific that it can be useful to join to gain more readers. Do be aware that they have strict guidelines on what you can post.

Romance Writers and Readers United:

This group has been active since 2013 and the Admin is MIchelle Miles and Moderator is Doug Simpson. Currently with 2083 members it is still at a size where you won’t be lost in the daily postings.  If you are uncertain about the sub-genres acceptable get in touch with Michelle.

Welcome to the group! This open group is a place for readers and writers of romance to connect! All subgenres welcome.

NO SPAM. This is for ROMANCE BOOK PROMO only. Do not post nonfiction books or a genre other than romance. NO ADS which includes posts on how to increase your kindle/nook/etc sales. Posts will be deleted and users banned immediately. No exceptions.

Please do not post your stories in their entirety here. They will be deleted.

Readers and Writers of Paranormal Romance and Horror:
This group has been active since 2014 and has 763 members and the admin is Tracy H. Kitts. When you check through the members it will tell you how many of your current friends are also members, which is a good indicator of the effectiveness of the group.

This group is for people who love to read and/or write Paranormal Romance and Horror. All are welcome to post book links, reviews, and blog posts. My only request is that you do not share links more than once a day. 🙂 Oh, and no porn, please.

You will find similar groups on Twitter
If you are a London based writer for example, then this group might be useful for you as it is not just online but holds events and competitions etc.
 London Writers Cafe with 7,300 members
London’s most active fiction writing community with 3,200 members. Emissary of enviable writing, competitions & events. Led by @lisasShare and @ElizabethWaight –
If you are one of those about to challenge yourself to writing 50,000 words in November then this group would be worth joining
NaNoWriMo – One of the biggest with 190,000 followers for writers completing the November book writing challenge:
Interesting that nearly 1000 of my own twitter followers, are part of this group, not sure I will see much of them over the next month!
Dive into the literary mayhem! Pen a novel in a month with NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, and the world’s largest writing community.

You get the idea. These are the specialist watering holes and most platforms have similar groups to check out. I suggest that next time you are on social media that you search for your particular genre on non-fiction subject, and location and find yourself an exclusive spa to hang out on.

I have now covered the main platforms that I use for book marketing… my blog, Twitter and Facebook.

I also am on LinkedIn, Pinterest and the newest social media on the blog, MeWe.


I have been on LinkedIn for many years as it was useful in relation to my career, but I stayed there as an author, as I am now self-employed and in business. Over the last two to three years more and more authors are using LinkedIn to promote their books and blogs and unlike the other platforms, many who follow me there are not duplicated. So fresh eyes to my marketing.  I recommend that if you have been on there and built up a reasonable following over the years that you update your profile to including your books and blog and add your posts on those that you feel other business people and authors would find interesting.

If we have not connected to LinkedIn as yet here is my link:


MeWe is very similar to Facebook but guarantees that is will not sell any of your information. I have a personal account and also belong to mirror groups as an admin, such as The Literary Diva and Author/Blogger Rainbow support group. Both of which are still growing and have unique members who are tired of Facebook’s restrictions and use of personal data. It will take some time to be as effective as Facebook just on sheer numbers but well worth considering, especially as it will grow in numbers over time.

Personal Account :
Authors/Bloggers –
Literary Diva’s Hangout:
Poetry Sharing Group:

My Twitter and Facebook links


Next week a look at a local approach to book marketing with print copies, and how to get the news out to the press and local radio.

Thanks for dropping in and your feedback is much appreciated as always.. Sally.