Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Social Media Shenanigans, Spring Flowers, Mexican Getaways, Italian Food, music, humour and Fabulous Guests

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

Firstly, an update on the Facebook debacle which only gets worse I am afraid. I know that several of you have been hit by blocked posts that contain links and are still having issues. I can comment, and share posts internally on Facebook but post links are still being blocked.

Disturbingly today that included the link to Debby Gies Sunday Interview which I sent to her in a Direct Message… supposedly private! It was blocked and in bold red told me that it did not meet community standards. I have appealed of course but it does have a warning for us all. Do not disclose private information in a direct message. For example if as they say Facebook is selling our data to health insurance companies, and we mention in a private message about a health issue we have to a friend, and then apply for insurance! Does that sound paranoid? Probably. What about your email address that you send in a message, or your postal address and the dates you will be away on vacation.

I had no illusions about Facebook but they have now embarked on a wholesale censorship programme that is unacceptable. They want you to have a page where they can bombard you with messages to boost your post to thousands of others at a cost. And they want to encourage you to buy from one of their advertisers and when you do, by all accounts you never hear the last of them.

I have friends and family on Facebook and I can at least for the time being share your posts from there. But over the next few weeks as MeWe grows and develops and the author’s group which now has nearly 50 members – I will be only using Facebook sparingly to stay in touch and to share others work internally. Eventually, I will be closing my account as I won’t be blackmailed or have any more of my private messages intercepted.

On a brighter note.. I have done the sums and the statistics show that the referrals to the blog is approximately 10%…thankfully most of those who share from Facebook are also contacts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or other sites that I am a member of such as MeWe. My main concern was for the book promotions that I post for other authors but after two weeks there has been no change to the response which is a relief.

Thank you for all your support and I appreciate all the shares to FB from here in the past, but I have now permanently removed the share button, as I don’t want you to be faced with messages from FB telling you that it is not allowed. They are intimidating and offer not recourse so I am done.

And as an aside.. new users are asked for a photograph before they are allowed to sign up for an account. It can take several days to get back to you. But in the meantime with facial recognition they can have mined a great deal of information about who you are and your history online. Whilst this does mean that the fake generals and other trolls will not be accepted, it also means that they can pick and choose who they admit to the site and if you do not fit their profile as a potential buyer of the advertising that they send your way… who knows where it will lead!

It is now affecting millions of users and you might find this post interesting sourced by Carol Taylor:

On with the posts from the week, and as always I am very grateful to the contributors who spend time and a great deal of effort to write columns and guest articles.

Welcome to Debby Gies March edition of her Travel Column where she shares the first part of her trip and two month vacation in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.. and the flight did not go as planned!

This week Paul Andruss shares the bulbs that will make your late spring garden abundant with colour.

This week my guest is regular contributor non-fiction author D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies who reveals her contents of her purse, fashion sense, strangest dream and her love (hate) of the vacuum!

This week Silvia Todesco shares a fabulous recipe for oven baked, bacon wrapped cod which has to be a family favourite..

This week we look at the health benefits of honey… and Carol Taylor uses this as an ingredient in some stunning dishes.

A new series looking at ‘One Hit Wonders‘ from the 1950s onwards….this week ‘Lollipop’ by Ronald and Ruby…who were they, were are they now?

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 127 and this week the prompt words are ‘Follow and Lead’…. I have chosen ‘Succeed and Hint’ as my synonyms.

A further look at the rights as laid down by the United Nation that we should all be entitled to, but have an obligation to protect.

It is March 1986 and we drive back from Atlanta in one day.. and attend a BBQ cookout in Conroe Texas, this is my letter home to my parents in the UK.

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills involves a chisel…as a noun or a verb… you will also enjoy Charli’s description of the thaw that is occurring on her finger (or thumb) that reaches out in to Lake Superior- here is my response – The Dancer.

Before you Get Started on your weight loss programme– Managing People, Environment and your expectations

This week Balroop Singh shares her experience of arranged marriages and her own happy relationship.

This week Darlene Foster finds and visits the grave of her great-great-grandmother.


In this post Jennie Fitzkee shares the connections that she was able to make between reading Little House on the Prairie and her own grandfather from a similar era and his experiences of mining.


This week Robbie Cheadle shares a wonderful poem that she wrote on 9th of February 2017 which was her sixteenth Wedding Anniversary…


Sharon Marchisello shares the strategies that her mother employed to make the most of every penny.

Bette Stevens shares a moving poem in tribute to her mother.

New book on the shelves

Author Updates – Reviews

Thank you very much for all your support and I would love to hear from you about any of the posts or if you would like some book promotion. .Have a great week.. thanks Sally.


E-books – writing, publishing and marketing. Creating a presence in the market place.

E-books – writing, publishing and marketing. Creating a presence in the market place..

via E-books – writing, publishing and marketing. Creating a presence in the market place..

E-books – writing, publishing and marketing. Creating a presence in the market place.

At the end of the blog – could I ask your help please.  I am using my other book that has been published recently as an experiment in marketing for the blog on E-books.  Details at the end.  Don’t worry no money involved!!

Marketing started with your Title – now time to get ready for the launch.

So now you have a incredible title, that is also your headline for your advertising (marketing) – you have had your book edited, formatted, it has an ISBN and it is either in print or E-versions or both.

In my experience, if this is a first or second book, whatever the genre, it is a good idea to begin your marketing locally.

The first step is to create a presence.  Some people love social media websites and others cannot see the point.  Fair enough, but if you are an author or blogger you will find it difficult to get your work noticed if you have not created some form of footprint.

People tend to over estimate how many copies of their first book (and 2nd, 3rd etc) they are going to sell.  Realistically, depending on the subject matter – 100 to 150 copies of your first self-published print or E-book is about the norm unless it really catches the attention of influencers locally and in the media.

Friends, family and your social networking contacts will make up the majority of that number and therefore the more contacts you have and your family and friends have the better.  There also may be local events where your book could be promoted and sold.  One of our authors was able to market his book on Pop culture at rock and roll events around the city.

You need to tailor your profile to reflect your work.  Do not be shy about commenting on your progress throughout the writing and formatting process.  In fact why not write a blog about the journey?

You cannot come straight out of the gate – with your book, and start from scratch.  Part of your marketing process is to have already created an expectation.

I am on my seventh book and so when you google me – Sally Georgina, or G Cronin quite a few references come up (not a tenth of the references to Wilbur Smith unfortunately!)

I have spent the last 15 years developing my brand and promoting it.  My first book back in 2002 got local and national press interest and I have built on that.

The place to start is your local marketing – many national stories are picked up from local press and that includes local radio.  I began my broadcasting work in Spain because I went in with a copy of Size Matters to the local station in Marbella.  I intended leaving a copy and a letter asking for an interview, but a guest had failed to turn up.  The presenter was fuming and came into reception during a music break.  I was there and prepared so I took that guest’s place.  That turned into a weekly health slot and in time to my own radio programmes in the UK.

This also refers back to my blog on print v E-version.  I always print around 50 copies for review and marketing – competing with the thousands of new titles that have been published at the same time is tough enough – these days a book in hard copy is actually the exception and more likely to get somebody’s attention.  Just because E-books may be the medium of the future do not write off print just yet.

Before you start your promotion – spend some time online.

Google yourself. Have you a presence already that could be exploited and built on?

Google your subject matter. Has there been any topical news stories that might give you a handle to use?  For example the week before I launched Forget the Viagra – Pfizer lost its patent for Viagra in 19 European countries!

Update your Facebook and LinkedIn or any other social media website you use.  Start creating an expectation about the launch of your book.

Make an email address list of your local media – newspapers – websites – free listings – radio stations (including Internet and Community) – identify key journalists who would be appropriate – book column – health – history etc.

Make a list of postal addresses to send print copies to.  Personally when local, be prepared to walk in the door and leave at reception with a note or card with your contact details.  The personal approach is always more effective.  Even if your book is an E-version you can still hand deliver your press release.

Make an email list of national press and magazines that might be interested in your book – you may not use until after your local launch but it will be prepared.

Ask your contacts if they have any connections who might be able to help promote your book.  Remember that someone with 500 contacts on LinkedIn could have 25,000 2nd and 3rd level contacts and a note on their webpage could open doors for you.

Find out if there are appropriate local events where you might be able to take a stand to promote your print copies.

Prepare or get some help to prepare a webpage or website that you can sell through – particularly if in E-version where the margins are small.


You need to craft your press release as carefully as your book.  Take your time with it so that when you have either your e-versions ready on Amazon or your own webpage or you have the print book actually in your hand (always a good idea) you are ready to send to your prepared media lists.  Remember whenever possible hand deliver.

Next time – grabbing attention with your headline and press release.

Your help would be appreciated.

I originally wrote Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story as a tribute to a beloved family pet.  It was written from his perspective and as true to his life and experiences as I could remember. I sent copies to all the people who knew him but word got around that it was a fun read so the book became an E-book as well and is now on Amazon as well as my webpage.

As an example of creating a presence please  Google – Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Sally Cronin – You will find a couple of pages of references already and then they change to my other books.

Then if you could go to Facebook if you are a member and like Sam’s page – that would be very helpful – and perhaps you might ask your contacts to do the same.  My aim to get 100 likes by Christmas.

Also if you would like to connect either on my Facebook – Sally Cronin or on LinkedIn that would be great.

I have already sent some press releases out for the book – and it will be interesting how this experiment in E-book marketing goes.

Thank you very much for reading and also for any help you can give to push Sam’s book.