"I can help you!"


I've worked for over 25 years in advertising, promotions and sales, and spent nearly 2 years as a motivational speaker for a major international company. Currently a bestselling novelist and 'shameless' promoter, I've shared my experiences and techniques as a Book Marketing Coach for nearly a decade.

Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help. My last publisher called me a "marketing guru" and "whiz", although I prefer to think of what I do as teaching, or coaching.

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Dare to Dream...and Dream BIG!"

People always told me I was a dreamer. And they were right! For 2 years I dreamt of the story behind my critically-acclaimed novel Whale Song.

In 2003, my dream came true in the form of a book I could hold in my hands.

In 2007, Whale Song was picked up by a bigger publisher.

Now in 2009, I'm negotiating a major motion picture deal with a respected producer. The film deal includes major publication in hardcover and paperback by a top US publisher.

It all started with a dream...and the persistence to never give up.

So if you have a dream, don't give up. Never give up! Pursue it with all your heart.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Creating mock book covers

Book covers can make or break a book, and I've been lucky to have 4 published novels with 4 covers that were well received by readers. Often when I'm working on a novel, I'll design a "mock book cover". It helps to inspire me to really visualize the finished product, even if it isn't the most professional cover. Of course, the published cover isn't even close to the mock one I design.

For the "Next Best Celler" novel contest, sponsored by Textnovel and Dorchester Publishing, I'm working on a romance novel. Lancelot's Lady is the name of the romantic suspnese I've entered, and it very quickly took off, making the #1 spot out of all contest entries for the month of June 2009. Last time I checked, Lancelot's Lady was also #5 in Most Popular Stories.

To keep me motivated, I designed a mock book cover early on (cover #1), using a few elements from the story. This early design was simple enough to add some color and excitement to my entry, while also respecting that Dorchester Publishing will have the final say in a book cover.

Weeks later, I designed a new, more romantic cover (cover #2), yet hopefully the darkness still lends to some suspense. I'd be interested in hearing what you think, but of course please keep in mind that these aren't real covers. They're really just for fun. I have no doubt that Dorchester Publishing (should I win the contest) would do a far better job at designing a suitable cover.

Lancelot's Lady by Cherish D'Angelo Lancelot's Lady by Cherish D'Angelo

...........(cover #1)...........................(cover #2)...........

So readers, now you have some extra insight into the mind of a reader--at least this one. And authors, you now have a great idea for keeping yourself inspired--create a mock book cover. :-)

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Please vote thumbs up for Lancelot's Lady (you must sign up at Textnovel.com first, then go to and click on thumbs up icon at top of page.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Authors: If you're looking for an Edmonton company to print your books, check out Scan Copy Print!

If you're a self-published author who is searching for an Edmonton printing company to print and bind your books, I highly recommend Scan Copy Print, located at 5529 Gateway Blvd, Edmonton, AB.

For two of my novels--The River and Divine Intervention--I've had this local company print and bind my books for a fraction of the cost the publisher charges. This allows the publisher to focus on online sales and long distance orders, while I can sell my locally printed books in my area at book signings. Not many subsidy publishers allow you to do this, but I'm fortunate to have a publisher who doesn't mind.

Below is my testimonial/recommendation for Scan Copy Print:

As a Canadian author, I have used the services of Scan Copy Print for a few years now, and I find the quality and service to be excellent. Whether I've ordered print runs of my novels with color covers, bookmarks, business cards or signs, Ashraf, Crystal and everyone else at Scan Copy Print always provide me with very fast service, quality graphics and design, and superb customer service. They have often gone above and beyond to ensure I have the best products. Scan Copy Print is more than a print shop; they take great pride in every product they produce, and I would and do recommend them to everyone. --Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author
I've tried a couple of other Edmonton printers, but to date this one has been my favorite, and the most reliable and helpful. Check them out! :-)

Scan Copy Print
5529 Gateway Blvd,
Edmonton, AB

Phone: 780-434-0744

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Short or long book titles?

1 word, 2 words, 3 words, 4...with book titles is less more?

A while ago I read a post by an author/publisher who wrote about book titles--should they be long or short? It made me contemplate how I named my novels, how sometimes I chose the titles before or during the writing or how the titles sometimes chose me.

The title of this publisher/author's post was Would You Pay Attention, Please? Or, How to Keep Up with Trends in Book Titles, Arguably the Most Important Element of Your Marketing! (which personally I think is ridiculously long!)

I have always believed that titles are key to a novel's success. I have searched out books in my genre and studied their titles, text placement, front cover, back cover etc and asked myself, 'Why does this book's title work?' For my own novels, my titles are always tied to the story, often in a symbolic way and sometimes in more than one way. Children of the Fog is literally children taken by a kidnapper nicknamed The Fog, and it represents the children in the story who are cloaked by an actual fog.

I might be an unusual author; I almost always have the title of the book before I've even started it, or at least before it's finished. I sometimes look within the manuscript for the title, as I did with The River--short, mysterious, adventurous, just like the novel. Some titles are just "there", in front of me before I even start writing, like Whale Song and Children of the Fog. Divine Intervention had no title a few chapters in, and then one night I saw a promo for a new TV show--Joan of Arcadia. As the preview ran, the words DIVINE INTERVENTION ironically appeared. I knew at that very moment, and the title affected some of the actual story and gave me my 'Divine' series. (I'm almost finished editing Divine Justice, book 2.)

I am also working on a suspense thriller called SUBMERGED. It's the story of a man who is submerged in grief and self-blame; and it's about a woman and her 2 children who are trapped in a submerged car--a fear that most of us have. I had the title the second I knew that the story would be about someone in a submerged vehicle. I also knew that the title was a play on words, that it would symbolize the main character's overwhelming guilt.

I have another novel plotted: The 6th Plague, a thriller about a small quarantined town gripped by a deadly plague during a film festival. I actually played with a few titles, until I realized what the invasion was going to be--and when I looked up the Deadly Plagues, I found that the 6th one--boils--was perfect. The idea for the story and the title came to me within 5 days.

As for subtitles, I have an aversion to long ones, unless they're absolutely necessary and ONLY for nonfiction. If the main title gives you enough information, then I wouldn't want a subtitle. But if you can't understand what the book is about from the main, then a subtitle is vital. Take for instance this nonfiction title: Kissed by an Angel. Does it tell you what the book is about? No. I am working on a nonfiction book titled: Kissed by an Angel: 12 Steps to Surviving the Death of a Child. This is not just a 12-step program, but a look into the paranormal/spiritual and healing side of grief.

As a reader, I tend to be drawn mostly to suspense fiction with titles that are most often two words. Years ago I read an article by someone who had researched some of the best known book titles. Guess what he discovered? These bestselling books had titles of 1-4 words! Rarely any more than that.

If you're a bookworm, please comment on your preference for titles. If you're an author, which do you prefer--short, long or somewhere in between? I look forward to reading your replies.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song