"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Whether you're published or unpublished, I can help.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!"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Top 10 Reasons Why Authors Should Network with & Market to Libraries

When one of my coaching clients asked me what I thought were the top 10 reasons why authors should network with libraries, I created this quick list.

1. Libraries BUY books.
2. People still use libraries and will continue to do so.
3. Libraries are getting into ebooks.
4. Libraries love author visits.
5. Libraries often have other events you can attend.
6. You can arrange to sell your books to patrons during events in a library.
7. Libraries know other authors to which you can connect.
8. Libraries give your books more exposure.
9. Public Lending Right Commission will pay Canadian authors every year based on how many of their works are in public libraries, while Access Copyright pays authors for the use of their work in educational systems (& elsewhere).
10. You’ll be able to tell readers your books are in the library.

Authors and libraries go hand in hand. Both have a love for the written word, for books and ebooks. Both can work together compatibly to give readers what they want--access to books and ebooks. It's a win-win for everyone concerned.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why You Still Don't Have an Agent: "Self-Sabotoge"

Why You Still Don't Have an Agent: "Self-Sabotoge"
by Jeff Rivera, founder of 

If there's one thing that bothers me it's when you see a very talented writer ruin their chances of ever getting an agent. And it's not because they're not talented enough, or not nice enough or hard-working enough.  It's often because on some level, they're self-sabotaging their own success.

I ghost write query letters for clients and I recently had an Asian-based client who did exactly that. He had a wonderful storyline and I encouraged him, before we sent the query letter out, to get his manuscript as ready as possible.  If that meant having it professionally edited, so be it. I even had the name of editors who formally worked at major publishing houses who could do so for him here: http://tinyurl.com/2uqu2mj.

His response?  He wanted to leave the manuscript as he put it, "raw so that literary agents can see my full-potential."  Um, no.

No matter how much I gently encouraged him thatmaybe that wasn't the best route, he didn't want to listen. I told him that you only have one shot at these agents and you want to make a good first impression, yet he insisted he was right.

Here I am, dealing with literally hundreds of literary agencies a year. They tell me exactly what they're looking for, why they accept and reject clients and yet he insisted that he must know better.

It's just sad to me. His manuscript had tremendous potential but it needed more than a band-aid, it needed double-bypass surgery.

My point is, when you're talking to people who do this for a living, who engage with other publishing professionals day in and day out, listen to them.  They know what they're talking about. Do that, and you'll be one step closer to landing an agent.

If you would like to see an example of query letters that worked, visit: http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com

Jeff Rivera is the founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. He and his works have been featured or mentioned in Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Mediabistro, Los Angeles Times, New York Observer, NPR and many other media outlets.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Writer's Life in Transition

Anyone who works for themselves, especially from their home, knows that life often creates unexpected challenges, and most of us know that moving through transitions is only to be expected. But it isn't always easy.

A writer will go through several transitions in his or her career. First, they must transition from hobbyist to professional. This means they must treat their writing as a career, as if they're making money already. They must model success and see themselves as a professional writer, so that others see them that way. This transition starts in the mind.

It's one thing to dream the dream of being a bestselling published author, but it's a whole other ballgame to actually pursue it. A writer must first prepare for this transition. This means taking writing courses, perfecting the craft of writing and getting their work critiqued by others. Writers must also prepare by learning everything they can about the book industry. What's happening today? What are publishers looking for?

The next transition is accepting that you most likely need help to get where you want to be. You'll need a publisher and possibly an agent. Or you could decide to self-publish. Even then, you'll need help. In this stage, you'll want to make connections and network with other authors, publishers, agents, marketing coaches, editors, etc.

Transitions may be nerve-wracking at times, but they can also be exciting. Once you've secured an agent, you've transitioned into another level, one where people take you more seriously and where you have a partner who is invested in your career. Once you have a publisher, you have another team player who wants to see you succeed.

Becoming a published author will have its ups and downs. Being a published author has them too. You'll learn to transition from solitary writer to shameless self-promoter. You have to--if you want to succeed in this industry. Promotion, like anything else, is something you can learn, even if you're a shy introvert, like I used to be.

In recent months the greatest transition for most authors has been the sudden shift into ebooks, and the ease of publishing ebooks on your own, without a publisher or agent. Yes, the times are a-changin'. And they're not going to wait for you to catch up. Right now, authors and publishers can jump on the ebook train or risk the chance of missing it or being lost in the crowd.

A writer's life is always in a state of transition, simply because we never know what's going to happen next. Will a film producer contact you out of the blue and make a film offer? Will an agent ask to see a manuscript? Will a publisher offer you a two book deal?

I've learned to roll with these transitions, to deal with them as they happen. As long as I'm moving forward, the transition is a good one. The writing world is changing rapidly and life as a writer is exciting and unpredictable. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love a good mystery!

Please help me celebrate one of my transitions--my move from Cheryl Kaye Tardif, writer of suspense thrillers, to Cherish D'Angelo, writer of steamy romantic suspense.

Lancelot's Lady by Cherish D'Angelo: 
A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.

Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. "Cherish the romance..."

You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at http://www.cherishdangelo.com and http://www.cherylktardif.blogspot.com.

What transitions have you made recently, and how do you feel about them?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Here's another short article about building a platform from author and publishing expert Jeff Rivera. Enjoy! ~Cheryl

by Jeff Rivera, founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com 

Agents are in the business of selling books. That's what they do. They're not our best friends, they're not our therapists, and they're not our life coaches.

The best agents put their nose to the ground, they focus on what they do best which is generating enough excitement on a book that they sell it for as high of a price as possible. When you get paid, they get paid. End of story.

The publishing landscape has changed dramatically the last few years. Whereas just having the credentials and a well-written book proposal could have sold your book even a couple of years ago, nowadays you need to bring your own fanbase. That is, you need more than just 10,000 Twitter followers, you need people who are poised and ready to purchase your book.

If you've got that already, then you need to mention that in your very first sentence. I've recently ghost written query letters for clients who had a very strong platform. At first, they wondered why I would mention it in the very first paragraph but trusting my judgement, they went along with it.

The result? Each had over 50 agents beating down their door asking to read their proposal. You can read the actual query letters here: http://tinyurl.com/25t2mkj

One author had a novel and I only wrote one sentence about what the novel was actually about.

"Don't you think we should tell them more about it?" the client asked me.

I told him, "Who cares what it's about? You're a regular guest on Fox News."

And I was right, the agents didn't care either because tons of them requested to read his novel.

If you've got a strong platform, use this technique and you'll be one step closer to landing an agent.

If you would like to see an example of query letters that worked, visit: http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com

Jeff Rivera is the founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. He and his works have been featured or mentioned in Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Mediabistro, Los Angeles Times, New York Observer, NPR and many other media outlets.