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Monday, January 16, 2017

Chinese Ban of NYT App A Disgrace!



Apple is helping support censorship and the suppression of the free exchange of information and ideas in China.  

I like Apple and think they represent the best of the best companies, but this is just wrong.  Should their cooperation with China’s Communist government be met by a protest and boycott in America?

The truth is we’re too immersed in the Apple culture to just pull out.  This is what happens who one company has a lot of power and reach.  Same with Amazon, Facebook, Google, and a handful of others.  We become too dependent on them that, so short of murder, we lack the will or the power to do much about it.

The dangerous thing here is how easily censorship comes about.  Press a button on the Internet and some have access to is vastly different world than what others see.

The New York Times app was scrubbed from Apple’s digital store in China because the dictators there said the app violates a policy that the government issued in June.  The app apparently engages in activities that endanger national security or disrupts social order or both.

Not all media has been censored or banned, but the NYT is the biggest one blocked.  The Washington Post and WSJ, for example, are not banned.

The public record of information and ideas is distorted when some countries or Websites ban the appearance of certain apps or specific books.  When all people don’t have access to all information, and in some cases not even know what they don’t have access to, we have a compromised and diminished world.  Choices should be made not by a country or even a company – it’s up to people to choose what they buy, read or participate in.

Certainly, none of us can even consume one percent of one percent of one percent of the information circulating out there.  We lack the time, funds or awareness to download, read or consume billions of pieces of content.  But when the reason we don’t read something is because of censorship and government bans, we are outraged.  We can’t reconcile the fact that we’re purposely deprived of something – even if there was only a tiny chance we’d have read or clicked on it if given the opportunity.

It’s hard to believe that in 2017 we still discuss things like censorship in real time, but here we are.  Anything that China does impacts one in five global citizens.

But there’s censoring going on in America, too.  

School newspapers are edited by administrations.  Other publications are at the mercy of the sponsors, grants or advisers supporting them.  At libraries across the country, there are book bans going on.  An app here, a book there.  It all adds up to an uneven world, one where some ideas and facts remain out of reach to others.

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 



Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Apple iPhone Turns 10 – A Book Industry Companion?



Apple’s iPhone turned 10 this January.  Not only is it a special accomplishment for one of America’s favorite products from one of the nation’s favorite companies, but it represents a sea change in global communications and commerce.  The true mobile economy was launched with the iPhone debut on January 9, 2007.

Mass adoption of smart phones and social media came about once the advent of Apple’s phone came about.  The way we shop, socialize, or conduct business was altered permanently once we started carrying portable computers in our pockets.

How has the iPhone impacted authors, publishers, and books?  Many pros and cons came about once the iPhone became a dominant force in our culture.  

The phone allows consumers to:

·         Buy books (pro)
·         Learn about books (pro)
·         Find info for free that they’d normally pay for with a book purchase (con)
·         Be distracted from buying and reading books by all of the free content phones entertain us with (con)
·         Allows authors to use social media to promote their books (pro)
·         Allows authors to self-publish, sell via a web site, and be an independent force (pro)

The smartphone can even be used as an e-reader to read a book, though this does not seem as practical or pleasurable as it may sound.  The small screen is not conducive for enjoying big books.

I recently bought my son an iPhone 7.  He just turned 12 and had lobbied hard this fall for a phone. He tried to convince me he needs it now that he takes a city bus to middle school.  Then he said he wants one because it would be fun.  Finally, he felt obligated to keep up with his peers who seemed to all have a phone.  He said, when he received it, that he now feels like a person.  He tied his identity up with having a phone.  Indeed, it does give him a communications reach that he’d lacked.  He feels pride in owning one.

I think I got my first smartphone seven or eight years ago. I bought an android from Verizon.  It worked well but upon the two-year contract renewal I was curious about Apple and its iPhone.  My first one was the 4.  Then I got a 6, and though my renewal is up I’ve decided not to plunge any further funds into getting a 7 – which would be an upgrade that gets outdated shortly.  There’s nothing the 7 does that is so much better or different than the 6 that I can’t live without.  But it’s tempting.  We are a disposable, upgradeable, shiny-toy-chasing society.

Happy anniversary to Apple on being the king of smartphones. It’s no easy feat with global competition looking to take them down. May the book world grow along with the growth of the iPhone.

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 



Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Interview With Author David Schroeder


Just Be Love

1. What inspired you to write your book?   I was guided by my soul to write a book on love. Years ago, I had some spiritual people 2 of whom I only met once, yet in conversation with each of them, they both suggested I was to write a book.  The big inspiration was the mystical experience with master teacher Jesus, whose words to me were: Just Be Love, which became the title of the book.

2. What is it about? The book expresses through a series of vignettes, how from our human and ego perspective we forget we are love and worthy, due to difficult and painful life experiences or arrogance.
As a clinical and spiritual social worker and life transition coach, I’ve witnessed and worked with many people wounded and defeated by love, through dysfunctional family dynamics, unhealthy relationships, etc.  In our woundedness we begin to believe we are not good enough and unworthy of love and goodness.  To protect the fragile self, we may create defenses and barriers to love and happiness.  This creates the common, yet painful mistake of making others responsible for our feelings and actions about love and happiness. This pattern continues for those who do not look within and do the inner work of what I call the  “4 R’s”:  Recognizing, Reconciling, Releasing and Reframing their core negative beliefs and behaviors resulting from difficult life experiences.  More importantly Just Be Love offers insights and examples of ways to remember we are love; and I offer unique ways the divine expresses love and goodness to us, through our experiences with people, the natural world and communion with our Creator. The book weaves both the science and spirituality of love, providing you with inspiring messages from spiritual teachers, mystics, and poets, as well as my own insights and perspectives on ways to love. 

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?  That the idea of unworthiness and separateness does not exist, these feelings and beliefs are of the ego and so it’s an illusion. That our difficult experiences are opportunities to remember we are love and our divinity. The human ego, wants us to forget we are love in painful experiences, while the Spirit/soul of us wants us to remember we are love. The different ways the Creator expresses and shows love through our natural surroundings, people and experiences.

4. What advice do you have for writers?  Work the How: Be Honest Open and Willing with your writing. Don’t give up.  Be yourself, be determined, resourceful, patient and committed to your writing process.  Have fun and be gentle to yourself during this process.

5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  It seems more people are interested in and writing a book.  So the competition amongst writers, to get a book published seems to be increasing.  The emergence of self-publishing industry offers writer’s greater opportunity to get their work published, with greater control over the publishing process. This creates more competition for the publishing industry as a whole.  The trend now in printing and publishing industries is
shifting from print to digital. use of ebooks over hard or soft cover books, allowing written material to be read on smart phones, tablets, etc. The use of social media to market books has offered a powerful marketing and communication link between author and public. Social media also provides the author an opportunity to offer online courses around their book material.

6. What challenges did you have in writing your book? Hardship with writing/grammar, due to learning struggles.  Struggle with self-doubt, saying what I wanted to say, through the written word. My being too progressive in thinking and knowing, some people not ready for this type of read.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? I believe more people are ready to  deeply explore within themselves their false beliefs and barriers to self-love, loving others unconditionally, and recognize the true and divine intent of love. My book, offers insight and inspiration on ways to love from a higher more profound perspective. I stress the importance of acceptance, changing what you can, and compassion for self and others. How these actions are fundamental ways to move forward toward greater love and happiness.
Just Be Love is a book to return to again and again. Each time you read a chapter, you will discover deeper insights. The messages are intended to help you come to a higher awareness that our purpose for being, is to Just Be Love.

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Can You Write Better Than A 6th-Grader?



I came across a book that made me feel good about the next generation.  It’s called Everything You Need to Ace English Language Arts In One Big Fat Book.  It’s part of a series of books called The Complete Middle School Study Guide.

You may wonder what’s so inspiring about such a book.  First, I love the style it’s presented in.  It features lined pages like that of a student’s notebook.  It has colorful graphics and alternates between easy-to-read handwriting and print.  It feels easy to just flip through and land on an interesting exercise or valuable lesson.  Second, I like that such a book exists because it really does make what seems complex simple and straightforward.  Third, I love to see what young minds are being told about our language, writing, poetry, and how to read a book.

I should give this to my son, in sixth grade, but I’m enjoying it too much.

The 488-page book from Workman Publishing is a steal with a list price of $14.95.  I picked up a discounted copy at Barnes & Noble for $9.00 as a member.  Well worth it.

The first unit is on grammar, which it describes as “the structure of a language – not what words mean, but the way words fit together: how the words in a sentence are arranged and the rules that explain how words get used.”  It went on to detail prepositions and independent clauses. It talked about intensive pronouns, verbs and mood, and the Latin and Greek roots of our words.  Dangling modifiers, conjunctions, and complex sentences are all things I failed to fully understand in school.  Back then, I didn’t appreciate the English code or scientific formula for how words connect to each other in a technical sense.  I just wrote from the heart and edited based on what sounded right.  I could be violating some rules of the language right now, but I think what I’m saying reads well and has impact.  If people don’t understand me or completely misinterpret my intensions then I’ll go back to study up on possessive pronouns, gerunds, and the present participle.

Don’t get me wrong, I greatly respect and defend our beautiful and historically-rich language. We need everyone to learn it and use it properly.  We can’t afford to have a single illiterate amongst us.  But I just disagree on how we come to learn the language.  Not everything has to have a name to identify how words come together.

Certainly we need to understand the verb-noun-adjective thing.  We need to know the difference between a passive and active voice. Certainly we need to understand context and the nuances of words.  Tense consistency and proper word selection are key, too.  Wow, the more I think about it, there’s really so much we need to know to not only properly function, but to master the language.

A good place to start is by learning the roots of words.  Once we know that bi means two, we understand words like bisect, biennial, and bisexual.

Pronunciation is a tricky thing to learn.  It can only come with practice and correction.  For instance, silent letters confuse us.  So does a letter with multiple sounds as in c for cook, where it sounds like a k, and when c sounds like an s, as in cents.

At least there are tools like this book to help us.  We also have the dictionary, thesaurus, and style books.  But language is something you pick up by observing and using.  It’s experiential.  It’s living and breathing.

The chapter on figurative language usefully shows how often references are made to familiar things.  There’s Biblical allusion, literary allusion, allusion, personification, verbal irony, alliteration, mythological illusion, the pun, simile, and the metaphor.

We need to also grasp how words relate to one another, from synonyms and antonyms to analogues and homonyms.  Figuring out the denotation vs. the connotation of a word makes a big difference.  The book tackles a lot of ground but it was missing one key area – the role of a strong vocabulary.  To know words, is to know life. 

The chapter on reading fiction explores a variety of genres and explains the difference between science fiction and romance or historical fiction. It also touches upon the parody, mythology, satire, allegory, realism, and drama.  Don’t forget poetry.  Remember there’s more than rhyming poetry, such as free verse, lyrical, and epic.

Page 150 has a valuable lesson:  How to write an objective summary.  This is something lost on most writers, journalists, and bloggers.

Maybe there’s a lot in this book that people need to learn or get a refresher course in.  Who could forget Shakespeare’s works in iambic pentameter!?  Don’t forget the sonnet.

The units on non-fiction noted the varying types of prose, including:  literary non-fiction, biography, memoir, journalism, opinion pieces, exposition, essay, personal essay, arguments, speeches, epistles, and historical/ scientific/technical/economic accounts.  It goes on to explain the author’s viewpoint, opposing viewpoints, and counter arguments. It does a good job of identifying the plot, themes, tone, and structure of what’s presented in a book.

It discusses paraphrasing, plagiarism, and the proper citation of resources.  It also goes over how to approach writing, revising, and editing.  Punctuation, ellipsis, redundancy, narration, character creation, and scores of other useful writing techniques, reader guidelines, and language rules flow from these pages.

Thumbing through this book was like a trip down memory lane.  You realize how much you know and have learned after all of these years of school and then real-life practice. 

Can you write better than a middle-schooler?  Read up – and then go write your masterpiece.

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 



Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Book Publishing Game: Will You Play?



For the holidays I made a last minute trip to Target.  I was looking for some games to play with my wife and kids.  I settled on Scattergories and a game that resembled Charades.  I realized there are only a few types of games out there, beyond the solo-centric toys.

Some are trivia-filled.  Others involve player-created content, like the two I bought.  Some just involve luck and dice rolls.  Few involve real strategy, thought or creativity.  I guess this is why classics like Monopoly continue to sell so well.

Games that work for kids and adults are hard to come by, especially if a child is under double-digits --which my daughter is.  You either can’t use the same language (blue) or someone lacks key life experience reference points.  But it is fun when you can play together.  Scrabble is another classic that still plays well.  Pictionary too.  But few games have come out 15 or more years ago that still remain on store shelves.

My question is this:  Why aren’t there any board games that have a book theme?

I’m not talking about a random question in Trivial Pursuit that mentions a book title; I want a whole game dedicated to books.

There’s a lot of material available for such a game.  You can have a series or spin-offs that cover books of a certain genre, era, or region.  There are millions of books and centuries of writers to call upon.

So what would the main game be?

How about:  “Should I Be Published?”

It could be a game of strategy on how to get a book published.  Real authors play it daily.

Or it could be a book trivia game about famous, award-winning, and critically acclaimed books or authors.

Maybe have a game based on how a book is created, edited, and promoted.  It could be called “Publisher,” where each player has to make decisions that impact the running of a publishing company.

Perhaps the game could be called “Name that Author,” where you’re given hints and facts and you have to name the author.  Or make it “Name that Book,” and you need to determine which passage appeared in which book.

Any game supporting, highlighting or marketing books, authors, and the book publishing industry would be great to see.  When will such a game get the green light?

The game world, similar to book publishing, comes down to competition and the perception a company has as to whether an idea will sell well.  The same gatekeepers in publishing exist in the toy world.  Music and Hollywood too.

I once promoted the woman who created Jenga.  It is an incredible story.  Creating a hit game with lasting power is a rare feat indeed.  But maybe a game revolving around some aspect of book publishing -- like identifying literary landmarks – will be a big success.  Plus it will certainly educate players and further the advancement of the book industry.

If the Publishing Game gets produced, will you play it?

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 



Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Which Of These 6 Reasons Inspires You To Write Books?



I believe there are just six reasons why people write books but I imagine it is some combination of them that moves most authors to sacrifice time, mental capacity, and resources to write, promote, and market a book.  So why do people risk disappointment, public ridicule, and financial debt to get a book published?

In no set order, it comes down to this:

1.      Impact
One can write books with the hopes of fixing a problem, helping another, saving the world, changing minds, nourishing souls, sparking debate, or comforting others.  Books can inspire, enlighten, educate, and challenge us.  They make us aware of what was and shows what could be. Books can be magical, changing the lives of readers, and in turn, make our society a better one.  At the very least, they offer an escape and entertainment, but they can, also teach us and impact our lives immediately.

2.      Money
You can write books to sell them.  You can write books that help sell other things, as well.  A book can simply be another product, one that can be sold for a profit and treated like a widget.  A book may seem like it represents art or some high form of creativity, but at its base, it’s a commodity that gets sold for money.

3.      Brand/Career
Your image or brand is something you build up in hopes of cashing it in.  The question is:  How will you spend this currency?  Would you do a book to create a brand that can then be used to sell something else, get a new job, or run for political office?  Is your brand used to help others and build a better world – or is it used purely to cash in for some kind of personal or financial gain down the road?  You can build a brand that gives you a leadership position, one that can be used to motivate, inspire, and rally people to do the right thing, great things, and society-serving things.  But a brand can be used to hurt others, feed one’s bank account or give resonance to things, people, or events that don’t deserve such attention or validation.

4.      Fame/Ego/Legacy
There are many, many, many authors who write books simply because they have an inflated sense of themselves.  They believe they are so interesting or important that the world awaits their every word.  People write to become famous, for no other reason but to assuage their ego.  They want their book to serve as some kind of legacy, to outlive them and to flourish beyond one’s lifetime. The world is not lacking selfish, self-centered, egotistical individuals.  You’ll find many of them in the book world.

5.      Charity
Many authors and publishers will contribute a certain portion of the net proceeds from book sales to fund a non-profit organization or a good cause.  It is a noble gesture to be charitable.  When one’s words can take on the role to funding a better world it’s a win-win proposition.  Sometimes books have a really positive message that inspires readers to take up a cause and volunteer for it or contribute funds towards it, but regardless of the content or the cause, publishers and authors can be difference-makers by donating book sales bucks to charities.

6.      Art/Creative/Pleasure
Writers enjoy the art of writing. It’s a beautiful craft.  People want to be heard and some communicate through singing, music, dancing, art, sports or writing.  Authors like to practice the skill of long-form writing to create something substantial from nothing.  They enjoy the very acts of thinking, researching, writing, editing and rewriting.  Writers love how words dance together to form something greater together than they could if left alone.  Writing creates a permanent record, of either facts and experiences or of ideas and imaginings.  Books give form and shape to what’s on our minds and is resting deep within the writer’s soul.  The book is as much for the writer as it is the reader.

So, why do you write books?

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 



Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Interview with Author Penny Richards



AN UNTIMELY FROST

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?
When I first sold in 1983, it was the  heyday of romance, and the genre was very good to me. But after several years it became harder and harder to put the words on paper.  I'd been pushing really hard and there was nothing left in the well. I felt I had nothing else to say.  There were other creative endeavors  I wanted to pursue, so I took a break and  opened a bed and breakfast and catering business in a 1902 Queen Anne home my husband and I restored.  But a writer writes, and I couldn't stay away from it for long. During that time, I finished a non-fiction about the pitfalls of everyday life to a  marriage, and I started playing around with an idea I'd had for years, a complete departure from contemporary romance. It was a historical mystery about a  Shakespearean actress, Lilly Long, who becomes a Pinkerton agent. When I started researching, I learned that Allan Pinkerton hired the first female detective in the country and that he often hired actresses. That seemed serendipitous, so I thought maybe I was onto something new and original. I didn't work on it with any regularity, but when I did, I felt my enthusiasm and love for the process returning. I think taking the time off was one of the best things I ever did for me as a writer, and in the long run, my writing itself.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
Lilly Long is a twenty-two-year-old woman  raised within the small world of a traveling theater troupe whose mother was killed by one of her lovers when Lilly was eleven. Now, newly married, her husband has attacked her, stole her life savings and left town. The two incidents force her to take a hard look at her life and how easily women can be manipulated by conniving men. She realizes that there are many women besides herself and her mother who, due to the restraints of society, have been taken advantage of and determines to try to bring justice to some of them. When she sees an ad for a female Pinkerton agent, she applies, and, using a bit of subterfuge and her acting skills, is hired on a provisional basis.

Her first assignment is a simple missing persons case. A young coupe wants to buy Heaven's Gate, the abandoned home of Reverend Harold Purcell, who left town twenty years earlier in the middle of the night with his family and the church's funds. When she starts asking questions, she is faced with suspicion and silence.  Heaven's Gate, rumored to be haunted, is exactly as the Purcells left it, including the bloody bed where some think he killed his family before leaving.  Nothing and no one is what it seems. Untried and uncertain,  Lilly forges ahead, using her acting skills, her  intelligence, and her hardheadedness to find out the truth. Her tenacity is threatened when she realizes she's being followed, and when an attempt is made on her life, she wonders if she's chosen the right path after all.

I believe that readers who enjoy both history and mystery will enjoy this book. Women in 1881 had few rights or opportunities to do anything other than the accepted roles, so the stigma of both  being an actress and a detective are hurdles Lilly must overcome in her fight for justice for women. The time period limits the methods she can use in solving her cases, since the forensics of the time were scarce.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
There are no new crimes, no new sins. We're dealing with the same things now as we did back then, only with far fewer resources. I want the reader to take away that when devastating things happen in our lives, the way we react can determine the course of our life. Someone once said we have three choices when catastrophic events happen. We can let it define us, destroy us, or strengthen us. I hope they'll take a page our of Lilly's book and  when things are falling apart, just pick up the pieces and keep going. Don't give in and give up. There's something to be said for good old fashioned stubbornness and determination and staying positive. Tomorrow is another day. This, too will pass.  All those old cliches are true. When I was in high school we had to make up a saying from our spelling words. Mine was, "Perseverance is permanent optimism."  I think it's true. Also, never let not knowing how to do something stop you from doing it--no matter what it is.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
I'd say to take time to go places, do things, to put something back in the well. Writing is a solitary business, so the last thing we should do is to let it become our be-all and end-all, which is what I did for many years. Interacting with the outside world is necessary and healthy. If you start feeling that your writing is getting stale, read a different genre to get new perspectives. Write something different. Watch something different on television. You might just pick up a tidbit or way of doing something you hadn't considered before. Stay fresh and relevant. Nothing about being a writer is easy. If it was, everyone would do it.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
When I first sold in '83, there was a publisher on every corner, and a bookstore in every mall. Not anymore.  With technology at our fingertips, there will always be a market for e-books, but I still hear many, many people who  want to hold a physical book in their hands and turn the pages. I think it will be harder and harder to sell to a traditional publisher. For better or worse, I think indie publishing will continue to grow, and the competition for a piece of the pie will become more fierce. Back in the day, writers attended and spoke at conferences, did book signings, and the occasional newspaper interview. Our books sold whatever they sold and for me it was very good. Now, even with traditional publishing, writers are expected to have a presence on social media and do a certain amount of marketing, which I don't mind. I even enjoy some aspects of it. My problem is finding a balance between the promotion and the writing. In that respect as well as writing for a different genre, I'm definitely a work in progress. As writers, I think it's imperative that we do what we can in our area, to participate in literary events that encourage young readers and help them understand what wonderful worlds reading can offer them.

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
The  biggest challenge was learning to write two genres I hadn't written before: mystery and historical. That's a far cry from contemporary romance. It's a more complex process, and I seldom found it necessary to research anything. I had to do lots of research for my Lilly books, which I love. I have a hard time stopping the research and starting the book. I had to learn to weave the historical information throughout the book and make it an integral part of the setting, mood, or character development, and not an information dump. This includes not just the style of clothing but the kind of fabric that was used, what was in the storefronts, the contents of a journal, what words were used during the time period, the inner workings of the theater and of course Shakespeare and the Pinkertons. I wanted the story to unfold as  a seamless tapestry of words and information. On the mystery side, I needed to learn to plant clues that weren't too obvious, to keep the reader guessing, and make certain the forensics I used were available at the time of the story. What I write now has a heavier emphasis on plot than a romance.

Another hurdle was that the old "romancey" language and the way that everything that happens is chosen to enhance the  love story. I think it was  ingrained in my DNA after so many years. I can't tell you how much I scrapped the first several drafts, but like Lilly, I'm stubborn, and I kept at it. I'm working on the third book in the series and I still  fall into those romance traps now and then.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
An Untimely Frost more than a historical mystery. It's about a young woman who has been through something that left an indelible mark on her, something that causes her to defy convention and dare to enter a man's world to fight for the rights of other women.

Penny Richards has sold more than forty books since selling her first contemporary romance in 1983. She is the recipient of several industry awards including a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award , and the 1991  Reader's Choice Best Single Title for Dreamers and Deceivers, a mainstream book for Harper Paperbacks. Unanswered Prayers, originally part of Harlequin's Crystal Creek continuity series, was re-issued as a launch title for their Steeple Hill imprint and became a nominee for Romance Writers of America's coveted RITA award. After taking a long break, Penny reentered the publishing world with a series of five historical romances for Love Inspired Historical. Her newest project is her Lilly Long Mysteries , a series of historical mysteries sold to Kensington Publishing. The first book, An Untimely Frost , was released in  August.  Though This Be Madness is scheduled for a May 2017 release. She is working on third book in the series, Darkness As A Bride. For more info, see:  www.pennyrichardswrites.com


All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs