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Food expert, Beth Aldrich, talks us through her book tour, and how you should go on one, too!

How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous
Beth Aldrich

you’ve garnered a book deal with a major publisher and you’ve written the book;
but that’s just half the work. The most challenging work is about to begin.
Most writers do just that, they write; but with today’s competitive book
market, good writing is only half the battle. Nowadays, writers are encouraged
to be active in social media and other forms of marketing so they can ramp up
their book’s presence-to stand out on the bookshelves and increase sales. 

When I began my book journey two years ago, little did I know that I’d be
embarking on the ride of my life: with 12-hour work days, writing the book and
“getting the word out” about my book in any way I could.

that I would be responsible for my own “tour” expenses, I decided to
build my presence in social media as a way to reach my target audience of busy
moms, so that the sponsorship money I raised would be best spent traveling to
book tour events. Knowing that many moms like to connect online through social
media, I began making connections and generating useful and trustworthy content
to build my following.

good comes easy and it’s been a daily challenge to garner followers
(legitimately) who appreciate and value my content. Through my networking and
connections I decided to partner with, a popular moms online
social media community filled with articles, content and great mom networking.
With the power of social media, we created a book launch virtual party and
contest with over 100 mom bloggers who participated.
acquired book tour sponsors who donated prizes for our contest so that all
participants would have incentive to be a part of the fun and excitement. I
love to get involved with contests and communities and I wanted to create that
for the moms who took the time to be a part of this special project; within
weeks of my book’s launch, there were thoughtful blog posts about my book,
spanning the internet, from real moms-the demographic I was hoping to tap.

spread like wildfire and on my book’s launch day, and the throughout the month
that followed, my book was a best seller in two categories on Amazon. The mom
bloggers agreed to Tweet, FB and share their blog posts and in exchange, we
offered sponsored goodie boxes of book-inspired products (all garnered from
months of product partnering sponsorship deals), exposure on our blog and cross
promotion through social media. We had a multi-prize drawing the night before
the book launched, and announced winners via a private newsletter designated just for
the participating bloggers. All-in-all, it was a successful book launch, thanks
primarily, to the hard work and support of the mom bloggers in our book tour
contest, social media and my tenacity to get the word out.

When people ask me, “How did you know what to do to promote your
book?” I always tell them that I networked with other authors, researched
what other authors have done in the past and trusted my judgement. I know that
I love prizes, so I spent weeks and weeks, acquiring products that I knew I’d
love to receive as a participation gift goodie box. I also understand the power
of communication, so I interacted with the registered participants regularly,
sharing all of the steps of my book tour publication, along the way.

I often connected with the moms on Twitter, through Twitter parties (where we had, yes, more prizes), and on Facebook. I made sure I was following everyone that was following me on social media and I always tried to re-tweet their tweets, etc. With consideration and on-going communication, relationships were built with new mom friends throughout the process. The folks at were so supportive, offering advice and ideas, making the launch everything that I hoped it would be. Some of the mom bloggers even agreed to help me host in-person parties in their cities, making my ground tour a huge success. We used the power of social media to get the word out about our on-location book events, which helped raise attendance and bring more awareness to my book’s brand.

Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food, Lose Weight and Feel Fabulous (Penguin Books, NAL, January, 2012), had a fantastic launch and I can certainly say that the power of social media helped contribute to its kick off success.

To find out more about Beth and her book, visit,; her book is available where ever books are sold, or online at and

Beth Aldrich, bestselling author, Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food Lose
Weight and Feel Fabulous
(New American Library-Penguin Books Imprint,
January, 2012)

Beth Aldrich wants you to conduct a love affair with food and still look fabulous by simply working through her easy-to-follow 10-part plan of making over your entire outlook and relationship with food. You have to eat at least three times a day, so why not love what you’re eating and feed yourself food that will love you back? Discover new and interesting ways to prepare and “get involved” with food; complete with 21-days of satisfying and delicious meal suggestions, this funny book will find a permanent spot on your bedside table or kitchen counter. Real Moms really DO love to eat! 

Beth Aldrich, Certified Healthy Lifestyle Counselor and Nutrition Expert, engaging speaker, media personality and author of the book, Real Moms Love to Eat (New American Library-Penguin Books imprint, January,2012), delivers health, nutrition and environmental fundamentals through keynote addresses, lectures and as a media spokesperson. As an expert health and nutrition columnist for,, and, Beth shares her wisdom, experience and knowledge about all things eco and health. From food coaching, and living a balanced life to, the energetics of food and finding your passion, Beth delivers her message in a charismatic yet compassionate way. 

She is the founder of For Her Information Media, LLC (FHI) established in 2003, with productions such as the PBS TV series, For Her Information (aired in Turkey, Israel and 60 cities, nationwide), the radio shows, A Balanced Life with Beth Aldrich, and Real Moms Love to Eat with Beth Aldrich, and the online magazine and newsletter, FHI Online. Her company’s mission is to be a life guide for conscious-minded women. Beth is also the founder of Restoring Essence Nutrition, LLC and a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Beth received her education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. 

Real Moms Love to Eat is on tour with Virtual Book Tour Cafe

Heavy promoting is BLOODY annoying!

Learnt a new word the other day – shilling

It means ceaselessly promoting your book. Put it another
way, do you get lots of spam from anonymous people trying to sell you Viagra?
Escorts? Shilling is no different. In the end this “promotion” isn’t read, it’s
just deleted or ignored.

I joined Amazon forums for one reason and that is to
promote, promote and promote some more. I thought it was an excellent tool for
authors to promote their books. I mean, where else are you going to meet so
many readers? But do book lovers really read these threads? I don’t, so why would I expect others to? 

I soon learnt that it was against Amazon’s regulations, and
that actually it was BLOODY annoying! 

So what makes me buy a book from an unknown author? What
makes you? Of course an excellent blurb and an interesting cover helps, but how
do you find books by unknown writers? And what are they supposed to do to help
you find them?

I’ve learnt that social media isn’t there for you to promote
your book. It’s to meet, and join in discussions with other people.

So in short if you claim that social media isn’t working
then it’s probably because you’re doing it wrong.

Are you sending Facebook messages or updates pleading to
Like My Page – when these land in my inbox or media stream I, like many I imagine,
delete or ignore them.  When I’m
bombarded with messages from Twitter to “check out my website” I, again like
many others, completely ignore them. Tweeters who continually push their book
or yell Follow Me! at every opportunity are also ignored.

But, if by chance one of these en masse promotions provokes a
visit to a blog what are we likely to find? Pictures of a stranger’s latest trip up the Eiffel Tower? Photos of someone’s pet cat or dog? Very likely! Similarly, if the blog focuses ONLY on self-promotion people aren’t
going to be enchanted.

Promotion on Amazon, bombarding people with emails, tweeting
primarily to promote yourself on Twitter and begging people to buy your book on
Facebook and Linkedin aren’t going to work. You may get a trickle of sales, and
if a trickle is all you want then carry on.

But if you want to sell SHIT LOADS *read on: 

*Don’t expect a magic jangle. Building an author platform takes time and work. Like writing a book really.

You will need (at least) a blog, Twitter account and Facebook
and join Amazon forums and Goodreads. There are others but these are my
favourite, and all will work together and reinforce one another. You can’t
stick to one source. You WILL need several. And you will HAVE to be consistent and professional at all times. NEVER stray from this. Most importantly it has to be more than selling books – it has to be about YOU (not to be confused with you and your boring life – believe me your life IS boring to others) as a HUMAN not a spammer.

Your author platform begins with many social sites. They aren’t something you can dip in and out at will, they are something
you MUST become part of and WORK AT. This requires time, and if you’re working as
well as writing it’s hard, but it CAN be done.

And do it NOW. Don’t wait until your book is published. It’s
NEVER too early to begin a platform. The days of marketing your novel after it is published is long gone.

On your blog write something that others will be interested
in reading. No one wants to read something unless it means something to them.
Think about what makes YOU open a link or read a begging email. Can’t think of
anything to write on your blog? Offer authors free space to write something.

Link share, write an article, entertain and write flash fiction, ask to interview someone, the list is endless really.

On Amazon forums be a human, not a spammer. Talk about
books. Join the MOA  (Meet Our Authors) forum.
DON’T PROMOTE. Write interesting discussions and you’ll find yourself looked

Twitter is a place to share links and information, and make sure you use hashtags well. If you don’t know the important of
hashtags then find out now rather than later. Again don’t over promote yourself
because people will notice and you’ll end up unfollowed. Join in on chats,
write something funny or meaningful and above all TALK to people. Some people believe
it’s impossible to chat on Twitter with only 140 characters but you’ll be
wrong. It’s amazing what CAN be said in a sentence or two.

Facebook is more relaxed than Twitter. I use my FB account to
connect with family and friends so I’m more “me” there. But here you also have the opportunity to
join groups. Search for literary groups/writing groups etc

Goodreads is another tool where you can connect
to groups, again treat this as an opportunity to meet and connect with people.

With all social media take time to write your profile and
add your links to create a chain between you and your media sites. And ALWAYS stick with ONE name – preferably
your author name. The web is a small world and you WILL be recognised. It takes
time and patience, but it DOES pay off.

Only don’t expect it within a month – or even six months. Sorry if that’s NOT what you want to hear. There is no magic formula. If there was I’d be selling it at fifty quid a bottle!

Patience and perseverance is the golden key.

But think of it this way: you’ll meet loads of writers in the same position as yourself and you’ll make lots of friends.

How to build an Amazon author page and other information.

by Cassander Carr
author of contemporary adult fiction writers, I am pleased to have author Cassander Carr to talk to us about marketing today. Cassander Carr is a member of the leading professional association for romance novelists, Romance Writers of America, and also serves as Vice President of her local chapter, newsletter editor for Passionate Ink, and as a member of ESPAN.
She will specifically be talking about providing direction for setting up your and Goodreads author pages, along with advice for book signings. So let’s get on with the show!
How do I set up an author page on 
(Use this advice for as well)
  1. Read the text and follow the directions.
  2. Click on the button on the bottom that says “Join Author Central”.
  3. Look at the “Terms and Disclosures” thingy on the next page and accept it.
  4. Follow the directions to find your books on Amazon to link them to your account and to fill out your profile and VOILA! – you’re done!!!!
 How do I set up an author page on Goodreads? 
  1. Sign up with Goodreads
  2. Click on the “Explore” tab and mouse down to “Authors”
  3. On the author page you’ll see a link toward the top right that says “Author Program”. Click on that. Read the directions. They will tell you to search for your own name and then click on it. That will take you to the basic author profile.
  4. Fill in the information on the author profile.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on “Is This You?” to send a message to Goodreads that you want to join the Author Program. They will contact you when you’re ready to go! Now that wasn’t that hard, was it?

And what about those pesky book signings?
Don’t be scared to do them!
Just follow some of my easy directions and hopefully the process will be a lot more fun!
  • Write your own announcement for the store’s PA system if you can. Give them a couple of versions since they’ll be repeating it.
  • Remind the store personnel to make an announcement if it’s been a while. They get busy and might forget. Every half-hour is good for making a new announcement.
  • Offer to make the announcements yourself if they’ll let you and you feel comfortable enough to do it. You will show more enthusiasm and it’ll sound more personalized.
  • Make a nice name tag for yourself so visitors know who you are.
  • Don’t just sit there behind the table waiting for people to approach. Get up and greet people as they enter the store or the area. Have something to hand out – people will usually take it.
  • If people show any interest, hand them a book/promo item and tell them to check it out.
  • Be willing to sign the promo item if the person doesn’t buy the book itself. Remember – you’re spreading good will!
  • If you’re unsure about traffic, invite friends and family to create buzz. However: It is important to not use these people as a crutch to keep you from talking to new people.
  • Leave bookmarks or other promo products for the store staff to stuff into purchase bags if they are willing.
  • Bring candy. People will stop to take some – use that opportunity to greet them and talk to them.
  • Get to know the Community Relations Coordinator. They’re the ones who will invite you back/talk you up to management.
  • Send a personalized thank you note to whoever you worked w/at the store to set up the signing.
  • Send a thank you note to the store’s manager praising whoever help set up the signing.
  • Have your book cover made into a little easel sign w/its own easel that you can bring to book signings.
  • Encourage attendees to bring their ereaders so they can download the book right there. If they go home they’re far less likely to buy it. You can also ask store staff to make sure one of their computers has someone nearby to assist customers w/buying your book if they don’t have their reader with them.

 You have the tools, now go forth and prosper!
 Or write!
Or promote!

Cassandra Carr lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. For more information about Cassandra, check out her website, “like” her Facebook fan page at or follow her on Twitter.

Radio producer Jamie MacMahon is in over her head with ex-hockey player-turned host Drew Milan. She’s attracted to the man who earned the nickname “the Beast” during his playing days from the moment they meet, but he’s her boss and she loves her new job. She’s made plenty of mistakes with men and loathes the thought of being yet another plaything for Drew, a man who sleeps with women but doesn’t date them. Drew doesn’t want to lose a great producer and knows Jamie deserves a real relationship, but can’t stay away from the sizzling chemistry they create every time they’re together. Jamie’s insecurities and the very real prospect of having to leave a great job if this thing doesn’t work out, coupled with Drew’s fears about opening his heart and the possibility of losing his first competent producer clash.

Uniform Behaviour, out now from Andrews UK!

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