Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Newsletter! New Workshop! New Book Reviews! New Hot Tips!

Book Publicity by Marlan Newsletter

In this issue:  
  • Congrats!
  • As Me Anything on Reddit!
  • New book reviews
  • Hot Tip: How to get your book into libraries (or give it your best shot)!
  • New Workshop Starting Up: Nuts & Bolts of Book PR & Marketing Strategies
  • Writer Consultations
Just as they say a business owner should "always pay yourself first," I will congratulate myself on my Book Publicity by Marlan Linked In profile being named in the "Top 24 Publicists" on its site. How did this happen? I don't know. Might have something to do with what I call "The Robots." I regularly publish "Updates" in Linked In's Pulse platform. That may boost the algorithm of my name, biz, etc.

Google Screenshot

Congrats to Shelly Glaser & Sherry Glaser on their soon-to-be-released First Practical Handbook for Crazy People: Making the Best of Mental Illness! (Soft Cover Pub. Date: 9/6/16) (Kindle: 8/4/16). Review is in this issue! Book Launch Details are on the way!


Marlan Warren/Book Publicity by Marlan is now on Reddit's "Ask Me Anything"

Why should Donald Trump have all the fun? He's not the only one who can participate in a Q&A on Reddit. I tried it out a couple days ago. Trump apparently had lots of questions. Me, not so many (although they were good ones). It might still be up and running, so feel free to check it out (you have to become a member--it's free) at:

I AM a Book Publicist

This platform can be very useful for authors who want to expand their PR! One of my clients is doing it today and had over 100 questions this morning.


Yes, it's here by popular request: I will conduct a PR/Marketing Workshop starting in September! We will meet 2 hours weekly in a Los Feliz cafe that has long tables and not many customers (they are new & expensive, but there's no minimum). It is a 3-week workshop that we can extend one week if there is a demand (at no extra charge). We will not only go over the basics, but authors will receive individual attention on such topics as how to write effective pitches for one-sheet, media queries and social media. We will look at book trailers on Youtube and analyze them for marketability.

This workshop will reference Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Frugal Book Promoter, and the brilliant How-To Guru Carolyn will be a guest speaker! (Cue the Applause!)

Workshop Fee: $155.00
3-4 Weeks
More Details: E-Mail memoircity@gmail.com or call 323-347-6762

For decades, I have coached writers in all forms of writing from screenplays to novels to articles to memoirs. My background is so eclectic, there isn't space for all the pies I've had my fingers in; but essentially, in addition to my PR skills, I am a professional editor (and writer).

For example, right now I'm looking over a manuscript that was rejected by a publisher with such a clumsy evaluation that I suspect they were probably just the wrong publisher (a friend of mine once received a rejection from an agent that said: Dear Linda: Not my thing!). However, I do see a few points the author could have capitalized on when pitching it, and how those points could have been emphasized in the manuscript itself (to make a case for why a thundering herd would want to read this book).

If you are interested, please feel free to contact me for a consultation.


Here is a taste of two new book reviews with links to read more!

I wondered how anyone ever felt at home here, where there was nothing you could trust to hold on to, not even the ground beneath your feet.—Dazzled

Title: Dazzled 
Author: Maxine Nunes
Series: A Nikki Easton Mystery (Book 1)
Publisher: Five Star (October 23, 2013) 
ISBN-13: 978-1432827304 
Available on Amazon (Paperback, Kindle and Hard Cover)
Website:  http://www.maxinenunes.com/
Synopsis: Feisty one-liner actress Nikki Easton finds herself embroiled in a quest to either find out who murdered her best friend—the "dazzling" aspiring actress Darla—or verify that the unrecognizable corpse buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is really someone else. Along the way, Nikki finds herself smitten with a sexy cop, looks for clues at a Playboy-type mansion, and tangles with unsavory Underworld characters whose antics and shocking connections are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of Hollywood's movers who slither through this book. Sex, drugs and lost souls who are torn between the need to be "somebody" and the desire to flee L.A. keep this mystery ticking like the proverbial time bomb.

Maxine Nunes' Dazzled is a tale told with such precision for atmospheric details, lifestyle annoyances and pitch perfect dialogue, it should come with a cautionary disclaimer for Los Angelenos:

"Warning: May induce the sensation that you are still inside the plot every time you look up from the book."

True to its genre, the story takes readers where others have gone before, but Nunes puts a fresh spin on the familiar elements through inspired turns of phrases ("...a man who evidently thought a strip of chest hair would do for a necktie") and quirky 21st Century updates (gifted with a bouquet, the only "vase" Nikki can find is an empty Slurpee cup).

Nunes also has a gift for depicting layered characters. To this end, she makes excellent use of an acting class that demands "honest emotions" of its students. In the hands of a lesser writer, these scenes could come off as satire or excessively dramatic; but here they skillfully alternate between humor and pathos while giving readers the necessary insights.

The stronger the personality the more it hid.Dazzled

Dazzled lovingly and painstakingly explores the paradoxical contradictions of Los Angeles and its hapless inhabitants. The smell of night jasmine juxtaposes with the stench of the morgue...an actress with a "show biz" sensuality hides her true self in plain sight...and all the sleights of hand resonate in the book's first line:

What's real? Click here for the full review

Review originally published in L.A. Now & Then blog:

Title: The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]
Authors: Shelly Glaser with Sherry Glaser
Genre: Self-Help/Recovery/Mental Illness
Publisher: Mother's Milk Publications
Paperback: Pub. Sept. 6, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-692-76460-2   (90 pages)
Kindle E-Book: Pub. Aug. 4, 2016
ASIN: B01JTMPELO   (File Size: 308 KB)
Website: http://www.sherryglaser.net
Author Contact: sherryamore67@outlook.com
Marlan Warren, Reviewer
Roadmap Girl’s Book Buzz: http://roadmapgirlsbookbuzz.blogspot.com

The Mother-Daughter Continuum
Continuum: noun (kƒn-tin'yoo- ƒm): A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct, e.g., at the fast end of the fast-slow continuum.
--The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]

In the self-help tradition of Louise Hay’s New Thought books (“Heal Your Life”), comes The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People [Making the Best of Mental Illness]. It not only features tips from mental patient, Shelly Glaser, but the twist is that this handbook was not only posthumously published, but co-written with her daughter—award-winning performance artist and author, Sherry Glaser—after Shelly died.

Years after her mother’s death (hastened by the side effects of anti-psychotic medications), Sherry Glaser came across the manuscript in rough draft (with this title) and felt inspired to finish it, adding her own story—which included deep fear of inheriting mental illness— and delineating the tools she uses to transcend that dread and keep herself sane.T

True to its title, this book offers practical step-by-step tools made so simple that anyone could try them and not feel overwhelmed by the prospect. They include meditation, the mind-body connection and the “exotic” (for the more adventurous).

Each Glaser has walked through her own mental hell. Each tells her hair-raising story (in the elder Glaser’s case, literally, as she endured numerous electroshock treatments) with eloquence and wry humor.

The book opens with Mama Glaser’s life story. Along the way, she stops to explain what worked for her, what didn’t work for her, and encourages all seekers to make their own decisions as they explore options for recovery. How do you choose a therapist? Should you get electroshock treatments? Shelly lays out the choices without pushing. She does not try to sell herself as an expert on anything but her own experiences. Her direct honesty and plain talk give an insider look into how mental illness can be bravely borne with a strong will to heal whatever can be healed. Shelly Glaser could be your mother, your sister, your daughter…your peer. And her resilience inspires.

Then “The Mother-Daughter Continuum” swings into focus as Sherry tells her side, creating a link between their “herstories” that resonates beyond the grave.

It’s no surprise that Sherry Glaser puts “Creativity” at the top of her list of mental health lifesavers. She came to New York fame with her one-woman show, Family Secrets, which still holds the title of the Longest-Running One-Woman Show in Off-Broadway History. In 2015, her Oh My Goddess!: A Comedy of Biblical Proportions won the Best Avant-Garde award at New York's United Solo Festival.

In the section entitled Sherry: The Sequel, she recounts her rollercoaster life without a trace of self-pity or morbid self-reflection. Sherry reveals herself to be a dedicated activist against war and for cannabis legalization, who was devastated by the sudden disappearance of her husband, which remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Add to that lesbian marriage/divorce and arrest by a SWAT team, and it seems a wonder she is not in a straitjacket.

And speaking of straitjackets…

The cover features a black man smiling beatifically…in a straitjacket. How did this cover come to grace the Mother-Daughter Continuum’s first handbook? Sherry explains before she even gets to page 1. Hint: Her mother was behind it.

No alternative tool is left unturned. Mother and daughter offer two different viewpoints on the topic of electroshock therapy vs. medical cannabis. Actually, one left something out of her story in this regard, and the other one put it back in. Hint: Sherry Glaser is a founding member of the Love In It Co-op, a medical marijuana dispensary in Mendocino, California.

With its Companion Questionnaire that is designed to be used in a Clinical Psychology classroom as a workbook, but is user-friendly enough for a more casual setting, The First Practical Handbook for Crazy People serves as a useful, calming addition to anyone’s mental health library.

And for those of us whose parents struggled with the horrors of mental illness, this book does its best to empower us by removing the stigma of “crazy,” and replacing it with the hope that we can move through healing and serenity, no matter whose genes we inherited.

This is copied with permission from Carolyn Howard-Johnson's terrific newsletter on her Sharing with Writers website, which I encourage you to subscribe to, if you don't already.


Re: University Bookstores
I know that Random House had my book in their catalog targeting educational sellers. Is there more than that I can do? How would I: (1) identify them and (2) approach them?
I'm going to use my husband's experience with his What Foreigners Need to Know About America from A to Z as an example because he was so successful with it.

He put together a form letter (which he tweaks) depending on who he is sending it to. He goes online and finds areas on campus that could use his book. That includes

1. Libraries

2. International Student Programs

3. International Student Course Teachers

4. Campus Bookstore Buyers

5. ESL classes through extension

He spends about 30 minutes a day sending the letter to the correct person when possible. Sometimes that's only one contact. Some days, when research goes well, it's three or four. He's had some amazing successes like having his book chosen as gifts/recommendations by the university that hosts the Fulbright Scholars in the US each summer. There is a cost to it beyond time. He offers a free book to those influencers who show an interest, but these most often don't result in single book sales, either. The top sale we could trace to his letters (it's sometimes easier for self-published authors to trace sales to a specific effort) was 59 copies.

Be aware, that if you find an instructor who recommends your book or uses is at class reading, the bookstore often stocks the book automatically. But not always. It doesn’t hurt to mention in a separate query or phone call that your book was ordered for a specific class or that Professor X showed an interest in your book.

One more secret. He keeps at it.

Here’s an alternative that isn't as frugal and not as effective because the contact is not personal (but it’s a lot less time-consuming!):

IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) had a catalog that they send out to libraries, a separate one to university libraries and one to reviewers. I've used that program. It can be good...or not. Depending on the title.

ABOUT CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSONCarolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including the first edition of The Frugal Book Promoter published in 2003. Her The Frugal Editor, now in its second edition, won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts.

The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com.