Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Easy Steps to Successfully Write, Publish and Promote Your Book!

Thought it was time to reblog this post full of “expert” advice, for all of you out there who may be wondering about my …

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

OR … How I Nearly Became an Overnight Success After My Forty-Year Apprenticeship in the Book Business!

If you read my bio you’ll realize I have worked with books and authors in one way or another for most of my life. I have experience as a bookseller, a publishers’ sales rep, a promoter (a self-styled Author Impresario!), a speaker, a student of writing, editing and publishing, a published author, and a publisher of my own and other authors’ work. I’ve been writing this blog on-and-off for almost ten years, and have discussed the book business here, made friends with like-minded authors and readers, networked and reached many other people in the business, made many friends and connected with even more colleagues, have shared a great deal of information I discovered over the years on the topics of Publishing, Reading, and Writing (hence the name of this blog …), followed and…

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Popular posts … Who knew?

A year later and this is still very much the case! There must be a new batch of writing students out there, because the hits for “Writing about meeting my best friend” have recently increased 10-fold. Also popular in searches have been the lines “pain from Chikungunya” that lead readers to my series of blog posts concerning the virus. So much so, again just lately, have people been searching for information that I’ll be writing a separate post about the virus and Zika.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

For the longest time now, since about 5 or 6 years ago, the two most popular phrases used on search engines that have brought people to my blog are “baking bread in a pizza oven” followed closely by “meeting my best friend for the first time”. Here are the two posts that those searchers click on: Baking Bread in the Pizza Oven and I met my best friend for the first time.

The first search always made sense to me, because home pizza ovens are becoming popular among foodies, Dennis had built one here on Bequia, and I had written a number of blog posts featuring our experiments in using it, both for making pizza and baking bread.

The second search I always took as being very flattering. There seemed to be a lot of people out there on the internet who were nostalgic for that first meeting with…

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Place-Based Crime: Q & A with Susan M. Toy

Thanks to Reading Recommendations-promoted author, Paul Butler, for asking me the questions in this interview on his blog!

paul butler novelist

Setting is often one of the most fascinating aspects of a crime novel. Sherlock Holmes would not have been the same without London, its hansom cabs, its street gangs, and its sharp division between the capital’s east and west ends. More recently, Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels shoulder the history of Edinburgh, with its pubs, its narrow streets, and its seedy antiquity living on into the 21st century.

Anne Cleeves’s Jimmy Perez novels exemplify another kind of place-based crime fiction. Most of us in the English-speaking world have heard of Shetland, but very few people have set foot on the northern Scottish Isle. Placing a story in a location that is real yet quite remote has both advantages and challenges for the author.

This issue is the natural starting point for a Q & A with Canadian-born author Susan M. Toy, whose racy and compelling novel, Island in the Clouds

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A small request of all my readers …

I’m reblogging this post I wrote in April 2016 to update with the information and inclusion of One Woman’s Island, the 2nd Bequia Perspectives novel that has since been published as a eBook. So I’d like to again make this small request of all readers …

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

iitcYes, I know this news is going to be hard to believe, but after 4 years in publication (both as an eBook and in print) Island in the Clouds will finally have a sister-novel to share your shelf or space on your eReader! I finished writing an umpteenth draft of One Woman’s Island a week-and-a-half ago and now it’s in the hands of my editor, Rachel Small. I think at this point in time, after writing and rewriting the story of Mariana on Bequia these past 12 years, I’m more relieved than excited. Now comes the ultra hard work of preparing the final edited manuscript for ePublication, sometime later this year.onewomanisland-cover-draft-3

That publication date has been moved back further, however, because yesterday I discovered this link to a competition for which the new novel qualifies. But the novel needs to be unpublished. Might as well give that a shot…

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Book Reviewing Isn’t Simple – The Dark Truth of Author Bullying

Some are still biting the hand that feeds all of our promotion and publicity needs … This ongoing problem of bullying reviewers has to stop RIGHT NOW!! (See as well my blog post of a few days ago, Authors continuing to behave badly …)

Happymeerkatreviews

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*Ok, I’m honestly a little scared of posting this as I don’t want any more harassment from the wrong people…

The above picture pretty much sums up how I feel today.  I’m exhausted and drained from all the horrible things that have happened recently.  I’ve faced cold distant treatment, attacks on facebook and now I’ve been bullied privately, all because I wanted to be honest and help out an author.

Back in October I wrote this post A Tough Decision – Don’t blame the Book Blogger Blame Your Fellow Indies 😦 after facing a load of abuse from some indie authors.  In the post I talked about my tough decision to stop reviewing indie books, but several weeks later, after having only good communications, I took back my ‘no-indie’ policy and started receiving indie requests again.  BEFORE I go on I must point out that this post isn’t talking about all the…

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Poetry: You Do Not Want The Truth

I would notice, Happymeerkatreviews. And many others would, too. Ignore the others and keep doing what you do best – review books!

Happymeerkatreviews

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This is inspired by my very depressed mood recently which seems to be getting worse 😦

You Do Not Want The Truth

Would anyone notice,

If I left this here place?

Would anyone even see it,

The pain that’s on my face?

Didn’t want to hurt or harm,

I just wanted all the best.

But no matter what I said,

You saw me as a pest.

Said you wanted honest,

Said you wanted truth.

I gave it, you attacked me,

Or acted all aloof.

Countless times I’ve had to,

Explain my actions here.

Instead of feeling welcomed,

You left me feeling fear.

Instead of being helpful,

You didn’t understand.

Think you know better,

Bury your head in sand.

I’ve had a year of all this,

Trying to help you to see.

That you are not as you think,

Being the best you can be.

But every time I speak up,

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Reviews are essential

From author, Kevin Brennan, a conundrum … and a special on his latest novel, Fascination!

WHAT THE HELL

fascination

I had just been rejected by Ereader News Today for the second time in two months. Something in me snapped.

There aren’t very many effective ways to promote indie books, and without promotion the whole self-publishing wheel stops turning. And not just promotion but low prices too — generally 99 cents or even free. I’ve complained before …

But when ENT declined to promote Fascination again last week, I decided I had to find out why. So I appealed the decision.

I described my history with ENT — three novels in three years, all with successful campaigns via ENT — as well as my earlier publication history. Parts Unknown. William Morrow/HarperCollins. I’m not a shoe salesman who decided to “write up” this great idea for a novel I’ve always had.

Bridget from ENT wrote me back within a few hours and explained that Fascination had been declined — get…

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For Lockie …

Reblogging from my Reading Recommendations promotion blog … Goodbye, my friend.
http://obituaries.telegraphjournal.com/book-of-memories/2808145/lockard-young/obituary.php

Reading Recommendations

It was with great sadness and a heavy heart I received the news yesterday morning from a mutual friend that author Lockard F. Young, or Lockie as he was know to all of us, had died in hospital, surrounded by his family. I like to think Lockie was also surrounded – via the internet – by the community of writers and readers that had been drawn to him. I for one counted Lockie as a very close member among my own “family” of writers, and he was valued here on Reading Recommendations for his support of me, this blog, and his fellow authors, as well as for his writing, his striving desire to perfect that craft, and his general good humour and comraderie – in spite of all he was suffering healthwise.

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Lockie’s was one of the early promotions I posted here after I first set up the blog in…

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3 #freebooks to Start the New Year On a Positive Note

From Tim Baker – a great way to celebrate the New Year!! He’s offering 3 of his novels for free download from Dec. 30 – Jan 3!

blindoggbooks

Happy New Year!

Unless you spent 2016 on Neptune you don’t need me to tell you that it was a year full of bad news.

I’d like to help you forget all of the death and negativity of the past twelve months by giving you three free books.

That’s right…THREE FREE BOOKS!!

Which books you ask?

Here they are – click the title or the cover image to download

Unfinished Business…

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Eyewitness Blues…

Book Cover

Full Circle…

Full Circle front cover

The giveaway begins at December 30, 2016 at midnight (Thursday night/Friday morning) and ends at midnight on Jan 3, 2017

Download any or all of them with my compliments – and if, after you read them, you would leave a review on amazon I would greatly appreciate it.

This is just my way of saying Happy New Year! I hope it helps get 2017 started off on a positive note!

Oh…and sometime this weekend I’ll…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Christmas Update – Susan M. Toy, Marcia Meara and Toni Pike

Thanks so much to Sally Cronin – for her ongoing support of me and other authors, and for this stellar review of my new novel, One Woman’s Island, that she has just posted to her blog. Please click on and read the entire post, because Sally has also reviewed several other great books!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-updateWelcome to the latest update for the cafe and bookstore and the first featured book was an Autumn Reading in November. One Woman’s Islandthe second novel in the Bequia Perspectives Series by Susan M. Toy.  This is the second book of Susan’s that I have read, and I enjoyed as much as Island in the Clouds.  The review will be uploaded to Amazon today.

51hb-tptcfl-_uy250_About the book

Running away from Canada, Mariana hopes to forget a failed marriage and the death of her husband by embarking on a whole new life. She moves lock, stock, and two cats to the small Caribbean island of Bequia. But the move brings more than she could have imagined. New friends ask her to help solve a recent murder in the expat community. And then there’s the problem of her neighbours, a young woman and her children. Seemingly abandoned by family and…

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