I had a fantastic time speaking on the ASJA 2016 panel at the Roosevelt Hotel in NY! Here are some of the helpful tips I discussed:

Helpful Hint #1: Importance of Reviews

You write a book and pour your heart and energy into it, putting it online for the whole world to see and hope, despite the odds that it magically sells. It is not so simple. You have to put the legwork into it. Writing and editing is the easy part. You gotta dig your heels in and push even harder after that. You need that social proof. The first few reviews are so vital. Treat it like a job. Literally write down goals of how many people you will talk to and how many posts you will make on blogs/ facebook groups/ etc. Set these goals high and reach them. It is a numbers game. The more people you talk to, the more reviews you will get plain and simple. For instance, if you set your goal per week to be to reach out to 100 people and literally bring up your book and how important reviews are for writers you may get ten percent to read your work and add a review. That's ten reviews! Repeat the process. It is hard for unknown authors to get reviews at first but once they start rolling in and the book is selling, more will come. Join groups, be social, and reach out to your friends and their friends. Word of mouth can be powerful. Make sure when you join groups that you are providing valuable information that is relevant to the group. Don't go into a group for mothers and spam your book.

Helpful Hint #2. Book Themes-

The book market is flooded. A lot of people are putting books out there with amazon making it so easy to publish. Without the backing of a major publisher or being a well known author, you might get lost in the sea of books. Every book should have an important message or theme in it. Capitalize on not only your book, but your theme. Mine is bullying and friendship. I now tour schools and talk about bullying and the power of friendship. I focus on that first and secondary on my book. I relate my subject matter to my book. This makes it so i dont come across as salesy. Whatever that niche is that you can dive into, do it. Remember, you want people to reach out to YOU. Think about it this way. I promote that if people want to share their personal stories about bullying, I will interview them and put it up on my website www.bullytalks.com. This makes it so that not only are people discovering my book after finding my information useful(more likely to then buy my book), but they are also more likely to tell others about your website. Take the example of a child in a dance recital or play. Each child might have their parents/ siblings/ grandparents etc at the performance. The people that spread the word about them being interviewed on a website are then doing the work for you!

Helpful Hint #3. Website- You want to present as a professional. Don't put up a poor website just to get it up. Take the time to ensure it looks professional and for it to be interactive and clear. This is the first thing people see. Do you want to look like a professional or an amatuer? Make sure you link it to your other social media sites and names as well as have a blog so people can follow you and comment.

Helpful Hint #4. Multi Task - I wrote ninety percent of my first book on my iPhone while carrying a crying baby. If I was able to do that, anyone can find time to get writing in. Find ways to multi task, set aside time to write, make it a priority.

5. Overcoming Rejection- I was rejected so many times I lost count. If I had stopped on any of the rejections along the way, which god knows I wanted to, I would never be where I am today. Use the rejections to fuel your passion, and come to terms with the fact that rejection will be a part of our lives. It is the nature of the business.