Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Creative Writing Workshops For Kids Kickoff 2010 in the Greater Houston Area

Monday, December 28, 2009

"The Indie Author Show"--Mon, Dec 28th, 2009

Two Texas Teens co-author and release new children's book: Mr. Teddy Loses His Bowtie!

Join me LIVE tonight, Monday, December 28th, 2009 for a very special segment of The Indie Author Show on blogtalkradio network! Tongiht's guests are two young Texas teenagers who co-authored a children's book entitled: "Mr. Teddy Loses His Bowtie."

Mr. Teddy Loses His Bowtie, The Indie Author Show

These young ladies deserve to be honored for their efforts and you can show your support by listening LIVE tonight @ 7PM CST via the homepage for The Indie Author Show here: http://blogtalkradio.com/theindieauthor.

IF you miss the live streaming broadcast, you can catch the archive tonight after 9PM CST from Bobby's homepage @ OzunaPub.

Be sure to create a username/password with blogtalkradio and join us in our LIVE chat-room tonight, where you can pose questions for me and my guests, Lindsey and Caroline. You can also email your questions for me and my guest here.

To show your support for these two young ladies and their literary endeavors, stop by Amazon.com today to purchase your copy of Mr. Teddy Loses His Bowtie. You can purchase your copy here.

...supporting the independent arts as the voice of the independent author...

~Bobby Ozuna

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Drawing the Story"-- December 27th, 2009

Learn how to write better and more "realistic" fiction!!!

"PROUD SOULS"--An In Depth Look At the Hero and the Writer's Journey!

If you want to learn how to write better fiction, then you are going to want to catch the new series of videos where Bobby Ozuna breaks down the mythological and story-writing principles of Joseph Campbell (The Hero With A Thousand Faces) and Christopher Vogler (The Writer's Journey). Using his own novel--Proud Souls--as the test medium, you will learn writing tricks, tactics and approaches for creating "real" fictional characters, storylines and plot, using Proud Souls as the test medium.

These videos/podcasts are free to anyone and will be available for download soon. Watch the introductory video below with author and host to "The Indie Author Show"--Bobby Ozuna!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"The Writer's Torment"--December 16th, 2009

"Why Indie Authors Don't Sell Books"

The main reason why indie authors don't sell a substantial amount of books has little to do with their writing ability but rather their inability to think like entrepreneurs and sell their products--books, their business and themselves--as an entire package. To set a goal to simply "publish" a book will only lead to disappointment later when in fact, you should set your goal to "sell" books with "publishing" being nothing more than a step towards accomplishing and obtaining the overall prize.

If you truly believe your passion or gift of words would benefit the world, then you must discover ways to market and sale your art, for how else can the world discover you to then become inspired?

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna
Host, The Indie Author Show on blogtalkradio network
the voice of the independent author

Monday, December 14, 2009

"The Indie Author Show"--Monday December 14th, 2009

Today is the last day of my mini-vacation to The Big Apple and because of that, I have no guest scheduled for (tonight) Monday December 14th, 2009. 

We are back on the air, LIVE, next week!!!

~Bobby Ozuna

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"The Story Behind the Story"--an Author Interviewed: Mary Jo Nickum

Introducing author Mary Jo Nickum...

"The Story Behind the Story, an Author Interviewed" Q & A session is my new measure to help the world of independent authors and publishers. If you have released your own book and are looking for ways to promote your efforts, your book and your soul as the creator of your work, contact me HERE to book your online interview on this blog. Author Mary Jo Nickum


Q. Let's start by introducing yourself.
My name is Mary Nickum. I was born in Indiana and grew up on a small farm in northern Wisconsin. “Mom’s Story, A Child Learns About MS” is my first book for children. I’ve had multiple sclerosis (MS) for 30 years.

Q. What genre is Mom’s Story? Who is your ideal audience?
Mom’s Story is a nonfiction chapter book. It is designed for 8 to 11 year olds. But, the ideal audience also includes the entire family of the MS patient, relatives and friends.

Q. In 150 words or less, what’s your book about?
Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS tells the story of a young girl who sees her mother with some frightening health problems and learns she has MS but she will not die from it. This book is a compassionate, accessible and easy to understand account of symptoms, search for help, diagnosis and adaptation to this heart-wrenching disease. Amy fears the worst, which is common when one is confronted by the unknown. Her best friend, Kayla, doesn’t quite understand why Amy is so worried. Amy’s older sister, Kelly is concerned and does her best to help, while older brother, Tony, tries to deny the whole situation. Information is the key to allaying much of her fear along with understanding from parents, adult friends and her older sister.

Q: Apart from being an author, who are you in relation to your gifts?
I am first and foremost a reader. I decorate my house with books rather than having just one room, a library, for my books. They’re all over, all around. It follows then, I suppose, that I am a professional librarian and I was an undergraduate English education major in college.

Q: Of all the stories you could have written…why did you choose to write this particular book?
This was my first foray into writing for children. I took the advice of several pieces that I’d read about writing for children, Kathleen Kudlinski, especially. They all say, “Write what you know.” Well, I’ll tell you, having had MS for 30 years, I know about MS. So, I thought, aha! a book for children whose parent and the whole family, is starting down that strange, unknown path. As I began to write, I realized the story had been in my head and waiting to be put into words for years.

Q: How much of your personal psyche, your struggle and your insecurities are hidden within the characters of this particular story? (Please elaborate)
A lot and I’m not sure it’s very well hidden. I think there’s a little bit of me in all of the characters. Mom realizes there’s something wrong but doesn’t want to worry everyone. Dad is trying to be brave and be the pillar of the family. Kelly is caring and nursing. Tony is in denial, a common situation. And, Amy is just scared and is having a hard time getting anyone to comfort her and console her, tell her everything is going to be ok. The first three chapters are right out of my own life as is the trip to the ER. That’s biographical. The rest isn’t. I didn’t get an answer so soon. It was 10 years between my trip to the ER with an “eye problem” and my MS diagnosis.

Q. Apart from writing stories, in which direction do you see your career heading and what will you bring to the literary world outside producing new stories.
I will continue writing and editing. I currently write magazine articles and edit a magazine in the world of aquaculture, fish culture. My main mission, and this includes my children’s writing, is Science for the Public. I will continue to try to make science reader-friendly. I also enjoy working with writers’ critique groups. I currently lead two. One is completely children’s the other is all genres.

Q. What writer influenced you the most?
That’s tough. I’ve been influenced by many. In my children’s writing, I think Kathleen Kudlinski, author of several biographies including Helen Keller and Mother Therese of the Women of our Time Series©, was the most influential. Other authors are Tony Hillerman, Margaret Atwood and Karen Armstrong.

Q. What has been your greatest inner struggle to overcome with relation to your literary career?
Taking criticism, which I think, is true of many writers. I’ve struggled to overcome it and, I think, mostly conquered it, if the criticism is constructive. Each piece of writing is a part of me. Poorly constructed criticism is just as painful as if someone were criticizing my child for the way he’s dressed.

Q. What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
“Mary had a unique ability to make complicated scientific subjects understandable to people, especially young children.”

Mom's Story by Mary Jo Nickum
Q. Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I have a website, www.marynickum.com and three blogs, two on blogspot, www.mnickum.blogspot.com and one on Wordpress, www.mjnickumwordpress.com. I have two facebook pages and I have a page on Jacketflap, www.jacketflap.com/mjnickum, a social network of children’s writers. Mom’s Story is available on my website, at www.chaletpublishers.com, Amazon and kindle, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords, https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/6679.

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna

"Bobby's Book"--December 9th, 2009

"Bobby's Book"--December 9th, 2009

Ryan Shaw Bobby's Book The Indie Author Show Ryan Shaw Illustrations

To incorporate a personal touch to my show, The Indie Author Show, I have decided to allow each guest to personally sign a journal with their name, city/state and a personal greeting to me, then ship it out in the mail to my next guest. I felt this would be a great treat to receive down the road one day--a way of shaking hands with each guest who can't meet with me face-to-face. I am calling this little segment (and experiment): Bobby's Book.

On November 30th I interviewed an amazing illustrator for hire by the name of Ryan Shaw of Ryan Shaw Illustrations. He has posted a wonderful testimonial on his blog and of course, shared a picture with Bobby's Book as it traveled to Houston, Texas.

Click HERE to read Ryan's blog entry and check out his amazing art. To listen to an archived broadcast of my interview with Mr. Shaw on November 30th, click HERE. To contact Ryan Shaw to illustrate your next book project, contact him via email HERE.

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna
Book Marketing Consultant
Co-Founder, READ3Zero Literacy Foundation for Kids
Host, The Indie Author Show

Monday, December 7, 2009

Operation eBook Drop Ed Patterson

Operation eBook Drop, Ed Patterson, The Indie Author Show
On tonight's edition of the voice of the independent author--The Indie Author Show--I featured author Ed Patterson and discussed a movement that started between reader and author, that has now gone international, all in efforts of support Coalition Troops stationed abroad: "Operation eBook Drop!"

Here are some links for further information on Operation eBook Drop:

For information on joining (authors, deployed troops or their families):

For information on Operation eBook Drop authors:

For the Operation eBook Drop Kindleboards forum:

And come join the Operation eBook Drop Fan club at Facebook:


Be sure to visit Ed Patterson's homepage @ DanCaster.com.

To email Ed Patterson directly, click HERE.

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna

Cook Children's Medical Center and You Can Make a Difference!

Calling ALL Santa's Little Helpers!!!

In the spirit of giving this holiday season I felt inclined to share a project my children and I will be working on, that you too can participate within to help make this holiday season a little brighter for children who won't be spending Christmas at home. I contacted Cook's Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth to find their "submission guidelines" for Christmas cards and gifts. If you are looking for some fun projects to work on with your kids that truly emphasizes the spirit of giving, join me in furnishing cards, gifts and clothes to the children of Cook's Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Guidelines for cards are posted below and the link to the guidelines for clothing or toys is posted at the bottom of this article.

Guidelines for Handmade Cards

Thank you so much for your interest in making cards or small gifts for the patients at Cook Children’s Medical Center.  Below are guidelines to assist your group in a successful project!

©       Generally, cards may not contain religious messages.  If this is an important part of your message, these cards will be forwarded to pastoral care to screen and distribute.
©       The best type messages are those that provide encouragement or recognition.  For example…

o   “We’re thinking about you today.”
o   “Have a happy day.”
o   “Happy Holidays”
o   “You are special”

Cards are generally distributed by placing them on the patients’ meal trays as a fun surprise.  This means there is no control over which child gets which card so messages like “get well soon” may not be appropriate for all families.  This sounds strange to many people since this is a hospital, but for a family that just received bad news, this might not be the best message!

©       Many of the patients here are on restricted diets, so candy and gum may not be included in the cards or pictures. If candy is included this will generally be removed from the card and shared with the volunteers who donate their time to work with the children.
©       Groups are amazingly creative in the gifts they make.  Cards, pictures, word puzzles, and table decorations are a few of the items that have been enjoyed by the patients.
©       We want to keep YOUR children safe, so please ask kids to refrain from including last names, phone numbers, addresses or other personal information.
©       If you have questions about this project, please contact the Child Life department at 682-885-4241

Cards can be dropped off at the Information Desk or mailed to Cook Children’s Medical Center, Child Life Department, 801 7th Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76104


Click here to view the guidelines on Cook Children's Medical Center Website

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"The Writer's Torment" --Dec. 6th, 2009

"The Truth Within Fiction"

"One of the most difficult aspects of being an author of fiction is first having to explore the depths of your own soul and psyche in order to create real characters that are believable beyond doubt despite being fantasy, folklore or myth. Once you have dared to journey the corridors of your own soul you then have to discover ways to mask the fact that so much of yourself, so much of your very existence, lies naked and exposed in written text on every page and apparent within every character you conjure from within the figment of your imagination."

~Bobby Ozuna
Dec 6th, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Press Release: Operation eBook Drop Supports US Troops

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Marketing 101:--"Just What's In A Brand?" Part 3/6

This third installment of my article series "Just What's in a Brand?" deals with your business--or for practical purposes, your book publishing business--and it's ability to present a marketable product. We will also discuss a different perspective of viewing just what those "products" actually are. Let's talk marketability.


If I said the word marketing and then listed some random words, such as: soda, car & shoe, it would be relatively easy to guess what words or businesses came to your mind when you heard me say them. For soda, you might have considered Coke or Pepsi. For car you may have thought of Ford or Chevy and lastly, for shoe, the odds are pretty good you thought of Nike or at the very least, the Nike swoosh symbol. This is what's called Top-Of-Mind marketing and branding. Top-of-Mind, being, the very first word(s) or business models that comes to your mind when a list of words are mentioned. When a business is working to focus its attention on a certain customer base or "corner of the market" it is imperative they understand just who their customers are and work within their niche to build an effective marketing plan to target that audience.

As an example, I work for Texas based children's author (Melissa M. Williams/Iggy the Iguana) but my own work of fiction (Proud Souls) would never be considered for marketing to the same audience. Why? Well, (if it wasn't obvious) my material is written for adults NOT children. I don't even tell children much about my book, apart from saying, I'm a writer too! It sounds like a relatively simple thing to do, but if at the end of the day, the name of the game is sales, then why would I spend my time (or waste my time depending upon how you measure the quality and cost of your time) talking about, sharing or trying to sale a product to a consumer base that won't purchase my product(s)?

This installment deals with marketability or your ability to market a product effectively to a particular customer base. Take these points into consideration and these suggestions as you work (and rework and rewrite) to develop your marketing strategy.

1.) Know your customers:
If you write for children, then you need to be in front of children. You need to create a product that doesn't always fit WHAT YOU THINK is the best product for a child (or children) but what they like. Get out there and ask them. Meet with kids, conduct author visits, and school presentations and ask them what they think of your product. They are after all your entire customer base. If your book is niche, or based on events or circumstances for adults, then find the people who will identify with it the most, and get their perspective. You can offer books for free, to generate a buzz, get some reviews, offer free readings, etc. 

2. ) Appeal to your audience
You don't want to create a cover that is too adult for children anymore than you want to create a cover that is too childish for adults. Look at other books in your genre and get a feel for cover styles. If you aren't sure, ask yourself the next time  you are in a bookstore. If I read this genre and I walk down that genre's aisle, what books pop out and grab my attention? Is it a bold title on the spine? Is it an image? Is it dark? Light? The cover design should correlate with your book's theme, that after all is an old trick of playwriters from ages ago.

3.)  Streamline your visual aids
When you think of shoe, you most likely think of Nike. When you think of Nike, you most likely think of the swoosh sign. This isn't a coincidence but targeted, planned and effective results of good marketing. If you have a profile picture, it should be the SAME one you use on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and your website. If you have a cover design image on the Internet, it should be the same as well, everywhere. Your business logo on your blog or website should match what's on your book cover, etc. The idea is to brand one cover design, with one business logo and one author profile picture. That way, when someone sees you on Twitter they may recognize you from Facebook. If they find you posting comments on a book blog, they will recognize you from MySpace, etc. Your job is to make sure people know what you look like, what you wrote, and what your book cover looks like...without thinking twice!

4.) Learn to be convincing--and believe it!
Does one shoe make you run faster than another? Does one energy drink truly make you a better athlete? Does one laptop or personal computer help you work any better than the other? No, no and no...but...the sales and marketing staff at each of these organizations will work to make you believe otherwise. That is the power of a good marketing campaign. If your book deals with overcoming loss (non-fiction) and you have been through devastating loss and rejuvination, then YOU ARE THE EXPERT! You after all, have written a book about the subject! Get out there on blogs, guest blogs, radio shows, Facebook, MySpace, support groups, etc. and remind the people how YOUR information and knowlegde helped save your life...and how it can save theirs too! Period.

5.) Become the expert
I can't stress this point enough. I read once that if you work at anything (consistently) for five years, you become the subject matter expert. Trust me, it may seem like you're not at times and because of a lack of sales, you may not feel like the expert, but you are! The little things you learned and forgot you learned along the way are the very things someone else is looking for. Why not be the one who feeds them continuous content to help them get where you are? By posting articles, podcasts, interviews, etc., on a continuous (continous) basis, you are allowing people a chance to trust you and with that trust and learning, will come sales--if you have a product--and what better product to sum up your knowledge than a book?

6.) If I like you--I will like your product
Someone told me once that we write because it is our gift and we work hard at it so the world will fall in love with our work. We blog--or utilize any social networking website--so people will fall in love with us. If you want to sale books you must believe in them. If you want to sale books you must be your books biggest and greatest advocate and NOT sit around waiting on someone else to love it or promote it or believe in it more than you! If you want to sale books, then you have to learn to be personable enough that people LIKE you enough to give your art (your work, your product) a chance. Remember who you were when you were just starting out...how much you loved talking about your book...without query letters, sales pitches, guidelines, etc...? That person could inspire the world without any formal effort. Don't let the formalities destroy the beauty in your heart...to share with the world what is in your soul.

To learn from industry experts to better serve your ability to publish, market and sale your independently released titles, join Bobby Ozuna LIVE every Monday night @ 7PM CST on blogtalkradio's THE INDIE AUTHOR SHOW!

Subscribe to this blog to learn more!

We'd love to hear your comments and your success stories!

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Operation eBook Drop: Indie Authors at their Best

Every now and then, something catches me by surprise. That’s how it was when I was promoting a free book on an Amazon Discussion thread on the first Saturday in September. I was reading the thread and following the posts of a soldier in Iraq who was helping another poster through the perils of downloading eBooks through a router to their Kindle. He knew how, because he couldn’t get books through whispernet, Amazon.com’s wifi kindle delivery system. On impulse, I entered the fray and offered this soldier (Joe Terry) all thirteen of my published works for free, if he wanted them. Just email me. He did and I learned just how important reading is to our troops. I should have known, as I’m an Army veteran (1966-67). I recall the lonely hours away from home and overseas (I was stationed in Germany). What a Kindle or any reading device could have done for me then, I couldn’t begin to tell you.

Operation eBook Drop started serendipitously from that simple gift. The troop told me that there was a need and I created a separate Amazon thread to ask if any other deployed troops had Kindles and wanted my books. There were a few nibbles. I then I created a quick survey of Indie authors that hung out at Kindleboards.com, the web’s most devoted Kindle readers discussion site. The survey was positive, but soon I had twenty authors wanting to donate their books — then thirty — then . . . well, the word went out like lightning across the Internet. Within a week I had an email from Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords.com. Smashwords is a premier on-line eBook distributor, converting Indie books into various eBook formats. Smashwords is also global. Mark Coker decided to back the project, opening up his author network to opt-in if they wanted. This also facilitated the delivery of eBooks, because the actual file would not be sent, but a link to the page on Smashwords and a 100%-Off Discount code. The long of the short of it, after a month we had over 60 authors participating and the troops were lining up also.

Operation eBook Drop is an unstructured beast, and that is the key to its success. There’s no central site, communication blog or layers of organization. It simply replicates my interaction with Joe Terry. I maintain a list of troops and authors. When a new author opts in, I email them the troop list and they are responsible for sending the links and code(s), their own welcome email letter and, in turn, they receive feedback directly from the troops. The troops get what they love most — a library of reading opportunity in a shower of emails. I didn’t want to hog the good feelings and I’m glad I didn’t. Each author takes up the communication gauntlet. They blog, post on websites, networks, discussion groups and even go into print. They volunteer ideas, contact other authors and military points and organizations and even created our logo and now two logos as we have a liaison in the UK.

The program is only twelve weeks old and we have 288 participating authors, 7 publishing site in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and over 70 Troop points of light, including families preparing Kindles for their sons and daughters. We have a submarine (yes, we’ve adopted a submarine), the eBook Marine Special Forces program, troops in Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan, Japan, Kuwait, Djibouti, Gitmo and at sea (including the Nimitz). I’m astounded and more than a bit surprised by the success, but why should I be? Independent authors brim with generosity. They know struggle and make their own decisions when it comes to their books and whom they give them to. They are in control. Personally, I’m in awe of them and urge readers to support them by buying their books. It’s my estimate that the Indie authors of Operation eBook Drop have made available 20,160 copies of eBooks to the troops on the program (and that’s a low estimate as some of our authors have multiple titles and offer them all). The troops choose what they want to read and use the coupons as they see fit, downloading the eBooks and porting them into their eReading device.

As for the troops — what can I say? Their sacrifice for our freedom is a better gift than any book I could write. However, because of that freedom, I can author my books as they assure my freedom of speech, as well as the very air I breath. It’s a small donation to fill in their hours away from home and, perhaps in those hours I can provoke a smile or a tear or an escape. Small price to pay for heroism. I salute these brave men and women and hope that no one ever forgets their contribution and sacrifice.

Here are some links for further information on Operation eBook Drop:

For information on joining (authors, deployed troops or their families):

For information on Operation eBook Drop authors:

For the Operation eBook Drop Kindleboards forum:

And come join the Operation eBook Drop Fan club at Facebook:

Edward C. Patterson

Monday, November 30, 2009

Illustrator Ryan Shaw featured LIVE on "The Indie Author Show" with Bobby Ozuna

I am pleased to announce my feature LIVE interview this week with children's book illustrator--Ryan Shaw of Ryan Shaw Illustrations.

If you are an author of children's literature or an aspiring author of children's literature in need of a good book illustrator, you will want to listen in to tonight's episode of The Indie Author Show on blogtalkradio network as we discuss the process for acquiring and working with an illustrator to further enhance your children's book.

To listen live tonight, Monday, NOvember 30th, 2009, click the URL below. You can also listen to the show via archive download, 30 minutes after the show has aired live.

Illustrator Ryan Shaw on The Indie Author Show with Bobby Ozuna

To book your LIVE guest appearance on The Indie Author Show with Bobby Ozuna or have your book or book service "plugged" LIVE on the air, contact Bobby Ozuna via email.

~Ozuna Publications
Literacy. Creativity. Learning.

Ozuna Publications Press-Release Service

One of the most important aspects of marketing and promoting a product--whether that product is a book, CD or the actual artist themselves--is creating and maintaining an online presence. If you wish to establish credibility and visibility online, you will need to learn how to write or publish press-releases on a continual basis.

Press Releases are ideal for promoting an event, such as a book premier or CD release party, a new book in a series, or event pertinent to what an author may be conducting within their career.

Ozuna Publications is offering a press-release service, for indie authors and independent musicians and bands, to help further promote their efforts to create success in their respective markets.

The fee for one press-release is $50 USD. Each customer can guarantee to receive, at a minimum 150 hits/view, per press-release. These press-releases will also be written to target specific audiences, such as the community/local newspaper where their event or business is established. A well written press-release can hit Google or Yahoo news and Bobby Ozuna has been able to write such press releases for his clients in the past. The greater online exposure, the greater possibility for follow-up articles, reviews and interviews.

To order your press release, contact Bobby Ozuna HERE.

To view a sample press-release, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New book reviews of children's literature written "by kids, for kids!"

Babygirl's Book Reviews book reviews for kids by kidsNew book reviews of children's literature written "by kids, for kids!"

My son Dominic (8) and my daughter Elizabeth (14) have each posted their first professional book reviews on the website dedicated to supporting the efforts of indie publishers and authors of children's literature. You can view the two new reviews on their website: Babygirl's Book

If you are an author, publisher or representative of a children's book published independently, feel free to contact either Elizabeth or Dominic to have your book considered for review here.

In their first week of business, they have received 8 books signed by authors and are working diligently to learn the review process and post the most professional and worthy reviews they can, to better serve an industry from the perspective of its customer base--children!

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna

Book Marketing Consultant

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"The Indie Author Show" Presents Author Melissa M. Williams LIVE!

The Indie Author Show and host, Bobby Ozuna feature author/public speaker & indie publisher, Melissa M. Williams LIVE on Monday, November 23rd, 2009 @ 7PM CST.

The Indie Author Show with host, Bobby Ozuna

Be sure to catch this week's edition of The Indie Author Show on blog talk radio network with your host Bobby Ozuna, as we feature best-selling children's author Melissa M. Williams of LongTale Publishing.

Melissa is the author of the Iggy the Iguana children's chapter-book series for kids, co-founder to READ3Zero and owner of LongTale Publishing. Melissa has been able to turn an idea for a story, which started at the age of 8, into a publishing business that has been able to generate something most indie's have difficult creating: book sales. At her most recent book signing for Barnes & Noble, Melissa was able to sale 120 books to her fans and is close to selling 1,000 books in her most recent 90-day marketing plan with Ozuna Publications.

On Monday, November 23rd, 2009 @ 7PM CST, The Indie Author Show will discuss secrets to her book-selling success in the children's marketplace, discuss her approach to selling books to kids, her current short-story project with READ3Zero and also share insight into upcoming projects, her third book in her series--Turtle Town--and answer your questions.

Click below to follow the link to The Indie Author Showpage!

Iggy the Iguana chapter-book series

The Indie Author Show features a live "chat" with our guests and host and a call-in number, where you can pose your industry questions directly to our guests and hosts. Be sure to catch the live broadcast HERE on blog talk radio network!

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna
Book Marketing Consultant
Literacy. Creativity. Learning.

*Bobby Ozuna is a private book marketing consultant, offering a range of services for indie authors & publishers. To contact Bobby Ozuna regarding his services and learn how he may benefit your publishing and selling needs, contact him here.*

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Drawing the Story"--November 20th, 2009

Help me write my first book!!!
One of the more significant questions posed to me is one I love answering more than any other type of question regarding this wondrous world of literature and publishing: How do I write? It is simple in just a few short words, but complex beyond the ability for people to see past their fears, insecurities and doubts. They say public speaking is (hu)mankinds biggest fear, even greater than the idea of death. But as I have worked to establish myself in this business with lectures, classes, articles and interviews, all in means to inspire countless others to tap into their creative soul, I have discovered just as many people afraid to put the pen to the paper and dare share their soul--be it in fiction or truth. This article will cover my approach to writing and hopefully help inspire, motivate and encourage you to get over that hump of doubt and spill forth your soul on paper, or as I like to say, begin "drawing stories...with words."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Indie Author, Melissa M. Williams breaks records sales at Barnes & Noble Book Signing!

Iggy the IguanaIn a business where expectations are high and actual results are relatively low, one indie author and publisher is making headway in an overcrowded industry and has most recently reached a pinnacle in book sales with Barnes & Noble.

If there has ever been one constant I have easily recognized in the countless forums and discussion boards on the Internet that deal specifically with indie publishing and authoring, it is this: It is hard and almost impossible at times to sale any significant amount of books. The business is overcrowded, the buyers determine the market when they have access to what they are wanting or think they want, and the big corporate conglomerates control the destiny and bottom line for book sales from the very precious few who actually land a traditional publishing contract. And although there are new and exciting authors emerging every day thanks to greater technologies and ease-of-use and functionality online, it is still very difficult to discover a method to obtain the overall objective of every author: book sales.

I am honored to say today however, that despite the odds and despite the roadblocks and the vast array of impossibilities, my client has transformed those odds into something we all long for, even deep down in our souls beyond the place where we simply, just love to write. I am proud to say the methods and strategies and philosophies I have presented, when actually put into practice have begun to produce the impossible: book sales in steady stream and flow and with of course, poetic flair and professional presence and credibility, not so much from what we believe, but what the consumer actually desires in an author--indie or traditional. They want to meet us, learn from us, become inspired by our passions and lastly, hold a signed book in their hands as they leave our presence to escape into imaginary worlds.

Melissa M. Williams

I began this most recent venture with LongTale Publishing less than three months ago, and in that time helped isolate and identify key areas where an author and indie publisher needs to focus to help establish credibility, online presence, marketability and of course, present a product worthy of the efforts it takes to create a finished book. With a web presence that was steady but relatively low and a desire that seemed to be lingering somewhere between overwhelming and hibernating, we at LongTale Publishing have transformed the presence of the other green reptile from that of a good book to one of pure desire in the youth of the Lone Star State. With close to 100 school visits in the past 13 months, author presentations, the agonizing but required book signings that conjure up greater costs in time than they produce in sales, and a steady stream of Press Releases and credible articles, interviews and practiced placement online, the Iggy the Iguana chapter-book series for kids has become an indie book publishers dream. What began as a dream for an eight year-old little girl in Houston, Texas has become the pinnacle of a desire to share something beautiful with kids. This new children's favorite in chapter-book series for kids is on its way to breaking another milestone: 1,000+ books in just under 90 days.

At her most recent book signing event at Barnes & Noble in  Houston, Texas, Melissa M. Williams was able to perform an almost impossible feat in the book signing business. With average numbers of celebratory success coming in at less than ten books per signing, Iggy the Iguana captivated the wondrous eyes and attention to children and parents alike in a book signing that closed with some 120+ books out the door. And it is unlikely that any of the remaining books in stock will be returned--another aspect that breaks the bank for indie publishers--but rather sheathed upon the shelves in anticipation for the next child in search of the "tale of a different kind."

With a strong web presence generating some 128+ visitors per day (a striking increase from the 200+ visitors per month just a season ago), Melissa M. Williams has been able to incorporate a business approach to selling books that has solidified her expertise of studied practice and learning of the previous five years, with steady online content, articles, guest appearances from other industry professionals and a new column on Houston's (e)newspaper, The West Side Story, all in efforts to establish the ever elusive brand which is required of any indie author wishing to establish a presence of sales and longevity.

To further enhance the three foundational pillars of LongTale Publishing--Literacy, Creativity, and Learning--Melissa M. Williams has co-founded a literacy foundation with yours truly, designed to nurture the creative and learning desires in our youth: READ3Zero. Presently, READ3Zero is accepting manuscript submissions for short stories written "by kids, for kids" through February 1st, 2010 for all children in the US (in and) between grades third through eighth. Next year LongTale Publishing will honor each of these winners in an anthology entitled: "I Write: Short-Stories By Kids, For Kids." By focusing on the creative aspects and desires of our youth, READ3Zero will allow a means for parents, community and educational leaders to re-establish and strengthen an enthusiasm in kids to learn again.
READ3ZeroWhen asked about her most recent sales spike and of course, her record breaking numbers from her Barnes & Noble book signing last night (Nov 18th, 2009), Melissa Williams said she was "in shock as much as she was comfortable." She went on to say, "I was amazed at the draw and at the same time, not surprised at all. I got into this business to sell books and when I think of book signings, I think of long lines with kids eager to learn about all things Iggy." When I asked her to elaborate on the secrets behind her sudden surge and rise in popularity, especially within the greater Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth area, Melissa says, "It's about the work. You have to be willing to work at this every day, for hours on end, with countless follow-up, constant event booking and of course, do it with passion, the very passion God put in your hart to succeed."

For a list of upcoming events, book signings, author visits and more, please be sure to stop by the official homepage for Melissa M. Williams. Also, to discover more insight into the book selling process and approach that has allowed LongTale Publishing to record breaking book sales within the indie book publishing business, you won't want to miss Melissa's LIVE one-hour interview with Bobby Ozuna on The Indie Author Show, Monday November 23rd, 2009 @ 7PM CST.

Melissa M. Williams featured LIVE on The Indie Author Show!

To book your author interview, school visit or author presentation, please contact Bobby Ozuna, online marketing manager for LongTale Publishing.

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna
Literacy. Creativity. Learning.
*Bobby Ozuna works as a private book marketing consultant for indie & small press authors.*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

COMING SOON from Ozuna Publications: Babygirl's Book Reviews!

I am very excited and honored to say my daughter, Elizabeth, has joined the Ozuna Publications staff and she will feature her very own blog under Ozuna Publications where she will feature book reviews for chapterbooks, tween and young adult fiction novels. Babygirl's Book Reviews will go LIVE this weekend where she will begin populating her very first written reviews and she will also be a special co-host on various segments of The Indie Author Show with her father, to discuss and share her latest book reviews.

So, for you indie authors who publish and write children's chapterbooks, young adult fiction and tween books, you can now start sending queries via email (or comment posts to this article) to have my 14 year old daughter Elizabeth spotlight and review your book on her (upcoming) new website: Babygirl's Book Reviews and quite possibly have that review featured on The Indie Author Show!

Stay tuned for more details!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Melissa M. Williams visits Scroggins Elementary School in Houston ISD

Monday, November 16, 2009

"The Story Behind the Story"--an Author Interviewed: Pat Bertram

"The Story Behind the Story--an Author Interviewed: Pat Bertram

This week I am featuring author Pat Bertram on my "Story Behind the Story" segment of my blog. Be sure to post some questions, connect with her online and share the interview with others!
Thanks Pat for accepting my invitation!

Author Pat Bertram featured on Bobby Ozuna's Blog @ OzunaPub.com

Q. Let's start by introducing yourself.
My name is Pat Bertram. I was born in Colorado, and I’ve always lived here except for a very brief stay in Wisconsin. Daughter Am I is my third novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire

Q. What genre is Daughter Am I? Who is your ideal audience?
Daughter Am I is being sold as mainstream, though it could just as easily be considered a mystery. My ideal audience is anyone who loves mysteries, old-time gangsters, and a bit of humor.

Q. In 150 words or less, what’s your book about?
When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents-grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born-she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

Q: Apart from being an author, who are you in relation to your gifts?
I’ve always been creative, and right now I’m focusing that creativity on the internet and promotion. I also have a life-long love of learning. Somehow, between the creativity and the learning, I hope to figure out how to sell a ton of books.

Q: Of all the stories you could have written…why did you choose to write this particular book?
Daughter Am I was the combination of two different stories I wanted to write. I’d read The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, and the mythic journey so captured my imagination that I knew I had to write my own quest story. I also liked the idea of telling little-known truths about the mob, and I settled on the story of a young woman going in search of her past. As she listens to stories of old-time gangsters and bootleggers -- her mentors and allies -- she gradually discovers the truth of her heritage. I’ve always liked stories within stories.

Q: How much of your personal psyche, your struggle and your insecurities are hidden within the characters of this particular story? (Please elaborate)
To be honest, there is less of me in this book than my other novels, but Daughter Am I does reflect two of my struggles: my journey as a writer and my quest for identity, which perhaps come down to the same thing. My hero Mary isn’t a writer, but she does set out on a journey to discover who she is in relation to her unknown grandparents. I think the quest for identity is one of the strongest themes in books because it reflects two stages of life we all go through -- adolescence and obsolescence.

Q. Apart from writing stories, in which direction do you see your career heading and what will you bring to the literary world outside producing new stories.
I’m involved with several writing groups, and I’m developing a following for my blog. I’d like to think I’m bringing generosity of spirit to the literary world by sharing what I’m learning on my seemingly impossible journey to becoming a self-supporting author.

Q. What writer influenced you the most?
My biggest influence was Taylor Caldwell. She told wonderful stories that showed history in the context of fiction, and I’ve tried to do the same. She also used a hundred words when a single sentence would have sufficed, and I’ve tried to do the opposite.

Q. What has been your greatest inner struggle to overcome with relation to your literary career?
My greatest inner struggle is a reluctance to commit to writing. I have a one-track mind -- I’m not a multi-tasker by any means! Writing a novel is an all-consuming task, one that takes months, even years to complete, and during that time, I really can’t get involved with other mentally demanding activities. Right now, my focus is the internet, and I will have to cut my time online to a bare minimum in order to free up my mind for writing, and I’m not yet ready to make that change.

Q. What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
I’ll be leaving the world my books, which are words enough, but besides that, this is how I’d like the world to see me: "Pat Bertram has a marvelous ability to write the longest parables in all of literature. She unglues the world as it is perceived and rebuilds it in a wiser and more beautiful way." -- Lazarus Barnhill, author of The Medicine People and Lacey Took a Holiday

Q. Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I have a website -- Pat Bertram Homepage--where I post important information, including the first chapters of each of my books, but the best way to keep up with me, my books, and my events on a daily basis is by way of Bertram’s Blog.
All my books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords. Smashwords is great -- the books are available in all ebook formats, including Kindle, and you can download the first 30% free.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"The Indie Author Show"--November 13th, 2009 with Bobby Ozuna

Listen to the introductory show on Blog Talk Radio Network's NEW show designed to support the efforts of independent authors and publishers: "The Indie Author Show" with your host, author and book marketing consultant, Bobby Ozuna.

If you are interested in being a guest or have industry  news, a press-release, publishing event or book blurb you wish to share on the air, contact Bobby via email.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Drawing the Story"--November 13th, 2009

Bill S the Doodle Blog
(image, property of Bill S. @ --the Doodle Blog)

The inner battle between creative, free-flowin' spirit and that of the ever critical editor will never end. This is part of being a writer, something we just have to deal with and accept. This is my poetic rendition of the struggle between the creative and critical aspects of our souls.

"First, understand there are many hats to be worn if you are to make it in this industry or at the very least, start and finish a book. It's up to you to discover when to take one hat off and when to replace it with another. The conflict between creative, free-flowing artist, the one inspired and led by the free spirit God bestowed upon your life, and that of the ever criticizing editor will never diminish. You have to learn to find a balance between the two, as they are forces who oppose one another and the product they birth, like an angel and devil upon your shoulders. Being consciously aware and studied on how to write is just as important as learning to be free when you write. These two aspects compliment one another and are critical in the success of a writer. They are critical in the success of your life, because once you become aware of the gifts borne within your soul, you will ever be attached to them and they will forever dictate and determine your life's path and journey. But, if not properly nurtured, one aspect may tip the scales over the other, and this my friends, may forever torment your creative soul. It's up to you to discover when to color within the lines and when to color outside them."

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna
Literacy. Creativity. Learning.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Help us nurture the creative spirit in kids!

Catch the announcement article for the READ3Zero short-story contest "by kids, for kids" on Houston/Cy Falls' West Side Story (e)newspaper!

"The very mention of the word creative can spring images and thoughts of youthfulness and charisma, charm, wittiness and an imaginative freedom that knows no bounds. And who better to serve the soul of humanity with a vision of worlds that stretch far beyond the comprehension of corporate meetings, cubicles and the recessive plagues of civilization than children? They are the symbolic representations of hope and opportunity and starting next year, their literary and creative efforts will be spotlighted and featured in an anthology dedicated to them and them alone—the READ3Zero short-story anthology: “I Write: Short-Stories By Kids, For Kids!”'

click url below to

*This content is featured as part of Kids Korner, a feature column by LongTale Publishing CEO & author/creator of the Iggy the Iguana chapterbook series for kids, Melissa M. Williams.*

~Bobby Ozuna
Literacy. Creativity. Learning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moving Forward with "The Indie Author Show"

Great news, great news, and more great news...

The Indie Author Show with Bobby Ozuna of Ozuna Publications
I am going LIVE with my inagural episode of The Indie Author Show on Blog Talk Radio Network, this Friday the 13th (fitting huh?) of November at 9PM CST. This show will stream for about half an hour and essentially (as I have said already) share the vision and purpose for the show.

Let's talk news...

For starters I announced the upcoming show on the Internet at 5PM on Monday the 9th and before I went to bed that night (midnight for me people) I received 28 requests and confirmations from potential guests for this new show. By Noon on the 10th, I was booked for essentially, the entire next year of programs!!!  With only one show per week, I have received 42 guests requests, which will leave about 10 avaialble spots for the children I will spotlight next year. I will utilize The Indie Author Show to spotlight winners of the READ3Zero short-story contest--"I Write: Short-Stories By Kids, For Kids"--and interview them to learn insight into their creative minds and accomplishments. So, if there wasn't enough reasons to encourage a child to participate within the READ3Zero short-story contest, how about the possibility of being featured LIVE on the air!!!???

*Don't worry!!! With this much potential traffic, I am already working on a second show time during the week, doubling our listening capacity and guest spots!!! Remember, if you build it...he will come!*

What You Can Expect from the Show...

Because I am such an advocate for all things literary--that and I have performed or am presently performing these "steps" myself for other clients--I will use as much diversity as possible when booking clients, to ensure our listeners learn as much about the indie publishing world as possible. So, if you are a talented author, but aren't sure about the book review process, or perhaps you write children's stories but don't know what to look for or what to expect when looking for an illustrator, you will find those answers from the people who work the industry everyday. You will find the answers from other indie's who may be the very key to unlocking the next pathway in your literary journey.

Learning is about diversifying...

As of now, I have plans and confirmations from authors, publishers, radio hosts, Amazon Top Reviewers, award winning book cover designers, Presidents of publishing organizations, illustrators, children's authors (and children--yep, children authors), VBT hosts, marketing experts, publicists, foundation chairs, web designers and more!

I will feature such names and experts as John Kremer (1,001 Ways to Market Your Book), Sandy Lawrence (publicist/CEO of Perceptive Marketing & host to The Perceptive Marketing Hour Radio Broadcast), Edward Patterson (author & founder of Operation eBook drop), Melissa M. Williams (children's author/CEO of LongTale Publishing and co-founder to READ3Zero), Lesa Trapp (host to The Odd Mind Show), Tamara & Tom Dever (AWARD winning book cover designers/TLC Graphics),
Susan Wingate (multi-award winning author), Ryan Shaw (Children's Illustrator)...and many, many more...!!!

How you can contribute...

Send me your news! Send me your press-releases, updates, event news, award notifications, book blurbs (2~3 sentences about your book), industry news, hottest trends, etc., and MOST IMPORTANTLY, send me questions and challenge me to find the best information that WILL HELP YOU SUCCEEED AS AN INDIE AUTHOR & PUBLISHER! For that, after all, is why I am here...

Secondly, spread the news! Re-tweet this content, re-post the article, URL's, etc., on your blog, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Ning Sites, etc...spread the word, the more the merrier!

What's Next???

Great question! For starters, listen LIVE this Friday night @ 9PM CST. You can navigate to the show site by following the URL below. Secondly, if you want to stay current with industry news and stay connected with interviews, follow-up interviews, updates and more, SUBSCRIBE to this blog! Once I get rolling, it's oftentimes hard to keep up! Trust me!

Introductory show with author, book marketing consultant, advocate for literacy & host, Bobby Ozuna

...supporting the independent arts...

~Bobby Ozuna
Literacy. Creativity. Learning.

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