Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Submissions Wanted: Acquisitions Editor Cheryl C. Malandrinos Shares Her Wish List


Earlier this year, the 4RV editing team connected over Zoom during one of their Between the Covers of 4RV sessions to chat with readers about what they would love to see for submissions. Here is my short list:

  • Southern fiction - especially involving family secrets and the rich history of the South
Since 2007, Southern fiction has been one of my favorite genres. The rich history of the South lends itself to marvellous stories. I also enjoy stories involving family secrets. I'm not opposed to ghosts in these stories, but I am also okay if no ghosts are involved. 

Authors/books in this genre that I've read: Rhett DeVane, Karen White, G.K. Davenport (whose debut novel, Dust of Lies, I was blessed to edit), Property by Valerie Martin, and Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper.

  • Middle Grade/Tween/Young Adult paranormal mystery-solving friends
I grew up a huge lover of Scooby-Doo, and mystery remains one of my favorite genres. Most of the mysteries I read don't include a paranormal element, but they are popular in these age groups. The most important thing to note is that these mystery solvers and their storyline must be uniquely you. I would love to see underrepresented voices in these stories. Some humor would be great, and a dabble of romance for older readers. 

Authors/books in this genre I've read: The Crypto-Capers series by Renee Hand, the Gus LeGarde Mystery series by Aaron Paul Lazar, The Case of the Haunted History Museum by Steve Brezenoff, and A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander.

  • Christian historical fiction featuring a fictional or Biblical female lead 
This is a broad idea, so let me see if I can focus it for you. The fictional lives of Biblical women intrigue me because they allow me to explore my love of Bible history and help me better understand these women of faith. Michal, the daughter or Saul and wife of David, featured in The Secret Life of Kings by Yochi Brandes and Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George, come to mind. 

However, I love Christian historical fiction set during almost any time period with fictional lead characters as well. Christian/inspirational romance also catches my eye. 

Authors/books in these genres that I've read: Kathi Macias, the Crossroads of Grace series by Allison Pittman, and The American Patriot Series by J. M. Hochstetler.

  • Historical fiction set during Colonial America or the American Civil War
These are times in American history that I am most familiar with, having studied them in college. I also read more historical fiction set during these time periods than any other. For younger readers, I like a time travel element where the characters travel back in time to solve a problem. For adults, I enjoy a good spy story, characters whose stories unfold against the backdrop of battles, or escape to freedom stories. Attention to historical detail is a must. However, no graphic violence or intimate physical scenes should be portrayed.* 

Authors/books in this genre I've read: Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Treehouse Series) by Mary Pope Osborne, George Washington's Spy by Elvira Wooddruff, The Civil War Trilogy by Michael and Jeff Shaara (*see note above), and Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. 

You can view the entire Between the Covers of 4RV - What Editors Want on Youtube at https://youtu.be/W7ITlUoImwo

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three adult children. Visit Cheryl's children’s book blog at https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com

Monday, October 3, 2022

Book Marketing - Every Author Needs to Know About It

By Karen Cioffi

I used to write a lot about book marketing and content marketing but I’ve gravitated more toward writing, specifically children's writing over the last eight or so years.

The thing is, while writing has a beginning, middle, and end, marketing and selling your book is never-ending … if you want to sell books.

This is why knowing about book marketing is crucial to every author.

When I read Neil Patel’s article on his content marketing formula, I knew I had to share it.

Before I dive in, let me explain these terms.

Book Marketing

This marketing strategy is ‘everything’ you do to bring visibility to your book and actually sell it.

While there are some authors who just want to have a book written and don’t really care about selling it, most authors want to sell their books.

This is especially true of authors who spend money to self-publish their books where costs can be from under $1,000 to well over $5,000.

A few of my clients have spent well over $10,000 for just ONE book.

Recouping the money invested in your book is a big deal to most.

And, it’s just as important if you’re traditionally published. Your publisher will definitely want you to help sell your book/s.

In fact, it you and another author both submitted great manuscripts to a publisher, a determining factor on who gets the contract could be who has a better book marketing platform.

So, here are a few elements to know about before and after your book is available for sale:

1. Create a book worthy of publishing and learn about pricing it effectively
2. Create and maintain an author website
3. Write articles and post them on your website’s blog
4. Be active on social media and share your blog posts and those of other users
5. Get an email list going and maintain it
6. Look into guest blogging and interviews
7. While doing all this and more, start on your next book

Once your book is available for sale, you’ll also need to get book reviews and create an Amazon Author Page.

Content Marketing

This strategy is about writing and sharing content to your specific target audience.

According to Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

To clarify a bit, it’s about bringing visibility to you and your product/s through content (things you write and share, like your blog posts). It’s about building a brand (what you want people to think of when they see your name or logo).

The marketing world is driven on content.

Below are a few strategies of content marketing:

1. Blogging
2. Video
3. Podcasts
4. Infographics
5. Sales pages on your website
6. Books

There are many other elements that go into these marketing strategies, but this should give you a basic understanding of both these terms.

And more importantly, it’s important to understand that pretty much everything you do to sell your book is a form of content marketing.

Now on to content marketing expert Neil Patel’s tips.

1. Optimize your headline.

Everything you write, whether a blog post or a description on social media, starts with a headline.

An example of this is the title of this article.

There are thousands and thousands of tidbits of information online, why would someone click on your bit of information?

The very first reason would be the headline. It’s what will initially grab the reader’s attention.

2. Add three internal links.

Internal links bring the reader from one page on your website to another.

It allows you to bring the reader at your website to other pages on your website and/or blog posts through clickable links.

3. Share your content on social media.

Once you put up a blog post, use sharing tools, and share it to your social networks.

4. Message everyone you link out to.

This tip pertains to external (outbound) links. Links from your website (usually from your blog post) to other websites.

Patel recommends that you contact the site you’re linking out to and let them know that you’ve linked to their site from your blog post or webpage.

Ask the site to stop by and share the article.

5. Email blast your new blog posts.

Email your subscribers every time you post new content.

To learn the basics of email marketing, check out this article:
Email Marketing – 10 Top Reasons to BE Doing It

I know some of this may sound too complicated, but just knowing the basics will be of tremendous benefit to you.

So, give your book every chance at finding readers and making sales.

For a more in depth look at marketing your books, check out
Build Your Author-Writer Platform


Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach
with clients worldwide. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

Karen’s children’s books include “Walking Through Walls” and “The Case of the Stranded Bear.” She also has a DIY book, “How to Write Children’s Fiction Books.” You can check them out at: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/karens-books/. If you need help with your children’s story, visit: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com