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Win Tickets to a Hay House Event!


New addition to my post How the Pros Promote Books: An Interview with Hay House Digital Marketing/PR Specialist Wioleta Gramek

Wioleta and Hay House have generously offered a free pass to 2 winners to their choice of either the Speak, Write & Promote: Become a Mover & Shaker in New York City or The Writer’s Workshop in New York events.

Just add your insightful comment or ask your question here–the most interesting comment and question will win the tickets.

Good Luck!

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Jan Weel says

    Hi Lisa — On a budget of $1000.00, how should I apportion my funds to make the most of them and have the greatest affect?

    Thanks,Jan Weel.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Janet, that is a modest budget to be sure. You mentioned to me in an e-mail that this is a budget for self-publishing. The things you will need to budget for are 1) Editing 2) Proofreading 3) Design/layout 4) Cover Design 5) ISBN Number if not supplied by the publishing house (generally, I would advise paying for your own ISBN even if the publishing house provides it for free, so that you own it) 6) Any up front fees from the publishing House 7) Marketing and PR.
      Given the size of your budget, I would say to try to see what you can get for free or barter. Barter can be a way to extend your budget and perhaps get higher quality services.
      Some publishing houses will provide all-in-one services and, in general, I would be leery of these since they tend to compete on price and you get what you pay for. I think Balboa Press does a good job, but I think they are higher priced than your budget–perhaps Wioleta can confirm.
      In your case, you might also look for a student in a proofreading program. While less experienced, perhaps they are willing to proof your book at no cost and may actually do a better job than most POD companies! Likewise for design. If you want higher quality, perhaps you can barter for your own services with a quality designer. While I would normally recommend a course in book marketing, social media or PR, such as those taught by Eli Davidson or Dan Blank, you really do not have the budget for that right now. See what you can learn online for free on my blog and others (search on book marketing, book pr, etc)–ask questions as they come up.
      You may need to find a POD (publishing on demand) company that bundles all services and has a very low entry cost–not my recommended course for most authors, but in your case, it may make the most sense–work with what you have.

  2. Dr ML LeRoy says

    This is the time for me to share my energetic field. Found this quite by “accident”. I know Dave Carroll,a really nice guy. Very pleased that he is having tremendous success. Would like to learn how to publish my ideas.

  3. Amelia Piorko says

    I resonate with share the good with others, what is given generously, reaps good for each and all. (“…the more good you do for others, the more it comes back to you.”)

    I excitedly entered Balboa Press’ recent contest for new fiction. I was unable to send in my manuscript by the closing date, as the required word count was 50,000 & even after expanding on feelings and occurrences in the story, I still fell significantly short of the 50,000 word minimum mark.

    Is 50,000 word minimum the generally accepted book length for going through a publishing house? How does one promote a shorter work (sometimes less words are just enough :0) ?

    Thanks to all of you at Hay House!
    Love you.

  4. Maria Costanzo Palmer says

    Hi Lisa,
    In memoir writing, is there a certain magical number of characters to use so that the reader can latch onto your story without getting confused? If you feel that you have too many characters, is it best to try to consolidate a few into one or to look at another way into incorporating their essence into the story?

    • Lisa Tener says

      Maria, I asked my friend and colleague, Stuart Horwitz of to comment. Here’s what he said:

      I don’t know that there is a magical number of *characters*, per se, but readers do appreciate the *roles* being streamlined. Readers have room for a mother and a father and a sibling (or two) or a child (or two). But when it comes to say, supportive friends? It is best to roll three into one. Past love affairs? The same.

      Remember also Forster’s distinction between a flat character (who doesn’t change) and a round character who evolves during the memoir along a narrative arc. As readers, we don’t feel that we have to remember flat characters, they just exist within a certain scene for a certain purpose, so you can use several of them. But the round characters, the ones we have to “track” over the course of the book- those are the ones you need to reduce, so we can focus on their evolution and get the meaning of your message.

      Thanks, Stuart.

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