Monday, June 4, 2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Carole P. Roman's Publisher's Weekly article

Check out the article Publisher's Weekly did about me on BookLife!

Author Spotlight: Sarah Noffke

Author Spotlight: Sarah Noffke

Sarah Noffke joins us to discuss Hybrid Authoring

Sarah sits with us to talk about her amazing journey from self-publishing to being a hybrid author. Find out what the terminology means, and learn all about her book series that are tearing up the Amazon charts! This Saturday at a special time, 3pm to join the discussion!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tending a Garden of Books by Carole P. Roman | featured on

Tending a Garden of Books
by Carole P. Roman
featured on |

Picture by Carole P. Roman

I hated gardening when I was a kid. My grandmother lived with us (or maybe it was the other way around), either way, she had both an indoor and outdoor garden.
She would spend a good portion of her day, tending to her assorted plants and flowers. She had exotics like orchids, a terrarium of cacti, miniature palm trees, and a variety of African violets in a rainbow of colors.
I thought them bothersome, as well as a waste of time. When she passed, my mother took over the care of them. My mom wasn’t much of a gardener either, and I was stunned when the plants became an important part of her life. 
When my mother died, I was faced with either throwing the lot out or taking them to my home.
I couldn’t toss away something that meant so much to both of them. The women in my life nurtured and respected these plants, devoting huge amounts of time and emotion to their upkeep.
They took over my kitchen in a tangle of vines and vibrant leaves. Between my husband and myself, we managed not to kill any of them. I didn’t know that nurturing these plants would prepare me for my future ventures when I started marketing my son’s and my books.

Lesson One
It may be a weed to you, but to someone else, it’s a beautiful flower.

Picture by Carole P. Roman

Some of these plants were plain ugly. Still, they were important to my grandmother, and I continued to care for them. They might have prickly leaves or be a noxious shade of green, but she saw something in them to keep them lovingly watered and safe from the elements.
So, the connection to books. I like some of my stories better than others. Each was written during a different point in my life and brings back memories like old photographs. Sometimes when I reread them, I’ll wince or have a cringe-worthy moment. I know I can do better than that. In fact, I think I have, but if the goal of writing was to be commercially successful, we have to write about what will actually sell.
Experience has taught me many things. However, the surprise is, that the ones that I may not have enjoyed creating are sometimes more successful financially.
While I do have a regular job, most of the purpose of being an author for both my son and me was to create another income stream. The point is, you have to push forward and market the books that earn if your goal is to make money. It may not be what you want to write about, or your passion, but the ones that support your other interests need the most time in the sun to help your endeavor.

Lesson Two
Oh, the Constant Care

Picture by Carole P. Roman

I learned to water those plants. Sounds stupid? Once I put them in that corner of my kitchen, I forgot about them. It wasn’t until I saw their roots showing with water deprivation and the soil had shrunk to half the pot that I realized they had to be looked after daily. Some plant varieties needed more water than others- I learned that valuable lesson when I flooded the pots, nearly drowning the poor things.
Marketing books have to be tended daily. The watering comes in the form of talking about them on Facebook, or blogs. You can run specials on the various reading sites like Bargain Booksy, or Instafreebee, or even give them away directly from Amazon in the giveaways located at the bottom of the page. You can flood the market by giving them away too often or for too little; it may cheapen the product. However, you have to expose your books just the right amount of time by letting people know about them.

Lesson Three
Knowing When to Prune

Picture by Carole P. Roman

Sometimes the plants got too big for the pots, and they had to be replanted. In the same way, sites can become stale. You have to search for fresh places to post about your book, “replanting” it in front of new eyes. Check out other authors in your genre, see if they will do Facebook Takeovers or Facebook/Blog Exchanges with you.
Get a group of writers together and see if you can make up a Spring or Fall catalog of your books to send out on all your mailing lists. By sharing your spotlight and resources with others, you expose readers to more books, and the other authors will be doing the same for you.
By offering a variety of books to the readers on your mailing list, you show it’s not just about you. It may spur them to purchase multiple books. If you continuously bombard your followers with the SOS they will likely get bored. You may find your mailing list taking off and growing like a field of bluebonnets in Texas; once exposed to new potential followers gathered from your colleagues collections.

Lesson Four
Rome wasn’t Grown in a Day, Either

Picture by Carole P. Roman

Most of all, taking ownership of those plants and caring for them taught me patience. When one finally bloomed for me the first time, it was a delicate and surprisingly little bud for all my efforts, but I beamed, nonetheless. I had a huge victory.
My efforts yielded something, and you know what? The next batch of flowers filled that kitchen with color. Fat, juicy flowers that made my grandchildren want to share the activity of creating a herbal garden that spring.
I learned patience. I learned small victories are windows to substantial benefits. I learned that if you want results with anything, you have to put in the work and the work is constant.
It may not be backbreaking, it may not be hard, but it has to be watched, and when the time is right you can’t sit on your keister waiting for life to happen. Sometimes you have to help it along.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Michael Okon on KIRKUS!

Michael Okon


Three years ago, during a movie marathon with his son, bestselling self-published author Michael Okon asked himself why there wasn’t a theme park with zombies. His brother, in turn, asked why the theme park couldn't have werewolves, vampires, and zombies. Okon started writing Monsterland that very night. He initially released the thriller about two young boys lost in just such a park on his own, but the idea generated enough buzz to help Okon sign with indie press WordFire and with a Hollywood agent hoping to turn Monsterland into one of the classic popcorn movies that inspired it. He might still be waiting on Hollywood’s final answer, but Okon has kept busy turning Monsterland into a long-running book series. 
What do you think sets Monsterland apart from other typical horror stories?
Monsterland has many layers. I tried to avoid the typical clich├ęd horror story and dive deep into very raw issues such as bullying, broken family relationships, being comfortable in your own skin, political upheaval, corruption. Monsterland covers a wide gamut of topics. And yes, there are monsters, but it’s so much more than a typical slasher gorefest. The deeper meaning of Monsterland is simple: How do you capture the world? You build a theme park. 
Have you always wanted to write something in the supernatural/horror genre for YA readers? 
I’ve learned there literally are a million ways of telling a “monster in the house” story. The genre never gets old, and as long as you come up with a fresh take on the horror/paranormal theme, you will always have a great story to tell. I would never box myself into just being a horror writer or paranormal writer, for that matter. My stories can appeal to the young (my 9-year-old son is one of my beta readers) to teens, to new adult and beyond after that. Nine to 90 is my target audience. 
How has it been to go from self-publishing Monsterland to having a film agent? 
Everything that is happening in my life now, I planned out. I know that may sound far-fetched, but I believe in asking the universe for the life you want. I actually wrote the book on creating a life blueprint, Just Ask the Universe, which is still a bestseller on Amazon. Going from self-publishing to being a commercially published author has been incredible. It truly is the dream. But…getting a literary agent, a powerful entertainment attorney, and a film agent at a major agency has been the best part. 
On that note, any news on a film adaptation? 
Yes. My film agent got Monsterland into the hands of a mega-producer, who I’ve spoken to on a few occasions. He is convinced this is his next movie. And now…like right now…they are pitching the movie to every studio in Hollywood. Is this a dream? Heck, yeah! Is it a slow process? Absolutely. Believe me, when it happens I will be the first to shout it to the world.Okon Cover  
How have you found the experience of working with a small press? 
Wonderful. The team at WordFire have been mentors to me. They have guided me to create this incredibly tight story called Monsterland. Kevin J. Anderson has been a Jedi Master to me. 
Any exciting new monsters readers can look forward to in the upcoming sequel? 
Monsterland Reanimated was released to the world on Friday, April 13. In Book 2, the readers will meet The Glob (think a modern-day version of The Blob), Mummies (this was fun to write), and a reanimated monster (think Frankenstein’s monster), and every reader will figure out who it is in the first chapter. I’m almost done with Monsterland Beneath. Books 4, 5, and 6 have all been named and the stories have been beaten out. I already know the finale.
Rhett Morgan is a writer and translator based in Paris.