Star Tracks: Innovative Ideas for Publishing

Star Tracks:

Innovative Ideas for Publishing

Authors and Experts


Leads From Linda



Do you have expertise in social networking or blogging? Have you discovered a great way to market your book? Can you offer expert advice on distribution or PR? Star Tracks: Innovative Ideas for Publishers is the official newsletter of, which averages 1,000 visitors per day. We credit all articles we use with writers' bylines, company names or book titles and Web address, which gives authors invaluable PR and exposure! Send artiles, tips and inquiries to Please put "Article or Tips for Star Tracks" in the subject line.

© 2009 Five Star Publications, Inc.

Information in this newsletter may be shared only if the sources are properly credited.


August 2009


Leads From Linda

Thank you again for your positive response to Star Tracks. We are thrilled with the number of new subscribers. Please continue to share the news! Let us know if any leads or tips added value to your marketing efforts. Don't forget to send your tips. What worked for you? What have you done to save cost in getting the job done? Did you find a new place to have your book reviewed. It's a great way to pay it forward! You asked and we are now starting to review books. Please visit www.FiveStarBooksReviews! Let Five Star review your book, but be prepared for an honest review.


Calling All Catalogs

What are you doing to market your book? You might want to research "Catalogs" online and pitch your book to different folks who publish catalogs. You may be able to find a copy of "Catalog of Catalogs" at your local library, though it might be outdated. Don't limit your pitches to catalogs that offer books. Get creative. Think outside the book. For example, a garden catalog might accept a book like Healing Stones and Gardens,; a catalog for kids might feature books for kids; a catalog featuring coffee products might consider a book like Attitude Girl -; a catalog that offers pet products might consider distributing True Stories About Saving Animals, and Alfie's Bark Mitzvah -; a Western catalog might offer A Feather in the Rain - or the Luke and Jenny series, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War,; and a catalog that features food products might consider adding Potluck Survival Guide, to their list of items. Get the picture? Don' t wait for sales to come to you. Find new distributors - make a home for your book in the least likely place. What are you waiting for? Start pitching and share your success stories with us.

Not finding a catalog that works for your book? How about starting your own co-op catalog and featuring books of similar topics? We have been offering authors co-opportunities since 1985. It's a great way to expand your horizons and save money in the process.

Here are a few websites that feature catalogs:


WHAT IS CATALOGLINK?? is the premier catalog directory on the Internet.

We started in 1997 with only a few dozen catalogs, but we have grown to become Earth's Biggest Catalog Directory. Our catalogs are always being updated, and new catalogs are constantly being added. Whether you're looking to search, browse or request catalogs for free, is the catalog directory for you.

Search our 19,000+ catalogs by name

Browse catalogs by category (to the left)

Request catalogs for free (Catalogs a-z)

Search, find and request over 10,000 catalogs all at



Here's a lead for African American authors

The Reading and Writing SISTAZ (R.A.W. SISTAZ) Literary Group was founded by Tee C. Royal in September 2000 and focuses on reading, writing and discussing books primarily by African American authors. They read three books a month (one is optional) as a group: the Book of the Month (BOM), an "ole-school" book and an alternate book. Members vote via an online poll, the alternate book is selected by the founder. They usually have an online chat with the author of the BOM to further discuss the book and even offer other author chats on most Tuesday nights of the month. See their Chat Room schedule for more information. I would encourage you to send a review copy to

Need Help Sending Multiple Files?

I recently discovered a great site for sending multiple files. I needed to send our webmistress several photos to add to our co-opportunities web page. We attended the National Speakers Conference and had a Five Star Publications co-op book display. I wanted to share the photos with folks who participated in our co-op display. I was able to use and send up to 10 files (2000 mb total) at one time. It's a great service and it's free. Let me know if you use it, you like it and it's still free.

Do You Have an Upcoming Event?

Did you know that you can post all your book events in the Events Calendar? Did I mention that it is free? And if you tell us about your book events and I will be happy to add them to my Five Star Online Journal.


The Midwest Book Review

The Midwest Book Review was founded in 1976 and publishes nine monthly book review publications: The Bookwatch; California Bookwatch; Children's Bookwatch; Internet Bookwatch; Library Bookwatch; MBR Bookwatch; Reviewer's Bookwatch; Small Press Bookwatch; and Wisconsin Bookwatch.

These publications are archived on our Midwest Book Review website for five years and routinely posted to other databases and websites on the Internet. They are also sent to a 30,000+ subscriber list.

We review both fiction and non-fiction in all genres and categories. We review both adult and children's books. We generate a collective average of between 600 to 700 reviews a month.

The Midwest Book Review is contracted to provide our reviews to Cengage Learning, Gale (27500 Drake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535, each month for inclusion in their online databases and their interactive CD-ROM series, "Book Review Index," (published four times a year) for corporate, governmental, academic, and public library systems. Cengage Learning, Gale also makes our reviews available to library systems nationwide in their other print, magnetic tape and diskette book review series for the general public.

We also post all our reviews to thematically appropriate Internet forums such as, SecHum-L, PMA-L, PubForum, SPAN, etc. Our reviews are also posted to (for whom we are a content provider). The Midwest Book Review website also features a compendium of advice and information for aspiring authors and novice publishers, as well as thousands of "hot-links" to writing and publishing resources. Our website address is and the Midwest Book Review e-mail addresses are and

We are also content providers for and many of our reviews are posted there as well.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575


Tech Tools For Writers
by Audra Krell

When my freelance work picked up and I decided to write a book, it was time to pay attention to the business side of writing. I had little knowledge of social media but it appeared to be a great marketing tool. Trying to teach myself proved futile so I attended a Web 2.0 Boot Camp.

The instructor taught that social media is a giant wave, heading straight for us. I could either dive in or it would take me down. Not being one to dive head first, I jumped in with both feet. I began to paddle, kick a little and soon was swimming.

With my new knowledge I created a plan and set goals. After researching blogs and how to write for the Web, I chose Typepad as my host. With a user-friendly interface and a comprehensive "help" section, I was blogging within thirty minutes. Next, I opened a free account on Facebook. I reached out to local as well as hometown friends. Networking with the few writers I knew, I looked through their friend lists, requesting other authors, editors and publishers to be my new "friends." They accepted, and within two weeks I had 200 people to learn from and discuss writing with. Finally, I set up a free account on Twitter. It's a micro-blogging service where you describe what you're doing in 140 characters or less. Using Twitter's search function, you find and follow other people with similar interests.

At first I spent four hours a day learning and leveraging social media. I would write blog posts, read and comment on other blogs, update my status on Facebook and research and find people to follow on Twitter. Immersing myself in Web 2.0 makes for continuous learning. I linked my media together. When I write a new blog post, Typepad automatically updates my Twitter status, which updates Facebook. This saves me hours. Once my networks were well established, I was able to flip my time. I spend the bulk of it writing, and then I work for one or two hours on social media.

People updating on Twitter and other sites often wonder "Who would care what I'm doing?" In the beginning, I wondered that too. I decided to stay with it however and ended up landing not one, but two radio interviews. I faithfully micro-blogged on Twitter, talking about my daily word count, writing tips and struggles in reaching my writing goals.

A radio show host out of Newark follows me on Twitter. One day he sent a tweet asking to interview me on his show, which has an audience of 50,000 listeners. He interviewed me for eight minutes on the process of writing. I don't have a book yet, but gained attention, Twitter followers and interest in my writing. When the second radio interview came from an author on Twitter, I knew that people do care and are interested in what I'm doing.

Jumping into the social media pool has been one thing, staying in the water another. I will continue to learn about and grow my networks. If the interest and attention I've received during the writing process is any indicator of the future, I can only imagine what will happen when I've completed my book.

Audra Krell is a freelance writer who lives with her family in Scottsdale, AZ. For more information visit


How Giving a Book Away Can Pay Off
by Tom Lambke

I never thought giving anything away for nothing was ever a great idea. After Linda and Five Star helped us publish our first book, she suggested giving books away to certain media groups as a way to generate more sales. At first I was reluctant to just give away our books. But I soon discovered it is a valuable tool to use others to publicize and share your work. When my son, Bryan, and I finished our second book, I knew I would need to part with many copies in order to help get the word out. Because of Linda Radke and Five Star, I learned how important it is to comp copies. Because of this knowledge, our book, I JUST AM ... a Story of Down Syndrome Awareness and Tolerance, is now included in the New Parent Package that is given to new parents of babies with Down syndrome by the Down Syndrome Network Arizona group, based here in Tempe. We are extremely proud to have our book included as a way to ease new parents fears and give them hope, when that is probably the last feeling they have. We are very excited to have so many new parents and families learn about Down syndrome by reading our book! I wish we had been so lucky when Bryan was born. Thank you - In Friendship - Tom Lambke, 3621 W. Morelos, Chandler, AZ 85226, and 480-993-8529

© 2004 - 2009 Five Star Publications, Inc.
Material in these articles may be used contingent on credit given to and Five Star Publications, Inc.

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