Star Tracks: Innovative Ideas for Publishing

Star Tracks:

Innovative Ideas for Publishing

Authors and Experts



Would you like to contribute an article or tip for this newsletter? If so we'd love to hear from you! Please send us an email at

Please indicate " Articles or Tips for Star Tracks" in the subject line.

Be sure to watch for our April newsletter. We will have information about how to get your books reviewed. 

March, 2009


We Hear You – The Results of the Authors and Experts Survey

We at would like to personally thank each and every one of you who took the time to answer our recent survey. We have analyzed the results and we hope to be able to use the information you have provided us to better meet your needs and expectations.

One of the things we have learned is that many of you are not fully aware of all the helpful features the Authors and Experts website has to offer. For instance, did you know that the website includes a calendar where you can list your upcoming book signings and appearances? Did you also know there is a resource center with an extensive listing of service providers who can offer you everything from writing services to software? We will be discussing these and other Authors and Experts benefits in detail in upcoming newsletters.

Many of you have told us that you would be willing to contribute articles for future newsletters. We would love to take you up on your offer and we look forward to hearing from you. We want this newsletter to be a forum for members to share tips and offer suggestions to other members.

We want to do whatever we can to help make Authors and Experts a place where you can successfully promote and market your book. If you would like to contribute, or if you have a comment or a suggestion, we would love to hear from you at Thank you again for your feedback.

I "Ning" Do You "Ning?"

by Gayle Martin

One of the fastest-growing social networking sites on the Internet is the Ning social network. But unlike MySpace or Facebook, Ning users can set up their own custom social networks catering to their own special interests. The networks are free for members to join, with a low monthly fee for the network owner. Some of the Ning features include the ability for members to upload photos, videos and audio files. Each member has their own individual page, and members can join groups within the network as well as post blogs and discussion forums on the site. The Ning network even has a live chat feature which allows members to talk to one another in real time.

There are a number of Ning networks available for authors. Some are specifically set up for authors to network with other authors and share tips and ideas for marketing and promoting their books. These networks can be very beneficial. Other Ning networks may state that they are a place for authors and book lovers to meet. However, it's been my own personal experience that the vast majority of the members of these particular networks are other authors looking for readers. So how does an author use the Ning network to find readers?

I have found that the best way to use a Ning network is to think outside the box and join those networks that are about my own hobbies and interests. For instance, I do Old West historical reenacting, and I write children's books about the history of the Old West. I was recently invited to join a Ning network created by True West Magazine. I find I'm spending much more time on this network because that's where I'm finding people who share my passion and who would have the most interest in reading my books. And while some of the members are other authors, most are from other walks of life. Bottom line—I'm starting to get comments from members who want to buy my books.

Do you write cookbooks? Perhaps you may want to join a Ning group for chefs. Do you write books about dating or interpersonal relationships? Perhaps you may want to find a Ning group for singles. There is even a Ning network for singles who love cooking. Can't find a Ning network for the things you write about? Then you may want to consider starting up your own network. The possibilities are endless.

For more information about Ning, or to search for a Ning network, please visit the ning website at

Gayle Martin is a book designer and is the author of the award-winning Luke and Jenny series of historical novels for young readers. For more information please visit her websites at and


Leads From Linda Radke

President of Five Star Publications, Inc.

Each month Linda Radke will be including book marketing leads. If you have a lead you would like to include in Star Tracks please send it to Please put "Leads for Linda," in the subject line.


Five Star Publications Book Contest 

Each month for the next 12 months Five Star Publications will be giving away a free copy of one of our books. You need to visit our online bookstore at and select the book you would like to win. Email your selection to: E-mail and indicate "Book Contest" in the subject line. The book must be published by Five Star Publications and listed in our online bookstore. Enter as often as you like, but you may only list one book per entry. Your entry needs to include your name, email address, the book you would like to win, and your street address. (We ship through UPS and they do not ship to P.O. boxes.) Winners will be notified by email and posted in our Five Star Author's Online Journal. Good luck and enter often.

$2,000 Awaits Winners of Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

Entries are now being accepted for the 2009 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, created to recognize and encourage the efforts of writers who have not yet achieved major-market success. Writers will compete for a $1,000 first prize, $500 second prize and $500 third prize in this internationally acclaimed competition. Several honorable mentions are also awarded each year.

Stories in all genres of fiction are welcome. Maximum length is 3,000 words, and writers retain all rights to their work. The final deadline is May 15, 2009; winners will be announced at the end of July.

For complete guidelines, please visit, email, or send an SASE to the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, P.O. Box 993, Key West, FL  33041.


Since 1985, veteran publisher Linda F. Radke, owner of Five Star Publications, has been ahead of her game—self-publishing before it was commonplace, partnership publishing before the rest of the world even knew what it was and producing award-winning traditionally and nontraditionally published fiction and nonfiction manuscripts for adults and children.

Radke’s odyssey to becoming one of the nation’s leading consultants in the areas of book production, marketing, publicity and distribution began simply enough with the desire to print a few books to complement the household employment agency she owned. For Radke, who, on more than one occasion, has been teased about having “printer’s ink in her veins,” the experience of publishing the books was exhilarating, prompting her to change careers and launch Five Star Publications without looking back.

Eventually, Radke added services and acted as a publishing consultant for other self-publishers, ventured into traditional publishing and pioneered partnership publishing to allow her to publish more authors and make them a more integral part of the creative process of publishing.

Among her many accolades, Radke is author of The Economical Guide to Self-Publishing (a Writer's Digest Book Club selection that is now into its second edition) and Promote Like a Pro: Small Budget, Big Show (a Doubleday Executive Program Book Club selection). She is a founding member of the Arizona Book Publishing Association and was named Book Marketer of the Year by Book Publicists of Southern California.

© 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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