Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 10

If you didn't check the blog below, scroll on down. Otherwise, here's the last Top 10 list for 2009:

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 65 Signs of the Times
#3- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1
#4- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes
#5- Shattered Silence
#6- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 2
#7- Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness
#8- Ready Resource for relief Society
#9-Prophets Game


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh, This is Going to be FUN!

Yes, you heard me right. Fun, FUN, F-U-N, which means I'm looking for some authors in the mood to party.


Well, I thought it would be fun to throw an author fan party next year... let's say in March, maybe. A girls night out where authors appealing to women's interests get to connect with fans in a night of fun. Ticket price has yet to be determined, but here are the initial thoughts (to which I assume many of you will have suggestions):

The night will feature multiple authors (volunteer to participate in the comments section), and each ticket will include:

* 1 free book by one of the participating authors
* Dinner
* A signing party to get any and all books signed
* The chance to sit with the author of their choice
* Entertainment

I would also like each participating author to contribute a prize fans can (1 prize for 1 fan).

More details to come, so for now please just indicate interest to participate and list suggestions in the comments section where anyone can easily access them.

Hope to see you there!

Added Value

All of you who have worked with me or watched my training know how important I think it is to "add value" to your site and your book. Many of you have taken outstanding measures such as creating valuable newsletters, providing tips and tricks to consumers, creating unique content and more.
This week I just wanted to highlight the authors of Fearless Dating who just launched their website at : I don't have to tell any of you what these authors invested into their site. Anyone can see their investment in their book and its success with one click.
But in addition to this great website, they are launching it with a Dream Date Giveaway. Their book, after all, claims to turn singles into newlyweds, so what better added value could they have to attract attention than giving a Dream Date away to a lucky winner?
All unmarried individuals are eligible so feel free to pass this link on to anyone who might stand in need of a Dream Date!

Monday, December 21, 2009


Can you believe it? The holidays are here! Where did the time go? Wasn't it just summer?

Congratualtions on the hundreds fo signings you collectively pulled off in the past few weeks. It can be exhausting to promote during the holidays (as some of you discovered), but to do so is well worth it when it means your book will wrapped with care and placed under a Christmas tree for some lucky recipient.

I hope that the holidays treat you well and are filled with good times and love. All indicators point to 2010 being a phenomenal year so rest up! You'll want to hit the new year at full speed!

As for the Top 10 of this week, I'm waiting for some of you to bust a move and give the ones hogging the top a run for their money. (Although the ones at the top ARE working it! There is every reason for them to be successful!)

All the best to you!

Cedar Fort Top 10 for 12-21-09

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 65 Signs of the Times
#3- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes
#4- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1
#5- Shattered Silence
#6- Hashbrown Winters and the Mahimoto Madness
#7- Ready Resource for Relief Society
#8- Prophets Game
#9- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 2
#10- Centsible Meals

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is Your Cover Nominated?

Author Rebecca Talley just emailed me a link where a blogger is holding a contest for the best covers on LDS books (some of which will surprise you).

Several Cedar Fort covers from this past year are nominated. Is yours? Take a look and then vote for your favorites in each genre!

Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 10 and AWESOME Poster Sale!

Hello All! So I'm excited to tell you all that after some serious wheeling and dealing, I have a brand new deal for you on Brandsaw. As you may have noticed already, you can get 10 posters for $11, which is a good deal but I wanted better for you! Many of you are first-time authors looking for name and product recognition, and to get that people need to SEE you. This means your book should be visible anywhere and everywhere! Know anyone with a store or business who would let you put a poster up? Is there a community board where you shop that needs some color? Doing a signing and don't want to blink at handing over a few signs? Need to re-wallpaper?

I have your solution! I am so happy to announce that you can now get 50 12X18 posters (100# stock) for $35. That's $0.70 each so that you can always have a poster ready for any event or opportunity... or so you can volunteer to redecorate your community's bus stops... whatever works for you.

Just follow the usual link to: and enjoy!!!

As for the Top 10, here they are:

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 65 Signs of the Times
#3- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1
#4- OldTestament Made Easier, Part 2
#5- Shattered Silence
#6- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes
#7- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 3
#8- Ready Resource for Relief Society
#9- Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness
#10- Centsible Meals


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Top 10

I delayed this because I wanted to announce something cool... now I'm just 2 days late in posting the list and still waiting for the good news to be official. Sowwy.

The deck was really shuffled this week on the Top 10. Enjoy!

#1- Shattered Silence
#2- Agent Bishop
#3- Ready Resource 2010
#4- Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness
#5- FHE Adventures set
#6- Simply Singing Time
#7- Old Testament Made Easier
#8- 65 Signs of the Times
#9- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes
#10- Great are the Words of Isaiah
(#11-Ball's in Her Court--Go, Heather!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's that time again: Top 10

Tomorrow is December... Can you believe it? We're almost into 2010.

Siet az ido, which is Hungarian for "Times flies."

Before I jump into the Top 10 I just thought I'd point out that Heather Justesen, author of "The Ball's in Her Court" is doing sweet, daily giveaways on her site if you want to check out her blog at

But without further ado, here is the last list for November bestsellers:

#1- Agent Bishop (this book ain't going nowhere)
#2- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes
#3- Tiny Talks, V. 10
#4- MEG
#5- 65 Signs of the Times
#6- Santa Maybe
#7- I Know My Savior Lives, set
#8- Shattered Silence
#9- Old Testament Made easier, Part 1
#10- Stand as an Example, calendar

Monday, November 23, 2009

Top 10... and Great Author Book Trailers!

In conjunction with this week's Top 10, I would like highlight some great author Book Trailers. Malcolm Leal launched his for his book "Faith Among Shadows" and I think you all will love it! Another great trailer is for "Santa's Secret." Feel free to watch both for great ideas on how to make your own videos more fun!

As for the Top 10 List, here it is:

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes
#3- 65 Signs of the Times
#4- Tiny Talks 10
#5- Book of Mormon Made Easier, Part 1
#6- I Know My Savior Lives, set
#7- Santa Maybe
#8- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1
#9- MEG
#10- Stand As An Example calendar

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Workshop #4 Homework

Over the past 4 weeks dozens of Cedar Fort authors have participated in the 4-Week workshop aimed at helping them find and itentify their target audience. This blog is here here to document author messaging.

Who are you?
What value do you bring to your readers?
What do you hope to accomplish?

Your catch phrase should embody ALL this in one word or in one MEMORABLE sentence. This catch phrase should be consistently implemented in all marketing, in author bios and anything that references you or your product (intros, etc).

Leave a comment to post your catch phrase or phrase you are considering for feedback from others. Or look through others' catch phrases for ideas on how to create one for yourself.

REMEMBER: the purpose is to create a "slogan" that helps you and your target audience find each other. Examples: The Cyber Safety Guy, There's Always a Reason to Bake, The Queen of Paranormal Romance, Heroes Come Back Strong, No Day But Today, Just a Spoonful of Sugar, Mexican Food that Will Make You Breathe Fire, Top Hits on a Sax, The Noir King, Spice... With a Little Sugar, etc.

You may not know what any of those are referring to (I made up several of them just now), but you DO know after reading that catch phrase if you're interested in knowing more about the product. That's the point of your catch phrase. To hook your audience with interest from the first time they hear it until they seek you out, investigate you and buy you.

So all authors from Workshop 4, remember to do your homework and post your slogan, or slogan in process that will position you within your own genre.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This week's Top 10

How time does fly! It's time for the Top 10 again. Remember all authors, that this list represents corporate-buyer demand for your book. Authors with new titles, seasonal titles, strong word-of-mouth, events or active promotion show up quickly on this list which is why I publish it... as an indicator to authors actively promoting to see if their efforts are translating into immediate demand. Also, if your book is new, you can see buyer faith in your book and move to support it! If your new book is on the list the first few weeks and then drops off you know it's not selling through even though buyers had faith in the product and packaging, which means your approach to finding your audience is likely off target and could use some adjusting.

Agent Bishop is the perfect example of a book that CFI has orders for week after week due to author efforts. Mike McPheters knows his model and is relentless in working it.

If you are actively promoting and not visible on the Top 10 it is possible that your messaging hasn't taken hold yet. No need to panic. All this list means is that there are a few authors above you who have found a good rhythm and approach for their book. They're in their zone, which doesn't mean your not going to find yours. Wendy Paul went from not even being in the Top 20 two weeks ago to #1 last week and this week she's still up there. So can you pop up that fast when your efforts start synergizing into results.

That said, here's this week's list. A big welcome to all the new faces!

#1- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes
#2- Agent Bishop
#3- 65 Signs of the Times
#4- Santa Maybe
#5- Meg
#6- I Know My Savior Lives set
#7- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1
#8- Book of Mormon Made Easier, Part 1
#9- Tiny Talks
#10- Nephi in the Promised Land

Thursday, November 12, 2009

MORE Whitney Award Nominees

Congratulations to the following authors who are included in the second wave of Whitney Award announcements:

Agent in Old Lace
Shadows of Eden
Santa Maybe
Having Hope
The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters

I wish you all could win, but since you can't... BEST OF LUCK TO YOU ALL!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The Christmas Season is here! Is there ever a better time to get your book on the minds of shoppers everywhere?

(Hint: NO!)

That's why today's workshop (, keyword SheralynPratt) was on creating events and contests. Are your efforts a buckshot, bullet or laser? Do you have goals and a purpose for your events that are quantifiable? Are you learning what you want and how to get it, or are you just tossing efforts out on the wind with a hope and a prayer and waiting for providence to pour down?

This blog comment section is devoted to events and contests authors are creating to generate interest in their books this holiday selling season.

All those who have watched the workshop, please list your event/contest ad it's quatifiable purpose/goal (defined by you). Then list the either 6 (contest) or 12 (event) required elements and how you are implementing them!

Great job, everyone, and let's sell out of your books this Christmas!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Cedar Fort Top 10... There's a Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On!

Things are ALL shook up this week, which means some authors out there are starting to bust some moves! Good for them!

Remember, this list represents store demand for your books. The Christmas season is coming and stores are stocking the books they know will sell through. Now is the PERFECT time to show stores how you can make them money :)

But without further preamble, here are last week's best sellers!

#1- 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes, Wendy Paul
#2- Agent Bishop, Mike McPheters
#3- Book of Mormon Made Easier Part 1, David Ridges
#4- The Legend of the Star, Stacey Gooch-Anderson
#5- 65 Signs of the Times, David Ridges
#6- The Ball's in Her Court, Heather Justesen
#7- Twelve Days of Christmas, Encore!, Betty Van Orden
#8- Santa, Maybe, Aubrey Mace
#9- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1, David Ridges
#10- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 2, David Ridges

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sorry I'm Not Home Right Now, I'm Walking into Spider Webs...

I just wanted to leave a quick note inviting all the authors who watch the workshop videos to send me their "spider webs."

A few of you have already contacted me, letting me know that you've designed your own personal "spider web" and are already putting it into action. That's fantastic!

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, watch the workshops (search: "SheralynPratt" as one word) and you'll find out.

Those of you who have your spiderwebs created already, feel free to scan them and send them to me. I would love to post a few author-sample webs for other authors to see.

Monday, November 2, 2009

BrandSaw Comments and Suggestions!

This blog is dedicated to the comments section. Please place all your BrandSaw feedback and suggestions in the comment area of this blog.

DO NOT email comments and suggestions to a particular person, since no one beyond that person may be privy to your feedback and it may not be addressed.

BrandSaw is at its most elementary here in its infancy, but over time it can grow to be a phenomenal resource that allows you to have all the tools in your hands to accomplish whatever you set out to do with your book within the timeline you create.

And that's when being an author starts being fun...

Cedar Fort Bestsellers—11/2/09

ALL RIGHT! Looks like some of you are shaking things up out there! Last week half of the Top 10 list were books from 2 authors, and Agent Bishop was comfortably resuming its reign at #1.

Well, the #1 spot has a new title and there are multiple new titles to the list! It’s always fun to see things shaken up—so remember, in any given week, anyone can appear on this list!

#1- 65 Signs of the Times

#2- Agent Bishop

#3- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1

#4- Shattered Silence

#5- Dragon War Relic, The

#6- Twelve Days of Christmas Encore!

#7- Forever Santa

#8- Donkey's Tale, A

#9- Shepherd's Night

#10- Santa Maybe

Congrats again!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Top 10 this Week at Cedar Fort

Welcome to the Top 10 List of last week’s book sales. This list looks a little more like what you’d expect to see during the Christmas-selling season, but you’ll notice that “Agent Bishop” is still right up there at the top... resting comfortably. Just underneath him is David Ridges, who has 4 titles on the top 10 list!!! Impressive!

After a quick glance, it looks like people are going for non-fiction for gift giving with autobiography, doctrinal and seasonal dominating the list. Not shown is that “Soul Searching—a 3-year-old fiction title—is still in the top 15! Who says fiction doesn’t have shelf life?

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 65 Signs of the Times
#3- Shattered Silence
#4- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 1
#5- Forever Santa
#6- Donkey's Tale, A
#7- Shepherd's Night
#8- Twelve Days of Christmas Encore!
#9- Old Testament Made Easier, Part 2
#10- Book of Mormon Made Easier Pt.1

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let the Training Begin!!!

Hopefully you're here because you got my email announcing the exciting changes! These will start rolling out next week and largely be in full effect 11/1/09.

This blog is dedicated to authors interested in our 1st Online Marketing Training! This will be a training for all levels of the technologically inclined, showing how to effectively use online tools to market your book. The training will be held online at from 12:00-1:00, starting Wednesday October 28, 2009 and the 4 Wednesdays following. The time was chosen because evening really doesn't work for anyone and those who work can watch on a lunch break if they choose. Everyone who watches live can interact with me live, while those who tune in later can re-watch what happened without interacting.

If you're not familiar with blogTV yet, I think you will fall in love with it... and be shocked that it is FREE!

So, if you wish to join the first online training (meaning you fit the single qualification that you have a CFI book released/releasing before March 2010), please:

-Go to and create an account. Note: create a username that is the same as all your usernames on Facebook, Twitter and other networking sites. Make it easy for fans to find you on ANY site by using the same username on every site so they know when they've found the REAL you. For example, my username is SheralynPratt. Find me before you sign off.

- Return to this blog and post your username and your real name, so I know who I'm looking for in the chat room when I broadcast.

That's it. It's that simple.

Have questions? PLEASE leave them as a comment on this post. If you have the question, chances are other people do to and it would be best to have answers easily viewable to all.

Look forward to working with you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Top 10 List for 10/19/09

Welcome to the first Cedar Fort Top 10 List. This list (which will be updated weekly) represents the orders from stores, not consumer sales, and are representative of the level of demand authors are creating for their books.

Interestingly, only 3 of the books on the list were released this month. The rest are older, the oldest being---wait for it-- 3 YEARS OLD and FICTION on top of that! Hat's off to Shannon Guymon!

All that said, here's the list:

#1- Agent Bishop
#2- 65 Signs of the Times
#3- Twelve Days of Christmas Encore!
#4- Adventures of Hashbrown Winters
#5- Shattered Silence
#6- Book of Mormon Made Easier Pt.1
#7- Twelve Days of Christmas
#8- Old Testament Puzzle Book
#9- Soul Searching
#10- Alvor

CONGRATS to this week's top 10! And remember, the numbers change dramatically each week, so check in next Monday to see if your marketing efforts are moving books from storage to store fronts!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Can You Learn from Mike McPheters?

Mike McPheters started out like most first-time authors: with ZERO experience in the publishing industry. His skills lie more in law enforcement, SWAT skills and spiritual counseling. So Mike did what most first-time authors did; he asked his PR rep what he should do. Mike was told his book was a great fit for firesides and he should share his faith-promoting life story with others. After all, Cedar Fort thought his life story was worth printing and, as a former bishop (4X over), Mike knew that his fireside need to stand on its own with spiritual counsel, not be a 60-minute ad for his book people were foced to watch in their Sunday clothes.

As with many of you, Cedar Fort asked Mike to create a fireside and schedule signings adjacent to them so wherever he travelled he had both an event and a signing. Shortly after, he replied with this schedule:

Agent Bishop Book Tour (Mike McPheters)

August 26 (Wed.) Boise, ID Costco (4:30 PM)

August 27 (Thurs.) Salem, UT Annie Freeman Residence-Fireside

August 28 (Fri.) St. George, UT MCWILLIS

August 29 (Sat.) Saint George Costco (10:30 AM) MCWILLIS

August 31 (Mon.) Victorville, CA Costco (5:30 PM) MARTINEZ
14555 Valley Center Drive

September 1 (Tues.) Fireside @ Mike Martinez location/church MARTINEZ
@ Valley Center, CA

September 2 (Wed.) San Bernardino Costco signing (10:30 AM)MARTINEZ
1099 E. Hospitality Lane

Marietta Stake Presentation (Evening)

September 3 (Thurs.) Temecula Costco (4:30 PM)
26610 Ynez Road

September 5 (Sat.) Henderson, NV Costco (10:30 AM) CANNERY
791 Marks St.

September 7 (Mon.) Las Vegas Costco (10:30 AM) CANNERY
222 So. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Summerlin, NV Costco (4:30 PM)
801 South Pavilion DR
Las Vegas (702-352-2050)

September 8 (Tues.) Travel to Twin Falls, ID

September 9 (Wed.) Twin Falls, ID Costco (10:30 AM)

September 10 (Thurs.) BYU Alumni presentation @ Moses Lake, WA
Stake Center @ 7 PM

September 11 (Fri.) Signing at Fae’s Book Store @ Moses Lake (Morning)

Wenatchee Costco (12-5 PM)

September 15 (Tues.) Multi-Ward Single Adult presentation @ Boise, ID @ 7

September 16 (Wed.) Boise, ID Costco (10:30 AM) WALLY
Drive to Rexburg, ID

September 17 (Thurs.) Pocatello, ID Costco (10:30 AM) BERT

September 18 (Fri.) Pocatello, ID Costco (4:30 PM)
305 W. Quinn Rd. (208) 238-4040

September 19 (Sat.) Sugarhouse B & N signing (2-4 PM)
(Time will be readjusted
(801) 463-2610.

McIntyre Center, 1104 East 2100 So. SLC, UT

September 21 (Mon.) West Valley City Costco (SLC, UT) (10:30 AM)
3747 So. 2700 West (801) 996-9008

Murray Costco (SLC, UT) (4:30 PM)
5201 So. Intermountain Dr. (801) 290-4200

September 22 (Tues.) SLC Costco (10:30 AM)
1818 So. 300 W. (801) 485-9715

West Bountiful Costco (SLC, UT) (4:30 PM)
573 W. 100 N. (801) 299-3940

September 23 (Wed.) Lehi Costco (10:30 AM)
198 No. 1200 East (801) 653-2710

Orem Costco (4:30 PM) (Sold 66 there 8/17)
648 E. 800 S. (801) 851-5003

September 24 (Thurs.) Orem Costco (10:30 AM)

September 25 (Fri.) Sandy Costco (10:30 AM) PARK CITY
11100 So. Auto Mall Dr. (801) 790-0003 (Brent/Larry)
(Sold 49 there on 8/17)

Murray Costco (4:30 PM)

September 26 (Sat.) Day off. PARK CITY

September 28 (Mon.) West Valley City Costco (4:30 PM) PARK CITY

West Bountiful Costco (10:30 AM) PARK CITY

September 29 (Tues.) SLC Costco @ 1818 So. 300 W. (10:30 AM) PARK CIT

B & N Signing @ Gateway @ 6 No. Rio Grande St.
SLC, UT (801) 456-0100 (4-6 PM)

September 30 (Wed.) No Meetings. Family Party PARK CITY

October 1 (Thurs.) Sandy Costco (4:30 AM) PARK CITY
Murray Costco (10:30 PM)

October 2 (Friday) Lehi Costco (10:30 AM)

B & N signing: 10180 So. State, Sandy, UT (4-6 PM)
(801) 233-0203 Michelle TYLEE

October 3 (Sat.) Orem Costco (4:30-8:30 PM ) M

October 5 (Mon.) Return to Moses Lake, WA

October 10 (Sat.) Wenatchee, WA Costco (10:30 AM)

October 12 (Mon.) Spokane, WA Costco (11 AM)

October 16 (Fri.) Kennewick, WA Costco (10:30 AM)

October 19 (Mon.) Drive to Ketchum, ID

October 20 (Tuesday) Will set up signing @ Chapter One Bookstore
Ketchum, ID

October 21 (Wed.) Orem Costco (4:30 PM) SHAYNA

October 22 (Thurs.) Lehi Costco (10:30 AM)

October 23 (Fri.) Orem Costco (10:30 AM)

October 24 (Sat) Orem Costco (10:30 AM)

October 25 (Sun) Drive to Moses Lake, WA

His schedule continues through Christmas, but I think you get the point. Mike literally put life on hold and put every effort imaginable into making his book a success. The first couple of weeks Mike went through a definite learning curve as he became familiar with how to make signings a success, but at this point he could pretty much teach a course on handselling a book since he is now inching towards the mark of selling 1,000 books per week. And yes, you read that right. PER WEEK. Come Christmas time I believe he will easily be doing just that.

Some of you may be thinking, Well, that's because you got him into Costco! I would be selling more books if I were in Costco, too.

Notice, however, how Mike supports Costco sales and gives them high incentive to carry him. Those of you who have shopped at Costco know that Costco likes to carry the currently bestselling books at highly discounted prices. This means that at this time of year they want a book to sell 200 copies per week, per store for them to carry it. But even though Mike isn't quite reaching that benchmark, Costco sees his schedule and is willing to bend over backwards a little bit for him. They know that he sells out every Costco he walks into so they try to have 50-100 books in each store he's scheduled to sign in. Add that to word-of-mouth sales he's starting to generate and you can see why--months after his book's release--his sales climb higher each week.

Mike is a great case study of an author who chose a marketing plan, stuck to it and is finding publishing success. Cedar Fort literally can't print books fast enough to fill the orders, which means Mike is on the top of our list for Christmas advertising in radio and print. His efforts will be more than matched by Cedar Fort's investment in radio ads, large catalog placements, media mentions and more, which means his first royalty check should be a happy day indeed.

The thing Mike did right was treating his book like an investment. In the beginning he put more into than he was getting out of it, but soon that coin will flip to create an income while he works on his next book.

Mike's business model certainly isn't for everyone, but his example is worth emulation. Plus, he embodies one of my top rules for authors: NOTHING takes the place of face-to-face time with consumers. Nothing.

So get out there and meet your audience today!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tweet Much?

Okay, all... things are about to get very fun at Cedar Fort and to be in the know you HAVE to be active online. EVERY Cedar Fort author should have read the Author Kit primer I made. (If you haven't, go to and click on the Author Kit tab.)

Every author should have a Facebook and Twitter account at minimum. If you're on Twitter, please take a moment and follow me now. I have signed up under my name, SheralynPratt, and will be using Twitter to announce reviews, news, free classes, free author resources and more!!!

If you don't have Twitter you WILL be out of the loop. It is free, it is easy and all you'll need to do is log in once a day.

To repeat: EVERY author should have access to the internet and Twitter. Don't worry, this will make things fun, easy, simple and easy to track.

Look forward to seeing you on Twitter!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whitney Award Submissions

Cedar Fort would like to congratulate the following novels that have already been nominated for the Whitney Awards:

Deadly Treasure, Jillayne Clements
The Sister Pact, Cami Checketts
Abish, Faith Among the Lamanites, Brenda Anderson
By Love or By Sea, Rachel Rager
Pickup Games, Marcia Mickelson
Previously Engaged, Elodia Strain
Bone Warriors, Bron Bahlmann
Alvor, Laura Bingham

If you are one of the listed authors, your book is in the hands of the Whitney Committee and all you need to do is patiently wait for further information.

If your book has not been nominated so far and you think it should be, please visit: for guidelines.

Best of luck to you all!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Marketing Tool Straight from Google

For all of you who missed the marketing conference today, take a look at this link if you are looking for aditional ways to market your book (if you're not looking for more to do and this would just overwhelm you, then don't worry about it). This link was created just for Cedar Fort by google. Feel free to poke around!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Your Book in 30 Seconds

One of the most important skills an author can develop is the ability to describe their book concisely. To trim off all the fat and get to the heart is an amazing skill that let's the people you meet know that you understand your own book instead of rambling on about how this happens... and then this other thing, which is really cool because it makes the next thing really funny, but that none of that really makes sense unless you know this about the backstory.

You can leave people dizzy!

So read the following comments to see how authors are describing their books in 30 seconds for fiction and 60 seconds for non-fiction (non-fiction authors have to talk about themselves briefly and explain why they are qualified to write a book on their chosen subject, so they get double time).

And if you're publishing your book in the near future, be prepared to do the same :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's in a website?

This week, while speaking with an upcoming author, she asked me what the standard is for a good website. The answer to that, I believe, is fairly subjective and varies according to your audience. What does not vary is the answer to these 2 questions:

Are customers glad they looked you up?
Do they want to come back/recommend your site to others as a resource?

Both answers should be a resounding YES, but what you put up on your site to make people say that is the subjective part.

Who is your audience and what do they value? To create a fan base, you need to know the answer to this question and supply it as an ongoing resource on your website.

My all-time favorite site to use as an example for knowing who their audience is and what they value is Another is Despair is a retail site and Free Rice is a charity site and after visiting once, nearly all of their target audience is likely to return.

Exercise: Of the following bestselling book series, which author do you think is magnifying their popularity with their online presence? Remember, I'm not typing this question for my health. This is for you! Take 5 minutes right, click on each link and vote on which one you think is most effective for the author/most visited. For extra credit, tell me why you think it is the strongest! (Some of you may want to skip clicking on this one as it is a YA Horror series)

And yes, that last one is a curve ball, and does not belong to a bestselling author. But can anyone tell me why I put it in there anyway?

Please leave all responses as comments and I look forward to reading them!

Marketing Conference

Hopefully all of you have heard about the upcoming Marketing Conference hosted by CFI that will feature the Genevieve Brennan from Google Books, the Twilight Guy from youtube and our own Bryce Mortimer on IT.

These three will coach those in attendance on how to take over the internet and if you're a CFI author, then you get a steep discount.

If interested, please follow this link:

Hope to see you October 10th!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Authors Making a Mark

This week several authors are making big moves with their books.

We all know Melissa is on Oprah tomorrow. Seen the trailer for her book yet? Watch it here:

Not to be outdone, on Friday Wendy Paul will be on Good Things Utah, showing the world--and even Melissa-- that there is ALWAYS a reason to bake! I believe the 10-minute cupcake she will be teaching everyone to make is the Peanut Butter Cup.
I don't even like peanut butter as a dessert and this cupcake has my solid approval!

Off the small screen, Frank Cole started his multi-city school tour this week and started losing his voice after the first day. No biggie. Only 30 more schools to go before he gets a break.

The "Pounding the Pavement Award" goes to Mike McPheters who is travelling the western states with signings or firesides nearly every day.

The "Undaunted Award" (no copyright infringement intended, Elder Lund) goes to Cami Checketts. I DARE you not to review her book. Seriously. Try it. You won't be able to resist. (But watch out, Cami, Anne Bradshaw is close on your tail.)

And last, this week's "Proactive Award" goes to Frank Richardson. You may not have heard of him. His book doesn't come out until December, but he is already jumping all over every action item in the Author Packet and giving me daily reports as to the 5 things he does each day to prepare for his book release!

All of you are working so hard and doing such a great job! Please support Melissa and Wendy if you can by watchin Oprah on 9/17 and Good Things Utah on 9/18.

I promise you won't regret it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It Pays to Check the Blog!!!

Looking to do a signing? Looking for a signing promoted heavily by the store with a lot of other cool authors to rub elbows with? Did you write an LDS title?

This is a call for authors interested in signing at Seagull's Celebrating Sisterhood event. They are looking for authors to sign in the following locations:


If you are available the morning/afternoon of the 26th and can sign in one of these cities, please leave a comment to let me know and I will set you up!

For all of you who are already set up, have a great time!

Authors Working Together


Heather Justesen's latest book, "The Ball's in Her Court" is coming out this October and Heather is looking for authors who want to join her to create fun launch parties and successful signing events!

She has ideas. She's been around this block before so she would be a great person to team up with--especially if you're a first-time author interested in learning a few things the easy way.

Heather will endorse this posting by leaving a comment with her web address and then you can get down to business!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'm sure those of you who have read the author packet are coming back to this blog and thinking, "Sheralyn is a day late updating her blog... She's breaking her own rule... the HYPOCRITE!"

And you'd be right.

But it's all for a good cause, I swear!

September is a HUGE month for Cedar Fort. Authors are taking advantage of the selling season, new authors are hitting the media and speaking circuits with gusto and we have 3 books doing a hefty launch this month in addition to all that.

#1-Frank Cole is launching his huge, multi-school tour for The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters.

#2-Steve Alten is launching the mass market version of The Shell Game for the 8th Anniversary of September 11th.

And last but not least...


Because Cedar Fort author Melissa Moore (Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter) is featured on Oprah's debut week, reuniting Oprah with Dr. Phil in a powerful, must-watch episode.

CFI on Oprah... yeah, you heard right, so set your TiVos and press record!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Something for Everyone!!!

If you haven't completed the assignment on the previous blog, scroll down and check it out. For those of you feeling a little (well, okay, WAY) advanced this weekend, I'll just throw out some food for thought:

Book trailers.

You're going to start seeing more and more of them, I think. It's a great visual way to get your synopsis across and generate interest in your book in a memorable way. Not all books are candidates for book trailers. Some might be better suited for youtube tutorials, like the CFI August releases of Cyber Safety, Celebrate Dinner and 101 Cupcakes. No trailer needed there, but a book like Cyber Safety could greatly benefit from online tutorials showing parents how to install safeguards on their computers and ending by referring that more hints for parents can be found in Ken Knapton's book.

August releases by Cedar Fort that could potentially do a trailer are books like Reiyalindis, Agent Bishop and Shadows of Eden--and by listing these books, I am by NO MEANS telling the authors to go out and make a trailer! Things like that cost money and you have to do some serious math before you decide it's worth the investment.

But as an example, here is Cedar Fort author Steve Alten (publishing under the Sweetwater imprint) who did decide to create a trailer for his book The Shell Game and this is the final product posted to youtube:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One Step at a Time

I can see that by this point many of you have gone by a taken a look at the Author Booklet.

Remember, I'm not saying to get all those steps done in one day. Some may need to work on most things listed, while others left the reading with only a few easy things to check off their list. Still others may treat the action items as a buffet of accomplishing what they like and skipping the things that don't sound worthwhile.

To address the latter tendency, today's assignment is this: Everyone who has read the Author Booklet (or started), please leave a comment listing one positive experience you have had doing one of the suggested action items. Since I have contact with many of you, I'm aware of how you have made yourself visible and found success using different tools.

There are at least 46 of you following this blog, so let's get at least 46 comments, one from each of you, listing a tool you have used in the reading and how it worked for you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Start Your Engines!!!

For the weekend, I decided to provide you with some reading.

As a reference, and hopefully as a help to each and every one of you, I created a pamphlet which you may view on line or print. It is a pdf document that is available on my website. Those of you who have visited my home page before will noticed it has changed. More modifications are yet to come, the goal of today was mainly to change the format and get this little booklet into you hand.

The instructions are easy:

Go to and click on the menu option "Author Kit." It's just that simple.
If you were sad and blue with nothing to do this weekend, hopefully this packet will give you plenty of actioable options that will eventually help you get your book into the hands of those who just don't know they're looking for you yet!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We Interrupt our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Today's post was supposed to be the beefy one I promised, but that has been pre-empted by a test of the Emergency Broadcast System.

The new subject of today's post: author etiquette.

It's great to be excited about your upcoming book! I encourage it, but what most authors don't know is that getting a book into a store can take a while. On the record, my stance is that if a book store doesn't carry your book and you want it to, you CREATE the demand for the book in that store so the book store has to order it or lose business.

An author, who shall remain nameless (and please, if you feel I'm talking about you, don't raise your hand! This is a good lesson for all) went to a local store to check on their upcoming book.

They didn't have it!

They didn't even have on order or in their system AT ALL!


It's true, sometimes this happens. For the proper course of action, please see the above paragraph. For what NOT to do, please read on.

Upset that their book was not on order, this author went around to all the customers in the store and announced their upcoming book, encouraging everyone to go shop at a different store that had it on order.

This was done in front of the manager of the non-ordering store. So what do you think happened? (Once again, dear author, do not raise your hand. You are not the only author who needs to hear this cautionary tale.)

The end of the story is that the manager emailed the chain's buyer, informed them who the author is and what they'd done, and now Cedar Fort's sales person has to fight to get the store chain to pick up the book at all. All is not lost, but it is certainly an uphill battle at this point.

Remember, as authors, you are being watched. First impressions and last impressions are powerful, and the people you see when you walk into a store may be getting paid minimum wage, but they can make or break you with their actions. Be nice. Be courteous.

But, above all, make them money!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Okay, this is your last chance to focus on updating your website because the next post will be an abundance of information.

This post is to let you know that I have a new email address where you can contact me. Some of you may have noticed that I have been using my personal email address. I was originally waiting for my Cedar Fort email address to be set up, but I have discovered that gmail is more effective and accessible for communicating with you.

So while I will still be using my Cedar Fort address for business emails, I would appreciate it if you would all send emails to CedarFortPR at gmail. Of course you add a ".com" after the gmail. I'm not spelling out the whole address so I won't get spammed with random emails, but please.

And remember, the next posting will be action packed so be ready!

cedarfortpr, then an @, then gmail dot com.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Assignment #1 Follow Up

Welcome authors!

It was a pleasure to peruse all your sites and see how active many of you have been in creating great sites for readers to visit and learn more.

My job, of course, is to help you improve on what you already have and for that reason I'm going to address a simple technical detail that 3 out of the 4 sites I visited could benefit from. If you belong to the 1 out of 4 who doesn't need this tip, you get a pass on this particular assignment.

Today the lesson/assignment is on meta tags.


Exactly. It's programmer speak, so who better to create a metaphor for it than Cedar Fort's own IT Manager, Bryce.

Consider your website a library. Each page should be a title of a book with a brief introduction with what the books should be about. Any search engine or customer online should be able to look at the header of their browser or in the google search results to see what your site is about.

As an example, I'm going to use Frank Cole. #1 because I know he has a good sense of humor and #2 because I know he didn't create his website and therefore won't take it personally.

Now if you google Frank's book, Hashbrown Winters, his site will show up on the first page of the google search because that is the exact address of his url. That is the ONLY reason it will show up because if you click the following link you will see how he has no meta tags and all it says over his site is the default "Welcome."

Notice all the other search results list information about both Frank and his book through their meta tags and Frank's site kind of disappears in their midst. This also plays a huge role in that if I google ANYTHING but the title, Frank's site will not show up. If I google Frank Cole's name, these are the results:

Frank isn't even on the map when I google his name, but I do find "Frank Cole Mysteries" as far as books go. If someone is looking you for you, it can be very frustrating to find the wrong Frank Cole and have to drill down page after page of google results to find the right one.

Contrast this with Preetham Grandi's search results when you google his book:

This is a word combination that has some competition (WoW and other businesses use it), but Preetham is the #1 hit and his meta tags tell you what you are clicking on in the results page.

Furthermore, when you start typing Preetham's name in, google fills the rest of his name in for you and these are the search results for Preetham Grandhi:

Again, he is #1.

Both Frank and Preetham's sites are great, but this illustrates how to use meta tags to let your sites serve their intended purpose.

So, I started this by saying that 3 out of 4 of you need to work on your meta tags. Some need to simply label their pages to be specific "titles" while others need to fill in keyword search terms. To do so you should simply need to go to the tools section of your site builder, locate the meta tag function and fill in the blanks they ask you to fill in.

Remember Bryce’s advice to name the page like a book and fill in the secondary tags like a small bio of the page. Default names for pages will be things like “Home” and “About Us.” Change “Home” to “(Your Name Here)’s Official Home Page.” Change “Contact Us” to “Email (Your Name)” or something specific to your site.

That simple.

First rule of your web site is that it should help people find you, not disappear into the crush. So your follow up assignment is to go through your meta tags, update them and then re-post your website to show that you have finished.

I promise our next assignment is more fun than this, but for now... Go! :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

1st Assignment!

Okay, all you Cedar Fort authors. I am new on the scene and have a list of about 600 authors to sift through. I don't know who's who (unless we've met) or how actively you're promoting your book(s), so this is your first assignment:

#1: Sign up to follow this blog (so you can stay up-to-date on marketing tips and true author experiences that may help you in your own marketing choices)

#2 Leave a comment with a link to your website and blog (2 separate links)

This will allow me to become familiar with you and your product in addition to maybe offering you some helpful advice. Please post links whether I've seen your site or not because your last assignment is:
#3 Pick at least 5 other authors and check out their site and blog. It's a great way to find ideas on improving your own site, and if you want to know how an author did what they did, you can contact them and ask!

Are you ready? Go!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome to the Cedar Fort PR Blog

The future entries of this blog will be designed to help Cedar Fort authors (or others who find this blog) promote their books. Success stories, cautionary tales and miscellaneous tips will be added here on a weekly basis, so check back often.

Also, feel free to leave all questions as comments so both the questions and answers can be public domain. If you have the question, someone else does. too (or more likely, many someones). By posting questions as a comment other authors can also weigh in with advice and help you out.

If you would like to share a success story as a main blog entry, please email Sheralyn and she will post it for you.

In the meantime, remember that successful authors do a minimum of 5 things per day to promote their books. Time to get hopping!