THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
--Linda Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of Community Welcome House, a transitional facility which provides shelter for families in need in Newnan, Georgia
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
- Is your Mom an avid reader?
- Does she like soft, family dramas filled with emotion, authors like Luanne Rice, Jodi Picoult or Sara Gruen?
- Does she prefer paranormal suspense with sizzling romance, like Kay Hooper, Iris Johansen or J.D. Robb novels?
- Or does she like adventurous yet creepy thrillers full of fast-paced action and twists and turns, like Dean Koontz and Michael Crichton?
If your Mom fits any of these reader profiles, then I have the perfect book for her, and the perfect gift for you to give.
WHALE SONG - a "compelling" family drama that explores family ties, love, tragedy, deception, sacrifice, forgiveness and hope.
"Whale Song is deep and true, a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel." --New York Times bestselling novelist Luanne Rice, author of Beach Girls
The benefits of giving your Mom WHALE SONG:
- It's a novel that will change how she views life...and death.
- It has been known to bring strong emotions to the surface, allowing for personal reflection.
- It has been responsible for healing broken relationships.
- It has brought mothers and daughter closer together.
- It has helped some people deal with death and the loss of a loved one.
- It has inspired and restored hope.
- By giving your Mom a copy of Whale Song, you can feel good that you are also helping 3 nonprofit organizations dealing with poverty, homelessness and addictions.
- If you email me after you order Whale Song, I will send you a bookmark and SIGNED bookplate, so you'll be giving Mom a personalized and autographed book that she will treasure.
- Mom will pass her copy of Whale Song along to other readers, maybe even you.
- You can order Whale Song online now and your gift buying will be done! :)
DIVINE INTERVENTION - a paranormal romantic suspense that pits a team of covert psychic agents against a deadly serial arsonist.
"An exciting book from start to finish. The futuristic elements are believable...plenty of surprising twists and turns. Good writing, good book! Sci-fi and mystery fans will love this book." --Writer's Digest
The benefits of giving your Mom DIVINE INTERVENTION:
- It's a novel that offers entertaining suspense and a steamy cast of characters.
- It is great for anyone who enjoys books about psychics and includes an underlying sub-plot that is ghostly.
- If you email me after you order Divine Intervention, I will send you a bookmark and SIGNED bookplate, so you'll be giving Mom a personalized and autographed book that she will treasure.
- Mom will pass her copy of Divine Intervention along to other readers, maybe even you.
- You can order Divine Intervention online now and your gift buying will be done! :)
THE RIVER - a "mile-a-minute pot-boiler" thriller that explores nanotechnology and man's search for youth and eternal life.
"Superb! The River is Tardif’s most exciting novel yet! Full of unpredictable twists and lurching turns, The River is a non-stop adventure into Canada’s mysterious north." --Kelly Komm, author of Sacrifice
The benefits of giving your Mom THE RIVER:
- It's a novel that offers thrills, suspense and interesting characters.
- It is deals with terrifying scenarios that make the reader ask: "What if...?"
- Email me after you order Divine Intervention and I will send you a bookmark and SIGNED bookplate, so you'll be giving Mom a personalized and autographed book that she will treasure.
- Mom will pass her copy of The River along to other readers, maybe even you.
- You can order The River online now and your gift buying will be done! :)
Or order all 3 novels for your 'bookworm' Mom and give her a relaxing Mother's Day!
When I'm signing books at a bookstore, I am often asked questions that I don't expect. Below are some of these questions, followed by my thoughts of what I sometimes wish I could say. Keep in mind that at a signing, I am dressed professionally and standing behind a table with a banner on the front that reads: "Meet bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif":
*Can you tell me where to find the book: Political Warfare and Toxicology...blah..blah
(because I so obviously look like not only a bookstore employee but an intellectual...hmmmm)
*Where's the washroom?
(go outside, walk about 5 blocks, then pick a house...)
*What are you selling here?
(my book...? I'll throw in a free bookmark.)
*Can you give me a discount on this cookbook?
(do you have an iRewards card? If so, I'll give you 10% off.)
*Where's the bus terminal?
(Hmmm...I'm inside a mall...my guess is...OUTSIDE...?)
*What's your name?
(uh, let me check that big sign in front of my table.)
*Will the author be coming in to sign books?
(yup, she'll be here all day)
*Your sign is crooked.
(Thank you. Do you want a free bookmark to go with the book you're going to buy off my table?)
*Can you watch my bag for a few minutes?
(got anything interesting in there? Chocolate maybe?)
*Does your book have....you know...lots of...sex...in it?
(Not Whale Song, but my other two have enough to heat things up. Why, did you want more sex?)
*So Divine Intervention is about psychic government agents. Are you psychic?
(I knew you were going to ask me that.)
Now don't get me wrong, I love meeting people, and I know they're just looking for someone to help them out. I actually don't mind, and I'm known by some bookstore staff to be the author who will show people where other books are, point out the way to a section, or pass out store fliers and sell iRewards memberships.
But it is funny when you look at it from my perspective and I can't help the thoughts that sometimes come into my mind. Mostly I just think them, but I did actually say some of them out loud, including the last one. :)
To read what my friend and fellow author Karen Harrington hears at her signings, please go HERE.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I seem to blog in spurts. I'll go on a nice run, a blog every day or every other day for a few weeks, followed by a week or two with only one or two blog posts. But this is per blog. You see, I am a blog addict, and one of the requirements (by law!) is that every blog addict must have more than one blog. The fun part is trying to remember them all.
Here is a sample of my blogs and their main purpose (other than to contribute to my insanity, perhaps):
http://www.whalesongbook.com/whale-song-blog -- "Whale Song Blog" - designed mainly to promote my novel Whale Song and events or news pertaining in some way to Whale Song. (Ok, sometimes I've forgotten my purpose and have blogged about American Idol or Medium.)
- http://www.kunati.com/cheryl-kaye-tardif-blog -- My blog on my publisher's site (Kunati.com), where I talk about anything Whale Song related, including events, awards, etc
- http://www.cherylktardif.blogspot.com/ -- my "official" blog where I talk about ALL my books, including ones I am working on, plus events, TV shows, other authors or books, or anything else that I find interesting.
- http://www.criminalmindsatwork.blogspot.com/ -- Criminal Minds at Work blog, a multi-author blog featuring a variety of authors who write mystery, suspense, thrillers and crime novels.
- http://www.writetype.blogspot.com/ -- The Write Type - Multi-Author Musings, featuring a variety of authors and their thoughts on writing, the book industry and anything else we can think of.
- http://www.booknookreviews.blogspot.com/ -- Book Nook Reviews, reviews of books in any genre.
- http://www.filmclipz.blogspot.com/ -- Film Clipz & TV Showz, a site that critiques or discusses television shows and movies.
- http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A28SDQQVF42ZB5 -- My Amazon Blog, where I write about anything to do with my novels, writing, promoting or life as a writer.
I hope you'll consider checking out my blogs, and if you do, please leave me a comment on any posts you read. It helps me to know what readers like to read about. :) Thank you and keep reading! :)
To order my novels, please go to:
Whale Song (This book makes a perfect gift for Mother's Day! And know you're helping others too because every time you buy Whale Song, a portion of my royalties goes to 3 nonprofits!
The River (This novel is perfect for Father's Day! If your Dad likes exciting, action-packed conspiracy thrillers, this is the book for him!)
Divine Intervention (My psychic says this is the perfect book for those who enjoy psychic or supernatural phenomena and sizzling romantic suspense. :)
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling Canadian author
Thursday, April 17, 2008
For the past 2 or so months, Whale Song has been competing for Erin's 2007 Book Cover of the Year award.
I am proud to announce that...
WHALE SONG has won the 2007 Book Cover of the Year award!
Thank you to everyone who voted. I wish I could take credit for this beautiful, haunting cover, but I can't.
It was designed by Kam Wai Yu, graphic designer for Kunati Books.
I was hoping to "drop" copies of Whale Song to teens at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, but they already had an event planned. So after some careful consideration of all worthwhile charities, schools etc, I decided to give my books to the Youth Emergency Shelter Society in Edmonton.
I was very pleased to go by their office this morning and drop off 4 copies of Whale Song for 4 resident teen girls and 4 copies of The River for 4 resident teen boys. These kids are in the SkY Program (Skills for Youth).
I also gave Y.E.S.S. two extra copies of each book to either give to new teens entering one of the programs or to place in the START House, a program is for 16-19 year olds who have no viable living alternative. These youths live at START House and attend school or work.
I feel very blessed to have been able to do my part for Operation Teen Book Drop and I look forward to participating next year.
This afternoon, you'll be able to find me at the TBD Authors forum.
Today, from 6-8pm Pacific/9-11pm Eastern, I'll be participating at the Post-Op Party online. Lots of prizes, chat with me and other authors and more.
For more information on Operation TBD, please visit http://www.readergirlz.com/.
Monday, April 14, 2008
"Operation TBD" puts 10,000 books into North America’s top pediatric hospitals in celebration of Support Teen Literature Day on April 17
According to a press release sent out by readergirlz, an online book community for teen girls, "Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States and Canada will receive 10,000 young adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels Thursday as readergirlz and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrate the second annual Support Teen Lit Day on April 17."
I first heard about this event from one of my MySpace friends, who just so happens to be one of the key organizers of readergirlz and this huge event. Unfortunately, I found out too late to have my publisher join the many others in giving books to teen patients in pediatric hospitals. I hope to be involved next year.
However, I will be participating in the TBD Post-Op Party on April 17th. That morning, I'm hoping to "drop" copies of Whale Song to teens at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. I'll visit with the teens, sign their books, then head back home to participate in the forums.
You'll be able to find me at the TBD Authors forum on Thursday afternoon. I look forward to chatting with you there.
For more information on Operation TBD, please visit http://www.readergirlz.com/.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
In the beginning, I was bold...yet I didn't have a clue what to do either.
A few years ago, I didn't really get the difference between a book launch and a book signing. I suppose I could have helped myself out by actually attending some of both, but I didn't and my first "launch" suffered for it. Instead of making it a big celebration, my first book launch had no hoopla, just me at a table in front of the store, handing out business cards. Oy, I was so green I never knew I shouldn't give out cards unless they're to business contacts. No one else wants them. I know better now, but back then I had no idea what I should or could do for a launch party. Now I know it's only limited by my imagination and the fire code of the store. :)
A book signing is an event where you go and sign and sell books. It's that simple. There's only as much hoopla as you can create, based on any news to do with your book. But believe me, I look for anything newsy that can add some hype to my signings. News equals excitement, and excitement means sales, and sales mean I get to write another book. :)
I rarely have any form of advertising for my regular signings, other than in my writers organizations' newsletters and what I post on my site and blogs--mainly because people tend to forget, and so far it hasn't proven to bring in that many more people for it to be cost effective to run advertisements in newspapers. I just look at every person who walks in the store as MINE. Okay, I'm not that vain, but I do look at anyone as a prospective buyer. It seems far easier when I'm not worried about whether my invitees have arrived or if they'll even show. I always know that there will be people walking through the doors, and it's my job to greet them and make them feel welcome. (And give them my bookmarks.)
If I feel I need posters, I've learned not to wait for bookstores to make them. Other than Audrey's Books in Edmonton, which always makes up lovely posters for all my signings, and a few Chapters stores, most bookstores are just too busy to design signs. So I have a local print shop make posters for my special events. They're 14 x 17, I think, full color, announcing my name, author of... and date/time of event. I ask the stores to post them about 5 days before the event. Any earlier and people forget. Occasionally, I'll go to my signing and discover that my posters were never displayed, but usually they'll be up near the front door and often near the bathrooms. If I've been able to get some media attention (newspaper interviews or radio or TV interviews), then that's a bonus. But it's not easy to be newsworthy for all your events all of the time.
A book launch is a celebration, a big party to celebrate your book's arrival and everything you have gone through to get this far, and it's a party for YOU.
This is the one event that you need to have posters up on the walls, fliers to the bookstore a week before to add to customers' bags, media attention, tons of blogging about it, and lots and lots of hoopla. To ensure that you get great promotion for this exciting event, go to the store the day before and see how they're promoting you. Then you can ask them to display your books if they're nowhere to be found.
Also, for a launch, you'll want to send out an invitation to anyone on your email list and newsletter list. Ask them to bring a friend or two (or ten!), and make sure you ask them to RSVP, since you'll need to know how much food and drink to supply. Once you have this list, realize that about 10% won't make it, another 10% might not buy. 80% should be sales. Bad weather the day of the launch will increase the percentage of the first two and lower the last. Make sure the bookstore knows about your RSVP list ASAP. They need to know how many books to order in. Send your guests a "friendly reminder" about 2 days before.
A launch should always be eye-catching, big and bold. You need to create excitement. That's what separates it from a regular book signing. Some launches will have champagne and strawberries, others will have pop and veggies and dip. Some will have food that fits the theme of their book. I served two kinds of seafood dip; however, I just couldn't serve whale. I'm sure my friends were glad about that. :)
Most book launches will have:
- door prizes (I always ask local businesses to donate prizes in exchange for a sponsorship mention of them on my posters and I get awesome prizes this way...including a free limo ride for my family and closest friends to my last book launch)
- munchies (a couple of party trays and a cake with your cover on, at minimum)
- a mike for you to read a chapter and talk about your new "baby"
- an MC to introduce you and make you look good (either a friend or the store manager if she knows you)
- advertising in-store and elsewhere (community bulletin boards, schools, churches etc)
How should you promote your book launch? By doing anything and everything you can think of to ensure its success and to make sure that everyone attending has a party they'll never forget. That way they'll be first in line for your next book launch, which (if you use these tips) will now be bigger and better than the last. :)
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author of Whale Song
Saturday, April 12, 2008
A while ago, I read an article on book signings and the author had said one should always move toward the customer and never sit or stand behind the table. Reading this, I had to chuckle because I was once at an event where an author did exactly what the author here suggested. He went into the aisles, books and bookmarks in hand, smiling and talking to everyone, while I stood behind and sometimes beside my table, bookmarks in hand, smiling and greeting everyone. Sometimes I sat down.
At the end of the event, he had sold 5 books at $14.00 each. I had sold 30 books at $26.00 each.
Why? Many people who came to my table said they felt "jumped on" by the other author. By moving toward them, he had invaded their physical space. He seemed "desperate" to some customers, and all of this turned people off; whereas I seemed genuine and open to them, and they were curious what was going on at my table.
At another multi-author event, an author stayed beside her table, just slightly out front and it worked for her. She had good sales. Again for me, I stood and sat at intervals, and still outsold her.
So what really sells a book? I think it's an author's genuine love for his or her craft, for the particular book that they're promoting and for people in general. At least, that's how it is for me.
There have been occasions where I have left my table. If it's super busy and I miss giving a bookmark to a customer or I see someone loaded down with books by comparable authors, I'll sometimes go up to them and give them a bookmark. "For your books", I'll say. Or, "I forgot to give you this." That small action, non-invasive, will often lead to natural discussions and many times the person who has been standing in the lineup will leave it to check out my books.
Even at signings with well-known bestselling authors, the authors are usually at the table, either sitting or standing behind or beside.
I believe it's a combination of advertising prior to events, ads in the stores, signage near the author (on the table or in sign holders), the book itself, but mostly it's how the author presents him- or herself.
It is definitely less invasive to have the customers come to you. The key is knowing how to get them to visit your table. I'll often have a draw box at one corner of the table, with a visible sign posted that describes the prize(s). Once in a while, I'll have chocolates in a bowl. But most often, I reach across the table after making eye-contact, smile and hand them a bookmark.
Tip: Hand them a bookmark. Most people will just take it. Don't ask if they want one. Try not to ask any question that can be answered by "yes" or "no". That usually results in "no". Just hold out your bookmark and go directly into your greeting, tell them who you are and what you're doing.
And don't forget to smile and enjoy what you're doing. I love signings. I genuinely enjoy meeting people, talking to them, and many times there is no advertisement prior to my events, except online. But it makes no difference. Every customer who walks by me is a potential reader of my books--or they know someone. I like to approach strangers in the same way I would a long lost friend. And I can't wait to meet them. :)
For more book signing tips, check out this article at:
If you're an author, I'd love to hear about your thought on this, and your own approach to book signings.
If you're a reader, I'd also love to hear from you. I hope you'll share with me what kind of approach you think works best. What do you prefer and why? How can an author improve your experience in a bookstore?
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Even more surprising, I've had a number of boys and men read Whale Song and enjoy it. At a signing in Richmond, BC, last summer, I sold more copies to boys between 8-15 than ever before. One of them emails me now and then. :)
Whale Song has a very strong and powerful message of love, forgiveness and hope, and some people who have read my novel have been changed by the message. I have received emails saying that Whale Song has healed broken relationships, mended some and helped some come to terms with a tragedy or death in their lives. I am truly blessed to hear such things!
Sometimes I am asked: "Who should read Whale Song?" So here's my answer.
Whale Song should be read by:
- best friends
- book clubs (definitely!)
- Oprah :)
- anyone 7-108, male or female, who enjoys an emotional read
Whale Song should also be read by people dealing with:
- racial discrimination
- leaving friends behind
- relationship problems
- lack of faith or hope
And it should be read by those searching for:
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Monday, April 7th, 2008, at 8:00 pm EST
I'll be talking about writing and publishing on "The World of Publishing" Internet radio show hosted by Reign.
To listen live, go to http://www.worldwideartist.net.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
General writing resources:
- Writer's Market (the holy grail for writers)
- The Canadian Writer's Market (ditto for Canadian writers)
- The Canadian Writer's Guide
- The Writer's Digest Guide to Manuscript Formats
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
- The Writer's Guide to Character Traits (excellent for building your characters)
- Characters and Viewpoint (great for improving POV) - published by Writer's Digest
- Writing Dialogue - published by Writer's Digest
- Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things
- How to Write a Children's Book and Get Published
- Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel
- Forensics for Dummies (no dead bodies included)
- What Writers Need to Know About Publishing (by Jerry D. Simmons, a great friend of mine)
- The Book Publisher's Handbook (Eric Kampmann)
- How to Sell What You Write
- Beyond the Bookstore (Brian Jud)
- Plug Your Book (Steve Weber, another friend)
- 1001 Ways to Market Your Books (John Kremer, another author friend)
- Web Site WOW (Jeniffer Thompson)
Friend and fellow author Dave Diotalevi has one of the most creative blogs for promoting his new novel Miracle Myx that I have ever seen. He takes photos of his book in various places and settings and writes about it, with dialogue from him and Myx. It's really quite funny.
Today Whale Song visits his site and his main character Myx. And apparently, we need a referee between us. :)
I invite you to check out Dave's blog and read his post about Whale Song and his other posts. They're guaranteed to make you chuckle, if not laugh out loud.
Check out Where's Myx?
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
My top 4 favorite performances:
Simon Cowell was in top form tonight, and I say that with sarcasm. Most nights I agree with him to some extent. But tonight I think he could have used a tall glass of prune juice and a couple of happy pills. He seemed rather miserable and couldn't find much nice to say about these brave and talented performers. And the comment about Carly's lack of fashion sense was really 'the pot calling the kettle black', now wasn't it? Simon? Take your own advice. Dress like the star you are supposed to be. You're a good looking man. Why dress in sports bar clothes on national television?
My mother was visiting from Vancouver last week. She's not much into TV, and not an Idol fan. However, she sat patiently through last week's performance and results shows. When Michael Johns performed, I think she drooled. :)