Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Want to review books for

Do you like to read? Want some free books in exchange for writing a review? is looking for people who love reading to review the stacks of books that are pouring in to a new book review program.

If you enjoy reading, don't mind getting a free book (or 2...or 5) and like to write reviews, then this is for you!

From the newsletter TIPS for WRITERS:
We have tons of books and not enough readers to review them...if you know someone that would love to read and review books please send them my way. It’s easy, they can pick what they want, there is no timeline, the book is free, all we need are interested readers. Your help is appreciated.

For more information, please contact Jerry D. Simmons.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
Canadian suspense author

Monday, July 28, 2008

Random Acts of Divine Intervention

Over the past few months I've been participating in small Random Acts of Kindness. I love leaving behind a novel for someone, and I've found my favorite RAK place at the new Starbucks at 39th Ave and 17th St in Edmonton, AB.

I go there often to write. I sit in the far corner with my laptop.

It was after my trip to Mexico last February that I realized how much fun it can be to leave a book for someone. So I started occasionally leaving a book on the table by the cream/lid/stir stick display table at Starbucks.

I have left a copy of each of my books, each on a different day over a period of a couple of months. Sometimes I put it on the table as soon as I get there to write. Sometimes I have left a copy right before I leave.

I started off writing a note inside the cover that explained to the finder that it was a gift--to take it and read it. Every now and then I'd look up from what I was writing and check the table. Darn! The book's still there! I'd go back to work.

I found that the novel was sometimes there over night and that people were too timid to open the book, so they missed reading my message.

Recently, I tried a new tactic. I put a copy (I think of Divine Intervention) on the table, with a post-it note right on the cover. Throughout the day, I glanced at the table. Sometimes I held my breath when I saw someone standing nearby.

Ironically, I have NEVER actually seen the people who have accepted my gifts. Never seen them, and never heard from them--until a few days ago...

Moe gave me permission to post this email online:

Hi Cheryl,

I walked into a Starbucks one day and as I was stirring my tall dark roast I noticed a novel sitting on the table next to me with a note on it. I read the note and you know what it said. I was with my brother and we were both moved by it. Needless to say I took the book home with me. I have read about half of it now and am enjoying it very much. I would like to thank you for your kindness and would like to know where I could get a copy of Whale Song and any other works that you have published. Again thank you for your generosity and I will pass the word along that you tell a great yarn.

sincerely Moe

I have to say that receiving this email made me smile. (Thanks, Moe! You made my day!) Although the idea behind Random Acts of Kindness is to give, not receive, I have to admit that it is really nice to know that the person who accepted my gift actually enjoyed it. It also felt great to know that the right person had found my novel.

Now that's what you call...Divine Intervention!

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Divine Intervention, Whale Song and The River

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Update #5 on the suspenseful work-in-progress Remote Control

“Be careful what you wish for,” they say, but for forty-four-year-old Harold Fielding, who unfortunately isn’t one to listen to such good advice, those words will come back to haunt him.

Harold―Harry―always rebels against the norm. In fact, he says, “Wishes are like saying grace―something to be said before every meal.” So he wishes at least five times a day, while growing exceedingly fat.

However, good ole Harry has an excuse.

“If I wish hard enough,” he tells his wife Beatrice, “my wishes will eventually come true.”

Harry’s a TV fanatic and, surprisingly, very intelligent. He spends about ten hours a day parked in front of his ten-year-old Sanyo television with the remote control in hand, while watching shows on just about everything. The next day, he can tell you all about it; his recall is nearly perfect.

He never once contemplates actually working a forty-hour week and earning money. He’s already maxed out the VISA and MasterCard, plus a small bank loan that Beatrice knows nothing about. And now he’s waiting for his fortune to fall in his lap. Sadly, there’s no room there, so whatever good luck finds him usually ends up in a puddle on the floor.

Harry’s good with puddles. He’s a plumber by trade, when he bothers to do a job. The truth is, he’s been having trouble maneuvering under kitchen sinks; his stomach keeps getting in the way. Six months ago, he was depressed, which made him eat more. He’d almost lost faith that there is something better for him…somewhere…out there, and then fate stepped in. After a chance run-in with an old classmate (Harry nearly knocked him down a flight of stairs when they passed on a landing), who happens to be very wealthy and who recommends one book, Harry’s life changes forever.

The Secret sits on the shelf behind the toilet. Harry reads it every day while relieving himself of the pounds of food he’s eaten that day. Since he’s always there a while, he can usually get through five or six pages a visit.

“I’ve read it now from beginning to end at least five times,” he boasts to his friends.

Of course, he hasn’t quite figured out that one must work towards receiving the good things in life, whether by deed or thought. He just figures that if he wishes for something, he’ll attract it. Eventually.

Be careful what you wish for, Harry.


Read the work-in-progress so far.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Canadian suspense author

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Libraries: Are you looking for a new novel to add to your book collections?

Why not choose a novel that has impacted many people's lives--WHALE SONG (published by Kunati Books).

Libraries worldwide will benefit from including Whale Song in their collection for the following reasons:

  • Whale Song appeals to adults and young adult readers (7-108).
  • Whale Song offers a unique cultural experience with a west coast, Canadian flavor.
  • Whale Song reveals an inspiring message of hope that has already changed people's lives.
  • And Whale Song gives readers an escape from the "every day" and characters you'll love and remember.

Book information for ordering:

ISBN: 9781601640079
Author: Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Publisher: Kunati Books
Publish date: April 2007
Trade paperback
Adult Fiction; YA

You can order Whale Song from IPG in the US:
800) 888-IPG1 (4741)

Or from Canadian Manda Group in Canada
(416) 516-0911

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song

Librarians LOVE Whale Song!

Two recent reviews came in for Whale Song, both from librarians--one from Canada, the other from the US--proving that Whale Song is well loved on both sides of the border.

Jen, a reference librarian at an academic institution in Canada, has this to say about Whale Song:

"I really enjoyed the story...It was's definitely a recommended read."

Read Jen's full review.

Glenda York, Assistant Director of Russell County Public Library in Kentucky says Whale Song is:

"A well written young adult coming of age tragedy thats appeal transcends the teen audience and encompasses anyone that would enjoy a tale well told...this novel is a haunting tale of choices made and how the repercussions of those choices can tear a family apart. It is an enchanting and uplifting tale that combines the optimistic spirituality of native myth with the hard realities of modern existence. The characters and descriptive setting will enthrall you."

Read the full review on Glenda's blog.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hot Trends, Hot Markets - Part 5: Adding Friends to Social Networks

This is the final segment in my Hot Trends, Hot Markets online social marketing section.

Please read Part 1-4 before proceeding to Part 5.

Part 5:

Friends are gold; they'll promote you just because they know you. And if they read your work, they'll promote you even more. Friends connect you to strangers without you having to do anything. They tell two friends and so on...and so on...

Build up enough friends in your networks, and you'll build momentum. The next thing you'll know, you'll have people messaging you and asking to be friends.

In every online social network, the friends you add are very important. These are people who will be interested in you and your books for a variety of reasons. Not only do you want fans of your work and close friends and business acquaintances you already know, you want to invite complete strangers. Again, having a genuine interest in meeting new people and getting to know them is a huge plus. Learn to love your friends, even the ones you haven't made yet.

Ask yourself: Who would I like to know personally (famous authors, famous people, famous actors & singers, etc)? Which industry people would be beneficial (agents, publishers, etc)? What kinds of people will help sell my book (librarians, booksellers, etc)?

Search for:

  • authors
  • writers
  • literary agents
  • publishers
  • librarians
  • editors
  • teachers
  • book reviewers
  • publicists
  • booksellers

And search for friends who:

  • love books
  • love reading
  • are fans of authors you like and ones you've been compared to
  • are fans of books like yours, titles your books have been compared to
  • live in your city, town, province, state, country

Now think completely outside the box--think movies, TV shows, films based on your books, and invite:

  • actors
  • film producers
  • directors
  • music composers
  • musicians
  • singers
  • songwriters
  • film companies
  • screenwriters

Now think of your book. What topics are discussed? Now search for friends who relate to your book's topics (ie. if your book--fiction or nonfiction--is about a character with Alzheimer's, use that search term and you'll find groups, support groups, associations etc--all great contacts for you)

The last way to search for friends is what I think is the most fun. I recently experienced this, and I have to say it's opened up opportunities but also there's something both weird and exciting in it. This last tip is for fiction authors. And this is what you do...

Add your characters as "friends":

  1. Make a list of all the main characters in every novel or short story (published or unpublished) that you've written.
  2. Then make a list of secondary characters--ones that are interesting and important to your story.
  3. Search for your characters' names on all of the online social networks, especially MySpace and Facebook.
  4. Invite your "characters" to be your friend.
  5. When they accept, leave a comment on their page (for ALL to see). Let them know that they have the same name as your character. Tell them a bit about this character and your book. Invite them to order it online--leave the link--and offer to send them an autographed bookplate or bookmark. You can do this in stages--replying to the friend.

Recently I've had the pleasure of sending many bookplates to people with my characters' names. They're all quite thrilled at the idea, and many are very curious. So am I! Again, it's an opportunity to promote your work, but a rare opportunity to connect with a "character" and this can lead to some interesting conversations. I love it! More and more, I've been blessed by meeting wonderful people from all over the world. These are my readers--actual and potential. And I value each and every one of them.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song

Friday, July 18, 2008

Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif Awarded a T-Shirt from

I just love days like today--days when I open my email and find all sorts of lovely emails and bits of "gold". (It sure beats the other days when I get 500 bits of junk mail and sp-m.)

Today, I received an email from Queen Ursula. Okay, she's not a real queen--well, not in the true sense of the word, but she's a queen at heart. Ursula is a member of the Red Hat Society; that's that wonderful group of women found sporting red and purple hats and scarves and pins...

Queen Ursula (okay, I just really like calling her that) is organizing an authors' event in November, and I'm quite honored to be one of the authors invited to attend. She asked me to sign my novels and tell the ladies what great Christmas gifts they make. And they do! I am sure that Whale Song, in particular, will do very well since it's the perfect gift for any woman, 8-108. So her emails today were all very exciting to read, and I can't wait.

Then the next email I opened was from Jeff Reid at He has given me permission to post part of it here:

You've helped us create a new way to discuss books (and potential movies), and we appreciate it. We'd especially like to thank those who told friends and relatives about the fun we're having, including the individuals and authors who promoted the site on websites and blogs. In the first 6 weeks of public operation, we had over 20,000 page views by 4,000 people from 72 countries, speaking 32 different languages - and they're still coming!

As I'm sure you can tell, several people have "join dates" from back in February. These were our original beta testers, and the most active and helpful of all was "Dano". We're getting some nice shirts made with the logo on it, and Dano is getting one for his early, frequent, and useful comments. Thanks Dano!

Catherine Ryan Hyde was the first author to come on the site - on opening day, there she was, providing an "author's storycast" and then adding us to her MySpace page. Thanks, and a shirt, Catherine! Authors Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Tristi Pinkston, plus Stella and Audra Price, have also done a great job of advertising the site, and in bringing other authors to our attention. Ladies, a shirt to each of you!...

Again, we really thank you for your support and positive reaction to the

Jeff Reid and the staff at
"for the movie in your mind"

You can imagine my surprise to be thanked by Jeff, and to be awarded a t-shirt. Thanks, Jeff!

Now for those who haven't checked out this site yet, 'just do it'. :) It's a lot of fun. The concept is easy and one I identified with as soon as I heard of the site. You know how when you read a book you sometimes picture an actor in the lead role? Maybe you picture actors for all the lead roles. Well, with Storycasting, you can have some fun selecting real life actors you think would fit the roles in your favorite books.

Go check it out! Whale Song is listed there. Did I select good actors? Do you have someone else in mind? Jasi and the team from Divine Intervention are on there too. And just look who I see playing Brandon Walsh or Ben Roberts. And the gang from The River are there--probably my most favorite casting. Any Johnny Depp Fans out there?

Check out, sign up as a member (it's free!) and feel free to cast all my books and others with your favorite actors. I'd love to see who you envision!

Now I'll just check my emails, blog on my gazillion blogs, work on my next novel, and wait for my t-shirt...

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hot Trends, Hot Markets - Part 4: Optimizing True Social Networks Like MySpace, Facebook & Ning

I recently spoke about marketing books via online social networking at the CanWrite! Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, on the Hot Trends, Hot Markets panel. It was a popular topic and I was bombarded (happily) with questions afterward. If you're a writer who is looking for innovative ways to market yourself and your books, please keep reading. :)

Please read Part 1, 2 &3 before proceeding to Part 4.

Part 4:

When most people hear the words "MySpace" and "Facebook", they're most likely to think of these in terms of their teenage kids. But times have changed, and these 'just ain't for kids anymore'. I've spoken to entrepreneurs, including writers, about using these two social networks to promote their various products and services. Some look at me as if I've completely lost my mind. Some of them, I'm sure, think I've spent far too much time locked away in my office while writing my next suspense novel. Most wonder or ask how MySpace or Facebook could possibly be anything but a waste of time.

MySpace has revolutionized the social world of marketing. Gone are the days when MySpace was just for kids, a place to talk about music and share photos. Remember those days--back when you were afraid to let little Johnny post his profile and picture? Well, YOU are little Johnny now, and MySpace holds far more opportunity than danger to you.

And what about Facebook? When it first started out, it was similar to FREE. People were able to reconnect with long lost friends, school mates, lovers, and a few birthmothers were able to reunite with their children.

And now there's Ning, social networking that is grouped into specific targets: is for book marketing; is a group for Canadian authors and those who love books by said authors. You can search for groups that might interest you, book reviewers, librarians, people etc. Or you can start your own Ning network.

Now that the rest of the world has caught on, in particular the adult community, you'll now find that a wide variety of smart, savvy entrepreneurs, business owners, authors, artists and performers are using MySpace, Facebook and Ning to promote their business, work or name. Think of it this way, if you have something you want to sell or promote, you'd want to reach the most people in the fastest and least expensive way.

These social network sites become a "vehicle" for you, a vehicle that will take you from point A to B. Yes, you CAN waste a lot of time and energy with these sites if you aren't sure of how to do things and why you are doing them. So I urge authors to set a timer, if you must. Allow youself 1/2 an hour to promote on each site. And do this once a week, more if you have the time.

Authors, here is the how and why for MySpace, Facebook & Ning:

  1. Set up your profile. Sign up, add your photo, or better yet the book cover of your latest book. Add your bio info and make sure you add links to your sites and blogs. Add photos, book trailers, etc. This let's people know who you are and what you do.
  2. Add friends. Plan to add 10-50 friends a week, especially in the beginning. When you have 500 or so, add 10/week. Friends are the backbone of any social network and you need them. More on how to add 'good' friends in Part 5.
  3. Write every week in your MySpace or Ning blog or import a blog into Facebook. I import my Blogger blog into my Facebook page. Write about anything. Blogging regularly attracts more visitors to your page. Search engines love blogs because they are always being updated.
  4. Comment on your friends' pages. Visit their page and leave a comment, including your signature, which should include your name, book title or 'Canadian suspense author' and your website URL. This brings you more traffic. Not only will the friend visit, but so will people who are checking out their page and reading their comments. It's free advertising. But be genuine; comment on something they've said/done, something you like about them etc.
  5. Post a bulletin on MySpace. This is great when you have a lot of friends. They will all automatically receive your bulletin. Use this for breaking news, events or to announce a blog post. Make sure you add your signature line and URL.
  6. Ask some of your friends to read and review your book. You have access to book reviewers...and people who love to read. Plus big name authors have pages on MySpace and Facebook. You can message them and politely ask if they'll consider reading your book and writing a review blurb (for the cover) or a review for or, etc
  7. Connect with other writers/authors and get involved in multi-author events--like online book fairs. Ask to guest blog on their blogs and send them an article about your book or an interview or an article on writing.
  8. Invite friends to events, real life or virtual.
  9. Ask your friends to spread the word about an event or piece of news. Offer to blog about them in exchange.

Social networking is a two-way street. Don't be the kind of person who always asks and takes; learn to give in return. There are often unexpected rewards in being genuine, in taking an interest in someone else's life and gifts. When you focus on 'what can I also do for someone else?' you'll find that great connections will 'happen', and success is one step closer.

MySpace, Facebook and Ning can help you achieve success by connecting you to people who are willing to help you. There are wonderful, awesome people out there. I know; I've met them. So now it's your turn. Be bold, step out of that box and into the world of online social networking.

Stay tuned for Part 5.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New update to Remote Control, my suspenseful work-in-progress

Read Remote Control - a suspenseful 'novelette' work-in-progress.

Last update: July 13, 2008.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whale Song is the "Cool Book of the Day"

Read Dan Janal's interview of Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of the critically acclaimed novel Whale Song, and find out what makes Whale Song the 'Cool Book of the Day'.

Click on the blue button now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Win a matted framed print of Ansley Nisbet's "Whale Song"

If you haven't read the amazing story about Edmonton artist Aynsley Nisbet and how my novel Whale Song inspired her to paint again, please check out her story.

Now, for the contest...

One lucky winner will win a matted, signed and framed print of Aynsley's beautiful painting, titled "Whale Song".

To enter:

Leave a comment after reading Aynsley's story. Be sure to leave your name and email.

On July 30th, Aynsley will pick the lucky winner, and I'll make arrangements to send the print.

So be sure to leave a comment after reading Aynsley's story so you qualify. Good luck!

author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How Whale Song inspired artist Aynsley Nisbet and changed her life

I first heard of Aynsley Nisbet when an acquaintance of hers came up to me during the 2008 CAA CanWrite! Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. This friend told me that Aynsley had created a painting after reading Whale Song and being inspired. I hadn't seen the painting until today. I tracked Aynsley down online and the story she told gave me goosebumps, and I'm not too embarrassed to say that I had to wipe away the tears. She has given me permission to share this story with you, in her words.

This is Aynlsey's Whale Song "changed my life...forever"

"It was I think last summer, or maybe spring ( I really hate keeping track of time) and I was on my way home the morning after a really long night. It was windy and I felt miserable... I got off the bus downtown and walked past Audrey's bookstore. Something in the window made me stop... it was the cover of your book. Orcas are a symbol of my childhood.

I was born in Vancouver, and every weekend my father ( who had always wanted to be a marine biologist, but settled for a banker...why do some people, not do what they dream!?!!) would take me to the Aquarium. These were my favorite animals for the longest time, and still are now. They are so intimidating, fearsome but elegant... and I admit to even having a fear for them, even though I love them... I took note of the title of the book, and said to myself, "I think I need to read this book..." and then continued walking down Jasper Ave, to continue onward, down my so-called destructive life path.

The summer went by, and I was still miserable. Bitter with anger and resentment of my past, and the people in it. Me even. I hated myself... who I was every second...and was so unsure of my future. One night, after my birthday in October, I thought of the cover of Whale Song, and decided to google it. Read what it was about... I fell more in love with what it's meaning could be to me.

I decided to take my biggest canvas, which stands 5 feet tall, and 4 feet wide, and put it aside... I wrote on the side... "Whale Song". I started drawing ideas, but nothing was complete...obviously, because I needed to read the book. I then got a job at Chapters, and the first thing I did with my first paycheck was buy it. I also worked at a photolab in St. Albert, and it was the type of job, where it was so slow, and all we really did was read... and I always worked alone. I worked there that day after I got the book, and I started reading...

When I was little, and we moved from Vancouver up to Fort Nelson, BC, and the long roadtrip up the Alaska Highway, and all the tall trees... were exactly how you described the initial part of Sarah's journey. My father always wanted to name me Sarah, but my mom liked Aynsley better...haha, which is alright because I feel more special to have the unique name! :) Anyways, I spent a lot of time indulging in native culture when I lived in the north and became very connected to the Wolf and Raven... I found some sort of peace, and place in my world, at which I always had a hard time finding because I was always the weird kid...

Well the further I read into this book that night in the lab, I couldn't stop. I actually told the electronics department that the machines were broken and I was fixing them, just so I could finish it. I cried the whole time I read it... Don't worry, these were tears of self- realization and happiness... a sort of passion and emotion I needed. A sense of forgiveness, ultimately leading to my freedom... My life over just a year ago, was not so great. I was not myself... I didn't paint. It was awful.

You're book changed my life, in ways I can't even explain... If it wasn't your gift, the idea that forgiveness sets you free... I would still be angry, hateful, resentful... all that is negative. I have learned to forgive everything that has happened in life, and now, I have become what I have always dreamed... Happy, a successful artist... at peace with myself... determined...the list could go on. I then finished drawing and painting "Whale Song"... which sits, well hangs on my wall in my Mother's basement...

Well, I think I lied when I said it was going to be a relatively short message... but I needed you to know that your wisdom and your talent as an author is greatly appreciated, and I just want to thank you for all you have done for me... helping setting me free, like a whale... in a deep and endless sea ♥ ...

Thank you so much, for writing the book that changed my life... forever.

Aynsley :)"

I will be giving away a framed print of her painting..."Whale Song" (see below).

To enter, leave a comment below and your email addy. CONTEST CLOSED.

Please go to Aynsley's "Whale Song" painting and leave her a comment beneath the pic:

To view all of Aynsley's paintings, please visit her photo album on Facebook:

You can also learn more about Aynsley Nisbet at:

Thank you, Aynsley, for allowing me to share this. I am sure the Universe will repay you threefold.

And now...Aynsley's painting inspired by my novel Whale Song...

"Whale Song"
by Aynsley Nisbet

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Monday, July 07, 2008

The power and magic of 'WHALE SONG'

For a few years I've been referring to my novel Whale Song as "my heart book". I tell people it's because I am connected to it personally and emotionally. There is so much of me in that book. Sometimes I share the story of my brother Jason and how Whale Song was the way the police found me after his death. At signings, I'll sometimes share a story that a fan shared with me about how Whale Song affected him or her--how it sometimes changed a life.

It humbles me to realize that the words between the pages of Whale Song--MY words--could ever affect someone so deeply. It's changed people, brought family closer together, healed old wounds and changed the course of someone's life from destructive to constructive.

Wow...I am humbled.

I recall the story of the young woman who emailed me saying that she and her mother weren't talking anymore, too many past hurts. And then she bought Whale Song for her mom and everything changed. There was forgiveness and healing. They are now talking, sharing, laughing, crying and living with love in their hearts for each other.

Wow...I am blessed.

I remember the woman who bought Whale Song just before Mother's Day. She'd told me her mom had just passed away a few days before. I felt awful for her and talked her out of buying the book. I didn't want her to feel more pain and I thought she wouldn't be ready to deal with a book about mothers and daughters. She agreed. A few minutes later she came back to my table and said Whale Song was all she could think about. So she bought it. She was ready. She emailed me weeks later to thank me for helping her find closure.

Wow...I am awed.

And just this weekend, I heard from a young woman who told me her life had changed after reading Whale Song, and that it had inspired her to paint again, and the painting she created is unbelievably beautiful. In my next post I will tell you how Whale Song changed Aynsley Nisbet's life, and I'll share her words (with her permission) and a photo of the painting, which are the most amazing gifts anyone has given me.

Wow...I am honored.

For this and so much more, Whale Song is and always will be "my heart book".

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif

New scene added to 'Remote Control', a suspenseful novelette

If you've been reading my work-in-progress, my novelette Remote Control, I have added a new scene.

"Be careful what you wish for."

And now...

Remote Control


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hot Trends, Hot Markets - Part 3: Using AmazonConnect & Chapters Community

This past weekend I spoke at the CanWrite! Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, on the Hot Trends, Hot Markets panel. I wish I'd had more time to talk, and since so many writers came up to me throughout the weekend, saying that they'd liked to have heard more about book promotion, I'm hoping you'll check out my blog. I have lots to say on the hot trend of social networking, so if you're a writer, please keep reading. :)

Please read Part 1 & 2 before proceeding to Part 3.

Part 3:

In Part 2 I discussed book collection or catalog networks like Shelfari. The next category of social networks is "bookseller networks", primarily AmazonConnect for US consumers and readers, and Chapters Community for Canadian consumers and readers.

Anyone, writer or not, can join and have a profile page, but they'll be slightly different with AmazonConnect. AmazonConnect is for authors of books sold on Amazon. Authors must apply by filling out the AmazonConnect request form. So if you're a writer with books available on, the first step is to sign up with AmazonConnect.

What are the benefits of AmazonConnect?

  • You will have an author's profile page, plus links to all of your books. Others will see your author page if they look you up or subscribe to Amazon Daily, a collection of recent blog posts from AmazonConnect members.
  • You can contact people (friends/readers) privately by sending them a message through their own profile page or you can leave them a comment on their reviews.
  • The biggest plus to joining AmazonConnect is that you also receive your own AmazonConnect Blog, a place where you can connect directly to your readers and reviewers on

You can add Amazon Top Reviewers as friends, plus other reviewers, and more importantly, you can add readers. Simply look at other comparable titles to yours and see who's reviewed them. Then invite those people to be your Amazon friends. Again, try to build genuine relationships first. Learn to be a "people person", and you'll find networking much easier.

Blog about anything and everything related to your books but also to you as a person. People like to know more about you--what you're interested, where you've been, what you're doing other than writing, etc. And if you include writing tips, then aspiring authors will thank you. Your blog is your direct line to potential fans. If you have more than one blog, don't be afraid to cross-post the same article on multiple posts, but be sure to change the title of the blog posts slightly and the first sentence, so that search engines don't ignore these posts.

What are the benefits of Chapters Community?

  • You'll have an author's profile page so people will know you're an author.
  • You can contact people/friends privately through messages or post a note on their profile page or post comments on their posts, reviews and forum discussions.
  • You'll have a blog--although Chapters refers to it as "Posts". Use this just like you would any blog.

As with AmazonConnect, Chapters Community allows you to connect with people who love reading. You can invite friends and should do so every week, discuss books on forums, and write and read reviews.

Even more, Chapters Community allows authors to connect with bookstore staff (Indigo, Chapters, Coles, Smithbooks) from across Canada. And that is invaluable to an author. You'll even have a direct line to Heather Reisman, CEO and founder of Indigo Books & Music (and Chapters), if you add her as a friend. She loves books and enjoys hearing from readers and authors. Again, be genuine, not pushy. Every bookstore contact should be considered a valued friend and partner, not a 'sale'.

The thing to realize about online social networking is that it allows you to virtually meet more people from all over the world. People who love reading. If they aren't your specific target audience, then chances are they know someone who is. They need to be handled with care, just as you would if you met someone in a coffee shop or church and you became friends.

The idea is not to become the pushy car saleman type of "Shameless Promoter", but the author who is passionate about her work and knows that what he or she has written is just right for that person. So get to know your Amazon and Chapters friends. Find out what they like reading, and if you have something similar, mention it in a way that is natural, not forced, not a sales pitch--but genuine.

I've met some wonderful, great people through social networks. People I'd love to visit and meet. Many have purchased my books because they've met me online. Many are curious about what I write and they want to ask questions. Learn to love your readers and they'll tell two friends, and each of them will tell two friends, and so on...

Check back in a few days for more on social networking and how to make it work for you, the author!

Please leave me a comment if this has been helpful to you. :)

And if you haven't already done so, sign up on both AmazonConnect and Chapters Community.

Read Part 4.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
Canadian suspense author

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hot Trends, Hot Markets - Part 2: How to use book collection or catalog networks

Yesterday, I spoke at the CanWrite! Conference in Edmonton, Alberta, on the Hot Trends, Hot Markets panel. I had a great time and I hope that attendees left with a better understanding of how they can market themselves online through the use of social networks.

Read Part 1 first.

Part 2:

Today, I want to talk about one of the three main categories of social networking--'book collection or catalog networks'. These are social networks that invite users/members to catalog their personal book collection, recommend books to fellow members/friends, discuss books and authors with others, and to send notes and virtually "meet" people from all over the world who love books.

The three sites that are top on my list are:

The first thing to do if you're an aspiring or published author is to sign up on these sites. If you're a published author, you'll want to sign up as an "author", which will give you some extra perks. If you don't see how to do this, just email the site's contact. They can get you set up as an author very quickly.

5 main ways to promote yourself on these sites:

  1. Request to be friends with others on the network
  2. Add your own published books to your list of books read
  3. Review books, especially ones that are comparable to yours
  4. Get involved in group discussions
  5. Send your friends notes, comment on their posts and recommend a book

Social networking ethics:

In general, these sites are set up to bring people together. However, most people don't want a hard sales pitch, especially one by an over-exuberant author. So be careful when you approach others on these networks. Find a common interest and get to know your friends here first. Chat about where they live, their family, their own book recommendations and reviews. But be real!

I genuinely love meeting people, and I also love to promote my books. It's tough for an author to hold back sometimes, but it is worth it to do so when you first start checking into the social network market. There is a fine line that I don't want to cross, and what I've learned is this: if you're patient and take the time to get to know people, they'll start asking questions. And the great thing is, you'll know their interest is genuine too.

The benefits for authors:

It may seem obvious that the benefits are more exposure, but I've met a lot of authors who just don't get this. Think of that old shampoo commercial--"and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on, and..." This is a form of "viral marketing"--a way of promoting to one person or group that will create a chain reaction of word-of-mouth referrals.

Once you sign up on GoodReads, for instance, thousands and thousands of people will have access to your author profile. Every time you post some writing, add a book, review a book, discuss something in a group, the homepage shows your activity. This is updated instantly, and brings new visitors to your profile and activity pages.

You can contact "top reviewers" and arrange to send them ARCs or galleys. These are ordinary people who love to read and write reviews, and what better reviews are there than that? :)

You can contact libraries and bookstores and introduce them to your book(s). Offer to send them bookmarks or your publisher's catalog--or one book to sample.

And of course, you'll meet lots of wonderful people. You will connect with housewives, teens, entrepreneurs, business owners, teachers, librarians, other authors, but above all--readers.

Personally, through these three sites I have met some wonderful people, some fabulous authors and many terrific reviewers. It's like going to a huge party, or a multi-author book launch, where all the talk is about BOOKS. And for an author, is there anything better than that?

So...get social! Start networking! If you're an aspiring author, use these sites to start gaining fans now! Why wait? If they like your writing now, they're going to buy your book when it's finally published. Plus being a part of an online social network allows you to do the one thing you love most--WRITE! :)

Read Part 3.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author of Whale Song

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hot Trends, Hot Markets - Part 1: Social Networking

Today, I'll be presenting on a panel at the 2008 CanWrite! Conference in Edmonton, Alberta. The topic of my panel is Hot Trends, Hot Markets, and it's the only panel that runs separately as a main feature. As an author, I'll be looking at this topic from the perspective of aspiring and published authors.

As someone who's been nicknamed "Shameless Promoter" because I promote my books with everything I've got, utilizing everything I can think of or learn about, I want to share what I've learned. This information will help writers and authors connect with readers and fans, which can lead to sales once a book has been published.

The question I asked myself was: "Which hot trend or market is really on fire today, one that actually benefits writers and authors?"

The answer I came up with?


In the next few days, I'll post more here about this topic, but for now, let me give you the outline. Social networks are prevalent on the Internet, and if you learn how to use them correctly, you will benefit greatly. This is a way to meet thousands of people and an acceptable way to promote yourself.

There are three main categories of social networks:
  1. Book collection or catalog networks - ex. LibraryThing, GoodReads, Shelfari

  2. Book seller networks - ex. AmazonConnect, Chapters Community

  3. True social networks - ex. MySpace, FaceBook, Ning (multiple networks here)

There are many more networks than just the examples shown above, but these are the most important ones, and I highly recommend that every writer and author utilize each of them.

In my next post, I'll explain more about how to use each type of network to the fullest potential.

For now, I invite you to click on the network links above and join each one. Please note: to set up an Amazon profile/blog on AmazonConnect, you must be a published author with books available on Amazon. The other networks are all open to writers and readers, as well as authors.

Please leave me a comment if you find this information useful. :)

Read Part 2.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of Whale Song

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Check out my 'work-in-progress' - Remote Control

I've added a "work-in-progress" to my site. I'll be posting additional paragraphs to it as I have time, up to the conclusion. I hope you check back every week or so.

Ironically, a TV game show came out in '87. It was called 'Remote Control'. I never heard about it until today when I did some research. Also, in 1988, a movie was released with the same title. I never saw that either. There's also another movie--one that is more current and probably better known. I'm sure you'll think of the title when you read my story. Keep in mind, I had this concept and wrote about it in 1987.

The story you're about to read was originally written in early 1987 by Cheryl Y. Kaye, in the small town of Chatham, New Brunswick, now known as the Miramichi. It was written as a 2700 word short story. However, it looks as if it will be closer to a novelette, about 10,000 words, when finished. This story was never published.

I am cleaning it up now, adding to it, changing the tense and tone and I quite like where it's going. It's not the exact original--I think now it's even better. I welcome your thoughts, so feel free to leave me a comment.

I can't recall what made me write the original story, but it has always been a favorite of mine. Perhaps it was inspired by that old saying...

"Be careful what you wish for."

And now....

Remote Control