Are You Losing Potential Readers?


tech talkDid you know that when we post links to our books on Amazon and people from different countries of the world click on them, you may be losing potential readers because many countries have their own country code in the URL and believe it or not, if they land on and aren’t tech savvy to navigate to their own country page, it results in a potentially lost sale.

I was reading an article which brought this to my attention and thought it worthy of noting here. I have run into this issue with some of my own Canadian readers telling me Amazon wouldn’t let them buy my book, because they weren’t tech savvy and didn’t know they had to go to Many people don’t think to look to the right side of the page where it says to click to go to

We may assume that everyone is as tech savvy as us bloggers and writers, and we may tend to forget that we also had to learn a lot along the way. Some readers are not well-versed in the cyber world.

This got me thinking about the fact that if the people I knew couldn’t access my book page, just how many people I didn’t know were missing the opportunity to purchase my books because they were also confused with navigating to the proper page.

I came across a few links that will help to solve this problem. Instead of posting an Amazon link to your pages, you can go to either or and you can make a universal link for your books with either one of those sites. What it does is convert your book link to a new link that you can use to promote your books. When a reader clicks on this link, the system automatically detects what country that reader is from and the URL links to the correct page in their country. How’s that for ease of landing? Try it here now with my links, you will see that whatever country you live in is the Amazon page you will be taken to:

Happy reading!

Conclusions from Smashword’s Survey: How to Sell your Books | Nicholas C. Rossis



My friend Nicholas Rossis wrote a great post on his take from the statistics taken from Smashwords about topics such as: Do readers prefer reading longer books? Where the sweet spot is for pricing our books. And is ‘free’ still a good option to put our books on promotion for. Make sure to have a look at the many comments he received and find mine. I answered some of those questions on Nicholas’ post. Click on the link below for his informative opinions.


Conclusions from Smashword’s Survey: How to Sell your Books | Nicholas C. Rossis.

Supercharging my Hormones


A few months ago, I wrote a post about my getting back into the rhythm of exercising after I had deducted that my newfound five pounds had attached themselves to me because of all the sitting I was doing while working on my books. After so many weeks went by and my basic 1500 calorie a day eating plan had never changed, and with my now added back prior exercise routine, I noticed some tone coming back but that scale just refused to go down.

In frustration, I turned to my doctors, because I was lost for answers why those stubborn pounds refused to leave. I had never had this problem when I couldn’t just take off a few pounds until the past year. My diet never changed, I don’t eat junk food, dairy, wheat or gluten. I was determined to find out what the heck was going on with my body. I was getting annoyed with my ever-accumulating baby muffin tops.

It wasn’t to hard for me to suspect that this little mystery began just over a year ago; about a year after my ‘hot flashes’ dissipated. I mean, yikes, I wrote a book about the symptoms of menopause, so it wasn’t as though I didn’t know where this new problem stemmed from, but I needed to find a way to conquer it.

I had so many tests done, from ultra sounds to xrays, and trays of bloodwork done to make sure there wasn’t anything else funky going on. Thankfully, nothing serious showed up but I was sure that my hormones were out of whack.

My doctor suggested a different eating plan, which I tried to no avail. My inner self kept telling me that my internal furnace had somehow run out of fuel. My once ample supply of estrogen kept my metabolism running efficiently. Once our estrogen begins to wave good-bye, lots of things begin to slow down and often, cortisol production rises and stubbornly reacts with our insulin levels. It’s a chain reaction of who’s the bad guy, and who do I try to control first.



I’m not a big carb eater, but I normally always ate some healthy carbs with every meal. I began thinking that somehow these carbs were becoming a problem for me because there wasn’t anything else I could pick out of my diet that would cause this slump in my metabolism.

I began surfing around Amazon and Google for articles on carbs and hormonal interactions. I found quite a lot of articles about that exact combination. Apparently when we’ve gone through menopause, many carbs become a barrier to proper insulin function and whammo, things aren’t fueled the way they used to be and fat cells begin to accumulate as a result. And yes, of course, around our middles is where it likes to make its nest.

As I mentioned in my latest book, Meno-What? A Memoir, raised cortisol levels equals belly fat. Our hormones have a myriad roles they play within our systems, and there is a wealth of great information available from doctors who deal specifically with these issues. It turns out that it wasn’t about how much I was eating, but when I was eating. The key isn’t about avoiding all carbs because that isn’t realistic, but it does involve specific carbs and eating every few hours, instead of three larger meals a day to keep our metabolisms burning. I had heard this theory many times—eat more mini meals, yet I wasn’t interested until I came across two fascinating books by Dr. Natasha Turner, who just happens to be a naturopathic doctor right here in my hometown.

Dr. Turner first wrote The Hormone Diet  and after that was The Super-Charged Hormone Diet  and finally after that The Carb Sensitivity Program. I read the last two of her books and I can tell you that I got a real education. I figured out exactly what’s been going on inside my body. Her hormone book describes everything that is going on with every part of our hormonal system, how it gets disrupted by food and how to repair our systems. It’s not a diet, rather an eating plan which involves starting out for a week with no carbs from grains, starches or legumes, but you are still allowed all your non-starchy vegetables and almost all fruits. Gradually, every week you add a new carb to test your reaction to it. This goes on for four phases in the hormone book and six with her carb book. Her hormone diet and her carb sensitive eating plan are almost similar in eating structure, so I followed her plan with a bit of tweaking from eating plans between her two books. Don’t get me wrong here, there are still plenty of things you can eat and quite frankly, the book will tell you, and so will I, that you will find you aren’t hungry. In fact the beginning was very difficult for me because the thought of eating every two to three hours was almost nauseating to me when I just didn’t feel like eating. I have always been the type of person who ate a small breakfast and many times didn’t eat again until dinner.

Although some of the rules of this eating plan didn’t appeal to me, neither did the muffin pad resting around my waistline, so I was willing to commit to the plan. It wasn’t difficult to surrender my starches, but breakfasts were strange without my toast.

It’s now been just over a week, and in case you may be wondering if the scale finally moved, here’s my update:

I will admit, the first few days, I felt strangely tired, bloated and nauseous for some reason, but by day five I felt fine. When the two to three hour mark came time for me to eat a meal or a snack, I sometimes gagged at the thought of eating, but forced myself to do so. Did I follow it to the letter? No, but I did follow the concept and I never cheated with carbs. I really got an understanding of the concept that if we put carbs in our bodies (starches, grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes), we must always add protein to counteract the insulin spike that carbs induce, which in turn will halt our metabolism, even in the healthiest functioning bodies. Protein is the balancer of those carbs and the fuel that helps burn them off. By eating every two to three hours, we keep our metabolisms (our furnace) fueled to run efficiently. When we don’t eat for hours at a stretch continuously, our bodies get used to the few calories it’s taken in and recognize our body as in a starvation mode, thus slowing down the burn to conserve what little calories we have ingested.

I always understood this theory, but I refused to apply it because I couldn’t wrap my head around eating five times a day. But I have to say, IT WORKS! And, as for worrying about eating too much, I found that I couldn’t overeat because I wasn’t hungry because eating enough protein really satisfies our appetites. I was eating to sustain myself not because I was hungry.

weight scale


So after one week of eating basically the same amount of calories that I was previously eating, only eating more often and less carbs, I finally lost three and a half pounds. I no longer feel bloated and actually feel a lot better. I am now a believer of the scientific theory that eating smaller meals more often can really make a difference.

I’m in week two of this plan, which will consequently become my new way of eating. I will keep you posted on my progress!

If anyone is interested in more detail to the concept of losing weight by eating more frequently and exercising with resistance weight, please take a look at this fabulous article written by my friend and author, Elaine Mansfield. Click here for the article.



So Your Friend Is an Author… | chrismcmullen



Writer Chris McMullen wrote a great article on friendships authors have with non-author friends. He writes of the author’s world, much of the time spent in solitude, sometimes forgetting life exists outside the walls of our imaginations. Chris talks about what many people don’t take in consideration of in an author’s life. Click the link below and have a read.


So Your Friend Is an Author… | chrismcmullen.

Journey of a Book – Self Publishing Tips – D.G. Kaye



self pubbing

I thought I would write an article on the topic of self-publishing from my perspective. There is a lot of information to be had through many of the greats in the business, but everyone’s journey is different. What works for some, may not work for others, and many new soon-to-be authors may not be aware of all that is involved in publishing a book.

I am honored that many of my writing friends have asked me for advice on this subject. No doubt everyone will have their own methods of preparing to publish, but the requirements don’t differ. It can be very daunting for a new author who has written a book and is left wondering what to do next. Some will ask how do they polish their work, who will they have do their book covers and edit, how do they format a book for POD or ebook.

Those are most important parts of getting a book ready for publication. Before we even get to that stage, we also have to think about how we are going to market our books. We need to build an author platform, a following, and learn about marketing. If we are self-publishing we have to do all of these things to have even a chance for success. There are numerous publications and books available to get you acquainted with what is entailed. Signing up for newsletters from the experts in the industry are a great way to learn more. There are so many to name but The Creative Penn is a wealth of information and so is Standout Books. It’s no different than going to school. We have to educate ourselves if we strive to become noticed in a sea of books. It takes time to learn and we never stop learning as long as we keep reading and staying on top of current information.

Becoming an author is a business! IT’S YOUR BUSINESS. Like any other brick and mortar business, you wouldn’t leave the door unlocked without having someone inside working to look after the merchandise and sell your wares, so why would you write a book and place it on a shelf with nothing being done to help sell it? I’m not writing a manual here on how to become published, but I wanted to share my experience about the journey I have taken in these past few years with self-publishing, to point out some of the most important ‘to dos’ to put out a book with its best potential.

It goes without saying that you should prepare building your social platforms well in advance of your books publication so you can establish yourself as a writer and begin a following, because without readers, your books will sit idle. But above all of the marketing strategies and social media, in order to attract and keep readers for your books, these key elements are necessary to make your books visually appealing, captivating and a smooth read. These elements are: good editing, good cover and blurb, and good formatting. Forming a good working team with an editor, a cover artist and a formatter are crucial. I will speak from my experience here.

Let me preface this by saying that if you are new to this self-publishing business, you most likely will be learning through trial and error as I did from my first book Conflicted Hearts. It took me until I finished getting my second book, Meno-What? – A Memoir, published, until I was satisfied with ‘my team’.

Conflicted Hearts Cover SMALL revisedmenowhat thumbnail 100x150_72dpi

With my first book, I was searching for my team and learned of some names through reading many self-published newsletters, word of mouth from others and searching many websites.

For editing, I focused on reviews from others, how rates were charged and the scope of work the editor specialized in. This is important because I was looking for a qualified editor, at a reasonable rate. Many editors charge by the word count, or the page count. This is all calculated by the estimation of the length of time it will take them to work on your manuscript. Some editors only do line and copy edits, some only do developmental structure and some will include structure in their rates. It is also important to choose an editor that you can mesh well with, A good editor will be available to your questions, will not strip your voice out of your story and make comments and suggestions in the tracking bar for you to consider revising, explaining why something doesn’t work so you can learn from it. Also, it is important that your editor specializes in your genre to appreciate and understand your work. There is nothing worse than for example: giving your nonfiction manuscript to an editor who mainly works with young adult romance. They may not have interest or expertise in your particular field, so it’s important to ask. A good editor will also edit a chapter or partial chapter of your work as a free sample for you to see how he/she works.

Everyone needs an editor, heck, even editors need editors! The human eye tends to overlook things when we revise because we become accustomed to what we wrote and expect to see when revising, especially after going over the work many times. Editors look for wonky phrasing, misspelled words, grammar and punctuation errors. I like to revise my work several times before I even consider submitting it for editing. And every time I revise, I find things to fix or change. You may be thinking, Isn’t that the editor’s job?  Sure it is, but keep in mind …the less work there is for the editor …THE LESS you are going to pay. I also print off about four to five copies through the process in revisions because believe it or not, our eyes catch more mistakes on paper than they do on the computer screen. After I feel it’s good enough for me, I send it off to my editor and when it comes back with changes, I print off a copy of her clean send back and read it against her copy with the track changes on the computer. Sometimes it can be daunting to get the flow of your story while reading it through strike-outs and seeing the changes made right beside them. I then have my option to click on accepting or rejecting each suggested change. After I’ve gone over my manuscript several times for a few weeks, I send it back for proofreading with the changes I’ve accepted and made. I also give a copy to another proofreader or author friend for a second check. When the proof comes back, I then go over it again several times, printed out, before I am ready to send it to my formatter.

Note that there are several authors who are technologically gifted with the art of formatting and don’t choose to use a formatter. This is not a venture I have any interest or inclination to learn about and I am only too happy to pay for this service. Formatting is the process where the manuscript is converted into appropriate files for downloading to book sites to publish ebooks and paperbacks for print on demand (POD). I have enough on my plate that I don’t even want to get involved with learning the technicalities. There are many people who advertise for formatting. Some only do ebooks and a few will do both ebooks and print books. It mostly comes down to if they have the proper software programs to do both.

If you are lucky enough to have a great formatter like I do, I just send him my clean Word document and he takes it from there. He will check for the ‘little things’ I may have missed such as, extra spaces between lines or words and he kindly adds in some extra touches such as the little hearts he placed in my first book for scene breaks instead of the usual asterisks. I was fortunate to be referred to my formatter by my mentor, author and friend, J. Thorn when I ran into some sticky  Amazon issues with the original formatted template I had done. Stuart is a very busy man in the formatting industry and helped me out in a crunch when I was in the process of trying to download my book and was left wondering where to go. He bailed me out big-time and made me beautiful books. Now I couldn’t imagine having my books formatted by anyone else and I am elated that he has agreed to be my formatter.

A great book cover and blurb for a book is crucial. The first thing a reader will see when scanning for books is the cover. Think about how many times you have scanned through books on Amazon and skimmed past many that didn’t initially catch your eye. With a weak looking book cover, we may be missing opportunities to read some great books just because the cover didn’t draw us in. After the cover, I know the next thing I look at is the blurb—the product description online and the back cover description on a paperback. These two elements are the first to captivate our reader’s attention. Our books may be awesome but if we didn’t grab the initial attention from readers, chances are they will bypass the book. The same goes for the description. If it doesn’t inform us what the book is about and take us in with an inviting storyline, odds are it will be overlooked. There is also a lot of talk about home-made book covers looking just like, well . . . home-made book covers. I highly recommend putting a quality cover on your books to give them the attention they deserve. If you aren’t well-versed in creating a professional cover—hire someone.

So with all this information I have shared, I am going to add a few snags and happiness  from my trials and experience finding a good team to work with.

EDITING: When I published Conflicted Hearts I chose a great editor. She was very efficient, easy to get along with and very fair in her pricing. We spoke on the phone initially and I could email her with any concerns and she promptly responded with a pleasant eagerness to help me out. My mistake—I thought for my new book, Meno-What?, I should see what another editor could do for my book, on some advice given me that it’s sometimes good to see how other editors work. So on the recommendation of an author friend I decided to try a different kind of editor. It was a bad idea! I learned that what works for some people doesn’t always work for someone else. I wasn’t happy with the style of editing or the attention my manuscript was receiving. My voice was lost, taken away, and much of the editing—needed editing. I wouldn’t publish it. So with my tail between my legs, I went back to my first editor to have the whole thing re-edited and she graciously took me back. This all cost me a month delay in publishing, double the cost in editing fees and I’m quite sure, years off my life from the agro. Lesson: If it aint broken, don’t fix it!

COVER: When I hired a cover artist for Conflicted Hearts, I hired someone who came recommended by one of the leading self-publishing entrepeneurs in the business. Many artists design covers based on what you can tell them about your book and suggesting ideas of what you may be looking for. They will design samples and send them to you for approval or changes until the cover is complete. Covers can cost anywhere from $50 to several hundreds of dollars. You will have to do your homework and decide who best fits your needs. You can talk to other authors, scan through book acknowledgments for credit to an artist in a book cover style you like, you can search websites, Depending on your budget, you will have to decide who to hire. What I like to do is start searching for stock photos on sites such as Istockphotos and Dreamstime, well in advance of hiring my artist, to collect some photos of pictures I like to represent my book. Once I’m ready to hire the artist, I then send her the ones I like which I have downloaded to a folder so she can begin coming up with cover ideas. This also saves time for the artist by not having to sift through photos to present ideas with from scratch, which lengthens the process by them having to send numerous ideas until I’m happy with one, which in turn saves money. I chose my photo myself for both my books. The artist then has something to start working with and adds their flair with font ideas and colors. It is also worth noting that if you don’t feel comfortable with your artist, and you feel like you are ‘putting them out’ every time you reject an idea, most likely, they aren’t a compatible match for you. Although I was very happy with my cover for Conflicted Hearts, I hired a different artist for my second book who I was lucky enough to meet on my author page on Facebook. She invited me to check out her website, covers and reviews. I had a few emailed chats with her and we developed a harmonious working relationship. I informed her that I would find my own photos and she was elated that she didn’t have to do the search. Yvonne was wonderful to work with and very talented, professional and very reasonably priced.

So, I took all the steps from my first book,  and discovered with my second book, who I was happy to have on my team for publishing. I am so happy that I have such an amazing team to assist in my publishing endeavors by receiving quality work and a pleasant, smooth experience.

THANK YOU Stuart! Talia! and Yvonne! For your support and expertise in helping me make publishing a pleasure!




Live dangerously. Use an adverb. | @Belinda_Pollard



Today I’d like to share a repost from my editing friend Belinda Pollard who writes lots of great tips and articles on the writing and editing process. You can find her site at

The article I’m sharing is about the ongoing dilemma of the use of adverbs in our writing. Many writers and editors will say to kill them all. But paradoxically, many of the classics have adverbs in them. In Belinda’s post she explains why they all don’t need to be killed and when it’s best to use them and when it is better to leave them out. Have a look at her link below:


Live dangerously. Use an adverb. | @Belinda_Pollard.

Stephen King On How To Write – Business Insider



I found this article on and thought I’d share Stephen King’s 22 tips on how to become a good writer. He opens by saying, “Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers.” If you are curious to read the master’s cardinal rules, click the link below.


Stephen King On How To Write – Business Insider.

Terms of Endearment



What’s In A Name?


Nicknames seem to be a common practice in my world of intimate relationships. When I think about the use of different nicknames I am called by friends and family and the nicknames I have given to many of them, it makes me chuckle.

Ever since I was young, I had been given various nicknames and usually within a short time-frame of becoming close with someone I have an uncanny ability to christen them with my own nickname made up for them instinctively.

I write with the pen-name D.G. Kaye, but I am also known to others in my circle of life by a myriad of other names. It seems as though people have their own endearing terms for me just as I do for them. How these names sometimes come about can be so random and more often than not they are derived from a particular occurrence that is shared privately between two individuals. Some names may not even be particularly flattering because of the circumstance they denote or perhaps they were contrived during childhood teasings. Even though the connotation behind the nickname may no longer apply, sometimes a name just sticks and we learn to respond to it when being addressed.

I chose D.G. Kaye as my pen-name keeping my first and matrimonial initial of my name and expanded the ‘K’ into Kaye which was the initial from my maiden name. I never liked my maiden name because everyone seemed to pronounce it incorrectly and it used to bother me.

But my childhood nicknames given to me were plentiful. My dad used to have cute little pet names for me as a child. And I always remember my full name, Deborah, only being used by my mother when I was getting reprimanded for something she was accusing me of doing. Hence, when someone calls me Deborah now, I still cringe internally. These days my full name is only used formally, usually by a doctor or someone who doesn’t know me well.

When I was a teen, my siblings  bestowed on me their ever- affectionate nickname Enormous, when I went through my chubby stage. They shortened it to Enor for convenience. Charming! A few years later my younger sister became chubby herself and so I passed the torch on to her and began calling her Enor #2. My brothers would snicker and laugh every time they said the name and as much as it hurt, through the years it became comical and it stuck. My sister nor I are no longer chubby but through the decades our names stuck and we shortened our name right down to ‘E’. To this day that is what we call one another.

I remember a time when she and I were younger and single and went on vacation together and we were chatting amongst people we met and we’d call each other E and we were questioned how we could be sisters if we had the same name. (I’m laughing out loud just writing this.)

One of my best friends Bri grilled me for years what E or Enor stood for and when I finally told her she howled in laughter. She thought it was so cute and began calling me Nor, taking off the ‘E’, and she still does to this day. My other best friend Zan gave me a strange name Booben about three decades ago when an old flame of hers interrupted a story I was telling her about my Jewish grandmother, which the Yiddish name for grandmother is boobie. He laughed so hard and misinterpreted the pronounciation and said booben instead of boobie. That nonsense went on for weeks, bringing us laughter with every time it came up, to the point that they both starting calling me Booben.

My own husband doesn’t address me by my given name either. When we were dating he dubbed me as a feisty bear cub and from that time on he calls me Cub or Cubby. I am also known as Cubster to some. I can probably count on one hand how many times I have ever addressed my husband by his own name. Since I have an affinity for nicknaming those near and dear to me I have about six different names for him. Some are so ridiculous I can’t even name them here. But the one I use most often is Puppy. Sheesh, I’ve been calling him that for so long that sometimes he will even pretend he is a puppy when he will jokingly scratch on the table as a sign that it’s feeding time. It also serves for lots of laughter and lots of explaining when around people who don’t yet know us well. Some people get a charge out of it, especially when we casually address one another with these names in the company of new people we just met who get confused who we are talking to.

Don’t even get me started with the slew of names I have for my many other friends. Do any of you use nicknames for loved ones?