Making Merry At a Conference


I am second from the left on the panel “Paranormal Creatures and the People Who Love Them” at HELIOsphere, a science fiction and fantasy conference. Now you might be wondering why I am not at a romance convention. When you’re a paranormal author, you can cross over especially if you grew up in science fiction and fantasy. So I have twice the amount of conferences I can attend.

I love speaking on a large variety of subjects, but my expertise is the paranormal, especially vampires. I’ve studied vampires and rare supernaturals for over 20 years now.

Back to conference fun, there are parties. I went to two but sadly didn’t get photos. Also more panels, a tea party, a signing and a reading. Below is a photo of my setting up for my signing. My husband attended the conference with me and went to a film screening.


Conferences have so much on the schedule that you have to pick and choose your fun. I usually mark up my program with all the things I want to do.  And I  usually have a variety of festive and yes, I admit, vampirish type clothing for these events.

What made this conference unique is that my husband and I were celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary there. What made this conference challenging was having to dig ourselves out of the blizzard in order to attend.

But that’s life and it make the merry making that much sweeter.

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!

of New York

Vampire Princess of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 2 available in Kindle! In Amazon Print! In Barnes and Noble Print!
Vampire King of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1 available in Kindle and Print and  Barnes and Noble Print






Posted in Soul Mate Publishing, Susan's Snippets! | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

First Radio Show is Done – Whew!!

Facebook picture

I’m not sure how many of you know that I’ve started a new adventure. Last year, after being on Authors on the Air Global Radio Network with some other authors, I was asked by the executive producer to host my own show. I could hardly breathe. What? Me? Host a show? At first I thought she meant just one show, but no, I was to have my own program.

Coming up with the title was interesting. Since I write in fiction and non-fiction, have books published in military, history, children’s and, of course, romantic mysteries, and love gardening, we decided to combine the two. Since gardens have a variety of flowers and food in them, we came up with “Your Book Garden.” The idea is to have authors on my show in various genres – both fiction and non-fiction.

AOTA logo

It took me a bit to get my act together and heal from surgery, but on Tuesday, March 13th at 2:00 Central, hands shaking, stomach rolling, heart pounding, my first show started.

char & cherylAnd who did I have on for my very first guests? Our very own Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko to discuss “The Soul Mate Tree.” While I was nervous to begin with, after the first minute or so, I think I forgot we were on the radio. They calmed me and were professional and fun.

The Soul Mate Tree Series LogoWe talked about each book in the series, how they came up with idea, and how they chose their authors. Char read the poem. The thirty-five minutes flew by, and before I knew it time was up. I hope to have them on again to talk about their experiences writing as CeCe Cordelia.

Thank you Char and Cheryl for a great first experience as a radio talk show host!! If you want to listen to the show here’s the link:

Tina Susedik is an award-winning, Amazon best-selling, multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, military books, and romances. Her favorite is writing romance stories where her characters live happily ever after. She has three books and three anthologies with Soul Mate. Tina also writes spicier romance as Anita Kidesu. She lives in northwestern Wisconsin where winters are long, summers short, and spring and fall beautiful.

headshot-tina-susedik-fixed-with-jackie.jpgTina can be found at:



Twitter: @tinasusedik








Posted in Catching Up With Tina S!, Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Marketing Methods By Authors

giveaway 6

Each time I’m faced with a new book release (or resurrecting an older release), I ponder the most effective ways of marketing my book. Over the years, I’ve learned by observing other authors and their methods.

For this blog, I’ve given a shout out to a handful of authors, mainly because a) I follow them and b) I find their marketing strategy informative and/or entertaining. There are plenty more authors who’ve proffered wonderful advice I’ve readily accepted and the authors included in this blog are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg!

  1. Newsletter

The easy part is setting up a newsletter (MailChimp). The hardest part is coming up with regularly scheduled, inspiring content. I find monthly newsletters best as they keep the authors (and their books) in my mind, yet the frequency of ‘once a month’ doesn’t flood my inbox. I’ve gained readers by having a newsletter, but I also know I need to put further effort and time into sending out newsletters more often.

What to put in a newsletter? You might want to hop over to Collette Cameron’s website and sign up. Her newsletters contain free e-book giveaways, free audible downloads, links to her street team, email communication and sometimes personal anecdotes. Her newsletters are a great framework for marketing and learning from.

  1. Facebook Launch Party

I have participated in a couple (with another one coming up at the end of the month for my latest release). For my first book, I hosted my own launch and on another occasion, I joined a group of authors promoting our anthology. For both launches, I enjoyed the process, gained readers, and had the chance to spread the word about my story/book. One author I’ve found does a fabulous job of hosting a Facebook launch is Beth Carter (

How to pull off a Facebook launch party? There are some things to plan ahead for a more successful book launch:

  • create your launch (about 2 weeks ahead of time) and tweet and share every day leading up.
  • pre-write your content and have it stored in one file so it’s easy to find on your computer (the pace can get hectic quickly).
  • include graphics (as many as possible) to gain interest.
  • plan your giveaways beforehand and how you plan on selecting your winner (rafflecopter, for example) and include any instructions and links for guests.
  • create a timeline – for example, the first 10 minutes can be spent introducing yourself and your book and welcoming guests, followed by an excerpt of your book and the cover, etc.
  • Toward the end, thank your guests and remind them of how to claim their prize – if they need to provide an email, time/location winner will be announced, etc.
  1. Blog

Feature other authors on your blog. Okay, my hand is raised. I’m guilty of finding my blog going dark these days as I’ve focused more on writing, editing (and my day job)! But again, I think regular communication is better and while I may be in the dog house with my blog, there are several author blogs I do follow and seeing their name regularly land in my inbox means they are on my mind (and so are their books). I know most authors love a free opportunity to have their books featured and would love the chance to be on your blog. Authors, take note: shoot me a message on Facebook or send me an email ( if you’d like to be on my blog. Likewise, I’m featuring a Facebook launch party for the release of Concealed Love on March 28, so follow me on Facebook and I’ll follow you back!

What to put in your blog? Aside from the above mentioned author interview, a blog can function similar to a newsletter and contain tips, book excerpts, personal anecdotes, announcements, and so on. I love how authors C.D. Hersh re-blog other blogs which often contain useful tips. Author Joanne Guidoccio, regularly includes cartoons (which brighten my week) and author Amy Deason offers witty movie critiques. My take away is that a blog doesn’t always have to be a brain drain, but can be light, fun and informative at the same time.

  1. Twitter

Ah, Twitter. My old friend. In the past, I tweeted daily. Then weekly. Then . . . well, it seems I need to re-visit this social media platform. Twitter is fast, easy and short. It doesn’t take a lot of time to send out a tweet. Author Steven Mitchell is a genius with Twitter (either creating a tweet or re-tweeting) and I need to refresh my Twitter feed. Twitter is great because it hits a different target audience than Facebook or your dedicated newsletter readers and the reach can be far.

What to tweet? Your book release, author interview, an image of your book cover or your favorite quote of the day, etc. Don’t forget to include those infamous hashtags #amwriting #newrelease #isn’tthisfun?

  1. Group Promotion

Aside from a joint Facebook launch, there are several joint promotional opportunities. What are some group promotional ideas/events?

  • Market your book with a group of authors for a seasonal promotion (often linked with a specific season or holiday such as Christmas or summer, for example).
  • Consider group marketing opportunities through established sites such as Night Owl Romance’s Book Club which provides your readers with digital goodie bags (think bookmarks, coaster, cards); or The Romance Review’s treasure hunts where readers can engage with authors and their books while having fun. Though these are paid promotions and generally require giveaways  (such as a free e-book) there are free promotional opportunities that come up each season.
  • Ensure your book in enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Author Book Promotions
  • Consider employing a Thunderclap campaign.

These methods I’ve summarized cover the basics, but if you’ve experienced effective, creative methods that have worked well for your own marketing in the past, please comment below on this blog and we can all learn from what works – and what doesn’t!


Posted in A Bit of Catch-Up With Kim, Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

I have a label. Well, I have a lot of labels.

Daughter, sister, mother, wife, aunt, cousin, best friend, co-worker, bitch. Okay, just kidding about that last one. (I hope.)

In the publishing world, my label is “hybrid author.” Basically, it means I don’t keep all my eggs nestled in a single pretty wicker basket with a blue gingham ribbon. Actually, until Monday, those eggs were spread out amongst, um, let me see, one, two, three…six different baskets. Red, pink, purple, blue, green, and silver ribbons.

Damn, I take that hybrid label seriously, don’t I?

Actually, I don’t. I mean, I do, of course, but that wide variety just sort of happened. When I decided I wanted to dip my purple-painted big toe into the vast, murky publishing pool, I had not a clue what I was doing.

Let me reiterate: Not. A. Clue.

I’ve had a passion for writing pretty much since I learned cursive handwriting in third grade. (Yep, I’m that old – we had to learn cursive.) But beginning in college, writing took a backseat to life: partying and studying and changing my major half a dozen times, then working in the real world, then falling in love, then having babies, then figuring out that whole parenting thing.

Until I was laid off from an all-consuming sales job in 2010. All of a sudden, I had a lot of time on my hands. Cue the muses kicking in. All the muses. Criminy, there were so many voices in my head, I probably wrote ten full-length novels over the course of three months. They were all shit and I can’t even look at them without cringing now, but it was great practice.

(PS – don’t tell my husband about this; he thought I was job searching all that time I spent hunkered down in front of the computer.)

When the muses finally gave me a little breathing space, I started researching. Marketing. Social Media. Publishers. Agents.

Joined Twitter. Created a Facebook page. Took RWA online classes. Started submitting to various publishing houses.

Got a lot of rejection letters, some even encouraging.

In 2014, I participated in #pitmad. Got a like. Then another. And another. By the end of the day, I had a list of publishers to cull through, figure out who was “worthy” of my books. (Read: who offered the best royalty rate and sold decent numbers of books in the same genres I wrote.)

Ultimately, I sent my manuscripts to two different houses, plus at the same time continued to submit directly to other publishers, as I saw calls that interested me or read books I enjoyed and noted who published them (yes, I’m *that* reader who actually reads the front and back matter of a book).

Both of those #pitmad publishers accepted the manuscripts I sent, and ultimately I ended up publishing a series of three books with one and a series of five books with the other. And one of the houses I “cold-called” (as my former sales person self thought of it) was Soul Mates, and they offered me a contract too.

In the meantime, I started making friends in the indie community, started spending more time on that whole marketing aspect; managed to get a handful of reviews and win a few awards…Sold a couple books.

And started self-publishing.

Since then, I joined a boxed set that is published by one of the authors in the set, and was invited to participate in an anthology published by a smaller up-and-coming publishing house with quite the nice royalty share.

Hence the six.

Good thing I’m accidentally as hybrid as I am, because this industry takes the process of change seriously; like, it’s always doing it. A couple years ago, one of my publishers decided to shift their focus to sweet, inspirational romance (aka closed door sex, which is not at all what I write), and pretty much ignored the rest of us while hiking our book prices into the stratosphere. And while it’s flattering to think someone would pay the same amount for one of my books as they would for Nora Roberts, I’m not that niave. And I wanted people to actually read those books, so as soon as my contracts were up, I asked for my rights back.

And on Monday, another one of my publishers closed their doors, so abruptly the editors had a whole twenty minutes notice before the authors and subsequently the general public (those on Twitter, at any rate) found out.

That one was hard, because, like the atmosphere here at Soul Mates, that one was a family. And it felt like the family was getting split up, separated and being adopted out to strangers, and we might never see each other again. (Okay, it’s not quite that bad, courtesy of the handy-dandy internet, but still…)

Although, while closings are sad or sometimes make authors angry and definitely tend to send the publishing world into temporary upheaval, the hybrid author is generally able to take it in stride. I doubt acquiring my rights back for those books owned by that publisher will be difficult, but even if it is, it only affects 3 of the 22 books I currently have published. Wait – 23. Forgot about the freebie that’s only available on my website.

Holy crap, I have a lot of books out there for you to read. And more on the way.

I do still have four other baskets, after all.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing, Tami's Telling You! | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding My Soul Mate during an Irish Concert in a German Haus

Finding My Soul Mate during an Irish Concert in a German Haus

Hurricane Isaac ravished the Gulf Coast in 2012. Luckily, New Orleans was largely spared, but my house was not. After returning from the shelter of my cousin’s house in Mandeville, I discovered that my old roof lost many shingles. Water had seeped through the roof and ruined the carpet in one room. Hell, I was damned depressed. When I first returned, I had no power and had to take shelter in another cousins’ rental property with my sweet little mutt. When power returned, I went home and logged onto Facebook, learning that the Deutsches Haus, a local German cultural society, had air condition and cold drinks. Best of all, my favorite Irish musical performer, Danny O’Flaherty, was still performing.

My mother had taught me to maintain a stiff upper lip; consequently, I put on my new, exotic looking dress and headed to the Haus. After greeting Danny and some other people I knew, I made my way to the bar. Red wine in hand, I immersed myself in the concert. When the night came to an end, I made my way to the stage to tell Danny how much I enjoyed his show. As we spoke, a guy with a beard approached, politely interrupted, and also expressed his admiration for the show. Like a good girl, I took my empty wine glass to the bar and spoke with the barman. Bearded Guy was there, finishing his beer. He complimented me on my dress. We noted the irony of an Irish singer in a German social club, and then, we started talking about being both German and Irish. Coincidentally, our German ancestors were from the same region in Germany. We talked for an hour after the show.

Then, Beard asked, “Can I walk you to your car?”

Moi, thinking, He doesn’t look like a serial killer. I said hesitantly, “Sure.”

We talked even more at the car. As I slid into my seat, he asked, “Can I have your phone number?”

I watched, somewhat amused, as he punched the number into his flip phone. Who still used a flip phone?

I liked him. Like me, he had a graduate degree. Like me, he’d traveled the world, but we were both from New Orleans. Still, I didn’t think he’d call me. We meet people in a chance encounter, seem to connect, but then, things don’t work out.

Well, three days later he called. Beard’s name was Ben. The message was garbled, but I returned the call. Unfortunately, I had an obligation that weekend, but he called again. This time, I met him at a restaurant called the Irish House. We had dinner and then drinks at the Avenue Pub. When I left, he kissed my hand.

After that, we were a pair. We attended concerts together, frequented music clubs, became regulars at Jazz Fest, and French Quarter Fest. On Christmas Eve the next year, Ben told me there was “something else” for me under his Christmas tree. I picked up a small box, my heart pounding. I unwrapped it to find his mother’s ring. We were married in December of the next year. Don’t let anyone say people can’t find bliss when you’re past fifty. We found true love thanks to our German and Irish roots.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | Leave a comment

Writer’s Block or Creative Hibernation? Part Two: Get Out of the House

Today I’m picking up where I left off on Writer’s Block or Creative Hibernation Part One, which I can now subtitle, “When Life Intrudes.” The vast majority of authors I know have day jobs–and families (which may include older parents and usually includes pets). That means we’re on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And that means we have to carve out writing time when we should be doing something else. Like sleeping and eating.

We make the transition between the three jobs look easy, by sticking to a routine. But when the inevitable emergency or necessary distractions like vacations, holidays, birthdays or other family events intrude, our discipline relaxes and may wane as we fight to keep our heads above water.

I had forgotten that as I struggled to finish Storm Watch and get it launched last December. I considered the 20,000 words of my new urban fantasy series that I did complete for NaNoWriMo a victory as I was gearing up for release events.

The two series are in very different worlds, and the plots very  complex, requiring exhaustive, and exhausting, boots on the ground research. That did come along, in the form of my medical mission to storm ravaged Puerto Rico (where parts of the new series are set), but the real life drama upstaged the fiction.

Two rejections of other projects did nothing to help my motivation. But to get out of the house, I accepted an invitation to HELIOsphere, a fledgling sci-fi/fantasy/horror convention in New York. Post ‘Noreaster #2 not withstanding, the weather was sunny, the traffic, though stopped dead for 20 minutes cleared, and I made it to my first panel on time.


Four veteran writers, including myself, shared how writer’s groups had helped us succeed. We helped at least one aspiring author find the groups that suited him best, and I wandered into another panel on rejection, expecting to be bored. Instead, I heard multi published, veteran writers talk about rejection and getting back into the saddle by writing something else. Anything. I teared up, but big girls don’t cry. They fight back. I went on to a Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading and chose the first chapter of. Storm Watch. It seemed fitting.

Writers write. Life can’t stop us, though it may slow us down. I didn’t need  a name tag. The Unfinished Business series arranged in front of me, and the story of its birth and growth was the only one I needed to tell that day. Tomorrow, well, it’s another day.




Posted in Calling On Carole!, Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How to Write Effective Emails

Can you compose efficient and effective emails?

When I heard this question, my first impulse was to say, “Yes, of course.” But glancing through my in-box, I realized I wasn’t that efficient or effective. While I don’t ramble or use ambiguous language, I could improve the tone of my emails.

In her book, Playing Big, Tara Mohr devotes an entire chapter to “Communicating with Power.” She stresses the importance of identifying those “little things” that “walk the fine line of saying something without coming on too strong, but in fact they convey tentativeness, self-doubt, or worse, self-deprecation.”


Definitely two extremes…I’m aiming for a middle ground.

My primary goal is to construct emails that will be read and understood and not take up too much time on the receiver’s end.

Here are some tips from Playing Big:

  1. Delete all “shrinkers”. We often use words such as “just”, “actually”, and “almost” to smooth over awkwardness but succeed only in diminishing the importance of the message.
  1. Don’t apologize.  When we start our emails with “Sorry to bother you” or “Sorry if this is a silly question,” we are putting ourselves on the defensive. In fact, we are apologizing for no good reason.
  1. Watch out for qualifiers. Using phrases such as “a little bit” or “If you have a few minutes” suggests that our requests are not worthy of immediate consideration. Beginning the conversation with “I’m not an expert, but…” undermines our credibility and gives too much of our power away.
  1. Avoid tentative questions. Inserting “Am I making sense?” or “Do you know what I mean?” at the end of an email conveys a lack of confidence. Instead, use statements such as “I look forward to hearing your thoughts” or “Let me know if you have any questions.”
  1. Weave in warmth. Personalize emails with relevant remarks about the receiver’s site, product, or work and end with a friendly comment.

Other Tips:

  1. Write like you talk. Using formal language or technical lingo creates more distance and makes us less approachable.
  1. Use easy-to-read fonts such as Arial and a standard size. Stay away from bright colors that may not work on all monitors and be hard to read.
  1. Keep paragraphs short and use bullet points and numbered lists. Highlight keywords (bold or italics) for emphasis, without overdoing it.
  1. If action is needed, make it clear. If no action or reply is expected, end with “No reply necessary.”
  1. Include appropriate and functional URLs in your signature.

Any other tips to share?


Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

Posted in What's Up With Joanne! | Tagged , | 11 Comments