books (54)

Every aspiring, emerging and established writer should attend at least one writer’s conference a year for not only the need to market your ideas/works, but to stay on top of the changes in the publishing world and, even more importantly, to establish best practices for your business as a writer. That’s right! In today’s world, writers –artists – need to be entrepreneurial in the sense that you need to create and establish methods/skills that will help you to achieve whatever goals and outcomes you have set for your works (your business). I had the pleasure of attending the James River Writer’s annual Writer’s Conference ( October 19-20, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. Although I was a moderator for a panel on small to mid-sized publishers, I also was there as an author and playwright. And I was there to LEARN. As such, here are 5 takeaways I wish to share with you that I hope will help you navigate not only this difficult terrain of publishing, but to get you thinking strategically and critically about what it takes to be  a successful 21st Century author.

The Publishing World is Ever-Changing

  • First, know the intentions for your work. What do you want to do with it? Sell it to the highest bidder? Get in on the bookshelves? Build credibility?
  • Research which aspects of publishing you wish to delve into that will help you build upon your intentions
  • There 5 significant areas of publishing today:  Traditional, Small Press, DIY (Do-it-Yourself), Partner Publishing, or Assisted Publishing. Take the time to see which one is the best fit for your reality at this moment in time (i.e., your budget, your work/family schedule, etc)
  • Advances are going the way of the dinosaur and yet, you are expected to put in even more work, time and energy to market your book…after you’ve nearly killed yourself writing the book J

Build Your Brand

  • Create a platform – Who are you and what do you write about? Who are your readers and where can they be found?
  • Be consistent in your message  (i.e., the verbage, design, marketing, etc)
  • Put together a team of experts to help you do this (check out freelancing sites or pull from your network)

Social Media Presence is a MUST (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc)

  • It’s part of your brand identity
  • It’s a way to reach your intended audience
  • It’s a way to stay connected/available to your audience
  • But know your strengths/weaknesses with this skill set because working social media is a skill. (see bullet 3 in Build Your Brand above)

Create a Pitch for Your Work

  • This is for both conferences and any other social interaction opportunity
  • A pitch is a 30 second to 1 minute blurb which contains 5 essential elements: who you are, what other books your book is similar to, 250 mini-synopsis of the storyline, and the market the book is targeted for
  • Practice, practice, practice delivering your pitch in a mirror
  • Remember, you never know where you’ll meet an agent or publisher. So be prepared!!

Create a Logline for Your Work

  • A logline is 1 sentence descriptor of your storyline.
  • For example, here’s mine for my novel, Murder on Second Street: The Jackson Ward Murders: “It’s October 1929, and WWI veteran and securities specialist Sy Sanford has been hired to find and stop the killer of Negro working class women in the affluent Negro neighborhood of Jackson Ward, but Sy has two big problems: he’s a drunk in the age of Prohibition and the killer has now targeted the love of his life.” It’s a little wordy, but it’s one sentence and it tells the meat of the story as well as the time period of the work: 1929. So you know that this is a work of historical fiction.
  • Commit to memory the logline
  • Remember, you not only never know where you’ll meet an agent or publisher, but a reader! Once you say you have written a book, they will ask the million dollar question: “So what is your book about?” BE PREPARED!!

No one knows your story better than you, so give it the best chance to reach its intended audience and be successful (whatever that means for you). No longer can writers afford to sit behind the computer screen or notepad in anonymity hoping that their agent or publisher will push the work for them. You have to get out there and do the work yourself today. We live in a technologically driven world with many different routes of communication that we expect everyone to use. You simply cannot realistically avoid Facebook or Twitter, I am sad to say. Just learn how to use it strategically – know its place in the marketing of your work.

Surround yourself with hard-working, driven people who believe in your product and get to work. And spend the money to attend a great writer’s conference. It will not only help save your sanity, but thousands of dollars in avoidable mistakes from lack of information/knowledge. Writing is a business.


Read more…

How to Define Success as a Writer

Defining success is like trying to glue water to sand. It’s impossible! That’s because it is so subjective! One’s definition of success is oftentimes based upon material things instead of emotional well-being and a clear sense of self. For the writer, this gets even tighter in regard to the former because to the publishing industry, your/their success is determined by book sales and bestseller rankings. I want to share with you five (5) “must-do’s” for success regardless of the publishing path you decide to take be it with a traditional publisher or self-publishing. I heard an agent speak about a few of these “must-do’s” and have added one or two of my own. The bottom line, for me at least, is to always keep my intentions for the work in perspective, and to remember that my writing is a reflection of me.

  • Make sure your story is GREAT
  • Edit, edit, edit (hire a developmental editor, line editor and proofreader)
  • Create a killer book cover (yes, a beautiful, professional cover is imperative – it must match the storyline)
  • Tune up your marketing skills (i.e., yes, you must engage in social media & know your platform)
  • Commit to quality (see all of the above; this also includes format, design and paper quality)

For more tips on being an authentic, successful writer, read “5 Takeaways” or “The Key to a Successful Self-Publishing Career.” Check out The Pierce Agency, LLC for a FREE 20 minute author consultation.

Read more…


Never What it Seems is the story of Dee Wellington and AJ Madison, two women who were born in Chicago, and much like the city; their lives are anything, but ordinary. Dee grew up in a dysfunctional household that by today’s standards would be considered completely ‘normal’. Trying to cope with life’s complexities, Dee contributes all of life’s changes to God’s will. Throughout the changes in her life, she resists the urge to disrupt the balance of things unless she really has to.
On the other hand, there is AJ Madison who is a rambunctious, intelligent, and outgoing character who lives by her own standards and believes that you get what you give. Both, Dee and AJ grew-up trying to maneuver in systems created to breakdown the human spirit. Readers will find a familiarity in their struggles, their desires, and their will to overcome.

Reader's Reviews:

“I’m reading ‘Never What it Seems.’ It’s a page turner. I found myself wanting to find out what happened next as I ended each chapter. I’m on chapter 48 (pretty good for a day and a half)…where the girls' former loves have now re-entered their lives. The story line is impeccable, well-written, and I am suggesting this book to all of my friends and family who loves to read. I’m going to read this book again.” –JoMonique Whiteside

“’Never What it Seems’ is truly never what it seems. I found myself drawn into the story. I couldn’t put it down! The chain of events continued to grab me. The author is very consistent about several things, but what warms you the most is that the two main characters, Dee & AJ, are amazingly strong. I love and admire their courage. The author displays a relationship of real unconditional friendship between these ladies - such a relationship rarely seen or experienced today; the one that ultimately facilitates their success. This is an awesome start for a first novel. I so look forward to the next!” – LaKessa Murphy

"I've just gotten back to Chicago and while I was away I completed 'Never What it Seems'. All I can say is SUPERB, EXCELLENT, and OUTSTANDING! That book was one of the best books I've ever read and I'm encouraging everyone I know to get a copy. Let me tell you, it had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. This is definitely a book for everyone, so check it out!!! That being said, I have got to get a copy of 'Autumn Leaves', if it is anything like 'Never What it Seems.'" - Ana Mar'e (Pink Diamond, Inc.)

"I think this book is phenomenal. It takes us into the lives of two young women that basically go through what all women experience growing up in this day and age from childhood to adulthood. It also points out that not all men are deceiving, but willing to take chances when it comes to true love. It was wonderfully written, and I look forward to the next novel witten by Diane Martin. " - Marjorie Billenger
"Diane Martin's vividly, entertaining tale of friendship between two women was a true testimony of trial and triumph. An anthem for every woman who has ever loved, lost, and regained the true meaning of an unedifying spirit of hope. For every page read, I was drawn deeper and deeper until I was left wanting more." - Elise Burkes

"Girl, let me tell you! I finished reading your book earlier today and it was excellent! Your book was a trip. Let me just say that the ending was not what I expected. I was out done! Your novel [Never What it Seems] was a well written and a very intriguing piece or work [written] by a vivid and creative mind! Congratulations and much success on all of your endeavors to come!" - Michelle Moorer (Author of Shhh...Don't Tell)

"I purchased your book and once I completed it…WOW! This was a great book and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I passed the book on to my daughter-in-law and she thought the same thing. Keep up the good work. I’ll be looking for more to come.” -Beverly Price
Read more…

Interviews with Zhana


The interview by Denise Turney of Off the Shelf was delightful because Denise is so warm and so knowledgeable.  Click here to hear it

I recently had the honour of being interviewed on the Tycoon Women Moments radio show.  I have listed the seven moments I focused on for my healing journey, and put the videos for the great songs I chose to  accompany them - click here to check them out or click here to listen to the show

I was recently interviewed by a lovely sister, Taylor from the All Black Woman blog.  Click here to read the interview

I was delighted and humbled to have been interviewed on Morgen Bailey's author blog recently.  Click here to read the interview. This one focuses specifically on my writing, and on me as an author. 

Like several people who have interviewed me lately, Morgen asked me for my views about the future for writers and the publishing industry.  Click here for my interview with Adrianne George of Black Women in Europe, who also asked me about this. 

Click here for another interview about my new ebook, Secrets of the Black Bloggers, by Veronica Young of Veronica Inspires. 

Click here for another recent interview, on Interviews with Black Entrepreneurs

Click here for more interviews.

I trust you will enjoy them and find them useful.  Any questions, please post below.

Read more…

FREE Teleseminar to Empower Christian Women in Business to avoid mistakes costing Them clients, customers and profits


What do you do when you’ve done everything you’re told and it still doesn’t work? You are working endlessly behind the computer only to find that you've left little time to do what matter's most. What do you do? Give up? No. You can do it!



December 21, 2011  Robin Tramble aka The Empowerment Diva has developed a Business Empowerment Teleseries just for you.

“I want to give women an opportunity to get clear on their vision,
goals and action plan, to make BIG changes and get results. To discover what your message is and who you are called to serve." Says Robin Tramble 


We are at the close of 2011 and Robin is committed to helping Christian Women Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Authors and aspiring to end 2011 strong and make 2012 the year you’ve always dreamed of.

Women will join Robin for her Client Attraction, Income Acceleration Marketing and Mindset Tele-series. She will kick off the Teleseries with

"Discover 3 Biggest Mistakes costing you Prospects, Clients, Customers and what you can do about it so you can realize a Client/Customer, income acceleration  (authentically) while living on purpose!"

When: Thursday, December 22, 2011 

Time: 5:00 PM PST

Robin wants to support you in accomplishing your desires and goals.


Registration is being taken here

# # #

About Robin Tramble

Robin Tramble International was founded by Professional Life Empowerment Coach,
Robin Tramble to help women live a big, bold, beautiful and Authentically Brilliant Diamond Life of Empowerment. Robin is a Authentic Life and Biz Empowerment Coach, Mentor, speaker, Recording artist and Author of the upcoming book “The Dynamic Power of Focus for unstoppable women.” Certified Social Marketing Campaign Specialist.
She is also creator of . She shares women's empowerment expertise with women across the world and locally as she did on her most recent interview on Good Day Sacramento.

Find out more about Robin Tramble International at

--- end ---

Read more…

A strong book cover is a necessity when it comes to publishing a High Quality book. As much as we may not like it, books are judged by their cover! According to ‘The Wall Street Journal’, “The average bookstore browser who picks up a book spends eight seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds reading the back.”


Therefore, the window of opportunity to sell the book by its cover is limited. To attract attention and make a lasting first impression, be ready to do all that you can to be at the top of your game and make that first impression one that last in the mind of the viewer. 


Read More:

Read more…

Kiss My A@@!, The Book, Coming this June

Coming June 14, 2011

"Kiss My A@@! - This is Not Your Typical Self-Help Book."





It’s time to keep it real. Kiss My A@@! is an emotional plea to stop the madness. Until now, we have all sat and watched as things around us came apart at the seams. It is time for us to take a moment, step back, access the chaos, and tell the world exactly how we feel about the crap that is happening in our lives.


“This book is about the truth as I see it. I’m not going to sell or tell you something that you already know. I am a firm believer in the truth and I believe that as intelligent individuals we deserve it.” This book is not your typical self-help book. It does not hold any profound secrets or intellectual theories. There are no gray areas or small print. It’s a book about life…real life…unscripted. “I am no guru, doctor, counselor, preacher, spiritual adviser, talk show host, or motivational speaker. I am a regular person with regular problems, and an un-regular approach to seeing and dealing with all of it. Life can be unpredictable and at times, I have to remind myself who is in control, so I’ve decided to fight the battles that I know I can win, turn the difficult ones over to God and everything in the middle can just KISS MY A@@!”


***Adult Content

Paperback: 428 pages
Cover and Book Design: Borel Graphics 
Printed by: United Graphics, Inc.
Language: English
Genre: Motivational, Self-Help, Fiction
ISBN-10: 0-9802176-8-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-9802176-8-1
Rating: ***** (5 Stars)
Purchase Price: $22.00
Sale Price:  $19.00 (For a limited time only)
Read more…
I've been talking about this list in the last few blogs and it's finally here! These are my top 5 book picks to help you successfully build your business. Now, let's be honest. There are so many books about business practices out there, it's impossible to read them all. But in my opinion, if you read these books, you'll at least have a great start. The following reviews are their official reviews from Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert KyosakiThis is a must read for everyone! It chronicles Robert Kyosaki's two dads. His real dad who was the superintendent of education and his friends dad who was one of the wealthiest people in Hawaii and their opinions on financial strategies. This book offers sound advice on how to achieve financial success, get rich and stay rich.2.The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable by Seth GodinThis book is from the author that also brought you "Purple Cow: Trasform Your Business by Being Remarkable", that shares how to stand out from others. In 'The Big Moo" Godin brings together 33 of the world's best business minds to answer one question: What does it really take to make your organization remarkable? The stories included in this book from the different business owners share real-life examples of building businesses. This book is an easy and fast read.3.How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life by Joanna Barsh and Susie CranstonThis great book discusses what drives successful women business owners. Including stories from the CEO's of Avon and Xerox (just to name a few). This book focuses on the ideas of Centered Leadership: meaning, framing, connecting, engaging, and energizing. A great read for women or MEN.4.Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John C. MaxwellIn this book, John C. Maxwell "does it again", discussing how the clear difference between successful and unsuccessful people is their ability to recover from failures. This book goes through reasons people fail and how they can bounce back from them successfully. Mr. Maxwell includes the life stories of people like Mary Kay Ash, Greg Horn, Beck Weathers and many more. This book is an excellent source for learning to get over failures and move on to success.5.7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen CoveyThis book first came out in 1990 and it was a success then. Stephen Covey discusses strategies for becoming effective in your personal life and in business. The first thing that needs to happen, however, is a "paradigm shift". Covey discusses this shift as a change in ones perception of the world. Once this takes place, you are ready to form the habits to be more effective. This is definitely not a quick and easy read. You should study this book throughly and take notes to master these habits. It may change your life!Well there you have it! My 5 book picks. As I said earlier, these books would be a great start. However, you don't want to stop here. Jack Canfield (life coach, author of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul') said it best, "The more books you read, the more likely one of them will have an answer to a question that could solve the major problems of your life.. make you wealthier, solve a health problem, whatever it might be." A smart business owner can learn a lot from reading just a few books a year. Well, the RIGHT books. Reading the right books can help you avoid making that one little mistake that can cause so many businesses to fail. As we were taught in school, reading increases your knowledge and intelligence. So, READ!Tamara Garrison-Thomas
Read more…

Build Your Online Reputation

Write Your Book in Two Days is a new ebook is for writers of, and those who want to write,
articles, blogs, student essays and nonfiction books and ebooks.

Whywrite a book?

Blogs and online articles help you to build your reputation online. This book contains tips to help you develop your articles and blogs.

A book is the best way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. This can help you to attract opportunities as a speaker, and grow your business as a consultant or coach, or just attract more customers to your business.

Think about all the experts you have heard of them. Most of them are published authors.

If you have a blog or have published a series of articles, you are well on the way to writing your book.

Yes, you really can write your book in two days. This book is based on my direct personal experience. Whether you are just getting started or are an experienced writer who is feeling stuck, this book can be of benefit to you. Includes sections on

- writer's block
- coming up with ideas
- overcoming procrastination
- and much more.

Write Your Book in Two Days

Here's to your success!
Read more…

Why Getting Published Can Help Your Business

This is a great article: Why Getting Published Can Help Your Business

Plus, check out my new ebook, Write Your Book in Two Days

This book is for writers of, and those who want to write, articles, blogs, student essays and nonfiction books and ebooks.

Yes, you really can write your book in two days. This book is based on my direct personal experience. Whether you are just getting started or are an experienced writer who is feeling stuck, this book can be of benefit to you. Includes sections on:

- writer's block
- coming up with ideas
- procrastination

and much more.

See also:

The Best Content for Your Ebook
(for writers of articles and blogs, and ebook writers and publishers)

Make Money through Writing Articles

Plus, I am always looking for articles and success stories for my More Black
Success free ebooks. If you would like to submit a story or article,
please read Books for Truth-Seekers and then contact me for guidelines.

Here’s to your success!

Read more…

Reflections of 2009!

2009 came to an end and I am reviewing the year for all that I have encountered. What a year this was for me! There were exciting moments and of course the ever consistent challenging moments. My year began with the completion of my first audio book The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey which was completed in January and by April it was available on line. In June, the audio book was translated in French and German and also being picked up by other on line audio book stores.I traveled quite a bit for professional and personal reasons. I spoke at symposiums and conferences. I became a mentor and I am actively engaged in mentoring which by the way is quite rewarding.In August, the second audio book The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey (Parents Edition) was released, translated in French and German and available world wide all on the same day. While celebrating the accomplishments of the audio books, I began working on the book which will feature many more stories submitted by survivors. As I have worked on my assignments, more have things were added and I now have three big projects that are currently in progress.With all of the exciting achievements, there were also those family moments of celebration, health related concerns, graduations, deaths and births. My nephew who is more like a son, joined the army and left for Korea. I became a guardian of a wonderful 2 year old boy. My mother and I shared some great conversations that gave a deeper insight to her life as a little girl all the way to her present day. My husbands' grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday! My daughter gave birth to her daughter and I became a grandmother!!And for all the years that have passed, I have noticed that they have all had the same things in common - unfinished goals. I will continue to set my goals but I am so pleased that there are things that are not on my list but will somehow become a part of a great achievement and I am open and I look forward to it!2010 I say -- Bring It On!!!!!!!
Read more…


At long last, I am proud to announce that my first children's book, "The First Trip" is online and available. The story is one of Bubba Oodle, the news reporter for the Oodleville News, and his arrival in "The Land Beyond" (our Earth) from his imaginary world of "Oodleville." There is also an introduction of the other "Oodles" and some of their adventures.In coming stories, Bubba will be exploring and making friends to share our lives with those in "Oodleville," and sharing the "Oodles'" lives with us. The other "Oodles" will also come to visit us and have their own storyline books and character dolls.The links below will give more information. A portion of the revenue from the sale of books and dolls will be dedicated to support my Restore Childhood Project to promote the maintenance and/or restoration of play for boys and girls. Play is very important for the learning, experience, and joy of children.To view the press release: purchase the book: introduce yourself to Bubba and the other Oodles: http://www.thefirsttrip.comArticle from my publisher: a limited time, if you purchase the book, I will send you a complimentary, limited-edition collectible Bubba doll valued at $50.00. Just e-mail me your purchase order number under the subject: Bubba Doll. E-mail is inkyoodle@msn.comGod bless, Paris
Read more…

“It’s Crunch Time!“, by Marie Brewer ( for the link to book) This is my book ofmuscle for boys (ages 9-12) to point them in the direction of HOPE!...This is an interactive book where they can write about their feelings. It discusses acceptable behavior, good self-image, respect for females and animals, appreciation for teachers/school, choosing good friends. The book also talks about resisting gangs, guns, drugs, violence, alcohol and bad influences. Let's attack the behavior, not the boy. "It's Crunch Time!" , by Marie Brewer, Be a part of the village to help our boys envision their true God-given purpose!We can turn this thing around!SEE! THINK ! ACT!
Read more…

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives