Friday, 31 May 2013

PD13 Webinar Feedback

On Saturday 25th May I presented a video webinar at Promo Day about "How writers can use Google+ Hangouts". 

Feedback from attendees has been great. Here's just a few of the comments:

Screenshot of webinar with Facebook comments being made in real time during the event
"This was great I've been wondering for MONTHS what this was... now I know "

"I am very much looking forward to your webinar about Google+."

"I love the capture feature I use it for my weather predictions :) this is my first time learning about google hangouts, Jo's very informative, love the accent! ;) #PD13"

"Oh, yeah. Make your hangout more professional and pump up its marketing potential by adding a lower third to the page that is all for you you you. Put your logo, your URL, your slogan, etc. in the static lower third of the page. Another fab idea from Jo Linsdell- Feliciani's presentation at #PD13."

"Excellent idea from Jo Linsdell- Feliciani at #PD13--use a Google Hangout name that has ideal SEO. That's right: you name your Hangout when you have a meeting/event in Google+."

"how to do a virtual book signing at your book events - have a global audience, meetings with editors, publishers, literary agents on your hangouts #PD13."

"interview at writing events, conferences, this is what NEW literary agents should do using Google Hangout learn how here #PD13 may 25 2013."

"cacoo for mango.. makes me want to eat fruits lol #PD13 watching jo's free webinar how writers can use Google+ this also applies to business, film, celebrity industry, you can use this tool to have LIVE webinars with your fans!"

See at next years event! ;)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

A few of the tweets about Promo Day #PD13

The big day has finally arrived and the action is in full swing. Have you visited the website yet? The presentations have all been amazing and packed full of useful tips and advice.

A lot action has been taking place on Twitter (the tweetchat widget on site makes it super easy to share tweets about the event).

Here's just a few tweets that people have been sharing:

and a few from Promo Day commenting on the presentations:

You can still join in. Go to now and register. It's completely free and open to all. Make sure you check the opportunities thread in the forums for info about opportunities to be interviewed or join in book pimping sessions.

Don't forget to tweet about the event using the hashtag #PD13 :)

Friday, 24 May 2013

Featured Friday: Azyea’s Gifts by Amanda R. Holden

Title: Azyea’s Gifts
Author: Amanda R. Holden


By Dre:

This book is about a child who is having some trouble making a Mother's Day Gift for her mother. She tries and tries, but just ends up with a big mess. She keeps coming up with new ideas for gifts to try to make, but each time, she doesn't quite get it right. She ends up very sad, but finds out that no matter the outcome, her mother is happy with each and every gift that her daughter made because of the heart and hard work Azyea put into them. The book does a great job of conveying the message that hard work is appreciated and it is really the thought that counts. It is a very satisfying story and you get a nice happy ending. While Mother's Day is the vehicle for delivery of the message, the lessons that are taught in this book can really be applied to anything.

The Paperback version of this book is really nicely put together. The art is cute and the layout looks great. The story flows well from page to page. This can sometimes be a problem with first time authors, but this book looks great. I also downloaded the Kindle eBook version which was free at the time of this review and that version looked nice also.

Overall, it is a nice book with a positive message. I read this book with my six year old daughter and she really liked it. She said, "It was great!" She had no problem understanding the message and she enjoyed the story. This is a great book from a new author.

By Kathy:

This is wonderful little soft cover book for ages 3 and up. This 24 page, 2013 book sends a beautiful, touching message about a little girl (probably about age 3) who is looking for a Mother's Day present for her mom. As she tries to put her creativity to work, everything goes wrong and Azyea is very disappointed with her own efforts. Of course, to Azyea's mom, everything Azyea did is beautiful, and Azyea learns that the true value of the gift is in the thought and effort that went into it.

In my opinion, a book that teaches such a lesson is invaluable. It is truly a heart-centered book.

By Janet:

In this adorable book for young children, a little girl named Azyea attempts to make gifts for her Mom on Mother's Day, but abandons each idea because they weren't "good enough". But Azyea is in for a big surprise when she realizes that her Mom not only discovers the abandoned gifts, but also thinks each and every one of them is perfect...and tells her exactly why.

The lovely illustrations and prose in this delightful story is top-notch; it's almost hard to believe it's written and drawn by a first time author (Amanda Holden)!

Applicable for every day of the year (not just Mother's Day), the message in Azyea's Gifts shows children that it's the effort and love behind the gifts we give that's most important...not the final result.

Author Bio:
Amanda R. Holden (formerly known as Amanda Punzalan) was born January 13, 1989, on the island of Guam. She is the daughter of Frank Punzalan and Mary Lujan. She is the youngest of six. In 2007, she graduated from George Washington High School and in 2009, she was soon married to Ethan R. Holden. 

Amanda has a growing passion for writing and is in pursuit of her dream to publish her books. In the meantime, she works a full time job as a dental receptionist and is involved in her local church as a youth leader. She also provides guitar lessons for children and adults while she continues to work at her craft as a writer.

Amanda’s interests and hobbies include: drawing, writing, singing, watching British T.V. Shows like Downton Abbey/Miss Marple, and playing the guitar.

Amanda’s Favorite Children’s Books: 
Stone Soup by Ann McGovern 
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Marianna Mayer 
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Mini interview:

1.  What inspired you to write Azyea’s Gifts?
 After receiving some rejections and not hearing back from publishers, I decided to do everything on my own. So I decided to write and illustrate this book in spirit of Mother’s Day to reflect on a mother’s love for her child. I think the inspiration was to show myself that I can do this despite the thought that I wasn’t good enough.

2.  How did you feel when you finally published your first book?
I felt very independent. It felt rewarding finally being able to create something that is mine! Publishing this book will be a good reminder that I can do what ever I want if I just put my heart, mind and hard work into it!

3.  What advice can you give aspiring authors?

Research! The more you know, the closer you will be to success! You have come this far, don’t give up now!

4.  What are your plans for the future?
I plan to write more children’s books. Though I am self-published,  I haven’t completely given up on traditional publishing. I just submitted my new book to several publishing houses. It is called Princess Dee and One Hundred Forty-nine Dolls.

5.  What else do you like to do besides writing?
I love to play music! I sing, play the guitar and write songs. I have a youtube channel for anyone who is interested in listening.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The count down is on! #PD13

This years Promo Day event is just days way and is set to be the most awesome edition yet! Not only do I have a fantastic line up of presenters who will be sharing some great information, tips and strategies during the event but there's also going to be extra opportunities for promoting and networking with all the social media integration too

I'm buzzing with excitement and can't wait to jump into all the Google+ hangouts, Twitter chats and Facebook wall chats. Not to mention all the action that will be happening in the forums. It's going to be so much fun mingling with all the writers, publishers, editors, illustrators, tour companies, virtual assistants etc...

I'll be doing a video webinar during the event about how writers can use Google+ hangouts.

I LOVE the new website and think you'll all agree that +marzia fabretti (official Promo Day webmaster) has done an amazing job. I'm also super happy that she'll be joining me on Saturday as we share sneak peeks behind the scenes as Promo Day unfolds. 

+Sandy Lender is the official sponsor of this years event. Please drop by her website and check out her books.

As always, Promo Day is a completely free event and it's open to everyone. To take part all you need to do is register at

Hope to see you there and please feel free to share the invite to any one you think might be interested in taking part. The more, the merrier!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

OUT NOW! A Birthday Clown for Archer

A Birthday Clown for Archer is now available to buy in both print and kindle versions- This fun children's picture story book is written by +Kathy Mashburn and illustrated by +Jo Linsdell (AKA me ;)).

Archer really wants a clown for his 5th birthday party but his mum isn't convinced that it's a good idea. She's scared of clowns. Will Archer succeed in showing her that there's nothing to fear and showing her just how fun clown's can be?

I love how Kathy gave the book a twist by making it the parent who's scared. Whilst this book is fun and colourful it also addresses a real problem. There's are loads of people, both adults and children, that suffer from a fear of clown's. Hopefully this book will help them overcome their fears.

It was great fun creating the illustrations for this book and so far feedback has been very positive.

Grab your copy now: (print)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

My Work Space

I often get asked about where I write from and what my office looks like so I thought I'd show you. 

I don't have an office but I do have a corner in my bedroom that serves this purpose. As you can see from the photo it's pretty tidy and organised. There's a good reason for that. I hardly ever use it. With two young kids to look after I find it more practical to use my laptop.

Me at my desk

So now I've shown you what my desk area looks like, let me show you where most of the work actually gets done. My kitchen table....

Where the action takes place
When not being used as a kitchen table it doubles up as my work station. I can easily keep an eye on the kids playing from there meaning I get to grab more time to get little jobs done. It also gives me more space to lay my work out. When I'm working on illustrating a children's picture book for example it can be useful to have the sketches in front of me as I do the digital drafts. Also handy when working on big projects like organising Promo Day as I have more room for the folders and planners.

Sometimes I take my laptop out on my balcony to work in the sunshine and occasionally I'll take my tablet out and about and work from a coffee shop or park.

What's your work area like? Do you have an office (or corner) or do you prefer to be more mobile?

Monday, 6 May 2013

When did you last back up your files?

Image source
This week I experienced a very hash reminder of the importance of backing up my files on a regular basis. My laptop died. 

A nightmare situation for most people but particularly distressing for a writer and illustrator. The thought of losing just my current works in progress was enough to nearly send me over the edge. I admit it. I cried. 

All those months of hard work potentially lost and never to be seen again. Heart breaking. Not to mention the panic of fast approaching deadlines. Nightmare!

Luckily it turned out that it was the battery and the charger that had died so buying a new charger sorted out the problem and I had my laptop back and working normally the very next day. I need to use it plugged into the socket until I get a new battery but it works and all the files are safe. Relief!

This whole horrible experience was a wake up call. I often forget to back up my files. Not any more! I have an external hard drive to save them to and now also send important files as email attachments to myself. I don't want to be in that situation ever again.

Has your computer ever died on you leaving you empty handed? How often do you back up your files?

Friday, 3 May 2013

Featured Friday: Photographer & Author Sarah E. Sauer

Featured Friday: Photographer & Author Sarah E. Sauer

Featured Friday: Photographer & Author Sarah E. Sauer
About the Book:

In What Do You See When You Look at Me? the author engages her young readers with bright and colorful photos and invites them to see more than just an animal but to look at the beauty of each creature in detail.

ISBN Number: 13:978-1-61244-147-4 (hardcover – 24pgs)
ASIN: 1612441475
Price $16.95
Genre of Book: Children’s Non-Fiction/Photography Picture Book
Publication Date: April 2013
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.

Places where book is available for sale: Halo, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Featured Friday: Photographer & Author Sarah E. Sauer

What Readers are Saying:

“Sarah's view of the animal kingdom is delightful, artistic, colorful, with a wonderful touch of whimsy. The expressions that she found in each of the images, matched by the text that fully exemplifies the expression on each of God's creatures is truly a gift to the reader. I wish her lots of success --I know the kids are going to love your book, Sarah!” ~Bernita

“Very simple and easy to read with beautiful pictures throughout the entire book! My older sons, age 8 and 5 read it over and over to my daughter who is 3. She is an animal lover and won't put this book down!! I highly recommend this book not only for children, but for a baby shower gift as well. The bright crisp pictures are absolutely amazing!” ~ Ringo, Amazon Reviewer

“My class was given a copy of this book by Sarah and they absolutely love it. Excellent book for pre-schoolers. The photos are so beautiful and vibrant.” ~Amigos, Amazon Reviewer

Featured Friday: Photographer & Author Sarah E. Sauer

Mini Interview

Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success? Lisa Umina has been so helpful. She is a wonderful publisher. She really explains things and helps you every step along the way. I could not have published such an amazing book without her. The support and encouragement of Lisa made our relationship a success.

When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you? I hope that they will say that I had a love for life and that I lived everyday appreciating and enjoying the world I lived in. I hope that they say that I shared my passion and love for animals and nature with children and that I helped generations of children grow up to be compassionate and appreciative of animals.

Tell us briefly about your recently published book and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share. I am really excited about my book. I loved taking the pictures of the animals and now I can share them with young children. I want them to be able to look at animals and look at their details and see the emotions or features of the animals they are looking at.

Can you share some writing experiences with us?  When I was younger I liked to think up fun stories. I have a journal and I would write down my stories. If we went on vacation or took long drives my parents would tell us to bring our journal and write stories that we could tell. I also love playing the writing game, Round Robin, with my sisters. We loved to read the story at the end and it would make us laugh.

Use this space to tell us more about your book’s characters. Anything you want your readers to know. Include information on where to find your book(s), any blogs you may have, or how a reader can learn more about you and/or your book(s). I am using some of the proceeds from my book sales for helping the different groups who have not only helped me but believed in me and gave me a chance. Cancer left me with some limitations and the people in these groups did not look at me and see limitations but they saw potential and good. I want to help them be able to continue to help others like me. 

About the Author: 
Sarah E. Sauer is a childhood brain cancer survivor. She is also an animal lover. Sarah’s love of animals was something she drew on for strength throughout her illness. In her first children’s book, Sarah shares her love and respect for wildlife animals through her photos she took for her high school digital photography class. Sarah is currently studying early childhood education and hopes to share her love and knowledge of animals to promote and develop an appreciation of wildlife in young children. She currently lives in Corydon, IN with her family and her horses, llamas, donkey, cats and dogs.

Publisher website

Find out more about Sarah E. Sauer and her book at the World of Ink Author/Book Tour, visit

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit  

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