Tooth Ahoy Authors Lisa Soesbe and Mitchell Kershner, ND on Your Book Your Brand Your Business

Last night, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tooth Ahoy authors Lisa Soesbe and Mitchell Kershner, ND on Your Book Your Brand Your Business about their wonderful children’s book, which educates and entertains kids and parents on the importance of holistic health:

Pirate Pete, captain of the seven C’s (candies, cookies, cake, cola, chips, chocolate, and cereal), is a happy and much-beloved pirate to his crew. However, Pirate Pete’s love of the seven C’s makes life for Tony the Tooth unbearable! Fed-up with the yucky, unkempt mouth of Pirate Pete, Tony leaves Pete’s mouth. Now, without Tony, Pete’s smile just isn’t the same as it once was, and the captain’s left wondering if he can ever bring him back. With his trusty sidekick, Sweet P, the Pineapple Parrot, and the rest of his crew, Pirate Pete sets sail to discover the treasure of a healthy mouth, and the smile that it can bring. Along with Pirate Pete, kids will learn that even pirates can improve their teeth and gums by eating well and having good dental habits. Complete with recipes, an interactive science project, and a whole trove of kid-friendly activities, Tooth Ahoy! invites readers to experience the journey of Pirate Pete and his crew one sight and yummy treat at a time.

More about Lisa and Mitchell:

Lisa Soesbe resides on the Treasure Coast of Florida. She is a children’s book author, blogger, wife, and homeschooling mother of two children. Frustration from her children’s frequent illnesses inspired her to make changes in her children’s diet and lifestyle. After years of researching nutrition and holistic ways of treating her family, she realized that simple changes made a big difference. These diet and lifestyle changes resulted in healthier children. Lisa started sharing her experience and results with her friends and family. Her first book, Tooth Ahoy! : Pirate Pete’s Voyage to Healthy Teeth is currently available in bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com nationwide. She is currently working on the Pirate Pete’s Voyage children’s book series with her co-author, Dr. Mitchell Kershner, ND, a series that teaches kids how to grow up safe, happy, healthy and responsible.  The book series teaches not only children, but the parents as well.  You can follow Lisa’s blog at www.mommywithamission.com.

Dr. Mitchell Kershner, a Naturopathic Doctor and Nutritionist, received his degree at National University of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland Oregon. Upon graduating, Mitchell moved to Northern New Mexico where he was in private practice for 10 years. Dr. K, as his students referred to him, was an adjunct faculty professor at University of New Mexico nursing department . It was there he realized the importance of good nutrition as the foundation of health, especially in the children he was seeing in his private practice.

We had an excellent discussion about the obesity epidemic; the difference between sugar and processed sugar; the process by which Tooth Ahoy came into existence and its incredible success; and the authors’ plans for future books. I’ll embed the interview as soon as it’s available on iHeart Radio. Whether you’re a parent or just someone who wants to experience better health, I encourage you to listen, and I look forward to bringing Lisa and Mitchell back to the show in the future.

Preview and purchase Tooth Ahoy on Amazon.

UPDATE: Missed the live episode? Click to listen.

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How to Write a Quality Book Review

How to Write a Quality Book Review

Since authors spend a great deal of time and effort on their books, writing a review is one of the best ways to show your appreciation and offer constructive feedback to help them improve their craft. For potential readers, a thoughtful review can mean the difference between purchasing a book or clicking onto the next title in their search for a good read.

But what comprises a quality book review?

First, let’s talk about what constitutes a bad book review. No, I’m not referring to legitimate criticism of characters, plot, pacing, writing, or any other vital aspect of a compelling story. I’m talking about generic reviews like, “I loved the book!” or “Wow, this is excellent!” or “This book is a must-read!” that omit any substantive descriptions as to why the reviewer is offering such effusive praise.

Conversely, the same principle applies to pithy one-or-two sentence reviews like, “Awful book!” “I can’t believe anyone would write this drivel!” or “Don’t waste your time reading.”

Either way, the reviewer does the author and his or her potential readers a disservice by omitting specifics. Whether you love or hate a book (or fall somewhere in-between), here are some guidelines on how to write an effective, useful review for both authors and readers.

  1. Demonstrate You Have Actually Read the Book– sounds counter-intuitive, but I’m not advocating that reviewers should give away spoilers. However, it is possible to mention a few specifics about what you liked about the main character, themes, narration, dialogue, etc. What did you like or dislike about the protagonist or supporting characters? Why did the plot draw you in? Was the book thought-provoking? Edgy? Enlightening? Why?  Even if you select just one aspect and explain why it had an impact on you (either positively or negatively), it will demonstrate your knowledge of the book.
  2. Offer a Balanced Perspective– as I mentioned, a great deal of time and energy goes into the production of a book. Whether you rate it 5-stars or 3-stars (more on that further down the post), point out specifically what the author does well and the areas in which he or she could improve. Is the dialogue stilted but the prose captivating? Say so. Is the pacing too slow? Too fast? Explain why and give an example. Is a character well defined or one-dimensional? Offer a specific example that supports your opinion.
  3. Limit Your Review to One-to-Three Paragraphs– for maximum impact, keep it pithy. Select a few qualities about the book that stood out to you, whether it involves a secondary character, a particular scene, or the overarching themes. Again, you don’t want to give away spoilers; you want to focus on your most indelible impressions of the book. No one wants to read a lengthy, rambling review, and from a copywriting/marketing perspective, such reviews do more harm that good. The objective is to provide constructive criticism/praise to better inform the author and prospective readers.
  4. Give the Author at Least 3 Stars– here I am taking my cue from my friend and author Daniella Bova, who states at her blog DaniellaBova.com, “Authors put their heart and soul into their writing, so I will never give any book less than 3 stars. I just won’t review it at all.” Words to live by. If you really hate a book for whatever reason (poorly written, plot holes, undeveloped characters, etc.), it’s best to heed our mothers’ advice while growing up, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” In such a case, I recommend contacting the author directly and privately (if they’ve made their email public or have a public FB page where you can message them) and sharing your thoughts. By doing so, you’ll be helping them improve while saving them the embarrassment of a 1-or 2-star public review. Do unto others, as you’d have done to you, after all.

A while back I received positive feedback on a book review I posted for the book Soul Mates & Angels. The person who read it complimented me for following the guidelines I’ve outlined above, instead of posting a generic opinion. She even used it in a promotional email she sent out on behalf of the author, Betty RaeI’m posting it here as an example:

This beautiful story drew me in from the moment I began reading. Written in the first person, its tone is at once hopeful, joyful, inquisitive, and thoughtful. Blessed with a supernatural ability to communicate with angels, the main character Anita Lyn Riley struggles to reconcile the mundane aspects of her life — from high school bullies to adolescent crushes — with the knowledge that evil exists everywhere, not just in some far away places.

On a personal level, she knows what it feels like to be misunderstood and feared for being different. When we first meet Anita, she is adapting to her new public high school, having upset the religious sensibilities of the priests and nuns at her former Catholic institution with her tales of reincarnation and otherworldly visions. As the book unfolds, her journey becomes progressively more difficult as circumstances force her to take courageous stands for justice, spurred on by righteous anger.

Filled with endearing characters and thought-provoking insights, Soul Mates & Angels celebrates the unbreakable bond that exists between all humans as children of God, the power of good to overcome evil, and the unseen realm where angels and loved ones are always there to help us.

Happy reading…and writing (book reviews)!

Do you need help with self-publishing, editing, ghostwriting or copywriting?

Contact me here.

Read the reviews of my book, Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, here, where you can also preview and purchase it in paperback or Kindle.

 

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Remembering Eternity with Bestselling Author Richard Maddox on The Writestream

Remembering Eternity with Bestselling Author Richard Maddox on The Writestream

Please join me for an insightful show on Wednesday, September 20 at 11 AM Eastern when I welcome bestselling author Richard Maddox to The Writestream. His book, Remembering Eternity is a bestseller in several categories on Amazon:

The path to enlightenment often takes a detour through the past…

Newly divorced Skylar Seequn can’t sink any lower. His family, his wealth, and his reputation have all abandoned him. In the face of crushing failure, Skylar vows to seek out the one thing that’s always evaded him: lasting happiness.

As he visits the California paradise of his glory days, he finds shaggy surfers, washed-up hippies, and a deranged Vietnam vet. Little does he know, he’s only at the beginning of an astonishing and wonderful adventure. Through the wisdom of spiritual Masters, he’ll take a wild ride through past, present, and future.

Experiencing his first love and the loss of everything he held dear all over again, Skylar’s new view on life may never be the same…

Remembering Eternity: The Sun Inside – The Game Begins is the first volume in an inspiring series of spiritual and metaphysical fiction novels. If you like transcendental journeys and adventures that teach and thrill in equal measure, then you’ll love Richard Dietrich Maddox’s ode to the baby boomer generation.

About the Author

Richard Dietrich Maddox grew up in the Midwest and graduated with honors from Princeton University.  After graduation, he spent five years in Europe studying literature and preparing to teach meditation.  He taught meditation fulltime for two years before serving as the Vice President of Sales for seven successful high-tech startup companies. In 2005, he retired from the business world to concentrate on writing. Visit www.richardmaddox.com for more.

 

 

During the live show, call in at (347) 945-7246 with your questions or comments (press “1” after dialing in). To stream the episode, click here.

 

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