Publishing Media Creative Incorporated

Debbie Elicksen ~ Freelance Publishing Expert

July 26, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
1 Comment

Take Control of Your Own Publicity

multi-media ad

By Tanya Lee Howe

As an editor who specializes in nonfiction books, I’m lucky to work with people who are experts in their fields. I learn a lot from the business and legal topics these authors explore in their writing. Sometimes, the subject matter really hits home for me and provides me with a new avenue to explore in my own business.

Recently I was able to work on Debbie Elicksen’s book, Publishing and Marketing in the Digital Age. After my first read-through of the book, I realized there is so much more I need to be doing to increase public awareness of my digital profile to promote my own books.

Many writers still go through traditional publishing houses to publish their books. Most authors receive no more than 10 percent of the retail price (e.g., Amazon sells the book for $14, the writer receives $1.40 per book sold). The other 90 percent of the book sales goes into the publishing house for editing, distribution, marketing, and publicity.

If an author self-publishes, he or she can make up to 70 percent per book sold; however, the person has to take care of his or her own marketing and publicity along with the distribution and editing. It’s hard to get connections in newspapers or magazines in order to get the information out there. Newspapers, magazines, television, and radio are the areas in which publicists at traditional publishing houses focus their efforts on getting their authors noticed. Unfortunately, nowadays these are not the best areas to get notoriety. The place to be is online with a strong presence.

Debbie’s book taught me to take control of my own publicity, which is to make sure I have a website that I update on a weekly basis to keep viewers returning. Every topic I explore on my site needs to be focused on my area of expertise, which is Alzheimer’s awareness. Whether I post a topic or ask someone to guest post, my readers know what to expect when they return. They know my topics won’t stray into what I had for breakfast or why my cats are the best in the world. The readers want information about caregiving, working with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease, or where they can go for help. Being consistent and keeping my web presence current is important to establishing myself online.

Using the tips from Debbie’s book, I’m beginning to build more of a following on Twitter and eventually I’ll branch out to some of the other areas Debbie has suggested. I have also reached out to other authors asking if they would like to guest post on my website which has led to me working with an author to co-write some caregiving articles for magazines.

The small steps I’ve taken so far, by using Debbie’s advice, have shown results already. One of these results was Debbie asking me to write a guest post on her website, which is an honor and an opportunity I’m grateful for. If you are self-publishing your work or going through a traditional publisher, please pick up Debbie’s book and learn to take control of your own publicity. Trust me, it’s worth it.

About the author: Tanya Lee Howe is the author of Supporting Parents with Alzheimer’s; and the co-author of Changing Your Name in Canada and Start & Run a Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio. You can find her at or on Twitter at @TanyaLeeHowe.

July 6, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Social Media Isn’t One Size Fits All

social-media-share  Social media is like writing a book.

  1. Plan your pitch. What do you want to accomplish and how do you want to be perceived?
  2. Draft a road map to figure out what your message is and how it’s going to flush out.
  3. Determine who your preferred audience is and where they live (in cyberspace).
  4. Do some research: Who are the social media thought leaders? What are general best practices for social media overall and for each of the platforms?
  5. Edit your work. There are enough examples of poorly thought out posts with bad grammar and spelling. Don’t be that guy or gal. Would you hire them? Exactly.
  6. Be mindful of copyright laws. Name your source. Don’t plagiarize.
  7. Be original. Nobody wants to read or see the same stuff all the time.
  8. Tap into trends and what’s hot, but don’t let that define you. Those things grow old overnight.
  9. Stay on top of your game. The only way to be a good writer is to write and practice good writing. The only way to get better at social media is to participate often.
  10. Customize your posts. Don’t make each platform a carbon copy of the other. Once you publish a book, that’s it. You can update it, have an abridged version, but if you write the same text in a five-book series, people will turn away.

July 1, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Story-centric Marketing


NASA on a tablet

Transmedia is not about pushing content out through various forms of media. It’s not about viewing on multiple devices. It’s not about taking different characters and giving them a voice outside of the main story. It isn’t about getting the audience to engage and bring the conversation about the product to new heights.

It is all of the above.

What transmedia truly can be described as is that it is story-centric marketing.

Transmedia must begin with the story, and the story must have strong characters that can carry the message to other platforms on their own.

Nuno Bernardo is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated producer, founder and manager of beActive Entertainment. He is also the author of the book Transmedia 2.0. He reminds us that audiences are drawn to products they can resonate with and reinforce their own sense of identity. 

Let me repeat that: audiences are drawn to products they can resonate with and reinforce their own sense of identity. This is why stuff goes viral. This is why social media became a thing. People crave a connection. Transmedia marketing brings the audience into the story and lets them rewrite it.

But in order to do it right, you need the following:

  • Compelling characters
  • An exciting and convincing storyworld
  • A strong storyline with clearly defined points.

The following interview with Bernardo dives into this deeper.

Virtual Newsmakers: Nuno Bernardo and Transmedia 2.0

June 28, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Business Cyberbullying = Toxic Crap



More on the Book Publishing Process

This probably won’t be the cover for my next book with Self-Counsel Press, but then again, it could be. Those who have experienced business cyberbullying have seen a lot of toxic crap under their name. After a while it starts getting old, just like the cat or dog poop in this photo.

So while I await the galley proof (a preview copy of the laid out version of the book Publishing and Marketing in the Digital World), I have since submitted the Table of Contents to the managing editor for approval and am now working on the first two chapters, which are due to the publisher by July 1.

One chapter down and one to go, I’ve come to the realization that when this manuscript is completed in August, I will have written three whole books in eight months. No wonder my blogging schedule is off kilter.

Write on.

June 8, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Your Bread & Butter At Risk: Business Cyberbullying



I’ve just spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon researching the Internet for cyberbullying resources that DON’T refer to students and schools and parents. I think I can count on one hand how many links I’ve bookmarked (stories/blogs only) that relate to BUSINESS cyberbullying.

Think about it. A celebrity, athlete, corporate exec says something stupid, or maybe they don’t have to say anything at all — and Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube feeds light up with hate posts and assault the individual (or business) with words. That, my friends, is textbook cyberbullying. 

But when you search for resources that refer specifically to business cyberbullying, not a whole lot shows up.

Of course, there are crossovers between the classroom and the boardroom with respect on how to deal with some of the issues. But for the most part, the schoolyard doesn’t have the added impact of commerce and trade.

This is why I pitched Self-Counsel Press to do a book on this.

Here are some links I found today: Cyberbullying is becoming a common problem in the workplace as employees use texts and emails to attack their colleagues, psychologists say

How Businesses Can Stop Cyber-Bullying and Online Harassment

Cyberbullying Is Not an Olympic Sport

Gwyneth Paltrow Calls Internet Trolls ‘Test of Our Emotional Evolution’

Rebecca Marino is not alone as a cyberbullied athlete

I’m afraid that is it. I am still searching and will keep changing the keywords to try and draw in new links. But in the meantime, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out — especially if you are in any form of online media, have read an article online, or have visited your favorite YouTube video, that cyberbullying is a thing not reserved for just students and classrooms. It affects every businesses’ bread and butter if they should become the target.


June 2, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen
1 Comment

The Traditional Book Publishing Process and the Pitch


More on the traditional book publishing process. The finishing touches are underway on the book Publishing and Marketing in the Digital World as Self-Counsel Press tweaks it for the upcoming galley copy. 

Meanwhile, I pitched them a new book: Business Cyberbullying and How to Fight Back. 

The moral of this video is when you have developed a relationship with your publisher, not all your pitches may get accepted, but the pitch process can be less formal than your first one. Even so, you need to have your stuff together for them to be able to accept it.


May 8, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Editing and More Editing


We’re almost there. Almost.

The manuscript has been with Self-Counsel Press’s editor and just today, I received some of the edited chapters to look over and tweak, if necessary.

I had noticed a couple of weeks ago that the publisher is already promoting this book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (I trust all my friends will pre-order.) download small

Once you turn over your manuscript to someone else for editing, there is some sense of nervousness because you don’t know if the editor is going to be on the same wavelength. Will they hate it and render the script unrecognizable when you see it again? Will they get what you’re trying to say or will you have to go back to the drawing board and completely rewrite it?

I lucked out.

My editor Tanya Lee Howe was ever so gracious in sending me some feedback after she began reading it. She totally made my day when she said, “I had to email you and tell you how much I’m loving your book! I’m learning a lot and I now realize I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me in my own marketing of my books and myself as an author. Thank you for writing this book!” Whew!

So some of the manuscript is back in my lap. The publisher wants this to be on the shelves soon, so guess what my weekend will entail?

Meanwhile, if you want a sneak peek as to this book I’m writing, here is Tanya’s edited Table of Contents for the first half.

Publishing and Marketing in the Digital Age

Table of Contents (TOC)

Foreword by Mitch Jackson



1.         The Internet Has Made Us Global

2.         Business Development Is Still Conducted with Boots on the Ground, Sort Of

3.         Spam Isn’t Just Another Monty Python Skit

4.         Zip It to Me

5.         Assumptions Are Sales Killers

6.         Good Marketing Meets the Internet

7.         People Want It Here and They Want It Now

Chapter 1: Content Creation

1.         Spreadable Storytelling

2.         Be Consistently Good

3.         What to Create

4.         When All Else Fails at Getting a Publisher, Do It Yourself

5.         The New Hard Copy

6.         Organize Your Thoughts

7.         If You Can’t Create Content on Your Own, Partner with Someone

8.         Maintain Your Computer Better Than Your Car

8.1       Blood-sucking files

8.2       Back up your files or hear me say, “I told you so”

          8.3       Account safety and password organization

Chapter 2: Publishing Platforms

1.         Traditional Book Publishing

2.         The Ebook Revolution

2.1       Ebook formats

2.1a     Kindle

2.1b     EPUB

2.2       Ebook conversion

3.         Gamification of Books

4.         Apps

5.         Digital Comics

6.         Photography

7.         Music

8.         Film

9.         The Future of Books

Chapter 3: Position Yourself

1.         Find Your Target Market and Anticipate Where It Is Going

2.         Discover Your Selling Feature

3.         Plan for Success

4.         You Need the Internet More Than the Internet Needs You

5.         Internet Trolls: Cyber Libel and Cyberbullying

6.         Content Curation

Chapter 4: Finding Monetary Resources and How to Get Paid

1.         Crowdfunding

2.         Electronic Banking

3.         Merchant Accounts

4.         PayPal

5.         PayLoadz

Chapter 5: Be Seen and Be Heard

1.         Plant Seeds

Chapter 6: Create a Website

1.         Map Your Website

2.         Balance All the Elements of Your Website

3.         Measure How Well Your Website Is Doing

4.         Should You Create Your Own Website or Hire Someone?

Chapter 7: Blogging

1.         Blog Well and Blog Often

2.         Track Your Blog’s Statistics

3.         What Other Bloggers Are Doing

3.1       Advice from an avid blogger




May 7, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Do We Really Need To Swear Like Sailors in Books, Music, and Film?


Parental Advisory — Explicit Content

Russian President Vladimir Putin just signed a bill that will ban swearing in creative content. That might pose a problem with North American musicians, filmmakers, and publishers that want to market their wares to the home of the Kremlin.

Let me preface this to say that I have a tendency to drop F bombs now and then. It’s almost like an uncontrollable word that pops out to emphasize a passionate thought. Sprinkle in a football field or Game Three between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, and the F bombs come out a bit more often.

But I don’t write this way. I think the strongest word I might use in my blogs is “shit,” which is pretty tame by today’s standards.

I don’t think twice about reading books and other media with such language — unless the art is more about the language and not the story — then it’s a boring and lazy creation.

So seeing the headline on this story, I’m thinking this might be a good thing to do in North American film and books, too. I mean, do we really have to use F bombs in a movie about gangs? We know they use it, but does saying it in the film really further the story? (Keep in mind, I can recite Scarface from memory.) 

I’m actually okay with this ban by Putin. If bad language was banned from all North American art forms, maybe we can tell stories and portray messages for the sake of the craft rather than the shock value.

Do we really need to swear like sailors in books, music, and film?


April 29, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

10 Steps To Do When You Discover You’ve Been Cyberbullied or Cyber-libeled


  2. Do a forensic Google audit — search your name — every page, including the ones that have been archived by Google.
  3. When you come across something, take a screenshot. Capture everything and document everything you can find, including the comments to the post. The people who participate in the cyber post may have also shared the said post on social media, et. al., so Google them, too, and screenshot anything you find.
  4. Keep an organized file of your screenshots and anything else you’ve found. Back it up on your device and on the web (i.e. Google Drive). Put this file in a place where you can’t view it and call it something like Excrement. Don’t name your troll and don’t let this folder hit your eyesight when you go into your device. Hide the folder in another folder (such as Personal). Keep it out of your view and your subconscious.
  5. You will have an emotional reaction, much like being punched in the gut. The adrenalin will rise to the top of your head and you’ll feel heat overtake your body. Sit down, hold onto your chair or desk. Breathe. Mourn. Cry. Beat up a pillow. Be wary of the depression that will set in. It’s inevitable. You’re human. Someone just attacked you for everyone to see.
  6. If your cyberbully has taken the time and energy to dedicate a web page to you, go through it line by line. For each line you can debunk, do that in a document. Save the document and put in that Excrement file.
  7. Start taking your power back. Research your country/state/province as to the cyberbullying and cyber-libel laws. Copy and past the highlights that apply to your situation, along with the source, in another document and save to that Excrement file.
  8. Go to to find out the owner of the website, if it is not a social media site. See if the host (if it is not your cyberbully — do not engage him/her) will remove the post (it’s unlikely, but ask anyway).
  9. Now you are ready to file a police report. YES, a police report. Regardless if your district police even know what cyberbullying is, get it on record that this is NOT okay. Keep your police report and file number in a file you can’t see. Also scan it and put in the Excrement file. Whether you can pursue the police case or not, having that file number will help with your recovery.
  10. Develop a cyber plan to counter the attacks online by setting up an editorial plan and being EVERYWHERE. Post good stuff. Post positive stuff. Post stuff that helps other people. Be a pillar of the community, especially the cyber community. Be a good cyber citizen. Even if that post remains at the top of Google, your other work on the web will drown its effectiveness. There will be those who choose to believe the cyberbully rather than look further down the feed to actually see what you do every day. So be it.

March 17, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Teens Are Consumers, Too


1960s teenage merchandising treasure

By Debbie Elicksen

I made a disturbing discovery today. Adult businesses, media, and marketing firms seem to be absent from a conversation about teens and the fact that they actually have a discretionary income to spend. At least this is my impression when I cannot find but a handful (one hand) of links referring to this.

Teens are consumers, too.

It’s always interesting to see musings about what adults think teens are thinking and what they think they should spend their money on. It’s near impossible to find people talking directly to this demographic from a business, marketing, or even statistical standpoint.

What do you remember when you were a teenager?

  • You wanted to be heard.
  • You wanted to fit in.
  • You wanted respect.
  • Music was your escape.
  • Your friends were your lifeline.

Teenagers are no different today.

After seeing this write-up from The Guardian, I think I might spend more time on Tumblr. Forty-six percent of the platform users are aged 16 to 24. If anything, I want to know what this generation is saying, thinking, and wanting. It’s too big to ignore. In a handful of years, they will be 20, 25, and 30. Say, do you think that might make a difference in how you market? Shouldn’t you learn how they want to be communicated with?

For more background, check out my piece in Internet Billboards.

Also check out this video: What teens want — the big business of marketing to teens — Peter Thorne Reports