Broccoli Chronicles is available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Maybe you have noticed that I haven’t been blogging a lot in the past two months. Well, aside from my family and teaching obligations, I’ve been scheduling book events at various Barnes and Noble stores throughout California. I thought it was time to finally provide you with an author update and pictures of my past endeavors.

Below is a picture of us at the Chino Hills Barnes and Noble in April 2016. This was our second time there and for some reason, it got better each time we went. This store is very different from the others primarily because it’s located at an outdoor shopping center with tons of foot traffic and places to eat.

At this event, we focused more on greeting customers and signing and autographing books. We were able to personalized and customized each signature and illustration. Also, we were able to take tons of pictures with kids and families holding up our books.

Broccoli Chronicles is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Now this is a really cool picture of us at the Rancho Cucamonga store in June 2016. There were tons of kids at this event and they were ready for hands-on activities as you can see in the picture. There was a short book reading and right after that there was an art demonstration done by Alvina Kwong. Not only did the kids make their own bookmarks, but she showed them how to draw little cute animals. This location doesn’t have an outdoor mall with outside foot traffic, but there are tons of dedicated customers that visit the store frequently and they showed their support to us that day.

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva and Alvina Kwong at Rancho Cucamonga Barnes and Noble.

This was a very special event for me because it was held in June 2016 in my hometown, Merced, CA and right before my birthday. There was tons of support from the parents and community especially the local paper – the Merced Sun Star. They posted a short article notifying the community of my book event and they also posted a larger article which highlighted Broccoli Chronicles and some background information about me.

One special moment was when I arrived at the event and noticed that a young boy had already read by book before I got there. He had a big smile on his face and tons of questions for me to answer. That moment was priceless. As you can see in the picture, there was a book reading done by one of my staff members, plus there was an arts and crafts station for kids to create books marks, and a table for me to sign books for various customers.

Broccoli Chronicles is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

If you haven’t already, contact your local bookstore and see if they are willing to pencil you in for a book signing or even carry a few of your books through consignment. This reduces the risk for the bookstore, but offers tons of opportunity for you if the customers buy the book. As you can see, book signings are a great way to promote your book and gain extra readers.

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Meet authors Taneeka and Alvina at the Chino Hills Barnes and Noble.

Chino Hills Barnes and Noble has tons of fun events for families such as: meet and greets, book readings and signings, and even art demonstrations.

Broccoli Chronicles by Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva and Alvina Kwong available at Barnes and Noble.

My staff and I have had the pleasure of participating in 2 events at this location. There is always a great turnout and support from the community. Not only did we sell a bunch of books, but we were able to put a smile on tons of faces.

Meet authors Taneeka and Alvina at the Chino Hills Barnes and Noble.

The Chino Hills staff are extremely friendly and the store is very inviting. Most of all, Amy, one of the managers, rocks big time! If you live in the Chino Hills area, please stop by their store and show your support! For more information about Broccoli Chronicles or Rock-a-bye Baby in Hawai’i, visit BN.com.

Meet authors Taneeka and Alvina at the Chino Hills Barnes and Noble.

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Bring visibility and attention to your book

Can you imagine writing a book that no one ever reads?

What if it stayed buried under a pile of bills or remained invisible to everyone other than yourself? Sounds weird, right? Well, one of the major ways to jump-start your writing career is by gaining exposure. Aside from the therapeutic benefits of writing, it is very important that you bring visibility to your book.

Here are 3 ways to get your writing noticed.

1. Start a blog -
Blogging is a great way to share your passion along with your expertise and writing skills. Each time you share an article through social media, more people are able to read it which brings more traffic to your blog which ultimately can mean more sales which means more money. Make sense? Starting a blog is a great way to attract readers. It’s easier to grasp their attention with short articles than it is with a 300 page book so therefore writing a short and catchy article can be valuable.

2. Look for paid and free publicity -
There are many ways to gain exposure for your book – some routes are free whereas others can be costly. Paying for Twitter or Facebook ads can be useful if you have a budget for it. If you’re looking for free publicity, then try sending your press release to local magazines and newspaper companies. Also, try email blasts – email the specs of your book to as many people as possible. Why not, it’s free?!

3. Contact libraries and bookstores –
With online shopping and the availability of eBooks, it almost minimizes the need for a public library. That being said, libraries are still beneficial in many ways. Librarians have tons of buying power and the ability to purchase several copies of your book for their readers. Try calling local libraries or visiting major conferences held by the American Library Association for tips on how to get your book noticed. Also, contact indie bookstores as well as Barnes and Noble, Target, Costco, Walmart, etc.

Hope this helps. Stay tuned for part 2!

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Improve your writing with this new year's resolution

Every writer should have a New Year’s Resolution. Whether you want to sell more books or strengthen your writing abilities, here are five suggestions to improve your writing for this year!

1. Make time to write – Just like you would schedule a doctor’s appointment or pencil in a dinner date with a friend, it is extremely important that you set aside a specific time throughout the day to write. It’s best that you locate a quiet space in your house or office, and donate that portion of the day to write your next novel.

2. Research your craft – Every writer should spend a portion of their time researching their genre and craft. Whether you check out books at the library or read current blog articles, it is important that you stay abreast of your field. Doctors put in grueling hours a day to research the medical field, so why shouldn’t a writer put in the necessary time to research their field of study?

3. Utilize writing tools – Items such as the dictionary, a thesaurus, or word processor are rarely used because word searches can quickly be done on the internet. Our world is constantly changing and although we want to change with it, there are some old school tools that writers should still use. In my opinion, nothing can substitute the pages of a book.

4. Expand your writing abilities – One of the major things that stifles our writing career is our inability to get out of our comfort zone. We are seldom interested in learning about another genre or type of writing style usually because of fear or a lack of confidence. We must learn how to push ourselves into greatness even when it gets a little uncomfortable. For example, if you are a children’s writer, try writing a non-fiction piece or even a memoir. You’d be surprised at how the challenge could strengthen your confidence as well as your writing skills.

5. Join a writing group – Even published or established authors can benefit from joining a writing group. It might sound juvenile to an advanced writer who has already hit the bestsellers list, but actually a writing group is simply for people who are seeking feedback and constructive criticism. No one gives better feedback than a complete stranger.

These New Year’s Resolutions serve as a guide for you in your writing career. They are merely suggestions and can be tweaked based upon your needs. This is a new year and you want to start it off on the right note by setting yourself some goals and guidelines.

Have fun writing and learning!

This article can also be viewed on The Children’s Writer’s Guild website!

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Building Voices at OC Book Festival 2015

Each year the Orange County Children’s Book Festival features popular authors, illustrators, storytellers, entertainers, and exhibitors that support reading and education along with fun activities for families. This years event, held on October 4th at Orange Coast College, showcased tons of authors and exhibitors.

Building Voices ™ was one of the few publishers that attended this years event. They are an independent publishing company that specializes in Children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction resources for home and school. They publish coloring books, chapter books, interactive journals, and more. Check out their award-winning Broccoli Chronicles, now available on Amazon.com and BN.com.

If you missed this years event, be sure to attend next year for tons of fun and books!

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Aspiring writers need to build their audience

Many writers make the mistake of building their author platform at the last-minute instead of starting the process prior to the books publication date. In order for this to work, your timing and understanding of “platform” must be in tack.

Platform has less to do with self-promotion and more to do with building your audience, authority, exposure, and consistency. Many authors are concerned with recognition and popularity, but forget to focus on building long-lasting relationships with their readers and becoming an expert in their field through research and experience.

Take a look at the following questions. They should serve as a guide for you in building your own platform in the future.

1. What communities, writing groups or memberships are you apart of?
THIS SHOWS YOUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR CRAFT.

2. How many Facebook or Twitter followers do you have?
THIS SHOWS THE SUPPORT FROM YOUR COMMUNITY AND READERS.

3. Do you blog or guest blog? How many subscribers do you have?
THIS SHOWS YOUR ABILITY TO CREATE NEW CONTENT.

4. Where has your work been published or seen?
THIS SHOWS YOUR WRITING AND PUBLISHING ABILITIES.

5. What are your credentials and qualifications?
THIS SHOWS YOUR CREDIBILITY AND EXPERTISE.

6. Have you been invited to speak at a conference or convention?
THIS SHOWS YOUR AUTHORITY ON THE SUBJECT.

7. How much website traffic do you get?
THIS SHOWS YOUR ABILITY TO REACH AND KEEP NEW READERS.

Suggestions on how to build your author platform
1. Speak at conferences
2. Network with publishers
3. Join writing groups
4. Obtain a MFA in writing
5. Create a blog
6. Publish articles in magazines
7. Attend ALA and other book conferences
8. Gain blog and email newsletter subscribers
9. Take courses through UCLA Extension

Tips to remember
1. Blog weekly and tweet daily.
2. Remember that people buy books so try to connect with your readers.
3. Don’t chase money, chase the vision. The money will come.

RELATED ARTICLES:
Advice for Writers: Find a Quiet Room to Write
Advice for Writers: Find the Right Editor

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Self-publishing authors should utilize their amazon author page in order to increase sales

Welcome to the 3rd segment of Utilizing Your Amazon Author Page!

Your Amazon Author Page is a great resource for all authors, but especially for self-publishers who has chosen a different route than traditional publishing.  Selling books through Amazon has become one of the top resources for self-publishers so utilizing this page correctly can be a big plus for book sales.

In part 1, we discussed the advantages of customer reviews and how it logs the comments that were written for your book.  Reviews can be persuasive and convince the customer to BUY IT NOW!  In part 2, we covered the product details section which provides specific information including the age range, the page count, and the dimensions of your book.

Today, we will address the purpose of a book description (also known as a blurb).

The description is a vital component to your Amazon Author Page because it immediately pitches the story to your customers plus it helps them understand the main idea and plot to your book.  A catchy description might lead to more sales whereas a poorly written one will cause the customer to search for something else.  Take a look at the description for Little Kids, Big Voices Math Workbook, Grades 1-3.  See below.

This description covers all of the major components that are needed in just 4-6 sentences.  It’s not too long plus it identifies its target age, its goal or purpose, and it gives a little background on the qualifications of the writer.  Very long descriptions can become a burden to read especially when you’ve read through at least 20 of them.  Try to keep your descriptions catchy, but short and concise!

Please, DO NOT rush through writing your description.  Take the time to edit it and rewrite it as many times as needed.  If you can, join a writing group and share it with them.  You’ll be pleased in the end! Visit Author Central to revise and edit your account.


Enjoy Free Standard Shipping on book orders over $35! Shop The Scholastic Store Online!

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Broccoli Chronicles wins 2 book awards

Every author especially self-publishing authors desire to win a book award.  Some want the public validation that their book is a hit and others simply want to promote themselves as an award-winning author!

Winning a prestigious book award is now becoming a necessity for self-publishers who lack the celebrity status or backing from a traditional publisher.  This can gain the media’s attention in addition to librarians and bookstores.  Gaining the attention from these major players can be an asset to your writing career and/or publishing company.

Take some time out of your day to research a few of the competitions that are out there.  Some of the most popular ones include: the IndieFab Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the NIEA Award, the IPPY Award, the Writers’ Digest Award, and many more.  Each competition pretty much requires the same things – an entry fee, an application, and copies of your book.  It usually takes around three to five months in order to determine whether you’ve won or not.  If you win, it is one of the best feelings in the world to know that a panel of strangers actually adore your book.

After winning the award, it is now time for you to promote your award-winning status to the public.  Make frequent posts on twitter, facebook, google plus, etc.  Send out press releases and announcements to magazine and newspaper companies.  Email friends and family members notifying them of your new milestone.  Also, place the award-winning digital logo on your website and email headers in order to increase visibility.

See Foreword Reviews’ Tips to Promote Your Winner Status for more ideas.

Reader's Digest Store

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Self-publishing authors should utilize their amazon author page in order to increase sales

There are many features to utilize on your Amazon Author Page that can attract customers and ultimately increase sales.

RELATED ARTICLE: Self-Publishing: Utilizing Your Amazon Author Page Part 1

Items such as: product details and more about the author sections allow you to provide in-depth information about you and your book.  Let’s take a look at the customer review section for Broccoli Chronicles.

Amazon customer review 1

This sections allows you to see how many people have created reviews for your book.  As of June 23, 2015, Broccoli Chronicles has a total of 14 reviews, in which all 14 customers gave the book a 5 star review!  It took about 7 months for me to obtain the 14 reviews and it is projected that the reviews will double by the end of the year.  See below some of the comments made by a few of my customers.

Amazon customer review 3

Self-publishers don’t have the marketing campaigns and bookstore displays that traditional publishers can supply for their authors.  Therefore, authors need to utilize every aspect of advertising that is available to them, especially by gaining positive reviews for their book.  Reviews should be a top priority in the self-publishing field although they don’t directly increase sales.  Reviews actually help sway indecisive customers into buying your book which indirectly increases your sales.  Since you don’t have the popularity behind your book, having a ton of positive reviews from teachers, parents, librarians, and community members will inform and persuade customers to give your book a chance.  Start getting more reviews asap!!


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Need more?  Stay tuned for…Self-Publishing: Utilize Your Amazon Author Page Part 3

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Self-publishing authors should utilize their amazon author page in order to increase sales

Utilizing your Amazon Author Page is one major benefit for self-publishers.

Items such as: product details, more about the author, and customer review sections allow you to provide in-depth information about you and your book.  Let’s take a look at the product details section for Broccoli Chronicles.

Amazon Product Details

Keep in mind, this is an old caption and therefore this section has been recently updated.

This section allows you to see the page count, the publisher, the dimensions of the book, and more.  Unfortunately, it’s not shown in this picture, but I later added the age range for my book which lets parents know whether or not the book is appropriate for their child.  If their child is 3 years old and is still reading picture books, then a chapter book designed for ages 7 – 12 is not appropriate for them.

You are also able to see how many customer reviews there are plus my best sellers ranking which informs you of which position my book is at compared to the 8 million plus books that are on Amazon.

Check out this link to an Amazon Author Page Q & A.  If you still have questions, check out this list of product detail page rules created by Amazon.

Stay tuned for…Self-Publishing: Utilize Your Amazon Author Page Part 2

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


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