PublishHER Podcast Episode 70

PublishHER Podcast Episode 70

Episode 70 – Time for a Booky Call! The innovative App Connecting Readers to books! with Nicole Talbott

Nicole Talbott, VP of Sales and Marketing at Booky Call, joined Alexa Bigwarfe to discuss the innovative app, how it is helping readers find and fall in love with new books through a fun dating style app, and how authors can use the app to market their book.

How much fun is it that Booky Call has created a book marketing app that is designed like a dating app? I met the owners and Nicole at the Publishing University Conference put on by IBPA each year, and was immediately intrigued.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What the app is and why they created it
  • How Booky Call works (it's super smart and ingenious!)
  • How authors can get a full year of marketing on the app, connecting them to readers they may have never found
  • The process for applying to be on Booky Call
  • Booky Con which will be November 12th (this is a change – in the recording it was stated it would be October!)
  • and more!
Nicole is so much fun and the conversation was so great! I recommend you go to your App store right away and get the Booky Call app and start using it as a reader to explore. Then, when you're ready, head over to and check out the opportunities for authors and publishers. They also have a ton of fun Merch, a podcast, and other fun stuff.

Nicole Talbott is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Booky Call, an innovative book discovery app disguised as a dating app. Bringing two decades of experience in communications, relationship management and promotions for various global brands, as well as a data-driven understanding of the Booky Call app, Nicole has a unique ability to work with clients to develop achievable marketing plans that deliver significant results.
PublishHER Podcast Episode 70

PublishHER Podcast Episode 69

Episode 69 – The Importance of Your Writing Community – Emilya Naymark

Your writing community is so important! Emilya Naymark and Alexa Bigwarfe discuss the importance of writing communities, partnerships, and collaborations that can make your book writing and marketing journey so much better!

In this episode we discussed:
  • the importance of the writing community to an author's publishing journey (and where to find it)
  • the importance of giving back to the writing community (and how to do it)
  • writing conferences and zoom launches
  • tips for crime and thriller writers
Emilya Naymark was born in a country that no longer exists, escaped with her parents, lived in Italy for a bit, and ended up in New York, which promptly became a love and a muse.

She is the author of the novels Hide in Place and Behind the Lie.

Her short stories appear in A Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta, Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, and 1+30: THE BEST OF MYSTORY.

When not writing, Emilya works as a visual artist and web developer and reads massive quantities of psychological thrillers, suspense, and crime fiction. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.

Learn more here:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 70

PublishHER Podcast Episode 68

Episode 68: Book Marketing & PR Tips from Aimee Ravichandran

Aimee Ravichandran is the Owner of Abundantly Social and Perceptive Public Relations. She loves working with authors and her community to market books. Aimee provided some great tips on book marketing and launch tips for authors.

In this podcast episode we discussed:
  • The importance of starting your marketing earlier
  • Simple steps you can take to start growing your audience even while you're writing your book
  • How to use author groups and collaborations to enhance your launch
  • What types of activities and events to do while marketing your book
  • and more!
Aimee Ravichandran is the Owner of Abundantly Social and Perceptive Public Relations. Aimee has been working in PR for Authors and small businesses for 10+ years. She loves working with authors and her community to market books.Learn more about Aimee and Abundantly Social here:

If you enjoy what we're doing and would like to support the time and investment put into the podcast, here's a fun way you can leave a tip!

PublishHER Podcast Episode 67

PublishHER Podcast Episode 67

Traditional & Self-Publishing At the Same Time!

Sandi Schwartz is an author who writes on parenting, wellness, the environment, and ecohappiness. In 2020 – 2022, she took the journey of both traditionally and self publishing books. This is part of our Author Series on learning from other authors!

Sandi has had an interesting journey as an author. Her first book, a nonfiction book, was picked up by a traditional publisher. And then she decided to self-publish a children's book, on the same topic and in the same timeframe. So she's got a well rounded perspective of publishing!

We discussed:

  • Sandi's journey and what she learned through the process taking two different routes
  • Why and how she went with a traditional publisher for the first book
  • The marketing struggles
  • Marketing successes! Different ways she has gotten free media coverage including The Washington Post and Authority Magazine.
  • Key aspects of my marketing plan including regional parenting magazines, niche Facebook groups, podcast and Facebook Live interviews.
  • And so much more!

Sandi Schwartz is an author and journalist specializing in parenting, wellness, and the environment. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and more. She founded the Ecohappiness Project to help families build a nature habit to feel happier and calmer by exploring positive psychology tools, such as mindfulness and gratitude, through a nature-loving perspective. Her new book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, is filled with simple, practical tips for parents to incorporate these tools into their daily routine to help their children thrive. Sandi has a Masters in Government (Environmental focus) from Johns Hopkins University and Specialization Certificate in Foundations of Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an active member in environmental and writing organizations, including the Women in Publishing Summit. She splits time between Florida and New Jersey with her husband and two children.

Learn more:
Get the book: Finding Ecohappiness
Link to free Nature Habit Quiz:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 66

PublishHER Podcast Episode 66

Sage Advice and A Tribute to Shelly Longenecker

In this latest episode of the PublishHer Podcast, I paid homage to a dear friend of mine who recently passed a few weeks ago, Shelly Longenecker. This special interview was recorded a few years back for the Women in Publishing Summit, where she shared excellent tips on book marketing, audience growth, and how to grow your business with a book. She will be greatly missed, and you can learn a ton of knowledge from her amazing story in this episode.

Shelly was a valued member of the Women in Publishing Summit, having been a guest three times at the conference. It would have been her 48th birthday this year, and I know she had so much more that she wanted to give into this world. She was the author of “Dinner for a Dollar,” a book full of great tips on preparing clean, wholesome meals for your family on a budget. Shelly used this book to grow her email list and make collaborations and partnerships to scale her business.

Shelly was more than a client, and it was wonderful how I witnessed her amazing story and how she walked through life with cancer. She launched her book and business on the same day, October 1st, 2018, without considering having an audience. Quickly realizing her mistake, Shelly booked a call with me, and that was the beginning of many appointments and marketing calls. By mid-January of the next year, she launched her book on Amazon. By March, she was getting ready to release her audiobook. And by April, she got diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And as you can imagine, getting a cancer diagnosis was devastating and put her in a dark place. Looking back on her life, she realized that she had been putting it on hold for 17 years. She was at a point where she was ready to live fully and get back to pursuing her career and doing the things she loved. Shelly was finally having the time of her life publishing her book and building a business, but all that came to a sudden stop.

“Why don’t you keep having the time of your life?”

Shelly was depressed and talking to a friend when they said those powerful words to her. It changed her perspective. She realized she had a choice on how to live, fight, and recover from cancer. By facing death in the face, Shelly gained clarity. She made a promise to never forget that she was going to die. That may sound morbid, but it’s true for all of us. We just tend to ignore it most of our lives. In every choice that she made, she made sure to consider them in her five-year plan. She would ask herself, “if I were to die in five years, would I do this?” This was her blueprint for making the decisions for her life, family, marriage, friendships, community, and business. It was one of the main reasons why Shelly was so passionate, intentional, and laser-focused. She completely believed in her business because she knew her mission was important.              

Out of her passion, her book was born. We all know that eating healthy is essential, but we don’t do it. Maybe because we often think having a healthy lifestyle is expensive and takes too much time. But Shelly breaks down those common misconceptions in her book and teaches us how to save while eating healthy. So, she published her book in mid-January, got diagnosed with cancer by April, and received her last treatment by November. When December came, Shelly decided to spend those quiet moments with her family as she recovered her health. By January 2020, she already had 18 speaking engagements, and from here, she started to grow her email list. Shelly was doing lives, setting up book clubs and programs to accompany her book. Everything was exploding for her, and she had multiple revenue streams set up. By this time, Shelly had one goal, and that was to grow her email list from 900 to 10, 000. She discussed in detail all of the things she considered in making her list grow, which all came down to providing value to your audience.

As authors, we aim to have a system that would bring money all year round. I have talked about this topic in multiple episodes and I want to emphasize again the importance of having multiple revenue streams. Shelly extensively discussed how she built her system around her book in this episode. And it begins by knowing who you are and what you have to offer your audience. Once you have those foundations, you can build your marketing strategy around that and build a system that will work for you and your business. 

Shelly was a light in this world, full of knowledge and wisdom. I hope you listen to this episode and witness how amazing of a woman she was. She will be missed. 

Key takeaways:

  • It is essential to grow your email list because you cannot sell to the same audience over and over again.
  • When you have a growing audience, engage and communicate with them regularly to add value.
  • Market your strengths and leverage them to add value for your audience.
  • Make use of micro-holidays. Find the ones related to your topic and use them for marketing your book.
  • Know your audience. Know what they need and provide services that will answer those needs.
  • Understand affiliate marketing, and you will know the value of networking.
  • Establish yourself as an expert in your field by doing speaking engagements.
  • Learn how to promote yourself.

Mentioned in this episode:

PublishHER Podcast Episode 65

PublishHER Podcast Episode 65

You Are Not Your Worst Mistake

Have you ever made a mistake that changed your life? A mistake where you felt like you could not come back from it? That is exactly what happened to our guest, and in this episode, she told us how she helped someone escape from prison, went to prison herself, and how her world has evolved since then.

In this episode, I sit down with Toby Dorr, whose life is like an actual movie – almost. Lifetime is making a film based on her extraordinary life. She has a phenomenal story detailed in her memoir “Living With Conviction: Unexpected Sisterhood, Healing, and Redemption in the Wake of Life-Altering Choices.” Her story started on February 12, 2006, when she helped a convicted murderer at Lansing Correctional Facility escape from prison. They ran for 12 days until authorities caught up to them in Tennessee. They were forced onto a highway median at a hundred miles per hour and into a tree. The arresting US marshal said to Toby, “Don't let this be who you are.” Twenty-seven months later, she completed her time in federal prison. She has since remarried, finished two master's degrees, and has successfully rebuilt a broken life.  

“You are not your worst mistake.”

That is Toby's message to all our listeners and readers. She knows how “the escape” will surely be her most extraordinary experience. But Toby also knows that her gift to the world is greater. She has a message to all the women out there who said, “that could have been me”. This story was difficult to share, but Toby knew that the lessons shared from her experience would be a blessing to others. She describes “the escape” as something out of character for her. Toby felt invisible her whole life, but that changed when she met John Maynard, the prisoner she helped escape. Some events contributed to her story, including the loss of her daughter, Emily, 18 hours and 31 minutes after birth. Toby would keep crying when Emily was mentioned, and her husband didn't know how to deal with her and her emotions. They went in different directions in how they processed their grief, grew apart, and now they are divorced. These difficult moments in Toby's life led her to where she is now. A good place where she can acknowledge her experiences and gain wisdom from them.

In one of our episodes, I mentioned that you don't need to have a difficult past to have a story worth telling to the world. In Toby's case, however, her story was most extraordinary, and it was really important for her to share her experiences with the world. I admire her bravery in telling such a powerful and personal story. She hopes to impact those women who also feel invisible and tell them they need to escape their own personal prisons. Toby went to an actual prison, where she realized that her previous life was more of a prison.

“Be honest with yourself.”

When Toby decided she wanted to share her story, she started filling up journals in prison. She reminds us how important it is to be honest with yourself, even how ugly your story gets. Try to process the feelings associated with those memories and just write them all down. The most important thing is to write down everything you can remember and avoid leaving any details out. Your readers will know when you are not telling the whole story. Your story is worth nothing if you are not being honest and protecting yourself.

Toby also published a workbook series to provide hope and inspiration to struggling women. The “Unleashed Series” contains programs and exercises to help women grow and find their purpose. Her series is a great company to her memoir, which can inspire readers to be the change they want to see in the world.

“Those really difficult places in your life are the ones you need to be the most grateful for, because that's where character is born.”

In this episode, we have witnessed how great Toby is. We gained a ton of wisdom listening to her talk about her struggles and the difficult choices she has made. She is the perfect example of how you can choose to live your life on your own terms and how you can change your story after life throws you the worst curveball. Her book resonates with many women because we were all stuck in our own prisons at some point – whether it's a literal prison or something difficult happening in our lives. These prisons exist so we can break them down and emerge more powerful and braver than ever. Toby shared her story, and may it give us the courage to look into our lives and make our own changes.           

Key takeaways:

  • Finding a publisher who can understand you and make your story work for you is crucial. A publisher who's willing to listen and get your book where you want it to be.
  • Consider indie publishing if you want to be part of the whole process. You can be involved in all the discussions and decisions about your books, and your story will not suffer. 
  • Reading your book aloud or with an App can help you with the editing process.
  •  If you know someone who's struggling or hurt or in prison, be that person who makes yourself available to them. And you can then be part of a big change in the world. 
  •  It's okay to let go of some people who do not support you and don't want to come along on your journey. Know that you can make it through without them.

Connect with Toby Dorr and find out what she's up to:

Media appearances:

Book, Living With Conviction: Unexpected Sisterhood, Healing, and Redemption in the Wake of Life-Altering Choices by Toby Dorr