Wednesday, March 20, 2019


March 20, 2019

INDIE BOOK CONTEST - 2019 Human Relations Indie Book Awards

2019 Human Relations Indie Book Awards Judging Guidelines
The purpose of the Human Relations Indie Book Awards is to recognize indie authors who have written books with a human relations focus related to various interactions among people in different settings such as work, organizations, school, home, family or in personal lives. This is the fourth year of the Human Relations Indie Book Awards.  We had a diverse group of indie authors for the previous years’ awards that ranged from professional perspectives to indie author’s personal journeys of self-reflection and human relationships. Book entries for the 2019 Human Relations Indie Book Awards should be published between 2012 and 2019 and must be received in print version (no ebooks accepted) and written for an English speaking audience. Books can be self-published, independently published or have a creative or scholarly writing approach from smaller publishing companies or presses where the author had a voice in the publishing process.
Each contest category (depending on the number of entries) will recognize Gold, Silver and Bronze award certificate winners and Honorable Mention (s) may also be given to recognize honorable writing in the area of human relations. All book entries will also be considered for the Director’s Choice awards who exhibit outstanding writing in the area of Human Relations. The number and type of Director’s Choice Awards vary each year according to the type of entries received and the selected Director’s Choice winners will receive the award certificate and a gift card.
Each author should complete a book submission form with two copies of the book and the entry fee for each entry. Do not send more than two books no matter how many categories you enter. Authors may enter more than one book category but will need to mark the additional categories on the book submission form and add the additional entry fee for each category. Entry fees should be paid in check in U.S. dollars or sent with a U.S. postal service money order or American Express money order. No books will be returned after the contest and will be donated to libraries, charities, educational programs or those in need. Entry fees start at $75.00 for the first category ($65.00 for the first category if the entry is postmarked by March 15th, 2019), $55.00 for the second category, $45.00 for the third category and $35.00 for the fourth category.
2019 Human Relations Indie Book Awards final deadline for entry is May 1st, 2019- but earlier entries are encouraged to allow more time for judging the book entries. Winners will be announced in June 2019 when judging is completed.
Judges names will not be posted due to confidentiality. Books will be judged on book content, book organization, book presentation and the human relations message conveyed in the book. Judges decisions are final.
A broad range of book categories will provide authors the opportunity to enter one or more categories that may be related to the book’s human relations content. There are approximately 45 categories that include topics related to human relations issues, memoirs, children’s books with a human relations focus, poetry and the arts human relations books, fiction human relations books and general human relations book categories.


One of the most difficult things for an author, once his or her book is completed, is to market it. We were born to be writers, not marketers. However, writers must become marketers if they stand a chance to compete with the millions of other books published. The good news is I have discovered a wonderful website, and they can be your one stop shop for you with your marketing strategies. As an author, would you sit down to write your novel without the appropriate tools? I think not. Then why market your book without them? You shouldn’t as your marketing strategy will not be effective. I have also written a book that will help you to market your book. My book, How to Launch and Market a Book provides a step-by-step approach and it covers how I launch my books as the #1 New Release on  Amazon. This is one book you must have as your resource.

Here is what you need to effectively market your book.

  1. A One Sheet – A one sheet is a single document which highlights your book that you should have available to give to book reviewers, newspapers, magazines, bookstores etc. Your business card isn’t effective as it does not have the information needed. 
  2. A Flip Book Trailer – A flip book trailer is a twenty to thirty-second video that highlights the elements in your book. They are important as they give readers a chance to look inside your book for the format and style and it is the perfect opportunity to showcase what other readers think about your book.
  3. A Book Trailer – long are the days where someone is going to pick up your book because of the front cover. Yes, that is important. However, readers want to be drawn into your book visually and a book trailer is the perfect means to accomplish this. Think of your book trailer as if it were a film. 

Here is a different kind of book trailer for One Step at a Time by Liz Ashe Havrilla. It is longer in length and made especially for her book by our production team.

4. Author Website – this is a must. Luckily for you, here at Absolute Author, when we publish your free author interview, we put you on a subpage. It’s like having your own webpage. With that said, if you have your own website, be sure to backlink this page to it. It will increase views. Although the author interview is free, there is a minimal charge to host your book’s trailer or flip book trailer. 
5. Book Reviews – Book reviews are a must, and I don’t mean the ones your friends and family write for you on Amazon. Although they are important, having a professional reviewer is key. Why? When you have a professional reviewer read and review your book it carries weight with your readers. Absolute Author has one of the best in the industry. Dr. Carol Michaels worked for more than two decades as a publisher and/or journalist and has written hundreds of reviews. She offers her service at a valuable rate.
6. Press Release – Don’t underestimate the power of a press release. Not only will a press release give your book coverage it will also get your name and your book into listings for web searches. The more press, the better your book sells. One thing we at Absolute Author have discovered is that authors have a difficult time writing press releases. We offer this service at a fraction of a cost. We also offer a one stop where we can submit your press releases too. How? Dr. Carol Michaels has a solid network of reporters and journalists from her two decades of working in the industry. Your homework is already completed. So, this service from Absolute Author is two-fold; e.g., a well-written press release and distribution to at least 300 news sites which includes NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN and more. Other distribution sites charge from $250 up to $1,000 dollars for this service. Here at Absolute Author can do it for a lot less because of our network. 
7. Author Blogging – Yes, blogging is important. Many authors don’t use this resource to promote their own writing because they don’t have the time to maintain a blog. Guess what? You can guest blog on Absolute Author and one of our Absolute Author’s Dr. Melissa Caudle, the author of The Keystroke KillerNever Stop Running and A.D.A.M. also has agreed to allow other Absolute Authors to guest blog on  This is a  perfect answer to your blogging problem. You can be a guest blogger as much or as little as you want. This is a wonderful way to share with your readers and it gives you backlinks as well. So, what are you waiting on? Become a guest blogger and social media influencer today. Contact or
8. Marketing Print Ads – When you publish on Facebook, Twitter or just about anywhere you need print ads that you can post. If you hired a graphic design artist, you could spend thousands of dollars. We at Absolute Author understand your need and offer you fifty print ready prints. Here are a couple of samples below.

For the next four weeks, I am conducting a book giveaway for a chance to win three of the novels by Max Hawthorne in his Kronos Rising series. Subscribe to my blog or leave a comment below. This series comes at the right time as we fly into spring and into the summer.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Trickling Sands Novel Giveaway Winners Announced

March 16, 2019

I have spent about one week at my beach condo located in Orange Beach, Alabama. The water, waves and the sea air have rejuvenated me. Most of the day has been spent doing nothing but relaxing but I have found time to edit and to write on my new novel Secret Romances: A Forbidden Thirst for Love. I must say this novel is a departure from my science fiction novels. Think of this book in terms of a romance novel in a true sense of a Hallmark Romance, This book should be ready sometime in the fall.

Stephen Beal and D. H. Lewis
My newest novel, A.D.A.M. is available for pre-order right now. The final copy editor, Erin Wright, is going through it right now and her feedback has been amazing. "This book is so good and intriguing. I love the premise," Erin said. "This is my must-read for the year." Here is a book trailer for A.D.A.M. I must think four wonderful actors for portrayals. First, the fabulous D. H. Lewis for her bringing to life Dr. Sandra Bradford. Next up is Jamie Alyson who portrays Jessica Parker the undergraduate assistant. And, to Stephen Beal for bringing to life the character Dr. Petterson. Please enjoy the trailer. Lastly, Tina Rubin for her portrayal of Rebecca Newcombe.


I am happy to announce the following winners to this month's giveaway contest for the novel Trickling Sands from Jarrod Fasan. The following people will receive a digital copy of the book.

  • Robyn Winefield (Oregon)
  • Maxine Thurmond (Nevada)
  • Thomas Payne (Vermont)
  • Liz Ray (Georgia)
  • Henry Macliffe (Texas)
  • Carol Frye (Colorado)
  • Samantha Bre (London, UK)
  • Janet Pierce (Florida)
  • Brandon Lifton (Oklahoma)
  • Charles Thibidoux (Louisiana)
Congratulations to all this month's winners.

Although this months giveaway has ended, I begin next months giveaway from a fabulous writer Max Hawthorne and his series Kronos Rising. This giveaway comes just in time for summer because his books feature sharks -- think modern day Jaws. I have already told you I have been on the beach. Let me tell you, this book has kept me on the edge of my lounger reading this. I wouldn't even get into the ocean. To participate in this giveaway subscribe to my blog. If you are already a member, you have been entered. For additional opportunity to win, leave a comment below on this blog. There will be two winners. The first winner will receive all three books pictured below and one winner will receive their choice from the three. Good luck!


One of my favorite things to do is to read books to my grandchildren and every now and again I come across Zoo Vet and the Otter by N.E. Colby that melts your heart and brings warmth. This book is simply divine. The book's logline is:

There is never a dull day at the Zoo for Vet Logan and Zoo Keeper Scarlett Making sure that all the animals are healthy and happy in their environment is a job they love. Follow along as they share fun facts about all the animals they care for, work together to help identify the problem, and come up with a solution to help Leonard the Otter.

I am pleased to introduce you to the author.

Author Name: N.E. Colby

Name of Book: Zoo Vet and the Otter
Year Published: 2018
Publisher: Austin MaCauley
Facebook: @zoovetstories

Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I was born on a Military Base at Ft. Benning Georgia. I lived in Germany for 4 years and when we returned to the States, we lived in California until about 6 years ago. My dad is a Retired Infantry First Sergeant, my brother served in the Navy, and I was in the Air Force. My mom and sister were the only ones that did it right, they married someone in the Army.
After high school, I continued my education at in community college where I worked on my general education courses. Then decided that I wanted to become an Attorney. A family friend advised I attend a trade school to become a paralegal. He said that it would be the fastest way to learn the law structure and get my feet wet. From there I could make the transition to Law School since I would have the work experience. While attending Trade School I quickly learned that law school was not for me. I decided to stop my course studies, four classes, away from a degree.

Today I am married to my loving husband, and we have two wonderful children. On top of being a full-time Mom, I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. I have a website for inventors called Digital Inventors Journal, an app called Vidtone, and my book Zoo Vet and the Otter. I am currently working on another website and app for future additions to my business ventures. I am also working on a project for a movie and working with a producer to eventually turn Zoo Vet into a cartoon series.

What inspired you to write a children’s book?

I love writing and I have always wanted to write a book, when I first started to write a children's book, I had a very negative person in my life who told me, “you're not an interesting person and no one is going to care what you have to say. Plus, you’re a nobody, no one knows who you are, the chances of someone like you getting a publishing company to pick you up, especially in books written for children, would never happen.”

Well, I let this rent space in my head for many years and tried to write books and novels, but I wasn’t happy with what I was writing. So, Nov. 17, 2017, I sat down at my dinner table with a pen and paper and started to write. About an hour later, I had finish Zoo Vet and the Otter. My husband and sister helped me edit it in a week. After that I told my sister I was thinking about self-publishing this and she said: “don’t be stupid, send it out and see what comes of it, what do you have to lose?” So, I did. I sent it to 12 different agents, and about 5 publishing companies. By the end of January 2018, I had 2 contract offers.

Tell us about your book.

Zoo Vet and the Otter is a great book for children. There are many components to it. Not only does it give fun facts about animals, but it shows children how to care for animals. It shows how to identify a problem and then how to come up with a way to solve that problem.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

My children were the only thing that I wanted to make sure were on the cover since the book is based on them.

What challenges did you face when it came to getting the illustrations for your book? How did you overcome them?

After we edited the book, we decided that we would make the illustrations ourselves, however, my sister didn’t have a lot of time to draw and neither did my husband and me. So, we decided to take sections. My sister created the characters Vet Logan and Zoo Keeper Scarlett. My husband did the structures and background and I did the animals and parts of the enclosure. It took us almost 2 weeks to get this mailed back in forth from Arizona to Colorado then from Colorado back to Arizona. I then told my publisher that we had illustrations and they asked for them. Less than a month later they told me that they were going to take a polite pass and go with their illustrator. Hahahaha, we tried it was a good try, I think.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

I didn’t have a hard time writing this book, the biggest thing that I had to really work on overcoming was the space that was rented in my head years ago. It was rather remarkable once I decided to just go for it. I felt this huge weight lifted.

Your book is about a vet and an otter. Why did you choose this?

I chose a vet because my family loves animals and we are always taking are of injured animals. We go to the zoo every year just to go, but we make it a point to spend our birthdays there. Other than otters being super cute, it was the first animal that popped into my head when I started to write and so I just went with it.

How has your career, other than an author, guide you in your writing?

I would say that it hasn’t. nothing that I have done prior to becoming a published author has really set me up for this. I have spent a lot of time doing things that weren’t really my path in life and so when you're off your path, things don’t line up for you. We can all relate to that. But once I made the choice that I was going to do what really made me happy and what I truly wanted to do, things slowly started to fall into place and get better.

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

It’s a different perspective on zoos and the animals in it and what care goes into ensuring their health and happiness.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My family! I have the best children in the world, and I mean that in a completely biase way lol. They are so smart and funny. Both are well rounded and loving. I am so lucky to have them. My husband is the love of my life. He is so supportive and gives me the best advice. He is not only a great husband, but he is also an amazing dad and will do anything for his kids.

Everyone has life lessons to learn, tell your readers one or two of yours and how they make you the person you are today.

I would say that I spent a lot of time trying to make others happy. I think that’s because I didn’t really value my dreams or realize at the time that I didn’t have to do what the “norm” was and I was afraid to be different. See I love inventing and creating and trying to make things function better, but that isn’t the number 1 job your told that will make you enough money to live comfortably and raise a family later on in life. I had to really learn to be okay with following my dream, even if it was different from everyone else and learn that I don’t need to make anyone happy, I need to make myself happy and trust that what I want to do is the right choice.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I don’t honestly know how to answer this question. I don’t feel that I can speak for all writers but one thing that I can say that sets me apart from most is that I won't let anything hold me back again. I love who I am and what I am trying to make happen for my family.

Do you have any future books in the works? If so, please tell me about them.

As a matter of fact, I do have other books in the works right now. I currently have outlines for 38 other books. I am going to make Zoo Vet a series. Out of those 38 books, 6 of them are written, but not edited. So I have a lot of work to do still. lol

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

When I first signed my contract with Austin MaCauley, I used to say, “It’s just a children's book.” But the reality is that its so much more then that. This is where the next generation of reads falls in love with books and grows up reading because of that love. 

Coming Fall 2019

Audiobook Excerpts From Dr. Melissa Caudle

Please enjoy an excerpt from my novel NEVER STOP RUNNING available in eBook, paperback and soon the audiobook narrated by Jessie Drumm. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

HOW TO LAUNCH AND MARKET A BOOK - Audiobook Excerpt narrated by Timothy Burke. This is a must have book for authors to increase sales and launch your book as the #1 New Release on Amazon.