It’s Time for a Reminder About Book World Etiquette!

A romance author friend of mine received a friend request on Facebook last night from someone she’d never interacted with, but she accepted the request anyway. A short time later, she received a PM basically saying the new friend had just finished the rough draft of her first adult short story and could the author look at it and see if it had potential. Then without waiting for a response, the entire short story was posted in the chat. I won’t get into the rest of it because it doesn’t really matter, but the author was appalled that someone sent her the content out of the blue.

Do NOT cold PM or email other authors, who don’t know you from Adam, and ask them to review your material. It is very rude and not acceptable by most authors. If you want their opinion on your manuscript or even a review blurb for your cover, then cultivate a relationship with them first.

1) Become friends with them.
2) Like and comment on the posts on their wall and page.
3) Join their reader group and become active in it.
4) READ their books and see if they write what you write. For example: the romance genre has many sub-genres, from closed door vanilla to steamy erotica and . Don’t send an author who writes historical romance a military romance. Or a vanilla romance author a story that reads like a Penthouse submission. Or sci-fi non-romance author a young adult story. Make sure their books are similar in style to the one you’re writing.
5) After you read their books, leave a review and let them know how much you enjoyed their books. 
6) Chat with them in private about your shared sub-genre and book world stuff in general
7) In other words, become friends with them!

THEN, and ONLY THEN, feel free to take a chance and ask them if they’d be interested in reading your book and critiquing it or giving you a review blurb for your cover. Do NOT be offended if they turn you down. Most established authors barely have time to read their favorite authors’ books, much less someone else’s book, and they get asked for critiques and reviews quite often. I have several new authors in my reader group who friended me, joined my group, interacted with my group, and after all that, asked me to take a look at their first chapters and give my opinion. I did so with pleasure because I felt I knew them by then. Several of them are now published authors, with more books on the way, and have thanked me for my input.

If you want someone to take a look at your material and let you know if it has potential, then do a FB search for critique groups and join one. There are a bunch of them and some are genre specific. Post your material in there for feedback. Or search for beta reader groups and get a non-author’s opinion about your book. Betas represent the readers who will eventually be considering your book for purchase. Their opinions count!

One of the other reasons you don’t want to send someone, who you don’t know at all, your manuscript is you risk someone taking your story and making it theirs. A lot of authors on Wattpad had their stories stolen – some were rewritten in minor ways, but most were verbatim.

So please, remember, don’t randomly friend an author and without so much a “how do you do?” send them your material and ask their opinion. All they will do is, at least, tell you it’s rude to do that and advise you to check out the critique groups, or, at most, block you and tell their author friends what you did and they’ll block you too.

You wouldn’t walk up to a doctor in the street, strip in front of them, and ask their opinion about the rash on your butt. Don’t walk up to an author, toss your book at them, and ask them to read and critique it. It’s poor etiquette.

New Author Blues

In several author groups, I often see posts from new authors with only one or two books out, asking if they should do promotions for free books. 

When I first started in the indie book community, I found several blogs, articles, posts, etc, that said it is very uncommon for indie authors to develop a large following and start to see a steady increase of sales (over $100-200 per month) until after their 4th or 5th book release. This held true for my experience as my 5th book was the one that started getting the ball rolling for me (along with a few shoutouts from authors with much larger followings who I’d either become friends with or who’d found my books and read them).

So don’t panic when your first book, or even your second or third book, fails to do well. Readers like to see a series with more than a book or two out so they can binge read if they like the first one. The same holds true if you don’t have a series, but your books appeal to them. It’s hard to get exposure with just one or two books, and it doesn’t happen overnight. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, just that it’s very uncommon.

I was lucky in the fact that I was out on disability when I first started writng. I’m single with no kids (other than furbabies) and until my mother got sick two years ago, I didn’t have much getting in the way of my writing like some people do, so I was able to publish several books in a short amount of time. I know that’s not always the case for other authors, but the results are still the same. You need more than just a book or two out there to get noticed.

Don’t give your first book away for free (unless it’s to a review site like Booksprout or Hidden Gems) without books that readers can purchase when they’re done with the freebie. Without followup books immediately available, it’s highly unlikely that the readers will remember your name when your next book is finally released, especially if they read over a dozen books per month.

Also, don’t deep discount or run freebies on your books less than 3 months after the release. This annoys people who paid full price for your book only a month or two ago.

One other point, don’t make your new releases 99c unless you’re trying to get on a list or have some other valid reason for doing it other than you’re an unknown author. Readers will come to expect your books to be cheap and some will be annoyed when you finally start asking $2.99 and up for your books. Don’t devalue your work. Since Day 1, I have never released a full novel under $3.99 or novellas under $2.99. Will I in the future? Yes, I might if I want to hit a list, but I also have a backlist of 27 books to make up the difference.

So again, don’t panic when your first couple of books don’t sell. Find ways to promote them without giving them away unless it’s to a small group of people—i.e. takeovers, book signings, Booksprout, etc.—until you have more than 4 books out. Until then, just keep writing. You’ll get there. 

Killing Off a Character

After struggling to think of how the parent of one of my charcters died, that wasn’t from cancer, a heart attack, or an automobile accident, I went into my two favorite author groups on Facebook (Alessandra Torre Inkers and Indie Author Support) and got some input from the members. Here are a list of ways to kill off a character that you may not have thought of!

Abdominal aortic aneurysm 
Accidental/freak gunshot
Advanced Auto-immune Disease
Affects of Alcoholism
Alcohol poisoning
Allergic reaction/Anaphylaxis
Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection
Asthma attack
Bank robbery

BDSM play gone wrong
Blood clot
Blood pressure disorder
Boating accident
Bombing victim
Brain aneurysm
Brain infection post untreated sinusitis/tooth infection
Brain parasite
Bungee jumping accident – cord snapped
Buried when sand or dirt hole collapsed

Carbon dioxide poisoning
Carnival/amusement park ride accident
Caught in riptide
Celiac Disease
Complications from plastic surgery
Crushed by a fallen tree
Cyanide poisoning
Cystic fibrosis
Death by misadventure – freak accidents doing everyday things/extreme sports/taking a selfie
Deep-vein thrombosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis
Died saving others in a fire/shooting/natural disaster etc
Diving accident – pool, from a cliff, ocean
Drive-by shooting
Drug overdose
During a sport game/practice – hit too hard or genetic heart defect
Eating disorder complications
Ectopic pregnancy
Erotic asphyxiation
Extreme dieting
Fatal reaction to anesthesia
Fell down elevator shaft

Fell overboard from cruise/boat
Fell while hiking or rock climbing
Flesh eating virus
Food poisoning
Froze to death
Gangrenous gallbladder
Gas explosion
Given wrong medication by pharmacy/doctor/nurse
“Hangman’s fracture” from a fall
Heart attack due to genetic heart abnormality
Hit and run car accident
Hunting accident
Huntington’s Disease
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – HOCM
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Infection from unsafe abortion or unsanitary delivery
Infectious disease while working in 3rd world country
Infective Endocarditis
Injured during domestic violence incident
Injured in earthquake
Injured in tornado
Injuries received during boxing or MMA match
Job-related injury
Kicked by/fell from a horse
Kidney failure
Killed by bullet shot into the air by a careless person (idiot) celebrating a holiday (can be a mile or two away)
Killed doing parkour
Killed during carjacking
Killed during robbery – home, store, on street
Killer bees attack
Lacerated artery – carotid, brachial, femoral
Landmine or grenande from WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War

Liver failure
Lupus complications
Lyme Disease
Mauled by dog/lion/hippo/jackals/bear etc
Medication or blood type mixup in hospital
Meningococcal meningitis
Mining accident
Mistaken identity murder 
MRSA (staph) infection after general surgery
Murdered by secret lover

Package bomb
Perforated bowel/colon
Perforated gastric ulcer
Peripartum cardiomyopathy
Placental abruption

Placenta previa
Plane crash
Postpartum hemorrhage
Pregnancy induced heart failure
Pulmonary embolism

Ruptured aorta

Ruptured appendix
Russian roulette
School/mall/arena/club shooting
Scorpion sting
SCUBA diving – ran out of air, faulty equipment, stuck in underwater cave
Shark attack
Skiing accident
Skydiving/parasailing accident

Smoke inhalation
Snake bite
Snowmobile/ATV accident
Spider bit
Steriod use
Strangulation – intentional or accidental
Stroke caused by birth control pills
Struck by lightening
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Surfing accident
Terrorist attack on unsuspecting public
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Train accident
Undiagnosed meningitis
Unintentional prescription or recreational drugs
Untreated head injury
Untreated rabies
Uterine rupture

Make a Change

Author  DD Lorenzo and I were just talking about the book covers, titles, and blurbs of her books. A third author had suggested she try something new and recover them (and also update the titles and blurbs) because the books aren’t getting the recognition and following they deserve. I totally agreed with her. I’ve read DD’s Depth of Emotion series, and it’s really good (and I don’t like 1st person, but I still loved the stories and her style). 

NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Alessandra Torre (I highly recommend joining her Facebook group) has mentioned many times in her videos, blogs, and post that, if your books aren’t selling, then changes need to be made. If I remember correctly, one of her books has gone through 6 different covers!

At the end of last year, I took Alessandra’s advice. Recovering my series was a given since I’d done the original covers myself—something a lot of us have done for financial reasons in the beginning of our careers. Those covers were okay—and I say that in a flat tone of voice – my readers liked them, but they weren’t attracting new readers as much as I hoped. My standalone, The Friar, had a professional cover, but the title and cover had some readers thinking it was religious or religious taboo.

I ended up reworking all the blurbs, redoing the covers, and changing that one title. Sales have definitely increased on all books—part of that is from Bookbub deals, but  I’m sure the new covers helped me get those deals. They also helped me get a high number of downloads from those deals and keep those sales coming.

If your sales are not where you’d hope they would be, then take a good look at the entire package. I love DD’s book covers, but one person’s opinion isn’t the only one that matters. If the covers/titles/blurbs aren’t appealing to a broad reader base, then something has to change, if not all three.

The Friar won an award in 2017 in the Readers’ Favorite Awards in the very competitive Contemporary Romance genre. However, sales were dismal on it. It’s currently my only stand alone.
The Friar was retitled and recovered. While it will probably never be among my top sellers, the sales and ranks have definitely increased.

When I retitled/covered The Friar and made it The Road to Solace, all I had to do on Amazon and the other sites was change the title in the listing, upload the new cover, and adjust the blurb. I did NOT have to get a new ASIN or ISBN for the EBOOKs only. Print versions needed new ISBNs. The ebook version, though, is the more important aspect. The print versions are always easily linked to them. If you keep your ASIN and other ebook ISBNs, then you don’t have to go through asking Zon, Kobo, B&N, etc to move the reviews from one listing to another – a quick email takes care of this if you decide to start with a new ASIN/ISBN for the ebook. Some authors like to start with a fresh ASIN/ISBN because then the book will be listed as a new release and get exposure that way. If I ever do this again, I might go that route, since all I have to do is contact the sale sites, give them the old and new numbers, and ask them to transfer the reviews.

So don’t be afraid to start over with a new cover and title. I know how it feels to change from a cover you love and that has an sentimental connection with you, but sentimental is not going to sell your books!  Check out the top 50 books in your genres and study the covers and blurbs—see what is making them top sellers. Go into author groups and get opinions about different cover styles, titles, and blurbs. If you have a reader group, show them a few cover/title options and get their opinion from the consumer point of view. Remember, if your books aren’t selling, it’s because of either the cover, title, blurb, editing, or marketing—or all of them. Do the research, take a chance, and put your best book forward.

As with all posts in this blog, these are suggestions. What works for one author, may not work for another. Do what works best for you. 


What You Can and Can’t Legally Use In Your Fiction Book

Often, I come across questions about copyrighted material, trademarks, and whether or not certain things can be used in fiction. Here’s a common list of items I see authors asking about.

Towns/City Names: You can use the names of real towns and cities without any problems. I tend to use real large cities and make up the names of smaller towns. It’s easier to “create” a town to your story’s specifications and needs. You can take liberties with real places by making up the names of streets or businesses.

Company/Brand Names: You can use real company/brand names (Nike, Ford, Frito-Lay, Xerox, Facebook, etc.) as long as you don’t show them in a bad light. For example, you can write: A guy who worked for Xerox sat there eating his Fritos with his Nike-covered feet propped up on the dashboard of his Ford Explorer while he scrolled through the Facebook feed on his cell phone. You can’t write: “(Insert real clothing manufacturing company name) employs sweatshop workers from a third-world country. They pay them pennies and have beaten those who complain.” (Unless you have cold-hard facts that it’s true, make up a name for the company.)

Song/Album Titles, Movie/TV Show Titles, Book Titles: These are free to use, but, again, it’s recommended you don’t talk bad about them in any way, i.e., “It’s the worst song ever written.” (You can even use them for your own book titles as long as you’re not violating any registered trademarks.)

Lyrics: A BIG NO-NO! (Most of the time.): Most song lyrics have copyrights on them for 50-100 years. They usually have 2 copyrights to them: one belonging to the artist who wrote it and one to the recording company that released it. However, there are songs out there that are considered “fair use” and other songs that you can get permission to use. In 2015, Helen Sedwick, an author and an attorney in California, wrote a blog post on this, and it has a lot of good information on it. I highly recommend reading it if you’re really interested in getting permission to use a song’s lyrics in your book. 

Celebrities (Authors/sports figures/actors/actresses/politicians/any other well-known-figure): Again, free to use, but don’t risk being accused of libel by showing them in bad light (no matter how much the press and tabloids have done that).  Recently, actress Scarlett Johannson won a defamation case against a French author. 

Excerpts from books, poems, newspaper/magazine articles, blog posts, etc.: Unless you have permission from the author and give proper credit to the author and the original publication, you’re leaving yourself open to a lawsuit. (Also, a possible ban from book sites for plagiarism.) The exception to this rule is anything written before 1923 is considered to be public domain and can be used. Some works written after 1923 also fall into this category. If you’d like to learn more about public domain and how to figure out if a written work is available for use or not, check out this article from the Stanford University Libraries.

Images of Celebrities or Any Other Image Found on the Internet: Just because an image can be found freely on the internet, it does not mean you’re allowed to use it any way you want. While there are sites like Pixbay that have images you can use for free, most images are copyrighted and require you to purchase them for use. To ensure you won’t get sued for using an image, make sure you either purchase the image from a legal listing site (Shutterstock, Depositphoto, etc) or the original photographer, or research the copyright terms on free-use sites like Pixbay. This includes images you use for covers, teasers, and on your website. There are actually people out there who post their images on the web, then do searches for anyone using them on their website or social media page and suing them for unauthorized use. 

As with all my posts, these are simple guidelines to help you. Some are not written in stone, and you may find ways around the limits if you really feel you need a well-known name or previously-written work in your story. Make sure you research anything that belongs to someone else before using it in your books and risking a lawsuit.

How to Create, Cultivate, & Maintain an Active Author/Reader Group on Facebook!

Some of the most frequent questions I see in author groups have to do with creating, cultivating, and maintaining an author’s FB reader group for fans of their books. When should I start one? How do I get people to join? How do I get them to engage on posts? Etc., etc., etc. 

Let’s see if I can answer those questions for you.

When should I create a FB reader group?

It doesn’t occur to many new authors to start a group BEFORE they release their first book, but this is actually the best time to do it. It’s going to take a while to build up your membership (took me three years to hit 1000+ members), but if you’re already active in the FB book community then you have a head start. Create the group, think of a cute/fun name that has a connection to your books, then invite the book community members, that you interact with the most, to join. If you already have a book out, get crackin’ on creating that group.

How do I get people to join my group? There are several ways:

1) Post the link on your wall and your author page if you have one.

2) Post the link on all your other social media profiles too—Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon author page, etc.

3) If you are already sending out newsletters, make a big announcement in it that you’ve started a reader group and invite them to join—don’t forget to give them the direct link.

4) If you’re doing takeover events, put an invite to join your group in its own post! Don’t bury it with all your other “stalk me” social media links.

5) When a reader contacts you through Messenger, your profile, your page, email, or any other social media site, to let you know they enjoyed your book and maybe left a review, invite them to join your FB group.

6) Right after “The End” in your books, tell the readers if they enjoyed the book and would like to learn more about your other books or upcoming ones, then they should join your group!

7) Be VERY cautious who you let in your groups, though. You will be bombarded with creepers wanting to join. Because my group is called The Sexy Six-Pack’s Sirens, I attract the trolls who do a FB search for the word “sexy.” Turn on the feature that creates a popup for join requests that gives them 1-3 questions they have to answer. They can be funny or serious, but make one of them “Name one of (your) books.” You’d be surprised at how many weird responses I get to that one.

Here’s the big one! How do I get my members to be active in my group? 

This is the #1 group question I see all the time. I’ve written a similar response every time I’ve answered it, and seeing the question again today prompted this blog post. So here we go:

1) Post several times a day, every day! Let me say that again! Post SEVERAL times a day, EVERY day. If you’re not active, your members won’t be active.

2) Don’t just post about your books! Post about other things too. Here’s a list of things I post about, but pretty much anything goes (except religion, politics, or any other hot-button topic).

  • Excerpts from works in progress—the steamy or very funny parts.
  • Pictures of men and women who have inspired my characters.
  • Memes—always fun.
  • I recently start posting daily “funnies”—funny cartoons (try to make sure you won’t offend anyone with one—again avoid hot-button topics).
  • I ask my members to help name towns and businesses for my books.
  • I’ve had contests where the prize is for the winner to become a character in my book (name, physical attributes).
  • I show my members the covers and book teasers before they go live.
  • Live writes (more on that below).
  • Invite other authors to come into your group and do a takeover for an hour or a day
  • Post the links to another author’s books that you’ve enjoyed—especially if they’re on sale!
  • Let your members know who your favorite authors are—it’ll give them something to read while they’re not-so-patiently waiting for your next book
  • Let your members post about a new author or book they read (I’m not saying let them promo other authors every day, but the occasional OMG! I just found this amazing book! is allowed).
  • Keep a growing list of your members birthdays in a spread sheet and give monthly or weekly shoutouts to those whose birthdays are coming up.
  • Post about your real life—my members have heard about my mom’s health issues, my brother visiting and disrupting my routine for a few weeks, my dogs’ antics, my move to a new condo, crappy weather, etc. (But don’t get TOO personal).
  • Let them post about stuff going on in their lives too—but within reason. Avoid controversial stuff and not every day. But if they need a prayer for a family member (or themselves) because of health issues or accidents, have a funny thing that happened to them, have a question that’s non-book related, or they’ve accomplished something big in their lives that they’re proud of, I let them post about it.
  • Ask random book and non-book questions like When and who was your first kiss? Are you a dog or cat person? My characters are getting married—what do you think their wedding dress or tux/suit looks like? Which of my characters is your favorite and why? What was the last movie you saw? ANYTHING!
    • Now I know a lot of authors will say that they ask these questions in their group and they’re met with the sound of crickets. These types of posts really only work if you are engaging the members every day with all the other types of posts.
  • Suggestions for book titles. (I’ve gotten a huge response to this twice now and have used some of the titles. My new Hazard Falls series was named after a member’s suggestion when I asked for a small town name for the series.)
  • Run contests with the prizes being an ARC or a $5 gift card.
  • Post funny videos (again, avoid controversial).
  • Post name game pictures (the ones with the first letter of your last name means something and the color shirt your wearing means something else). You can find these by Googling them or even making one that has your book/series theme to it.
  • Copy and post a glowing review that a member gave you on one of your books and thank them for their kind words.
  • Encourage them to post their reviews.
  • Create a second secret group and tell your readers to join it if they want to discuss your latest releases without putting spoilers in the main group for those who still haven’t read it yet. (In that group, immediately after a book release, I create a post asking what their favorite scene was.)
  • Ask for suggestions for a character’s name (I had my group suggest names for a pregnant couple’s child).
  • Post pictures of you meeting your group members at signings.
  • Keep an ongoing list of your upcoming signings in the file section of the group. I ask for volunteers to help at signings this way too. First person to volunteer, I pay for their assistant ticket and then give them a gift (book, gift card, or something else) at the end of the signing.
  • Create albums with your book teasers and covers in them so members can easily grab one if they want to post it somewhere.
  • Ask your members what jobs they’ve held so you can create a list for future research on a character’s job.
  • Do a live video and talk about your upcoming books or anything else!
  • And anything else you can think of that will garner responses. If you post any of the above only once or twice a week, it’s not going to work! Post often and you’ll start to see more and more engagement. Remind members to turn their group notifications to “All” so they don’t miss anything!

3 ) Live Writes 

A live write is when you do just that—write live in a group or event. These can be done solo or with a partner, and you can invite other authors to do one in your group. You can alternate POV or paragraphs.

  • Announce the live write all week with the time and date.
  • At the start of the live write, ask for story prompts for the author/authors—images, careers, places, etc
  • Choose a prompt and begin. Write a paragraph or two (don’t worry about typos, they’re expected)  in the comments of the post then hit enter. If you’re doing this solo, then just start the next paragraph under that. If two authors are involved, then wait a few minutes for the other author to post their section, then read it and continue the story. (Duals are fun because you never know what direction the other author is going to go in lol).
  • Some authors prefer that the members don’t comment (they can like) in between posted scenes. I, personally, don’t mind, as I get feedback on what I’ve already written. Either way, make sure the members know which you prefer before you start.
  • Sessions can go anywhere from 1-2 hours. (Trust me, the time flies!)
  • Have fun! I’ve done several of these, both solo and with a partner, and one has even inspired an upcoming book.

So that’s the lowdown on starting, cultivating, and maintaining an active FB reader group. As always, these are just suggestions, and other authors may have some other ideas. Do what works best for you.

Nobody’s Buying My Book! Woe is Me!

In one of the author groups I’m in, another author pointed out that your wall or page is not the place to be whining about lack of sales, exposure, lack of reviews, or anything else. I totally agreed with her and decided to further explain the reasons why. 

Whining is not going to endear you to readers and make them want to go buy and read your books. In author groups, you shouldn’t be whining about lack of sales either, but asking what you’re doing wrong and how you can change it. Is it your covers, blurbs, writing, formatting, or marketing? It’s got to be one or more of the above. It might even be all of them.
Every author started as an unknown. No one begins to write one day and produces the next Great American Novel that doesn’t need a stitch of editing, that readers will be clammoring for, and that Hollywood will be knocking down their door for the movie rights to. Hell, I doubt there’s an author alive who can publish a book that doesn’t need to be edited. You also can’t just throw a book up on Amazon and expect it to sell itself. This isn’t a baseball field in the middle of Iowa, with long dead players coming out of the cornfield. “If you build it, they will come” works in Hollywood. “If you write it, they will read” doesn’t work in the real book world — not without a marketing plan.

For many people it’s the lack of knowing how to network and market (free or paid) that’s holding them back. For others, it’s their writing that’s holding them back. When I first started, I was in a Facebook author group that I no longer participate in because there were a lot of “my way or the highway” people in there and a lot of cutting others down. When I was still new, though, it was one of the few author groups I’d found that was a resource for the critiquing and marketing at the time. Since then, several more have popped up and there are a handful of really good ones that I recommend. (See this blog’s first entry.) 

With only a few books out at the time, I was still naive enough to agree to a review swap — what could go wrong, right? Ugh, NEVER again. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The author had about a dozen books out, all with only a few reviews. I tried very hard to read her book, but the grammar, syntax, punctuation, head hopping, run-on sentences, information dumps, etc., were so bad, I couldn’t get past the first chapter. Granted, some of what she’d done was stuff I, and many other authors, had done in the beginning. 

But the difference between myself and that other author was that I listened to the advice of other more-experienced authors. When they pointed out what I was doing wrong in my writing, I fixed what I could. I couldn’t afford an editor in the beginning, like many of us, so I did what I could to make up for it. I used Grammarly (and another program I no longer have and can’t remember the name of at the moment) and several beta readers who were good at spotting typos. As soon as I could (5 books later), I hired an editor to go through my backlist. She actually thought they’d been professionally edited before because there wasn’t a whole lot we had missed typo-wise, by that point, but she did find some other stuff I needed to fix. I cringed when I went back and rewrote a book I’d let a few family members and friends read years ago. The storyline was good, but my writing sucked. I’d done every fiction-writing don’t.

Once I had the things I was doing wrong in my writing pointed out to me, they were easy to spot in those older books. That knowledge also helped me not make the same mistakes again in my subsequent books. But what it also did was make me even more aware of those issues if they popped up in other authors’ books. 

So getting back to that other author — by the time I did the review swap, I’d been taken under the wings of several other established indie authors who’d successfully published several or more books. I say “successfully” because they’d established a large following, their sales ranks remained steady below 50k, and they had more than a decent number of reviews with high averages. As I said above, I’d taken their advice and fixed everything I could. So, then, I’d figured I’d try to pass on this advice to this other author because I want to see every new or unknown author succeed. I politely explained I was have trouble getting through her story and that I saw things she’d done that I had done before learning they were wrong. I offered to send her some cheat-sheets I’d found to help with different things and to give her the links to sites and programs that’d been recommended to me that I’d found useful.

Surprisingly, her response had basically been “no, thanks, but I understand that you won’t be able to leave a review.” She then shocked me, again, by leaving a 4 star review for my book. I just couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to improve their books so that potential readers would be able to get past that first chapter and read the whole thing. If they can’t, they’re not going to recommend your book to anyone else. They’re going to leave low reviews that will contradict the few 5 star reviews you may have gotten from friends or family and maybe one or two readers who’d been able to get past all the problems in your writing. None of that will get you new readers and better reviews. 

When it comes to learning the craft of writing, you have to leave your ego at the door. Take criticism and use it to your advantage. Don’t roll your eyes and say the other person doesn’t “get your style” or they’re just too picky and critical. I’m not telling you to change your style — that’s what makes your stories unique — but make sure you’re using proper punctuation and you’ve searched for typos in every way possible (read it aloud, use a text to speech feature, get a proofreader, add a few more betas, or anything else that works). Make sure you’re not head-hopping — stay in one person’s POV in the scene — and that you don’t have five pages on how the character made their peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Make sure the reader knows which character is speaking. Use dialogue tags sparingly and use actions when you can. Avoid information dumps – spread the information out in different scenes or chapters. Look for plot holes and plug them.  And anything else that is pointed out to you.

Okay, now that you’ve gotten your book the best you can make it, it’s time to market it. There are plenty of ways to market yourself for free. In April 2015, when I released my first book, my marketing budget for EVERYTHING was about $20 per month, and I made it work for me. How? Read on.

First things first. Go into Facebook author groups or critique groups and ask others for input on your blurbs and covers. What you think is the perfect cover for your book may not garner the same response from others. Many authors find blurbs difficult to write. Others have a knack for it. Ask for help. Your covers and blurbs are the primary draws for readers.

Next, get marketing for free. Make a FB reader group and engage your members daily. Get on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, All Author, Bookbub, Goodreads, Amazon, Fictfact, Youtube, Books+Main, and any other site out there. Research and ask others how to use those sites to your advantage. Get involved in author groups, and make friends with those who write in the same genre as you. Sign up for takeovers. Offer some free books in blogger groups. Did you know there are over 1000 FB groups that allow you to promote your books in them? Yup there are. I’ve spent over 3 years finding them, and I’m sure there’s more I haven’t come across yet. There are new ones popping up every month.

Low-expense marketing — get a website and newsletter going. Keep them up to date. Post on your website’s blog several times per month. Send out newsletters at least once a month but don’t go crazy. Readers don’t like to get bombarded and they’ll stop opening them. Also, there are many low-priced book marketing sites out there. Ask other authors which ones they found worked for them because there are too many out there to list here at the moment.

When you can afford them, look into the higher-priced marketing options. There are plenty of those out there too.

I’m sure there are suggestions I’m missing — new marketing ideas are being developed all the time.

So, authors, please remember that complaining about anything on your page and profile is not going to increase your sales. In fact, it will probably decrease them. Readers don’t want to hear it and they may even unfriend you as a result. You’re now a product — a brand — and like any other product out there, you’ll be assessed on how you appear to the public. Always put your best foot forward. 

Createspace Closing & Merging Into KDP Print

For those of you who missed the announcement yesterday or are waiting to for Createspace to notifiy you in someway, here is the info on KDP about CS closing and merging into KDP Print. If you didn’t already know, Amazon owns CS, and, ever since they opened KDP, it was expected for this transition to take place. KDP and CS both used the same printing companies, so whatever qualities you liked or disliked with your books or deliveries will continue with KDP. This link to the KDP help pages tells you what to expect over the next few weeks, how to transfer your titles (with a video to explain it – some people have already transferred their titles and say it’s quite easy), and all the other info you need to know.

Blurb Writing: 101

Every author has dreaded writing a book blurb at one time or another. Some conquer their fear and get better at writing them over time, while others will go to their graves despising those two-to-four paragraph summaries of their books. I’ll admit I’m weird—I love writing blurbs and have gotten pretty good at them. I’ve helped numerous authors tweak their blurbs so they flow better. Here’s a few tips, along with samples of my blurbs, to help you write an eye-catching blurb without stressing about it too much. 

One of the main issues most authors have is putting too much information in the blurb. Base it on the first half of the book. Leave the reader guessing what happens in the second half. If you give them the whole story in the blurb, there’s no reason for them to buy the book, right?

Almost all my blurbs are 1-4 paragraphs comprised of 1-4 sentences each, tops! Too long of a blurb probably means there is far too much information in it. Many readers will take one glance at a long blurb and skip right over it. There are exceptions to this “rule,” where more or less may be better, but I try to use it as my standard.

Make it clear what genre your book is in. Readers don’t like thinking a book is a romance between two humans only to find out the characters are aliens from another planet and they don’t have sex the way we do. (Or any other WTF moments when they were expecting one genre only to discover the story is nowhere close to it.)

Introduce your protagonist right away. Don’t put a lot of unneccessary fillers before it.

Avoid clichés.

Make sure the reader knows what the conflict is without giving too many specifics. In Don’t Fight It, the main conflict of the story is in the first full paragraph under the hook line. (This is a blurb that ended up being an exception to my 1-4 paragraph rule, but only because I added the hook line that goes with the title at the very beginning.)

When it feels right, don’t fight it.

Shane and Tucker have been mourning their wife’s death for two years. Their love for each other and their daughter has gotten them through the rough time. But while Shane is ready to take a chance on a new future, Tucker is stuck in the past, finding it hard to let go.

Paige is trying to put her life back together after her marriage crumbled following her husband’s arrest. Leaving California behind, she moves to Kansas, taking a job as a housekeeper and a nanny to a six-year-old girl.

She shouldn’t be dreaming of her sexy new bosses, but after seeing a steamy encounter between the two men, she can’t get either of them out of her mind.

Shane is certain Paige is the one who can finally heal them but convincing her and Tucker might take a little scheming. Will it backfire or give them all a second chance at love?

  • If you can avoid using character’s last names, it’s one less thing making your blurb too “wordy.” As you can see in this blurb from Leather and Lace, I didn’t need their last names or his military nickname to get my points across:

How does a “vanilla” woman write a BDSM novel? With hands-on research!

Kristen needs inspiration and first-hand experience for a sequel to her unexpected and kinky bestseller. Devon, an ex-Navy SEAL and private club owner, is all too happy to help.

Soon, a single weekend of hot and dirty sex turns into something more. But while they fight their connection, a killer has Devon in his sights.

Will they survive with their hearts and lives intact?

  • If you need to include a hero’s last name for some reason, or just because you think it flows better with it, then include the heroine’s (or other hero’s) last name too. In Topping the Alpha (an M/m book), because the blurb was short and to the point, I felt it flowed a little better giving both their first and last names at the beginning. Because Nick never calls Jake by his military nickname, even though others do, I left it out.

Getting involved with your brothers’ friend and employee is never a good idea, but after being dominated by Jake Donovan for one night, Nick Sawyer wants more. A Navy SEAL, Nick’s been the alpha in every relationship he’s ever had, but now finds himself craving to submit to Jake again. The problem is Jake’s determined that will never happen.

Thrown together to help a girl in danger, Nick starts breaking through Jake’s defenses, but when things go awry, Jake must confront the ghosts from his past before he can ever think about a future. Nick just hopes that future includes him.

  • Include a character’s nickname in quotes between the first and last name IF it’s a name that practically every other character uses when referring to him. If it’s only mentioned once or twice, don’t include it in the blurb. If everyone calls your hero by his last name or nickname, but your heroine only calls him by his first name, that’s what you should use when writing a blurb paragraph from her POV. (This is when you would want to include both first and last names and any nicknames.) In Tickle His Fancy, Brody’s teammates call him by both his first name and his nickname throughout the book, while Fancy only uses his first name. Nobody calls Fancy anything but her nickname, including Brody.

All around him, Brody “Egghead’ Evans Trident Security teammates have fallen in love and gotten their happily ever after. Ironically, they had always thought the charismatic Dominant would be the first one to fall–not the last. While helping his boss’s fiancée find a new bakery for their wedding cake, he finds himself drooling–not over the delicious confections, but the sweet baker who’d created them.

The lone survivor, Francine “Fancy” Maguire’s world was destroyed when her husband and unborn baby perished in a horrific car accident. Three years later, she is finally shedding the dark shroud she was existing under and starting to live once more. When a handsome customer takes an interest in her, he sparks something deep within her that she never expected to feel again. But will she dare to give love another try?

With a killer on the loose and an unknown vandal targeting Fancy’s business, Brody finds plenty of reasons to keep her close. Can he break through the steel barrier she has wrapped around her heart? Or will he lose her before he can convince her to take a second chance on love?

  • Do not use a side character’s name unless he/she is important to the plot. If you can get away with just saying “her sister” or “his best friend” without using the person’s name, again, it’s less “wordy.” Example from Waiting For Him. (Another blurb that ended up being an exception to my 1-4 paragraph rule.)

Thirty-six hours was all it took for eighteen-year-old Ben to go from being the happiest man alive to having his world fall apart.

Kat was his best friend’s sister and the only woman to ever hold the key to Ben’s heart. Then she and her family were gone in an instant, killed in a devastating accident.

Twelve years later, Kat emerges from the shadows of the Witness Protection Program, only to find the danger her father had placed them in still out there. The last thing she wants to do is put her high-school sweetheart in danger, but he’s the only person she trusts with her life.

Working for a private-security firm, Ben is shocked when his evening appointment is a ghost from the past. He knows he can’t refuse to help Kat, but when it’s over he knows he’ll have to let her go; she deserves better than the man he’s become.

Will Ben and Kat survive, or will he once again have to bury the only woman he’s ever loved?

Don’t include the following unless it has something to do with the plot/story arc: 
  • Character’s profession
  • Character’s age
  • Character’s family background
  • A description of the character (hair, eyes, height, etc.)
  • Unnecessary filler information that the reader can wait until the book to find out about. If you have to include it, make it as short as possible.
Reduce the amount of words used to explain the reasons why a character is the way they are at the time of the story and how those reasons affect them. Example:

Too wordy: Jane was shy around men because she grew up in a small town, with very few boys her age and no father figure. As a result, she doesn’t know how to flirt and interact with men or know when they are truly interested in her or are just trying to add her to a long list of women they’ve slept with. When she meets Mike, she is tongue-tied and can’t figure out which category of men he falls into. But as she gets to know him, she starts to realize he’s actually interested in her so she finally agrees to go out on a date with him.

Much better: After leading a sheltered life as a child, Jane feels tongue-tied and awkward around men. She never knows how to interpret their advances, and Mike is no different—or is he?

Don’t start off by telling the reader, “In this story . . .” “This is a book about . . .” “If you like stories about . . .” or anything else like that.

Start and end your blurbs with “hooks,” something that will make a reader say, “Holy sh*t! I’ve got to read this book!” I find that ending the blurb with a “will this or that happen” question works great for me most of the time, but sometimes it doesn’t.

  • This example from Watching From the Shadows uses a question at the end:

Baby? What baby?

Marco DeAngelis is determined to stay single and childless forever. But sometimes life gives you what you never knew you wanted.

After months of trying to contact Marco, Harper Williams finally admits she’ll be raising her child alone, since he won’t return her calls.

When Harper is violently attacked, the two are, reluctantly, thrown together again and become embroiled in a web of lies and deceit. Will they lose their baby, each other, and their lives?

  • Meanwhile, for an upcoming release, The Ultimate Price, I was able to sum up the suspense without any this/that questions:

A committed bachelor, Brian is the only one of the Malone brothers who hasn’t fallen in love–and he’s determined to keep it that way. Too bad his career as an investigator for the state police has him repeatedly crossing paths with Tess Bingham, the delectable assistant to the local medical examiner. A one-night stand is out of the question—Brian doesn’t mix business with pleasure—but every time Tess flashes that shy, dimpled smile, his restraint frays just a little bit more.

Tess doesn’t have much time for hanging out with friends, having fun, or dating cute cops who can’t stop flirting. Three years ago, her parents died, leaving her the sole guardian for her teenage brother who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. But when that trouble puts them both in danger, Tess turns to the one man she can’t get out of her head.

As danger looms and their attraction escalates, Brian realizes Tess is one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from, while she tries to shield her heart against the man protecting her life.

Remind the reader if your book is part of a series (in addition to making sure Amazon or other markets link the books together and also mentioning it in your subtitle). This is what I put at the end of the blurbs for one of my series:

***The Trident Security series contains elements of the BDSM lifestyle, sensual romance, nail-biting suspense, and happily-ever-afters.

The Trident Security Series:

Book 1 – Leather & Lace (Devon & Kristen)
Book 2 – His Angel (Ian & Angie)
Book 3 – Waiting For Him (Boomer & Kat)
Book 3.5 – Not Negotiable: A Novella (Parker & Shelby)
Book 4 – Topping the Alpha (Jake & Nick)
Book 5 – Watching From the Shadows (Marco & Harper)
Book 5.5 – Whiskey Tribute: A Novella (Curt & Dana)
Book 6 – Tickle His Fancy (Brody & Fancy)
Book 7 – Absolving His Sins (Carter & Jordyn)
Book 7.5 – Option Number Three (Mitch, Tyler, & Tori)
Book 8 – Salvaging His Soul (Jase & Brie)

The books of the Trident Security Series can be read as stand-alones, however, for optimum enjoyment they are best read in order.

Don’t tell the reader:

  • How amazing your book is 
  • How they’ll be missing out on a great story if they don’t get your book
  • How the book is just like (insert famous author’s book)
  • How they’ll feel while reading your book
  • What a roller coaster ride your book is
  • Any spoilers

Trigger warnings: These are toss-ups on whether or not they should be included. Sometimes it’s difficult to include warnings about subjects that may upset readers (i.e. rape, child abuse, torture) without giving away too much of the story. In a recent survey, these were the stats from readers regarding trigger warnings in blurbs:

  • Trigger warnings in blurbs? (More than one response could be given.) 1,343 responses
    • Yes for sexual assault: 37.1%
    • Yes for non-sexual assault: 12.2%
    • No because it gives away what’s going on in the story: 13.8%
    • Doesn’t matter to me: 50.8%

So it’s up to you whether you want to include one or not.

Voice: This is another subject that gets a variety of answers. I know a lot of readers who want the blurb written in the same POV as the book—1st person blurb/1st person story. 3rd person blurb/3rd person story. However, there are people who aren’t bothered by 1st person blurb/3rd person story or vice versa. Some authors prefer to do 1st/3rd, I personally don’t. I’m not comfortable writing 1st person at all, so all my stories and blurbs are written in 3rd POV. I will say that I’ve been annoyed in the past when a blurb was in 3rd person and after I bought the book and start reading, I’ve found it’s in 1st person. I prefer reading 3rd POV. If I know going into a book that it’s in 1st person, and it’s a highly recommended book, then I can get in the right mindset for it and not be grumbling as I read the first chapter.

Wrap-up: A rule of thumb I’ve seen several times is to keep your blurb between 100-200 words. If you’re still having trouble with writing them, there are numerous author groups on Facebook (see my post 36 Tips and Advices for New Authors to Publish and Promote Their Books for a list of a few of them) where you can post your blurbs and get input from other authors. Just remember, second only to your cover, your blurb is what is going to attract readers to your book. If you give away the whole story, there’s no need for them to buy it. If you don’t give enough of a hook, you won’t capture their attention and make them curious enough to buy the book to find out what happens.

As I mentioned, I actually love writing blurbs and have gotten very good at them, but that doesn’t mean my own don’t need input from others from time to time. If I’m stuck or know there is something not “right” about a blurb, I’ll post it in an author group and ask for help. Usually all it takes is someone rewording what I wrote in a sentence or two or pointing out what isn’t working for me to tweak it.

As always, the above are suggestions based on my experience. Use this information as a tool to help make your blurbs better, but in the end, do what works best for you. Happy writing!

Giving Your Character A Job Should Be Easy, Right?

Sometimes when I need to give a character a job and suddenly my mind goes blank—I mean, completely blank. It shouldn’t be that hard, right? Well, sometimes it is, especially when it’s a side character whose job doesn’t really alter the plot, but you can’t just have him/her twiddling their fingers all day. Not every one can be a millionaire,  so I decided to make a list. Here’s over 700 jobs/careers for your characters. In addition to searching the internet, I asked the members of several author and reader groups on Facebook for jobs that they or any family members have had.  A few of the ones I collected I had to look up because I had no clue what they were! LOL! Hope the list helps you and happy writing!

9-1-1 Dispatcher / Supervisor Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker Pharmacist
Accountant Factory Janitor Phlebotomist
Accounts Receivable Factory Worker Phone Operator
Acrobat Fashion Designer Phone Sex Operator
Acupuncturist Farm Hand Photographer
Admissions Director of School Farrier Physical Therapist
Adoption Agent FEMA Worker Physicist
Adult Bookstore/Toy Store Clerk Fence Installer Picture Framer
Advertiser Feng Shui Consultant Pilot
Aircraft Mechanic Field Crew (on a farm) Pit Stop Crew Worker
Air Marshal Finacial Aid Office for College/University Plane Repossessor
Air Traffic Controller Firearms Instructor Plant Manager
Aircraft Cargo Handler Fire Investigator / Inspector Police Chaplin
Airline Reservation Agent Fireman Police Officer
Allergist and Immunologist Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineer Police Records Clerk
Alumni Foundation Administrator Firework Distributor Police Sketch Artist
Anesthesiologist Fish and Game Warden Politician
Animal Behaviorist Fisherman Pontoon Boat Captain
Animal Caregiver at Zoo Fitness Coach / Trainer Pool Installer
Animal Control Officer Floral Designer Postal Worker
Animal Trainer Food Critic Power Washer
Animator Food Preparation Worker Preacher
Animatronics Maker Food Safety Inspector Piano Teacher
Anthropologist Food Scientist Piano Tuner
Antique Appraiser Food Stylist for Magazine Photo Shoots Printing Press Repairman
Antique Dealer Food Vendor at Ballpark or Stadium Prison Guard
Apartment Building Manager Forsensic Accountant Prison Officer Trainer
Arbitrator Forensic Handwriting Analyst Prison Warden
Arcade Machine Repairman/Money Collector Forensic Psychologist Probation Officer
Archeologist Forensic Science Technician Process Server
 Architect  Forest Ranger Professional Cuddler
Armored Vehicle Guard Fragrance Chemist Professional Mermaid
Art Gallery Owner / Manager Freight and Cargo Inspector Props Artist for Movies / TV / Stage
Artist Fraud Investigator Prosthetist/Orthotist
Artist in Residence Fruit Sorter/Packer Psychic Medium
Asset Accountant Funeral Home Makeup/Hair Stylist Psychologist
Astronomer Furniture Assembler Public Address System and Other Announcers
Athletic Trainer Furrier Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
Auctioneer Gaming and Sports Book Writer and Runner Quality Control Analyst
Auditor Gaming Cage Worker Quarry Worker
Author Gaming Dealer Radio Operator
Autobody Repair Garage Door Repairman/Installer Radio Station Scheduler
Automotive Engineer General Manager for a Blacksmithing Company Radiologist
Assembly Line Worker General Manager for Sports Team Rail Yard Engineer
Aviation Inspector Geneticist Railroad Conductor
Baggage Porter and Bellhop Geneologist Real Estate Assessor
Bakery Assistant Geographer Real Estate Stager
Bailbondsman Geologist Recreational Therapist
Bailiff Geomatics Engineer Recruiter
Balloon Bouquet/Display Designer Ghostwriter Reference Librarian
Bank Manager Glass Blower, Molder, Bender, and Finisher Refrigeration Technician
Bank Risk Manager Glazier Registered Nurse
Bank Auditor Golf Ball Retriever (From lakes and ponds) Rehabilitation Counselor
Bankruptcy Clerk / Researcher Golf Course Designer Rent-a-Husband or Rent-a-Handyman for Odd Jobs
Bank Teller Golf Pro Rental Car Agent
Barber Government Engagement Coordinator Rental Property Inspector
Barista Grant Writer Rental Property Manager or Cleaning Crew
Bartender Graphic Arts Designer Repossession Specialist
Beer Cart Server Grave Digger Resident Assistant for College Dorm
Beer Tester Gravestone Maker Respiratory Therapist
Behavioral Specialist Grocery store cashier Restaurant Hostessa
Bereavement Coordinator Grounds Crew for Golf Course or Stadium Retail Manager
Bicycle Repairer Group Home Manager Road Crew
Billing Clerk Hair Dresser Robotics Technician
Billing Specialist for Doctor’s Office Hay Baler Rock Climbing Instructor
Bike Courier Hazardous Material Removal Worker Roofer
Biochemical Engineer Head Decorator for Wedding and Party Cakes Sales Associate
Blogger Headhunter Sales Director
Blood Bank Tech Health Inspector Sales Representative
Body Double Hearing Officer Salesman
Body Painter Helicoptor Pilot Sawmill Worker
Body Part Model (for closeups of
hands, feet, 
eyes, etc.)
Highrise Window Washer Scaffolding Company Administrator
Boilermaker Histologist School Bus Driver
Book / Art Restorer Historian School Cafeteria Worker
Book Illustrator Holiday Decorator (Professional for businesses) School Custodian
Bookkeeper Holistic Healer School Funding Manager
Bootmaker Home Aquarium Installer or Cleaner School Guidance Counselor
Border Patrol Agent Home Health Aide School Secretary 
Botanist Homeless Shelter Manager Scientist
Bouncer Home   Organizer Scout for Professional Athletes
Bounty Hunter Home Party Consultant (Candles, Passion Party, etc.) SCUBA Diving Instructor
Bowling Alley Worker Hooters’ Waitress Seamstress
Brew Master Horse Rider/Exerciser Secretary for Contracting Department
Brick Mason Horse Trainer Secretary for County Attorney
Bridal Consultant for Event Planning Horticulturist Secretary’s Assistant at an Architectural Office
Bridal Consultant for Store Registry Hospice Aide Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installer
Broadcast News Analyst Hospital Administrator Senator
Budget Analyst Hospital Housekeeper Septic Tank Repair
Building Inspector Host for Mystery Theater Events Service Desk Associate
Bullrider Hot Air Balloonist Sewer Inspector
Bus driver Hot Dog Cart Vendor (or any other food) Sex Education Coordinator
Business Analyst Hotel Desk Clerk Sex Therapist
Butcher Hotel Maid Sex Toy Tester
Butler Hotel Manager Shark Tank Cleaner
Cabinet Maker House Sitter Sheet Metal Worker
Cable / phone repairman Human Resources Director Sheriff’s Deputy
Cable TV Reporter Human Statue (Street or Event Performer) Ship Captain
Cake Decorator Hunting Guide Shipping/Receiving Clerk
Cameraman HVAC Technician Short Order Cook
Canal Dreger Hydrologist Singer
Candle Maker Hypnotist Ski Instructor
Candy Maker Ice Sculptor Ski Patrol
Car Wash Attendant Immigration and Customs Inspector Skincare Specialist
Cardiac Rehab Tech Insurance Salesman Skycap
Cardiovascular Tech Insurance Underwriter Slot Machine Designer and Tester
Carnival Worker Intelligence Analyst Social Media Manager
Carpenter Interior Designer Social Worker
Carpet Installer Inventory Controller Sociologist
Carpet Steam Cleaner IRS Agent Soda Jerk at Zoo
Cartographer IT Consultant Software Developer / Engineer
Cartoonist Janitor Soil Conservationist
Cashier at Gas Station/Minimart Jet Engine Inspector Solicitor
Casino Pit Boss Jewelry Maker Sommelier
Casino Dealer Journalist Sound and Lighting Engineer
Casino Security Guard Judge Soup Kitchen Worker
Catering Assistant Kennal Worker Sous Chef
Caterer for Movie and TV Filming Locations Knitting Machine Operator Speech Pathologist
Cell Tower Repair Worker Labor & Delivery Nurse Speech Therapist
Ceramics Maker Lab Tech Sports Analyst
Certified Nursing Assistant at Nursing
Home or Hospital
Land Surveyor Sports Announcer
Character Actor at Amusement Park Lanscaper Stable Hand
Charity Administrator Landscaper Architect / Designer Stage Manager
Chauffeur Land Surveyor Statistician
Chef Language Practitioner Steel Stamper
Chemist Lawn Care Crew Steward (Cruise Ship)
Chief of Operations for Security Company Laundromat Attendant Stockbroker
Child Protection Officer Lease Administration Analyst Stock Clerk
Childbirth Educator Leathersmith Storm Chaser
Chiropractor Legal Secretary Street Performer
Chocolatier Librarian Stuntman / woman
Choreographer Life Coach Submarine Engineer
Church Organist Lifeguard Substitute Teacher
CIA Analyst Lighting Director Summer Rec/Camp Counselor
Civil Drafter Limousine Driver Surgeon
Claims Examiner Line Cook Surgical Technician
Cleric Lineman (cable/phone/utilities) Sustainable Farming Tutor
Climate Change Analyst Loan Compliance Specialist Swim Instructor
Clinical Ethicist Loan Processor Switchboard Operator
Closet Organizer Lobsterman Tai Chi Instructor
Clothing Designer Locksmiths and Safe Repairer Tailor
Coach Locomotive Mechanic Talent Director
Coffin Maker Loss Prevention Manager Talent Scout
College Administrator Magician Tattoo Artist
College Professor Magistrate Tax Collector / Assessor
Comedian Maid Taxidermist
Comic Book Creator Mail Room Clerk Taxi Driver
Commercial Jingle Writer/Singer Makeup Artist Teacher for the Deaf/Hearing Impaired
Communications Specialist Mammogram Tech Telecommunications
Compliance Officer Manicurist Telemarketer
Composer Marine Biologist Temp Agency Office Worker
Computer, ATM, Office Machine Repairer Marketing Assistant Tennis Coach
Computer Programmer Martial Arts Instructor Territory Sales Manager
Computer Reseller Massage Therapist Theme Park Ride Designer and Engineer
Computer Security Expert  Master Distiller Ticket Agent
Computer Systems Analyst Mathematician Title Researcher
Concert Road Crew Mayor Toll Collector
Concierges Meat Packer Tool and Die Maker
Congressional Aide Mediator Tornado Chaser
Construction Worker Medical Alert Operator Tour Guide
Convenience Store Manager Medical Benefits Manager Tour Trolley Driver
Copy Editor Medical Billing Clerk Tow Truck Driver
Copy Writer Medical Examiner Toy Creator
Coroner/Medical Examiner Medical Records Coder Traffic Analyst
Corporate Actions Specialist for Bank Medical Records Fraud Reviewer Traffic Reporter
Cosmetologist Medical Researcher Train Conductor
Cost Estimator Medical Transcriptionist Transit and Railroad Police Officer
Costume Designer Medical Transport Driver Translator
Counselor/Aide for Children with Special Needs Merchant Marine Transport Driver for Disabled
Court Clerk Meteorologist Trash/Recyclable Collector
Court Reporter/Stenographer Meter Reader Trauma Service Coordinator
CPR / First Aid Instructor Microbiologist Travel Agent
Crab Fisherman Midway Games Operator Traveling Nurse
Crane Operator Midwife Trawlerman
Credit Analyst Military Family Life Counselor  Truck Driver
Credit Counselor Military Recruiter Trucking Company Dispatcher
Crime Scene Cleaner Mimeograph Machine Runner TSA Agent
Criminal Science Investigator Miner T-Shirt Vendor
Crisis Line/Suicide Help Line Counselor Minister Tub Girl/Shooter Girl (Bar Staff)
Crossing Guard MRI Tech Tug Boat Captain
Cruise Ship Captain Missile Launch Officer Tutor
Cruise Ship Director Mortgage Processor TV Presenter
Customer Service Officer for Airline Mortician Typesetter for Publishers
Cytotechnologist Motivational Speaker Ultrasound Tech
Dance Instructor Motorcycle Mechanic Umpire/Referee
Dancer Movie or TV Extra Union Steward for Car Factory
Data Base Administrator Moving Company Worker Upholsterer
Data Base Programmer Museum Curator UPS or Fed-Ex Driver
Data Entry Clerk Museum Docent Used Car Salesman
Data Warehousing Specialist Musical Instrument Teacher Usher (Broadway Show)
Daycare Worker Musician US Marshal
Debt Collector Mystery Shopper Utility Worker
Debt Management Officer Nanny Vacation Bible School Helper
Delivery Driver (Pizza/Furniture) Nature Reserve Owner Valet/Car Attendant
Demonstrator and Product Promoter Network Administrator Vehicle / Boat / Plane Repossessor 
Dental Assistant Notary Public Vending Machine Engineer
Dental Hygienist Nuclear Aeronautics Engineer Veterinary Acupuncturist
Dentist Nude Model for Art Classes Veterinary Clinic Receptionist
Deployment/Military Family Support Worker Nursery Worker (Plants/Trees) Video Game Tester
Dermatologist Nurse’s Aide Vocal Trainer
Design Consultant Oceanographer Voice-Over Artist
Diener (Prepares a body for autopsy) Occupational Therapist Volcanologist
Diesel Backup Generator Tester Ocularist (Paints artificial eyes) Waitress
Dietitian and Nutritionist Office Manager Warehouse Clerk
Director Oil & Gas Diver Warehouse Forklift Driver
Dispatcher (Trucking Company) Oil Rig Worker Washing Machine Repairman
Dishwasher Orchard Picker Watch Repairman
Diversion Team with DEA Orchestra Conductor Water Safety Instructor
DJ Organic Farmer Waterslide Tester (At amusement parks)
DMV Clerk Painter Weatherman/Meteorologist
DNA Scientist Paleontologist Weaver (Factory)
Dog Breeder Paralegal  Web Administrator
Dog Groomer Papermill Worker Web Developer
Dog Poop Removal Worker Paramedic/EMT Wedding Coordinator
Dog Trainer Paramedic/EMT Instructor Wedding Dress Designer
Dog Walker Paranormal Investigator Welder
Doula Parliamentary Monitor Well Driller
Drama Teacher Pastor Wholesale Buyer
Dressmaker Party Planner Wig Maker
Driving Instructor/Driver’s Ed Intructor Passport Processor Wildlife Conservationist
Drug Analyst Pathologist Wildlife Photographer
Dry Cleaner Patient Representative Wildlife Rehabilitator
Economist Payroll Administrator Wildlife Trapper and Relocator
Editor Pearl Diver Window Dresser
Electrician Person who hands out pamphlets on street corner Window Installer
Elevator Inspector/Repairman Personal Care Giver Wire Spooler
Embroiderer  Personal Assistant Women’s Shelter Worker
Endoscopy Technician Personal Financial Advisor Worm Farmer
Engraver Personal Shopper X-ray Technician
Entertainment Lawyer Pest Control Worker Yoga Instructor
Environmental Engineer Pet Food Tester (I’ll pass on this one.) Youth Counselor
ESL Conversation Tutor Petty Cash Administer Youth Pastor
Estate Planner Pewtersmith Zamboni Driver
Event Planner Pharmaceutical Company Representative Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist
Excavator Pharmaceutical Operator