Monthly Archives: September 2015

Interview With Ana Spoke

The blog tour continues! Thank you, Steph!


Filed under Shizzle, Inc.

Review | Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell #1) by Ana Spoke

What a Monday morning it’s been! Thank you, Dimple, for such an in-depth review!
The last reminder – Shizzle, Inc will be $0.99 for just a few more hours, then it goes back to $2.99, sorry!


Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell #1)

Title: Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell #1)
Author: Ana Spoke
Genre: Comedy, Humor, Women’s Fiction
Publishing date: 4th September, 2015
Published by: Ana Spoke
Pages: 274

My Rating: 5/5 stars  

*Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Isa Maxwell is an average busty blond, a recent graduate of a community college, and rap-loving, gun-toting, self-proclaimed badass. More than anything else, Isa wants to be discovered, so that she can solve her financial woes and win back Brad, the love of her life.

Thanks to her clumsiness, street smarts, and unbelievable bit of luck, Isa, lands a dream job at Shizzle, Inc. Things start to look up when Mr. Hue, the playboy billionaire owner of Shizzle, Inc takes Isa under his wing. Isa even gets a number of new love interests, but all is not what it seems. In fact, absolutely nothing is what it seems.

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Shizzle, Inc., by Ana Spoke

Woke up this morning to find the 9th stellar review on Amazon – thank you, Tamara!

If you don’t have a copy of Shizzle, Inc yet, grab it today, while it’s still $0.99 – the sale ends at midnight.

Tomorrow Is Another Day

(I do not own this image. Image belongs to Ana Spoke.) (I do not own this image. Image belongs to Ana Spoke.)

Ana Spoke is a writer/middle manager who promised herself she’d finish a novel, and started a blog to keep her motivated and follow through on her goal. Her first novel, Shizzle, Inc. is a comedy that just hit shelves.

Isa Maxwell is a (sort-of) typical young adult: she managed to graduate community college by some miracle, she’s broke, and her boyfriend just dumped her because his dreams of a NFL career require someone more than Isa at his side. Isa is determined to be discovered, be able to pay off her bills, and show Brad just what he’s missing so he realizes he still loves her. Despite a nasty hangover and having no idea what she’s doing, Isa manages to win a contest and land a job as the personal assistant of the Mr. Hue of Shizzle, Inc. Finally…

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Review of Shizzle, Inc. (Isa Maxwell Escapades Book 1) by Ana Spoke

Aaaah…Nothing better than waking up to find another 5-star review! Thank you so much, S.M. Lowry!

S.M. Lowry

FINAL COVER September 5 copy

Genre: Comedy, Women’s fiction


Isa Maxwell wants to be discovered. It’s a surefire way to win back her ex. She also needs a job. Lucky for her, the billionaire, Mr. Hue, is holding auditions for an assistant at Shizzle, Inc. The only problem is Isa has no idea what she’s doing in the world of business despite having somehow managed to graduate from community college. Through a combination of Mr. Hue’s stupidity and dumb luck, Isa manages to survive at her new job and even gains some new love interests. But Isa’s luck is about to run out.


So it was sometime in late May when, unemployed, half-starved and depressed, I glimpsed a sign of hope. I just found out that despite my best self-destruction efforts, I managed to graduate from Capitol Community College, so I was celebrating the news with a sixteen-hour TV marathon and a family-sized…

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Filed under Shizzle, Inc.

Marketing gimmick #2, in which I slash prices and @&# everyone.

Shizzle, Inc is $0.99 for a limited time!

Did any of that get your attention? Hope so, cause my gimmick #2 got me no results whatsoever. Or maybe it did, if you consider negative a result. The rankings added zeroes – and of course, that means the sales didn’t. The stats went south and someone blocked me…

Before I continue with this pity party, I do have some amazing news to report. Shizzle, Inc now got six reviews on Amazon, all 5-star! This may not seem like much, compared to proper bestsellers, but from reading other people’s blogs, I gather that it is quite an achievement for the first three weeks of a self-published title. I have read each one at least a dozen times, and it sounds like there will be a few more within a week – people have messaged me to say that they are reading it and laughing. Sweeter words have not been written…

So, back to my gimmick #2, what was it? As the title says, I’ve spent last week #-tagging and sending @ messages to reviewers on Twitter. It was suggested in one of the comments, and as soon as I read it, I was overwhelmed with a vision that it would work. After all, I’ve seen celebrities madly hashtagging their every sneeze, and if celebrities do it, it must be working for them, right?

My plan was simple:

  1. Add hashtags to my quote+link tweets sent out four times a day via Buffer. I’ve used some of the ones from 44 essential hashtags for writers. I have personally used #comedy, #humor, #Kindle, #ebook, and #chicklit.
  2. Send @ messages to 20 Twitter reviewers. I sent quotes+link tweets to all reviewers still active on this Best Twitter Reviewers list.
  3. Refresh stats at least once a minute.

A week has passed. Stats have been refreshed at least ten thousand times, and the results are in. So, how did I do, and what have I learned?

  1. Hashtags seemed to reduce the number of link clicks for the week! Here are the last two weeks worth of engagements and link clicks:

Link clicks

The week before, I got 285 link clicks. This week it’s back down to the usual 131. Is that the hashtag’s fault? Or is everyone seek of seeing my quotes? Is there a “quote fatique” going on?

In addition, the number of profile visits went down, even though the number of engagements is way up (for the last 28 days):

Tweet impressions vs profile visits

When things are not working, one must change, and pronto. For this current week, I have stopped hashtagging and even including links, and the stats have actually improved! So far, I am getting a lot more retweets on my quotes, which may mean that people automatically hate hashtags or links – they know you’re trying to sell them something…I will provide a full update in a week.

2.  Sending @ messages resulted in zero responses from the reviewers, it’s like they didn’t even see it. Oh, wait, one did – I got blocked in a hurry! I kind of understand, because nobody has the time to respond to every single message, and maybe mine were properly spammy. I then tried again, sending more personal messages to those who did not block me and actually asking to review the book, rather than passively-aggressively sending a quote and a link. So far I got one polite “sorry, I’m too busy” and no other blocks. But no interest, either.

There you go, not all marketing ideas are good. For my next trick, I have reduced the price of Shizzle, Inc to 99 cents! get it quick, before I decide to test what a $9.99 will do to my royalty figures!

In my next gimmick reveal I pinky-promise to tell you:

  1. How many sales it took to get to #72 on the PAID Amazon Humor Bestseller list.
  2. Sales figures before and after the free ebook giveaway a couple of weeks ago.
  3. The impact of this latest $0.99 sale on the sales figures.

If you have any particular questions about marketing of a freshly-self-published novel, ask away and I will answer them in the next post.


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Shizzle, Inc.

Published my new book! Seeing Red – A Bucks County Novel

Congratulations to Dr. Meg on self-publishing another novel!

Meg Sorick, Author/Artist


It’s live and ready for purchase here on Amazon!  Hopefully, you enjoyed Three Empty Frames because this story picks up right where we left off.

In case you missed it, I posted the synopsis a few days ago.

And in other exciting news:  I have an author page on Amazon!  Please come and check it out!

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Filed under Shizzle, Inc.

Asked & Answered: On Books and Blogging

Stop #3 on the blog tour – an article by Cori Casner of Planned Preoccupation.

Thank you, Cori – very interesting format!

Ana Spoke  is a blogger and self-published author. I have been following her blog for over a month now, and have learned some great tips and tricks about blogging. The newest idea she shared was a blog tour.


Ana is promoting her new book Shizzle, Inc., and in an effort spread the good word she is doing interviews and guest posting on her follower’s blogs. Needless to say I jumped at the chance opportunity to interview her! Since Ana is in Australia and I am in the US we did the interview over email, which was another first for me.

“You Go, Girl!”

According to Ana, Shizzle, Inc. was born when she wrote a spoof scene of 50 Shades of Grey. The scene was about Isa, a young and dumb girl, meeting  an eccentric billionaire. She emailed that scene to her sister who found it hilarious and demanded more. At her…

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Author interview! Introducing Ana Spoke, author of Shizzle, Inc.!

Stop #2 on the blog tour – interview by Dr. Meg Sorick.

Thank you for channeling your inner Oprah, Dr. Meg!

Meg Sorick, Author/Artist

I am absolutely delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour of the very talented Ana Spoke, fellow blogger and self-published author!


Ana’s debut novel:  Shizzle, Inc. has just been released on Amazon and you can find it here.  It has already reached #23 in the humor category!  It’s my privilege to welcome her to my blog for an interview.  Now, hang on while I channel my inner Oprah!

Ana, first of all congratulations on your sudden success!  Since you describe yourself as a writer moonlighting as a middle manager, how much of your work experience gave you material for Shizzle, Inc.?

Thank you Dr. Meg!  Fingers crossed it keeps going this way!  To answer your first question:  I think that it’s not only work – my life in general has been nothing but comedy material.  Over the last twenty or so years, I’ve moved countries…

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Filed under Shizzle, Inc.

Ana Spoke has been INTERVIEWED!!!

Stop #1 on the blog tour – my interview by R.G. Dole of A drip of Truth (a drop of Lies).

Thank you, R.G.!


Filed under Shizzle, Inc.

Author (NOT SO) Central update

Hi, everyone,

Just a quick update on my last post about author pages. I am once again blown away by how useful this blog has been to me – thanks to your comments, I’ve discovered Grammarly and a number of other online resources. This time it was Kevin of New Author Online, who casually mentioned how cumbersome it is to copy your author information to author pages on other Author Central sites.

Wait. What? What other Author Central sites??

Up until then I took Amazon’s “Author Central” to mean literally that – a central resource about the author, accessible from any Amazon store, be that in the US, or UK, or Australia.


Turns out that each and every one of the international Amazon stores has its own Author Central. What a nightmare! Also, it turns out that the Australian and Canadian Amazon sites don’t even have one. I had to quickly remedy this by setting up my UK Author Central page. Luckily the same account info worked to sign up, although I had to go through verifying my email yet again (how does this make any sense?).  Also, there is no option to link the blog to the UK site (again, why are they different!!).

I’ve decided not to bother with any non-English speaking sites for now, since the chance of any readers in those markets is slim to none. Unless, of course, you tell me otherwise. oh, and thank you in advance for that!


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing