Friday, October 24, 2008

Virtual Tour Stop for Author & Publisher Carol Denbow

We’re here to talk about your new book, “A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story.”
Is this your first book?

Carol Denbow: No, it’s my third release. My first book, Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? was released in 2006. Then after a two year gap, I’ve had two new books released in just the past three months. This one, A Book Inside, which I self-published, and Stress Relief for theWorking Stiff. My next book, Keep Your Sanity, will release in early 2010.
So you’ve self-published and been traditionally published?

Carol Denbow: Yes.

Do you recommend self-publishing a book?

Carol Denbow: Well, there are advantages that go along with traditional publishing, primarily, the cost—there really isn’t much when compared to self-publishing. But you do give up a considerable amount of control in exchange. For instance, I genuinely disliked the cover that was designed for my book, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff. I din’t feel it represented the contents of the book as well as the title being difficult to read from any reasonable distance. To me, this breaks the first rules of a good book cover design. But regardless of my efforts to change it, I have a contract with the publisher, and that is concrete. So even though it’s my book, I lose the power and control I would have had I self-published the book. Because of these things, I prefer to self-publish.

When you self-publish a book, and here I’m excluding print-on-demand publishing, you maintain complete control, but, in turn all expenses and a lot of work falls on your plate. Self-publishing requires an enormous commitment to what can equal years of preparation. After spending what may seem like endless hours writing your manuscript, there will be many more devoted to editing, layout, cover design, finding a reliable printer, marketing, and promotion. But of course, when you do-it-yourself, all profits are yours to keep.

Print-on-demand publishing is when you pay a publishing house to do a considerable amount of the work for you and make your book available to most buyers. But with POD publishing you still have to pay for copies of your own book. Also, your book is rarely “returnable” by retailers such as Barnes & Noble, so they are reluctant to order it, limiting your sales market.

Publishing options are something each individual author must choose according to their personal needs and expectations. For me, yes, I prefer to go all the way and self-publish on my own.

So does A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story teach new writers how to self-publish their books?

Carol Denbow: Absolutely. But it is the writers’ choice of which publishing method they personally prefer or suits them best. The book explains all methods of getting published, including Print on Demand. That way, the reader can weigh the differences prior to making their choice. Once they decide what’s right for them, they can follow the step-by-step instruction and use the references to locate the resources they need.

For such a small book, A Book Inside contains an incredible amount of resources. Where did you find these?

Carol Denbow: Research, research, and more research—about three years of it.

I like the way you get your message across in all your books. I found them to be really easy to follow. Did you plan the books to be this way?

Carol Denbow: I hate to admit this, but I’m not a reader. In fact, I’ve read very few books cover-to-cover. I’m sure it’s just me personally, but when I pick up a book for the sake of learning something, or to better myself, I don’t want to read a lot of unnecessary “filler” text. So when I write, I create a simple outline of the lesson and then fill in the blanks with the most valuable information I can find. I don’t like books which are loaded with repetitive information. If you teach the lesson once and position it in the text to make it easy to find again, you won’t have to repeat yourself. Basically, my books have all the information “needed” and not the mumbo jumbo extras.

Many of the writers I work with self-publish their books; do you think a marketing plan is necessary for self-published authors?

Carol Denbow: If I said no, I’d be shot dead! Writing is a business and as with any business, you need to have a plan. There is no point in writing and publishing a book unless it will sell. Since more than seventy-five percent of books are self-published, I would like to direct this answer to those. On average, a self-published book sells only 120 copies. Are these statistics from published authors who lacked a good marketing plan? Absolutely!

I’d like to point out as well that book marketing is an ongoing effort. A new release can take up to three years to show signs of success. Some authors give up long before their book has the opportunity to really “get out there.” My first book, Are You Ready to Be Your Own Boss? was released back in September of 2006, but didn’t evolve into what I would consider a “successful” book until early this year. It takes a good and ongoing plan with aggressive and unique ideas to properly market a book.

So where can we find your books and do you have a Website?

Carol Denbow: All my books are available through as well as through my Website at Author's Box. I also have a great blog for new and seasoned writers at

Just to let the blog visitors know, tomorrow is the last day of my virtual tour. The final post will be discussing how an author can put together their own virtual tour. Visit The Book Marketing Maven Blog at tomorrow to learn more. Hope to see you all there!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing this information with us!

As always, visitors are welcome to leave comments by clicking on the little “comment” link below. Thank you for joining us today!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to Manage Your Stress and Live a Stress Free Life by Changing Your Attitude

Nearly all of us suffer from stress at some level. Unfortunately, most of us unknowingly create our own stress. We live a fast paced and competitive lifestyle, and from that, we suffer the stressful consequences.

What can you let go to simplify your life? Slow down and step back into observer mode. Look at your own patterns — you can’t change them until you recognize them. If you think you can’t change the direction of your life, then simply adjust the path.

We all want everything for our children and ourselves. But what price are we willing to pay? During the process of gaining material possessions, we may be missing out on the true pleasures and satisfaction our lives naturally generate. Time to play with the kids, barbeque with friends, lie on a beach, or read a good book all are simple pleasures. They are less stressful, and, best of all, free.

It’s our everyday habits that become unhealthy and create stress. Because our need to get ahead most likely creates a busier schedule for us, we may eat poorly, not sleep enough, smoke or drink too much, or not exercise. Living this unhealthy lifestyle we not only create our own stress, but we might be prolonging it.

Changing your lifestyle will require changes in your daily habits. Most stress is initially triggered or exaggerated by common everyday occurrences. Make an attempt to satisfy your emotional and physical needs rather than prioritizing your monetary needs.

Look at your daily habits. Do you overwork yourself, eat on the run, or stay up late at night? We all have some unhealthy daily habits. Eliminating as many as possible and replacing them with better choices can reduce our stress levels. Here are some basic guidelines to healthier daily living.

1. Eat at least one hot balanced meal a day.
2. Get seven or eight hours of sleep every night.
3. Turn off the news on television.
4. Exercise to the point of perspiration at least twice weekly.
5. Limit yourself to less than half a pack of cigarettes a day, or better yet, quit all together.
6. Drink fewer than five alcoholic beverages a week.
7. Maintain the appropriate weight for your height.
8. Keep your spending habits in balance with your income.
9. Join a church or social group.
10. Keep your body in good health (including eyes, ears, and teeth).
11. Keep the lines of communication open with your spouse and family (chores, money, etc.).
12. Organize your time. Make daily lists of things to do.
13. Limit your caffeine beverages to less than three a day.
14. Take some quiet time for yourself every day.
15. Prioritize and try to see the big picture.
16. Learn and practice refueling rituals.
17. Do something fun at least once a week.

“Most of the time, I don’t have much fun. The rest of the time, I have no fun at all.”
——Woody Allen, actor

What would it take to find the time to do more of the things you enjoy? What would you have to change? When you’re doing something you enjoy, what is it that makes you stop? If you can answer that last question, you might be able to change whatever it is so you have more time to do what you love. Everything is achievable depending on what you are willing to give up.

Carol Denbow is a three-time award winning author. Her third book, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect is considered by experts to be the most comprehensive and useful stress relief book available today. Visit Carol’s website at to meet “Frank” the lovable “stressed out” character who represents all of us working stiffs!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Useful Tips to Eat, Drink, and Be Stress Free

Healthy food and beverages help keep our entire system in balance. When our body is balanced, we are less stressed.

*Overeating reduces energy levels. Eat smaller portions of food more times per day rather than indulging a lot of food until you feel stuffed.

*Make fruits and vegetables part of your snack food instead of chips or cookies. Fresh fruit is a good source of energy, and apples and bananas are considered brain foods. Oranges or natural orange juice are full of necessary vitamins needed to boost your immune system.

*Sugary foods may give you a quick burst of energy, but they can also increase irritability or fatigue. It is also possible that too many sweets can induce diabetes in susceptible people, not to mention an increase in fat cells, potentially causing obesity.

*Studies have shown an occasional feast of an all-carbohydrate meal, including foods such as pasta, whole-grain breads, rice, oatmeal, and even popcorn, may help release a brain chemical called “serotonin,” which can induce a sense of calm.

*Vitamin B is needed for your body to produce serotonin. Include foods in your diet rich in B vitamins, most importantly B6 and B12. Your best sources for Vitamin B6 are potatoes, bananas, and beans, while fish, chicken, turkey, and dairy foods are your best bet for Vitamin B12.

*Dairy products such as milk and yogurt may help increase memory function in stressful situations. It is also important to drink at least four eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Water cleanses the body throughout.

*Alcoholic beverages won’t generally harm you in moderation. Many Europeans believe that wine is healthy. In fact, at times, wine is part of the meal, even for children. Most social drinkers say that an alcoholic beverage relaxes them and decreases stress. But alcohol in excess (two drinks a day or more) can go beyond relaxation and cause depression, anxiousness, and clouded thinking. It can also lead to alcoholism and other life-threatening illnesses.

Monitoring your food and beverage intake may reduce the symptoms of stress, but not the stress issue itself. Take action to resolve the problems that initially caused you the stress.

After surviving a stress-related and life-threatening auto-immune disorder, author Carol Denbow realized the need for public knowledge on the importance of understanding and relieving stress was great, thus setting the path for her third book, “Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect.” Meet “Frank,” the “star” of this book at Carol’s website at

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How to Reduce Financial Stress

Nearly half of all working Americans have financial problems. It’s no wonder that one of the leading causes of stress is money. Financial stress is a major contributor to many health issues. Listed below are some of the negative mental, physical, and emotional effects financial stress has on us.

1. Bad habits — When we are stressed, we tend to drink more alcohol, smoke, and eat more, all of which create more stress.
2. Healthcare — With a shortage of money, typically the issue with financial stress, we neglect our health. When there is no money for healthcare, problems are ignored and can become serious.
3. Losing sleep — Our minds don’t function well and our decision-making processes are altered when we are sleep deprived. Not being able to think straight causes more stress.
4. Emotional imbalance — Financial debt can lead to a variety of unhealthy emotions including anxiety, frustration, and depression.

It’s common for people to believe that if they earn and have more money, they will be happier. Having more money may trigger a temporary high and get us a few nifty new things, but people tend to adjust their lifestyles to the level of the added income. They may buy more things and possibly create more debt and greater stress.

It’s better to create goals to be smarter with the money you have. Your first goal should be to get yourself out of debt. There is true satisfaction in owning things free and clear. After you are debt-free, spend your money on things that will make you truly happy and decrease your financial stress. The following are ways to help you lower your debt, increase your happiness, and reduce stress.

*Look for the smallest ways to save money. Start by cutting out the lattes. Usually “coffee on the go” is over three dollars, so making your coffee at home can save you up to a thousand dollars a year.

*If you have a gym membership you use only once a month, drop it and start walking, jogging, or exercising at home. You can save five hundred dollars a year or more.

*Pack a lunch for work instead of eating out, and this alone could save you over two thousand dollars a year. Small expenses add up to thousands of dollars each year causing financial stress.

*Always spend smart — don’t shop just to shop. Ask yourself if you really need the item. Don’t impulse buy. Always give yourself a couple of days to think about a major purchase. Often we buy things and shortly thereafter realize it was something we didn’t really want or need.

*Use your money and stop the credit card madness. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Be sure to never use money allocated for other bills for new purchases. If there’s something you really want to buy, save the money in advance, or try selling something you don’t use on eBay or at a yard sale.

*Implement a budget. Typically experts say you should set aside certain percentages of your income for specific expenses, such as 30 percent of your income for housing, 10 percent for automotive, etc. But we know that each person’s expenses may be different and probably vary from month to month. Implement a budget and reassess it every few months. Don’t include only your monthly rent, food, and gas. The best way to figure your “real” annual expenses into a monthly budget is to search back through your checkbook or bank statements and include the one-payment-a-year expenses, such as car insurance, registration fees, and property taxes. Without taking such expenses into account, your bank balance may show an excess of funds on any particular month. In reality, these funds may be needed to pay one of those one-payment-a-year expenses. If you spend that as “extra” money, you may find yourself stressed out when you fall short of money when an unexpected payment comes due. Add up all the yearly expenses and divide them into a twelve-month plan for a realistic monthly budget total. Then if one month shows you have extra money, realize that over the year that money is allocated for an upcoming expense.

Don’t just look at the big monthly expenses for your budget or for saving money. When we look at our monthly expenses we tend to ignore the small stuff because we see it as insignificant — a few dollars here, a few there. But those little ten- and twenty-dollar-a-month expenses add up over a year’s time. Figure those little expenses into your budget, or, better yet, get rid of them if possible and save that money to start planning for a stress-free retirement.

If your debt overwhelms you and you can’t seem to make your monthly payments, you should contact a debt consolidation company for assistance. There are many non-profit organizations that can help people reduce and consolidate debt.

Overall, the best way to avoid financial stress is to live within your means. Begin living within your means by changing your lifestyle. In addition, learn and practice stress-relieving exercises and incorporate them into your daily routine. To learn more ways of reducing financial burden and stress, visit

Carol Denbow is a three-time award winning author. Her third book, Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect is considered by experts to be the most comprehensive and useful stress relief book available today. Visit Carol’s website at to meet “Frank” the lovable “stressed out” character who represents all of us working stiffs!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stinky Stuff—Good Therapy?

Aromatherapy originated in Europe back in the early 1900s. Aromatherapy uses aroma-producing essential oils from plants to provide relaxation and help relieve stress. The essential oils are taken from a plant’s flowers, leaves, stalks, bark, rind, or roots. The oils are mixed with other liquids such as alcohol, oil, or lotion and are then rubbed on the skin or sprayed in the air and inhaled. You can also mix them into your bathwater.

Users of aromatherapy believe that the fragrances stimulate nerves in the nose that, in turn, send impulses to the part of the brain that controls both your emotions and your memory. Aromatherapy oils are thought to interact with hormones and enzymes in your body, and can cause changes in pulse rate, blood pressure, or other body functions. Depending on the type of aromatherapy oil, the result may be stimulating or very calming.

The following is a list of symptoms followed by the suggested aromatherapy oil.

Stress — Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Mandarin, Rose, and Sandalwood
Anxiety — Cedar wood, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Rose, and Sandalwood
Anger — Jasmine, Orange, Roman Chamomile, and Rose
Irritability — Lavender, Mandarin, Roman Chamomile, and Sandalwood
Memory — Basil, Black Pepper, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, and Rosemary
Depression or Grief: Frankincense, Rose, and Sandalwood
Fatigue — Basil, Black Pepper, Cypress, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Sandalwood

Aromatherapy products can be found in most stores offering lotions, candles, and bath oils.

People with certain chronic illnesses or conditions, lung conditions, asthma, allergies, skin conditions, children under age five, and pregnant women should not use aromatherapy without first consulting a doctor.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect. Visit Carol’s website at

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stretching – Something So Simple!

Stretching is a good way to relieve muscle tension. Simple morning stretches help relieve the body tightness we develop while sleeping. Stretching prior to any physical activity also reduces your likelihood of injury. Basic stretching exercises require very little space to do and can be easily done at home or at work.

Simple stretching when you wake up in the morning, or before exercise, can be done in about five to ten minutes. Stretching in the morning will help you maintain a feeling of relaxation during the day.

Before exercising, always consider doing some simple stretches because exercise reduces stress. If you suffer from achy muscles and joints after exercise, your stress can be elevated again.

Stretching should never induce pain. If you feel pain while stretching, you may be pushing too hard. Never push or pull your muscles beyond comfort. The following are some simple stretching exercises.

1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or in your bed and reach up towards the ceiling. Pull your hands up over your head until they reach the floor or bed. Hold this pose for three to five seconds and repeat two to three times. This stretches the shoulders and chest.

2. Stay lying down and bend one knee. Place both hands around your knee and pull your leg up as close to your chest as is comfortable. Repeat this with your other leg. Then pull both legs up to your chest in the same manner. Hold this position for fifteen seconds. This stretches your lower back muscles.

3. Sit on the edge of your bed or a stool with your feet flat on the floor. Turn your head to look as far to the right as is comfortable and hold for three to five seconds. Do the same looking left. Then turn your head and shoulders to the right. Reach back behind you with your right arm. This time, while your head is turned, slowly move your head to look upward, and then downward. Repeat, turning to the left. This stretches your neck and shoulders.

4. Lie flat on your stomach. Bring your upper body up, leaning on your forearms. Look straight ahead. Lift your head slightly to look up, left, and then right. This stretches the neck, back, and abdominal muscles.

5. Squat down with your knees bent until your buttocks are as close to the floor as possible without falling backwards. Keeping your balance, lean forward and look upwards. This stretches your lower back, hamstrings, and buttocks.

Implementing a daily stretching routine can reduce common stress throughout the day. Be committed to morning and pre-exercise stretching.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect.
Visit Carol’s website at

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Imagine This

Guided Imagery is very similar to meditation. It uses your imagination to guide your thoughts to a relaxed place or time. It is based on the concept that your mind and body are connected. If you can place your mind somewhere, your body will respond and follow. Using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real.

Guided imagery is used to promote relaxation, which can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. It has been used to reduce the pain and trauma of childbirth. You can also use it to help reach goals such as losing weight or quitting smoking.

To try it, close your eyes and imagine you are holding an orange. Bring to your mind the texture and color of the orange. Imagine the smell of it and breathe the scent into your nose. Peel the orange and imagine the juice dripping on your hand. Now see yourself taking a bite of the orange and feel the juice squirting into your mouth. Many people salivate when they do this, demonstrating how your body responds to what you are imagining.

Now try this imagery. Close your eyes and imagine you are at your favorite place. Picture the place as much in detail as possible. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings you have when you’re there. Let your body and mind respond as if you were really there. Your thoughts will be calmed, your muscles will relax, and a feeling of letting go will come over you. What a trip!

Guided imagery is an instant stress reliever that can be done almost anywhere. Use it to take you back to a favorite vacation spot or any place you enjoy being, and let the respite begin.

Although guided imagery is safe, it should never be done while operating a vehicle or in any other situation where your total attention is required. Guided imagery is most effective when taught by a person trained in guided imagery techniques.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect.
Visit Carol’s website at