“Storytelling is my passion. And Brand stories are a surefire way to build an engaged community around a single idea.”     

Mel Hopkins

In her “Build-a-Brand” Newsletter, Mel Hopkins, an experienced, passionate storyteller, teaches professionals how to craft a personal or corporate brand identity. Hopkins then provides the tools entrepreneurs & employees need to build awareness for products, services, and businesses.

Hopkins is a veteran print & broadcast journalist. She has worked as a news anchor, reporter, and newscast / Special Projects Producer. Hopkins has written and produced several documentaries for network television and radio, raising hundreds-thousands of dollars in sales revenue. Her feature article pitches have garnered millions of dollars in earned media for her clients. As a gothic romance writer, Hopkins takes readers on adventures that whisk them from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Hopkins can help tell your story in ways that’ll make your life read like a legend in any era.             

Book Review: by Yawatta Hosby

She reviewed my debut novel! Woo-hoo!!swadmPurchase your copy today!


Sleeping with a D-Man is the ninth book for my reading challenge. And, it’s another one where I broke the rules of only sticking to blogs or Absolute Write. Jade is a good friend of mine from college (oh how I miss those days hee hee), and I noticed that she posted information about this story on her Facebook wall. She was helping out a friend, which motivated me to check out the book too. I wanted to support Jade.

Here’s my thoughts:

What should be a normal school year for 1st year college student Nicole Jettison turns out to be anything but at this east coast Catholic university. Cheerleading tryouts, sorority rushes, basketball games and a lot of school work should be par for the course but Jettison has opted for the extracurricular activities of unmasking shape-shifting drug dealers, sorcery and a night course in fallen angels. In the…

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Sell Your Story, Not Your Book

Want to get on Oprah or some big-name popular talk show? Forget you ever wrote a book. Like most new authors, when seeking media appearances, they want to talk about their book.

Wrong move.

Just as new mothers are quick to learn, “no one thinks your baby is cute but you” – the same goes for authors and their new books. We don’t want to hear about your book – there’s no reason we should invest our time in it. Talking about your book is boring and is probably why you rarely see unknown authors on Oprah.

What we do want to hear, most of you probably don’t want to tell us anyway. So why do you want media coverage again – to ask us to buy your book? Do us a favor buy an Ad instead.

Consider the following for the rest of you who understand that media is a two-way street. And this includes books and broadcasts.

We always hear about the Oprah Effect, but on November 16, 2009, we found out about the Sarah Palin Draw. Say what you will about the former Vice-Presidential candidate, but you should include that she can move a crowd.

When Harper Collins released Palin’s book “Going Rogue: An American Life” on November 1, 2009, readers bought up more than 460,000 copies in the first week, according to Nielsen Bookscan. By the time Palin sat down on Oprah’s ‘proverbial’ couch –readers had already purchased 700,000 of the 2.5 million copies in print.

So what could Oprah do for Palin? Wait, flip the script – what could Palin do for Oprah?

As my friend Donna Marie, the Celebrity Editor, said, “when it comes to media, that’s like asking what you can do for God.”

Sarah might as well have been a media evangelist because she brought Oprah plenty of viewers. Palin came on Oprah’s talk show, and instead of selling a book, she told her story.  Palin talked about her daughter Bristol’s baby-daddy Levi; she spoke of hurtful moments on the 2008 campaign trail and how she felt about Tina Fey’s impersonation of her.

In short, Sarah Palin told her story, and it made for good television. According to Nielsen Media, in several key markets (cities), viewer ratings for the Oprah show increased as much as 128%! In case you didn’t know, ratings equal money in the broadcast television business.

So yes, maybe Oprah is a philanthropist, but first, she is a businesswoman. And she helped Palin go platinum before the month’s end – selling an additional 300,000 copies.*

This brings me to this, for those authors who say they want to be on Oprah’s show or on any TV/Radio show, column, and/or magazine, answer this – “What’s your story?”

One word of caution, though, make sure your story is true. Or your writing career could be shattered like that of James Frey, author of “A Million Little Pieces” if you lie to Oprah.