Self-Publishing Book Review of the Week, Uncategorized, weekly self published book review

Tuesday Book Review: “A Place to Call Home”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

a place to call home g a whitmore

purple dragonfly book award

A Place to Call Home: Toby’s tale

by G. A. Whitmore

ISBN: 9781478700739


A Place to Call Home is the heartwarming and inspiring story of an abandoned white German shepherd puppy named Toby and his cross-country search for a forever home.Narrated in part by the animal characters in the book, the reader experiences Toby’s world through his eyes and those of the animals he meets on his journey.

Toby’s life begins on a farm where the carefree, happy days he has known come to an abrupt end when his breeder decides to “dispose” of him and his sister Tara because of the color of their fur. With the help of a kind farmhand, the two puppies escape unharmed.

After a tumultuous time during which Toby is shuffled from place to place, he is finally adopted, but he quickly realizes his new family has deep-seated issues that put him in danger, and what seemed like an ideal home, turns into another place he must escape from.

As Toby struggles to find a forever home where he can feel safe and secure, he experiences some painful losses, but he also makes new friends–friends who will help him to trust humans again and teach him the power of love.

Inspired by a true story, this middle grade/young adult novel can be enjoyed by dog lovers of all ages.

 * courtesy of

Featured Review

As a dog rescuer myself I was happy to get my hands on “A Place to Call Home” by G.A. Whitmore. We rescued Peggy, a mixed Belgian shepherd breed from the shelter almost seven years ago and now can’t imagine life without her. Toby is white German Shepard was abandoned with his sister on the road due his white fur by the breeder, a farmer who thought no one would buy them. After the two puppies are rescued, and their new situation seemed to promise a loving home for them, Toby’s tragic adventure begins.  This heart wrenching story made me imagine my own dog’s past and wonder what type of cruel situations she had to endure before we found her. Many of us dog rescuers fall in love with them and try not to think about all the cruelty these puppies have been subjected to previously. They are so loving to us that it is hard to imagine anyone could be capable of hurting them. This book will take the reader through the worst of mankind as it recounts the abuse Toby experienced.

“A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale” by G.A. Whitmore is the first of the series which promises to be heartwarming tales of rescued dogs. Toby’s tale was inspired by the author’s own dog. Her love for him and dogs in general is evident in her writing. It is apparent through her writing that this is her first book, the flow was not quite there and it felt to me a little repetitive. I am sure that as she gains more experience she will be able to edit out unneeded wording which will help the flow a lot, from dialogue to narration and one scene to the next. Nevertheless, this is a great story and a much needed series as the amount of abused dogs in the shelters are testament to the need for loving homes.

“A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale” by G.A. Whitmore is a heartwarming story that will touch dog lovers and even people without pets. Hopefully, their hearts will open up enough to make room for a shelter dog, as they read this book.

– reviewed by Susan Violante of Reader Views

Other Reviews

I Enjoyed This Book

I saw an ad for this book in my Story Monsters Ink Magazine. I was intrigued because it won the Purple Dragonfly Book Award and the author donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book to an organization that helps protect dogs. I read it in about a week and found it to be very enjoyable. The author’s love of dogs is apparent throughout the story and the book reminds us of the horrors some of these poor animals live through. I loved her beautiful imagery and think this would be an excellent gift for dog lovers. Not sure I’d give it to someone under the age of 14 or so though. A few parts might upset younger readers. It is a story of second chances and ultimately, one of love.

– reviewed by Michelle Seelye Drucker on Amazon

A Delightful Read with a Message

This was a thoroughly delightful and enjoyable read, one that moved me to both smiles and tears. Written for young adults, it balances well the scenes in which the dogs talk to one another and other more gritty and dramatic human scenes which explained the hardships this rescue dog went through and perhaps why. Even as it engages with Toby’s joys and travels, it sends an important message about the responsibilities of dog ownership and how they look to us for much more than food, water and shelter. Loving a dog is a responsibility and it’s a great joy. The organizations that save and the people who adopt, make a tremendous difference to many small creatures who hurt. The writer skillfully and engagingly sends that powerful and beautiful message with Toby’s story.. – LB Johnson – Author of “The Book of Barkley – Life and Love Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever”.

– reviewed by L. Paul on Amazon

The story of a dog family told from the canine point of view. Unique & Excellent!

This is a wonderful, sweet and engaging book about a dog finding a forever home and his relationship with a young boy and family. It is broken up into several sections, with the story of the pups mother and grandmother on a farm and how this pup ended up being part of a family. I particularly loved how all the perspectives are from each dog’s point of view, which is something I’ve never seen before. And my favorite section was the story of the grandmother dog and her adventures on the farm – I don’t want to give anything away so I’m not going g to say anything more about it, but it was captivating and charming and really a unique story.

This would be a great book for any animal lover. The themes focus around rescues and how even a dog that is abandoned deserves a chance to be loved and love in return. The descriptions from the dogs point of views make for an interesting, unique story and I highly recommend it.

– reviewed by jld2 on Amazon

tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor


news from the self publishing world, self publishing news, Uncategorized

Self-Publishing News: 10.8.2018 – The Interviews!

october month

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!

Here’s a story to kick your week off right! Terence Toh of covers the story of 17-year-old Mitsuyo Machida, who set off to teach Japanese to Burmese refugee children at a center in Kuala Lumpur. Frustrated with the lack of available resources, she decided to create her own–Nihongo No Hon Beginner (“A Book Of Japanese Language For Beginners”)–and self-publish it so that she could get the material she wanted, the illustrations she wanted, and the details which matter to someone using a textbook in the field to change lives. Mitsuyo Machida also describes in detail her self-publishing experience: “It was really difficult at times, I didn’t have a professional editor or designer. So it was challenging, but I enjoyed it,” she writes, and the quality and creative control was important to her. And her closing comments? “It’s important to start small. Small things can make big differences in other people’s lives. You don’t need to get involved in teaching or creating textbooks like I did, but what’s most important is to be aware of people out there who need your help.” The world is in very good hands, indeed.

This article comes to us courtesy of Ernie Smith at Associations Now, and describes the Alliance of Independent Authors’ (ALLi’s) new public awareness campaign, which “urg[es] members to build their own sustainable platforms with multiple revenue streams, rather than relying on Amazon or others to fuel their success.” The campaign is called Self-Publishing 3.0, and Smith writes:

Why 3.0? ALLi says the shift represents the next wave for the industry since the rise of desktop publishing and print-on-demand technology in the 1990s made it possible for writers to self-publish. The arrival of the e-reader (particularly the Kindle) created a second wave. The third wave, says the group, emphasizes independence though side businesses such as online teaching, subscription services, and direct sales via author websites.

An awareness of consumer trends is woven deep into the fabric of this campaign, and there are plenty of resources available and linked through the article for indie authors looking to participate. Check it out!

Last but certainly not least, here’s an article from Emma Wenner of Publishers’ Weekly on the poet Lang Leav, who got her start by way of self-publishing and is now an established voice among poets of the highest caliber. Before she even got to the self-publishing stage, Leav was using platforms like Tumblr to share her poetry: “I was building up my following and saving up to self-publish my first book, Love & Misadventure,” she writes, “and I was just hoping to make back what I spent. It went a lot better than expected. I was only self-published for a couple of months and I think I had sold over 10,000 copies.” Yeah, that’s not bad at all, is it? In her interview, Leav digs into her experiences (positive and negative) on social media, the role of poetry in modern life, and what it’s like to pick up the torch after poets such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs lay the groundwork for “Pop Poetry” during the Beat Generation. A fascinating read we highly recommend!


As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Alternative Marketing Methods, elizabeth speaks, Holiday Marketing Alchemy, Holidays, in your corner, Marketing Your Self-Published Book, Uncategorized

The Alchemy of Holiday Marketing (Introduction)


Now that it’s the beginning of October, we are well and truly into the holiday season. Sure, Halloween may still be almost a full month away, but the real pleasure of the last three months of the year only a very little to do with the big days themselves–Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day–and a great deal to do with anticipation, and what we choose to do with ourselves in the intervening days as we build excitement–or design costumes, or plan reunions, or negotiate for a few extra vacation days–throughout the home stretch of the year.

What are you, as a self-publishing author, going to do with that time?

For many self-publishing authors, the holidays are the most profitable time of year. These are the authors who have figured out the best way to ring in the holidays using their skills and their published works. We’ve written extensively about holiday marketing in the past, and we may hit some of the high points again this year, but we also wanted to do something new. Not quite “6 weird tricks to spook your friends this Halloween” but something which honors the magic of the holidays, and seeks to marry together your best skills and the season’s best opportunities to create … a kind of marketing alchemy.

Over the months to come, I’ll be asking the questions: What do you have or bring to the table as an author that’s special? And what do the final months of each year have or bring to the table so far as marketing goes? How we answer these questions, together, may just provide a new way forward as you seek to plan your upcoming marketing strategy for your latest or your next self-published book!

Do you have ideas to share? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to feature your thoughts and respond to them in my next post!

You are not alone. ♣︎


ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.