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Get your FREE Book Marketing Challenge Pass to Read my Guest Article!

Hi everyone,

I’m so proud to announce that a guest article I wrote about WordPress blogs has been featured in marketing expert, D’vorah Lansky’s Book Marketing Challenge this week. I received over 90 comments on the article and have had a chance to network with a group of writers. I am also honored to be one of D’vorah’s Book Marketing Challenge Ambassadors, so I’ll be available to answer questions during the event.

It’s not too late to join the fun!

This year over 40 authors, publishers, and book marketing experts will be sharing their wisdom as part of the 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge.

The Book Marketing Challenge will provide you with hands-on, interactive training, on a wide variety of online book marketing strategies. You’ll also have opportunities to develop wonderful new friendships with other authors and our guest experts! 

During the Book Marketing Challenge, you’ll have access to workshops, expert interviews, articles, daily action steps, hot tips, special gifts, and opportunities to expand your online presence. 

To read the article and sign up for your free pass to the 30-day event, please click on the image below.
Book Marketing Challenge Guest Blogger


Happy blogging,

Gina Akao



Spotlight on Success: D’vorah Lansky Interviewed Me!

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that marketing entrepreneur, D’vorah Lansky, interviewed me for her Spotlight on Success this week! To listen to the audio recording of the interview, please go to the following link: Virtual Book Tour Success Story.

In this recording and in my guest blog post on D’vorah’s site,, you’ll learn:

  • How I turned my Virtual Book Tour into a business
  • How I doubled my freelance income by promoting my book through a Virtual Book Tour
  • How D’vorah Lansky, the instructor of the VBT course, makes a difference in authors’ lives

Don’t forget to visit my business website, to check out Amara’s endorsement (she is integral to my VBT success story). Also, claim your Top Ten Career Tips!

Have a wonderful day,


Changing Names in a Memoir

Hi everyone,

When I was drafting my memoir, Tales of a Law School Dropout, I came upon a dilemma once I was ready to publish my book–should I change the names of my friends to protect their identities and privacy? What if they wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore after I wrote about them? What if they were offended by something I said in the book? What if they didn’t think my portrayal of them was accurate?

In fact, I went as far as asking my closest friends if they were okay about me writing about them. All I ever wanted out of writing a memoir was to tell people everything I wished I had known before attending law school so that they could avoid the pain I went through from going down the wrong career path. I certainly didn’t want to hurt any of my friends in the process of seeking catharsis after writing a memoir. To my surprise, most of my friends responded that they were flattered that I wrote a book and included them in it! Most of them didn’t care either way if I used their names or didn’t.

Even so, I changed their names. I spoke to an Intellectual Property attorney after he gave a presentation on copyright law at my writers’ group, and he said that I should change the names, not because of fear of getting sued, but because some day one of my friends might become a judge and wouldn’t want her real name published in a book about her first year of law school. So for the sake of my friends’ future careers, I concealed their names. But what about their personalities?

To find the answer, I consulted Tristine Rainer’s book, Your Life as Story, which advises memoir writers to change the names of their friends and loved ones, “not from concern about lawsuits, but out of desire to retain a margin of privacy for themselves and others” (p. 318). Phillip Lopate’s policy was to fictionalize only names, not identifying characteristics, in his personal essays (Rainer, 1997). Since opinions are protected under the First Amendment, it’s not libelous to state your opinion in your memoir.

However, it is good to keep in mind the elements of libel: “In most states, the plaintiff must be able to show that not only is what you wrote not true, but that the reader could recognize whom the character is based on, that the subject of your writing had been damaged by it in some demonstratable way, and that you wrote the lie with malicious intent” (p. 315).

So did I change people’s names? Yes. Did I lie about them? No. Did I deliberately try to hurt them? No. Whew.

Nevertheless, to my chagrin, one of my lawyer friends who read my book was able to recognize a mutual acquaintance. To find out who, check out Tales of a Law School Dropout.

Are you writing a memoir? Let me know your take on changing names.

Have a great day,


My Virtual Book Tour Travels to Turn Your Book into a Business

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that today my virtual book tour travels to the website of Corine LaFont, a talented entrepreneur who helps authors publish and market their books. She is the only certified author assistant in the Caribbean, and and I would never have connected with her if it wasn’t for D’vorah Lansky’s Virtual Book Tour course, which allows authors from all over the world to network and to learn from each other.  Corine also has a radio show on Blog Talk Radio called “Between the Lines,” which is devoted to empowering authors.

To check out the full article, please click on the title: “How to Turn Your Book Into a Business.” This article covers:

  • How I marketed my book, Tales of a Law School Dropout, with a Virtual Book Tour (VBT)
  • How my VBT helped me double my freelance writing and editing income
  • How I turned my hobby into a business by starting with a SCORE business plan and mentor

I didn’t mention this in the article, because it is personal, but one of my main motivations for launching is because my 76-year-old dad has early-onset Alzheimer’s. This disease has shaken up our family in ways I never could have imagined, but as a result of those challenges, I have pushed myself to turn my own hobby into a business. Writing has always been something I did for fun, but now, I am blessed to have clients tell me that I’m an answer to their prayers by helping them with their own books and small businesses. Owning a business has its own set of challenges, so I encourage those of you who are brave enough to take up my small business challenge to balance your lives so that you can manage the stress of owning a business while you remain healthy and happy at the same time!

Also, if you are following and haven’t yet received your free copy of my Top Ten Career tips, please click here.



Acknowledgements: My Critique Group


Left to right: Cynthia King, Paula Riley, Chris Rost, Lisa Mortara, and Anne Buckley

Hi everyone,

I hope you are having a fabulous Friday. I just wanted to take a moment to thank the people who have made me a better writer–my critique group! This wonderful group of ladies has been meeting with me almost every two weeks, all with the common goal of honing our writing skills. Well, our hard work has paid off! I am proud to announce that our very own Lisa Mortara has published her novel, In the Shadow of the Eiffel Tower: Adventure, Intrigue, and Seduction in Paris. Paula Riley, who is also the amazing photographer did my photo shoot for my website, published her book, Atheist in Church — on Heaven and Other Mysteries. Chris Rost is writing an incredibly funny satire about the Seven Deadly Sins.  Anne Buckley is working on a masterful first novel staring an old Irish farmer named Miley who visits New York City for the first time. Cynthia (AKA, “Alexandria”) King is a creative writer who has a talent for sci-fi, and she manages to write full time despite suffering from retrograde amnesia after a nearly fatal car crash years ago. And of course, there is me, author of Tales of a Law School Dropout.

I am incredibly blessed to be a part of this talented group of women–without them, I would not be the writer I am today. Don’t forget to read my post about critique groups and sign up for your Top Ten Career Tips to discover the secret to career success.

Happy writing!



Left to right: Chris Rost, Lisa Mortara, Anne Buckley, Cynthia King, and Gina Akao

My Virtual Book Tour Travels to!

Hi everyone,

I am proud to announce that my virtual book tour travels to the website of Connie Dunn, an enthusiastic writer and publishing maven. Check out the full article by clicking the title, “How to Hone Your Writing with a Critique Group.”

The article covers:

  • The benefits of joining a critique group
  • What to avoid in a critique group
  • Action steps to follow after your critique group meeting

Also, don’t forget to Like my book’s fan page, “Tales of a Law School Dropout” on Facebook! Please leave a comment. I’d appreciate your feedback and ideas for future articles.

Happy writing!


My Virtual Book Tour Travels to!

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that my Virtual Book Tour stops at Marcia Ming’s blog today! My article is titled, “Kindle Publishing: Marketing a Book on a Budget.” Please click the link to view the entire article. Marcia is a talented marketing entrepreneur whom I met through D’vorah Lansky’s Virtual Book Tours Made Easy course.

To find out how I published my book on a budget, read the article to learn:

  • How much I spent on my domain,
  • How I built my personal brand through
  • How I set up hosting for with Bluehost, and how much it cost
  • How to break even and make a profit by selling my book and doubling my freelance income!

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive your free gift, “Top Ten Career Tips!”

Have a great day,


My Review of the 2013 TMCC Writers’ Conference

This year’s Truckee Meadows Community College Writers’ Conference offered a lot of information about agents, publishing (both traditional and indie) and allowed some time for networking. I have been to three TMCC writers conferences, and would definitely recommend attending if you are a writer who would like to be published. The conference covered: reasons to need an agent, creating good dialogue, eBook publishing, an agents panel, how to make the right publishing decisions, and creating characters through conflict.

Attendees could buy a $12 lunch and sit down with one of the agents, editors, or speakers at the conference. I had the opportunity to meet other writers who could potentially introduce me to successful bloggers.

My only gripe with the TMCC conference is that the speakers do not offer interactive exercises to the audience. Even if one author could be selected and a sample of work could be read aloud and critiqued, I believe that the lecture material would be reinforced. Although writers could sign up for one-on-one appointments with agents, I think that the general meeting could provide more value if more interaction was offered in the form of exercises in addition to the Q&A sessions. In the future, I would also like to see a presentation on how an author can successfully build his/her own platform through social media, blogging, entrepreneurial work, and interviews, etc.

I enjoyed this year’s TMCC Writers’ Conference and am looking forward to the next one…perhaps as a bestselling author.

If you liked this review, please follow my blog, and you will receive your free Top Ten Career Tips!

Happy writing!



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