Four Ways to Leverage Social Media to Promote Your Book

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that I’m hosting a guest article, “Four Ways to Leverage Social Media to Promote Your Book,” on my business website, Don’t forget to enter your email to claim your Top Ten Career Tips!

Debra’s professional credits include:

  • Producer of the Secrets of The Millionaire Woman audio series, in which extraordinary female entrepreneurs share the secrets of what makes them so unique
  • Featured expert author on 
  • Co-host of the Align Your Passion, Power & Purpose for 2010 conference, featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Justin Hines and New York Times bestselling author of The Passion Test, Janet Attwood
  • Co-author of Bestselling book GPS Your Best Life™:Charting Your Destination and Getting There in Style (2012) with Charmaine Hammond
  • Author of The Entrepreneurial Mom’s Guide to Growing a Business, Raising a Family, and Creating a Life YOU Love (2013)
  • Graduate of Jack Canfield`s The Success Principles coaching program
  • Real estate investor
  • Member of eWomenNetwork

Have a great day,



Exclusive Interview with Deborah Schneider, “Should You Really Be a Lawyer?”

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that my Virtual Book Tour will conclude with an exclusive interview of Deborah Schneider, author  of Should You Really Be a Lawyer: The Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During and After Law School. To find out more about the book, please go to

The conference call will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8th at 3 p.m. PST.
Conference dial-in number: (805) 399-1000.
Participant access code: 471729

The interview will be recorded, so be sure to Follow my blog at to receive a link to the recording.

Share the link with all of your legal beagle friends!

Also, check out the most recent book endorsement I received from attorney, Rick Hsu:

“Gina Akao accurately portrays with gripping detail the neuroticism that every law student experiences in Tales of a Law School Dropout, from the frenetic process of studying for the LSAT through the trials and tribulations of the first semester of law school.”
–Rick R. Hsu, Esq.

Maupin, Cox & LeGoy

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of my eBook, Tales of a Law School Dropout for only $9.99!

Have a great 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

Editing is an Important Step in the Publishing Process

Hi everyone,

In case you missed it, check out Connie Dunn’s guest article on my newly-redesigned business website, Please click on the title to read the full article: “Editing is an Important Step in the Publishing Process.” Connie is the author of  “Press Releases Made Easy,” and is a good friend of mine whom I met through D’vorah Lansky’s Virtual Book Tours Made Easy course.

Connie’s article covers:

  • The difference between line editing and content editing
  •  Why you shouldn’t edit your own work
  • Other key steps in the publishing process

Don’t forget to enter your email to claim your free Top Ten Career Tips!

Have a great day,


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,


Can My College Help Me Find a Career?

Hi everyone,

It’s commencement time! Many students are graduating high school and college and are looking forward to finding their dream jobs. Luckily, most colleges offer some kind of career services department to assist students in this endeavor.

If you’re a recent grad, don’t wait until too long after graduation to update your resume and apply for jobs. The market is tough out there. Help is only a step away if you’re on a college campus.

The University of Nevada, Reno, for instance, has a Career Studio, where students can drop in (no appointment necessary) to get instant resume and cover letter critiques. Drop-in hours are Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm in the Thompson Building (students can check the website for summer hours).

I interviewed Internship & Employer Relations Coordinator, Robyn Maitoza, Ph.D. “The Studio’s grand opening and ribbon cutting will be in September 2013,” and the Studio (now open, but located in Thompson) will be moving to the soon-to-be-built Student Achievement Center, which will replace Getchell Library. Students will be able to connect with mentors via social media, as well as in person.

Students will be able to sign in on iPads. UNR’s Career Studio is hiring 10 career mentors who will work directly with students who drop in. In addition, students may use computers in the Career Studio to update resumes and cover letters. The Career Studio, in contrast to the former career services department, will be a hub for career services and will conduct workshops, on-site interviews, and panels to help students find employers and vice versa.

The only downside I see to the new studio format is that students will not be able to take the full Myers-Briggs personality test or Strong’s Interest Inventory, which require a small fee to administer. Personally, I have found going over assessment results with a professional career counselor extremely beneficial. But, not all students will have the patience to spend hours on career tests. Instead, the Career Studio’s current assessments available are free and take less time to complete and review.

Additionally, the Career Studio will be installing a new system to collect data on how many students utilize the different services. Students will be able to search a database with job postings and employers will be able to log in and post jobs. The Studio will also provide opportunities for students to shadow alums in their target careers and to sign up for internships.

For more information about the Career Studio, please visit If you’re not a UNR student, peruse your college’s website to find out what kind of career services it offers.

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to receive your “Top Ten Career Tips” for free.

Happy career hunting!


Virtual Book Tour Blog Posts!

Hi everyone,

My Virtual Book Tour is well under way, and recently I traveled to the blog of Jacci Turner, a talented Young Adult writer who I met through my writers group, the High Sierra Writers. She gave a passionate presentation on building a platform, so I was excited when she agreed to feature one of my articles on her blog, Jacci has published three books, The Cage, The Bar, and The Lamb.

In case you missed it, please click here to view the whole article, “What is God’s Purpose for You?”

During her presentation, Jacci mentioned that her blog had a spiritual theme, and although I am a Christian, I normally do not blog about religious topics, but after reading some of Jacci’s posts, I was inspired.

To see a full list of my upcoming blog tour stops, check out my Events page. The idea behind a Virtual Book Tour is that instead of traveling from city to city to do book readings, authors in the digital era can steamline the process by taking their tour online! Each blog “stop” takes the author to the blog of another successful author who writes about a similar topic.

Do you know what your God-given purpose is? Let me know! Please feel free to comment below. And if you haven’t already, sign up for my subscription list to receive your free gift, “Top Ten Career Tips.”

Have a wonderful day,


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