The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Sell Your Soul #business #book

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

from Bookfunnel via Facebook

Title: Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career
Author: Russell Nohelty
Genre: Business, Nonfiction
Pages: NA
Reading Level: Adult
Content: Adult (business tactics, technical terms and practices)

I received a digital ARC of this book from the author because I’ve supported several of his Kickstarter campaigns and follow his creative business advice group and listen to his podcast from time to time. What can I say, I’m still having trouble getting into podcasts. In any case, I love this guy’s passion for his personal works and his indie press releases. I know I’ve learned so much from him already, so reading this book was a no brainer.

Initial thoughts- this book was great. It wasn’t too long, but it was a hefty length because it covers a lot of information. I like that, before the book dives deep into the how-tos of the creative business, the author explains the necessity of passion. Passion is the one thing I think, anyone who encounters Russell Nohelty, notices about him. He loves what he does and frequently reiterates that that has to be the number one reason a person decides to create something, whatever it is.

Then the book starts to dive into the how-to of business, but not just general stuff. Everything Nohelty discusses is directed specifically to creative people who want to make money with their creativity and break the stigma that all artists have to be starving. He speaks to the readers as if there’s a conversation happening. He’s quite frank and down to earth, but still concise and purposeful with his words. There are times when you can almost hear Russell yelling into the pages that yes, this is going to be hard, but it’s not impossible.

Nohelty is also upfront and honest about what has and hasn’t worked for him while leaving it to the reader to decide what they want to try because he or she might have a completely different experience. There are certain aspects of the book that feel like life hacks. They are literal step-by-steps of what he did, so why not try it yourself.

I feel like a large part of the book, when reading in between the lines, is about gearing the reader up to break out of their comfort zone. There are things he mentions in this book that I’ve thought about doing but just didn’t think that was the way things were done. Now I know that they can be the way, there are just so many people who are too afraid to try them. He also mentions a few things I never would have thought of, which I now realize is a reflection of the lack of confidence I sometimes have in my own work.

I don’t know that this is the greatest book ever written about the business of creativity, but it’s pretty darn good. I’d totally recommend it. Heck, that’s what I’m doing right now.

I give this book a 5.

Find this on and Goodreads.comUpdated 9/3/2017

If you have a moment, I’d love for you to visit my CURIOUS QUESTIONS page and offer your two cents on the question being asked. Thanks bunches.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Purple Snowflake Marketing by Lillian Brummet

Book Title: Purple Snowflake Marketing – How To Make Your Book Stand Out in a Crowd

Author Name: Lillian and Dave Brummet

Publisher: Independent

Reading Level: Adult

Genre: how-to, self-help, book promotion, etc…

Content Rating: G

Available Formats:  e-book and print

Number of Pages: 378

Purchase Links: Available at most online bookstores as well as: (e-book) | (print)

See reviews of this book here:


Book Description

Make your book stand out in the crowd! Getting your book into the hands of paying readers is the most important goal of a writer and with the tools offered in this book the sales of your book will increase dramatically!

For the average author the marketing and promotion of their own book is a mystery in itself, and outsourcing these activities can quickly erode their budget. This book has all the tools and tips for developing that marketing plan, and turn your writing into a professional career.

Purple Snowflake Marketing offers a realistic guide to what authors can expect to face and how to employ research and preparation to make a memorable first impression. As you put together a marketing plan, you will be able to proceed with the confidence of a seasoned writer. This book is packed with value, with over 1000 resources along with stats and inspiring quotes to assist you in developing that unique marketing plan for each book you write.


Book Excerpt:

“The first year after a book is released is often termed as the “one-year honeymoon period” by those in the industry. This is because many authors run out of contacts (friends, family, local media, colleagues, etc.) their budget has run dry, and initial marketing tactics are completed around the one-year mark. If the author has some name recognition, a basic marketing plan in place that goes beyond the Honeymoon Period, and shows an understanding of the promotional work required, than the author has a greater chance of being accepted by publishers.

Now, one of the reasons publishers must be choosy is simply related to budget. They are working with, like everyone else, a limited budget. So as book proposals come in they are looking for the ones that will be the least likely to drain their budget and the most likely to bring in revenue. Therefore a proactive author will have a greater chance of getting approval and considerations for any other programs they might have in place.

Sure, we can see e-book authors, for instance, who are making a living from just one or a few e-books. We also see authors in print format reaching out to the Internet audience, and succeeding. The reason? That is where people are. They are not attending events in the numbers they used to, they are not going into bookstores and libraries in the numbers they used to – and so we have to go where they are. What do your readers want? What formats do they like? It really boils down to knowing the audience for each book that is about to be released.

The success of your book depends on many factors starting with genre, release date, the publisher’s policies, the size of book, the quality of the printing, the format you choose, printer and publisher schedules, staffing, suppliers and the original condition of the manuscript. The ingenuity, preparedness and experience of the author, personal finances and resources, and location can also determine the success of a book. All of this will influence how a book is marketed and reinforces the need for every book’s marketing plan to be unique.”

Lillian Brummet Links:

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Review: Year Zero

Year Zero by Rob Reid

I give this book a 4.


This is a very entertaining read full of laughs and, oddly enough, a great deal of factual information I never knew. This story is so absurd that I’m not quite sure how to describe it.

Apparently advanced aliens, far across the galaxy, have been craving and downloading earth music because it’s the one thing the insufficient human race is actually good at (and the rest of the known universe is not). Then one day the superior aliens, through their mastery of legal principles, realize that they owe the people of earth an innumerous amount of royalties or something like that. While some aliens have decided to settle the matter in court, others have decided to just eliminate the problem all together. That’s where the intergalactic misadventures of lawyer Nick Carter (not to be confused with Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter) begin.

To say that the characters of this story are kooky would be an understatement. My favorite thing about the story isn’t technically apart of the story. I love the footnotes. The footnotes of this book are like a running commentary in a movie. They are informative, hilarious, and pleasantly distracting. Eventually I had to stop reading them to finish the story and then went back to read them in perspective. I guess if you’re not really a reader, this may not sound appealing.

All aliens aside, anyone who likes music will love this book. It’s also good for a laugh.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Rob Bignell Interview- Industry Professsional

Greetings everyone. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful industry professional named, Rob Bignell. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.

image provided guest

Hi there Rob! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ToiBox Blog. I’m excited to learn more about you and your work.

So tell me, who is Rob Bignell?

I’m the owner and chief editor of Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the editing and self-publishing needs of writers both new and published. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres have been published, and I’m the author of the nonfiction guidebook series 7 Minutes a Day…, Hikes with Tykes, Headin’ to the Cabin, Hittin’ the Trail, the literary novel Windmill, and the poetry collection Love Letters to Sophie’s Mom. For more than two decades, I worked as an award-winning journalist, with half of those years spent as an editor. I spent another seven years as an English teacher or a community college journalism instructor. I hold a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s in journalism and English.

Wow, I mean, just wow! You’ve worked as a teacher, journalist, editor, and writer. I can’t imagine being all those things at once, but you make it seem easy and thrilling. I can’t wait to see what all you have to share.

So whacha got for me today?

image provided by guest

I’m wrapping up writing on the next title in my “7 Minutes a Day…” writing guidebook series. Due out at the holiday season, the fourth title in the series focuses on “the craft of fiction writing” – or how to give your writing more zing. It’s a collection of 50 pieces of advice I’ve given to writers who I’ve edited and helped get published during the past five years. It’s called “7 Minutes a Day to Mastering the Craft of Writing.”

That sounds like a good series to look into. As a writer I know it never hurts to brush up your writing and as a writer of fiction, this topic truly appeals to me.

Do you mind to share today, how we become fans, followers, or friends?

Through LinkedIn. I make the majority of my connections with serious writers and editors and other professionals via LinkedIn, much more so than Facebook or Twitter.

I can totally agree with you on that. I find that when I connect with people through Facebook and Twitter, it’s more social, and that can be a good thing, but for business, I stick with LinkedIn. It’s a great way to make initial connections before moving on to something more social, if things work out that way.

Getting to know you a little better, tell me, whose brain are you just itching to scratch?

Shakespeare. I’d like know how he came up with the ideas, imagery, and lines for his plays, to learn if they were borrowed, collaborative or wholly of his own mind. I’d like to learn what specific events in his life inspired some of his greatest lines and scenes. Of course, if I knew, then I’d be writing scholarly papers for the rest of my life!

This is one of those questions with no right or wrong answer, but sometimes an answer seems better than others. Shakespeare is always a good one, especially when there is good reasoning behind it – not just because everyone’s heard of him.

Up next, who is so you and why?

Well, I wish they would compare to Captain Kirk or to James Bond! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone compare me to a celebrity or fictional character before. Wait, back in college, someone said they thought I was like Ted Koppel. There’s no way that’s true. I mean, do I sound like Ted Koppel to you?

I know what you mean. We are never compared to the people we’d want to be compared to, but being compared to Ted Koppel doesn’t seem too bad. I always get compared to B-list actresses.

Being the busy person that you are, what makes you chill?

Listen to bebop jazz with a lavender candle burning, curled up with a good book with just enough lighting to read by. I probably spend all of my relaxation time with me Kindle Paperwhite. Pathetic, right? I’ve taken to introducing my Kindle as my new girlfriend.

LOL! I like you; you’re funny. There’s nothing wrong with settling down with a good book. Every day at work (I teach) I scarf down my lunch quickly so I can squeeze in at least 10 minutes of reading, just to clear my mind.

So, what was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?


I read a tremendous amount of science fiction and boy adventure novels. One short story that I read over and over was Fredric Brown’s “Puppet Show,” which was in an anthology I had. I remember comic book versions of “The War of the Worlds” and “The Time Machine” having a big impact on me. I devoured James Blish’s “Star Trek” anthologies.

I never read many short stories growing up and am just now growing to like the medium, but you had me the moment you said “comic book.” To this day, even after having read the originals, I love to read the graphic novel versions of books. I just love the images.

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That’s a tough question. Maybe “Star Wars IV: A New Hope.” It’s got action and adventure, it’s got mythology, it’s got humor, just as a start. The movie has a number of layers to it, and if you take that approach and just view it for each layer, you’d be watching a new movie each time you saw it.

I like you more and more every minute. That movie rocks!

What makes you geek out?

Star Trek: The Original Series.” I can tell you the name of the episode just by seeing the planet they approach in the opening scene.

Wow, that’s impressive. My dad would be so proud of me if I could do that, not that he isn’t proud of me, but you get my meaning 😉 . Good for you!

So what’s testing your patience right now?

What’s testing my patience right now is that there’s a lot of good books, music and art out there there but nothing that’s truly shattering the old paradigms. So much is imitative and commercial. Of course, the imitation is very flattering and the production quite slick. But I’d like to live through a period where you say, “He/she/they are like the Beatles or Motown. Nothing’s the same now that they’re on the scene.”

I know what you mean. There is definitely no shortage of creativity right now, but originality is sparse and the ability to change the game for the better seems almost impossible. However, I’ve seen some of the things people are doing in the name of conservation and my mind is blown.

When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

When I’m working out, Dick Dale’s surf guitar runs through my head. When I’m mindlessly happy, an upbeat Beatles tune plays up there. When I’m contemplative, John Coltrane is there with all of the improvisational notes matching my thoughts of exploration.

I can get down “with a little help from my friends” and, of course, taking a ride on the Coltrane is always enlightening. 

What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?

Anytime my son and I have laughed together.

What a great answer. Family and laugher are always the best.

So, thoughts on EC: GA?

I’m looking forward to reading it. I’ve heard great things about its characters being extremely well drawn and given a lot of depth. One of the pleasures of reading is meeting characters who are like real people and experiencing their adventures alongside them.

I’m glad to hear that. I tell everyone, that while I worked very hard to develop this story, I put so much more into my characters because they are each a part of me, even my bad guys.

Is there something you would like to ask me?

Q: Are you Dr. Mira Brown?

A: Not really. I image that Mira looks like a taller less glamorous version of my older sister, and while I wanted to be a doctor when I was a kid, she’s not really me. She and I have a lot in common, but she’s a combination of many of the women in my life.

Well that’s all for today folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation with industry professional Rob Bignell and will take some time to visit his links.

Rob Bignell editing service:

My “7 Minutes a Day…” writing guidebook series:

This has been a

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2013: A Review By Paula Hrbacek

Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2013, by Kathryn Jones

Pages: 46

Reading level:  General

Genre: Non-iction

Content Rating: General

Publisher: Idea Creations Press; 2013 edition (March 15, 2013)


Format: ebook (also available in paperback)

A quick guide for indie authors, Four Stars, 5-29-13

I received a copy of “Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2013” as a free Kindle download when I responded to a discussion posted on Linked In.  The author, Kathryn Jones, is a published author who shares some of the avenues she has found for marketing a fiction book.

It is a good start for someone who doesn’t have a clue about what to do about marketing a book.  Many self-published authors jump into the fire not realizing just how much promotion they will have to do in order to make their book successful.  This booklet is a quick overview of some of the things they need to consider and do, such as set up a web site, engage in social media, and have promotional materials available.

Each chapter lists a few of the resources the author has found for promoting her book.  It lists a few blogs and web sites that will run promotional copy.  But it is not an exhaustive list, nor does it include every avenue possible.  It talks about requesting reviews and how to write a cover letter, but it didn’t mention press releases and how to write one.  It mentioned post cards, but not business cards, bookmarks or magnets.  It didn’t say what companies will print these items inexpensively, or how to make your own on a computer.  It listed web sites that promote fiction, but not nonfiction.

The book ends with information about a publishing company and the services they offer.  That means that this book is a promotional item, just like the free pens and coffee cups you get at the bank.  So, if you have the chance to get a copy for free, take it.

I was given a Kindle version, but would have liked a paper copy better.  If it had blank pages where I could add my own resources, then it might become a useful tool that I could turn to every time I publish a book.  I turned to taking notes, and wrote down a full page of web sites to check out.  But, format is in the eyes of the beholder, and ease of use depends on how many computer skills you have.  It is available in paperback, so that choice needs to be made at the time it is ordered. Amazon, Kindle.


Paula Hrbacek is the author of five books including: Stars Shine After Dark, a sweet Christian romance, available in paperback, Kindle and Nook, and Day Camp in Hawaii, a complete program guide for summer camp or summer school, available in paperback, Nook and Kindle.  For more information see or her author page at She also writes two columns for The Examiner, a free online newspaper; Children’s Arts and Crafts, and Book Reviews.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords