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Below is a link to an excellent site with helpful tips and advice for authors. The site is especially helpful with articles explaining and discussing Amazon’s purge of book reviews.  Just Publishing Advice

About Just Publishing Advice

Derek HainesJust Publishing Advice is managed by Derek Haines, an English teacher, author and habitual blogger, who has a long-held interest in self-publishing, as a means of freedom of expression rather than as an avenue to instant riches and fame.

Last century, well before the term self-publishing and the advent of e-books and print on demand paperbacks, and well before Amazon was even born, he was printing, hand binding and selling his own novels and books of awful poetry.

Today, with modern technology available to him, he continues to write and electronically publish new novels, from time to time, but has realised that publishing awful poetry might not have been such a good idea. One lives and learns.

In between irregular novels, he blogs. In a way, it is self-publishing at its grassroots. Opinion, ideas and helpful advice, delivered almost daily.

He also runs Whizbuzz Books for book promotion as well as this site, Just Publishing Advice for self-publishing tips and how to articles.

He has, however, also written a few books that achieved some acclaim.

Below are links to some of his excellent articles.

Who’s Selling My Book For $2,796.00?  ARTICLE LINK

17 Speedy Book Marketing Ideas   ARTICLE LINK

Policy Change On Amazon Book Reviews Updated With $50 Minimum  ARTICLE LINK


Amazon KDP Select: The Pros and Cons ARTICLE LINK

Why Did Amazon Delete My Book Reviews? ARTICLE LINK

7 Reasons Why A Self-Published Book Fails To Sell ARTICLE  LINK

11 Ideas To Help You Write The Positively Perfect Blog Post ARTICLE LINK

My Books Aren’t Selling! 10 Actions You can Take ARTICLE LINK

Nine Book Promotions Ideas THAT DO NOT WORK ARTICLE LINK

New Authors Beware of Scam Agents and Publishing Sharks ARTICLE LINK

What’s The Best Way To Promote My Self-Published Book? ARTICLE LINK

In Addition, I’m including an excellent article by Derek Murphy: Why Amazon is deleting book reviews: understanding Amazon’s new review policy and how to get back deleted reviews  Link





Mystery AT Fort Mims


A Mysterious Stranger at Fort Mims!

     First, Jeff reads stories and accounts about historic Fort Mims. Then, he learns about a mysterious man who appeared there days before the Indian massacre. Next, Jeff has a dream that he and his pals go back in time to Fort Mims. What will happen to them at the fort? Will they meet the strange man? Will Jeff and his friends escape the terrible massacre?

     Jeff and his pals solve another mystery when he has a dream about going to Fort Mims, the site of one of the largest and most brutal Indian massacres in American history. An exciting trek to the fort, a strange presence, a threatening storm, a narrow escape from Creek Indians, and a first-hand view of the terrible massacre are all part of their scary adventure. As they embark on their perilous journey, they learn valuable lessons in friendship, trust, and courage—and about the terrible massacre at Fort Mims, located in Baldwin County, Alabama. Mystery at Fort Mims is the sixth book in The Bayshore Mysteries. Be sure to look for the other five books in the series.


Artist drawing of the Creek Indian massacre: August 30, 1813

Battle Scene of Fort Mims

Reconstructed walls and gate at the site of Fort Mims


East gate of the fort


                   Replica of the blockhouse



                Reconstructed Well


                    Firing Hole

                 Diagram of Fort Mims


               Boatyard Lake




Helpful Links

Exploring Off the Beaten Fort Mims

Encyclopedia of Alabama: Fort Mims Battle and Massacre:

Wikipedia: Fort Mims massacre

Encyclopedia of Alabama: William Weatherford

Explore Southern
Fort Mims—Tensaw, Alabama

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians

Fort Mims Restoration Association

Encyclopedia of Alabama: Creeks in Alabama


By Jerrye Sumrall

Originally submitted to Southern Writer’s Magazine



As writers, we can all relate to the lady in the picture. I know I certainly can! When I first began writing fiction, the process of molding characters and scenes into a story was a daunting task. No matter how many writing courses I took, or how many free-lance editors I worked with, or how many articles I read, the process continued to be frustrating and difficult. It wasn’t a lack of information about writing, but a lack of understanding and applying the information. I did not understand the true nature of writing and what it would take to be a writer.

Based on my own writing journey, I would like to share some of my conclusions about what it takes to be a writer. In addition, I would like to encourage you to read the article, 10 Keys to Becoming aSuccessful Writer: An Agent Spills Secrets by Chuck Sambuchino.

Authors have to want to write. It has to be so important that they can’t give it up. Every author knows that feeling. It’s like part of you wants to give up but another part of you want let go. No matter how frustrating or discouraging or absolutely impossible your writing becomes, a true writer will not stop, which leads to my point; don’t ever give up. If you are going to be an author, that is not an option and that stubborn part of you is what will see you through. I have been writing for over twenty years, and I am still learning new skills and techniques every time I write. And YES, I still get frustrated.

Authors must write from the heart. They must write about what is near and dear to them and what lies deep inside them, especially if they are writing fiction. Every one of us carries a past inside of us, and that past has shaped and molded us for good or bad into the person that we are today. An author must put that part of themselves into their writing, especially their characters. When I describe a character, I become that person, like an actor that plays a part. In that process, part of me enters into the character because I’m thinking: what would I say, what would I do, or how would I react to this or that situation.

 Authors must use their interests, abilities, and personality traits to write their story. I did not start writing until almost mid-life, but my early childhood interests, personality traits, and motivations stayed with me and became the driving force in writing mystery books for children. As a young child and all through adulthood, I was always curious and fascinated with the unknown and anything mysterious. I loved watching horror flicks on television, reading mystery books or just exploring my surroundings. Later in life, my experience as a teacher, counselor, and parent added even more background to use in my writing. When I began to write my middle-grade mystery series for children, my life experiences poured out onto the page and into the scenes and fictional characters I created.

My books were a reflection of my past experiences and what was important to me. Those important things developed into three main themes in my books: mystery, history, and relationships. Each one of my books in, The Bayshore Mysteries, contains those three important themes. Each one of you has a past and a vast repertoire of experiences. Don’t hesitate to use those experiences to create your best work ever!

*To purchase books from The Bayshore Mysteries, please visit Jerrye Sumrall’s Amazon Book Page.



How Life Experiences Influence Your Writing!

Article for Marni Graff’s Blog @
By Jerrye Sumrall


How The Bayshore Mysteries began: Although my idea of doing a children’s mystery series didn’t come to me until later in life, the framework started when I was a child. I grew up in a small southern town with lots of freedom to play and explore my surroundings. As with all childhoods, there were ups and downs, but these experiences along with a vivid imagination and fascination with the unknown served as a springboard for my writing. In my adult years, my experience as a teacher and counselor further developed the writing framework that later grew into a unique children’s series, The Bayshore Mysteries.

Why I chose to write for the middle grade audience and how I got my ideas: I decided to write for the middle-grade audience because I’ve had the most experience with that group of children, and it was the age I remember so fondly as a child. I think my ideas came naturally from my fascination with mystery, adventure and the unknown, even into adulthood. I have always been intrigued with horror flicks, mystery books, and any entertainment venue with a mysterious setting and plot. I have also been fascinated with local historical settings that could easily be transformed into a mystery plot. That is actually how all of my books began. I would pick the historical location, choose the characters, and devise a mystery plot that would fit the characters and setting.

What are the historical settings for my books: The historical settings in my books are ones that I could easily research and visit. I am fortunate to live in an area that is full of history and suspense, wrapped up in unique settings. The Eastern Shore region of Mobile Bay, an area rich in Civil War history and small town culture, serves as a springboard for my first book, Intruders on Battleship Island. The Beatrice and Monroeville, AL, setting, found in The Secret Graveyard, brings to life new mysteries and secrets from that area. Mobile, Al, with its festive Mardi Gras celebration and spooky swamp setting serves as the backdrop for The Mystery of Wragg Swamp. Mound Island located deep in the delta region of Baldwin county Al, serves as the setting for the fourth book in the series, Mystery on Mound Island. Historic Blakeley State park in Spanish Fort, Al, the site of the old town of Blakeley, Fort Blakeley, and the last Civil War battle serves as the setting for the fifth book in the series, The Ghost of Blakeley Past.

My emphasis on relationships and understanding others: For the character relationship aspect of the stories, I wanted to emphasize getting along and understanding others. In addition to the main characters that appear in each of my books, I have also included at least one new character who was either annoying, disliked, or very misunderstood. Through the course of each story, the characters all learned important lessons in friendship, courage, and determination. That idea came from my own childhood and from my experience as a teacher and counselor.

In summary: In each one of my books, I’ve tried to incorporate mystery, action and adventure, local history, and enduring characters who learn lessons in friendship, courage, and self-awareness. I feel that my choice of unusual settings, my use of historical fact, my presentation of age-appropriate mystery, and my focus on lessons in self-reliance and respect for others has made The Bayshore Mysteries a unique middle grade series.

Biography for Jerrye Sumrall: Jerrye Sumrall lives in Spanish Fort, Alabama with her husband. Formerly an elementary schoolteacher and counselor, she is now a full-time writer, homemaker, amateur photographer and office manager for she and her husband’s business. She is the author of five middle grade books: Intruders on Battleship Island, The Secret Graveyard, The Mystery of Wragg Swamp, Mystery on Mound Island, and The Ghost of Blakeley Past, all part of a mystery series called, The Bayshore Mysteries.


*For more information about Jerrye Sumrall: Please visit her websites

*All five books in The Bayshore Mysteries can be purchased in print and e-book format at


Something strange is happening on Battleship Island!


At first, strange lights flickered on the island. Then they were gone. Two men carrying flashlights appeared. Then they quickly sped away in their boat. A few days later, the men came back. What were they doing on the island? Could they be hiding a secret?
     Jeff Douglas and his pals are plunged into a series of scary adventures as they discover the real truth about the island. An old shack with a secret underground room, hidden treasures, a spooky house, dangerous thieves, and several narrow escapes, reveal the island’s past, and teach the boys a valuable lesson in friendship, courage and determination.
      Intruders on Battleship Island is the first book in the series, The Bayshore Mysteries. Be sure to check out the other four books in the series, The Secret Graveyard, The Mystery of Wragg Swamp, Mystery on Mound Island and The Ghost of Blakeley Past.
     **Intruders On Battleship Island reached Number 1 on Amazon’s Best Selling Children’s Historical Mysteries, Top 100 Free.

Battery McIntosh Island a few years ago


Battery McIntosh Island in 1995


An artist drawing of the Battle of Mobile Bay


Union Admiral David G Farragut


Admiral Farragut in the Battle of Mobile Bay


Admiral Franklin Buchanan, who commanded a small confederate fleet in the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Intruders Pictures6

Peter Bernard who once lived on Battery McIntosh Island


Peter Bernard’s boat and shack


Click on the link to see more pictures

Amazon Is Culling Book Reviews!

Attention all authors!  Have you had a friend, a family member, another author, or even someone you don’t know give you a favorable review? Amazon may delete it!

If you’ve checked your amazon book page lately, you may find that you’ve lost some reviews for no apparent reason. Be sure to check out an article written by, David Streitfield, on Amazon’s new review policy. His article explains Amazon’s new policy and how it is affecting thousands of authors. Even more, Amazon’s new “purge policy” is affecting tens of thousands of book reviews.

Click on the link below to read David Streitfield’s excellent article!…/amazon-book-reviews-deleted-in-a-p…

What Is The Truth Behind Amazon’s Purge Of Book Reviews?

I recently had a review removed from my latest book, The Ghost of Blakeley Past. I am not sure why it was removed, and Amazon’s explanation was very vague and generic. This problem seems to be happening more and more with Amazon and has become a troubling issue for many authors.  In view of the current trend of events regarding book reviews, I wanted to post information from a variety of sources. I am not stating an opinion either way, but simply relaying information.  You be the judge!

Below are several websites that discuss the issue of Amazon deleting book reviews.

Don’t Let Your Amazon Reviews Be Deleted

Giving Mom’s Book Five Stars?

Amazon Reviews Are Disappearing

Disappearing Amazon Reviews

Amazon Tackles Review Problem, Deletes Wrong Reviews

Amazon Removes Reviews

Why is Amazon deleting writers’ reviews of other authors’ books?

Amazon Still Deleting Books and Reviews Inexplicably. Or is There an Explanation?

Amazon removes book reviews by fellow authors

Amazon Freaks Out About Sock Puppet Reviews And Deletes A Bunch Of Real Reviews