Good News – The Ghost Chronicles hits #9 on Amazon, $0.99 sale, and a book signing!

20160430_100117_001Friends and Fans,

I have good news to share! Yesterday THE GHOST CHRONICLES hit #9 in its category on Amazon in the US and #11 in the UK! 20160430_223609_001

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Thank you all so much for making this happen! And the weekend’s not over yet…THE GHOST CHRONICLES will be on sale for $0.99 through 5/2. Please help me spread the word!

I also wanted to share the good news about my next book signing! I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Freehold, NJ on May 18th at 6PM talking about THE GHOST CHRONICLES and signing the book. I’ll also be giving away a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card to one lucky attendee who signs up for my VIP newsletter. More details about the book signing can be found here: Barnes & Noble Event.

Keep checking my Events tab here on my website for upcoming news about more signings and appearances. Better yet, sign up for my VIP newsletter on the right hand side of my home page so you can be the first to know about sales, giveaways, signings and all the other good stuff 🙂

The Inspiration for The Ghost Chronicles…and a giveaway!

tgcsmallthumbnailThe best stories lie at the intersection of truth and imagination. The Ghost Chronicles began this way, as well. I had my ‘eureka’ moment one day while sitting on the beach in the Outerbanks of North Carolina (for those of you who don’t know where that is, I urge you to find out and go visit). At the time, I was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Chapter Eight, The Deathday Party, deals with ghosts and what it might be like to ‘live’ in the afterlife, so that provided the spark that ignited the fire to write The Ghost Chronicles. As a flood of ideas filled my head, I scribbled down a rough outline and the book quickly took shape.

That was the imagination part, but let’s face it, we also distill our own personal experiences and our own truth into our novels. When I was seventeen I was in a car accident that was not my fault. An accident that almost took my life. The thought of ‘what if I had died’ has been one that has haunted me ever since. So immediately I knew I wanted The Ghost Chronicles to be not only a story of what it’s like to be stuck in the afterlife, but I also wanted it to be about a boy who dies tragically through no fault of his own. The kind of story ripped from the headlines about a promising young person who has their life taken away far too soon. Unfortunately we read these stories nearly every day in the newspaper or see them on TV. The kind of young person you hear has died and you find yourself thinking, What a shame. They had so much going for them, such a promising future. Why did that have to happen? For this reason, this book was the book of my heart. I wanted it to be as realistic a story as possible of what it might be like to die tragically and be trapped in the afterlife as a ghost. Let’s face it, we all have to die and none of us can say with certainty what happens when we do. It’s the biggest fear of the unknown there is! Oh, we may think we know, or may have certain beliefs about what might happen, but what if it doesn’t happen that way? What if you are suddenly and unfairly taken from this life and now you’re stuck and don’t know why? How angry would you be? What would you do? How much would you begin to question all you’ve ever believed in? It won’t be completely apparent until later in the series, but I wanted it to be a story of great hope for anyone who has tragically lost someone they love, especially someone young. I’m also hoping readers will take away the theme embodied in this quote from the book – “Cherish life, it’s absolutely precious.”

angelcompleteviewThe setting for most of the story was inspired by The Angel of the Sea, an award-winning bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ that I visited several years ago and fell in love with. This spectacular inn has been featured on several television programs and in magazines throughout the world. Most notably, it was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of the “Best Vacations in the World” and included in her television talk show. The Angel of the Sea is one of the most recognized Victorian structures in the United States. Legend has it that in the late 1960’s, a girl did fall to her death at the Angel of the Sea and did at one time, haunt the inn. The story of the girl has been included in several non-fiction books about ghosts in Cape May. Sarah’s character in The Ghost Chronicles was inspired by this legend. You can learn more about The Angel of the Sea by visiting their website

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Michael and Sarah are lying side by side on the bare wooden floor of the attic at The Angel of the Sea, listening to the rain tapping out a spastic yet soothing rhythm on the old gabled roof above. It’s a romantic scene that I wanted to be reminiscent of the romantic attic scene in Mystic Pizza, a 1988 coming-of-age movie starring a young Julia Roberts. One of these days I’d love to see my attic scene from The Ghost Chronicles play out on the silver screen. (If you’re going to dream, dream big I always say.)

As it happens, I’m currently running a Goodreads giveaway of The Ghost Chronicles! Win one of three signed copies!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo Berliner

The Ghost Chronicles

by Marlo Berliner

Giveaway ends April 27, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

If you’ve already read The Ghost Chronicles, I hope you’ll share the news about the giveaway with your friends. And leave reviews of The Ghost Chronicles everywhere 🙂

All best,




Barnes & Noble Bookfair – Saturday, March 5th!


Please spread the word! I’m going to be the featured author signing my book,


Join me at Barnes & Noble #2217 on Saturday, March 5th from 1 to 3 PM.
425 Marketplace Boulevard  Hamilton, NJ 08691. We will have a reading, refreshments, and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit The Friends of the Hamilton Twp. Library.
The Bookfair is free and open to the public. More information can be found here: Barnes & Noble Event

The book was inspired by the legend of a haunting at The Angel of the Sea in Cape May, NJ and it’s an honor to be signing not only in NJ, but in my home town of Hamilton Twp. Please print out the Bookfair flyer which can be found here and bring the vouchers with you, so all sales will count for the library: Bookfair Flyer

Can’t make it to the signing? That’s okay! Your online purchases will count towards the library fundraiser if you simply use Bookfair ID# 11808474 when making your B&N online purchases between 3/5/16 – 3/10/16. Anything you buy – books, movies, CDs, DVDs, toys or games, and much more – will count towards the Bookfair total sales as long as you use Bookfair ID# 11808474 when making your online purchase.

To purchase THE GHOST CHRONICLES from Barnes & Noble, click here.

Wanted a signed book, but can’t make it to the signing? Contact me through my website and I’ll be in touch with you to either arrange to sign the book, or mail you a signed bookplate!



B&N January 17th

Having had three very successful booksignings since my book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES, came out in mid-November, I thought I would share some tips on how you can make your own signings as successful and stress-free as possible. I have signed at three different types of places – the B&B that is the setting for my book, a public library, and a Barnes & Noble – but I did the same things for each and had tremendous results. This post was long, so I had broken it down into three parts – PRE-SIGNING, AT-THE-SIGNING, and POST-SIGNING. In my last post which you can read here, Part One, I covered things to do PRE-SIGNING. In this post, I’ll be tackling what to bring and what to do AT-THE-SIGNING, and then the essential followup things to do POST-SIGNING.

First, let’s talk about what you’ll need to bring to the signing. (Technically, you’ll need to gather all this PRE-SIGNING, but yesterday’s post would have been ginormous so I’ve lumped it in here with what you’ll need AT-THE-SIGNING.) I’ve culled this advice from many seasoned authors and now keep all these items in a box ready to go. (You can add items to the box that you’ll need specifically for school visits or other presentations too.) Here is a list of what I bring:

  • Mints or TicTacs
  • Gum
  • Cough drops (for dry throat)
  • Tissues
  • Pens
  • Your book! (marked with excerpts to be read)
  • A printed copy of your short bio
  • Any other written materials you might need or want to read from
  • Business cards (some writers/authors/readers may want to connect)
  • Candy/candy dish
  • Stickers (autographed copy, local author, etc)
  • Hand lotion/sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Large rubber bands (for rolling up posters)
  • Tablecloth (mine is B&N green, LOL)
  • Bookmarks
  • Silver or black Sharpee marker (for signing bookmarks, other swag)
  • Postcards & all other swag items you have
  • Tacks/tape/clips to hang posters or materials
  • Display signs (I have three 8×12 clear plastic displays – one with my pic and bio, so anyone who misses that info in the beginning can just come up and read it, one with the back cover blurb of my book so it can be easily read in case they missed that, and one with the full spread of my cover juxtaposed against a panoramic picture of the Angel of the Sea so folks can easily recognize that my cover is a likeness of that B&B with a caption that explains how my story is inspired by the legend of a haunting there. That, of course, is specific to my book, but think outside the box for any eye-catching displays you might be able to create.)
  • Wipeoff marker & display board – I have an 18”x 24” foam-backed laminated display board of my cover. I bring the marker in case I want to write anything in the two inch white border around the display.
  • Clipboard with newsletter signup sheet
  • Extra cash (if you’re at a venue doing hand sales)
  • iPad adapter/flashdrive/laptop/cords (if you’re giving a presentation)
  • Post It Notes (so your assistant can write down names so you don’t have to ask each person how they spell their name)
  • Your assistant (Son, daughter, boyfriend, husband, friend, agent, editor, publicity person, whoever)

On that last point, try not to stuff your assistant into the box. Just kidding! But it is important to have someone at your side while you’re trying to sign. You can’t always rely on the venue to have staff available for this purpose. And your assistant can be very important. They can be the one writing up the post-it notes with the names, reminding people to sign up for your newsletter, putting stickers on books after you’ve signed them, creating orderly lines, and making change if you’re handselling. You will be too busy signing books and talking to readers! It can be more overwhelming than you think to take care of so many little things at once. So many people were coming up to me eager to talk (mostly about their personal ghost stories which were fascinating) that I honestly think I forgot to put stickers on half of the books at my Barnes & Noble signing. I also got too busy to remind half of the people to sign up for my newsletter. I’m sure if I had pointed out the clipboard they would’ve done so, but it just slipped my mind while I was busy signing and chatting. Once my son started helping, things got much easier.

And the night I signed at the library for more than 100 people, it was even more important to get help. In the first few minutes, people lined up on both the left and right sides of my table, so crowd control became an issue. Once a friend stepped in and organized the line, again, things went more smoothly.


Event at the Hamilton Twp Library – Jan 26th


A little more organized at the library signing.

I would also stress having a game plan for what you’re going to say to your audience before you begin signing. Are you going to read your bio, or will someone from the store? Decide this ahead of time. Are you going to say a little about your book, read the back cover blurb, explain some of your research, or just get right into reading a short excerpt? This is all up to you, just remember to first thank your audience for coming, be mindful of time (you don’t want to talk so long that you lose your audience), and do a short Q&A at the end so your audience can interact with you. Many people came up to me and said they had never met an author. At that moment, believe it or not, in some people’s eyes you’re a rock star and they’re tickled to connect. The more thought and preparation you can put in ahead of time, the less stressed you’ll be at this moment and the more you can enjoy it! And speaking of enjoying, be sure to have your assistant or someone take pictures of your special moment! Take pictures of the crowd. Take pictures with your fans. You want to be able to document how well your event went so you can talk it up later. IMG_1104upAt my first ever signing at the Angel of the Sea the owner snapped this photo before the crowd of people came, but then we completely forgot to take any more pictures!

Lastly, there are just a few things you’ll need to do POST-SIGNING:

  • Remember to sign remaining stock if you are leaving it at the bookstore
  • If you signed at a library, sign and donate a copy or two
  • Thank the venue that hosted your signing – personal, handwritten notes are best
  • Create a bragbook – remember those pictures your trusty assistant took? Print them out and put them in a little flipbook. I have one that holds thirty-six 4×6 pictures. Use your bragbook to approach the next bookstore when setting up other booksignings, particularly at indie stores. It’s the easiest way of saying, “Look, here’s how well my last signings went, now when can I sign here?” Of course, you’re a savvy author so you’ll do it more subtly, but you get the idea 😉
  • Write a blogpost with pictures about how it all went and share tips or stories with your author friends. Or include pictures in your latest newsletter. Better yet, send a good photo in to Publishers Weekly, and see if they put you in the PW Daily announcement. I completely forgot to do this and wish I had!

You better believe I’ll remember the next time, which by the way will be on March 5th 1-3 PM at the Barnes & Noble at 425 Marketplace Blvd, Hamilton, NJ 08691. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Friends of the Hamilton Twp Library if you use Bookfair ID#11808474. And online orders for anything you buy at between 3/5/16 and 3/10/16 will also count towards the fundraiser if you use if you use Bookfair ID#11808474. That includes books, music, toys, movies, gifts and more! The official Bookfair flyer can be found here: B&N flyer and more info about the event can be found here: B&N Event

So, any other tips for booksignings I missed? Anyone have any funny or embarrassing incidents at their booksignings they want to share? Any amazingly good things that happened at a signing?




Jan 17th Barnes & Noble Bridgewater, NJ

Having had three very successful booksignings since my book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES, came out in mid-November, I thought I would share some tips on how you can make your own signings as successful and stress-free as possible. I have signed at three different venues – the B&B that is the setting for my book, a public library, and a Barnes & Noble – but I did the same things for each and had tremendous results. This post is long, so I’ve broken it down into three parts – PRE-SIGNING, AT-THE-SIGNING, and POST-SIGNING. In this post I’ll be covering PRE-SIGNING, then tomorrow I’ll be covering the other two so be sure to pop check back for my next post.


Barnes & Noble…of the 60 books ordered in that day, 55 sold!

These tips apply to indie and traditionally published authors alike – if you’re not doing these things personally, then make sure your publisher is.

First, let’s talk about promotion of the event or what you need to do PRE-SIGNING. The reality is in most cases, the bookstore, library or other venue hosting the author will expect you to do most of the promotion yourself. And promotion is absolutely necessary. If you don’t let the general public who are local to the area you’re signing in know that you’re coming, how can you expect them to show up? Most bookstores (and other venues as well) will advertise your signing on the event page of their website and/or put a sign up in the store a couple weeks before, but you have to spread the word much more than that if you want a good turnout. Even if the venue you’re signing at posts it to their social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, you have to understand that only a small fraction of their followers will see the post. So it’s extremely important for an author (or their publicity team) to do the following:

  • Spread the word to your own social media outlets. This means setting up a Facebook event and inviting your friends, family and readers. If you can spare a little money for promo, it’s even better if you can boost the post in the last four days or so right before the event. It’s usually only a few cents per click to do this, with the added bonus that if nothing else, people will see your book cover and learn a little about your book. You can even target the boost to the local area surrounding the signing. It’s also important to tweet about the #booksigning with a #savethedate early on and then periodic reminders up until the date of the event. Most times, if the venue you’re signing at sees your tweet or post, they will help you out by retweeting and reposting. I focused on these two social media outlets (FB and twitter), but use the ones you are most active on to your full advantage. Instagram, Pinterest, whatever…it’s all good.
  • Post the event on every free online EVENT bulletin board possible for the local area surrounding the signing. There are tons of these out there, with more springing up every day. I have posted my previous events to places like Eventful, TapInto, Patch, and HAR. The great thing was when I posted to these few, others like,, WCBSfm101.1 (out of NY) and others picked up the event and posted it as well. Without me doing a thing! And, I suspect these online event calendars are looked at by people who have time on their hands, i.e. people who probably have time for…reading.
  • Post the event on every free online COMMUNITY bulletin board associated with the local newspapers around the event. This includes the big and small papers too – you know, the thin ones that get thrown on your driveway once a week. Those are usually geared towards the most local news and that’s what you want. For example, this isn’t my local newspaper, but try googling Pittsburgh Post Gazette Community Calendar. On the right hand side, midway down the page you will see a little blue box that says, Add an Event. You just click on that, fill out all the information as completely as possible and you’re done! Some of these online sites will be more user friendly than others, but it’s totally worth doing. Some make your register, but that’s not a big deal. You do it once and then you’ll have a username and password for the next time you need to promo an event. Some will have a two or three day delay before your post goes up so start early with posting. The sooner your event goes up, the sooner it can be on people’s radar (and thus, get on their own calendar!) For both the online EVENT and COMMUNITY type calendars, make sure to include tags like literary, books, booksigning, fundraiser (if applicable), or whatever applies. This will help people find your event as well. For an additional $10 or so, some of these sites will also offer for you to boost your event. This means it will display at the top or home page, or something along those lines. Again, if you can spare a few bucks, it might be worth considering.
  • If your book has some kind of hook you can try sending out press releases to newspapers. For my latest booksigning which is coming up on March 5th my book had three hooks, so I took full advantage of them. My first hook was that I’m an author local to NJ (which is where all of the three places I’ve signed were, though they were all spread out – I have now signed in the northern, central and southern parts of my state). My second hook was that the setting for my book is a well-known B&B in NJ. And my third hook was I am the featured author at a B&N Bookfair benefitting the library local to that B&N. You can find your own hooks within your book – does your main character have a disability that you did research on? Does your book deal with an important social issue or issue prevalent in your community? Think outside the box to discover what your ‘hook’ is. Why was it important for you to write your book about a certain type of character, or on a particular subject? Do you have a platform on that subject? (i.e. you’re an expert in your day job on that subject) Now, even if your press release only gets picked up by the online version of the newspapers you send to, this can still be golden. Here are examples of the press releases that got picked up: MyCentralJersey and Princeton Patch. But you might say, “Wait, if I’m posting the event to the online community calendar of that newspaper, why do I need to also send a press release?” Because they reach out to the community in two completely different ways! One is news story, the other is an event posting. Do both! They will be seen by two completely different sets of people. If you notice, I also included the all important Call To Action (advertising the Bookfair) at the end of the press release. Mega-Bonus – much to my surprise, my alma mater saw the press release and posted it to their own website: The Hun School

Talk and signing event at Hamilton Library attended by more than 100 people.

This is exactly why you need to do all these things I’m mentioning, or make sure your publicity team is doing them – you just don’t know how far something can spread once you’ve put it out there. But spread it will!

  • Of course, you probably know you can pay for ads to run in the newspapers, but this can be extremely costly unless your publisher is willing to foot the bill. And to me, an interesting (and free) story about you and your book by way of a press release might get you better mileage in the long run anyway.

Now, just a few other things you need to think about PRE-SIGNING. Have yourself and all your swag ready for your event. This means think about getting that overdue haircut, think about what to wear, get a manicure, nail down directions/route to the venue if you aren’t familiar with it already, and most importantly make sure you have enough swag on hand (especially bookmarks, postcards, pens, etc) since that will have to be ordered and need time to come in (this is true even if your publisher is taking care of this for you). Don’t leave anything to chance! I’ve been at bookfairs where an author’s books failed to show up from their publisher! If you’re doing these things for yourself get them done early, and if your publisher is handling them, make sure they got done!

So that’s it for PRE-SIGNING. Tomorrow I’ll be tackling what to bring and what to do AT-THE-SIGNING, and then the followup things which are essential POST-SIGNING. I promise it will be a shorter post (I think).

Just in case you don’t have a chance to read tomorrow’s post, my next booksigning will be on March 5th 1-3 PM at the Barnes & Noble at 425 Marketplace Blvd, Hamilton, NJ 08691. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Friends of the Hamilton Twp Library if you use Bookfair ID#11808474. And online orders for anything you buy at between 3/5/16 and 3/10/16 will also count towards the fundraiser if you use if you use Bookfair ID#11808474. That includes books, music, toys, movies, gifts and more! The official Bookfair flyer can be found here: B&N flyer and more info about the event can be found here: B&N Event

Anyone have any PRE-SIGNING tips I missed?