Monday, February 22, 2016


William Cook - Writer: RECOMMENDED TOP TEN MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS - WILLIAM C...: Over the course of my reading years, several non-fiction books have stood out for me that I have referred to time and time again. Whenever ...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors

Want to know how indie best-sellers become best-sellers? Want to know whether or not self-publishing will work for you? Want straight-to-the-point advice and easy-to-read tips on self-publishing, book marketing and sales?

Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors offers valuable insights and tips for new and experienced self-published authors.

Being a self-published author requires a certain skill set. Being a successful self-published author (SSPA) requires an even greater skill set. Just because you are self-published does not mean you are successful or that you will be a best-seller. Common characteristics of successful self-published authors include personality and character traits that can be seen in most entrepreneurs and successful business people. To be a successful independent author, requires an understanding of the business of publishing and an awareness of the complexities and issues facing authors in this highly competitive and evolving world. In this volume, interviews with best-selling self-published authors: Russell Blake, Matt Shaw, Mark Edward Hall, Michaelbrent Collings, William Malmborg, Matt Drabble and April M Reign, offer priceless insights into the world of self-publishing and how they hit the best-seller lists.

In Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors, William Cook, author and entrepreneur, shares a selection of interviews from his popular online interview series, alongside an analysis of the interviews and two fresh essays: 'Self Published Author VS Successful Self-Published Author' and 'Growth Hacking for Authors.' Along with the interviews and essays, a very helpful and inspiring list of 'Indie Power Tips' is included.

So what are you waiting for?Get inspired and download your copy today.


Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors is a book that provides a wealth of tips and information for authors who are traveling the self-publishing route. This book is not a road-map to success by any means, but you will find inspiration and ideas here to push you in the right direction.

#Self-pub #Indie #amwriting #Publishing #Selfpublishing #writing #Growthhack

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Up, up and away!

Hey everyone - the website is up and running. Now all I need to do is find some clients. Come and check out the new site and have a look at what we have to offer for small businesses re. online content and graphics. While we are based in New Zealand we do offer our low-cost services internationally (all payments via PayPal).  

The business is officially launching end of July - expressions of interest welcome prior. Essentially, what 3c@gency - Capital Creative Concepts is offering, are low-cost business profiles, SEO-friendly written content for web-sites and low-cost Graphic Design options. (Will have more detailed information shortly closer to launch date).

The approach is thus: every business has a story. What's yours? What inspired you to become your own boss or to start your business? What products/services do you offer and who is your target market? The business profiles will be in the format of an 'advertorial', which is basically a sales pitch for whatever it is your selling. I can write a high-impact profile that you can use as a downloadable PDF from your website etc. You can also use it as a Press Release and as content for your website/blog that will 'funnel' potential clients to your product/service.

If things go well and there is enough interest, I will also have a more involved package consisting of producing an EBook that you can use as both a sales tool and a passive income revenue stream.

Stay tuned for further updates and thanks for your support. If you know anyone that owns a small business, or is about to launch a website etc and needs content and/or low-cost graphic design solutions, please 'invite' them to 'like' the Facebook business page here: 

Small Business Services, #Indie, #Growthhack, Graphic Design, Content Management, SEO Content, Business Services, Wellington New Zealand Graphic Design, Wellington New Zealand Content Creation, Wellington New Zealand CMS, #CMS, #3c@gency

Monday, June 22, 2015

#Hacks For New Dads (Investing in Breastfeeding - a father's guide)

Things are changing. I'm coming to the end of my tenure as a 'stay-at-home-dad.' Along the way, I have learned much, grown in maturity (now having the grey hairs to prove it!) and changed my world-view to encompass my role as a father. Before I regress and potentially forget all the important life-lessons and various child-rearing wisdom learned along the way, I realized that I should probably write down what I have gleaned from this whirl-wind tour called 'fatherhood.' Hopefully, what I share might bail some poor unsuspecting sap from the dog-box, or actually prevent them from ever having to step foot inside said dog-box. So without further ado, here is the first article in a series I am writing called '#DadHacks.' This article is plainly titled (pretty self-explanatory really) 'Investing in Breastfeeding - a brief guide for new dads.'

For those of you who have just become dads, welcome to the club. Most new fathers will notice fairly soon how ‘new’ everything is! Suddenly you have a new baby, a new wife/partner, and a new life. To the bewildered father, whose misconceptions about the whole experience are now all apparent, everything is a learning curve.

Before the birth, most men believe that they are the focus of their partner’s attention. The new father might also have naively believed that parenthood would be fairly straightforward, a fundamental natural event that has occurred without too much encouragement since the conception of the human race! For first-time dads, all this is new. Probably the most disconcerting and misunderstood event for the father, in this whole life-changing process, is breast-feeding.    

The mother, of course, as part of her new role takes breast-feeding in her stride (most of the time) and accepts it for what it is. Basically, feeding the baby. The father however, may feel like he is in the middle of a small-scale corporate takeover. An underdeveloped CEO, intent on transferring assets to the Primary Production sector, has now successfully annexed a previously secure share dividend in the ‘entertainment industry.’ Fonterra will soon be knocking on the door looking for investment opportunities in this thriving milk-factory (that’s what my wife calls it!). Apologies for the analogies, but you get the drift, right?        

Meanwhile, back to reality. We knew deep down this would happen and it’s not so much the feelings of exclusion or the ‘what about me’ factor, it’s more the growing feeling of helplessness that inevitably pervades the new father’s thoughts. Once all selfish feelings have been swept aside and we can actually see that what our partner does is for the good of our child, then most fathers will start to ask how they can help. Of all the duties associated with parenthood, apart from the actual act of giving birth, breastfeeding is obviously the exclusive domain of the mother. Bottle-feeding will come later but in the meantime the father will just have to accept that it’s one thing he can’t do.

There are other things new dad’s can do instead, half of which will be expected (warning: without actually being directly communicated) and the other half which might help to eventually retain a few of those highly prized share dividends in the ‘entertainment industry!’

One of the things I wasn’t prepared for, as a new dad, was how long it actually takes to breastfeed a little baby. My wife and I added up the time spent over a 24-hour period and it averaged between 10-12 hours, with a typical breastfeed taking between 40-60 minutes given at 4 hour intervals or when needed. Obviously these kinds of statistics will differ with every mother/baby combination but one thing that is certain is that it is definitely time consuming.

With all these aspects in mind, here are a few hacks/tips for those new fathers looking for alternative ‘breastfeeding’ duties:
  1. Bring your partner a nice drink (non-alcoholic) while she is breastfeeding. Something nutritious and tasty will actually give her a boost as well as provide necessary fluid. Try Complan or Calci-yum.
  2. Try not to fuss over them both while she is breastfeeding. Use the time to make the bed or fold some washing. If you are awake at night while she is up breastfeeding, bringing a drink in to her is apparently quite ‘nice.’ Most important: do not interfere unless asked.
  3. Breastfeeding usually happens bang on dinner time so if you can’t cook, pick up a recipe book and learn how. Simple dishes are not hard to make and are usually well received by exhausted mothers. Save the gourmet meal for the weekend when you have a bit more time to prepare. Tip #1: have lots of fresh fruit on hand as a banana will stave off hunger (for you and her) while you are cooking the vegetables to go with the main course. Tip #2: Cook a large meal and divide it up into smaller meal sizes and freeze them. Good comfort food like Lasagne, Stews, Casseroles etc are great for this purpose. Saves you heaps of time later if you need a quick meal – just defrost and heat.
  4. Ask what you can do to help as a last resort. Look first, there’s always washing (remember to avoid that cardinal sin of mixing whites with colors), ironing, CLEANING, and cooking to be done at any hour of the day.
  5. Whenever possible, encourage and provide the opportunity for your partner (subtly) to take naps, as this will benefit you both in the long run. Tiredness is perhaps the biggest cause of stress with a new-born for all concerned, especially so for the mother, who will spend long and irregular hours nurturing your child.
  6. While your partner is breastfeeding, accept that you will need to take over some duties you might not have done all the time previously, e.g. I do ALL the cooking now. Step up and make it ‘your thing’. Once you’ve done these chores a few times, you will realize that it gives you something to do as much as it also serves to help out around the house while your other –half is filling up bubs.
Probably the most important thing of all is to provide a low-stress and understanding environment for your partner. Forget about what you ‘need’ for the first few months – it is all about the baby. Your partner will be doing her part with breastfeeding for up to 12 hours over a 24-hour period along with other domestic chores. Even if you are the main ‘bread-winner’ make sure you are prepared to help out when you get home from work. Be patient, your partner and baby will love you for it. Remember, the happier your partner is, the happier they will be with you. Everybody knows that shares gain interest the longer they are left alone, but don’t forget, the more you invest – the bigger the return.

My experience as a 'stay-at-home-dad' gets a mention in this Newswire article:

For other weirdness, why not try breastfeeding the dad way:  

Need content or an article written for your newsletter/website/blog? For more quality content, interesting articles, and content services, please visit: 

 #GrowthHacks, #Dadhacks, #Hacks, Tips, Breastfeeding, Advice for new dads, Stay at home dad, SAHD, Pregnancy, Child Rearing

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What you write and what your reader thinks you've written.

What you portray in your fictional world can be a reflection of how you perceive the world at large but not necessarily be a reflection your own moral (or otherwise) viewpoint. To focus on the minutiae of an aspect of human life and then bore down to the very heart of a subject, involves rigor and the ability to bring back from the abyss what you have witnessed in a way that your evidence can be shared without becoming part of you. The old Nietzschean adage may best apply here ("when you gaze into the abyss..."). Obviously, you can not wade through oceans of blood without staining your clothes but you can look and relay, while standing on a hill above said ocean. Fictional worlds can be created without recourse to your own views and values via the use of imagination - imagining someone with antithetical (to your own) moral, spiritual and philosophical values on the page is achievable without betraying your own views in that the character can be created deliberately - with recourse to technique or in response to a work not of your own etc.
         I watched a documentary on Timothy McVeigh last night and how he was apparently inspired to blow up the federal building after reading the infamous 'Turner Diaries' - it got me to thinking about my own work and whether it might inspire someone to imitate something I've written about. I realized that because it is fiction, even though what I write is largely idea-sourced from true events, it is ultimately from my imagination and, yes, it has been filtered through my own experience and mental processes but yet, it is not something I condone or that I believe in. I write about taboo subjects and horrific things at times, but I do it deliberately and consciously, knowing full well that what I put on the page can influence others (perhaps) and that readers (especially close friends etc) may see something of myself amongst the words. Yet, I also know that I have to be careful not to let myself bleed on the page lest it becomes apparent that my involvement in the story is in a greater capacity than that of author.
        At the end of the day it doesn't matter how objectively we write our fiction, it is friends and family who will always be our harshest judges/critics and see things in the words where there is nothing to see. Like McVeigh, there will always be people who interpret your work through their own filters and misconceptions about the author's intentions and/or experiential involvement in their fictional worlds. As long as the horror is carried out on the page and not in the real world, then the author's lot remains an honorable one and the transcribing of such horrors an outwardly cathartic experience (for the author at least). Perhaps, it is the reader who brings the most amount of subjective (moral, philosophical, spiritual etc) baggage to the experience of reading a fictional work. Perhaps, it is the reader who needs to question themselves and how they interpret a work of fiction. After all, the difference between what one reads and what is actually written can be poles apart. And then there is poetry . . .


Writing. writing advice. authorship, readers, books, fiction, #LinkedIn, William Cook, 3cagency. #3cagency, Content, #GrowthHacks, 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation (or Instructions For LinkedIn Recommendations).

Recommending someone on LinkedIn is relatively simple, if you know what you are doing. For those who haven't recommended someone before, or who are requesting a recommendation from someone who may not know how to do it, this simple 5-step guide should help you to write a recommendation without too much hassle. Here we go:

1 - Log on to LinkedIn > open recommendee’s profile page > Use dropdown menu from the blue ‘Send a message’ tab (move cursor over small arrow icon to the right of text) > select ‘Recommend.’

2 - Write recommendation. I suggest writing one in a word document before you get to this stage. Make sure the recommendation is clear and to the point and relates to the ‘relationship’ and ‘positions’ selections that you make (your own and the person's who you are recommending).

3 - Remember to detail the positive aspects of your relationship in a way that will really promote your recommendee to a prospective client/employer etc. Use key-words that relate directly to what it is they do and what they did for you.

4 - Make sure to end your recommendation with a strong positive emphasis on why you are recommending that person. 
5 - Send

William Cook – 3c@gency © 2015.

 LinkedIn, #LinkedIn, #Hacks, LinkedIn Recommendations, How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation, How to recommend someone on LinkedIN, 3cagency, William Cook

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Recent Interview at

This is a recent interview about blogging and optimizing your web-presence via social-media sites. Interviewed by the good folk at

I was born and raised in New Zealand and I am the author of the novel ‘Blood Related.’ I operate a small freelance marketing and design business when I’m not writing my books. I mainly write horror and thriller fiction mostly, but I have also ventured into literary fiction, a bit of sci-fi, Young Adult and, more recently, kids stories.
William Cook Interview - Author Pic
Please tell us something about yourself. Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
As a writer, Blogging is an integral part of my author platform. What started out as a hobby nearly ten years ago, has now grown into an essential part of my marketing strategy as my career as an author has progressed.

When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you be online?
With the release of my first novel, Blood Related, I began blogging seriously. It is critical for indie authors to market their own books as it is for mainstream authors also. Most publishers offer limited marketing, especially social-media advertising and promotion, so authors need to learn how to market their books online or they’ll have a limited chance of success with their book sales. A blog can be networked with social media platforms very easily with automated widgets and sharing options that are built into most of the blogging platforms. I use WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr for my blogs. All are networked with each other and all are linked to my various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc) so that every time I post a new article on my (main) blog/s an automated post is fired out to all my SM networks. It is very important for me, as a writer and publicist, to be online and to respond quickly to my readers comments and to market trends that may impact book sales and site visits. The more available I am, the more interaction I have with my readers and potential readers, and the more book sales I generate.
Did you have someone help you make the website or did you do it by yourself?
Nope. Taught myself to build my blogs and sites. It has taken over ten years of constant refinement, honing, and experimentation to get to where I am currently but it has been relatively straight-forward. Help is readily available through most of these platforms via their forums and YouTube channels which offer easy-to-follow tutorials and trouble-shooting guides. My various blogs have different features but essentially have a uniformity that extends my platform reach exponentially. I promote my websites and blogs with each other and have a couple of mirror-sites that replicate the content of particular blogs to effectively extend my reach and enhance SEO via search engines etc.
William Cook Interview - Corpus Delicti Book Frontpage
The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your blog?
Not long. For an author it is a no-brainer really. The domain name should either direct traffic via your own name or the title of the book. My main website is – fairly self-explanatory really. Another of my sites’ domain name is and, you guessed it, reflects the name of my business.
What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins for a blog?
I prefer a simple, slightly minimalist theme, although my main site is quite busy and houses a vast amount of information, pages and posts. I prefer widgets to plug-ins as I have found that some plug-ins interfere with my readers experience if they don’t have the same plug-ins and some can also create a portal for malware etc. Some plugins have caused sites to crash and have created compatibility issues with browsers and anti-virus/adware software. I do have specific and essential ones for social-media sharing but I try to keep them to a minimum to maximize my sites’ compatibility with viewers browsers and online capabilities. The main ones to have for a blog would be social media plugins, SEO plugins, cache plugins, related posts plugins, and pinging plugins. If the right combination is used, your site visibility will be improved and also rankings via search engines. My rule of thumb is, if it’s not going to increase visitors to my site and maximize my site’s potential, don’t use it.
What CMS (Content Management System) do you use on your blog? How hard is it to navigate within your CMS (making a new post, inserting images, moderating comments, etc.)?
I use the CMSs that are supplied with the various blog/website platforms I use. Most of them are fairly simple and have easy-to-sue dashboards that make managing my site/blog content a breeze. I do most of the formatting for my posts/articles via Microsoft Office before uploading to the site. For downloads etc I use Dropbox which allows links etc. My email newsletter is supplied by Mailchimp which easily integrates with most of the blogging and website platforms. All In all, fairly easy to use with regular tweaks. Like everything, the more practice and usage, the more proficient one becomes at utilizing these tools.
 William Cook Interview - Moment of Freedom Book Frontpage
How much time do you spend blogging?
I make an effort to blog at least one-two times per month on each blog I manage. Usually, I will try to promote others in my network as well as my own things. A small blog post followed by a larger more information-heavy post once a month seems to work well and gives each post time to be read by most of the blog followers etc before it becomes archived. I do updates, edits, and comment moderation etc most days however, and probably average between 5-10 hours a week on maintaining my blogs.
How do you promote your blog? Do you use social media channels to attract more visitors to your blog?
Yes. Linkedin is proving quite an effective way of promoting my blogs, as is Google+, Facebook (of course), Twitter and Pinterest. Quite often I’ll have a giveaway in the form of a free book that I will promote across all my social media newtworks which usually generates a lot of interest and site traffic. Recently, I have been doing a series of interviews called Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors which has proved incredibly popular and has resulted in a big surge of site visits. The content and the promotion all feed into one another, i.e. if you haven’t got good content, it doesn’t matter how much you promote the blog, you will not get the same amount of new subscribers and repeat visitors. Quality content = more subscribers/visitors. Make it fresh, stay on trend, and remember to write well and use quality visuals to compliment your posts.
Is there a way to monetize (make money) through a blog?
Sure, but it depends on what you’re selling (i.e. if you have a product) and/or if your content and site-visit numbers support offering advertising or affiliate sales. Because I have a number of books for sale at any given moment, I use the Amazon Associates affiliate program which basically earns me a small slice of revenue each time someone clicks through on the supplied link and buys a product from the Amazon website. I have turned down offers to advertise other people’s/company’s products on my sites for two reasons, one – their product/s did not compliment my own and, two – I don’t want the followers of my blog to have to put up with scrolling through advertisements. I think it makes a website look tacky, especially if all you see are automated ads for dating sites etc. Nothing worse than reading an article and having it interrupted with ads. But that’s just my opinion, I make money from my blog, but indirectly through the sale of the books that I promote within the various articles/posts and in static sidebar adverts that are clearly listed and don’t interfere with the reading of the articles/content. Many blogs I visit have advertising and it’s not long before it gets tiring and downright offensive if you have to navigate between posts with ads for dubious dating sites and ‘Buy! Buy! Buy!’ in-your-face pop-ups etc.
 William Cook Interview - Thanks for Visiting Message
Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?
Of course. If you have something to say and good things to share, blogging is the perfect platform to make your online presence felt. As I suggested above: make it fresh, stay on trend, and remember to write well and use quality visuals to compliment your posts. Above all, have fun and interact with your blogging community/network as it grows. There are thousands of blogs and bloggers out there who love to connect with readers and other bloggers. Develop a network, interact, post quality content that other people will be interested in reading and before long you’ll have steady traffic if you make regular posts. The possibilities are endless.

Photos ©: William Cook, blogging, SEO, Web Content, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Marketing, #GrowthHacks, William Cook, 3cagency

How to Set Up Your International Amazon Author Central Pages

Setting Up Your International Amazon Author Central Pages 
By William Cook

If you’re an author and you publish with Amazon, chances are you have an author page. Right? If not, you really should if you want to sell books and get readers interested in you as an author. If you already do have an author page on either or Amazon.Com (U.S.) did you know that you could also have an author page in France, Germany, and Japan? What author doesn’t want to sell more books, especially to an international audience? After all, even if all your titles are in English, it is still the third-most-common native language in the world so it makes sense to have an international presence on the international Amazon sites. 

Many authors who have an author page usually only have either a U.K. or U.S. presence. Many authors neglect to make sure that they have both a U.K. and a U.S. page, let alone a page on one of the three international sites (see below). Obviously, having an author page written in the native language of each respective Amazon site can help to establish an international presence as an author. The following information will help you create your Amazon author page on the sites that are available for you as an Amazon author.

International Amazon Sites

Amazon is currently represented in the following countries:

Despite the above Amazon sites, many of them do not currently offer Author Central, but there seems to be a move to offer this service across all Amazon sites. If you can’t find an Author Central site for a certain country it is just a matter of time and patience. Netherlands, for example, has recently launched their Amazon site and Author Central will hopefully follow shortly.

International Amazon Author Central Sites

Here are the links to the sites currently available:

UK –

Germany –

France –

Japan –

Understanding International Amazon Author Central Sites*

1.     Open your Author Central page so you can compare the layout and prompts (these seem to be the same across all platforms).

2.     The best option is to use Google Translate while you create your page unless you are able to get someone to translate your bio details beforehand in the desired language. Google translate proved effective when I did mine, especially in regard to reading inline text on each site. However, as stated above, most of it can be done if you compare it to your .com author page, i.e. by association.  

3.    Cut and paste your bio into Google translate and then copy translated text to the appropriate section of your Author bio and enter details. Upload photo and select your books from the biblio search engine just as you did on your main author page when you first set it up.

*This is not a foolproof method by any means but will help you get a feel for the different sites and, if you’re patient and refer back to your main author page, should help. Also, most of the sites will allow you to sign in with the same email and password you use via your account, but some will require you to set up a new Amazon account with them, i.e. If your regular log-on doesn’t work just create a new one.

Things to watch out for
Most of the international author pages won’t allow you the same features as the main site. For example, your blog feed can not be integrated but they all offer Twitter feed options and will usually update this automatically if you include a twitter link in your bio. Double check that your twitter feed is live to ensure maximum exposure – once again you will have to compare with your main author page to determine the layout links etc.  I always include my website and twitter address in the body of my bio details so that, even if the option isn’t available to synchronize your social media platforms via the author central platform, at least it will be present in your bio to allow readers to connect with you. If you can’t find a utility or feature that you have on the main site (i.e. then it probably isn’t available so don’t worry, just fill out everything you can and go from there.

The following video from John Weisenberger should be of some visual help:
Have you already set up your author page on international Amazon sites? Do you have any information or tips that I haven’t outlined? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you. Best of luck.

My international Amazon Author Pages:

Amazon U.S.

#Amazon, Amazon,,,, Author Central, How to set-up your Amazon Author Page, International Author Central, William Cook

Thursday, October 2, 2014