Social Media Tips & Blog

Meet Toni Serofin, Book Designer

Toni Serofin and I were introduced through a mutual LinkedIn connection, Kathleen Blease Becker. (Read the interview with Kathleen.) I really enjoyed chatting with Toni on the phone and getting to know her better. Toni Serofin headshot

A bit about Toni’s business

I work with self-publishing non-fiction authors to provide cover and interior design, formatting and project management. I prefer longer projects which is satisfied by non-fiction book design with its more complex page layouts, tables, callouts and diagrams.

My clients are industry experts and educators, many of whom use their book as a calling card to promote their business.

Over the years, I’ve seen too many clients waste their time and money which is why I encourage all types of inquiries related to design and printing. I love to help and pointing a client in the right direction is satisfying. If can’t take on a project, I will make a referral to someone who can.

My depth of experience uniquely qualifies me to take on a variety of projects for book clients such as designing work books, trade show banners, posters and social media templates.

In addition, I’m especially interested in commemorative book design and formatting (retirement, corporate and family histories, etc.) having worked with a historian and a museum society a few years ago.

Toni’s ideal client

I enjoy working with clients who understand that working with an experienced book designer is an investment. My ideal client is a female C-suite leader who is publishing a memoir, self-help, personal growth or self-promotion non-fiction book.

Authors who have no experience with a book designer or have a very low budget are not a good fit for me. I work “with” my clients rather than “for” them. It’s an important distinction.

How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

In some ways, very little changed for my business. I’ve been working from home for 14 years so I already had a studio and dedicated work space.

After finishing 2019 on a financial high note, I felt optimistic about new opportunities in 2020. In March 2020 as I was wrapping up a large project, the Covid lockdown forced my client to put a hold on the job. They are a real estate corporation and no one was looking at houses. I was paid in full but the piece I designed never made it onto the press.

Like most businesses, for the first 3 months of the pandemic in North America, I watched the news and wondered what was next. Retirement was an option but I wasn’t ready.

I’d spent 2019 learning how to use LinkedIn more effectively and had greatly increased my visibility. Several free trainings taught me the value of showing up regularly and writing good content for my ideal clients. In the first six months of 2020 I had nothing but time so I continued my LinkedIn visibility work. It was one of the best things I did last year because I met many new people and made some really good connections.

I’ve carried my moment right into 2021 and I feel it’s going to be a great year for my business.

What is your favourite tip for using social media?

This is what I’ve learned: Whichever platform you use to promote your business and connect with your ideal client: be consistent, be engaging be yourself and offer value in your content.

What are your goals for 2021?

This year my goals are to work with 10 new non-fiction book design clients and to increase my LinkedIn followers to 5,000.

Authors can find Toni here:

To book a 20 min chat, email me:


In 2006, at the age of 51, Toni Serofin involuntarily left her position as a graphic production artist in the commercial printing industry. It was a blessing in disguise.

Toni is a sole proprietor operating under the name “Sanserofin Studio.” Fourteen years into the freelance thing, she feels like she’s finally hitting her stride.

Since 2011, Toni has worked with self-publishing authors providing project management, design and formatting services. With her decades of experience and background in printing Toni believes she is uniquely qualified as a book designer.

Toni’s mission is to help non-fiction authors sell books so they can impact the lives of readers with their words. She does her work with care and integrity because every author deserves a professionally designed book.


Meet George Troy, author of The Five Laws of Retail

George and I worked together for a few years on building his social media presence before and up through the launch of his book.

Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

My book, The Five Laws of Retail: How the Most Successful Businesses Have Mastered Them and How You Should Too, explain the fundamental principals that will enable a business to succeed.

Why did you write your book?George Troy, Retail Consultant

I wanted to help people and also to share some great stories from the retail world.

How did you publish your book?

I traditionally published with Post Hill Press.

How did things change for you as an author in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

To be honest, not much changed. Writing is a mostly solitary activity that one can do almost anywhere.

What is your favorite book marketing tip?

Great social media support! An author has to speak with a strong and consistent voice across all channels.

What are your goals for 2021?

I am currently working on fiction for a regional periodical.

Where can readers find your book? The Five Laws of Retail

All sellers of on-line books including Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I also write a blog at my website.
I can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

There is a lot of work to do even after a writing project is complete but you don’t have to do it all alone. Get great support from people who will really care about your message.


George Troy is widely read blogger, author, and consultant focused on retail business communities, including online and brick-and-mortar stores. He has enjoyed decades of real-life experience as a senior executive for some of the best-known and most successful retail companies in the US and globally. A specialist in apparel, footwear, sporting goods, cookware, and home furnishings, Troy has led the retail divisions of Deckers Outdoor (UGG Boots) and outlet divisions of Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

When he joined UGG Australia to create the brand’s retail channel, Troy directed all aspects of the business(merchandising, marketing, operations, real estate, store construction, and management), taking retail sales from $0 to $400 million in the US, Europe, and Asia in just eight years. Similarly, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn brought Troy in to create and build the outlet channels for those brands. Here, too, he directed all aspects of store operations, including HR, marketing, real estate and construction, and merchandising.

Troy is currently a consultant with The Grayson Company based in New York, which offers a full range of consulting services to retail, e-commerce, wholesale, and omnichannel businesses as well as investment firms focused on the consumer sector. The Grayson Company’s CEO Kevin Mullaney says of Troy, “He has extraordinary expertise in field management, site selection, and lease negotiation, and equal capabilities in merchandising, particularly product development and assortment planning.”

Troy serves on the boards of directors of two nonprofit organizations based in the San Francisco Bay Area. When not writing about the retail world, Troy spends his time in garden-to-table cooking and also tends a small Pinot Noir vineyard. An avid hiker, he recently summited Mount Kilimanjaro with his family. He and his dog Farley are currently enrolled in the Canine Circus School of Emeryville learning to perform amazing dog tricks.

Troy earned a BA with honors from the University of California, Berkeley in Anthropology. He also holds a California State Teaching Credential.


Meet Marcia Turner Layton, Ghostwriter

Ghostwriter Marcia and I connected a few years ago and I’m very pleased she’s able to share information about her ghostwriting business.Marcia Layton Turner

  • Tell us a little bit about your business.

I’m a business book ghostwriter who got her start in ghostwriting thanks to an agent. I wrote my first book in the 1990s, for my dad, who was a fine artist and who didn’t do much of any marketing or promotion. So I wrote Successful Fine Art Marketing to offer some guidance in marketing planning for artists. Having proven that I could write a book-length work, I then landed work with the Complete Idiot’s Guide series, and wrote some startup and marketing guides for Wiley, followed by some corporate histories and real estate guides. I had earned a reputation as a fast writer, so when my agent heard about a business book project that was way behind schedule and needed a ghostwriter to step in and produce it, she introduced me to the editor and the rest is history.

Although I continue to create content for major brands and publishing clients, ghostwriting business books accounts for around 80% of my business at the moment.

I’m also the founder and executive director of the Association of Ghostwriters, which aims to bring together professional ghostwriters for networking, business-building, and idea sharing.

  • How would you describe your ideal client?

As a ghostwriter, my ideal client is an entrepreneur, business owner, or CEO who is articulate, friendly, kind, intelligent, and decisive. They want to write a business book that contains stories and case studies and is practical in nature, helping the reader to learn a new skill or apply a new strategy or tactic. They know what they want to say and, typically due to an already full schedule, want to hand off the responsibility for writing and editing their book to a writer like me.

  • How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

I suspect that because I was already working with clients virtually, using the phone and Zoom, the pandemic didn’t change the way I worked. It did free up time for some clients to step forward and decide to start working on their books sooner rather than later, however. And I did find myself closing my office door more regularly, due to having other family members in the house during the day; I work best in silence.

  • What is your favorite tip for using social media?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice regarding social media, since I’m very much a student myself, but I will say that one thing I’ve done this past year that has really helped me is to invest time in expanding my LinkedIn network. I spend time there weekly searching for people I’d like to be connected with, whether because of their company, their title, their expertise, or something else, and then ask to be connected on LinkedIn. As a result, I’ve more than doubled the size of my network and I’ve seen the number of inquiries rise, too.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

In 2021, I’d like to continue ghostwriting interesting business books for smart clients and decide on a dissertation topic for my doctorate, which will likely be related to writers and wealth-building.

I’d also like to blog more frequently for the Association of Ghostwriters, which I run. I’m aiming to post on a biweekly basis throughout 2021. I’m always in need of blog topics, too, if anyone wants to send me a request (

  • Where can authors find you?

You can find me at or, and at or


Bestselling, award-winning writer Marcia Layton Turner has authored, co-authored, or ghostwritten more than 60 nonfiction books. Many of her titles and those of her clients have been published by major publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, and Macmillan. Hybrid and independent presses are becoming a popular choice, however, and Marcia has worked with several, including Jenkins Group and Authority Publishing.

One of her most recent ghosted books was expected to sell 2 million copies internationally when released, and her Unofficial Guide to Starting a Small Business was named a “Best Business Book” the year it was published, by Library Journal. A book she recently edited was a New York Times bestseller for several weeks.

She has ghostwritten books about leadership, marketing, Gen Z, business development, personal finance, and many other business topics.

When not ghostwriting books, Marcia writes articles and blog posts for outlets like Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Forbes Online, US News & World, CNN Money, and AmEx OPEN Forum.

She earned her MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, a BA with honors from Wellesley College, and is currently at work on her doctorate in business administration (DBA) at Temple University.

Meet Denise Brosseau, author of Ready to Be a Thought Leader?

I worked with Denise a few years ago to help promote her book via social media and we’ve stayed in touch. I love her favorite book marketing tip! Learn about it and more in the following interview.Denise Brosseau

  • Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

I have the unusual role of being a ‘thought leader about thought leadership’. I am a thought leadership consultant working with leaders and their teams on how to gain more influence and impact and build a following for their ideas. My book, Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, was published by Wiley in 2014 and became a best-seller a few years later. It is written as a how-to guide for aspiring thought leaders.

  • Why did you write your book?

I wrote my book to my younger self — it was the guidebook I wish I’d had when I started my own journey to become a thought leader. Earlier in my career, I co-founded and led a trade association for women entrepreneurs and during that time I became an ‘accidental thought leader’ – someone who was in the right place at the right time with an important message to share. But what I didn’t have was a strategy or a plan or any idea that I was actually trying to become a thought leader. Years later, I helped a friend advance in her career from completely invisible in her field to have the opportunity to testify in front of the US Senate, be recognized by the White House and then be headhunted by the Governor for a state-wide role. I wanted to share the steps we took and the strategy we used so others could learn from her experience, and mine, and be more effective themselves as change agents and aspiring thought leaders.

  • How did you publish your book? Traditional publisher, hybrid publisher, self-published?

I was fortunate to be approached by a developmental editor at Wiley/Jossey Bass. She helped me develop a proposal and land a book contract with them so I never had to get an agent or fight to get attention from a publisher. I considered other publishing models but as my book was all about the importance of building credibility, it felt right to have a traditional publisher to give me the credibility out of the gate.

  • How did things change for you as an author in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

While I had my own business for 10 years, in 2019 I shut it down to go in-house with one of my clients to work with her to get a new non-profit entity off the ground that was funded by $130M from Kaiser Permanente. I stayed in that role for a year and then re-started my business in October of 2020. Fortunately, because I had had my business for a long time and I am well-known in my field, it wasn’t that hard to begin to bring in work again, but I have spent the last 6 months in re-build mode. Just starting to see the level of engagement from clients in April 2021 that I saw in 2019. Last year was awful from many perspectives, but I was fortunate to not be worrying about starting from scratch!

  • What is your favorite book marketing tip?

Most important thing that I advise authors is the same thing I tell entrepreneurs of any kind — make yourself incredibly easy to help. Put in the hard work to create the following materials – a one sentence description, a one paragraph description, a one page description of your book (preferably beautifully designed) including the ‘why to buy’ for your reader. Build out a set of pre-written and compelling social media posts so people can share your book easily to their communities. Then ASK! Ask people you know to help you — even those you don’t know all that well. Likely, if you make it really easy, they will.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

First and foremost it is to stay healthy. I am remaining very close to home until I am fully vaccinated and we can learn more about the vaccines and the COVID variants. Next, I am focused on bringing in interesting and engaging work that thrills me. My favorite type of clients are women leaders who are really pushing to have a bigger voice, build a broader impact, make an important difference around a cause or an industry change they care about. I love helping build their momentum, confidence and capacity and seeing them fly! I am also looking to work with more organizations that want to build their reputation as thought leaders so that I can develop more first-hand case studies to potentially write a second book on organizational thought leadership next year. My LinkedIn Learning courses on thought leadership and organizational thought leadership have done very well and I have also been invited to do another course with them once they re-open filming. I just have to decide what topic that will cover! I think all of that will keep me busy on top of my personal passion projects of art quilts, archery and serving on the board of our local theater.

  • Where can readers find your book? Share your Amazon book page, website, social media links.

Amazon: Ready to Be a Thought Leader?  – to Be a Thought Leader

Thought Leadership Lab:


Twitter: @thoughtleadrlab

LinkedIn Learning Courses:

Becoming a Thought Leader

Organizational Thought Leadership

  • Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Writing my book was the single best thing I have ever done for my business. It opened the door to teaching at Stanford Business School, creating courses with LinkedIn Learning, new clients and speaking, and amazing credibility. Plus, while it was not that fun to write a book (I have to be honest!), it was wonderful to be able to codify my ideas, get my voice heard and share important stories that mattered to me. I hope others will take the leap and document what they know and be of service to others who follow after them and/or could learn from them.


Denise Brosseau has built her reputation as a ‘thought leader about thought leadership’. As the author of the best-seller, Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, and the creator of two popular courses on thought leadership with LinkedIn Learning, Denise is a sought-after expert on topics of influence, leading change and thought leadership. Through her company, Thought Leadership Lab, Denise works with leaders, teams and organizations on their journey from leader to thought leader. She is also a popular speaker and workshop leader, working with clients like Microsoft, Convoy, Cognizant and Service Now. Earlier in her career, Denise was the co-founder of the first trade association for women entrepreneurs which she grew to seven cities across the US. She was also the co-founder of Springboard, the women’s start-up launchpad that has led to over $9B in funding for women-led businesses. Denise has been recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House and as a top 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley. Learn more at

Meet Jackie Lapin, Helping Authors Find Speaking Opportunities and Get Booked

Ready to get booked for speaking opportunities? Learn how with Jackie. Jackie and I connected through LinkedIn and have had the opportunity to refer business to one another.Jackie Lapin, headshot, blue

  • Tell us a little bit about your business.

I help leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, practitioners, speakers and messengers connect with their next followers around the globe. My expertise is in helping leaders get booked for speaking, radio shows, podcasts and virtual summits. We make it easy for them fill up their calendars, change more lives and grow their businesses.

Our SpeakerTunity Cities™,Regional Speaker Lead Directories provide leaders direct contacts for thousands of speaking opportunities instantly at their fingertips in 30 markets, along with a TEDx Directory for US & CAN. . We also have 3 SpeakerTunity Subscription Services that provides leads for podcasts, radio shows and virtual summits.  Plus a Virtual Networking Update that connects people with low and not cost virtual networking events.  We also now design speaker one-sheets or podcast introduction sheets. (

Furthermore, our Conscious Media Relations has been providing radio/podcast media tours and speaking engagements to support the growth and revenue of change-makers. My clients have included Don Miguel Ruiz, Dr. Joe Vitale, James Twyman, Arielle Ford, Maureen St. Germaine, Chris and Janet Attwood, Hay House and more. We have helped nearly 200 luminaries, leaders, filmmakers and authors grow their businesses, sell more books, create viewership and change more lives by introducing them to up to 9000 radio shows and podcasts. (

  • How would you describe your ideal client?

Any leader, expert, author, coach or entrepreneur who needs to get in front of an audience to grow their business or sell more books.

  • How did things change for you in 2020 and how did you manage to weather through the year during the pandemic?

We were planning on launching our SpeakerTunity Cities Regional Speaker Lead Directories ®with up to 1800 speaker leads in any one market, but that didn’t make sense in this pandemic year when meetings weren’t happening at all initially. So we pivoted and focused on providing more radio/podcast tours for authors, because even more people are stranded at home listening to audio content or watch videocasts.  Meanwhile, we’ve been adding more regional directories and should have 60 of them for North America by spring, when will relaunch these…a good half of the listed organizations have gone virtual and are still great speaking opps right now!

  • What is your favorite tip for using social media?

Build your own community group, but do so to help others. We created Changemaker Collaboration Circle/FB Group: with the express purpose of introducing leaders to each other, so they can synergize. The result is that we grew to 1200 in just a few weeks and continue to grow. You’ll find 35 different threads a week, so you can promote yourself in many ways.

  • What are your goals for 2021?

Big plans!!!..we are introducing a new product every month for SpeakerTunity® in the coming year, rebranding as The Speaker & Leader Resource Company. And we will invite our affiliate partners along with us. We anticipate an enthusiastic response to our 60 directories in the spring. And of course, we are going for a record year of 30 radio/podcast tours this year! You can see what folks have said about these at

  • Where can authors find you?

Jackie Lapin facebook:

Speaker Tunity Facebook:



SpeakerTunity Cities Biz LinkedIn Page:




Changemaker Collaboration Circle:


Jackie Lapin is a leader in helping leaders, authors, coaches, and speakers connect with their next followers around the globe. An expert at aiding them to GET BOOKED, she provides strategies, guidance and leads through her SpeakerTunity® programs, tip sheets and regional directories that get changemakers booked on stages, radio shows, podcasts, virtual summits, TEDx events and virtual networking across North America. SpeakerTunity®   also offers a speaker-one sheet graphic design service and turnkey Success Booking System.