Talk Ink, Inc.began in 1994 with Global Phone Talk, a company specializing in author promotional phone cards. Later Booktalk, the company's Internet venture, was added as a separate division. For simplicity, Talk Ink, Inc. became the main corporate identity in 1998. The company is privately owned and Sally Schoeneweiss is company president.
Global Phone Talk began in 1994 over a lazy breakfast in a lovely hotel with an author. Over coffee, Sally Schoeneweiss shared with her friend a new promotional idea: a prepaid phone card. Heather Graham said, "Let's do it!" and so began a company and a professional association between the two friends that has grown and flourished. Sally, herself a published author, had numerous contacts with authors, agents and publishers and was therefore able to take advantage of an already existing niche market. Global Phone Talk, now operating under the corporate name of Talk Ink, Inc., markets pre-paid phone cards as a promotional opportunity for authors and publishers to enhance sales of their books. The cards, with free long-distance phone time, have a perceived value in the marketplace and are often termed "pocket billboards." Sally took the unique approach of custom designing each carrier and envelope--as well as the actual phone card-to complement new book introductions. More recently Sally has added web-based and telephone survey cards.
Phone cards have been so successful that a phone card promotion by one author was singled out as the best promotion seen by sales reps at her publisher's annual sales conference. One author who has consistently used Talk Ink phone cards to promote her books recently signed a mulit-million dollar book contract.
Many cards produced by Global Phone Talk became collector items and traded in the secondary collector market. One phone card sold for approximately the same value as the hardcover book it was used to promote. (Bogart, In Search of my Father) Another card, Heather Graham's Captive, received a national award at a phone card conference. With current widespread use of phone cards by the general public, they continue to be a popular promotional vehicle and offer unique tools for customization, notably a recorded message by the author. The most recent phonecards done by the company were for Jasmine Cresswell's novel, The Third Wife (MIRA Books) and Joan Johnston's The Price (Atria Books.)
With this initial acceptance and success, Sally was asked to design and implement other advertising promotions, public relations events, other print media and press releases in addition to the phone cards. Since mid 1995, Global Phone Talk expanded under the corporate umbrella, Talk Ink, Inc., to encompass all forms of literary marketing and promotion. Sally has assembled a team of specialists--including award-winning designers, media experts and Internet database technicians--who work with her to achieve maximum results for each individual client.
Some of the company's clients have included: Linda Lael Miller (New York Times bestselling Pocket Books author), Harlequin, Dutton, Joan Johnston (New York Times bestselling author for Pocket Books, Dell Publishing and MIRA Books), Carla Neggers (Mira Books author), Heather Graham (New York Times bestselling author for MIRA Books and Kensington/Pinnacle), Paul Levine, Stephen J. Cannell, Jasmine Cresswell, Gloria Dale Skinner, Jane Bonander, Barbara Parker, Kate Freiman, Patricia Ryan, Debbie Macomber (Mira Books and Silhouette),Kresley Cole, Steve Alten, M. Diane Vogt, Cathy Maxwell (New York Times bestselling Avon author), Mary Burton and Carol Stephenson.
Talk Ink established an Internet presence with the official launch of Booktalk in July 1996. The site offers authors an opportunity to announce and market new releases to millions of viewers across the globe. In addition, the site offers content of interest to writers, readers and fans.
Booktalk is an online booklovers' community composed of many of today's bestselling and popular authors. Personalized author home pages are complete with excerpts from bestselling novels as well as information about upcoming releases, author notes and personal hobbies and interests as well as publisher, literary agent and bookstore information. Writing related articles by Booktalk authors and others in the writing community and upcoming literary events are also included on Booktalk pages. One visitor recently filled out an onsite form with this comment: I'm so glad I found you.
Authors with Booktalk home pages are: Jane Bonander, Mary Burton, Heather Graham / Shannon Drake, Judith Ivory, Joan Johnston, Marshall Frank, Rob MacGregor, T. J. MacGregor, Linda Lael Miller, Carla Neggers, John A. Peak, Elizabeth Daniels Squire, Sally Fairchild, Fiona Hood-Stewart, Cathy Maxwell, Christiane Heggan, Paul Levine and a portal site for Avon Books historical and contemporary writers called AvonAuthors.com.
In her twenties, Sally married and wrote articles for the Capitol Hill Times, a Seattle community newspaper, about college life, baking her first apple pie, and the joy of owning cats. By her thirties, she had three children and had left the beaches of Kailua, Hawaii for the mountains of Denver, Colorado and part-ownership of a German delicatessen. As the wife of a frequently transferred executive, Sally felt moving companies were almost like family by the time she arrived in Scottsdale, Arizona where she sold luxury condominiums for a leading Arizona developer. But it wasn't until she arrived on Long Island's North Shore and met a romance author that Sally decided to pursue writing as a career. At least, she reasoned, typewriters were portable.
Soon Sally found herself in Miami where she immediately founded a Romance Writers of America chapter known as Florida Romance Writers, Inc. and served as the president for the first three years. She also chaired and presided over two Fun-in-the-Sun conferences and watched as the group's membership swelled to its current size and spread into three counties.
After years of hard work, Sally sold her first book, Born to the Game (Sept. '88, Ballantine) followed a second,White Lies (May '89, Ballantine.) Following publication of the novels, Sally obtained a well-known literary agent to represent her and spent several years on what her agent termed the "equivalent of a doctoral program." Although succeeding manuscripts met with much interest, Sally felt a need to network with the world around her, especially after Hurricane Andrew prompted a move to Boca Raton. She became a licensed Realtor with Arvida Realty Sales, Ltd. in Boca Raton and sold over a million dollars worth of real estate on a new home site before the establishment of Global Phone Talk.
Sally has enjoyed great success specializing in literary marketing and promotion for many well-known authors. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Florida RWA chapter, Romance Writers of America. In addition, Sally signed a book contract with Mira Books and her third novel, Ports Of Call , was published in July 1999. Sally demonstrates to all who know her that she is a leader in finding not only new approaches…but ideas that produce results.