Category Archives: Thunderbirds books on Google

This morning, I entered “Thunderbirds” in the Google search engine, and was delighted to find that appeared on the first page of the search results. What’s so pleasantly astonishing about this is that until very recently, I did not know what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was. All I knew was that I kept getting calls and e-mails from companies that offered to make changes to my web site so that it would come up on the first page of any web search…for a price, which generally was $200-$1000 a month. 

As it happened, however, earlier this year, I saw a link on Twitter for HubSpot, which offers a free Internet Marketing Kit. I downloaded their kit, and listened to their webinar (which also has visuals), and followed their instructions. I did not see the result right away (it has taken about 2 months), but I was very impressed when I did see it. (HubSpot, by the way, also offers a free Website Grader, which evaluates a web site and gives suggestions as to how to improve one’s page rank.)

In general, I’m amazed at how quickly web technology continues to change, and how quickly I (and other publishers) are rushing to adapt to it. For instance, one day, I learned what a favicon was, and within 48 to 72 hours, I had a favicon on my web sites (it’s the small picture to the left of the web address on the top of the browser window).  It seems as if every week, there’s something new or changing on the web that demands my attention, as there was this week. I’m all for improvements; I just hope that I can keep up with them!

Posted by Publisher at 5/30/2009 3:05 PM

More on the Mom’s Choice Awards® recognition of Countdown to Action!

Mom’s Choice Awards® blog:

Mom's Choice Award seal

Mom’s Choice Award seal

HONORING EXCELLENCE The Mom’s Choice Awards® is an annual awards competition that recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media, products and services.

Countdown to Action is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award. The Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom’s Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom’s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book has been honored by this distinguished award. —Mom’s Choice Awards

Posted by Publisher at 5/3/2009 7:43 PM

ISBN for Next Thunderbirds Novel, Deadly Danger

The next Thunderbirds novel will be Deadly Danger, which will concentrate on Virgil Tracy (just as Action Alert! concentrated on Scott Tracy). All the Tracys, nonetheless, will appear in the novel.

The ISBN has been assigned: 978-0-9653575-9-3

The projected publication date will be determined later.

Posted by Publisher at 2/23/2009 3:58 PM 

Countdown to Action! is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient

Mom's Choice Award seal

Mom’s Choice Award seal

FTL Publications is delighted to announce that Thunderbirds: Countdown to Action! by Joan Marie Verba, is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient in the Young Adult: Fantasy, Myths & Legends category.

The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) is known for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Countdown to Action! was named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services for 2009. Joan Marie Verba, author of Countdown to Action!, says, “I’m proud to have received this award. It is my goal to write family-friendly stories which can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. I’m so pleased that the Mom’s Choice Awards® committee has recognized these efforts.” A complete list of recipients can be found

Thunderbirds TM & © 1964, 1999 and 2008 ITC Entertainment Group Limited. ‘Thunderbirds’ is a Gerry Anderson Production. Licensed by Granada Ventures Ltd. All rights reserved.

Posted by Publisher at 1/31/2009 9:11 PM 

Countdown to Action! receives award

FTL Publications Thunderbirds™ Novel “Countdown to Action!” Scores Finalist Honor in the 5th Annual National “Best Books” Awards

Minnetonka, MN –, the premiere online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses, announced the winners and finalists of THE NATIONAL “BEST BOOKS” 2008 AWARDS (NBBA) on October 20, 2008. Among the finalists in the Fiction and Literature: Young Adult Fiction category is Countdown to Action! a Thunderbirds™ novel, based on the 1960s television series, published by FTL Publications.

Joan Marie Verba, FTL’s Publisher, and author of Countdown to Action!, says of the award, “I’m thrilled to have received this recognition for my first Thunderbirds™ novel. It’s a tribute to the beloved characters of the show that the novel did so well.”

Jeff Keen, President and CEO of, said this year’s contest yielded an unprecedented number of entries. Keen says of the awards, now in their fifth year, “The 2008 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States.”

Winners and finalists traversed the publishing landscape: Simon & Schuster, Tarcher/Penguin, HarperCollins, Hyperion, St. Martin’s Press, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons and hundreds of independent titles contributed to this year’s outstanding NBBA competition. Keen adds, “NBBA’s success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise.”

A complete list of the winners and finalists of the National “Best Books” 2008 Awards are available online at

FTL Publications is a multiple award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and mystery publishing house founded in 1993. This independent publisher obtained the only license ever issued in the U.S., and the only current license in the world, to create original novels based on the series, issued by Granada Ventures in London.

Countdown to Action! is the latest release from FTL Publications. Action Alert!, the next novel in the Thunderbirds™ series, has a scheduled release date of November 2008.

Thunderbirds TM & © 1964, 1999 and 2008 ITC Entertainment Group Limited. ‘Thunderbirds’ is a Gerry Anderson Production. Licensed by Granada Ventures Ltd. All rights reserved.

Posted by Publisher at 10/20/2008 2:07 PM

Preorders Being Taken Now For Action Alert!

FTL Publications is taking preorders for Action Alert!

There are several advantages to ordering direct from FTL Publications:

1. The book will be shipped as soon as it is published
2. You will receive a discount on the book (cover price $15.95, purchase for $10.00)
3. You can have an autographed copy by placing a note in the special instructions that you want one
4. FTL Publications takes Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and PayPal. It is a secure site, transactions verified by
5. There is a money-back guarantee. Return for a full refund if not completely satisfied
To preorder, go to the FTL Publications site or directly to the Action Alert! order form.
Checks payable to FTL Publications also accepted: for one copy, $10 plus $3.50 postage mailed to: FTL Publications, P O Box 1363, Minnetonka, MN 55345-0363.

Posted by Publisher at 10/7/2008 5:32 PM

Midwest Book Review on Countdown to Action!

The Midwest Book Review, September 2008 issue (Small Press Bookwatch), contains a review of Countdown to Action! They posted a five-star review on

Countdown to Action!
Joan Marie Verba
FTL Publications
PO Box 1363, Minnetonka, MN 55345-0363
9780965357579, $15.95,
Tragedy does strange things to people, and it is not always negative. “Countdown to Action!” is a novel based on the beginnings of the old television program “Thunderbirds.” When faced with his wife’s death, Jeff Tracy calls upon his sons to create an organization dedicated to rescuing those who need it. Creating such an organization, however, is much easier said than done. “Countdown to Action!” is highly recommended reading for science fiction enthusiasts in general and fans of the “Thunderbirds” television series in particular.

Posted by Publisher at 9/12/2008 6:34 PM