Summer brings beach vacations and (hopefully) down time. If you like to read romantic suspense then I’ve got a great deal for you. This month I’ve joined with 23 other authors to bring you a special giveaway.
Win a pack of your favorite mysteries, thrillers, or suspense books on Amazon! If you’re among the four ebook prize pack winners, you could decide which books we’llbuy for you from the millions on Amazon. Even better, you could take home one of two Kindle Fire 7 tablets we’re giving out as grand prizes!
(Sponsored by the 24 authors listed below) Amanda Uhl • Anna Hub • Anne McClane • Authors Billboard • Bethany-Kris • Calinda B • Cathy Perkins • Ethan Jones • Genie Gabriel • Greta Boris • Inge-Lise Goss • Jacqueline Diamond • Jennifer Vester • Julieann Dove • K A Servian • Kathy McIntosh • Laura Haley-McNeil • Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra • Michelle Grey • Naomi Bellina • Sahara Roberts • Soraya Naomi • Tamara Ferguson • Taylor Marsh
Bonus: Shope the book fair for can’t-put-them-down books in the genre all at $2.99 or less.
It’s May, winter is over, and the sun is—hopefully—shining. I’m in a great mood and celebrating with a special deal. For the first time ever, the award-winning Charmed By Charlie is on sale! May 2-22, 2018, you can find the book for just $.99 cents on:
This is a great price but it won’t less forever. But if that doesn’t convince you, here are five great reasons why you might want to check this book out:
It won a bronze medalist in the 2016 Cleveland Rocks Romance Writers Contest.
It was the recipient of Books & Benches Reviewer’s Choice Seal of Excellence.
Library Journal calls it “A lighthearted and engaging read.”
Long and Short Reviews gave it five glowing stars and named it “Book of the Month” for November 2017.
It may be a long while before you see this price again.
But if that’s not enough to convince you, the book is featured as part of this special Love and Laughter Contemporary Romance Giveaway. Enter May 2-22 for your chance to win. You could be one of 7 lucky readers to take home a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire 7, ebook prize pack, or Amazon gift card.
(Sponsored by the 34 authors listed below)
Allyson Lindt • Amanda Uhl • Chiquita Dennie • Christine d’Abo • Daphne James Huff • Diane Louise • Donna R. Mercer • Eva Winters • Holly Cortelyou • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jennifer Vester • Joanne Dannon • Karina Kantas • Karly Morgan • Kat Drennan • Leigh LaValle • Lori Sizemore • Lucy Lakestone • Marlow Kelly • Michele Barrow-Belisle • Michelle Jo Quinn • Mimi Barbour • Monique McDonell • RM Alexander • Robyn Neeley • S.L. Sterling • Shaniel Watson • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Tara Wyatt • Victoria Pinder • Weston Parker • Aileen Harkwood
Plus, shop the book fair where you’ll find Charmed By Charlie for 99 pennies and plenty of other books for $2.99 or less. There’s even a bonus giveaway!
The closer I get to the release of my first novel, the more anxious I grow thinking about how best to promote it.
Ironically, I have an MBA in Marketing. I’m also responsible for running campaigns and events on my day job, so you would think I would have some idea about how to approach a book launch. But no amount of classes or business experiences have prepared me for this next step in my journey to publication.
Writing a book is personal. It’s much easier to suggest creative ideas when someone else will be doing the presenting. Knowing I must be the front woman in this campaign has me waking up in the middle of the night, pulse racing, thoughts spinning and panic flooding my body.
How the heck do I do this?
“Isn’t there a template for this?” I asked this question recently of some of my critique partners. “I mean, millions of books are published every year. Hasn’t some smart author figured this out already?”
“Nope,” they said. “Not that we know of.”
“So what are you going to do when your time comes?”
“We’ll just watch what you do.”
Uh-oh. Now we’re all in trouble.
Why is it so hard?
The more I explore ideas and collect information, the more I realize that there are SO MANY ways to promote a book, even the “industry experts” can’t agree. And the market is shifting, so tried and true methods don’t necessarily work anymore. Here today and gone tomorrow, as the saying goes.
For instance, more readers than ever before are reading their books online. This is much different than say, twenty years ago, when print sales still had the largest market share. And recent reports talk about the popularity of audio books. How the heck do I make one of those?
And what about blogs? I still remember the first time a writer friend explained the concept to me. That was many years ago, when the popularity of blogs was exploding. Last year at a writer’s conference, the speaker stated that blogs don’t generate traffic like they used to, and she wouldn’t recommend spending time on them. Every time I post mine, I question its relevance. Who am I reaching with this post? Will they buy my book when it comes out?
Although I can see by my stats that I tend to have some readership, the number of visitors stays about the same from post to post. What does that mean? Should I quit?
If I had a million dollars…
I don’t. But I recently asked this question on a marketing expert’s site: If you had $1,000 to spend on promotion, what would you spend it on?
The answer I got back? “I wouldn’t spend a cent. Save your money.”
Hmmm. I’d like to that’s for sure. But I can’t imagine I’ll get away with it entirely, can you?
What to do?
Any day now, I’ll be getting my preorder link for Mind Waves from the publisher. While I don’t have a solid plan on paper, I do have a few ideas:
Write the Next Book — I know, seems contrary. But the faster I write the next book and the next one after that, the faster I build a following. So I can’t slow down on the writing, even while I’m promoting book one.
Do a Cover Reveal — This one is a no-brainer. It seems natural to want to share my cover and a pre-order link in a big reveal. I’ll set up a Headtalker or Thunderclap and ask my friends on social media to participate. I’ll purchase Facebook ads to spread the news far and wide and build my profile on Goodreads. I’ll blog, and maybe I’ll ask a few other writer friends to feature me in their blog. I’ll experiment by commenting on a beach glass site I belong to — since beach glass is featured heavily in this story, it seems like a good idea.
Introduce a Newsletter — I’ve been slowly building an email list. Those folks will get my news first. And something special to make them glad they’ve subscribed.
Create a Book Trailer — Think movie trailer but for a book. I’d like to do several versions, featuring sites and sounds from Cleveland, and then share them over time via social media. Sounds fun, right?
Launch a Street Team — This is a group of supporters who want me to succeed. These folks will help me spread the word and be rewarded with free copies of my books and other special deals. If that sounds like you, let me know! A lot of authors use a private Facebook group for this, but I may use email, since not all my supporters use Facebook.
Ask for Reviews — I’m told reviews are hard to acquire. But I’ve already had a few friends commit to doing one. Anyone on my street team who does a review will receive a FREE e-copy of my book. This is a non-shareable copy but is a great deal for anyone willing to post a review. I also have a list of review sites I’ll email. And I’ve purchased a Net Galley membership for September. This is a site that provides the book free to readers willing to post a review.
Get Out and About — This one gets me all tingly with excitement. Nothing makes me happier than meeting new people and talking about my book! I have three Cleveland locations lined up to host book signing parties, but I’ll work to host a whole lot more this year and next. I’ll discuss what motivated me to write a paranormal romance, tell a few ghost stories, and describe my journey to publication. There will be prizes, of course, some fun beach glass giveaways, and anything else I can think of to make this a not-to-be-missed party.
Beach glass candy seemed to be a hit at my first book reading, so perhaps I’ll make some more.
Stock Local Stores — Okay, I’ll admit. This one is more ego than anything and will probably end up costing me money. A printed book purchased through a small publisher like mine is not cheap. They don’t distribute to book stores, so I’ll have to purchase the book myself and then mark them up to make any sort of profit. Although I receive a discount, I’m told the shipping cost is astronomical. But I do plan to invest some money into purchasing printed copies for book signings and to stock a few around town, especially in small book stores and gift shops that sell beach glass. If those sell well, I’ll stock a few more.
Donate a Copy to the Local Library — This is a great way to give back to the community and make sure readers can find my book. Hopefully, they’ll like what they read and want more.
Donate to Charity — I’m looking for a local, Cleveland charity to donate a portion of sales from each book. I’m interested in donating to food banks and hunger centers, so if you know a worthy organization, let me know.
Pitching the Press — I’m hoping to garner articles in local newspapers and alumni publications from my alma maters. This is when it helps to have a sister who runs a newspaper and a friend who’s a reporter. And there are some great websites, like Cool Cleveland, I might approach.
What won’t I do initially? Pay for blog tours or other advertisements. I’m going to wait a bit before considering anything costly. The marketing guru may be right. After all, this is a business. It would be smart to understand my revenue before shelling out big bucks for promotions.
So there you have it. What am I missing? I’m sure there’s something…scratches her head and tries to calm her racing heart
My first book reading. Check out the cool beach glass candy. Photo credit goes to Philly Love Photos.
The learning curve for a new author is intense, and it doesn’t stop even after you sign a contract.
As far back as the week I finished my manuscript, I was told I’d better start promoting myself as an author. Don’t wait until the book is published, I was warned. Get out on the Internet and social media now.
I took that advice. I learned how to build a website and a blog. I opened my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I began to post and tweet. I even started a board on Pinterest and began pinning novel covers I liked.
And then last week, the big day arrived. I signed a contract for Mind Waves. The long wait was over. I was going to be published. I would just need to work with the assigned editor, choose a cover, and write my author blurb. All new challenges, but I was ready for it.
But wait? What if no one reads the book?
I’d heard how critical reviews are for an author.
My writer friends and the publisher offered advice. Don’t wait for the book to be out to ask for reviews. Many reviewers won’t touch a book once it’s published. Write a press release and approach local media. Join helpareporter.com and look for PR opportunities. Who is your audience? Do you know? You must get creative and think “out-of-the-box.”
But wait, I thought that is what I was doing by writing a fiction novel in the first place? Frowns all around. Never mind.
Clearly, I have a lot to learn.
Here are a few more firsts that I participated in just this week:
First Edits — I received my first round of edits from my publisher for Mind Waves. I was a little worried about what they might uncover, but I’m happy to report most were easy to follow. A few will take some work on my part to incorporate. But all in all, not bad for my first time out of the publishing block.
First Signups — I participated in my first party, asking for email addresses. Okay, the party was not technically for me. It was a retirement party for a family member. But still, I drew up a quick sign describing my book and asked for email addresses AND I got a few. As of today, I have about 60 names on my list. A good start. I’ll continue to add more over time.
First Book Reading — Perhaps most nerve-wracking of all was a book reading I did for some of my coworkers at a team event. I am fortunate to have some super friends in the office, who have been following my progress and were about as thrilled as I was when I finally signed a contract. I shouldn’t have been surprised when they asked if I would do a reading over the lunch hour. But I was surprised and thrilled and deeply touched.
Me starting to collect email addresses at a family party.
Since I don’t have a book cover, I don’t have much for giveaways right now except my business card. But after some thought and searching on Pinterest, I came up with the idea to make beach glass candy. Turns out, it’s not hard and the finished product is cool (if I do say so myself). I made about 25 samples in cinnamon and lime favors, and they all disappeared.
The reading was more problematic. I wasn’t sure what passage or how much of the book to read. I didn’t want anyone falling asleep. After careful thought, I settled on providing a little background on how I came to write the manuscript, presenting a brief description of the novel, and then reading the prologue. My coworkers asked a lot of questions, and no one’s eyes glazed over, so I marked that down as a success.
Here’s a look at the book description for those who are curious….
Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press!
He has been in her mind.
He knows her thoughts.
He will do anything to protect her.
David navigates deadly brain waves.
Hacks into human minds. Protects the nation’s secrets.
But a powerful enemy wants the woman he loves.
And he won’t rest until David is dead.
Grace is an ordinary girl.
Or so she believes.
But a madman haunts her dreams.
And David may be the only one who can save her.