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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: promotion, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. What Are We Really Promoting?

This week I'm starting a new schedule that involves doing promotion/marketing on Mondays. So it's appropriate, I think, to talk today about this terrific promotional article, What It Costs to DIY A First Book Tour. In it, author Katey Schultz discusses her year-long promotional tour for her book, Flashes of War, which was published by a small university press.

Interesting points:

  • Schultz spent $12,000 on her tour, split pretty evenly between hiring a publicist and tour manager and travel expenses. It was money she'd inherited or saved, not borrowed. She wouldn't go into debt for the book. This caught my attention because several years ago I attended a NESCBWI event at which a colleague said she didn't want her family to lose money on her writing. Something writers need to consider--writing can cost you money.
  • Five thousand books is too large a goal for a year. Schulz had to lower her expectations and spread that goal over three years. She's been told that the 1,500 books she believes she's sold over one year is a good number. Good numbers are still small numbers.
  • Some booksellers were not very supportive. I don't know if her experience is common. I can't help thinking, though, that within writers' circles there's so much commitment to booksellers. So...
  • Schultz hasn't made back her financial investment, but feels the work she's done has been good for her career overall, preparing the way for the promotion of a second book. And that's often how things work with writing. You have to think in terms of the career, not any one particular book.
We're always promoting ourselves.


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2. Monday Mishmash 3/9/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I'm still booked with edits. I've been a busy editor this year.
  2. Taxes  My taxes are finished! Yay! I hate sitting through having them done, so I'm glad this is over for the year.
  3. Looking For Love Blog Tour  This weekend I finished my posts for the Looking For Love blog tour. I can't believe this book is releasing in 8 days!
  4. Good New I Can't Share Yet  I know that's cruel, but I have good news. No, it's not a book deal. This is different, but I'm equally excited about it. I'll share as soon as I can.
  5. The Darkness Within Trailer  Last Friday, Spencer Hill Press released my new trailer for The Darkness Within. Here it is if you missed it:
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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3. NESCBWI: Marketing Your Brand

Oh, Look! Suddenly I Can Add Captions!
Yesterday I attended a New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' program, Marketing Your Brand. Jen Malone was the program leader.

Now Jen's first book, At Your Service,  was published just last year, though she has several others under contract and coming out soon. What she brings to the table when it comes to marketing is that she is the former New England Head of Publicity and Promotions for 20th Century Fox and Miramax Films and has sixteen years of experience teaching film marketing at Boston University. 

This was a very good program. I try not to go into too much detail regarding events like this, because the content is the presenter's. But I feel comfortable discussing workload and blogging.

Workload

 

You cannot exaggerate how hard many children's and YA authors are working at promoting, the time they are spending going to events, planning presentations, traveling, contacting people, all on their own dime. They may hold jobs of one kind or another and have families. It is just huge. And then they need to be writing their next books.

 

Sigh. I happened to be reading Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki today. Suzuki says, "The driver knows how much load the ox can carry, and he keeps the ox from being overloaded. You know your way and your state of mind. Do not carry too much!" It seemed appropriate.

Blogging

 

The feeling among the people in attendance yesterday was that blogging is a bit yesterday as far as "Authors must blog!" is concerned.  Some authors in that room were vocal about disliking blogging. What does that mean for long-time writer/bloggers like myself?

I'm thinkin' good news.

The Internet began to buckle under the weight of all the blogs that were created by writers from, say, 2006/7 to date. The pool of blog readers couldn't absorb them all, so many of us saw our readership drop and drop. If writers no longer feel compelled to blog, that could mean more readers for the rest of us.

That's what I'm hoping, anyway.

The caption under the picture of Jen Malone? The capacity to caption appeared out of the blue. Computer Guy is mystified.

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4. Writer Wednesday: Wattpad

2015 is the year of branching out for me. I'm trying new ways to reach readers. My latest venture is with Wattpad. I wasn't very familiar with this platform, but I know a lot of readers are there grabbing free samples of books. So I thought why not?

I joined and got permission from the very awesome people at Spencer Hill Press to upload my two FREE Touch of Death series companions, which are also available on the SHP website. 

The first is Curse of Death, which is the myth behind the series. It shows why I love Medusa and feel she was wrongfully cursed. 
The second is Kiss of Death, which is a prequel novella told from Alex's POV, because I just love Alex and his story needed to be told pre-Jodi.

So what does this mean? I'm not entirely sure yet, but I'm hoping to reach new readers and introduce them to my work. I'll keep you posted on how it's going. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Wattpad here and to read my free stories.

Are you on Wattpad? Feel free to leave your link in the comments so I can follow you. If you aren't, what do you think of a site that allows you to sample an author's work?

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5. Monday Mishmash 3/2/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Migraines  Last week I had two awful headaches. One was a migraine that left me unable to do anything and up all night sick from the pain. I'm hoping this week passes without any headaches, because I have work to do.
  2. Editing  More edits on my plate this week. :)
  3. Taxes  My tax forms took a long time getting to me this year. I'm usually finished with this process by now. I need to schedule an appointment soon.
  4. FREE Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
  5. Thunderclap  I still need help reaching my goal off 100 supporters for my Thunderclap campaign for Looking For Love. Click "Join this Thunderclap" on the image below and sign up to allow Thunderclap to post this message for you. Once you're signed up, you don't have to do anything else. It's that simple. I hope you'll consider signing up. If I'm short of my goal, the campaign won't post. :( 

That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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6. A Book Marketing Truth Few Experts Will Admit

Book marketing is tough, especially when it comes to self-publishing. The good news is there is no shortage of experts, books and websites out there to advise authors on how to market. The bad news is that while some offer content brimming with strong, helpful advice, others impart ‘wisdom’ that belongs in a primer on what NOT to do. It takes time and the willingness to work hard to sort good ideas from bad and come up with a plan that is best for you.

But here’s a cold, unpopular truth about book marketing: you can do everything experts say to do, and still feel you are not getting a good ROI (Return on Investment).

There are a number of reasons for this. Here are some of the biggies:

Unrealistic expectations.

bookstoreIt’s human nature to look around and compare one’s book to that of a similar one and weigh the success of each, but the reality is this is an unfair comparison. Every book is different, so how readers connect with the characters and story of each will also vary. And readers aside, each author will have a unique platform and marketing focus. So while outwardly two books rest in the same apple cart, they might not belong together, and authors should not expect them to perform the same.

(image: Geralt @ pixabay)

Industry and market shifts.

amazonNot only do readers’ tastes change as trends reach a saturation point (people grow tired of reading about X so change to Y), so does the online retail market. Going exclusive with Amazon used to be a golden ticket, but now? Not so much. Same thing with the power of free. In the early days, free was the fast track to downloads, exposure and shooting up Amazon lists. But technology is fickle. Algorithms shift. Subscription services enter the picture. And BAM, just like that, the playing field changes…what used to work no longer does, or the value of marketing a certain way lessens. So depending on when you release a book and what is happening in the online marketplace at that time can affect your ability to reach those big sale goals.

(image: Roadrunner @ pixabay)

 Luck.

Anyone who says luck has had nothing to do with their success is either lying or naive. Luck is ALWAYS a factor – the right book, the right time, the author connecting with the right influencers to help boost their reach, and finally, being discovered by readers who will become super fans…this all requires an element of luck. Sometimes, people just can’t catch a break. But, that said, authors make their own luck by putting themselves out there. If you want to hear a knock at the door, you have to be close by.

Playing the game, but not getting why.

social mediaI know many writers who “do everything right” by pricing appropriately, paying for a professional cover, designing a website, blogging, getting on social media, running visibility events, book signings, speaking engagements…and they still don’t feel it’s working. A person can do every strategic thing right and still fail if they don’t understand and respect that their number one goal should be to connect genuinely with readers. Readers aren’t dollar signs, or Facebook likes, or book reviews…they’re people. It means treating them like people, caring about them like people, and enjoying that relationship without strings. It is about providing them with value when we can, and entertainment, a listening ear or whatever else is within our ability to give.

Being on social media is not the same as “getting” social media. Tweeting and blogging and posting to Facebook in ways that are strategic, not social, means one is not using the platform as it is meant to be used. And if you don’t come across as genuine and interested, if it feels like a job to tweet and share…people sense it. They will (maybe) friend you and (maybe) retweet because it is the polite thing to do, but the depth of the relationship will only ever go so far. They won’t really care about what’s happening with you. That level of connection won’t be there.

(image: Nominalize @ pixabay)

Marketing to the wrong audience, or focusing on only a niche.

AudienceIf you are marketing your heart out trying to connect with people who love and need hammers by hanging out with golf enthusiasts, your efforts won’t yield much. Understanding who your exact audience is and what they need and want is key to improving your chances for success when it comes to finding readers. Think beyond genre. And in the same wheelhouse, if you are targeting the right audience, don’t focus on too small a group. A typical way authors do this is by concentrating marketing on other authors who write in the same genre. Yes, writers are readers, but at best, this is settling for a tiny slice of pie when the whole pie is available. At worst, you are damaging relationships with your fellow writers who may feel put off when you promote at them.

(image: openclips @ Pixabay)

A sub par book.

Simply stated, a lot of books are published that aren’t at the caliber they need to be to do well. Learning strong writing craft takes a lot of time and dedication. Some writers understand this and by applying savvy marketing to their quality book, they knock it out of the park. But with the ease of self-publishing comes a subset of writers who are hoping a quick upload to Amazon is their shortcut to success. Or they think quantity wins out over quality, and seek to get out as much product as possible to have a larger revenue funnel. But, if one is more focused on quantity than making each book better than the last, the saturated market offers a sobering reality: unless there is something special about a book, it generally doesn’t gain a foothold that lasts. There are just too many other good books to read.

 So, does this mean we should all give up? That the cards are stacked against us? Not at all!

I’m no expert and have plenty to still learn. But I’ve picked up a thing or two, so here’s a few sound bites:

senses 1) Write a book so good it fills you with pride. Never stop learning your craft. Always strive to do better with each new book.

2) Be genuine. Talk to people, start conversations. Build relationships and be present. This takes time and energy, but it’s worth it.

3) Only do what feels right via social networks. If you hate twitter, don’t use it. Remember to be social. Provide value in some way and be part of the community.

(image: john hain @ pixabay)

4) Figure out who your audience is, and find them online. Don’t just focus on other writers…unless that is your exact audience.

5) Learn to love what you do…not just the writing part, but the connecting with people part. Yes, even you introverts! The more you do it, the easier it gets, I promise. And when you connect with people, you find friends, supporters, and influencers, making your own luck!

6) Understand your personal strengths and what you have to offer, then offer it the best you can. Are you funny? Let it out. Have a knack for finding interesting content your audience will like? Share it! Be yourself, and be awesome.

7) Talk to other people about marketing. Ask for help. Offer help in return. Collaborate. We’re all in this together.

8) Try new things, take risks. Look at other industries and how they connect with their audiences. Don’t fear mistakes because they are simply opportunities to learn. Not everything will work and that’s okay.

caring9) Make it about your audience, not you. Put yourself in their shoes…shoes that are probably overworked, stressed, underpaid and over-promoted to. Do they need more spaghetti promotion thrown at them? Probably not. So how can you use social media to make a positive difference in their day to day lives? How can you provide content that entertains, supports or adds value? How can you make them feel valued?

(image: PublicDomainPictures @ pixabay)

10) When you give freely, it comes back to you. As self-publishers we have many hats to wear, and only so much time, which is why some authors struggle with the idea of doing something so labor intensive as “building relationships.” But taking the time is well spent, because when you form real connections with people and care about then, they care about you in return, and about your books and your success. Many end up helping in little ways, including telling others about your books. Word of Mouth is the most valuable marketing currency there is.

 Have any tips to share? Please leave them in the comments.

The post A Book Marketing Truth Few Experts Will Admit appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

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7. What Would Garrison Griswold Do?

BookScavenger3d(This post is cross-posted from EMU's Debuts)

I've been in the midst of making promotional plans for Book Scavenger. I've sought out advice from other authors on what they recommend and don't recommend for your debut book, and the only bit of advice that everyone seems to agree on is this: The best thing you can do to promote your first book is write your next book.

Okay, cool, I'm doing that! I have two more books scheduled to come out in 2016 and 2017, and I'm currently working on both simultaneously. One is in the outline/first draft stage, and the other is nearing the end of its second revision. (I feel like those last two sentences make me sound very organized in my writing process. I am not. I wrote "working on two books simultaneously" but really it feels more like spinning in circles while juggling cats.)

But still, even if everyone agrees the best thing you can do is write the next book, I can't do nothing for my debut. If for no other reason than I'm excited about it! I want people to hear about it. So many people have had a hand in shaping the book--early readers and critique partners, teachers, my agent, my editor, the art director, production editor, copyeditor . . . And the illustrations! Sarah Watt's work is so freakin' cool and takes the book to a whole other level. The book that will be in bookstores and libraries has been a team effort, and I'm proud of it. Even if readers hate it, I want Book Scavenger to have a fighting chance of surviving in the retail world, and that won't happen if readers don't hear about it in the first place.

So I wanted to do something fun to celebrate Book Scavenger and spread the word about its existence. What to do, what to do? That's where Garrison Griswold comes in.

Illustration by Sarah Watts
Garrison Griswold is a central character in Book Scavenger. He's this larger than life, eccentric book publisher who's a huge game and puzzle fanatic. He thrives on thinking up elaborate games and making them happen--something that has earned him the reputation of being "the Willy Wonka of book publishing." A reputation, by the way, that he loves to play up. Book Scavenger is one of his game creations. It's a website and a real world book hunting game where players hide used books in public places and then upload clues to the website for other book scavengers to solve in order to seek out the books. (Kind of a mashup of Book CrossingGeocaching, and Little Free Libraries, with a dash of influence from video games I played as a kid.)

I wanted to do something in the spirit of Garrison Griswold, but I couldn't go all out Garrison Griswold because that guy has resources that I do not. (He rented out the San Francisco Giants stadium in order to break the Guinness World Record for largest group Bingo game, for example. I can't do that.)

But I did come up with something that's big, by my standards at least, and fortunately my publisher was on board. I hope it will be fun and will make Mr. Griswold proud. I'll be putting this plan into action on Wednesday and will update here with the info, but for now here's a teaser video (which offers a clue--something I know Mr. G would approve of):



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8. A Writer Gets All Techie About Her Website

This weekend we relaunched my website after some work that I originally thought would "just" be cosmetic. Cosmetic. That's tweaking, right? How long can that take? Well, it took about two-and-a-half weeks, though we're not talking two-and-a-half weeks of eight-hour days. My computer guy ended up using a lot of his snowdays on this project.

Many of the issues we ended up dealing with in this revamp are the same kinds of things we'd be considering if we were starting a website from scratch. So if you're thinking of getting started with a site or you've been wondering if it's time to do some touch-up work, yourself, you may be interested in what we've been doing these last few weeks.

What Got Me Started


My website is quite old, going back to 1998. We've made many changes since then, of course. Recently, though, I'd been feeling that my site was very white. That's not ethnic commentary. My website was very white meaning that its pages seemed to spread across computer screens, which are now often quite wide, in an unattractive manner. But what to do about it?

Last month I happened to read some articles in More on personal branding. The two issues I was particularly interested in:
  • Using color to help brand. Color has attributes it communicates when it comes to branding. Yellow is supposed to communicate creativity and intellect, as well as energy. I most definitely am not a pastel person. Any pastel. But I thought I might like some kind of gold in my website, maybe an autumn-type color. Yellowish.
  • Finding ways to unify your brand message across your social media platforms so readers/viewers begin to recognize you, wherever you are. Color can be a unifying element. 

 

What We Did And Why It Took So Long


Originally, all I wanted to do was create a colored border around the pages of my website. Because I was interested in gold, which is similar to the theme of this Blogger blog, we would immediately be providing some unity between these two platforms. But once we placed the gold color around each page, the color we'd been using for the hyperlinks clashed. All the color on all the links had to be changed. (By  the way, we changed the theme on my Twitter page to conform with the color of my website's hyperlinks, thus creating some uniformity with that platform ,too.) Then Computer Guy started really getting into this and gave the space behind the text a little hue-like color, so we really were rid of the white. This was also more in keeping with the blog's appearance.

All this had to be done to every single page in the site. In case you weren't aware, I have a very big website. It's deep, meaning it's multi-leveled. A link from the homepage leads to another page and there are links there that lead to still more.

While we were touching everything, anyway, we were careful to bring any outdated material up to 2015.

And, Then, Fonts


Things were looking better, but now I wasn't happy with the font. Fonts, it turns out, have attributes, just as colors do.

Serif fonts, for instance, are associated with artistic, intellectual, and warm attributes. Sans serif fonts  are considered technical looking. Computer Guy loves sans serif fonts, which are very straight and have little embellishment. I, however, have always been a Times New Roman woman because it looks like the text in a book. TNR is a serif font. Serifs have little extra bits at the end of letters and, like TNR, look like what we'd expect to see in books and other publications.We decided to go with a serif font for the text, which would require more reading, and a crisp sans serif font for headings.

Sounds as if we're done with fonts, right? No! Why not? Because a certain number of fonts are preloaded onto every computer making that computer capable of rendering text accessed from the Internet onto its screen. There are fonts that are commonly used. If I were to choose an uncommon serif font for my website, one that many computers couldn't render, they would have to use a fallback font that may or may not look the way I planned it to. Thus, I needed to choose common fonts.

Some Things We Didn't Change

 

Believe it or not, I have some very specific views on websites. These views are related to communicating messages and making communication easier for people receiving my messages.
  1. My homepage, my users' first stop when they come to my website, includes real content. I want my users to get something immediately for having made the effort to come to www.gailgauthier.com. I don't want them to have to click again to "enter website." I don't want them to be faced with just a menu.
  2. I'm not into bells and whistles. Things that move and pop are slow to load. I value my users' time. As a user, myself, I sometimes leave sites while I'm waiting for gimmicks to load.
  3. I avoid distracting clutter. I want to make the reading experience on my pages comfortable.
  4. I try to keep content short. I believe the reading experience on the Internet is supposed to be different from other kinds of reading experiences. Is is supposed to be fast. That is not a bad thing. We can read long in other places. That's true of blog posts, too, by the way. If I can't keep a blog post short, I use sub-headings, the way I am today, so users can pick and choose what they want to focus upon.

In Conclusion


This was a fun thing I hope we don't have to do again for a while. "A while" meaning "years."


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9. Writer Wednesday: How to Use a Book Trailer


Today's topic came by request from Kai Strand. Kai wanted to know how to use a book trailer for marketing. Now this is just my opinion, but here's how I think you can use a trailer.
  • Host a trailer reveal  Get some bloggers on board to post your trailer on a specific day or week. This will drum up additional interest in your book and get the word out there between the cover reveal and release day.
  • Start a YouTube Channel  Tons of people are on YouTube, and trailers give you material to post to your channel. Why not be a part of this huge platform?
  • Post your trailer to your website, blog, Amazon author page, etc.  Just about every social media outlet online has a place to upload videos, so go nuts! Get that video up everywhere! Plus if you post to FB or Twitter, others can share your video, too.
  • Post a link or embed the video in your author newsletter  Newsletter subscribers love to get sneak peeks at what you're doing, so reward them with an exclusive first look at your trailer.
Now, do I think book trailers help sales? Not really. But they are fun to make, and they are another way to spread the word about your book, so why not utilize this method of getting your book out there?

Have any other ideas for how you can use a book trailer? Please share in the comments.

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10. Monday Mishmash 2/2/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  I'm booked with edits again this month. The end of 2014 must have been very busy for a lot of writers because I'm editing book after book. :)
  2. Scholastic Book Fair  It's still going on thanks to all the snow days last week. I was a little sad because books I was looking forward to weren't there. My daughter's school only goes to fifth grade so some of the MG books weren't at our fair. :(
  3. Making Book Trailers  I'm working on the trailer for The Darkness Within. This one is proving to be tough! Wish me luck, please.
  4. Busy Month  With Looking For Love (Ashelyn Drake NA romance title) releasing March 17th, I'm busy getting everything ready. Look for a cover reveal on February 13th.
  5. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out today. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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11. Writer Wednesday: Finding Your Audience

We've all heard that half the battle—or maybe more—in selling books is finding your audience. But how do you do that? It's something that I've struggled with, so I thought I'd share my story with you. 

When Touch of Death was originally submitted to editors, it was pitched as The Walking Dead meets Shatter Me. Now, I should have immediately realized my audience off of that pitch, but I was new to the industry and I admit it went right over my head. Now, nearly two years later, I realized that I have a huge audience I never reached out to. Fans of The Walking Dead!

So this Sunday, I'm hosting a Twitter Viewing Party during this week's episode of The Walking Dead.

In addition to the viewing party, my P.A. made this for me, and I love it because it's Daryl and my book! ;)


I've also been on a book tour for The Monster Within and I've been bringing my bookmarks for the Touch of Death series. After I talk to people about The Monster Within, I mention Touch of Death. But my first question is always "Are you a fan of The Walking Dead?" All but one person I asked answered yes to that question, and the one person who didn't said she wasn't but the woman with her was. It's the perfect way for me to introduce my series and hand out bookmarks. So that's the pitch I'm sticking with for this series.

Will this connection to The Walking Dead help sales? I guess I'll find out, but I certainly can't see how it could hurt.

So it may have taken me a while to stumble on this idea, but I found my audience. How have you found your audience?

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12. Monday Mishmash 11/3/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:

1. Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston  Congrats to Meradeth on the release of her newest book! It's on my Kindle right now!

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever. 



Check it out on Amazon: Barnes and Noble: Evernight TeenGoodreads.

    2. Riven and Prodigal Double Cover Reveal  The very awesome Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley have two gorgeous new covers to reveal. Check out Riven and Prodigal in the Lost Imperials Series.



    Release Date: May 5, 2015
    Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

    What should be a routine mission leaves Ethan with a serious problem. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.

    Forced to face his dark past and a decision he may never forgive himself for, he will be trained unlike any of the others, to become a true guardian for time. If he accepts, it will mean leaving everyone he loves behind. If he refuses, time itself could unravel. After a glimpse of the dark future awaiting them all, he will have to choose between destiny and desire. Will he rise up and take his place as a defender of the natural order, or will he watch as all of time burns at the hands of the girl he loves?

    Welcome to the time war.



    Release Date: May 5, 2015
    Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

    Stein has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.

    During a test to verify her bloodlines, Stein makes a terrible discovery. She is carrying a rare genetic mutation that is slowly killing her. Unsure who to turn to and running out of time, she has no choice but to turn to Tesla—her most hated enemy—for help. But can she trust the man who she’s been fighting against her whole life, or will she end up another piece in his deadly game of cat and mouse with the people who betrayed her so long ago?

    3. Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich  I couldn't be happier for my agent! Her upcoming release looks amazing. Check it out.

    http://www.sarahnegovetich.com/p/author.html

    Releasing December 4th, 2014
    Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
    A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
    But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
    Pre-order Available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo &; iTunes
    4. Editing  November is packed with client edits for me. That means no NaNoWriMo yet again. I've never actually participated though I have unofficially joined the fun in the past. Still, I finished a draft in October so I'm okay with missing out. Good luck to all who are fast drafting this month.

    5.  Into the Fire Challenge Winner Announced!  On November 1st, I announced the winner of the #IntotheFireChallenge. Congrats to Sherry Alexander! She will appear as a phoenix in the third and final book in the Birth of the Phoenix series.

    6.  Promo Like a Mad Woman!  I've had a lot of author events lately, and while I'm busy and I got sick, I'm having a blast. Here are some recent photos from my events.
    Family Reading Festival in the Fairlane Village Mall in Pottsville, PA

    Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA with Cyn Balog, Kristi Cook, Molly Cochran, and Jennifer Murgia

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

    *My FREE monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up, you can do so here.*

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    13. Monday Mishmash: 11/10/14


    Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

    Here's what's on my mind today:

    1. The Attic of Sand and Secrets by Medeia Sharif  I'm reading this right now!
    THE ATTIC OF SAND AND SECRETS 
    by Medeia Sharif

    Vendor links will be updated on Medeia’s site.

    Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014

    Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself.

    Learning-disabled Lily desires to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems - such as her mother's abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However, there's something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that's normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world. There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues about her mother's whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.

    Find Medeia – Multi-published YA and MG Author

    Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    2. Revisions  This week I'm revising one of my manuscripts I put aside for a while. It's always fun to go back and read a first draft I've stepped away from.

    3. Some Fine Day by Kat Ross  Kat Ross has a new release and a giveaway for you.
    What if everything you've been taught is a lie?

    Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist knows that when the world flooded and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the surface.

    She knows that the only species to thrive there is the toads, a primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.

    Most of all, she knows there's no place where you can hide from the hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.

    Turns out Jansin was wrong. On all counts…


    Enter here to win a Kindle Paperwhite pre-loaded with Some Fine Day, plus other awesome YA audiobook giveaways!

    4.  Reading/Reviewing  I'm reading a bunch of books that I need to review. It's nice to have to find time to read. Usually reading gets pushed aside for other things, but when I promise to review, I can't do that. ;)

    5. Promo  My crazy month of events every week (some weeks more than one event) is over, but I do still have a signing set up for this month and two school visits coming up. This week I'll be trying to book another signing for the holidays.

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    14. Monday Mishmash 11/17/14


    Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

    Here's what's on my mind today:
    1. Horrible Internet Connection  My internet has only been working when it feels like it, so getting online has been sporadic at best. If you are waiting to hear from me, I apologize. I'm trying to get this fixed today, but you know how that goes with phone companies. If I'm delayed in responding to comments or commenting on your blog, you know why.
    2. January Feature on Megan McDade's Blog  The very awesome Megan McDade is going to feature me on her blog in January and is asking people to comment on her post right now with questions you'd like me to answer. So I'd love it if you dropped by Megan's blog to leave me a question. You can find her blog here.
    3. Editing  I finished a revision on my latest Ashelyn Drake manuscript, so I'm back in editing mode and working on client edits this week.
    4. Remodeling  We finally finished painting the addition we put on the house. The countertop people are coming Tuesday (after canceling on us last week). Next up is flooring upstairs. We're getting close!
    5. Catching Up on My Reading  I'm all caught up on reading the books I promised to review. Yay! Most recently, I finished An Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston and Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich. Both were amazing!
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    15. Writer Wednesday: Author Events

    It's no secret I've been doing a lot of author events this fall. I had a book tour for The Monster Within, which wraps up on the 29th with a signing at Moravian Book Shop, and I have two school visits planned for December 1. While I was at an event last month, a fellow writer asked me if I thought doing events was worth it. My answer was absolutely.

    Do events promise to sell more books? Not necessarily. Yes, I was fortunate enough to sell well at my events, but let's be honest. Some events wind up being disappointing. But here's the upside. Events are about exposure. If your signing was mentioned in the paper, you've gotten exposure you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. If your author appearance is at a school, there's a huge audience you might not have reached before. I know some authors only book big events that guarantee lots of people and lots of potential sales. Me? I book big events, small events, and even non-selling events. Why? Because it's not always about the in-the-moment sale. Sure, it's great to sell out of the stock the bookstore ordered. Or to have a school district order class sets of your book. But there's more to it than that.

    One thing we can't lose sight of after our book is out in the world is that while sales are great, so are connections. In fact, they are more important. Finding a librarian who books you for a school event and then asks if you'd be willing to come back and speak again is priceless. Think of all the students and teachers you'll reach. Booking an event where you can't sell but you can share your love of writing with others is great because there's no pressure AND people are more willing to listen to you if they know they won't have the awkward experience of having to say "not today" to purchasing a signed copy. And what I've found is that those people will then go home and look you up.

    So, are author events worth it? Absolutely! For so many different reasons.

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    16. Preparing for Release Month by Kate Brauning

    Today we welcome Kate Brauning to the blog to share a different type of craft article -- the rewards of doing the craft well.  Publication!  But with publication comes its own stress, and Kate is in a great position to tell us how to handle it as not only did her first novel, How We Fall, release this month, but she's also an editor with Entangled Publishing, guiding many other writers through their first release month and beyond.

    Preparing for Release Month by Kate Brauning

    Release month is almost always a hectic, stressful time for authors. As an editor, I’ve seen my clients go through it, and my first novel just released on the 11th, so I’m going through it myself! Especially with all the different opportunities and strategies available to authors now, it’s easy to get bogged down, worry about what you aren’t doing, stress over what you are doing, and lose the excitement of it altogether.

    One thing seasoned authors kept telling me was that this one is special because it’s the first. Enjoy it.
    Do something for yourself. Celebrate in market-smart ways, but also celebrate in personal, zero-stress ways.

    One of the things I did to personally celebrate my release week was to go on a weekend writing retreat with my critique partners. It was so, so much fun, and a great stress relief. I planned as if my release day was 3 days earlier than it was, so 95% of what I needed to do, I already had done. I took very little work on the retreat with me. Also, it was tremendously good stress relief to not think about the launch and get back to actually writing that next book. And of course, my critique partners are the ones who have been through this with me, and getting to celebrate with them was so meaningful and just plain fun.

    Aside from celebrating for yourself, authors can do a few simple things to prepare for a book release that will make that week and month a little less stressful.

    image credit: thepenandinkblog.blogspot.com

    Marketing:

    Get started on major marketing elements as soon as possible. As soon as you have a book deal/decide to self-publish, (or even before) you can get started on these things:

    1. Author photos. Many authors have a friend take a photo, but there’s a big difference between a snapshot and a professional headshot. If you know someone talented, that’s great and definitely take the less expensive route. But first, look at the author photos of major authors in your genre and aim for that kind of result. Author photos are a significant piece of your marketing, and a great photo helps you look like a professional, and it might end up on your book jacket. It can take several months to line up a photographer, schedule the session, and get your edited photos back, so do this ASAP. I was interviewed by my own photographer, Jenni O Photography, where I discussed what I looked for in my author photos, so check that out if you’re interested.

    2. Author website. Every author needs a website, even if you don’t blog. A site where readers can see your book and read a bit about you is definitely something you need as an author. You can design it yourself, but if you don’t have experience and talent there, hire someone. Friends who will cut you a deal can work out well, but again, look at the sites of authors in your genre who are doing well. See what’s possible for professional, clean layouts and informative, interesting content. Decide what kind of site you want, and then hire someone who can do that. Your website is another major piece of marketing, so to me, it’s worth spending a little money to have a quality website. Design, revisions, and launching the site can take a long time, too, so get started right away.

    3. Street team. Many authors assemble a street team from fans, friends, book bloggers, and fellow authors. Not everyone wants a street team, and it’s important to be grateful, courteous, and reasonable with your team members, but they can be a huge help. Many authors have street team members get the word out through book blasts, reviews, and social media, and they can help word about your book break out of your own circle of friends and fellow writers. Start building that street team immediately—you can start this as soon as you have a book deal. Keep in mind street team members need to be able to reach people you can’t, so look beyond friends and family members, though they can certainly be enthusiastic supporters, too. It’s also great to let your team earn some value for their work. I sent each of mine a welcome package with swag and an ARC, and prizes along the way. It has definitely paid off.

    4. Think about your dedication and acknowledgements. A lot of writers take a long time to get these done because they mean so much to the author. These don’t have to wait until your editor asks for them, and waiting to do them until then can make edits even more hectic, so you can definitely start them early. At the very least, you can start a list of who you need to thank and what you need to thank them for—don’t lose track of those early beta readers. And keep in mind there are a lot of people behind the scenes at your publishing house who are working hard for your book. It’s not a bad idea to email to ask who has been working on it, so you can specifically thank people besides your editor and publicist.

    5. Conferences. Talk to your editor and publicist (or figure out for yourself) what the plan is for appearances and conferences leading up to and after your book release. Early-bird pricing and promotional opportunities are a great reason to get started on this early, and if you know you have a conference during a certain week, it can be something you plan your other launch preparations around. That way you don’t have to cross conference days off an already-full schedule. Conferences, even just for the connections, are wonderful marketing. I’ve never been to a conference that hasn’t paid off well for my investment.

    6. Launch Party. There are so many options here! An in-person party, an online Facebook or Twitter party, a bookstore signing as your party, etc. As far as I know, those are the three main models, and they all have pros and cons. Online parties can be impersonal, and I’ve seen a lot of online parties that are poorly attended, even though hundreds or even thousands of people were invited. Authors work hard on their launch parties to make them have fabulous content, but it is really hard to engage a crowd online for a long period of time. They tend to drop by, learn a bit about you and your book, play a game, and then move on. And that’s great if that’s how you want to reach your readers. In-person & bookstore launch parties can have the same drawbacks—a small crowd, and difficulty reaching new readers. They can also be expensive, depending on what you do, and they are limited to people within traveling distance. Of course, there are pros to both—reaching fans who can’t travel to you and lower costs for online parties, and more personal connections with in-person parties, etc. I did a blend of both, and hosted 9 other authors at a livestreamed book party, so readers could ask questions, see, hear, and interact with all 10 of us. The combined draw meant we had a large audience, and we discussed everything from publishing paths to movie adaptations. Can you blend models to limit cons? Release vlogs during an online party, for example, or host other authors to draw on combined platforms.

    image credit: http://jasouders.blogspot.com

    Launch Month:

    Prepare for launch month events ahead of time. There are so many things authors can do: book blasts, blog tours, book giveaways, book hunts, library appearances, book signings, etc. Debut authors are often encouraged to say yes to much of it, but that can lead to stress and burn-out, and it can take a toll on that next book you need to be writing. So here’s how to keep it manageable:

    1. My advice is immediately start researching the opportunities and identifying your goals.

    • What’s possible? Realistically—what will you have time and money for? Can you re-prioritize to change any of that? What are your boundaries?
    • What sounds fun? Ideas you’re enthusiastic about will feel like less work than ones you’re already dreading, and they’re more likely to get done.
    • What meets your specific goals for your book release? Some authors want the launch to build their platform, some want to push for ranking high on Amazon or bestseller lists, and some want a stress-free way to celebrate with friends and family.

    See what’s out there before you settle on anything, and think creatively. Talk to other authors about what worked for them. Do you want a book trailer? Can you do something high concept for your launch party?

    2. When you do decide what you’d like to do, and when someone comes to you with an opportunity, calculate the time and financial investment, and choose wisely where you’re putting your hours and money. Keep in mind it will almost always cost more and take more time than you’re figuring. Chose the things that sound fun to you, because they will automatically be less stressful and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate on them! Also, choose the opportunities that reach a wide audience or allow for deeper connections with readers.

    3. Order swag/promotional items ASAP. Calculate amounts you’ll need, and as soon as you have the information and images you’ll need for on any paper products (like postcards, bookmarks, and business cards), order them. Printing and shipping can take a while, and rush shipping costs can be expensive. This is something that can be done early and stored safely until you need them. My personal advice is to not spend a ton of money on swag. Thick, professional business cards and bookmarks that won’t crease are a great idea. (As soon as it creases or crumples, people tend to throw it out. Moo.com does fabulous, high-quality work.) Swag can be expensive, especially considering how much authors make per book sold, so keep that in mind when you’re laying out your budget—calculate what you make per book, and balance that against the value the swag will provide. Some of it depends on the book, of course, but I went with nice business cards, postcards, and book pins. I haven’t found myself needing anything else so far, though I might do a mix of postcards and bookmarks next time.

    4. Don’t leave preparing for a few weeks before release. Treat it a bit like wedding planning. Make a to-do list for each event you’re doing for your launch, right down to items to purchase and announcements to make, and figure out which items can be done ahead of time. Schedule them into a certain day or week on your calendar. For example, if you’re doing a blog tour, start writing the posts three months in advance. One or two a week means you don’t have to scramble and you can keep your schedule balanced. You can even write your release day post early and have it saved as a draft to make changes to as the event gets closer. If you’re doing a book blast/blitz, you can write that material far in advance, too.

    Stress Management:


    This whole post is about stress management, really, but there are a few specific things you can do to help keep balanced and to enjoy your book release instead of dreading it.

    1. Schedule R&R. And I actually mean plan it into your day. An hour for reading, an evening or two a week where you catch up on that show you love, time with your family and friends. You aren’t a machine, and if you act like one, you’ll break down. The most efficient, productive thing you can do during busy, demanding times is take care of your brain and your body. So rest well, eat well, and take that R&R. I’m not kidding. If I push myself hard a few days in a row with a stressful project, it takes me several days to feel like I’m functioning at 100% again. And don’t forget to schedule R&R for after your release—staying balanced will help reduce those nerves.

    2. Disconnect. If you don’t need to be on Twitter or your email, close them. As it gets closer to my release date, I feel more and more bombarded by stats, reviews, emails, and questions. It’s overwhelming. Closing up email and social media frees up my concentration and lowers my stress levels. It can be tempting to stalk relatively meaningless rankings and count reviews, but don’t do it. Let yourself look once in a while if you have to, but several times a day or even once a day is usually both a time drain and a cause of stress.

    3. Keep writing. One of the best things you can do for your book is to write another one. A new book is great marketing for the old book. Writing also lets us invest somewhere else, and helps us see that not everything hangs on this one book. And it can be fun and inspiring to keep working on a new project, and it can take our minds off everything about release day. Writers write, so keep writing!

    About the Author:


    Kate Brauning grew up in rural Missouri and fell in love with young adult books in college. She’s now an editor at Entangled Publishing and pursues her lifelong dream of telling stories she'd want to read. Visit her online at www.katebrauning.com or on Twitter at @KateBrauning, and order How We Fall from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or IndieBound.









    About the Book:

    Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much--and with her own cousin, Marcus.

    Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for...no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus.

    Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

    Barnes & Noble  | Amazon  | IndieBound | Goodreads

    0 Comments on Preparing for Release Month by Kate Brauning as of 11/21/2014 8:12:00 AM
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    17. Monday Mishmash: 11/24/14


    Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

    Here's what's on my mind today:
    1. Editing  I'm working on copy edits for The Darkness Within and then editing for clients this week.
    2. Thanksgiving  I'll be heading to my grandfather's apartment complex for Thanksgiving. It's always good to see him, so I don't even mind the two-hour drive.
    3. November's been a tough month  I've had a rough November. Most recently a friend passed away, but my luck went south before that too. I'm ready to move on to December and hopefully put the bad parts of November behind me.
    4. School Visits  I have two school visits (three presentations) next Monday, December 1st, so I'm getting set for those this week.
    5. Signing The Monster Within at Moravian Book Shop on Saturday  I'm heading back to Moravian Book Shop with Jennifer Murgia for the final stop on my book tour for The Monster Within. It's been a great tour, and I'm sad to see it end. I'll be there from 1-3pm, so if you're in the Bethlehem area, I'd love to see you.
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    18. Monday Mishmash 12/1/14


    Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

    Here's what's on my mind today:
    1. School Visits  I have two school visits today! I'll be at Cedar Mountain Elementary School this morning and at Lounsberry Hollow Middle School this afternoon. At both schools I'll be speaking and signing copies of Curse of the Granville Fortune.
    2. Signing at Moravian Book Shop Last Saturday  I was at Moravian Book Shop again last Saturday signing copies of The Monster Within. My book tour is now officially over, not that I won't be doing more signings for this book. I definitely will. Thanks to everyone who came out to get a signed book.
    3. Home Renovations  I'm just going to sigh. We've been under construction since May 27th and I'm so tired of it. The upstairs is painted and trimmed now. Floors are being measured on Thursday, and my countertop will arrive next week. After that, it's finishing the bathroom and the floors in the hallway, sitting room, and closets. This will end eventually, right?
    4. Revising  I'm revising a few books I have drafted since I realized I have a back log of drafted books. lol Time for some serious revisions.
    5. A Month of Giveaways  I'm participating in a ton of giveaways. I may be poor when these are all finished. ;) More info to come on these.
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

    *My FREE monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up but would like to receive one, click here.*

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    19. Writer Wednesday: Setting Up Author Events

    Today's post topic came from Katie Clark, who posted this on last week's Monday Mishmash:

    Can you do a post talking about how you go about arranging those author events? Do you do the legwork, or is it done for you? What goes into it? What kind of relationships do you develop beforehand, or do you cold contact stores? How do you find out about the local events and festivals where you set up a booth?

    Okay, there are quite a few things you can do to set up author events. First, make sure you get your press release into papers. I get requests for school visits because teachers see my press releases in the newspaper and contact me. However, there is nothing wrong with contacting the librarian at a school and letting him/her know you are an author and you're available to come speak to the students. I also let them know that I don't charge for visits to local schools. It's hard for schools to turn down a free opportunity like this.

    As for local festivals or events where I can have a booth, I search the library website as well as the local paper. Once you get on a list, the organizers contact you the following year to return. So really the legwork is only necessary for that initial foot in the door. Also, local organizations attend each other's events. I've booked other events through them. For instance, I do a local book expo every year at the library. At that event, I met the state representative, who asked me to attend a local event she runs every year. Now I have two local events that I participate in each year. Not bad.

    As for bookstores, I personally go into the bookstores with my information in hand. You need to speak with a manager, who will most likely look up your book immediately to see if it's in the system and can be ordered. From there, setting up the signing is easy, and the store usually works with you to promote the event, which is great. I've also found that teaming up with other authors can get you in more stores. That's how my book tour this fall was set up. I contacted stores in my area, and the other authors contacted stores in their areas. Before we knew it, we'd booked several signings. 

    So that's my answer, Katie. I do a lot of legwork, but it's time well spent.

    Does anyone else have a question they'd like me to answer in a Writer Wednesday post? If so, leave your question in the comments and I'll get your answer scheduled.

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    20. Some Serious Book Product Placement

    Anyone watch Scorpion on CBS Monday night? The Christmas episode where everyone starts feelin' the season when a child is trapped in a cave with the water rising? In the course of the show, Katharine McPhee's character (I don't remember her name, we always call her Katharine McPhee) says that her son only wants one thing for Christmas, something called I Want an Alien for Christmas. Later in the episode, he gets it! And it's a book!

    Well, I was on-line by the time the closing credits were running. I Want an Alien for Christmas appears to be a self-published book available on Kindle and Smashwords. Except for those two sales pages and its placement in Monday's episode of Scorpion, there doesn't appear to be any marketing for it.

    What's particularly interesting about this situation, assuming this book turning up in an episode of a nationally broadcast television show is interesting enough for you, is that the author, Nick Santora, is also the creator of Scorpion. He's written for other TV shows and has written another book.

    You'd think that a couple of mentions in a network primetime show would create some buzz. But two days later, I'm still seeing next to nothing about I Want an Alien for Christmas on-line. The book is mentioned in a Forbes piece, but that's from back in September.

    Marketing is a mystery.

    0 Comments on Some Serious Book Product Placement as of 12/21/2014 5:40:00 PM
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    21. Monday Mishmash 12/29/14


    Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

    Here's what's on my mind today:
    1. Editing  I'm editing for clients again this week. The book I'm editing now is seriously hot. I may have blushed a few times. ;)
    2. Goals for 2015  I'm thinking about my goals for next year and how to make sure it will be a better year for me.
    3. House Construction  We are almost finished. I mean really close! The bedrooms are being carpeted today, and then we can start moving furniture upstairs. We are still waiting on the railing for the stairs, but we need to get the furniture upstairs first.
    4. Holidays  We had a great Christmas. My daughter got the Monster High Catacombs from Santa, which was the top item on her wish list so she's a happy camper. I'm not thrilled that it's 4 feet tall, but she loves it. :)
    5. Changes to FB  As you've probably heard, FB is no longer allowing promotional posts. That means I can't share all my book info with you on my FB page anymore. So if you want to stay up-to-date on my book releases, sales, etc., here are some ways you can:

    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    22. Caution: Witch in Progress 2014 Award Winner!

    Caution: Witch in Progress, The Book Awards runner-up for printed book of the year and gaining highest number of votes for a fiction title 2014!

    2014PrintRunner-Up

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    23. Monday Mishmash 1/19/15


    Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

    Here's what's on my mind today:
    1. Another Campus Crush  So last week I mentioned that fans asked for another Campus Crush story for Mike since he didn't get his HEA. I thought I was going to write a novel for him, but this series insists that it's made up of novellas, and that's what his story has turned into. More details to come.
    2. Friday Feature  I have some Friday Feature spots available this month and next (and beyond, actually) so if you have a new release or upcoming release and would like to be featured email me khashway(at)hotmail(dot)com.
    3. Spotlight and Giveaway  The very sweet and awesome Megan McDade is hosting me on her blog this month and in addition to interviews and guest posts, there's a giveaway (winner's choice of a paperback of Touch of Death or The Monster Within). Check it out here.
    4. Winter Ball  My daughter attended her first school dance last Friday. It was three hours of me sitting on a hard cafeteria stool, but seeing her dance and run around with her friends made it worth it. She's only in second grade, so seeing how outgoing she is really makes me happy. That girl is not afraid to be who she is. :) I'm a proud mom.
    5. Winter Blues  Anyone else have the winter blues? Some of my 2014-year-of-ickiness has carried over and I'm hoping to be finished with it by the end of the month so I can get back to life as usual. And I could really use some sunshine and warmer weather if anyone can make that happen. ;)
    That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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    24. Writer Wednesday: Writing Vs. Social Media

    We all know that part of what we do as writers is interact on social media. We need to be available to our readers so they are aware of when our next book comes out or when we get a new contract and of course so they can get to know us as people and readers, too. I'm going to admit that lately, I've been so busy that I haven't been online much.

    Yup. I've been a bad social media author. Here's why. Over the past month, my husband and daughter have been home a lot. A lot. I've always tried to balance my writing life and my personal life. So when my family is home, I like to spend time with them. Nothing unusual there, right? Right. So that means my time to actually work is cut down significantly. And that leads to me deciding what's more important—writing or being on social media.

    I chose writing. I worked on a new novella and I revised two books. That's not to mention editing for my clients, too. So you see, something had to give. For me that something was social media, and I'm hoping you'll all forgive me for being quiet online. I'm hoping the promise of more books from me will make up for it.

    Do you ever go social media quiet? Do you find you lose followers, or are they forgiving?

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    25. Sub It Club Interview with Roberta Baird

    sic-badge-square1Sub It Club is a blog/community that supports writers and illustrators to get their work “out there”. Whether you create illustrations or are a writer of kidlit, adult novels, non-fiction, screenplays, or poetry, Sub It Club provides the knowledge and inspiration to keep going strong.

    In my interview, I get to talk a little about the process of creating a promotional postcard. If you’re interested, here’s the link!  https://subitclub.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/the-postcard-post-roberta-baird/

    post card

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