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1. you’ve sold your first book–now what?

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

We are in for a treat, my little ginger scones. Frog on a Dime is delighted to welcome a very special guest blogger–debut author extraordinaire Kris Remenar.

Leave a comment on this post by Noon (EST) on November 25, and you’ll be entered to win your very own copy of GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA.

Okay, Frog on a Dime is all yours. Take it away, my darlin’ friend!





Congratulations! You sold your first manuscript! After you’ve popped the champagne to toast your sale, you might wonder – what do I do now?

Become “findable” online. You want people to know who you are, what you write, how they can buy your books, and how to contact you. Build your own website or hire a web designer. If the idea of a website makes your throat close, start with an author page on a book site like Amazon or GoodReads. Explore social media options like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Trying to do everything at once is guaranteed to scramble your brains, so take it slow and do what works for you.

Set up book signings. Contact local bookstores to set up a book launch party. To broaden thegroundhogsdilemma (2) marketing reach, consider creating signing events with other authors/illustrators. Research events where there will be people with a special interest in your book. Because my first picture book is called GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA, Matt Faulkner and I will be signing books at the Howell Nature Center on February 2nd during their annual Groundhog Day celebration. If you’re willing to travel, see if you can sign books at conferences for groups like the ALA (American Library Association) or NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English).

Consider school and library events. Check with area libraries to see if they have author events in which you can participate. For school and library events, you want to offer more than just a reading of your book. For younger ones, plan an interactive story time, and for olders, prepare a presentation about your process, or publishing, or ways your book ties into the curriculum.

Overwhelmed? Reach out to experienced authors and illustrators for advice, or ask librarians and teachers what they’ve seen that works. Hire a marketing genius like Kirsten Cappy of Curious City or an educational guru like Deb Gonzales for promotional ideas.

Literary genius Sarah Miller asked me an important question when I was frazzled making multiple promotional plans: “Will it be fun?” After working so hard to get published, don’t forget to enjoy signing the books and interacting with your readers. There is no magic formula to guarantee your bestseller status. Do what works for you, do what makes you happy, and keep writing so you can go through the whole process again soon when your next manuscript sells.

Illustrator Matt Faulkner and Author Kris Remenar

Illustrator Matt Faulkner and Author Kris Remenar

Kristen Remenar is busy promoting and hugging tightly her first picture book, GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA (Charlesbridge, 2015, illustrated by Matt Faulkner) and her first adult book, DRAW WITH A VENGEANCE: GET EVEN IN INK AND LET KARMA HANDLE THE REST (Running Press, 2015).



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2. Writer Wednesday: Teaming Up With Other Authors

It's no secret that I'm a huge proponent of authors supporting other authors, but today I want to take that one step further and talk about authors teaming up with other authors. This is such a great way to help each other promote and to reach a new audience. This week, I'm teaming up with 11 other YA authors to bring readers a huge giveaway. It's great for the readers, and it's great for the authors too because we are reaching new potential fans and sharing our fan bases with each other. If you haven't yet teamed up with other authors like this, I'd encourage you to try it. And before you go, check out the giveaway and be sure to enter. There are so many prizes to win!

First, here are the participating authors:

Now for the prizes. There will be a winner for each prize. Yes, that means there are a ton of chances to win!


2 $40 gift cards
eBook of PERFECT FOR YOU by Ashelyn Drake
eBook of FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel Harris
eBook of SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE by Elana Johnson
eBook of ELEVATED by Elana Johnson
eBook of PLAYING WITH FIRE by Sherry Ficklin
One of the GUARDIANS OF GALAXY books by Ednah Walters
RITE OF REJECTION by Sarah Negovetich
4 copies of THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY by Lauren Morrill
eBook set of THE DARK BETRAYAL Trilogy by Nichole Chase

eBook of TOUCHING SMOKE by Airicka Phoenix
eBook of DAUGHTER OF CHAOS by Jen McConnel

You can enter on my Facebook page or on the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is international and will run from November 9th to November 15th. Good luck!

Giveaway hosted by Ashelyn Drake. 

More info about Ashelyn can be found below: 

Ashelyn is a pen name for Kelly Hashway. Kelly grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.

*Sign up for Ashelyn's newsletter to stay current on her new releases: http://bit.ly/1tRQqzg

Join her street team, Kelly’s Coven, for exclusive giveaways, ARCs, and to chat with her: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KellysCoven/

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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3. Monday Mishmash 11/9/15

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. Leap News  I've signed another author to Leap Books Seek. I'm so excited about this book and can't wait to share the news. I'm just waiting on the Publisher's Weekly announcement. :)
  2. Editing  This week I'll be editing the new book I acquired. 
  3. Drafting  I'm a little jealous of all the people writing away for NaNoWriMo, so I may attempt to get some words in on my adult thriller this week. I had to put it aside to edit for clients. And yes, you read that correctly. I'm writing an adult thriller.
  4. Review Opportunity  I'm looking for a few more readers to review Our Little Secret. If you're willing to read the book and review it on Amazon, let me know in the comments, or email me at khashway(at)hotmail(dot)com and I'll send you a review copy.
  5. Huge Multi-Author YA Giveaway  I'm teaming up with a bunch of amazing YA authors to bring you a huge giveaway. There are tons of prizes and tons of chances to win! Here's what's up for grab: 

2 $40 gift cards
eBook of PERFECT FOR YOU by Ashelyn Drake
eBook of FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel Harris
eBook of SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE by Elana Johnson
eBook of ELAVATED by Elana Johnson
eBook of PLAYING WITH FIRE by Sherry Ficklin
One of the GUARDIANS OF GALAXY books by Ednah Walters
RITE OF REJECTION by Sarah Negovetich
4 copies of THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY by Lauren Morrill
eBook set of THE DARK BETRAYAL Trilogy by Nichole Chase
eBook of TOUCHING SMOKE by Airicka Phoenix 

The giveaway is international and will run from November 9th through November 15th. Enter on my Ashelyn FB page or on the rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecop-ter giveaway

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

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4. PubCrawl Podcast: Ask a Book Publicist! with Mallory Hayes

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This week, JJ and Kelly talk to Mallory Hayes, a book publicist! She answers a few questions about publicity and gives some advice. Also, once again, EVERYTHING IS STILL HAMILTON. Stay tuned to the end for bloopers where Mallory and JJ attempt—very poorly—to rap.

Subscribe to us on iTunes, or use this feed to subscribe through your podcast service of choice!

Show Notes (TL;DL)

  • The difference between marketing and publicity is that marketing is coverage you pay for whereas publicity is coverage you don’t pay for (e.g. ads fall under marketing, pitching for reviews in publication is publicity)
  • Publicists have media contacts that an author may or may not have, and can leverage their contacts to get their authors more or better exposure.
  • We covered some promotional stuff in last week’s podcast!
  • When in doubt, ASK! Publicity can differ from imprint to imprint, house to house, publisher to publisher. You never know until you ask.
  • Promotion/publicity generally starts about 6 months before publication with ARCs or galleys going out, ramping up as you get closer and closer to publication. Don’t start too soon, or else people will forget.
  • The number one thing you should not do: respond to reviews. Just…don’t do it.

What We’re Reading/Books Discussed

Creative Endeavors

  • Mallory is writing a YA novel!
  • Kelly and JJ are gearing up for NaNoWriMo (add us at bookishchick and sjaejones, respectively)

Some more NaNoWriMo tips

  • Fixing is easier than creating from scratch.

Off-Menu Recommendations

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5. Monday Mishmash 10/26/15

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. Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween this Saturday. My daughter is being a Monster High character for the third year in a row (different character every year). She loves dressing up as them.
  2. Editing  Last week I finished one client edit. This week I have another to finish, one to start, and a Leap Books Seek edit to get to.
  3. Revising  I'm hoping to get some revision time for one of my own books by the end of the week.
  4. Lightning Quick Reads Feature  Tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/27), I'll have a story up on Lightning Quick Reads. It's a spooky YA story that will hopefully get you in the mood for Halloween.
  5. Christmas Shopping  I've done about 80% of my Christmas shopping already, and it feels good to have such a big jump on the holiday. Still waiting on a few things in hopes they will go down in price once the real sales begin.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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6. PubCrawl Podcast: Publishing 101 Publication & Beyond

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This week, Kelly and JJ explain what happens after you get published, including print formats, the life cycle of a book, and publicity and promotion. Plus, a NaNoWriMo pep talk!

Subscribe to us on iTunes, or use this feed to subscribe through your podcast service of choice!

Show Notes

We’ve written quite a few posts on the topics of promotion, self-promotion, and social media here at PubCrawl, so browse at your convenience!

TL;DL Version

  • There are different print formats: hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market.
  • Books can get remaindered, which means that the publisher is selling off the remaining stock of a title at a loss to make room at their warehouses for new titles. This does not necessarily mean your book is going out of print.
  • The best way to promote books is to make personal connections, i.e. DON’T (solely) BE A SHILL FOR YOUR OWN WORK.
  • The New York Times bestseller list is…complicated.

Creative Endeavors

Both Kelly and JJ are doing NaNoWriMo this year! Add us as writing buddies and keep us accountable! We are bookishchick and sjaejones, respectively.

Some NaNoWriMo tips

JJ won NaNoWriMo 13, and then went on to sell that novel, so she feels she’s got a leg to stand on. Some tips and links:

  • What should you write about? Anything you want, but if you’re stuck for plot, retelling something can help!
  • Pick a story with a small element of “wish fulfillment”No judgement! Writing from a place of subconscious desire really helps you with word count.
  • The Big Idea: How to Turn an Idea into a Book (a post I wrote about finding what to write about)
  • More posts on Ideas on PubCrawl!

Books Discussed/What We’re Reading

Off-Menu Recommendations

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7. Crimson Cloak Publishing Author-Barbara Weitzner

Hi all. Hope you’re still enjoying the ‘Crimson Cloak Publishing’ author interviews! Today, we meet Barbara Weitzner.

1)      Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?

I am retired and have started writing as a means to fill my time

2)      Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?

It took me eighty years to discover I wanted to write.

3)     Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write

I have written three novels, approx 15 short stories (some of which have been published, one which came in third in Writer’s Digest 2015 contest. Every story uses a different genre.

4)      As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?

As a writer, the best thing that has happened to me is joining a writing group and meeting some really wonderful, talented writers.

5)      How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?

The promotion is not enjoyable. I do not like to talk about myself, prefer creating interesting characters and unusual situations.

6)     Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about?

My three published novels are available on Amazon, kindle, nook and e-book.

The Most Glorious Thing Ever-

Building a successful advertising agency has crowded out Jack’s sons and his feelings for them are more of exasperation and disappointment than of pride. Jack loves his wife, but has spent his cheerless life stumbling through sexual frustration and knows nothing of passion or deceit, until he embarks on a love affair with Lilly Lowery, canny, bawdy, thrice-divorced, and twenty-nine years his junior. Jack hires Lilly to represent a major new account at his advertising firm. Soon, Lilly has the office personnel sprinting back and forth to meet her demands. Jack finds himself being pulled further and further into Lilly’s world.

But all cheaters cause chaos. Jack learns there is no pleasure without a price. The longer his deception, the easier that deception becomes, until, in the end, it is his deception that forever alters his life.

The Most Glorious Thing Ever


You plan your life, you look forward to retirement.

To those who have dreamed of this time—and who has not?—you will find all that is human unfolding in this portrait of three couples— each with their own irresistible appeal, dark and painful secrets, deceit and courage. Each struggles to recover lost happiness in a new setting.

Ben and Sara Horne have lived a life without gratifying sex.

Dominick and Valerie Califano suffered a crushing financial setback.

An incalculable weight has crippled the marriage of Neal and Isobel Storrie, the bitter knowledge that Neal failed to protect his son from harm.

What happens when they meet and become friends and to what extraordinary degree their dreams become matching ones, is the main subject of my, plot.

A New Start


Angel Califano has planned her life, laid it out with precision. But what she doesn’t expect is every possible circumstance.

It is through her zeal for fame and wealth that Angel, Public Defender for the District of Colombia, attempts to define herself by marrying into a prominent Washington family. But the Parradine family does not accept her. Compounding her unhappiness, Angel realizes she is being stalked by a felon she has defended. Her marriage becomes a lie when she takes her only ally, her husband’s brother, as a lover, and learns that there is no illicit pleasure without a price paid, no protection from catastrophe.

The Parradine Allure

Wow! You have done so well after your late start as a writer. I admire your decision to follow your heart and make such a go of it! Hope you continue to love writing so much. Lynne North.

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8. Cross-Platforming for Dummies (Me!)

I’ve so enjoyed reading this current Teaching Author series on how to make a living doing what you love. And, of course, JoAnn’s timely wisdom about taking a break during the busybusybusy making is especially important.

The internet has changed the nature of business, especially publishing. It has made this business so much more complex. Like it or not, writers now need to take charge of their own promotion. And for some of us Luddites who use pen and paper to write drafts, use notecards to make outlines, and stick purple postnotes on a manuscript to highlight changes, the task of internet promotion is a daunting, downright squirrelly endeavor.

Now I have to cross-platform? What? Do I have to twit now?

Jane Friedman defines cross-platforming as creating visibility, establishing authority and reaching your audience. The strategy involves presenting content across new and different media.

I joined Facebook. But apparently Facebook barely scratches the surface. In fact, as Michael Alvear suggests here, Facebook won’t necessarily help you sell books, at least not directly.

That’s just nuts. What’s a Luddite to do?

I so admire Roxie Munro. She’s the author and illustrator of more than 40 books, including the wonderful Inside/Outside picturebooks. She is also an all-around gizmo-wizard, creating a slew of interactive apps and speaking about how artists can use the internet to their advantage. And, according to Roxie (here) most of us are already disseminating content across media formats, and we don’t even know it!

 Really? Really? Even me?

Every writer has (or should have) a website these days, even those who have yet to find the perfect publisher. What a cracked catch-22: You want to build a presence in order to convince your publisher that you can build a presence, even before your book comes out! Likewise, most every writer is connected to a blog, sometimes an individual blog, a group blog (like Teaching Authors), or several group blogs. Roxie also highlights several online projects that use videoconferencing, connecting authors and illustrators with librarians and schools to talk about their work.

While Facebook may not directly sell books, it does reinforce and can sustain important relationships. And these connections can lead to further opportunities, all of which can influence sales. 

Other social media sites include Goodreads, an amazon company with a base of 20 million members. There’s also Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LibraryThing, Youtube, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and so many more. It’s enough to drive one nutty trying to figure out which site is the best. Natalie Sisson breaks down the demographics (here) to the different social media sites, so you can see which one might suit your needs. However, as she warns, focus only on your top three choices, and create a plan that will help you maintain these connections. If you tackle everything at once, it becomes overwhelming, and then you're up a tree. 

From these connections, writers join teachers, librarians, parents and reviewers (and children's literature enthusiasts in general) to engage in blog tours and scavenger hunts and book giveaways. They share information, classroom activities, resources and ideas,  all the while making even more connections. Some enterprising and clever sorts pool together their internet resources to create marketing co-ops, unfettered by geography. Such co-ops help members build their online presence even as they also help market books. 

Sylvia Liu and Elaine Kiely Kearns highlight here ten top signs that you are building a successful platform.

And look! Look! You're doing it, too!

It seems that you are limited only by your imagination. And writers, as we all know, have great imaginations. 

What do you think?

Bobbi Miller

P.S. No squirrels were harmed in the making of this post. All squirrels courtesy of morguefile.com.

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9. Monday Mishmash 9/28/15

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. YA Scavenger Hunt  I'm excited to share that I'm on Team Orange for the YA Scavenger Hunt. It will run from October 1st to noon on October 4th. That means' I'll be posting on Thursday instead of Friday this week. There are tons of books to win on this hunt, so be sure to stop back on Thursday. Oh, and in case you noticed, I am on Team Orange for Our Little Secret, my new Ashelyn Drake title too. :) I'll be sharing exclusive bonus scenes told from alternate POVs, but they'll only be online during the 72-hour hunt, so don't miss out.
  2. Editing  I'll be editing for Leap this week. This is probably the fourth time I'm reading this book, which is why an editor must LOVE your book, because I'll read this at least four more times before the book is published.
  3. Monthly Newsletter Change  I've decided to release my free monthly newsletter on the first of every month instead of the first Monday of every month. The reason is that some months begin on a Tuesday and I feel like it takes to long for that first Monday to roll around. So, expect my newsletters in your inboxes on the 1st from now on. If you aren't signed up to receive my newsletter but would like to, click here.
  4. I Wrote An Adult Novella?  You know me. I say I'll never do something and then, guess what? I do it. I said I'd never write for adults. I'm a children's author. Well, I am, but I just finished a novella for a boxset last week and it's a clean adult romance. So, I guess Ashelyn Drake writes romance for teens, new adults, and adults now. ;) 
  5. Our Little Secret  I want to thank everyone who has already posted a review of Our Little Secret on Amazon. Reviews are so important as far as Amazon promoting the book and placing it in the eyes of potential readers, so I really appreciate every review, whether the reader loved the book or it wasn't for them.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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10. Self promotion the non-annoying way

We’ve quoted Blerdgurl (formerly Derpygurl) before on promoting at cons, and she has a new post out called 10 Ways to Promote Your Project for Free With Bloggers, Journalists and Podcasters with the subtext of not being annoying. It’s a pretty clear step by step examination of how to get known in the social media […]

3 Comments on Self promotion the non-annoying way, last added: 8/22/2015
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11. In the Garden of Your Mind


“Did you ever grow anything in a vegetable garden, or a flower garden?  Do you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? Sure, you can grow ideas in your mind. You can think about things and make believe things. That’s like growing something of your own. You have wonderful ideas, all you have to do is think about them and they’ll grow.” _Fred Rogers

If we all thought like Mr. Rodgers….what a beautiful world it would be.

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12. Monday Mishmash 6/29/15

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. Signing at Books-A-Million  I'll be at Books-A-Million in the Stroud Mall (Stroudsburg, PA) this Saturday (July 4th) from noon until 3:00 p.m. signing copies of The Monster Within and The Darkness Within. If you're in the area, come see me.
  2. Fading Into the Shadows Edits  I'm getting edits today for my 2016 title Fading Into the Shadows. I can't wait to dive back into this book.
  3. Fading Into the Shadows Cover  So, my cover is finalized and can I just say WOW? It's awesome guys. The cover reveal probably won't be until September, but I'll keep you posted.
  4. Beth Fred's Blurb Writing Class  Beth is teaching The Art of Blurb Writing again. This time the course will run from July 6 to July 24. For details and to sign up, click here.
  5. Secret Goodness in the Works  I have some things up my sleeve that I'll be sharing soon. Stay tuned.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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13. Friday Feature: Nobody's Goddess

In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Seventeen-year-old Noll isn't in the mood to celebrate. Her childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her.

Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither is willing to lose.

Buy it on: 

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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14. How to Support an Author Beyond Buying Their Book

The last book in my Taken trilogy, Forged, released last week! (Such a bittersweet moment.) I heard from lots of readers through social media, all of whom were excited to get their hands on the final installment and see how things concluded.

I am so very grateful for all the readers who pre-ordered Forged or went out and bought a copy during that first week. Pre-orders and first week sales are hugely important for authors. The pre-orders help publishers gage interest in a book and determine first print runs. Opening week sales are a continued display of reader interest and, for best-seller hopefuls, an important sales window if the book is going to hit the list.

But as many of us know, success in the publishing world is a marathon, not a sprint. While out-of-the-gate performance is important, authors’ careers are dependent upon continued sales and steady growth in readership.

So how can you support authors beyond buying their book(s)? 

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and have a compiled a short list…

1. Post a review to a major retail site.
I think this is one of the best things you can do after purchasing a novel. Reviews on goodreads are great, but only the super-passionate-uber-book-fans are on goodreads. Your average online book shopper is not. By leaving a review on Amazon or B&N, you are increasing a book’s chance of being seen by others. The reasoning is two-fold: Many ‘you may also like’ algorithms consider a book’s popularity when making suggestions to consumers, therefore more reviews means more potential for exposure. Additionally, a greater number of reviews has a more positive impact on shoppers. What seems more enticing to you: the book with three reviews or the book with three-hundred?

2. Tell others about the book.
Plug the book to anyone and everyone—friends, family, your followers on social media. Word-of-mouth is huge for authors and simply talking about a title you loved can have a ripple effect. A friend picks it up because you were gushing about it. They love it and recommend it to others, and another person picks it up. And so on and so forth!

3. Gift the novel.
It’s a well-known fact that books make amazing gifts. If you think a certain title would be great for your sibling/cousin/parent/friend/etc, consider buying a copy for a birthday or an upcoming holiday. Authors are grateful for every extra sale!

4. Donate a copy to your local library.
Was the book fun, but not something you plan to read again? Head to your local library and donate your copy to their collection. Loved the book so much you can’t part with it? Considering buying a second copy specifically for your library (sort of like point #3). Either way, this ensures that new readers continue to find the title!

5. Read the book in public.
This is like the silent version of #2… If you have a physical copy, flaunt that bad boy in public spaces—the coffee shop, the park, the train ride to/from work. Book lovers are always noticing what other folks are reading, and someone might pick up a copy of the book just because they saw you enjoying it.

6. Recommend the title to booksellers and librarians (when you don’t see it on the shelves)
If you notice the book isn’t part of the collection, tell someone who works there! Simply knowing that readers are interested in a title will put that book on the bookseller’s and librarian’s radar. The store might order a few copies. The librarian might snag one next time he/she expand the collection. Shy? Put a hold on the title through your library’s catalog system. They’ll get a copy (one for their shelves or through ILL), and you won’t have to say a thing in person. ; )

Aaaand… that’s about it.

Personally, I do #s 2 and 4 a lot, and I feel like I can safely say they have an overwhelmingly positive impact! Are there any other suggestions you’d add to this list? Share ‘em in the comments, please!

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15. Monday Mishmash 4/20/15

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. Monroe County Book Expo  Thank you to everyone who came out to the Monroe County Book Expo. I had a lot of fun talking to the readers and other authors. 
  2. Mobile Websites  I hate mobile websites, and ALWAYS opt for the web view if it's available. But…Google is changing their SEO and now you pretty much have to have a mobile website, so I made that change over the weekend.
  3. New Adult Scavenger Hunt  The New Adult Scavenger Hunt begins on April 23rd, and I'll be participating as Ashelyn Drake. I'm really excited to be part of Team Blue! I'll be sharing an exclusive scene from Looking For Love, told from a different POV, which is always fun. I'm also giving away a paperback of Campus Crush.

  4. Reviewing  I have two books I agreed to review soon. One book I'm finishing up and another I have yet to start. So it looks like I'll be busy with that this week.
  5. Revisions  I'm working on revisions for one of my manuscripts. It's always fun to pull out a book you haven't looked at in a while. It adds a fresh perspective to the story.
That's it for me. What's on your mind this week?

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16. Writer Wednesday: Dos and Don'ts of Author Events

Last Saturday I attended a signing event, and I saw some things that really bothered me as an author. Several of the authors in attendance left early due to poor sales. Now it was a gorgeous Saturday with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. Plus we were competing with Comic Con being held in this area for the first time ever. So yes, attendance at the event wasn't great. However, I don't blame that on why these authors weren't selling. I saw some things I want to warn you all against.
  • Lack of displays  You don't have to be Martha Stewart to make your table of books look nice. But I saw authors literally throw copies of books on the uncovered fold-out tables. I'm talking not even in a pile. Just tossed. Others stacked their books and kept nothing but the side of the white pages facing the people walking into the room. The problem with this is it looks like the author just doesn't care. If you don't have a book stand, you can still prop a book up in front of the stack so people have something to look at other than a spine or white edges. And you can purchase a cheap table cloth to cover the ugly folding table. Mine cost me $1.99. I also like to print out the cover of my upcoming or newest release and display it as a poster or in a picture frame. It's simple, inexpensive, and looks nice. 
  • Not being accessible or open to interaction  Some authors brought their laptops and worked. Now, I get that people are busy. I definitely am too, but nothing says "Don't bother me" like hiding behind a computer or even your phone. You should want to interact with readers and engage them in conversation. Closing yourself off from them isn't going to make you any sales or potential fans.
  • Hiding behind a table  I'm short, so sitting behind a table means I get lost behind my displays. But even if that wasn't the case, I wouldn't sit behind a table. I stand (unless I'm signing a book—I sit then because I can't write legibly while standing). And I'm either on the side of my table or in front of it. Why? Because I want to talk to people as they pass by. I want to be someone that people see as friendly and approachable. And in a crowded room with other people talking, it's too difficult to talk across a table.
Now I'm not claiming to be an expert by any means, but even with low attendance, I sold well at this event. And even if I didn't, I wouldn't have left early because I believe if you commit to an event, you see it through. Yeah, there will be times when you only sell a few copies or even none. But we are professionals, and professionals don't leave when things don't go their way.

So please, if you are going to an event, go with the right attitude. If you show that you want to be there and engage in conversations with others, you'll have a lot more success as far as reaching potential readers and connecting with other authors.

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17. Monday Mishmash 4/27/15

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. Campus Crush Reached 360 on Amazon!  Last week this happened and I nearly fainted. lol Totally unexpected and I'm thrilled. This book is perma-free so feel free to grab your copy here if you haven't already.
  2. Editing  I'm editing a book for Leap Books this week. :)
  3. Review of the Touch of Death Series  The entire Touch of Death series was reviewed on Hello Jenny Reviews. Jenn also interviewed me. You can check it out here.
  4. Marketing  I've made a new goal to do at least one thing a day to market my books. So far I've averaged about three things, whether it be contacting someone for a speaking engagement, reaching out to bloggers, or finding sites to promote my books. Hopefully these efforts will pay off.
  5. The Darkness Within ARC Giveaway  My ARCs have arrived! Yay! That means it's giveaway time. Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a signed ARC.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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18. Writer Wednesday: The Dreaded M-Word

No, I'm not talking about money—although I'll gladly take some if you're offering. ;) I'm talking about marketing. I'm not one of those authors who loves to market. It's actually my least favorite part of being an author. I'd much rather write more books, which is why I have a backlog of manuscripts in various stages of revision. (Don't tell my agent, who is already handling plenty for me at the moment. I don't want to scare her away.)

Recently I realized I need to step up my marketing game. Yes, even though I don't really enjoy it. Sure, I love in-person events. Give me plenty of those! But the other marketing stuff…not so much. So I promised myself to do at least one thing a day to market my work. And you know what? I've found that one thing usually leads to another and sometimes another. Yes, I've been averaging about three marketing efforts a day. Here comes the really surprising part. The more I market, the more I enjoy marketing.

I know! It's crazy! But here's the thing. I marketed my free book Campus Crush, and I saw results. That's motivating. So now I'm stepping up my game with my other titles and hoping that I'll get results for those too. The tricky thing is that what works as far as marketing one book may not work for the next, so I'm constantly trying new things and keeping track of what works and what doesn't.

How about you? Do you force yourself to market even when you don't feel like it?

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19. Friday Feature: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

“She’s not who I thought she was, but that doesn’t matter. Maddy is my sister, my twin sister, and I’ll do anything for her, including losing myself.”

Twin sisters. A fatal accident. A devastating lie. Which girl survived?

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves Maddy dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is   Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. And everyone believes her. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options--confess her deception and risk devastating those who loved Maddy, or give up her own dreams and live her sister's life.

*"Leaver's brilliant novel is the high school version of What Happened to Janie? The compelling premise will attract readers and the strong characterization will keep them enthralled." -VOYA, STARRED REVIEW

"Trisha Leaver crafts a powerful and haunting novel that will keep you up long after you read the last page. Full of twists and turns and FEELS, this book questions how far a person will go for her family . . . even if it means losing herself." - Lynne Matson, author of NIL

“THE SECRETS WE KEEP is a book who truly earns the title “gripping,” and refused to be put down until the very last page.” ~ Cuyler Creech, Teen Library Toolbox


About the Author:
TRISHA LEAVER lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life.  
She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. For more details, check out her website at: www.trishaleaver.com

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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20. Writer Wednesday: Marketing Highs and Lows

Last week on my Monday Mishmash I mentioned that I've been committing to doing at least one marketing effort per day. I also mentioned that I've seen some positive results from this. So I thought today I'd share a little more about what I'm doing.

I tried something new, which is to use sites to advertise my books. I'm not one to spend a lot of money on advertising though, so I found some sites that are free and others that are under $10. My results were mixed. Some of the promo days wants really well, ranking my book in the 200s on Amazon. One book was ranked there twice in the span of a few weeks and is still going strong. This book is free though. Now you may be thinking, Kelly, why would you pay to advertise a free book? Well, here's why. When you put a book out for free, you're doing it to allow readers to sample your work and hopefully become fans. If you succeed, you'll get readers who then go buy your other books. When you market a free book, you're reaching more potential readers. Will I make that money I spent back with my free book? No. But I hopefully will with the next book in the series.

Now I mentioned mixed results. This happened when I promoted a book that wasn't free. I saw no change in sales. None. Same tactic, different book, very different results. Does that mean I'll never try it again with a paid book? No. I think everything with marketing is hit or miss. It could have been the day of the week, the price of the book, the fact that this followed another promotion that was free and readers didn't have enough time to read my previous book they downloaded, etc. There are so many factors that could have contributed to it.

So what does all this mean? I think the promotions helped get my name out there. Right now it's too soon to tell how many new fans I was able to hook, but hopefully that will become apparent soon. In the meantime, I'll continue with my one marketing effort a day.

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21. Monday Mishmash 5/18/15

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 finishing up a client edit this week. I've already gone through the book once. Now I'm reading it backward.
  2. Secret Project  Last week I got the idea for a new secret project. I've started on this already, but this week I'm hoping to really jump into it. I'm kind of working on it around other things though, so it might take me a little while.
  3. FB Takeover Party  I'm participating in KJ Farham's FB launch party for her new book, and I'll be taking over at 7:00-7:30 CST (8:00-8:30 EST) on Thursday night. I'll be giving away an ARC of The Darkness Within and an ebook of Touch of Death. If you want to join in the fun on Thursday, you can do so here.
  4. Reading  I admit my reading has suffered lately. Sure, I'm constantly reading books when I edit, but I haven't been able to sit down and just read for enjoyment in a while. I'm hoping to fix that this week.
  5. Good News  I just found out that Into the Fire (published as Ashelyn Drake) was picked up nationally by Barnes and Noble. That's pretty darn cool, and means my odds of being on shelves is much greater, so yay!
  6. Beth Fred's Cover Reveal  My friend Beth Fred is having a cover reveal on May 22 for her YA novel Decree of Hope. If you can host her reveal, sign up here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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22. The Darkness Within is HERE!

It's here!!!! Honestly, I can't believe it's June 2nd already. Where is 2015 going? But I am really excited for this release. I love Sam and Ethan. Actually, I love all the characters in this duology so much. It was tough saying good-bye to them, but I'm happy with how things wrapped up.

To celebrate my release week, Spencer Hill Press has lowered the price of The Monster Within to only $0.99! That's right! From June 1 to June 7, you can grab book one for less than a dollar. The price will go back up after June 7, so don't wait to grab your copy if you haven't already. You can get it here.

For anyone unfamiliar with The Monster Within, here's the blurb:

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life.

But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

My blog tour for The Darkness Within is underway, and here are some things you might be interested in:

After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 


Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

Book Links:


In this exciting continuation of THE MONSTER WITHIN, a teenage coven deals with the highs and lows of their magic. Within the pages of this suspenseful page-turner is a sweet romance, friendship, and witchy intrigue. Hashway is a master of paranormal tales. ~ Medeia Sharif, author of 52 Likes

The Darkness Within SWAG pack, including bookmarks, a triquetra charm, and a mask.

Signed copy of any ONE of my books (winner’s choice).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, thank you so much to everyone participating in the blog tour, release day blitz, and social media takeover going on this week. And thank you all for letting me share my release with you. 

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23. Writer Wednesday: Email Marketing

Today I thought I'd share something I learned about marketing recently. I've heard in the past that email marketing is so important. I thought that just meant expanding your mailing list. While that's very important, it's not ALL email marketing is. Think about this. When your book is chosen for the Kindle Daily Deal, Amazon emails LOADS of people to tell them about your book being on sale. And from that, your ranking gets amazingly good. Why? Email marketing.

So I took that theory and started focusing my efforts on sites that have huge email newsletter lists. I'm talking 70,000+ people. You can advertise your sales in their newsletters for very small fees, which I've found are totally worth it. Why? Because so many people are hearing about your book when they open their email. And these are people who sign up for these emails because they are looking for good sales on books. They are your target audience.

So research some sites that have newsletters like this and consider trying this marketing technique. I'd love to hear if your experience is as good as mine.

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24. Want to support an author's or illustrator's new book but can't afford to buy it? Here's what you can do.

The quandary: You want to support someone's new book and as much as you'd like to buy it, you can't. Perhaps you can't justify the cost of the new book right now. Perhaps your author friend is prolific and has multiple books coming out, and you can't afford to get them all. Perhaps you have so many author and illustrator friends that if you tried to buy all their books, you'd need to sell your car first. Or your house.

Here are some other ways you can show support for an author's book:

First, read the book. How do you read it without buying it? Borrow it from the library. For picture books, you could even read the book AT the bookstore.

Reserve a copy at the library. At least at some libraries, this helps show the library that at least one person is interested in that book. If popular enough, the library may order more copies.

Review/rate the book. Post a rating and/or review in sites like GoodreadsLibraryThingAmazonBN.com or your own blog. If you didn't like the book, don't lie. Nilofer Merchant suggests using a phrase like "this book is not for you if you are xxx" because even this kind of negative review may help others know the book IS for them. Take a few extra minutes to browse the other reviews of the book and then (if the feature's available) Like the reviews that you did like or found helpful.

When you read the book, read it where people can see it. Not sure about the rest of you, but I'm always surreptitiously checking out the covers of books that people read in public. This is where print books have the advantage of digital. Read the book on public transit, in the park, on the beach, at the airport, while waiting in line. You never know when people will decide to check out the book just because they saw you enjoying it.

Recommend the book to others through social media. Including the book cover (either scoop the cover image from the publisher/author/illustrator website or photograph the book cover in the library or bookstore) especially helps. Even just a short "Loved this book!" along with the cover will be appreciated. You can make it even more personal by adding a reason why you loved it. Take the time to tag the author or illustrator; tagging not only alerts the author/illustrator to the post but it also encourages people to click your tag link to find out more about the person.

Share and retweet the author's or illustrator's posts. Be judicious -- don't share/retweet everything, especially if you tend to share/retweet a lot on your feed. To authors and illustrators: make sure your post is PUBLIC if you want it shared. I can't tell you the number of times I've started to share someone's FB post but then discovered that it's a Friends-Only post; even if I shared it, the only people who see it would be our shared friends who already have it in their feed. If you're confused, read this FB support page about how to control who sees your posts.

Post a photo of the book in the wild. Especially around launch time, I find that social media sometimes gets inundated with images of just the book cover. Make your post more personal by taking a selfie of you holding the author's book, or another reader with the book -- photos with people in them always get more Like-love. Or take a photo in a fun setting, like adding a cup of tea beside a picture book about a tea party, for example. Or if you see the book in your local bookstore or library, take a photo and tag the author or illustrator. I can't speak for other author/illustrators, of course, but I always appreciate when someone does this.

If the author or illustrator is on YouTube, subscribe to their channel so you can more easily find out when they upload new trailers or videos.

Talk about the book. Don't underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Recommend the book to friends, work colleagues, your local bookseller and librarian. When a friend of mine recommends a book they personally like and think I'd like, too, I pay MUCH more attention than when I see a generic "this new book just came out, you should get it!" post on social media.

And meanwhile...

Whether or not you can afford to buy my book(s), THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has supported me and my work! I really appreciate it.

Do you have other suggestions about how to support book authors and illustrators? Please post below.

Related Resources:

How To Support An Author's New Book: 11 Ideas For You - by Chuck Sambuchino on Writer Unboxed

How To Support An Author - by Nilofer Merchant

5 Quick Ways To Support Your Favorite Author - by Dorothy Wiley

How To Support An Author Beyond Buying Their Book - by Erin in Pub Crawl

0 Comments on Want to support an author's or illustrator's new book but can't afford to buy it? Here's what you can do. as of 6/19/2015 11:38:00 AM
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25. Monday Mishmash 6/22/15

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 editing like a crazy woman this week. :)
  2. Secret Ashelyn Drake Project  I've been dying to work on my secret project since I got feedback from a beta reader, but I'm so booked with edits I haven't had time. Hopefully soon. Maybe by the end of the week.
  3. Summer Schedule  I've been very scheduled this summer in order to get my work done while my daughter is home. I work every morning right after breakfast. I get a few solid hours in that way. Then I work again in the afternoon for about an hour. And I work at night when I need to as well. I'm tired. lol
  4. Swimming  The hot weather is returning this week. While I'm not a fan of super hot temperatures, I'm excited to get in some good swimming time.
  5. Book Signing  Books-A-Million in the Stroud Mall called me and asked me to come in on July 4th from noon to 3:00 p.m. to sign The Monster Within and The Darkness Within. Yay! I'm excited.
  6. Fading Into the Shadows Cover  I got to see the rough design for my upcoming 2016 title Fading Into the Shadows. I'm so excited. It's different than all my other covers, and I can't wait until I can share it. I'll let you know when cover reveal signups are in case you are interested.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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