Friday, September 25, 2015

Celebrate: Better now & Lots of Giveaways!


This week I'm celebrating:
1)  A return to health!  Though I'm not quite ready for dancing with the happy penguin above, I'm feeling a lot better.  My thanks to all those who left comments, sent emails, and tweeted me with well wishes.  You guys rock!
2)  Before I got sick, I finished the last 6 chapters of my novel and this week I revised 3 of them.  Only 3 more to go!  (And then several full revisions...)
3)  October Frights Blog Hop. For this hop, I'll be posting on Oct 1st and I'll be giving away A SET OF ALL MY BOOKS to 10 LUCKY WINNERS!  Stop by between Oct 1 -10 and enter via rafflecopter.
4)  To make up for not posting a giveaway list last week, I've posted a bunch of giveaways this week! :) 

** THE CTST LINKY LIST HAS BEEN CHANGED. Update your blog rolls if you have one. **
Change of Blog Address for blog rolls:
Mere Joyce is now at: merejoyce.com/blog
People who haven’t posted for CTST in over 2 months and were removed from the Linky List:
Kim Graff of http://www.kimgraff.com/blog
Jeff Chapman of http://jeffchapmanwriter.blogspot.com
My Write Spot (Donna B McNichol) at http://dbmcnicol.blogspot.com
Just Get It Written at https://mscoffeehouse.wordpress.com
Kathleen S Allen at https://kathleensallen.wordpress.com
Curious as a Cathy at http://curiousasacathy.com
Teresa L Morse at https://teresalmorse.wordpress.com
Catherine Ensley at http://catherineensley.com/blog
Carol Anne Carr at http://caroleannecarr.blogspot.com
Sandy’s Space at http://4ccccs.blogspot.com
Peace, Love & Books (Karla Gomez) at http://gomezkarla.blogspot.com RE-SIGNED UP
Silver Oak Chronicles (Julie Abner-Abeita/Jewel Abeita) at http://silveroakchronicles.blogspot.com

(Anyone can sign up again.  Just write an email to: laura.6eg@gmail.com)

My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Celebrate The Small Things Linky:



Grab the Linky html-code here:


** To see who’s posted for the hop look at my Celebrate The Small Things Blog Roll, left sidebar bottom **


 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)



Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Friday Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors


Here are Foxy's suggestions for Sept 25, 2015:


Free 2 MG Comedy/Horror Novels – Win Scott Craven’s 2 Middle Grade novels, Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie (Book 1) and Dead Jed: Dawn of the Jed (Book 2). Jed is a “cardiovascularly-challenged” kid in this hilarious series. It's been described as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Shaun of the Dead.”  Enter via rafflecopter on the Mythical Books blog. Few entries = good chance to win. I even entered! (ends Oct 1)

HUGE GIVEAWAY!! Free Gift Cards & Romance Novels & Your Choice of Books – On the Rockin’ Reads Blog Hop there are 77 blogs giving away books, gift cards, and special deals. (example: Mythical Books blog is giving away “Your Choice” of any books you want for $20 --> HERE). For the linky list to all 77 participating blogs, go to The Herd Hops blog. (ends Sept 30)

Free Historical Fantasy Novel & Swag – win the New Adult novel The Heartbeat Thief by Ash Krafton about a young Victorian-era woman who must steal heartbeats via rafflecopter on the Mythical Books blog. (ends Sept 30)

Free 3 Horror Novels – To celebrate the release of The End is Now by Connor Titus there’s a giveaway with multiple winners of that book, the audiobook, and two other horror novels via rafflecopter on Juniper Grove Book Solutions blog. (ends Oct 7)

Free Military Romance Novel – Win Beyond the Call of Duty (Wings of Gold series) by Tracy Tappan about a Air Force pilot and female DEA agent joining forces to fight a drug lord in South America. Enter via form on the Romance Novel Giveaways blog. (ends Sept 30)

Free Romance Novel – Win Burke’s Surrender (Harmon Heritage series) by Dora Hiers about a man trying to woo an emotionally scarred co-worker on a wilderness trip via entry form on the Romance Novel Giveaways blog. (ends Oct 8)

Free 3 Romance Novels of Your Choice – To celebrate the release of Finding Gabriel (Historical Romance) by Rachel L. Demeter, she’s giving away 3 books of your choice from Momentum Books. Enter via form on the Romance Novel Giveaways blog. Hurry! (ends Sept 26)

Last Chance to Win 5 Free Novels - TB Markinson's giveaway is almost over.  Enter to win 5 free novels: Foxwick and Their Neighbors by Cherie Reich, A Change of Mind & Other Stories by Nick Wilford, Avalon by Vanessa Morgan, Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman, Confessions of a Paris Party Girl by Vicki LeSage.  For the link to the rafflecopter, go to TB Markinson’s blog. (ends Sept 30)



For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)gmail.com

Friday, September 18, 2015

Celebrate: Waving weakly...


This Friday I'm celebrating:
Shuffling over to the laptop and turning it on for the first time since 9/14.

Sorry for not visiting blogs.
Sorry to those who emailed and haven't gotten a reply.
Sorry for not listing giveaways this week.

When I get better, I hope to catch up with everything.


My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Celebrate The Small Things Linky:



Grab the Linky html-code here:


** To see who’s posted for the hop look at my Celebrate The Small Things Blog Roll, left sidebar bottom **


 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Celebrate: What You Think... & Giveaways!











This week I'm celebrating:
I'm churning out the rough draft of the 5 final chapters of my WIP, Bloodwalker.  Woohoo!!  I finished 3 chapters since Tuesday, and today and tomorrow, I'll be writing the final 2 chapters. 

What does this have to do with the funny pics above?  When I finish a rough draft of action scenes with exciting cliffhangers, I get so excited!  I feel like I just lived it! But that's the rough draft.  If I look at the chapter in the cold light of day, I'm stunned by what a giant pile of poo it is, and how much revising it needs.  Which is why I'm finishing all 5 chapters before taking a hard look and doing revisions.  ('Cause it ain't gonna be pretty...)

Do you ever finish  a project or take a picture you're totally sure is awesome, but in the cold light of the next day, find something completely different?

My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Celebrate The Small Things Linky:



Grab the Linky html-code here:


** To see who’s posted for the hop look at my Celebrate The Small Things Blog Roll, left sidebar bottom **


 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)



Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Friday Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors


Here are Foxy's suggestions for Sept 11, 2015:

Free 35 Speculative Fiction eBooks – Includes SF, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, and Time Travel books. Some of them are free on Amazon, and some are free when you sign up for the author’s newsletter. These are excellent books! Go to the Graeme Inge blog for the full list and links to your free downloads!


Free YA Urban Fantasy Series – To celebrate the release of True, Laney McMann is giving away her entire three-book series via rafflecopter on the Mythical Books blog. (ends Sept 16)

Free Paranormal Angels/Demons Series – To celebrate the release of A Slither of Hope (Angel Sight #2), Lisa M. Basso is giving away both books in the Angel Sight series via rafflecopter on the Mythical Books blog. (ends Sept 18)


For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)gmail.com

Friday, September 4, 2015

Celebrate: Organization & Giveaways!

This week I'm celebrating:
1)  Lists!

Seems so simple, right?  A no-brainer.  But I haven't been so busy with different things since I worked in offices in New York City.  For the first time in literally about 20 years, I had to make myself a list so I wouldn't forget anything.  Did I complete all of it?  No.  But with this post, I've completed about 75%, and there's time over the weekend to finish the rest.

This was my list for this week:
1) Write reviews for 1 short story and 3 novellas. Post reviews to Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads, and Kobo.
2) Don't forget to tweet them and tag the authors!
3) Critique 2 chapters for CPs.
4) Read 4 CP crits of my novel chapters and revise those chapters.
5) Write IWSG post on book marketing.
6) Make return visits to IWSG commenters.
7) Go to grocery story. Buy stuff. COOK IT!!!
8) Make new art for book promo.
9) Check Twitter notifications and send "Thank-yous" to re-tweeters (about 70 of them).
10) Attend webinar on book marketing and blog design.
11) Make new art to fix header on blog. (The L.X.Cain is bigger now. I've been phasing it in so as not to scare anyone. Heh-heh.)
12) Write Celebrate post. OMG! Don't forget to find Freebies!
13) Retweet all retweeters and friends and people on my "special" lists.
14) FB! Post something, you idiot! Everyone will forget you!
15) Write monthly newsletter on writing craft for Writing.Com
16) Get back to work on your WIP, you slacker!


Do you have to make yourself lists or do you remember things?


My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Celebrate The Small Things Linky:



Grab the Linky html-code here:


** To see who’s posted for the hop look at my Celebrate The Small Things Blog Roll, left sidebar bottom **


 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)



Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Friday Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors


Here are Foxy's suggestions for Sept 4, 2015:

5 Free Novels - The wonderful TB Markinson has done it again! She’s put together a great giveaway of 5 free novels: Foxwick and Their Neighbors by Cherie Reich, A Change of Mind & Other Stories by Nick Wilford, Avalon by Vanessa Morgan, Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman, Confessions of a Paris Party Girl by Vicki LeSage.  For the link to the rafflecopter, go to TB Markinson’s blog. (ends Sept 30)

The Ultimate Writer’s Toolkit worth $800 – Bestselling author Jerry Jenkins is giving away a Scrivener 2 and a Kindle reader, along with five ebooks on the craft of writing from bestselling authors. Five lucky people will win these amazing packages. To enter, go to the Jerry Jenkins Contest page. Hurry and enter before the contest ends! (ends Sept 8) (Thanks to Michelle Wallace for info!)

Free Dark Fantasy/Adventure Novella – Don’t be fooled by the zombie-ish cover. The novella Flesh Golem is Epic Fantasy with a dark Superhero on a thrilling adventure. It’s being offered free by author Kev Heritage and is the prequel to his series The Cowl about a lone swordsman in a world where metal is magical, cursed, and forbidden. GET THIS FREE NOVELLA! I was amazed by the great writing. The descriptions are breathtaking—never a clichĂ©, never a wrong word. I rated the book 5 stars! You can’t go wrong on a free book, so if you like Dark Fantasy, download it and see if I’m right about the amazing writing. For more info on the novella, visit the Kev Heritage blog.
Download links for this thrilling, beautifully written novella:
AMAZON US    AMAZON UK    KOBO   SMASHWORDS

Free YA Paranormal Novel – Win an ecopy of The 52nd by Dela about a college girl and immortal guy fighting to end 500 years of secret Aztec sacrifices in the Yucatan. Enter via rafflecopter on My Book Addiction blog. (ends Sept 21)

Free $15 Amazon Gift Card – To celebrate the release of Hypton 14 (Sci-Fi Thriller) by Morgan Hadley, she's giving away a $15 Amazon card via rafflecopter on the My Book Addiction blog. (ends Sept 9)


Free $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Contemporary Romance eBook - Win Better Than Chocolate by J. Lynn Rowan and a $25 Amazon card via rafflecopter on the Romance Novels Giveaway blog. (It's "Giveaway #2" on the page) (ends Sept 10)


Free $25 Amazon Gift Card - To celebrate the release of Diary of a Single Wedding Planner (Romance) by Violet Howe, she's giving away a $25 Amazon card via rafflecopter on Romance Novel Giveaways blog. (ends Sept 26)



For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)gmail.com

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG: 5 Tips about Book Marketing

MARKETING STRUGGLES

If you're a published writer, you'll know what I mean when I say that the months you slaved over writing and revising your novel was the easy part

Statistics vary (since publishers and booksellers like Amazon won't release them), but around 2500 books are published in the world every day, and that's about a million books a year. So your newly published book is one in a million releasing in any given year. And let's not forget about the millions of past published novels that are still for sale.

Yes, my book (and yours too) is a grain of sand on a beach.  Even those who're published by the Big 5 do not automatically sell well.  Those "Bestseller" lists are pretty small compared to the number of books available for sale.

It's very depressing to have worked so hard but not have good sales...

What's the key to selling?  Marketing.

I've watched countless marketing videos and been on many online seminars about marketing, plus I've actually asked authors who're doing well how they did it.  (I asked speculative fiction authors, not romance or erotica authors, which is a whole other ball game.)

Here's what successful authors told me:

1.  Get on Bookbub.  It's an emailed newsletter with over 2 million subscribers, listing books that are free or heavily discounted. They send newsletters to special interest groups (your western novel will reach those who like westerns).  The best way to sell is put your book at free or 99 cents.  Not only will Bookbub get you lots of downloads, but if you have other books, you'll probably see a rise in their sales too. However, Bookbub has become very picky and accepts mostly well-known, multi-published authors from large publishers, or well-selling books with 50+ great reviews. (Yes, like banks that loan money, the best way to get accepted is to prove you don't need a loan -- or need Bookbub to boost your already good sales.)

2.  Offer FREE short stories, novellas, or novels even if only for a limited time.  There are few things people like better than free stuff.  You can put ebooks on Smashwords, Kobo, Amazon (and force Amazon to change from min 99 cents to free by hitting "tell us about a lower price" which they match after you tell them 50 times or so), or create a download page where you put ebooks in PDF or various formats.  If you get enough downloaders, some will become fans.

3.  Have your own newsletter.  This is a tricky one.  Lots of authors are doing this now, and many people give advice on how to do it.  While advice varies, the same adage about free stuff applies.  Don't bombard your list with advertising and hope they'll buy.  People don't like that and will unsubscribe.  Instead, offer special ebook freebies (or bookmarks in the mail, etc.) available only to them.  Have great content -- anything from writing tips to funny anecdotes about your last vacation.  Offer sneak previews, like the first three chapters of a book you haven't published yet.  And this one -- I just got a newsletter from an author who released his book a few days early on Amazon. He cut the price in half and only informed those on his list that it was released.  They got the discount before the price went up on its official release day.  Make your subscribers feel special, entertain them, give them things so when they see your newsletter in their inbox they want to open it, and then they'll be likely to buy when you have a sale or new release.

4.  Paid Advertising.  Another tricky one.  You can lose big this way unless you're very well informed.  A few tips:  
a) Go visit your competitors' websites (successful authors writing the same thing you do). Study their images and the way they phrase their ads.  They're often designed by agencies, and there's no rule that says you can't copy them.
b) Make sure you target the right audience.  An ad on FB that appears to everyone won't help you.  You can get FB to advertise to a select group, like "Dean Koontz followers, ages 30-40, female." Or find online ezines that cater to your specific genre and have a big readership.
c) There are other newsletters like Bookbub but not as expensive.  Read up on them to find which have the most subscribers.  Or find listing sites that will put your book on their main page.  You can use Alexa Traffic Rank (free for Chrome browsers) to see how much traffic (readers) the sites have compared to others. Don't get sucked into paying for an ad on a newsletter or site unless you're sure it reaches the most people.

5.  Social Media.  Don't expect to sell using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.  You won't get far screeching about your book every day except unfriended and unfollowed.  Even a well-trafficked blog doesn't guarantee sales.  But people can't buy your book if they've never heard of it.  The best way is to honestly connect with people who have the same interests as you -- the more the better.  Interact with them, retweet their tweets, comment on their posts, be friendly.  Then, when you have a freebie, special giveaway, a sale, or a new book released, you can use these people to get the word out.  Those who really like you and are interested in the genre you write are likely to buy.


For more in-depth info, try this link:
7 Tools and 110 Strategies to Help Indie Authors Find Readers and Reviewers at DigitalPublishing.com



This is a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It exists so the community of blogging writers can share and support each other, blog-hopping to cheerlead and commiserate. To find out more, visit: Insecure Writer's Support Group. Plus, check out the IWSG Website for lots of helpful info and links.
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