Friday, February 21, 2014

Rambling on self promotion

Hello from soon to be rainy Florida, but it beats shoveling so all is good. One thing moving has done- other than hiding what ever it is I "need" at any given point in time, is to make me get out and network with other bookophiles and the owners of small book stores. I lucked into a book store that hosts special events for local authors and in Jan. I joined some 19 other word slingers to talk about our books, writing, what drove us etc. There was a healthy amount of press coverage...okay, so it's election year here and they were doing a ribbon cutting ceremony and had a truck load of political types perusing the stacks and that always attracts, I mean the press. At any rate, they played nicely and I'm starting to hear back from folks that were there. I haven't quite pulled myself out of the funk I've been in for the last month, but I am starting to believe there's a light at the end of the tunnel that isn't attached to a train bent on running me over, so I missed this last one. However, this experience now has me reaching out to other small shops to do book signing there or going to speak to other writers just to have a different perspective tossed at them. I also donated a copy of my kids book to the local elementary school- which is opening up new doors and possibilities.
    The take away from this is to always be looking for a way to put your name out there, your brand. It could well be the smallest venue that nets you the biggest rewards.Get creative in your thinking. Use your book’s theme, location, or time period for inspiration and making marketing connections. A character’s hobbies, occupation, lifestyle, values and interests can be jumping off points for developing promotional strategies. Brainstorm, Google search companies, experts, businesses, organizations or groups that you can approach for joint marketing ventures. If your characters have a quilting group or have something to do with material- go talk to them about doing a signing there, maybe having a piece made from said book to use as a backdrop. Maybe they have a winery- look for a place where you could be part of a tasting. It gives you a way to be discovered. Even if you're working with a house- it still rides on us to keep our name out there.
   A fair number of us are self published, and have a smaller budget to work with, had the following, it was good, so I thought maybe it could be of use to someone here. I think there was at least half that I had never heard of, so this was a learning thing for me too.
"Free Sites for eBook Promotion
1. Addicted to eBooks: “This website is perfect for readers like me, who want to watch their book budget. This website also allows the author to rate some of the content of their book. I want to know before I buy if a book the level of profanity, violence or sex in a book. I’m excited that authors can now rate their books for the readers.”
2. AppNewser Free eBooks of the Week: Our editors pick a few free eBooks every week. To submit email your pitch to appnewser [at] mediabistro [dot] com.
3. Author Marketing Club: “No longer do you have to dig up your links to the best places to submit your books. We’ve put them all together here for you in one spot. Just click on the logos below to load each site’s form, fill in your details, and you’re done.”
4. Books on The Knob: “Bargain reads, free ebooks and book reviews for the Amazon Kindle, nook, Kobo, Sony and other ereaders, Kindle Fire, nookColor, Kobo Vox, and other tablets, along with some games, music, technology and computers tossed in now and then.”
5. Digital Book Today: Includes both free and paid options for writers looking to promote.
6. eBooks Habit: “Each day we will bring you 20-30 great ebooks that are free at the time of posting, as well as some bargain ebooks with reduced prices!”
7. eReader News Today: Features bargain Kindle books and free Kindle books.
8. eReader Perks: ”our goal is simple: to help people who love to read discover fabulous, new-to-them authors. If you are an author and your book is going to be temporarily free on the Amazon, Kobo, and/or Barnes and Noble websites, use our contact form to get in touch; we will help you spread the word!”
9. Frugal Reader: “Please use the form below to submit your FREE books to be considered for a featured FREEBIE post. Submitting your novel does not guarantee that your book will be featured. Please allow as much lead time as possible as I know these are limited time offers. Please note that I feature most genres, and while I may feature romance titles that include sexual scenes, I don’t feature titles that strictly fall under the erotica genre.”
10. Free Kindle Books & Tips: “If you are an author and would like to have your book promoted (for free) on our site, please fill out the form below: your book must be free in the Amazon Kindle Store and must have an average user rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars for consideration.  Please note each book submitted cannot be promoted due to space limitations on a particular day, but if your book is selected we will contact you at the email address you provide below.”
11. Free eBooks Daily: “I love to hear from authors and readers! If you have a comment, suggestion, or free ebook you would like listed or if you just want to say hello, feel free to send me an email.”
12. GalleyCat Facebook Page: You can post your book in our New Books section, an easy way to share your book with our readers.
13. Goodkindles: “we are a place where you post your own article about your title and can reach the readers. We do not review your book – we give you a platform to tell everyone what do you think is most interesting about your book and what you think will interest readers so much that they will go and buy your book.”
14. Meet Our Authors Forum: A place on Amazon where writers can talk about their work.
15. Pixel of Ink: “If your book will be listed as Free ($0.00) on in the next 30 days, then please let us know by filling out the form below. Pixel of Ink may attempt to feature your book on the day it is free, time and space permitting.
16. Every Writer Resource: “Our site is for Self-published AND Small Press books. If you are interested in promoting your book with us, the listings are free. We tweet and promote your book for you. Simply click the ‘Submit your Book” link and fill out our form.”"

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Books on Base

Books on Base Logo

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today to share with you an exciting project that I’ve been working on it’s called “Books on Base.”

The purpose of “Books on Base” is to gather children’s books and donate them to our military bases. I’m working in conjunction with VolunTEEN Nation on this project. VolunTEEN Nation is an organization that encourages teens to volunteer. They have volunteer opportunities throughout the United States. To learn more about this wonderful organization click this link

Volunteen nation logo

 We’re hoping to improve the selection of books for the young people whose parents are serving our country. As we all know by improving the libraries, we’ll improve the literacy levels of those bases. Check out this blog post for the proof. 

What a wonderful way to show our support of our troops by donating books to their libraries. I’m going to be making a donation. How about you?

If you’d like to make a donation, you can send your children’s paperbacks to this address:

VolunTEEN Nation
500 South Meramec Ave
St. Louis, MO 63105

 Thanks for reading my post today and if you have any questions please leave them in the comments section below. :)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Is it fair to call myself an author now?

I was at the local copy/print place getting a special edition of my self-published cookbook printed up. While explaining to the nice gentleman helping me with my order that I was the author, I felt a twinge of guilt.

Is it fair to call myself an author when I've only self-published this one cookbook? It seems a bit unfair to me to refer to myself as an author when it's self-published. No agent involved, no stream of rejection letters filling up a drawer, and no big plans for blog tours or signings. In a way I feel like a bit of a fraud, although I will admit this cookbook has proven to be more of a challenge than I though it would be.

Cookbooks sound easy enough. Assemble all of your favorite recipes, put them into a document and upload it to your favorite eBook distributor. Well, on the surface that is indeed what you do. The challenge is in the formatting...most of the current formats do not recognize tabs and handle tables in an odd fashion. Previewer tools aren't perfect either so it takes lots of playing and some faith that tables will display correctly.

And then there's all the baking to make sure you have your measurements right. Yes, I did indeed make up all 63 recipes in my cookbook. That doesn't make me an author, it makes me a baker of sorts.

So, does all the baking and formatting make me an author? At this point I'm not certain. I'm just thrilled that almost 10 copies have been sold while my cover artist works on the print copy format.

Monday, February 10, 2014

For those who like it hot...

by Suzanne Graham

I am very excited to announce the release of my latest book, The Billionaire's Pilot, a sexy BDSM full-length novel, available in ebook and print!


With his father's sudden death, Evan Mitchell is forced to take over the reins of the family's multi-billion dollar conglomerate, keeping him away from the club where he finds his satisfaction as a Dom. When his current vanilla girlfriend dumps him on the eve of an important business trip, he finds his only choice is to hire his new helicopter pilot to play the role of his fiancée.
Cassie Maynard hesitates to repeat her past by getting involved with her new boss, especially one she suspects might be a Dom, but she can't turn down the offer. Being unemployed for six months and moving to ultra-expensive New York City to find a new job has sunk her deep into debt, and her inner sub refuses to believe she's permanently retired from the lifestyle.

Available at: 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Release


By Patricia Kiyono

I am so honored to be have my Valentine short story included in the brand new Love and Diamonds anthology, just released by Astraea Press! Fifteen authors took the challenge to write a story that had some sort of connection between love and diamonds. The result is this lovely book! Perfect for reading on a cold wintry evening.
My story is called Operation Rhombus. Here's the blurb:

Valentine's Day is coming up and all Ellie Hartwell wants is to spend time with fellow teacher Paul Cramer, but he's too busy with his new project. It seems like everyone at Willow Run High School knows about Operation Rhombus and is rooting for his success. Ellie would be happy to offer her support, too—if she only knew what it was.

Hope your Valentine's Day is filled with happy moments!