Drum roll… WWBB is offering FREE promos for all of July (spotlights only). Gimme, gimme, gimme your book link. #bookpromo #wip #writers #writingcommunity #authors #books #fiction

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Book characters want their say!

Writers are invited to allow their protagonist to write an article on ‘current affairs’ for their book promo. Continue reading

One author, one marketing plan

 by 
Luke Murphy

My
marketing started with the writing of my book. I always had a plan, an idea of
the plot, but now I had to think about the characters and setting, and I had to
think about my target audience in this stage.

I wanted
characters who readers could relate to. Characters that were real, not
fictional to the point of unbelievable. My protagonist, Calvin Watters, is as
real as they come, with faults and weaknesses like us all. Because of my sports
background, I wanted Calvin to also have an athletic background. I was a pro
hockey player, but I decided that hockey would be fine for a Canadian fan base,
but I wanted to cater worldwide, so I chose football. I believe that more
people follow football than hockey.

For the
setting, I needed a major market in the United States that people would want to
read about, so I chose Sin City, Las Vegas. Everyone is interested in this
fast-paced, party-all-night lifestyle and city that is party-central.

In today’s
society, most people don’t realize that writing a book is more than just
putting a good story down on paper.
I learned this quickly. Agents and
publishers want someone with a “platform”, someone who already has a fan base
and is guaranteed to sell books. It’s risky for a publisher to take a chance on
a new writer, because there is no telling how many books they will sell, no
matter how good that book may be.
In 1999 I
graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Marketing, so
I felt I had a running start at promoting my work.

It took me
two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of my
novel.

I’m going
to skip through the writing phase and seeking and agent/publisher, because this
post is about actually marketing my début novel.

Once my
publishing contract was signed, then the real work began, building my
“platform”.
I knew that when I signed on with a smaller publisher that the bulk
of the promotion load would fall on my shoulders, and I accepted that.

I did four
things quickly: created my own website, started a blog, and opened a Facebook
page and Twitter account.

Now, I have
been fortunate to have had many jobs in my life, jobs that have created
interest in not only myself, but what I do.

Here are
some things I did next:
      I
scribed a letter to all of my email contacts (2500) and all of my FB friends
(2500).

      I
scribed a letter for all of the media outlets (radio, TV, print) in the cities
where I played hockey, or have contacts. One of the benefits of playing
professional hockey was that I went through a lot of interviews with
personalities in all forms of media.

       I
picked out the site for my launch party and spoke with the owner about it.

       I
played hockey for teams and leagues all over North America, creating a fan base
in a variety of cities, and also worked in hockey camps, so I already had some
followers that I contacted.

      I
was a reporter on the radio for a couple of years after retiring from hockey,
and my radio reporting was a presence on the web as well as in radio.

      My
sports column (2006-2009), Overtime, which was a main feature in The Pontiac
Equity, not only had a following but helped in writing concise and exciting
prose.

     I
composed a list of local stores for potential book signings.

     I
compiled a list of local stores to sell my book.

Next I picked out my target audience and
searched the web for them:

    –   Thriller readers looking for an atypical thriller hero—an African-American who is no saint.

    –   Sports fans will be fascinated by Watters’ struggle to recover his decency and win, a kind of Blind Side story with little sentimentality and few illusions.

    –   A Las Vegas setting—the world of The Hangover movies and many youth films like Bridesmaids—will appeal to 20s-30s readers.

   –   Watters’ romance with a former prostitute will appeal to younger female readers.The marital tension between Detective Dayton and his wife will interest adults. Both men and women will enjoy the twist on the femme fatale figure of the murderer’s lover, who has her own schemes.

  –      Lovers of history, as the term,
“Dead Man’s Hand”, is a legend dating back to the Wild West of the 1800’s.

I started creating relationships on the
internet through Facebook and Twitter. I met not only authors, but fans of the
genres I write.

When my book was released in October, 2012,
I felt I had a solid foundation to stand on, but I still had a long way to go.

I contacted media for interviews, held book
signings, joined shows and blog toured. I contacted anyone who wrote a blog and
asked about being a guest. I joined Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google +, as well
as sites created to support Indie authors. I did anything I could to get my
name out there, get my book in front of readers.

My publisher set up special promotions
where my book was FREE on Amazon for certain periods of time. All of this was
done to increase my following, and expand the awareness of my book on a
worldwide scale. This will hopefully lead to future sales with not only my
debut novel, but subsequent books if I’ve fortunate enough to write more.

I’ve been happy with the result thus far, but
I don’t have anything to compare it to. I feel that the more books I write, the
more success I will have. The more I get out there, the more excitement and
interest is garnered.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.


Dead Man’s Hand

Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
What happens when the deck is stacked against you…
From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted
fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las
Vegas
debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police,
finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.
…and the cards don’t fall your way?
When the brutal slaying of a prominent
casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale
Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the
largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.
What if you’re dealt a Dead Man’s Hand?
Against his superiors and better judgement, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To
redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer,
while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a
professional assassin hired to silence them.
Luke Murphy 

Luke Murphy lives in Shawville, Quebec with
his wife, three daughters and pug.
He played six years of professional hockey
before retiring in 2006. Since then, he’s held a number of jobs, from sports
columnist to radio journalist, before earning his Bachelor of Education degree
(Magna Cum Laude).
Murphy`s début novel, Dead Man`s Hand, was
released by Imajin Books on October 20, 2012.

The Importance of Developing Your Author Platform

guest post 
by
Sandra Bunino 

Before my first book, Marooned
In Miami
, came out this past January, I began researching what it meant
to have an author platform.
I’d heard the term. I followed many
terrific authors. But what did “platform” mean exactly? Was it some kind of
pie-in-the-sky marketing concept or something I should take seriously as an
indie author? I have an MBA yet this whole concept was entirely new to me.
Here’s what I discovered:
  • Authors (no matter if you’re self-published or
    traditional) need to have an established presence prior to publishing their first book
    .
Okay, great. But wait, what? Prior to? Wouldn’t I be promoting my
book? Isn’t that the whole point? Yes. And no. I learned that the most
successful authors actually started their platform long before they released
their book!
How do you go about developing this
presence? That’s where I did more research, reading books, going online,
learning what other successful authors I admired had done.
  • For the most part, there’s a basic formula: Twitter, Facebook,
    Goodreads to an extent, and blogging
    . All new to me, but surely not
    that difficult. I had an advanced degree and I deal in the cutthroat world
    of corporate finance every day. Surely, I could do this, right? Well….
     
Not so fast. If you’ve dabbled in the world
of social media, you’ll understand when I say that it’s a bit of a different
culture. I didn’t quite get it at first. Many don’t. Twitter seemed kinda…weird
(haha). I even called my younger brother and asked him what these hashtags
meant (he was absolutely no help!). Many people think Twitter is about what
teenagers ate for lunch or a way to keep tabs on your favorite celebrity. But I
found out that as an author, it’s far more than that if used as a marketing
tool. What a powerful resource and best of all – it’s free!
I took a webinar, found a mentor and even hired a consultant to give me some
pointers (she’s also a bestselling author so she knows what she’s talking
about!). I was soon tweeting like a pro and gained over 2,000 followers in just
five months. I’ve met an amazing network of authors and connected with many
readers in a very short period of time – all thanks to Twitter, Facebook and
Goodreads.
  • Here’s where I think some authors make their
    mistake
    : as adults we don’t want to admit what
    we won’t know or understand — so many times we give up, walk away. I’ve learned that in publishing, that’s
    just not an option
    . If you ever hope to be signed by a traditional
    publisher (even an indie publisher), they expect you to have an
    established fan base. And not just with a blog. People need to know how to
    find your blog! And this is where Twitter and Facebook, even LinkedIn come
    in.
     
  • SEO: this is a big
    topic I won’t even try to cover here but it goes to what I mentioned in
    the last paragraph. If you want to be found, anywhere, you need to know
    your branding. This is where marketing yourself comes in. I figured out
    quickly that I needed to have a theme: to my blog posts, my tweets,
    Facebook messages – everything needed to go along with my genre, erotic
    romance.
     

I pay special attention to my brand.
Everything that I put my name on is branded with a consistent look and feel. There’s a sensual atmosphere to my brand
and I use key focal points such as red roses and rose petals, sunsets and
tropical settings on my blog, Twitter avatar and bio page, Facebook, and even
my book covers.
What does this have to do with SEO (search
engine optimization)? Keywords. Know
what your message is, what you want to convey, and be sure those words are in
everything you do so you and your book come up in the search engines.
This is how your readers can more easily find you with the least amount of
effort.
I
hope this peek into developing my author platform has been helpful for you.
There’s really so much more to it! But at least it’s a start for many people.
Any questions, please ask below in comments or contact me directly. And don’t
forget to comment for a free eBook and to enter my Kindle contest!
My
book Marooned in Miami is available
on
Amazon, Barnes
& Noble, AllRomance eBooks
Readers
can contact me through my website
www.sandrabunino.com and on Amazon Author Central. I
am also on Twitter @sandrabunino
(following is sexy!) and Facebook.
Follow your dream, stay positive and don’t
give up! Writing is about the journey not the destination. Enjoy the ride.
 

An erotica novella novel from Sandra Bunino 
*Adult Content*


Undeniable lust and a fierce Miami storm
bring sexy strangers together at The Hotel Del Santos for a passion filled
night. 


Picture
Buy Now!

Stephanie, still reeling from a failed marriage, needs a break from the past. She decides to take her friends’ advice and finds a perfect stranger for a night of no-strings-attached, smoking hot sex. 


Jason, a wealthy Seattle builder has the worst luck with love. Swearing he would never allow another woman to get under his skin, Jason decides a life of casual sex is just fine with him. While watching Stephanie’s sexy stilettos click across the lobby floor he zeros in on his next conquest. 


Cut off from the outside world, the lives of these two strangers collide and burn with desire when stranded in the perfect storm. Both are content with the idea of sharing a glorious one-night stand together, that is, until they go their separate ways. 


Picture


Sandra Bunino began a love of romance stories while penning a creative writing assignment in high school. The story ended with the heroine receiving a long stem red rose in her locker on Valentine’s Day. Since then, all of her stories feature the hero presenting the heroine with roses. Sandra is constantly searching for different ways to achieve a heart-pumping, stomach-flipping, breath-catching reaction from her readers. 

These days, Sandra lives on a wooded mountaintop not far from New York City with her family. Living so close to the city affords her the best of both worlds and provides wonderful writing material. She occasionally pretends to be in a Sex in the City episode and has renamed her best girlfriends Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda which she blogs about often. 

Sandra’s  is currently hard at work on the sequel to Marooned in Miami. 

Contact: http://sandrabunino.com/  Twitter: @sandrabunino

Excerpt:Jason moved closer and spoke slowly in his silky voice. “I wonder if you might dance with me.” She nodded and took his hand.
He led her to the dance floor illuminated only with candlelight and the occasional flash of lightning. Placing one hand in his and the other on his back, their bodies started out a respectable distance apart. Before long, Jason’s warmth drew her in, and she couldn’t ignore the electricity forming between them. Tentatively, she stepped closer and lightly rested her head against his neck. Jason took this as a cue to guide her hand up and over his shoulder. Suddenly, his strong hands urgently pulled her against his rock hard body. The force of his embrace awakened a passion that lay dormant inside her until now. Stephanie couldn’t fight the fire building within her. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, inhaling his musky scent while caressing his neck with her fingertips. Her face grazed up the side of his neck, stopping at his jawbone. Jason’s touch seared her skin as his fingertips skimmed up her side to her neck and came to rest on her chin. With his thumb and finger, he guided her face upward and she opened her eyes. His smoldering gaze burned a trail down her body. Uncomfortable with the intensity of his stare, she looked away.
“Stephanie.”
Her eyes shifted back to meet his gaze as he lowered his mouth and softly brushed his lips against hers, questioningly awaiting a response. Accepting his invitation, she parted her lips and moaned softly. His lips were soft and enticing. It had been a long time since she was kissed like this. She surrendered her tongue to his and felt desire fill her belly as an overwhelming passion grew by the moment. Breathlessly, she pulled away, embarrassed by her body’s reaction to the kiss. She looked down and placed her forehead on his chin.

Reviews:
5 out of 5 stars “OH. MY. GOD! Strikingly Hottest Erotica Novella! An amazing short story was well-written and convincingly hot and sensual.” – Best Erotica Books
 Marooned in Miami is an excellent short, steamy and very erotic tale.” – Fallen Angel Reviews
 “You’re going to have to trust me on this one, and go pick it up, it’s worth it.” – The eBook Reviewers
“This will make you hot on a cold winter night!” – Reader Review

Effective Book Marketing

guest post
by
Joana James


I hate marketing. Yes, I know this is an article about marketing tips, but seriously, I hate marketing. I’m an I.T. professional and I writer; I like computers and books. I love to write fiction, not promo material. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that I’m no good at it. To me (and maybe to you too), that’s a bit ironic because writers are creative so we should be brilliant at this stuff. Well, I’m not.


Unfortunately, if nobody knows about your books, they won’t sell, so marketing is a necessary evil. I live on a small island in the Caribbean where there isn’t much opportunity for conventional marketing so the internet has become my best friend. During the short time I’ve been a published author, I’ve had to learn a few things.


1. Give your readers a place to find you. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate website. I use a free blog from Blogger.


2. Or maybe this is No. 1b. In either case, don’t make your blog or site all about yourself and your books (unless you’re a NY bestseller that people seek out). Give your readers a reason to visit you there. People won’t keep coming back to your blog to see how far along you are on your next book, or what your next stop is on a blog tour. People what information, so get creative and give them that. I was going about blogging all wrong for the longest time, until I had a “eureka” moment. I write Christian fiction and I also read books from that genre at about the speed of sound so I’m always hunting for new authors (with books at affordable prices – the EC$ to US$ exchange rate is about 3 to 1!). Then it hit me; create a list on your blog where readers can find Christian fiction without busting their budget. Lo and behold, the traffic to my site quadrupled from the first day I set up the list.


3. Social Networking is your friend…or your worst enemy. Social networking is a powerful tool. Use it to tell your friends about your books, but please don’t harass their Facebook pages, they’ll learn to ignore you or block your posts (yes, they can do that!) Twitter is also an awesome tool for marketing, but use with caution. A balanced twitter feed is very valuable. Use popular hash tags for your genre. However, don’t make your feed all about yourself and your book. Offer advice, tell a joke or two. Tweet a funny pic when you come across one. People will look forward to your tweets and maybe even buy your stuff because they feel connected to you somehow.


The bottom line is this, do something interesting and people will check you out. Advertise endlessly and people with shut you out!

Joana James is the author of Nightmare at Emerald High “a book ideal for teens who may be thinking about becoming involved with strange organisations or even entertaining the thought of exploring new “ideas” or religions. Not all that glitters is gold and this book is a real eye opener. Whilst there are many legitimate youth organisations with the sole goal of bettering young people, some of them have a sinister agenda. This is a good read for both parents and their teens.”


Christian FictionMalcolm Drake is one year away from the end of high school when a tantalizing scholarship offer comes his way. Malcolm and several other classmates eagerly join a program called Alternative Science that promises to open their minds to new ways of thinking and of course, help them win that scholarship. Little do they know that this program would change their lives forever. The class is riddled with eerie séances, encounters with spirit guides and a slow desensitization of the teens towards everything evil until they become completely entangled in the world of the occult.

With the program being run by the town’s most influential people, the kids have a hard time getting out. Things take a turn for the worst when Malcolm is summoned to his school where he is bound and drugged in an effort to convince him to remain in the program

Purchase Link – Amazon

The author of 
Nightmare at Emerald High, Joana James, is a 28 year old from the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. She is an I.T. professional by day but in her free time she escapes from the logical world of technology into the artistic world. She is an avid reader and her kindle is her favourite piece of technology. Music is her best friend and that manifests itself through her love for dance and singing.

Joana writes stories that portray the reality of her world. Her first book, a two-part short story series called Rise from the Ashes featured the lives of two young girls struggling in dire circumstances.

Her latest book, Nightmare at Emerald High, brings to the fore a world that everybody knows exists but no one talks about.

Are you waiting too long to market your book?

guest post 
by 
Cindi Maciolek

Your fingers
tingle as they touch the very first copy of your newly published book. Your
heart races, your head spins. Excitement rushes through your body.
 


“I’ve written a
magnificent tome. It will go viral and sell itself!”

Really?

I’m amazed when
I speak with authors awaiting the arrival of a new book. Some are lucky enough
to not only have an agent, but a traditional publisher. Very often, the
excitement wanes when they realize the book will be here shortly and their
thoughts turn to marketing.

“I’m not quite
sure what will happen once the books are out.”

Yikes!

Marketing is
more than wishful thinking, tweeting or blogging. Fact is, it begins before you
even write the first word. The characters, the location, the era, the breadth
or depth of content, even the cover design play a role in attracting your
target reader.

Here are a few
thoughts to put you ahead of the game.
  •  Market far in advance of the release. Many authors, including myself, don’t like to share too much about their work until the first draft is complete. However, there must be something you can promote at least six months to two years ahead. If you don’t care to divulge too much, think of interesting teasers to keep your audience attentive.
  • Market to a broader audience. It’s possible to reach beyond your intended market simply by making a minor change to your book. Or, expand your thinking and recognize the book as-is will appeal to an additional market. When I wrote Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, most people assumed I was writing it for other bird lovers. In fact, I want everyone who loves animals to enjoy the read, a much broader market, and I adjusted the content accordingly.
  • Expand your circle of early readers to market your book. The novel I’m currently writing is clearly aimed at a female audience. Yet, I have a male reader who has provided valuable feedback. Not only has he helped to make it a better book, he will no doubt tell everyone he knows just how much he enjoyed it.
  • Utilize the book cover to your advantage. I had the cover of my book designed over a year before I held printed copies in my hand. It attracted a lot of attention. A cockatiel wearing a tiara certainly piques interest.
  • Forage for media contacts. It can sometimes take months to reach an editor, a celebrity or a producer. If you wait until your book arrives, you’re practically old news. Put together your media list far in advance, and work it, work it, work it!

 We writers are a passionate lot, but early marketing
can lead to even greater success.


Cindi Maciolek is a writer and business consultant, whose previously published works include Java Jems: 5 Minute Inspirations for Busy People and The Basics of Buying Art. She’s also a contributing author to the books Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion and Life Choices: It’s Never Too Late. Maciolek has written numerous articles for the luxury marketplace, including the Robb Report and Luxury Las Vegas. Maciolek lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Meet Cindi on the web:
www.cindimaciolek.com
Twitter: @cindimaciolek and @divatiel
Facebook:
Cindi Maciolek – Writer.
Purchase Links:

Can four ounces of feathers and
personality change a person’s life?
She can if she’s
the Divatiel!
Reflections of a bird’s companion will tug at your heart strings and bring a smile to any animal lover 
Cindi was looking
for a roommate, and finally settled on a fine-feathered friend who was a gift
from a co-worker. What she got was a loving, intelligent, fun, free-spirited,
demanding – Jaké.
ter recovering
from illness that put her near death’s door, Jaké healed and was let out of the
cage so she could spread her wings. She lived her life with gusto. Jaké took
risks, used her intelligence to her advantage and loved unconditionally. She
took charge, not only over her surroundings but over her owner as well.
Luckily, she had a cooperative Mommy in Cindi.
 Not only was she
demanding, Jaké did things some humans have never done. She flew on an airplane
several times, went on numerous road trips and ate fresh vegetables daily.
Jaké lived a very
long life and had many adventures along the way, most of which are captured in
this book.
Jaké was first a
gift to William, then a gift to Cindi, and now a gift to the world.