Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Signing at Barnes & Noble Nov. 21st.

I'm pleased to tell you that Barnes & Noble is having its annual Discovery Weekend starting November 20, and I've been asked to be part of it.  Nine other authors and I will be part of a special book signing in the Loveland store.  Here are the details:

Loveland B&N (Centerra Shopping Center)
Saturday, November 21
1 to 3 p.m.

You'll find both contemporary and historical romances, thrillers and romantic suspense.   There's definitely something for everyone. 

I'll have my five novels including my latest, Viking Gold, and a peek at my third book in the Star Light ~ Star Bright Christmas series, Believe In Me This Christmas Morn, which is launching December 12th.

Autographed books make ideal Christmas gifts.

Stop by and say hi, I'd love to see you.
Warmest Regards, 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Why The Business Side of Writing Matters by Amy Brantley

We may not like the reality, but writing the book is only the first step in a writing career. Please welcome my guest today, Amy Brantley, who is not only an author but has an awesome business for helping authors on the business end; A Girl and her E-books.  She's offering a gift to one commenter and some great deals as well. Read on.......

Imagine if a company created an awesome product but never advertised – just placed it on store shelves and hoped people would buy it. It could be the greatest product ever invented, but without proper marketing customers aren't going to know about it. The same holds true for books, maybe even more so because each book is competing with literally millions of other books. Waiting around and hoping for someone to find your book isn't the way to go.

As a fellow author, I understand the need to stay focused on writing. You want to meet those deadlines and getting in Amazon's good graces requires publishing a new book every two months. Unfortunately, if you don't focus on the business side of writing, you may never see the numbers you're hoping for.

What is the business side of writing exactly? Think of your books as the product and yourself as the brand. As an author, you want to create an image for yourself and connect with readers (AKA buyers). This can be done through social media networks, newsletters, conferences, etc. As for your product (books), you want to market them in much of the same way. You want to make sure they are shared in front of your target audience. This can be done through social media campaigns, ads, guest blog posts, book tours, and much, much more.

The reason is matters so much to pay attention to both writing and marketing is simple. Without marketing, you're waiting for someone to stumble across your book. When you market your book to a targeted audience, you have a much better chance at getting discovered. If you have a strong social media presence, you also have the chance for those readers to become fans who are on the lookout for the next book.

What can you do to get started? The following are some of the easiest ways to start marketing your brand and your products:

1.    Open and starting using Twitter and Facebook accounts. Make sure you have a Facebook page rather than just a Facebook account. Second, make absolutely sure that you post about more than just your book. It's a real turn off for a reader to find a Facebook page or Twitter account that is nothing but posts about where to buy a book. Post about things that you're doing, what you're reading, and topics your target audience would find interesting.

2.    Dust off your newsletter. You should strive to send out a newsletter at least once a month, but no more than once a week. A newsletter is again a great place to interact with your readers. You want to give them something they can't get elsewhere. Maybe it's a sneak peek at your next book, a favorite recipe, a character interview, etc. Just give them something so they keep opening each edition of your newsletter.

3.    Create graphic ads to use around the internet. Graphic ads are really appealing. A graphic ad can include your book cover and a tag line from your book. However, if you're creating an ad to use in the Facebook ad program, you want to only add your cover art to the graphic on top of another background image. Too much text will cause the ad to be rejected. Graphic ads can be used in Twitter, in Facebook feeds, in newsletters, on book blogs, and several other places.

4.     Make time for marketing. You make time to get your word count in each day. You may time to go over that first draft. Why not make time to market your books? A bit of time each day can go a long way to boosting the success of your brand and products.

5.     Hire an assistant. Publishing a book every two months is not easy. In fact, it takes a lot of work and a lot of words each day. This is the main reason marketing slides to the side. The good news is there is help available. Hiring an author assistant allows you to handle the business side of writing without giving up any time that you could be writing.

Marketing your books in today's world is more important than ever. Thousands of books are published each day and, without a strong marketing plan, your book can easily get lost. The good news is there are easy things you can do to market your books and yourself.

As a fellow author, I understand these needs and run a company called Book Promos by A Girl and Her eBooks. My company offers everything from basic services like sharing your book to working as an author assistant. There's no job too big or too small.

If you contact me and mention this article, I'll take 20% off your order. Comment below and you'll automatically be chosen to win a full promo pack.

For readers of this blog, I'm also offering a special where you can get the following for only $300! (20% discount cannot be used on this offer).

You'll get: 
Tweets 2x per day
30 Facebook posts per month
$50 credit each month to use on whatever services you need

Seperately, this is a value of $1680. As a bundle, it's usually $600. For LA's blog readers, it's only $300! (LA: this is a year's worth of promo!!)

Find Amy: 

Even if you don't use my services, I do hope you'll think more seriously about the importance of marketing yourself and your books. Yes, it does take work, but it's time well spent. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Take Five With Author Candee Fick

Today it's my honor to host Candee Fick and her debut novel Catch of a Lifetime.
And wait until you read her answer to the last question!!

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Candee.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Catch of a Lifetime?

Hi, Leslie, thank for hosting me today. I love football, and it’s a good thing I do because I’m married to a coach our oldest son plays. But what if I didn’t like the game? What if I hated it? That thought led me down a rabbit trail of speculation to discover my heroine, Cassie, and imagine what would make her feel that strongly about football. Then I wondered if I could change her mind.

How do you use setting to further your story?

Catch of a Lifetime revolves around a fictional college football program, so that naturally led to scenes in places like practice fields, the sidelines, meeting rooms, and training facilities. I added places around town, Colorado weather, and even took trips to other states for road games. But this setting was so much more than a place, especially when dealing with football player egos, competitive natures, testosterone, eligibility issues, NCAA compliance officers, dreams of bowl games, the thrill of victory, and yes, the agony of defeat. I was able to glean a lot of emotion and tension for the story by bringing the setting to life.

How do you construct your characters?

I’m a visual person, so I like to start with a picture of how I imagine them looking. Then I build enough background information to motivate their story goal and explain the lie they believe, because that wound will be healed by the end of the story as the character grows and changes. Of course, I’ll add and tweak things as the story develops so I make sure to keep a cheat sheet of the facts and tidbits about each character so I can keep things consistent.

How is your main character completely different than you?

Well, um, Cassie hates football. She also has an athletic past, so I made her an Olympic caliber gymnast when I can hardly do a cartwheel, let alone the splits or any tumbling without, um, tumbling.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

I’m a bit of a science nerd. While I was an elementary education major in college, my first job was actually teaching high school chemistry at a private school. For the past ten-plus years, my day job has been doing legal research for an industrial hygiene company where I read and summarize depositions in asbestos cases. I get to work from home so that’s been great, but it’s little wonder why I escape to fiction-land whenever I can!

Give us a brief summary of Catch of a Lifetime:

He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. 

Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Buy Links:

Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Find Candee: