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“Who Are You Writing For?”

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 03 March 2015 · 12 views

Some years ago, my husband decided to watch “24” — the action adventure TV series starring Kiefer Sutherland.  In the spirit of marital solidarity, I decided to watch with him.  Thus began a TV viewing experience that led to much merriment between us, despite the show’s over-use of artistic (?) devices such as coincidence, torture porn, … Continue reading “Who Are You Writing For?”



Express Yourself: Your Life's Narrator

  Posted by DebsBlueRoses in The Writer Ambitious, 03 March 2015 · 12 views

Welcome back to Express Yourself! This meme was created by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books to get to know us all You can join us through either of their blogs.

Last year, Dani & Jackie opened the Express Yourself question query to us members of the hop, and as I was reading the guest questions so far this year, I thought, "Man, why didn't I ask a question?"

Apparently I did. haha It's the question this week, and it is: "Who would narrate your life in a movie?"

I feel like either Aubrey Plaza, who has that lazed, Delawarean disinterested voice I think I have in my head, or one of my icons, Zoe Saldana, who has that great husky, deep voice I think I have in real life but don't would be two great choices for my biopic.

What about you?



Amy McNulty On Getting Through Submission

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 03 March 2015 · 12 views

If there's one thing that many aspiring writers have few clues about, it's the submission process. There are good reasons for that; authors aren't exactly encouraged to talk in detail about our own submission experiences, and - just like agent hunting - everyone's story is different.

I managed to cobble together a few non-specific questions that some debut authors have agreed to
answer (bless them). And so I bring you the submission interview series - Submission Hell - It's True. Yes, it's the SHIT.

Today's guest is Amy McNulty, author of Nobody’s Goddess (Book One in The Never Veil Series), coming April 21st, 2015 from Month9Books.

How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?

As much as I could possibly find out! I usually feel better about things I have little control over when I exert at least some level of control, and keeping informed was about the only thing I could do at that point. I scoured the Internet for any author submission experiences and that’s actually how I found this blog. (This SHIT series is easily the most informative on the web!)

We’re told to be careful about saying we’re on submission because an editor might like your manuscript a year into the process, google you and discover some tweet or blog post from long before about you starting submissions. Then she realizes a.) she was far from your first choice and b.) lots of other editors have probably said no to you at that point, so maybe the book isn’t as hot a property as she thought. So it’s hard to find out much about submissions until an author has been through it all, and even then, the author can’t exactly air all of the details. Still, I had a general idea.

Did anything about the process surprise you?

I guess the need for secrecy did. Obviously, I know authors can’t share details while editors are considering the manuscript and contracts are pending, but it really hadn’t occurred to me that an editor who might be interested could be discouraged from buying your manuscript because she discovered you’d started submissions long before she read it. There are so many factors that need to come together to get an offer, and that’s about the only thing the author has any control over. (Besides writing a great book and finding a good agent, of course!)

Did you research the editors you knew had your ms? Do you recommend doing that?

I wanted to know what imprints my agent was contacting and which ones requested it, but I didn’t feel the need to know names at that stage. (I would just spend too much time researching those editor’s deals if I did.) My agent did share some of the names when we heard back with positive comments or got rejections. With the ones who seemed hopeful, I sure did research their names, looked at what they bought and how often they bought titles, and found interviews with them. (Like after I got an R&R, I found an interview with that editor saying she rarely offered that, and an R&R meant she was really interested, so I got my hopes up!)

It helped me feel a little more involved, but at the same time, it made it harder when the eventual rejections came in, so if you can handle that, sure, do some research. Your time is better spent working on the next manuscript, of course. (But be honest, it’s harder to write when you’re distracted with the thought of an email maybe appearing in your inbox that might change your life—or send you back to square one.)

What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?

My agent managed to get some really fast replies, in my opinion! I’d say on average, we heard back within two to three weeks. (The outright rejections came in quickest.) I probably waited no longer than two to three months for any response, other than ones who wound up being no-responders.

What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?

I know I’m supposed to say write the next manuscript and I do believe that. Sometimes it’s really hard to write in that frame of mind, though. So if you’re not going to be writing, get away from your email inbox as much as you can and have fun! Distract yourself with hobbies and friends.

If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections?

Maybe it’s just because you passed the first hurtle, but I found that editor rejections were often more detailed than query rejections, which was nice. They were almost unilaterally complimentary and kind, pointing out what they liked as well as what didn’t work for them, so that really cushioned the blow. The worst were the rejections that came after an R&R or after at least after expressing some interest or saying they were getting second reads. I got a couple of those right before I went to an ALA con (as a member of the public, not a librarian), about a year into the submission process and after a couple of major rewrites. I found myself surrounded with books and authors who’d accomplished my dream and I almost started to cry before remembering the fact that I was there as a reader, and I was there to cheer other authors on. I eventually did start focusing on my next project, thinking I might have to shelve my first one, and that’s when we finally got an offer!

If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?

We got a lot of feedback, but there was almost nothing that was the same from one editor to the next except one thing that a few editors mentioned—the one thing I refused to budge on. (Eventually I made the inclusion less jarring thanks to my editors’ help, but part of the reason I went with Month9Books is because they got the manuscript and didn’t think an integral part of my novel needed to be replaced with something else.)

As for the rest, I chalked it up to individual tastes. I think when I got feedback from my beta readers, I was more apt to change things, especially when it came to clarification. However, when I started getting feedback from many people and what they liked and didn’t like clashed with each other’s opinions, I felt like there was no way to satisfy them all, so I had to just go with my gut. Between that, my agent’s guidance and doing our own big revision after the R&R failed, I think we got the manuscript to a good place. (It’s since been through a few more revisions post-offer, of course!)

When you got your YES! how did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal?

I was at the airport with my boyfriend on my way to NYC to visit my boyfriend’s family when I checked my email and my agent told me Georgia McBride of Month9Books shared it with her team and there was positive feedback and she anticipated an offer was forthcoming. That wasn’t quite the same thing as an offer—and by then, I’d been close before and I was worried something would fall through (even though this was the owner of the imprint saying this, who wouldn’t have to get approval from higher-ups!)—but I almost felt like I left my body. I was euphoric all day, and it helped me not have to deal with my usual travel anxiety. I saw my agent during that trip and we discussed the idea of going with Month9Books, and when Georgia officially offered a few weeks later (another email moment, once I was back home with my feet on the ground), we accepted!

Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?

Yes! It was really hard! We finalized the contract and made the official announcement a little over three months after the offer, four months after that first “anticipating an offer” moment. Oh, boy, was it hard to keep quiet! Of course, I told my loved ones I could tell in person, but I had to settle for rewarding myself with an extra cookie after dinner while I kept quiet.



Getting the Call with Natasha Raulerson

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 03 March 2015 · 12 views

Some of you may have seen a writer dropped out of Sun versus Snow just before the agent round because they got an offer. Their entry was actually picked by Amy Trueblood. This is that writer's story! Congrats to Natasha!

I may be the first person to ever get the agent call during a candle lit dinner at the Melting Pot. 

They’d given us a private booth in the back corner for our anniversary, complete with curtains, flowers, and a teddy bear. Of course, I don’t think that stopped the patrons sitting in the main area from hearing my squeal of delight when I realized I had a missed call from Laura Bradford.

I should clarify that I wasn’t expecting a call. Sometimes, agents just call. Which is cool. Unless you’re like me and you miss it.

That’s right. Those words are correct.

No biggie, right? I mean, I just need to call her back. The message requested I do so within forty-five minutes or else, Laura would be at an appointment.

First of all, I have the greatest hubs ever. I’d been warring back and forth as to whether it would be appropriate to call her back during our anniversary.

The hubs looked at me like I was crazy and told me I better damn well call her back!

After listening to the voicemail, talking with the hubs, and assuring the server I was not some crazy 
chick escaped from a mental institution, I go to call Laura back—only to realize it’d been forty-five minutes since she called.

From there it turned into an email and we got in touch the next day—after a Bluetooth malfunction that caused the radio to blare right into the speaker of my phone—where Laura was trying to hear me. I posted all about those details on my blog, so here, I want to talk about what happened when we FINALLY got on the phone.

For the record, I was on the phone outside of Froggy’s Playhouse because I was supposed to be attending my baby cousin’s birthday.  I took notes on an orange folder I found in my car with a pen from the center console. Honestly, I went prepared, but the timing of the call coincided with all my preparedness being out of reach.

There’d been many blunders up to this point, but Laura was just amazing and understanding. I tried not to sound like an idiot while I spoke with her. My mouth went dry and my embarrassment did not go down as I’d hoped.

We talked about Redemption, the direction of the novel, edits, and other projects I’m working on.  I swear all my responses were probably idiotic. I felt like the kids inside Froggy’s, jumping in bounce houses with no direction.

Then, Laura, in her wonderful way, somehow made me feel at ease despite all that. I don’t know if she could sense my nervousness or if she’s just that good, but everything she said about Redemption, and everything she said to me, just made me feel okay and comfortable, and then she offered representation.

Somehow, I managed to be cordial and professional, thanking her and going through the details of what that would entail. In my head though, I’m pretty sure two brain cells were high fiving each other in a way that would make ‘The Todd’ from Scrubs proud.

I knew as soon as I hung up the phone, Laura was the agent I wanted to go with, but I didn’t even have time to process any of it because I walked into Froggy’s to a birthday with over fifteen kids. I got to tell the hubs I got an offer before being tackled by the now 5-year-old birthday girl.

Six hours later, I finally got to go home, process this, and maybe, just maybe I screamed loud enough to wake the neighbors.

The moral of the story: Agents are humans too. They understand when things happen.
I don’t know if I have the most blundered call story in literary history, but I was lucky enough to get the call from an agent that understands life happens. I’m grateful, blessed, and so excited to be a Bradford Babe.


Born in Florida, Natasha has lived in the southern sunshine state her entire life. A student of literature at Florida Atlantic University, she always enjoys reading a good book--especially by the pool during the hot, humid summers. She’s also the founder and host of Whiskey, Wine, & Writing—a webcast and blog dedicated to the writing community as a whole. When not writing she can be found binging on TV shows and movies with her husband, while their two pups steal the blankets. 



One (or a few) A Day...

  Posted by K McClelland in Teardrops On My Book, 03 March 2015 · 11 views

I've been working out ways I can get myself to be more productive and also more out there in the online world (blogging, reading blogs, tweeting/posting on FB/pinterest/etc) and I've decided to have a challenge for myself this month.

It will be called the: One of Each a Day Challenge...

Stupid titled, but that's okay. Plan is, visit a blog each day. Leave a comment on said blog. Promote something on Twitter and/or a social media of my choice(Examples of promoting are: a book release, book sale, cover reveal, some other sort of announcement, a blog post, or things of that sort-or other promotional type things). And post on any two of my sites daily. (I've got Twitter, Facebook, my blog, Pinterest, Google +, Tumblr, and Instagram)(With all those I shouldn't have a problem posting something...aside from how little I've even ever posted on a few of them. :/ )

This will be my only Tuesday post for now. I didn't plan on having Tuesday posts, but I forgot to post this yesterday so I'm just going with it. I mean, really, I should've posted it last week, but oh well. I'm a few days late on the whole first of the month thing, but I'll make up for it.

And that's that, guess we'll see how this turns out. Have a great day. See you tomorrow for a new Insecure Writer's Support Group post. :)

Anything happening this month that you'd like people to know about? Got a blog post you'd like me to promote or maybe a book release? Hell, want some new Twitter followers or some more blog traffic? Just let me know in the comments and I'll spread the word. 



The Unreliable Narrator: Should We Let Characters Have Their Way?

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 02 March 2015 · 87 views

by Sophie Perinot

I have learned to cherish the unreliable narrator. I don’t use that term in the usual sense—the narrator who, often at his writer’s behest, leads readers astray and makes them think hard about what is true and what is not in his recounting of a book’s action. No, I mean the character you as an author researched, outlined, storyboarded, breathed life into, who decides she is NOT who you think she is.

When I first started writing I did not know what to make of these episodic occurrences. I’d be writing dialogue and suddenly some character—usually the main one, the one whose head I lived in, the one I thought I knew as well as I know myself—would say something I totally did not expect. The effect was sort of like being hit from behind while driving. My head would jerk back and I would be swept by a feeling of “what was that?” The further I got into my inaugural novel, the more frequently my characters grabbed the reins of power and the more firmly they held them. No longer was it just a matter of a few sentences that surprised me, they were making life-changing decisions or rather story-changing ones.  I am not alone in this experience. Nearly every writer I know has had it. For example, a good friend of mine who is a successful multi-published author recently reported that the character she created specifically to be the love interest in her wip decided this week that he may be gay.  Yeah that’s a game changer.

For a novel to be successful what our characters do and say must to ring true, must be compatible with their natures.  So who decides upon that nature? Of course ultimately we can force our characters to do what we want.  But should we?

As my characters in my debut novel became more and more strong-willed I began to perceive a pattern.  When they stood up for themselves, my writing came alive.  Instead of reaching for word-count goals I had a hard time stopping for the day.  I was late to carpool.  I wrote in carpool.  By the time I set to work on my second novel, I viewed my early writing as merely preparation—sort of like prayer.  Sure I’d done my research and filled my subconscious with both historical facts and plot ideas, but I was merely setting a stage. I was waiting for a spark, for what I have come to call “the genesis moment” when my characters would come to life, and reveal to me who they really were.

Now, as a veteran writer hard at work on another first-draft, I view myself less an omnipotent God (and don’t all novelists sort of feel like they are all-powerful creators manipulating characters and readers alike when they begin their author journey?) and more like Abraham Heschel’s “most moved mover.”  Yes, warning, I am going to quote philosophy.  Heschel said that, “while God is often frustrated by our actions, he endures, patiently waiting for us to turn our attention to the sacred task of universal redemption.”  Alright, alright, I do not expect my characters to get busy with universal redemption (I don’t’ write literary fiction, remember), but the point is I’ve come to trust my characters.  Sure they still frustrate me when they go off on what I perceive to be a tangent, but instead of fighting them, I try to wait patiently, taking it all down with the knowledge that they are trying to find their way—to find my way for me—to where my story needs to be in order to be my best work.  This is not recalcitrance, this is inspiration, and I can discipline them a bit in editing if I need to.

The very unreliability that used to give me whiplash now invigorates me.  It is the crack-cocaine that brings me back to my laptop every day, the high-inducing interruption that gets me out of my morning shower and sends me scrambling for a yellow legal pad.  My narrators are truly the most reliably themselves when they become three-dimensional animate actors with free will, not just stick figures I move around the page in keeping with an outline.

So I say all hail the unreliable narrator!  What say you?

Sophie P’s The Sister Queens, (March 2012/NAL), is set in 13th century France and England and weaves the captivating story of sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, who both became queens. She collaborated in the Roman-era A Day of Fire, a ground-breaking “novel in six parts” exploring the last days of Pompeii (November 2014/Knight Media).  Her next novel, Médicis Daughter, (December 2015/Thomas Dunne) is set at the intrigue-riven, 16th century French Valois court, and spins the tale of beautiful princess Marguerite who walks the knife edge between the demands of her serpentine mother, Catherine de Medicis, and those of her own conscience.  Visit Sophie at her website, or on FB, follow her on Twitter as @Lit_gal



Christina Hollis - Do You Need an Agent?

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 02 March 2015 · 26 views

Please welcome Christina Hollis to the blog today!


The obvious answer to that question is no. Writers have so many options now. Some big publishers have started offering open sessions, when they ask people who don’t have agents to make submissions. You can self-publish your work, and keep all the profit.  So why sacrifice 15% of your writing income to a literary agent? Surely it’s a luxury you can do without? To date, I've sold three million novels (including my latest release, His Majesty’s Secret Passion), hundreds of non-fiction articles, and loads of short stories, all without an agent—so it can be done. The problem is, there’s a price—and I’m not talking wholly about money. If your aim is publication, writing a book is only the start. You then have to get it published. Whether you do this yourself, or you’re taken up by a publishing house, you’ll also have to get out there and sell it. The days are long gone when you handed your manuscript over to a third party then sat back, waiting for the money to roll in. 

Without an agent, get ready to spend  hours online, checking out which publishers are buying in your genre. You'll need to read the type of books on their lists, and target your submissions. If you’re a self-publisher, you’ll need to liaise with professional editors and cover artists to make sure you do justice to your work.

Once you’re published, by whatever means, your book must hit the real and virtual marketplaces. All this eats into time you should be using to write your next book. Most people have to fit their writing around their day job. Which would you rather do in your precious free time—write, or trawl the net in the name of research, getting distracted by the lure of social media every step of the way?

This is where literary agents, with their ready-made networks, earn their money. They take much of the non-writing stuff off your shoulders. They've  also got the inside track on current market trends. A lot of writers recoil from phrases like that, which is where agents score. They’re dedicated business people, who know who's buying, and exactly what those potential buyers are looking for. On the other side of the equation, publishers use literary agents as a shortcut—the first stage in quality control. A publisher may be more likely to check out your project if it’s already been vetted by a reputable agent. 

Once a publisher says yes, the horse-trading starts. Most writers are loners. Can you honestly say you'd feel happy negotiating the best terms for your contract, if you've never done it before? Professional bodies such as The Society of Authors will vet contracts for you if you're a member, but that takes time to arrange. And if this is your first book, can you really see yourself getting the best deal over publicity arrangements, tour dates, extending deadlines when necessary and sorting out foreign editions and rights? Really?

Writing is a lonely business. A good agent is a supporter, and that’s a great feeling. It takes the pressure off, knowing that someone is taking care of business. It gives you the chance to get the "creative" back into your "creative writing". 

To return to what I wrote at the beginning: yes, I might have sold three million books without the benefit of an agent. But how many more books would I have managed to write if I'd had an expert on hand to help me target my work and do all the paperwork, while I got on with the fun stuff?
Have you got an agent? What are your experiences?

About Christina
I live deep in the English countryside. I met my husband on a blind date, and during a career break to raise our family I wrote non-fiction articles and award-winning short stories for national magazines, to fit in with my parenting timetable.
My first full length novel, Knight’s Pawn, was an historical romance published by Harlequin Mills and Boon under my pen name of Polly Forrester. Then in 2007, Mills and Boon published my first Modern Romance, The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin. Since then, I’ve written many full-length historical novels and contemporary romances which have been released internationally by various publishers. In all, my work has been translated into nearly twenty different languages. 

My current release, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, is available From The Wild Rose Press at http://bit.ly/1ujX5zc and Amazon at http://amzn.to/1zajHZA (US) and http://amzn.to/1DF99Dv (UK). You can find a selection of my other work at http://christinahollis.com, find out what I’m doing right now by following me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChristinaBooks, liking my Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1Ee1urM and following my blog at http://christinahollis.blogspot.com
His Majesty’s Secret Passion by Christina Hollis

Available from: http://amzn.to/1DF99Dv

Leo Gregoryan is determined to be the perfect king. Loyalty to his country means sacrificing his
own happiness, but he’ll divert the energy he once poured into his dream of becoming a doctor toward royal duties. All he needs right now is a stress-free vacation–no future queen need apply. Sara Astley escapes to the luxurious Paradise Hotel after she’s dumped by her partner, who then stole the promotion she’d expected. She hides her broken dreams behind a tough exterior. Her stubborn streak makes her a challenge Leo can’t resist. His special brand of hands-on persuasion seduces Sara into enjoying the holiday of a lifetime. Their fling can't hurt either of them–or so they think. Leo's focussed on being the ideal hero. Sara knows what she wants, and that’s independence. Then a revelation tears them apart, meaning things can never be the same between them...

Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women–when she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she’s sold over two million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at http://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com, on TwitterFacebook, and see a full list of her published books at http://www.christinahollis.com. Her current release, His Majesty's Secret Passion, is published by Wild Rose Press.

One Kindle copy giveaway of His Majesty’s Secret Passion

Link to signed copies giveaway on Goodreads

Thanks Christina! I've always been so impressed with the agents I've had contact with. Great people who are passionate about their jobs and the stories they take on. They sure have a lot to offer writers! There are so many different paths we can take. Finding the right one is a very individual experience.

What do you think? Agent or solo? What's the best path for you?



WRECKAGE– Official Launch!! **CONTEST**

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 01 March 2015 · 27 views

Today is the official launch of WRECKAGE! To celebrate I’m having a **CONTEST** that will run from Sunday, March 1st- Wednesday, March 4th. You can win a $25 Amazon gift card, signed copy of WRECKAGE or an audio version of the book (which is way cool,btw)

If you are one of the thousands who downloaded a pre-released ebook of WRECKAGE—
1-Take a picture with your Kindle
2-Post it on your FB page or Twitter feed
3- Make sure to link me in your post!

Photo on 3-1-15 at 12.48 PM #2

I know! I KNOW the picture is backwards. Working on fixing it! :)

If you are waiting for your paper copy or are clicking “order” right now–

1-Take a picture of either your order confirmation (crop out all your personal info please) or a picture with the book when it arrives!
2-Post it on your FB page or Twitter Feed
3- Link me in your post!

Screenshot 2015-03-01 14.05.15

BOOM! Entered. Good luck everyone!



Guest Post at Kathryn’s Inbox: Birthing a Book

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 01 March 2015 · 26 views

It looks to me like I forgot to post this excerpt from a guest post I did over at Kathryn’s Inbox in January.  If this is a repeat post, I apologize.  I’m only showing a bit of it here, but … Continue reading



Trope Awareness: Twitters to Follow

  Posted by Mia K Rose in Mia K Rose | Forsaken Illusion, 28 February 2015 · 13 views

If you’re on Twitter and want to see some tropes […]



Back to My Other Full Time Job

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 28 February 2015 · 44 views

My student teacher finished her placement on Friday, which means it's back to my other full time job, the one that actually pays. That's not to say that writing doesn't pay. Just not enough yet that I can do anything with it other than plow my meager profits back into promotion.

In a way, I feel like I have three full-time jobs, or, more accurately, two full-timers and a part-timer, with writing itself, sadly, being the part-timer. Teaching is obviously the first one and the other is book promoting. It feels like all my spare time is spent doing things on various social media outlets to get my brand in front of as many people as possible. And when I'm not doing that, I'm making phone calls to set up signings and such.

The big emphasis this week has been Twitter. I realized that sales had come to a complete standstill, so I started reading blogs and websites with ideas on how to increase traffic on social media, specifically on Twitter. One suggested that I start following at least 25 people a day, which I did, beginning last Sunday. Actually on Sunday, I probably followed upwards of 100. I searched for the hashtag #booklover and followed a bunch of those folks in the hopes that they'd love my book too. I also followed fellow writers and anyone that seemed in any way about or interested in books, indie authors, or publishing. And it worked well. I started Sunday with 224 followers. As of this writing, I'm at 496 followers, so I've well more than doubled my following.

Yes, there were some glitches along the way. I started out just blindly following back anyone who followed me. That led to some rather embarrassing tweets filling my feed, such as ads for erotica and even pornographic videos. I had no idea how many sweet little old ladies are writing adult fiction and trying to sell it on Twitter. So I got a little more careful about who I followed back. There was also the issue of a constant stream of private messages advertising other authors' books. One of the first things I learned in a blog about Twitter etiquette was that you should not barrage people with PMs trying to get them to buy stuff. Apparently, not all authors read that post.

I've also done some work on Goodreads and Amazon with giveaways. There are three ways to get free copies of books. First, on Goodreads, you can go here and just register. No obligation whatever. You don't have to follow me or write a review or agree to receive a bazillion emails from me (I don't send out a bazillion emails anyway). But hurry--there's just one day left! You can also go here to enter to win one of five books from Amazon. The only requirement in this case is that you have to follow me on Twitter to be entered. Finally, and this one takes a tiny bit of work on your part, you can go here and ask me a question. I'll answer your question and one person will receive a free autographed copy of Harsh Prey or my next book, Kisses and Lies when it comes out in a couple months. But again, hurry--it ends soon.

So the good news is that I do have more people following me and retweeting my tweets. The bad news is that it's resulted in exactly zero sales so far. But I'm not losing hope. I'm banking on the idea that I'm planting seeds that will pay off in sales over time as I publish more and more books. By making people aware of my name and by putting free books in the hands of as many people as possible, the plan is to build a loyal following that will become my core audience as time go by.



Coming Out . . . of Hibernation

  Posted by Rick Pieters in Room to Wonder, 27 February 2015 · 35 views

It's been another long, cold winter. I'm so ready to come out of hibernation. Today, though it won't, again, get above freezing, I went looking for signs of Spring.

What I found outside my door perfectly showed, to me, the essence of this season. Snow in retreat. Warming earth pushing back the white blanket. Abstract yin and yang. And in the center, emerging leaves of new life, damaged, burned by the cold, promise of blooms that will rise from the wreckage.

When all the snow has gone and Spring has come, with the leafing out of trees and shrubs, I will, no doubt, discover what more damage the bitter cold has wreaked. Last year, I lost limbs from two prized plantings: an azalea and a Japanese maple. Yet the plants survived, and the damage resulted in a reshaping, of new form. In the maple, more open spaces, the killed branches  pruned away, left a more spare and possibly more beautiful tree.

Somehow the damage done enhances the value, the beauty of what remains, of what survives. The golden daffodil that rises above burnt leaves.

If only we could remember, more often than we do: such is our lives. 




  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Amy Trueblood's Blog, 27 February 2015 · 42 views

    If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took […]



Evolution Cover Reveal

  Posted by Stephanie Diaz in Stephanie Diaz, 23 February 2015 · 29 views

Hi guys!! The cover reveal for Evolution, the third and final book in the Extraction series, happened today over at YA Highway! Check it out below and let me know what you think!



Must-Watch Scenes from the 2015 Oscars

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 23 February 2015 · 24 views

Surprisingly, the 2015 Academy Awards were the most empowering Oscars I've ever seen. Here are some of the highlights. Trust me when I say, watch them all. These speeches/performances saved the night. I'm excited. Please watch them all!

After Sean Penn (jokingly, but still) announced Alejandro G. Inarritu as the Best Picture winner by saying, "Who gave that son of a b*tch his Green Card?" this great acceptance speech happened:

And this,  because Eddie Redmayne was so excited to win :D

Things are a-changing :D I can't help but be excited. Hopefully I'll replace these videos with actual official YouTube Oscar videos but I can't find them yet. 

Did you watch the Oscars? How do you feel about it? Any videos you'd like to add?



Sun Vs. Snow Critique Workshop Entry

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 17 February 2015 · 49 views

(Thanks to the amazing Michelle Hauck and Amy Trueblood for hosting this amazing workshop. Also, a huge thank you to everyone who takes their time to leave amazing feedback here. The link to join with a blog post of your own -- including your query and first 250 words -- is open until February 21st, so come check out this post to add your link, join in, and leave feedback for each other!)


Genre: YA fantasy

Word Count: 98,000


Dear Amazing Agent,

Leah Ellis never knew why she was found abandoned on the beach at two years old. Content with her adoptive family and small town life, she hadn't thought much about it over the years. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain--cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.

She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers that it’s kind of addictive with its wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.

When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they're dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes, and his father, she is a MirrorMaster--an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her from Earth back to her homeworld of Jantyr, a planet she doesn’t remember. They’ve searched for her ever since she disappeared.

But Leah’s long-lost birth sister, a sorceress, activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her newfound ability in order to locate and wield crystals that will disable the device, and thwart her sister’s plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.

THE MIRRORMASTERS is a 98,000-word fantasy for young adults. I have earned a graduate degree in Psychology from Widener University and work at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. My short story, "Unfinished," was published online on author Samantha Mabry's website, Flash Paranormal Fiction. My short science fiction/apocalyptic story, “Defying the Darkness,” is published through Novelty Fiction. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Warmest Regards,

Lora Palmer

FIRST 250:

Chilling music, followed by strangled sobs and hitching breaths, sent a shiver down my spine. On the television screen, the killer claimed his next victim. Flinching, I covered my eyes too late to avoid the sight of a woman’s body sprawled on pavement, blood-soaked hands clutched around her throat. I wrinkled my nose and turned to my brother David and best friend Kara, who sat on the love seat engrossed in this cheesy old movie. The screen faded to black. As the end credits rolled, I grabbed the remote and changed the channel.

“Let’s watch something light when Jenny gets here,” I said.

“Leah, Leah, Leah.” David shook his head. “Don’t tell me you want to watch some lame comedy when we can have a slasher fest. Besides, it’s tradition.”

“Come on!” I shot him a pleading look. “I’m sure you breezed through finals, but I took three AP exams this week. I deserve a break from crazy.”

Every single year on this date, June 15th, strange things happened. Mysterious pulses of light flickered in the forest. Not-quite-solid figures appeared in the cemetery one second and disappeared the next. All day, I couldn’t shake the intuition that this year would bring something much worse than the usual weirdness, but it was easier to blame my anxiety on normal things like school.

By the basement’s dim recess lighting, I checked the grandfather clock. It read 10:50 pm. Oh, no. Oh, no. Jenny should have showed over an hour ago.



2015 Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction Seeks Manuscripts

Posted by thevip in thevip's Blog, 13 February 2015 · 101 views
Literature, Prize, Money and 4 more...

The Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction is a literary prize to promote writers and great undiscovered stories of Catholic fiction. What is Catholic fiction? Stories that capture the imagination of the reader and are infused with the presence of God and faith — subtly, symbolically or deliberately.

Think of Flannery O’Connor, Graham Greene, J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton and many others whose writings reflected the thoughts of the great writer Gerard Manley Hopkins: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” This is the “stuff” of literature that wins the Tuscany Prize.

Do you have a manuscript? A Novel? A Young Adult Novel? A short story? Would you like it published? Does your story have themes of faith and struggle, of grace and nature, atonement, courage, redemption and hope? Whether it is fiction, historical fiction, mystery, fantasy or humor, the Tuscany Press is open to all genres. We seek original great stories of unpublished/self-published works of fiction. Are you the next great writer of Catholic fiction? We invite you to send in your manuscript.

Submission Deadline: June 30, 2015 - See more at: http://tuscanypress....h.7p36baCX.dpuf

Attached Files


Win Champagne and Lemon Drops–The Audiobook

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 13 February 2015 · 57 views

I have a new giveaway to tell you about! This one is simply massive!

Giveaway runs February 13 to February 20, 2015.

Author Marissa Dobson and over thirty other authors–myself included–have teamed up to present over 30 giveaway items to several lucky winners. Will one of them be you? (Marissa has even offered up a Kindle Fire for one lucky winner!)

Are you feeling lucky?

Champagne and Lemon Drops the audiobookEnter for a chance to win the funny and heartwarming tale of Champagne and Lemon Drops in audiobook format to keep you company while you drive, workout, or clean the house. With 9 hours of laughs, I think a road trip with the girls is in order!

Enter the Giveaway Here:

Giveaway includes over 25 ebook romances to be won, several audiobooks, gift cards, paperbacks, as well as swag and Marissa’s Kindle Fire. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Did you know my newsletter subscribers just got a free book from me? Don’t miss out. Get in on it here: www.jeanoram.com/freebook.


Psst. Want to tell your friends? You can tweet this post by clicking here: A chance to #win over 30 #romance prize items in this massive #giveaway via @jeanoram.

The post Win Champagne and Lemon Drops–The Audiobook appeared first on Jean Oram.



The truth about how to be great at content marketing

Posted by carolkennemer in Carol Kennemer, 13 February 2015 · 52 views

There are a lot of cure-alls circling the web all claiming to be able to solve all your content marketing problems. This isn’t one of those articles. The truth is, the key to content marketing success depends a lot on the nature of your product and your target audience.

For some products, content marketing will be your marketing bread and butter. For others, it will be a side business but not your main revenue source. Here are some other truths about content marketing all marketing directors should know.

You don’t need a team of specialists to make content marketing work

Yes, big businesses tend to hire big teams to run their marketing and they’re able to see correspondingly large returns on their investment. But small businesses can have success too, even without teams of writers, researchers, and editors. Even marketing departments of one can find that content marketing is successful, but Business2Community.com warned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to businesses bigger than yours.

B2C also reported, “60% of B2C small business marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, knowing that it can be a very effective strategy for brand awareness and lead generation.”

You don’t have to go viral to be successful

Viral marketing can be very profitable and really good viral videos create great press for your brand. But you shouldn’t focus too much on the numbers. B2C said that some publishers, like The Verge, “discourage their writers from even looking at traffic numbers so they don’t get too caught up in the numbers and forget the goal they initially set out to achieve, which is to deliver great, original editorial content that speaks to the reader.”

Ignore numbers, focus on message

It’s tough to ignore the numbers when it seems hard to measure your success in any other way, but an important thing to remember about content marketing is that its success isn’t always quantifiable. Sometimes it’s just another exposure in a customer’s purchasing journey and they haven’t made up their minds to buy something yet. Sometimes it’s what introduces someone to your brand for the first time, but they’re far from loyal customer as of yet.

Set realistic goals

The more often you can create good, quality content the better, but if you have a small team of marketers, don’t force yourself to come up with 3 blog articles a week, a daily social media post, along with several marketing emails. Start small and don’t try to do more than you can maintain at a high level of quality.

Marketing News brought to you by ClickToCallMarket.com

Source: business2community.com/content-marketing/content-marketing-7-myths-uncovered-01142302

content marketing, marketing success, target audience


Millennial marketing: start online

Posted by StephanieSmith91 in StephanieSmith91's Blog, 12 February 2015 · 61 views
millennial marketing, millennials and 3 more...

Millennials are unlike any group that has come before, and they are changing the way businesses run. Some businesses have tried to stay away from them and just stick with an older audience, but it has gotten to the point where Millennials are a huge part of the economy, and ignoring them means ignoring huge sales. That is why you need to work on Millennial marketing and trying to increase sales with a younger audience.

Go straight to the source

One of the best ways to advertise to Millennials is by actually working with them, according to Tech Radar. Many Millennials make their living by blogging and building rapport with an online audience. That means they can reach a lot more people than you and bring you a lot of new customers. Rather than messing around trying to build your own audience online, just let them do the work. One of the best ways to do this is through pay per call marketing. They do all the online advertising for you, and all you have to do is pay them every time a new customer calls in for more information. It is one of the best ways to use Millennials to reach each other on the internet without your business even having to get involved.

Legitimate businesses online

If a Millennial cannot find your business online, they will not even consider talking to you. This is because they believe that a legitimate business will be on the internet. It’s not even just being online though. You also have to have a really good website that shows who you are and what you are doing. The more information a Millennial can find out online about your business, the better. You might want to give your website a little makeover or spend some time fixing up your social media. Better yet, focus on getting better online reviews for your business.

Online reviews

One thing Millennials love is looking at reviews to figure out whether or not your business is good enough for them. It is easier than ever to simply Google a company or even just check with friends to find out whether or not a business is any good. People don’t feel the need to try new things without first having someone else recommend it. With better reviews, you’ll get more business. Legitimize your business by boosting your online presence, and you’ll find that Millennial marketing works for you.

Marketing News brought to you by paypercallmarket.com

Source: techradar.com/us/news/world-of-tech/why-the-future-of-content-marketing-lies-with-the-millennials-1281514

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