Saturday, December 30, 2017

Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2018 is almost here!

Get an after Christmas gift for yourself!

Marketing Your Book on a Budget will be available January 1st!


Not a writer?

Get the book for a writer in your life. They will LOVE it!

Friday, December 29, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Are you an artist of life?


Get the book here!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

MARKETING YOUR BOOK ON A tight BUDGET IS ALMOST HERE!

It's that time again! Now in its 7th year, (wow) I am really itching to share some new ideas with you!

I've been asked what sort of budget this book focuses on, and it finally occurred to me that the word 'budget' means different things to different people, so this year's update includes a special word that will help you from here on out to know what I mean! (I guess the dollar bill cover was too subtle!)

Plan on seeing the newest edition in January, more than likely in that first week!



Can't wait?
You can still get the 2017 edition 

Friday, December 22, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: An Amish Christmas by Cynthia Keller

An Amish Christmas: A Novel by [Keller, Cynthia]
Get the Book at Amazon

Thursday, December 21, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Make an Impact


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Damien Payne from Cracked but Never Broken

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

There’s not much to say. I’m Damien Payne. I somehow traded places with my brother and became the black sheep of the family. I grew up on the family farm with my sister and twin brother, so having a spare moment to think was always lacking. I joined the Marines, saw some action overseas, came home and really managed to step in a cow paddie.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I never met a barstool I couldn’t warm for a while. I like playing football with some of the kids I went to school with. Speakin of school, I was quarterback for the local high school and took us to championship each year. Man those were the good days.

What is your favorite color and why?

Favorite color? What is this, Design My House or some other HGTV show? I guess as long as it ain’t white or beige I’m pretty happy with any color. Except pink. I swear if Monica, my sister, had her way, the house would be in various shades of pink or blue.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Now I haven’t met a food I don’t like, except eggplants. If I had to pick a favorite, pizza from Lula’s would take the cake. That woman makes the best food in the world, just don’t tell Maw-Payne. Hmmm… Lula also makes an amazing burger. Oh, and her milkshakes are divine. Can I just pick Lula’s instead of a specific food?

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

Quirk? I seem to tick Lexi off each time I walk in a room. But mainly that’s because I can’t keep my mouth shut when I should.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Well if told you about my antagonists that would spoil the book. They were rather manipulative, able to say the right thing at the right time. I never will understand why I didn’t notice the signs earlier. Apparently, this went on for YEARS. Maybe that wasn’t the only thing I should have noticed.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

My family’s rather large. If I could change time, I’d kept my dad around—freak accident. Lexi’s pretty special. She’s quiet, and I didn't realize how much I just assumed with her, sure that she’d be there, unchanged, like the sun rising and setting.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I’m not sure when my life went off track. It doesn’t really matter anymore, and I’m happy about the way things end, but it took a long while to see that.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Don’t let me run my life into a wall. You apparently didn’t have my brother hit me hard enough to knock some sense into me. My nose still hurts when it gets cold, couldn’t you have broken something else?

***

Writers have blinders, only viewable by their own experiences. It isn’t bad, but give the same characters to another writer, and we’d be reading an entirely another story.




Monday, December 18, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Darrell Case

     Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I began writing in 1994 at age 49 after returning from a successful mission trip to the Ukraine. I received a postcard from a literary agent who turned out to be a fraud. For x number of dollars, he would represent me. Of course, all he wanted was my money. Thank God I did some research and found out he was a con artist. Undaunted, I set out to write my book. 2 years later I finished the book only to find no one wanted it. I self-published with one of the first eBooks companies and sold six copies. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. That same year I began writing devotionals for a daily devotional named Call to Glory, which I continue today. I sent out queries and accumulated many rejections over the next few years.



 How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Early in the morning while the day is fresh and my mind is uncluttered with the things of the day.

     How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

When I started writing, I wrote longhand on tablets. I’m a terrible speller and my wife would have to decipher my misspelled words. I now use a desktop. I do most of my writing in my office 200 feet from the house. The office is on the edge of the woods overlooking a creek. My visitors consist of squirrels, deer, turkeys and an occasional raccoon.
  
     What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

If the story is good I lose track of time. In other words, I become lost in the story. I feel what the characters feel. I read the book out loud to see if it sounds right, writing and rewriting until the writing is smooth and the book sings. The least favorite part is marketing. I love for people to read to enjoy each book and I love to give books away. As of this writing, we are approaching 16,000 giveaways in 28 months. I’m hoping to reach 21,000 in 36 months, which will be May of 2018. However, I never force people to read my books. To make them feel guilty if they don’t even post a review if they loved my books is not in my nature. I want them to read and enjoy my writing, no matter how they obtained the books.
     
      How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
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Amazon

Ideas for a book can come from anywhere. A news story, a stretch of conversation. Many times, it is the thoughts of my own mind. I may think of a story for months or years before writing down a few pages. Such was the case with Deadly Justice. For the most part, it takes at least 12 months, sometimes longer for me to complete a book.

     What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

All types Facebook, twitter youtube and others. I give away books through Smashwords Draft2digtal, Amazon and others. I may have 2 advertisements going on Amazon at the same time. However, I have found the greatest advertisement is word of mouth.
      
     What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Tales from My Back Porch came out in May this year. I’m working on another thriller and hope to have it ready for release by May of 2018

     Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I always have something rumbling around in my mind. Sometime my thoughts will end up on paper sometimes not. My wife’s favorite book is Never Ending Spring. She would like me to write a sequel. My most popular book is a small one entitled River of Fire. Some have urged me to write a sequel to it. I don’t know if I will or not. I really have to be engaged with a book to spend a year writing it

     What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish, but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Read good writing. Writers are readers. Write, write, write. You will never learn without practice. Great painters threw away many paintings others thought good enough. Never settle for good enough, you want the best. This doesn’t come from the first draft or even the second. Also, don’t believe those who try to discourage you. Some of them are jealous, others can’t see your talent. Possibly they are too close to you. Just think John Gresham is Johnny at home. The best piece of advice I can give to the beginning writer is: don’t give up. Look on the internet and you’ll find famous authors who were rejected time and time again. Remember Herman Melville only sold 50 copies of Moby Dick during his lifetime.

A Question for Kathryn:

     The question I believe every writer, whether traditionally or self-published is how to increase your readers. You may have many five star reviews, however, your readership lags. Traditional publishers expect the author to do most of the marketing so it comes down to point of how do you get more eyes for your writing?


Great question! 

You more than likely know that reviews are your best bet, but second to that is everything else. Because it takes a reader about 7 'looks' to consider buying your book, you really have to put the book out there in different ways. Reviews are tough to get, but the other things may help you along to the reviews you need. 

One of my favorite things to do is to give away FREE copies of my eBooks. I have discovered that two-day promotions are best, but not always guaranteed to produce the greatest sales. I recently did a one-day promotion on a book and got more interest than I typically get for a two day. I use Ask David for much of my promotion as well as The Fussy Librarian. They each have a huge readership. Both options, especially done together, have brought me the greatest number of new readers. 

I also love to put together book trailers. People love video more than reading - imagine that - and I have found a great place to assist me in putting together my own professional book trailers. You might just want to try Animoto.com.

For those who are interested, I also put out a marketing book every January with updated listings and new places to market your book. I use this book every year as I go through my own book marketing, and add to it for the next year. This book has helped me to become pretty organized when it comes to marketing. I know it will help you, too. It can be found here.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

No kidding!

Grab your favorite chocolate bar while you're out shopping, reading a book, or taking a break from all the busyness! Or grab a bar like this, and eat off a piece every hour you're out today!

If it's covered with chocolate, go for it!

You may also want to grab this book. It's free today.

Friday, December 15, 2017

WINTER WONDERLAND HOLIDAY BLOG SHARE! FREE books!



December 11 - 18

Today is a special day! Tomorrow will be pretty great, too! Read my Christmas story today; tomorrow, get Tie Died for FREE!



Today, I have a true story that I'd like to share. There are also some pretty great Christmas stories, recipes, and traditions on other blogs that I'd like to mention. You'll want to click on the links at the end of this post. 

Check them out, because many prizes are being offered during this Holiday Blog Share!



THE CHRISTMAS DOLLHOUSE

By

Kathryn Jones

            Our girls were two, six and seven the Christmas of 1988.  My husband had been busily looking for employment (again) and I was beginning to wonder how many more days I could stretch out the meals with a pantry full of ‘just a little noodles’ and that great staple item, canned corn.
            One day I was shopping at a thrift store with my mother, feeling discouraged that all I could afford would have to come from…you know…there, when I noticed something interesting.
            The place was surprisingly busy.  Old and young, well dressed and moderately attired, were all making their way up and down the many aisles looking for just the right bargain.  So, I wasn’t alone in my shopping venture.  Still, I couldn’t help feeling wistful.  To afford a real Christmas for my three girls…one the girls would cherish and talk about for years to come…now, that would be better.
            As I was busy in thought, hardly paying attention to the marvelous deals my mother was pointing out, I rounded a toy aisle and there it stood in full glory.
            Okay, not quite full-glory, but it was if the dollhouse spoke to me.  Actually, I discovered seconds later that it was my mother.  As I stood with my mouth agape she said, “I bet you can fix this up.”
            I wasn’t so sure.  What I’d spotted was a wooden dollhouse, quite large, proudly displaying lime-green carpet and orange wallpaper.  The piece of masking tape revealed the amazing price--$5.00.
            But I wasn’t sold yet.  I knew it would take hours to fix the thing up.  Hours and materials and creativity…
            Creativity!
            “Your husband is an artist.  He’ll help you,” my mother said next as if reading my thoughts.
            I few minutes later my mother and I had placed the dollhouse in the trunk of my car.  Although it stuck out a bit (somewhat like a dejected tree from an empty tree lot) we were able to get it safely to my garage at home where the real work began.
            Through the next few evenings, my husband and I were busily scrounging up healthy green carpet remnants, leftover neutral pain, even vinyl floor covering for the kitchen area from generous relatives.  And then we were gluing, painting and covering the floors with our artistry.  Towards the finish date, Christmas Eve, my husband decided to paint trees on the outside of the house to give it that ‘homey’ look.
            On Christmas Eve with paint up to our armpits, heavy eyes just gasping for a little shut-eye, and high hopes, my husband and I placed the dollhouse under the Christmas tree.
            The next morning, the glow on our girls’ faces and giggling thank-you from first to last far surpassed the pain of our sore fingers, aching hands, time and travail.  I will never forget the joy I felt that day.

            Two of my three girls are teenagers now.  The oldest is married and in a home of her own.  But they still talk about the dollhouse from Christmas years ago like it was a mansion—their mansion.  And I have to smile…just a little.

(Update: Two of my three daughters are now married, and I am the grandmother of five sweet ones).

***
Get the eBook FREE tomorrow only!



Kathryn Elizabeth Jones has been a published writer since 1987. She started as a newspaper reporter - publishing with the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. She published her first novel in 2002, attended college in her 40s, and opened the doors to Idea Creations Press in 2012. She has published 12 books to date in the genres of Christian fiction, nonfiction (including Christian and business) mystery, YA and LDS middle reader. Her first 'tween' science fiction fantasy book is in the works. 

See what my author friends have to offer!


Enter to win a $60 Amazon gift card! 

Click here!

December 11 - Lois Winston - Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers 

December 12 - ENTER TO WIN a FREE copy of Catherine Green's short story - Christmas with the Vampires here.

December 13 - Stanalei Fletcher - It's all about the journey...

December 14 - Doree Anderson - Write it Down

December 16 - Karl Beckstrand  - Multicultural Books

December 17 - Marie Higgins - It's the journey that makes the romance story interesting...
December 18 - Mary Martinez - Welcome to Mary's Garden

Thursday, December 14, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Stuff YA Readers Say


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hot Cocoa Anyone?



Today is National Cocoa Day!

Grab a book and read to your heart's content!

Prefer homemade hot chocolate? Get the recipe here.




Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Gingerbread House Day - What do you read?

We all know that love makes a house a home.

What about gingerbread houses?

In honor of Gingerbread House Day - a holiday, I'm afraid I'd never heard of until this year, it may be the day to go shopping for your sweet gingerbread house decorations. 



Our family usually doesn't use the real thing, preferring the graham cracker method (above) to buying or making the gingerbread, but the results are fairly similar. Candy doors and windows, a lane of icing or snow, trees made out of colorful gumdrops.

Have you ever read a book that appeared to have all of the right elements - a plot, characters, setting, and dialogue, but the book was lacking something?


This 'lacking' may have been the takeaway value. It may have been the warmth that you somehow missed while reading the story. You may have been confused by the plot, or perhaps there were too many characters to keep track of, and you were continually skimming back through the book to find out who "Sue" was.

Books are kind of like gingerbread houses. They may have all of the right elements. But what makes a gingerbread house a gingerbread home, is how you feel when you read it.

The most eloquent words won't do that, but the placement of the words. And great authors know how to place them for optimum feeling - whether that feeling is the darkness called fear, the warmth of love, or even - sweet peace.



Monday, December 11, 2017

What's Your Favorite Christmas Book?

The day after Thanksgiving, I unloaded all of my Christmas books. I've gathered so many, that I needed two baskets this year.

I have The Polar Express, Twas the Night Before Christmas, Snowmen at Night, The Christmas Jars (books one and two) and so many more, it would take me awhile to list them, so I'll just tell you my favorite.

This one is perhaps a little less known but speaks of two unforgettable men. The first is Jesus. The second is Santa Claus. The book?

I Believe in Santa Claus written by Diane G. Adamson, illustrated by M. Chad Randall. Listen in, and let me know what you think.



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Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Gift: A Parable of the Key is FREE today!

For all of you readers of my Virginia Bean parable books, click over to Amazon today and get the final book in the series FREE!



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Friday, December 8, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: A Christmas Carol

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Rita Avaud A Najm

1.     Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I‘ve always loved writing. I remember writing my first play and the lyrics of its songs when I was 7 years old. Besides me, the actors were my brother and my close friends. I even once won the first prize during a competition in Arabic poetry between all Lebanese Catholic schools, when I was 11 years old. The results were on national TV. It was the first time I stood in front of a microphone and a huge camera. I was shaking, but I did a good job.  


The hectic life took me from writing for many years until I went back to college in Houston, and I had to decide on my graduation project.
Since I was volunteering at my children’s school, mostly at the library, I decided that my project should be a guide for teachers to encourage students to read more non-fiction and poetry books.

I haven't stopped writing since then.

2.  How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I actually don’t schedule my writing time. I always have a notebook next to my seat to write down whenever I have a new story idea. I used to wait until my children went to sleep or got busy watching TV or playing a game to write. But since I moved to Utah, and because of my children go to a year-round school with many off-track times, I have plenty of time now, especially when I am not substituting any French teacher. 

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

My notebook is always handy to write ideas. Random funny thoughts make me create a cute little story!  

When I write Arabic poetry, I usually prefer white blank papers.
But since English is my third language, in addition to my Arabic and French languages, a laptop is always needed. Honestly, it’s the spelling check and grammar that I need, to make sure that no mistakes are left.

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4.  What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My least favorite thing is not finding the right word. Feelings are difficult to express sometimes.

My favorite part is when I reread my work and find that there is nothing that needs to be changed, removed or added. I know then that what I wanted to write about is perfectly done. 

5.  How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

“Memories are special moments that tell our story!”

The memories of my childhood and all the things I did back then make me smile now and wish to share them with my children. I have plenty of them. Some are like timeless treasures, some are sad, but all of them tell my story.

It doesn’t take me much to write a story when I have the main idea or character to talk about. Sometimes it takes an hour or two. But editing takes more than that. My two books didn’t take much! But it took me a year and a half to find the right publisher.
       
 What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I have plenty of friends, and I work for many schools that have dual immersion French programs. That’s my main focus for a beginning, besides the KDP (kindle direct publishing) and media groups on Facebook and Instagram.

7.  What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

My two new books are already out “La Petite Rita” Volume 1 and Volume 2. I am working on my “La Petite Rita” volume 3.

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Besides my childhood stories, I also write short funny bedtime stories for children and families, that hold a moral lesson too. I have 5 stories ready to be published in picture book format that needs illustration. 

8.  Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I actually have those 5 stories that need lots of illustration. I tried to do it myself since I am an artist, but painting portraits are one thing; landscape in an impressionism style on canvas is totally different. It is a special field of drawing.

9.  What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Go ahead! Do not wait for the encouragement! Believe in yourself! Know your value! We all need someone to support our ideas…. But if we don’t have that someone we shouldn’t give up. We are all talented in different ways! Do not let discouragement stops you from doing what you like! Overcome any fear or frustration of not reaching your goal! Your effort will be rewarded at the right time by the right people. But guess what! You have to seek these people. You may not find them the first time, or the second time, but you will… Just go ahead! Make your words, thoughts and ideas come alive, your imagination visible and create your own world between the lines of your book!     

***
 Connect with Rita on Facebook or LinkedIn.






Tuesday, December 5, 2017

MARKETING YOUR BOOK ON A BUDGET 2018

Just a little head's up about my five-star book.

Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2018 will be up for sale in January! Expect new and updated material - plenty of links and specific places to market your book in 2018.

Get the 2017 version at Amazon



Monday, December 4, 2017

Can a 6 Year Old Write a Complete Story?


Thought this was cute.

Friday, December 1, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Spork by Kyo Maclear



Product Details

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY by Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. 

Norman Vincent Peale



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Leena from Deadly Seven

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

I am Leena, a shifter who can transform into a white wolf. I have been able to do so since the age of eleven. I was born in a valley nestled between the Steep-tips Peak Mountains. After I lost my family, other shifters took me to live in the desert, Hell’s Ridge, for safety. I have fiery red hair and am built for endurance running with lean muscles and keen green eyes. I desire nothing more than for myself and my family to survive and thrive without having to glance for our shoulders for the humans, hunting us.

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What do you like to do in your spare time?

What little spare time I have is spent with my three-year-old daughter, Tinga. In the evenings, as the sun begins to set in Hell’s Ridge, I take the child outside for a chance to unwind and play.

What is your favorite color and why?

My favorite color is red. My mother knit me a red doll as a child and though I have lost both her and the doll, the color brings me back to happier times.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Elk with a little wild honey drizzled over the top. Elk rarely ventures outside the Denovian forest and bees are scarce.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I tend to believe I am bigger and more powerful than I actually am. It gets me into altercations and I don’t often emerge unscathed.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Fratricide, homicide and genocide are all acceptable if it saves the majority.
                       
“I make no apologies or fabrications of remorse,” Valyrik declared, “Many died, Yes. But to make a nation stronger, sometimes culling is necessary.”

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Keeping my people alive is the most important thing. I have lied and killed to protect them. When necessary, I have sacrificed myself.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I am loyal to my people, but I want to believe the humans still possess goodness in their hearts.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

I would tell my creator, as much as I want to protect my people, I thought maybe I could redirect the king and his plans. I believe in him and his long-term goals.

***