Books, Contest

Hot August Nights Book Giveaway

Do you need more books to get you through the rest of summer? Would you like to get them free? Would you like to win a $150 Amazon gift certificate? Then the Hot August Nights Reads Giveaway Event (August 2 – 4, 2013) is for you! More than 40 authors have donated books for this event. If you want to see how to enter to win any of these books and join in the fun and games, visit the Facebook Event Page. And while you’re there, don’t forget to look for the pinned post where you can “vote” for me as the one who invited you, so I might win a prize too.

You’ll notice in the image below that both my books are part of this event, so if you want to enter to win An Illusion of Trust specifically, go to Dana Mason‘s blog or to enter to win The Brevity of Roses specifically go to Dana Delamar‘s blog and leave a comment telling them which book you’d like to win. This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, which means you have multiple ways to increase your chances of winning, so read the entry instructions carefully. Good luck!

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Block, Characters, Editing, My Books, Writing

Apparently, I need a blog editor

It appears my last post is an example of why I edit, edit, edit when I write fiction. Evidently, I need to do the same when I write these blog posts. I thought I wrote a positive post. I thought I shared a bit of wisdom. But I confused some of you, so obviously my thoughts did not make the trip from brain to keyboard intact.

For the record, I’m happy to be a published author. I’m proud of my first novel and excited to get my next one out soon. I’m thrilled that I have fans—FANS—can you believe it? I hope thousands of readers discover my books, but if they do, it will most likely be by word of mouth because, by nature and by choice, I am not a high-profile writer.

However, if I’m destined to become an author known throughout this world and beyond, so be it.

Speaking of editing, I have now written 90% of the first draft of my next novel, so I’ll soon be ready for that stage. I hoped I might crank out those last 10,000 words this week, but I’ve been stalled since Monday night. I mentioned my dilemma on Facebook yesterday and a few of my writing friends let me know this is a common occurrence at this point in a draft. I guess I’ve forgotten.

I think the problem is my attempt to not write this novel as a pantser. I wrote a simple outline and several key scenes before I started the draft, but—as they always do—the characters had their own ideas. I quit following the outline some time back and eliminated or revised some of the scenes, but I still have a couple that I can’t decide whether to use as is, revise, or trash. So, until my characters show me the way, I’m stuck.

And speaking of Facebook, have you LIKED my author page? I’ll be thrilled if you do. It takes only two clicks, first click on this link and then click LIKE to the right of my name. Come on, I dare ya’.

Even if you don’t LIKE me, I wish you a wonderful end of the week. 🙂

Advice, Marketing, My Books, Publish, Social Media, Writing

Just say no more!

Publishing The Brevity of Roses was the fulfillment of a dream … and then it became a nightmare. It’s been nine months since publication day, so I’ve had time to gain a new perspective on what I did wrong. One thing I’ve learned is that marketing advice—like writing advice—should never be swallowed whole.

Those of you still looking forward to publication are probably working to “establish an online presence” because that’s usually #1 on the advice lists. If you, like me, are not a social butterfly, you’ve probably discovered that being a social media butterfly is no easier. Well, maybe a little easier because you don’t have to worry about your hair and clothes—unless you go all out and do video interviews. In any case, it takes a lot of your time.

While I should have been putting all my time and energy into writing another book, I spent gobs of it on Twitter. Gobs. What did I accomplish? I amassed almost 1,700 followers! YAY—um, no. Most of those followers are other authors hoping to sell me their books. Yes, I have a few friends there. That’s good. That’s also maybe 2% of my “followers”. I don’t think Twitter has helped me sell many books.

I also created a Facebook Author Page. I’ve never really done anything with it. Who am I supposed to connect with there? My target readers? Nope. Haven’t seen any. Mostly it’s authors supporting other authors. That’s wonderful, of course, but I already have that here on my blog.

And I joined SheWrites, Women On the Verge, Google+ and LinkedIn because I was advised to get my name out there. Be visible is the command. And what about Tumblr? Hey, there must be a way to use Pinterest as an author. What next? What next? What next?

How much of the last nine months did I spend writing my next book? Not a lot. Here’s what I’ve learned: I put the cart before the horse. Maybe when I have three or four or five books published (and another nearly ready) THEN I should spend a big chunk of my time “socializing” as an author.

Until then, I’ve picked the single online place where I’m comfortable, which is right here, and I’m letting the rest languish. I’m the real me here. And just being me feels great.

If you’re an author, have you found significant time spent on social media to be a benefit or a drain?

Contest, My Books, Social Media, Writing

Have you entered the Invisibility Cloak Contest?

Let’s shake up the mid-season blahs with a contest! Do you recognize this book cover? Unfortunately not a lot of people do. If you’re a new author, particularly a non-genre fiction writer not backed by a publicity department, it’s hard to get your target readers to notice your book. Maybe you didn’t realize that. Today, I’m asking you to help make The Brevity of Roses more visible.

(If you want to know more about the book or read the first two chapters free, just click the cover image, one of the red title links, or the tab at the top of the page.)

You probably reach more people online than you realize. Certainly, you each connect to people I don’t know. Some of those people would love reading my novel—if only they knew it existed. I want to tell them. How can you help, you ask? Promote my contest.

I’m giving someone a chance to read The Brevity of Roses absolutely FREE by giving away an autographed print copy! I need your help to get the word out about my giveaway. First, you may enter the contest yourself. Then, do your best to get as many other people as possible to enter. You can do that by announcing the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, or anywhere else you can.

How do you enter? It’s simple. Just leave a comment on this post. Want to increase your chances? Get one extra entry for each place you mention this contest, but you’ll have to let me know where I can see your comment, tweet, status update, etc. and give you credit. For instance, if you leave a comment here, Tweet about the contest three times during its run, mention it on your blog once, and post a link in your Facebook status once, that’s SIX contest entries for you.

The contest will run for 10 days. Random.org will select the winner at 7am PST on Wednesday, January 26,2012. Good luck to all!

C’mon, help me lift this cloak of invisibility off The Brevity of Roses!