Friday, December 28, 2012

Cambria: Not your ordinary summer vacation!

       
     Seth Roberts brought along some of his music so he wouldn't be bored to death when he flew from his hometown in Georgia to visit his great uncle. Upon landing and seeing his ancient relative in a vintage car, things took a turn for the paranormal. Then, he had that strange dream about rescuing a princess from a dragon in a forest. What's around the corner for Seth? What secrets about his family will he discover? Does Seth really go where he truly belongs?

Theresa Oliver of Write More Publications penned a time travel which would appeal to a Young Adult audience and it appealed to me, a middle aged woman. What magic can we work on Cambria? I will be Tweeting and Facebook sharing in the Young Adult Paranormal Romance genre in addition to Paranormal Romance. I will also add Chick lit.

I came up with a list of Florida writer's groups: http://floridawriters.net/Our_Writers_Groups.html

Here is a link for From the Heart, an active online romance writer's group:
http://fthrw.com/index.php

Here is yet another active online romance writer's group:
http://www.charlottedillon.com/RWC.html

So, Theresa, go forth!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Abigail Starland: The Vamp who has everything...or does she?

Who wouldn't want to look young and gorgeous, even though she is old enough to remember the American Revolution? On top of that she's a CIA operative who can pass for a high school girl and attract a hot football star. You'd think Abigail alias Star never had a care in the world, but no good novelist would make it that easy. Yes, life can be mighty stressful for Star, not to mention dangerous.

Theresa Oliver, publisher of Write More Publications, has a compelling paranormal romance on her hands, but how do I tell the world about it? Theresa had a good start at the Authors in the Park event described in her guest posting in this blog. She is also listing her title in Vampire News, the annual reference book on all things Vampire described in my guest posting by Bertena Varney, the Vampire Professor.

I did a Google search on Vampire fiction clubs. I came up with Monster Librarian who reviews Vampire Fiction for Young Adults. Here is the link for Reviews, which has a sub link for submission guidelines: http://monsterlibrarian.com/Reviews.htm

I will also Tweet this blog to Vampire lit groups, and my favorite Chick Lit, Paranormal Romance and book launch groups.

Go get 'em, Theresa!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Next in the spotlight will be Janet Beasley of Hidden Earth Series fame.

Since the 1970s, Janet Beasley and her husband Don worked in the technical end of theatrical production; a world of lighting, special effects, video and/or audio. Now, she has not only created new species of plants and animals, but written Hidden Earth: a six-novel epic fantasy series.

Here is the well executed book trailer for Volume 1 of Maycly:

Janet has a very popular blog: http://www.jlbcreatives.blogspot.com/

Don Beasley, the producer of the book trailer you just saw, has a blog for Live Events and Productions. His blog address is:

The creative couple have also written non-fiction books together. In addition to writing and blogging, Janet is also a speaker. I am inviting Janet and Don to be guests on my blog. They have graciously agreed. Look for their postings in a few weeks.



Friday, December 21, 2012

A guest posting by the Vampire Professor herself!

 http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/vn%20cover.jpg?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=111788&part=2Last year Stavros and I created Vampire News 2011 as a great way to get the word out about our works dealing with vampires. Last year we received lots of news, articles, lists, and information about vampires in 2011. We compiled it into a book and we gave them away with our books or sold them at price and really tried to promote all of us. It appeared to work for many of us. We post it on Amazon and ask that the authors order some to give away or sell at their price to help promote their book.

Here is a link to look at Vampire News 2011-- http://bitemereallyhard.com/?page_id=3153

Well, it’s that time again. We are beginning to work on Vampire News 2012. We are requesting submissions for vampire news of 2012. Once we received these submissions then we will contact you with a permission to use form.

VN 2012 is looking for the following submissions:
- book titles, covers and releases of any vampire books, comics, webisodes
- news articles, interviews, and reviews of anything vampire related
- personal art, photography, etc
- information about vampire events, conventions and parties
- promotions for your books or articles/blogs about anything about vampires or vampire related
- anything vampire related- just email and ask us

Please send any ideas or submissions to vampirenews2012@gmail.com by January 15.

Thank you,
Stavros (author of Blood Junky) and Bertena Varney (author of Lure of the Vampire)





Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest Blog Post: Theresa Oliver, Write More Publications


Authors in the Park Event
Mt. Dora, Florida

Yesterday, I attended a book-signing event with many local authors with Authors in the Park in Mt. Dora, Florida! I had a blast meeting the other local authors, as well as the local fans who attended the event! The event was organized by authors Mark Miller and Janet Beasley of J.L.B. Creations and they did a wonderful job! Thank you, Mark and Janet! And if you ever have a chance to go to Mt Dora ... go! It's a beautiful, quaint little town,  far from sleepy! During this holiday season, they brought in snow for the children to slide down and at night, the whole town is lit up in beautiful Christmas lights that extend throughout the park. It really is a lovely sight to behold, but what makes this town special is the people. Everyone welcomed us with open arms, making us feel very welcome. It really was great! Thank you, everyone, for making this event so special!  

Here's a pic of me, Theresa Oliver, and all the authors that were featured at this event! 
Featured authors: C. Kevin Thompson,  Rebecca Wilson-Shore, Julie Compton, Jean E. Lane, Janet Beasley, Amy Sellers, J.L.B. Creatives, Mark Miller, Amy Long, Julie Compton, and Theresa Oliver! 
It was a pleasure meeting you all! 


Below is a pic of my booth beside author Rebecca Wilson-Shore! 
I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Becky! 
She is a fabulous author and person! 


Like I said above, I got to hang out with Rebecca Wilson-Shore at the Authors in the Park event! 
It was great to meet you, Becky! 



I also got to hang out with author Mark Miller! It was great to meet him! 


Thanks, Liz, for having me here today to share this event with you! 
I really had a great time and I look forward to the next Authors in the Park event! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Coming soon: My first guest posting.

Write More Publications - Kissimmee, FLTheresa Oliver of Write More Publications will be blogging in this spot and telling us how her Authors in the Park event went. Here's an ad for what's happening in downtown Mt. Dora, FL on Sunday.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Here be (author friendly) Dragons!


Here Be Dragons Bookshoppe - Winter Garden, FL
Indie writers love to see their own books on the shelves of bookstores, but it's not always that easy. Some of the bigger chain bookstores simply do not take self-published books. Here Be Dragons Bookshoppe, located in Historic Downtown Winter Garden, FL not only accepts indie books, but showcases the authors, too. Who could ask for more? Don't live in the area? Visit their website: http://www.herebedragonsbookshoppe.com/

Lights, camera, action! Click here to see a You Tube video of author Andrea Perron and Paula Thompson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV3Q-zYvK3U&noredirect=1

Paula Thompson, Co-owner has graciously joined us and says "Thank you very much for thinking about us!"

Question: What do you look for in a self-published book you'd sell in your store?

Answer: I try to let whoever was brave enough to write a book and have it published display it in our store. (I also encourage local artists and musicians display work as well. I will continue to offer this for as long as I have the room!)

Question: Do you have any advice on how to approach a bookseller?

Answer: Don't be afraid to just ask! Have faith in yourself and your book. Don't give up and you will eventually get a yes!

Question: What is the biggest turnoff in an indie book?

Answer: A book that is priced too high or an author who is hard to please (diva) is not a good seller.

Question: Can an author have a back of room sale event in your store?

Answer: Our store is so full of books that we host book signings outside the front window (or in a tent in front of the store during special events here in Winter Garden.

Question: What is the most fun way for an author to promote his or her book in your store?

Answer: At book signings I have had authors in costumes, those handing out special treats and even some offering free signed illustrations the sketch on site for children!

Question: Have any authors raffled off books in your store?

Answer: I did have a raffle for local author books last Christmas.

Question: Do you have any author success stories to share?

Answer: My most popular local author is Christian Slade with his "Korgi" books. It is a series of graphic novels for children and it has no words. The children pick up the books and tell a different story every time! 

Note: The Thompsons do hope to expand soon to have room for signings, clubs, gaming, music and poetry readings.  

So, now we know that some local independent bookstores out there are not only approachable, but encourage local authors to offer their books for sale. Check it out. Who knows? Maybe you can find a local bookstore to stock your book. If you do, let me know and I'll blog about it. I love success stories!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Number Three in my series on J.S. Wilsoncroft and her books.

Today, I look at the novella, Remembering Zane. Bonnie Reese almost married the love of her life, Zane Withers. Devastated at the news of his sudden death, she musters up the courage to go to his funeral. Out of this tragedy comes a blessing in disguise in the form of Jonathan, a high school friend of both Bonnie and Zane. To what extent is this chance reunion a blessing? Find out by clicking here: http://amzn.to/RjmJpP

I will be Tweeting to a select group of followers on Twitter. I have found that if you Tweet to a unknown account, it can be trouble. Last year, I had over 1,000 followers on Twitter. I wasn't discriminating enough and I was hacked. Most of my Twitter followers are romance book bloggers and book launch sites. I have over 50 trusted followers and will send this Tweet to them: Will the loss of a soulmate lead to an even better love? http://amzn.to/RjmJpP

J.S. alias Jamie's assignment: I believe that this pocket romance is potentially inspiring for people who have just lost a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or other loved one. I have done a Google search of grief support groups near Altoona, PA: http://bit.ly/SPEonh I would suggest phoning each group and asking if you can do a reading of this book at one of their gatherings. If you get a "yes", I would have a drawing for a free copy of the book. 
 
Jamie Wilsoncroft has a blog, too: http://jswilsoncroft.blogspot.com/





Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fat Chances - A novel countless people can identify with.


J.S. Wilsoncroft's Fat Chances hits home. I was a perfect size 10 until I turned 45, then Mother Nature let me have it. Now, at 57, I work hard to stay a size 16. 
 Annie is a plus sized teenager. Her fraternal twin sister, Molly is slightly taller and recently lost 10 pounds at Zumba class taught by a man who looks like a romance novel hero. Molly finally convinces her twin sister to go to Zumba class with her. When Annie caves in, her life changes forever in a maddening and frightfully exciting way. Want to know more about this book? Click here: http://amzn.to/XCrr3q

The first promotion idea that's coming to me would be weight loss groups. I searched under #weight loss, #dieting, and #fitness. I composed this Tweet: She's fighting fat. Does she have a fighting chance at love? http://amzn.to/XCrr3q

Now, let's look up some romance accounts on Twitter. I'm using the same Tweet. Searching #Lonely hearts, #romance, #romance writer, #romance book blogs (which lead me to Harlequin Teen and YA Books Central), #teen romance (which didn't get me much), and my old stand by, #chick lit. Total Tweets: 17. I also make it a habit of Re-Tweeting as a way of saying 'thank you'. 
 
Now, J.S. alias Jamie, here's your assignment: contact the local high schools in your area. See if they have a book club, literary journal or school newspaper. Contact the school and see if you can do a reading of Fat Chances and possibly raffle off a copy of the book. See if the high school library will shelf the book. Do the same thing with any local community college. The next step is to approach weight loss groups. See if any weight loss group will let you come and do a reading. Maybe you can give away a copy of the book to some lucky dieter.

Parting remarks: Try this and let me know what happens. And remember, take pictures and videos if you can.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Til Death do us Part? The Unfaithful Widow and how to promote her.


J.S. Wilsoncroft's heroine, Tess Malone, is beside herself with grief after the unexpected loss of her husband, Darren. Everything in her house is a reminder of the storybook marriage she once had. A letter led her to a mysterious trip to a law office in New York. Tess' lighthearted best friend, Dawn makes the trip a girl's getaway. After a shocking discovery, a wildly fantastic love adventure waits around the corner; one enough to make her "unfaithful".

Curious? Have a look at the author website: http://www.jswilsoncroft.com/

 I think that the most common thread we have here is breakup, not necessarily grieving or the death of a spouse. That is the focus of my promotion. I did a Twitter search: #breakup or #after breakup. I got some good groups. Here is the Tweet I composed for you:

The Unfaithful Widow helps you move on http://bit.ly/U1cIcr come along with her.

I Tweeted it to two big breakup groups on Twitter. Another good Twitter search would be #single girl problems. I Tweeted two Single Girl Problems groups with this Tweet: The Unfaithful Widow http://bit.ly/U1cIcr  come along with her for a girl's night out you'll never forget.

Another group: Cougars! #older women dating yielded many groups. I used the same Tweet as above.

What about local singles groups? I did a Google search singles groups near Altoona, PA (in your Area code, at least). Here's what I got: http://bit.ly/SF7Ta9
I Tweeted to several singles groups, but ***I'd approach some of these groups in your area and see if you can do a reading from your book at one of their events.*** 

If you do a reading at a local singles group, be sure and get pictures, or a video to upload to You Tube, if possible. Also check Meetup.com for any romance book groups and see if you can do a reading of this or any of your books at one of their functions.

Ready,set, go!  


Saturday, December 1, 2012

About book trailers....

Book trailers range from a video of the author reading a passage from the book to (loud) techno rock and a short slide show consisting of the book cover, a promotional paragraph and a photo of the author.

I did some searching on Google. Here are some book trailers I like.
This one is Harry Potteresque:
Another impressive one:

Now for non-YA book trailers:
A very dramatic one:
And one non-fiction trailer:
Warning: this one is loud, but diabetics will love it:

How much do they cost?

For all you do-it-yourselfers:
Once your book trailer is complete, besides You Tube, you can post it here:

If you have a book trailer you're proud of, don't be shy; post a comment with a link to it.

Your novel as a comic book.

Wouldn't you love to see your book as a comic book?

I know I'd love to see my time travel as a graphic novel, as they call comic books. I tried to hire a graphic artist or cartoonist and see if he or she would be interested in a 50-50 split in the royalties. I e-mailed about 30 cartoonists and only one replied. She told me that cartoonists don't collaborate with indie writers as cartooning, especially graphic art, takes a lot of work. 

The only way to make your book a graphic novel with voice balloons, thought balloons and captions is to spend a lot of money or maybe learn to do it yourself. You may be able to take some basic classes without getting a degree. Here are some links for online art schools to learn animation/cartooning:

If you don't want to go to art school, you can pay a graphic artist to maybe draw a few illustrations for your book. If it is an e-book, the publisher may offer hyperlinks to the pictures instead of inserting them into the book's content. Here are some links for cartoonists for hire:
For an idea of what you get for your money, click here:

If you are a cartoonist or know one who wants to offer indie writers a good deal, post a comment.



















Audio enabled: Computer-generated narrators debated here.

When you upload an e-book on Amazon Kindle, it is audible enabled to a single computer-generated voice. You can convert your MS Word or Pdf file to an audio book for a wide range of prices.

Here is what some of the voices sound like: http://www.naturalreaders.com/sample.php

Scroll to the bottom of the page on this link: the Developer Version offers eight voices. Exactly how you can weave them into a book recording, I don't know, but they do have support staff you can ask.  http://www.naturalreaders.com/order_information.php#voices

Have a listen. I'll let you be the judge. If anyone has been able to use such software to record a talking book, post a comment and let me know how it went. I have contacted recording studio engineers to ask if you can enhance computer-generated voices to make them more like real narrators. The answer was "no" across the board. Who knows? Technology is constantly changing.
 




So, you want to make your book an audio book...

Has anyone considered making their e-book or print-on-demand book an audio book? I have. I went to Fiver.com and e-mailed several voiceover artists. The first one was 15 years old and my time travel has some adult situations in it. So, I kindly let her go due to possible legal problems.

The second voiceover artist had a lot of experience in television. Although my e-book is only 125 pages, 20 minutes of audio book took about two hours to record. This does not include a final edit. Although he and I agreed on $350.00, he backed out after four chapters as it would have taken at least 40 hours to record the book.

You can rent a recording studio and read the book yourself. Link:
I called several studios in Nashville, Music City, Tennessee. The lowest hourly rate in November of 2011 was $35.00 an hour. If you multiply $35.00 by 40 hours, you run into a lot of money. Also, how good is your reading voice? Even a professional singer can get hoarse after one to two hours of recording.

Some voiceover artists will charge a flat fee of at least $900.00 to $1,400.00 to cover the all the labor-intensive work it takes to narrate a book. What to do? Do you know any DJs or maybe any students at a broadcasting school? Maybe you can work out a deal with this person. Link for broadcasting schools: http://broadcastingschools.com/

Does your city have a public access radio station? You could become a volunteer there and book studio time to record your book a little at a time. Then, you could pay one of the programmers there to edit it for you. I did some scouting around on Google, I found a public access radio website. It's primarily for hosting your own talk show, but you can contact them and ask about maybe doing a radio blog and/or a spoken word program featuring your book and your writing! Link: http://www.globaltalkradio.com/shows/publicaccessradio/

Once you get your audio book edited and saved as an MP3 file, be warned that not all Audible booksellers will accept indie audio books. CD Baby is the only one I was able to find who does. CD Baby's website: http://www.cdbaby.com/

Then, you can Tweet and Facebook share about your new release.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Here's a good idea: Authors in the Park Book Signing.


Theresa Oliver will be signing copies of Angels Among Us at Authors In the Park on Sunday, Dec. 16 from 2:00-6:00pm inside the Donnelly Park Building in downtown Mt. Dora, FL. If you are in the area, be sure and stop by.

I have a few interview questions for you, Theresa.

Question: Is this your first book signing at Authors in the Park?

Answer: Yes, it is.

Question: How did you hear about the event?

Answer: Local author Mark Miller invited me! I’m really looking forward to meeting him and the other authors in person!

Question: How often do they have it?

Answer: This is a first, but if it goes over well, it may become annual.

Question: Does it cost anything to participate?

Answer: No, not at all! Come on down! Everyone is welcome! We’d love to see you!

Question: How many copies of the book are you bringing?

Answer: Several! Also, I will have copies of my books Star, Starland Vamp Series, Book 1 and Cambria, Cambria Series, Book 1. I will also have copies of other Write More Publications books by Jamie Wilsoncroft, as well!

Question: What organization sponsors this event?

Answer: JB. Creations and www.MillerWords.com

Question: Will you be sharing a table/booth with anyone?

Answer: No, I believe I will have the table all to myself! However, there will be eight other local authors there, was well: Janet Beasley, Bob Brown, Julie Compton, Jean E. Lane, Amy I. Long, Mark Miller, Rebecca Shore and Tony Vincent.

Question: Will anyone be helping you out so you can have short breaks during that four-hour period?

Answer: Probably my husband! Liz, if you’d like to join me, come on down! And bring your books! We’d love to have you!

Be sure and take some pictures of this event so I can post them on my blog for the follow-up posting. I hope it's a smash! I wish I could go, but we won't be back to Florida until March or so. 

Want to know more about Theresa Oliver, her books and her company? 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Angels Among Us reviewed.

Angels Among Us - A buffet of heartwarming stories of Angels in action. Which one is the most appetizing? You decide.

Monica Blanton follows Araya - an Angel of Love on her various assignments of enriching the lives and hearts of people on earth. She's very good at her job, by the way.

Susan Burdorf offers us Alvena, an Angel fond of lollipops and an Angel prep school!

Ashlea Burns' story features a new mother with an Angel in her life. What's not to like?

Callie Cool's Guardian Angel eases the pain of losing her beloved Grandma Sherry.

Sara Drake takes us to England for an encounter with Vincent aka Ecanus, the Angel of Writing.

Stephanie Greenhalgh gives us an entertaining tutorial in Angel 101.

Beth Hoyer tells of a grandfather whose Guardian Angel came to his aid to avert nightmares and even more dangerous situations.

Theresa Oliver's Angel grants a very unselfish Christmas wish.

Jennifer Paquette describes an Angel trainee.

In Susan Burdorf's Dancing for Heaven, a lost love in the form of an Angel grants a dying woman's wish.

Dana Piazzi takes us around the world with life changing Angel stories.

Nikki Shah's Angel, Maya, begins her career as a Guardian Angel.

Kim Stevens' Angel, Baier, is frustrated with what little souls learn from his coaching.

Melissa Somoza talks about Lucifer's rebellion in heaven and the Fallen's plan to wage war on the heavenly kingdom.

Sky Diamond writes about the angelic man a teenaged girl "belongs to" taking her to the hospital and befriending her, helping to bring peace to her troubled life.

This collection of stories makes me want to come back for second helpings.

For details about the book, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Among-Us-Theresa-Oliver/dp/0985786647/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353862051&sr=1-7&keywords=theresa+oliver

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Angels for Christmas!



Guardian angels, warrior angels, humans acting as angels. Angels protecting us, guiding us, never leaving our sides ... stories reminding us of the Angels Among Us. Angels Among Us, an angel anthology by Write More Publications, features 15 wonderful angel stories by 14 fabulous authors from around the world, celebrating the angels among us. 

Angels are among us guiding us, leading us and protecting us daily within our lives. Sometimes we see them, but most of the time we don’t, as they prefer to give the glory of their actions to God. Whether seen or unseen, angels are still with us, leaving their marks upon the Earth in our lives and hearts, and spreading the love of God. This book is dedicated to all the angels out there who intervene within our lives, and also to those humans within our lives that serve as Earth angels in their own way. 
Thank you, Angels Among Us. 

Now, how is that to set the holiday mood? I went on a Tweeting frenzy for Theresa Oliver and the 13 other contributors to this fabulous anthology. Here are the organizations I Tweeted to: Campus Crusade for Christ, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, the Newman Center (a Catholic social group designed for college aged people), Catholic radio, the Fish radio station and several churches including Methodist, Unitarian and Presbyterian. I also Tweeted to Doreen Virtue, author of many Angel books.
***************
 HOMEWORK: 
Now there are promotions that Theresa Oliver et al. can do locally to help spread the word about Angels Among Us: 
Number one: Seek out a Catholic school and any Christian school in your area and ask to do a reading from the book at an assembly or in a classroom. If you have a Catholic or other Christian college in your area, ask to give a reading. NOTE: Don't forget Campus Crusade for Christ and I.V. Christian Fellowship. You could read a story from the book at one of their meetings or parties.

Number two: Seek out any singles groups in churches (Church websites often have a listing of social or life groups) such as Singletarians and offer to do a reading from the book and talk about how the book "came together" at one of their events.

Number three: Seek out a Christian or New Age bookstore and ask if you can do a reading there and maybe raffle off a copy of the book.

Now Theresa and contributors...on your mark, get set, GO!

I will be following up on the results of these promotions in a future blog.

Do you want to be featured in my blog? Let me know. I am only an e-mail away.

Smiles - Liz Kingsbury McKeown

Friday, November 23, 2012

Welcome!


Are you an indie novelist who wants publicity, but is scared off by high prices? I have a variety of packages starting at $30.00. I would also like to track your progress on my blog. So stop by and introduce yourself. Feel free to follow me. 
I also offer editing services, compassionate reviews, e-book and text conversion and much more. Please feel free to explore this site to see how we can help you! Customized plans available. We'd love to hear from you! 
Happy Writing!
Liz McKeown
Fiction Writer's Boost