I am participating in an A-Z Blog Challenge for the month of April on my newly moved blog. We have to use a different letter of the alphabet for our post each day except for Sundays. Some have elected to do a theme. I think my theme has more to do with you discovering who I am and what I like and what is important to me. Come and check it out. Don’t forget I am now on Facebook.
Tags: a-z challenge
It’s official! On Monday I launched the new website design and domain change. You can now find me at http://rkgtheauthor.com. I haven’t let you know until now because I needed to get a few things fixed and we are still working on that. I’ve posted links to the new posts that have been added this week. I’ve got more exciting posts as the month continues.
I will keep this site up until the end of the year but will no longer post to it. All new posts will be on the new site. I ask you, if you have followed me in the past that you consider following me again on the new site. Thank you all so much for reading my posts each week and for following me. Here is to a fabulous rest of the year!
And there is now a Facebook page you can like and follow all things writing, reading, and blogging.
Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Nikki Jefford. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her self-published Spellbound trilogy. YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy. The first book in her series, Entangled, was a Semifinalist for the Best Indie Books of (2012) from The Kindle Book Review.
Where did the idea for your Spellbound trilogy come from? Spellbound was one of those stories that came about by way of brainstorming. I knew I wanted to write about witches, twins, and death. I’m obsessed with death – and cheating it!
What can we expect from Enchantment? More romance than either of the two previous books – Gray’s under a love spell, after all. What I enjoyed most about the setup is Gray is still true to character – snarky and strong-willed – while simultaneously in love with a warlock she normally wouldn’t give the time of day to. The other fun factor is Enchantment takes place entirely in Barcelona and Paris.
Tell us about your publishing journey. Did you always want to self-publish or did you go down the traditional publishing route first? I had no plans to self-publish. Then I began reading articles about indie authors selling ebooks in the thousands. That got my attention. I hired a cover designer and copy editor and self-published Entangled on February 19th last year as an experiment. The positive response I received from readers was all the encouragement I needed to go forward with the second book in the series. After over a decade of rejection letters and frustration, it is rewarding beyond words to put my writing out there and let readers, not agents and New York publishers, decide whether or not my books are worth reading.
What is your editing process like? Have you hired a professional editor? I read each book several times on the computer, my Kindle, and a final print out. I especially catch a lot in the print out. After I’ve done as much self-editing as I can, I run my book through several beta readers. I hire two professional copy editors per book. A few minor mistakes still slip through, which I correct as soon as I’m aware of them.
Tell us about the cover design for your Spellbound series. I think they are gorgeous. Who designed them? Thank you! I’m quite proud of them myself. I chose the images, color schemes, and flowers (excluding the white rose on book one – that was already there). From there my cover designer, Najla Qamber, put it all together. My friend Bob Friel, author of the true crime adventure The Barefoot Bandit, was kind enough to do cover consulting with Naj and I for the final tweaks on all four of my book covers.
Do you currently have a WIP? Northern Bites, volume two in the Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter series. Starting a series is the hard part. Setting up the rules, introducing the characters…I feel like I get to let loose and have way more fun with the story after I’ve gotten the setup out of the way.
Now that you have had several books published, what advice do you have for the aspiring writer? Read and write as much as you possibly can. If you can afford to, take writing workshops from your local university or online. Start a writing group. You can learn as much from critiquing the work of others as you can receiving feedback. There are a lot of ways to connect on the web, but nothing toughens you up like receiving criticism to your face.
Don’t let all the indie success stories fool you. Writing, editing, and promoting take a great deal of time, investment, and hard work. It might take several years and multiple titles before you earn a living or even earn back your investment! That’s never the thing I liked reading in author interviews, but you need to be prepared for the long haul. If you love what you do, keep at it!
I thought it would be fun to get to know the characters from the Spellbound trilogy. Nikki can you introduce us to your main characters? Describe them for us and tell us what motivates them.
Meet the cast of Spellbound:
Graylee Perez: Strong-willed and snarky. Loves magic. Special ability: Invisibility.
Charlene Perez: The twin villain who wants to get her normal human boyfriend back – at any cost. Special abilities: Floating, snapping in and out of clothes.
Raj McKenna: Bad boy with a good heart. Special abilities: Reading auras, healing, and freezing people in place.
Adrian Hedrick Montez: Sexy, crafty, dangerous. Special ability: Body transfers.
Mrs. Perez: No sacrifice is too great when it comes to her daughters. Special ability: Turning sharp objects into spatulas.
Nolan Knapp: Mr. Clean Cut warlock who wants to help Gray get back inside her body. Special ability: Making things shrink.
Ryan Phillips: Charlene’s minion. Special ability: Blocking magic and causing trouble.
Blake Foster: Run of the mill jock who wouldn’t know a witch if she hit him upside the head with a broomstick.
Enchantment, Spellbound #3 will be released on April 23, 2013. Add it to your TBR pile at Goodreads and sign up for an alert to be the first to know when Enchantment goes live and grab the one-day promo price.
Description: Guilt ridden and brokenhearted, the duplicate Graylee Perez enrolls in a Spanish retreat for witches. Just as Gray starts settling into her summer abroad, her old adversary, Adrian Montez, brings his magic show to Barcelona.
Gray seeks out a Spanish wizard for help banishing Adrian from her life once and for all. Instead, she ends up tumbling head first into a love spell with the arrogant warlock.
After Gray follows Adrian to Paris, she must face her true feelings and decide if Adrian’s worth fighting for when he’s targeted for magical extraction.
Tags: advice, promotion, self-publishing
I am very excited to have Adam Torkildson with us today. Adam has some great tips for authors on how to successfully promote a book. Promotion is huge whether you are traditionally published or self published and any help we can get is awesome! I like how he boils it down to 3 steps.
3 Secrets of Successful Promotion in Self Publishing
Do you ever feel overwhelmed with too much advice on how to promote your self published book? Well these 3 things should keep you on the straight and narrow, and get some book sales.
There are plenty of great tools out there for people who want to self publish. I don’t have a personal favorite, since I’ve never published a book. But they do exist. And you can google them pretty easily I’ll bet. You’re going to end up putting out your book, and maybe knocking the price down to .99 on Amazon. And your book is going to be purchased by your friends and family and social network. Maybe 40 copies. You and all the other 100 thousand self publishing authors will do this. I’ve seen it. But only you will have the secret of how to ‘be intriguing’ guiding your next move. I assume you have a website (if you don’t, I’ll build you a killer one for $100, just because I’m nice). If it’s built in WordPress (which is the only software I use to build sites), you’re already ahead of 80% of the pack. If you’re using mailchimp to send out email newsletters and get subscribers from your site, you’re ahead of 95% of the pack. And if you’re pumping out killer email content at least twice a month, you’re ahead of 99% of the self published authors out there. And that makes you seriously intriguing. Now the next question is, how do you get all these new visitors and email subscribers? Keep reading.
I know you. You’ve spent all this time writing, revising, rewriting, and editing your book for months and months. I’ll bet you’re sort of sick of writing. But there is one tool available to you that will help you get free content (really good stuff too by the way, not crap from India), and help you get your articles published on other people’s sites at the same time. It’s called myblogguest.com, and you should live there. I’m telling you right now, if you want to get other people writing stuff for your site, and getting your blog posts published on other’s sites, this is the one stop shop. There are 2 major benefits of getting blog posts published on other’s sites that at least 60% of self published authors probably don’t know. 1) The SEO value of getting articles published at other people’s blogs is tremendous. 50% of any SEO campaign involves ‘guest posting’ at relevant sites. I know, I worked at SEO.com, and ran my own SEO company for a few years. If you want some free advice on how SEO works, email me (email@example.com) I respond immediately. The 2nd major benefit of guest posting is the traffic potential these other sites can give to you. Many sites will only send 1 or 2 visits after a successful guest post. Others can send 100’s over time. And if you have all your articles link to your own author site, with an email newsletter subscription button front and center when they visit your site, then you’ve just started getting new readers of your content, and therefore potential buyers of your book.
The third secret of success is getting yourself some national/local media coverage. It’s really easy, it just requires you to read; and sign up for helpareporter.com. This service will send you 3 emails a day of journalists looking for sources on anything and everything in the world. I’ve gotten coverage in MSN, Forbes, WSJ, and plenty of others through this simple, free service. Now how you go about ‘pitching’ these journalists is a cat and mouse game that does not have a secret formula. You just have to be persistent, and follow these simple rules: 1) Be relevant, or don’t bother. 2) See #1 3) Limit your pitch to 100 words or so, unless otherwise specified. I use HARO every day for my own clients (I’m a Senior Associate at a PR Agency in Utah) and I’m always playing with how to pitch, when, and to where. It’s a science, and one that just requires a time investment.
As with any marketing/promotion program, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. If what I have outlined above doesn’t generate you at least 100 new email subscribers in 60 days, I’ll send you a code worth $100 in free advertising on Google. No strings. My cell is 801-602-9873, you have my email, and I always respond. Caveats to the above statement:
- Your site must be built in WordPress, with a newsletter subscribe button on the home page, above the fold.
- You must post at least 3 guest posts a week on other’s sites.
- Your name cannot be Brock, Devin, or Christina. (weird I know, but it’s my money, so I get to choose)
Bio: Adam is Senior Associate at Snapp Conner PR located in South Jordan, UT. He mainly works on building out additional service offerings for current and future Snapp clients, specifically things related to SEO and Social/Viral Marketing. Adam’s specialties are Speaking Engagements, SEO Strategy, PR, Branding, Efficiency and Productivity
Today we have a guest blogger with us, Indie Author K. A. Last. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her self-published debut novel Fall For Me, The Tate Chronicles #1. Kim and I met on Twitter in January during our Twitter Tuesday nights. She is passionate about her story and I know you’ll enjoy the podcast. We had a lot of fun recording it. Enjoy!
I am still trying to find the best and cheapest way to provide the podcast files. Click here to listen to the podcast with K.A. Last.
The transcript from the interview will be added later on this week.
Fall For Me, The Tate Chronicles #1 is available in both ebook and paperback on Amazon.
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Description: “Angels aren’t supposed to fall in love, especially with each other. But for the record, you were worth it.”
Grace Tate is a Protection Angel and Vampire Hunter, and she has always followed the rules. But some rules are made to be broken…
Until now the fight against evil has been simple, and falling in love was never part of the plan. So what happens when it’s beyond Grace’s control, and when she least expects it she falls for the wrong person?
All hell breaks loose, that’s what.
At Hopetown Valley High, not everything is as it seems, and the one person Grace thought was her enemy becomes her most important ally.
Blood will be shed, lives will be lost and friendships will be tested. It all comes down to one decision, and when Grace tries to save all those dear to her, she realizes not everyone can be—or wants to be—saved.
My Review: I never know what to expect when there are vampires in a novel but Fall For Me does not disappoint! I was telling a fellow author that K. A. Last has a writing style I have never encountered before as a reader. It was refreshing with smart dialogue and structure. I love reading the POV of several characters about a certain situation. Each chapter follows the thoughts of a character and the situations they are in so instead of chapter headings you have their name. Loved this. I thought this structure was clever. I never got lost and I always knew whose POV was being addressed.
Her descriptions are perfect. I felt like I was right there experiencing the same emotions and feelings. I read this novel in about 5 hours and it stayed with me for days. Even now as I write this review I am falling in love with Seth and why he fell for Grace. I was in love with her main characters from the first few pages.
A Protection Angel living on earth killing vampires? Fascinating story. I cannot wait to read the next book in her Tate Chronicles. I know that I will continue to read anything she writes because I had such an awesome experience as a reader. [ 5 stars ]
Bio: K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. She now resides in a peaceful leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children and a rabbit named Twitch.