Tag Archives: promotion

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Wattpad Thriller/Suspense Logo

Thrillers, Suspense & Mysteries, Oh my!

Hugely popular writing site Wattpad and pioneering e-Book distributor Smashwords have joined forces with 127 bestselling thriller, mystery, and suspense authors to offer murder, mystery, and thrills, all #free! For my part, I’m serializing the latest Leine Basso thriller, A Killing Truth. I’ve posted 5 chapters so far and will post a new section each day or so. (To introduce new readers to both Kate and Leine, I’m doing the same with Bad Spirits) Come on over and join Wattpad (it’s free) and discover a multitude of bestselling authors!


A Killing Truth on Wattpad (***follow me on Wattpad for automatic updates. You’ll be able to share on Twitter, Facebook, etc., and, if you like what you’ve read, you can vote at the end of each chapter to help with the book’s visibility***)


Bad Spirits on Wattpad

List of bestselling thrillers on Wattpad

List of bestselling mysteries on Wattpad

***NOTE: I realize posts have been sketchy (non-existent?) lately, but I’ve been immersed in writing the new Kate Jones thriller and am finding it hard to turn it off at the end of the day…that being said, I’m going to try to post a bit more regularly in the future. Thanks for sticking with me 🙂


Guest Post: Dream Up Some Publicity Ideas

By Nancy Jarvis

I woke up one morning about a month ago with this crazy idea for promoting books, and being addled in the morning before my first cup of coffee, decided it was a viable one.

I’m not new to trying whatever publicity idea occurs to me in a fit of creativity…scratch that…fit of silliness. My cat Fala (as in the Christmas melody Falla lalla la la la la la) recently had a mention in Ladies’ Home Journal because they were doing an article on pets with strange names. She has her own YouTube video about the perils of living with a mystery writer, so it seemed like a good idea if she added another media accomplishment to her resume.

(If any of you looked at the video and are curious, I used Fiverr to have someone animate her. My out-of-pocket for that was five dollars.)

When my first book came out, I pitched an article to Realtor Magazine which goes to every Realtor in the country because my protagonist is a Realtor and because I was a licensed Realtor at the time. I did a little research: I was the country’s only licensed real estate agent writing mysteries with a Realtor protagonist. It sounds more impressive than it is—kind of like the statistic that one sixth of all people die within two months of their birthday—but it was a good pitch and using it combined with what I did for a living got me a lot of publicity.

There was a little story in The Costco Connection—which goes to Costco’s entire membership—about my second mystery, Backyard Bones. It got there because I noticed some small print in the magazine that said they liked to know what their members were up to and told them. Think about your memberships; they can be useful for more than saving money.

Lend a helping voice. Thanks to HARO (Help a Reporter Out), which is a wonderful source of publicity opportunities, I worked a story about people taking Social Security at 62 into a pitch for my books. The reporter liked my angle and put me in her article which was on CNN/Money, CNN.com, and YahooFinance.com.

Use what’s in your book to get publicity. Recently I was interviewed for Bloomberg News about what buyers are willing to do to attract a seller’s attention in a hot market. I suggested the reporter read pages 59 and 60 of Buying Murder. My newest mystery, The Murder House, may have ghosts in it and now some ghost hunting sites want me to discuss the book.cover for Murder House

Using what we know and who we are connected with is a great way to get publicity. It’s easier for non-fiction writers or for fiction writers who happen to have written a book about a “hot topic” to get the word out about their books, but as you can see, all fiction writers have opportunities.

You can also get publicity close to home. Contact local newspapers and tell them one of their readers has written a new book. Most will at least squeeze a mention of your book into their publication; many will give you an article complete with pictures.

Approach groups in your community and offer to be free entertainment for them. I’m not a member of the Kiwanis Club, Rotary, a retired school teacher group, a government worker organization, or a senior citizen group, but all have had me speak. All sorts of groups would all like to hear what a member of the community has accomplished. They will probably give you a meal and many of their members will buy your book, especially when you inscribe a copy as a gift for their favorite aunt. In this vein, don’t forget to look for retirement communities and even large mobile home communities for speaking engagements.

Sadly, my hometown has been losing bookstores. Fortunately I live in a tourist town and my books are set in that location. I suggested to local store owners with tourist traffic that people would find it entertaining to read a book about where they are visiting. Turns out I was right and some of those stores sell more books than our remaining local bookstore. Look for your community’s odd venues and ask to do a book signing; it’s a great excuse for more publicity in the local media for you and the venue hosting you.

So, what’s the idea I had in the wee hours of the morning? Form a publicity co-op. I write cozy-style mysteries and it turns out many writers do. Books in that genre often have recipes and food associated with them; we could do a cookbook. My idea wasn’t terribly original. There have been mystery writer cookbooks and several big publishers have put together cookbooks featuring recipes from their stable of writers. But a book of recipes from more than a hundred cozy mystery writers, well, that’s a new publicity-worthy spin. Cozy Foods will be out next month and I bet every writer who contributed a recipe will tweet, put something about the book on their blog and their Facebook page, and tell their friends about the book. And that’s just for starters.


photo of the authorNancy Lynn Jarvis thinks you should try something new every few years. Writing is her newest adventure and she’s been having so much fun doing it that she’s finally acknowledged she’ll never sell another house. She let her license lapse in May of 2013, after her twenty-fifth anniversary in real estate.

After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare Santa Cruz at UCSC.

She invites you to take a peek into the real estate world through the stories that form the backdrop of her Regan McHenry mysteries. Real estate details and ideas come from Nancy’s own experiences.

To keep her writing fresh, she took a time out from mysteries to write “Mags and the AARP Gang,” a comedy about a group of renegade octogenarian bank robbers and is now almost in the midst of editing “Cozy Food,” a cozy mystery cookbook.

You can find out more about Nancy and her books on her website, Facebook and Amazon


Guest Post: Does Your Cover Need a Reboot?

By Jen Blood

As a publishing consultant with Adian Enterprises, I offer what I call a Post-Publishing Consult for authors whose books are on the market but aren’t selling quite as well as they’d hoped. One of the first things I look at in the Consult? You guessed it: The book cover. Why? It’s simple, really: The book cover is the first thing readers see. It is the thing they rely on before reviews, before excerpts, before awards or author endorsements… That cover is what reels them in or sends them running. That cover is critical.

A few months ago, I decided to take my own advice, and took a long, hard look at my own novels. I write a mystery series revolving around a reporter named Erin Solomon, who’s investigating an alleged cult suicide she witnessed as a child. The novels are moody and fast-paced, with intricate mysteries and an underlying (sometimes overlying) romance brewing between Erin and her two co-stars in the books, FBI agent Jack Juarez and fellow reporter Daniel Diggins. My work has been compared to Dennis Lehane, Kathy Reichs, John Connelly, and Iris Johansen… When I looked at my covers, however, I realized that they were telling a very different story about what these novels are about, and who they will appeal to. After a whole lot of soul-searching and a LOT of pestering loyal readers for their points of view, I decided drastic measures were called for if I wanted my novels to compete in the market in which I believe they are best suited. Four novels into the series, I hired a new designer to redesign all four covers. We’re only one novel in at this point, but I’m already thrilled with the results they’ve come up with and the fine work they have done.

old cover for All the Blue-Eyed Angels         new cover for All the Blue-Eyed Angels

If you’re wondering if maybe your covers aren’t doing the best job they could for you, here are a few questions to ask in determining whether or not a cover reboot is in your best interest.

  1. Who is your target audience? Get specific here. I did a whole lot of research before I ultimately found that my target audience consists primarily of professional men and women (with a stronger female following) ages thirty and above with some type of secondary education. My readers are predominantly mystery fans who like (or at least tolerate) some romance with their mystery, rather than some mystery with their romance. What about you? What age groups do your books most appeal to? Do you have more male readers than female, or vice versa? What about income level, education, professional status? The more you know about your readers, the more accurately you can determine what kind of cover will appeal.
  2. What is your target audience buying? Go to Amazon and shop by book genre. Check out current bestsellers. What do the covers look like? Covers in contemporary romance look a whole lot different from mystery noir; literary fiction and science fiction covers are worlds apart. How does your current cover compare with all those bestsellers? Do you see similarities between your design and other top sellers in your category?
  3. What do your current readers say? Take a handful of loyal readers who represent the target audience you’re going for, and ask them: What do you think of my book cover? The responses I got were eye opening, to say the least. Several readers even said that when they recommended my books, they told their friends to pay no attention to the cover because, “… the book is so much better than that.” How’s that for honesty?! If you’re consistently hearing from others that your cover isn’t representative of the caliber or style of your novel, pay attention. That kind of feedback is invaluable!
  4. What do the experts say? Joel Friedlander, who runs the stellar website The BookDesigner , offers a monthly book cover contest, in which independent authors submit their covers for his consideration and comments. Two winners are chosen each month, one in fiction and one in nonfiction, but Joel provides helpful feedback on a significant percentage of the entries. You can submit your cover for consideration in the contest by following this link. Or, you can hire an expert. If you want feedback on your cover alone, the crew at 1106 Design will provide a complete, detailed analysis of what works and what doesn’t about your current book cover, for $110. If you’re looking for a professional perspective that includes an evaluation of your cover, book blurb, marketing techniques to date, and novel content, we offer a full Post-Publishing Evaluation at Adian Enterprises for $250. Whatever option you choose, I highly recommend seeking some type of feedback from a professional in the business.

At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether or not a new book cover is the right move for you. But, if sales are lagging or you’re just looking to infuse some new life into a novel that has been on the market for a couple of years, taking the leap with a new cover designer might be just the thing to get your career moving in the right direction. Bestselling author Russell Blake has a stellar article on just that topic, and provides some great tips for determining what the focus of your next book cover should be. He also takes a more laidback, philosophical approach to the cover design process. In essence: This isn’t brain surgery. No one will die (not even your career!) if you need to change your cover… And, as hard as it is to believe, the world won’t even end if you don’t get it absolutely perfect the second time around. The point is to keep trying. Keep learning. And don’t be afraid to make a change in the ongoing quest for the writing career of your dreams!

author photoBorn and raised in rural Maine, Jen Blood brings a love of complex characters and serpentine plots to her fiction. Her bestselling Erin Solomon mysteries combine this love with rich settings, evocative writing, cults, conspiracies, epic romance, and a breakneck pace.

In her “day job” as owner of Adian Editing, Jen uses her own experience as a veteran freelance editor working with traditional publishing houses and independently published novelists alike, to provide authors with expert proofreading and editing services. Additionally, with the aid of her experience as a bestselling author and a graduate degree in Creative Writing/Popular Fiction, Jen provides detailed evaluations of published novels in every genre, keying into problem areas impacting sales for independent and traditionally published authors. Using these evaluations, she assists fledgling and veteran authors in writing, revising, and marketing their work. Visit the Adian website for services, rates, and a schedule of Jen’s upcoming classes, seminars, and workshops.

You can learn more about Jen here and here.

Social Media Numbers and What They Mean

Facebook iconGREAT post by Anne R. Allen on social media numbers.

Just this morning I was telling Mark that I needed to reduce the time I spend on social media…

ENT Picks Up Kate!

Ereader News TodayWoohoo! EReaderNewsToday has picked up the Kate Jones boxed set as a Bargain Book! ENT is one of the best venues to get your books out there (very solid results) and they’re the nicest people to work with 🙂 Here’s a link to the page: http://ereadernewstoday.com/more-bargain-and-free-books-for-12-7-13/6738079 (there are other bargain and free books included, too)

And here’s a link to their Facebook Page where you can find even more bargains (and FREE books, too!):  https://www.facebook.com/EreaderNewsToday

Final Day of AIA Grand Opening!

banner for AIA grand opening party day 5Win a Kindle Paperwhite at the Awesome Indies Grand Opening Party. Last day to enter today.

 Tomorrow, the wonderful books in the Awesome Indies Grand Opening sale go back to their usual price at $2 or $3 more than their present 99c. Visit today to grab a bargain, pick up some free booty and be in the draw for a Kindle Paperwhite.

Click here or on the banner above.

AIA Grand Opening Party–Day 4

banner for AIA grand opening party day 4Why do Authors choose the independent route? Find out at the AIA Opening Party today.

 Day four of the Awesome Indies Grand Opening party is meet the author day. Pop over and find out the difference between indie and self-publishing, watch a crazy video and read the author’s stories.

Click here or on the banner above.

The 99c sale is still on, so if you haven’t been already, pop over there now.

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