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Showing posts from July, 2012

Covers Do Matter

I'm honored to welcome author, Mila Ballentine to the blog today. She's blogging on a very important topic. . .COVERS!! 

The Cover MATTERS!

Don’t let the cliché, 'Don’t judge a book by its cover,' sway you. Everything is judged by its cover, whether it’s an object or a person! The presentation of a product for sale is important. If you’ve ever been attracted to a particular product while shopping, 9 out of 10 times it had everything to do with the presentation. However, the contents are equally important, but this article will focus on what’s on the outside. 

I went to a small business workshop a few months ago and the instructor recommended a book by Paco Underhill, WHY WE BUY. It’s worth the read and it’s available in audio book. It was helpful and reinforced aspects of marketing that I already knew. As an independent publisher/author, I devote as much time to choosing a cover as I do to writing. Without a cover that represents the essence of your story, you are simply …

Tips To Make Your Guest Blog Shine

"I'm going to make this post ROCK!"
"I'm going to be the best guest blogger this blog has ever seen!"
When you guest blog, you want to HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK! Here are some tips to help reach that AMAZING status:
1) AUDIENCE Know the blog's audience. I hope that you have been following the blog you want to guest on. If not, see my etiquette blog.  If the blog is geared toward readers, make sure that you write your post that will interest readers. If you guest blog and your post has NO interest to the reader, you will have an EPIC FAIL. 
2) PERSONALITY You always want to add a little personality to your blog. There is nothing more boring than going to my favorite blogs and read a guest blog that reads blah, blah, blah to me. A little personality goes a long way. The more personable you are, the more the audience is going to follow you other place. 
...which brings me to...
3) WIIFM (what's in it for me) We guest blog because we want to connect to rea…

Tips On Getting a Guest Blog Gig

For the next couple of blog days, we are going to talk about guest blogging. It's something we all have to do whether we want to or not. But we need to in order to help connect with our target audience.

There are so many blogs out there, and so many blogs that we follow that have the target audience we'd LOVE to have. The only way we can get the collective audience to notice us is through being a guest blogger.

Here are some tips on how to effectively land that guest post gig!

1) Visit the blog regularly.
I really can't stress this enough. When I say visit the blog regularly, I mean participate too! Bloggers are more than likely to happily host someone who has been supporting their blog and doing so means that you need to comment.

2) Write an email.
You obviously need to contact the blog owner. Be sure to have the email going to the right person. Address the person by their full name.
Include the following items in your email~
* Tell the blog owner why you like their blog…

Don't Be A Poacher!!

I debated on whether to write this post, but I was so angry that I really felt like a post like this one would help you, the writer.

First off let me say that this blog is for you, the writer. IT'S NOT FOR MY READERS! That is what my STREET TEAM is for.

Lately I have come across some real issues, etiquette issues.

There is still a code of behavior that we writers have to use when it comes to other writers. Most newbie writers (which is most of my blogs target audience) are so excited that they just want to connect with other writers. Not only do they want to connect with other writers, they want to connect with other writers target audience. The problem is. . .writers forget the proper etiquette on how to go about doing this.

Do's and don'ts of asking a blog owner to guest blog and other social media rules:

* You need to comment frequently on the blog you want to guest blog on.  Don't just show up as a phantom follower by sending an email telling the blogger that you LOV…

Get into the FLOW of writing

Seriously, look at this! Doesn't this look divine? Heavenly?
Let me tell you, IT IS!

This week I'm lucky enough to be able to pry myself away from my group of guys (3 teenage boys, hubby, and two four-legged fury friends) at home and go to this exact cabin, in the woods, with two of my writer buddies (Heather Webber/Blake and Wendy Lyn Watson).

We are all on deadline for our next novels.

Heather is traditionally and indie-published with a book due to her editor at NAL (Penguin  Group) on October 1st, and a deadline for her seventh book in her Nina Quinn series, that she's self-publishing, somewhere close to December.

Wendy is traditionally published, and her deadline to her NAL editor is September 1st.

I'm self-published and my deadline is August 15th.

Each of us are at different stages of the writing process, but we are ALL on deadline. Since our deadlines are so close, we thought it was a great idea to have a writer's retreat where we only sit and write all day.…

If The Word. . .er. .. Shoe Fits~Wear IT!

One of the biggest sayings from fiction writers is the tried and true:

As a matter of fact, this t-shirt is a bestseller among all the writer's cafe. I didn't get one of those though, I got the pink Writer Girl one and LOVE it!


The funniest thing happened to me and made me cackle from the tips of my toes to the split-ends in my hair.
Someone actually accused me of using their likeness to them, when in all reality the fictitious character was named and taken from a winner of a reader contest I had held on my STREET TEAM.

The contest was "Name Tonya's new town and the victim will be named after you and you get a dedication in the book." I had an overwhelming number of entrants. The winner was Ann Miller and she was SO excited. It was a great way to connect to a reader. We talked back and forth, having a blast fleshing out the character.

Soo....after I heard about someone, who is not even in my thought process, actually thought I was writing a character …

Them VS Them...Romance Writers of America

There really is no way to dive into this blog post other than just diving in.
It's no secret that over six years ago I started out on a publication journey. A journey that included joining Romance Writers of America, Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America, Chick-lit Romance Writers of America, writing a book, getting an agent, and selling to a publisher for a big six figure deal.....


. . .really it's NOT!

Making DECISIONS, and hard ones, are a harsh reality of this business~regardless of your publication journey.

Today I'm going to talk about the Them vs Them. Romance Writers of America Vs themselves.

Six years ago I joined RWA because I had to in order to join the only writers group in Cincinnati, you had to be a member of the national group which happens to be RWA. It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

Instantly I was part of a group that understood me. They understood how my comma placement was always wrong or that my run-on …

Tiberr in 5 Easy Steps

For the last few months I have been a member of Triberr. I became a member when my friend, Rachelle Ayala, invited me. To tell the truth, I had NO CLUE what Tribber was and what it was about. know I'm up for anything, so of course I JOINED!!

And....I had no clue what I was doing until last week. Soooo....I asked, begged Rachelle to do a guest post on Tribber.

Triberr in 5 Easy Steps (Guest Post by Rachelle Ayala)
What is Triberr? Simply put, Triberr is semi-automated retweeting of blog posts by a group of people working together.
Triberr is a website that collects blog posts and Tweeps into a group called the Tribe. Tribes are groups of bloggers who post on similar topics and are happy to share the posts of other bloggers.
As you can see from the graph (found at the Triberr site), using Triberr extends your blog tweets beyond your followers, but into the streams of all their followers too. And this is a big thing! Because, guess what? Blogging in isolation is about as i…


Monday we took a dive into the waters of Goodreads and HEAD FIRST, if I say so myself!

Here is what you should have learned:
1) Join Goodreads. . .NOW!
2) Find and claim your published books.
3) Join the author program.
4) While you wait to be approved for the author program, beef up your profile.
5) Add your blog RSS or Atom Feed.

Simple. . .

Today we are going to explore how to get some of those 5 million people on Goodreads to notice us!

Why Goodreads? BECAUSE I said so. No, really. Think about it. There are three people who join Goodreads: READERS, WRITERS. . .um. . .okay, TWO BIG reasons! BUT the component is BOOKS!!

Everyone on Goodreads is there to connect over BOOKS. Good for us because that is what we do!

Today we are going to look at GROUPS and how to join them and why!

The people! Most of the people who belong to Goodreads are not only readers, but they are BLOGGERS! Bloggers who read, have readers who follow them, readers who read their blogs, and they write reviews. Like …

Tricks to using Goodreads!

As if me telling you that being on Facebook and Twitter isn't enough social media. . .GOODREADS is where you need to be. . .too!

Yes, you still have to be on Facebook and Twitter, but I also want you to start a Goodreads account.


Good question. You have a blog, website, Facebook and Twitter. You are reaching a lot of people this way, BUT are you reaching your READER target audience?

You know that I'm all about my readers! Goodreads is a place where readers and writers gather!

Think about this....readers join Facebook to connect with their friends, family, and maybe their favorite public figures (which include authors). Their main goal was to find lost people or keep in touch with family by sharing pictures, etc....

When someone joins Goodreads, they are there for the intent to connect by books. THAT is a plus for us! That is exactly what we are looking for.

Go to Goodreads and join. You will need to create an account. This is pretty easy and self explanatory.

NEXT. . .

I …

READERS are the new gatekeepers in publishing

As we all know, publishing houses have always been the gatekeeper of the author. They were the ones who stood at the GATE OF WHAT READERS WANTED TO READ with their spears pointed to the outside world and only let you in if and ONLY IF they thought the reader was going to read you.

Obviously the game has changed. Writers complain. Plain and simple. They complain about their muse. They complain about the plot of their story. They complain about Amazon. They complain about the GATEKEEPER...whoa....

The days are over where the publishing house GATEKEEPER stopped your book from reaching the hands of the reader. If those GATEKEEPERS don't like your novel, you have options to self-publish your novel and get it in the hands of the real GATEKEEPER. . .THE READER!

And if you can't reach the new GATEKEEPER, then you have no one to blame but YOU. You are now responsible for getting pass the GATEKEEPER.

Here are a few ways to connect with your readers:

1) Be sure to know your target reade…

Fall back in LOVE with writing

Over the past week I have been on vacation at the beach. I try to go a couple of times a year when I know it's my hardest time to get words written on a page. Those times of the year include the dead middle of summer (now) and the deep middle of winter (January/February).

Writing a novel is like being in a relationship/marriage. You have to put into it to get something out of it. Some days we wonder if it's worth it, while other days we know we can't live without it.

What about the bickering?

Oh yes, we bicker with our characters, the direction they want to go is sometimes the direction we don't want them to go. So it's about compromise...just like a marriage. You say you aren't the marrying kind? Well I'm here to tell you that if you are writing a novel. . .you are the marrying kind!

What about the cheating?

Yes! WE all cheat on our novel when we hop over to the edits of the last novel or start to work on that new idea. But then the guilt settles in and yo…


As I'm sitting on the beach this week....YES! I'm at the beach!

But I'm in my most least favorite part of the publishing book process. . . EDITING! It's the second book in A Magical Cure Series, A Charming Cure. And if you don't write mystery, you should know that I write my mystery novels backwards.

And my editor would be more happy to tell you that she has to go over my work at least twice!

I have come up with some great tips to help me and YOU get us through the editing process with a little more with ease.

1) Take your time.

I know that we have our muse and want to start writing on the next project, but if you don't slow down and take your time, your novel will suffer by not becoming the best novel it can be.

An easy way to do this, and what I have done while I'm at the beach, is to break my finished novel into four parts. Literally, I take the page count and divide it by four.

This helps me work on one section at a time and not temp myself to work ahead…