Join A Slice of Orange

Enter your email address and never miss another post on A Slice of Orange.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Archives

Calender

June 2017
M T W T F S S
« May   Jul »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Monthly Archives: June 2017

Home > Monthly Archives: June 2017

How do you prepare for a new book release? How important are blog tours?

June 30, 2017 by in category The Extra Squeeze tagged as , , , , , ,
The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

How do you prepare for a new book release? How important are blog tours?

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.

When I published my first book over thirty years ago I assumed the publisher would have all sorts of glittery, fantastic promotions planned that would shoot me to literary stardom.

Not!

In those days – just like these days – the author is responsible for launching their book and establishing their brand. The good news is that now the opportunity for promotion is controllable. I maintain a new release plan that has proven manageable and effective over the course of more than thirty books.

1) Write a good book: professional, exciting, as error free as possible and packaged beautifully. All the promotion in the world will not support an inferior product.

2) Set up your pre-orders and then create excitement with a sneak peek of a few chapters on your website (don’t forget buy links at the end of these chapters).

3) Alert interested parties starting with distribution channels. Smashwords, for instance, has an alert for author’s running BookBub ads. Once they know your ad date, they will pass the information along to their bookstores, those bookstores will consider your book for further promotion. BookBub Partners has an automated per-order alert for your followers. Amazon has the same. Read the distributor’s newsletters and find out what free opportunities are there for the taking.

4) When your manuscript is ready, start submitting it for reviews (I love PRG and InD’Tale).

5) Continue to nurture and grow your social media followers and plan affordable advertising geared toward look-alike audiences. Try sites like LitRing (have loved the 4 promos I’ve done with them). Many advertising sites won’t take pre-order advertising but purchase spots for immediately after your launch while your book is new. I am not a fan of blog tours. I have only paid to do one but I couldn’t quantify the results so for me this isn’t part of my strategy.

The bottom line is this: write well, be aware of what is available, be as genre specific as possible in your target marketing and remember that the launch is the beginning and not the end of your marketing efforts for your book and your brand.

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.

Marketers say someone has to see your book 7 or 8 times before they buy. I’m not a marketer, so I can’t vouch for that but all the on-line exposure of a blog tour must be good. It can’t hurt – or can it? Just as a poorly written book will not sell, a poorly presented blog tour will turn off your audience before they even turn on. You need to leave a positive, compelling impression.

 

Prepare Several Blurbs

 

Since the content should be unique to each site you’ll need to prepare several blurbs – those enticing peeks at your story – not to mention tweets and whatever other social media is on offer. You can approach a blurb in different ways: lead with the most startling action element, lead with the dilemma, lead with a spotlight on character or setting, but lead with a sentence that hooks.

 

Describe Your Story Well

 

However you describe your story it’s critical that it be well written. This is, after all, the reader’s first taste of your voice. I’ve read choppy, unstrung blurbs that show what might be an interesting plot if you overlook the way the words are strung together. Regardless of how intriguing the plot sounds my immediate reaction is: This person can’t write. I won’t be reading this one.

 

Edit. Edit. Edit.

 

Of course, you’ve written a great book. It’s been carefully crafted, closely edited for errors in all respects from plot and character development to syntax and grammar. Your beta readers love it. Now you have to craft the words to sell the story without a single spoiler and with the same silver voice of the book. Craft your blurbs and interview responses with the same care you gave your book. And edit, edit, edit.

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

 


You need a PR plan to succeed. Straight up, any plan is better than no plan…and even if you are working with a traditional publisher, your plan may be the only plan that is ever created with much concern about building your long-term career. Accept early that your success as an author is not your publisher’s concern. Their business is centered around the products they have curated for their brand; it includes the book you created–not you.

The reality is, take care of yourself and build your own business.

Phase One is prep time.

 

Build or refresh your website. Connect your social media platforms to your website. Make sure that you use one author picture across platforms so that your brand has a singular face. Establish a media page to create and post your downloadable press kit. Include links to downloadable high-resolution images of your book cover and your author photo. Make sure you have a landing page for book sales.

Prepare a press release that offers the announcement of your book to share with your local paper, bloggers, industry influencers, and reviewers. Don’t know who they are? Figure it out. Clearly define the top four niches of your audience and start building a database of contacts to help you reach each target. In Phase One, fully create the day-by-day choreography for book launch week.

Phase Two is book launch week.

 

Synchronize your PR efforts to reach every corner of your world with news about your book in the seven days of the week that your book is first released. Everyone you can imagine needs to know now, all at once. Either plan a parade of activity or nothing will happen.

Phase Three is steady-to-the-course season.

 

PR efforts must be sustained. That means shift your message from new book announcement to relevant reasons to discover your book, reasons to peek inside, opportunities to read and buy.

How does a blog tour figure into all this? Up to you. The key is to decide when, how, and if you want a blog tour. It is hard work with lots of moving parts. It is a godsend for some authors and hellish for others.

H. O. Charles

H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array


I wish I knew the answer to this one because if I did, I would be a ££££££££££££-ionaire by now! I can tell you what NOT to do. When I launched my first book, I did little more than list it on Amazon and submit it to Smashwords. I had no idea about advertising (still learning on that front), and I published in secret, under a pseudonym, so had no friend or colleague network to exploit.

 

Tip 1: Don’t go it alone – if you know people who can help, use them. This applies to other authors. If they see your work and like it, they might team up with you to do a newsletter promo or similar.

 

Tip 2: Don’t do what soooo many authors do and sign up to a forum, then post once about your amazing new book. It won’t get you sales, but it will get people’s backs up (may have done this <coughs>).

 

Tip 3: Don’t list your pre-orders at full price. If you’re unknown, no one will take a chance on you anyway so you may have to lure customers in by being cheap!

 

Positive tips:

  • Do look at advertising opportunities, and check out writers’ forum reviews on their effectiveness.
  • Do make sure all of your pages are set up nicely – web page, Goodreads page, Facebook page… etc. so that readers can look you up, contact you and leave reviews easily.
  • Try to get on a few blog interviews.
  • Do be careful with your PR and the claims you make. It’s perfectly okay to brag about your past achievements, as long as they’re verifiable. I’ve noticed a few writers recently who claim to have sold 200,000 books in a month – you go to their Amazon page, and their book is ranked #100,008,282,212! It’s very easy to see through such fabrications, and once a writer loses trust from their readership, it’s unlikely to be regained.

Last of all, I would say to keep your expectations low. I know that sounds dreadfully pessimistic, but realistically, very few authors do well on one book without the backing of an expensive PR agency. It’s only once you have a good body of work out there and plenty of positive reviews that more readers will start to notice you.

If you have a question or topic you would like the Extra Squeeze Team to tackle please use the this contact form.

2 0 Read more

WHERE TO NEXT: Adventures with Monica McCabe

June 29, 2017 by in category Guest Posts tagged as , , , ,

 

Welcome | A Slice of Orange

Please welcome today’s guest blogger, Monica McCabe.  

 

 

 

Adventuring is in Monica McCabe’s blood. She’s addicted to travel, National Parks, & exploring new places and mysterious locales. She’s climbed glaciers and ancient Mayan pyramids, dived shipwrecks and reef caves, camped in Sasquatch country, and drove across the USA three times. When not traveling she’s writing romantic suspense and adventure for Lyrical Press, Kensington’s digital line. 

 

Recently I went on a hike at my town’s local greenway. I soaked up bright sunshine, admired the lush landscaping and a gently rolling stream that followed the trail. Then suddenly, I had an epiphany. Not the earth shattering, life changing kind. More like a realization, a cosmic connecting of the dots when it comes to being a writer.

It’s no secret that I love travel. I like going places. That fascination has infiltrated into my stories too, which brings us to that moment of truth on the trail. It occurred to me that books and real estate have a lot in common. Location, location, location. It’s also my mantra. I’m always on the prowl for a new place to explore – whether for vacations, movie time, or reading choices.

It also plays into being a writer. Some people start their story with characters. The WHO is important. They want to know everything about them – eye color, hair color, where they went to school. Not me. I start my story with the WHERE. Then I move into the WHAT. Until I get deep into location and plot, characters are just a vague impression. It’s taken me four books and a long nature hike to realize this is my process.

Setting is what motivates me to begin the book. Imagery helps create my story. I have a blank wall next to my computer. When I start to build my story world, that wall turns into a collage of pictures that detail out every major scene location. The deeper into the book I get, the more images fill that space.

Mere words cannot express how much I enjoy this kind of research. It’s the best part of writing. And yet, what inspires me to choose a location…I can’t say. I saw something, heard something, I honestly don’t know. It just happens.

Diamond Legacy.jpg

 

DIAMOND LEGACY is set in Botswana, Africa because I wanted a story about diamond smuggling. I dug in and learned that mining for the gemstone dominates the country’s economy and work force. And the animals! It was a perfect choice.

Emerald Fire.jpg

 

EMERALD FIRE opens in St. Lucia, West Indies. What better place to hide modern day pirates? Full of secret coves, luxury yachts, & breathtaking scenery, it’s every bit the perfect Caribbean island. We visited a few years ago, after I wrote the book. I really want to go again.

The latest book in the Jewel Intrigue Novels is PHANTOM PEARL. It’s a book divided. First half is in Australia, the second half Singapore. This time though, I took research to a whole new level. Hubby and I went to Australia and it was two weeks of pure awesome. This article could easily describe how endlessly amazing the place is, but I’ll restrain myself. Let me just say – if you’ve ever thought about it – DON’T WAIT. DO IT. It’s totally worth the 17 hour flight.

Back to PHANTOM PEARL. It’s a treasure hunting story that involves a WWII mystery surrounding Japan and Malaysia. So I hid the truth in the rainforests of Far North, Queensland.

 

Far North.jpg

 

Then it’s on to Singapore for a grand finale on Jurong Island, a massive industrial seaport. Have yet to visit Singapore, but if I ever get the chance… Did you know their airport is consistently voted best in the world? It’s a destination all its own.

 

Jurong Island.jpg

 

Based on my book reviews it seems my passion for travel shines through, because there’s a consistent theme. Vivid imagery, how the setting takes on a life of its own. I had one that swore I’d been to Africa. I wish! My secret weapon is Google Earth and travel journal sites like Trip Advisor. I spend hours going over every square inch by satellite and reading real life reviews for nuggets of gold to use in my books.

I’m already thinking of my next tale and I’m fairly certain it will be set in Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast. Because look at it! Can you imagine basking on board a luxury yacht in this harbor, sipping limoncello while soaking up the Mediterranean sun? Yes, please!

 

Amalfi Coast.jpg

 

So what about you? If you could go anywhere on the planet, where would it be?

Monica McCabe


Tell me the #1 spot on your bucket list and you’ll be entered to win a free copy of DIAMOND LEGACY or EMERALD FIRE. Africa or St. Lucia? The destination is yours to make.

 

Monica McCabe Series | A Slice of Orange

To learn more about the series, or to sign-up for her newsletter (it includes travel photos!) visit Monica at her website: www.monicamccabe.net


Thank you, Monica, for being our guest today on A Slice of Orange.  

7 0 Read more

Quarter Days: A Midsummer Beginning

June 28, 2017 by in category historical, Quarter Days, Writing tagged as , ,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wikipedia

Though I’ve blogged before about chapter events on an as-needed basis, I’m excited to join the talented writers of  A Slice of Orange on a more regular schedule! I’ll be posting on June 28th, September 28th, December 28th, and March 28th. Which roughly corresponds with

Quarter Days

I write Regency romance, and I had a book already out before the term “Quarter Days” came across my radar. Of course, I knew about Midsummer, from Shakespeare.

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

And I vaguely knew that Michaelmas had something to do with St. Michael, and Lady Day probably related to the Virgin Mary. And everyone knows Christmas. But I didn’t realize these four holidays formally divide up the quarters of the year.

Marking Time

In Persuasion, Jane Austen marks the passage of time with a mention of Michaelmas. Years ago when I read Persuasion, that reference didn’t click with me at all. But look more closely, and there’s a lot a novelist can do to build character–a lot Jane did–with that allusion.

Here’s a list of the English Quarter Days:

  • March 25th, Lady Day (Feast of the Annunciation)
  • June 24th, Midsummer Day (St. John’s Day)
  • September 29th, Michaelmas (Feast of St. Michael)
  • December 25th, Christmas (The Nativity of Jesus)

Notice that these dates also roughly correspond to the summer and winter solstices and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Those astronomical events were important to the old religions and their spiritual beings like the fairies, as Shakespeare shows us in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I’ll be gone:
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.

Clearing the Premises without Consulting your Landlord, Rowlandson www.famsf.org.

Marking Contracts

But there’s more! Quarter Days typically marked the beginning and end of contractual periods.

I love this print by the irreverent Thomas Rowlandson, “Clearing the Premises without Consulting your Landlord”. Rents were paid on Quarter Days, and it appears that are still some leases set up that way in England.

The historical housewife might hire a new servant on a Quarter Day. She’d also pay her servants on the Quarter Day–imagine, waiting three months for your salary?

Midsummer Day

Midsummer Night has passed, but I hope it was magical for you, and I wish you a wonderful summer. I’ll be back for Michaelmas!

0 2 Read more

Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh … In Good Company

June 27, 2017 by in category Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

Things that make me go mmmrrh ... | Geralyn Corcillo | A Slice of OrangeLike Michael Landon when he thought up Highway to Heaven, or like David Boreanaz when he signed on to do Bones, I am about to embark upon my third series. I’ve written four books so far in my award-winning and Amazon bestselling romantic comedy In Love in the Limelight series and two books so far in my series set in the heart of the Cotswolds, the Drakenfall series. So if I’ve not yet written all the books for these two series, why start a third? Well, it all began last October …

For the holiday season of 2016, I contributed a Christmas short story “It Doesn’t Show Signs of Stopping” to a limited release holiday anthology It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chick Lit. As I always do whenever I am part of an anthology, I read all the stories in the anthology as soon as the book comes out, if not sooner if I can sneak peeks at the stories by bugging my fellow authors. So, last November, I started reading another of the stories in the anthology, “The Miraculous Power of Butter Cookies” by Holly Tierney-Bedord, an author I kind of knew from some of my writer’s groups. Hm, I thought. Another Christmas cookies story. Then I started reading and OMG I was swept away by prose so warm and wry and gosh darn evocative and deceptive in its simplicity that I immediately thought of Flannery O’Connor. I kid you not. It was that good. When I was done with her story, I messaged her and told her how totally amazeballs she was. Then I read a chick lit book of hers about a woman who goes on a reality show to win the man of her dreams, Bellamy’s Redemption.  I don’t even like watching reality shows, but I could not put this book down and I could not stop laughing! And the romance was subtle but squeefully wonderful! Seriously, the book amused me to such an extent that sometimes I will be doing the dishes or walking through the grocery store and I will think of a scene from the book and just burst out laughing! Then I read one of the best books I can ever remember reading – Holly’s  Surviving Valencia, a masterpiece that starts out as compelling women’s fiction and twists  and turns into a thrilling, suspenseful, and ultimately chilling mystery. The scenes of the narrator growing up in the shadow of her adored, incandescent sister Valencia are achingly perfect, and the journey of how the narrator learns to survive her sister’s untimely teenage death captivates to the very core.  But then the book becomes tricky and eerie,  when a past thought long-dead surfaces like the Loch Ness monster and keeps you guessing until the VERY. LAST. CHAPTER.

It is rare that I discover an author who so transports me, let alone one that I kind of know! Then early this year, I got a message from Holly. “Would you be interested in co-writing a cozy mystery with me?” Umm … are you talking to me? I mean, yeah!!! Heck, yeah! Are you sure you mean me? Turns out, when she read my romantic comedy Miss Adventure, for the fist time in a long time, her internal editor did not even engage. She was swept away by the ease of my prose and she lost herself in my story.

Does this sound like kismet, or what? We have since become fast friends online and she even let me read her upcoming, soon to be released women’s fiction saga, Sweet Hollow Women. Let me just say, Mmmrrh!!!!! 

We have been tossing ideas back and forth over email for a few months now, and finally … this past weekend, I flew to Wisconsin to meet Holly!!!!! It was like Sleepless in Seattle,but without the kid, and the romance was in the form of what we decided to put in the book. We hammered out the final outline of the first story in what we aim to make a helluva series – I have never before been so galvanized by writing!

Holly … cozy mystery … writing with someone I admire to the high heavens and like a heck of a lot besides … Mmmrrh! Stay tuned for more details as the story develops …


 

When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.

 And she loves to connect with Readers! Check out her monthly post here on A Slice of Orange and drop by to see her daily posts on Facebook and Twitter where she would be thrilled to comment back and forth with you. And you can sign up for her RomCom Alerts emails to get access to exclusive content, deals, freebies, contests & more!
6 1 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

%d bloggers like this: