Adventures in Self-Publishing – Marketing 1.1

One of the primary skills needed to sell your book is marketing. Many people don’t like pushy sales people – so don’t be pushy. If little and often works then go for it but if someone doesn’t want to buy your book then, they don’t. Don’t pester folks.

  1. Marketing
  • Marketing (no one is going to buy your book if they don’t know it’s there. Many people don’t like the pushy salesperson (I certainly don’t), but there are ways and means. I took a course (Diploma in social media marketing) with Shaw Academy. This was a bargain – the course is usually a couple of hundred pounds but a friend put me onto Living Social which offers all sorts of stuff at real bargain prices. It has everything from weekend breaks, to courses, to laptops or whatever. As I understand it – they have a small amount at the low price and when they are gone they are gone.  Check out these bargain sites – you’d be surprised what you find.
  • Facebook – There are zillions of pages and groups on FB. Set up an author page (you can do this from your main account). If you have somehow managed to avoid FB then I’m sorry it’s a good idea to get an account. There are lots of groups devoted to blogging, genre books, author groups, writing groups, promo groups – you name it there will be  FB group for it. Join a few – and CHECK THE RULES. Some let you promo, some let you promo with restrictions (once a week/once a day), and some are non-promo but good for advice and networking. Facebook really wants you to spend your money and buy ads. I haven’t as yet – and I have heard mixed reviews on whether it’s useful. But I understand you can spend a small amount to have a small ad. You can promote in some groups for free – but the reach is limited. Prepare to spend a lot of time on social media…
  • Twitter/Tweetdeck – If you are going to use Twitter to promote then get Tweetdeck. It’s free and it makes managing your Tweets much easier. You can schedule tweets, add graphics, and see what you’ve booked in and when. You can attach more than one Twitter account to it.  Does Twitter help? Probably – there are a lot of cross-tweeting groups, and many people follow there.
  • Linked-in – This is more of a professional site – many employers look there. I’ve been contacted via LI more than once about jobs (all of which were utterly unsuitable), but it’s another forum. 
  • Pinterest – I love pinterest. I set up a page for all the interviews and promo from the blog, but mostly I use it for pics of animals, Phantom of the Opera, and random interesting stuff.  Again there are reader and author groups.

There are countless others but keep in mind how many sites you’re going to have to manage. Even with Hootsuite (for FB, Linked in, Tumblr and Twitter) and Tweetdeck it’s still a couple of hours a night for me. That’s two hours not writing…

You could ignore the marketing, do less than I do and it MIGHT work, but then again it might not. Promotion of your book will get you sales. No one knows it’s there – no one buys it. Simple as.

Blogging/Website. 

Set up an author website if you can – again if you aren’t very good at that kind of thing then look for a course or watch You-Tube. There is plenty of free/cheap advice about if you look. WordPress is fairly easy (and free for the basic package), Wix, Squarespace, Blogger etc are other options. Also, set up a blog. My website is the ‘official’ author site – it lists the books, about me and is updated when there is something new. The blog is more informal (and gets more traffic). You can blog about anything – books you’ve written, books you’ve read, your cat/dog/rabbit/degu, plants, recipes or whatever. It’s good writing practice – builds a network of followers who might check out your book(s) and it’s fun. I will say this – pick what you blog about carefully. If you want to go rant about some reviewer leaving your book a 1-star review on Amazon; politics; what someone famous has or hasn’t done then go ahead but keep in mind what goes on the internet stays on the internet. It’s easy for a reader to misunderstand a comment, and if you start bitching then someone will notice and it’s likely to end up with a slanging match – which is public. You’re the author, you’re the brand. Being a jerk can harm this brand. You can’t undo it. I’ve seen authors behave badly – slagging off readers who rated a book low, or making some derogatory comment about a reader’s opinion or intelligence. It didn’t end well.  You have been warned.

 

 

 

Readers – How do you find your books?

As an author I am intrigued to know how readers tend to find most of their books? How do you know a particular book is out there? After all, you could spend the rest of your life scrolling through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I-books or where ever and still not find all the books.

As a reader, I tend to find books via Facebook these days, or knowing the genre and hopping about on Amazon until I find something which takes my fancy (actually I do that FAR too much – which is why I have a humongous to-be-read list). Occasionally I’ll read recommended books, or see something in a bookshop (yes I still go to ‘real bookshops now and then).

I’ve been told Twitter is the best way. So is Facebook. Pinterest. Linked In. Tumblr. Reddit. Goodreads. Blogs. All of these. None of these.

Go for it and answer the poll. There are no wrong answers.

Guest Post – How to Get Rich in Indie Publishing: Marketing Tips for Authors – Ron Vitale

Today we welcome author Ron Vitalie – who brings with him some awesome tips for indies.

How to Get Rich in Indie Publishing: Marketing Tips for Authors

By Ron Vitale

 Catchy title, right?Unfortunately, only a tiny number of indie authors have cracked the $100,000+ club on Amazon. In his May 2016 report, Data Guy reported that “1,340 authors are earning $100,000/year or more from Amazon sales. But half of them are indies and Amazon-imprint authors.”

With millions of ebooks competing for readers’ attention, there is a lot of supply, and demand is hot or cold—depending on your genre. A literary memoir? Probably isn’t going to earn you $100,000. Putting out one military science fiction book every month over the next year, odds are better that you’ll earn money with this strategy (for the short term).

I’ve been an indie author since 2011 and continue to struggle to make a profit off of selling my books. With my full-time day job, I release a book once or twice a year. My strategy has been to slowly build up my backlist and increase my readership over time.

I only know a few people who have struck gold being an indie author and many of them have since left the industry. Fads come and go. But writing good books and learning effective marketing strategies will help you succeed for the life of your author career.

Long gone are the gold rush days of indie publishing. The market has matured and what worked then (free days on KDP select), does not work today. Instead of getting frustrated, you have three options:

  • Adapt and learn new skills
  • Give up
  • Or worse: keep doing the same things and don’t change

 

Write and Keep Writing

The best advice that I can share is for an author to keep writing. This advice is often given, but I don’t know if authors take it to heart. Writing means that: Keep writing books. Devise series, different genres, experiment and allow your creativity to fly free. If the only reason why you’re writing is to make money, well, there are much easier ways to be successful.

Writing novels or short stories is great, but an author also needs to know how to write effective book descriptions, ad copy, email autoresponders and other marketing promotional materials. If you can’t do that, then hire a virtual assistant, learn how to do it or barter with another author.

In my experience, the authors who are doing the best (yes, this is a generalization) are those who are publishing books on a regular basis.

For me, this means that I don’t just write when I feel like it. No. I have a schedule and stick to it no matter what. If I’m sick or something comes up with the kids, I make the time up. To hold myself accountable, I do two things:

1. I tell my family and friends that I’m writing a book.

2. I track all the words I write in a Google sheet.

I used to write when the “muses came to me.” Then I wised up. I don’t go to work at my full-time job when I feel like it. I go because I want to be productive and earn a paycheck to provide for my family.

It took me a long time to understand this and to wrestle with not wanting to put my butt in the chair and do the work. But now I have 8 novels published and 2 more in the works.

 

Writing, like tennis or running, is all about mind over matter. It’s like a mental game.

If you believe you can’t do it, then you’ll fail. But if you work hard, get better, keep plugging away, chances are that you’ll still fail (since few authors earn back the money they put out to make the book), but that’s where marketing comes in.

First step is to write books and to keep on doing that.

 

Be a Unicorn

Now that you have a book ready to share with the world, what do you do?

Write the next book and then the third.

Seriously.

If I could pass anything that I’ve learned to new authors, it would be to think like a marketer.

When I published my first book, Lost (Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries), I fantasized that I would release it and I’d be raking in the money. Everyone would love my book. I worked hard, published the book and my dream fell flat. I think I tried to fly without wings and hit the concrete hard. Thankfully, I could still pick myself up, learn from my mistakes and keep writing.

The mistake I made is a classic one: I only had one product to sell. I used my five free days on KDP Select to give my book away and there was nothing else for readers to buy. I didn’t have an email list, I didn’t have autoresponders created, a funnel, an editorial calendar or email strategy that would help promote my brand.

I had none of that.

I only had a desire to write, but no idea how to get there. For the last five years, I’ve read, studied, experimented and watched more training sessions than I can remember. And that learning is never going to end. I need to keep evolving, learning and growing.

I like that because that fits nicely with my personality. I love learning.

 

To succeed, I recommend becoming a unicorn: An author who not only can write good books, but knows how to connect with people and apply that to marketing.

 

Email Equals Love

If you’re looking where to spend your energy, then the choice is simple: Build your email list. I use Mailchimp, love it (though it does get expensive) and I took the time to build out a 6 part autoresponder chain.

Either through Instafreebie or my website, I offer a reader a free book if they sign up on my email list. Once they signup, they receive (over 6 weeks) an email every week on topics related to what my brand is.

My mission (branding statement) is simple:

I believe that, no matter how difficult our childhood, we can use imaginative stories to heal ourselves and lead lives filled with love and hope.

The characters in my books reflect and live that theme. After users receive my emails, I then start sharing my bi-monthly newsletter. Some readers love it and write to me while some unsubscribe. But that’s a good thing because I want to make certain that my list contains people who are into what I stand for and what I write about.

It’s taking much longer than I had expected, but building the list organically is a slow burn.

To start out, ask yourself: What value can you give to readers that will make your emails stand out?

 

Build Trust

How does one actually do that with readers? It’s pretty simple if you stop and think about it.

  1. Ask people what they want.
  2. Provide good and useful content on a regular basis.
  3. Open up to your readers: Be authentic (and sometimes vulnerable)

 

I like to think of things this way: If I meet someone for the first time and they shake my hand and say: “Would you like to buy my book? It’s on sale for $.99.” Well, I’d slowly walk away from that person.

Just because someone gives you their email address doesn’t mean that they want to be spammed by you.

Not only is that type of marketing unsuccessful, but most readers tune that out. Especially in the area of social media, there’s the 90-10 rule:

90% of the time, share content that’s helpful and useful to people. The other 10%, you can promote your own work.

I highly recommend that you sign up to Seth Godin’s email list and read his books if you haven’t already. His marketing style is honest, helpful and is a great model for what works. Every single day I read the short email he sends out. Over time, I’ve come to look forward to his emails because I learn something and find them useful. It’s not just him trying to sell me a book or a class. Yes, he does do that (very infrequently), but he provides not only good content, but writing that causes me to question why I’m doing what I’m doing. He’s upbeat, personable and extremely relatable with his posts.

When I first started my email list, I sent out emails when I remembered. I was scattered, had no editorial plan and no idea what to write about. I’ve come a long way in the last year. I now send an email out every two weeks (I chose this because the majority of my readers picked this option in a survey I had sent to them) and I share updates on my creative process, but have found that the most popular emails are those that relate to my brand—personal stories about my upbringing that I share with readers.

I’ve had people from all over the world respond with their own stories and it allows me to see how interconnected we all are. I’m not alone and neither are those who also went through difficult childhoods. That commonality is a thread that binds us together and by sharing our stories, we own them and can heal rather than being poisoned and trapped by the difficulty we grew up with as kids. That’s a heavy topic to sometimes discuss and share, but it’s also what I believe is needed in today’s world. I was tired of feeling ashamed and decided to talk about my past in a way that was not only healing for myself, but for others. The benefit is that I not only get to connect with people from around the globe, but readers get a glimpse into what my writing style is like and what I write about. It’s honest and true.

 Advertise

I once believed that if I just wrote my heart out that my book would be “discovered” and I’d be selling copies easily. That didn’t happen. Yes, some authors have had success like that, but that’s not happened to me and to thousands like me. The reality is that authors need to juggle multiple hats and not only need to know how to write, but we need to also market our books.

Today we have Amazon (AMS), Facebook, Google, Bookbub and dozens upon dozens of other options out there. Some authors swear that this one technique on this certain platform works. Others say it doesn’t work.

Unfortunately, the only way to know what does (or doesn’t) work for you is to experiment. I’ve not had success with Facebook ads, but know that others have. The possibilities are tremendous because we can target people by demographic, location and interest. You could even send an email to your readers and then retarget them via Facebook, so that they’d see an ad for your book that way as well.

The big question is: How much are you willing to invest in marketing?

And when I say invest, I don’t refer just to money, but also to time. If you have unlimited funds, then you can hire a virtual assistant to run this all for you. And if you have that type of money, you probably aren’t in need of this article.

The biggest benefit is that authors can (and do) help each other. Email swaps, webinars, blog posts with actual sales numbers, there’s more information out there than there is time. I find that to be my biggest challenge. As I learned back in 2015, I can’t work full-time, raise two kids with my wife, be an author popping out books every few months and learn everything I need to know about marketing. I tried that and nearly imploded. I failed because I tried to take too much on. I need sleep, mental rest, time to have fun with my family and friends, and room to breathe. I can’t have every second of every day scheduled for work. That type of commitment nearly broke me and wasn’t healthy for me or my family.

It’s the dark side to being an indie author that many don’t talk about. We read and see all the success stories, but what about the failures? That’s where I come in. I share what I’ve been through because I think it’s important to give a true rundown of what I’ve experienced (and what many others are experiencing as well).

In my book, How to Become a Successful Author While Working Full-time: The Secret to Work-Life Balance, I go into detail about my personal experiences from the last six years of trying to figure out how to be an author in today’s vastly changed publishing landscape. I share it all—the highs and the lows.

Even if you have had success, maintaining that over years and decades will be hard. The challenge is being flexible and continuing to learn.

In 2017, without a sound marketing strategy, I think it’s extremely rare that a new indie author will find financial success. For me personally, I had some success in the early years, but as I’ve needed to grow my business, I’ve had to spend more on services to keep my business running.

Now I need to pay for website hosting, editing, covers, Mailchimp, advertising, and a bunch of other fees. I track how much I spend and how much I earn and there’s no shame in my sharing that I’m struggling. It’s the truth because I’m making choices to invest in my business and those expenses need to be spent or I cannot grow to where I want to be. I’m investing in my future because I see great potential in the long term.

Summing Up

No matter if you’re extremely successful as an indie author or just starting out, all of us will need to adapt and change. Maybe Amazon will change KNEP again or another service will rise up while others go extinct (I see your days numbered, Nook). We have virtual reality, augmented reality and who know what other “reality” is coming down the pike. Change will continue to happen and disrupters (like the Amazons of the world) will continue to affect the publishing industry.

The challenge for us as authors is to hold two incongruent ideas in our mind at the same time: We need to be as creative and inspiring as we can with our fiction but also need to understand marketing and its implementation in the real world.

Sometimes those two ideas will war with each other. I personally don’t believe that we only write to market. Someone will need to take a risk and try something different. Remember Harry Potter? The Twilight Series? Fifty Shades of Gray? Times and tastes change and I don’t always want to be following the herd. I need to write what moves me and inspired me to be an author from the start. The honesty that I write about in my books is what enables me to get up at 5:30 a.m. to write. Sometimes my main characters make mistakes, just like me. I like displaying the truth and complexities of my characters’ lives. But everything can’t just be about creation. I also need to take my author career and treat it like a business. I need to show up, write regularly, publish books and market them well. Having the tension between creativity and selling can be a challenge sometimes, but I choose to see it as a healthy struggle. I hope you do as well. Have questions? Feel free to contact me.

Bio:

RVitaie-bio-photo

Ron Vitale is a fantasy, science fiction and nonfiction author. He’s written the Cinderella’s Secret Witch Diaries series, the Witch’s Coven series, book one in the Jovian Gate Chronicles, and the Werewhale Saga. His first nonfiction book, How to Be a Successful Author While Working Full-Time: The Secret to Work/Life Balance is also now available. When not writing, Ron loves spending time with his kids even when they beat him in the fun card game Kittens in a Blender.

 

Newsletter! Adventures in Marketing

Hi!

I’ve been contemplating this for a while – I’m planning to start an author newsletter to compliment the blog.

Ideas

Prizes and giveaways unique to the newsletter

Author news – forthcoming releases, events etc

Erana tidbits not available elsewhere

Short interviews and features

Articles

Reviews

Is there anything else you’d like to see? Please comment.

I’m planning to start this over the next month, so if you’d like to receive this please complete the form below. It will be quarterly, at least to begin with, so don’t fear you will be spammed.

 

Shaw Academy – Diploma in Social Media Marketing – Course Review

#SocialMedia #Shawsocial #Media

I’m the first person to admit I am not a fan of marketing, if a salesperson is pushy then I won’t buy on principle, unless I REALLY want that item. I’ve worked in retail, a call centre (never ever again – I lasted two weeks), and of course I have to market my books. Time and again there’s guidance on how to sell, what to do and not to do, and a lot of it is contradictory.

I actually find the marketing far more of a challenge than actually writing the books – as I am not especially confident and don’t like to be pushy. So, you ask, where is she going with this?

A good friend of mine recently put me onto Living Social – which is basically a coupon site for discount products. I was looking for an Excel course, I use it in my day job and I know the basics but that’s it. The chance of my work actually providing useful training is pretty low so I decided to look for a course myself, to do in my own time. Whilst wandering around the site I found the Online Social Media Marketing course – for £15 instead of £150 (or close to that). At that price I thought what the hell – it may help and if it doesn’t then I haven’t lost much.

The course itself is run by SHAW ACADEMY, who is one of the biggest online training providers. This is part one of their marketing training, the foundation diploma, and it’s worth doing. Run over 10 weeks there are two hour-long webinars, plus an ‘on-demand’ lecture a week, quizzes to test knowledge and a two hour assignment at the end. They have a You-Tube site, which has extra videos and interaction, plus an active Twitter feed.

http://www.shawacademy.com

The course covers a number of topics: Facebook pages and advertising, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, ORM (Online Reputation Management), You-Tube, Instagram, and a good deal about analytics. It goes without saying that the course is predominantly sales focused but there is a lot of excellent advice.

The tutor – Daniel Gilligan is informed, engaging and has a wicked Irish sense of humour.

Although due to the volume of students the webinars do not allow verbal participation student are encouraged to ask questions, and Daniel and his team are happy to answer emails and phone calls regarding the course. There were incentives to log in to the webinars live (prizes etc.) and as they were at 7pm UK time, that was useful. For a small fee one could buy the slides, notes and extra vids – although everyone got the basic pack. There is a certificate at the end (assuming one does the final assignment) and it is an accredited course.

Not all the aspects are useful for me – I still dislike Linkedin, and although I joined Instagram I’m yet to do much with it. The most useful aspects for me covered analytics, ORM and the discussion on target audience. Times of day are important too. I forget sometimes that my audience are not all in the same time zone, so scheduling a Tweet at 7 pm  my time might not be helpful as it could be 2am in the US, or 2pm when people are at work.

I find Pintrest more of a distraction than a useful marketing tool – that said I have set up a board for my own books (ADD LINK), and many people do like the very visual aspect. But I have, as a reader, looked at books based on the cover there.

I’m working on a companion website for the blog, and have quite a number of ideas, plus I am contemplating a Facebook ad, re-jigging the blog and it has given me the confidence to try some more approaches.

What I learned:

Keep it short and snappy, relevant and regular, new and nice is important. Don’t behave like an asshat – it will ruin your online reputation, and it’s hard to come back from that. We were shown examples of some unfortunate and ill-considered posts and Tweets. For example a particular company tweeting a brand and then #RIPPRINCE on the sad day the singer Prince died. Not only totally inappropriate to the brand this got hold of a twitter outpouring of grief at the death of an icon. Trending hashtags need to be used with care – is it relevant to the post, or is it just latching on to a trend? Think through what you post, keep it clean, and make sure it’s not filled with errors.

Don’t overload the sites with the same message.

Also it’s worth considering what’s working and what isn’t and why? Wrong target audience? Badly written promotion? Misunderstood promotion?

Be consistent.

Tailor content – what is appropriate for one platform/audience might not be for another

Engage.

This is the FOUNDATION diploma – and there is a second part – which currently I am not looking at (due to time, money and other commitments) but I would consider it in the future.

Oh and by the way I got a Merit 🙂

Adventures in Marketing – Bundlerabbit

An author friend mentioned https://www.bundlerabbit.com/ to me.

Basically it’s a site where an author can upload his or her book and ‘curators’ can bundle books together to sell as a package. Each author gets a share of 70% royalty and the reader gets five, ten or so books to read for a bargain price.

So if the individual book is 1.99 and there are 5 at that price that’s 9.95 but the bundle might be on sale for, say, 7.50. The authors get 5.25 split between them. That may be a sale they wouldn’t have got for the stand alone.

Currently I’m only putting short books in – to see how it goes. It’s a wee bit fiddly, and obviously one has to register and have a paypal account (for royalties).

https://www.bundlerabbit.com/members/author/product/422

Readers can look at bundles they want – and either pay what they want or the set price – then the books are downloaded to their Kindle. They can opt to donate some of the price to charity

Copyright stays with the individual authors and they can be sold elsewhere. (Unless you’re in KDP Select – but that’s another case.

https://www.bundlerabbit.com/home/faq

 

 

Guest Post – Now What?

Today I welcome Dylan Callens to the Library of Erana where he chats about some of the challenges facing the new author.

What to Do Next

I’ve finished my first book.  I have one month to prepare before its release while my editor diligently works away at what I hope are my last few grammatical and punctuation errors.  That leaves me one month to navigate through the insane world of social media, to build some kind of audience before its launch date.  Where do I even start?

I have several ideas; I’m not green when it comes to web design or working on social media platforms.  I’ve promoting things online before with varying degrees of success.  I even purchased a book to help me with online marketing.  Alas, I am only one person trying to build a website, tweet interesting tweets, post amusing Facebook content, network on Goodreads, and create articles for other blogs.

Shit, I think to myself.  Should I create a book trailer?  Should it be shot using live action?  I know how to shoot and edit good video, so maybe I should.  Then I calculate the amount of time it will take me before I would be happy with such a project.  Ten hours, minimum, for a one minute trailer, I figure.  That is ten hours where I am not actively networking.  With only four weeks until launch, how will I fit that into my already congested schedule?

My attention turns to setting up accounts for distribution.  The usual suspects: Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks.  I’m leery about iBooks but I’m not sure why.  Then I notice Amazon’s button for KDP Select.  Some research is required.  On the surface, if sounds like a great plan, except for the part where I can’t sell my ebooks on any other platform.  More reading.  Some have success, some do not.  I can’t decide.  I shelf the idea for the time being.  I still have a few weeks, I’ll figure it out later.

And then there’s advertising.  Where do I advertise?  What is my budget?  I have a little money squirreled away for that but I’m not convinced that it’ll be enough.  I figure that I will be throwing money into a pit.  Yet, I need to get my name out there.  I read a great post about advertising on Amazon that suggests it is a profitable endeavor.  Does that mean I have to enroll in KDP Select to use it?  And what about Goodreads?  That seems like an ideal place.  But those ads look so cheap.

My head is swirling with ideas.  There is no clear path.  I sit up, take a deep breath and try to clear my head.  There is only one thing I can do, I figure.  Put my fingers to the keyboard and start on something.  Anything.  I will keep writing.  Timelines aren’t that important right now anyway.  As long as I keep pushing forward, I will be fine.  As long as I can contain the fear of failure, I will persevere.  When I’m overwhelmed by the magnitude of work that is ahead of me, I will have to re-center myself on the idea that as long as I am working, I am doing the right thing.  Making mistakes will only delay success, not stop it.

Dylan Callens is a high school teacher in Sudbury, Ontario. He is the author of, Operation Cosmic Teapot, which will be available on Amazon on December 11, 2015
Web: www.cosmicteapot.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heaveninctheseries
Twitter: @TheNitzsch

#3AnthBlast – Three Anthologies Blog Tour

Today I am pleased to be promoting 3 Charity Anthologies. They’re a mix of authors, styles and genres but they are connected – all the authors gave their time and work free of charge and all profits go to good causes.

Three Anthologies to Support Three Great Causes 

Publication Date: October 4, 2013

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Charity: Exotic Feline Rescue Center

What is it about the tiger that so captivates? Or about the jaguar that enchants? Why are we so drawn to the lethal grace of the large feline predators of the world?Get ready to purr, growl and roar along with six paranormal romance authors in this anthology of love and shapeshifting kitties. After reading these six unique tales, from the sexy to the sweet, you’ll be guaranteed to be saying… Here, Kitty Kitty…

* * *

In ‘His Jaguar Princess’ by A. Star, jaguar shifter Selene Peters can’t deny her feelings for the tycoon Lucas King. Somehow, he’s penetrated her barriers and become more than just a client, but loving a human is dangerous and she fears her past repeating itself. Could he help her overcome the past or will she sacrifice her happiness and succumb to it? Not if he has anything to say about it…

In ‘In Our Nature’ by Jessica Nicholls, when Mira’s privacy and independence are threatened, she can be very nasty. Daniel is an expert on American mountain lions. His assistance is requested after an ‘incident’ on Mira’s front lawn. When the two meet, they recognise each other in more than one way.

In ‘Divine Passage’ by Dariel Raye, Kimani, a breeder with the power to preserve the human race, must depend on her guardian, Ahkil, a black panther shifter with more than one reason to distrust humans, but his secrets could change the course of her life forever.

In ‘The Distance Between’ by Mia Darien, she’s traveled thousands of miles, looking for a safe place. He’s brought her thousands of miles, looking to not be lonely any more. But they both have secrets. Can they bridge the distance between, and find what they’re looking for in each other?

In ‘Hannah’s Fate’ by Abigail Owen, cougar shifters have allied into groups, together in a rocky alliance to protect themselves against other shifters. Hannah Keller becomes the targeted Mate for Kyle Carstairs, the treacherous soon-to-be Alpha of another group. Meanwhile, Nick Jensen, her childhood hero and longtime secret crush, has returned home with hopes of claiming Hannah for his own. But will he be in time to rescue her from the Carstairs’s schemes?

In ‘Full Moon’ by B. R. Kingsolver, the full moon can get a girl stirred up, especially with a handsome cowboy paying her way too much attention. If it wasn’t for those damned werewolves causing trouble and getting in the way…

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Publication Date: May 10, 2014

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Charity: American Red Cross

Romance can be found among the darkest of times. In this anthology, you’ll find four tales of sweet romance about those who dedicate their time, and sometimes even their lives, to helping others. 100% of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross.
“Cross My Heart” by Abigail Owen
“A Healing Touch” by Jessica Nicholls
“Lesson Learned” by Crystel G. Smith
“Hope” by Mia Darien

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Publication Date: August 1, 2014

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Charity: Wounded Warrior Project

Science Fiction and Fantasy, two genres that are both unalike and inextricably entwined, stretching the imagination to the expansive boundaries of time, space, and magic. These boundaries are often filled with warriors and war, fights and causes worth fighting for, and that’s what you’ll find in this anthology.
From fighting aliens in space to demons in a world of magic, you’ll find many stories to suit your starship’s entertainment collection or your favorite bard at the local tavern…or just your imagination here and now. Sit back and enjoy twelve stories from authors both familiar and new!
100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“SARAH” by Lee Pletzers
“The Summoned Rise of the Phantom Knights” by Kenny Emmanuel
“Border Patrol” by BR Kingsolver
“The Twelve” by Mia Darien
“Ghosts” by Christi Rigby
“Outside the Walls” by A. L. Butcher & Diana L. Wicker
“My Brother’s Keeper” by Raphyel M. Jordan
“With Our Own Blood” by Jessica Nicholls
“The Connection” by Crystal G. Smith
“A Fly on the Wall” by Chantal Boudreau
“Slacker” by Doug Dandridge
“The Light Bless Thee and Keep Thee” by Mason Darien

 

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Titles: Here, Kitty Kitty / Reaching Out / Bellator
Edited by: Mia Darien
Publication Dates: October 4, 2013 / May 10, 2014 / August 1, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance / Romance / Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Charities: Exotic Feline Rescue Center / American Red Cross / Wounded Warrior Project

Synopsis

Here, Kitty Kitty
 

What is it about the tiger that so captivates? Or about the jaguar that enchants? Why are we so drawn to the lethal grace of the large feline predators of the world? Get ready to purr, growl and roar along with six paranormal romance authors in this anthology of love and shapeshifting kitties. After reading these six unique tales, from the sexy to the sweet, you’ll be guaranteed to be saying… Here, Kitty Kitty… * * * In ‘His Jaguar Princess’ by A. Star, jaguar shifter Selene Peters can’t deny her feelings for the tycoon Lucas King. Somehow, he’s penetrated her barriers and become more than just a client, but loving a human is dangerous and she fears her past repeating itself. Could he help her overcome the past or will she sacrifice her happiness and succumb to it? Not if he has anything to say about it… In ‘In Our Nature’ by Jessica Nicholls, when Mira’s privacy and independence are threatened, she can be very nasty. Daniel is an expert on American mountain lions. His assistance is requested after an ‘incident’ on Mira’s front lawn. When the two meet, they recognise each other in more than one way. In ‘Divine Passage’ by Dariel Raye, Kimani, a breeder with the power to preserve the human race, must depend on her guardian, Ahkil, a black panther shifter with more than one reason to distrust humans, but his secrets could change the course of her life forever. In ‘The Distance Between’ by Mia Darien, she’s traveled thousands of miles, looking for a safe place. He’s brought her thousands of miles, looking to not be lonely any more. But they both have secrets. Can they bridge the distance between, and find what they’re looking for in each other? In ‘Hannah’s Fate’ by Abigail Owen, cougar shifters have allied into groups, together in a rocky alliance to protect themselves against other shifters. Hannah Keller becomes the targeted Mate for Kyle Carstairs, the treacherous soon-to-be Alpha of another group. Meanwhile, Nick Jensen, her childhood hero and longtime secret crush, has returned home with hopes of claiming Hannah for his own. But will he be in time to rescue her from the Carstairs’s schemes? In ‘Full Moon’ by B. R. Kingsolver, the full moon can get a girl stirred up, especially with a handsome cowboy paying her way too much attention. If it wasn’t for those damned werewolves causing trouble and getting in the way…

Reaching Out
 

Romance can be found among the darkest of times. In this anthology, you’ll find four tales of sweet romance about those who dedicate their time, and sometimes even their lives, to helping others. 100% of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross. “Cross My Heart” by Abigail Owen “A Healing Touch” by Jessica Nicholls “Lesson Learned” by Crystel G. Smith “Hope” by Mia Darien

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Bellator
Science Fiction and Fantasy, two genres that are both unalike and inextricably entwined, stretching the imagination to the expansive boundaries of time, space, and magic. These boundaries are often filled with warriors and war, fights and causes worth fighting for, and that’s what you’ll find in this anthology. From fighting aliens in space to demons in a world of magic, you’ll find many stories to suit your starship’s entertainment collection or your favorite bard at the local tavern…or just your imagination here and now. Sit back and enjoy twelve stories from authors both familiar and new! 100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. “SARAH” by Lee Pletzers “The Summoned Rise of the Phantom Knights” by Kenny Emmanuel “Border Patrol” by BR Kingsolver “The Twelve” by Mia Darien “Ghosts” by Christi Rigby “Outside the Walls” by A. L. Butcher & Diana L. Wicker “My Brother’s Keeper” by Raphyel M. Jordan “With Our Own Blood” by Jessica Nicholls “The Connection” by Crystal G. Smith “A Fly on the Wall” by Chantal Boudreau “Slacker” by Doug Dandridge “The Light Bless Thee and Keep Thee” by Mason Darien

 

Giveaway: There is a giveaway for this blast. $10 Amazon/B&N G.C. or a $10 credit at the Book Depository.

Sale and Event – Light Beyond the Storm and Tales of Erana

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To celebrate the release of Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse, Christmas and the end of the year I am offering money off the Smashwords editions of both novels and Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends.  I’m also running a Thunderclap Event for Myths and Legends.

For those who haven’t experienced a Thunderclap Event they are FREE to set up, and free to participate in. It is simple. Click on the Thunderclap link provided, then chose which of the red buttons to support (Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter) and click them, then share. At the specified date the message will go live, to be shared on multiple platforms simultaneously.  It’s a great way to meet new folks, find new books or events and share the love:)  For more information of Thunderclap please see these articles: https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/thunderclap/

https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/thunderclap-one-users-experience/

Here are the details for the sale: (SMASHWORDS EDITIONS ONLY)

Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view…
Promotional price: $0.99
Coupon Code: AX98D
Expires: January 31, 2015

AND both the novels for 50% off.

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view…
Promotional price: $1.63
Coupon Code: HD98R
Expires: January 31, 2015

The Shining Citadel
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view…
Promotional price: $1.75
Coupon Code: FU28E
Expires: January 31, 2015

EDIT – THUNDERCLAP EVENT HAS NOW ENDED.

Thunderclap – One User’s Experience

After my recent post about Thunderclap, the crowd-speaking platform, I decided to interview author David Toft about his experiences.

Hi David, and thanks for joining us. How did you first discover Thunderclap?

The more I think about this question, the less sure I am about the answer. I think a writer friend contacted me asking for support for their campaign, but I honestly can’t remember.

 

Can you tell us about your promotions?

I’ve run three promotions. The first to generate interest in my current trilogy and linked to Amazon’s listing of book one.

I decided to visit my back catalogue for the second and chose Ishtal, a fantasy published by Wings ePress a couple of years ago. Again I linked to the book’s Amazon listing.

Back to the Kyklos Trilogy for campaign number three, and again linking to Amazon’s listing of book one, The Cycles Turn. It’s reached 140% support and is due to go ‘live’ in a couple of days. If it’s not too late you can add your support at http://thndr.it/1nzIjXj

 

What is involved? How much leg work did you have to do?

Thunderclap campaigns are amazingly easy to set up. If I can do it, anyone can. Getting those one hundred supporters is where the work comes in. It doesn’t sound a lot, but believe me it isn’t easy. I was on my own for all but the last few days of my first campaign and spent an awful lot of time that should have been writing time begging for support from facebook groups, on twitter and on Google+. If you’re thinking of setting up a campaign, join a mutual support group such as Thunderclap Campaigns, or Stormbuilders, on Facebook

 

Tell us about your successes? How have you benefited?

I think there’s a danger that running a successful campaign becomes an end in itself. All my campaigns have been successful in that they’ve all achieved the required support and gone live. My aim when I started was to boost book sales, and the first two campaigns failed to do that to any noticeable extent. Here’s hoping that number three is different.It’s all about exposure, people tell me, and yes Thunderclap campaigns have increased my exposure, particularly on Twitter, increasing my follower numbers and generating retweets and favourites.

 

Did you discover any pitfalls?

None, really, but remember that if you’re in a mutual support group, every Thunderclap campaign that you support will appear on your Facebook timeline. If you don’t want that timeline plastered with erotica, be selective.

 

Would you recommend Thunderclap?

I would, as a means of increasing your exposure, and it’s free which appeals to me as a Yorkshireman.

 

What promotional advice do you have for others looking to use such crowd-sharing features?

Join a mutual support group, but be a little selective, if you want to keep your Facebook timeline free of certain posts, support via Twitter only, you’ll get your support returned and keep your timeline clean.

If you choose Thunderclap, when you support another campaign click on the ‘tweet’ option. Doing this doubled my number of Twitter followers and gained me more retweets and favourited tweets than I’ve ever seen before.

Enjoy! It can be fun and you’ll make more friends.