BOOKS TO WATCH OUT FOR!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Vlogging?

Interesting that I was just talking about this yesterday in my group at TWL Author Talks.

I was trying to figure out how to get a video up on my website about my book, with me starring of course. Heh.

And then, I found this...

After blogging came photo blogging and then, suddenly last year, video
blogging. Video bloggers, also known as vloggers, are people who regularly post
videos on the Internet, creating primitive shows for anyone who cares to watch.
Some vlogs are cooking shows, some are minidocumentaries, some are mock news
programs and some are almost art films.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/25/arts/25vlog.html?th=&adxnnl=1&emc=th&adxnnlx=1122322698-QKwmBWJVsG7BN6f3VoOziQ

Interesting to say the least. I clicked on a couple websites and I couldn't get them to load. Took way too much time and I ran out of patience. I have dial-up so maybe that's what's wrong.

Anyone do this or can get these vlogs to work?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Interview with Nora LeDuc, Author of GIFTS FROM THE HEART

Nora LeDuc has been writing for more than ten years. She has two historicals romances in print. GIFTS FROM THE HEART is her first short contemporary romance. You can visit her website at www.noraleduc.com.

INTERVIEW WITH NORA LEDUC


When did your passion for writing begin?

Unlike many writers, I began writing later in life. I’ve always entertained myself with stories and never thought I could write an entire book. But one day, when I read about a book for sale on how to write romances, it struck me. I could do it! The more I wrote, the more addicted I became. Writing for me is like reading or watching an exciting book or movie.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

I work full time so my writing life begins after the “paying ” job. Many people can’t understand how I can work all day and then work on my story, but for me it’s a whole new world and life once I sit at my computer.

Do you write full time?

I wish I could.

Can you tell us a little about GIFTS FROM THE HEART?

GIFTS FROM THE HEART is my first contemporary and ebook. Many of the incidents in the story such as the character running off with the Old Home Day money and how the town rallies to produce a parade without funds were incidents from the towns around me. Lara and Harrison’s love story about your first love and what could happen if you ever meet again.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

Whiskey Creek Press is my publisher. When I became published with Whiskey Creek, I found a whole new family of writers and friends. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with both Debra and Steven Womack.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind GIFTS FROM THE HEART?

I’d written two historicals and when I attended a writers’ conference, I heard nothing but gloom and doom for the historical market. I vowed to go home and write a contemporary so I could expand my readers base and stay published. The most difficult part was writing in a less formal manner than in my historicals.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I’ve received very good to excellent reviews on my story. I’ve joined marketing groups, most recently Authors Unlimited, and I’ve advertised in the New England Romance Newsletter. I also have a contest on my website I’d like to encourage all to enter. (noraleduc.com)

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

My first authors were Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey, Tami Hoag, and of course, Nora Roberts. I seem to have followed the market trend and expanded more into contemporary with Janet Evanovich, Robert Parker, still Nora Roberts, and Judie Garwood. I love the humor in all these stories and incorporate lots of humor into my stories. I’ve tried to write dark and might succeed for a chapter but then my characters start being funny and ruin the mood.

Do you have a mentor?

I don’t have one person for a mentor. I’ve been luck and depended on the kindness of strangers or fellow writers. who I’ve met through email or the RWA chapters to critique my writing. I’ve learned the most from them. Thanks fellow writers!

What future projects do you have in the works?

I’ve tons of projects. I have two romantic mysteries completed. I’m revising a sequel to my first historical Miss McNeal’s Pirate, and I have another book in process, which is best described as women’s fiction but of course with romance.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

This will sound redundant to what others have said, but the tight market is a real detriment to encouraging writers today. On the plus side, we can communicate with each other and share our work in an instant thanks to technology. It’d be great if more publishing houses took advantage of technology and instead of snail mailing everything.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

Never give up on your dream of writing or getting published. It took me ten years to sell my first book, so that should encourage everyone! I bet they can beat me.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Let's see. Lots of people have asked me why don’t I write something besides romance, but never why romance. I write it because I really believe in living happily ever after and every time my characters meet and fall in love, I get to experience it all over again. Without this bond with your characters, I don’t believe your books will succeed.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy GIFTS FROM THE HEART?

Gifts FROM THE HEART is available at Whiskey Creek Press, Fictionwise or email me from my website noraleduc.com.

Thank you very much for your time!

###



Interview with Jane Toombs, Author of HIGH RISK

Jane Toombs, author of 80 published books and sixteen novellas in anthologies, writes for both print and electronic publishers. She, the Viking from her past and their calico cat, Kinko, spend summers in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula and winters in nice and warm Central Florida. Though Jane writes in all genres except men's action and erotica, her favorite is paranormal. Her latest book is HIGH RISK (Champaign Books 2005). You can visit her website at www.JaneToombs.com or her blogs at www.wingsauthors.blogspot.com and www.flowersandheartsauthors.blogspot.com.



INTERVIEW WITH JANE TOOMBS

When did your passion for writing begin?

I began to write seriously when I had learned to spell enough words--at maybe seven--so that my father allowed me to hunt and peck on his huge old L.C. Smith typewriter. I was never an oral story teller, with me it was always in writing.

Can you tell us what your typical “writing” day is like?

The last time I tried to describe a typical writing day, my monitor fried. The laptop I'm currently using has already crashed four times in two months, so I'm holding my breath until I buy a new one in Reno, when we fly there next week. Assuming no crash today, I read email first, then take a walk with my Significant Other. Just before lunch I bring up whatever my current project is, and edit yesterday's contribution before I begin new writing. After lunch is for errands and necessary chores, then back to the work-in-progress. I also write for a time after the evening meal, trying to reach my goal of five single spaced pages per day. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

Do you write full time?

Yes.

Can you tell us a little about High Risk?

This thriller, set in the high Sierras, pits three unarmed women against a vicious killer and his men who are pursuing them in the mountains during a violent storm. The issue is stolen money.

Who published your book and how has your experience with them been?

Champagne Books published HIGH RISK. I found the editing to be very helpful, and the publisher J. Ellen Smith is a pleasure to work with.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind High Risk?

I became interested in the rock-climbing course my stepdaughter took in college. I lived in California at the time and marveled that people actually rappelled down those high Sierra cliffs. I'm also a student of Native American mythology, and some of the Mountain Miwok stories fit perfectly into the plot, thus satisfying my love for the paranormal. It's also fun creating a really nasty bad guy.

Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I belong to three promotion groups composed of authors: www.jewelsofthequill.com. http://www.authorsunlimited.com/ and www.flowersandhearts.com.

In these groups, limited as to members, authors join together to place ads in reader magazines, hold contests, offer newsletters, do signings and so on, giving us a chance to afford promotion we couldn't do individually. I also have trifolds printed every other year showing new releases with blurbs and covers and sharing a bit of my life duriing that time, using personal photos. These I enclose in letters, and make available for conferences I don't attend as well as those I do. They make great hand-outs. Reviews are definitely important, so I approach a number of reviewers for each new book. I feel these promotion efforts work for me.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

Edgar Allan Poe influenced me as much as any one author. Also A. Merrit and H.P. Lovecraft. From them I acquired my liking for paranormal. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre showed me how to combine love with gothic elements. With today's authors, I'm an eclectic reader.

Do you have a mentor?

My father was my only mentor. He was a non-fiction author and, as soon as I showed an interest in writing stories, he took each one, praised something in it, and then very gently offered a suggestion on how to improve the story.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I hope to do a dragon trilogy, I'm working on several novellas for different anthologies and I have two suspense book partials completed.

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the publishing industry today?

Electronic publishers offer far more freedom for what I like to write than the New York publishers. I enjoy my relationships with the epubs and I do believe in ebooks. But I do make a lot more money with the NY pubs. Erotic authors do make significant money with epubs, but, since I don't write erotica--more a matter of not being able to than having any negative feelings about it--that's not an option for me.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

Since for years I've judged in a lot of contests, I recommend them as good learning experiences. I've seen entries I've judged one year, come back in another contest so much improved that I can tell that writer paid attention to the critiques. Most of these eventually sell, which seems to indicate that those writers who can apply what they learn from critiques, have a edge as far as sales go. Critique groups can also be helpful. Our own valuable experience in critique groups prompted Jane Lane Walters and me to write BECOMING YOUR OWN CRITIQUE PARTNER, soon to be out from Zumaya. Of course, a writer does need some innate talent, but at times an ounce of talent combined with a ton of persistance pays off. Don't give up.

What’s one thing about your life that you think is important, but nobody asks?

Over the years I've been asked so many personal questions about my writing and my life that I think I've been asked everything permissable, as well as not permissable.

Can you tell us where we can go to buy High Risk?

Fictionwise and Amazon have High Risk for sale as well as http://www.champagnebooks.com/

Thank you very much for your time!

# # #

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Interview with Marsha Briscoe, Author of A FAMILY MATTER and A STILL POINT IN TIME

Marsha Briscoe has been involved in some form with reading and writing most all her life. Having taught a variety of college English courses, spanning the range of composition to British literature and world literature, she is a published poet and essayist. But she did not try her hand at writing a novel until the mid 1990's when the idea for her reincarnation romance, A STILL POINT IN TIME, came to her in a dream. From this dream emerged a haunting and deep-seated conviction that the characters she created in A STILL POINT IN TIME had indeed known one another in the past.

Soon after she completed her first novel, the idea of re-visiting the ancient Greek Phaedra myth struck Marsha one day as she was teaching, in one of her college world lit courses, Racine's 17th century play entitled Phaedra. Thus sprang the beginnings of her second novel, A FAMILY MATTER, which brings the rudiments of an ancient myth into a 1990's eastern Kentucky setting.

Senior Editor at Whiskey Creek Press, Marsha is a member of Authors Unlimited, All Star Scribes, LeditSlip, and World Romance Writers. The proud mother of three grown sons, she lives in Kentucky USA with her lifetime soul-mate husband and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, golf, and piano.

Visit Marsha’s author website at http://www.marshabriscoe.com



INTERVIEW WITH MARSHA BRISCOE

Thank you so much for being with us, Marsha! Tell me, when did your passion for writing begin?

I have been involved in some form with reading and writing most all my life. Having taught a variety of college English courses, spanning the range of composition to British literature and world literature, I was a published poet and essayist. But I did not try my hand at writing a novel until the mid 1990's when the idea for my reincarnation romance, A Still Point in Time, came to me in a dream. From this dream emerged a haunting and deep-seated conviction that the characters I created in A Still Point in Time had indeed known one another in the past.

Do you write full time?

I write when time permits.

Can you tell us a little about A STILL POINT IN TIME?

Yes this book is about a single, childless, 43-year-old college English Professor, Laura Bouvoire, who is determined to have a baby by in-vitro fertilization. But her plans meet opposition when she falls in love with her thirty-year-old college student, Dante Giovanni. Even though she becomes pregnant, she is shocked at Dante's opposition to "test-tube babies" which he deems morally repugnant. Yet the two are drawn together by forces neither understands, forces they later learn stem from a past life. Obsessed by dreams of lovers in another century, Laura delves into that past life. There, tormented voices from another age reveal century-old karmic debts...

Can you tell us a little about A FAMILY MATTER?

Yes. This book is a modern adaptation of the ancient Greek Phaedra myth and it is set in the late 1990s in the eastern Kentucky coal field area. The heroine, Salina Graves, has recently married a man twice her age and is bent on vindicating the stain on her deceased father’s name. But when her coal-baron husband, Lyman Graves, is injured in a mining accident, his grown, estranged son comes home to tend his comatose father and falls in love with his father's new, young wife, Salina. Salina must choose between her professed vow of family vindication and her rapidly escalating attraction to her stepson.

Who published your books and how has your experience with them been?

Whiskey Creek Press has published both my books (http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/) and I have been extremely pleased with this dynamic and rapidly growing publisher.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind the books?

The inspiration for my A STILL POINT IN TIME, a PEARL Award Finalist, actually came to me in a dream after I’d been teaching the Victorian poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in one of my college literature classes. Rossetti also was the leader of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in Art. The tragic story of Rossetti’s beloved, though doomed, model and lover and wife, Elizabeth Siddal, kept ringing in my ears and haunting my dreams. Their twelve stormy years of passion and pain became the impetus for my reincarnation romance. Because the past-life characters in my contemporary romance, A STILL POINT IN TIME, are indeed based loosely upon Rossetti and his beloved Elizabeth Siddal, I had to write a special disclaimer to replace the standard disclaimer in the front matter of this novel. On the cover of my A STILL POINT IN TIME, the woman’s lips are modeled after the women in so many of Rossetti’s paintings, “lips that have been kissed”—full, sensuous lips. Kate Winslet (actress who played in the movie TITANIC) has often been compared to Rossetti’s portraits of women and their “lips that have been kissed”.



Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I am a member of 2 major promo groups, All Star Scribes (http://www.allstarscribes.com/) and Authors Unlimited (http://www.authorsunlimited.net/). Additionally I purchase static ads, usually every month, at the Romance Studio (http://www.theromancestudio.com/), rotating the books one at a time there. I have had front-page coverage of my books in two local newspapers and my A Family Matter received a feature review in the January 2005 issue of the print magazine Kentucky Monthly Magazine. This magazine has subscribers in not only Kentucky but also in 3 states bordering Kentucky.

Both my books have been previous #1 Bestsellers at Whiskey Creek Press and have been on the list of top 10 Best Sellers at WCP during several months since their release, so I must be doing something right.

I do a lot of hand-selling of both my Trade Paperback books. I do not hesitate to approach friends, business associates, or colleagues to purchase my books; I often phone them. Only 1 person I approached showed no interest. I have sold well over 300 copies of my books in this manner alone. Additionally, my books have been sold in 3 stores (a major supermarket, a florist shop, and a gift store) in the small town where I live.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

I have so many favorite authors, it would take reams of paper to list. But I will mention one who had a great bearing on my second book, A FAMILY MATTER. That author’s name is Jane Smiley. When I read Jane Smiley’s book, A THOUSAND ACRES (which was made into a movie), I told myself that if Jane Smiley can re-write the King Lear story and set it in an Iowa cornfield in the late 1980s, I can treat the Phaedra myth in a modern setting. Thus began my quest to conquer the Phaedra myth and turn it into a modern story.

Do you have a mentor?

A: I have a dear friend who is an accomplished writer; this friend has played a major role in my fiction writing.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I have a medical thriller on a back burner.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

My mantra has always been, “Never give up your dream.”

Can you tell us where we can go to buy your books?

Go to Whiskey Creek Press, and you can “search” by author “Marsha Briscoe”. That search will take you to my author cart page where my books can be purchased in electronic download and in Trade Paperback. Both my books are also available in 7 different electronic formats from Fictionwise. At the time of this writing, both my books are listed in the TOP TEN HIGHEST RATED list for the Whiskey Creek Press books at Fictionwise. The direct urls to my Whiskey Creek Press Author Cart are:

A STILL POINT IN TIME

A FAMILY MATTER

Thank you very much for your time!

Thank you for the interview, Dorothy.

###






Monday, July 18, 2005

Dorothy Thompson to Appear on Cuzin Eddie Show Tomorrow!

Hi everyone!

Just a note to let you know that if you're going to be in the Illinois area, I will be appearing on the Cuzin Eddie Radio Show with co-host Penny Sansevieri tomorrow morning at 9:30 Central Time. I will be discussing my book, Romancing the Soul, and how you can find the soul mates in your life. Hope to see you there!

Dorothy Thompson
Editor/Co-Author of "Romancing the Soul"
www.dorothythompson.net
Don't forget to check out my new advice column blog at:
www.soulmateadvice.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Marketing with Fran - TARGETING YOUR AUDIENCE

TARGETING YOUR AUDIENCE
By Francine Silverman




It’s easy to target your audience if you write a parenting or hiking book. But what if your book is a memoir, biography or novel?

There are many ways to find your readers. One method is to pick apart your book. Is there a theme running through it?

Though Michael Charles Messineo’s book, Rigby's Roads (PublishAmerica 2004), has multiple themes, there is one common thread – motorcycles.

Seeking to produce business cards with “maximum exposure to a captured audience,” Michael knew that winter weather in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado is variable and that cyclists would benefit from knowing the wind chill/weather/speed ratios. Calculating the wind chill factor as a combination of temperature and wind speed, he conceived the idea of creating a wind chill factor for riding motorcycles in the winter. “I found the NOAA weather site and used their calculator to find the wind chill for temperatures ranging from 50 to 10 degrees and tied that into wind speeds that a motorcycle would be traveling such as 30, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 mph. “I created an easy-to-read chart that I could fit on one side of a business card and I put the plug for my book on the other side.”

Mike mailed them to 150 Harley-Davidson dealers around the US and handed them out at motorcycle rallies. “So I created a plug for my book that was secondary to the main focus…The reaction was fantastic and the card stays with them and is never thrown out.”
“The plug for my book on the reverse side of the wind chill chart is..... ‘Rigby's Roads,A story of love, murder, and restoration of life. What happens when a mild mannered man who is about to end his life, gets mixed up with motorcycle gangs, the FBI, and a chase for terrorist secrets?’””I always hand the card to the bikers with the wind chill side in view. They stare at it and read it with interest. I have perfected my advertising touch because the dollars are being funneled to my captured audience and I am getting the biggest bang for my buck.” http://www.authorsden.com/rigby


When a book has multiple themes, you can

(1) market them separately.

Lori Hein’s Ribbons of Highway: A Mother-Child Journey Across America (Booklocker.com 2004) is a travel narrative about a 12,000 mile, post-9/11 journeyed into America that she took with her two children. Because the book has broad appeal, Lori has found marketing success in many niches. “Some weeks, I focus on the travel market,” she says. “Then, I’ll switch gears and target my efforts toward parenting publications, or women’s or mother’s groups. Terriorism, patriotism and world events also make my message pertinent to veteran’s groups, the military, and people concerned with America’s place in our world. All of this combines to allow me very fertile ground for marketing my book. I focus on one niche at a time.” http://www.lorihein.com

Sigrid Macdonald’s second book is a novel dealing with midlife themes. D’Amour Road (Lulu 2005) is about a missing woman so she contacted several other sites of a similar nature and five or six agreed to link back to her site. The book also emphasizes the importance of the presumption of innocence so Sigrid wrote to a number of organizations and friends that she has “in the world of wrongful convictions. One sent out my book announcement on a national mailing list and another group will be reviewing the book in an upcoming newsletter.” http://www.damourroad.blogspot.com/

(2) market multiple themes as one package.

With each new book, Cynthia Leal Massey sends news releases to feature editors at her local newspapers in San Antonio, Texas, making sure to have an angle. The triple hook on her first novel, Fire Lilies (Booksurge 2001), was that it was a “first,” published in a relatively new format in 2001 (an ebook), and a family saga about the trials of a Mexican family during the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

As a result, one reporter “wrote a fantastic story” about her novel and “this new technology, and it came out the day before my first book signing at a local Barnes & Noble.” Cynthia estimates that at least one-third of the 125 attendees were there as a result of the article. “I sold out of my book that day – 100 copies with order for 15 more.” http://www.cynthialealmassey.com/

(3) promote one theme to several markets.

Lorraine Kember’s book, “Lean on Me” Cancer Through a Carer’s Eyes (L. Kember Publications 2004), is about her late husband’s battle with cancer. Her initial marketing effort was to send the book to members of the medical and palliative care staff who were involved with his illness. On every occasion, she says, “my book was highly praised,” so she moved on from marketing to medical staff to others, which has increased interest in her book. http://www.cancerthroughacarerseyes.jkwh.com/

(4) or cross-promote one theme

Paul Steward’s first book, Tales of Dirt, Danger and Darkness (Greyhound Press 1998), is a collection of short horror stories set in caves. Naturally, he targeted cavers, of which there are more than 12,000 in the USA, according to Paul.

His next book, True Tales of Terror in the Caves of the World (Cave Books, 2005) is the Editor's Pick: Book of the Month in the latest issue of The Hollow Earth Insider’s "Unraveling the Secrets" (http://http://www.thehollowearthinsider.com/). Paul notes this e-newsletter has over 6,500 subscribers and is a perfect example of how successful it can be for finding crossover subjects foryour book. As suspected, people interested in ‘hollow earth’ theories [those who believe the earth is hollow and that aliens and UFOs are coming from inside the earth, not outer space]. would most likely be interested in books about caves.

View your book as a road with many forks and follow them all.


Francine Silverman is editor/publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, and author of Book Marketing from A-Z, a compilation of the best marketing strategies of 325 authors. http://www.bookpromotionnewsletter.com