Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Makeover can do Wonders!

I've been dying to show you guys my new POP TRAVEL cover. And here it is!

AMAZON  ~~~  B&N

I love my original first cover to pieces. But this one takes it to a whole nother level! And when you see SIMULATION's cover (July 27) it will all come together...

I must thank my friends, MJ Fifield, Christine Rains, SK Anthony, Heather M Gardner, Jessica Gunn, Elsie Elmore, Katie Teller, Sharon Bayliss, Rena Rockford, Tyrean Martinson, Elizabeth Seckman, and Julie Flanders for helping me with my cover reveal this week. And I encourage you to visit these awesome bloggers because: 1) They're worth the trip, 2) I added a little something extra to each of their posts... AND 3) They are donating copies of ebooks in my giveaway ! (see below)

OF BLOOD AND SORROW by Christine Rains
THE UNDEAD by Elsie Elmore
KINETIC by SK Anthony
EFFIGY by MJ Fifield
KIYA by Katie Teller
ALREADY HOME by Heather M. Gardner
CHAMPION IN FLIGHT by Tyrean Martinson
POLAR NIGHT by Julie Flanders
any title by Elizabeth Seckman

But hold on! I also have some tantalizing words to massage your temples with for IWSG day!

Sometime a makeover is just what we need. A makeover is a new beginning, a fresh start, a double-take. It can be as small as a new hairdo or as extreme as plastic surgery or a home renovation. (Or as exciting as a new cover!)

So when is it time for a Makeover?
  • Physically - when you look in the mirror and say "Ugh" for the umpteenth time? Maybe you just need a new hairstyle or new makeup, new glasses, or a new workout? Being happy on the inside is what counts and sometimes just a little tweak on the outside gives us that boost.
  • Mentally - take a survey of your mental health. Have you been on edge for too long? Depressed for longer than seems reasonable? My suggestion for a mental makeover is to seek out a new something - hobby, job, or activity. Getting active, meeting new people, and stimulating your brain are all ways to bring you out of a funk and relieve stress. (Personally, I get rejuvenated every week by singing at church. I know it's not for all, I wish it was, but I don't judge! It just sure gets me going!)
  • Writerly - we are in one of the most discouraging fields there are, so it's easy to get down on ourselves and wonder if we should quit - DON'T QUIT! Maybe you just need a makeover. 
    • Read a new book - maybe in a different genre
    • When you're stuck in editing, read it out loud (it sounds completely different than in your head)
    • Find a new critique partner, you can always use more perspective
    • Join a new writing group
    • Go to a book event (as a reader or an author!)
    • Write some flash fiction
    • Enter a contest
    • Experience life and take pictures and take notes - inspiration is everywhere! 
My publisher knew Pop Travel needed a makeover as the series is now evolving. And I'm hoping as I keep adding to it, more people will read it - that's the plan anyway. Nothing beats a great makeover to pump you up! Keep it fresh, right?

Ever had a makeover of any kind? Do tell!

And if you're interested in helping with my SIMULATION cover reveal and/or launch, here's the FORM - thank you!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 22, 2015

The more you know, the more you grow

The internet has made the world a smaller place, bringing other countries and cultures closer together. (don't worry, I won't sing the Disney World song or it'll be stuck in your head all day!) But it's also shown us how vastly many people there are out there, ga-jillions! And all with their own voice. And I find it amazing that I can have so much in common and become friends with people that live continents away. It makes me want to travel and meet them IRL. If only it wasn't so costly in time and money. So I'm thankful I have the internet to keep us connected...

Which brings me to a new friend I'd like to introduce to you!

Jane D. Everly is a new author at CQ and she has a thrilling new novel starring a female, super cool secret agent. I just love me some tip-top British spy fi! To help you all get to know Jane, here's a little more about her and her latest book...

So Jane, where are you from?
I grew up in Nottingham, England. Yes, that Robin Hood place. It’s a beautiful city. I graduated University with a completely useless piece of paper while really I knew all along I was meant to be a writer. Though originally I aspired to be a romance novelist, I quickly discovered that it just wasn’t meant to be. My love of action and adventure stories always ended up seeping through, so I turned to writing thrillers and stories filled with kick-ass heroines and villains with delusions of attaining world domination. I relocated to Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2013 to pursue my writing career. 

How did you come up with the story?
In a word, Bond. James Bond :) I love Ian Flemings's original works. They had such a classical nuance with only one major flaw, the main character was male. I always thought we were severely lacking an amazing female character who embraced her flaws, who flaunted and used her sexuality in the same way Bond always did, and who could handle herself in a difficult situation without ever having to play the damsel in distress card. And so Eliana Havelock was born.

Is this the first in a series?
I do hope so! It’s currently a 4-part series that will wrap up this December and then be published as a full novel. Are there more stories for Eliana? Absolutely!

What would you say this is a mashup between?
It’s a threeseome between Bond, Jason Bourne, and the Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) filtered carefully into Eva Green’s body.

Do you write in other genres? 
I still dabble in short stories within the romance genre. I feel like I’ve got a really good sci-fi space pirate novel rattling around in my head but I haven’t been able to bring myself to put it on paper yet. 

Who are your influences?
Fleming as I’ve mentioned, I’m also a big fan of Robert Ludlum, Anne Rice, Viola Carr, Emily Bronte, Janet Evanovich, I could go on and on…

Now for some personal questions...

What do you do in your spare time?
I love to hike. I loved the countryside in the UK but here in Canada they literally have mountains you can hike up. Mountains! Grouse Mountain just outside of Vancouver is a hell of a work out. Completely on the other end of the spectrum, I also love to lounge on the beach with a good book and slowly cook.

Do you have any pets? 
I have a cat named Mr. Bojangles. Just the one cat so I have someone to come home to, but at the same time can’t be classed as a crazy cat lady. Not yet at least. 

Inspiring food or drink?
Wine, anything in a rose or something sweet. And Thai food! I love thai food! The hotter the better. 

Favorite place to write?
I hate to be a cliché, but I like to write in coffee shops. You know, those people that sit there with a laptop sipping a fat-free Chai Tea and ignoring everyone else because they’re busy creating a masterpiece? Yes, I’m one of those.

I loved doing this fun interview. Thanks, Tara.

Doesn't she sound fabulous?? I would definitely love to hang out at the beach or pool or in a coffee shop with her. I love those places - I'm at McAlister's right now typing this because my crazy internet went on the blink this morning! But I will leave the hot spicy foods to her! And here's more about her latest release - HAVELOCK!

HAVELOCK by Jane D Everly

Eliana Havelock is a female with no past, whose determination to bring down a Karachi arms dealer catches the attention of the British Secret Intelligence Service. 

MI-6 is currently fractured due to political upheaval with many of its covert programs dissolved or disbanded. When Eliana presents the opportunity to divert an international arms disaster, the head of MI-6 partners her with one of it’s best and brightest, the enigmatic, Connor Blackwell. 

But in a world of secrets and hidden agendas, who can Eliana trust? 

And what, or who, is Eliana really after?

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Amazon

Now Jane is a little shy, similar to many newer authors, so she uses this saucy photo for her profile pic. Should get some attention just for that, eh?

Thanks to Jane for stopping by and thanks to you all for making her feel welcome.

PS - Don't forget to sign up for my Pop Travel re-release cover reveal and/or Simulation's reveal and release tour!
Here's the FORM. 
FORM is being editted! Sign up July 1!
And make sure to let me know when you have news for me to shout about!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Easy Ways to Market Your New Book

We authors want to tell the world about our books - and why not? We're proud of them!
But how? That's the million dollar question, and we writers don't have two dimes to rub together for an answer, never mind a million bucks!

Well, I have a few suggestions on how to pump up the marketing. I don't like being pestered by promotion, so I try to make my own the least annoying as possible - fun even! To demonstrate, I will use my own upcoming releases...

1) Do a cover reveal

SIMULATION comes out in September. It's got a terrific, wicked cover! And to smooth it into a series, POP TRAVEL has been updated as well. So we are re-releasing it with a new look - and I'm telling you, I loved my old cover and couldn't see how they could top it - but I was amazed at how much I like the new one! It's pretty flippin fantastic!

2) Ask friends for help

To make it easy for my friends to help, I have a lovely FORM for you all to fill out. There are so many ways to help - from giving a shout on their blog to giving out ARCs for reviews. Google forms are great tools and very easy to set up and get feedback from.

3) Do blog tours

I know these aren't as big as they were when we started doing them. But that's where your uniqueness and creativity comes in. Reveals and Blog Tours can't just be like - here's my book, please buy it! They have to incorporate something more for the readers, something of value the blogger can share with their audience that will show what a fun, cool person the author is, and then they'll want to read the book! I've seen contests, active participation, scavenger hunts, etc.

My SIMULATION blog tour will be A Month of Mondays - I'm letting my friends decide the best way for me to entertain their readers (it's all in the FORM) Plus, I'll have a rafflecopter giveaway, and a sale, and more! Which brings me to...

4) Host a giveaway

Rafflecopter is pretty great for giveaways, and they make it easy for entrants to do fun things to qualify for more entries, which usually includes helping spread the news about the release. As I said, I'll do one for SIMULATION and probably for PT as well...

You can also add your book to another person's giveaway - then everyone gets noticed! Like TBM's monthly ebook giveaway. Pop Travel is part of it this month! And she's got some open slots in coming months...just give her a shout.

5) Pay it Forward

This last piece of easy marketing advice is an echo from Alex J Cavanaugh. He wrote an article for Patricia Stoltey about marketing, and he's been pretty successful at it! When we promote others, they will return the favor. Spread the love!

6) Finally, I've said it many times, but the absolute best way to get your books to sell is to
keep writing!

Many of you already know these marketing ideas, but they are still easy and effective. The harder job is peddling at book events, but I enjoy that part too. I just love the whole process. And if you have any advice to share - please do! We're all in this business together to keep folks reading!