Seeking ARC Readers for “the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes”

I mentioned Booksprout in my Marketing Northern Survival Sunday Update #2. I stated I had never heard of or used the service before this date. Wanting to give this service an opportunity to see what it could do, I uploaded a copy of the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes (PDF and Mobi formats).

Unlike Northern Survival, this is truly an ARC (advanced reading copy), and I’m sure when the paperback is reviewed when it arrives in two weeks, I’ll find things I need to correct and want to change. Keep this in mind if you decide to participate.

A few organic copies will be snatched up, but I’m interested in seeing if I can generate more interest by promoting the service and book. There are only 20 copies available.

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Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #4

The promotions for my book launch for Northern Survival are almost complete.

Here’s the summary of what I’ve done to promote the book and where it appeared in the past week. My price stayed at, what I’m now calling, the launch price of $1.99. On October 15th, I will increase the price to $4.99.

The Laker – Free

About two weeks ago, I wrote and submitted an article about my book to a local online newspaper. On September 19th, it appeared: Author From Milford Releases Latest Book Northern Survival. I love free publicity. I’ve had various articles published in this newspaper (formerly The Weekly Press), including my weekly Garden Tales column a few years ago, interviews of other authors and other press releases for my books. The newspaper has changed form and editors, but it’s still alive.

Hot Zippy – $24 USD ($32.57 CAD)

On September 23rd, I ran an ad with Hot Zippy. I’ve never used this service before, and, as mentioned above, I did not reduce the price of my book.

The website to book the promotion is here. They have a few genre sites, and the one that suited my book the best was Romance.com. Books are promoted through an email subscription and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest). Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: Access Copyright Issues Cheques Early

I received a message from Access Copyright late in the week to inform members, who are eligible for this year’s Payback, that payments are scheduled for distribution on Friday October 9th – one month earlier than usual.

Those with direct deposit usually receive payment on the date given on the website or, in this case, the email message. I believe cheques get mailed on that day, so for those waiting for ‘the cheque’s in the mail’ deliver depends on Canada Post.

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Wednesday’s Word: Tony Riches Presents “Drake – Tudor Corsair”

Tony RichesIntroducing historical fiction author Tony Riches, from Pembrokeshire in Wales UK. Tony has two best-selling Tudor trilogies to his credit, and the first book of his new Elizabethan series was released this summer. In this interview, he shares a little bit about it.

1.) What is the title of your recent book? Is it a series, what genre is it and is it suitable for all ages?

My latest book, Drake – Tudor Corsair, is a biographical fiction novel about the life of Sir Francis Drake. After extensive research, I’ve taken a fresh look at Drake’s adventures – and found that most of what I thought I knew about him was wrong. This is the first book in my new Elizabethan series – which will complete the stories of the Tudors.

2.) In a few sentences, tell us a little about the book. Give us a glimpse of the plot without giving away any spoilers.

Devon sailor Francis Drake sets out on a journey of adventure, and learns of routes used to transport Spanish silver and gold. Queen Elizabeth is intrigued by Drake and secretly encourages his piracy. Her unlikely champion becomes a national hero, sailing around the world in the Golden Hinde and attacking the Spanish fleet. Then King Philip of Spain has enough of Drake’s plunder – and orders an Armada to threaten the future of England.

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Sometimes You Really Can’t Go Back

This was supposed to be a review of Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, but I can’t do it. Back in the mid-80s, reading this novel as an impressionable young teen who loved the fantasy world and wanted to be a writer, I devoured it. Loved it. But times change. Minds grow, develop and adapt to their surroundings. What had enthralled me then, doesn’t today. Let me explain.

A Yard Sale Find

Wanting to relive that feeling I initially felt, when I saw the July 12, 1983 Mass Market version of The Sword of Shannara at a yard sale for 50 cents, I snatched it up. My hardcopy had been out of sight and mind for almost 17 years, when my youngest moved into my office and my office was packed away in boxes and stored in various closets.

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Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #3

I’m half way into my book launch promotions for Northern Survival, and Fall is two days away.

Quick Fact: On September 17th (in some year not long ago, or perhaps it was this year or the next), the four-seater plane, in which Olive and John were travelling, crashed in Northern Ontario. They were only days away from the first day of autumn in a place that greeted winter earlier than here in Nova Scotia and many other places in North America.

Here’s the summary of where my book appeared in the past week. For this week’s promotion, I took advantage of Kindle Select’s free days at Amazon. I used only 2 of the 5 for September 17th and 18th. The other five days, the book was at regular price: $1.99.

The Miramichi Reader – $10 CAD a month

On September 14th, I sent my ad to The Miramichi Reader, and they placed it in their right-hand margin that evening. The website is operated by a local fella in my neighbouring province of New Brunswick. James posts reviews, releases and other news in the local (and sometime not local) book industry. He offered a reasonable price for ad space from now until December 31st. That price fit into my budget, so the ad I made will remain on this site until the end of the year. At that time, I’ll evaluate it and decide if I want to continue.

The link connected to the ad takes people to the Northern Survival book page on my McGyver site and because WordPress keeps track of where visitors come from, I’ll be able to see how many come from The Miramichi Reader.

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Introducing Blog Tours on Wednesday’s Word

In my effort to promote my books over the years, I’ve been fortunate to be a guest on various websites. As I search for more avenues to spread the word of my books, I’m finding others who want to do the same. It’s not always easy to find blogs to provide space for advertising, and finding free ones are more difficult. This is made all more necessary due to the lack of opportunities to meet readers personally at markets and other venues.

So, for the unforeseeable future, I’m offering up space on my blog each Wednesday for a writer to promote their book. This is ideal for authors doing blog tours for new releases.

What Can Authors Post?

  • Introductions to your book. It can be done freestyle or in question format. This is a great way to brag about your new release or upcoming release.
  • Interview: You create the questions and provide the answers.
  • 5-Question Interview: I’m posting 5-question interviews from now until the end of the year. You can answer those questions and use that as your post. Laura Best’s 5-Question interview has the questions and provides an excellent example of length.

Focus

I’d prefer, and it’s in your best interest, to focus on one book: your new release or the last book you had published. If this is a book in a series, of course, mention the series, but don’t discuss the other books.

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Book Review: Storm of Divine Light by Ernesto San Giacomo

Revisiting the past is a deadly game of false mentors and betrayed apprentices.

Storm of Divine LightHis Mage-Sense had reached out to him like a psychic serpent coiling around his mind and slithering into his subconscious.

I had not gone but a few lines and this sentence coiled its way into my mind. It gave me pause for thought and I wondered, what path have I set my feet upon? More than 300 pages later, I found the path to be one of adventure, mystery and magic; all trails I enjoy.

In Storm of Divine Light, book 1 in The Tales of Tyrennia series, Ernesto San Giacomo weaves a story around a man with a past, a dark past, a past he’d sooner forget. Yet, perhaps Blackmond Moonshadow – oops! I mean Dagorat inwardly wants to find closure for this past life so he can imagine a future, possibly one with a family. While the depth’s of Dagorat’s powers are not fully explored in book one, I feel we will see more of them in the coming books.

His companion, Cyril the Wise, provides guidance and, at times, entertainment with his wisdom and crush on the finest cook in Mentiria, a Halfling named Lilly, who works at Sword and Anvil Tavern.

Together Dagorat and Cyril are called upon to solve a great theft, one that might destroy their world if the stolen goods fall into the wrong hands—and you know, it falls into the wrong hands. They set out to capture the thieves and along the way, Dagorat discovers much more than he bargained for and is forced to confront his dark past or return to it.

Unlike many fantasy stories, I didn’t have to struggle with strange names that make me roll my eyes, wishing the writer would have chosen Bill or George, anything but Sueelliea. While hard-to-pronounce, obviously-made-up-names were popular in the 80s, writers have since realised readers hate them.

Presentation: I bought the paperback. It was well-constructed and well-designed. The text was excellent for these tired, old eyes. Hats off to the designer who chose the layout, line spacing and font size. I loved it.

To learn more about Ernesto and his books, visit his San Giacomo’s Corner – A Place to Connect with Readers.

Storm of Divine Light is available in eBook or paperback at Amazon.

Enjoy.

 

Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #2

Northern Survival

We’re almost at the halfway mark of the month. So far, sales have been better online for this book launch than previous book launches. However, face-to-face sales are still not happening. Here’s the summary of where my books appeared in the past week. For this week’s promotion, the book is half price, only 99 cents. The sale ended Thursday September 10th, and the book is back to the regular $1.99 price.

Discount Book Man – $15 USD – $5 (coupon) ($13.61 CAD)

On September 7th, my book was posted to Discount Book Man’s website and sent to the subscribers of their newsletter. I’ve never used this service before. After I had bought an ad from Awesome Gang, I received an email message from them to confirm my order. In that message, there were several other ad sites mentioned, some that offered coupons, including one for Discount Book Man. That’s where I found the $5 off coupon to reduce the fee from $15 to $10.

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Comparing the Printing Quality of Lulu to KDP Print

Back in May, I had ordered two copies of Healing Stones from the two printers I use regularly. I wanted to compare the quality of the printing and paper for both the interior and cover. Here’s what I found.

The two printers I used were Lulu and KDP Print. All aspects of the books were the same, including the matte cover.

Cover

Healing Stones front coversWhen placed side-by-side and compared closely, the Lulu copy is a shade darker and the greens in the girl’s hood are greener than that by KDP Print. If the books were held apart, these differences are not noticed.

However, the squares around the “T” on the spines are noticeably different if held apart. The Lulu version is the blue I had chosen and looks like that on my computer. The KDP Print book has a purple square.

Healing Stones spine

The back covers look identical.

Thickness of Cover: It may be my imagination, but when I finger the cover, the KDP Print version feels thicker. However, the more I compare the covers by fingering them, the more I think I’m crazy. Maybe it isn’t. But for this exercise, I’m going to say the KDP Print cover is a breath thicker than the Lulu cover.

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Today I’m at Indie Author News

Indie Author News is a paid for service. It cost $25 USD, which translated to $33.92 Canadian (Yeah, our dollar sucks!). I’m hoping for results, but we’ll see. I’ll share my results of all these ad providers when the book launch promotions for Northern Survival are completed: the first week of October.

While ads may only give a small bump in sales, that small bump may translate into a larger bump by the next ad.

You can visit the website to learn more and see how things are presented (Indie Author News), but here’s how the top of the page looks today with my “Book of the Day” ad at the top right.

Indie Author News ad

Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #1

Northern Survival
The eBook is NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon

As mentioned in my Book Launch post, I am trying a few new things this September to promote my book online. Given the current limitations to public events and possibly the cancellation of the annual craft show this fall where I sell a large number (large number as in between 30 and 50 each year) of books, I don’t have the usual venues in which to get my new book in front of readers.

I know, online is where it’s at, but I sell a lot of books in person from a small table at craft shows, farmers’ markets and pop-up markets. I love talking to readers, and I always meet a published or hope-to-be published author at events.

Turning to online means trying new things and investing money in ads instead of gas and table rentals. My Sunday updates will summarize where I appeared online during the week to promote my book. I’ve checked out dozens of sites that offer ads, some free, some that cost money. My wallet doesn’t permit me to spend hundreds of dollars willy-nilly, so I set my budget at around $100 to see what I could do with it. That’s $100 for the entire month.

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5-Question Interview with Laura Best

Author Laura BestIntroducing Nova Scotia author Laura Best. She has several books to her credit: Bitter, Sweet; Flying with a Broken Wing and Cammie Takes Flight. Her first novel for an adult audience, Good Mother’s Don’t, was released this spring. In this interview, she shares a little bit about it.

A book signing for Good Mothers Don’t takes place at LaHave River Books, 3421 Highway 331, LaHave on Sunday September 6th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. That’s tomorrow!

1.) What is the title of your recent book? Is it a series, what genre is it and is it suitable for all ages?

My latest book, Good Mothers Don’t, is a literary novel for adults. While my previous novels are young adult, this is my first fiction novel for adults.

2.) In a few sentences, tell us a little about the book. Give us a glimpse of the plot without giving away any spoilers.

In 1960s Nova Scotia, Elizabeth seems to have a nice life—a husband who takes care of her, two healthy children, a farm—but her mind is unraveling and eventually she is taken away to a mental hospital. Unfolding in two time periods—1960 and 1975—Good Mothers Don’t is the story of a woman’s struggle with mental illness and her quest, 15 years later, to apologize to her children and put the pieces of her life back together.

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Book Launch: Northern Survival on Sale for 99 cents

Northern Survival

To celebrate the release of Northern Survival, it’s on sale for 99 cents for seven days, starting today. I’m making September the month of intense promotions for this fast-paced read that I identify as fiction – survival – adventure – romance.

For this 7-day sale, my book will be mentioned in the following promotional newsletters, blogs and websites.

I’m waiting on a few other sites to respond. When they do, I’ll make note of them.

I’ll also make posts about the book and the sale on this website, my McGyver website, Quarter Castle Publishing website, the publisher’s Twitter account and my Instagram.

At the end of the Book Launch campaign, I’ll give a summary of the results. That will be October 6th. The only marketing site I’ve used before was eBook Betty, so it will be interesting to see the results the others produce.

From Friday September 4th to Thursday September 10th, Northern Survival will be half price: 99 cents. It’s available at:

Happy Reading.

99 cent sale

A New Season Starts Today

Can you smell that? If you were in Nova Scotia, you’d smell the crisp, single-digit morning that tells the primal self fall is on the way; time to prepare for winter. Or is it the unmistakable aroma of school supplies being sorted at the kitchen table with anticipation of the first day of classes that ignites your energy?

While some look at September as an ending to summer, I see it more as a start to a new year that holds the potential for something fantastic to happen.

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