Tag Archives: giveaways

Facebook Parties-Fab or Fad?

Good May Day, Scribe’s fans. PJ Sharon here. I won’t likely be dancing around a May pole today, but I will be celebrating Spring with over fifty of my author pals from the Book Lovers Buffet who are having a party over on Facebook this afternoon.

POL Music Cover Every fifteen minutes between 3-10 pm, EST, another romance author will be available to live chat with anyone who wants to stop by for a visit. I’ll be there from 7-7:15 pm. sharing favorite cruise destinations and giving away e-books and an i-Tunes download of the single, PIECES of LOVE, the theme song from my upcoming release.

Lest you think this is a silly waste of time, there will be oodles of giveaways and some enticing questions to draw a crowd throughout the day. Favorite paranormal creatures? Vacation destinations? Favorite perfume or men’s fragrance? Fashion, dance, Texas hunks…topics for everyone. There will be gift cards, e-books, audiobook giveaways and more!

So what’s with all the Facebook parties lately? Is it just the latest trend in author promotion? Or is it a savvy way to use the platform that so many of us have worked to build? Since connecting to readers is an all important part of our job as authors, hopping on the FB train seems like a good idea…at least for now. As with any new promotional trend, I suspect this one will burn itself out fairly quickly, but for now, I’m having fun with it and plan to use it for my book launch in June.

Here’s how it works (to the best of my knowledge and limited experience). To create a FB event:

  1. Click Events in the left menu of your homepage.
  2. Click Create Event in the top right.
  3. Fill in the event name, details, location and time, and then choose your privacy settings. Keep in mind that you must include an event name and time. (TIP: Keep the time limited to just a few hours if you are doing this on your own. It can be quite hectic and draining!)
  4. Click Invite Friends to add friends to the guest list. Check the names of the people you want to invite and then click Save.
  5. Click Create.

You’ll be taken to your event where you can share posts, upload photos, invite more guests, and edit event details.

That’s it!

Of course, you’ll want to create a theme for your party, upload a flashy new banner, offer incentives for people to stop by, create engaging content ahead of time so you can keep momentum going throughout the party, and maybe even have a famous guest or two stop by at a scheduled time so readers can pop in and live chat for a few minutes with your celebrity guest. You may want to enlist some help spreading the word via Twitter, Google+, Goodreads or other social media outlets.

Be creative and think outside the box. What do your readers love about your books? If you write cozy mysteries maybe share some recipes or craft ideas. If you write romantic suspense, maybe ask about favorite suspense movies, creepiest actors to play villains, etc. Consider your audience, make it fun and entertaining, and have some prizes to encourage reader engagement. Use Random.org to choose your winners. The way I use it for free is to keep a numbered list of commenters and then plug in the range of numbers (1-10 for instance if I have ten folks who have left comments) and let Random pick the winner’s number.

The bottom line, as always is that it’s not so much about “buy my book” as it is “hey, I’m a human just like you…let’s hang out.” Readers are much more likely to want to chat about books in general, life’s little entertainments, and what they can get for free than they are to respond to “buy” messages, so keep it real, keep it fun,  and keep it friendly.

I hope to see you all later over at the party!

What do you think of FB Parties? Fab or Fad?

Launch Party Time!

Welcome friends, guests, and party crashers! I’m so happy to have you all here to celebrate my latest release, WESTERN DESERT, Book Two in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy. I’ll get the business end of this gig over and done with so we can relax and have a few refreshments.

Drum roll…Curtain draws back…MC (preferably George Clooney) takes the stage, smiles and says: Without further ado…INTRODUCING PJ Sharon’s latest release!!

Thanks, George! I’ll take it from here…

Available NOW!
Available NOW!

WESTERN DESERT, Book Two in The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael trilogy, takes off where WANING MOON ends. Genetically enhanced sixteen-year-old Lily Carmichael, and seventeen-year-old Will Callahan embark on a journey across a sun-ravaged and decimated U.S. in the year 2057, bound for the Western Desert on a dangerous rescue mission. The survivors they meet along the way put Lily’s healing abilities to the test and challenge Will’s resolve to find his missing father—no matter the cost. But even with the burden of life and death on their shoulders, and the Industry hot on their trail, the greatest challenge they face is trusting their hearts to each other.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

BN

Smashwords

Print copies available directly from CREATE SPACE or on AMAZON

If you haven’t read Book One in the trilogy, WANING MOON, it’s available for FREE this week (June 24-28) for Kindle owners!

WM Final SMALL 72 pixels

Also available for FREE is SOUL REDEMPTION, the short story prequel to WANING MOON. You can download it for your e-reader from Smashwords, or read it directly on Wattpad. You won’t want to miss this dark and twisty journey into the mind of a teenager with the power of life and death in his touch. It definitely makes you wonder…what would I do?

Creepy, I know!

Let’s move on to the fun part…

Feel free to pop over to Suze’s page of treats later where you’ll find some awesome recipes for drinks (non-alcoholic ones for our YA friends), and some tasty hors d’oeuvres! But don’t forget to come back, because I have some prizes to give away.

Three of you will be chosen randomly to receive signed copies of one of my first three books. You can choose between HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE, or SAVAGE CINDERELLA. You can find out more about these books by visiting my website’s Contemporary YA Books page. I’ll be happy to mail you your signed copy, providing you leave a valid email address in the comments below so I can contact you privately for your mailing address. Enter ie: maryjanedoe(at)emailaddress(dot)com.

You can also win a nifty swag bag with some cool Lily Carmichael items, including a wooden whistle, a lanyard, bookmarks, and a signed copy of both WANING MOON and WESTERN DESERT.

My grand prize giveaway is a NOOK Simple Touch!

It’s easy to enter. Simply leave a comment below with a valid email address if you want a single entry. For more chances to win, just let me know what you’ve done to help spread the word about my new release. Share this post to FB, twitter (or retweet any tweets with the hashtag #WesternDesert), or you can follow me on any of my social media platforms listed below. You could also sign up for my newsletter (for occasional updates). For each effort you tell me about, I’ll enter your name for another chance to win! Contest ends at midnight on June 30, and winners will be announced next Tuesday right here on the Scribes.

Hang out with me at the following places online:

Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+

So now that you have the low down on where to find my new book, connected with me at my various online hangouts, and you’ve downloaded some FREE books, pull up a chair and let’s chat. Don’t forget to grab a beverage and a snack and leave your comments, an email address, and what you’ve done to enter for the prizes. I’ll be posting some excerpts today in the comments section below, and look forward to you sharing your questions, responses, and thoughts.

I love a simple bouquet of flowers for a center piece, don’t you? As a conversation starter, tell me what books have you most been looking forward to reading this summer? Any new releases coming out soon that you are dying to get your hands on? Come on, people, dishing about books is what we do around here. Let’s get this party started!

Blast From the Past

Hey, all. Suze here. Guess what? May is the Scribes’ birthday month! We’re going to have some special things going on all month long in honor of our upcoming first anniversary (including some pretty cool giveaways!). Make sure you visit us every day so you don’t miss anything.

Just for fun, I thought I’d repost my very first blog. Hope you enjoy it!

Hi, all.  Susannah Hardy here.  I’m a writer of humorous mysteries set in the fictional resort town of Bonaparte Bay.  I hope you’ll be able to travel there with me soon!

With summer approaching, I was thinking about my own childhood summers in northern New York State, way up by the Canadian border.  I would often spend a day or two with my grandma, Gert.  Gert lived with her second husband in a little converted one room schoolhouse, surrounded by zinnias, peonies (which she called “pineys”), and old-fashioned pink roses.   She always did her housework and gardening in the morning, because after lunch she dropped everything.  She’d make herself a cup of Red Rose tea and put an Archway cookie on a plate, then park herself in her rust-colored velour recliner in front of the television to watch her “stories.”  Now, there was no cable where she lived and she only got a couple of stations, so it was the CBS soap operas for her — The Edge of Night, and Secret Storm, and As the World Turns.

The point is, her stories were important to her, so she scheduled her other activities in such a way that she had time for them.  And that’s a lesson we can all learn as writers.

There are so many demands on our time — families, housework, jobs for those of us still in the traditional workforce — it can seem impossible to eke out even a few minutes to write.   I’m here to tell you, though, that The Dream, whatever The Dream constitutes for you, is never going to come true unless you find time for it.

Notice I didn’t say “make time.”   We’ve all got the same twenty-four hours in the day (at least here on Earth that’s true — you fantasy and sci-fi writers, modify to suit your particular planetary rotation), so there’s no way to make the day magically longer.  However, we can structure our days to include a few hours, or even just a few minutes, to work on our stories.

Maybe you can get up an hour earlier than the rest of your family (easier in the summer than the winter here in the Northeast!).  Maybe you can skip going out to lunch with your co-workers, but instead brown-bag it with your BFF the laptop in an unused office or the local coffee shop.  Maybe you could – gasp! –ask your family to make a simple dinner a couple of nights a week, or put in a load of laundry, or run the vacuum cleaner.   Maybe you could — bigger gasp, possibly resulting in hyperventilation! — limit Facebooking, Tweeting,  Internet surfing, e-mail reading, and/or television watching.  You might just be surprised at how much you can get done in an hour or less of focused effort.  And even small amounts will eventually add up to a completed manuscript.

Take a look at your typical day and see where you can rearrange or delegate some tasks, or delete some time-suckers, to find time for your Stories.  Nobody else will, or can, do it for you.

Till next time,

Susannah

Hopping with Authors in Bloom

Hey gang, PJ Sharon here on this second Tuesday in April. I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday weekend with lots of good food and time with family. After such a “hoppy” weekend, it seems only reasonable to suggest that April is the best time of year for a spring blog hop. For those of you who have only heard the term Blog Hop, and have wondered, ummm…what the heck is a blog hop? Well, I’m here to fill you in.

A blog hop is a way for many authors to join together to cross promote. Some dedicated and organized soul (thank you Dianne Venetta), sets up the main landing page with all of the instructions, rules, and links to all of the participating author’s blogs/websites. There is usually a grand prize, (Kindles, Nooks, and I-pads are popular), with a set of rules as to how to enter for the grand prize. For instance, the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop requires that entrants go to each of the participating author’s sites and “collect” phrases that add up to a complete story. If they collect all the phrases and go to the AIB landing page they can enter to win the grand prize.

Of course, as they stop at each participating site, they can also enter to win prizes from each author as well. I added this Authors in Bloom icon to my home page of my website with a link to my promotional blog where I’m giving away a prize pack that includes signed copies of my books, tee shirt, mug, pen, book marks, World Wildlife Fund water bottle, national Wildlife Fund tote and stuffed polar bear. In other words, SWAG. Since we are trying to draw in the largest crowd of our target audience, who are mostly Romance readers and adult YA readers, we added a favorite recipe (a yummy and super easy Sunny Delight pie) and/or a gardening tip (Manure tea, anyone?) for all of our readers.  As a way to increase my visibility and reach, I gave lots of opportunities to stack up entries by leaving a comment, “liking’ my FaceBook page, following me on Twitter, tweeting about the blog hop, or signing up for my mailing list. For each effort, I add another entry into the drawing for that person. Isn’t it great how everybody wins here?

The general idea is to give folks incentive for visiting each authors site. There are seventy-four authors participating for a ten day blog hop, so there are literally hundreds of prizes to be won and tons of wonderful recipes and gardening tips to be had. There’s lots of interactive fun and  a blog hop is a great way to connect to readers.

The cost to each author was $5.50 which we voluntarily pitched in to buy an e-reader. The winner will have a choice of which type they’d like. The grand prize also comes with a $25 Amazon gift card.

The idea is to get people to visit your website or blog, help you grow your reader base and spread the word via FB, Twitter, or signing up for your mailing list. I’ve hear that increasing your visibility and extending your sphere of influence are the keys to a good marketing plan and this way, you have a whole team of authors working on it together. EVERYBODY WINS! I’m excited to see what the results will be! I’ll keep you posted.

Any questions about Blog Hops?

We Give You Fever … Again!

Hey, everybody. Suze here.  I’ve preempted your regularly scheduled J Monkeys programming to bring back Kensington author, Joan Swan, whose debut novel FEVER releases on February 28. Read through to the end to find out about Joan’s giveaways!  (Click here to read Joan’s earlier post) Welcome back, Joan.

Yowza! I’ve been waiting months for this book!

Now that your release is almost here (February 28!), how excited are you?  What’s going through your mind right now?

Thanks for having me back!!

I’m actually really excited!  What’s helped create excitement vs. anxiety is that Fever has already received many wonderful reviews.  (You can see them here.)  For a debut author, this is a huge relief knowing the majority of people who’ve had the chance to read an early copy have enjoyed the story!

What’s been going through my mind?

“ACK!!”  Yep, that actually does run through my mind about every twenty minutes, punctuated by, “What’s next?”  “What have I missed?”  “What haven’t I done yet?”  “What do I still need to do?”  “What am I going to have to let slide?”  and “Can I sleep yet?”

Tell us a little bit about FEVER.  I know I’m hot to buy it!

Thanks Suze!!

A mysterious explosion at a military warehouse injuries a team of seven hazmat firefighters, killing one.  The contents of the building, chemicals used by the Department of Defense, have inflicted the team with various paranormal abilities.  Abilities the government wants to study covertly.  Abilities the team wants to understand and expose.

FEVER is about one of the seven firefighters, Teague Creek, convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, framed by a government threatened by his prying questions into the warehouse explosion.  Teague has been denied an appeal, lost the daughter he lived for, and the career as a firefighter he loved.  With no hope left, he plans an escape.  But his plan goes wrong when the woman he kidnaps as leverage to get his daughter back turns out to be someone else.  And this woman quickly clues into the abilities he tries to hide, creating a bond neither can afford while they’re on the run from both the cops and undercover operatives who want Teague silenced.  This time, permanently.

You are doing an amazing job of marketing and promoting your debut release.  I see you everywhere.  Can you reveal what your strategy was/is and how you’ve gone about implementing it in the months leading up to FEVER’s release?  How much assistance did your publisher give you, and how much did you put together on your own?

I have an intricately choreographed strategy of throw everything I can grab against the wall and see what sticks.

Actually, I’m being only slightly sarcastic.  Though I never meant it to turn out that way, in retrospect, that is what happened.

Basically, my publisher gave me little to no help.  In their defense, publishers give most authors very little resources now, and debut authors typically get nothing.  There is a publicist at Kensington who has gone out of her way to help me with ideas and contacts and providing extra copies of my book for the extensive blog tour I’m doing so I can offer giveaways of Fever at each stop, which has been fabulous.

Some of the things I’ve done that have worked best have been:

  • Starting early:  I built a website, engaged in social media and built relationships well before I sold.  This all gave me a leg up when that time came, and a head start now, when my book is being released.
  • Networking:  By building friendships and professional relationships with other authors, I’ve built a web of support, strength, intelligence and resources.  We all have unique things to offer each other—as friends and business associates.  Banding together we are so much stronger than standing apart.  This was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  These relationships have brought me readers, contacts, alliances, information and friendships that will last a lifetime.
  • Giving:  When you give, you bring people to you.  Yes, for some it will be simply for the prize.  But you are imprinting your name and your brand on them.  And for some, it will develop into more.  When you give, you inspire the same in others and they give back.  The generosity I have received from both writers and readers as a result of giving in some way has astounded me.
  • Consistency:  Building a following takes time and consistency.  If you’re not always there, if you’re not sending a consistent message, people won’t stick.
  • Authenticity:  Promotion is about building relationships, not selling books.  People don’t buy your book because they meet you on Twitter or read your blog.  They buy your because they see you have something valuable to say, because they see you’ve studied your craft, you have an engaging voice, you have heart, you have personality, you’re real.  People buy your book because they’ve gotten to know you and they believe in your ability to entertain them through your work.
  • Supporting the bigger picture:  It’s great to talk about your work, share great reviews, tell them where you’re going to be and when you’ll be giving something away.  But it’s also great to talk about others’ work, share others’ great reviews and tell them where others’ are going to be and when others’ will be giving something away.  We’re all in this together and helping someone else now means they’ll be around to help you sometime too.

How are you juggling having a day job, a family life, and a blossoming writing career?  I know we’d all love to hear about (and be inspired by) your time management process.

Um…sorry.  I won’t be providing any inspiration here—unless it’s inspiration to do it differently.

Honestly, I’m very imbalanced.  On the up side—I know it.  This is a conscious choice.  It’s also a short term choice.  I’m of the belief that one works hard for what one wants, and that one reaps what one sows.  Therefore, I’m putting everything I’ve got behind this debut book:  FEVER.

But I think it’s important to point out that while above I mentioned in regards to tactics, I may be using the al Dante method, in vision, I am crystal clear.

What I’m doing is investment marketing.  Investment marketing is dumping a lot of resources into something now with the bet/hope/gamble it will pay off in the future.  I am investing in my career as an author and I’m using FEVER, my debut novel, as a vehicle to give me a running start.  Because FEVER only has a limited life cycle, I’m putting every scrap of time and energy I can generate into revving that baby up, so it will spring me as far as possible—the way you stretch a rubber band as much as you can to get the biggest snap.

Once my appearances end and the blog tour ramps down, I’ll find my balance again.  I’ll regroup.  I’ll examine all my marketing efforts for FEVER and restrategize for BLAZE—hopefully in a far more sane and manageable fashion.

Great progress takes great sacrifice.  So, for now, I’m surviving.  I’m meeting my obligations, getting my family to pitch in, taking care of myself and letting others take care of themselves.

How do you plan to celebrate on February 28 when FEVER is released?  Will it involve chocolate and/or champagne?

*laughing*  No.  My extensive blog tour has me managing about 9 blog posts (and all the comments and giveaways for them) per week…which means the ones that have passed, because comments continue for about a week’s time, the ones for the current week, and making sure I have all the blogs coming up written and turned in.

In addition to that, I’m revising a two-time Golden Heart finalist manuscript for Indie publication in April and it needs to be into the editor by the end of February.  With my promotional crush for FEVER, I’m working down to the wire on that project.

I imagine February 28th will be spent writing, writing and writing.   I’m livin’ the dream!  Livin’ the dream!

What’s next for you?  Is your next book finished, or still in process?  Can you give us a hint?

Book 2 in the Phoenix Rising series is BLAZE, which releases in October.  I recently received the back cover copy of BLAZE, which ROCKS!  And I’ll share it with you here:

                            The hotter they come, the harder they fall…

                 With a man like him, every mission becomes personal…

Ever since FBI agent Keira O’Shay started tracking a young boy named Mateo, she’s felt a connection even her empathic abilities can’t explain. She needs to save Mateo from the cult leader holding him hostage. Nothing can interfere with that—not even the reappearance of Luke Ransom, the hot-as-hell fire captain she’s regretted walking out on for three long years.

Losing Keira left Luke vulnerable—in every way. When they were together, the powers each possesses were mysteriously enhanced. But it’s the sexy, surprising woman beneath the tough exterior that Luke’s really missed. Even if she betrayed him utterly. And even if agreeing to help her uncover a government conspiracy means watching his life and his heart go up in flames again…

And the Indie book I mentioned above is a romantic suspense and releases in April.  Here’s a little about INTIMATE ENEMIES:

Cassandra Christo is on a quest for answers. Six months after the mysterious yacht explosion that killed her mother and stepbrother, authorities still have no answers to the cause. Searching for closure, Cassie returns to her childhood home on the Pacific Coast of Baja, Mexico, where she launches her own investigation into the accident.  But there she runs into two major obstacles: her stepfather, a man Cassie despises and who she suspects is involved in illegal activities, and Rio Santana, Saul’s right hand man and the person she unknowingly let into her heart after he comforted her during the darkest moment of her life.

Rio’s been fantasizing about reconnecting with Cassie for months. But not here and sure as hell not now, when he’s only weeks away from finalizing transport of a terrorist cell over the U.S.-Mexico border. As an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he’s working the biggest sting operation in all of northern Mexico, and he definitely doesn’t have time for the wild attraction he feels for Cassie, let alone the risk it poses to his cover.

So when Cassie’s stepfather grows nervous about her investigation and orders Rio to use seduction as a last ditch effort to keep her from learning too much, Rio thinks he’s found the perfect solution. Until, that is, the heat between them turns into a full blown inferno. Suddenly, Rio’s not sure who’s doing the seducing. And not only is his cover on the line, so is his heart. Because as the end of a yearlong operation draws closer, Rio knows if he tells Cassie the truth about who and what he is, it won’t only jeopardize his mission, it may result in him losing her forever. And if he doesn’t, his lies and deception could get them both killed.

Author Bio:  Joan Swan is a triple RWA® Golden Heart finalist and writes sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal twist.  Her debut novel with Kensington Brava, FEVER, releases February 28, 2012.  Her second novel, BLAZE, follows in October, 2012.

In her day job, she works as a sonographer for one of the top ten medical facilities in the nation and lives on the California central coast in beautiful wine country with her husband and two daughters.

Book Blurb: Release Date: 2/28

When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she’s in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need…
A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn’t, until his escape plan develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever…

Giveaway:

Buy links:  Amazon| Barnes & Noble | Booksamillion

My linksWebsite | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Thanks so much for being with us today, Joan!  It’s only a few more days till FEVER releases, everyone! And as you can see Joan’s got plenty more in store for us.  Questions, anybody? Commenters here and on Joan’s other blog stops (see above) are eligible for some really great prizes, so don’t be shy!