Thursday, December 11, 2014

Interactive eBook Apps: The Reinvention of Reading and Interactivity


The invention of the tablet PC has created a new medium for book publishing. Interactive books are everywhere, and have revolutionized the way people consume the printed word. With the recent software available to allow easy creation of interactive books and with the race to bring these products to market, there seems to be a more and more dilution of quality and a loss for the meaning of interactivity. When publishers create new eBook titles or convert a traditional printed book to a digital interactive eBook, they often miss the added value this new medium can provide.

It’s important to understand the distinction between apps and eBooks, as it's something that often confuses both publishers and consumers. It basically comes down to formats; apps are mostly native iOS or Android software, whereas eBooks are documents of a particular format, such as the open standards EPUB and Mobipocket (.mobi). And eBooks can be further distinguished from “enhanced eBooks,” which use formats such as ePUB3 for iBooks (Apple) and Kindle Format 8 (KF8) for Kindle Fire (Amazon).

eBooks were the first to appear on devices such as the Kindle, and have very limited interactivity. You are mainly able to flip the pages, search for content, or highlight words to see a dictionary definition. These devices also allowed font size to be increased to enable visually impaired readers enjoy books more easily. This gave publishers the unforeseen benefit of regaining a large population of users who couldn’t read printed books.

Enhanced eBooks (ePUB3) are a new digital publication standard that allows easy integration of video, audio, and interactivity. I expect this format to advance the future of textbooks and other educational material. Future textbooks might be able to "read themselves" with audio narration, perhaps preventing students from actually reading. But the benefits outweigh the downsides; for example, the new text books might also offer the ability to make and share annotations without destroying the book, interactive self-tests throughout the chapters, and generally a much more enjoyable learning experience.

Apple has recently released iBooks Author, a free eBook creation software that lets anyone with a Mac to create iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, etc. iBooks Author generates a proprietary format for books that will only be available for sale on Apple devices. Adobe has also made available a Digital Publishing Suite via InDesign for the iPad, Android, and Blackberry platforms. Mag+ and Moglue are two other independent publishing platforms that are worth mentioning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Death Has a Daughter


Cendall, history’s first female Grim Reaper, has until her eighteenth birthday to prove she’s worthy of
However, nothing could have prepared Cendall for Lacie—a soul that is protected by multiple Guardians, wanted by Demons, and, most startling of all, can see Cendall.
Cendall uses every trick in the book to try and slip past Lacie’s Guardians and collect her soul, but a Demon interferes at the last moment. In the chaos, Cendall accidently saves Lacie’s soul, along with one of the injured Guardians. Realizing Cendall fears termination for her mistake, the Guardian blackmails her with an offer she can’t refuse: in exchange for his silence, Cendall must keep Lacie’s soul safe from the Demon, until he recovers from his injuries. Cendall agrees—with the intention of checking Lacie’s soul off her list, the instant the Guardian is healed. But as the three of them are forced to work together, Cendall begins to question why Lacie is wanted by the Demons and if her name actually belonged on Cendall’s list in the first place.
the role. The only obstacle in her way are those pesky Guardian Angels who protect human souls, but Cendall is certain she can handle any Guardian who gets in her way.

Amazon Link => http://www.amazon.com/dp/1497455456/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_asp_c8QCH.0REWP57

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to Market Your Romance Novel on Pinterest, Goodreads, and more


When wandering along the precarious paths of book marketing, no doubt you have heard of using social networking to market your books. But it’s never as easy as announcing your wonderful book to the world and watching your book climb The New York Times best sellers list or the USA Today best sellers list. We’ll look at fallacies and facts related about building a social media presence and how to optimize social media to promote your romance novel.

First, the Bad News
You have written your masterpiece and made it as wonderful as you possibly can. You have published it and got it on all the distributor channels for e-books and paperbacks that you can muster — and it falls flat. Your Amazon ranking sits somewhere in the 1 millions. Desperate, you use Facebook and Twitter to announce the book to the world and get nothing but crickets. Maybe your Amazon numbers dip into the 100,000’s and then creep back up.
What in the heck happened?
This is actually pretty common when it comes to books by unknown or relatively unknown authors. Without the fan base to support the author and without the book reaching the intended audience, the books simply becomes one of millions of books available online.

Time Waster or Book-Marketing Powerhouse?
You can increase your presence and reach your intended audience using social media. Social media promotes your presence online and includes blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and a host of other online forums where you can talk with people about all sorts of things, including your book.
If you are already using social media to stay in touch with family and friends, you’re probably already aware of what a time sink social media can be. Between all the memes, the cute cat pictures, news stories, and other items, you can spend hours wasting time with little more to show for it than learning what character in Firefly you are.
Because it can be a real trap to the unsuspecting author, it can suck you in and leave you wondering where the day went. For example, there are games and apps on Facebook that can totally waste your time. However, if you avoid such temptations, you may find that Facebook is a great place for book marketing.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Raising the Darkness


This writer knows how to snare the peruser. A jolting opening. Abruptly we are thurst into the place

I needed the fundamental character to be protected and established for her in her frightening adventure. An awakening peak. You won't be baffled.
that is known for the half-dead as resigned ex-vampires battle to reconnect with their lives. I adored 'the tuner' the part-enchantment, part engineering, part psychic instrument. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Why More Women Should Read Romance Novels


A number of years ago at the height of the shirtless hero craze on romance book covers, one of my novels featured an artist's rendering of an impish little girl dragging angel wings. A television news anchor in Washington, DC, held it up on camera and asked, "Where's Fabio?"
I laughed and told him, "Fabio doesn't live in my books."
While it's pretty clear with well over 100 novels to my credit that I'm a huge fan of romance, my infatuation with the genre goes beyond Fabio and other sexy cover models with their six-pack abs and larger-than-life persona. As a reader and as a writer, I want the kind of hero who might well live down the block and walk into my life at any second, the guy with a sense of humor, with strong values and a degree of dependability that will make him a wonderful lifelong partner.
I often hear from readers that what they love the most are the "real" people who live in the pages of my stories. They identify with the women who face problems that they themselves have faced. They're inspired when the characters not only survive, but thrive. In fact, for some the characters become so real, they tell me they worry about them between books. And just recently I heard from a man who said the stories had helped him to rekindle the romance in his marriage after 22 years and 8 children! The simple fact that he was looking for ways to rekindle the romance made him a hero to my way of thinking.
As far back as I can recall both proponents and critics of romance novels have labeled many of them as fantasies for women. Critics suggest that creates unrealistic expectations. Proponents cheer for the fantasies that keep female blood pumping and spawn a few steamy dreams.

I tend to look at romance -- in books and in real life -- a bit differently. While the arrival of a knight-in-shining-armor in the middle of a crisis might be a welcome sight and being carried off to a carefree life of wealth and pleasure might even be a secret dream, most of us are going to find romance in other ways. It's going to be in that sweet, unexpected comment that makes us smile or the little gesture that demonstrates just how much we're appreciated. Our hero is going to be the guy who notices that something needs fixing and just does it or who plans a special date that might mean nothing to another woman, but means the world to us. It may even be the man who stands by, ready to help in a crisis, but wise enough to know how much we need to discover we can depend on ourselves.
I think our view of romance -- what we want and what we need -- changes over time. Age and experience kick in. While the very young want the heart-stopping excitement and passion, in time we come to appreciate a good laugh, respect, and common interests.
The one thing that never fades is the longing to see "that" look in someone's eyes, the twinkle that makes us feel desirable and alive. I think that's one reason so many of my books are multi-generational, with people of all ages discovering that a new romance may be just around the corner. I believe in those possibilities that remind us life can be worth living till the very last breath we take.
In my Sweet Magnolias series, for instance, there are several "senior" Magnolias, who openly talk about their views on finding love at their stage of life. One is actively dating a younger man to the horror of her suddenly traditional middle-age daughter. A few very lively debates ensue that I imagine many of us can relate to -- from one point of view or the other!
In this latest Ocean Breeze trilogy, which kicks off March 26 with Sand Castle Bay, not only do the three Castle sisters find love, but so does their grandmother, Cora Jane. The issues she faces as a widow who was happily married for many years are very different from those who were unhappily wed. And for me there was something especially endearing about the patient man who stayed in the background, never even hinting at his feelings out of respect for her husband and her marriage. Now, though, he's courting her with all the understanding he's gained through years of friendship.
Bottom line, whether we're in our twenties or our seventies, we all need a strong bond to another human being. In fact, for older women, who've been widowed or divorced or never married at all and who may have given up on love, unexpectedly finding romance may be the sweetest joy of all.
And when we're feeling low, reading about romance in the pages of a good book, can be just the reminder we all need to get out there and keep trying. Love could very well be right around the corner, just down the block or even in the house next door! As Jane Seymour says in the commercial for her jewelry designs, the key is to keep our hearts open.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Secrets [Kindle Edition]


Author Lynn Crandall allows the reader to experience all of those emotions along with her heroine, plus more roller-coaster sensations in her new release, "Secrets." It is Ms. Crandall's first venture into paranormal writing and she creates an "other-world" being who is genuinely believable. Casey Mitchell is the kind of man every woman wants to meet.
With her penchant for premonitions, Michelle Slade has always had trouble connecting with other people, and a horrific attack five years ago only made her isolation worse. But working to help defenseless animals with her rescue organization, Cats Alive, has given her new purpose and joy in life. When several homeless cats start vanishing into thin air, she’s determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Casey Mitchell has always kept his private identity as a were-lynx secret. But he’s drawn to Michelle, and when he begins to help investigate the odd circumstances surrounding the cats’ disappearance, he uncovers a powerful businessman’s diabolic designs on the unassuming woman.

Now both he and Michelle are in grave danger, and their survival depends on trusting each other with secrets better left unspoken. Will these two lonely souls triumph and find true love . . . or lose everything?

For knowing more get your copy today.


Amazon Link => http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Lynn-Crandall-ebook/dp/B00NQF0LO6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413072244&sr=1-1&keywords=secrets+lynn+crandall

Saturday, October 11, 2014

7 Ways to Find a Romance Novel Editor




#1 Ask romance authors. If you appreciate the delivery, characterizations, and plots of their romance novels, then ask romance authors for recommendations. They can give you firsthand opinions on an editor’s services and pricing. Read the editor’s website prior to contacting. All editors should have a site, just like authors. (Though not all great editors do, just like authors.)

#2 The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) is a professional organization for editors, much like the Romance Writers of America is for authors. Except (to my knowledge) not many romance editors are members, and the EFA is not romance-genre specific. However, authors can still search the EFA’s database for free.

#3 Look in the front of self published romance novels (see novel appreciation criteria listed in #1). Editors’ names should be near the copyright. If not, sometimes they’re mentioned in the acknowledgments. Search those editors and start reading. If they have social media, see who they interact with. It’s likely they talk to other editors and their social media reflects their personality. If you don’t like your editor, it may be hard to work with him or her.

#4 Publishing houses often list their editors on their websites and those editors often freelance. Only consider publishing houses that publish books you appreciate (see novel appreciation criteria listed in #1). These editors cannot guarantee a book deal even if you pay them to edit your manuscript. Let them know prior to working with them if you intend to submit your manuscript to their publishing house. Again, search their websites and social media.

#5 Search “romance novel editor.” I assume that’s how you got here. There’s nothing wrong with finding your editor through Internet research, but your research should not stop with a Google hit. Read the editor’s website and track his or her social media. Look for references and contact those references. Ask for a sample edit to ensure your working relationship will be a productive one.

#6 Go to Twitter, search for big-name romance-genre editors, and scroll through their followers. (Editors like Sue Grimshaw, Angela James, and Liz Pelletier.) Some of their followers will be freelance editors.

#7 Go to Twitter, search for big-name romance-genre editors, and see what Lists they belong and subscribe to. Some of these Lists are titled Editors and some of the members are freelance. Also search through romance authors, bloggers, and reviewers’ Lists on Twitter to see who keeps a List of editors. (Like this one and this one, though all editors listed may not be romance editors.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Erotic Romance and Mystery Pervades in Rachel Cron’s Punk Rox Warrior



http://www.bookstrand.com/punk-rox-warrior
Rachel Cron comes up with her novel Punk Rox Warrior based on the genre of erotic romance. The novel is a contemporary romance which features Rainne Stanton who is a punk rock artist and follows her own rules. Things turn topsy-turvy for Rainne’s bohemian life when she is stalked by a mysterious person. Rainne’s mother assigns Lieutenant James Decker who follows her like a shadow to traces her stalker although Rainne doesn’t approve of her mother’s attempt to babysit her with a bodyguard. James Decker tracks her cell phone, fits her car with GPS and sweeps off her apartment to trace the stalker.
Romance
 An unpredicted romance brews between Rainne and James as James tries to unravel the mysteries around Rainne. The flaming attraction between the two was almost inconceivable. James is drawn towards the vulnerability of Rainne when she changes her punk garb after the shows and becomes just like another woman. James discovers that his pledge of remaining a bachelor is at stake when he gets attracted to the personality and the true identity of Rainne. Rainne on the other hand could not apprehend the inevitable attraction she feels towards her attractive bodyguard. The romance between the two sparks with intense desire and hunger.
Balanced plots and sub-plots
The sub plots and the realistic twists in the story make the novel a gripping tale where the theme of mystery, romance, sexuality and adventure predominates. The novel marks the transformation in the journey of the two central characters from their past. The interaction of the two lovers render a healing effect on their past. The story continues seamlessly with the dominance of suspense and romance in the plot. The book also has strong sexual content.
Style of the author
Rachel Cron maintains the mystery and the suspense till the end of the story and thereby involves the readers in the plot till the last page. Her style of eloquence and sensitivity dominates throughout the plot giving her an edge in the genre of romance. The author maneuvered the art of synchronizing both romance and mystery in her tale without any diversion from the main plot. This gripping tale will make you crave for more as you turn each page and you will not be able to stop yourself from unraveling the mystery till the end.
Finally
You can grab this gripping romantic novel dipped in mystery in the e-book version available online at amazon.com. 

Click HERE to buy the book.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beautiful Monsters




Current and trendy, Beautiful Monsters is a high-octane romp of a read that could be lifted off the front page of any supermarket tabloid. Sometimes humorous, oftentimes heartbreaking, it ostensibly explores the grit and gristle, sizzle of modern romance—Hollywood style. And yet, with its overarching themes and complex characters, it runs much deeper than the glitz suggests. It's truly literary fiction masquerading as a contemporary romance. Do wealth, fame, and beauty bestow happiness? Is there a karmic aspect to obsessive love? Are we all beautiful monsters? And finally, how far would you go for love? Tag along with Riley Rinaldi and Keller Cross as they explore these concepts…and more!

Book Blurb:
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” ~Shakespeare
Hollywood: Movie Capital of the World, La La Land, Tinseltown, Hollyweird, Gomorrah, Land of Broken Dreams…Hell.
Makeup artist Riley Rinaldi has it all: beauty, wealth, talent, and undeniable sex appeal. But besieged by her past and the very attributes so many envy, she lives a lonely life devoid of the one commodity she cannot grasp—love.
Against a backdrop of studio politics, fame, jealousy, and unrequited love, their white-hot chemistry explodes onto the film set, incinerating their former lives and exposing the unseemly underbelly of La La Land.
But does love stand a chance among the beautiful monsters?

Links to Book:

Vigilante Publishing Group Bookstore: https://www.vigilantepublishinggroupllc.com/store.html
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monsters-Cynthia-Ogren/dp/0692221093

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Monsters-Cynthia-Ogren/dp/0692221093

Barnes & Noble (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-monsters-cynthia-ogren/1120170934

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Wedding Wager


This book is really good and I enjoyed reading it. The storyline was easy to follow and the characters and story flowed well.


Kevin needed to get married and fast. His father was looking to sell off his mothers ranch that had been in her family forever. Kevin knew that if he didn't marry by his 25th birthday, his father would be in control of his, his 14yr old sister Karla and his 8yr old brother Keegan's inheritance. If this happened, his they would never see any of the money and he was concerned for his younger siblings. He needed to find a bride quick or all would be lost.


Megan was just released from the hospital with $40 to her name and no where to go. She had been there for 6 months after being in a serious car accident and now, she didn't know what she was going to do. After looking in the want ads, she finds an ad for a Gentleman's Personal Secretary. Lodging and Transportation included in a Generous Salary, must be willing to relocate. Megan thought that this job could be the answers to all of her problems until Kevin tells her that he needs her to be his wife so he could get his inheritance. She is hesitant but, eventually takes the job.

Kevin's father Douglas will stop at nothing to get his hands on the land and the money that belongs to his children and Kevin will never stop trying to fight his father for what rightfully belongs to him and his siblings.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

9 Steps To Gain Great Publicity For Your Book


Book publicity, at its core, comes down to several key areas:

·         Connections
·         Contact list
·         Expert author credentials
·         A quality book
·         Past media experience
·         News cycle, calendar and timing
·         Well-written pitch letters and emails
·         Phone follow-up
·         Being assertive, communicative, personable, and interesting

Let’s take a quick look at each area – what’s needed and what you can do to bring about success.

1.      Connections
     This amounts to who you know and who they know.  You need a grass roots approach, to build up fans and supporters who will rabidly support you.  Start with friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, people from your past,  and people your kids or spouse are affiliated with.  Think about organizations and memberships, from the gym and church to professional or educational affiliations.  List everyone, get their contact info, and connect via social media.  Then start asking them to help you with introductions to others and by sharing your blog posts and links related to your book.

2.      Contact List
      You need an accurate, targeted, and detailed media contact list.  Often, you need to probe beyond what’s listed in a database or the media outlet’s website.  For instance, just contacting the book editor at a publication is not enough.  You might also try the features editor and other editors, columnists, reporters and freelancers connected to other relevant sections.  Additionally, only emailing people is not enough.  Other than bloggers, calling people will be helpful.

3.      Expert Author Credentials
      You can’t make a resume up, though you can loosely define what makes someone an expert.  Your schooling, professional experience, personal experience, and hobbies can help qualify you s an expert in something.  But I caution – the further your background is removed from what you write about, the harder it is to position you as credible to the media.

4.      Quality Book
      Yes, let’s not overlook a basic fact: the book must be well-written, edited properly, be interesting or useful, and be better than most books in its genre.  Really take a hard look at how you match up against the competition and figure out where you have a competitive edge.

5.      Past Media Experience
      Media begets media.  Once you get a link or clip to a media appearance, you can use that to leverage more media.

6.      News Cycle
There are different windows of time to pitch the media, such as timing your pitch for an upcoming holiday, honorary week, an anniversary, or something currently in the news.

7.      Pitch Letters
When you email the media – or mail letters – personalize them, be short and to the point, be creative, and say things in a way that has conviction, personality, and immediacy.

8.      Phone Follow-Up
You need to follow up on your emails and pitch letters with calls, especially to non-online media.

9.      Be Assertive
Nothing comes to those who wait.  Go out there and make things happen.  Be a talker, a schmoozer, a people person.  Be aggressive and be positive.  Your energy will carry you.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Crimson Key- A Young Man’s Quest for Self-Identity

‘The Crimson Key’ by Wes Dodd is a mysterious tale of David Paige whose perfect world turns topsy-turvy with the death of his mother, who had concealed his true identity for the last twenty five years. He uncovers the truth Alice, whom he had known as his mother, was not his birth mother. He had no other choice than to unlock the mystery about his true identity through the crimson key had left him. Author, Wes Dodd by far has penned down a fantasy and a romantic thriller along with “The Crimson Key”.
Synopsis of the story
The story commences with Amber visiting her twin sister Alice in a bruised condition and reveals her greatest secret to her-a baby boy. She had the baby with “an evil man” whom she loved but the man did not want a child with her as he was married to someone else and expecting their baby. Amber hands over the infant, David, to Alice to protect him from the wrath of his boyfriend. The story takes a leap of 25 years in Charleston, S.C, where Alice lives with David and he had grown up to be a young detective. David’s ideal world takes a halt when the death of Alice, whom he had known to be his mother. He discovers that Alice had kept a life-long secret from him about his true identity. He did not have any other family member who can assist him in discovering his identity about his biological parents.
The truth seemed to have been buried with Alice’s death but David is left with a crimson key by Alice which can only uncover the mystery about his true identity. His pursuit for truth takes him to New York where Alice worked as a model but no one heard from her for the last twenty-five years. He embarks on a mysterious journey clouded by deception, lies and murder. He used his detective skills and instincts to uncover a series of dreadful crimes. He discovers his true love on his quest but it complicates his journey further. It was when he reaches the brink with almost a near-death experience that he could finally assemble the pieces of the puzzle with help of the terrifying nightmares from his mother. The crimson key finally unlocks the most unexpected secrets.
Overview

The theme of suspense, mystery and romance predominates throughout the story. The book was released by Tate publishing house on April 8, 2014 and earned admiration from the readers for its gripping and mysterious storyline.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Entangled Moments (Moments in Time 1) 
[Kindle Edition]

A deadly accident can take a life in more than one way. 

Four years ago, Carlene Adams made a deadly mistake. A tragic accident derailed the future she'd hoped for, taking the life of the man she'd planned to spend forever with. 

As a self-imposed penance for her solitary sin, Carlene has given up on every dream she ever had. She has committed to spend every remaining moment trying to make up for that one instance when everything changed. 

Then she gets a second chance. 

When Carlene meets Nick Johnson, the single kiss they share awakens the desires she shoved aside for so long. Suddenly she wants more than what she believe she deserves. Will she ever see him again? 

A thing of fate. 

Leaving the life she built on regret, Carlene waits for fate to intervene. But just as she begins to believe in a fresh start, she's forced to realize a horrible truth—one with the power to send her second chance crashing before it even takes off. 

Nick isn't who she thought he was. She isn't the girl he believed her to be, either. Their lives were intertwined even before they met, and if Carlene tells him the truth, she’ll risk tearing them apart—for good. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fears Of Darkness
Would you give your life for someone you love... and would they give their life for you?

This book tells the story of a young family trying to survive during a civil war. It touches on raw human emotion dealing with sister love, friendship, and romantic companionship; juxtaposed by fear, hate, revenge, and sadness.

Rudely awakened by a deadly home invasion, Dakota is thrust into a country at war. Realizing her home is compromised, she is forced to make a long trek from the city of Minneapolis to the Wasatch-Uinta Mountains in order to survive.

As Dakota tries to figure out what is happening in America, she learns to adapt to a world void of the society and technology that had been the foundation of her life. Fighting against the darkness threatening to consume her and making decisions she never expected to face, Dakota struggles to find peace, at least within herself. She strives to accept the loss of the life she's dreamed of, while learning to live in the world that now exists. Wrought with dangers, both civil and wild, Dakota learns how to cope, finding love in the darkness around her.

How will she survive in a country that's been torn apart? To know more click here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: The Prince's Ex


The Prince's Ex
The Prince's Ex by Nadene Seiters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters are fun and interesting. The story moves at a nice pace and I would recommend this to everyone.



View all my reviews

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to Solicit Indie Book Reviews Effectively

So you want to know how to convince people to read and review your self-published book? Here's my secret:

Okay, now that I've shared my genius strategy, I'll provide you a bit more detail. Why should you listen to me? I've sent requests to hundreds of reviewers and have refined my approach and found better acceptance rates as a result. This is not rocket science, but having a plan can make your soliciting more efficient. By being polite, friendly, professional, patient, and informative, you may not only obtain a book review, but may also receive valuable advice, build a network, gain a fan, or even discover a friend.

If this sounds like simple common sense, understand that an army of bridge-burning self-published authors have come before you, alienating reviewers en masse. Their legacy has left you, today's indie author, an uphill battle in finding reviewers. In their mad scramble to success, many self-publishers forgot to treat people how they'd like to be treated themselves. Admit it--that's easy enough to do. After all, common sense is often exceedingly uncommon.

In 2012, I released my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream, and tackled my first attempt at requesting book reviews. Last month, I released the second edition of Crimson & Cream, which followed my second concerted attempt at securing legitimate book reviews. What I learned between these two events appears to have increased my likelihood that a review request will be accepted. In 2012, as a total, floundering newbie, I averaged about a 10% hit rate on review requests. This year, with a little more polish and planning, I received reviews from about 20% of the people I asked. One potentially significant difference between the two events is that the first time, I anticipated rejection, and the second time, I planned for success.

The main fact to remember is that you are asking someone for a favor. Just because you're offering them your free book does not change this fact. They likely receive more free book offers than they can ever read, and unless you're paying them, your request meets every definition of a favor. That being said, the easier you can make it for a reviewer to say yes to your request, the better. Therefore, before requesting a review, do the following:

Prepare ahead of time: When a blogger agrees to review your book, they often ask for additional materials for their post. At a minimum, have the following promotional materials polished and ready to e-mail: book cover image, author bio, book blurb/summary, author photo image, and a collection of your Internet links (social media pages, your website, blog, sites where your book can be purchased, and your author pages - Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc.).

Read their review policy. If it doesn't jump off their web page in glowing, blinking, neon font, search for it. Most reviewers have a review policy on their website somewhere, but they're not always easy to find. The review policy is your instruction manual. Don't ignore it. Ever. The reviewer explains what they want and how they want it. If you search and still don't find their review policy, look one last time. If it's still not there, then do everything below:

Research what the reviewer likes to read: Read the reviews posted on their blog. Find the reviewer on Goodreads, use the 'compare books' function to see how your taste compares with theirs, and definitely read their book reviews. Do they read the genre of book you've written? Did they enjoy books similar to yours? Do you enjoy their reviewing style? Answer these questions first, and then decide if you want this person to review your book. If the answer is yes, follow their reviews on Goodreads, expecting to see your book featured in their future stream. Following them on Goodreads is also a great way to keep track of the book reviewers you've discovered.

If they blog, follow them: There are a variety of ways to follow a blog, and it certainly won't hurt your chances if the reviewer recognizes you as one of their readers. Plan for success and assume they will say yes and review your book. You'll be sure to notice when they post your review if you're already following their blog.

Learn about the reviewer: Assume the reviewer will say yes and review your book. You'll want to know who they are, so you can ask them again for your next book, no? View their facebook, G+, twitter, and other social media pages. 'Like' them, follow them, add them to your G+ circle. Keep track of this person who is doing you a favor, and stay in touch with them.

Personalize your request and be polite: Address the reviewer by name and explain how you found their site and why you're contacting them. Don't cut and paste generic form e-mails and don't assume every e-mail they receive is a review request. Explain what you would like them to do for you. This leads to the next item:

Answer Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How: Introduce yourself and your book, politely ask for a review, indicate where you would ideally like the review to appear (their website, Amazon, etc.), list any deadlines you may have (release dates, blog tours, etc.), explain why you think your book appeals to the reviewer, and offer to provide the book in a reviewer-friendly format (epub, mobi, print, etc.).

Compliment them on their work: I'm not suggesting you fabricate compliments or become a sycophant, but if you've examined their website and read their reviews, and haven't found something appealing, you may want to ask yourself why you want their review in the first place. And if you did see something you liked, mention it to the reviewer. After all, what you're hoping they do is compliment your work.

Offer to Reciprocate: Offer to do a guest post on their blog, or a giveaway, or any other feature they may be looking for help on. Many bloggers enjoy extra content for their page, and the extra exposure won't hurt you, either.

Suggest a Plan B: Often, when a reviewer can't review your book, they may still be amenable to a guest post, a book feature, excerpt, author interview or other exposure avenue for you. Consider mentioning this in your request, or as a follow-up if you receive a rejection e-mail.

Maintain a list: Tracking who you've asked for reviews serves many purposes. Maintaining an organized list helps prevent duplicate requests, which are time wasters for both you and the reviewer. Your list should contain relevant contact information, so when a reviewer asks you for a book or blog information, you can send it to them quickly, to the proper address, in the correct format. Keep track of what you send and who you send it to. Don't lose a review opportunity because an e-mail got lost in the shuffle or you missed a deadline. And when you go to request reviews for your next book, the list will provide an excellent foundation to build on.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Lesson [Kindle Edition]


What happens when a man has almost everything he wants, and then decides he needs the total package? Or when a man receives the love he needs, but decides the giver isn’t enough? How do you let go of something you know, for what seems to be greener pastures? 

Find out these answers and more as The Lesson takes you inside the lives of three people as the quest to have it all may turn out to be more destructive then one anticipates. 

Follow this tale of love lost and found, as one man’s story may become another man’s lesson! 

Book Link On Amazon => http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LJ2GZN4/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00LJ2GZN4&linkCode=as2&tag=onlinservi08-20&linkId=S52GBP4YQ4ULBF6L

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Morpheus's Dream: Dutiful Gods 
(Dutiful Gods Series Book 3)

Morpheus is the Lord of Dreams, he's bored and lonely. He knows that his brothers Destiny and Destruction have found their happy ever after within the human realm. When he controls the sleeping world, can he find the one female that stands out above all others in time to save your sanity. 

Cheval is a part time Graphic Designer and part time Artist, who uses her dreams to inspire her creativity. What happens when she finds the perfect man in her dreams, can a women get too much sleep when it's in the arms of a tall, dark, stranger. 

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Distortion



Hope Evans had a dream job, working with sexy, hot photographs;turningauthors’ dreams intoaward-winning covers. When unexpectedly laid off, she must find her namesake in life …some kind of hope for her future. Can a birthday wish give her what she truly desires? They say be careful what you wish for.

Destiny brings Jamie and Hope what they’ve been seeking: each other. Fate also throws in a psychopath and her equally sinister sister, both hell-bent on making Jamie and Hope’s world a living hell.


A hero on thousands of romance covers;can he be one for real when lives are on the line?