Tuesday, December 31, 2013

8 things you can do for your favourite authors in 2014

On New Years Eve I was writing, and tweeting, and watching a movie because my four-year-old niece was asleep downstairs and everyone else in the house had racked off to see the midnight fireworks. In my cherry-bourbon celebrations I came up with a list of eight things you can do to help your favourite author in 2014. And here they are:

  1. Leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads: There are SO many books released every year via traditional press, small press and self-publishing that it's not only hard for authors to get to readers, but for readers to find reads they are going to fall in love with. A lot of people therefore rely on the reviews left on Goodreads and Amazon to help them determine if a book is worth reading. They will never know that you loved that book if you don't rate it and leave a review (even if it's a small one). It's a way to promote your favourite authors with a few mouse clicks and a couple of sentences. 
  2. Recommend your favourite reads to family and friends: Word of mouth is one of the best ways to share your love of a book. If you have friends and family who you know enjoy a certain genre/category that is the same as your favourite authors.
  3. Buy books by your favourite authors as presents: If you're confident your friends/family will love a book as much as you do, buy it for them as a present. You're also giving the author a present too - a sale.
  4. Retweet your favourite author's tweets: You don't have to retweet the fact that they've gone away without underwear (winks at Wendy) but you can retweet their bookish news to your followers such as release dates, launches, sales, competitions, buy links and anything that is promoting their awesomeness.
  5. Share or comment on your favourite authors' bookish Facebook updates: Did you know that sharing and commenting on Facebook has a bigger impact than liking? The more attention their posts get via comments and sharing, the more news feeds it will appear in. Sharing takes a couple of clicks and commenting not much more than that. 
  6. Like your favourite authors' bookish Facebook updates: You can still give your favourite authors some like love. It shows them that you are all for their latest news. 
  7. Tell them how much you love their writing: Not in a creepy stalker way by hovering outside their window and whispering it in the night. Go through appropriate channels like tweeting it, writing it on their Facebook wall or emailing their official author contact. But don't direct message them on Twitter or Facebook… that's boarding on window whispering creepy. 
  8. Nominate/vote for your favourite authors in competitions: All year round there are competition polls for best book, best author, best MC, best cover and much more. Nominating your favourite author not only makes them squee when they see someone's loved their writing enough to nominate them, but it also promotes them to everyone else viewing the poll.
Authors love fans, and this is a way you can give back to them because writing a book is a lot harder than reading one. 

Let me know if there's any other ways you know of to help authors and I'll add it to the list. 

And what's been your favourite author response to when you've done one of the above?

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

The strength of an amazing cover

People say you should never judge a book by a cover, but the fact is an amazing cover can entice readers to want to know more about a book.

Book covers also become part of an author's brand, which is why covers are often themed for a series, such as The Selection series and The Sweet Trilogy. But even for standalone books, or the initial book in a series, having a instantly recognisable book helps an author.

With so books released each year, resulting in thousands of covers so it is really had to have them stand out.

I was really fortunate with mine. It's unique and memorable. And that was reinforced today when I
got a tweet showing me my cover had ended up in a UK writing magazine with an article promoting my publisher.

What was so cool about it is that she immediately knew that it was my book cover. A great book cover does more than compliment the story inside the pages. It gives the author the opportunity to add to the branding recognition and connect with potential readers.

It's good for an author to use their book cover image for more than just their stories artwork. Use it for profile pics, banners and on all social media platforms to fully connect yourself with the visual marketing of your story.

So what's your favourite book cover that gives you lots of feels?

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#PitchMAS Twitter Party Pitch Post Feedback

I love helping people hone their pitching so I'm jumping on for the PitchMAS twitter party to help people hone their pitches. I can't guarantee that I'll be able to help if your twitter pitch is already awesome, but I'll do my best.

In the comments post your book blurb and any twitter pitches you have already. You're all welcome to reply to other Twitter Pitches to help other people with their's, or to tell them how awesome their pitches are.

So Pitch me baby! And I'll see what I can do.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Think outside the square for digital releases PR

Having a digital release impacts on the way you market your work. There is the standard blog tour, Twitter campaigns,  Facebook promotion and Rafflecopter giveaways you can do (look at the bottom of this post for my giveaway). But just because you are publishing on a digital stage, doesn't mean your whole promotion has to be online. 

My debut novel launched on 2 December and I was a bit bummed that I would't have a book store
launch like I did for an anthology I was in as there's no physical book at this point. However, I decided to still hold a local media event and local television and newspaper media outlets turned up. 

My home town of Mackay is small enough that an author being published by a US publisher like Entranced is news. 

Daily Mercury also releases web news and they got me to do a reading of the opening of SLEEPER, which was a lot of fun. You can watch it here and laugh at my Aussie accent (one of my friends said I sounded more British than Aussie). 

Other options you can include for in-person publicity include:
  • Readings at local libraries and schools (especially if they loan out eBooks).
  • Presenting at literary festivals and conferences.
  • Themed scavenger hunts.
  • Swag giveaways at markets
If you have a in-person promo tip for a digitally only release, please share!

And don't forget to enter my giveaway below for you chance to win a $100 book voucher of your choice. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

SLEEPER has awakened - Release Day Celebrations & Blog Tour schedule.

Huzzah! SLEEPER is here for your reading pleasure. I'm so excited that I just might do a little interpretative dance via cats. AND I'm giving away a $100 book voucher to celebrate! Read more after watching cats for details.

Here's what you need to know

Title: Sleeper (Book I in the Toy Soldiers series)
Author: S. M. Johnston
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush
Genre: Upper YA/NA speculative fiction

Blurb: A new heart should mean new life, not a living nightmare.

Mishca Richardson’s life is at an all-time high after her heart transplant. With new boyfriend, Ryder, the two of them have the perfect summer romance. Even the nightmares that have been plaguing her sleep since her operation can’t dull the high she’s on.

Things start to unravel as Mishca develops superhuman abilities. She does her best to hide them so as not to end up a science experiment in a lab. But she can’t ignore the instant attraction she experiences when she meets her university professor, Colin Reed.

Torn between the blossoming love and the obsession, Mishca must decide if she wants Ryder or Colin. But the organization responsible for her changes and her connection to Colin, is moving to secure Mishca for himself so that she can be the weapon he always intended her to be. If Mishca can’t resist her programming she’ll have a lot more to worry about than romance.


Buy Links:

Amazon: Buy here

Kobo: Coming soon

B&N: Coming soon

And the beautiful blog tour participants. Make sure you stop buy each day to maximise your entry as commenting on the blog tour posts gets you entries into the draw for $100 book voucher of your choice.

Release Day - December 2
Tuesday Dec 3Book Passion for Lifehttp://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.fi/
Wednesday Dec 4Crystal Collierhttp://www.crystalcollier.blogspot.com.au
Thursday Dec 5Literary Confessions...http://literaryhair.blogspot.fi/
Friday Dec 6Bookish Treasureshttp://bookishtreasures.blogspot.fi/
Saturday Dec 7Cassandra Pagehttp://cassandrapage.com
Sunday Dec 8Eclipse Reviewshttp://totaleclipsereviews.blogspot.fi/
Monday Dec 9Aria Kanewww.ariakane.com
Tuesday Dec 10Craving YA Readshttp://cravingyareads.com/
Wednesday Dec 11Raven Paramourhttp://ravenparamour.blogspot.fi/2013/12/sleeper-blog-tour.html
Thursday Dec 12Aimee Salterwww.aimeelsalter.com
Friday Dec 13Rori Shayrorishay.com
Saturday Dec 14Inside the Pages of a Bookhttp://insidethepagesofabook.com/
Sunday Dec 15Katie's Storieshttp://kjhstories.blogspot.com/
Monday Dec 16YAtopiahttp://yatopia.com
Tuesday Dec 17Nik Vukojahttp://nikvukoja.wordpress.com/
Wednesday Dec 18Stacey Leehttp://www.staceyhlee.com/blog/
Thursday Dec 19K. A. Lasthttp://www.kalastbooks.com.au/
Friday Dec 20You are what you writehttp://www.rachelhorwitz.com/blog/
Saturday Dec 21s. m. nystoriak's writer's blockhttp://smnystoriak.wordpress.com/
Sunday Dec 22Entranced tumblrhttp://entrancedpublishing.tumblr.com/
Sunday Dec 22Stacey Nashhttp://www.staceynash.com

And you can enter today, right here on my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, November 29, 2013

Guest Post: Entrusted Blog Tour

Today I have Connie Michaels, author of Entrusted, stopping by to talk about what influenced her in writing the story!

I reside in Washington State, which has more Native American Nations than any other state, although our tribal land is pretty small when looking at square miles. I grew up in the setting of Entrusted and the Shoalwater reservation was just as it is depicted in the book. It is a square mile. Very tiny. Grayland is south of Forks, where the Twilight series took place. However if you start at the tip of Washington state there are numerous tribes as you move south down the coast. 

The majority of the cities in our state are named for Native Americans. Seattle was a chief in the area, Wenatchee is the name of a nation, Yakima, Colville all tribes...you get my point. All through school I was taught about the influence of our costal nations. 

Then, after suffering a life threatening illness, my parents offered to take my family on a trip to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, Utah. Monument Valley is the Navajo Nation. I was having some issues with anger, due to the fact my illness was caused by maintenance issues at work and caused life long issues with my health...so I needed a break. I fell in love with the Navajo people. Their culture is so deep and spiritual. The people are quiet and thoughtful. It was an environment that centered me and brought my peace back. 

Traveling through the area you are bombarded with the legends, culture, and history. At the Grand Canyon we watched the Hopi perform traditional dances. So much of Entrusted is based on these experiences. It is the only book I have written that stems from a lot of personal experience and although much of it has been edited out and smoothed over the entire writing experience was very therapeutic and I know it is still a part of the underlying story. 

Meshing the coastal culture with the Navajo traditions was fun. I did take a few liberties but tried to keep it as close to the traditions as I could. I chose Raven as my antagonist because when I was young I was attacked by a Raven. Not just a flyby, but the bird stalked me and continued to attack me until my Dad finally was able to corner it and kill it. I feel the Raven is my talisman and I wear a Raven charm along with a vile of sand filled with the orange sand from Monument Valley, as a way to keep myself centered. 

My family continues to vacation in the Grayland area as well as we return to The Navajo Nation when we can. I love the culture, I love the people, and I hope that someday the Native youth will see what a gift they are to the world and embrace it.

Entrusted by Connie Ann Michael

Thrust into a world of Native American legends about Skinwalkers and Ancient Ones, Emma Hunter finds herself in the middle of a battle for a heart holding great powers – A heart hidden within her.

Seventeen-year-old Emma wants what every teenage girl wants: a life that revolves around school, her friends, and a boyfriend who only has eyes for her. Little does she know that in order to get one, she must sacrifice the other two. After a series of events put into motion by Luke, the boy she thought loved her, Emma is kicked out of her group home and her school. Her best friend mysteriously vanishes and now she’s forced to move to a secluded coastal town, where she hopes to escape Luke’s obsessive control.  Instead, she finds her dreams invaded not only by Luke, but Solomon, a mysterious Native American warrior sent to protect her. 

But when Solomon shows up in her reality to explain he’s her protector, she soon learns that he’s so much more. As Emma struggles to understand what’s happening to her, she must also deal with her undeniable attraction to Solomon. Their connection is stronger than anything Emma has ever experienced before and now she must decide: can she trust him with her heart? And just how far will she go to protect it?

You can add Entrusted to your to-read list on Goodreads:

Information about the book:
Title: Entrusted
Author: Connie Ann Michael
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: 18 November, 2013

About the Author:

Connie Ann Michael was raised a city girl, but was converted to a country girl after college and now resides in a speck of a town in Central Washington State.  She is married to her former boss as she worked at the local Pizza place and has two college age boys that provide endless material for her books.  She loves the outdoors and can be found mountain biking, kayaking, or camping with her family.  Being a busy family, she can be found working on her newest novel while on long road trips.

You can find and contact Connie Ann Michael here:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Entrusted.
- 10$ amazon gift card
- 2 e-copies Entrusted
- 2 swag packs, which contain Entrusted stickers and bookmarks and an Entrusted charm necklace
- 2 swag packs, which contain Entrusted stickers and bookmarks and an Entrusted Ghost Bead Bracelet

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book review: Moonless by Crystal Collier

Hey guys, I guess I should totally start out by introducing myself. I'm Heather, Sharon The Awesome's assistant. As well as keeping her on top of All The Things in the lead up to Sleeper's release, I also do any reviews she needs me to. With that said, here is my first. Moonless, by Crystal Collier.

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night. 

Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they are echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.

Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

- Blurb from Goodreads

Let me first start off by saying I’m not the intended audience for this book. I don’t read a lot of books set in ‘ye olde times’ but with that said, I really enjoyed it.

Moonless finds Alexis going through a pretty unstable time in her life. She’s just become old enough to be married off, keeps having some pretty disturbing dreams about the future, and is being practically stalked by a blue-eyed hottie.

Great start to a book.

What I really liked about Moonless was it kept you wanting more. There was so much suspicion and unanswered questions right from the start that as soon as a question was half-answered, another one would pop up to say howdy.

Collier weaved interest and intrigue right from the beginning and it wasn’t until the very end that she gave you all the pieces. I love books that keep you guessing and this was one of them.

On top of the mystery, there were two really great characters that stood out. The first was Alexis’ sister-aunt Sarah. She was flirty, and vivacious, and fun in a time when woman really weren’t supposed to be. I could totally picture her going without stockings for a day, or waving her bloomers out the bedroom window, just so people knew she was home. We could totally be friends.

Then there was Bellezza. I think I fell in love with her as soon as she was introduced. She is cray-cray to the maximus and if Crystal wrote a book about her I’d be the first to buy it, no matter when it was set. If you love a character who would burn down your house and paint her face with your blood – here she is. She’d even do it with a smile.

Now, despite all that, I did find Moonless hard to get into. I couldn’t figure it out at first and it took me a few chapters in to work out what had me so confused. There’d be certain scenes were Alexis would mention one person and then use the pronoun for another. This seemed really odd to me until I worked out why. During the first half of the book, Alexis doesn’t know Kiren’s name so she just refers to him as ‘He’. And once I worked that out, everything became so much clearer.

Lastly, if you’re worried about a lack of swoon (which I totally was) because of the setting you don’t even need to worry. Kiren brought swoon to the table and made it his bitch.

If you love books with mystery, swoon, a character that grows into herself, and some pretty awesome creatures, Moonless is definitely for you. (Just remember what I said about those first few chapters).

Luuuuuurve, Heather.