amreading, amwriting, blog post, contemporary romance, Dark Paranormal, From the Editor's Desk, Romance Author and Reader Conference, Romance Author Conferences, Romance Reader Fan Conferences

Why you should NEVER complain about the price of an ebook . . . #amreading #bookprices

If you are anything like me then a visit to Chapters, the only “bricks and mortar” store available in my area, is always a welcome adventure. (Yes, books get me that excited…especially new books).  I love thumbing through their stacks while sipping my full-fat, full-sugar, vanilla-bean latte. (Don’t judge me!). As I peruse through the books I want to gobble up, the cost doesn’t cross my mind until I hit the checkout line. That’s when I thank the Visa Gods.

But, I’m going to ask you to put your imagination hats on and take a little trip with me into my favourite books store . . .

Imagine this scenario: I was in a Chapters/Indigo last week, sipping on my mocha-cha-cha-frappa-macha-latte and balancing a basket full of colourful items I couldn’t wait to get home: a cute tote bag with the words “Just Read” on the front and a neon-pink water bottle (one day I plan on going to the gym on a regular basis) along with a really cool travel journal made from recycled maps (one day I plan to travel the world) and a couple of plushy throw pillows (one day I’m going to re-decorate my bedroom). Chapters sells a ton of gift and decorative items and they are all carefully and artfully displayed in the area closest to the entrance and on your way to the cash registers. How can I resist?  But – here’s the twist in our story. As  I was walking to the checkout line, my eyes landed on a splashy display for a new release by one of my favourite authors. Hmm… the book was $9.99. I couldn’t believe the price! I mean, it was outrageous. I remember when a mass-market paperback cost only 5.99. I was livid. I grabbed a copy, and balancing my chi-chi latte, and my basket of home decor items in one hand, and the paperback book in the other, I marched up to the customer service desk. I tapped my foot as I waited in line, fuming as I got closer to the front. When I got to the desk, I barely gave the service clerk a chance to smile and say hello, before I launched into my tirade:  ” I am outraged!” I exploded. “I have bought many, many books here,” I continue, as I haul my basket of throw pillows, journal and water bottle and tote bag onto the service desk. I slap the paperback down on the desk in front of the wide-eyed clerk. And after taking a big slurp of my moo-moo latte, I say to her:  “This book is far too expensive! I am shocked at the price. This is the first title of a new series for this author. I demand that I get it for free. I don’t want to waste my hard-earned money if I am not going to like this new series.” The clerk gaped at me. She was speechless . . .

REALITY CHECK PLEASE!

C’mon – people! Would you do this in a clothing store? Nope. Would you try this in a shoe store? Nuh-uh. Have you ever thought about pulling this in a bookstore? Of course not! Because readers never think to go into a store and bargain for the books they want to purchase and stores would NEVER entertain the idea. So WHY WHY WHY do some readers believe it’s not only okay, it’s THEIR RIGHT to ask authors to either reduce their EBOOK prices or give them the book for FREE?!?!

Since ebooks burst onto the market in the late 1990s-early-2000s,  determining the price for an eBook has been at the forefront of an ongoing debate for authors, publishers, and readers. For me the answer to this debate seems quite simple, authors should be paid for their work. If an author or publisher chooses to put a book on sale or make it available for free – that’s great. If they don’t then that’s okay too. Just like any other product you buy – books cost money to make, and the publishing business is just that – a business.

However, when I spoke to a few indie authors I was surprised to learn that there are some readers out there who believe ebooks should be deeply discounted or free.

As a print and ebook reader myself I DID have an expectation of paying less for an e-book, until I did some research and figured out the truth of the matter. The before-me thought:  If there is no production or PPB (print, paper, and binding) cost, then shouldn’t that automatically result in a significantly lower price? The after-me realized: NOPE!

On average, ebooks are priced anywhere from $0 – $9.99 and in some cases higher ( Ahem . . .KMM Fever series *cough*…) depending on whether you have a traditional publisher or have decided to self-publish. On average, indie books are already priced lower than print between $0 -6.99.

And although the PPB costs are eliminated, there are still various costs associated with publishing an ebook, such as cover design, layout & formatting, editing (professional), marketing and other miscellaneous costs (legal, distribution, author assistant etc) all which will be shouldered by the author (or publisher). Also with fierce competition in the market, indie authors spend an incredible amount of time and effort marketing their work so that it reaches their readers, which includes offering free content and free ebooks.

What is a fair price?

That answer depends on a number of factors, in this case, the cost to produce, distribute, market and what the author deems is fair to her/his work. But keeping the above expenses in mind, the average ebook seems to be competitively priced ($0 – $6.99).

I am sure the debate about pricing will always exist in some form, and all the authors I spoke with agreed that while there are some who ask for free content, (and some readers can be very nasty about it – there are many blog posts and facebook posts out there by frustrated authors who have received emails from disgruntled readers about the cost of their books). But most authors have supportive fans who understand that this is their livelihood, their bread, and butter. After all, like the rest of us, writers do need to get paid and deserve to make a profit. Especially when you consider the time it takes an author to write and publish a book.

And in case you’re wondering about my little “scenario” at the beginning of this post, I did actually ask for a discount once. The employee chuckled, and then told me in a polite but strong tone that their store policy prohibits haggling on prices. Either pay for the book or leave it. I paid. Thank you, Visa Gods!

Not sure how to price your eBook…..

Whether you’re publishing your first novel or your 10th, sometimes it can be hard to know how to price your work or use the price as a tool to achieve your goals. Consider some tips below.

5 Factors to Consider When Pricing Your EBook

  1. Research YOUR Market

The first place to start is by researching the market for your genre. For example, if you’re writing mystery you’ll want to look at other titles that are similar to yours and compare the prices. But if you’re writing a cookbook, depending on the type, aside from other cookbooks you may want to take other health or diet books that relate to your topic.

This research will help you to find a pricing range. EBook titles cost anywhere from $0-$9.99 and can sometimes climb higher depending on author, genre, and time of release. Generally for most novels $0.99 – $5.99 where you’ll find a sweet spot between $2.99-$3.99.  So be sure to do your homework. You want to price competitively, not too high or too low.

Other questions to consider is the demand for your genre. Is your genre part of a trend like colouring books or vampire novels? Is there a wide market or is this a narrowly targeted market?  Or you may have already built up a following. With built in demand and fans, you may be able to price higher.

  1. “You Get What You Pay For”

That saying still resonates today for a reason. Price can signify to consumers the quality or exclusivity of a product or it can be used as part of an overall marketing strategy. Readers choose to purchase based on the perceived value of a product. For an author, the value of their work is not just the story they tell but it can also mean the length of the work, how many words? Pages?  Bonus material? Was it professionally edited? Graphics? All these things add value to the work that you’re selling and should be reflected in the price of your work.  Unless it’s on a promo from a subscription list like BookBub, I know when I buy something for $0.99 it may have typos, plot holes or be formatted terribly.

One thing about Kobo  I like is that aside from the page and word count it will tell you on average how long it will take to read the book. For me, that is one contributing factor to the value of a book. The longer the book, the longer I’ll be in the world enjoying myself.

For example, I discovered author Eve Langlais and her Lions Pride series on Kobo priced at $4.99 for 167 pages 49K words. For me, this is a quick fun 3-hour read.  As this author has developed lengthier titles, the price of her work has increased. Her newest title “The Assassin Next Door” is 71K words and priced at $5.99. An exciting 5-hour read for me that is already loaded on Kobo and waiting for me to gobble up.

  1. Costs

This seems like an obvious consideration, however you’d be surprised how many authors will gloss over this because they love what they do.  Passion for your work is important but does not negate the cost that you’ve incurred in order to bring that work to the public. This will mean a little simple accounting.

When considering pricing your e-book you want to ensure the price you set will allow you to cover the costs (at least some). This will vary depending on what services you chose to use i.e. professionally editing, cover design and formatting, marketing. Estimating how many books you think you can sell will help you determine a price that will cover the incurred costs. Remember: Sales-Costs = Revenue

  1. Price as a Strategy

Setting a pricing objective or strategy can help determine your price and contribute to your overall goals. Depending on where you are in your career, a first-time author or an established author with a huge backlist, setting an objective will help determine your price.

If you’re a new author you may be looking at building a readership by having readers try your work. Instead of giving your work away for free you may want to consider a lower price to gain traffic and readers through impulse buys. Or maybe you are an established author trying to sell your backlist before a new title comes out, perhaps a sale or promotional pricing for a certain time period would encourage new readers to try your work and allow the current reader to try older work while waiting for the new release. Thinking about starting a new series and hoping to “hook” reader, giving the first book for free or at a discounted rate is always a good enticement.

Using subscriptions lists such as BookBub and Freebooksy can help bolster your readership and potentially gain readers. It was BookBub that first introduced me to author Mimi Jean Pamfiloff and her King Series. I purchased the King trilogy box set, which was advertised on BookBub and priced at $.99.   I fell in love with both the series and author. I am now working my way through her backlist.

  1. The VALUE of your work:

What does your work mean to you? As an Author, you work hard and a little bit of your soul is embedded into each book. More importantly, you still need to earn an income. Don’t under value, the time, effort, and creativity it takes to produce a book. Undervaluing your work may sell an extra copy but does not guarantee a sale and it might make you feel discouraged.

Ultimately, you, the author, need to be comfortable with the price you are setting for your eBook.

Ludvica Boota is currently in the publishing program at Ryerson University and is an intern at Lachesis Publishing Inc. Prior to her studies, she worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Her most adventurous experience was working for the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin Ireland, where she was employed as a project officer but was never asked to deliver a baby. Ludvica holds an MBA from the University of Victoria and a B.Com from Carleton University.

When she’s not daydreaming about her next travel adventure, and perhaps her own HEA, she is usually immersed in a romance novel.

Connect with Ludvica on Facebook  / Instagram / Twitter  / LinkenIn

 

amwriting, blog post, book promotion and marketing, From the Editor's Desk, Marketing and Promotion, Marketing your book

Go Rank Yourself: How to Boost Your Books Online by Ludvica Bootha #SEOranking #bookpromo

Whether you’ve reached the USA today bestseller list or are an indie writer who’s written their first book, self-promotion is an important aspect of your writing career. Every book is a brand. Every author is a brand.  And with millions of eBooks on the market and more being published every day, exploiting every opportunity to be discovered requires some strategic planning.

One of the most effective ways that many authors have found success is by building a solid web presence. Whether it’s through their website, blog, newsletter, Facebook or Twitter accounts, connecting with readers on a human level, can help to expand your fan base and increase your sales. But in order to connect with readers, you first need to be discovered.

Discoverability simply put is the ability for your title or site to be found. Increasing your rankings in search results to drive more traffic to your site is one strategy to better your chances of being discovered by readers.

How do you increase your ranking in a web search?

Improving your rankings in major search engines requires a simple understanding of how they work. Whether it’s Amazon, Google, Bing, Yahoo, or Kobo, all search engines employ algorithms that return recommended sites or products that match the search query and rank them based on relevance and popularity.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique used to improve a site’s ranking position on various search engines list of results.  The idea is to use ‘search engine language’ to help search engines understand the meaning and context of your pages and as a result, increase the potential of your site being “picked up” and displayed in results.

As an author, one way you can accomplish this is by embedding frequently searched terms or keywords within your code or content, which get picked up by the algorithms when a user performs a search of those terms.

Content Value & Key Words

Does this mean that “If you build and embed it they will come.”…well not necessarily. Although having good content that is useful to your readers is essential, including frequently searched keywords and phrases, which would be relevant to a wide variety of search queries, can help to increase traffic to your site and improve your ranking. It can turn a good site into a better site.

When a reader performs an online book search in Google, using a generic term “Historical Romance Novels”, Google will search in books for all the titles that have “Historical”, “Romance”, “Novels” or a combination of the terms in the title or description. As an author who writes in that genre, having “Historical Romance” in either the title of my site, my book, or description could potentially land me in the list of results but this might be on the 10th page. Does anyone ever click through to the 10th page?

How to move up the search ladder….

Developing a list of keywords and phrases to describe your site and/or book is a technique that can aid in increasing your rankings in a search result. Because search engines measure how keywords are used on pages, which helps determine relevance, using broad terms such as “Historical Romance Novel” results in a higher number of titles 504,000 to be exact. But if your book is not just a historical but also contains a Cowboy hero, placing that term “Cowboy” in your titles, text, and metadata will help narrow the results. In this case “Historical Cowboy Romance Novels” netted 14,500 results, which seems like a lot, but essentially you just narrowed the competition for search results by 489,500 and improved your chances of achieving a higher ranking.

Like metadata that accompanies an eBook file, the same principle applies to SEO keywords —the more specific and clear, the more chances you have of being discovered by the search engines or by people searching for books via Amazon, Kobo or Apple.

Keep in mind that a description meant for a printed jacket may not necessarily make a good description for digital marketing.  When it comes to traditional marketing descriptions such as “A heart-warming tale….”  “Thrilling and suspenseful …” “Masterfully written…” work well, however, put them in a search engine and you’ll get thousands of hits. By intentionally choosing specific, popular searched key terms, that naturally flow with your book or site, you boost the chances that your title may display within the search results.

For example, by referencing other similar titles you can target readers in a specific genre. The description for your novel could be as follows  “in the style of The Couple Next Door and In a Dark, Dark Wood,  (the Author’s)  latest novel is a meticulously crafted and razor-sharp …” The search engine would pick up “The Couple Next Door” or “In a Dark, Dark Wood” and possibly display your title within the results of someone searching for mystery and suspense titles. Perfect! You’ve just reached someone in your target market.

You don’t just want any reader to find your book, but the right reader.

Remember you still want to create content for readers, not for search engines. Keyword stuffing can be detected by search engines and they will typically impose penalties on those sites by lowering rank and/or even eliminate the site from the search engine index altogether.

Concentrating on the quality of your keywords is crucial: good words increase your chances of discoverability and help your sales, poor words or over stuffing your content with irrelevant words hinders them.

If you are having trouble coming up with keywords and phrases, companies such as Moz and Google can help develop a list of frequently searched keywords and phrases that relate to your title/topic.

Here are 5 things you can do right now as an author to boost your Google SEO.

  1. Keyword Placement

Keep in mind that when it comes to your website, placement of keywords is just as important as the words themselves. The positions with the greatest impact are in the page titles, body text headers, links to other pages, and meta tags.

  1. Keep your website updated

Search engines are always looking for the most recent content. Keeping your website up to date, with original, accurate content will ensure that both search engines and users visit your site, which will help boost the popularity of your site

  1. Links

Inbound, outbound links can also help the visibility and increase traffic to your site. Inbound links are those links which are coming to your website from another website (Facebook, Twitter, another article or blog post, publisher etc). Outbound links are links that connect to another site (Amazon, Kobo, other blog posts or helpful articles etc) Treat every link as an endorsement and make sure you choose links that are relevant to your site/topic. Focus on the quality and always include links to all social media profiles, publisher site, and where to buy your books.

  1. Speed, Performance & User Experience

Speed is a significant factor when search engines evaluate your site. Not only do they consider how fast your page loads, but how well it functions and the ease of navigation for users. This means making sure all your links work and information on your site can easily found by visitors.

  1. Mobile Friendliness

Considering that most Google searches are conducted from mobile devices, ensure your website is mobile friendly. Click Here and let Google test the mobile friendliness of your site.

And if you are new to creating a website and need a little help to get started, WordPress, Weebly, and Wix are free website builders that simple and easy to use.

Looking for more information about Search Engine Optimization check out Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide and Moz The Beginners Guide To SEO.

Ludvica Boota is currently in the publishing program at Ryerson University and is an intern at Lachesis Publishing Inc. Prior to her studies, she worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Her most adventurous experience was working for the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin Ireland, where she was employed as a project officer but was never asked to deliver a baby. Ludvica holds an MBA from the University of Victoria and a B.Com from Carleton University.

When she’s not daydreaming about her next travel adventure, and perhaps her own HEA, she is usually immersed in a romance novel.

Connect with Ludvica on Facebook  / Instagram / Twitter  / LinkenIn

Images:

SEO Process: https://pixabay.com/en/seo-search-engines-optimization-592747/

In a Dark, Dark Wood: http://www.ruthware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/both-jackets1.jpg

The Couple Next Door: http://www.sharilapena.com/

 

 

 

amreading, amwriting, blog post, blogging, From the Editor's Desk

IS THERE ROOM FOR ANOTHER ROMANCE REVIEW BLOG? THE ANSWER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU by Ludvica Boota #amwriting #amreading #romancenovels

outlander-tv-tie-in-editionLisa-Kleypas-historical-romance-6697436-631-497It was all my friend’s fault. Well, not quite. It was her mother who introduced me to my two first loves: Jamie Fraser (Diana Gabaldon, Outlander) and Sebastian Lord St. Vincent (Lisa Kleypas, Devil in Winter).

It started with one book and then two and then before I knew it I was hooked. I wanted more. I would go to my friend’s house to hang out but my real motive was to talk to her mom so I could get more recommendations. Who was her favourite author? Who was her favourite romance hero of all time? Which historical time period did she love the most? I was brimming with questions. I had discovered historical romance novels and there was no turning back.

Back then (about ten years ago) it was word of mouth that enticed me to try new books and authors. Now, if I’m not sure what to read, all I have to do is Google “romance blog” and there are pages of sites listed. These romance review sites not only offer reviews on the latest romance books, they often feature interviews with authors, live chats, and unique giveaways. From Facebook pages to blog sites dedicated to the many facets of romance in every sub-genre imaginable, if you are a romance reader, chances are there is a blog out there for you.

The Social Influencer

romance-junkies-logoRomance book review blogs are important to bloggers, authors, readers, and publishers.  Like a clever eco-system, the interaction between these players produces a benefit for all. With a wide targeted audience reach, romance blogs are able to do what careful research marketing takes months to accomplish, talk directly to the reader.

With countless book blogs online, of varying quality and popularity, there is a lot to choose from, if you’re a reader who has a hankering for romance. Smart Bitches Trashy Books, Romance Junkies and Smexybooks are well known throughout the romance community and have a large readership, which can be as important to book promotion as traditional media, but some of the smaller niche-oriented blogs, like Jessy’s Book Club or Dirty Girl Romance can be very influential as well to a particularly voracious readership.

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 9.15.01 AMBut this connection is not one-sided. As Smexybooks contributor Mandi states, “I feel like review blogs are only for readers. I don’t expect my reviews to be read by authors or have any influence over authors. If I receive an ARC from an author or publicist, once I agree to review it, from that point on, my review is for my readers only. To be honest with our thoughts, we have to keep the author out of it. That is how we build up trust with our readers and how they can get to know the reviewers and their personal tastes.” As a bridge to the broader romance fiction community, romance blogs connect readers with not just their favourite books, but also to the romance authors themselves and to the larger romance community.

So is there room for another romance review blog?

In one word, YES! Romance blogs do more than just provide reviews; they are a social forum for both reviewers and readers to air opinions, on books, as well as trends and issues in the romance community. The issues might range from who your favourite romance hero is to the problem of book piracy. Romance bloggers blog because they have a passion for this genre and industry; readers follow because they share that same passion. But at the end of the day these romance blogs embrace the notion of a free-flow of ideas and of course, love for the genre. Romance readers are open minded, well-read and voracious. Because of this, there is always room for one more blog.

mr-darcys-guide-to-courtship-the-secrets-of-s-L-kw6ckWAlthough not all romance blogs are created equal, each brings its own unique brand to the market. As long as there is a continuous flow of new books, authors, and emerging sub-genres, there will always be readers craving their HEA with another Mr. Darcy and there will always be room for another book review blog.

Bottom line if you have the passion for the romance genre and love to talk and engage with others about all things romance, then yes, there is room for your voice, your blog.

Thinking about creating your own blog review site? Here are some tips from Smexybooks Romance Blogger Mandi:

Creating a new romance blog is like taking a slap shot through traffic and hoping you hit the back of the net. (Sincet we’re in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this is my token hockey reference – #GoSensGo)  Not to worry, Smexybooks romance Blogger Mandi has some advice to help make your blog a super success.

Photo Courtesy pixabay.com
Photo Courtesy pixabay.com

Honesty is the best policy

When writing your review, Smexybooks blogger Mandi’s formula is pretty simple, there isn’t one. “I don’t think there is necessarily a set formula, but the one thing every reader wants to know when reading a review is: why. Why did I like this book? Why did I not like this book? Once they hear the why, they want to know more details. You can set up the plot all you want, but the readers really want to know the why. I also think it’s important to mention how steamy (or not steamy) the book is, and if there are any important triggers that could upset a reader.”

urlFind your Voice.

When it comes to creating a successful blog, “I think you have to have a genuine voice. In my opinion, my readers don’t want to read constant promo or constant five-star reviews. Again, they have to trust the reviewer to be giving them honest thoughts, rather than a five-star review just to make the author/publisher happy. I think that is important for a successful blog. Otherwise, just have fun. Be silly or be serious. Whatever tone that makes the reviewer happy will reflect well on the blog.”

Read and Engage  

You need to create a buzz for your blog says Mandi, “Read. It sounds silly, but you have to read. And blog consistently. Get on twitter and chat about books as much as you can. Engage with others  – listen to other readers. And be yourself. Be proud of what you read and don’t be afraid to voice your honest opinions.”

Love in a Mist
Love in a Mist

So what’s my tip? Have fun.

As my favorite romance author Patricia Grasso told me in a recent interview “Writers do it for love first, and then they do it for money. Like ladies of the night.”  Well, so does the romance blogger and in most cases, minus the money. #wink

Ludvica Boota
Ludvica Boota

Ludvica Boota is currently in the publishing at Ryerson University and is an intern at Lachesis Publishing Inc. Prior to her studies, she worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Her most notable experience was working for the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin Ireland, where she was employed as a project officer but was never asked to deliver a baby. Ludvica holds an MBA from the University of Victoria and a B.Com from Carleton University.

When she’s not daydreaming about her next travel adventure, and perhaps her own HEA, she is usually immersed in a romance novel.

Connect with Ludvica on facebook.

 

amwriting, blog post, Book Submission, From the Editor's Desk, Submitting your book

Submissions Submissions Submissions – Oh my! by Joanna D’Angelo #publishing #submissions

We are looking for authors like you!Lachesis Publishing Inc. is looking for submissions!

We are welcoming submissions from authors with previously released titles, who have gotten their rights back and are keen on re-releasing the titles. We have already re-released several titles that have been previously released years ago with a different publisher. And we are working with a dynamic foreign rights sales agent who has already made several sales for us.

If you are an experienced author with previously released titles and you are looking to break into international markets – we encourage you to contact us here.

Are you an author with a great idea for a series? We’re looking for original content submissions in the following genres: romance, mystery, horror, science fiction, women’s fiction, westerns, and YA. Your series idea encompasses stand-alone stories that are connected either by theme, characters, setting, or plot. It can also be an ongoing serial that features the same characters in a story arc that takes place over several books. If you are submitting content that has not bee previously released contact us here.

We are also looking for authors who are willing to put their efforts into marketing and promotion. In today’s marketplace, authors cannot rely on their publishers alone to promote their books and connect with the right audience. Authors need to commit to connecting with and engaging with readers on a regular basis through social media, book signings, attending conferences and events, networking, getting reviews and yes, even advertising. Authors and Publishers are on the same team, and therefore should both be working towards the common goal of marketing and promotion. With that being said, we ask that all of the authors who make a submission to Lachesis Publishing include a 1-2 page marketing plan that outlines what they WILL do to promote their own book or (books).

Thank you and good luck!

Joanna D’Angelo

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea, social media, and good writing.

Connect with Joanna on twitter@JoannaDangelo, on facebook and on pinterest.

Her facebook page is: Love Romance Novels (on facebook)

Her other blogs are: thepopculturedivas and therevolvingbook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

amreading, amwriting, blog post, BOOK OF THE WEEK, Lachesis Publishing Inc., Regency Romance

Book of the Week: More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia #amreading #romance #Regency

He would give her his passion 2Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is the luscious Regency historical romance More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia. Book 1 in the Dashing Nobles series. AND IT’S FREE!!!

GET IT FREE ON AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, KOBO AND iBooks or RIGHT HERE at Lachesis Publishing.

What It’s About:

Geoffrey Kane, Earl of Kanewood refuses to feel anything more than passion. Four years ago, his fiancée betrayed him and he has no desire to experience that again so when he meets the beautiful Rebecca Kingsley, it’s passion at first sight. And only passion.

Rebecca has led a very quiet life working for her father at a small country inn. When she meets Geoffrey she falls in love with him right away. But she’s only the daughter of a baronet and men like Geoffrey never marry country girls like her. Do they?

When Rebecca’s father tries to marry her off to a wealthy old man, Geoffrey intervenes and marries her himself. He wants her very much but he couldn’t possibly love her. Love is for fools. At least that’s what he tells himself. But a sinister enemy soon threatens to destroy all that Geoffrey holds dear, forcing him to face the truth.

His marriage depends on it . . .

And maybe even Rebecca’s very life.

EXCERPT:

The Raven’s Inn was surprisingly elegant. The brick structure was trimmed with dark green, its long windows sparkling in the late afternoon sun. Rebecca Kingsley was straightening the beautifully-appointed parlor of the inn. Her father, Thomas, insisted that all the rooms look fine. His father had been a baronet, but all that was left of the family fortune, as it were, was the inn. As a younger man, he’d traveled in the social circles of the ton and claimed to know what the gentry and lesser folk alike looked for in food and lodging. Many travelers stopped at the inn, and they expected service and accommodations as fine as any in London, or so Rebecca’s father insisted.

At just twenty years old, Rebecca had been working at the inn all of her life. Her mother died when Rebecca was just two, leaving no real memories. Thomas refused to speak of her and Rebecca had long since given up asking. The only thing he’d say was that she took after her mother in looks. This he always said in a gruffly, affectionate manner that never failed to surprise her. She supposed she inherited her fair skin from her mother, that and her thick raven-black hair. She could never see anything of herself in Thomas.

He never really gave her much notice. She worked as hard as the servants at the inn, keeping her own room as well as half of the rest abovestairs. Mary, the chambermaid, took care of the other rooms as well as seeing to the guests’ personal needs. Rebecca served the morning and evening meals in the dining room, as well, along with Emmy. Emmy was funny and kind and a shameless flirt. She never hesitated to share her experiences with Rebecca, who couldn’t help but blush. She listened, though. Closely.

Rebecca was usually free to go about her own business after finishing her chores abovestairs. But this afternoon, she polished the candlesticks and dusted the furniture in the parlor. As usual, she wore her hair plaited in one long braid coiled at the back of her head. Her simple muslin gown was a few seasons old and well-suited to her task. She paused to gaze longingly out the window toward the stables out back. Beyond them, she could see the gently rolling hills over which she so loved to ride. If she didn’t have to see to the parlor today, she’d surely be out riding her black filly.

From her vantage point, Rebecca could see two figures walking out of the stable’s wide doors. One man was slight of stature and fell in step behind the other. The man in the lead was tall with broad shoulders and dressed in a brown coat and tan breeches. He walked with a long, easy stride. Sun glinted off hair she fancied the color of honey. He had a strong profile, and Rebecca couldn’t tear her gaze away from him. What color were his eyes?

“Fool,” she chided herself. She turned back to her work, flicking her dusting cloth in frustration.

* * *

She moved with an easy grace through the dining room, her glossy black hair catching the light given off by the candles. Curls framed the perfect oval of her face and teased the back of her neck. Her simple gown hugged her lush figure, the skirt swaying over her hips as she walked. She carried a pitcher of ale, and Geoffrey couldn’t take his eyes off her as she moved from table to table.

A man’s voice broke through his reverie. “Fetchin’, ain’t she?”

“What …?” He hadn’t even noticed the gray-haired man who joined him at his table. “Yes.”

“Peter Jenkins is the name,” the slight man offered. “How do you do?”

Geoffrey shook the man’s hand. “Kane. Geoffrey Kane,” he answered. “Very well, thank you.”

The older man gave a flick of his head in Rebecca’s direction. “She’s Kingsley’s daughter.”

Geoffrey raised an eyebrow at that. This beautiful creature was related to the florid-faced innkeeper? Impossible.

Just then, the girl approached the two men. Her mouth curved into a smile for the older man before she turned her attention to Geoffrey. Her rose-colored lips parted as she stared into his eyes for a long moment. “Blue.”

Geoffrey blinked. “What?”

She shook her head. “N-nothing.”

Geoffrey could only stare at the girl, dumbstruck. Her eyes were the color of emeralds, and sparkled as prettily. His gaze fell on her lips as she flicked her tongue over them. Desire shot through him, want like he’d never felt before. Once again, Peter’s voice broke in.

“Rebecca, this is Geoffrey Kane. Kane, meet Rebecca Kingsley.”

The girl, Rebecca, curtsied in greeting after a brief hesitation. She seemed as off-kilter as he felt, to his amazement. After a moment, Geoffrey stood and bowed slightly. “Miss Kingsley.”

“I’m pleased to meet you,” Rebecca said.

Her voice suited her. It was soft and a bit husky. And damn sensual.

“Likewise.”

“Will you be staying with us long?”

If I can help it. “A few days, actually,” he said, smiling.

She gasped softly, the sound no more than a whisper. “Well, do enjoy your stay,” she said, shyly returning his smile.

She stared up at him for a moment longer. Finally, she filled his tankard. With a nod of her dark head, she continued on through the dining room. Geoffrey sank back down into his seat, his gaze glued to her form.

“Rebecca.” He breathed. “Becca.”

Like what you’ve read? You can get More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia right here at Lachesis Publishing.

JoMarie DeGioia writes historical romances with a touch of mystery for Lachesis Publishing. And her books are always on the steamy side. Her Dashing Nobles series follows the romances of four male friends in Regency London.

You can get JoMarie DeGioia’s books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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She’s known as the BOOK GAL: Q and A with Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts #amwriting #marketing

Book Marketing Expert  and best selling author Penny Sansevieri
Marketing Expert and best selling author Penny Sansevieri

Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU, is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns.

LP: Tell us about your background and how and why you started Author Marketing Experts.

PS: I started the company because I’m an author and I wanted to give authors a company that understood them, knew the publishing industry and knew what they wanted.

Before I started AME I was in corporate America, working in marketing – but nothing as exciting as marketing authors. Then I got laid off not once but twice. Two companies I worked with shut down, I took it as a sign and started AME. I guess I am what you call an accidental entrepreneur.

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 9.04.44 AMLP: What services does AME offer?

PS: Our focus is on promotion, reaching potential buyers and readers. There are a lot of phases to getting a book out there, from editing to publishing, but we’re the go-to for the exposure.

LP: What can AME do for an author that they can’t do for themselves?

PS: What makes my team special is that we know what works and what doesn’t. For a lot of authors who try to tackle marketing on their own it’s a lot of trial and error. I’m not saying we can knock it out of the park 100% of the time, no company can do that, there’s a lot out of our control, but we really do know what strategies work for which types of books and which types of readers. We also have a lot of boots on the ground at any one time, pushing a book from multiple channels, no single person can make that happen on their own.

LP: Okay let’s talk about price. What are the different packages you offer and what do they cost? What can an author get for their money?

PS: First let me say our price ranges have varied somewhat through the years, to some degree they change based on what’s working in the industry, what we can offer our clients and what’s getting authors solid results over and over again. That being said, right now for the types of strategies and approaches we’re really seeing making an impact, the starting budgets are around $1500-$2000. They go up from there based on needs.

51zsiSRPTsLAnd for what they can expect, honestly we customize each campaign for the book and author, rarely are there two campaigns that are exactly alike in our recommendations, but our core strategies usually include guaranteed reviews, Amazon Search Optimization, eBook-specific promotions, and some media pitching. Our goal is to cover as many channels as possible. So we don’t encourage our clients to put all their investment in media for example.

LP: Tell us about two author success stories that AME was involved in – and walk us through what you did for them and what the results were in terms of exposure, sales etc . . .

PS: Some years back, we worked on a book called Cookin’ for Love. by Sharon Boorstin. The book was self-published and turned down by the author’s traditional publisher because he thought that the characters in the book (who were over 50) were too old. So we worked with the author to promote the heck out of the book. We pitched Boomer bloggers and we told them the *why* of why she wound up self-publishing the book, which engaged then even further and fired up her reader base. She wound up doing so well with the book, Lifetime came after her for a movie deal.

51xUHu1NbLL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_The Kennedy Detail, with the former Kennedy Secret Service seemed like a slam dunk. I mean, it’s Kennedy, right? So we had a lot of blogger pitching on this campaign – I mean a ton. But once we started pitching we found out quickly that most of the bloggers only want to talk conspiracy theories (most of them anyway, and we weren’t pitching that specific market). So instead we turned to author events – and the two former Secret Service, including Clint Hill who was the agent who threw himself onto Kennedy’s car when he was shot, toured the country. We often had standing room only crowds. At Warwick’s Books in La Jolla, we had almost 300 people trying to get into that tiny store.

In regards to sales, we don’t track those. No marketing company should because they can’t take credit, or blame, for sales on their own. Too many factors affect sales, a lot of them are established before we join the party and many we have no control over, like competition for example.

LP: You also write for the Huffington Post – how did that come about and what are some of the topics you write about?

Penny-SansevieriIt was offered to several us, by Arianna Huffington directly at a publishing event I was speaking at – they were looking to build their book and publishing track. I write about publishing but mostly marketing.

I try to focus on topics authors can run with the day they read the article. So easy to implement marketing strategies, strategies that are proven to drum up more sales, warnings and guidelines that can save authors a lot of headaches. People don’t have a lot of time and I respect that, so I want to be a reliable source for go-to help.

LP: You also teach a self-publishing course at NYU – what is the most important thing you tell the students who take your course?

That publishing is a business – yes, it’s creative and exciting and all of that, but at the end of the day it’s a business. You’ve got to make decisions that are business minded. It’s pretty easy to let the ego guide you, I mean in terms of what might look pretty on paper, but be a bad choice for the book. An example of this might be a full page ad in the New York Times. I love NYT but book ads in newspapers tend to only do well for authors with big platforms – like James Patterson, etc.

Image: hopkins.typepad.com
Image: hopkins.typepad.com

LP: In your experience – what are some big no-nos that you see authors do online.

PS: I hate to say there are so many, but back to what I said about it being a lot of trial and error, that’s really a big part of doing it on your own. But a handful of things that we see over and over again that can make a big impact are: pricing your book too high; not creating engaging copy for your Amazon page; not having a home base, be it a basic website or just a well-run Facebook page; and not engaging with readers. The biggest mistake an author can make is just sitting back and assuming because the book is for sale, people will buy it. Nothing is that easy, and certainly not in this market, where over 4,500 books are being published every single day.

LP: What are three things that you believe every newbie or struggling author ABSOLUTELY needs to do EVERY SINGLE DAY.

PS: Reach out to fans and potential readers. This is where social media comes in handy. You may not love it, but chances are your buyer market loves it. And maybe your readers aren’t on Facebook, maybe they’re on Twitter – figure it out, know your demographics.

Don’t spin your wheels doing things that don’t matter. This is more of a don’t, but honestly it means take that time and put it into something that works. If you only get 5 visitors to your blog every month, don’t kill yourself writing blog posts. Take that time and research bloggers to pitch yourself to, or spend more time on social media you know is popular for your market, or finish that next book! Anything productive is better than something unproductive.

You don’t have to read every marketing blog or every success newsletter, but find a few that fit your style, that motivate you, and commit to not only reading them, but implementing strategies you learn about. But make sure you make it more than just busy work, this is not busy = productive. This is about making your next book release that much better!

Night-Maneuvers-189x30051tFzHuADzL51tqKp1TBQLLP: Bonus Question: Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

PS: Well so this is like picking my favorite child, that’s pretty hard. Honestly, I love authors who work it. We have worked through several books with Leslie Hachtel – she is tireless and she gets it. If she isn’t writing she’s looking for a way to promote her books. Tawny Weber is another one, and Sarah Andre – all of these gals are just “out there” and pushing their books. I could go on, because we’re so lucky to work with so many authors who never let a “no” get in the way of their success. Honestly, those are my favorite authors because these days, anyone can write a book – it takes a lot more effort to get it seen and read.

Contact Author Marketing Experts via their website or connect with Penny Sansevieri via facebook, twitter, @Bookgal linkedin

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
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She’s an expert on PR in your PJs: Meet Laurie Parish a Customer Champion at Hootsuite #amwriting #socialmedia #marketing

Laurie Parish, social media guru and baker extraordinaire.
Laurie Parish, social media guru and baker extraordinaire.

Laurie Parish is a Customer Centric Champion at Hootsuite. What does that mean? She offers support and guidance to customers who use the Hootsuite social media platform and she helps them get better results for their own businesses through the products that Hootsuite offers.

Click here for an article about the Top 7 Reasons to use Hootsuite.

What is HootsuiteHootsuite is a social relationship platform that empowers users to execute social media strategies across their organizations. Hootsuite‘s vision is to revolutionize communications; their mission is to empower our customers to transform messages into meaningful relationships.

Click here for an article explaining what good Customer Champions do.

Lachesis: Tell us about your background and how you came to Hootsuite?

hootsuite-logo1Laurie Parish: My background is in selling and supporting the printing process. I studied journalism after high school but fell in love with the way books are created instead. I went from setting type to selling million dollar software and hardware systems to printers.

When print started to wane I began to look for new places to move my career. Being at Hootsuite  is exciting and new. Today’s marketeers are embracing social media for not only increasing brand awareness but to decrease risk in their organizational activities.

Lachesis: Hootsuite has been around a long time – but for people who don’t know exactly what it is – tell us what Hootsuite offers.

Image: www.cartoonists.co.uk
Image: www.cartoonists.co.uk

Laurie Parish: I suppose it seems like a long time. Hootsuite was established in 2008 (yesterday for me) when our CEO Ryan Holmes was trying to manage all of his social networks and finding it too big a task. We now have 15 million users worldwide! Our vision is to help organizations and individuals create meaningful relationships from their social presence. I call it PR in your PJs. We offer a way to not only organize your social networks but to understand who is engaging with you via those channels. We provide tools and metrics that encourage collaboration within marketing teams. And most importantly we are one of the only social platforms to provide free education and training on social media.

Lachesis: Ten years ago – an author could post something on his/her facebook page or twitter once a day and that would have been enough to sell books – but that is no longer the case – how can Hootsuite help authors build their audiences online – in an effective way – so that they have plenty of time to write?

social-media-software-comparison-hootsuite-mark-f-simmons-mixed-digital-llc-7.png-7Laurie Parish: First of all let me say we are completely mobile. We even have a Chrome extension that let’s you post right from an interesting URL. Posting to all of your social networks from your mobile device with one click saves so much time because you can do it from wherever you are. Once you’ve published then you can sit back and monitor your Hootsuite dashboard streams to see the impact in real time. Monitoring your streams lets you find your main influencers/markets so you can target messaging directly to them in future posts. Every writer should take time to build their personal brand and then manage it. It’s not always about promotion, it’s also about thought leadership. Hootsuite has ways to help you curate content and show off that leadership to your audience. Be proactive, be creative, be passionate.

344021Lachesis: Tell us about some of the clients in the arts/creative field that Hootsuite has and how Hootsuite has helped them improve their social media outreach?

Laurie Parish: I work with our strategic accounts so only accounts over $100,000.00. Which means I don’t always get to hear the stories about how everyday people use us. But those stories are out there and here’s a link to a case study about how a little independent film used Hootsuite to grow an audience with almost no budget. They built brand awareness and “buzz” for an unreleased movie, created a network of fans for the film, sustained the campaign for over a year and implemented the entire strategy within a $1000 monthly budget.

Lachesis: Okay let’s talk about price. What does it cost for Hootsuite – and is it affordable for indie authors who are on a budget?

Laurie Parish: One of the main reasons for our success is our Freemium version. Yes, that’s right . . . getting started with us is absolutely free. That’s how I was introduced to Hootsuite. No credit card mambo either. Next tier is the Pro version which is about $10./mo. Then we move on to the larger scale plans for enterprise and small to medium sized businesses. But the best bang for no money is our Hootsuite Academy. Learn everything you need to know about social FOR FREE. Find that here: Hootsuite Education Courses

Check out this article for more info:  The Creative’s Guide to Launching a Project on Social Media.

161349648Lachesis: I know you’re an avid reader too – what are two amazing books you’ve read recently?

Laurie Parish: Right now I’m reading Ian Brown’s 60. It’s an incredibly interesting look at the Globe’s columnist life in his 60th year. Men think about really odd things. That’s all I’ll say.

Lachesis:  What are your favourite kinds of posts that you enjoy reading or seeing on social media?

14364681_10154554254656079_8421876277164615950_nLaurie Parish: I follow the Bangor Police on Facebook. Those posts are so funny and insightful that I never miss one. TC (the writer) is doing much for making Maine cops part of the community that they live and work in.

Lachesis: You are on social media a lot – but tell us what are some pet peeves you have about what you see on social media?

Laurie Parish: Can I just say that I’m so over the “# of way to do this or that” posts? I see that as a headline and I move on. Also, if a company or brand that I follow never posts about anything other than themselves I get very very bored. I hate boring.

Mmmm.... Pumpkin Spice!
Mmmm…. Pumpkin Spice!

Lachesis: BONUS QUESTION: I know you’re a baker extraordinaire and you also have a home-based bakery business – what is the most popular item that people order from you and what is YOUR favourite sweet indulgence? J

Laurie Parish: Scones. I make loads and loads of scones. Pumpkin spice, blueberry, raspberry, apple, chocolate chip… you name it. My not so secret passion is pie. My favourite thing to do is drive out into the country in search of home baked pie. Pie is one of the hardest baked goods to get right. My grandmother was a pastry chef so I’m spoiled.

 

Laurie also runs the Short but Sweet Cupcake Company
Laurie also runs the Short but Sweet Cupcake Company

Connect with Laurie Parish via Linkedin and on facebook. You can also contact Laurie Parish to order one of her custom-made baked delights from her bakery company: Short But Sweet Cupcakes

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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What do successful authors have in common? by Joanna D’Angelo #amwriting #promotion #marketing

Embrace it. ;)
Embrace it. 😉

There are things that a publisher can do for an author. And there are things that an author needs to do for him/herself. 

If you sign on with a publisher and expect to hit a bestseller list right away, it can happen, but chances are it won’t. But if you want to make a living as an author, sell consistently, and be able to pay your bills and sock some money away – you need to start doing what successful authors do.

So what distinguishes authors who make a good living from authors who are not getting sales?

Here are some observations I have compiled over the years of interviewing successful authors, talking to marketing professionals and in working with LeeAnn Lessard, Publisher of Lachesis Publishing. She knows her stuff. 🙂

1. Successful authors have a PLAN and if something in their plan isn’t working they change their plan. How do they change it? (keep reading).

2. Successful authors research ways that they can promote their books. They talk to other authors who are successful. They look into different blogs, review sites, online advertising, newsletter promotions, increasing their newsletter subscribers, etc . . . If something doesn’t work they go onto the next item on their list.  They look for different approaches. The point is they SEEK OUT and FIND OUT what other successful authors are doing.

3. Successful authors write every day but they also DO BUSINESS every day. A successful author knows that he or she is not just a creative artist – he or she is running a business. If you are an author – and you want to make a living at this you need to understand this. YOU ARE RUNNING A BUSINESS. And when you run a business you are either selling a product or a service. If you are selling a product you have to understand that merely telling people about your product is not going to convince them to buy it. You can’t just throw up a post on your facebook wall and say “hey, here’s my book” or “hey, my book is on sale”. You have to SELL THE EXPERIENCE of YOUR book. You know those Super Bowl ads that everyone loves? They are cinematic experiences that elicit a particular emotion from the audience. Successful authors understand what that means. They understand that they have a unique brand that appeals to a particular audience and what they need to do is to FIND that audience and REACH OUT to them in a meaningful and appealing way. If you don’t know what the means – there are a lot of books and professionals that explain it very well. Again – seek and you shall find.

Keep Calm and Market Your Book
Keep Calm and Market Your Book

4. If a successful author doesn’t have the time to do all of this marketing stuff – they HIRE someone with the skills and know-how who does. Yes. Successful authors know that you have to spend money to make money. Either that or you have to have someone IN YOUR LIFE  like a spouse or son/daughter who is your partner and who works on your behalf to do all the promotion and marketing that you need.

5. Successful authors are always connecting with readers on social media and through their newsletters – sharing their lives – sharing their humour – sharing their creativity. And in return – reaching out to their fans and readers and listening to them and reading what THEY have to say. In other words  – they INTERACT. They don’t simply post “buy my book” posts – they interact with people. This is common sense right? You’d be surprised how many authors don’t know this.

6. Successful authors know that they can’t put all of their eggs in one basket and if they want to build momentum they either publish with more than one publisher or they self-publish as well in order to get more books out. It’s true you can’t just put out one book every two years and then sit back and let the money roll in. Unless you have a sweet publishing deal with a big pub. And even then you still have to produce your next book. Most successful authors who write full time and make a living at it – publish several books a year.

7. Successful authors understand what marketing and promotion means. If they don’t they research it.

8. Everyone has a right to complain if they fall off the horse and something doesn’t go their way. But successful authors get right back on. They are highly motivated people who move forward in their quest for success.

Work it. :)
Work it. 🙂

9. Successful authors don’t work in spurts. They don’t do things here and there. They don’t “putter”. They don’t send an email a few weeks ago or last month. They work consistently and diligently EVERY DAY not JUST on their writing but on their BUSINESS. Even if they have a full time job and kids and a dog to take care of and all they can manage is 1 hour a day. They make good use of that hour.

10. Successful authors know that it takes time to become successful. It’s not for fly-by-nighters. It’s for people who put in the time, effort, and the day-to-day drudgery of running a business. That’s what successful authors do.

The end.

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea, social media, and good writing.

Connect with Joanna on twitter@JoannaDangelo, on facebook and on pinterest.

Her facebook page is: Love Romance Novels (on facebook)

Her other blogs are: thepopculturedivas and therevolvingbook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

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She’s helped hundreds of authors create winning brands: Q and A with dynamo Kim Killion of The Killion Group #authorpromo #amwriting


HD_HighRes-300x227
TheKillionGroup_finalWelcome to our third and final feature on the Killion Group, a dynamic full service company that specializes in brand marketing for authors from idea to execution. Today we’re chatting with Kim Killion, the founder of  The Killion Group and Hot Damn Designs and a successful romance author in her own right. Kim Killion is the dynamo behind The Killion Group and her vision has helped to build the company into the powerhouse it is today.

Author, Graphic Designer, Professor, Photographer, and Founder of The Killion Group and Hot Damn Designs
Author, Graphic Designer, Professor, Photographer, and Founder of The Killion Group and Hot Damn Designs

Tell us about your background and how and why you started The Killion Group .

Out of high school, I studied near Kansas City, MO for my degrees. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Certificate in Web Design, and I’m an Adobe Certified Expert (equivalent to a Masters in Adobe).

I have nearly 27 years of design and teaching experience. For several years after college, I worked in the design depts. of some major financial companies. After starting a family, I began teaching Graphic Design in St. Louis. I really loved (still love) teaching and did so for 13 yrs.

I began writing in 1998 and in 2005, I joined the St. Louis RWA ® Chapter.  About 2009-ish, some of the women in the Chapter needed some design work done. Mostly websites, as the Indie movement hadn’t taken full-hold yet.  But as I did more of that side-work/design, I found a terrible lack of historical stock images. With help from local authors, I borrowed enough historical clothing and props and hired a photographer –and held a 2 day, 16 hr, photoshoot!  Hot Damn Designs and Hot Damn Stock were born.

By 2011, I was busier than I could imagine and decided to stop teaching and go full-time designing.  I then hired a web tech, another designer (a student actually who was the top of the graduating class), and then hired Jenn to help keep us all organized.

RWA_ad1_150What services does The Killion Group offer authors?

We offer everything (every service) a publishing house offers, but we work strictly on a flat fee basis. Meaning, the author keeps all her royalties.

Here is a full list of services and our prices: http://thekilliongroupinc.com/services/

We pride ourselves on knowing what it’s like to be “that” author because both Jenn and I were where they are!  We know what it feels like and want to let clients know we’re there for them to help them make the best of their book from start to finish.

That includes everything from cover to uploading the book for them if they want.

We want authors to be able to write and we can do the rest – or authors can pick and choose what they’d like help with.

REG0103BrooksPAR0080BrooksYou also have an amazing stock photo site – called Hot Damn Stock – tell us about that.

How it started is mostly talked about above, but I’m still very proud to have one of the largest selections of romance / genre based images. We have close to 40,000 images, in 15 different genre. www.hotdamnstock.com

We try to have a shoot every 6-8 weeks, so we are always adding new faces and costumes.

We have a big 2 day shoot coming up the first part of November! Very exited!

Your client roster includes both authors and publishers – you have more than 2,000 clients – what canThe Killion Group do for an author or publisher that can really propel them forward and boost their careers?

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 11.01.19 AM
The list of authors who came to use as writers who KNEW they had talent but were repeatedly turned away by Houses because their genre wasn’t “trending” is beyond lengthy. A good number (about 75% of them) are now Best Selling Authors. NY Times or USA Today Best Selling. And while I fully believe the talent these women have is awesome, I’d like to think that the professional cover design and knowledge of what sells a cover and why (the technical stuff), helped them achieve their ranking.

The covers have won several awards too, so that makes them and me feel very proud.

postcard-5.5inx8.5in-h-roundOkay let’s talk about price. We know the old saying: You have to spend money to make money – but a lot of authors are on a limited budget – what can you offer authors who may not have the big funds for a splashy campaign?

To start with, we haven’t raised our Cover Design prices in 5 yrs. We’re still at $135 for eCover and $75 more to add a spine/back cover.

Kim Killion behind the scenes on one of the Killion Group photo shoots.
Kim Killion behind the scenes on one of the Killion Group photo shoots.

In fact, we’ve just LOWERED our formatting prices AND increased the design elements of the formatting.

We still say, write a good book and get a professional cover. That’s your best campaign.

Aside from that, we offer some Social Media work (Facebook and Twitter – designs and marketing) as well as NetGalley spots for Reviews and/or Review campaigns.

We keep our prices low and only have a 1 hr min. for our PR work.

We also offer Blurb/ Back Cover Copy writing service. Because let’s be honest, those are hard and yet are one of the first things a potential reader will see.

HODbook_14You’re an indie author and you write medieval romance – tell us about your style and what your favourite Kim Killion book is?

Though I do love Her One Desire ( I wanted it titled The Executioner’s Daughter) and it was my RITA® book, Highland Dragon is still my favorite.

You began as a traditionally published author with Kensington Publishing – before you transitioned to indie – what advice would you give an author who was thinking of going indie?

LOL. Well, I say if you like having control of your work, then go for it! I wasn’t unhappy with Kensington and have designed for them, so we have a good relationship still to this day.

However, my Kensington covers were nothing like what they should have been… ie: the models weren’t right for the characters. And I think all Traditionally published authors have gone through that experience.

Indie gives the author complete control of your work. And the lion’s share of the profit.

And now that I am getting my rights back to my titles, I am giving them the covers (and the titles) that I wanted.

The talented and vibrant red-head Kim Killion
The talented and vibrant red-head Kim Killion

What are three things that you believe every newbie or struggling author should do to build readership?

*Learn your writing craft. Take classes, read how-to books and join a critique group.

*Get a good cover.

*And then, be ‘real’ with your readers. Be fun and don’t always talk about Buy My Book. I still think a “grass-roots” approach is the best. Get to know your readers. Become friends. If you realize they are people who love your writing as much as you do – not a nameless/faceless person with money – I think that’s how you build a loyal readership. They become your book family. J

Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

The wonderful Betrice Small was my favorite and first romance read. She opened a whole world to me …literally!

BONUS QUESTION: Finish this statement: Red heads are awesome because . . .

They are full of fire and unstoppable when they want something!

Connect with Kim Killion via The Killion Group, on facebook, and on twitter and via her author website.

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New York Times bestselling YA fantasy author C. J. Redwine talks books, writing retreats and fangirling over Benedict Cumberbatch

New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Redwine
New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Redwine

C.J. Redwine is the New York Times bestselling author of YA fantasy novels, including The Shadow Queen, The Wish Granter, and the Defiance trilogy. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. Visit her website: www.cjredwine.com 

Welcome C. J.!

You’re a YA fantasy author – tell us how you became a writer and how you first got published. 

I’ve been writing stories since I was in the second grade. By the time I was a teenager, I was filling spiral notebooks with stories, ideas, poems, and even lists of words that I loved. Book Nerd FTW!

51BM-5rlvzLI graduated from college with a degree in English and my teaching credential. Even though I loved to write and wanted to be published one day, I had no real idea how to accomplish that, and I needed a career that paid the bills. I taught high school for a few years, got married, had children, and life became one non-stop loop of no-sleep-keep-the-boys-from-starting-the-apocalypse-I-don’t-know-how-to-brain-anymore. It wasn’t until I was thirty and facing a cancer diagnosis that I stopped and evaluated what I was doing. I realized that I’d been waiting for life to slow down and give me the perfect opportunity to write books, but that’s not what life does. If you want something, you have to make it happen or move on to another dream. 

So I wrote my first novel, which is a monstrosity that no one will ever read. I joined writer’s groups. Went to conferences. And learned as much as I could about the craft of writing and about the publishing process. I wrote a second book, queried literary agents, and signed with my amazing agent. I expected that book would sell, but it didn’t. I wrote another book, and that book didn’t sell either. I’d been with my agent for over two years without a sale, while others sold in a matter of weeks. I kept picking my self-confidence up off the ground, dusting it off, and telling myself that I could do this. 

When I wrote my next book, I turned it in to my agent, fully expecting to hear a slew of “no’s” once it went on submission to editors. Instead, my agent called me to tell me the book was going to auction with four houses bidding on it. I just cried. It was so surreal. It took months for the fact that I’d sold a series to sink in!

51lWd-Ffq9L._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_You’re a NYT bestselling author – tell us which book hit the bestseller list first, what number did you hit, and what did you do to celebrate?

My book THE SHADOW QUEEN, which is a dark epic fantasy inspired by the Snow White fairy tale, hit the list at #5. I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate. 🙂

41C0wO8Bl+L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I know that you’re published with Balzer and Bray (a Harper Collins imprint) but you’ve also written a book and indie-published it – called Query: Everything You Need To Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed. Tell us about that and why you wanted to write a book about how to break into the industry?

I’ve been teaching writing workshops for years. I love to teach! And I realized there were a lot of up and coming writers who’d never be able to attend one of my workshops. So I decided to put my query workshop into book form so that anyone who needed a step by step process for how to write a query letter that gets results would have it at their fingertips. 

 Sherwood-Splash-LR_616x440_acf_cropped7a4c3295-d761-411a-bfa6-60e7a4179d39.1 ad7fb75c-4831-494e-9897-c00e5dab45fe.1You also offer writing workshops and you organize an annual writer’s retreat tell us about that and is it just for YA authors or do you offer it for authors who write in other genres?

The annual retreat is open to any writers who register. We’re currently accepting names on a wait list for next year’s retreat
C. J. REDWINE’S WRITER’S SANCTUARY WRITING RETREAT). It’s a fabulous event full of workshops, critiques, time to write, and delicious home cooked food. I also travel to conferences, book festivals, writer’s events, and libraries to give workshops.

41Yqk143nKL51xhJ9LBwsL._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_You’re a busy mom – what do your kids think of their mom the author? What do you enjoy reading to your kids?

My boys are teens, and they think it’s cool that I’m a writer. Sometimes they even read my books (and then complain about how awkward it is to read a kissing scene written by your mom). My girls are in first grade and preschool, so they don’t really understand what it means to be published. But they do know that I write books, and they love to fold paper together and make their own books. 🙂

It’s very competitive out there with traditionally published authors and indie authors and authors who do both! Writing a good book is of course important – but aside from that – how can a newbie or emerging author find their own place in a sea of so many successful authors?

It’s important to figure out where your readers are and connect with them. One great way to connect is to make sure that your social media presence revolves around passions of yours that are also passions of readers who’d love your books. For example, I write fantasy. I love Grimm, Supernatural, The Flash, The Avengers etc, and I talk about those things. I’m part of the Harry Potter fandom. Of course I share other aspects of my life too, but I make sure to share the things that I know are shorthand for readers who love the same things I do. I also think networking with other authors and doing shared events or book festivals is a great way to meet new readers!

 Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 10.24.55 AMWhat do you have coming up next?

My  next book is THE WISH GRANTER, a dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin in which a bastard princess must take on a dangerous fae to save her brother without losing both her brother and her soul.

What do you love to read in your downtime?

Everything! I read widely. My favorite genres at the moment are thrillers, horror, and contemporary, and of course I always adore a great fantasy. I find so much inspiration in reading outside of my genre.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Literally everywhere. I’m constantly seeing interesting things that make me ask “What if …?” or I hear a piece of  music that sparks a conversation between characters or an image of a world … I carry a notebook at all times because my head is a very busy place.

imgres-1benedict-cumberbatch (1)Bonus Question: Who do you fangirl over and why?

I love character actors! My faves are Benedict Cumberbatch, John Noble, Tom Hiddleston, Johnny Depp, and Bill Nighy. Also I fangirl over fictional characters like nobody’s business. Batman. Loki. Iron Man. Wonder Woman. Dean Winchester. I could go on, but you get the point.

Thank you!

Connect with C. J. Redwine via her website, facebook page and on twitter, tumblr. and pinterest.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.