Thank You for all Your Support

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. I hope you are having an amazing week. This month marks my third year as a published author. Crazy, right? This week I thought I would take a moment and thank you all for being around and taking the time to support my writing. There are a lot of authors out there and if you’re a reader, I’m sure you have a stack of books fighting for your attention. So, thank you for adding my books to your stacks.

Another thing I wanted to do this week is share some amazing reviews and graphics that have been created for my books and short stories. If you post a review to a public forum, there is a chance a portion of your comments (no names are associated with the review) will be used for promotional materials, which I think is pretty amazing. So if you’ve taken the time to review any of my works, check out the graphics to see if you can see if your comments are being used.

Here are some pieces that have been created for each story.

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What do you think? Tell me in the comments below.

As a reminder book reviews are incredibly important, so if you’ve read a book and you want to help my works reach more readers please leave a review on one of your favorite platforms. Another way you can help get the word out about my works is by sharing my posts and encouraging your other readers you may know to buy my books. If you live here in the US and want to signed copy, you can always order one through my website (click here) and I would be thrilled to send you a signed copy.

If you would like to buy any of my books you can find them here.

NineStar Press: https://bit.ly/2VroALu

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2U3Kx65

Barnes & Nobel: https://bit.ly/2NxRypZ

iTunes: https://apple.co/2EneUKQ

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2IDBcxk

Remember, you can always leave me questions below, or you can contact me directly (click here) I always respond to your questions and comments as best as I can. As always, don’t forget to share and like this post. Until next time have a great week.

What is the Hardest part about Writing a Book – The Marketing

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Recently I was asked; What is the hardest part about writing a book? Without hesitation, my answer was marketing. This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I’m not the only one either. Most authors consider marketing in one form or another. Especially after your book has been out for a while. Sales start to drop off and all the excitement of the launch has worn away. So now what?  How do you continue to get your book noticed?

There is no one answer and things can be even more challenging for non-romance gay books.

Here’s the thing. How do you market a non-romance gay book? Gay Romance is a huge market and everything gay seems to be lumped under that umbrella. Last week I found out that my book The Calling is 96th on the Best Gay Vampire Book list (click here), which is part of Best M/M romance featuring gay vampires… um what? I thought my book was a vampire book, not an M/M romance.

Don’t get me wrong, this is exciting and I’m so thankful and grateful especially since I’m a new author with only a few works published. You can find them all here. This free publicity is amazing and I’m hopeful it will be helpful as well, especially with marketing.

However, anyone who has read my book knows it isn’t a gay romance. That’s not what I wrote, yet that is how it is classified. This is a bit of an issue because there is this thing called false advertising and I never want to be criticized for that.

How do I market a non-romance gay book?

I did a Google search asking that question. All that comes up is how to market a gay romance and if straight authors should write gay romance. It definitely defeated the purpose of the question.

So, I went back to the Vampire lists, and I found other lists. Such as Best Vampire Books from “New” Authors, (click here). The Calling is 482nd. Go me! One of the other lists that made me chuckle is Great Vampire Books that Aren’t Twilight (click here). The Calling is 382nd. Also, The Calling is 23rd on the January 2018 MM Releases list (click here).  So, I’m using this news to create a bit of a buzz about my book. I’ve sent out a Facebook post to see if I can get more people to vote for The Calling on those lists. On May 1st I sent out an email blast to my subscribers to see if they would vote for The Calling on these lists.  All to move my book higher on these lists.

Notice, I’m only talking about The Calling and not A Dragon for Christmas or The Reunion. That is because I’m trying to figure out what works so I can duplicate it for these books. This might also be an issue. Should I be marketing all three together?  I’m not sure.

Now back to these Goodreads Lists. Why are they important (or why do I consider them important)? Because to be lumped in with such books as; Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles), Dracula, the Sookie Stackhouse Series, ‘Salem’s Lot, and, even the Twilight Series? Tells potential readers that this book has substance. It also means that The Calling (and soon to be The Calling Two) even though they have a gay main character are of the same caliber as these amazing works and not a vampire sexcapade. This is a difficult stigma to break considering that Gay Romance and Gay Erotica are so popular. It is also what most people imagine when you mention you write LGBTQA Fiction. Ugh... but that whole topic is for another day.

Why these lists, well they are some of the best free marketing, they can help drive sales, and they get my book noticed.

The Calling being number one in any of these categories or being in the top 100 allows me bragging rights and is something I can advertise. Trust me, I will be.  Right now I’m working on ads to capitalize on these lists and this news.

Some additional marketing strategies I’ve been doing: Getting more reviews. Lining up interviews and speaking opportunities. Having fellow Authors on my Scribbles Page. Trying to be more engaging on Social Media (not talking about my books but other topics). Joining Author Groups were we share ideas about marketing and public relations.  

So, yes, the hardest part about writing a book is the marketing. It’s not the writing or the publishing (although both take time and are a lot of work).

Do you have any suggestions on ways to market non-romance gay book? Do you know anyone who loves vampires and witches send them the link to my book (click here)?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Until next week have an amazing week.

Announcements

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Today I wanted to share some exciting announcements. First, I want to let you know (and you’re the first to hear the news) that NineStar Press will publish my Science Fiction novel A New World–Contact.  To keep the purchase price of the book reasonable they will release A New World–Contact in two parts. The book is hovering around 170,000 words (about 652 pages).  We are aiming to release Part One around the end of the year with Part Two coming out a few months later.  There won’t be a long delay between release dates.  Both parts of the book will be available in eBook format and paperback. So, keep an eye open for more news as we get closer to the launch date. If you want to learn more about A New World–Contact check it out here.

Second, on March 8th I’ll be interviewed on Outlook Video. Outlook Video is a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender monthly public access cable program and is associated with the Billy DeFrank Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Once I know when the show is to air, I’ll share it.

Click here for more information

Click here for more information

Click here for more information

Click here for more information

Third, on the writing front. This week I submitted a new manuscript to NineStar Press for evaluation.  The working title is T.A.D and the story is about an angel and drag queen.  It's a lot of fun. My hope is NineStar Press will pick it up.  So keep your fingers crossed.

One more writing update, this Thursday March 1st. I’ll have a featured Blog Post on NineStar Press.  You’ll be able to check out the post here however, I’ll be sharing the links on my social media pages.

You can see a lot is happening.

Before I sign off for the week, I want to mention how thrilled I am that The Calling is doing so well.  It’s gotten several 5–star reviews on Amazon and as of this writing the book has a 4.4 overall star rating.  Not to forget A Dragon for Christmas or The Reunion they are at a 4.5–star rating and a 4.7–star rating respectively.

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Why am I mentioning this? Because ratings and reviews are very important for books and writers (especially lesser known authors like me). In almost every article written about helping your favorite author, ratings and reviews, are always in the top five, along with buying the book and recommending the book. Don’t take my word for it, here is an article by the Huffington Post with 10 Ways to Help Your Favorite Author. Click here. Here’s another article from Mill City Press that also offers some amazing ideas. Click here. If you want to try any of these out, I’ll happily be your test subject.

Are you ready to help me reach that goal? Have you read all or some of my books? Do you have an Amazon account? Do you want to be a part of my book’s success?

Yes.

GREAT!

You don’t have write a full review, simply click on the 1–5 stars is a great help.

Click here to go to Amazon to rate my books.

Click here to go to Amazon to rate my books.

Why is this important to me as a new author? Because once I hit twenty-five reviews the book will be eligible to be turned into an audio book.  In addition, another benefit is that once the magic number is reached Amazon will start marketing the book in the ‘if you like this book, than you might also enjoy this book’.

As my thank you, for your review, I will share it on my Facebook Fan Page and my Twitter feed to show the world how awesome you are.

On that note. I hope you all have a great week.  I love hearing from folks so feel free to leave me questions and comments below.

Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season.

Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season.

I wanted to take this moment to wish you a very merry Christmas and thank you for being so supportive of me and my writing.  If you’ve been following along this whole year, you understand it’s been filled with amazing highs (three books picked up by my publisher, NineStar Press) and painful lows (Illness and deaths of several close family members). Still, I’m so blessed to share not only my thoughts with you all here, on my Scribbles page, but also, I’m able to share three wonderful stories with you. Click here for Amazon and here for NineStar Press where you can buy my books.

This year Eric and I are hosting a holiday party.  We haven’t done one of these in quite a few years, so I’m sure there will be pictures which I’ll share either here or on my FB page.  Also, during this holiday season I plan to finish reading, Diary of a Quarterback–Part 1: King of Imperfections, by S.A. Collins.  I, also hope to get more writing done. Even though I get just over a week off, I’m gonna be busy.

Feel free to share what you are doing for the holiday.  I love to hear from you.  So drop me a note and let me know.

Have a great holiday everyone.

A Dragon for Christmas Cover Reveal and other Exciting News

So much has been happening these last few weeks it’s hard to keep it all straight. First, the launch of my first short story, The Reunion. Coming up, I will take part in a launch party with other NineStar Press Authors. Then, I will welcome my first guest blogger. After that I will be planning my own January 2018 book launch of, The Calling. Finally, not to be forgotten is the release of my second short story, A Dragon for Christmas coming out on December 18. So, today first and foremost here is the beautiful cover art for my new holiday eBook, A Dragon for Christmas. Click here for more information on the story.

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As I mentioned there are several other things happening. On November 20, 2017 I will take part in an online launch party with other NineStar Authors. This will be an all-day event, where you get to chat with Authors, learn about their works, play games, ask questions and maybe win prizes. The event starts at 9am (EST) and ends at 1am (EST). I’ll be on-line at 8pm (PST) 11pm (EST) right after my buddy J.P. Jackson. For more info on the event and what authors will be on-line and when click here. Oh, and not to fear, I’ll be giving away goodies.  So, stop on by and say, “hello”.

Next, on November 29, 2017 I plan on welcoming Morticia Knight as a special guest blogger. Morticia is a best-selling author of M/M erotic romance who spends most of her nights writing. She’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists, along with three titles receiving recognition from the Rainbow Book Awards. To learn more about Morticia check her out here.

I can’t wait to welcome her to my blog as she writes in a completely different genre than I do, and I’m sure she’ll have some wonderful information to share with us.

As you all know, The Reunion just came out a few weeks ago (it still amazes me to say that) and its doing exceptionally well.  As of today is has 4.6-stars on Amazon and 4.18-stars on Goodreads.  It’s also been reviewed on Amazon UK hovering at 4-stars and on NineStar Press with a 5-star rating. I hope you have time to check it out and enjoy it before my next eBook comes out. The two works are completely different so it’ll be fun to hear what everyone has to say.

Speaking of NineStar Press, on November 14, 2017 I will be a guest blogger on their Blog.  The title of my blog post is, Why I Write and How the Stories Come to me. I hope you’ll check it out.  I’m flattered to be on their Blog and I hope to do it again.

Some amazing news I want to tease here is that in January 2018, not only will my first full length novel, The Calling come out (thank you NineStar Press), but with the help of some wonderful friends we are planning a Book Launch Party.  Not just any old book launch party but this will be a huge event. I can’t share details here yet, but trust me when I tell you it’s a big deal. I’m very excited and as soon as I can share more information with you I will.

This event will do Juliet proud… oh wait, you haven’t met Juliet yet. Well, on January 1, 2018 when, The Calling is released you will. I can assure you, this event is something Juliet would be thrilled with.

Who Loves You

Finally, over the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to read, Who Loves You by Emily Alter. It was a great read and you can check out my review and the book here. If you love character driven stories, you should read this novel.

Well, these are all the updates I have for you today.  As always I encourage you to ask questions and leave comments. I love hearing from you.  Also, please remember to like and share, because it makes a difference.  Until next week.

Writing & Personal Update

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It’s time for another Writing Update and given all that has happened over the last several weeks there is no better time than now.  Things for me have been a mixed bag full of blessing and sadness. It’s never easy talking about the not-so-happy events going on in our lives, well not for me, but I figured I would share as talking it through is supposed to help.

Recently, my husband and I had to go to Utah to take care of my husband’s father. He has terminal cancer and dementia.  It’s not been easy, and my husband is an only child, so there is a lot for him to deal with. All I can do is support him and the decisions he makes. Luckily we’ve had some wonderful support from his aunt and uncle so we weren’t totally alone in dealing with all of this. 

A few weeks back we all spent a week in Utah taking care of his father’s house (getting it ready to sell). We also spent time seeing his dad and making sure he is settled in the care facility, which is amazing. The staff are wonderful and so is his father’s hospice worker.  As I’m sure you can imagine it was a stressful week, but we got everything we needed accomplished. By the end of the week we were all exhausted but we still had out humor. Eric’s uncle summed up the week like this, “It’s amazing we’re all still talking to each other.” We all got a good chuckle out of that.

Amidst that, my short story, The Reunion was being finalized and getting ready for its launch. The launch was October 23rd and went off swimmingly.  I’m so thrilled that I had the support of great friends, family, and the wonderful folks at NineStar Press (check them out here).  They really helped and made the process seem less.

Unfortunately, because this has been a mixed bag of emotions. Last week I got news that one of my only living great-aunts passed away (she was 99 years old).  This sad news brought up the memories of my grandmother (my aunt’s older sister) and the realization that that generation has all moved on. We have a close family so that has made it all the more difficult.

Also, on October 23rd it was the fifth anniversary of Eric’s mother’s passing in a tragic accident.  So, the day my debut short story launched there was an air of both joy and sorrow. Eric and I agreed that his mother would’ve been proud and excited and we’re sure that the launch date was no coincidence.

I’m a firm believer that our family never leaves our side and that they are always there with us. The launch day was one way for her and my mom (also passed away) to show their collective support.

There you have it an emotional roller-coaster.

I don’t want to end this on a sad note because as I said at the start these last few weeks have been a mixed bag of both good and bad. To that point, I still have two more books coming out over the next few months, A Dragon for Christmas (December 18th) and The Calling (Jan 1st) I’ve also, been writing/editing three different stories so there is much more to come. And lastly, I want to share some quotes from a few of the reviews I’ve received for, The Reunion (buy it here):

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“…cleverly written and I couldn’t put it down because I just needed to know what had happened in this town!” – Lulu Forth (Alpha Book Club) full review here.

“I thought I knew where the author was going with the story and time after time, they proved me wrong.  And that ending….” – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (full review here).

“A fantastic story full of good times and bad, The Reunion is one of those tales that you're going to want to read over and over again.” – Amazon Review by Wordsmith full review here.

Until next week, have a great week gang.  Remember I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment and don’t forget to like and share.
 

Self-Promoting when you’re a Writer

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Over the last few days/weeks I’ve been pondering self-promotion and the best ways to go about it.  Even though I have a publisher behind me and my upcoming books (NineStar Press check them out here) I’m going to have to do a lot of work myself (and I’m okay with that). Still, there is a line between promoting your work and basically being that annoying person who shouts, “buy my book” or whatever all the time.  For me, the key is having a good mix of promotion, content and finding what works then ditching what doesn’t.  That way you don’t feel like you’re out selling your soul to everyone who walks by.

The internet is a great resource at finding ideas and suggestion.  Here are just a few I came across and liked (I won’t be doing everything but I plan on mixing it up):

50 Ways to Promote your book

15 Do it Yourself Tools to Promote your Book

How to Promote a Book

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Not everything is going to work out and sure I’ll be banging my own drum to get people to notice me, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as long as I don’t become an annoying crow about it (please let me know if I do).

For me, my current plan is to focus on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.  Also, I’ve talked to friends and families who are going to help spread the word.  I’ve joined various genre groups.  A press release is in the works as are Facebook ads.  I’m working on engaging people and getting folks excited about my upcoming book releases. There are three scheduled over the next few months (two short stories, The Reunion and A Dragon for Christmas, and one novel, The Calling).  Additionally, several people have been contacted and asked to read my ARC for, The Reunion, and provide reviews for the release day.  One, thing I’m doing and I’m finding surprisingly helpful are author interviews on various blogs. I’ve picked up some great new fans and I’ve been continuing to engage them.

How will all this effect book sales and my efforts at self-promotions? I’m not sure yet, but it can’t hurt. I guess what it all boils down to is getting out there (whatever that means) and being seen.  As I move closer to my book release days, I will let you know how things go.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are.  If you’re a writer please share, if you’re a reader please tell me what you like and don’t like about self-promotion.  As always have a great week.

Writing Update

I have so many updates to provide, but first with all the current devastation with the hurricanes in Texas and Florida and the major earthquake in Mexico I want to share some ways for you to help.

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Catholic Charities USA–Long term recovery and support click here

Red Cross–Immediate support click here

Caritas (Caritas International)–International relief outside the US click here

These agencies do amazing work and already have people in the areas helping.  There are many other non-profits who help as well.  These just happen to be the ones I tend to support when disasters hit.


When it comes to my world of writing a lot has been happening since my last writing update. 

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Firstly, I now have three books (two short stories and one novel) being published by NineStar Press it’s very exciting and I can now share release dates with you (so mark your calendars):

 

So, as you can imagine things are crazy busy with editing and working with the publisher on cover art and all that good stuff.  I can’t wait to share the cover art with you all.

Secondly, I’m still one of the judges over at the Rainbow Awards.  There have been so many wonderful entries and I’m excited to still be part of the process.  The awards will be announced in December 8, 2017 click here for the Facebook page with more information.

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On the writing front (yep, I’m still writing new stuff) I recently finished my novella T.A.D and it’s started to make its way around my writing group, so this is exciting. The feedback and suggestions I’ve been getting are wonderful and are really helping the story.  Also, I’ve been editing ‘A New World – Conspiracy’ there is still writing to do, so this project hasn’t been getting the love it deserves these days.  I hope to change that over the next few weeks.

I have a few personal things I want to share with you all.  On August 21, 2017, I became a Granduncle, my nephew and his wife had a bouncing baby boy.  Eric and I have gotten to meet the newest member of the family, so that has been really quite exciting, I’m very happy for my nephew and his wife. Also, I know some of you still ask and yep, Eric and I are still doing our weekly meals.  It really has been wonderful and super easy.  We love it.  On a bit of a sadder note, both Eric and I have family members who aren’t doing well health wise. It’s not easy, of course, when you live in separate states so you can’t be there for them. However, with the help of technology we get to talk and check in so that is something.

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If you haven’t noticed I’ve made a few changes to my website, nothing major but there have been some additions and modifications.  We’ll see what more needs to be done, but for now we’re making tweaks here and there.

Lastly, some of you have been asking about the headshots, well the short answer: it’s a process.  The long answer; we’ve taken two rounds of photos and we still want to take a third.  We’re trying to get various looks and moods, so it’s taking a bit of time.  I would like to have the headshots all done by the end of this month.  That is my goal, however, the photographer, and the others involved on the project may have other plans.  Either way, the photos are moving along and what I’ve seen I like, so that’s good.

That is about all I have this week.  Next week I have an amazing author interview coming out, so that is exciting.  Have a wonderful week everyone and if you’re in an area of the country or world affected by the hurricanes or earthquake, please be safe and take care.