Jennifer Lyon
Monday, August 31st, 2015
Weekend Roundup

Growing up I was a bit of a tomboy. I hated playing with dolls, and mostly swam, skated and rode my bike. I also loved to build forts, play with my dog and that kind of thing. I’m sure a lot of that came from having two older brothers.

These days,  I rarely think about it. Until the other night when we went to the fun party for BLB’s girlfriend’s birthday and had a really good time. We love her. But it was a pool party so I, you know, got in the pool. And swam, played and finally realized I was the ONLY WOMAN MY AGE DOING THIS.

The rest sat in chairs in the shallow end, with cute hats, pretty drinks and delicate shrills if they got splashed.

Umm….they possibly, maybe, sort of got splashed when I did a cannonball because CPA Boy did one and so…I had to do a BETTER one. (I did!! I rocked that cannonball! But CPA Boy later did an awesome somersault into the pool, and no way in hades am I doing that!)

Fine I’ll admit it, I’m still a tomboy. Except when it comes to snakes, then I’m a full on screaming girl.

But we had a great time! It was fun, and her family and friends were wonderful and totally accepting of me and my tomboy tendencies, LOL!

On the work side of things, the editor sent back Soul Magic and Night Magic, so I’ll get those files cleaned and ready for formatting and try to settle on the dreaded blurbs (ugh, I stress so danged much over those!). In a couple weeks, all this will be done and the pre-orders all up and ready to go, which will be awesome! Then I can get back to the business of writing full time, I can’t wait!

So how was your weekend?

Friday, August 28th, 2015
Happy Friday Covers! Pre-order is up!

And here they are! The covers for the first four Wing Slayer Hunter books I’m re-publishing!

BLOOD MAGIC (Book 1) is up for pre-order now! Only 99 cents!

Kindle /  iBooks  /  Nook  /  Google Play  (coming soon to Kobo)

BloodMagic1600x2400

Release Date: October 5, 2105

SOUL MAGIC (Book 2)

SoulMagic600x900

Release Date: October 19, 2015 Pre-order Coming Soon!

 

NIGHT MAGIC (Book 3)

NightMagic600x900

Release Date: November 2, 2015 Pre-order Coming Soon!

SINFUL MAGIC (Book 4)

SinfulMagic600x900

Release Date: November 16, 2015 Pre-order Coming Soon!

All the covers were designed by Jaycee DeLorenzo of Sweet ‘N Spicy Designs. I really enjoy working with her!

So that’s my exciting news for the week! My proofreading notes for the next three books will be arriving in the next week, and I’ll get those cleaned up, formatted, then up for pre-order in the next couple weeks. It’s so fun to see it all start to come together after all the work!

Oh and the editor going over the books  texted me yesterday morning,  “I’d have had them back to you earlier if I hadn’t caught myself reading for pleasure.” Love that!!

And now onto the weekend. Saturday we’re going to BLB (youngest son’s) girlfriend’s birthday pool party. Wizard and I are both looking forward to that. Then it’s more work :-) I’m still struggling to find time to work on the new book, but that’s okay, all this is just part of the job.

What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy

I hate waiting on stuff to get done by other people!

Okay now that I have that out of the way, let’s talk about Wednesday Worthy. So here’s our candidate:

Portrait of a young sexy shirtless man in underwear against neutral background with lots of copy space

Is he worthy enough for YOUR name to go on the blank line?

Monday, August 24th, 2015
Weekend Roundup

A friend and I went to Fashion Island in Newport Beach.  I don’t think I’ve ever been there, probably because it’s high end and I’m…not :-) But we were going just for fun and to have lunch. I can afford that!

So first we did some car shopping and I snapped a picture of this beauty. It’s a Tesla…and way out of my price range. I snapped a pic and sent it to Wizard, saying, “You wish.”

Tesla at Fashion Island

 

Then we somehow innocently stumbled on PUPPIES!! They were so cute! I fell in love with every single one, but I sent Wizard this picture of an English bulldog (trust me, this face was soooo cute in person!) and said,
“Can we have him?”

Bullsof puppy at FI

 

And Wizard’s reply? “YOU WISH!!!”

Crap. Foiled by my own clever words! So I sent him this pic and said, “I read him your mean text.”

 

Bulldog Fashion Island Sad

Wizard texted back, “Bring him home in a Tesla and we have a deal.”

Dang the man drives a hard bargain.

So then I went on to look at sunglasses. Found one pair I liked —  $325.00!!! Um…no thank you. I’d rather spend the money on a dog that would pay me back a million times over in love and fun than a pair of sunglasses. Sheesh! (And no I wouldn’t buy a dog from a shop. I spent years working at an animal shelter, that would be the most likely place I’d get a dog or through a connection.)

But all was not lost! I found an inexpensive necklace for me and a birthday present I needed to get. Plus we had a blast.

In book news, we’re working on the re-release of Wing Slayer Hunter books, and the pre-order for Blood Magic should be up in a week! As long as everyone stays on time, it should all come together. That will free me up to spend real time on my new series. Once I get this first book drafted, then I need to write the next Wing Slayer Hunter book.

How was your weekend?

Friday, August 21st, 2015
Quick Rant and then It’s Friday!

This is one of those blogs that are that has two sides, first a rant and then I totally flip-flop into fun chatter.

First up the rant: I detest people who maliciously hurt animals for no reason. It’s disgusting and repulsive coward-trolls who would do something this awful. Someone in So Cal is pouring battery acid on dogs. WARNING: I’m going to provide you with a link to a golden retriever who had battery acid poured on him — it’s hard to see so only click if you are up to it. The point of the story is this: Awesome people are taking care of this amazing dog and he’s making a full recovery. He will go to a home where he is loved. Evil people could NOT destroy this dog’s spirit. As horrible as this story is, this dog will have a happy ending. Here is the link but again, only click on it if you can handle it.

I wish this dog’s happy ending was with me :-) But I honestly think he’ll get the absolute best home for him. I’m going to check in on this story just in case he doesn’t end up in a home, then I’ll drive way the heck out there and meet him. But I really think he’ll find the right home for him, probably with people better qualified than me to handle any special needs he may end  up having.

Okay…now for the flip side we’re going to leave the rant and go onto happier things. Yay it’s Friday! I know, it’s hard to care after reading a story like that, but we don’t let evil ruin our lives, right? So I have a Wizard story. You know how you all think Wizard is the sane one in our relationship? Oh come on, admit it. You’re all secretly thinking I’m the crazy one.

Well…

Last night Wizard was talking about my book CAGED MAGIC, only he was calling the hero Gabe. I was reading at the time, so I heard his mistake but ignored it.

Wizard, however, caught himself. “Wait, Gabe isn’t the right name, is it, Witch?”

“Nope.” I kept on reading.

“What is the right name?” Wizard asked.

I gave up reading. “Linc.”

“Right,  Linc.” Then he frowned. “So who is Gabe?”

“You’re thinking of Gabe Pulizzi from way back to the Samantha Shaw Series.” In case you’re wondering, the first book in that series was Dating Can Be Murder — I think it came out about 13 years ago. Time flies!

“Oh. Right!” Wizard said.  “Now I remember.”

I picked up my Kindle, thinking I could, you know, read.  In peace. Without answering a two million questions. But nope.

“You know what?” Wizard asked.

“What?” I was distracted because I was reading about SWAT officers who are also werewolves. Hot, sexy, werewolves. I may not have been giving Wizard my full attention.

“You need to invite all your characters over for dinner.”

“Um…what?” I put down my Kindle. Wizard had all my attention now.

“That way, I can talk to them all, get to know them better and I won’t get confused.” He looked at me with total sincerity.

I blinked. Then blinked again. “You want me to invite all the characters in my books over to our house for dinner?”

He nodded. “We’ll have a dinner party. We can make ribs and chicken. No wait, there’s a lot of them, maybe fajitas would be easier.” He went on rambling off plans until I burst out laughing.

SERIOUSLY THIS HAPPENED! Wizard said it and I wasn’t even drinking wine! I was just sitting there, minding my own business, when Wizard said this!

Now who is the crazy one??? Hmm???

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy

I’ve been trying to write blurbs for the Wing Slayer Hunter books and, wow, I suck at it. But I finally got the Blood Magic one finalized and sent that book off to the formatter.

<Wizard shouts> “BECAUSE I TOLD HER TO QUIT AGONIZING! THE WITCH GETS CRAZY-OBSESSED!”

Sigh. Ignore Wizard. Right now, he’s a tad impatient because he wants his chocolate covered graham crackers.  I just ran down to Starbucks and bought us each an individual package of these luscious chocolate covered graham crackers, then I showed Wizard and told him he had to wait until I was finished writing and setting up this blog to post before he can eat his.

Why?

Because I can…mwahahahaha!!!

Anyway, I have gotten off the subject. Um…okay so the good news is the Wing Slayer Hunter books are in various stages of production and if all goes according to plan, Blood Magic will release on October 5th, the remaining three (Soul Magic, Night Magic and Sinful Magic) will come out in two-week intervals after that.  The pre-order for Blood Magic should be up in a week or two. I’m more excited that I thought I would be.

But the blurbs…ugh! These are so hard to write.

Okay enough of that.

“YOU THINK?” <Wizard shouts again.> “YOU WROTE THE BOOKS FASTER THAN THE BLURBS!”

Hmm, I guess someone doesn’t want chocolate covered graham crackers. Oh hear that? Silence. Wizard is quiet now, LOL! Anyway, let’s talk about candidates for Wednesday Worthy. I was trolling for hunks, and came across this picture for the Magic Mike Musical from back in 2013.

MagicMikeMusical Hunks

Picture is from http://channingtatumunwrapped.com/2013/07/channing-tatums-magic-mike-the-musical-is-coming-to-broadway/

I guess the second one is Channing Tatum? I don’t know, I’m not really into him all that much. But who is that third guy from the left? He looks like Joe M, I’ll take him! I like the guy on the far left too.

So what about you?  Do you find any of these candidates worthy?

Monday, August 17th, 2015
Weekend Roundup & Tools to Increase Sales

I had a good weekend, a lot of working, particularly on a marketing plan for the re-release of the Wing Slayer Hunter books this fall.  I have all the covers now — very hot :-) I think I’ll be doing a cover reveal in my newsletter so be sure you are signed up for my newsletter.

In additional to all that I listened to a video by HM Ward (New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Indie Author who has sold millions of copies of her books) on How To Sell a Bazillion Books. Here’s her tweet promoting it so you know I got this from a legitimate place to share it:

Screenshot 2015-08-16 18.31.54

You can link here to listen yourself. But I’m going to recap and discuss her tools to increase sales. First, she’s outsold me and done extremely well. Listen to her! That said, I’ve learned a few things I’d like to add from my own experience (selling what I believe is well over 200,000 across all vendors on self published/Indie books, a heck of a lot more if we add in my traditionally published books).

HM Ward discussed her Golden Trifecta. After you write the book, you need three things to sell it: Cover, Blurb and Sample. These are, HM Ward says, her Golden Trifecta.

The Cover is the Visual Summary. This needs to show the reader the genre and tone of the book at a glance. It should grab them very quick. She made an interesting point that often new, innovative covers don’t work. Readers are looking for familiar. I believe that is true. We have a very short time to grab attention, so readers need to easily recognize what they are seeing and be visually hooked.

Next is Blurb. This is the short description of the book, traditionally found on the back cover of a paperback book, and these days found everywhere to give the reader a taste of what the book is about. This is NOT a full summary. It should be a Tease and a Hook. I agree with that! So easy to say, and so painfully hard to do. I’ve been writing and rewriting the blurb for Blood Magic —  a book I could practically recite in my sleep, but getting that hook and tease into about 150 works is killing me. But it’s critical to do it right. HM Ward pointed out that readers often skim the blurb, searching for tropes. Tropes are another word for emotional hooks like: Secret Baby, Second chance at love, Friends to Lovers, Blackmail, Enemies to Lovers, Boss and Secretary, Billionaires Bad Boys… all those emotional hooks that grab our attention. Get those tropes into your Hook and Tease Blurb.

And the last thing is the Sample. Now we’re mostly talking about electronic readers where they customer can download a sample — approximately 10 to 15 percent of the book for free to sample and decide if they want to buy the book. The cover and the blurb’s job, in HM Ward’s video, should lead the reader to download the sample. And the sample should be the final hook that leaves them wanting…and they’ll not only buy your book but read it. (How many unread books do we have on our e-readers? I have quite a few). For a sample to do that, she said they must have three things: Conflict, action and empty. My example of that is my book, Her Temporary Hero. The heroine Becky finds out her ex not only got out of prison early, but he’s going to try to get custody of their child — the child that he didn’t want. Becky is terrified. That scene has conflict (she must protect her child, but how?), action (she’s scared and trying to get away from her ex who has hurt her in the past) and empathy (Becky’s a young, very poor mom who clearly loves her baby and is willing to do anything to protect her.) The combination of action, conflict and empathy should hook the read into needing to know what will happen and buying the book.

That’s my summary of HM Ward’s Golden Trifecta and she has a lot more interesting points. I encourage you to listen to her video, again you can link here.

Now my point. For HM Ward, she believes hitting  on the right cover, blurb and sample sell the books. My point is this: Your Cover, Blurb and Sample better deliver. I don’t mean it better to be good in the literary sense, first off that’s incredibly subjective and second, most of us that are commercial authors, so our standard is different. No, what I mean is the book had better deliver the emotional punch promised in the Golden Trifecta. If you disappoint readers, they will forget our book and NOT talk about it. Talking about a book is the most powerful way to promote it and build sales momentum. To deliver an emotional punch usually comes down tropes (along with internal conflict but that’s too much to cover now). I know 50 Shades of Grey has its detractors (Understatement!) but the truth is, that book had a compelling hook that delivered on emotion for a large segment of the population. Will Anna stay with Christian as she learns what he really is, or will she leave? That question kept a lot of people hooked. Millions in fact. It’s a play on the old bad boy good girl and fish out of water tropes. Even the people who were angry about that book, made enough noise to generate more sales. The reaction wasn’t flat, it was loud and wild and shot that book to the top of lists.

In summary, HM Ward’s Golden Trifecta is Cover, Blurb and Sample.

My Golden Rule is deliver the emotional punch you promise readers in the Cover, Blurb and Summary.  Or phrased another way, Don’t Pull Your Emotional Punch!

Okay I’m done rambling. Did you all have a good weekend?

 

 

JenniferLyon.com