Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
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.
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.
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
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:
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?
Friday, August 14th, 2015
Want to know what life with a retired Wizard and a working Witch is like?
Okay I’ve probably said this before, we don’t really fight over big issues. We never have. I know, people find this crazy because we are both very strong willed and opinionated. This is true, and while we both like to be in control, we don’t need to control each other’s actions. We trust one another, and that goes a long way. Plus on the big issues like money and how to raise the kids, we agree.
But Wizard and I can bicker…over things like the shopping cart and chocolate chips.
See, once Wizard retired, he decided he had to “help” me grocery shop. The first day he went with me, he claimed the grocery cart as his domain. I am not allowed to touch the cart. I may put things in it, but once my back is turned, he rearranges things to their proper order.
Well that’s because he’s an accountant and he likes order, right?
Um, no. In my humble opinion, I arrange the cart in a much more organized manner. No, Wizard is doing it so that he can toss in things and I won’t notice. Pudding cups, licorice, mixed nuts suddenly end up on the conveyor belt when we’re checking out. So it’s become a game to see if I can catch him. Mostly I ignore it. He’s amusing himself, and if he wants to buy a treat, who am I to stop him?
It was all good, I honestly don’t care. At least not UNTIL HE MOVED MY CHOCOLATE CHIPS. I found the bag I wanted and put them on the top of the cart by the eggs and other perishable, fragile items.
When I turned my back, he tossed them down on the meat. ON THE MEAT, PEOPLE! My chocolate chips, which must never ever touch icky stuff like meat, have been thrown down on top of …horrors…meat! I risked life and limb by touching the cart and moving them to their proper spot. I glared at him. “Chocolate chips are delicate and go here. Chocolate cannot touch water. Or MEAT!!”
He did that I married a crazy woman look and said very slowly, “They are sealed. It makes no difference.” Then he tossed them onto the frozen foods. FROZEN!!!
Unable to believe this travesty, I grabbed the bag and held it up. “You can’t shock chocolate with sudden temperature changes!” I put them back in their proper spot and in my pissed off mom voice said, “Do it again. I dare you. Move the chocolate.”
Have you all ever seen a shark smile? Because I’m telling you, that’s what Wizard did. Then he said, “Go ahead, Witch, finish shopping. I’m right behind you, pushing the cart.”
I spent the next two aisles, spinning around, trying to catch him moving the chocolate. By the third time I turned, we both burst into laughter that got worse until we finally checked out and escaped.
I didn’t find the pudding cups he’d slipped into the cart until we got home and I was putting away the groceries… My beloved chocolate chips were a red herring the whole time!
The moral of this story is Wizard might have retired from his high stress job, but he’s still crafty as hell. And pretty funny too.
So this weekend, I’m not sure what my plans are yet. What about you?
Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Getting started on a new book is hard! And all these distractions…like the new cover for Soul Magic, which is awesome But awesomeness takes time and work. Sure the cover artist did all the real work, but she made me feel super important by asking me questions…that counts right?
And I’m over at Bitten by Books for a super fun event for the release of Exposing the Heiress. Come over and join in, and you can enter for a chance to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card. Click here to check it out. So far, my favorite question:
Who is your favorite muppet and why?
That made me laugh, and is easy to answer: Cookie Monster!
Now let’s move onto our candidate today.
Yep it’s Joe Manganiello! So two questions for you: Do you think he’s worthy? And who is your favorite muppet?
Monday, August 10th, 2015
Oh!! So I saw a mockup cover for the re-release of Blood Magic, and love it! Until that moment, it was all pure work and planning, then I saw that cover and fizzy excitement hit. It’s my hope to share this world with new readers by having the books at an affordable price point in digital. It’s a second chance for the series that taught me to write the very thing that scares me the most and then to TRUST THE READERS with those scenes. And so far, readers have been more supportive than I could ever imagine. Because it turns out — those things that scare me? Yeah, those are things the readers struggle with too.
Otherwise, my weekend was great. I went to my RWA Chapter meeting, where I met up with an old friend and we went to lunch to catch up. And my chapter gave me a rose to recognize my RITA Nomination which was incredibly sweet.
I joined that chapter long before I published and I really believe the support, education and friendship have not only help me in my career, but to grow as a person.
So how was your weekend?
Friday, August 7th, 2015
It’s a happy day for me as I plan to get back to working on a new story today! Even if I only get to work for a couple hours, I’m psyched and ready to tackle a fresh project! Now if only I could find the perfect inspiration…
Ha! I wish. He’s so cute! But even without the dog, I’m still excited to tackle this and hopefully write fast!
Before I get to do that, though, I have to go see another specialist for my ankle. I think it’s a waste of time, but I’ll do it and then I’m done. My ankle isn’t getting worse and I’m sick to death of going to doctors.
So getting back to writing today is my happy news, what about you? What’s putting the happy in your Friday?
Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
It’s been such a crazy few weeks! By now, everyone knows both CAGED MAGIC, the fifth book in the Wing Slayer Hunter series, and EXPOSING THE HEIRESS book three in Once A Marine have been released. Thank you all for the tremendous support! I couldn’t have done it without you! If anyone is looking for buy links, they are on the sidebar.
I’d like to do a quick shout out to my publisher, Entangled Publishing, for the beautiful release day flowers. It’s the first time ever a publisher has sent me flowers, so I was happy dancing.
For those who’ve been asking, we’re working to get the older Wing Slayer Hunter books reissued. The biggest time issue is getting them all proofread/edited and new covers. I’m estimating a month to six weeks to get them all done. I’ll let everyone know as soon as we have a timeline.
And because we’re all sick of promotion at this point, let’s move right onto Wednesday Worthy! This one is a rerun, let’s see if you remember him:
the very muscular sleeping sexy guy lying on black background naked torso
So what do you think — is he worthy?