Throw Back Thursday-My First Publication

2014-09-03 13.30.07 (2)This week was the release of a FREE short story of mine.  In case you missed it, you can go here.

What are your dreams and have you been chasing them for years?  Or have you really not started to chase them yet?

I’ve been writing forever.  I’ve found poems from grade school,  short stories from high school, and random chicken scratch from goodness knows when.  I simply love to write. I love to visit my own worlds, or see women over come struggles we may all have faced, or maybe something we could all face. I love the escape to have a small break from reality.

So all that being said, I just found the first poem that my mother sent out for me.  It was published in a collection of poems.  At the time I didn’t care.  I never had a thought of grandeur.  It was not a reality be a writer.  That was too frivolous to dream to think about in my family.  Don’t worry.  My mother is a closest dreamer though.  So somehow at ten I was published in some collection.  It meant nothing then, but today it makes me smile that I am revisiting a happy path.

So throw back Thursday.  Anything you are coming back around to that is making you smile? Making you feel like you just might be on the right path in life?

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The Pains of Helping Others Market

Marketing is a pain in my behind. Ask any author out there. Marketing isn’t generally why anyone went into writing. Turns out writing, although a lonely profession, requires lots and lots and lots and lots of networking. Why you ask? Well simple. You are one voice and unless you know millions you will need others help.

In return for others help, it is expected that you would help them. This is the hard part. Obviously not everything out there is going to fit your blog. You have an environment that you worked hard to get. You branded yourself. You branded your blog. So the tough choices are now who and what do you allow on your blog?media

I have someone close to me start selling health products. Some are weight loss. Some are general natural vitamins. I really, really want to help him out. It’s hard to make a living making sales. The issue is I don’t blog about health products. I don’t have the audience for this. Well maybe I do? I am not a health expert though and regardless if I attract mom’s attempting to take baby weight off, or some men looking to resemble some of the alphas in romance novels, I don’t really want to brand myself as someone pushing products.

So what about other books and authors? They are all the same right? No not really. Although I like YA books and some science-fiction, most people who read my blog came to me for romance. I want to recommend books that would appeal to those that have come to trust me as a romance author and a romance genre junkie. I want to support as many authors out there, but I have a brand to uphold so I find that I have to say no. It’s hard though. I hate letting people down.

So networking is huge, but be careful about making good choices. It is just as important for you to advertise to the correct target market as it is for you to share pertinent information to your personal network.

(My dog is currently blowing bubbles in her water making it really hard to write a serious post.)

For those starting out, have you picked your niche or are you still finding your way in marketing? For those with experience, do you find it hard to turn away people with the wrong message for your audience? If you have great advice or another blog that has helped you with marketing, please leave that information for others!

For the Love of Murphy Tour

What’s a blog tour?  Well, in short it is a virtual book tour.  Questions will be answered.  Excerpts will be shared.  In the end you can sort of feel like a groupie! Just kidding, well, sort of.  Here’s where you can cyber stalk the authors of For the Love of Murphy, a sweet romance anthology. Don’t forget about the giveaway.

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Here are the stops!

For the Love of Murphy Blog Tour Schedule

March 17th

Release Day Blitz

Girl Who Reads  –  Author Interviews

March 18th

Tattered Pages  –  Promotional / Excerpt #1

March 19th

All Things Bookie  –  Author Interviews

The Book Drifter  –  Review

March 20th

Bex Book Nook  –  Review

March 21st

Michelle’s Blog  –  Author Interviews

March 24th

Author DC Stone  –  Author Interviews

March 25th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Lisa A. Adams

March 26th

Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood  –  Promotional / Excerpt #2

Good Friends, Good Books and a Sleepy Conscience: This is the Ideal Life  –  Review

March 27th

Scribbler’s Sojourn  –  Top Two List

March 28th

Shout With Emaginette  –  Favorite Five List

Back Porchervations  –  Review

March 31st

Shaya Roy’s Blog  –  Promotional  /  Excerpt #3

April 1st

Long and Short Reviews  –  Author Interviews

April 2nd

Machenwood Chronicles  –  Top Two List

April 3rd

Reader Girls  –  Promotional  /  Excerpt #4

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Michelle Ziegler

April 4th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Annabelle Blume

Lorraine Nelson’s Writing Blog  –  Author Interview with London Saint James

April 7th

Harlie’s Books  –  Review  /  Excerpt #5

April 8th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with Rebecca Hart

In A Dream Beyond  –  Promotional Post

April 9th

Musings About the Writer’s Life  –  Author Interviews

April 10th

You Gotta Read  –  Author Interview with London Saint James

April 11th

London’s Scribbles  –  4 Excerpts from her fellow authors

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Book Blitz and Tour-wide Giveaway
$10 Amazon Gift card & paperback copy of
For the Love of Murphy
Ends 4/11/2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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For the Love of Murphy
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: March 17, 2014
Key Words: Adult, Romance, Sweet, Contemporary, Anthology
They say love conquers all, but whoever “they” are, must not have heard of Murphy’s Law — whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
These five tales of sweet, accidental romance prove Cupid’s arrows are a lot tougher than they seem, and sometimes it pays to be unlucky.

No Wrong Turns by Lisa A. Adams
Jessica Brannah is escaping from her last heartbreak with a loaded car and a new address. But, when Murphy’s Law finds her stranded in a back country town, she realizes there’s no outrunning love.
Falling For You by Michelle Ziegler
Darci’s ready to move on. Too bad the dating pool stinks. Until, a ghost from her past resurfaces—the man she missed out on in college.

Andrew was the one man she’d always loved, but neither of them ever made a move. But, old feelings aren’t the only thing resurfacing of late. Darci’s ex comes crawling back at the most inappropriate time, and with all the testosterone flying, she might not end up with either man.

Coffee and Cufflinks by Annabelle Blume
Fresh out of a failed relationship and exhausted by a constant barrage of fiascos at work, Olivia Johnson doesn’t see the man of her dreams standing right in front of her. She tells herself the morning coffee meet-ups with Daren are nothing but coincidence, but even she can’t deny his unequivocal attractiveness. When a night entertaining clients takes a turn for the worst, and Daren shows up where she least expects him, failure starts to look more like fate.

A Slippery Slope by Rebecca Hart
Anne Montgomery is psyched for her girl’s only weekend, despite her friends’ choice of vacation locale—the snowy slopes of Harris Peak Ski Resort—where someone as notoriously accident prone as she has no business being. When Murphy’s Law finally catches up with her, Anne is forced to consider there may be times when it pays to be unlucky.
The Shamrock Incident by London Saint James
Florist, Marissa Carmichael isn’t usually a klutz, but she’s in a hurry and having a bad day. In her haste, she loses her balance and tumbles from the back room of her shop, arms flailing. Her less than graceful entrance halted by a headfirst crash into a display case chock full of silk flowers.
Trey Cleary didn’t think his day could get any worse, until he finds. himself picking the side view mirror of his BMW up from the ground. On a mission to do something about it, he locates the flower shop matching the name on the back of the van that mangled his ‘baby’. But, his car is forgotten when a beautiful woman bursts into the room like an out of control whirling dervish, and takes one mother of a wipeout into the shop’s counter. Coming to her aid brings out the hero in him like no one he’s ever encountered, and leaves him with a need to know more.
For Marissa and Trey, this just might be the one time it pays to be unlucky.
~~~oOo~~~
Purchase Links:

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

The Marketing Craze

statsIt’s been awhile since I wrote about what I’ve learned along the way to publication.  I thought it was time to start again.

If you are reading this, you are already a step ahead of a lot of authors or writers. There are those that think that they are too good to market themselves.  There are the crazy ideas that everyone gets large amounts of marketing from publishers. Well, reality? There is more money out there from the big 6 for marketing, but not all authors are treated equal. And even so, the odds of getting picked up at a big house are small, at least right away.  I know a lot of talented authors that have started as small press and moved to a big house after a few years.  so you might be at a small press for sometime. Or maybe you aren’t anywhere yet, but you want an agent.

Before you hit it big, or even before you get published, it’s great to start creating a platform. Agents love to see a presence established.  Publishers love to see books sell.  Sometimes your first book is too late to start finding social networks to market.

Start to follow authors or writers you like. Start to comment on their blogs.  Become a respectful cyber stalker.  Yes, this is one of those times when stalking is encouraged.  Don’t go too crazy though.

Maybe start your own blog. Maybe start with something you know.  I started my blog about two years before I actually got published, and I started by writing about the mistakes I was making. I met some amazing authors thorough blogging. I actually found my first pub contract through another author’s recommendations.

The moral is, it’s never too early to start getting your name out there.  even if you don’t think you have a lot to offer there are others put there willing to help. So start small and grow from there.

Are there tricks to getting lots of followers and likes? I suppose so, but I don’t know in the end how many payoff. Perhaps some experienced bloggers put there have some advice?

Shameless Saturday and Reviewers Needed

I’m having one of those days. The kind of day where I feel the need to self promote!

Winter’s Sweet Kiss paper copy is available for pre-order!  If you missed it, Winter’s Sweet Kiss is an anthology with my story, One in a Million Snowflakes.  Who’s excited?  ARCs (Advanced reader copies) are out too!  December 16th is the official release and I can’t wait.   Okay.  I am done.

Have an awesome weekend.

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If you or anyone you know wants to partake in reviewing books, here’s your chance! Roane Publishing is looking for reviewers!  Sign up!  If you want to sign up and don’t think your blog has a big enough following, mention me and the requirement is waved! Roane_Logo_Web

Blog Tour Opportunity

Roane_Logo_WebDrive traffic to your blog by helping promote a 5 author anthology.  I am one of the authors!
Release date is Dec 16th & tour runs for 2 weeks through the 30th.
There will be author interviews – ONE question for every author to answer. Top Two / Fav Five lists for all the authors instead of a Top Tens list for individuals
Group Giveaway where your Twitter handle will be included
Promotional posts / excerpts
Please head over HERE if you are inclined.  😉
Not sure what a blog tour is?  Well in short, it is a book tour taking place over blogging.  In todays digital world, marketing takes on a whole new form! Please don’t hesitate to ask me about this.  It is a great opportunity to reach out to more readers.
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It’s Been Done Before

For the writers out there, something to think about. A published work that has gone out of print, or the rights have gone back to the author does not make it a new story.

Close your mouth. I know that has us all in shock. Or maybe not. It is good information for those contemplating independent publishing, small publishers, magazines, news articles, and even large publishers (although you probably have an agent there).

Before you hit that button that seals the deal on your story, make sure that you are 100% okay with it where it is. If you ever think you might want to change where it is published you need to think about this. Some publishers will reprint or republish a previously published work, but not all, or most actually.

Things that go against the grain are books with massive sales previously or news articles. There are always exceptions to rules. But with all the means of publishing these days and the reality that digital doesn’t always go away, it is a very real concern to worry about where you want your baby to go.

Thoughtful Tuesday – Anyone Can Cook

Anyone else like the movie Ratatouille?  I love the saying “Anyone can cook.”  That doesn’t mean I am taking up being a chef, although I did just get laid off and am looking into a career change.

What I like about it, is that it says that anyone can be anything and come from anywhere.  Not everyone is great at everything, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.  So for those that feel like you aren’t sure that you are cut out for something, ask your heart.  If you love it, then put the effort in and don’t listen to the doubters.  Learn from criticism and failure, improve and grow.

Just because a writer, or cook, or astronaut can come from anywhere doesn’t mean that we don’t have to listen to those around us in order to succeed.

On a lighter note – do you sometimes want to take your ideas and run with them? I mean literally run with them and throw them out the window?  Well here’s a little photo to make you smile.

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Fun Fact Friday – Denise’s New Release

casualFor those following my blog you have met Denise several times.  Now it’s time to greet her new release!! An Imposter in Town.

Continue to the end to see where to buy her latest book.  Also, I had a thought.  On days were this post is more promo then ‘fun fact’ I think you have the right to ask the author questions in the comments section.  Dig into their heads a little – then again sometimes you might not always want to know what actually is in their minds 🙂

bio

Denise wrote her first story when she was in high school—seventeen hand-written pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she read. She earned a degree in accounting, giving her some nice skills to earn a little money, but her passion has always been writing. She has written numerous short stories and more than a few full-length novels. Her favorite pastimes when she’s not writing are spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, two children, and one very chubby dog.

An Imposter in Town

Peyton Chandler hides some dark secrets behind her false identity. She’s been using her dead sister’s identity for years, hiding from multiple threats from her past. When Sheriff Brian Parker receives a note claiming there’s an impostor in town, he doesn’t know where to start his investigation. What will he do when he discovers the woman he longs for isn’t who she claims to be?

Excerpt

Peyton Chandler entered her house through the carport door and dropped her purse on the kitchen counter. A pile of unwashed dishes awaited her in the sink. Tackling the housework would have to wait another day. Every muscle in her tired body groaned.

She glanced at the envelope in her hand postmarked New Orleans. Johanna’s letters arrived twice a year without fail. The return addresses were always a post office box—the zip codes from all over the country. She ripped the envelope open with a shaky hand. A picture of Jake nestled between the folds of a short note. I need four thousand dollars. J. She would have cut the woman off years ago if it weren’t for the boy.

Her eyes riveted on Jake’s likeness. He had slate gray eyes, sandy brown hair, and attractive Powell features like his biological father. Trim and tall. Handsome already. Nothing about Jake resembled her husband, but then Jake wasn’t her husband’s child. She was already pregnant when Mason Osborne married her.

Thoughts of Mason sent shivers down her spine. She wondered if he was still looking for them. His anger with her when he discovered her pregnancy by another man was only the beginning of his animosity toward her. Mason’s abuse only grew harder when he discovered Jake’s biological father was his nephew.

She left Mason before Jake was born, but he’d found her and dragged her back to the ranch with him. He had promised her he’d kill her if she left him again. Worse yet, he’d take her child away from her. She couldn’t let that happen, so she took the chance, got some help from Johanna, and ran anyway.

She counted the years. Jake would be eleven years old now. It’s been so long since I’ve seen him. He was so young when we left Albuquerque. She trudged down the hallway to her bedroom and laid the picture on her nightstand. The photo would go in the album with the others—an album she didn’t dare show anyone.

Guilt pressed down on her psyche. She needed a shower. Running the water as hot as she could stand, she scoured her skin until it was raw and allowed the cleansing liquid to sluice over her body and wash her remorse down the drain. But no matter how hard she scrubbed, there was still plenty of regret to stain her conscience.

She stumbled out of the stall and tripped on the surround. The heat dizzied her. She wrapped her robe around her and leaned against the bathroom counter, unwilling to face her reflection in the mirror.

The phone rang in the other room. She raced to catch it before the last ring, but picked up a second too late. Out of breath, she dropped onto the edge of the bed and clutched the comforter. Her skin throbbed from the abuse in the shower. She grabbed a bottle from the nightstand and smoothed on lotion to soothe the abuse. With a weary sigh, she gazed out the window. The nearby mountains rose in the distance, but the scene’s usual therapy provided no comfort. Jake’s picture beckoned her to take another look.

Thoughts of her baby snatched at her heart. She wiped a stray tear from the surface of the photo. Everything she did, she did for him—to hide him and protect him from the evil men that would destroy her by destroying him.

author

www.denisemoncrief.com

www.denisemoncrief.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/DeniseMoncriefAuthor

https://twitter.com/dmoncrief0131

http://www.amazon.com/Denise-Moncrief/e/B007Y6Z1CU

Where to Buy:

Still Moments Publishing eBook Store
Smashwords
CreateSpace for POD Print
Amazon kindle

Fun Fact Friday – The Authors First Edit

The book you see is probably not the one that was originally written.  Close your mouth.  I get it.  The shock, the horror of it all. Try telling the author.  So the author sent out her/his book and it was accepted for publication.  One thing no one expects are the line-by-line edits that will be coming.

Like me for instance.  At first I stared at the computer screen for what seemed like forever in complete horror.  My mouth was gaping open – until a fly attempted to land there anyway.  After quickly and frantically scrolling through the edits I uttered the phrase “she killed my baby.”   So it was a little over dramatic.  It was none the less my initial reaction to my first manuscripts first line-by-line editing experience.

I have to say a huge thanks to the authors for sharing their stories as well.  Click on each name for contact information and past Fun Fact Friday Blog Posts.  If this doesn’t tell you how much every experience is different, I don’t know what will.Kelly Hashway  Feel free to secretly hate the authors that say their edits weren’t ‘that bad.” 🙂

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Kelly Hashway: My first ever editorial letter sent me into a full on panic. My lovely editor told me to stock up on chocolate before I started on my edits. Of course I thought that meant I was in for major rewrites and lots of hair pulling. But when I opened the document, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Yes, there were comments galore, and most elicited thoughts of, “how am I supposed to do that?!” Okay, maybe I pulled out some hair after all. But in the end, it was worth it. My editor’s comments were spot on.

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Denise Moncrief:  My first real line edit was done by the wonderfully talented AJ Nuest. I expectedDenise Moncriefd a thorough edit, but I didn’t expect how it would make me feel. Like my writerly feelings had been thoroughly pummeled! For two days, I rambled around the house muttering things like… “Who does she thinks she is?” and “Why did she change that?” and “What does she mean by blah, blah, blah?” It’s never easy to take criticism, no matter how constructive it is. I sucked up my pride and worked through those edits. That first line edit was an intense experience but well worth it, because my story is stronger for the attention to detail she invested in it.

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Jennifer Eaton: “My first reaction?  “What the heck is this chic smoking?”  (After  cutting the middle of a scene completely out.)”jack-jill-volume-one-cover

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on with the showLinda Carroll-Bradd “My reaction may be different

than some because I’d spent years in critique groups and was used to seeing comments made on my writing projects.

But I do remember being surprised when point of view mistakes were pointed out because I’d thought I had that craft issue nailed (this was 7 years ago). I thought the editor had to be wrong. Of course, as I read the comments, I saw the words or phrase where I’d inadvertently shifted POV and vowed not to make that mistake again.”
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Jamie Ayers: “Don’t kill me . . . but my edits weren’t that bad. I was just really, really confused about how to do the track changes, lol. So I panicked about that!18 things

However, the first time I had someone seriously critique my work, I thought about punching them in the face the next time I saw them. Then, I thought, nope, I’ll get sued and I’m a teacher so that’s no good. I settled for taping their image to my dart board instead ;-)”