Investing in MY Dream

I want to write full time, it’s my dream. I don’t make very much right now, but I technically don’t write for the money. The thing is, I would LOVE to be able to write full time and that means I need to be able to make money with it.

It comes back to me now and than, that you have to spend money to make money. That being said, there have to be reasonable risks.This year I hope to join RWA and my local chapter – again. I havn’t been a member in years, five to be exact. This isn’t a cheap investment when you make much, much less than the membership. I am hoping that joining will inspire me to find new ways to reach new fans. Most of all though, I hope to find a group that will be supportive and inspire me to continue down this sometimes very hard road.

If you are a Romance Writers member, how beneficial do you think it is? I don’t mind giving some, if I can get something out too. Even if no one ever read my books, which at the moment is actually not the case, I would still write.

What investments in your future are you making this year?

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Roane Publishing FREE Reads Get a Facelift!

Do you like Free?  Do you like pretty covers?  Well, today I reveal to you the new covers of the Free reads released for Roane Publishing’s 1st birthday last year!

Where can you get them? Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords – BUT if you go here you can get them all in one place.

Now for the reveal!

It all started (1)

Any Other Way by Michelle Ziegler
(Contemporary Romance)

Description: Everyone wants to be someone’s first choice.

Rebecca is no exception. She’s been in love with Tyler forever, but he’s one of her best friends. She knows you never cross the friendship line; not if you want to stay that way. Too bad for meddlesome friends. Now, she’s stuck on a camping trip with a bunch of couples, and Tyler. Will Rebecca be able to bury her feelings and stay friends with Tyler, or will she sabotage everything including the Labor Day weekend?

A Roane Free Read

Sisters Krista Ames
(A Montana Series Short Story)

Description: Having a sister was something Harper Donaldson had only wished for in her dreams. When a letter came telling her she not only had a sister, but her new-found sister was coming to visit Holly, Montana in person within a weeks’ time, Harper panics.

Chloe Summerfield grew up in a loving home with an adopted family, but always wondered who else might be out there. Given the right tools and a little bit of time, she found out she had a sister and has wasted no time arranging to meet her long lost sibling.

Will the meeting be everything both women hope for?

A Roane Free Read

Dragon Eye by Anna Simpson
(Fantasy)

Description: Everyone wants a dragon until they have to feed one.

Rory’s personal guard knows the little dragon is bursting with magic which could revitalize all the farmer’s fields, and still rid an old man of his aches and pains. Too young to defend herself she’s forced to run when the king discovers she could also be his source to eternal youth.

A Roane Free Read

All For NothingLaurie Treacy

Description: Her life has been a lie.

After the events in “Ordinary World,” Amy Corbett wants answers. About her past and why her mother didn’t clue her into the truth. Reluctantly accepting the changes forced upon her, Amy’s trying to embrace her new self, but being a witch is hard work. Not able to grasp a simple spell, she learns about a secret society of magic users, shunned for not being able to ‘fit in.’ Maybe she’ll find a place where she truly belongs. 

There’s no place like home? Sometimes there are alternatives.

A Roane Free Read

PixifiedSheryl Winters
(Fantasy/Paranormal)

Description: Happily mated Tiger shifter, Fhina has the Purr-fect life with her no-longer-cursed Wolf shifter husband and their brand new babies. So, why is it that life suddenly took a turn for the weird for her favorite cousin Tessa? And why did Fhina’s Magician ex-boyfriend and his gaggle of pixies suddenly appear in Tessa’s bakery.

It will take a lot more than a curse book to solve this mystery. It’ll take the combined talents of an dysfunctional Enchantress, a first level Witch, and more than a little luck.

A Roane Free Read

Bourbon, Boots and Southern PersuasionLondon Saint James
(Contemporary Erotic Romance)

Description: Brodie Hartley—the true definition of a rugged rascal. A rascal who hadn’t been home in a long time, but when his friend Trey Cleary asked him to be the best man at his upcoming nuptials, Brodie hopped on his Harley and headed for North Carolina.

Darby Cleary had always been more than a little infatuated with her brother’s best friend, only she was too young for him back in the day. However, Darby isn’t a little girl any longer; she’s a woman who wants a taste of Brodie Hartley. Her game plan for the pre-wedding activities? 1. Flirt with the man. 2. Seduce him. 3. If one and two don’t work, get him well lubricated and hope like hell Brodie wants a taste of her, too.

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!

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?

Blog Tour – Now Scheduling

Join in the fun.  For the Love of Murphy releases March 17th and the blog tour is now scheduling!Murphy_TourButton

Go here to sign up!  In case you missed it, my second short story will be in the For the Love of Murphy anthology!  The theme?  Sometimes it pays to be unlucky in love and Murphy’s Law of course. How can this not be a fun release!

Murphy_Cover

Additionally, anyone who reviews, sign up here.  There are lots of perks to be on Roane Publishing’s review team, such as free ARCs.

Don’t know what a blog tour is?  Well there’s a little info here.

One in a Million Snowflakes Celebration – Oh and My Birthday

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.  Although, I have no reason to cry.  So let’s celebrate my birthday and One in a Million Snowflakes, part of the Winter’s Sweet Kiss anthology.  Cover

The weekend for Winter’s Sweet Kiss was quiet for promotions, so I thought I’d warm things up with a giveaway.  Plus, what better way to celebrate your birthday.

So here are the super simple ways to enter.

Leave a comment about your favorite scene from my story, One in a Million Snowflakes (try not to spoil it for those that haven’t read it yet. Just something simple, like ‘When Angela makes hot chocolate’.)

OR tell me which story you look forward to reading first.  I never read anthologies in order.

Or thirdly, if you can’t make up your mind, tell me what your favorite kind of romance is, such as contemporary.Nuttypam giveaway9

What do you win you ask? A wonderful sampler of Nutty Pam’s granola, handmade right here in Colorado.  It’s cold and currently snowing.  Think it might have had something to do with the setting in the story? Anyway, that’s not all.  You also get Nick’s favorite drink, hot chocolate.  Now that you are all snuggled up with your book you’ll need a bookmark.  I’m also adding an autographed bookmark.  (please note, this giveaway is only eligible to those in the USA for various reasons.  One is international food laws and two, shipping costs.).

So leave me a comment and your email so I can contact the winner.  Happy Holidays and happy reading.  You have until midnight MST on the 24th to enter.

Don’t forget the giveaway for Winter’s Sweet Kiss.  A paper copy of the book and a gift card!

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.
Cover

Fun Fact Friday – Stalking Made Easy

author

Yes, thats right. Stalking made easy.  I was listening to the radio on my way to work and heard a song called “Crush”.  Okay.  In itself it sounded cute.  That was until I heard the refrain. “I follow you on Twitter. I follow you on Instagram.  Where else can I find you?” 

Alrighty. So it’s a song on stalking. Got it!

                                                    author

This made me think though.  It is a lot easier to get information on people.  It is a lot easier to hear of new authors and a lot easier to follow them.  Suddenly I can get insider info from agents and publishers by simply following them on some social network. That being said – when is it too much?  When am I being the creepy person?  I’d gamble and say, when you forget you aren’t really friends desipite what facebook says. 

The point of my rant is that technology has made being a fan and getting fans a whole lot easier.  All the social network platforms out there allow even the most shy author or fan the ability to interact.  Sure there are arguments on how much is too much, but in the end as long as no one is getting a restraining order, i’d say you are doing just fine. 

Fun Fact. It is not creepy to follow your favorite people’s blogs, tweets, posts, photos, and book lists.  It might however be cross ing a line to look up their house on Google maps.

Happy Friday!!!!!

Do you need help with social networking?  Let me know and I might be able to help.

Fun Fact Friday – Name That Baby

I am still waiting for my second child to decide to make his way into the world.  It’s a little depressing and somewhat daunting to be in the holding pattern.  I called it though.  He was going to be late.  What can you do?  Make the best of it I guess.  So, instead of posting one author I had for today I wanted to squeak this in and touch on the imaginations of a bunch of romance authors.

boyMy husband and I are struggling with names.  We have a couple of ideas, but nothing concrete.  A online authors network I belong to picked up on this tiny issue and ta-da my week instantly improved – if not from the fun ideas of names, but from the comic relief as well.  Tell a group of romance writers you need boy names and you are in for a world of fun.

You should go check out their books. Think about it, if their hero’s names are any indication of how unique their stories are you can’t lose!  Some of the men are hot and steamy as the name implies.  I don’t know about you, but when I say a name I try to get a sense of what my son might end up like some day.  If I had my way he would turn into the next James Bond; be a hero, get a great woman beside him, and save the world.   I know.  I really don’t expect much from my kids, right?  Maybe this is why I write – to get the crazy ideas in check.

So let’s reveal some of the colorful name choices –

Beau, Jake, Finn, Trevor, Colin, Cooper, Rhyder, Devin, and Creed – Mac Crowne

Blaine, Kevin, Davis, Bennett, Ryker – Patricia Gauthier 

Kieran, Daniel, Jamie, Andrew, Aaron, Mark, Jimmy, Joseph, Jay and Will –  Rachel Brimble 

Drew Jacob or Drew Niko – Vonnie Davis

Gary, Joe, Johnny, Reed, Greg, Bo, Dave, Chance, Nick, Tony, Blade, Alessandro (Al for short), Luke, Donovan, Billy, Charlie, Andy, Steffen, Logan, Chandler, Bob, Mac, Finn, Paden, Calum, Jamie – Sue Fineman

Matthias (Matty), Renee (he’s french), Grayson, Caedmon, Augustus (Gus), David (Dibs for short) – Aj Nuest

Cole, Chase, Ethan, Logan, Shane, Tyler, Flynn, Adam, Dillon, Kane, Travis, Daniel, Nicholas – Jannie Gallant

Dillon, Alex, Michael, Kyle, Jackson, Colt, Luc (short for Luciano) – Joanne Stewart 

Roman –  Rolynn Anderson 

What are your favorite male hero names – even if you wouldn’t name a real little boy after it.

Entertaining links –

Werewolf Baby Names

Cool Guy Names

Thoughful Tuesday – The Cynic’s Opinion

Has anyone ever noticed that those with too many, mostly negative, opinions are the ones that feel that they have the right to tell you what you are doing wrong in your life? I would like to point out that they come across as cynics.

I went to my writers group Sunday and in case I forgot why I don’t go religiously anymore one of the regulars reminded me. How you ask? By pointing out the errors to blogging. The reasons to not get to know others, whether they be readers or writers. I got to hear plenty about his platform – which does not exist yet.

It’s okay he hates the idea of blogging. He is fine with not having a platform. But just because he believes something, due to reasons that I can’t wrap my head around, does not mean anyone else is wrong.

So thank you rude person for taking up an hour of my life I can’t get back. Thank you for criticizing something I enjoy doing regardless of who reads it. I hope that my readers do enjoy some of my posts and please tell me if you think that I post too often. I am going to curb my writing tips to once a month – unless there is a massive demand. Otherwise I plan to keep on doing what I do. Why? Because I love getting to know new people and hearing different opinions.

So to all the loud people out there with a negative opinion – unless you are being constructive and willing to listen to others point of views – shut it. Mister you know who you are. Oh and he also actually starting yelling at another group of people for their belief on another publishing industry change. <Sigh> You can’t win.banana

So how about all my loyal and new followers? Anything exciting to add? Or do you have any suggestions on how often you want to hear from a blog?