Saturday, April 28, 2012

Getting those reviews

Here is the link to a website I've mentioned in the past.  It's a fantastic resource for finding bloggers to review your book.  For free!!

The list, as you'll find, will tell you who reviews what. It makes it very easy for you. Click (or link) to the ones you feel will be the best fit for your book, then send them a query e-mail.  Simply tell them what your book is about (adding links to where to find the book is helpful, too), and ask if they would be interested in reviewing it for you. It's that easy! Most will say yes, but they may need a large time allowance as they are busy people, too, and have many books to read on top of their daily lives. So be patient.

Obtaining reviews is HUGELY important for marketing your book(s).  Readers like to know what other people are saying about the book they're contemplating buying.  It doesn't always matter if the book is $.99 or $10.00 (or more!), most readers (but not all) tend to look for reviews first (I know I do).  So, it's a good idea to provide them.

Aside from approaching bloggers who specifically offer reviews, ask fellow writers to review your book in exchange for reviewing theirs. If you are a member of Linkedin, join some writer's groups, they're rich with fellow authors looking for all the same help and advice you are. It's a wonderful resource.

Another piece of advice I'd offer in the search for reviews is to do a blog tour. I'm booked for my first blog tour the week of June 4th, and I'm excited!  It's yet another opportunity to get your book out there as well as obtain people to read (and potentially review) you glorious piece of work.

If you aren't familiar with what a blog tour is, check out this website ( for extensive information. They are running my tour for me, and they've been wonderful every step of the way.

Good luck, and happy hunting!
And as always, please feel free to leave a comment with any additional information or advice you'd like to add.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Self Publishing : Marketing

The best vocabulary word to describe what you need for marketing your self published book is perseverance.  I'm not kidding, it's a lot of work, and quitting is not an option.  Of course, there are a lot of other words and phrases that will fit, too, such as energy, willingness to put yourself out there, and time to learn and apply, etc.

Thankfully, along with all the hard work, you'll be rewarded with "pay-offs" like book sales and gaining fans of your work.  So don't loose heart if (or when) you find yourself on the path of the proverbial two steps forward followed by one step back.  As long as you stick to it, you will succeed; you will get those needed sales.

We all have to start somewhere, so weather you are a rising star of authors or a fledgling just entering the field, perseverance should be your best friend.  And like with a bff, not everything is wonderful, but we stick around for the stuff that is wonderful. 

Tip: Find as many bloggers as you can to review your completed book.  There are hundreds (if not more) bloggers out there who review books (Free! Just provide a copy of your book to the reviewer).  So find them, take in a deep breath and query for a review.  I like Step-by-step-self-publishing (reviewer list).  Reviewers are listed in alphabetical order with a list of genres they review to narrow the search for you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Writers and artists on insecurities

I was watching a program on PBS last night about Margaret Mitchell (author of Gone With the Wind) when I realized just how alike writers are as a whole.  It amazes me every time to learn how insecure even the most famous writers are/were.  No matter their success or weather they are at the beginning of their career or in the middle, writers seem to hold on tight to a common fear of not being good enough.

It's both comforting and astonishing to know writers across the board feel the same insecurities I find myself struggling with often.  It's like a curse of the artistic.  Rarely (if ever!) have I heard of an artist, particularly writers, who are full of confidence and believe their work is wonderful and will be loved by all or many.  Of course, some of us are harsher on ourselves than others are, but over all, we (writers/artists) are a funny breed, filled with insecurity simply because we are filled with so much passion for what we do.

With following a passion comes the possibility of failure, and that is terrifying in any aspect.  But when you are writing, for example, you are pouring some of who you are into those words, so the exposure is enormous. 

When I read my first unsolicited book review for "Cadence Beach", I had the strangest feeling running though me.  Aside from the thrill of knowing a total stranger had read and enjoyed my book, I was taken aback by the discomfort of "naked" exposure I felt.  It was as though someone had opened my skull, taken a look at what was inside (my story), and closed it up again.  Just as simple (and invasive!) as that.  That's the best way I can explain the feeling of utter exposure I felt. 

I would love to hear your stories of how you deal with and feel about the exposure of being a writer or other artist (or any field of work). 
Please feel free to  leave a comment below. ;) I promise to read every one with NO judgement! lol

Monday, April 2, 2012

"The Secret Lives of Dresses" short book review

The Secret Lives of Dresses is a wonderful book and beautifully written.  I enjoyed the story as well as the author's writing style.

I would definitely recommend this book for an easy and very enjoyable read.

Here is the synopsis of the story as found on Amazon:

Dora has always taken the path of least resistance. She went to the college that offered her a scholarship, is majoring in "vagueness studies," and wears whatever shows the least dirt. She falls into a job at the college coffee shop, and a crush on her flirty boss, Gary.

Just when she's about to test Gary's feelings, Mimi, the grandmother who raised her, suffers a stroke. Dora rushes back home to Forsyth, NC, and finds herself running her grandmother's vintage clothing store. The store has always been a fixture in Dora's life; though she grew up more of a jeans-and-sweatshirt kind of girl, before she even knew how to write, Mimi taught her that a vintage 1920s dress could lift a woman's spirit.

While working there, Dora befriends Mimi's adorable contractor, Conrad. Is he after Dora, or is working from a different blueprint? And why did Mimi start writing down--and giving away--stories of the dresses in her shop?

When Mimi dies, Dora can't get out of town fast enough and cedes control of the store to her money-hungry aunt who wants to turn it into a t-shirt shop for tourists. But ultimately, she returns to Forsyth, willing to battle whatever may stand in the way of her staying there. Dora can trade her boring clothes for vintage glamour, but can she trade her boring life for one she actually wants?