Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Giveaway to celebrate release of FADE TO US

We're counting down 2 weeks until FADE TO US releases on Feb 6!

To celebrate, I'm giving away prizes.

  • 1 grand prize (US only) of a print copy of FADE TO US, a print copy of SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME by Katie McGarry, a key ring with charms of important themes in FADE TO US (autism, sisterhood, theater), $25 gift card to Amazon or B&N, and a swag package.
  • 2 second-prizes of a print copy of FADE TO US, a print copy of SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME by Katie McGarry, and a swag package
  • 2 third-prizes of swag packages

Here's more about Fade to Us, a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.

Brooke’s summer is going to be EPIC— having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s–and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.

After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah–the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…

When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?

Buy links:
Amazon    B&N   iBooks   GooglePlay   Kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 14, 2018

5 gifts for readers to give to authors

Authors love it when readers buy our books. It's expensive to be an author, probably more than you would think. We're business people. Manufacturers of stories. We want our customers to enjoy our products--books--and we know that, for readers who have a serious "book addiction", it can be expensive for you, too.

So I'm going to suggest 5 things you can do that have no cost but your time. And they're easy. All they take are a few words or the click of a mouse.

Tell a friend. If you enjoyed a book, tell a friend who might enjoy it, too. Let them know why. You could say things like...

  • I know you love American history, and this time-travel story is so well-researched.
  • I have another Pride & Prejudice retelling to recommend.
  • I think you'd really like this new mystery author, with all his twisty plot points and none of the gore.

Tell a teacher or a book club.  Do you know any people in book clubs? Any middle or high school English teachers? They are looking for good books to read or for their students to read. Suggest the books you love, especially if the books have lower "discoverability." Hundreds of thousands of titles release each year. Books from authors with a big fan base will be noticed. Books with big marketing pushes behind them will be noticed. But many great books will get lost in the noise. So if you enjoyed a small book, a quiet book, a book that deserves to be noticed more than it has been, recommend it to people who are actively seeking new and amazing stories.

LIKE a positive review. This one is so easy. Go on a site with reviews, such as Amazon or Goodreads. Find a positive review that seems to reflect a story well, and click LIKE. Simple, no cost, and helpful. That positive review is more likely to be seen now. That's because the number of LIKEs influence where the review appears by default. Reviews with lots of LIKEs "float to the top." You could really be helping an author by helping that good review to leave a first impression on potential readers.

Request it from the library. Libraries have limited budgets, so they have to make careful choices on how to spend them. They have to predict what their patrons want to read. If you request a book, you are telling them what you want to read--and they don't have to guess any longer!

Be social. Let us know you're there. Send us a fan letter through email; we all have contact forms on our websites. LIKE us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Find us on Bookbub or Instagram. Subscribe to our newsletters. With all of the way there are to control what you see on social media, you won't get overwhelmed with content. (Well, there is a gotcha with Facebook. FB generally only sends an author's postings to 10% of her followers, so you might not see them often.)

There you are. 5 ways to give back to your favorite authors--and they don't cause anything but time.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Fun with SWAG

Do you like to get Stuff We All Get (SWAG) from authors?

I do. I love to pick up bookmarks, pens, jelly bean bags, etc. It's fun to take a few things home and think about meeting the author. But, I must admit, most of it ends up in the trash pretty quickly.

I have a new YA releasing in February, and I'm in the process of creating some SWAG as giveaways. As I was trying to decide what to order, I thought I might ask readers!

So here's your chance. Tell me what you think about SWAG. You can comment here--or fill in an anonymous Google form survey.

In the past, I've given away bookmarks, trading cards, lip gloss, recipe cards, and temporary tattoos. At a recent author event at a local high school, I put out several hundred bookmarks, trading cards, and tattoos--and they all disappeared within seconds. While I suspect most of it made its way into the trash can by nightfall, that's okay. My website had a lot of hits that day, so that's a win for me!

Most readers will likely say that free books are great SWAG. I agree! But let me make a comment about the free thing.

Although a book might be free for the reader, it is not free for the author. We have to buy the books we give away. And, yes, we'll probably get them for a lower price than readers, but it's still not cheap. Here are some ballpark figures to buy and deliver a book to a reader (with a US address):

  • Paperback - $10
  • Hardcover - $15
  • E-book (traditional) - $10
  • E-book (self-pubbed) - pennies

For international readers, the shipping cost is crazy. 30 - 40 dollars (USD) is not uncommon. I still try to hold giveaways for international readers, but they will often get books shipped to them directly from Bookdepository.com, which means it won't be signed.

Bookmark for WHISPER FALLS and I WISH

there you are--some quick insights into SWAG and giveaways. If you have some ideas to share, please comment or fill in the survey. Thank you!