Monday, October 20, 2014

Marketing Monday: Mayhem and Moxie with Torie James

Today's marketing post is by the once and future Queen and author miss Torie James. She is a social butterfly... let's find out how her wings work...


So, you've written a book and it's been accepted by Publisher X.
Congratulations! You've made it farther than most and I want you to take in a moment, breathe deeply and exhale. Drink in the fact that soon the world will be able to set eyes on your dream, your words, and your world. You feel remarkably light hearted, overjoyed and stunned.
Embrace that. Remember it.
Because now the real work begins.

As happens with independent authors and small in house publishing companies, the full brunt of promotion and marketing falls to you. It sounds terrifying and impossible. A task of Herculean feat for someone who doesn't have a "business" brain.
I am one of those without a "business" brain. I may be CEO of that particular problem.
And I can only give you the benefit of what I've experienced in the last year that I've been published. Through trial and error, hit and miss. No, I may not have the aforementioned "business" brain but I do have something else.
I have moxie.
What is moxie? A force of character, determination, or nerve.
Luckily, I'm blessed with all three. The main component in that trifecta lie in the fact that I am not afraid to look foolish, take a risk and run with it. It's all about experimentation in creative tone and finding what works in terms of catching attention.
And on the 7th day, Social Media was created. And it was good!

Your first priority should be to establish relationships with high-traffic blogs and websites that target your genre and/or your audience.

One of the best ways to do that is to comment on the blog posts and articles featured on your target blogs or websites. If you write smart, useful comments, the blogger or website owner will notice – and, just as important, so will that blogger's or website's readers. Also, make sure to give the same attention to other forms of social media; Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. 

Pop Culture and How to Use It
In terms of reaching a wide audience, nothing compares to popular culture marketing. Pop culture has never been as widely transmitted as it is today, and people are far more receptive to public fascinations due to the ubiquity of our good friend, social media and his pal, the Internet. With more pop culture content than ever before, there are ways to use those powers for good. Examples? Search Google for blank templates emphasizing whichever meme, celebrity, cartoon, etc. is being highly viewed. Such as Grumpy Cat, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. Weave your clever words with the images and post. 

I Heard it on the Radio…oh oh
Podcasting, On Line Radio, Talk Radio. All I hear is Radio Gaga…sorry, went off on a Queen jag there. Internet radio shows are an under-utilized opportunity to further market your wares. I had my first guest bit not long ago on WON Radio and it was amazingly fun. Guests are generally featured 15 minutes to an hour, far more time that traditional talk radio would allow. Internet show listeners are generally sitting down, ready to make a purchase, waiting to fall in love with your book. Internet radio also promotes your appearance and archives your segment so that it's always accessible. 

I’m not talking about the virtual book tour of 15 or 20 blogs. I’m talking about an event blog tour that creates Internet buzz on a major scale. Event blog tours can build brands, create incredible website traffic, and sell tons of books.
The neat thing is that effective event blog tours take less time to carry out than the traditional Amazon Bestseller Campaign - and are almost always more effective in selling books, building a brand, and driving traffic.

I Told A Friend. They Told Two Friends Who Told 2 More
Word of mouth is still a fine marketing tool and the one that generally lasts in longer terms. Think outside of the box. Gain marketing information and insights from outside the writing industry that you can tweak and apply to your book marketing strategy (music industry, small business start-ups). Remember the 3 critical E's: Engage. Equip. Empower. 

Give your fans the gift of you. Engage with them. Listen to what they are telling you. Be part of the conversation about your brand. Give them reasons to talk. Give readers different ways to talk and share. Let them know that they are important to you and that sharing their opinions is important to you. It's about connecting rather than collecting.

The way you market your book should be based on two things at the end of the day: your values and the intentions for the book. If something feels slimy or inauthentic, don’t do it. You should never let a bit of exposure trump your values. Short-term gains that feel wrong seldom result in long-term growth as an author.
The intentions for your book can really be anything—credibility and status in your genre, increased bookings for speaking, consulting or projects, building your brand, further educating your audience with a new point of view on a subject they care about. Your book, your intentions. And however odd—because anyone can write a book now—books are still a strong signal that you’re an expert on a topic or in a field.

Marketing can be a fun, creative activity. A lot of it, as you will see, is brainstorming around your book or brand and the people whom you hope to influence. Then, you get to convey your ideas in creative and compelling ways, by creating posters, book trailers, teasers, fliers, events and giveaways.
Marketing yourself and your book involves a lot of focused work, typically as much work as it took to write the book in the first place. And there are no guarantees. Pay attention to peak times on social media, communicate with other authors who seem to have a solid foot in marketing tools. Ask questions, do NOT be afraid to experiment. You may have written the next Great American Novel but unless you market as passionately as you wrote, you risk the chance of minimal exposure.

Torie James is the author of Timeless Night and Timeless Desire, Books One and Two of the award winning New Camelot series, published through Breathless Press. You can find her at: 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cover- His Cemetery Doll

Coming October 24th!
A new novel from Brantwijn Serrah and Breathless Press

There's a woman in the graveyard.

Conall Mackay never put stock in ghost stories. Not even after thirteen years serving as the cemetery keeper in the village of Whitetail Knoll. But things change. Now, his daughter is dreaming of a figure among the tombstones. The grounds are overrun by dark thorns almost faster than Con can clear them. White fog and gray ribbons creep up on him in the night, and a voiceless beauty beckons him from the darkest corners of the graves.

When the world he knows starts to unravel, Conall might finally be forced to believe. 


He hadn't slept long before he heard sounds from down in the kitchen below.
"Shyla!" he called gruffly. "Weren't you heading into town?"
No answer came from below, but the sounds of pots clanging told him his daughter toyed about down there. Perhaps she'd decided not to leave him after all and taken it into her head to now re-organize the house, since he'd so clearly wanted her to stay out of the cemetery. With a low groan, Conall rolled out of bed and stepped out into the hall.
"Shyla!" he called again, coming to the head of the stairs. If she had stayed home, she could at least do it without making a lot of noise.
"Shyla, I—"
He staggered then, as the hallway dimmed. Afternoon light flickered strangely, lightning cracking a dismal sky outside, and in the space of time afterward everything else darkened. Conall darted a glance around him as the house fell into shadow.
From the top of the stairwell, he saw the first whispering tendrils of white fog.
The heat of adrenaline shot through his limbs. Conall stumbled back into his bedroom, even as the fog pursued. His gaze shot to the window as the last gray light of day faded away and eerie darkness replaced it, like an eclipse sliding over the sun.
More cold mists veiled the glass, dancing and floating. Trembling overtook him as he spun to find another escape.
He froze, finding himself face-to-face with the broken mask of the cemetery doll.
"You—" he gasped. His breath came out white as the fog enveloped them both, leaving a space of mere inches between them, so he could still see her expressionless face. Gray ribbons wound and curled through the air around him.
"Who are you?" he asked.
The doll stared up at him. He sensed her searching, looking into his eyes even though hers remained covered. She held him there with her unseen gaze, until her cool, cold hand came up to touch his bare chest.
Conall let out a low breath. He closed his eyes, and a shudder of strange ease rippled through his body. The cool pads of her fingers ran down his sternum, to his navel. The silky ribbons brushed along his side.
Then he noticed her other hand. She lifted it up, to her own chest, and she held something tightly in her fingers: Shyla's stuffed dog.
"I made that...for my daughter," he whispered. The woman with the broken mask tilted her head down toward the small toy, studying it. For a fraction of a second, her fingers appeared to tighten around it. She returned her gaze to him, then, and the toy fell from her grip into the fog, forgotten.
"Wait—" he said, but she brought her other hand up to his chest to join the first, and he recognized eagerness in the way she pressed her icy skin against his. Her face tilted to him, and then came her lips again, ivory and flawless.
"I—" Conall breathed. "I...don't understand..."
Her fingers slid up, around his neck, but he pulled away.
"No, this...this can't real. I'm asleep. I must be."
Gray ribbons danced, pulling him back to her, and she stroked his face. He sucked in a breath at her touch and found his own hand coming up to brush hers.
"You're so cold," he said. "Like stone...but..."
Her cool touch thrilled him; it made his skin tingle and the heat of his own body sing. Her perfect flesh did, in fact, prove soft under his hands, as if the contact with his worn calluses infused cold ivory with yearning. She caressed his cheek, and Conall leaned into it. Before he could stop himself, he bowed his head to her and kissed her frozen lips.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Taste of Thursday: His Demand part 9 (Final)

His Demand continued... Final part (part 9)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

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"This would not be a choice for you. Remove your hands again and I'll send you home just as you are."

The power in his voice, the demand nearly toppled her. Her body responded so needy with lust she could feel her juices slipping down her thigh. Evan returned to his tongue lashings and she quickly found the way to meet him just right so her orgasm lay seconds out of reach. Her hips rocked back and forth. The pressure had built so fast so full. "Please...I need to come."

Everything happened at once. Evan pinched her nipple with one hand causing a heat to zip straight to her clit where he sucked the nub between his lips and the fingers of his other filled both her holes. She screamed out as sparks flew behind her eyelids and her orgasm exploded inside her, wave after wave of the most intense pleasure she'd ever felt. She was falling, spiraling out of control at his demand.

When her body slacked, Evan pulled her down to him and pet the side of her head in soothing slow strokes. He waited patiently, and when she finally had her breathing under control, he spoke. "How did you like your test run?"

Catherine smiled and nuzzled his chest. "A pleasure." She felt safe in his arms. Somehow he exuded that feeling of protection and she knew she wanted to explore these new sensations he had wrung from her body. "How long is this contract?"

"A few pages, don't worry we can go over anything you want before you sign it."

Her fingers found their way to his pants. She noticed he was still hard and Catherine had the sudden urge to make sure he found his release as well.

"Careful now. There's a condition if you decide to travel there, kitten."

She grinned and looked up at him. "What's the condition?"

"From here out you call me Sir."

She stopped before her fingers touched the button she wished to undo and sat up on her elbows. 

"Did you hear me?" he asked, his gaze boring into her, waiting.


"Yes what?"

"Yes...Sir." There... she'd said it! He smiled approvingly at her and Catherine's heart filled with a warmth she didn't quite understand, but pleasing this man, her Dom, left a feeling of home inside her.

The end.... 
This entire story will be posted under the 'free reads' tab for reading pleasure.
(copyrighted 2014)

If you would like to read more tasters- please click here