Hootsuite & A Valuable Lesson Learned

As you know I am using social media as a marketing tool as well as this blog and word of mouth. Most of my marketing comes from Twitter and Facebook however

I however like a lot of indie authors am a pretty busy lady and don’t have a whole lot of extra time to do a lot of marketing during the day or even a lot of times in the evening. But I know consistency and being visible are key to staying in the game. So I have decided to give the power of Hootsuite a try.

I had been using it for organization for a while now but have been lured into trying pro for its mass scheduling capabilities. Totally should be a time saver. It was, until I realized late last week that all of the bit.ly short links I was using were broken. It took others trying them for me to know.

Turns out I had two extra characters in each tweet/post that caused the whole set up to not work.

I made the error in thinking Hootsuite would do that thinking for me. Gosh knows it went through each tweet/post to avoid duplication and avoid time slot double booking but it doesn’t check your links for viability.

Needless to say it was lesson learned. If you are going to use new applications to assist you make sure you know what all it will and will not do or at least as much as you can.

As for Hootsuite? I love it still. Its set-and-forget is super easy to use. The set up is great and it merges so many social media outlets into one.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and on Facebook!

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Q & A with Arthur James

I love finding another writer who is much like me and works all day with numbers and then comes home and works with letters! Please welcome Mr. Arthur James!

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22873FWhat would your bio say?

I am a finance professional and a part time writer, who considers fiction writing to be a division of the entertainment industry. In addition to writing, I’ve has traveled extensively in North America including Mexico, lived in England and Australia for a year each, visited Central America & Indonesia and traveled in Europe four times. Writing has had to weave itself around studying and a number of demanding employments. Four novels have survived out of five. Starting from the most recent, they are: Wall Street Brokers, The Adams Sisters, Jason and the Kodikats and Hants.

I speak English, French and some Spanish. Personal interests are as varied as live theatre, music, politics, literature, computing & information technology and finance. Being divorced and without children has made possible enriching relationships with women friends, over the years

When did you start writing and why?

I started writing fiction around age twenty. At first my production was mostly short stories. These tended to be based on people I was acquainted with. A friend who was an English Prof told me that I was good at characterization.

There were a number of motivations. I liked reading fiction and thought I’d like to try writing some. I wanted a pastime that was portable, could be neglected and one that I could see what I had done with my time.

 Who is your favorite author and why?

Among the older writers I like Victor Hugo. His stories are always different and his characters seem almost real. He had a very large vocabulary and writes about as life as it should be and not necessarily as it is.

Among the popular living authors I like Danielle Steel. She develops good plots, her characterization is excellent and there is lots of variety in the places and venues where her stories take place.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

First I would like to entertain my readers and take them out of their ordinary lives. By doing this, I hope to be able to live comfortably from my writing.

 Traditional or self-publishing? Why?

Currently I am self-published on the Internet. I tried to find publishers and agents for each one of my stories, have not been successful. Self-publishing on the Internet offered a way to let people see and be entertained by my fiction. I’ve received positive comments from readers of my work that’s on the Net.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

Once I had a free Web site at Geo Cities. I put up a summary of my novel for children and a Download in Word. At that time I wasn’t very knowledgeable about HTLM coding. A woman in North Carolina emailed me that she had downloaded my story and read it to several children that she knew. She said they all liked it and kept asking her when there was going to be more.

She advised me to code the manuscript and put it on the Web site so people could read it on-line, as printing it off on 8.5 x 11 inch paper wasn’t convenient. When I told her that I didn’t know how to code it, she offered to do it for me at no charge. After that, Jason and the Kodikats was available on-line at Geo Cities.

I received more comments from people about the children’s novel. One comment was that it would be good to have it on a CD so that children could listen to it over and over. Eventually in 2004, I found time to record it as mp3 files. At that point I needed a new Web site and started the current www.arthur-james-fiction.com in March 2004.

I kept getting more positive comments from parents. Many burned the mp3 files to a CD. One father said his kids listened to the CD six times while they drove from LA to NYC.

At that point I decided it was time to put up my newer novels. A retired navy man in Long Beach really liked Hants. Quite a few people liked the Adams Sisters, including a woman who was born, raised and lived in Washington DC.

Once I had Wall Street Brokers up on the site, I cross referenced it on Wattpad. One person has made it their favorite novel there and the Class of 2013 has adopted the story as their story.

In January 2013 I stated a Twitter account to promote the Web site. It has picked up 903 hits in the first 12 days of the New Year. Since March 2004 the site has received 77,542 hits.

Tell us about your book (s)

 Wall Street Brokers © 2009

Follow the rise and fall of Long Islander, Richard Cory, as he takes his brokerage firm up onto the New York Stock Exchange and then becomes the target of a hostile takeover. The dramatic action weaves in and out of his interacting with his wife Natalie and their children, with professional colleagues and with the communities in which he lives. There’s lots of surprise, suspense, romance and a happy ending!

 The Adams Sisters © 2005

This is a love story about a young African American woman who is a medical student at Georgetown University and her sister who works for the State Dept. in DC.

 Jason and the Kodikats © 1995

This is a children’s novel about a young boy from Seattle who is living with his parents and his skateboard, in Anchorage, Alaska. One day Jason befriends an old hobo, who gives him a small glass paper weight that is filled with water and snowflakes. When he shakes up the globe, a snow squall comes swirling out of it. He finds himself in the realm of the Kodikats. They are the little people who live in Alaska.

During his adventures with the Kodikats, the boy makes several good friends, learns many neat things, builds a balloon and flies over Mount McKinley, on his way to winter’s kingdom. He battles with winter’s assistants, Wind & Frost, is taken prisoner and then helps a beautiful blond Kodikat named, Willow, to escape

 Hants © 1993

This novel is for retro buffs and is set in twentieth century New England. It’s a story of a friendship between Grant Austin, a third generation New Hampshire man from the countryside and Julia Sylvester, the daughter of a small town doctor. The couple meets at work, when Grant returns to Nashua, after years of absence. A love triangle begins between Julia, an up and coming local lawyer and her new boss. The farm boy, who became an engineer, wins.

The reader is treated to a rare love, which metamorphoses across half a century and conquers even life’s cruelest blow.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

Inspiration for each one of these stories has come from a strong desire to do something because I want to do it. So many things that we do are a job or something we do for someone else. I have control inside the stories.

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

I like all my main characters. They are respectable people who do good. In addition, they all strive for personal and professional development with the constraints that life imposes on them.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Jason and the Kodikats has the story recorded on mp3 files. They can be listened to on-line or downloaded and burned to a CD.

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Thank you so very much for your time Arthur! 🙂 You can read all of his books on his website!

KDP Select Pros & Cons

For the last month or so I have weighted the pros and cons of putting Sacrifice of Innocence in KDP Select. I have spoken to a number of Indies who have enrolled in the KDP Select program on Amazon. Here is what I have come to see as the main pros and cons. Please note there could be more than this but these are the main ones that I have personally based my decision on.

Cons:

*You have to exclusively list your book with Amazon. It can not be available anywhere else. That can be tough if you are trying to break into other markets.

*You are  in a contract to list exclusively with Amazon KDP Select for 90 days.

Pros:

*You get a cut of a central fund if your book is “borrowed” through the Amazon Prime program. That means people who have Prime do not need to actually purchase your book in order to read it. Same concept as a library.

*You can have free days on Amazon. That means you get to promote your book and get it into the hands of a ton of people for free. We all know how awesome that is for the ripple effect!

 

Taking all of this, plus words of advice from other authors, into consideration I have decided to list with Amazon Prime for at least the next 90 days and see how it goes. All I will have lost will be 3 months if anything and the possibility to gain so much out weights any loss for me.

So get your Kindles ready folks! We are live on Amazon Prime! 🙂

 

Dream Project Blog Hop

Writing is largely solitary, and sometimes a lonely endeavor. Sure, you talk to friends, experts for research, discuss what works and what doesn’t with your editor, and bounce ideas off of fellow writers. But in the end it’s one person pounding the keyboard or twirling the pencil. But what if it didn’t have to be completely alone? Who would YOU work with if you could work with anyone on your favorite project?

In this post, that’s what I have been asked to do. Choose a person for each category and tell why I want to work with them.  The only rule is that the person must still be alive.

Writers dream. Now it’s time to dream BIG.

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You have the opportunity to hire anybody as your cover artist. If you write children’s books or books that are heavily illustrated, who would you get for the interior artwork?

In all honesty I was privileged enough to be able to work with an amazing artist by the name of Miranda Stork on my book Sacrifice of Innocence. She did an incredible job on my book and I dont know that I would want anyone else to work with me. She totally gets the feel of my books and me as a person.

Who would you co-write your next novel with? What genre? Why?

James Patterson as he and I both write sprawling police procedural series. I would love the chance to work with him on one just to see where he would take my characters.

Your publisher wants to do an audiobook version of your novel and they’re not sparing any expense. Who do you think can narrate your masterpiece?

Samuel L Jackson. He is the only one bad enough to make it good. 😉

They’re really going all out! Your novel is getting a full soundtrack. Who should compose it? If your novel uses a lot of songs, list your compilation here.

John Williams. He’s just amazing and I would be honored if he did the theme song to my novel.

Congratulations! Your novel is being turned into a major motion picture. As the creator of the original work, you get to pick the director.

JJ Abrams. He has done some great work on many dramas recently and I would be interested to see how he would handle my characters and the story line and how it would turn out.

The director has some ideas on who to cast, but you get to cast one character. What role/character is it and who portrays them?

Ooo. Thats tough. I love bits and pieces of so many actors and actresses I am not sure who I would case as my main characters!

You’ve been hired to write a novel based on a preexisting character or franchise from another medium. Which character or franchise is it?

CASTLE! (aka Richard Castle) I absolutely love him. Hes got the quirk about him that just makes me smile and I would love to have him hang around in my world. Maybe he could meet up with my Stan Brookshire? Hmmm…Crossover? Who knows!

It’s the anniversary of your favorite literary character’s debut. You’ve been hired (yay, work!) to write an anniversary novel. Who is the literary character?

I have read most of the Alex Cross series (by James Patterson) and I love the depth of this character. I would love to pit him against one of my bad guys to see how he would fare! 🙂

*****

Be sure to hop along tomorrow to the next stop on the Dream Big Blog Tour!

OFFICIAL RELEASE!!! Hell’s Gift Release by K. S. Haigwood.

About the Author:

Kristie Haigwood (a.k.a. K.S. Haigwood) is currently writing her 8th novel. She lives in Arkansas, US. She is the mother of 2 awesome kids and 2 great dogs. She is happily married to her soulmate who thinks reading is a solid waste of time. Opposites attract. Kristie’s works include ‘Save My Soul’, ‘Forbidden Touch’, ‘Eternal Island’ and ‘Hell’s Gift’ (available on Amazon in ebook and print). ‘Eternal Immortality’, ‘Eternal Inception’, ‘The Last Assignment’ and ‘Good Side of Sin’ are all releasing soon.

 

About the book!

‘Hell’s Gift’ is Book 2 in the ‘Save My Soul’ series. IT CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE.

Depression consumes the guardian angel, Rhyan, after his human charge chooses her soulmate over him. Filled with anger and despair, he lashes out. And when his hate-filled words land him neck-deep in Hell, he realizes he’s gone too far. He expects trouble, but not to discover his own soulmate in the fiery depths. Abigail is there with good reason, but she’s done her time, and in order to save them both, Rhyan must strike a deal with the Devil. The stakes are higher than ever before, with his soul, his friends and even the fate of Heaven and Earth in jeopardy. If he fails, Rhyan stands to lose more than he ever feared. Will true love be denied? It will take everything he’s got to break down the traps Lucifer puts in his way. New lines are drawn and old scores are settled, and Rhyan is in for the fight of his life. With Abigail as the prize, and humanity in the balance, he will stop at nothing to claim…Hell’s Gift.

Hell’s Gift US:http://www.amazon.com/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM
Hell’s Gift UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM

Find the Author:

AMAZON:http://www.amazon.com/author/kshaigwood

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE:http://www.facebook.com/kshaigwoo

TWITTER:http://twitter.com/kshaigwood

BLOG:http://kshaigwood.blogspot.com
Hell’s Gift US:http://www.amazon.com/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM
Hell’s Gift UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM

Q & A with Alan Behr

My next victim up on the blocks is an ex- member of law enforcement and an attorney… please give a great big hello to Mr. Alan Behr!

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Alan Behr (40)What would your bio say?

Alan Behr is an American author and attorney. He served as a law enforcement officer for twelve years before earning a law degree from Baylor University. He worked as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney for twenty-two years, retiring from the State of Texas in 2009.

He has traveled to several European and Middle Eastern countries, Alaska and almost every island in the Caribbean while employed as a special deputy US Marshal and for pleasure. While contracted to US military forces, he resided in Berlin, Germany for two years. Alan and his wife, Lillian, currently live in the Austin, Texas area.

When did you start writing and why?

I began writing after I retired.  As a detective and an attorney, I spent a fair amount of time writing reports, and legal documents. Writing crime fiction seemed to me to be a logical next step.

Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite author is a three-way tie between Michael Connelly, Andrea Kane and Michael McGarrity.

 What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

I use a lot of my own experiences – cases I worked as a police officer and attorney – to create plots and characters for my books. So I hope to author a series of novels that readers find to be very realistic.

 Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

At the present time, I’m self-published. Being a new author, I believe traditional publishers and literary agents were reluctant to invest their time and energy in a ‘new guy’.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

I began writing my first manuscript in 2009. After several revisions and submitting it to a great professional editor, Price of Justice was born in 2011. I published it on October 2012. The entire writing/editing process was one of the biggest learning experiences of my life.

But the hardest part would be the marketing aspect. From initial reviews, I knew I had a solid thriller in Price of Justice but I quickly learned that unless readers knew the book was on Amazon and other retailers, sales would lag. So I watched and learned how other successful self-publishers like Rebecca Forster and Amanda Hocking did it.

Tell us about your book (s)Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00073]

My first published novel, Price of Justice, follows Austin PD Detective Jason Scarsdale as he works to solve two sex-related murders. H enlists the help of Dani Mueller, a police crime analyst who plays a dangerous game of deception while hiding a deadly secret of her own.

Scarsdale faces the ethical dilemma of his career and his life when two corrupt police managers and the killer raise the stake, forcing him to rethink the value of playing by the rules.

 What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

I wrote in this genre because of my experience with crime, police, attorneys and criminals.

 Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

There are actually two main characters: Jason Scarsdale and Dani Mueller. The reader should appreciate both because each one struggles to work through some fairly serious problems they encounter professionally and personally. I think the manner in which they do this and their journey will make the reader love them. One reader wrote to me and said that she abhorred the crimes Dani committed but understood why she did it and came away from the book, really liking her.

Scarsdale, on the other hand, should invoke a lot of sympathy because he’s trying so hard to be a good single parent for his young daughter while struggling to solve the murder of someone else’s daughter.

Do you have an audio book version?

The audio version of Price of Justice will be out sometime in February.

*****

Thank you very much Alan for taking time out to talk with us! 🙂

You can follow Alan on his website and his blog! And you can pick up his book Price of Justice on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Q & A with Raine Thomas

Please give a warm welcome this week to the beautiful and wonderful Ms Raine Thomas!

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Raine Thomas Headshot (small)What would your bio say?

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of a series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the Firstborn trilogy. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

When did you start writing and why?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. From the time I took home an honorable mention for a story I submitted in a fourth-grade writing competition until I published the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy in July of 2011, I’ve always loved to write. I don’t expect to ever stop!

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

I’m a parent to an almost seven-year-old daughter and I’m married, as well. Both impact my writing habits. It’s nearly midnight as I respond to this interview, and that’s not unusual for me. Since I also work full-time as a wedding planner, most of my writing and author tasks are done late at night and on weekends.

Who is your favorite author and why?

D

Nora Roberts is my favorite author. I love how she writes her characters. No other writer makes me laugh out loud or cry like an infant as much as she does.

 What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

Since I write YA, I hope to inspire young writers. One of my favorite parts about being an author is visiting schools and talking about what it’s like to write a book and have it published. Most of the kids lap it up, and I see many future authors out there.

defy-cover-l

Traditional or Self-Publishing? Why?

I’m a self-published author. There were many reasons I decided to go this route. I love the fact that I dictate the content of my books, the look of the covers, the pricing structures, the release dates, and every other creative aspect of my books. I also receive between 35% and 70% of my royalties on a monthly basis, whereas traditionally published authors typically receive much less than this (15% is average) and they aren’t paid monthly. It’s been great so far!

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing.
I tried to catch the interest of a literary agent for my Daughters of Saraqael trilogy back in 2010 and early 2011, but no one expressed an interest. I believed in the books, though, so I rolled up my sleeves, invested in a cover designer and took the indie path. Now that I’ve achieved success with my own books, I’ve started a small publishing company called Iambe Books. We’re publishing three books this year written by a new author, so it’s been a very satisfying and cyclical process for me.

Tell us about your book(s).

shift-cover-l

The six books that I currently have published are YA fantasy/romance books about the Estilorians. Estilorians once existed among humans thousands of years ago, but because they’re long-lived and have special abilities, humans grew jealous and warred against them. To protect humanity from themselves, the Estilorians created their own plane of existence. When they did, they doomed themselves to an emotionless existence. Then the unexpected happens…enter the half-human Daughters of Saraqael.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

I was inspired to write Becoming (the first book in the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy) because of a young lady I once worked with when
I served as a placement case manager for a nonprofit organization serving youth with special needs. This young lady had been in and out of placements throughout her life, and I learned a great deal from her. She inspired Amber, the main protagonist in Becoming.

elder-cover-l

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

Each of my books follows different main characters, but they continue the overarching storyline begun in the first book of the trilogy. Becoming’s main characters are Amber and Gabriel, Central’s are Olivia and James, Foretold’s are Skye and Caleb, Defy’s are Tate and Zachariah, Shift’s are Sophia and Quincy, and Elder’s are Clara Kate and Ini-herit. By quite a margin, my readers love Tate and Zachariah the most. They’re opposites, but complement each other so well that the sparks practically fly off the page when they’re in a scene!


Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Each of my books has a soundtrack. Since there are a number of them, I’ll share the latest soundtrack that I created for Elder. Not all songs directly related to a scene in the story, but they all resonated with me for different reasons as I was writing.

All I Need by Within Temptation

Wide Awake by Katy Perry

Oath by Cher Llyod

Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson

Wanted by Hunter Hayes

Numb by Usher

Feel Again by OneRepublic

Skyfall by Adele

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Thanks so much Raine for spending the time with us today! 🙂 You can follow  Raine on her website and her blog!

And dont forget to check out her books! 🙂

Becoming (Daughters of Saraqael #1): Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Central (Daughters of Saraqael #2): Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Foretold (Daughters of Saraqael #3): Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Defy (Firstborn #1): Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Shift (Firstborn #2): Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Elder (Firstborn#3): Amazon and Barnes and Noble