Friday, November 29, 2013

Huge Chick Lit Christmas Giveaway!

I have the most incredible author friends. And I'm so excited to be a part of a HUGE book giveaway with 28 of them! These authors are talented, funny and brilliant, and I'm proud that Finding Lucas is included in this amazing Chick Lit Christmas Giveaway. From November 29th until midnight on December 24th, you can enter to win 29 autographed books!




All you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter below and like one of our Facebook Author pages to be entered to win! Like more than one author page for additional entries. 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Merry Chick Lit: Six Sassy Shorts Raising Funds for Breast Cancer

I am honored to help get the word out about Merry Chick Lit, a wonderful, heartwarming anthology that not only features six fantastic stories but was created to benefit the charity Rocking the Road for a Cure. A NY based breast cancer charity, Rocking the Road for a Cure sends out volunteers to help women with breast cancer with their everyday actives such as shopping, errands, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. All proceeds for the book will go to this charity. 

Most of us have been devastated by cancer in some way, and I am proud to know these authors who have given their time and talent to make the lives of those suffering from breast cancer a little easier. 


That sparkly, wintry cover makes me want to crawl under the covers with a mug of hot chocolate. Merry Chick Lit features stories by:

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
In "Santa's Gift," journalist Jessica thinks Santa's just a silly myth for children, so when he asks what she most wants for Christmas she tells him the one thing she knows he can't deliver--true love. Or can he...?
Sarah Hitchcock
In "The Christmas Lights," one competition pits two families against each other...who will win this war?
Francine LaSala
Pretty Izzy knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: hunky sales manager Jake Harrington wrapped up with a shiny silver bow--and nothing else. Except Santa may have other plans in "Carol of the Belles."
Nikki Mahood
In "Spinster Christmas," Cara's looking forward to spending Christmas alone until she learns her old--and she believes very gay--crush needs a place to stay. Though it soon becomes clear that while still hot, Ronan isn't gay after all...
Holly Martin
Ella's dreams of making a better life for her and her daughter seem further away than ever in "Iced Dreams." But as Christmas approaches, and she wishes for a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand to fix her life, things begin to change in ways she never imagined!
K.C. Wilder
In "The Mermaid," Allie's content to spend Christmas by herself at a vacant beach house to make good on a promise made to her true love lost, Jeff. Until Jeff's gorgeous college roommate Tim crashes in on her with his own promise to keep... 
Learn more about Merry Chick Lit, its authors and Rocking the Road for a Cure!


Help promote this feel good book for a very worthy cause by using hashtag #MerryChickLit on Twitter.

Buy Merry Chick Lit:


Rocking The Road For A Cure is tickled PINK to be selected as the recipient of proceeds from your purchase of Merry Chick Lit.
We are a growing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the New York City/Long Island area, dedicated to improving the quality of life of people undergoing the often energy-depleting and emotionally draining treatments for breast cancer.
Our name came from our founder and President, Dawn Frey, a musician, who learned through personal experience that “it takes a village” to get through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and not every individual has the support network they need. Rocking The Road For A Cure provides free, in-home housekeeping, health and wellness services to restore strength and confidence, and to rebuild spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
So, when you settle back and relax to enjoy reading Merry Chick Lit, please know that you have helped us help a breast cancer patient to also settle back and relax…and heal.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Celebration of Books!

Wow! I still can't believe what an amazing night BookBuzz Toronto was and that our second BookBuzz event was such a success! Meredith Schorr, Francine LaSala and I launched BookBuzz in May, 2013 to celebrate authors, books, readers, and bloggers, and we wanted it to be a party, a chance for people to connect through words. We are so proud that BookBuzz has gone global, and on November 7th, Lydia Laceby, Kaley Stewart and I brought the event to my hometown, Toronto.

Lydia, Kaley and I formed an instant friendship and quickly discovered where each of our strengths lay. Mine are clearly not in math because every time I tried to calculate expenses, they both kindly fixed my numerous errors. We spent the next few months finding a venue, the authors who would like to participate and set out to make this a fun and exciting event. BookBuzz Toronto exceeded our every expectation. With an eclectic list of authors--Francine LaSala, Meredith Schorr, Lydia Laceby, Cat Lavoie, Chantel Guertin, Samantha March, Heather Wardell, Romi Moondi, Kate Hilton and me, an incredible venue, The Crest, and the support of so many people, the night was full of love and joy.



We were so lucky to have very generous sponsors, and we couldn't have had the delicious food and our fabulous drink, The Pink Stiletto, without Kobo Writing Life, Wattpad, Now Magazine and The Crest. Kobo Writing Life even donated a Kobo e-reader!



When I looked around the room that night, I was filled with so much happiness to see so many people I love and to meet new people who I hope to see at every event. And I've been floored by the flood of emails from authors who would love to participate in our next BookBuzz. I can promise that a next event is already in the works!

One of the best parts of organizing an event like this is actually getting to meet the authors I have become close to online. Our brunch the next morning (okay, late morning), trip to the World's Biggest Bookstore (is there anything better than perusing books with other writers?) and the hilarious walk from the Eaton Centre to the island airport are moments I will never forget.

Being an author is the life I've always dreamed of, and when I sign my books, meet my readers and connect with authors whose talent I so admire, I know how lucky I am. Thanks to everyone who came to our party, and I hope you had as much fun as we did.



Stay tuned for the next BookBuzz by checking out our website! It will eventually be coming to a city near you!

And thank you to the journalists, authors and bloggers who wrote their own thoughts on BookBuzz Toronto:

Just a Lil' Lost








Monday, November 11, 2013

Cover Reveal: Hard Hats and Doormats by Laura Chapman

I have known Laura Chapman as a supportive, hilarious and prolific blogger, and I am so excited that she is now also a fellow author. It is my great pleasure to reveal the amazing cover of her debut novel, Hard Hats and Doormats!

Here is Hard Hats and Doormats!



Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.

But after losing out on a big promotion––because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.

While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.

Who says nice girls have to finish last?

Who could resist a story like that?

To celebrate the cover reveal for her debut novel, author Laura Chapman is sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits about the making of Hard Hats and Doormats here and on other blogs with her “Hard Hat Confessions.”

Confession #8:



Love it! There's nothing like getting something in right under the wire. But like with everything, Laura got it done. Visit http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/2013/11/hardhatsanddoormatscover.html for more “Hard Hat Confessions.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction author and blogger. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She traveled across the United States as a writer/photographer before settling into a career in communications. She also maintains Change the Word, a blog devoted to promoting women’s fiction and documenting her experiences as a writer. Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Hard Hats and Doormats is her debut novel.

Connect with Laura

Website (http://www.laurachapmanbooks.com/)
Blog (http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/)
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/laurachapmanbooks)
Twitter (https://twitter.com/lmchap)



Monday, November 4, 2013

Having a Three Way...Indie Style

Francine La Sala (The Girl, The Gold Tooth and Everything) and Meredith Schorr (Blogger Girl) are two of my author BFFs, and when we can't see each other in person, we email all day every day. We virtually sat down recently to talk about marketing books, indie style. So, today, I'll share a bit of that conversation, but I'll leave out the bits that veer into girly gossip and TMI.


Francine: So you guys know about this big book birthday blog tour bash going on this week, right?

Meredith (smirks): Birthday bash? Whatever do you mean?

Sam (cocks head, playfully): Uh, no. Please tell us more.

Francine (winks): Well, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything is turning 1 this week, so it’s going on sale for 99 cents for one week only. While it’s on sale, I’ll be visiting different blogs for interviews, guest posts, that kind of thing. But I’m not the only one with something going on this week. Am I, Meri?

Meredith: Well, now that you mention it, I am doing a blog tour the next couple of weeks to promote Blogger Girl which is about, you guessed it, a book blogger. During the three week tour, reviews of Blogger Girl will be posted on some awesome blogs, along with  guest posts and interviews. Insert shameless self-promotion here: Blogger Girl will be on tour with CLP Blog Tours from 11/4-25.

Francine: Oh, did I forget the dates (and the shameless self-promotion) for mine? Sorry! My sale started 11/1 and goes through Thursday 11/7... Which reminds me... Sam? Don’t you have something to share?

Sam (laughs): Well, as you both know, I love promoting with other authors, and I’ve done quite a few group promotions. Along with the two of you, co-founding BookBuzz has probably been the most exciting. Creating an interactive author/reader event where everyone can meet and mingle, have a drink and chat about writing and books is such a fantastic way to both market and reach out to readers. And timing is everything, right? Because there will be a BookBuzz in Toronto on Thursday night, November 7, at The Crest at 794 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, from 7pm to 9pm. I had the great pleasure of organizing this one with author Lydia Laceby and blogger Kaley Stewart. Here’s the website for all of the info! http://bookbuzz2013.wordpress.com/

Francine: Ooooh, sounds like fun! I’d love to be there!

Meredith (rolls eyes and smiles): You are going to be there. And me, too.

Francine (grins stupidly): Right.

Sam (beams): It’s going to be great! I hope we get to do more of these. Such a fun way to get “out there” with our books and touch readers.

Meredith: I know, Sam. It’s so fun! So what are some of the other ways you guys have been able to get “out there” with your books - and what are the challenges you’re facing? For me, with so many quality and affordable books available, I find getting people to click on my books to be extremely challenging. I make a lot of effort to get my books in the spotlight, but I do find that a large population of chick lit readers are still more likely to pay for a big name than to give indie authors, meaning both authors who self-publish as well as those who are published by small, independent presses, a chance, even at a lower price.

Sam: You’re right, Meri. I think marketing is challenging for any author, be they traditionally or indie published. For me, the hardest part was navigating social media. I didn’t even have a Facebook page until I published Finding Lucas! Learning how to use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, well, Pinterest is still a mystery to me, has been both incredible and scary. But, now that I’m using them, I find that I’m quite addicted. I also think it’s hard to gain exposure, but the reader/blogger/author community is so supportive, and I’m grateful to them.

Meredith: You can say that again. During the pre-release of Blogger Girl, I celebrated all things “blogging” by inviting guest bloggers to post on my website for a month long celebration.  As a result, there was already a lot of buzz about the book by the time it was officially launched. Additionally, while I always offer free copies of my books to bloggers in exchange for reviews, as well as participate in an organized blog tour, the blogging angle also helped get my foot in the door with popular beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, who also agreed to promote Blogger Girl on their websites. Regardless of what avenue of publishing an author takes, marketing is pivotal.

All at once: Thank God for bloggers!

Francine: I'm not sure being "indie" is the big challenge for me. Even if I had a huge marketing budget and push behind me, I do find getting the word out about my books to be an awkward, embarrassing situation. Silly, I know, but I have a tendency to be shy. To be a "behind-the-scenes" kind of person. Which is why I enjoy writing. Marketing puts you right in the spotlight. And I'm old. Bright light is not as flattering as it may have once been. :-)

Sam: Old? You’re only two years older than me! :) There are definitely so many more options for marketing now than ever before.

Meredith: Creativity is key.

Francine: Absolutely. As you guys know, I am a book publishing veteran, and I can tell you it's amazing how formulaic print book marketing can be. This is because in traditional print publishing, if a book doesn't take off right out of the gate, the remainder table is the fate! With ebooks, a book takes off when it does. There isn’t the same pressure to move those units quickly to make room in the warehouse for next season’s titles. The great thing is that an ebook can take time to grow. To that effect, I can “re-launch” The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything with this big birthday bash. I'm hoping this push will bring me more readers, more reviews, and also start building momentum for the books I plan to publish next year. I still feel like such a babe in the woods over all of this, though.

Meredith: We learn as we go. If I can give any new author starting out advice on how to launch an indie book, I’d say start getting reviews of your book as early as possible. With my first two novels, I didn’t start reaching out to bloggers for reviews until right before the book was being released. With Blogger Girl, I sent out ARCs over a month before the official launch and so by the time the book was published, I already had several reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It really made a difference as far as sales right out of the gate. I also urge you not to be stingy with offering free books. In addition to book bloggers, offer free copies of your book to readers in your target audience in exchange for a review. From my experience, readers are honored to be asked and if they like your book, they are extremely vocal about recommending it to their friends.

Francine: I agree. I also think that quality is key. It’s so important not to cheap out on your cover design or blurb. People can spot "homemade" a mile away. While that kind of thing can be charming for Pinterest, you want your book to be full-on-pro if you want readers to take you seriously. Also: Have your book edited. It's heart-breaking to read bad reviews of books that are criticized not for plot points or characters, but for being sloppy. If you want to market your product as a quality product, produce a quality product!

Sam: Absolutely! Publishing a book is expensive, no doubt. But if being a professional author is what you really want to do, it is crucial to have the best book you can on the market. Hiring a professional editor, cover designer and formatter, if you need one, are some ways to create the most professional product. Here’s where I can do a bit of a shameless promo plug...

Francine: Thanks for taking one for the team, Sam!

Sam: By doing team edits on clients’ manuscripts, Francine and I have found it’s been fantastic to have more than one set of eyes on a story. I love working with you...

Francine: And I, you!

Sam: And it gives me great pleasure when we hand over the final product and our authors are so happy with our work.

Francine: Don’t forget that Meredith also does manuscript evaluations that are incredibly spot on.

Sam: So true. Her thorough and eagle-eyed beta read on my new novel really helped so much.

Meredith: Aw, thanks.

Francine: Seriously. Not blowing sunshine up your butt, Meri. When I read your reviews, I’m amazed at how much insight you have into the books you read--how much you care.

[Virtual group hug.]

Sam: Speaking of caring, I have to say the writer support groups I’ve found in the virtual world have changed my life. My friends and family are very proud of me, but it can be boring to listen to me prattle on about plot lines, sales, and promotions. Talking to and working with other authors who know exactly what my day is like has meant the world to me.

Meredith: Like right now!

Francine: True, dat. While we are all doing this to promote our various efforts, I have learned so much just speaking with you guys today.

Sam: I’ve learned I want to use “True, dat” in a sentence. But seriously, I hope we’ve been able to share more with readers than just the details of our various promotions.

Francine: Do you think the readers remember? Let’s remind them again!

For information on the Birthday Bash for The Girl the Gold Tooth & Everything, please click here.

For more information about the blog tour for Blogger Girl, click here.

For more information about BookBuzz Toronto, click here.

Meredith: See you guys next week at BookBuzz!

Francine: Looking forward to it!

Sam: I can’t wait to welcome you both to my city!

~~~~~~~

Connect with Francine, Meredith, and me by clicking on the links below. Have a great day, everyone!



Find Francine LaSala online:

Buy The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything JUST 99 CENTS THIS WEEK! 
Buy Rita Hayworth's Shoes 

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Find Meredith Schorr online:




Buy Blogger Girl:
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I love connecting with my readers! Find me online:


Blog 






BUY Finding Lucas:


Thanks for joining us today, and we hope to see you at BookBuzz Toronto!