Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Matthew Kadish: The Lazy Author’s Guide To Blog Cross-Promotion

Greetings fellow humans!  ‘Tis I, Matthew Kadish, author extraordinaire and certified evil genius!  For those of you reading this who are not familiar with me, I’m sure that will change once I finish building my doomsday device and take over the world so that I can enact my dastardly plan of subjugating humanity by forcing them to read cheap knock-offs of Twilight written by unskilled fan fiction authors.

But until such time, I shall have to make do with spreading awareness of my brilliance by helping other authors become better at their own essential skills.  So today, I am going to share with you a quick-and-easy way to cross-promote your blog posts across various social media websites.  And not only is this brain-dead simple to do, it is also free!

As I’m sure you’re aware, if you are a self-published author (or even a traditionally published author), much of the work of promoting yourself falls squarely on your shoulders.  Thus, it is important to spread awareness of your content far and wide.

Earthman Jack vs The Ghost Planet
Most authors have a presence on social media that they prefer.  Some like to blog, some like to tweet, some like to Facebook (it’s a verb, deal with it), and on and on and on.  The problem is that authors can get overwhelmed, that they neglect so many other social networks in favor of one, or they spend way too much time trying to update all their social media that it’s almost like a full-time job.  This can lead to authors getting frustrated and burned out.  After all, what good is having 11,000 twitter followers if every blog post you make goes without a single comment?

It should be a no-brainer that if you are spending time cultivating a strong social media presence, you’ll want a way to make your followers aware of your latest projects, releases, and special announcements.  Being the genius that I am, I find that I prefer to spend my time doing one thing that will get me multiple benefits, as opposed to multiple things that will get me one benefit.  Thus, I’ve devised a diabolical way of cross-promoting one’s content across the most important social media platforms in existence!

Well, maybe I didn’t devise it, per say.  But I use it!  So… whatever.  Moving on.

If you have a self-hosted Wordpress blog (and if you don’t, what are you waiting for?), this method is pretty flawless and easy to do.  If you want to use this method and don’t have a self-hosted Wordpress blog, you can easily set one up just to make your life easier.

Wordpress comes pre-installed with a plugin called “Jetpack.”  This offers Wordpress users a series of wonderful little add-ons to their blog which can make it look really professional, increase functionality, and make the blogger’s life easier all-around.  So the first thing you’ll want to do is activate this plug-in.

Next, when you go to the Jetpack control panel, you’ll see lots of options available to you.  The one we’ll want to focus on is called “Publicize.”

What the Publicize plugin does is it allows you to link major social networks with your blog, so that when you post to the blog, that content is cross-posted to all the linked social network accounts immediately.  The social networks supported are:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Path
  • Google+

Those are 6 of the major social networks in existence.  Hopefully more will be added in time, but for now, these are the ones the plugin supports.  All you need to do is connect to your account for each network and grant permission for Wordpress to post to it.  You just click the “Connect” button and enter your information.  If you’re already logged into the network you’re attempting to connect to, you just have to click a few approval buttons to complete the process.  It takes mere seconds to get set up.

Once you’re done, whenever you publish a new blog post, it will automatically get published to ALL the social networks you’ve set up in the plugin.  I personally use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+, so those four services get my content automatically as soon as I publish something on my brilliant blog.

Is good, no?

You can also set it up to post to a Facebook page as opposed to your personal account, in case you were wondering.  So if you have a fan page for yourself as an author, you can update that as opposed to your personal profile.

Once you get the easy cross-posting set up, all you have to worry about is updating 1 service (your blog) and growing your followings on all the services you feel are important to focus on.  This is not only a great time-saver, but it will help you to reach a broader audience and create a wider appeal for your work as an author.

If you want more tips on writing or marketing your material, please feel free to check out my personal blog at, so you can see an example of how I’ve set this system up myself.  But I feel I should warn you, once you go Matt, you never go back!  Only visit me if you are okay with becoming obsessed over a middle-aged bald man with a superiority complex.  If that does not frighten you, then stop by and check out my other articles.

Until then, happy writing!  And here’s to cross-promoting your content the lazy way!

About the Author

Matthew Kadish is an independent author and world-recognized evil genius. When he isn't writing or being evil, he enjoys relaxing at the beach and videos of puppies. Much like Scottish cuisine, most of his literary works have been based on dares. He currently lives in Las Vegas and always bets on black, because Westley Snipes has yet to steer him wrong in life. He is the most talented author ever. His mother tells him so every day.
Facebook  *  Twitter  *  tumblr  *  Google+

Buy Earthman Jack vs the Ghost Planet at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. The views, opinions, and beliefs expressed by guest writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pub Day! A Life Apart by L. Y. Marlow

by Donna Huber

A Life Apart
I was really hoping to give you a full review today to celebrate the release of A Life Apart by L. Y. Marlow. But I haven't finished it. I'm almost done; only a little more than 20% left to go (the holiday weekend didn't leave me as much time to read as I thought it would). I feel pretty confident that I can wholeheartedly recommend this book. I'm loving it. And I think after you read the sample below you will be pulled into the story of Morris, Agnes, and Beatrice as much as I am. But first, a little about the book.

About the Book

From the author of Color Me Butterfly, the poignant story of a decades-long interracial love affair between a white sailor and the sister of the black sailor who saved his life at Pearl Harbor.

When Morris Sullivan joins the navy in 1940, his hopes are high. Though he leaves behind his new wife and their baby daughter, he is thrilled to be pursuing his lifelong dream-only to be shipped off to Pearl Harbor when the war begins. When he narrowly survives the 1941 attack, thanks to the courage of a black sailor he doesn't know, Morris is determined to seek out the man's family and express his gratitude and respect. On leave, he tracks down the man's sister, and finds an immediate, undeniable connection with the nurturing yet fiercely independent Beatrice, who has left the stifling South of her upbringing for the more liberal, integrated north.

Though both try to deny their growing bond, their connection and understanding is everything missing from Morris's hasty marriage to his high school sweetheart Agnes, and from Beatrice's plodding life as she grieves the brother she has lost. At once a family epic, and a historical drama that takes readers from World War II through the Civil Rights Movement to the present day, A Life Apart is about a love that creates complicated and unbreakable ties between two families that live worlds apart. L.Y. Marlow brings readers along for the emotional journey as Morris and Beatrice's relationship is tested by time, family loyalties, racial tensions, death, unending guilt, and the profound effects of war.

Read the Sample

Buy A Life Apart at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A digital galley was provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet Jennie Marts

Welcome, Jennie Marts! Jennie is the author of The Page Turners Novels – a romantic comedy/mystery series about The Page Turners Book club- a group of friends who search for romance and clues while eating really good desserts. 

Quick Fun:

Favorite Food? Pizza

Favorite Color? Pink

Guilty Pleasure? Cheetos and DQ Blizzard

Favorite Song? I Got You, Babe by Sonny and Cher

Night or Day? Night

TV or Book? Book!!!

Tea or Coffee? Iced Tea in the afternoon/Coffee with flavored creamer in the morning

When did you start writing? 

I have always written stories and kept a journal, but I started seriously writing my first novel five years ago.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

I have always known that I wanted to write a book someday. Then I turned forty and decided it was time to make that dream a reality and just went for it.

Any routines before you start writing.  Do you write an outline or go with the flow? 

Easy Like Sunday Mourning
I have a loose outline, but mostly just go with the flow. Sometimes I have to wait for the story to come to me, but I usually know the beginning, middle and end. I have a writing goal of 2000 words a day with a weekly goal of 10,000 words. I don’t make it every week, but that’s the number I shoot for. I also use a kitchen timer to help me stay focused and on track when I am writing. 

What inspired the idea for the Page Turners series? 

I wanted to write a series similar to the kind of books I like to read. I love stories about friends and how they support each other so I wanted the book club concept. I knew I wanted each book to have a dog, a mystery, lots of comedy and a hot hero. Plus I love a happy ending!

Okay now that we know a little about your writing life and your books, tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do outside of writing?  Any interesting hobbies?

I am an avid reader. I love to play volleyball. I love going to the movies and eating greasy popcorn. And I love to dance, whether it is with a group of girls having a fun night out or slow dancing in the kitchen with my husband while we are waiting for dinner to cook. 

Do you typically read the same genre you write? 

Yes. I love a story that makes me laugh, fall in love with the characters, then sigh at a great happy ending. My favorite authors are Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts and Susan Elizabeth Phillips

What is your all-time favorite book? 

That is such a hard question. Probably the Harry Potter series. And I religiously buy every new Stephanie Plum as soon as it comes out!  

Tell us something random about you.  (My favorite…..) 

My favorite day would be spent at the pool with a good book, an icy Diet Coke and a bag of Cheetos. I am a hockey mom with a big laugh and a big heart and I am a huge hugger!

What is the most exciting thing you've ever done? 

Published my book!!!

Describe yourself in five words. 

Funny, Warm-hearted, Mom, Faithful Friend, Cries Easily

Thank you, Girl Who Reads, for hosting me for your Meet the Author Monday! Now that you know a little bit about me, I’d love to get to know you all a little better. I feel like Spring is finally in the air, so leave a comment below telling me your favorite part of the season. 

I’m giving away an ebook copy of my new book, Easy Like Sunday Mourning for one commenter.

I’ll be around today to chat about writing, dogs, Spring, books or your favorite DQ Blizzard flavor! Thanks again for having me.

About the Author:
Jennie Marts loves to make readers laugh as she weaves stories filled with love, friendship and intrigue. She’s the Kindle Bestselling author of a romantic comedy/mystery series. Follow the Page Turners book club as they search for romance and clues in Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got No Body and the recently released Easy Like Sunday Mourning. Reviewers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and full of great characters that are “endearing and relatable.”
She writes from the mountains of Colorado where she lives with her husband, two sons, a parakeet, and a golden retriever named Cooper. Jennie enjoys being a member of (RWA) Romance Writers of America, the Pikes Peak Chapter of RWA, and Pikes Peak Writers.
Jennie is addicted to Diet Coke and adores Cheetos. She loves playing volleyball and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes or friends. 
Twitter  *  Facebook  *  website

Buy Easy Like Sunday Mourning at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. The opinions, beliefs, and values expressed by guest writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. 
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Short Story Collection: This Is Not an Accident by April Wilder

by Donna Huber

This Is Not an Accident
A few weeks ago I was on vacation and picked up This Is Not an Accident: Stories by April Wilder. This collection of short stories and one novella was a perfect vacation read. I was busy getting my flower beds in order over my vacation and each story was only about 20 pages. So I could work for a while and when I got hot and thirsty I would read one of the stories. It allowed for a great break because I could get the whole story in (if I'd been reading a full length book I'm pretty sure none of my flowers would have gotten planted).

Wilder's stories are glimpses into regular life, but not the mundane "going to the sandwich shoppe for lunch" like. Well, the story might start that way but then it would veer into something else. Something deeper. The stories make you think. Think about your life, the lives around you. There is an exaggerated oddness about the characters, but if you step back for a moment you will see this oddness to a lesser extent in the people around you and maybe even in yourself.

Buy This Is Not an Accident: Stories at Amazon

For example, in "We Were Champions" a softball coach who had been accused of molesting the players dies. The narrator was on the first softball team he coached. She and the rest of the team denied anything happened. But the news of his death dredges up old memories, ones she hasn't thought about in a long time. Without giving too much of the story away, it gives food for thought about the secrets those around us keep and how it can effect others when it comes to light.

Reading through the stories, I couldn't help but compare them to the translated collection of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, There Once Lived a Girl Who Seducer Her Sister's Husband, and He Hung Himself (read my review). Though I didn't find Wilder's stories to be as bleak.

If you are looking for a something to read that is entertaining as well as thought-provoking, then I definitely recommend April Wilder's This Is Not an Accident: Stories.

Book info:
hardcover (224 pages)
Published: January 2014 by Viking Adult
ISBN13: 9780670026043
Source: publisher
Read: April 2014

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using the link above.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and to celebrate we're highlighting some of the bestselling books of contemporary poetry.

Dog Songs
A collection of new and favorite poems, celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poet’s world

Beloved by her readers, special to the poet’s own heart, Mary Oliver’s dog poems offer a special window into her world. Dog Songs collects some of the most cherished poems together with new works, offering a portrait of Oliver’s relationship to the companions that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. To be illustrated with images of the dogs themselves, the subjects will come to colorful life here.

These are poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. In these pages we visit with old friends, including Oliver’s well-loved Percy, and meet still others. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver’s life emerge as fellow travelers, but also as guides, spirits capable of opening our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.

Dog Songs is a testament to the power and depth of the human-animal exchange, from an observer of extraordinary vision.

Buy Dog Songs at Amazon

Aimless Love
The first volume of New and Selected poetry in twelve years from the two-time Poet Laureate of the United States.

Aimless Love gives the reader an opportunity to assess the rich scope of Collins' gifts. Containing more than fifty new poems and a generous gathering from his collections of the past decade-Horoscopes for the Dead, Ballistics, The Trouble with Poetry, and Nine Horses-Aimless Love showcases the best of his poetic maneuvers: the everyday ends in the infinite, playfulness is paired with empathy, irony gives way to wonder. Possessed of a unique voice that is at once plain and melodic, Billy Collins has managed to enrich American poetry while greatly widening the circle of its audience.

Buy Aimless Love at Amazon

Directing Herbert White
The debut poetry collection by the actor, director, and writer James Franco

I’m a nocturnal creature,
And I’m here to cheat time.
You can see time and exhaustion
Taking pay from my face—

In fifty years
My sleep will be death,
I’ll go like the rest,
But I’ll have played

All the games and all the roles.
     —from “Nocturnal”

“There’s never been a book quite like this. Hollywood—fame, celebrity, the promise of becoming an artist—is the beast at its center. Franco knows it like Melville knows whaling. Hollywood in this book devours its young. Obsessed with myths about its own past, it can be survived only by finding a vantage point that is not Hollywood. Bold yet subtle, fearless yet disarming, Franco has made a book you will never forget.” —Frank Bidart

“A star-studded cast moves like ghosts across the screen of James Franco's poetic consciousness, imbuing the writing with scenes of icons who are also humans replete with sorrow and presence in our own psyches. James Dean, Monica Vitti, Catherine Deneuve, Sal Mineo, Heath Ledger, pass and fade. The author has a wonderful self-reflexive insouciance about his own fame and roles inhabited, from Hart Crane to Allen Ginsberg to Harvey Milk's lover. Franco is a gifted contemporary Renaissance kind of guy, surveying the waterfront of illusion, suffering, and impermanance. We leave the movie theater a little wiser.” —Anne Waldman

Buy Directing Herbert White: Poems at Amazon

September Ends
September Ends is contemporary fiction, blending romance, erotic and supernatural elements, bound together by poetry. It reveals the intricate web of passion and desire which entangles Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage. The story is told through Liz Snow’s diary, Jack O. Savage’s poetry, and from letters sent across the Atlantic. Traveling throughout the lushness of a summertime in Tennessee and Georgia, September Ends journeys into the elegance of London’s West End and is finally settled in the countryside of Cornwall, England, a decade later.

September Ends is a story of sin, redemption and salvation through love because love happens when we least expect it.

Buy September Ends at Amazon

The anticipated second book by the  poet Mary Szybist, author of Granted, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

* A Finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry *

The troubadours
knew how to burn themselves through,
how to make themselves shrines to their own longing.
The spectacular was never behind them.
                        -from “The Troubadours etc.”

In Incarnadine, Mary Szybist restlessly seeks out places where meaning might take on new color. One poem is presented as a diagrammed sentence. Another is an abecedarium made of lines of dialogue spoken by girls overheard while assembling a puzzle. Several poems arrive as a series of Annunciations, while others purport to give an update on Mary, who must finish the dishes before she will open herself to God. One poem appears on the page as spokes radiating from a wheel, or as a sunburst, or as the cycle around which all times and all tenses are alive in this moment. Szybist’s formal innovations are matched by her musical lines, by her poetry’s insistence on singing as a lure toward the unknowable. Inside these poems is a deep yearning—for love, motherhood, the will to see things as they are and to speak. Beautiful and inventive, Incarnadine is the new collection by one of America’s most ambitious poets

Buy Incarnadine: Poems at Amazon

Yoga Poems
The sixty poems in this book are windows into the mind/body/spirit experiences that come about through yoga practice. Each poem is named for a posture or breath exercise and is inspired by the physical properties of the pose or some aspect of breathing that led the poet to deeper understanding. Listening to these poems read aloud, or contemplating them on one’s own, will help yoga students understand their own struggles and inspire them on the way to personal transformation.

Buy Yoga Poems at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the links above. 
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Great Networking Event - #ArmchairBEA

by Donna Huber

If you ask just about any book blogger what their favorite part of blogging is they will say the community. It is one of the main reasons why I've been able to keep blogging year after year. There are number of events that bring bloggers together throughout the year. Some are small events such as blog hops and read-a-thons. Others are large events like Bloggeista and Armchair BEA.

Armchair BEA is an awesome event. I've have participated every year since I started book blogging. My first year's event was just a few months after I had started blogging and I believe it was instrumental in getting my name out there. The next two years were about reconnecting with friends and meeting new people. I participated more in the Twitter parties and stretching my writing skills with the daily topics.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. For how large the event has become (there were something like 600 bloggers participating last year) there are still bloggers who have never heard of it. If you haven't been part of the book community long you may not know about one of the largest industry events - Book Expo of America (BEA). It is a time when major publishers showcase their upcoming releases to members of the industry - media, booksellers, librarians, educators and in more recent years bloggers. It is a HUGE multi-day event in New York City. As book bloggers have proven their worth to the industry, a one day blogger conference in conjunction with BEA was started. However, for many bloggers the cost of the trip is prohibitive. Have you seen the rates at hotels in NYC? Add in a flight and meals and there goes the family vacation money.

So a group of bloggers got together and started an "at home" version called Armchair BEA. It's all the fun without the sore feet and heavy books. There are even on the ground correspondents to provide live clips from the Expo. And there are a bunch of sponsors - publishers, publicists, and authors who offer prizes - FREE BOOKS! And unlike our Expo going counterparts we don't have to worry about fitting them into a suitcase or the cost of shipping them home.

Are you ready to join the fun? Clear your calendars for May 26 - 31. 

Registration is NOW OPEN

Donna Huber
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"a gripping, sophisticated story" ~ The Idea of Him by @HollyPetersonNY

Holly Peterson has written a gripping, sophisticated story of high life suspense that kept me riveted till I’d finished. THE IDEA OF HIM is hugely enjoyable and vividly satisfying. ~ Tina Brown of Tina Brown Live Media

Holly Peterson’s THE IDEA OF HIM is the perfect novel if you want to plunge into great dialogue, a twisting and unexpected plot, shady Wall Street schemes, betrayal, girlfriends… and sex.  It is unputdownable.  ~ Lesley Stahl, CBS News 60 Minutes Anchor

The Idea of Him

Mary Crawford is a once aspiring screenwriter turned successful public relations executive, mother of two young children, and wife of a hotshot magazine editor whose power base spans the worlds of finance, fashion, culture, entertainment, and society. At 34, she finds herself at a crossroads: between the office and her home, her life has become an endless rotation of people pleasing-whether pulling rabbits out of hats for her mogul boss, entertaining advertisers and phony A-listers for her husband's magazine, or making elaborate costumes for children's school plays. At least, that is, until she meets a head turning, traffic stopping beauty at the bar of the famed Four Seasons Grill Room-where many of the novel's players regularly convene-and shortly thereafter finds the same woman and her husband in an apparently compromising position in her own apartment.

And so begins the story of two very different women bound by similar missions-to uncover the crimes and betrayals of various men in their lives and finally put their own interests front and center. For Mary this ultimately means leaving a husband who is ideal in theory but not in practice, and deciding to risk security for self-fulfillment and a new life on her own. Like so many women, Mary fell for the man she married when she was in her twenties only to realize years later that it wasn't him she fell for as much as it was the idea of him-the idea of a savior who would protect and provide and ferry her from her past into the future. But the guy who seemed so right at the time turned out to be nothing more than a fantasy.

Read a Sample


Enter the giveaway at Goodreads to win a paperback copy of The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Details: US only. Open until May 3, 2014. 30 copies available.

Buy The Idea of Him at Amazon

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