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June 20, 2014

The Signature of All Things Paperback Giveaway


Last fall I reviewed Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things. I loved the beauty of nature and the natural world that was mirrored in beauty of the writing. Next week the paperback version will be out and today one lucky reader has the chance to win a copy. Also there is a contest going on until July 24 where you can win a plant a month. And if that's not enough, check out the reading guide that includes a conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert (be sure to enter the giveaway first though!)

If you missed last week's Summer of Swag giveaway for the Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman, there is still some time to enter to win buttons, an excerpt booklet from the last book in the series, and postcard set.



The Signature of All Things


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway is sponsored by the publisher who is responsible for shipping of the prize. Open to US addresses only, no PO Boxes.

June 19, 2014

Inbound Marketing for #Authors

by Donna Huber


Inbound Marketing
Inbound Methodology. Source: Hubspot

I've been applying for jobs recently and as most of my marketing knowledge comes from experience rather than an academic degree, I've had to do some research on industry jargon. One such topic is Inbound Marketing. It is what I do for clients, yet I didn't know the term. I found the above graphic to be quite useful in my interviews. When I first saw it, I automatically thought of authors. Many are doing some of these things, but like me, didn't have the background to fully implement it. So I thought I would take a few minutes to discuss how an author can use each step to convert strangers into fans (promoters). You may also want to read the article that accompanies the graphic on Hubspot (I also like their newsletters. They have some great templates available for free, which I have been using in my new position as Manager of Publicity and Development. )

Attract:

I'm pretty sure most authors area already doing this step to varying degrees. If you ask anyone veteran author how to gain exposure they are going to tell you that you need a blog and to be active on social media. Keywords is assumed with this advice. Keywords would be words people would search that could lead them to you. On social media they are often the hashtags you use. For example, if you are a romance author then you would use words that romance novel readers search for in your blog posts and social media posts: Romance, love, sexy, steamy, as well as titles of well known romances. 

Your blog content is shared through social media to attract the attention of strangers to you. Continuing with the theme of romance authors, an example of a blog post would be "10 Best Romances EVER". A post such as this would feature famous romances through history like Charles and Diana. Now you may be wondering what that has to do with your book. Once you have attracted a stranger to your site as a visitor, it is time for the next step.

Convert:

Your article on 10 Best Romances EVER has caused a stranger to visit your site. Now you want to keep them there and gather a little information on them. The best way is with a Call to Action

We are all familiar with the call to action of "BUY MY BOOK" and while certainly you want that option to be available, you may need to do a little schmoozing before that visitor becomes a customer. First, you will need to convert the visitor into a lead.

An intermediate call to action may be needed. This could be "JOIN MY MAILING LIST". This is different than subscribing to your blog (which would be another call to action to offer). I use Mailchimp for my newsletters and mailing list management. The sign up form you create can collect a bunch of details about the person. The more info you have on the visitor the better lead they are. Leads are people who have more than a passing interest in your content, otherwise they wouldn't have gone the extra step of filling out a form.

Close:

With the information you have gathered on your visitors, you have a solid list of leads. It is time to close the deal and make them customers

One way to make them customers is by emailing them a free extended scene or free chapter. This could be something that was edited out or maybe a scene from a different POV. The point is to whet their appetite for more of the story. Always include the call to action to purchase the book. 

If you are familiar with Google Analytics, tracking your visitors use of your site and how/where they come from and go to will help you tailor your actions to these leads.

Delight:

Once your leads become customers your work is not done. As you publish more books you will need to continue through this marketing cycle for each new title. But you also want your customers to become your cheerleaders. You want them to write reviews and talk about your books with their friends and families. The more customers you can transform into promoters the easier your marketing efforts will become.

How do you delight your customers? Don't forget them. Loyalty goes both ways. If you come out with a new short story or deleted scene to send to your leads, make sure your customers also get it. Also doing random giveaways of free books or swag that only go to your customers can be fun for them as well as keeping your newsletter up-to-date. You could also offer referral rewards. This will build your leads list while also delighting your current customers. 

Your Plans

Has your marketing been a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks? Hopefully by using these steps you can form concrete marketing plans for each of your titles that will yield results.



June 18, 2014

5 Hot YA Books for Your Reading Pleasure

The Murder Complex
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

Buy The Murder Complex at Amazon


Say What You Will
John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Buy Say What You Will  at Amazon


The Truth About Alice
Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.

Buy The Truth About Alice at Amazon



Otherbound
Amara is never alone. Not when she's protecting the cursed princess she unwillingly serves. Not when they're fleeing across dunes and islands and seas to stay alive. Not when she's punished, ordered around, or neglected.

She can't be alone, because a boy from another world experiences all that alongside her, looking through her eyes.

Nolan longs for a life uninterrupted. Every time he blinks, he's yanked from his Arizona town into Amara's mind, a world away, which makes even simple things like hobbies and homework impossible. He's spent years as a powerless observer of Amara's life. Amara has no idea . . . until he learns to control her, and they communicate for the first time. Amara is terrified. Then, she's furious.

All Amara and Nolan want is to be free of each other. But Nolan's breakthrough has dangerous consequences. Now, they'll have to work together to survive--and discover the truth about their connection.

Buy Otherbound  at Amazon


Brutal Youth
Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that's even worse in Anthony Breznican's Brutal Youth

With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael’s has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for the stridently religious when incoming freshman Peter Davidek signs up. On his first day, tensions are clearly on the rise as a picked-upon upperclassmen finally snaps, unleashing a violent attack on both the students who tormented him for so long, and the corrupt, petty faculty that let it happen. But within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a hard-fighting past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Paskal —so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies.

To even stand a chance at surviving their freshmen year, the trio must join forces as they navigate a bullying culture dominated by administrators like the once popular Ms. Bromine, their embittered guidance counselor, and Father Mercedes, the parish priest who plans to scapegoat the students as he makes off with church finances. A coming-of-age tale reversed, Brutal Youth follows these students as they discover that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad may be the only way to survive.

Buy Brutal Youth 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. Covers and summaries are from Goodreads.com.

June 17, 2014

Review: Hamelin's Child by @DebJBennett

by Claire Rees

Hamelin's Child
Michael and his girlfriend go out to a club to celebrate his 17th birthday. They end up having a row and his girlfriend starts to dance with another man. Michael gets up having drunk too much and gets ready to leave when he is offered a drink by a man. He accepts the drink and by doing so changes his whole life.

The stranger offers to help him into a taxi to get him home. But Michael never gets home, instead he wakes up in a strange flat around there weeks later.  Where he finds out that he is to be kept hostage and forced to take drugs to keep him compliant.

He ends up being forced to become a rent boy in exchange for the drugs that they have gotten him addicted to and to earn these men some money.

Buy Hamelin's Child at Amazon

Hamelin's Child by DJ Bennett was well written and describes some of the worst experiences a person could have happen to them.  It describes things that do happen in real life and it is terrifying to think that this could be happening in your town or city.

Warning: This book contains strong violence both physical and sexual.

Read a sample




Book Info:
ebook & paperback
Published February 2011
ISBN13: 9781470131036
Source: Author
Read: June 2014



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

June 16, 2014

Interview with Bree Vanderland

by Heather Kirchhoff

What made you decide to start writing? Was this something you always thought you’d do? 

I use to write, well, dabble a little when I was younger and then there was this point where I was harassed online, so I tended to stay off the internet and write more than anything else. Before I knew it, my first book was done, so I said, “Why not” and published it. It was seriously something that I never thought I would have been able to do.

How do you come up with your characters or story ideas? 

They just come to me, honestly. I think of the story plot and gender and I just write. It comes so naturally and I know that sounds like the recipe for a bad book, but it’s worked so far.

How do you get inspired to write? 

My friends and family inspire me. I see people online all the time, posting about their success and their lives, seeing that they have both and that’s what I want. I want to be able to do both and both parts inspire me, pushing me onwards.

What do you do while having writers block? 

I watch television shows! The newest one I’m hooked on is Supernatural. I might occasionally take something from a show and twist it up a LOT and use that for inspiration.

What kind of stories do you write? 

I love to write Fantasy, something about making up my own world with my own rules to escape this reality that really helps me push past my doubts, but I’m trying to expand to Paranormal and Horror with an idea in each genre being drawn up.

Who’s your favorite author(s)?

Wow, I have so many.

First, obviously, I have my usual famous authors like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin and many others, but I also have my indie favorites like Cameo Renee, Tabitha Vargo, Kate Marie Robbins, Heather Kirchhoff, Natasha Vahora (who should inspire younger aspiring authors), and wow, I could continue that list and it would be longer than my favorite “famous” authors!

How long have you been writing? 

I can’t really say. I know my first book was published February 2013 and that one took a few months to write, but I’ve been writing for longer than that, drawing out story ideas and much more whenever I could.

What are your stories about?

Worlds Apart
The Arrival of Dawn is about a young woman who is sacrificed to these alien-like beings who are at war – light versus dark. She’s told that she is the reincarnation of their deceased queen and has to end the war, but she’s unsure. It’s book one.

Lost in Wonderland is obviously a twist on Alice in Wonderland. Wonderland in this book is quite darker than the actual wonderland we know. When Alice returns from Wonderland, no one believed her story, so she was locked in an asylum, being questioned, but then things start going wrong there too (co-authored with Mags Knoll).

Finding Hope is a short story about the effects of bullying on a young woman, causing doubt and insecurity in her mind.

Buy Worlds Apart at Amazon

Worlds Apart is my most recently published book about a dystopian society that spans across four other planets other than Earth, all connected by bridges and teleporters. When it’s decided that Earth will be cut off of the chain, a young woman (Desiree) and a young man (Tristan) decide to take matters into their own hands and try to save the planet and people they both care about. This is also book one (co-authored with Morgan Middleton)

What are you currently working on?

Wow, I have a few works in the making.

First is the second book to Worlds Apart, titled Ready for War. When Subject 1974 wakes up, she has no recollection of herself, not even her name. When led to termination, she’s actually saved by a female stranger and together, they try to find out why the President is so set on getting this girl returned to him (co-authored with Morgan Middleton).

Next is a novella for the Lost Tear Chronicles (Worlds Apart series), titled Hanna. It’s about one of the characters in Worlds Apart and her life before Worlds Apart (co-authored with Morgan Middleton).

Lastly, there is Dark Crown, which is my newest standalone novel that will be signed with Titan InKorp. It’s about another Fantasy land (obviously) and this seventeen year old female, Emmaline, who wakes up thinking it will just be a bad day. Instead, she’s kidnapped and taken to the land of Caymos where she’s told she’s the princess and daughter to the Dark Elf Queen, Angelicka (who isn’t an elf, but won the crown with magic). With a war going on, Emmaline must not only choose a side, but fight for it while battling emotions for her newest friend and protector, Vesryn.

What do you do when not writing?

I clean a lot when I’m not writing. Well, that’s a lie. I do what a lot of indie authors to waste time; posting on Facebook and playing the silly Facebook games. Let’s all admit that we do

Thank you Heather for the interview and to Girl Who Reads for posting this!

Connect with Bree on Facebook and Goodreads.


Heather lives in a small town in Missouri. She became a bookworm back in sixth grade when her teacher suggested the Phantom Stallion series by Terri Farley and instantly fell in love. She loves reading paranormal stories, plus some love ones here and there. Writing is her passion-it helps her escape the world for a while, as well as reading-she doesn’t know what she’d do without it. She just loves it. When she isn’t writing, Heather is doing odd jobs, reading, taking walks, or spending time with her boyfriend and animals/family. Richelle Mead, Alyson Noel, and Stephenie Meyer inspired her to write. Connect with Heather on Facebook and Twitter.


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 guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads.

June 15, 2014

Two Cents Discussion: What Do You Think of New Adult?


I would still love to hear why you read, so if you didn't participate in last week's discussion be sure to click over to it and let me know.

What do you think about New Adult?

We have children books, middle grades or juvenile literature, young adult and adult. Now a new target audience label has been "created" - New Adult. It is meant to be coming of age stories for 20 and 30 somethings. Many of themes are the same as those for older young adult, but with older characters facing more adult situations. According to Wikipedia, the term was first used in 2009 by St. Martin's Press.

I would argue that it isn't really a new target audience, just that more genres are targeting this audience. If you think of most chick-lit novels, they are coming of age stories and the characters are usually in their 20s or early 30s. They were quirky and made light of the stressful situations these new adults were facing - finding jobs, finding love, establishing themselves as adults.

So what do you think about New Adult? Do we need this "new" label? Have you read New Adult fiction? Are authors taking advantage of this "hot" market and mis-marketing their book?

Leave a comment below, or if you would like to start this discussion on your blog leave a link to your post.

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