Readers' Favorite

February 14, 2014

Cover Reveal: Ignited by J. Kenner

Available September 2014 from Random House

Buy Ignited at Amazon

Be sure to pick up Wanted (Book 1):

He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.

 Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets.

My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight.

And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same.

Buy Wanted at Amazon

And Heated (Book 2):

I know better than to trust him, that I should never risk my heart.
But fierce passion comes at a high price.

I grew up believing in right and wrong, good and evil, black and white—that there were some boundaries that could never be crossed. And then I met Tyler Sharp.

Bold, charming, and dangerously sexy, Tyler always gets what he wants. But his smile can be deceiving, his dealings sordid, his ambitions ruthless. I thought I was the one woman strong enough to resist him, but our need for each other is too urgent to deny.

One look and I’m in trouble. One touch and I’m hooked. One night and I’m his. And once I fall, there’s no going back.

Buy Heated at Amazon

Book 3, Ignited will be available September 2014, learn more at Random House.

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

February 13, 2014

5 Steps to Marketing Your Blog

Most of my marketing posts are more focused on how an author can market their book. But authors are not the only ones who need marketing tips. Do you have a market plan for your blog? Many bloggers have made small businesses out of what once was just a hobby. Through marketing efforts you can do the same with your book blog.

Here are five steps to marketing your blog:

First, we need start thinking about our blogs as online publications and not just a place we share our thoughts. Just as authors are promoting their published work, the blog is our published work. You are not just a blogger, but a publisher, editor, head writer. If you run a multi-contributor blog then you may have several other titles that apply.

Second, you need to establish your brand. One of the main ways bloggers have branded their blogs is by creating a logo, i.e. blog button. Unlike authors who should use their name for their social media, there should be social media in the blogs name. Almost all my social media is in the name of Girl Who Reads.
Third, define your niche. As you develop your brand, you want people to see your name and think of your 
niche. You see the "swoosh" and you think Nike running shoes. Often times having a tag line will help with solidifying your identity. What comes to mind when you hear "You're in good hands"? Allstate. Is your blog all reviews? Does it cover more publishing news? Is it critical essays on literature. All these have their place in book blogging community and knowing where your blog fits will help you better communicate your mission.

Fourth, become an expert in your niche. Anyone can become an expert in a field through self-learning and experience. You can demonstrate your influence and expertise by the number of followers you have. The other day I was reading guidelines for a company deeming a blog successful enough for their program. You only needed 300 followers to your blog (ie. Google Friend Connect, RSS feed subscribers, BlogLovin, etc), not Twitter followers or Facebook fans. Another way to demonstrate your expertise is by commenting on articles and posts discussing your topic. If you are a review blog, then articles about dealing with negative reviews, books you do not finish, etc. Make sure when you comment you mention your blog, e.g. "as a reviewer at Blog Name. Guest blogging and interviews can also establish you as an expertise. On Tuesday, I was quoted in an article with 11 influential bloggers, including an editor of You may also want to subscribe to HARO. News sources (like Washington Post and ABC News) as well as authors and magazine writers submit requests for experts/sources for their projects.

Fifth, promote your blog. You must be on social media. It is the best means of marketing your blog. I make sure to share my posts on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. I occasionally promote them on LinkedIn. On Facebook, it may be worth it to promote through an ad. If you are an advertising affiliate or accept paid advertising, then the cost of the Facebook ad may be balanced out by the revenue you garner. Other advertising opportunities include sponsorship of events, both online (hops and challenges) and offline (book festivals, local author appearances). Joining a bookish tribe on Triberr will increase the reach of your posts.

Bonus Tip: The best marketing effort for your blog is to continue providing your audience with quality content. Remember everything you post reflects on your reputation. Even if you are just starting, treat your blog like a business and you will see success.

What have you done to market and promote your blog?

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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February 12, 2014

The Masquerade Crew Basic Promotional Package: Worth it?

I recently signed up for the basic promotional package with 500 tweets from The Masquerade Crew. This was my first experience using a paid promotion for my ebook Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour. Every author swears by BookBub promotion and eReader News Today (ENT). Because these sites are very popular and have proven to get book sold, it has become more difficult to get accepted by them. My ebook, at approximately 60 pages, does not meet their page length criteria.

My ebook has been out for a little more than 7 months and has done well. Early sales were fueled by word of mouth promotion. I did my own tour a couple of months after it was out, which boosted sales. I'm still selling several books a month, but I wanted to get my name out there more. But how to reach my audience? My niche is pretty limited, though the audience is growing daily. It is mainly authors, though publicists, small publishers, and bloggers thinking of organizing tours would benefit from the book. How many authors are signed up to receive notifications from sites like BookBub and ENT? The non-fiction category is pretty broad, yet it is usually among the categories least subscribed to. I'm kind of glad my ebook doesn't meet their criteria so I don't have to agonize over whether to submit my book to them.

Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour
But like a lot of authors, where would I get a deal and a lot of exposure? I had been looking around when I saw the post from The Masquerade Crew about their promotional packages. I'm in a tribe with him and know he has a pretty big audience. I also know that the blog is followed by a number of authors. For $20, I went for it.

I did not know when the promo post would go up. So it was a total surprise when I saw it come across Twitter on the evening of January 30. But if I had missed it then, I didn't have to worry about not seeing it. By Friday morning, the members in The Masquerade Crews tribes had started tweeting it. Every 15 or 20 minutes someone was tweeting it. Also I noticed many authors - yay! my target audience was being reached. By the time that the tweets from Triberr started slowing down, the first wave of tweets as part of the 500 purchased started. The Masquerade Crew operates 4 or 5 Twitter accounts. With them all tweeting there was a constant stream and most of them were being retweeted.

Buy Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour at Amazon

But what you really want to know: Was the promo successful? On Friday, I saw my first sales. By Saturday, I was on the bestseller lists in reference and advertising. I stayed on those lists for 5 days.

Best ranking at Amazon during promotion

Between February 1 and 3, I sold my monthly average of books. During this time Amazon had my ebook discounted by 25%. On Tuesday the discount was over and my book was at $3.99. I worried that the bubble had popped. Buy no, I actually doubled my sales that day. I also sold some ebooks at Amazon UK, making the bestselling lists there for 2 days. In addition to books sold, I picked up two new reviews.

Amazon UK ranking

There was a break in the tweets for a couple of days, but then a second round came out. I didn't find this second round to be as effective. I didn't make any sales, but the tweets were still seeing some retweets so my name was still getting out there.

I should mention that I didn't rely just on The Masquerade Crew for promotion. Just as those chosen for Book Bub and ENT, I let my network know when the promo was live. One Facebook group I'm in has a thread for people to post their promos and get help sharing them. Apparently a number of authors in that group did no realize I wrote how-to books for authors. So a few of them picked up book. 

Also on Friday, two unrelated events happened. The PR group HARO tweeted my marketing plan post to their 80,000+ followers. And in another Facebook group of authors, a member recommended my ebook. I also had an interview on author Jennifer Loiske's blog scheduled for Monday. I'm sure these extra mentions helped.

The best part of the promotion is that it gave me something to talk about. One Facebook group I'm in no promotion is allowed. Yet, I could share my good news, which then lead to authors in that group to search my name on Amazon to find the best selling advertising reference ebook. I also had stuff to tweet about that wasn't just "buy my book". I shared my rankings, retweeted The Masquerade Crew's tweets, and let everyone know about this awesome review. I think it was the combination of all of these things that made the promo so successful. 

If you are looking for an affordable promotional package, the one from The Masquerade Crew was definitely worth it.

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.

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the links above.
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February 11, 2014

Bloggers Wanted: Nate Rocks the City Book Blast & Tour

Bloggers are needed for the Nate Rocks the City Book Blast & Tour. Nate Rocks the City is the last book in Karen Pokras Toz's children's series Nate Rocks. Sign up below for the Book Blast on March 10 and for a tour date, March 11 - 21. You are welcome to sign up for both, but space is limited on the tour.

Nate Rocks the City

Hey New York! Are you ready for Nate Rocks?

Fifth grader Nathan Rockledge has been counting down the days—and meals—until his class trip to New York City. Now that the big event is finally here, he can barely stand the excitement. After all, isn’t this what being a fifth grader is all about? Oh sure, his Mom is one of the chaperones, his annoying sister Abby is tagging along, and that know-it-all classmate, Lisa, will be there as well. However, none of that matters. Not when he’ll be with his best friends, Tommy and Sam.

While seeing the sights, his teacher wants his class to take notes, but Nathan has other ideas. With paper and pencil in hand, Nathan prefers to doodle, transforming himself into Nate Rocks, boy hero. Amid ninja pigeons to fend off, aliens to attack, and the baseball game of the century to save, will Nate Rocks be able to save the day one more time?

Book Blast (March 10) Sign Up:

Tour (March 11 - 21) Sign Up:

Nate Rocks the City Book Blast and Tour is a GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by the author.
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New Short Story: Weightless by Michele Gorman

Attention Chick-lit Readers! Michele Gorman, author of Christmas Carol, has a free Valentine's Day gift for you. Get her new short story, Weightless, FREE at Smashwords February 11 - 14. Just use the coupon code: ZH34Q


Sometimes looks can be deceiving

Annabel's not surprised when nobody recognizes her at her 10 year reunion. The spotty fat teen nicknamed AnnaBall by the school bullies is long gone. But standing on the edge of the popular crowd, she still feels like that girl. That is, until Jack, her teen crush, starts flirting with her. Much to her amusement, he has mistaken her for Christy Blake, Annabel's chief tormenter before she moved to France in their last year.

It's just a bit of fun at first, letting Jack believe she's Christy. After all, he was nuts about her before she said au revoir to England. And when he asks Annabel out, the fun becomes something even more interesting. The more they date the deeper they fall for each other. So what if Annabel has to fib a little to keep up the fa├žade?

As the lies start compounding, and she realizes that they're falling in love, she has to tell him who she really is. But she'll lose the love of her life if she does.

Only 99 cents at Amazon

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon and Smashwords advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon or Smashwords through the link above.
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February 10, 2014

Jonathan Gould: What's Next for Neville?

First of all, I wanted to give a big thanks to Donna for letting me barge in here at such short notice – it’s much appreciated.

I guess I’m here to let the world know about the third installment in the strange adventures of Neville Lansdowne – Scrawling.

Coming up with an idea for a third adventure for Neville wasn’t easy. After all, in his first adventure he fell off the world and in his second adventure, he managed to push the world completely out of shape. How do you follow either of those? What could he possibly get up to next?

Buy Scrawling at Amazon

Then I cast my mind back. Back to a far off time, when I was a bright-eyed student studying for a Diploma in Screenwriting. One of the classes was about writing for animation. The teacher was quite a character – Roger Laws, the former producer of Spitting Image (which I guess will mean more to any Brits out there then folk in the US – to sum up, it was a hugely popular satirical puppet show back in the 80s./90s And yes, we did get to play with the puppets – you don’t want to know what Bill Clinton and the Queen were getting up to).

Anyway, for one of the assignments, I came up with a script for a metaphorical sort of short film featuring a character who drowned in a sea of words. It seemed to work well. Roger loved it. A few people in the class didn’t get it, but that’s par for the course for me.  But after the course (which I never ended up completing), the script disappeared into a filing cabinet, and the idea slipped to the back of my mind.

So there it was waiting as I trawled through my mind. It seemed perfect. Drowning in a sea of words was exactly the sort of thing that could happen to Neville. Right away, I knew I had the idea for my third Neville story.

Only problem was, the script pretty much terminated right where the character was inundated by the words. I know I would need a lot more than that. What happened to Neville afterwards? Where did he find himself? Who would he meet? What challenges would he need to overcome? As I gradually found answers to these questions, my little animation idea turned into a fully-fledged story. In the end, the script barely covered the first half of chapter 1, but it was more than enough to get me started.

So what does happen to Neville Lansdowne after he drowns in a sea of words? I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.

About the Author
Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn't. He has written comedy sketches for both the theatre and radio, as well as several published children's books for the educational market.
He likes to refer to his stories as dag-lit because they don't easily fit into recognisable genres (dag is Australian slang for a person who is unfashionable and doesn't follow the crowd - but in an amusing and fun way). You might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.
Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss, Terry Pratchett, and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).
Blog  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  *  Twitter

Be sure to check out Neville's other adventures in Doodling (buy at Amazon, read my review) and Scribbling (buy at Amazon, read my review).

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