Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Founder of MFRW Speaks Out: Ellora's Cave vs Dear Author #MFRWauthor #notchilled

Ellora's Cave (EC) is suing Dear Author, a book blogger. There's more to this than you would be led to believe.

As the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, I often see details behind the scenes because authors from all over the web email me for advice, or to rant safely, or to bounce ideas off someone. Most of the time, I listen and ask a few questions. They already know what they want to do -- I'm there as a sounding board. That's fine with me. I enjoy helping people. I'm good at listening, and I can keep a secret. I've heard some horror stories about publishers imploding, and businesses going belly up because of poor decisions, bankruptcy, owner-hissy-fits... you name it.

This time, I'm the one with the issue, and it's one I have to speak out about.

Back in April 2013, I'd been recruited by Ellora's Cave to write for them. Since their slush pile was a year-long wait, I was flattered to be asked. I had one uncontracted story, outside my usual storyline, about a female dominant BDSM. The editor who'd recruited me loved it, and I had a contract a few days later. Everyone raved about high sales at EC. I saw dollar signs floating in the air and hoped this would be a break for me.

The book debuted in July 2013, and I promoted it all over the place. By October, when I hadn't received a royalty check, I emailed the person who was supposed to be in charge of royalties, and asked. I got a polite "oops-we-overlooked-you" response, and a promise it would go out ASAP. I finally got a check in January 2014.

For a whole $17. Wow.

This was what EC authors were all excited about? Surely not.

I figured okay, maybe the book wasn't that good. Didn't sell. That happens. Or it was the wrong audience. EC readers like male-dominants, not female. Fine.

When I was told recently the book had been nominated for an award at EC's Romanticon, I thought that was odd. Why would they honor a book that made them zip money? I flattered myself that it was good after all, and maybe the editors had nominated it. Apparently, despite the fact that I write erotica, I am naïve.

Not long after, I got a note from my EC editor that she'd miss all her authors, but all the EC contract editors were being let go, and this was good-bye. (I've since hired several for The Author's Secret and was thrilled to get them. We were about to add editing services, so this was fortuitous for the business. I hope to keep them very busy.)

Then two of the publisher's executive officers quit.

I got this horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I'd seen this happen to others, but not to me. What was going on at EC?

EC authors began complaining on the author-only Yahoo group, claiming they hadn't been paid. (EC says it's having software problems). One author created a restricted Yahoo group so those EC authors who wanted to join could keep in touch. In case things went bad and we got shut out. Publishers have been known to shut down communication, thinking if they can keep authors from talking to each other, it'll be fine. (It's not.) I've been published since 2004, and I've seen a few failed pubs. That's sadly what happened in several cases. But today, we have social media, and it's not as easy to shut people out or keep them from connecting.

When the book and author blog site Dear Author posted an article about the EC situation, I read it. Didn't see anything I hadn't heard from others. There was nothing new there.

A few days ago, EC sued Dear Author for defamation. Let me repeat that: A publisher is suing a book blogger.

This is unprecedented.

Why? It's tantamount to an author suing a reader for a 1-star review. It's not simply saying "Hey, you defamed us" -- it's intimidation. It's telling bloggers that if they dare speak out, EC will come after them too.

As much as I'd like to play it safe and stay in the background, I can't. This is wrong. I have to speak up and speak out. I have to urge others to do the same thing. I am speaking about it from the Marketing for Romance Writers marketing blog because this kind of thing affects every author.

If you haven't heard about this story until now, I urge you to read other posts. This fight is going to be huge. It's going to rock the publishing world, because it's a fight that should never, ever have happened. I am not alone in speaking out. There are multiple posts everywhere, because we are not going to be intimidated into silence.

About a month ago, I took my one EC book down from my website, and refused to promote it any more. I'm not getting paid for it anyway. Maybe the book really wasn't all that good. Maybe there are other reasons why I'm not getting paid. I'm not sure. That doesn't really matter any more.

What matters is that I was afraid to speak out about this, because I didn't want to be sued, or singled out in some way. And to be afraid because I thought my own publisher would come after me for being truthful... that's just WRONG.

What can you do to help?

I'm asking everyone to take a look at this issue, and speak up. Stand with EC authors. They are the ones who are suffering. Buy their other books. Follow them on social media. This is hurting their livelihood, and that hurts all of us. A blogger is being sued for speaking out, and if we don't stand with them, we could be next.

Share this post. Share other posts about this issue. Here is a list of several.

If you have comments, please share them. If you've written a post, and it isn't listed here, feel free to share it in the comments. If you've found this post helpful, please share it on your social media.

FYI: the hashtag #notchilled is being used to discuss this issue on Twitter.
Kayelle Allen is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers. She is a multi-published, award-winning author, and the owner of The Author's Secret, an author support company. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, futuristic immortals, covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog

The Author's Secret https://theauthorssecret.com

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Business Of Writing: Formatting that Manuscript #MFRWAuthor

As an editor I see lots of new authors make simple mistakes when it comes to basic formatting and some those are time consuming when you have to fix it. Here’s one I see a lot. When you prepare your manuscript please don’t use the tab to start the beginning of a paragraph. Using the space bar to indent doesn’t help your publisher either. You should go into Paragraph (a formatting tool in Word) and program your document to indent for you. If you use .5 and your publisher wants .3 that’s an easy fix. All your editor has to do is go in and make the change in paragraphs and your whole document has been adjusted. If you use tabs to make that indent every one of them has to be removed. If you use the space bar to indent they have to be removed too.

Writing tip: If you can afford it, use some version of MSWord. The freebees out there are great but these programs can put weird symbols into your document when opened in Word, even if you save it as an RTF. You also can’t see any of the comments an editor might leave to help make your ms stronger.


Writing for Barbara Donlon Bradley  started innocently enough, like most she kept diaries, journals, and wrote an occasional letter but she also had a vivid imagination and wrote scenes and short stories adding characters to her favorite shows and comic books. As time went on she found the passion for writing to be a strong drive for her. Humor is also very strong in her life. No matter how hard she tries to write something deep and dark, it will never happen. That humor bleeds into her writing. Since she can’t beat it she has learned to use it to her advantage. Now she lives in Tidewater Virginia with two cats, one mother in law – whose 87 now, her husband and son.

Friday, September 26, 2014

#MFRWorg Author-to-Author: History of the Romance Novel @VictoriaPinder

A Brief History of the Romance Novel
A Brief History of the Romance Novel by Victoria Pinder is based on A Natural History of the Romance Novel by Pamela Regis of University of Pennsylvania.

As I am busy writing a novel, editing a novel and preparing to give this presentation at the local library on the History of the Romance Novel, it’s my work in progress. I freely went online as this was a learning tool for me, and since this is author to author tips, it’s important to know history. If we know history then, we’re smart enough not to make repeat the same mistakes. If I forgot a quote on the Nora Roberts section, I apologize and my starting place was Wikipedia for her. (Now I will add at the beginning that I love and adore Nora Roberts. Hearing her speak as key note was one of the highlights of my fan girl moments. She’s amazing.)

Anyhow here is my work in progress on the brief history of the romance novel to help inspire other authors.

“A Romance Novel is a work of prose fiction that tells the story of the courtship and betrothal of one or more heroines.”
Ask a clerk in a store or a librarian and they will likely take to you the literature section. King Author, Greek Texts, or any book where death and rape happen to the characters.

Now in ancient Mythlogy, in the Odyssey, Homer gives him a happy ever after. We know Penelope refused all suitors and only love her husband Odysseus. When he comes home he has to outwit all the traps Penelope put in place to keep all suitors away. But this story is still male oriented in nature.
And women have been taught since the cradle we can relate to male characters. However men generally are not and do not read female character driven stories.
Jane Austen

In 1785 the literary preeminence of the modern romance began to form. We had a lofty picture of real life and manners and the times but in lofty and elevated language.

But then we had the romances written by men such as Sir Walter Scott and Nathaniel Hawthorn in the 1900s where women often write wrong and men write correctly times. Sir Walter Scott reviewed both Emma and Pride and Prejudice,

In 1816 Sir Walter Scott reviewed Emma, as being one of ""a class of fictions which has arisen almost in our own times, and which draws the characters and incidents introduced more immediately from the current of ordinary life than was permitted by the former rules of the novel"", and ""copying from nature as she really exists in the common walks of life, and presenting to the reader, instead of the splendid scenes of an imaginary world, a correct and striking representation of that which is daily taking place around him"".

Sir Walter Scott journal entry, March 14th 1826, Also read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen's very finely written novel of Pride and Prejudice. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvement and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going, but the exquisite touch which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment is denied to me. What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!
(Much of this is taken directly from http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/janeart.html)

So of course he can do it himself.  But in Waverly, Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, the hero stops loving the passionate Flora and chooses to marry the quiet, calm Rose… so we have a man deciding his type of woman.

But Jane Austen dared to allow her female characters to chose their own future husbands. The choice in a romance novel is often the woman’s choice on who she wants.

Georgette Heyer (August 16 1902 - July 4 1974) was an amazingly prolific writer who created the Regency England genre of romance novels.

Although Jane Austen published during this period (1811 - 1820), she was writing contemporaneously while Heyer was making very well-researched historical fiction, full of all you could ever want: romance, fashion, upper classes, cross-dressing, arranged marriages, murder, intrigue, cant language, sarcasm and humour!

Walk into any second-hand bookshop and they will know her name and may even know that she wrote her third book under the pseudonym of Stella Martin. In fact, you usually find that many people have read at least one of her books.
(Directly quoting http://www.georgette-heyer.com/)

Harlequin is a Canadian based organization that originally printed Agatha Christie, but found that their medical romances were their hot sellers in the 1950s.
They formed a partnership with Mills and Boon and conducted test markets to see what people preferred to read.
Until 1975, when Harlequin bought Janet Dailey, all Harlequin books were still based in England from Mills and Boon.

The 1960 Rejection of the Romance Novel from Feminists
In the 1960s women fought for their place in the workplace far more and in the 1980s the war was ongoing for women to be treated equally to men.
If you were pregnant at your job in the 1970s, the boss had a right to fire a woman.
And instead of seeing that the romance novel is about a woman’s choice in her life, the critique that she must be married and settle for a tame life came.
This fundamental shift in society gave birth to the term’ bodice ripper.’ This is where the woman might get sort of raped at the beginning, but it blossoms into love. I honestly never read them, but that’s not what a romance is today. In fact rape of any sort doesn’t typically happen in the modern romance.

Nora Roberts to Today
Nora Roberts is just a prolific and even more read than Steven King (who I highly respect!). Her sales numbers are there.

But in the 1990s the books being sold in the stores as best sellers certainly didn’t legitimize the romance world. The New York Times reviewed mystery and other male dominated genres, but ignored the romance.

Romances are often written by woman and for women readers. The female point of view is most important. In fact the male point of view in a romance novel  did not come into vogue until the 1980s.
In the Natural History of the Romance novel , she expands the definition of a romance to include eight elements. The initial state of society where hero and heroine meet, the meeting of heroine and hero; the barrier to the union; the attraction of the heroine and hero; the declaration of love, the dark moment, obstacles overcome then finally the happy ever after. Kristin will go into this more!

Romantic Fiction is not Romance
All fiction likes to include romantic elements to it. And I’m all for it. In Tess of the Duberville’s by Thomas Hardy back in the 1800s, we had the main female character unable to marry the man she loved because her virginity was taken from her in a brutal rape and apparently the first man a woman has sex with is all she is supposed to be with… this was the impression that book left on me, and no I will not be reading.

I’d also skip an Oprah book or a lifetime movie where the heroine must get beaten because she chose the wrong man. In a romance novel, the heroine gets rewarded with a happy ever after because she made the right choices.

The modern novels of Nora Roberts and almost any romance novel today has the female character in all sorts of roles. She can be head of an army, running a corporate empire, or in a traditional role of say a teacher. She is anyone and she is on the right path in life. The icing on the cake is the man and the romance.

To me this is what makes a romance memorable.

Talk To Us
What makes a romance memorable to you? What are your thoughts on the history of romance novels?

About Victoria Pinder
Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston then moved to Miami. Eventually, found that writing is her passion. She always wrote stories to entertain herself. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, but when she sat down to see what she enjoyed doing, writing became obvious.

The Zoastra Affair, Chaperoning Paris, Borrowing the Doctor, and Electing Love, Mything the Throne and Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush will be published in 2014.

Now she is represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Also she’s the Vice President for the Florida Romance Writers. Her website is www.victoriapinder.com.

Chaperoning Paris, a Mainstream Contemporary Romance, with Soul Mate Publishing in June

Gigi Dumont never forgot how she walked away from the only man she ever loved.

She’s a teacher who has led her students to the finals of an international French competition to be help in Paris. The night before the trip, the principal tries to cancel the trip before he, in turn, loses his job to her high school boyfriend, Sean Collins.

Sean Collins has survived cancer, a divorce, and Gigi having aborted their child back in high school. He assumed he’d hate her, if they ever crossed paths again. But he discovers she’s exactly what he wants.

When Gigi and Sean are stuck together for a week in Paris, Gigi feels she has lost all her control. How can she survive her attraction to Sean? The man’s sexier now than he was back in the day, and once upon a time, he’d had her heart. She finds herself falling for him, even knowing forever is impossible.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie's World: Is Fear Holding You Back? @AuthorErinMoore

Is Fear Holding You Back from Your Marketing Goals?

Do you have a marketing plan, but have been unable to follow through with it? Do you feel like there are things you should be doing to market your books, but you can’t seem to get a grasp on any of them?  Do you feel as if it’s all just too much of a bother?

What might be at the heart of all of these excuses is fear. Most people think of fear as the “I just saw the girl from The Grudge in my backyard” feeling, but for most of us, fear is really that constant little voice in our heads, whispering “you’re not good enough”.

That voice also tells us things like:

  • No one will want to read my newsletter, so why bother writing it? 
  • The first two people didn’t reply to my request for a review, so I really don’t want to write a third request (or twentieth).
  • I got a bad review, so I’m not really willing to put myself out there and ask for more. 
  • If I do a Facebook party, no one will show up, and it will be horrible. 
  • I don’t write great blogs, and no one will read them. 

If your little voice speaks that clearly to you, congratulations! If you are already connecting the cause with the effect, then that’s half the battle. So many times, though, we don’t even realize that something is holding us back or that the little voice is even speaking to us. We just simply never follow through on our marketing plans. That marketing thing that sounded like a good idea when we first wrote it down – asking to blog on someone else’s site, or sending out a request for newsletter subscribers, or a Facebook party – whatever it is, we just don’t seem to make the time to do it.

But as Freud once said, the lover always makes his appointment.

What he meant was, that if marketing was something that we yearned to do, something that we enjoyed doing and looked forward to, it would never fall off of our to-do list or get pushed to the side by things like television or Facebook. We would meet our lover, damn it.  

So how do we start to love marketing (and possibly ourselves, in the process)?
One great trick is to write down a mantra. Or a few mantras. 

Here are the mantra rules:
1. They must be stated in the positive (i.e. not  “Don’t waste time” but instead “I only spend my time engaged in revenue-generating or name recognition activities.”)
2. They must resonate with you and make you feel joyful as you say them. So if you feel like something like “I am a best-selling author” is too much of a stretch to write and speak, try “I am doing everything I can today to be a best-selling author”. 
3. They must be written in present tense and reflect where we want to be. Even if you don’t feel as if you are where you want to be right now (and who ever does?!) then speak as if you already are. As Mary Kay said, Fake it till you make it. 
4. After you write them down, put them somewhere you can see them every day – next to your computer or on your mirror, perhaps. 

Here are some examples – feel free to steal them:
1. I engage in fulfilling and exciting marketing opportunities on a regular basis.
2. I am filled with joy when writing blogs (or newsletters, or Facebook posts). 
3. My life flows with ease and expansiveness, and I always find time for things that are important to me. 
4. I allow for fun and creativity in my marketing. 
5. Marketing is fun, easy, and I enjoy it. 

Do any of those help you? What are some of your tricks for getting motivated to stay positive about marketing? How do you know when you’ve gone off track? 

Posted by Author Erin Moore.
Erin writes sensuous paranormal romances set in exotic locales. Her latest book is a sexy minotaur shifter story set in Crete, Erin is a regular blogger for Marketing for Romance Writers as well as Heroes and Heartbreakers-which means she is sadly neglectful of her own blog.

She lives in Atlanta with her two little paranormal beings and one unruly husband. She’s also (way too frequently) on Twitter and Facebook. Find her free short story,To Love a Shaman, at her website

She's also giving away a critique of a first chapter with a subscription to her newsletter!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

MFRW Monthly Quote - September 2014 #MFRWauthor

“Don’t be afraid of yourself when you write. Don’t check-rein yourself. If you are afraid of being sentimental, say, for heaven’s sake be as sentimental as you can or feel like being! Then you will probably pass through to the other side and slough off sentimentality because you understand it at last and really don’t care about it.”
-Brenda Ueland

Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Her first solo book, If... Then: a collection of erotic romance stories, is out now from 1001 Nights Press. Find her online at her website, The Green Light District.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blog Talk: Creating Good Guest Posts for #MFRWauthors

Let's talk about writing Guest Posts for other blogs.

There are benefits to being a guest on another blog. The exposure you gain magnifies because you are able to reach out to more readers. Since most bloggers have guest spots, its not too difficult to find blogs you fit with. Writing a guest post puts you in front of a whole new audience and can increase your own blog's following. Blog readers that haven't yet heard of you now get their first impression and may then follow you... and maybe even buy your books!

When guest blogging, it's important to do more than simply promotion. Here are some GENERAL GUIDELINES to follow:

Be Relevant to the Host Blog. Know before you sign on that your genre is a fit for this blog's followers. You don't want to post erotic romance on a sweet romance blog. You also likely won't want to post paranormal on a contemporary blog.

Be Polite. Follow all the guidelines the Host Blog provides. They are hosting you so its the least you can do. Most will tell you when they need your post and how they want it provided.

Be Aware. Know what the format of your host blog is. You will want to submit the correct things the host blog regularly includes. For example, know if they include a book cover or a banner. Can you include an excerpt? What length?

Be Knowledgeable. It's about more than self-promotion. We all need to promote our books but most blogs are looking for more content in a blog post. Unless agreed upon otherwise, your post should have a topic for discussion. Write about something you have knowledge on - maybe a topic that fits with your latest book.

Be Connected. Include links back to your own website or blog when relevant to your post. Back links will connect your blog to the host blog and benefit both. Use these links to reference prior posts on similar subjects.

Be Loud. Follow up on you guest post by promoting it on your own social media outlets. Visit the host blog on the day of your post to respond to comments and interact with followers. One idea I use sometimes when guest blogging is to write a brief post on my own blog that drives traffic to my guest post. This sends my followers to a new blog they might enjoy.

Keep Writing!
Paloma Beck is a Romance Author living a life of contradiction... she's a happily married carpooling mom writing sexy romance. It's almost naughty! Paloma writes full-time and has three series in the works with others on the fringes. Her books span both the contemporary and paranormal romance genres.

Paloma serves as MFRW's Blog Director.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Interviews for Newsletters

Back again.  This month I’m talking about how to do interviews for your newsletters.  Interviewing an author for your newsletter is basically the same as doing so for a blog.  However, if you’re printing your newsletters and mailing them out or if you want to keep them to a format that looks like a page, you have space issues that differ from those involved in posting a blog.

As far as the questions go, they’re pretty much the same.  “How did you start writing?”  “What inspires you?”  “What is your ‘process’?”  And the fun ones—“Long, hot, sudsy bath or steamy shower?”  “Steak or lobster?”  “Chocolate or Cheesecake?”  “If you were stranded on a desert island…”

Or, you can interview a character.  “Why do you think someone would write a story about you?”  “Tell me about your hero. How did you meet him?”  “Why don’t you think your relationship with him will work?”

What other material do you plan to use?  A blurb from your guest's book?  An excerpt?  Buy links?  Contact info? It helps to figure out in advance how much space you have in your newsletter and how much space you can give to each item.  Back in the days of electric typewriters, one page of pica type double-spaced equaled three-hundred words.  Using Garamond 11 point type, justified with 1.15 line spacing, I can fit about 200 words in a text box that measures 5.5 inches wide by 4 inches tall.

How long your interviews, blurbs, or excerpts run will depend on whether you want to start them on one page and finish on another.  If you do so, don’t forget to add (To be continued) at the bottom of the first page, and (Continued from Page *) at the beginning of the piece when you pick it up on another page.  I suggest you present intros to both your guest and a taste of what you’re doing on you’re doing on your front page, and then get to the meat of your interview, blurb, excerpt, etc., on the inside.

It helps to set up a template to work from and a submission page you can send to your guests so you don’t have to type the same thing over and over.  You could maybe come up with twenty questions and ask them to chose five to answer, and then provide space for their blurb and excerpt, letting them know the word count you can accommodate.

In journalism, there are two major principles:  the six Ws—Who, What, Where, When, Why and How, and the Inverted Pyramid.  Always give the meat of the story first, and then go into details later.  The smaller the detail, the farther down the page it belongs.  That’s why journalists fight for headlines and stories on Page 1 “above the fold.”  The six Ws are in a specific order, which should not be tampered with.  People want to know who did what to whom.  Next they want to know where and then when. They’re less interested in why or how.  That info can go on page three below the fold.

Now, I’d like you to meet my next Assistant Editor, Barbara Donlon Bradley.

Writing for Barbara Donlon Bradley started innocently enough. Like most she kept diaries, journals, and wrote an occasional letter, but she also had a vivid imagination and wrote scenes and short stories adding characters to her favorite shows and comic books. As time went on she found the passion for writing to be a strong drive for her. Humor is also very strong in her life. No matter how hard she tries to write something deep and dark, it will never happen. That humor bleeds into her writing. Since she can’t beat it she has learned to use it to her advantage. Now she lives in Tidewater Virginia with two cats, one mother in law—she’s 85 now—her husband, and teenage son.

Friday, September 5, 2014

MFRW Facebook Group: Facilitating Guest Blogging @Emerald_theGLD #MFRWauthor

Greetings all! Before I get started, I’d like to again give a shout out of thanks to Kayelle Allen, MFRW’s founder, for covering for me here on the fifth of last month while I was on vacation. Because that’s what kind of an awesome leader Kayelle is. :)

Thus far in this series, I’ve talked about my responsibilities as the moderator of the MFRW Facebook group. Starting with this post, I’ll be branching out and covering aspects of Facebook more generally, given that I feel as though I’ve covered now much of what’s involved in moderating a group (though if you do have questions about moderation, by all means please feel free to mention them in a comment, and I’ll be happy to address them!).

This month’s topic comes to us courtesy of Paloma Beck, MFRW’s Blog Director, who mentioned to me that some members might be wondering about this particular Facebook function.

The MFRW Facebook group houses a document that allows members who host guest authors on their blogs to enter their blog information into said document for other members’ reference. In other words, the file is a centrally-kept source of places that offer cover reveals, spotlight features, etc., that is updated in real time whenever anyone edits it and is available for any group member to see or edit.

So, if you have a blog and are open to posting guest posts and would like other members to know that, feel free to enter your information into the sheet! Here’s how:

1) From the MFRW Facebook group page, go to the horizontal menu bar just below the header photo across the top of the page. Click the last entry, which is “Files.”

2) Locate the file titled “GUEST OPPORTUNITIES on Member Blogs” and click on it.

3) After you click, find the “Edit” button (with the little pencil icon next to the word on the button itself) in the upper-right corner of the document. Click that.

4) Enter your information in the format previous listers have used. An easy way to do this is to highlight the most recent entry, copy it, and paste it a line or two above that entry. Then delete that member’s information (leaving the category labels) and fill in your own.

If you have a new release and are seeking blogs where you could guest post or do a cover reveal, etc., this document is a great resource. To find it, simply follow steps one and two above! 

Before I go (I saved the announcement for last this time :)), I do want to say that the MFRW Facebook group reached—and quickly surpassed—the 4,000 member landmark since my last Facebook-related post here! Thanks to all the members for making it such a growing, active group.

Until next time!

Emerald is an erotic fiction author whose short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust. She serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW), and she selects and posts the monthly inspirational quote on the MFRW Marketing Blog. Find out more about her at her website, The Green Light District.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3 Cool Giveaway Ideas for New Books @kayelleallen #MFRWauthor #amwriting

I recommend giving away something other than a book. If you give away what you're trying to sell, who's going to buy? NY publishers spend thousands of dollars giving away books on shows like Today, Good Morning America, Ellen, and so on. If you don't have that kind of budget, what can you do?
Some authors hold Rafflecopter contests, but not every reader will sign up for them (I don't like them and won't sign up for one) and some authors don't like them. Even if you do use it, what are you going to give away?

Deleted Scenes Mini Book

Did you cut some beloved scenes from your book? Put them together, write a brief explanation for the reason you cut it, and create a mini book. Even a few pages are fine. Format it well. Include: an image of your cover, the blurb for the book, buy links, links for your social media and newsletter.
Remember when including social media this way -- if you're on Twitter, this is not the place to use @kayelleallen -- clicking that does nothing. Use the full URL so it becomes an active link. http://twitter.com/kayelleallen Save the document as an rtf if you plan to share it online, or better yet, as a pdf.

Puzzle Booklets

The Last Vhalgenn
I've had success with giveaway puzzle books. I like Word Search puzzles myself, and discovered a site that lets me make and download them. http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp After creating it (choose the text option), copy and paste it into your word processing program. Be sure to copy the solution page as well. I have a free app that lets me turn that into a pdf, and I can use the puzzle as a giveaway. I created a set of puzzles for each book, and combined them to make one big puzzle book. I also have pdf puzzles for each individual book.

Create an Inside Peek Booklet

Another thing I did for my book The Last Vhalgenn was create a booklet about the book itself. I included trivia about the story, the cover, pictures (make sure they are licensed and/or royalty free), an excerpt, and buy links. I also added my social media links. Click here to see the finished product. http://is.gd/vhalgenn_peek

I hope this has sparked a few ideas. I'd love to hear your creative solutions. Please post them in the comments.
Kayelle Allen is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers. She is a multi-published, award-winning author, and the owner of The Author's Secret, an author support company. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary characters, futuristic immortals, covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog
The Author's Secret https://theauthorssecret.com