Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Can You Tweet Your Book?

Well, we all know social media is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest way to reach an audience, communicate with others, sell a name it, Blogger/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Pinterest/ Instagram/ Google Plus can do it. One of the latest uses of these tools is the pitch - that is, pitching your book to an agent or editor online, instead of the old-fashioned way, in person.

I've attended a few pitch events that are blog-based. You pitch a sentence or two (sometimes the first couple hundred words) as a blog comment, and then the pitch-holder reads and makes his/her choice. This has extended to pitching via Twitter - which, if you Tweet, you know can get a little tricky, since a Tweet can only be 140 characters.

How am I supposed to pitch  MY ENTIRE BOOK in 140 characters, you might ask?? Well, here's a blog post that shares some of the successful (i.e., requested) Twitter pitches from a recent event. Also, there's another Twitter pitch event for all you YA authors coming up on the 31st - details here.

All this made me think: could I pitch my books in 140 characters? Hmm. I don't know. Here are a couple of my attempts:

Woman changes her name when she moves to a small town, only to meet a man who sweeps her off her feet. Can love trump lies in Paradise? (The Promise of Paradise)

Haunted lighthouse+big-city reporter+hunky hometown handyman = steam and lots of small-town secrets revealed. Peyton Place on the beach! (Beacon of Love)

What do you think? Can an author convey enough interest in a book in just 140 characters? What about YOUR books? If you're a writer, I'd love to see you post your book in a Tweet in the comments section today :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: What's in a Name? Everything!

By now you've probably heard the news about J.K. Rowling writing a mystery novel under a different name: The Cuckoo's Calling. It was released back in the spring, got good reviews, but sold poorly. Then the news leaked that Rowling had in fact written it, and POW! People talked, sales rocketed, and now it sits at the top of best-seller lists.

Lesson: a great book with great reviews can still see lousy sales without a Name to back it up.

Stephanie Evanovich's debut novel, on the other hand (Big Girl Panties) got a review in the recent People magazine. This author is, of course, related to the uber-famous author Janet Evanovich. The review called the book "fun and fluffy, if somewhat predictable" that uses a "tried-and-true storyline" with a "plot that sometimes strains credulity." But it's written by the relative of a best-seller, it's featured in a major magazine, and according to Amazon lists, it's seeing the kind of sales and rankings that most debut authors never do.

Lesson: a debut novel that's not particularly outstanding or original can get notice and sales simply because of the Name attached to it.

I'm not writing this blog post today to sound bitter or resentful, but simply to point out one of the realities of the publishing world. Name and brand is everything. Authors have to find a way to establish themselves, to set themselves apart, so that their Name will instantly call up a certain image, a certain promise to be found in the pages, and readers will want to buy that book simply because of the Name on the cover.

So....if you're a writer, are you actively doing that? That is our challenge, each and every day. Good luck, and happy writing!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Mentionables: Your Chance to Win a Copy of Beacon of Love!

Happy Monday, everyone! Yesterday I was the featured author over at Tracy's Place, and for the next 10 days, you'll have a chance to win a FREE e-copy of Beacon of Love! Here's the link to enter.

And if you're not sure whether it's your kind of book or not, here's a newly made trailer (not by me!) that might give you a better idea: