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Friday, February 27, 2009

Interview with Justyn Perry

Recently, you've been reading a lot about a new Publishing House called Absolute XPress. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to the energetic, creative, and talented young man who is the driving force behind this exciting new publisher. Justyn also holds down the title of Marketing Manager for one of the largest publishers in Canada, and has written a fabulous guide to help authors both new and established to get more exposure for their books and themselves. The guide is an invaluable tool, and one most authors should have in their collection. So, take a moment to read what Justyn has to say about this booming business, then pop over to the website and see what Absolute XPress is offering you in the way of quality books, both print and electronic!

Justyn Perry,
A brief Interview:

Q. As the marketing director for a traditional print publisher, what is the primary difference you've discovered between that style of marketing and what is needed in promotions for electronic publishing?

A. I have noticed a variety of changes. With E-Books, you are able to promote anywhere to anyone and in return, they can enjoy the book without having to order it from a bookstore. Most of the marketing efforts needed for E-Books are done on the internet. I have found that print advertising for an electronic product is a hard sell because most people generally are not reading a magazine or newspaper while being on the internet browsing. The material needed for promotion and marketing needs to be geared more towards digital and less towards physical.

Q. What made you see the need for a book like this one for authors?

A. I saw a need for first time or beginning authors who do not have a clue on how to promote themselves and their books, to get the information they need for a base. I think of this book as a starting point for any author. There are things that I learned over the past few years that some authors overlooked, missed, or thought they couldn't do it because they weren't big enough. I also saw that current authors (both EDGE and Absolute XPress) were scared of this word Marketing. Some thought that it was something that a degree holder can do and not them. But that isn't the case. Anyone can market, and anyone can promote their book. All it takes is some guidance, encouragement, and elbow grease. Marketing isn't easy, but it does get easier with time.

Q. What do you see as the biggest need for authors in e-publishing today?

A. The biggest need I think is an author who is willing to get out there and promote their book and themselves. There are very inexpensive ways to make up printed things such as bookmarks, postcards, magnets, etc. Authors should also have awareness. They should be current (or as current as can be) with various blogs, forums etc.

Q. Electronic publishing is clearly the way of the future, but the speed of product delivery is flooding the market with so many books at such a rapid pace - do you feel quality is being sacrificed for quantity?

A. I do see a diminishing quality in the books produced. I was doing some online research and came across quite a few places that had some great product initially, but then sacrificed quality to get the quantity up. With Absolute XPress, we are keeping the same level of quality and trying to push up the quantity. We are doing this with strategic release dates. Currently, we are doing 2 E-Books a month, but we started the process about 4 months prior to the release date. This gave us enough time to do editorial, layout, and get the covers done. We have a great group of staff members who are currently volunteering to help us out, but will be moved to a paying position once Absolute XPress grows.

Q. Are authors of eBooks more recreational in your opinion than authors who go the traditional route, because many ebook authors are totally unaware that print books can take several years to reach the market from submission to finished product?

A. The life of an E-Book author is somewhat short lived. Because there is so much published each month, their book may only get 2 or 3 months before it becomes old. This forces the author to recreate their marketing efforts and plug their book(s) even harder so that they can have increased sales.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you can offer to anyone who is interested in submitting to the various divisions of Absolute XPress?

A. The best advice is to make sure that what you submit is as polished as can be. I am not suggesting getting an editor to look at it. But instead getting a few friends to look it over and proof read it. Another good tip is to not get hopes up too much.

To order a copy of PROMOTING YOURSELF
visit Absolute XPress HERE

Coming March 31st from LISA JACKSON!!

Lisa Jackson’s new hardcover MALICE is going to make a lot of readers very happy—especially so since, for the first time since Lisa’s first New York Times bestseller, 2002’s Cold Blooded, Rick Bentz is the main character. Her readers already know the brilliant and flawed New Orleans Police Department detectives Reuben Montoya and Rick Bentz from Hot Blooded, Cold Blooded, The Night Before, Shiver, Absolute Fear, and Lost Souls. Now they get a view of Bentz they may never forget as he takes them into his own private hell and in pursuit of a merciless killer.

MALICE follows WICKED GAME, currently on national bestseller lists, and the upcoming mass market reprint of Lost Souls. Later in the month, I will be featuring reviews and a brief interview with the wonderful author(s) so stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Virtual Book Tours

I met Dorothy Thompson last year when she contacted me about hosting some of her clients on their blog tours. As a result of that first message, I've not only met some wonderful friends, I've discovered some fabulous authors that I've had the pleasure to introduce you to. One of the best people I've met is Dorothy herself, a lady who is filled with energy, charm, and humour. Much to my surprise, this is her first guest blog, so I hope you pay attention - she's got some incredible insight to offer us all! Now, over to Dorothy....



How Virtual Book Tours Make Great Book Promotion Tools
© Dorothy Thompson 2009 All Rights Reserved

I want to thank Denyse for having me talk about how virtual book tours make great book promotion tools. As many of you know, I’m CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book Promotion, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion. I live and breathe promoting authors online. That’s what I do and love, and it’s my passion as evident in the many clients we have in any given month.

Although the ways to promote your book online can seem overwhelming, I’ll cut it down to one method that will do more for you than anything else you could do to promote your book for the highest visibility – virtual book tours (sometimes called virtual blog tours, virtual author tours, online book tours, etc.).

Although virtual book tours have been around a few years, the rules have changed. There are even more ways a virtual book tour can be used as a great book promotional tool than ever before and we at Pump Up Your Book Promotion stay on top of the latest ways to do this. Even in the last year, we have discovered how to get our authors on sites such as USA Today, Reuters, Chicago Times, and other high visibility news sites, so we are constantly on the alert for ways to better our tours and give our authors maximum exposure.

Just last year during the holiday season, 24 billion shoppers (could be you!) bought purchases online. This is during a recession, layoffs and financial difficulties. This goes to prove that shoppers are going to the Internet to make their purchases in droves. Why? Why wouldn’t they? You don’t spend money on gas, you can “shop” for your purchases online before you buy and the credit card one uses to make these purchases have now been proven to be secure.

So what does this have to do with virtual book tours as great book promotion tools?

Where do you think people go to look up purchases? Last year, I made most of my Christmas purchases online. I’ll use myself as an example to give you an idea. My son loves anything related to fishing. He has a fishing rod and everything that’s needed to go fishing, but I wanted something unique. I’m not a fisherman…er…fisherwoman, so what I did was put certain search words in Google to find something different, much like someone would if they were looking for a certain book, or anything else.

When my Google results came up, I found what I needed on the first three pages of search (this is the average amount of pages one looks through to find what they are looking for, according to statistics). Once I got to the first page, though, my natural instinct was to check them out one by one starting with the fist search results.

I found what I was looking for in those first three pages and didn’t look any further.

With virtual book tours, that’s what we want these online buyers to do – find our authors on the first three pages but what they will find is that our authors, through our virtual book tour system, are coming up on that first page and in many instances, that first spot for those key search words and they pretty well stay there long after their tour is over.

Because of the many “blog stops,” and through the many book promotion methods we use, this has been proven time and time again that using virtual book tours as book promotional tools is the best way to get that book in front of the customer. You can put up a website, set up a blog, appear on dozens of interview and review sites, but what the average writer does not realize is that it takes way more than that to have this happen.

We at Pump Up Your Book Promotion know the secret and that is what we do for our authors. The system takes hours upon hours of work, something the average writer does not have time for and that’s why authors choose us to help them promote their books in front of millions of potential book buyers.

Virtual book tours are perhaps the best promotional tool I know of. Check us out at http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com/ and let us tell you how we take your book to the highest virtual level known.

I want to thank Denyse for having me and if you email me at thewriterslife@yahoo.com and mention you read this at Denyse Bridger’s Fantasy Pages, I’ll give you a 10% discount on your next virtual book tour with us.

If anyone has any questions pertaining to virtual book tours, please leave a comment below and I’ll check in periodically and answer them for you. If you have been on a virtual book tour and would like to give your input, please leave that comment below, also.

Thank you and pump up that book!



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

BELLA....

Something very special... and a stunning surprise for me! THANKS to Kadian Tracey...



Friday, February 13, 2009

Guest Blogger: BRUCE SKYE

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Bruce Skye today - author of a wonderful new fantasy series called "The Deathsong Chronicles" - having read the first book, I can personally tell you it's a wonderful series! So, enter the world of the Grayrider, and see for yourself... We'll be grabbing a name from among the comments, too - and you'll receive a beautiful hardcover edition of the book as a thank you for stopping by.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A former technical writer, detail is important to Bruce Skye. His research for the Deathsong Chronicles included medieval armor and fortresses, as well as Celtic names and magic. "If you create a world, it must be consistent. And that's what I strive for Grayrider's world to be. I've built a database of material for each of the Deathsong Chronicles. Those databases aid me in keeping the world the same from book to book.

"When I wrote Grayrider, I followed the advice of Stephen King. I did not write the book following any sort of outline. I have no more idea than my readers do when I write a novel what will happen in the midst of the story. It makes it more exciting for both the readers and myself."

You can visit his website at http://www.bruceskye.com/

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Gabriel, the exiled king of Rivalin, comes before King Airell to warn him the Ansgarian army will invade his kingdom before the night is over. Airell tells him he has no one to send. Gabriel wants revenge for the murder of his family by the Ansgarians. He decides to fight the incursion without help.

As this takes place, Deirdre (Airell’s daughter), flees the kingdom of Cynyr north of Boadhagh. She knows now her mentor, Morrigan, created the Ansgarian army her father has fought for years. She goes south to warn him of her. Because Deirdre does not believe in herself, the young sorceress has difficulty in performing magic.

Once she is reunited with her father, she tells both he and Grayrider about Morrigan. Her power is growing; only Gabriel’s magical sword may yet destroy her. He must go to Cynyr to fight her. He agrees if Deirdre attends him, seeking her counsel. On that journey they fall in love and foil many efforts by Morrigan to kill Gabriel by both armies and sorcerers.

Grayrider fights Morrigan and sees his beloved slain by the sorceress before he is finally able to kill her. He returns to Rivalin brokenhearted. The ending is a complete surprise the reader will not expect at all.


From BRUCE:

A Non-Traditional Traditional Fantasy Tale

I must be honest: I’m a traditionalist. I love The Lord of the Rings. To me, Tolkien created the fantasy genre. And it’s a wonderful tale. However, my writing is modeled after Jack Higgins, the suspense author. So, what does that mean I offer fantasy readers in my work?

Grayrider, the first volume of The Deathsong Chronicles, is traditional fantasy. But before you say “not another one,” hear me out. My books have complex, well-rounded heroes and villains. One reviewer has commented: Skye has a talent for vivid descriptions that will make you feel like you are in the middle of the story. His great character development and strong story line make this a great read. I enjoyed it and look forward to more Deathsong Chronicles.

However, just because I’m a traditionalist, doesn’t mean my characters are clichéd. Cristel, in her review of Grayrider on the Robots and Vamps blog, wrote the following:

I really like the characters in the novel because they are unique versus the typical fantasy archetypes. Gabriel (Grayrider), the revenge seeking warrior, possesses a magical sword that deals death just by being drawn. It cannot be sheathed until someone dies.

My emphasis on characterization lends to the realism of the storylines. This also helps me create a very suspenseful novel. Reviewers have written about this as well: Wow, this is such a great book. I just couldn’t stop reading it. Grayrider offers the reader everything they could need in a story. There is romance, sword fights, magic, and more to keep the reader entertained. The story line moves at a fast pace and keeps the reader very involved. I found that I could not put the book down.

So, although this is a traditional fantasy story, it is also very non-traditional.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

GUEST: LaVerne Thompson

Hello again! I have a wonderful special guest for you all to meet today, a lady met in the odd coincidence that we have very similar book covers for our last releases, same cover model. So, I really hope you enjoy meeting this wonderful lady and author... Over to LaVerne now....

My name is LaVerne Thompson and I write contemporary, fantasy and sci/fi romances. I also love reading this stuff. My first published work is a short, PROMISES a contemporary romance from Red Rose Publishing, also coming soon from Red Rose is MASQUERADE part of a series about three sisters. Also available on Mar. 3rd from Freya's Bower is COME TO ME. I have several things in various stages but my next release is HOLD ON from Red Rose Publishing availabe today. It's a novella, a contemporaray romance with a touch of suspense and a dash of violence. Have you ever been stalked? If you want to know more about my work visit my website http://www.lavernethompson.webs.com/ or friend me on myspace myspace.com/lavernethompson


HOLD ON
By LaVerne Thompson

Blurb:

One phone call changed both their lives.

A real life knight in shining armor, except he isn’t in armor he’s in a suit. But the first time Lena Douglas lays eyes on Stephan Grayson that’s what he seems to her. He saves her from a violence that still haunts her nights, but at least he’s there to hold her should she wake. But the nightmare’s not over, it stalks them both now. Something from her past that will not let go.

But then neither will Stephan. He saved her once and he’s not about to let anyone, especially Lena stand in the way of what is happening between.

But will Stephan always be there to shield her from her past?

Excerpt:

“911 Operator.”

“Hello…listen I’m at the corner of Broad Street and Denny Way. I’m looking into the second floor of a garden style apartment opened onto Broad, and it looks like there’s a…a robbery taking place.” Stephan spoke anxiously into the phone, his voice cracking mid-speak.

The emergency operator on the other end replied in a steady tone, “I’m dispatching a patrol car to the area sir. Stay on the phone with me. Are you one of the victims or do you know the people involved?”

“No, no it’s not me and I don’t know them. I’m in my car. Hang on, the light’s changing. I’m going to make a U-turn and park on the street so I can keep watch.” He ignored the car honking at him because he had cut in front of it. The building in front of him, and the woman in trouble his only focus. The sun hadn’t been down for very long, but the open lighted walkway in the three-story building allowed Stephan a pretty clear view.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to remain in the car,” the operator insisted in a forceful voice. “How many people are involved?”

“Two, I think. A man and a woman, he grabbed her purse and she tried to run. Hurry!” he cried.
“Help is on the way. Please try to stay calm.”

“My God!’ the man exclaimed. “He just hit her… she’s trying to fight him off. He kicked a door open and…he’s…he’s trying to drag her in!” His words were coming faster, rushing to get the information out. “She’s fighting back. I can’t just sit here watching this.”

“Sir, please do not leave your car,” the operator said firmly. “The person could be armed as well as dangerous. Wait for the authorities.”

“I’m sorry. I’m already at the building. Tell the cops, when they get here, it’s the second building from the corner, second floor, the door at the top of the stairs. I’m going to leave my phone on so you can listen in, but I’m putting it in my pocket.”

Without waiting to hear a reply, Stephan did just that.

As he ran up the stairs he could hear a woman’s screams. Why isn’t anyone trying to help her? He had seen three other doors with apartment numbers on this floor. Surely one of them was occupied. It didn’t matter, he was here and he wasn’t going to do nothing. Too late, he wished he’d taken the time to grab a tire iron from his car. But he had stopped rational thought as soon as he glimpsed the woman in trouble. He’d just have to rely on being in good physical shape. It wasn’t like he was a fighter, in truth he used his mind not his muscle. Now he may have to use both, and so far he hadn’t been using much of his so-called intelligence tonight. An intelligent person would have waited on the sidewalk and pointed the cops in the right direction.

Stephan stopped at the now closed door he had seen the man kick open. A scuff mark near the bottom of the panel confirmed he had the right place. He put his ear to the wood but could hear nothing. Turning the doorknob he found it unlocked, and cautiously pushed it open. He slipped inside leaving it slightly ajar so the cops could enter easily.

Muffled sounds were coming from the interior of the condo. Taking a step in the direction of the noise, ragged cries suddenly rent the air. A hallway, probably leading to a bedroom, stretched in front and to the right of him. There were no lights on, but the blinds were partially open, and the glow from a street lamp provided enough light to illuminate the small room.

Glancing to the left he spied a kitchen. His heart pumped blood into his system, adding strength to his resolve. Moving quickly, he headed there first for a weapon. As soon as he pulled a knife from the block on the counter, the wail of a siren whined from a distance, at the same time he heard a scream that curled his soul.

Throwing caution out the window he ran down the short hallway, fear setting his pace. Stopping in front of the only room he gripped the open doorframe. The scene unfolding before him chilled his blood.

The dimmed overhead light showed a woman lying face down on the bed, and a man in dark clothing sat on top of her, straddling her legs to hold her down. She kept screaming and bucking to try to throw him off, but he kept laughing, and using one hand to hold both of hers on her head while he ripped her blouse with the other. So engaged in his activity, he didn’t even hear Stephan behind him.

Stephan wanted to stick the sonofabitch with the knife in his hand. But he spotted an empty metal potpourri bowl on a stand near the door. He didn’t want to shed any of the man’s blood on the woman if he didn’t have to. He put down the knife and picked up the bowl. Using all of his strength, fueled by his anger, he smashed it against the side of the bastard’s head.

Like a bowling pin toppling over, the man fell off the bed onto the floor, hopefully out cold for a while. When the weight holding her down disappeared, the woman on the bed flipped over. She raised her tear streaked face and her eyes momentarily collided with Stephan’s before shifting to the man on the floor. As her gaze returned to his, fear flooded her beautiful chocolate colored eyes. She gasped, and backed up against the headboard.

Even with puffy eyes, tear tracks on her face, and a bruise on her toasted almond colored cheek her beauty still shone through. Stephan’s heart, which had been racing before, stopped in mid beat. Wide round eyes, had captured his attention first, set in an oval shaped face with a bow for a mouth, centered off with the cutest nose that started narrow but flared at the end, even more as he watched her take a deep breath.

He held up his hands, but realized he still held the bowl. He slowly placed it at the foot of the bed. “It’s okay,” he said trying to sound reassuring and non-threatening. “The police are on their way. I won’t hurt you.” He spoke in very soft clear tones, to try to calm her.

“Th…that man. He tried…” Her voice came out jittery, husky.

“Shhh, it’s okay,” he said. “I’m not going to let him hurt you.” Stephan glanced down at the man stretched out on his back on the floor. “He looks unconscious, but maybe we should get out of here in case he comes to. The police are on their way.”

“Yes…yes, thank you.” She slid off the bed on the opposite side from where the man on the carpet lay. Her shirt had been ripped from the back up to the collar but remained in tact in the front. She wrapped her arms tightly across her stomach. Stephan took his eyes momentarily off the beautiful woman to check her attacker again to see if he had stirred.

The woman came around behind him and grabbed his hips in a death grip. He twisted to put his hand around her shoulder, and coaxed her to move forward in front of him. As he turned her toward the door, pounding footsteps echoed from the stairwell. “The cops are here, you’re safe now. Let’s…” That’s as far as he got before he felt hands clench his throat. “Run!” he managed to gasp before turning to face his attacker.


PROMISES- available now from Red Rose Publishing

HOLD ON-Coming Soon from Red Rose Publishing

MASQUERADE-Coming Soon from Red Rose Publishing

COME TO ME-available Mar. 3rd from Freya's Bower

Website: http://www.lavernethompson.webs.com/

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lavernethompson

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let's have a little fun...

Some of you will remember seeing Mary Burton's name on my blog before... today, we're having fun!! So....


JUST IN TIME for VALENTINE’S DAY...
SWEET BUNS FROM MARY BURTON!

I hope you’ll tell your readers about Mary Burton’s buns! You know Mary for her romantic suspense novels DEAD RINGER and I’M WATCHING YOU and, of courses, for her novella in the New York Times best selling SILVER BELLS. To mark that publication, she shared a new recipe, Silver Bells Tea Cakes via book and food/baking blogs. Now, she’s sharing her favorite St. Valentine’s Day breakfast treat, Valentine’s Day Sweet Buns. “I love to have these for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day,” she says, but once again keeps us in suspense. She hasn’t told us yet whether or not she serves them in bed.

So, drop by Mary's website this week for this yummy recipe!! As you can see from the picture, they look delicious! (Click on the picture to go to the recipe, or follow the link at the bottom of this post.)


Visit Mary here: http://www.maryburton.com/
Find the recipe here: http://www.maryburton.com/blog/

Friday, February 06, 2009

ON SALE NOW!!!

Just in time for Valentine's Day - the #1 Best-selling BELLA SIGNORINA... If you haven't had the chance to read this short, sexy romance set in the splendid city of Roma, now is your chance to get it at a give-away price!!! This is truly one of the nicest things I've ever written, so I hope you'll drop by The Wild Rose Press and pick it up, even offer a review if you're so inclined....

Set in Rome, Bella Signorina is a sweet, romantic story of two people who meet in a trendy caffè, and through the magic of dance and music discover they have many things in common. Bianca comes to Caffè Rosati every week, and for many weeks she's been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone each week. Bianca is a woman who enjoys her freedom, and has been hurt before, so she's not anxious to fall in love again. Something about the enigmatic Stefano has captivated her heart, though, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change.

Stefano Esposito is a man who's past relationships have not left him much in the way of ideals about women. Many have claimed to love him, none have understood him. Stefano is a rare breed in today's world of fast-paced life and love. He is a gentleman, a man who many consider a little out of step with the times. For Stefano, falling in love is the completion of a soul, not the consummation of a sexual itch. He wants the woman in his life to respect, understand, and adore him, as he will her. When he meets Bianca, he wonders if he's finally found the one he's waited a lifetime for? She understands his internal conflicts, his desires, and his dreams, after only hours together.

When their attraction to each other flares too quickly and too intently, Stefano pulls back. Confused and uncertain, Bianca flees his beautiful home and business, and goes back to her busy life. But, once the dance has begun, is there a way to go back to what you knew before, or is it just a matter of time before the music lures you back to your dreams and, perhaps, makes them reality?

Available for a limited time at the sale price of $1.35 from
The Wild Rose Press

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sable Grey Magazine

The debut issue of Sable Grey Magazine is now available for download! It's a gorgeous PDF download, FREE, and filled with wonderful stuff!! So, check it out.... I've got a beautiful feature in this issue, as well as the seductive short story, The Proposition....


You can download the magazine HERE


Enjoy!!!

THANKS - always!!