Writing Challenges / NaNoWriMo, Book in a Week ~ Writer Fun, or Writer Fail?

So, authors and writing groups are talking about the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), an annual event that takes place globally, starting November 1st, with a goal to complete a 50,000 word count novel by November 30th.

While I have participated in book-in-a-week types of challenges through my writing groups, I have yet to participate in NaNoWriMo in an official capacity. However, as November is my most productive writing month, I use ideas from challenges such as book-in-a-week and NaNoWriMo and adapt them to use in an un-official way by carving out specific times, whether I can spare two hours a day, or eight, to free-write my way to my personal, end-of-week, or end-of-month, goals.

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Facebook Fan Page Like Exchanges – Do Your Numbers Add Up?

Have a Facebook business/author page? You might run into invites to participate in Like-exchange events where people can support each other by exchanging Like-for-Like on each other’s pages, but the Like has to come from their personal page so that the Like counts.

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FREE Sexy-Reads! Drawing for a Kindle Fire – Gift Cards – Paperbacks

Aloha again! Welcome to the September 20, 2014 blog hop of the best-selling Erotic Fantasies Collection! Last spring, I was delighted to have a story accepted into the line up of 11 steamy short-reads.

Set in the Hawaiian tropics of Kauai, Private Lessons is a wild-hot, humorous read about millionaire sex-toy king, Cornelius, and his cousin’s best friend, Nerissa.

Nerissa has decided enough is enough! It’s time to seduce and take on the sultry, sexy man she’s lusted for and burned after for quite some time, but she has no clue how to go about it.

So she buys several items from his sex-toys catalog and entices him to teach her how to use them, well aware she may wind up as one of the toy-king’s playthings, too…

*This smile-inducing story features lite BDSM, vivid scenes of sexuality, language and shameless use of love toys.

Erotic Fantasies is currently FREE at these e-tailers:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/erotic-fantasies-anthology-tonya-kinzer/1118904099
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-eroticfantasiesanthology-1447671-362.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/417296

At Amazon:
.77 UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Erotic-Fantasies-Suzy-Ayers-ebook/dp/B00IXR3JLE/ref=la_B005DF36FS_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411141680&sr=1-2
.99 US – http://www.amazon.com/Erotic-Fantasies-Suzy-Ayers-ebook/dp/B00IXR3JLE/ref=la_B005DF36FS_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411141736&sr=1-5
*Until Amazon price matches to make this book FREE on their site, the authors are using profits made on this book as giveaway contest prizes to readers.

I’m also holding a drawing ~ Up for grabs is a paperback of All Hands Below, a $12.34 value. All Hands Below is an erotic romance novel about a young widow who goes on a singles’ cruise to the Caribbean in search of a new love. She sails into stormy waters with a hunky, commitment-allergic scruffy Man-in-Uniform, instead.

Temporary promo cover, see the actual cover and read a FREE sample on the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/All-Hands-Below-Lelani-Black-ebook/dp/B00BEB9O7Y/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-3&qid=1411138492

**All Hands Below is an explicit work of erotic romance fiction**

Ways to win a paperback? Leave a comment on this blog. I’ll draw a name, or two, and contact the winners after September 30th via e-mail. Then I’ll send the book(s) off. That’s it. That’s all. No purchase required.

And don’t forget the rafflecopter ~ Enter to win a Kindle Fire, and/or two 25.00 gift cards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js

Best of luck to all who enter and mahalo for stopping by!

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Where Are My Trolls?!

Where Are My Trolls?!

Beware! Establishing an online presence can get you trolled! As I have recently found out!

In the digital landscape of business and communication, an online presence can attract the attention of a troll. A troll is an online persona who tries to stir fear, anger, negative reaction, upset and or discord by being insulting, threatening or harassing. No provocation needed. Keep in mind that trolling isn’t the same as debating in a forum, or a thread that is open to discussion.

Trolls tend to strike at random. Go about your every day online life, and boom, out of the woodwork a troll comes at you with a snide comment, insult, even a threat.

Don’t think getting hit up by a troll will never happen to you, either. Just pursuing your dreams and doing good things with your life, or having a life at all, may be enough to send a troll over the edge.

I’ve had strangers insult and lecture me on what I post on my own pages. I’ve had an individual tweet a lie about an “article” he claims to have read about me losing my “anal virgin” (this person never posted the link because no such article exists) and a stranger tell me that the cover on one of my books looks like it was taken by “some deviant lurking in some corner it’s creepy.”

What was I doing when this nonsense popped into my feed? I was minding my own business. Doing my own thing. On one occasion I was in bed, asleep. I’d not had any interaction with these individuals, yet they thought I deserved their malice.

Online trolls are not cute like this little one~Hula Troll

 

Trolls think they can push boundaries and hide behind a computer screen. No doubt the sock puppets who’ve had their identities recently exposed thought they could get away with it, too. Things they would never have the guts to say to someone in person come easily to them online. This type of behavior can cause emotional distress to others.

Children especially have no defenses and can suffer strong emotional reactions to online trolling and bullying with catastrophic results.

If you have been troll-zoned online, feel free to block or unfriend the individual. The time you spend on social media page is precious, so why waste it engaging with disrespectful people and/or allowing them access to you? (Especially if we have to deal with nonsense and negativity real time, away from the PC, tablet or smartphone?)

*Do not hesitate to report someone’s threats or threatening behavior toward you. Be sure any written activity is documented and forwarded to someone you know as well. In case something happens, that troll or stalker has left a paper trail.

As always, use your good judgement as tools to navigate your way around social media, and trolls and haters, in a way that is satisfactory to YOU.

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Get Schooled in Private Lessons, FREE Erotic Fantasies Anthology!

 

Why is Nerissa so naughty when Cornelius comes to town? 

Starting May 19 – 25!

Welcome to the blog hop of the Erotic Fantasies e-book anthology of short-shorts, written to tease and tantalize, authored by 11 up and coming voices in the erotica and erotic romance sub-genre! This e-book is FREE at major e-tailers, and while we have been pestering the powers that be on Amazon to price match, they have politely reminded us that they price match at their own discretion, thank you very much. At 99 cents, it’s still a great buy!

To celebrate its launch, I’m offering 2 autographed Paperback copies of ~

All Hands Below, a novel of an erotic cruise ship romance will be sent to 2 lucky winners. Contest open to UK readers, too. Please note this romance contains content, themes, scenes and language seasoned readers of erotica can expect. Love and sex scenes won’t fade to black, and all of the above ends in a happily ever after.

An 11.99 value!

To enter the contest, leave a comment either on my blog, or Like the contest / rafflecopter announcement on my Facebook page that I will post. I’ll draw names and notify winners after the 25th of May, when the contest expires.

AND

You can also enter to win an additional prize in the Erotic Fantasties RAFFLECOPTER!!

Two 25.00 Amazon giftcards are up for grabs. No purchase necessary:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bed28466/

BEST of all, the Erotic Fantasies Anthology is also FREE!

A juicy collection of erotic shorts ~ 11 dynamic authors, 11 HOT stories for your reading pleasure.

Included in this collection is my humorous, lite BDSM short-short ~ *Private Lessons

When tattoo’d, blue-eyed, dread-locked toy boy Cornelius flies to the Hawaiian island of Kauai to house sit, he winds up schooling an unexpected house guest on the tools of his trade…    *Story includes explicit themes, vivid scenes, hot language that brims with sexuality and the shameless fondling of love toys. Play at your own risk!

Erotic Fantasies Anthology is FREE at these e-tailers:

Barnes and Noble
ARe ~ All Romance eBooks
Smashwords

Price matching to make it FREE on Amazon Kindle is making slow progress, but here are the links ~

.99c Amazon US

.77 Amazon UK

Like what you read? Please feel free to visit the author sites!

Charity Parkerson  Tonya Kinzer http://www.tonyakinzer.com/

Autumn Seave  Kayla Lords  Alisa Easton  Felicity Brandon

Marketa Giovanni  Anne James  Suzy Ayers

RJ Redlynn

 

 


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Tag! You’re IT Blog Hop

Thanks so very much to CE Black for tagging me to take part in her Tag You’re IT blog hop. I get to share a few tid-bits about my current work in progress, and tag three other authors and invite them to answer the same questions for their Monday blogs.

They then tag 3 more authors, and so on and so forth till it’s one great big giant Tag-Along! Sound good? Here goes!

1. What are you working on right now?

I’m polishing Book 3 of my Island Moonlight Collection, Mistress at Midnight, a sensual love story geared to readers of contemporary romance fiction.

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?

This particular story has a Hawaii and Greece setting – two beautiful islands for lovers Viviana and Micah (Michaelis) to carry on their passionate shenanigans, and to build on their powerful attraction for each other. What makes this story different is that the heroine’s twin sister, who’d recently passed away, lingers on in spirit. Her spirit helps bring Vivi and Micah together. While the paranormal element is mild, it adds a layer of emotion to the story that anyone who has ever lost someone close to them can relate to.

The Bell Tower, Old Venetian Fort on the Greek Island of Corfu

Southern Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

3. Why do you write what you do?

Sexy romance with characters committed to each other – I think because happily ever afters are an enduring fantasy for people, men and women alike. It doesn’t matter what your profession or career is, how successful or where you are in life financially. When love and desire strikes, you’re going down! The dynamics of that magical thing called chemistry and how physical attraction can blossom into love is fascinating to me.

5. How does your writing process work?

I write a blurb or outline of a new story. Mostly, I see the setting and characters in my head, and have a basic idea of how the story is going to flow, key scenes and such, and what the moral of the story is. Example: What you’re looking for might be right in front of you ~

I pound out the first draft in all its ugly glory, polish it up, then let it sit. I go work on something else for a while, then go back to the story later on. I find that letting a manuscript sit for a month is a good way to freshen my perspective on it when I go back to polish it.

Here are the 3 authors I’ve tagged for this hop:

Mark Barry
Mary Ann Bernal
Samantha Holt

Mahalo for stopping in, and happy blog-hopping!

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Amazon’s KDP Select Promo Books – Free? or Folly?

Listing an e-book on Amazon for Free – a benefit of enrollment in Amazon’s KDP Select program – can be fun, and stressful. There’s also heated debate over the practice of authors giving their books away.

Why would someone work hard to write a book, pay for editorial services, design and pay for cover art, then turn around and give their work away for free?

I’ve heard from both sides of the fence, and during one heated discussion on a social media site, someone added that “real” publishers don’t even do this.

Dear reader, I avoid public conflict as much as possible on social media, so when I heard this, I calmly put my pink light-saber of engagement aside and backed off from that flame war waiting to happen. Then I came here to blog about it, instead!

Has anyone ever heard of Harlequin/Mills & Boon, mega-imprint of sweet and spicy category romance? HMB still offers FREE books to customers as an enticement to get them to subscribe to their monthly reader club – and have been doing so for decades. Here’s a Free books offer card from back in 1991 for your review:

Claim card for reader to get Free books and a 20 inch necklace as a gift!

They were even giving away jewelry!

And here’s a current offer card for 2013 – they’ve upped the ante to 2 FREE gifts along with 2 free books:

And how about those folks at the Doubleday Book Club? They offer books to potential subscribers at discounted rates. Five books for 99 cents is their current promo to get readers to commit to buying more discounted books – and they’ve been doing promos like this for decades.   http://www.doubledaybookclub.com/

The other day I walked into a Barnes and Noble bookstore and rock me, Amadeus! There was a bargain table of discounted books by NYT Bestselling authors up for grabs. On sale! Bargain priced! Oh my hell. How can this be happening?

Well, it does happen. A lot. Every day. For years I’d subscribed to the above reader clubs and am familiar with what’s out there as far as book clubs, subscriptions and enticements go. Exposure to these book clubs as a reader/subscriber also helped guide my promo efforts when it came to marketing my own books.

Exhibit A: This is the book that went Free in late December/early January. At this time, it’s 99 cents, sale-priced on Amazon, but it’s normally $2.99.

 After its spin on the Free list, I kept it sale-priced at under a buck because it started selling well, and I want as many people to read this Maui romance at the bargain price that it’s listed. I’ve been criticized for pricing this novel-length book at 99 cents – but again, I’m a booklover, reader, writer and I know that I stand a better chance of readers taking a risk on a new author by offering an enticement.

Exhibit B: When we published the 2nd book in the collection, Doctor, Doctor enjoyed a nice gallop around the paddocks of Amazon’s bestsellers list for Humor>Doctors and Medicine at a price tag of 2.99.  It’s not been placed on a Free promo, and the price has not increased, or been reduced.

What does it mean to launch books under an Indie flag? It means I’m the writer, publisher, marketer, promoter, retailer/book-seller and captain of my publishing destiny. I have to drum up sales on my own. I don’t have a built in subscriber base for my books, yet here’s this opportunity to sell my books in the same market as other, more well-known authors.

The downside to this gig is how to get my books to stand apart from books put out by the big guns.

One of the tools is price. My books stood to be shelved next to other well-known authors books that were priced in the 3.50 to 5 dollar range.

What I didn’t have are audio-book and paperback versions of my Indie works like other publisher-backed authors have. As I’m an unknown in the great scheme of things, I didn’t have a problem pricing my book less than, for example, a USA Today bestseller.

I felt comfortable pricing my e-books in the 99 cent to $2.99 range. As a side note, I chose the Amazon store to place them in because my contracted (erotica romance) books are there as well. The thought of also getting paid for book borrows was a nice plus to keep my Indie books exclusive with KDP Select.

Another e-book promo strategy was KDP Select’s Free promo days. Love it, hate it, agree, disagree or are indifferent to it, it’s there. Big name publishers and small-press/digital publishers are now letting authors in on this strategy, too. Free promo days can bounce an unknown author’s book onto the same page alongside books by other well-known authors.

Serialized books and collections seem to benefit from this. If an author offers the first book in his/her series for free or at a discount, the reduced cost gives some readers an incentive to give the book, and the unknown author, a try. If the reader likes the first book, they may consider paying for the second in the series. Or not.

Again, no guarantees in this business.

Years ago a lovely lady with no business experience tried her hand at her own cookie company start-up. To raise interest in her scrumptious cookies, she went around one day giving her cookies away. Passing them out. That woman is known as entrepreneur Debbi Fields.

By giving samples of her luscious, thick, chewy-gooey chocolate chip cookies away, she whet the public’s appetite for more. I remember standing in line in her newly opened San Francisco shop at Pier 39. The line went right out to the sidewalk, and those rich, buttery cookie smells were free! Here’s a Mrs. Black‘s chocolate chip cookie to treat your eyes to. (I dust the cookie doughball lightly with cinnamon before baking)

“We’re talking books here, not cookies, Lelani,” you sharply remind me.

It still comes down to having a product that we want to sell, yes? When shoppers go to a brick and mortar store and see items on sale, the savings may tempt them to browse through other items. When shoppers see sale items in front of the store, other items in stock can and do catch their eye.

An author doesn’t need a degree in business to market. A reader doesn’t need special training to know what they like in a story. But offering freebies and discounting books to move and sell is a practice that publishers and book sellers employ all the time – and have been doing so for decades.

There are a lot of readers that avoid Free books like the plague and won’t download them. There are readers that are skeptical of 99 cents books. No problem. They just don’t buy them.

Going Indie is not the answer for every author, but one benefit I saw to being Independent was that I could control the price tag on my books. I could put them on sale if I wanted to, or give a book away during controlled spurts.

But (putting on my book-seller’s hat) pricing isn’t enough. Price alone doesn’t sell books!

It’s quality, category pick, genre, book visibility, word of mouth, writing-style, timing and reviews. It’s luck, book cover, book title, blurb, theme, reader budget and yes, reader whim! So many factors that can help sell a book…or keep it from selling.

The market is so dynamic right now it doesn’t hurt to try new things. Strategy-pricing is a tool at an Indie’s disposal. Yes, there’s a sea of Freebies, but prior to e-readers, there was a sea of unsold paperbacks that, after their prime months on store shelves, would get remaindered and sent back to the publishers (at the publisher’s expense!) so booksellers could make room for new releases. Today’s Indie author can have his or her e-book on virtual shelves indefinitely. Wheee!

There are readers out there armed with the power to amass thousands of books, free and paid for. They’re wielding their e-readers like deadly weapons, feeding their Frankensteins.

Okay, being serious now…tapping finger on chin… Giveaways and free books can stimulate interest in an author’s work, or a particular book, or a line of books, or a genre. Stimulating interest is not easy, either. I’ve done book giveaways on my blog, and on other authors blogs – with no takers. The fact is, if there’s no interest, an author will struggle to even give his or her book away.

Thoughts: Book lovers find the means and the ways to buy books, even with a feast of Freebies saturating the market. No doubt some readers will cut back on book purchases because of the availability of Freebies, but it boils down to each individual reader’s choice and preference to do so.

Till next time, thanks for stopping by and as always happy reading, and writing!

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