11 pre-release buzz and exposure tips for authors

In this post, I take off assuming you have your book listed on Goodreads, that you already have a book cover and all the other basics. This post is geared for authors needing to do their own promotion, so while it is great for self-publishers, traditionally contracted authors will find this helpful too if they need to do promotion of their own and are stuck for ideas.

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Do a Goodreads paperback giveaway

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Though many people are reading eBooks, paperbacks are still shiny and wanted formats. They’re special formats of books to put on a real shelf. The benefit you’re going for here regardless if they read the paperback is exposure. It’s free to list and only costs you the price of the book and postage which is peanuts compared to book ads.

Take advantage of the fact that Goodreads report many books average 900+ entries and many of them even reach thousands of entries. Now THAT is a lot of new people seeing and reading about your book!

Create and share teasers on social media

E.G. teaser

E.G. teaser

Sharing the favourite parts of your book on social media helps create an army — whether small or enormous — that will get excited about your release too and in turn help promote it out of their own excitement and interest. So go on and grab a properly licenced image (creative commons, stock purchase, or with permission signed by a photographer) and add text.

Images + text = creates more attention, so grab a short excerpt (1-5 sentences, relatively average size) or a tagline and add it to your text and post to social media, welcoming and inviting people to share it.

Share about 3-6 teasers (or more if you have the time) before release and spread it out over a few weeks, not crammed into a few spammy-and-annoying days before release.

Send out ARCs to reputable reviewers weeks before release

Timing is optimal for sending out ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). Give only days and almost all your reviewers won’t have time to get to it, and give a few months and they could forget about it by the time it comes to reading just before release.

Depending on the length of your book, go for 2-6 weeks ahead of schedule, depending on if you have a novella or short novel upwards to an epic saga.

Do a book blitz or blog tour or review tour

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 9.05.38 AMThese days, book tours are effective for exposure rather than generating book sales, and book blitz are heading that way too with the market more flooded than ever before.

As I said above though, you need to create a buzz, and you can’t stop trying to create the biggest buzz possible. Book blitzes are a cheaper option and are probably just as effective as book tours (since you can organise reviews on your own, and for free) so the little investment for a book blitz is worth it. You can get tens of blogs upwards to hundreds posting on release day or week for your book. They list the cover, synopsis, Goodreads link, book buy links, and often excerpts or teasers.

Companies for book blitzes or tours include Xpresso Book Tours, AToMR Book Blog Tours, and Love Between The Sheets Promotions. (I personally vouch the quality of these hosts)

Update your social media with posts about your progress on the book

Stay current in the mind of readers and find new readers by posting regularly about your book.

Don’t be spammy and make continual posts about them, so break these up amongst other types, but vary it and gain excitement for your book by posting fun facts, casting characters images, funny bits during your editing process, interesting things about the characters or storyline. Anything that will get people reading and asking questions.

Link reviewers with books sites where they can now post their review of your book

It’s hard for reviewers to keep track of all their reviewing list so kindly remind them they can now post their book review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc, as well as Goodreads if they haven’t already (the former is true for self-publishers since most can’t have book site links before they click publish).

Send out email with book links to bloggers on review day

Book bloggers are overworked and that’s an understatement. Regardless of this fact, they are still gracious people who will help authors share links for their book if they have the time and are interested. Gather the emails of book bloggers who accept and invite authors to email them promotional stuff and let them know that your book is live with link/s and thank them for their help and time.

N.B. always BCC everyone or email individually with their names in separate emails!

Do a post with links

If you have a blog, why not use, it? For every social media account you have, post links with your books.

Pictures help for a better result so add your book cover and/or a teaser to your post and link Goodreads and all the available book sites to buy your book. For Amazon, I recommend using a site like BookLinker because it sends the clicker to their country’s Amazon site. You then don’t have to list the ~11 country Amazon links AND you can check your click hits, too!

Send out to email subscribers

Do you have an email newsletter list? Don’t forget about this one! Most authors don’t use this regularly so it can be easy to forget. Why not use the tens, hundreds, thousands, or more people you have waiting to hear stuff about your books? Regardless of your list length, this will be beneficial!

Highly recommended and free!

Highly recommended and free!

Do a pre-release tour or book blog post features

It’s popular to do a feature on book blogs when and after you publish, but even if you’re a self-publisher who can’t list pre-order links, you can still gain interest and start that buzz by doing a feature with a host, or asking some bloggers yourself if you can feature you and your book on their site.

You never know what will work for exposure, so why not see if book bloggers want to feature you and get in front of their many thousands of eager book-reading followers?

Hold giveaways for readers to win prizes

Authors have their cover completed well before publishing, so why not use that to even more of an advantage! Order bookmarks or key rings or another promotional item with your cover or cover image and then hold giveaways for readers in exchange for entries such as adding your book to Goodreads or sharing a picture or post on social media.

I hope this list helped you!

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Find Rebecca Berto’s books on Amazon and Goodreads.

Sign up to her newsletter (filled with book updates and free stuff)! SIGN UP HERE

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Blurb writing: you can do it (well)!

I’m in the process of revising my next novel, The Rental, an erotic romance in a series of books centred about characters working at The Rental, an escort-type agency where anything is possible except the sale of the most intimate act: sex. It’s an eye-catching topic and I knew from months ago I had to do it justice and get a killer blurb written for it.

Helpful Links

I won’t repeat information since there are so many resources out there, but I’ll direct you to the most helpful ones I found in my Googling expeditions. All these links below share some of the tips I really value when it comes to a good blurb: length, evocative words and imagery, killer opening and closing, conflict.

  1. 5 Tips – How to Write a Winning Book Blurb → Mentions use of certain “hook” words; write in a style similar to your book; use the book’s main theme as a way to focus the blurb.
  2. 5 Tips for Writing a Compelling Book Blurb by Amy Wilkins → Use shoutlines; use an excerpt from the manuscript; end with conflict.
  3. How To Write Back Blurb For Your Book → Hint the plot only; name main characters; use a question or hint of mystery that begs to be answered.
  4. The 5 core elements of a book blurb (and why you should know them) → pick-up line; don’t be misleading; keep them wanting more.
  5. How to Write a Brilliant Blurb for Your Book → Search for the subheading called: “Five basic elements”. It lists a sentence broken up by (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) showing you a structure. There is other great advice, so keep reading that post.

Word Count

I’ve heard a lot about suggested word counts, but I wanted to find out myself what the bestselling books were using. If you’ve heard of most of the books in the below list, you’ll know they’re huge sellers. I’ve used all popular books here as that blurb has obviously sold the book well. The word count difference is interesting.

Note the suggest word count ranges from 100-150 words.

Average Blurb Lengths

Book Blurb count
Twilight 151
Fifty Shades of Grey 152
The Submissive 138
The Siren 150
Bared to You 118
The Hunger Games 106
Harry Potter 145
The Giver 97
The Book Thief 140
The Perks of Being a Wallflower 187
Looking For Alaska 142
Wintergirls 167
The Da Vinci Code 222
The Time Traveler’s Wife 174
Water for Elephants 145
TOTAL 149

A working example

This is the go I had of my next novel, The Rental:

Would you sell your body for everything but sex if you needed the money?

That’s the dilemma for eighteen-year-old, Vee Wyland. Three months ago she lost her father, and her boyfriend and her best friend deceived her in the worst way. All in one night. Her boyfriend’s brother, Rick Delaney, witnesses the event, supporting her for a fleeting moment.

One night she loses her job, halving the already tight income her mum and her depend on. She runs into Rick Delaney who propositions her.

Become a rental. Sell yourself for everything but sex.

From the moment Vee and Rick re-unite, their sexual chemistry is scorching. He ignites passion back into dull world. It’s simple enough until emotions are involved.

Fall into the scorching new world of The Rental, where the foreplay builds to a thrilling climax.

That was great (in my biased opinion), but read the current blurb, written by a friend (whom I am very indebted to and love!) of mine who knew nothing of the story but the key details I gave her, and then tweaked by me:

Eighteen-year-old Vee Wyland is no stranger to loss. In the blink of an eye, she loses her father in a horrible accident. And when she needs her boyfriend the most, he leaves her for her best friend. Suddenly, the girl that had everything unravels, caught in a downward spiral of grief and financial loss.

Drop-dead gorgeous and old crush, Rick Delaney waltzes in and opens her up to the world of The Rental, where everything is for sale, except sex itself.

It seems easy enough … guarding your heart, but selling your body.

But it’s hard to trust your ex-boyfriend’s brother.

Dealing with his own demons, Rick is drawn to Vee and the white-hot sizzle that flares when she walks into a room. From the moment they re-unite, their sexual chemistry is undeniable. He ignites passion back into her dull world, and it seems all fun and games until feelings get involved.

Fall into the scorching new world of The Rental, where hearts get broken and the foreplay builds to a thrilling climax.

The idea is to separate yourself from the story as the writer, and write the blurb as a marketing guru. So give yourself time, do a heap of blurb writing research, and get outside opinions to give you honest pointers.

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If you love the sound of my book, THE RENTAL, please add it to Goodreads. It’s the first in a scorching new series of an escort-type agency, focusing on a few main characters.

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Find Rebecca Berto’s books on Amazon and Goodreads.

Sign up to her newsletter (filled with book updates and free stuff)! SIGN UP HERE

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page.

Suggested professionals for hire

Search no more! I have professionals to hire here, that I suggest, for your eBooks and paperbacks. It isn’t a huge list but for self-publishing authors, high-quality recommendations go a long way in saving time and money, lowering stress, and increasing satisfaction.

• • •

If you want a cover design, remember I own Berto Designs and can turnaround a design in a week which is much quicker than other designers as I’m still building my client base.

Drop me a line at: rebeccaberto@hotmail.com or visit my website or Facebook page.

• • •

PLEASE NOTE THIS INFO IS GOOD AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION (SEPTEMBER 3, 2013). CHECK ALL DETAILS BY CLICKING THE RESPECTIVE LINKS.

EDITORS

Lauren K McKellar (structural, copy/line, and proofreading)

Website  |

Danielle Poiesz (structural, copy/line, and proofreading, manuscript analysis)

Website  |  Twitter  |

COVER DESIGNERS (some do blog and swag design too)

Berto Designs (that’s me!)
Website  |  Facebook  |

Cover It Designs
Website  |  Facebook  |

Eden Crane Design (estimated pricing — please check)
Facebook  |

Najla Qamber Designs
Website  |  Facebook  |

Once Upon a Time Covers
Website  |  Facebook  |

Wicked by Design
Facebook  |

E.M. Tippetts Book Designs
Website  |

—– ROUGHLY ABOVE $150 —–

KILA Designs
Website  |  Facebook  |

Steph’s Cover Design
Website  |  Facebook  |

—– ABOVE $350 —–

Damonza
Website  |  Facebook  |

Mae I Design and Photography
Website  |  Facebook |

Okay Creations
Website  |  Facebook  |

Phatpuppy Creations
Website  |  Facebook  |

FORMATTERS (eBook and paperback)

E.M. Tippetts Book Designs
Website  |

Fictional Formats
Facebook  |

JT Formatting
Facebook  |

BOOK TOUR AND BLITZ

Xpresso Book Tours (Only for YA and NA books and their genres)
http://xpressobooktours.com/services/

AToMR (Only for books with romance as the category or subcategory)
http://atomrbookblogtours.com/about/

Good Choice Reading (Most genres)
http://gcrpromotions.blogspot.com.au/

Literati Literature Lovers
http://literatiauthorservices.com/contact-us/

Book Addict Mumma
http://bookaddictmumma.wordpress.com/about/

Dark World Book Tours
Website  |  Facebook  |

Lady Amber’s Tours
http://ambersupernaturalandya.blogspot.com.au/p/lady-ambers-tours.html

Luscious Laylah Release Day
http://www.lusciouslaylah.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_26.html

♥♥♥

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Rebecca Berto is the author of PreciseDrowning in You and Pulling Me Under (sequel to Precise) If you want book-release updates, please sign up at this form (email only when news, not weekly).

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page to stay updated.

Book publishing update: “Precise” and “Pulling Me Under”

I haven’t talked about my books in a while (naughty Rebecca!) so I wanted to say hi, introduce myself to my new followers and give you some info on my upcoming books and such.

Meee!

Meee!

About the author

Rebecca Berto writes stories about love and relationships. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her books, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

Do you have me across my social media pages? I love to chat, answer your questions and have friends!

Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest |

More goodies!

Please add yourself to my NEW book information list. I don’t email weekly — only when I have news to share. it’s the best way to stay updated.

CLICK HERE

AUGUST 19

Precise: new cover and expanded edition

  • I will reveal the new cover for Precise designed by Berto Designs and unveil the expanded edition.
  • The book is currently permafree (permanently free) on Amazon US & CA, iTunes (internationally) and Smashwords. Barnes & Noble, and Kobo are currently updating and will hopefully follow soon.

Freebie links with new edition LIVE >>>

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AEXUUQC | Amazon CA:http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00AEXUUQC | Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258791 | iTunes US:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/precise/id581664669 | iTunes UK:https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/precise/id581664669 | iTunes Aus:https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/precise/id581664669 |

Freebie links but NOT the updated version yet >>>

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/precise-rebecca-berto/1114042354?ean=2940045113007 | Kobo:http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Precise/book-3oDtS6kEhUKOe86Kq8wbBQ/page1.html |

AUGUST 21

Pulling Me Under

  • The novel in the Precise series, Pulling Me Under has a cover reveal (sign up here: http://eepurl.com/CYhov)
  • The event includes blurb and quote teasers. Cover designed by Berto Designs

LATE OCTOBER

Pulling Me Under published

  • Date isn’t set but during late October the novel, Pulling Me Under will be published.

OTHERS — late 2014 to early 2014

  • Tentative release for a new standalone novel. I am in the early stages of writing a new Mature New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance novel. I am hoping to release it around late November, but this can change depending on if it’s practical to release that soon.
  • In early 2014 I will be releasing the sequel to Drowning in You, titled Finding Forever in Us. You can add it to Goodreads here.

Signature

♥♥♥

Rebecca Berto is the author of Precise and Drowning in You. If you want book-release updates, please sign up at this form (email only when news, not weekly).

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page to stay updated.

Survey results: What are your book-buying habits?

A week ago I posted a survey for Novel Girl readers to fill out. The result was fantastic. I’m about to share the results here. Please keep in mind I’m just one tiny author/blogger and I’m not a powerhouse. That said, I got 100+ responses (104 to be exact) and in my opinion, that is a decent amount to use to analyse and learn from these results.

Without further ado, I will post the questions, a graphic of the answer, and my thoughts.

Preferred formats to buy a book

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 9.52.43 AM
My Thoughts: it’s easy to underestimate the importance of other book formats besides an eBook, but remember the collective total of paperbacks, hardbacks and audiobooks made up the larger percentage (51%). eBook only make up ~50% of preferred formats.

Of course, the most bought format is different to preferred, but I’d say have a paperback available. Through createspace it is so cheap to organise if you live in the US and not much more expensive if you live outside the US. Think broadly!

Where do you like to buy books?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 9.53.04 AM

My Thoughts: I expected a slight higher percentage buying online. Are you surprised? If you have a favourite bookstore near you and have the time and means to get it in there, now might be the time to enquire since ~1/4 of book buyers want to go in-store still.

Favourite store/s to buy books from

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 9.53.19 AM

Other = Locally-owned, independent stores | independent bookstores | Goodwill | Toronto: Type, BMV Dymocks | Thriftbooks | BookCloseouts.ca and Chapters | Local Bookstore | used book stores | Fact N Fiction (New Delhi) | also used books stores & the library | Anderson’s Bookshop | WHSmith | Chapters/Indigo | Ebay, Big W

My Thoughts: This proves Amazon is vitally important, but choosing their Select program rules out 42% of other preferred stores to buy from. Now that’s a big cut! Barnes & Noble and the Book Depository jointly make up 1/4 of the results. This”42%” figure in actual terms is bigger because of all the “other” options people chose, as listed above.

Favourite genre to buy and read

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My Thoughts: Romance has historically been the biggest seller and to date remains that way. The next biggest genres listed (New Adult and Young Adult) are published in high frequency as a crossover with romance, so in all, you can see romance totally dominates. If you are publishing in lesser desired genres, you could think about incorporating aspects of romance of coming-of-age stories for a broader audience.

Does the publisher matter to you?

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My Thoughts: This was a fantastic surprise! Seems like readers don’t care (my opinion is so long as the book looks and reads professionally).

Where do you find new books to read?

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My Thoughts: Again, I stress the importance of word-of-mouth. Reviews and posting about publication of a new book is cool, but readers buy based on trust of another avid reader. So get your book into hands of readers and bloggers who’ll promote you if they love your book!

Do you read reviews? Which ones are influential in buying/not buying a book?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.10.27 AM

My Thoughts: It’s important to find targeted reviewers if you send out ARCs or review copies. 55% of book buyers take notice to all reviews, and 82% will at least scan reviews for particular ones they are after. Bottom line is you want to put review copies in the hands of people likely to enjoy your genre and style, since you can impact this part of published reviews.

Are “star” ratings important to you?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.15.18 AM

My Thoughts: This is great to hear. Some of the biggest sellers in history have average to low star ratings for a variety of reasons. it isn’t a biggie if your book doesn’t have a 4.5- to 5-star average.

Do you read free books? would you then continue on to buy more books by that author?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.15.24 AM

[click the image to view larger version in new window]

My Thoughts: Another happy surprise! Free books are widely read in some circles, and 61% of  people who love a free book will go on to purchase other books by that author. A further 16% read all freebies. These are amazing results. Don’t underestimate the power of giving away one of your books for free.

For more info on this, read a guest post on Novel Girl going into this further here.

eBook pricing

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.15.33 AM

My Thoughts: Think about your career goals. Readers will spend their money on a book they love, so you don’t have to feel pressured to price at $0.99.

How important is a good book cover? (rate 5 very important; 1 doesn’t matter)

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.15.39 AMMy Thoughts: I stress notice here! Book with great covers sell well, whether you agree or disagree. Almost 3/4 of book buyers are heavily swayed by a well designed cover. If you’re in need of a new cover or even an updated cover, you can hire me (Berto Designs) or look at this list of other book designers I recommend.

What aspect of book covers draw you in?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.28.42 AM

My Thoughts: Romance and beauty are the most attractive (hehe pun intended) covers for book buyers. These factors (abs, kisses, beautiful woman) make up 37% of this poll. Care with font choice can grab a buyer, too, it seems.

Note these results are probably true for YA — Adult fiction (opposed to MG and Kids Fiction).

How important is quality editing and proofreading?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.28.48 AM

My Thoughts: Only 7% didn’t mind if you haven’t had editing and proofreading done for your book. This actually surprises me. The base line is you must hire a qualified professional. Need one? I use and recommend Lauren McKellar (senior editor at Entranced and editor for PETS magazine).

Preferred gender of narrator

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.28.58 AM

My Thoughts: I love this! Females may make up 3/4 of readers but 75% of book buyers want a mixture of narrator genders.

Do you wait until a book is on sale if you think the author will later discount?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.29.04 AM

My Thoughts: The current book environment sees double, triple and maybe quadruple more frequent book sales than a few years ago. This is a mixed bag of results, with reader preferences varied.

Do you subscribe to any of the following and buy from them?

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 10.29.11 AM

My Thoughts: If you haven’t considered advertising with book sale subscription companies, I suggest you do. BookBub and Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals affect chart toppers. I know this from my own experience and watching charts. The “Other” answer option may include “NOs” and also other actual companies. Not many book buyers don’t subscribe to anything.

• • • • •

Thank you for reading! I hope this helps. Have any other comments? Just leave a reply.

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♥♥♥

Rebecca Berto is the author of Precise and Drowning in You. If you want book-release updates, please sign up at this form (email only when news, not weekly).

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page to stay updated.

What are your book-buying habits? A survey

>>> RESULTS ARE HERE <<<

In a world where all authors — regardless of publisher — have a chance of hitting #1 on the New York Times and Amazon best seller lists, I have put together a survey for my lovely Novel Girl readers to discover certain trends. Whether author or reader, we’re all interested in the shift that’s occurring between physical book stores vs online stores, traditional publishers vs self-publishers, and more.

If you have a minute, I have some questions in this poll that I’d love you to share your thoughts on. I’ll put them together afterwards and you can come back and have a reference post. Please share this via email or social media to invite your friends! The bigger and varied the results, the more reliable they’ll be. :)

[or direct link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PvvrMBgTYN-hgah-G6yUSt53q-eI8Tbe9Hfst1WeJj8/viewform]

Thank you for your time!

Signature

♥♥♥

Rebecca Berto is the author of Precise and Drowning in You. If you want book-release updates, please sign up at this form (email only when news, not weekly).

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page to stay updated.

Update: next book release from Rebecca Berto and publishing schedule

I love bad boys, but I’m really getting a kick out of writing this new novel. It will tell the story of a bad girl who’s fearless say-it-all, but trapped by her past and fear of being alone in a room with a guy. (full blurb to come)

I present my next release. Details below:

Being Kalli - cover to come placeholderTitle: Being Kalli

Age group: New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: late August / early September

Cover designer: Okay Creations

♥♥♥

Click to add to Goodreads

Click to add to Goodreads

Publishing Schedule

Aug/Sep 2013: Being Kalli (new)

Late 2013/early 2014: Pulling Me Under (Precise #2)

Mid 2014: Finding Forever in Us (Drowning in You #2)

♥♥♥

This bad girl is going to rock your jocks. Watch out for Being Kalli, late August/early September. Goodreads add link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17861915-being-kalli

♥♥♥

Buy on Amazon!

DrowningInYou AMAZON<<< Buy Precise from Amazon for Kindle.

Buy Drowning in You for Kindle, too. >>>

Or, follow my blog by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page.

Author interview: P.C Zick on writing and selling books

Author: PC Zick

Author: PC Zick

Today, I have author, PC Zick to chat on Novel Girl on writing, her books, and her tips for writers and self-publishers.

PC Zick is the author of three books, and a range of genres: literary fiction, women’s fiction and stories about environmental issues.

♥♥♥

What is your favorite time to write?

I love to write first thing in the morning with my first cup of coffee at my side. Now that I’m spending so much time promoting and writing a blog, it often is put off until later in the day. When that happens, I clear my desk, eat lunch, and then begin writing.

One of these days, when I’m through the learning curve of learning about cyberspace marketing, I’ll get back to making writing the priority, and the rest comes when I’ve done my pages for the day.

Where is your favorite place to write?

It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m starting a blog or story (or chapter) from scratch, I often grab a legal pad and my box of sharpened pencils and leave my office. I might go to the living room; I might crawl in bed; I might go to a coffee shop or library, if home distractions are too great.

Once I’m ready to write the entire blog or chapter, I go to my very favorite place to write, which is my office. I finally have the office of my dreams with a desk that wraps around me on three sides with bookshelves across from me and all my favorite tidbits that inspire me. My newest addition is a stone turtle my husband gave me for my birthday to celebrate the publication of Trails in the Sand.

At the risk of sounding pompous, what do you love most about your fiction?

I try to put my characters in situations we’ve all faced at one time or another. They are exaggerated situations to make the story more exciting, but people can relate to the emotions and reactions. I try to show what happens when we fail to communicate. I also show that we all have flaws, but there’s always a chance for redemption.

In Trails in the Sand, I attempted to show that we can’t judge another person unless we’ve walked the very same path in the very same shoes.

PC Zick's "Trails in the Sand"

PC Zick’s “Trails in the Sand”

What other books would you say have similar qualities to Trails in the Sand that would interest readers to try your novel?

One of my reviewers compared me to Anne Rivers Siddons, which floored me because she’s one of my favorite authors. I hadn’t thought about comparing myself to her. I did reread Beach Music by Pat Conroy — another favorite author — before I started the second draft. His depiction of crazy southern families always intrigued me although he goes so far, it also scares me. In addition, in Beach Music, the rescuing of sea turtles plays a role in the plot as it does in Trails in the Sand.

Do you have any tips to improve writing?

  1. Read, read, and read some more. Read the best writers and sometimes read not-so-good writers. We can learn from both. Apply what you learn from your reading to your own work.
  2. Listen to your critics. Work with beta readers and editors because everyone needs honest feedback and editing.
  3. Read dialogue aloud and cut out the formality in dialogue. Avoid dialect — use words to imply someone’s background (“fetch” instead of “get” for a North Carolina dialect).
  4. Study point of view and make sure you know the difference in the types and apply it in your writing.
  5. Whether you are self-publishing or going the traditional route always put forth your very best effort. We’re in a revolution in the writing and publishing world with many more opportunities for writers, but if we put out crap as Indie Writers, we all lose.

Do you have any selling tips?

I’m such a newbie in the new world of self-publishing that I’m not sure. I would advise anyone getting involved in any type of writing or publishing to be flexible, study, and listen. I try many different methods and some have worked and others not so much. Interestingly enough, the times I’ve paid for promotion, I’ve failed miserably. There are so many free opportunities out there now that I would advise writers to save money for a cover artist and an editor. Persevere even when you feel like quitting, and believe me, I have days where I’m discouraged. But I get up, read the blogs I follow and leave a couple of comments on ones that touched me in some way. I tweet for others, not just myself. I write my blog. I solidify my platform by posting things on the topics found in my books. I make sure that I do more than just bombard folks with messages about buying my books.

Each day I gain more followers on my blogs; reviews slowly trickle in, and I hope that one day all this translates into steady sales figures for my books.

Thank you for the opportunity to be reviewed today, Rebecca. I enjoyed answering these interesting questions.

♥♥♥

Book links:

Amazon  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Goodreads (reviews only)  |

Author links:

Website  |  Blogs: Living Lightly and Writing Whims  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |

♥♥♥

Buy on Amazon!

DrowningInYou AMAZON<<< Buy Precise from Amazon for kindle or from Smashwords for all types of eReading devices. Or, follow my blog by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page.

>>> Enter to WIN and add my New Adult Contemporary Romance novel, Drowning in You to Goodreads. (Coming April 12, 2013)

How PRECISE gained fans who said this …

Just shy of a month of Precise being published, I’ve received some amazing reviews and comments from readers. Really, you guys are the freaking bomb! Check out some tweets from happy readers:

Then we have one that always makes me squeee:

and yet another happy reader:

and we have a proud “acknowledged” person:

But your reviews are the ones that truly blow me away. Check out this from Kim Koning, author in an anthology with Neil Gaiman, and Twitter #storycraft host:

Click to "like" the review

Click to “like” the review

Do you follow the Limebird Writers blog? They have around 700 followers I think and are a fantastic writing blog to follow. Well, the Founder and host, Beth Horwood, wrote this:

Click to "like" review

Click to “like” the review

Now for the big one. Cristina from Cristina’s Book Reviews wrote a few lines that made me smile so big, I grinned literally from ear to ear. Read this:

Muahaha ;)

Muahaha ;)

And not to honk my own horn but I’ve heard this comment from quite a few readers and reviewers. And I am thrilled to hear it, also from Cristina:

Screen Shot 2012-12-24 at 11.24.54 AM♥♥♥

All these reviews have made me into a book buying frenzy addict. All these $0.99 books made me realise I can support so many indie authors and barely spend a thing. It also happens that Precise is $0.99 too!

A few reasons why I buy so many $0.99 books:

  • I’d have to buy 1/3 of a coffee to get that same value;
  • I can buy two soft serve cones from McDonald’s for that price;
  • I am supporting another author’s career;
  • I am supporting the industry I love;
  • I am giving back to the author for selling their hard work for such a little price;

among other reasons.

If you’d like to support my book, Precise, you can:

  • BUY PRECISE FOR JUST $0.99! Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords (all formats), Kobo (direct ePub download for most devices), iBooks
  • Add it to your To Read shelf on Goodreads
  • Click “like” on the Amazon page (demonstrated below)
  • Screen Shot 2012-12-24 at 11.32.24 AM
  • Share a message on Facebook (@ = Rebecca Alyce Berto) or Twitter (@RebeccaBerto)! Feel free to share the cover on Pinterest too. Goodreads link to use.

Thank you all for following me. I can’t believe as I type this I have 76,500 blog views and 650+ Novel Girl followers. I’d be forever grateful if you bought or shared my book and enjoy returning the favour for your platform!

Click to buy

Click to buy

♥♥♥

Buy Precise from Amazon for Kindle or from Smashwords for all types of eReading devices. Or, follow my blog by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page.

PRECISE is available to buy at Amazon and Smashwords!

PRECISE IS LIVE!

PRECISE went live today! It’s now available at two stores and all formats for the launch price of just $0.99!

Note: there are details below about how you can get your hands on free gift cards!

If you’re a Kindle user (Kindle eReader; or Kindle app for PC, Mac, iPhone or iPad) you can buy from your corresponding store:

If you use any other file type — ePub, PDF, RTF, etc — you can buy your preferred file type from:

Smashwords is easy to sign up to, and it’s fantastic because once you click buy, you can download the mobi file for your kindle app, the ePub file for your eReader, and the PDF copy to print off. All for the one price, you get access to all file types.

No need to miss out.

Remember samples from Amazon and Smashwords are available and free to try!

What about other sites like Barnes & Noble?

Precise is still pending publication at Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBookstore. Not to worry, if you want to go directly to your preferred store, I’ll create another post once those book links are live.

Party time!

Don’t forget about my online launch parties. There will be discussions, book giveaways, and lots of virtual martinis for y’all. Join the:

* The Twitter Hashtag Precise Tweet-a-thon will occur at these world times:

  • New York EST: Thursday, 29 November 2012 at 7:00 PM
  • Melbourne EDT: Friday, 30 November 2012 at 11:00 AM

Please use the hashtag #PreciseLaunch when sending tweets so we’ll all be linked to the same conversation.

WAIT! There are free gift cards available!

So. This is me. And my book.

You didn’t think I was going to let you get away with no rewards — wait, did you? I’m shocked! I’d never …

Anyway, the point is I want to say thank you for buying my book. Precise costs only $0.99 but I’d like to personally give two Amazon gift cards worth $4.99 to the bestest reviews left on Amazon and Goodreads.

Entry conditions:

  1. Leave an honest book review of Precise on Amazon and Goodreads.
  2. Email me the link to your book review posts (specific URL. If not, list details to find your review).
  3. Send your email to rebeccaberto [at] hotmail [dot] com
  4. Wait while Rebecca chooses the bestest reviews (at her discretion).
  5. This competition closes in five weeks on 3 January 2013 (Australian date).

♥♥♥

Okay, off you go, my lovely Novel Girl readers. Show me your love and go grab that book (if you wish. Only if you wish :D ).

♥♥♥

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