Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Maski and the Support of This Online Community

Many of you know Joylene Nowell Butler, author and The Insecure Writer’s Support Group admin. Last week, she broke her hip and underwent surgery on Friday. As a result, she is unable to share in the joy of her IPPY award-winning book being released as an eBook for the first time.

One thing that’s great about this online community is the support. If any of you can share this week, that would be wonderful. (Many already answered the call on Facebook - thank you.) I’m going to save all the links to those posts and send them to her. It will cheer her to see that others were willing to step up to the plate on her behalf.


Available today for the first time in eBook form -

Maski: Broken But Not Dead
By Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.

However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?

Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

“Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page.” - Martha A. Cheves, author

“A psychological thriller filled with suspense, action and drama...” - John Bell, 93.1 CFIS-FM: Prince George, BC

“Riveting and beautifully written. You won't be able to set it down.” Judith S. Avila, author

Joylene, Métis, is the author of Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and Break Time. She and her husband and their two cats reside in Canada for the summers and Nayarit for the winters. They believe life should be an adventure.

Purchase Links: Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Amazon



And coming in two weeks -

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Release date - May 2, 2017

Find on Goodreads
Pre-order at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / B-A-M / iTunes / Nook / Kobo / Amazon UK


Has the online community ever helped you? Who makes up your support team?

And Dancing Lemur Press was one of three publishers featured in an interview at the IWSG this week.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group #IWSG

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.


April 5 Question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

I’ve participated 2-3 times in the past. One year my theme was leadership and goal-setting and I posted short excerpts from my book, Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! Another year, I posted promo and other tips for writers, most taken from my book How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now! Each month moved a few extra books. Not enough to warrant a month’s worth of marketing, but if I was posting for the A to Z anyway, might as well take advantage of the opportunity.


If you’ve not had an opportunity to join yet, the IWSG Goodreads Book Club just selected its first writing book. You have until the end of May to read it, so there’s still time.

The IWSG Twitter Pitch - #IWSGPit takes place July 27. The list of participating agents and publishers continues to grow and it’s a great opportunity for writers. Join us for the event in July - Twitter pitch parties are a lot of fun.

In less than one month, the next IWSG anthology will be released - Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life. Twelve fantasy stories involving a lost hero from twelve talented authors.
Follow the Lost Hero blog and please support the Thunderclap campaign. They need just a couple more supporters.

One of Dancing Lemur Press’s titles is now free - CassaDawn.
Download the prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa trilogy at:
Amazon / iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Amazon UK




And coming April 18, 2017 in eBook format- the prequel to Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries:

Maski: Broken But Not Dead by Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango retreats to her cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. After two days, the intruder disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Then her daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

To pre-order: Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Amazon


Has anyone else used the A to Z to market a book?

Friday, March 31, 2017

We are the World Blogfest #WATWB

Hosted by Belinda Witzenhausen, Lynn Hallbrooks, Simon Falk, Sylvia McGrath, and Damyanti Biswas.

The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there, the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope and the resilience of the human spirit. With your help, we hope to change the current landscape of social media, blogs, and news. Our first post goes live on the 31st of March and Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome.

Find WATWB also on Facebook and Pinterest.


Since I am an animal lover, I selected a story that involves a cat.

On September 12, 2016, a tiny kitten fell out of a SUV and onto a busy freeway in Kaliningrad, Russia.

For several minutes, cars swerved around the kitten and several trucks went right over him.

Then a car stopped and the driver got out to rescue the kitten, saving him from certain death. The man, Denis Degtyarev, checked him over and found the cat bruised and scared but otherwise unhurt. He took him to his kids’ school and friends found the kitten a good home.

How many people would do that? How many would show compassion for a small creature in danger and risk their own life to save it? True compassion shines on all levels and for all living things, and that man proved there are still caring people in the world. God bless his loving and generous spirit. May it be contagious.

A surveillance camera caught the whole ordeal:







Special Announcement

One of Dancing Lemur Press’s titles is now free - CassaDawn. 
Download the prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa trilogy at:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Getting the Most out of a Twitter Pitch Event

Recently the IWSG announced our first Twitter pitch event on July 27 - #IWSGPit. You can read all the details HERE.

Just what is a Twitter pitch party?

On a designated day, writers are to compose a story pitch in less than 140 characters and Tweet it with the appropriate hashtags. Publishers and agents scan the feed for pitches that catch their attention and pressing the “heart” button. That indicates they want a query from you.

Each Twitter pitch event has its own set of rules and hashtags:
  • How often a pitch may be posted
  • Hashtags for the event and for specific genres
  • How writers can show one another support

Often participating publishers and agents will Tweet instructions for submitting manuscripts that have received a “heart” from them. Sometimes they will simply direct people to their submission guidelines.

A recent Twitter pitch event garnered over 1000 Tweets an hour. That’s a lot of pitches! How does one stand out? What can writers do to make the best impression possible and follow all the proper steps?

Here are some tips for getting the most out of the experience:

  • Compose a solid pitch. It’s difficult to sum up an entire story in one line, but not impossible. Loglines have to be basic. (Think of the taglines from movies.) What’s the key plot element? Who is the main character? Aim for 120 characters to allow room for the hashtags.

  • Add some personality to your pitch. A little humor or quirkiness does stand out.

  • Test your pitch on other writers first.

  • Be sure your story fits the event. Some Twitter pitches are gear towards specific genres.

  • Use the proper hashtags. You’ll want to use the event’s hashtag AND a genre hashtag. It also helps to add the age hashtag. (Examples - #F = fantasy, #PR = Paranormal Romance, #A = adult, #YA = young adult.)

  • Consider your genre/age options. During most pitch events, #YA is the most popular age/genre. But we know that YA does not comprise half of the books published every year. Think outside the box and pitch a genre/age that will stand out rather than blend in.

  • Don’t pitch more often than allowed or you will get banned. In addition, only publishers and agents are to “heart” pitches.

  • If your pitch receives a “heart,” go to that publisher/agent’s site and review the submission guidelines. Be sure to mention the pitch event in your query. But just because you were invited to submit doesn’t mean you can ignore their submission requirements - send everything they request and ONLY what they request. No need to shoot yourself in the foot when you just got it in the door.

  • Be sure to research that publisher/agent BEFORE you send your query. Don’t waste that person’s time. The publisher/agent won’t remember that you didn’t send a “hearted” query, but he or she will remember that you sent one and then later withdrew it.

  • Once the event ends, analyze your results. If you received no “hearts” it might be time to adjust your pitch. Of course, with thousands of pitches filling the feed, it’s also possible it got lost in the shuffle. Adjust and try again at the next event.

Many authors have found homes for their books through Twitter pitches. It’s a great way to test the waters and get the attention of a publisher or agent. Don’t rely on them solely though - you still need to be querying with a proper query letter. Just give it a try and have fun.

Various Twitter pitch events:


Have you ever participated in a Twitter pitch event?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Barn Cats Are Loose! And the IWSG Goodreads Book Club

I’m excited to bring to the world a captivating tale about loss, healing, barn cats.

Follow her blog tour through MC Book Tours for your chance to win a free copy.

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS

By Maria Santomasso-Hyde

Inspired by true events...

Losses send a woman’s soul into its darkest winter...

Maria has cared for her very ill mother for many years. Her burdens are heavy, causing a sadness bordering on darkness. When she discovers her historic barn is now home to a mother cat and kittens, she feels lighter than she has in years. As the kittens grow, they teach her as only animals can do.

Then tragedy strikes. As Maria loses her family, the darkness envelopes her like the heavy fog that blankets her Blue Ridge Mountain home each morning. She creates a scorecard: God: 9, Maria: 0. Her questions turn into anger at God. She searches to find answers as to why her loving God would take away so much in such a short time.

How will she learn to trust again? Can the kittens in her barn help her heal?

Christian Fiction / Christian Life-Death, Grief, Bereavement
$10.95 Print ISBN 978-1-939844-21-7,$3.99 eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-22-4
From Dancing Lemur Press

“...accessible, compelling and deeply infused with the heartbreaking and heart-lifting realities of life.” - Kurt Rheinheimer, Editor in Chief, Blue Ridge County magazine.

“A gracious, gentle tale of faith, told with refreshingly unexpected perspectives.” - Cathy Pickens, award-winning author of the Southern Fried mystery series

“Maria Santomasso-Hyde spins a yarn exquisitely told — a raw and truthful journey that travels from the depth of despair to the edge of salvation.” - Tom Mayer, executive editor, Mountain Times Publications

Formerly a newspaper reporter, Maria Santomasso-Hyde now owns Alta Vista Fine Art Gallery. She lives in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, with her husband, Lee, and The Queen of the Universe (Roma, their Black Cat)… and other Black Cats who decide to move in.
Website / Alta Vista Gallery

Purchase at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / iTunes / Kobo / Nook / Foyles / Indigo / Dancing Lemur Press / Everything Cats
Add on Goodreads


Not on Goodreads?
The IWSG book club is a good reason to join.
 
Don’t do much on Goodreads?
This is an excellent way to dip your toes in a little more.
 
Not enough time in your day?
We read one book every two months.
 
OUR GOAL: The Insecure Writer's Support Group (Book Club) is for writers to read/learn about the writing craft. In this book club, we will swap back and forth between non-fiction writing books and fiction books that demonstrate how to do certain aspects of storytelling. 

No promo. No review or beta reader requests. 

Just writers reading books and discussing those books with other writers.
 
**The first book will be announced on April 1st.**
**The discussion will start on May 17th.**
 
For more details and to join: Book Club

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Twitter Pitch Party and New Book Formatting Prices

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.


Optional question of the month - Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

I’m actually working on an old story right now. I have two stories completed one half finished for my Four in Darkness book. I had two other ideas, but the ghost one just isn’t working. (Which is a shame as it had a great ending.) So for the 4th story, I’m rewriting a story I put together in my 20s called The Frozen Soul. This one will be The Alien. (The others are The Vampire, The Werewolf, and The Shark.)


Our big announcement today:

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Twitter Pitch Party!
 
#IWSGPit

July 27, 2017

8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time

All writers and authors are invited to participate in our very first Twitter Pitch. Invite your writer friends and your publisher/agent.

Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On July 27, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.

Rules:

Writers may send out 1 Twitter pitch every 1 hour per manuscript.

Publishers/Agents will favorite/heart pitches they are interested in. Publishers can either Tweet basic submission guidelines or direct writers to their submission guidelines. (Writers, please do not favorite/heart pitches.)

Pitches must include GENRE/AGE and the hashtag #IWSGPit. (See site for list.)

Please join us on July 27!


We have some great new swag up at the site - now you can buy mugs and erasers, too. Visit the Swag page.


I’ve also reduced my prices for print and ebook formatting:

Print - $60
Ebook - $30
Combo - $75

I’ve formatting hundreds of books for Dancing Lemur Press LLC and clients. Custom work and fast turnaround. See Spunk On A Stick for full details.


Think you might join us on July 27?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Release of The Remnant and Living Under a Tsunami Threat

Available today!

The Remnant
By William Michael Davidson

One nation, without God...
Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants—those who display symptoms of faith—and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety. Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.
But Colton's steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.
Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?

$15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 242 pages, $4.99 EBook
Science Fiction (FIC028000) / Christian Futuristic Fiction (FIC0402020)
Print ISBN 978-1-939844-29-3 eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-30-9

William Michael Davidson lives in Long Beach, California with his wife and two daughters. A believer that "good living produces good writing," Davidson writes early in the morning so he can get outside, exercise, spend time with people, and experience as much as possible. A writer of speculative fiction, he enjoys stories that deal with humanity's inherent need for redemption.


Follow the tour for your chance to win a free copy: MC Book Tours
Purchase the eBook: Amazon / iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Purchase the print book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Chapters / Books A Million / Book Depository / Foyles
Mark to-read on Goodreads


Tsunami Crimes

L. Diane’s Question for Chrys: Have you ever lived in an area where a tsunami could happen?

I live on the east coast of Central Florida. According to Google Maps, I’m roughly sixteen miles away from the closest beach. Tsunamis usually travel 1-2 miles inland. In extreme cases, one can reach up to ten miles. With those numbers, a tsunami won’t likely reach my home, but I could very well be within the reach of a tsunami if I’m anywhere within three miles of the coast. (I’m discounting the extreme case scenario.)
With that said, I researched the probability of this happening. According to scientist, the chances of a tsunami hitting Florida are very small, because the Atlantic doesn’t have large faults like the Pacific.
And yet, it’s not completely impossible. Experts say that the collapse of the volcanic structure in the Canary Islands could send a mega-tsunami into the East coast. There’s a bit of good luck on our side, though. Florida’s shallow waters would act as a breakwater, forcing the tsunami to lose energy.
Coincidently, while I was looking for the answer to this question, I discovered that January of last year, a meteotsunami hit Naples, Florida. Meteotsunamis aren’t like normal tsunamis that occur from a quake or impact. “Meteo” means it’s caused by weather, such as a hurricane or thunderstorm. The one that struck Florida brought the water level off the coast to seven feet, which is six feet higher than the usual high tide.
But a meteotsunami can still be devastating. In 2008, a meteotsunami from Hurricane Ike destroyed a part of Texas (Bolivar Peninsula).
So, yes, I suppose I do live in an area where a tsunami could happen. *gulp*

Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.
This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.
Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.
If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

Tsunami Crimes on SALE for $2.99!

BUY LINKS: Amazon US / Amazon UK / NOOK / The Wild Rose Press

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!

FIND CHRYS: Facebook / Twitter / Website / Blog / Amazon / Goodreads


Can you envision a future where spiritual beliefs are outlawed? Do you live with the threat of a tsunami?

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group - Announcements and Reader Experience

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.


First, some IWSG announcements:

Two new team members joined us last month - Heather Gardner and C. Lee McKenzie! We want to welcome Heather and C. Lee and let them know their contributions to the IWSG will be appreciated.


We also set up a IWSG Merchandise page. Now you can show off that you are an insecure writer.

This month we welcome new members to the IWSG blogging:
Blue Fox Cafe, Kathy S Collier/Author, My Brain Injourney, The Write Project, Write Accountable, Going Solo with spelling errors, 60 Second Saga, Putting the Clothes On, Taking the Gloves Off, Northern Lights Gothic - KT Wagner, Danger, Love, and Mystery, Ray Pace at LargeLiterature for Kids, Fiction Playground, DB McNicol, Author, and Larry D. Mihm.


Today’s optional question:
How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

It changed some in that I noted grammar rules wrong more often.

But it really changed when I added reading submission manuscripts, because then I’m looking at a story with a very critical eye. Passive writing really leaps out at me. And don’t get me started on typos in query letters.


Otherwise, I am full steam ahead with three upcoming releases and another one pending. (I think my official title should be “Juggler.”) I’m always on the lookout for a great story though, so check out the submission guidelines for Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and her imprint, Freedom Fox Press.


The Remnant comes out next Tuesday. Thanks to MC Book Tours for spreading the word.

MC Book Tours is also looking for hosts for the He Gave Me Barn Cats tour in March. See the SITE for details.

The Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life authors started a website for the IWSG anthology - Lost Hero Anthology.
That book comes out May 2.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life and The Remnant Book Tour

Presenting the cover art for the upcoming Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology:

Hero Lost
Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero’s redemption!

Release date: May 2, 2017
Fantasy (FIC009000)
Freedom Fox Press, a division of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378



Also coming soon from Dancing Lemur Press:

The Remnant
By William Michael Davidson

Mason Canyon is hosting his book tour through MC Book Tours.

The tour kicks off today - follow along HERE for your chance to win a copy of The Remnant.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I Survived...Tsunami Crimes

Today I am participating in Chrys Fey’s I Survived Bloghop. She is celebrating the release of Tsunami Crimes (Disaster Crimes Book 3) which comes out today, January 20th.

She gave us the first paragraph as a prompt and took it from there:

"This is Chrys Fey reporting for Disaster 5 News. I am in Eastern N. Carolina where a tsunami hit yesterday morning. I have Diane Wolfe with me, a survivor of the tsunami. Diane, can you tell our viewers what happened, and how you survived?"

Well Chrys, I was in Willmington packing up after one of my publishing seminars at the local community college when the siren went off. The weather was clear, so I knew it wasn’t a tornado warning. I tossed the rest of my things in my Sante Fe, started my SUV, and peeled out of the parking lot.

It’s a good thing the college is downtown and 3rd Street connects with the highway leading to Interstate 40. I looked back in my rear view mirror and about lost it. The wave was surging up the river not far behind me, the water spilling out onto the roads. In seconds, the wave was almost beside me. I must’ve been doing 90 mph when I blew through the main intersection and up the ramp that led away from downtown.

I didn’t slow down, either. I wasn’t sure if I was safe yet. After a maddening wait at the next light, I turned onto I-40 and beat feet for home. Traffic was picking up at this point as people surged out of town. I suspected I was out of danger, but adrenaline still charged through me, and I didn’t slow down until I reached my exit almost an hour later.

Poor Wilmington! All those homes and businesses along the ocean and river. I’ve heard downtown was devastated. I hope most people got to higher ground in time. Hopefully someone remembered the horses that pull the trolley car!




Title: Tsunami Crimes
Series: Disaster Crimes #3
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic-Suspense
Page Count: 272

BLURB: Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again. 

DIGITAL LINKS:

PRINT LINK:



99 CENTS: Amazon
And everywhere ebooks are sold. 


GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 09, 2017

Marketing Makes the World go Around by Tara Tyler

I’m over at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group today, covering the pros & cons and dos & don’ts of audio books.


Marketing makes the world go around...

Writers love what they do, but most don't make much money at it... and we sure don't like marketing!

Marketing is a necessary evil - I need to sell books to justify writing more to my publisher. But it doesn't have to be an evil enterprise. I enjoy going to book events - it's where I sell the most books! I connect with readers and when that happens, they want to read the book.

But today, I want to give some advice for another way authors can connect with readers. VIDEO MARKETING! Now, don't go shrieking back to your den of anonymity. You don't have to show your face if you don't want to, though it will help if you face that fear. All you have to do is...

Read a Passage
from your book

You don't have to be a whiz at creating/editing/formatting videos. There are simple programs, royalty free music for accompaniment, and free images too. Still, the easiest way to put yourself out there is to put yourself out there in a good setting and read. Read it like it sounds to you, that's the best interpretation!

To give you a little more help, I also have some suggestions to enhance your video reading, by genre...
Sci Fi/Fantasy - give your readers a sense of wonder

  • you know how Star Wars starts - blam! then a super short background blurb about the world they're about to enter
  • use a natural or fantastical background to go with your story
  • dress the part
  • edit "magic/technological wonder" into your reading

Romance/Women's Fiction/Historical - enrapture your readers with emotion

  • introduce your reading with a short blurb about where the story came from, what moved you to write it
  • can you relate to one of the characters, is one of them based on you? or someone you know?
  • music can really enhance a dramatic scene
Thriller/Mystery/Horror - leave readers hanging in suspense!


  • become the villain or hero in your reading (you could even wear a mask!)
  • intro the scene with your blurb from the MC's POV
  • pick a scene with big buildup and an awesome cliffhanger
  • music enhances these exciting scenes too

YA/Children's/Humor - make readers LOL

  • tell a joke
  • have a young person read with/for you, or better yet, act it out!
  • have a fake argument over who liked it more
  • use puppets
  • use funny voices
Here is some general advice for any video:
  • Keep them short, 5 minutes or less is a good length
  • Include the cover of your book and your links!
  • Smile (or stay in character)
  • Test it before you send it
  • In all these videos, one thing is constant:
Don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself for your book!
We are here to entertain, educate, and encourage!
We want to get people interested in reading!


I've made videos in the past (BTW you can include viewing your video as part of a giveaway entry!) and I plan to make more this year. (here's my youtube channel)

But rather than bore you with more of me, I want to share this phenomenal example of how to reach readers - with a video review! Tonja Drecker is stepping out of a reader/writer comfort zone to make video reviews, and I was lucky enough that she chose to review CRADLE ROCK. Such an awesome gift! Check it out!!
See how easy that was? Yes, she made it look easy, but it was an entertaining, funny, exciting result!

So, are you ready to put yourself and your book out there??
The world is ready to enjoy it!

Thanks for hosting me, Diane! It was great fun and I even inspired myself to get to work on a new video! I hope you all are ready to start 2017 with a positive attitude - always a great beginning!

WELCOME BACK TO THE FOREST!


CRADLE ROCK, Beast World Book Two
by Tara Tyler

Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans--horrible creatures of myth and legend--may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!

Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.

But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.

Check out the Book Trailer!

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!

Talk to me!
Author Blog ~~ @taratylertalks ~~ Facebook ~~ Housewives Blog

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group - Anthology Contest Winners

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.


During the holidays, I did a lot of marketing research and I even wrote a couple chapters on my own story. Boo-yah!

January 4 Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

I think I was perfectly happy with passive until I heard the “Show don’t tell” rule. Because it was a long, long time between that moment and the moment where I finally figured out how to do that.


Today we also announce the winners of the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest.

We’d like to thank this year’s judges:
Elizabeth S. Craig
Richard Harland
Laura Maisano
Russell C. Connor
Dawn Frederick
Ion Newcombe
Lynn Tincher

And the winners of the contest, securing a spot in the anthology:

Top story to be featured in the title and on the cover -
The Mysteries of Death and Life by Jen Stanton Chandler

Breath Between Seconds by L. Nahay
Sometimes They Come Back by Roland Yeomans
Mind Body Soul by Elizabeth Seckman
Captain Bulat by Olga Godim
The Silvering by Ellen Jacobson
The Wheat Witch by Erika Beebe
The Art of Remaining Bitter by Yvonne Ventresca
The Witch Bottle by Sean McLachlan
The Last Dragon by Sarah Foster
Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight by Renee Cheung
Of Words and Swords by Tyrean Martinson

The fantasy anthology will be out late spring - Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life.


Ready for the next IWSG contest?
What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

We were invaded by Minions this Christmas.

In my stocking:

And on our lawn: