Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Donna Galanti. She is the International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the The Element Trilogy.
Mystery & Thrillers, Children's, Science Fiction & Fantasy
The Element Trilogy - Paranormal murder and mystery with a dash of steam
Donna Galanti - The Element Trilogy
Check Out Goodreads
Check Out Google+
Check Out Facebook
Donna Galanti is the author of A Human Element and A Hidden Element (The Element Trilogy, Imajin Books) and the Joshua and the Lightning Road series (due 2015, Month9Books). Donna is a contributing editor to the International Thriller Writers Big Thrill magazine and blogs at Algonquin Redux. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called JOSHUA AND THE LIGHTNING ROAD. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?
Book 1 in my fantasy adventure series for kids comes out May, 2015 (book 2 expected December 2015). Set in an imaginary dark world that steals human children for work slaves, the book is magical and adventure-packed, filled with lots of friendships, battles, and bad guys. In the book twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper learns the hard way that lightning never strikes by chance when a bolt strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever. To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark world where stolen human kids are work slaves and ruled by the frustrated heirs of the Greek Olympians who come to see Joshua as the hero prophesied to restore their lost powers. New friends come to Joshua’s aid and while battling beasts and bandits and fending off the Child Collector, Joshua’s mission quickly becomes more than a search for his friend—it becomes the battle of his life.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
It’s taken almost four years to gain the following I have on Twitter. I believe building any social media takes time and networking. As I’m connected to so many now (over 9,000) I work best in Lists that I create where I catalogue folks. This makes it handy to foster relationships in little pockets such as children authors, thriller authors, book bloggers, etc.
I’ve built a following by doing Tweet Teams on World Literary Café, contests via places like Kindle Book Review, and Facebook parties. Most importantly it’s fun – and yes I do see immediate sales from such efforts. The key is to get others to re-tweet your posts.
Twitter is an entirely different dynamic than Facebook.
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
I have an author newsletter that I use 2-3 times a year to send out major news and also a blog for my thriller books that folks can subscribe to for ongoing news and articles. I have nearly 3,000 subscribers to this blog mainly from exposure to WordPress, GoodReads, and readers just checking out my website. My children’s book website is still fairly new but you can sign up for blog posts there too – and my son and I even have a video blog we’re creating that should be up soon called MeAndMom.
You have written a short story called The Dark Inside. Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work?
This collection, THE DARK INSIDE, was created during a writer’s retreat. It was hard for me to leave my characters behind, and this was a way to create new stories of them between books 1 and 2 in my Element Trilogy. It definitely gives folks a sample of my work and also provides readers extra insight into the characters. I’d love to offer a copy for free to anyone here who wants to read it. Just email me your e-book format preference.
I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a novel collection (A Human Element - see below) called Deadly Dozen: 12 Mystery/Thriller Novels. What has been the impact of the set on your other sales? What was the main objective of bundling your works with other mystery authors? How did you put something like that together?
I was so thrilled that my publisher, Imajin Books, invited me to be a part of this collection with book 1 in my bestselling paranormal suspense trilogy, A HUMAN ELEMENT! There definitely has been cross over in sales to book 2, A HIDDEN ELEMENT, from this. As a collective, we have especially benefited from cross promotion of this book bundle.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
Unless you have several books out, I don’t recommend giving books away for free.
Giving away the first book in a series of many can be fruitful, I’ve heard. It helps draw in new readers to your work. My publisher sets the reduced pricing of my books and I can opt-in to so many promotions a year. We work well in setting the pricing along with timely advertising that does boost sales, exposure, and ultimately leads to more reviews.
Both books in my Element Trilogy hit the Amazon Top 50 Bestseller Lists in more than one category in the U.S. and Canada - and stayed there for several weeks upon release. I believe it was a combination of things that worked: reduced price promotion for book 1, book tours, Facebook parties, timed advertising, Twitter campaigns, newsletters, and blog posts.
You are currently a part of a tour sponsored by
Pump Up Your Book.
What has been your experience with virtual book tours? Did they contribute to the increase of your book sales?
Virtual book tours are fun and, if the hosts are well-targeted with a large following, can give quite a boost in sales and new followers. It’s a great way to share posts on topics in your books, engage with readers, and gain new readers and followers on social media.
The only downside is the time it takes to write those posts takes away from novel-writing time.
I like the section on your website called Authors. You do a great job of pointing other authors to helpful information and resources. Where did you get the idea for this? What is your goal in maintaining the list?
I love sharing what I learn with other writers of all levels. I once was a new writer just emerging from my writing cave to learn my craft and meet my peers, and I often think many writers don’t realize how much they learn as they grow – and how much others can learn from them. This isn’t a competition. We writers have a great camaraderie amongst ourselves, as few can relate to what we go through in our craft.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to other writers. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?
I haven’t spent as much time writing personal blog posts lately as I would like to be doing because so many deadlines have been looming! (I had two books and a collection out in 2014 that had to be edited/marketed and two books to write that are now being edited for print). I may move away from personal blogging just based on time available.
My primary goal is to connect with readers and I am now re-inventing myself as a children’s author, so that’s an entirely different avenue of promotion through librarians, teachers, parents, and school assemblies.
As far as time for social media, it’s a love-hate relationship! It’s a fun procrastination but necessary to authors! I have found that sticking with 2-3 social media areas works best for me. I love Twitter and Facebook and that is where I hang out.
What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?
Book bloggers are a great way to get reviews for your books. For every new release I send out so many copies a few months in advance of publication to dozens of vetted book bloggers. I wrote a post here about how to get best-fit book reviewers.
Straight from the Mouth of 'A Hidden Element'
Author's Book List
A Hidden Element
- The Element Trilogy Book 2
Evil lurks within…
When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret alien community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him.
Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown.
Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
A Human Element
- The Element Trilogy Book 1
Evil comes in many forms…
One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.
But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
The Dark Inside
- A short story collection - Element Trilogy
Heartbreak, danger, lust, and betrayal blaze to life in this collection of stories that reveal the dark places hidden within us. When what you most desire is on the line how far will you go to get it, and what will you give up?
A young man desperate to leave a world that doesn't accept him–and a father who hates him. A tormented man imprisoned as a science experiment experiences love for the first time. A secret agent gives in to his carnal desires and risks exposing the one secret he wants to keep. A college freshman betrayed by her lover takes matters into her own hands. A young girl is determined not to suffer at the hands of her molester anymore. A sadistic leader who thrives on mind control leads his people into a new life. A teen seeks escape from his abusive foster father and faces a life-or-death situation to survive.
They must either fight the dark inside or embrace it. Which will they choose?
Order the Book From: Amazon
Letters From Boot Camp: A Memoir of Navy Basic Training
Letters from Boot Camp captures the tale of one young woman's Navy boot camp adventure from the initial shock of lack of privacy, freedom and sleep to constant verbal abuse combined with endless inspections. Seaman Recruit Beckley details her experiences in letters sent home from the beginning with “Today was the longest day of my life and the two months here will never be over!” to eventually enjoying the challenge. Each week of training we follow Seaman Recruit Beckley through tortuous punishments, losing recruit-mates, surviving Hell Week and poisonous spiders. The narrative connects two generations of sailors weaving in advice from her “salt of the sea” Dad who supports her and reminds her to, “Hang in there. Head up. Chest out. Back straight. And keep those shoes polished.” This detailed, factual account provides a real-as-it-gets daily view of boot camp life spattered with emotion and humor. Included are tips on preparing for and surviving Navy boot camp, Navy terminology, and post-boot camp life. This is the only Navy boot camp memoir written from a woman’s perspective and is a must-have for any parent or friend to give their loved one who is enlisting in the U.S. Navy.
Order the Book From: Amazon
- Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by:
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle
Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.