Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dawn Greenfield Ireland - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on award winning independent publisher Author Dawn Greenfield Ireland. She is the creator of the Hot Chocolate series and two very popular non-fiction books.

Author Genre: Mystery Thrillers, Fantasy,Professional & Technical

Website: Dawn Ireland Writer
Author's Blog: Dawn Ireland
Twitter: @dawnireland
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Dawn Ireland is the CEO of Artistic Origins Inc, a 100% woman-owned publishing company that has been doing business since 1995. She's the award winning author of The Puppy Baby Book and Mastering Your Money.

Hot Chocolate her new wickedly funny cozy mystery novel is collecting 5-star reviews on Amazon. It is the first in the series, and her fifth novel. Stay tuned for Bitter Chocolate (she posts updates of her progress on Facebook).

Originally from Feeding Hills, MA, Dawn migrated to San Antonio in 1968, then when her first son was one year old (1971) her family moved to Houston where work was more plentiful.

Dawn is the co-author of the animated screenplay Memoirs of a Dog (with Barbara Mackey) which won the Spirit Award of the Moondance Film Festival (children's category) 9/2011. Her dark comedy Plan B was a finalist in the Table Read My Screenplay script competition in 2010. Mastering Your Money won the New England Book Festival eBook category in 12/2008. Melody, A Girl and Her Dog, and Passage were finalists in the Worldfest Int'l Film Festival Script Competition in 2005.

The Puppy Baby Book was proclaimed a finalist in the prestigious IPPY book competition (2001) less than 90 days after publication.

And years before any of these successes, Standing Dead won the Women in Film and Television (Houston Chapter) screenplay award in 12/99.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congrats on your new book, Hot Chocolate. You started off on the fast track. How much did pre-release marketing play in quick success? How much did your use of a publicist up front play out?

I tested the waters with the ebook prior to publishing the paperback. In February I did a virtual book tour and Hot Chocolate was a hit with the bloggers all over the globe. The virtual tour was the start of Hot Chocolate's success.

The publicist is primarily an Amazon publicist. She put together a campaign and drove traffic to see my book.

You are one of those unique people that are involved in the book publishing world and writing fiction at the same time. How do you manage your time? I read that you were at the Sugarland Marriott for a conference. How much traditional marketing do you do?

I'm running in every direction at one time, trying to balance a day job with moving forward with writing the second book in the series, and then using social media to get the word out.

There never seems to be enough time to update my website and blog, to Facebook, Tweet or post on LinkedIn. I love doing book signings. It is nice to meet people who are willing to take a chance on my work. So far, no returns!

How much do you rely on social media for your marketing effort? Which area do you concentrate on the most on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin? Do you find that there is too much noise in some of these areas to do a good job marketing?

Every book I send out in the mail, or autograph and sell at an event has my three postcards inside. That is my #1 marketing tool. There are a lot of people who live vicariously through their social networking, and if I can interest people with my posts, tweets and blog, then I am doing great. I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and my blog, plus Goodreads.

I am sitting here writing your blog, listening to Houston’s own Country Legends 97.1 and reading about Aunt Ora. That has to be the best of all worlds. Have you developed a book trailer for Hot Chocolate? (Give us a link if you have one.)

A book trailer is high on my list. When I get one done, I'll send a link, but I don't think that is going to happen this year.

With your new book Hot Chocolate hot of the press (pun intended), when will we be seeing your new book, Bitter Chocolate? Can you tease us with something about the Bitter Chocolate version? Do you have a plan yet for Sweet Chocolate?

Bitter Chocolate is half finished. If I could win the lottery, life would be a lot easier and I could stay home and write, hire an assistant to help with the marketing, etc. But, since I don't put a lot of hope in winning the lottery, I have to do the best I can with balancing work so I can get BC finished. Ha ha...

I do plan Spicy Chocolate, but have not thought about Sweet Chocolate... maybe that title will come to be!

I'll share what I printed in the back of the Hot Chocolate paperback, slightly modified to avoid spoilers for people who want to read Hot Chocolate:

Want more Chocolate? Get ready for book 2:

Bitter Chocolate!

The characters you loved in Hot Chocolate are back with more escapades of life in River Oaks.

Along with the regulars, you’ll meet Benny, Madge’s eccentric brother-in-law, her house manager Carmichael, and Roger Bainsworth III, Cissy’s new boyfriend.

Love is in the air! Uncle Tito brings his friend Pecos Ektadoro to Houston. Pecos met a woman from the Heights online and it might be a match made in heaven. But guess what? Pecosisn’t the only one in love. My lips are sealed.

Bernie decides he wants his Bentley back. The girls are horrified. They hire Joseph’s cousin Chewie as Bernie’s new chauffeur.

The Alcott clan have a new landscaping service after the old service provider got orders mixed up. Jingo Jackson of Roots and Branches hits the jackpot with the Alcott account.

Lila Mae and Amelia have their hands full with the Chocolate Ball that Dorothea was supposed to chair, but she dumped the event in Lila Mae’s lap. Madge isn’t much help either. She has her hands full with Benny. Louie and Scooter’s truce has ended?that’s all I’m saying about that relationship.

Expect company from Louisiana, and yes… there's a dead body in Bitter Chocolate and you'll never guess who or why or where. I'm not telling!

Tell us how your publishing program works? How do authors get involved? (Gives us a link here.)

I'm in the process of re-vamping and renaming my program, so I'm not providing a link at this time, but the gist of it is this - I've put together a program that teaches people:
(1) how to create the best product (book) they can,
(2) how to create their own independent publishing company, and
(3) how to get their book on all the sites to sell it.

One of the things I was impressed with while doing your blog was you find time to guide the Dawn Ireland Critque Group in Houston. Tell us how rewarding it is to work with a group of authors and meet them face to face? Can authors from out of the Houston area join your group or do you hook them up with sister groups?

My critique group is just about 20 years old now, and only one person in the group is from the original team. It is very gratifying to help new writers get on the right track.
One of the hardest things to get across is that they should not be offended by criticism. It only makes your work better, and let's face it, if two or more people have the same comment, that's proof there's something wrong. Some people are shell-shocked when they receive their marked-up pages back and they're covered in red ink.

Some people never return, but those that stay for a couple of years - you know they are improving when you see their work each month.

The group is for Houston writers only. People who are looking for a critique group should Google "Critique Group" and their city and/or state to find something in their area. If there isn't anything, they need to create one. I don't mind answering questions at a later date if someone wants to know how to set one up.

Author's Book List
Hot Chocolate
Hot Off the Press Hot Chocolate is available as an ebook and paperback. It is 477 pages long, including reviews, snippets from the book, acknowledgements and dedications, the entire story told in 44 chapters. At the back of the book you will find eight mouth-watering recipes, and a look at book two in the Hot Chocolate series: Bitter Chocolate.

Meet the middle-aged Alcott sisters: Madge, Lila Mae and Dorothea, heiresses to the Alcott Chocolate fortune and mavens of Houston’s elite River Oaks.

Madge ambushes Lila Mae with Dorothea’s manipulative plea: she can’t care for Bernie, their 92-year old father, any longer. Lila Mae explodes in a hissy fit—she had warned Dorothea years ago that they should put Bernie in an assisted living center.

Robert, Lila Mae’s astrologer, warns of impending problems and he’s rarely wrong.

The sisters call a meeting with Walter Branson, their solicitor. They discuss Bernie’s nurse Bambi Chaline, a blonde bombshell who looks more like a hooker than a nurse.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Mastering Your Money
If you or someone you know is constantly coming up short of money in your checkbook, or if you have checks bouncing like basket balls, Mastering Your Money will take the mystery out of maintaining your checkbook. You will soon learn:
* How to create a budget.
* Why checks bounce (Hint: you contribute to this).
* What happens when a check bounces.
* How to make your check register your financial guru.
* And how to maintain your checkbook so you can safely use online banking without disasters.
This book is perfect for:
* Young people getting started on their own.
* High school and college students.
* People starting over.
* Anyone thrust into the role of responsibility for their household.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
The Puppy Baby Book
This unique fill-in-the-blanks book gives dog lovers the same opportunity to chart their puppies growth and progress, as parents of infants do with their baby books. Now, as your puppy grows, you can document:
*Where the puppy was born
*The birth parents names and breeds
*Who the puppy resembles
*Where the puppy was adopted from
*Puppy's first meal
*The puppy's playmates
*When potty training took place
*Obedience school classes
*Favorite things to do
*What vitamins the puppy takes
*Medical records
*Medical emergencies and blunders
*And much more There is a keepsake pocket for the first rabies tag after it expires, a page where you can place your puppy's paw prints, a pocket to keep the adoption papers, a placeholder for an adoption announcement card, a first aid kit list, and picture placeholders throughout the book. You will be able to write what you did with your puppy on special days throughout the calendar year from New Years day to Hanukkah and Christmas -- 23 occasions in all.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author’s Corner. Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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