Friday, June 28, 2013

HBS Author’s Spotlight – Class of June 2013

This month we have a group of interesting writers with worlds of knowledge and expertise.

Be sure to check out what they have coming next for their readers. I try to pick authors who are interesting studies and ask them unique questions for our Q/A section.

Check out our new feature to the HBS Author's Spotlight, The Showcase. I have included those authors in this class. Thanks to the following outstanding authors for a great month.

Here is a summary of our June 2013 crew.

Gayle Carline

Author Genre: Humor Columnist, Mystery Author

Author's Blog: On the edge of the chair of literature
Website: Gayle Carline - Humor Columnist
Twitter: @GayleCarline
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Congratulations on From the Horse's Mouth. NEXT is a mystery in the world of AQHA horse shows

Social media: I've met so many people on social media that have turned out to be readers! I confess, I do most of my work on Facebook. Everything goes by so quickly on Twitter…

Covers: I pick one from three samples and we mold it and hone it and perfect it from there. Sometimes, I ask readers for their opinion, although usually I can tell right away when the cover is right.

Trailers: I don't know what kind of success I have with anything… I'm of the opinion that book videos in general (did you know that the term 'book trailer' is trademarked?) are not being utilized or pushed forward enough.

Support groups: …pretty much from the Southern California Writer's Conference.

Free Books: I've had good and bad experiences with the free thing...The keys to any giveaway are: 1) don't do it more than 3 days in a row; 2) you may have to do it more than once to keep your title in the public's eye.

My primary goal with my blog is for people to get to know me. A lot of it is about my journey as a writer and the kinds of things I learn and want to share.

Author's Book List
From the Horse's Mouth: One Lucky Memoir
The Hot Mess
Are You There Erma? It's Me Gayle
Hit or Missus
What Would Erma Do?: Confessions of a First Time Humor Columnist
Freezer Burn

For the rest of the story...View Gayle Carline - HBS Author's Spotlight

Anne Carter

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult

Website: Beacon Street
Twitter: @PamRipling
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Congratulations on Unmasking Paulie Bingham. NEXT: Following in September is Part 2 of this 2-book series, titled, For the Love of Katrina Bingham.

Social media: t’s really all about where the readers are; if more of today’s readers are leaving the bricks-and-mortal stores and hanging out in cyber cafes and book blogs, then authors need to follow.

Covers: Several years ago I worked for a small online ebook publisher as their Art Director. Since then, I’ve created all my own covers. So hands-on, yes

Over the years, I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America, Gold Coast Fiction Writers, Sisters-in-Crime/Los Angeles—even the United States Lighthouse Society! Each has provided very valuable information and I’m so thankful to have had exposure to these outstanding groups. Murder, We Wrote has been lots of fun.

Self-publishing: The only thing I outsource is editing. Nothing will kill an indie author faster than bad editing, which I’m sure you know!

Author's Book List
Unmasking Paulie Bingham (Paulie & Kate)
A Hero's Promise
StarCrossed Hearts
Cape Seduction
Point Surrender

For the rest of the story...View Anne Carter - HBS Author's Spotlight

Leti Del Mar

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult

Author's Blog: Words With Leti Del Mar
Twitter: @leti_delmar
E-Mail: wordswithletidelmar(at)gmail(dot) com
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Coming NEXT: Secret of the Unaltered, a sequel to Land of the Unaltered.

As an Indie, social media is vital. I try to spend equal time on Facebook and Twitter to make connections, but nothing beats actual emails and blog post comments to further relationships and builds up a solid network of connections. Those connections have been invaluable when it came to getting the word out about my work.

Great covers: My cover for The Inadvertent Thief was 100% all me. I started with a great picture I found on Flikr and the photographer was nice enough to let me use it.

Support groups: I like to use the forums and groups on Goodreads and World Literary Cafe.

Free Books: I tried it out when I did a blog tour for The Inadvertent Thief in December of 2012. I gave away lots of copies, but I didn't see any real increase in sales afterwards. Also I think the market is over-saturated with free books.

My blog has evolved over time. I have discovered that Indies really and truly support each other. We are not each other's competition as much as each other’s support group.

Self-publisher: use and find beta readers and editors on Goodreads and World Literary Cafe forums…

Author's Book List
Land of the Unaltered
The Inadvertent Thief

For the rest of the story...View Leti Del Mar - HBS Author's Spotlight

Jennifer Donohoe

Author Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult

Author's Blog: Jennifer Donohoe, Author
Website: Jennifer Donohoe, Author
Twitter: @donohoejennifer
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

What's NEXT: Dragon King is the sequel to Willow's Journey.

Fly Away will be the first book I'll actually try to do book signings with and work more with the public.

I have actually created the covers for Fly Away and Dragon King. I use a 3D software called Poser Pro. It's great to work with, but does take a lot of time to learn. Once I create the picture in Poser, I then use Photoshop to do the rest.

Support groups: I currently work with Internet Writer's Workshop to help me with the basics of writing.

Free Books: I gave away Willow's Journey faithfully to mainly get my name and book out to the public. As far as Amazon, I've not had much success with them. However, on Goodreads, I had a better following.

Great blog: As an Indie Author, I feel it is very important to help fellow authors. We all need to have a boost and look out for one another.

Author's Book List
Fly Away
Willow's Journey

For the rest of the story...View Jennifer Donohoe - HBS Author's Spotlight

Tricia Drammeh

Author Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Literature & Fiction

Author's Blog: Tricia Drammeh - Author of Young Adult Fiction and Paranormal Romance
Website: Tricia Drammeh Author
Twitter: @triciadrammeh
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

What's NEXT: The Séance is complete and in the editing stage.

My social media relationships have been essential to my writing. I’ve met incredible, generous, talented people through Twitter, Facebook, and Wordpress.

Time: I used to be able to write a book in two months, but that was before I discovered Facebook and Twitter.

Free books: I used to be able to write a book in two months, but that was before I discovered Facebook and Twitter. I stumbled upon a five-star on Goodreads that was a direct result of a giveaway, so I would say the free promo was successful.

Blogging: I’m passionate about helping other writers and starting a dialogue where writers in various stages of publication can share information with each other. There are so many writers who’ve helped me, I can only try to pay it forward.

Author's Book List
The Fifth Circle
The Claiming Words

For the rest of the story...View Tricia Drammeh - HBS Author's Spotlight

Caroline Leavitt

Author Genre: Literary Novelist

Website: Caroline Leavitt
Twitter: @Leavittnovelist
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Just out: Is This Tomorrow.. Next in line: CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD

I love social media! When I had to research IS THIS TOMORROW, one of my best sources was FaceBook.

Book signings: I've been touring since early April, so I'm just starting to wind down! Everything is posted on my website under appearances…

Book trailers: I really don't know if trailers work as far as getting people to read. I just love movies and wanted to have one.

eBooks: I see a lot of kids reading e-books, and that makes me happy. My personal feeling is anything that gets people reading is great.

Free books: Giveaways are like a gift that keeps on giving--you give a book away and the person who receives that book tells his or her friends, and that's how you build word of mouth

Author's Book List
Is This Tomorrow: A Novel
Pictures of You
The Kids' Family Tree Book
Girls in Trouble: A Novel
Coming Back to Me: A Novel

For the rest of the story...View Caroline Leavitt - HBS Author's Spotlight

Barry Parham

Author Genre: Humor, Short Stories

Author's Blog: the diaTribe
Website: Mooncalf Communion
Twitter: @barryparham
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: sixth collection of weekly humor columns, essays, and short stories in the fall.

Social Media: It is changing everything. In my case, the digital world has presented an entirely new publishing opportunity -- weekly humor columns, available via very affordable online subscriptions. (a new concept which, by the way, is catching on nicely!)

Advertising: Personally, I've had better luck buying ads that promote appearances and readings..

Covers: 've been inordinately fortunate to work with some exceptional photographers, creative artists, and cartoonists.

Great Trailers: the combination of a talented, delightful interviewer, a talented, gracious musician, and a totally oblivious Starbucks franchise, who had no clue that we were filming.

Support Group: IAN, Linkedin, Facebook and Writers of Mass Distraction.

Time schedule: As a weekly columnist, I consider my writing schedule to be almost laughably easy, compared to, say, novelists

Free Books: when I donate copies of my books - to libraries, to charities, for live give-aways, etc. - I can absolutely see a measurable (though short-lived) spike in sales.

Author's Book List
Full Frontal Stupidity
The Middle-Age of Aquarius
Blush: Politics and other unnatural acts
Sorry, We Can't Use Funny
Why I Hate Straws: An offbeat worldview of an offbeat world

For the rest of the story...View Barry Parham - HBS Author's Spotlight

Robert Yehling

Author Genre: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry

Author's Blog: Word Journeys
Twitter: @WordJourneys
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Newest collection of poetry and essays, "Backroad Melodies," came out this week. (June 2013)

Next: I’m compiling 60 of my more than 200 Word Journeys and 366Writing blogs, some about the craft of writing, others vignettes and stories.

Social media has transformed my book launch process. I turn into a social networking buzzsaw when launch time nears, posting on the sites, writing blogs and linking them to other sites, and posting excerpts on some of the more than 120 Facebook groups and 30 Linked In groups to which I belong.

Online paid advertising: I promote very selectively … – just to get the buzz going. As for on-line advertising sites skewing retailer rankings, I don’t like that at all.

Covers: a Random House editor told me, “The cover is 50% of the reader’s buying decision. At least.”

Support groups: The key is to find writers at your ability or slightly above, and to engage in positive, constructive feedback. If someone starts ripping on your work, leave. You don’t need that toxic energy in your psyche…

Time Management: Can we expand the daily clock to 30 hours? That would work!

eBooks: It’s definitely changed what is possible for publishing. I can now publish works in a few weeks that would have taken a year or more

Free books: I give a lot of books away, to people who are in a position to “pay it forward” – book reviewers, other authors, related causes, conference directors, school teachers, and friends who are part of book clubs.

Author's Book List
Backroad Melodies: New Poetry & Essays
Stroking The Media!
The Champion's Way
The Write Time
The River-Fed Stone
Coyotes in Broad Daylight
Shades of Green
Writes of Life One

For the rest of the story...View Robert Yehling - HBS Author's Spotlight

HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Ellen Mansoor Collier

Author Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, New Adult

Website: A jazz age Mystery Series - Ellen Mansoor Collier
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next: Few more ideas for the “Jazz Age” series.

Covers: That’s one benefit of being an indie—I get to pick and choose my cover artwork and typefaces. I thought this Deco illustration fit the story in a whimsical and colorful way, yet the two bathing beauties looked mysterious, like they were keeping a secret.

Writer support groups: I’ve found writer’s groups can be helpful for support, but there are often too many conflicting opinions.

eBooks: I love the feedback and interaction with readers and bloggers. Also I like the immediacy of publishing online, especially if you want to change or correct something later.

Book tours: Many tours tend to be more general and may not focus on your genre. I think specialized book tours (like this cozy mystery tour) are better at attracting your target market. Hard to say if they help much, but they do spread the word.

Self-publisher: I’m lucky to have a group of creative friends and family who are a big help.

Author's Book List
Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play

For the rest of the story...View Ellen Mansoor Collier - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

John W. Huffman

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Website: John W. Huffman
Twitter: @johnwhuffman
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New Book: Eyes of the Blind is in the final stages of completion, and hopefully will be out in April or May of this year. It is a sequel to America's Diplomats, The Road To Attleboro, and continues the story of Jay Sharpe…

Social media: It is very important to all of my books. I have found it to be a fast, accurate, and cost effective way to promote and communicate with readers.

Book signing: I constantly attend book signings, give interviews, speak and make personal appearances.

Book covers: Designing my covers is a fun project that I look forward to with each publication. I use a graphic designer, Whitney Brock, out of California, and basically give her a theme I would like to see on the cover.

Ebooks: In my opinion, is the best thing that has happened to book publishing in the last hundred years.

Book giveaways: I have participated in very few book giveaways, with the exception of charities, and can't say that I've had a lot of success with them. Mostly, I just grind out the promotion process in conventional channels.

Author's Book List
Eyes of the Blind
Searching For Leah
America's Diplomats, The Road to Attleboro
Cold Hearts Burning
Above All
The Baron of Clayhill
Tiger Woman
A Wayward Wind

For the rest of the story...View John W. Huffman - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Katherine Logan

Author Genre: Romance, Mystery & Thrillers - Time Travel

Author's Blog: Katherine Lowry Logan's Notes from Tabor Lane
Website: Katherine Lowry Logan
Twitter: @KathyLLogan
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

New Book: THE LAST MACKLENNA in the spring.

I got Great Reviews with THE LAST MACKLENNA but I will still self-publish.

Social Media: I’ve discovered that sales are directly related to the number of followers. As one goes up, so does the other.

Support Groups: I’m a member of RWA, Kentucky Romance Writers, and Kentucky Independent Writers.

Author's Book List
The Ruby Brooch

For the rest of the story...View Katherine Logan - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Jake Needham

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers Author

Author's Blog: Jake Needham blog
Website: Jake Needham
Twitter: @jakeneedham
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Advent of eBooks: E-books have been an absolute game changer for me. My titles have been available as e-books for less than a year, but they are already selling at a rate of 20 times that of my print editions.

Marketing from the Far East with over 25,000 followers on Twitter - Daily communications with readers who tell me they are happy to have just discovered my books through something that somebody said on Twitter is important. Facebook is a completely different story.

Author's Book List
The Ambassadors Wife

For the rest of the story...View Jake Needham - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Christine Warner

Author Genre: Contemporary Romance

Website: Christine's Words
Twitter: @ChristinesWords
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Next up: Bachelor’s Special… This is a contemporary romance that will release with the Indulgence line at Entangled Publishing in June of this year.

Social media: ... everyone is supportive of one another—authors and readers alike—and I know without their encouragement and retweets and shares I wouldn’t have been able to get word of my books out there to everyone.

Writer support groups: several groups on Facebook…wonderful one on one critique partner, a small critique group. , and some wonderful yahoo groups who support each other with advice and more. Writers are a very supportive and giving group.

Giveaways: I’ve given away an ebook copy of each of my books on some blogs that I’ve appeared on and I’ve received a couple of reviews in return and that’s been wonderful.

Buy the Book Tours is an awesome partner in helping an author promote their works. You just can’t go wrong if you are being exposed to blogs and other websites who have readers you might not otherwise connect with.

Author's Book List
Bachelor's Special
Two-Timing the Boss
Some Like It in Handcuffs

For the rest of the story...View Christine Warner - HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

Authors Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
They also sponsor: eBook Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, James! It was fun! And if you ever need to guest on someone else's blog, just ask.