There are 8 days left to vote for my book, The Light of Supremazia, on Kindle Scout. CLICK HERE TO VOTE!
As the days for my Kindle Scout campaign wind down, I want to write about a place that inspires me to write.
I love the city that never sleeps. I have fond memories of taking the LIRR into the city with my mom to see our favorite shows. We get a kick out of trying new restaurants and shopping on Fifth Avenue.
I spent my college years at New York University, where the city was my playground, particularly around Washington Square Park. My friends and I took dance classes and drank beers at dive bars.
My working years introduced me to the financial district and TriBeCa as I crunched numbers at Goldman Sachs while the financial world crumbled around us.
Now, I sit on the opposite coast, dreaming about the Big Apple as I write fantasy fiction. My main character’s favorite city is always New York, and you can see why. It’s perfect.
Jules Winklevoss, the confident protagonist of my novel, has fond memories as well. She dreams of kickball games in Central Park….
…riding the subway with her best friend…
…and visiting the New York Public Library with her sister.
Book marketing is not a clear cut task. There are no guaranteed marketing plans, and there’s lots of advice out there that might not work for you.
Ensure you have a solid product, because content is king. Otherwise, the rest is up in the air.
Since there are no foolproof promises, I thought I would try as many techniques as I could. One friend’s blog advised to jump on the newest trends and try to ride the wave.
I liked that advice, so when another friend told me about #TagsForLikes.com, I went for it.
Once you download the app, you search for the topic you will be instagramming about, and the app provides all the trending hashtags. Copy those hashtags into your post and voila! My post below tripled the amount of likes I had been receiving.
So far, it seems to be working pretty well.
Perhaps it’s a stupid trend, but as Einstein says:
I think coming up with a cast for your book is a great exercise. Just like pinning ideas on a pinterest page, it helps you determine qualities of your characters and brainstorm traits you didn’t think about.
I put together a cast for my book currently posted on Kindle Scout, The Light of Supremazia! It’s about kids who can see spirits and attend a high school run by famous dead people.
Jules Winklevoss would be played by Kiernan Shipka, also known as Sally Draper from the Mad Men series. Just like Jules Winklevoss, she can be tough, brave, snotty, and vulnerable at the same time.
Jules has two best friends at Vita Post Mortem Academy. Dahlia Langdon is the shy and awkward friend who grew up in a prestigious, broken family. She would be played by Ariel Winter from Modern Family.
Jules’s other best friend, Logan Klomp, is a know-it-all, lovesick half-Asian dude who doesn’t care about fitting in. He would be played by Nickelodeon’s Ryan Potter.
Jules’s equally brazen, but less approachable, sister, Sharpee Winklevoss would be played by Emma Watson. Honestly, I picked Emma because she looks a bit like Kiernan, and of course I loved her as Hermione.
Sharpee’s best (and only) friend is Chase Hastings, a rich kid, living in his older brother Ryder Hastings the Third‘s perfect shadow. Chase and Ryder would be played by Nash Overstreet (from the band Hot Chelle Rae) and Chord Overstreet (Glee).
As a millennial, it isn’t surprising that I LOVE social media. I am the person walking down the street with her phone in her hand. I guess I don’t need to “disconnect.” It’s fun to catch up with friends, or read local news, or post my favorite cat meme.
However, as an author, the task of sharing on social media is daunting. I don’t mind if my Aunt Sally doesn’t comment on my picture of dinner last night, but there is a negative outcome if people don’t like my author posts…they won’t read my books! The trick is to ensure the information you share is interesting and useful for the reader. Keep ’em coming back for more!
Today’s post is an example. I prepared the picture below, which is a setting for my book called The Light of Supremazia, and I’m going to write this blog post on managing your social media and post it on all my sites. The picture might be intriguing for a potential reader, but if not, at least they got some value out of my post on social media presence.
Here are all the sites today’s theme will be posted on:
As a writer, I am always looking for great mentors who will inspire me to work smarter and harder. Having a natural way with words, of course, the number one quality I look for in a writing mentor, but there are other traits that I find just as important.
Not all extroverts are great writers, but the ability to engage an audience while weaving a story is mind-blowing. A person’s innate talent to know their audience is astounding to watch.
Knowledge of Subject Matter
A great teacher is an expert in their subject matter. They have mastered the topic and fought against its boundaries.
Lastly, a hunger for more knowledge, to share what they know, to read more, to write more. It’s not just a subject, but a way of life.
This post has relevance as an author, but I have touched on the topic once before. My latest book series, (after)life lessons is about a girl who goes to a school where the teachers are famous and deceased. I played a fun game that brings back the most brilliant minds through out history and let’s them teach high school as a spirit.
If you had the ability to see spirits, who would you choose as your English teacher?
For months, I have been planning to post my book on Kindle Scout and run a campaign, in the hopes that Amazon would publish the book. Two weeks ago, I posted my book.
I haven’t sat around with my fingers crossed, hoping that people would vote for me. I emailed everyone I knew. I posted the link on all my social media sites, and I came up with a blog marketing campaign. Here’s a sneak peak:
The plan was twofold.
First, to give readers what they want – a glimpse into the world of another writer and self-publisher. I wrote tidbits about my experience.
Second, to invite readers into my next novel, The Light of Supremazia.
Have I been successful?
Yes and no. My Kindle Scout campaign had 6 days trending as “hot,” and I received feedback on my blog. However, I have more content to post and more readers to reach.
Hopefully, the following blurbs from my novel invite you in:
To make a contemporary novel timeless, an author needs to balance the use of outdated technology and the most recent fads and trends.
As a reader, you never noticed the lack of computers in Harry Potter, no matter when you read it.
However, the book series and TV show Pretty Little Liars would never have succeeded without the inclusion of cell phones.
Technology is constantly improving and here to stay. I think it is best to include as long as the technology isn’t a short-term craze.
Since my latest book is a young-adult fantasy novel, I recognized my core audience uses technology all the time, so I decided to invent an app.
The Light of Supremazia is about a girl who can see spirits. PhantomFollow is an app that tracks spirits, and its gone viral at Vita Post Mortem Academy. The more famous or rare the spirit, the more points the player gets. See the app in the app store above. 🙂
Authenticity is important. I believe you should learn the mechanics of writing, soak up the knowledge, practice the method, and then make it your own.
When you are learning how to paint, they teach you realism, abstract, and cubism. However, your masterpiece will never be recognized if it is a copy of someone else’s work.
It is hard. It is confusing. It is scary, but it will be genuine if you write in your own voice.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe
In my latest novel, The Light of Supremazia, about a girl who can see spirits and attends a school run by deceased celebrities, Marilyn Monroe is one of the teachers. I chose her because she has flair and a knack for drama, but also because she was not afraid to be herself.
Real locations are my favorite to write about. For my first book series, Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program, Pandora High School had many similarities to the high school I attended. Write what you know, right?
Sometimes, I scour Pinterest for inspiration. Check out the page for my next series (after)life lessons.
Every once in awhile, I type a chapter, read it back, and realize I’ve taken another book’s setting! My editor pointed this out when she read the chapter about Vita Post Mortem Academy’s cafeteria called The Dreadfort. It had an eerie similarity to Hogwart’s Great Hall.
To avoid accidental plagiarizing, I made the tables round instead of long, removed all candles from the chandeliers and replaced them with electricity, set up a high-tech video screen, and made large windows in the back for viewing the cemetery. Ok, still sounds similar, but you can’t mess with perfection!