Cover Reveal: Joanna Shupe’s TYCOON

I have a new cover to share! It’s for TYCOON, an e-novella that is the first book in my upcoming Knickerbocker Club series.

tycoon_ebook

Yes, I believe that’s Grand Central at the bottom. He looks very serious, which is perfect since he’s about to be bowled over by a shop girl heroine who can’t stop talking.

This book was a lot of fun to write. In this period, young women began to come into cities to work as secretaries and shop girls, jobs that allowed them a healthy measure of independence. The heroine of TYCOON, Clara, is one of those young women. She works at the perfume counter at a fictional department store.

Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes the journey is more pleasurable than the destination . . .

Standing on the platform at Grand Central Station, Ted Harper is surprised by a fiery kiss from an undeniably gorgeous damsel in distress. He’s certain she’s a swindler who’s only after his money, but he’s never met a woman so passionate and sure of herself. Disarmed, he invites her to spend the journey to St. Louis in his private car—perhaps against his better judgment.

Clara Dawson has long known how to take care of herself, but the savvy shop girl is at a loss when she witnesses—and becomes entangled in—a terrible crime. Desperation propels her into a stranger’s arms at the train station, but she hadn’t expected Ted to offer her the protection she so badly needs—nor did she expect their chemistry to develop more steam than the engine of the train. He’s everything she never thought she could have, and she’s everything he didn’t know he wanted. But as her secrets begin to unfurl, their fledgling romance could be in danger of derailing before they arrive at the next station…

TYCOON releases February 23, 2016 in e-book from Kensington Publishing. Pre-order it for .99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or Kobo.

More info and an excerpt are available on my website.

New Release: RUNAWAY

JB Schroeder Runaway_150dpiDrumroll please….JB Schroeder’s debut novel RUNAWAY has hit retailers! Early reviews call it “a page turner,” an “edge of the seat” read, and a “gritty thriller” that is “smart, riveting, and sexy!” Best of all, quite a few wrote that they “couldn’t put it down” or “stayed up all night to finish!”

So yes, it’s my Big News Three Months Late! Because I’m a dork and didn’t manage to post everywhere I should, like, hello, my own group blog! And because guess what? Indie pubbing is even harder and more time consuming than I imagined. And I’d promised part two of another post I owed you, and I felt oddly linear about that. And then there’s summer with everyone underfoot, and… I’m going with the better late than never motto, okay? ; )

In a way it’s kinda good I’m so behind, because I can squee a bit and tell you HOW EXCITING it was to release a book. The enthusiasm and support I got from family, friends, and my writing community was amazing. The texts and emails from friends saying “OMG” throughout as they read were so fun! Reviews are showing up with four and five stars! And now, there are even reviews from People That Don’t Know Me Personally! Someone Recommended it to them! How cool is that?! Let me tell you, it is all THRILLING!

I know you readers have been privy to my ups and downs over the last few years, so I’m doubly pleased to share this big “up” moment with you! Despite the blog’s semi-hiatus, I will try to be better at keeping up. If you are so inclined there’s also my newsletter, via my website. Brief excerpt and blurb follow, as well as all links. Heartfelt thanks for sharing this journey with me! ~JB

_______________________

Henrietta flapped both hands in exasperation and her generous bosom heaved. “You deserve more.”

Charlie shook her head. “Please, Henry. This is the only way for me.” Tears threatened, so she clenched her jaw. “I promise you, I’m content. It might not seem like much from the outside looking in, but this life is a blessing.”

_______________________

Sixteen-year-old Laura Macnamara walked out her backdoor and disappeared without a trace.

Six years later, while looking for his missing teenage sister, Detective Mitch Saunders uncovers a disturbing link between the two cases. His search leads straight to Laura—all grown up and posing as Charlie Hart. Despite their instant attraction and the ever-present danger to his sister, Charlie refuses to help him. Still terrified and guarding secrets, she cannot afford to face the past. Yet Mitch will stop at nothing to bring his sister home—and that includes exposing Charlie to a truly sinister evil.

If she can’t stay hidden, she must run—again.

Runaway is available in eBook at the following retailers (and print book is also available at Amazon or B&N):

Amazon | Apple | B&N | Kobo

Sign up for my newsletter (a very, rare beast!) for news and promotions:

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JB’s Steps to Indie Publishing 2 (Setting-up Business as an Author)

Today, I’ll share what I learned about building a business as an author, in hopes that you’ll fare slightly better—or at least start earlier—because what I expected to take a few weeks, took about 2 months (partly because every step is dependent on the previous step)!woman_with_credit_card_187377

  1. In the last post, I covered that I personally think it’s a good idea to set up your pseudonym legally for protection and for financial separation, however, there are various ways to do this. I became a sole proprietor LLC with my pen name (see previous post: https://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/jbs-steps-to-indie-publishing-1-an-authors-legal-and-financial-decisions/). In registering ($125 in NJ, and more if you incur lawyer’s fees), you’ll receive a corporate ID number from the state. The lawyer sends also a certificate of formation that lists the same number as well as the business name you’ve chosen. I assume that a DBA situation would be much the same.
  2. Use that corporate ID number to request an FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. The lawyer could have done it, but here I opted to save money by doing it myself. Two interesting things to note: you can have more than one EIN, however if you already have one, you cannot sign up for another one online. Online is fastest (a few days), fax next (a week supposedly but proved to be about 2.5 wks), and mail by far the longest (a month). An EIN is a good idea regardless. Otherwise your social security number is floating around everywhere, increasing your risk of identity fraud. There is no charge for an EIN.
  3. Once you have your EIN you must register your new business with the state (because yes, they’ll want to collect taxes as well). I chose to do this myself, but admit that my lawyer spoon fed me the forms and the info for the tricky spots. The forms are also available online via the IRS. You will receive confirmation. Again, no fee.
  4. Open a bank account under your pseudonym. This one also was a surprise: the bank I’ve used forever and would have preferred both for familiarity, loyalty, and so that I could link accounts required a minimum balance of $1400 for small business checking. $1400!!! Uh, NO. And, because I’d become an LLC, I really couldn’t (legally) open a personal checking account with the pen name. I’m happy to report that ConnectOne offers free checking and no minimum balance for their small biz customers. Look online for the details of what each bank offers, then call them, as there’s a whole list of things you need to bring with you, including all of the documents I’ve discussed today, your driver’s license, and a credit card.
  5. You probably want to apply for a credit card under the pen name. Editors or cover artists usually prefer checks or PayPal, but what if you attend a conference that involves a flight and a hotel and numerous restaurant meals? What about that hefty price tag on bulk ISBNs? If you keep this card entirely separate from your personal stuff, you’ll also have a very easy way to track all writing expenses for the year. One author I heard speak suggested a cash-back credit card. It makes sense to put money back into your business, plus it’s simpler than jumping through the hoops of complicated travel or shopping rewards cards. Besides, the whole goal is not to be buying groceries, gas, and clothing on your business card, right? The two highest ranked cash-back cards I found were American Express Blue and Citi Double-Cash Card.

Having the business set-up complete was a GIANT relief. (At least until I realized there was quarterly tax filing involved!) My apologies that it took me so long to continue this thread. Good luck to you and thanks for reading! ~JB

www.jbschroederauthor.com

Dual Femme Release: AT THE SPY’S PLEASURE and THE LADY HELLION

It’s a dual Femme release! Tina and Joanna are excited to share release dates. Here are the blurbs of our books:

AT THE SPY’S PLEASURE by Tina Gabrielle

Book II in The Crown’s Secret Service Series

At the Spy's Pleasure - Cover

London, 1821

After years of marriage to a selfish man who preferred gambling to his young bride, Jane, the widowed countess of Stanwell, now seeks what she was long denied—a satisfying lover. Naturally, a lady needs a list of eligible candidates, which doesn’t include the dangerously handsome (if far too arrogant) Gareth Ramsey…until he steals a sinful kiss from Jane’s all-too-willing lips.

Reputed as an arrogant barrister, Gareth’s real occupation is as a spy in the service of His Majesty, and the suspect of his mission is on Jane’s list of possible lovers. With her life in danger, there’s no safer place for Jane than with   him—and in his bed. But Jane is as distracting as she is infuriating, and keeping her by his side while he pursues his mission might just endanger them both…

Want to read an excerpt? CLICK HERE

Purchase on Amazon

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Purchase on iBooks


THE LADY HELLION by Joanna Shupe

Book #3 in the Wicked Deceptions series

The_Lady_Hellion_web

Lady Sophia Barnes doesn’t take no for an answer. Especially when she’s roaming London’s seedy underground…dressed as a man.

A rabble rouser for justice, Sophie’s latest mission is to fight for the rights of the poor, the wretched—and the employees at Madame Hartley’s brothel. She’s not concerned about the criminals who will cross her path, for Sophie has mastered the art of deception—including the art of wearing trousers. Now her fate is in her own hands, along with a loaded gun. All she needs is instruction on how to shoot it. But only one person can help her: Lord Quint, the man who broke her heart years ago. The man she won’t let destroy her again…

The last thing Damien Beecham, Viscount Quint, needs is an intrusion on his privacy, especially from the beautiful, exasperating woman he’s never stopped wanting. A woman with a perilously absurd request, no less! For Damien is fighting a battle of his own, one he wishes to keep hidden—along with his feelings for Lady Sophia. Yet that fight is as hopeless as stopping her outlandish plan. Soon all Quint knows for certain is that he will die trying to protect her…

Want to read an excerpt? CLICK HERE.

“Shupe invites readers to sit back and enjoy the terrific chemistry between the unconventional Lord Quint and the exasperating Lady Sophie in the conclusion to the Wicked Deceptions trilogy. With emotional intensity, poignancy, passion and murder, they won’t be disappointed.”
— RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars

Purchase on Amazon

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New Release! THE HARLOT COUNTESS

Today is the release of my second historical romance, THE HARLOT COUNTESS. This is the second book in the Wicked Deceptions series.
harlot_countess
Here’s the blurb:

Maggie, Lady Hawkins, had a debut she’d rather forget—along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she’s a man…

FACT: Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He’s a rising star in Parliament—and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie’s who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.

FICTION: Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend’s husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.

Still crushed by Simon’s betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc’s cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock…but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since…forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?

Want to read an excerpt? CLICK HERE.

“Steady pacing, delightful characters and an ability to build steamy sexual tension make for a lively love story.”
— RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars

Purchase on Amazon

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Purchase on iBooks

New Release! THE COURTESAN DUCHESS

I am so excited today to announce the release of my debut historical romance, THE COURTESAN DUCHESS!

The Courtesan Duchess

Here’s the blurb:

How to seduce an estranged husband—and banish debt!—in four wickedly improper, shockingly pleasurable steps…

  1. Learn the most intimate secrets of London’s leading courtesan.
  2. Pretend to be a courtesan yourself, using the name Juliet Leighton.
  3. Travel to Venice and locate said husband.
  4. Seduce husband, conceive an heir, and voilà, your future is secure!

For Julia, the Duchess of Colton, such a ruse promises to be foolproof. After all, her husband has not bothered to lay eyes on her in eight years, since their hasty wedding day when she was only sixteen. But what begins as a tempestuous flirtation escalates into full-blown passion—and the feeling is mutual. Could the man the Courtesan Duchess married actually turn out to be the love of her life?

Want to read an excerpt? CLICK HERE.

Some early praise for COURTESAN:

“The powerful passion in this riveting tale of betrayal and forgiveness will knock your socks off!”
— NY Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries

“This original and alluring novel is a very promising beginning to Shupe’s career.”
— Publisher’s Weekly

“One of the best debuts I’ve read in years. Joanna Shupe’s The Courtesan Duchess is fast-paced, compelling, and super sexy. You won’t be able to put it down.”
— Award-winning author Valerie Bowman

“Joanna Shupe is a wonderful new voice to historical romance. The Courtesan Duchess takes readers on a steamy ride from Venice to London, proving that some happily ever afters are worth waiting for.”
— NY Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston

“Joanna Shupe’s compelling story of an estranged couple brims with emotion and sensuality.”
— Bestselling author Miranda Neville

“From its first naughty page, be prepared to be swept away by Joanna Shupe’s The Courtesan Duchess.”
— Historical author Maggie Robinson

Purchase on Amazon

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Release Day for FOREVER IN MY HEART and a Giveaway!

Hi everyone! I hope you all are staying warm this horribly cold Winter. If it wasn’t for my birthday in February, I’d be ready to skip right to March!

Here’s some shameless plugging to promote my new contemporary romance, FOREVER IN MY HEART, which is available today! It’s the second book in my Tangled Hearts series.

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This book centers on the youngest DiFrancesco sibling, Vicky. If you’ve read UNTANGLE MY HEART, you may remember Vicky as the girl whose life was sort of a train wreck. Twenty-six and divorced, she’s had a hard time finding her happy. Now, just when she’s opened the hot new cafe in town, her high school bad boy ex returns. Jamie DiSilva is the brother of the two men who’ve caused much pain to her family over the years. Not to mention Jamie broke Vicky’s heart nine years ago. She’ll be pulled by family loyalty and her own desire for the boy-turned man who she’s never forgotten.

Here’s the blurb and an excerpt.

Vicky DiFrancesco is ready to put the past behind her. After a humiliating divorce, she’s determined to make her new café a success. The last thing she needs is her first love around, reminding her of what they’d lost. But when her life is threatened, could he be the very man she needs?

Jamie DiSilva’s homecoming after retiring from the army isn’t the one he’d been hoping for. Now, he’s trying to start a home improvement business in a town settled on holding him accountable for the sins of his late brothers. Redeeming himself to the girl he never stopped loving and her family is difficult when his brothers’ secrets come back to haunt him.

Untangling themselves from the past means righting several wrongs and deciding if their love is meant to last forever.

Excerpt from FOREVER IN MY HEART:

“What happened today between us can never happen again.”

“Because of your sister?”

“Because of my entire family. Kate isn’t the only member with a grudge against the DiSilva family.”

Just his bad luck.

“My parents and I have never done anything to warrant being shunned by them. Our parents were best friends.”

“That doesn’t change what your brothers did or how it’s impacted my family. It’s one thing to deal with you living in the same town. It’s another for them to accept what just happened between us.”

“What happens between us has nothing to do with your family,” he snapped. He was tired of being judged. It wasn’t like she didn’t feel something for him. He lowered his voice and cupped her cheek. “Things can be good between us, Vick. You know it.”

She held his gaze, and he felt her tremble. He leaned forward, determined to convince her to give them a chance.

Her hand shot out and stopped him from doing more than graze her lips. “Stop. Nothing good will come of this.” She rolled off the bed and kept her back to him.

“You’re choosing them over your own happiness?”

She wiped at her face before turning to him.

Despite the tears that dampened her eyes, her answer was clear from the stubborn set of her chin. “What choice do I have?”

“There’s always a choice.”

“And a price to pay. They’re my family. I pick them. I’ll always pick them.”

You can buy FOREVER IN MY HEART at:

Kindle  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  iBooks  |  The Wild Rose Press

Giveaway graphic

From February 20th through March 8th you can enter my release giveaway! Stop by here for a chance to win a digital copy of Untangle My Heart, the first book in my award-winning Tangled Hearts series or a $5 Amazon GC.

FIMH FB Release Party Invite4

Also, I’d love if you’d stop by my Facebook Release Party TONIGHT, February 20th, from 7:00-9:30 pm EST. Many of my Femme pals along with other friends from NJ Romance Writers will be stopping by to chat about their books. There will be games, alpha men and prizes! Sorry, but it’s bring your own cannoli! Click here to join. Hope to see you there!!

Hugs,

Maria

 

 

Publishing Contracts 101 – Grant of Rights

Whether you’ve received your tenth publishing contract or you are getting closer to obtaining your first one, publishing contracts can seem confusing and overwhelming.

Contract Exam (1)

One of the initial clauses found in these contracts is the “Grant of Publisher Rights.” It’s an important clause and it determines what you’re licensing to the publisher and what you are legally keeping for yourself. The clause includes two types of rights: (1) publication rights and (2) subsidiary rights. Publishing contracts are written to protect the publisher, and publishers always seek the broadest possible grant of rights. But as with all contracts, these clauses are negotiable. Some important things to know:

The author owns the copyright. In a grant of rights clause, the author is licensing, not selling the copyright. The author will eventually get their rights back in the reversion of rights clause of the contract (a discussion for a future blog post).

Close-up of a fountain pen

So how can an author negotiate the grant of rights clause? Here are some concrete examples.

Limit publisher’s grant of rights to legitimate ones

Be professional. Tell the publisher that you are willing to license any rights they legitimately need, but that you would like to retain the rights to the work that they don’t need and have no plans to use. Ask yourself if the publisher is just including everything in the contract, even rights that they have no intention of exploiting?

Example: foreign language rights. Does the publisher produce foreign language books or are they just collecting rights?

If the answer is no, then politely ask the publisher why it needs that right and how it intends to exploit it. If they do not intend to exploit the right, then you can ask to have it stricken. You can also suggest that you will negotiate in good faith in the future if the publisher later decides it needs the right.

What about ebooks and audio books?

In today’s publishing world, you probably won’t be able to retain ebook rights. Many publishers legitimately need them. That being said, if you write a romance novel, chances are the publisher may not need mixed media rights such as ebooks with pictures or sound (these does not include audio books). And if they do not translate ebooks into foreign languages, then this may be a right you’d like to retain.

As for audio book rights, if your publisher develops them then you can license this right to them. However, just like foreign language rights and media rights, if a publisher doesn’t  develop audio books, then you may want to negotiate to keep these rights. Who knows? You may want to produce your own audio books.

Other subsidiary rights

These can include movie and screen play rights, abridgements, anthologies, special editions, book clubs and more. Each of these can be considered separately. Is your publisher known for developing movies or screenplays? And remember, if your novel hits it big and your publisher approaches you with a movie deal, then you can always negotiate in the future!

To sum it all up, if your publisher is seeking a very broad grant of rights that they don’t legitimately need, then consider asking to have them separated out. Authors can license the rights to someone else or keep them until a future time when they can develop them themselves. In a perfect world, the author and publisher will work together to have a fair grant of rights clause for today’s constantly changing marketplace.

Please note, this blog post is not legal advice. If you are unsure of what you’re signing, don’t sign it and seek legal advice. Good luck!

You can find me at:

 www.tinagabrielle.com

http://twitter.com/tinagabrielle

https://www.facebook.com/TinaGabrielle

  In The Barrister's Bed InTheBarristersChambers

LADYOFSCANDAL Cover Original Artwork A Perfect Scandal

JB’s Steps to Indie Publishing 1 (An Author’s Legal and Financial Decisions)

I am on the path to indie-publishing my books and all the questions I’ve gotten make me think I should share what I’ve learned as I go. Today, I’ll jump forward to my “Step 2 PLUG AWAY AT THE BUSINESS SET UP END OF THINGS.” The most important piece of this—setting up my pen name legally—was complicated, so I’m dedicating a whole post.

Free Photos business exchange picture, Author: zcool.com.cn, from All-free-download.com

Free Photos business exchange picture, Author: zcool.com.cn, from All-free-download.com

Many authors use their real names everywhere and certainly it keeps things simple. I’ve also seen lots of authors who work their finances and legalities (money, taxes, bank, legal, copyrights, barcodes, etc) under their real name but use a pseudonym on the cover of the book and on social media. Personally, having no real legal rights to my pen name just feels like asking for trouble.

My goals in setting up the pen name legally from the start were thus: First, I wanted a bit of separation between the real me and the pen me. Second, I wanted to be able to keep all finances separate, both now in spending money to get started, and later, because I figure the more books out there (and hopefully growing income) the more complicated and expensive it will be to change. Third, I never want to find myself in a stressful and expensive legal mess.

There is very little solid information on this online, and over and over I read that you should consult with a qualified attorney as well as a certified public accountant (ideally both should be versed in issues specific to authorship like copyright issues, royalties, etc). I did, although I felt comfortable with the folks who already know my unique financial situation and whom I trust. I will attempt to put what I took from the process here in layman’s terms in hope’s that it’s helpful to another author. A caveat, however: do your own research and consults to figure out what makes sense for you, in your state. I am absolutely not qualified to give legal advice.

Many states require that if you do business as anything other than your legal name that you register a DBA (Doing Business As). I fully expected to go that route, but guess what? A DBA’s purpose isn’t to hide your real name. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s actually to provide the public with names of owners behind a fictitious business name. Basically, you are required to notify all counties you might do business in that person X is now doing business as person Y, and yes, this information is publicly accessible. So, whoa, a DBA in NJ is more like shouting your name to the world than hiding it…and just how many counties would that be? More information at: http://www.sba.gov/content/register-your-fictitious-or-doing-business-dba-name If, however, a DBA is right for you, you or your lawyer can register it via your county clerk.

In my case, both the lawyer and accountant urged me to become, with the pen name, a sole-proprietor LLC (a member-managed single-member limited liability company, taxable as a sole proprietorship). First, this affords more privacy than a DBA when it comes to the general public. And on my copyright pages I am legally allowed to put “JB Schroeder, pseudonym” and not list my real name at all. It also allows me to set up a bank account and credit card under that name, which I wanted for privacy and financial reasons. The LLC in conjunction with the bank account separates my pseudonym from my personal finances, my husband’s finances, and our joint finances. This is important come tax time, and in case of any eventual legal issues. The liability protection is basically none (but I’d at least have a leg to stand on if I ever needed to involve lawyers). I believe it also blocks anyone else (at least in same state) from using the exact same name. There is a fee of $125 to register the LLC with the state of NJ. The lawyer’s fee was heftier, but worth it because I’m confident that it’s done correctly and is my best option at this time.

Do realize that being an LLC does not mean that I am incorporated. If you are considering incorporating, be aware of two things. One, other authors tell me that it doesn’t make sense until you are making six figures regularly. And two, per my lawyer, incorporating means you must act like a multi-person corporation, even though it’s likely just you. Following the structure/rules/obligations of a corporation down to the letter sounded stressful, time-consuming, and rather ridiculous, but it’s a must—otherwise you might face legal or tax trouble. Beyond that, do your own research as I didn’t look into the details of incorporation.

Good luck making the decision for yourself, and please feel free to share any knowledge you’ve gleaned on this topic in the comments. I’ll cover what to do with this information next time.

Marketing In The Digital Age

In a past life, I worked as an assistant marketing manager for a fashion designer (his perfume line), where I lived and breathed the 4 P’s of Marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. (There’s a fifth P as well—Planning—which I address as well).

Here is a brief recap of what I know and how an author can apply it to their own promotional plans in the digital age.

Marketing cartoon

Product/Service

Who is your target audience and how does your brand satisfy their needs? Your books are part of your brand. But don’t forget, YOU, the author, are also your brand. Strange, right? But put your fan-girl hat on and think about authors you love. Do you know what they look like? (Probably yes.) Have you visited their Facebook page or Website, or have you signed up for their newsletter? (I know I have.)

Think about yourself being the consumer of their books. Yes, you love their writing. But you also are buying into how they’ve branded themselves.

Check out the marvelous Susan Elizabeth Phillips Website. In the first paragraph of her Dear Reader letter, she restates what she knows about you, the reader. What needs you have that she is able to satisfy—the poignant, often hilarious stories she writes. She’s not talking about one book in this paragraph, but the general themes that readers seem to respond to.

Lesson Learned: KNOW YOUR READERFishing-for-a-Target-Market

Place

Where are readers going to buy your books? This has a lot to do with your publisher and/or whether you are an indie author or traditionally published.

For authors, it is more about accessibility of purchasing your books than hiring a sales force to promote them.

Digital sales: Make sure your buy links are visible on your webpage. Who do you do the most sales with? (Ah, humph…Amazon…)?

Kindle image

How are you going to draw readers to the purchase site/link?

Facebook ads work, by the way. I just completed a week long ad linking directly to the online retailer I felt I had the most sales potential with. The key to Facebook ads is you must target your reader (yes, you need to know who they are ahead of time). For example, I indicated on the Facebook ad setup page that my audience’s interest were other authors, like Katy Evans and Sylvia Day. So their Facebook fans received my Facebook ad.

Bookstores:  My books will be in stores in March so I don’t have much to say about placement. This is something your publisher handles. There is the whole crew of Indie authors (many who have been picked up by publishers) who are getting their books into Target and Walmart.

Lesson Learned: MAKE IT EASY FOR READERS TO BUY YOUR STORIES

Price

You may or may not have control over this. However, if you are an Indie author, you have some flexibility in playing around with your book price to see what best works for your readership.

I’ve heard that a typical pricing structure for when your third book in a series is released is:

Book One:  .99 cents (or free)

Book Two:  $1.99 (on special price)

Book Three: Full price ($2.99 – $4.99)

The trend in reading is to give the first book away “free”. I just remember a discussion my team had with a former Vice President of Marketing about free=cheapening your brand. That anything labeled free subtly suggests it’s not “worth” spending money on.

That said, it seems like more authors than not are offering their work for free in the hopes of hooking a reader through their writing. It makes sense.

So never say never.

Lesson Learned:  PAY ATTENTION See if in offering your book at a lower price/free affects interest in your other books.

Promotion

When and how are you going to read your target readership? How are other successful authors with the same readership promoting their work?

It is hard to measure promotional success as there are a lot of factors feeding into why a reader buys a book the very moment they buy it. In my opinion, it all boils down to this:

High Visibility/Buzz is the key.book buzz

The more visible/discussion about your book is on multiple platforms, the better. Remember, it takes the average person three times to see something they might want to actually buying it.

I found this interesting link on purchasing decisions that is worth taking a peek at: 9-things-to-know-about-influencing-purchasing-decisions/

Reviewers/Reviews: Make a list of reviewers you think might like your work and/or have readers on their blogs who might like your work. Target those reviewers, offering them an advance copy along with a blurb and synopsis.

Facebook Ads – see my experience above

Blog posts – Try and target the major blogs (HEA, RT, etc.) Blog tours tend to be a time suck.

Join forces with other authors – This worked out really well for my second release, Tap Out. Five other sports authors and I wrote joint blogs and promotional blitz pieces for our books. (We had similar release dates, which helped.) We were approached by major reviewers to do a themed post, which was both fun and I think interesting to the reader.

Tweets/Facebook Posts/Goodreads blog post – Have a team of people who will help you get the word out. I am fortunate to have another author who actually writes the tweet posts for me (and other authors published with my publisher). Every week, we’ll tweet in support of each other’s work.

LESSON LEARNED: GET THE WORD OUT

Planning

Yes, you need a plan, especially if you have more than one book releasing/released. Most marketers will use a good ol’ fashioned calendar. Write in the release date of your book then backtrack. What kind of promotion are you planning on doing? Fill it in. What events are you attending? Fill it in.

The greatest feature in Facebook and Twitter is the SCHEDULE POST option. You can write short promotional clips ahead of time and schedule exactly when you want them released.

I sit down (per my publisher’s instructionsJ) and complete a few pages of text I want to release. Remember, you are not selling your books, but your brand. So make sure you include tidbits about yourself, what inspires you, what you find funny or interesting.

LESSON LEARNED: ADVANCE PREPARATION HELPS.

Remember, the 4 (plus 1) P’s of marketing the next time you put on your author-now-in-the-know hat!