Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#MotivatedWriter Series ~ How to get motivated to write.

If you're in the industry you hear it all the time. "I've always wanted to write a book." With a smile on my face I usually tell the person that all you have to do is start. Of course the very unserious "writer" will give me a list of their excuses as to why they can't. A writer who will consider it says, "How do I start." To me that is the key phrase that says, I'm ready.

You have to be motivated to write. Simply put, it takes time out of your day just as it does to go to the gym. Now you can't just sit down and usually write an entire book in one day. You have to start a little at a time. The key is to start.

Motivate your writing by sitting down with a notebook and writing whatever comes to mind. Perhaps you don't want to write a book, you want to write a blog. Google blog topics and you'll be amazed at what comes up. If nothing else you'll have some writing queues to get you started. Let your brain flow for a little bit.

Set out a few minutes in your day, every day to write. You don't need eight hours a day unless you intend on this being your whole career and you can financially afford that now. Ten minutes will be a great start. As your craft grows so will your motivation to continue writing regularly.

Once you start the process of writing with the intent to publish or just to get started it will be like going to the gym. One day you lift  five pounds. After a few weeks you lift twenty. Like I said, you're not going to become a writer in one day, okay you will, perhaps just not a published one. But on day one you wrote something. What usually happens is his motivates you to write something else the next day.

If the desire is really in you it will begin to self motivate you.

If you've loved writing in the past and lost sight of it this process can help you get back on track again. Continuing to carve out a little time each day will help to keep you motivated.

Journal writing is equally as motivating for the creative process. Seriously, jotting down what you did, saw, felt in a day will keep that daily task minder in the back of your head. Every little bit counts. Just like running. Every step gets you to your goal.


Follow the #MotivatedWriter Series
HOW TO GET MOTIVATED TO WRITE
HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED TO WRITE
HOW TO CONTINUE TO MOTIVATE YOUR WRITING




 Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it. 

When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.


Monday, January 12, 2015

4 years in the publishing business

As of yesterday (1/11/15) my publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, has been in business 4 years. What a liberating thing to see. It was over four years ago that I walked away from my former publisher who I had signed a bad contract with. (I signed over lifetime rights. Jim, my lawyer told me how bad it was after the fact. Always seek your lawyer's advice first!)

Having not much more than a name and a book, I set out to learn the ins and outs of small press publishing. I published my first book (THE EXECUTIVE'S DECISION) in April of 2011.

I didn't set out to be a publisher. Believe it or not, even four years ago indie publishing was thought to be a crack idea. You weren't really an author if you were publishing yourself. However, small indie houses were making their mark.  The thought was I'd create a company to make me look bigger than I was. And the company was born

I had no intentions of being anyone else's publisher. I even had gotten involved with a group of writers and we were opening our own "house" to publish ourselves. I'll never to this day know why I went into that, but that it lead me into the path I was suppose to take.

As that house didn't take off, three of the ladies, who had books due out, needed to get them out. The phone call came to me to help. I accepted the challenge and we went out to publish their books. What happened next? Crash and Burn! I might have lost a few friends over that and I took the failure of that publishing adventure to heart for a long time. But everything in our lives is a learning process. I think the four of us might agree that was a HUGE learning experience for us all.

The next call came for a woman who is now a Bestselling Author and when she writes it it's gold. Carmen DeSousa sold me on selling her. What a patient woman. She was very gracious as I built my own titles and hers. There were bumps and bruises along the way. Since she signed we published a lot of books together. Last year she took those titles to publish her own. She's going to do marvelously.

Over the past four years we have crashed and burned a lot. But on the flip side, we have soared!!!! The 5 Prince Publishing catalog continues to grow. We have 26 authors and have published over 110 books in four years. I have all 22 titles which I have written in this catalog. I have been privy to watching a few of my authors take of in grand flight and make a name for themselves. Having authors come to me as an author and a publisher and asking advice is invaluable to me and a priceless gift.

I've been here for awhile. I've seen the market flux. I've seen the industry circle around. I am no longer the newbie on the block.

I will crash and burn again. And I will soar many more times than I crash.

If the past four years have been this wonderful with all that I have learned and experienced, I can't even begin to imagine what the next four years will bring. Thank you to everyone who has participated in this journey.

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it. 

When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.

Monday, January 5, 2015

#GoddessFishPromotions Presents #CristelleComby DANSE MACABRE




Danse Macabre
by Cristelle Comby

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*look for the exciting contest at the end of the post!*
A signed copy of Danse Macabre.




Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Danse Macabre is her third new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.



How long have you been a writer? 
I feel like I’ve been writing all my life, but I took it up seriously about five or six years ago. The first novel I did still sits in my desk drawer. The second was Russian Dolls, the first of the Neve & Egan books.

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?
About a year, if I remember correctly. Roughly four-five months were spent writing it, and the rest of the year went into the editing process. That was the biggest surprise of the project, the editing. I never thought it would take more time than writing.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter, definitely. I firmly believe in the power of the almighty outline. I can’t start writing without knowing where the story is going, and how it’ll end.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping up the pace. If I’m not careful, I let emotional scenes go-on too long.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
My books are part of a series, and although each can be read as a standalone, there’s a bigger story arc playing over the first four books. From the get-go, I had an idea of what each story would be.
Also, I always have two books in the works at the same time. The last stages of writing a book involve a lot of waiting around and doing nothing (waiting on feedback to come in, waiting on the proofreader, …). It’s at that point, that I actively start writing the next one.

When not writing, how do you relax?
I watch a lot of TV, listen to music. In the summer, I love going for walks in the sunny countryside.

Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.

I’m working on the next book in the series: Blind Chess. It picks up right where Danse Macabre ends.

Links to find Cristelle Comby :



Private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are hired to succeed where the police have failed, to safely return home a missing ballerina. With no lead to pursue and no idea who could be behind the young woman’s kidnapping, they soon find themselves at a loss as to what to do. 

To make matters worse, the heart of England seems to be caught in the middle of a little Ice Age. With snow endlessly falling and Tube lines either too cramped up to use or out of service, it is a pain to do any legwork in the huge metropolis.

Oh, and because trouble never comes alone, there may also be a serial killer on the loose in the streets of East London...



~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Excerpt

Mrs Doughton called the agency this morning, with urgency in her voice, and asked for a meeting that very afternoon. She requested Egan and I come as soon as we could, for a job of the utmost importance. She refused to divulge more information over the phone, but my curiosity was piqued. I promised her we would honour the appointment — besides, we didn’t have any other clients banging down our door.

We stop at the front door of a typical Victorian terrace house and I press the doorbell. The door swings open, before I have a chance to remove my finger from the button, revealing a slim woman in her forties with short curly hair, high cheekbones and tired eyes. I note in passing she’s long overdue for a root touch-up to hide the silver strands eating their way down her brown hair.

She’s wearing a wrinkled blouse and a pair of jeans. She beckons us in, with a quick, nervous gesture. ‘Ms Neve, Mr Egan, please come in.’ She leads us to the living room of the small house and has to remove papers from the settee to make room for my colleague and I to sit down.

My stomach clenches as I catch sight of the documents: missing person posters. I only catch a glimpse of the documents, but the word MISSING printed in bold and capitals is impossible to ignore and they show a picture of a young girl with dark wavy hair.

Mrs Doughton drops the leaflets on a nearby table, already filled to the brim, and turns back to face us. I nod at the notices she just put away. ‘Your daughter, I presume.’

‘Yes,’ the woman says in a tired voice. She sits down, looking both exhausted and distressed.

‘She disappeared last weekend. I… I have no idea where she is.’

Egan frowns and asks, ‘Have you contacted the police?’

‘Of course I have. It was the first thing I did, Sunday morning, when I couldn’t reach her,’ she replies, her hands twisting in her lap. ‘I called all of Isa’s friends, the other dancers, her teachers, everyone in our family… everyone I could think of.’

She takes in a breath, bites at her lower lip. ‘No one’s seen her, not since Friday afternoon. At first I assumed she’d spent the night at a friend’s, but when I still couldn’t reach her on Sunday… She’s never been gone so long, and she always calls me back.’

She shakes her head, and worries her lip again. ‘The detectives think she ran away. I tried to tell them she wouldn’t—’ she clenches and unclenches her hands nervously, ‘—I tried and tried to tell them my daughter isn’t like that. No matter how it looks, she wouldn’t leave me. It’s been just the two of us since my husband died three years ago. Isa wouldn’t leave. She just… she wouldn’t.’ Tears fill Mrs Doughton’s eyes and she seems ready to fall to pieces.

Damn it, I hate jobs like this one. I force an amiable smile, lean forward, and try to get the poor woman’s full attention, to draw her away from the brink before she falls apart on us. ‘Tell us more about your daughter. How old is she?’

In response, Mrs Doughton reaches for one of the missing person posters and places it in my hand, while she dabs at her eyes with a tissue.

I find my answer underneath the smiling face of a young brunette with a cheery smile and her mother’s dark eyes. I read the words aloud, for Egan’s benefit: ‘Isabella Doughton, age 24.’


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Friday, December 19, 2014

#AuthorSuccess Part III : Dedicated Readers, How to use them

Dedicated Readers are those readers who will buy your books no matter what. It doesn't have to be part of a series or a certain genre. If you wrote it, they will buy it.

Aside from them making your paycheck, Dedicated Readers are useful in your marketing plan.

A very popular marketing platform is the use of a street team. Usually street teams are formed through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The street team is formed around Dedicated Readers who like to personally interact with the author and will help to promote the author. The street team utilizes the reach of its members to promote the author usually for free. I say usually, because it's nice to recognize your street team by holding giveaways, contests, and discounts.

Your street team is a great source for putting out status updates, tweets, blog posts, and for simply getting the word out about your books. Dedicated readers used in this method are usually very complimentary and loving, so they make you look good.

Dedicated Readers are also a great source pool for beta readers. They love your work. They're going to love to get the chance to read you for free before the book comes out. I usually choose 3-5 random Dedicated Readers to beta read for me. Everyone gets a chance and they get very excited  to have the chance.

Another area they are helpful is when it comes to reviews. Sometimes, if you have enough Dedicated Readers, you'll never have to ask for a review again just to fill that dreaded 10 review minimum that some PR opportunities look for. Dedicated Readers not only run out to buy your book, they suck it down, and then turn around and review. However, it never hurts to ask them for those reviews.

As an author you need Dedicated Readers. As an author, you probably are a Dedicated Reader for at least one author. So think about how you'd do anything for them.

Keep being personal and friendly to your readers and your team of Dedicated Readers will continue to grow. In no time you'll have that 1,000 Dedicated Readers and every book launch will go bestseller!

Good Luck


Please Follow my #AuthorSuccess Series
PART I: Dedicated Readers: Get Some!
PART II: Dedicated Readers, Where to find them
PART III: Dedicated Readers, How to use them

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it. 

When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too. She is also the owner of Illumination Author Events, which brings authors and readers together. Through IAE she is also able to share her expertise in the fields of publishing, marketing and writing.


To find out more about Bernadette Marie you can find her here:

FACE BOOK
EMAIL: info@bernadettemarie.com


Saturday, December 13, 2014

#AuthorSpotlight #Interview with Bestselling Author, Railyn Stone





Writing since she could pick up a pen, Railyn Stone hails from the Tar Heel State and is a romantic at heart. She believes you can find romance in the simplest aspects of life and enjoys letting her imagination run wild. Trying new restaurants, listening to music, playing golf and writing stories about ordinary people are the hobbies she cherishes most.


What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
My favorite part of being a writer is developing a character and getting to know everything about them. What’s really cool is being able to give the character the life you want them to have. Even when bad things happen to them, I have the ability to make the underdog win every time.

What genre(s) do you write?
Currently, I write contemporary romance with a multicultural twist.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my book was actually the editing part. It was hard at first letting go and opening myself up to the critique of my work. Once I let go, I honestly ended up loving the editing process. It’s an incredibly creative process and when you get an editor that challenges you to be even better and helps you enhance your work and see it from a different perspective, it’s an amazing feeling.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I wish I could say I’m a plotter, but I’m truly a pantser. I’ve tried plotting stories out on paper before and it just never works. I don’t know why, but it’s almost like if I plot it out, then I lose interest in the story because I know the ending already.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I hope the reader feels something when they read my stories. I’m not writing fables with intricate morals to the story, but I do want the reader to get something out of it. I’ve always thought a good story has lots of emotion in it, whether it’s the highs and lows of love or happiness from a great friendship. I love the characters I write and I hope the readers love them as much as I do.

How long have you been a writer?
I’ve been writing most of my life. My mom started me on it. I’ve kept journals since I was probably about twelve years old and I started off writing poetry. I started seriously pursuing publication about eight years ago.  

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
I cannot tell you how proud and excited my family is for me. I am overwhelmed with the love and support they’ve shown me. I wasn’t sure how people would react, but it’s been amazing. I even found out that I’m not the only person in my family that writes. That was pretty cool to discover.

When not writing, how do you relax?
I love to play golf, once I learned to just have fun with it. It’s become a great way to relax. Being outside on a beautiful 70 degree day with friends and family and all you can see is a gorgeous green fairway and Carolina blue skies; there’s nothing like it.

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.
I was born with six fingers on each hand.
I am silly as all get out.
I’ve always secretly thought it would be cool to be a back up singer.
I’m a huge Prince fan.
My favorite color is green.

This is where you can find Railyn Stone
railynstone.blogspot.com
Twitter: @railynwrites


Sydnee Garrett has a lot on her to-do list. Wrangle her young and rambunctious twin boys. Check. 

Get her life back in order since her husband decided to leave her for a much younger woman. Check. 

And buy a Christmas tree. Check.

What she wasn’t expecting was adding one more thing to her list. A young, sexy personal trainer. Check.

Quinn Masters is a man who knows what he wants and doesn’t take no for an answer. He isn’t fazed by age or race differences and he does everything in his power to win Sydnee over.

Will Sydnee continue to fight for her orderly life or welcome in the chaos that’s threatening to change her entire world?



Excerpt
“Excuse me, ma’am?” Quinn started after Sydnee as she turned to walk away.
“Oh no, please. No ma’ams. It’s Sydnee.”

“Sorry?”

“My name...it’s Sydnee.”

“Oh, okay, Sydnee. I’m actually getting ready to go onmy break; could I buy you a cup of coffee?” He may have let her get away the night before, but he didn’t intend on letting her get away again.
“That’s sweet, but I don’t think so.”
“Wow. I don’t know if I’ve ever been rejected that quickly. I could be scarred for life.” He beamed, clutching at his heart and looking into a set of deep brown eyes he knew he could get lost in.
“Something tells me you’ll be okay,” she giggled and he was hooked. She had the most infectious laugh and he was prepared to do whatever he needed to do to keep hearing it.
“It’s just coffee.”
“Look, Quinn, it was really nice of you to deliver my tree last night, even though I know that’s not a service this tree lot actually provides. But I just can’t go out with you.”
“Hmm, so it’s not that you don’t want to go out with me? I mean you said you can’t so, technically, I still have a chance?” He could only hope he was making progress as her giggle turned into a full-blown laugh.
“You are an optimist. I have to go.”
“Hey, you didn’t say you weren’t interested. You just said you can’t go out. There’s a difference.” He continued to walk alongside her as she strode to her car.
“If you say so.”

“So what does a guy have to do to get you to say yes?”
“Goodbye, Quinn.” She paused, smiling at him before she turned to walk off.
“See you later.” He grinned and she spun around to look at him quizzically. “Hey a guy can dream can’t he?” His eyes danced and she could only shake her head at his persistence. Quinn could still hear her melodic laugh as she got in her SUV and pulled away. He smiled as Jack approached him, slapping him on the back.
“Shot down huh? Maybe you should stick to females your own age. I can see why you delivered the tree last night, but son, that’s a real woman there, and I doubt you have a snowball’s chance in the devil’s house with her.” His uncle laughed.
“Uncle Jack, you so underestimate me.” Quinn winked, walking away to help a customer.