Friday, June 27, 2014

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

I was recently contacted by James Moushon to do an author spotlight on his hbs author blog. For those of you who missed it, I thought I'd post it here.  James is the author of the Jonathan Stone mystery series and currently has two books to his credit.


Check out his blog for more authors he's interviewed. http://hbsauthorspotlight.blogspot.com/



Congratulations on your book: Deadly Obsessions. What do you have on the drawing board next?  Can you tell us the time line for its release and give us a little tease?   
Thank you, James. I'm very excited about my latest release and delighted with the feedback it's receiving. As a bonus for my fans, and new fans out there, I've just lowered the price of the novel to $0.99 as a short introductory offer.

You have quite a number followers on Twitter.
Thank you. I was pretty impressed with the amount myself.  



How important have your social media relationships been? 
I've met so many wonderful people on these venues, connected with long lost friends, and developed new ones. I've found it effective for building a readership. That's not to say it has pushed my sales to best seller status--at least, not yet, but I do find if I advertise, they will come.  
 How did you build your following in your niche? 
Just being myself on them and commenting on other posts.  I've managed to build a nice group of friends, writers and fans. 
 Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?  
I do send out a newsletter, but I'm not sure how effective it is. It continues to give my list of contacts information about what I'm up to next.
 
You do a lot of book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? 
I do. Since I started writing, I've moved two times. Book signings offer name recognition.I've done library panels as well. Anything I can do to get my name out there, I'm raising my hand.  
When and where is the next place where your readers can see you?  
I'm currently organizing a few signings here in Arizona, mostly in a coffee house environment, and I will be signing at the 'Readers for Life' literacy signing at the next RWA conference in San Antonio. The signing will be held on July 23rd from 5:30-7:30 and it's open to the public. The autographing takes place at the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel on the 3rd floor. The proceeds from the book sales go to literacy organizations.  
Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online? 
 
You have great covers for both Carolyn and K.T’s novels.  
Avalon Books and Montlake Romance did the covers for my sweet romances. Avalon Books asked for suggestions but never used any of them. But when Montlake took over, they did ask for input and were so accommodating, I still can't believe it. K. T. Roberts' covers were done by Carol Webb, owner of Bella Media Management and, as you can see, they follow the same theme. All the stories take place in New York, so it only seemed fitting to use the New York City skyline as my backdrop.  

They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?   
I actually had other covers for my mystery series that I created myself with a limited program. I found the photo I was looking for on iStockphotos and made them. Once that was done, I posted on Facebook asking for feedback and received suggestion for changes--none of which I could do with the program. But, when I saw Carol's work, my own creations paled by comparison--not that my sales suffered, but the nicer looking covers are a draw. When I started Indie publishing, I was looking for an inexpensive way out. My current covers look more professional and sends a strong message to perspective buyers, that I'm serious about my writing.
 
You have written a Kindle Serial called: Murder and Mayhem. 
Actually, I wrote two Kindle Serials. Gossip Girl: Lovers, Liars and Thou, which is a novella, and Murder and Mayhem.  

Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Yes, I think they did.  Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work? 
Shorty's are not usually my style. I tend to write much longer stories, but my Kindle Worlds had a deadline with a specific wordcount and that's what I did.When Avalon Books was publishing my work, the editor would frequently delete anything over 60,000 words. However, Montlake Romance gives its authors carte blanche.  
How did rolling out the Chronicles in sections work out vs. the response to the complete set?  
Some complained, but overall the two week wait time for delivery was well received.

  1. What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process? Can you tell our readers about The Write Authors Book Signing and Valley of the Sun Romance Authors events and how to get involved with those groups?

    I organized The Write Authors last year. We're a group of seven Indie published authors who attend the book signings all over the valley. The signing at the Women's Expo was the most elaborate signing we've done so far, and I believe I've made some new fans. I'm also a member of Sisters in Crime and attend monthly meetings at Desert Sleuths. The group's core membership is made up of several law enforcement professionals where I learn so much. I also attend The Writers' Police Academy held every year in September in Greensboro, NC where the instructors are in some form of law enforcement and teaches everything from forensics to Secret Service--you name it, they've got it. Here's the link in case anyone is interested. http://writerspoliceacademy.com


  2. What has been your experience in giving your books away free? 
    When I published my first Indie, I gave the book away for free for three days. Unfortunately, it never garnered any reviews until I started charging. 
    Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out?
     I've done basket giveaways, gift cards and book giveaways for leaving comments.  
    What was your main goal in doing this? 
    My goal was name recognition and a review of the book. I did receive comments on Facebook, but not always a review.  
  3. How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful? 
    I typically start with the cover reveal on Facebook to get attention, then I post scenes. I've joined about twenty online groups on Facebook where I advertise twice a week, and also on Twitter. Anymore than that is overkill and people stop paying attention to your posts. I also do a blog with excerpts, and post excerpts of all my books on my website. Then, I'll arrange for a book signing and take it from there. Once I have ten reviews, I register for E-reader News Today to advertise my book(s). I've had fantastic results with that.
     
  4. I don’t know which of you to address this question too but I will give it a shot. You are published under two names and genres. Does changing hats create any problems? 
    I was worried about that in the beginning, and although it took a while for people to realize I was the same person creating those sweet romances, and writing gritter for my mysteries, things fell into place.  
    Any tricks you can share with us? Which genre did you enjoy writing the most, Romance or Mystery?  
    I think my forte is mystery. I love reading and writing it and enjoy it more because you never know what's going to happen. Contemporaries are pretty set in the standard. You know, it's like a Disney movie--no one dies at the end.  
    Does moving from one to the other give you some breathing room?
     I guess you could say that, but I do find when I writing a contemporary then I'm anxious to finish so I can go back to my writing world of crime.

  5. What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?  

    As of late, I've been successful in getting reviews from the reading audience. One of the Indie groups I belong to provided a list of reviewers, but they're so inundated with submissions, they don't guarantee reviews.

You have a good following on twitter.  
Thank you. I was pretty impressed with the amount myself.  
How important have your social media relationships been? 
I've met so many wonderful people on these venues, connected with long lost friends, and developed new ones. I've found it effective for building a readership. That's not to say it has pushed my sales to best seller status--at least, not yet, but I do find if I advertise, they will come.  
 How did you build your following in your niche? 
Just being myself on them and commenting on other posts.  I've managed to build a nice group of friends, writers and fans. 
 Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?  
I do send out a newsletter, but I'm not sure how effective it is. It continues to give my list of contacts information about what I'm up to next.
 
You do a lot of book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? 
I do. Since I started writing, I've moved two times. Book signings offer name recognition.I've done library panels as well. Anything I can do to get my name out there, I'm raising my hand.  
When and where is the next place where your readers can see you?  
I'm currently organizing a few signings here in Arizona, mostly in a coffee house environment, and I will be signing at the 'Readers for Life' literacy signing at the next RWA conference in San Antonio. The signing will be held on July 23rd from 5:30-7:30 and it's open to the public. The autographing takes place at the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel on the 3rd floor. The proceeds from the book sales go to literacy organizations.  
Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online? 
 
  1. You have great covers for both Carolyn and K.T’s novels.  
    Avalon Books and Montlake Romance did the covers for my sweet romances. Avalon Books asked for suggestions but never used any of them. But when Montlake took over, they did ask for input and were so accommodating, I still can't believe it. K. T. Roberts' covers were done by Carol Webb, owner of Bella Media Management and, as you can see, they follow the same theme. All the stories take place in New York, so it only seemed fitting to use the New York City skyline as my backdrop.  
    They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?   
    I actually had other covers for my mystery series that I created myself with a limited program. I found the photo I was looking for on iStockphotos and made them. Once that was done, I posted on Facebook asking for feedback and received suggestion for changes--none of which I could do with the program. But, when I saw Carol's work, my own creations paled by comparison--not that my sales suffered, but the nicer looking covers are a draw. When I started Indie publishing, I was looking for an inexpensive way out. My current covers look more professional and sends a strong message that to perspective buyers, I'm serious about my writing.
     
  2. You have written a Kindle Serial called: Murder and Mayhem. 
    Actually, I wrote two Kindle Serials. Gossip Girl: Lovers, Liars and Thou, which is a novella, and Murder and Mayhem.  
    Can you tell us if they had an impact on the sales of your novels? Yes, I think they did.  Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work? 
    Shorty's are not usually my style. I tend to write much longer stories, but my Kindle Worlds had a deadline with a specific wordcount and that's what I did.When Avalon Books was publishing my work, the editor would frequently delete anything over 60,000 words. However, Montlake Romance gives its authors carte blanche.  
    How did rolling out the Chronicles in sections work out vs. the response to the complete set?  
    Some complained, but overall the two week wait time for delivery was well received.
  3. What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process? Can you tell our readers about The Write Authors Book Signing and Valley of the Sun Romance Authors events and how to get involved with those groups?
    I organized The Write Authors last year. We're a group of seven Indie published authors who attend the book signings all over the valley. The signing at the Women's Expo was the most elaborate signing we've done so far, and I believe I've made some new fans. I'm also a member of Sisters in Crime and attend monthly meetings at Desert Sleuths. The group's core membership is made up of several law enforcement professionals where I learn so much. I also attend The Writers' Police Academy held every year in September in Greensboro, NC where the instructors are in some form of law enforcement and teaches everything from forensics to Secret Service--you name it, they've got it. Here's the link in case anyone is interested. http://writerspoliceacademy.com
  4. What has been your experience in giving your books away free? 
    When I published my first Indie, I gave the book away for free for three days. Unfortunately, it never garnered any reviews until I started charging. 
    Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out?
     I've done basket giveaways, gift cards and book giveaways for leaving comments.  
    What was your main goal in doing this? 
    My goal was name recognition and a review of the book. I did receive comments on Facebook, but not always a review.  
  5. How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful? 
    I typically start with the cover reveal on Facebook to get attention, then I post scenes. I've joined about twenty online groups on Facebook where I advertise twice a week, and also on Twitter. Anymore than that is overkill and people stop paying attention to your posts. I also do a blog with excerpts, and post excerpts of all my books on my website. Then, I'll arrange for a book signing and take it from there. Once I have ten reviews, I register for E-reader News Today to advertise my book(s). I've had fantastic results with that.
     
  6. I don’t know which of you to address this question too but I will give it a shot. You are published under two names and genres. Does changing hats create any problems? 
    I was worried about that in the beginning, and although it took a while for people to realize I was the same person creating those sweet romances, and writing gritter for my mysteries, things fell into place.  
    Any tricks you can share with us? Which genre did you enjoy writing the most, Romance or Mystery?  
    I think my forte is mystery. I love reading and writing it and enjoy it more because you never know what's going to happen. Contemporaries are pretty set in the standard. You know, it's like a Disney movie--no one dies at the end.  
    Does moving from one to the other give you some breathing room?
     I guess you could say that, but I do find when I writing a contemporary then I'm anxious to finish so I can go back to my writing world of crime.
  7. What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?  
    As of late, I've been successful in getting reviews from the reading audience. One of the Indie groups I belong to provided a list of reviewers, but they're so inundated with submissions, they don't guarantee reviews.