Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blog tour: The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir



Title: The Author Training Manual
Author: Nina Amir
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
Pages: 256
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle


Purchase at AMAZON

Anyone can publish a book and become an “author,” but if you want to become a successful author with a profitable publishing career, you need a clear, step-by-step guide to help you develop book ideas that sell. In The Author Training Manual, expert editor and book coach Nina Amir reveals the exact process successful authors have used to create business plans and proposals for their books and teaches you how to view your ideas through the eyes of acquisition editors and literary agents.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, plan to traditionally publish or self-publish, The Author Training Manual provides you with the tools you need to achieve your goals and become the author publishers and readers want. Inside you’ll find concrete steps, evaluations, sample business plans, in-depth training activities, editor and agent commentaries, and much more – all designed to help you stand out, from the slush pile to the shelf.


Book Excerpt:
Millions of aspiring authors around the world dream of self-publishing or traditionally publishing a successful book. If you’ve picked up this book, you likely share that dream.

Today, almost any writer can change his or her status from aspiring to published author.

More ways exist to self-publish a book than ever before, which means you have many options should you choose to go that route. You’ll find it harder to change your status from aspiring to published author if you want to be traditionally published, but it’s not impossible. You just need to convince a publishing company to produce your book for you by following the steps presented in this book.

No matter which path to publication you choose, the most difficult task before you involves creating a book that sells. According to Publishers Weekly, the average book sells three thousand copies in its lifetime—not per year. The publishing industry deems a book “success- ful” when it sells large numbers of copies—usually many more than three thousand copies per year. Bestsellers, for example, outsell other books in their categories.

Since you are reading this book, I’m going to assume from this point forward that you want to produce a book that sells an above-average number of copies per year or reaches bestseller status. That means you want to be a successful author by publishing industry standards, so keep the average books sales noted earlier mind as you work through this process.

Many aspiring authors think all they need to produce a successful book is an outstanding idea, a sound story structure, and a well-crafted manuscript. Indeed, these elements sometimes suffice, but more often creating a bestseller or a book with above-average sales involves much more.

In particular, it takes a certain type of attitude. I call this an Author Attitude.

The Cold, Hard Facts of the Publishing Industry

To develop Author Attitude, you must make yourself aware of the cold, hard facts about the publishing industry. These facts are meant to help you understand the difference between simply becoming an author and succeeding as an author.

While the number of books published each year increases—Bowker projected a staggering four thousand books per day were published in 2011—the number of people and publishers who buy them decreases annually. That means the marketplace has become increasingly competitive, making it harder to find readers and publishers. Yet, out of a U.S. population of 317,132,631 people (as of November 2013), 81 percent still want to write a book, according to The New York Times.

Many writers produce manuscripts or books only to discover later that their creations aren’t viable. After spending months or years writing and honing their craft, these authors then suffer great heartbreak and disappointment when they discover traditional publishers don’t want to publish their manuscripts or readers don’t want to purchase their self-published books. Maybe the writing isn’t up to par, or the book isn’t unique or helpful to readers; the author might not have a “platform,” promotion plan, or expertise in the subject area, among many other things. Platform is visibility, authority, and engagement with your book’s target audience that gives you influences in that market.

Today, many readers simply cannot find most books. Bowker reported that in 2011, three million books were published in the United States. Marketing expert and bestselling author Seth Godin predicted that fifteen million ISBN numbers were purchased in 2012. If all of those ISBN numbers were used, it is possible that at least as many books were published that same year. That’s a lot of books for readers to sift through when deciding to make a purchase. It’s easy for yours to get lost among them all.

Not only that, if your book is traditionally published, it stands less than a one percent chance of being stocked in an actual brick-and-mortar bookstore, according to Berrett- Koehler Publishers. Self-published books almost never make it onto bookstore shelves. And if your book is not in brick-and-mortar bookstores, you miss another chance for readers to discover you or your book.

Even authors like Godin, with fourteen bestselling books, including Permission Marketing and Tribes, normally get only one or two copies of their books into each physical bookstore. In fact, Godin conducted a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign for his newest book, The Icarus Deception, primarily to prove to publishers that his books should be promoted inside bookstores. Even his publisher needed proof that booksellers should carry large quantities of his books and display them prominently. If a successful author like Godin has trouble getting books into a bookstore, you can imagine how hard this task proves for the average traditionally published author.

Once you get your book into either physical or online stores, you have to find ways to get it noticed. You have to ensure its cover makes readers feel they must not leave the store without it. The average nonfiction book sells 250 copies per year, reports Publishers Weekly—and nonfiction outsells fiction, so we can assume the average novel sells fewer copies per year. Taking into account the cost of editing and design, that’s hardly enough for any traditional publisher or self-publisher to earn back the cost of producing and promoting a printed book, let alone make much money. (Average yearly e-book sales are about the same as print book sales, possibly just a tad higher. According to novelist Mike Cooper, the average Amazon e- book author earns under $300 per year.)

With these facts in mind, it’s no wonder that along the way some writers discover they aren’t cut out to produce successful books—ones that do sell to lots of readers and to publishers. They might discover this after they’ve self-published or traditionally published their books or maybe while they are trying to publish them (or even while exploring their options). Maybe they are unwilling to learn the necessary tasks, they can’t or don’t want to hire someone to help them do those tasks, or they simply don’t want to compete in the industry or the marketplace. Maybe they have other commitments, like family or a “real” job. So these writers may decide they feel comfortable writing books that sell a below-average number of copies.

Others decide the path to publication is just too long and arduous. They leave their dreams of becoming authors behind and choose different paths. They give up.

Then there are the aspiring writers left wondering how—despite the above facts, their situations, and the often harsh and competitive publishing industry environment—they can change their status from aspiring to successful published author. They are not put off by the obstacles in the facts presented or by what life has thrown their way. Full of optimism, they cling to something else they have heard: “Now is the best time in history to become an author.” They are willing to do whatever it takes to produce a salable book and to publish and promote it until it sells well. They are determined, persistent, and perseverant. In fact, they have the essential characteristic of successful authors: an Author Attitude.

I hope you have it, too.

If you aren’t sure whether you have this attitude, no worries. This manual, and the training process it includes, will teach you how to develop an Author Attitude.

Of course, some writers have this attitude naturally; most, I believe, have worked at developing it. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen come to mind. They received over 140 rejections prior to getting Chicken Soup for the Soul accepted by Health Communications. The book has sold over 200 million copies due to the authors’ commitment to promoting the book in every way possible—including sending free copies to the sequestered jurors serving on the nationally broadcast first O.J. Simpson murder trial. The jurors were then pictured on national television carrying the books! The authors promoted the book in five ways every single day after its release. Now that is Author Attitude.



About the Book:

Anyone can publish a book and become an “author,” but if you want to become a successful author with a profitable publishing career, you need a clear, step-by-step guide to help you develop book ideas that sell. In The Author Training Manual, expert editor and book coach Nina Amir reveals the exact process successful authors have used to create business plans and proposals for their books and teaches you how to view your ideas through the eyes of acquisition editors and literary agents.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, plan to traditionally publish or self-publish, The Author Training Manual provides you with the tools you need to achieve your goals and become the author publishers and readers want. Inside you’ll find concrete steps, evaluations, sample business plans, in-depth training activities, editor and agent commentaries, and much more – all designed to help you stand out, from the slush pile to the shelf.

Purchase your copy: AMAZON 


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE


About the Author:

Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach and author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, transforms writers into authors. She inspires people from all walks of life to create books that positively impact readers and to develop careers as authors, achieve their goals, and fulfill their potential. Nina is a sought-after nonfiction developmental editor, proposal consultant, and author, book, blog-to-book, blog, and results coach. Some of her clients have gone on to sell 300,000+ copies of their books and to land deals with major publishing houses. She writes four blogs, has self-published 12 books and is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge.

You can find all of Nina’s blogs by visiting her main website, www.ninaamir.com.

Connect & Socialize! TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog tour: Heartless (The Chasing Hearts Series #1) by Vanessa Marie


Welcome to Reader Girls. We are today's stop on the Heartless blog tour. There's an excerpt, a guest post and a giveaway. Enjoy!
Title: Heartless (The Chasing Hearts Series #1) 
Author: Vanessa Marie 
Genre: NA, Romance, 18+ for Mature Content and Language 
Publish Date: April 15, 2014 
Publisher: Independent Published 
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Purchase: Amazon

All the other girls had a normal childhood, full of Girl Scouts and sleepovers, but Charlie Evans wasn't so lucky. 

Her life had been spent in and out the Cardiac Care Unit and moving across the country with her military father. So when Charlie finds out she's moving back to her home town, she hopes things will finally be different. She has learned the hard way not to let anyone in. People always let her down, and it wasn’t easy to trust anyone new. 

That was until Sam Greyson walks into her life and threatens to knock down every wall she’d ever built to protect herself.   With Sam in the picture, Charlie decides to take one last shot and open herself up. With Sam’s help, she is finally able to let someone see the real, bruised and damaged girl inside. That is until she is forced to make a decision between her own happiness and ruining Sam’s life to be with him. 

If giving him up meant he could have a normal life…She would do it, in a broken heartbeat.


Excerpt:

She dove in the water and swam a couple of laps. All she could think about was Sam wanting to talk. What the hell would I even say? She couldnt tell him the truth, but she didnt want to lie to him anymore. It tore her apart inside.

As she swam lap after lap, she tried to play things out in her head. Unable to clear her mind, she couldnt get herself into the headspace she usually did when she swam. There was no way to avoid what she needed to do any longer.

Charlie got out of the pool and wrapped her towel around herself. She rang her hair out and tossed it into a messy bun on top of her head. She walked down to his room and knocked on his sliding door. Oh shit, what did I just do? With her nerves a mess all of a sudden, she turned to run back to her room, but it was too late. He opened the door. All he had on was a pair of shorts and everything in her head disappeared as she stood there with a blank stare on her face.

“Hey, you okay?” he asked, his eyes full of concern. Charlie just shrugged, how the hell was she supposed to concentrate when he looked like that? She regretted knocking on his door and had no idea what she was going to say.
“Come in before someone sees you,” he said, and stepped aside to let her in. She walked past him and he slid the door shut. Crossing the room, she leaned on the table against the wall as he sat on the coffee table across from her. The Civil Wars “The One That Got Away” was playing on his iPod Radio. Shed listened to that song so many times since shed broken things off she couldnt keep count. They held each other’s gaze but neither of them said a word.
He leaned forward with his forearms on his knees. “Whyd you come here?”
I dont know.” She shrugged.
“Are you ready to talk to me?”
I dont know what you want to talk about?”
“Us, what’s going on with you for starters.”
“Nothing’s going on with me,” she said, and re-wrapped her towel around herself.
“Cut the crap Charlie. You havent been the same since your surgery. You totally shut me out.
“Youll never understand what Ive been through.”
“Youre right I dont, but I can be there for you, if you let me. And yet you won’t.”
“Im just better off alone. Ive always been on my own. I dont know how to be any other way.”
Sam stood and walked toward her. “Bullshit. We were great together. You let your guard down and you let me in. You cant sit here and tell me that you being alone is better than that.”
She looked at her feet and her heart raced faster the closer he got. She couldnt argue with him. He was right. The only time shed ever felt whole was when they were together. Sam lifted her chin with his finger and his bare chest was just inches from her. Glancing up, she met his gaze. With the urge to reach out and touch him, she held onto her towel even tighter.

“Look me in the eye and tell me youre better off alone,” he said, as he cupped her cheek and tears streamed down her face. Wiping them away, he leaned against her, supporting his weight with each hand firmly planted on either side of her on the table. Just inches from her face, she stayed silent, but her eyes said it all. 


What Inspired me to write my book

When I was twenty-six I was blindsided with heart disease and ended up getting a pacemaker implanted. I passed out constantly and wasn’t allowed to work anymore. I’d worked all my life as a Jeep mechanic and then I found myself stuck on couch arrest, (with my mom and husband as my wardens) unable to do much of anything.

I was still accepting my new life and had this crazy dream, I couldn’t seem to shake. So, I called my sister and told her all about it. She suggested I write it down and see what happened. It was only one scene, and I knew it would be toward the end of the book. What did I have to lose? I had nothing but time. Nineteen days later I finished the rough draft to my original 100,000 word manuscript. After the shock wore off, I shared it with my family…my very opinionated family, and they said it was too good to not publish. I never set out to write a novel, it was a way for me to deal with what I’d just gone through and it took on this life of its own.

Over the last year, I’ve had four mini strokes and a baby. Through it all, I worked on my manuscript. Little by little, piece by piece. Every extended hospital stay I had, my mom would bring me my laptop and tell me I had no excuse not to write. She believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. My inspiration started out as an outlet, just for me. Then it turned into bringing these characters and their world to life, doing them justice. While my baby slept, while I fought through symptoms of my disease I wrote, rewrote and edited. I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever imagined I could. This has been such a labor of love, and all I want is to share my story with readers. I hope they love it as much as I do.



About the Author

Always the cause of shenanigans, Vanessa is a heavily tattooed, sarcastic motorcycle enthusiast who started her career as a Jeep tech at the age of sixteen. The happily married mother of three little monsters—oops, children—lives in Kentucky by way of Las Vegas, Nevada. Once her life took a different direction—sidelined by Heart Disease at 26 and becoming a pacemaker recipient—she decided to write as a creative outlet, and Heartless was born. She realizes life can be dark clouds and acid rain at times, but her outlook on life puts a positive and sarcastic spin on it all.



Giveaway

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog tour: When Angels Fall by Lachelle Redd + guest post & giveaway


When an ancient evil grows bored and slips topside all hell breaks loose. Intriguing tagline, isn't it? And look at that cover! Makes me want to read this book. Reader Girls is today's stop on the When Angels Fall Blog Tour hosted by GMTA Publishing. For our stop, we have a promo of this exciting paranormal, a guest post by author Lacelle Redd and a huge giveaway. Thanks for stopping by today.

When Angels Fall by Lachelle Redd
Paranormal romance, horror, erotica
Paperback/ebook, 64 pages
Published February 14th 2014 by GMTA Publisher
(first published November 13th 2013)

Available: Amazon US | Amazon UK

When revenge, murder, and debauchery are used to overturn the evils that exists at Thornbrook, Hall and Caine, a demoted angels feels right at home and nothing will ever be the same. Margonne’s sentence as a soul ripper in the underworld is tedious and eternal. The “Fallen One” as he is called, finds a way to rip through the life of a disgraced young exec and have the salacious romp of his life. However, when he eyes a local beauty things start to unravel and soon Margonne understands that he is a part of much bigger game. Find out what happens When Angels Fall.


Lachelle Redd
About the author

Lachelle Redd is an Indie author with works on Amazon and Smashwords. She currently resides in Lake City, Florida where she continues to write horror, fantasy and erotica at her own pace. With a love of all things horror, she began writing as a teen and before long had a small library of stories of her own. With many rejections under her belt, she kept those stories on a flash drive for many years. Within the last year, Lachelle found her audience through the evolution of social media and the Internet. With many more tales to tell, this author looks forward to enticing and scaring readers for years to come.


  Site: The Hot Cauldron  Facebook: Lachelle Redd | Twitter: Follow Me!

THE WRITING PROCESS
LACHELLE REDD

When asked to submit a post about writing and its process, the first thing I thought of was coming up with the story. When I am writing, a number of my characters, plots, and dialogue come from my experiences. I also discovered that the more I write, the more I pay attention to my surroundings and find bits and pieces that I can use. It is interesting what you can come up with using a little imagination and a lunchroom full of women of various ages. Let’s not forget the wealth of material waiting at Wal-Mart on a Friday after payday.

For me, horror is my first love, but I have recently stretched my wings into the erotica genre. When Angels Fall is my first venture into this new arena. In the beginning, I had no idea that this book would end up in an erotica setting. My idea was to write a demon who takes over the life of a rich brat and does things his way. In addition, his salacious ways are in some ways, over the top, but that is what I meant. This story is the what would you do, if you could rip through anyone at your job type of tale. This includes going off on fellow sycophants, having wild sex with the office slut, you name it and it’s there. It may not be your cup of tea, but the story is meant for escaping from reality and that’s what I want the reader to do.

I have also written a few fantasy stories as well. They involve dragons, quests, wood sprites, and far off kingdoms. My early writings mostly reflect my love of quests, the handsome prince and a wicked evil. I enjoyed writing these because I wanted to create the kind of stories that I grew up reading and watching. I was a huge fan of The Hobbit series, Legend and The Eyes of the Dragon. These stories are all about the fight against evil and those who rise to the occasion when called.

For me, writing is a great escape and being able to tell the stories I like and have people say they enjoy them is a thrill. Who knows, maybe I will be able to inspire someone to pick up a pen and get to work.

  As for going into the writing field, there are a number of rules. Honing the skill is the most important piece. My earlier stories were clumsy and clunky. I had no idea of how to pace the story and make it flow so that the reader isn’t lost. There is also this little thing called grammar. Even though we speak to people every day and use verbs, adjectives, and pronouns, when writing, you have to curb the overuse of these precious commodities. Too many pronouns and the story is lost. You can also confuse the reader. Too many “be” verbs and the story becomes awkward and cumbersome. Researching proper grammar and practicing every day can make one a better writer and it helps to develop your style. So good luck and I hope to continue to entertain you in the future.


We are offering 20 eBook copies of When Angels Fall. This giveaway is open internationally.
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The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold Release Day Blitz

TLG-Blitz-Banner-revised
Welcome to the Release Day Blitz for

The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold

presented by Month9Books!
You can follow the blog tour HERE!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
 The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Book Depository | IndieBound
Find the diary, break the curse, step through The Looking Glass!
Fifteen-year-old Alice Montgomery wakes up in the lobby of the B&B where she has been vacationing with her family to a startling discovery: no one can see or hear her. The cheap desk lights have been replaced with gas lamps and the linoleum floor with hardwood and rich Oriental carpeting. Someone has replaced the artwork with eerie paintings of Elizabeth Blackwell, the insane actress and rumored witch who killed herself at the hotel in the 1880s. Alice watches from behind the looking glass where she is haunted by Elizabeth Blackwell. Trapped in the 19th-century version of the hotel, Alice must figure out a way to break Elizabeth’s curse—with the help of Elizabeth’s old diary and Tony, the son of a ghost hunter who is investigating the haunted B&B—before she becomes the inn’s next victim.


About the author
Jessica Arnold writes YA, codes ebooks, and is currently a graduate student in publishing at Emerson College in Boston. She spends most of her time in class or work or slogging through the homework swamp. If she has a spare moment, she’s always up for a round of Boggle. Given the opportunity, Jessica will pontificate at length on the virtues of the serial comma, when and where to use an en dash, and why the semicolon is the best punctuation mark pretty much ever.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Giveaway 
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win:
  • Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold (INT)
  • One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)