Needing to set aside time for marketing my book

Every self-published author will need to spend time marketing their books to successful sell their books. I have written on this topic before, but since it is a major part of book publishing, I felt it needed to be revisited – especially since I have become guilty of not marketing my books lately.

Ugh. I barely feel I have time to write my latest work in progress let alone have time for marketing. It has been a busy couple of months with the end of school year activities, birthdays and vacations. I barely have done more than work on my blog and send out an occasional promotional tweet.

Gone are the days when I actively promoted my trilogy by finding blogs to be featured on or soliciting reviews. I know there are those authors that can fit it into their daily schedule, but I only have so many free hours and unfortunately I have not been using them to market my current books. But I know that needs to change.

To do this, I am going to have to devote some time each week to marketing. But how much time? I searched the internet and could not find an answer or even an estimation on how much marketing an indie author needs to do. The bad thing is, even if I could find out that magical number, what worked for one person, will not work for another. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all plan for marketing there is no certain set amount of time that an author should spend on marketing.

The best marketing advice at least for newer authors is continue to write. By having multiple books, you increase your credence as an author. Actually, this works for all authors. With each published book, you broaden your appeal and add credibility to your name. There are many readers who when they discover a new author they like, they scoop up every other book that author has written.

And in the beginning, I followed this write-more-books advice. I spent more time writing than marketing. But now with my trilogy complete and feeling as if I have fallen behind in working on my next book, I have lost sight of my marketing plan.

Heck, who I am kidding. The one thing I and many other authors fail at is establishing a marketing plan. Many authors don’t even take the time to figure out who their target audience is. And that is one thing you MUST do to market your book successfully. You need to find who will be interested in your book and reach them through your marketing efforts.

The stories about authors who succeeded without any marketing are rare. Most books, even the really good ones, will become lost in the jumble of the millions of other available titles unless something is done to make them stand out, to make them become discoverable to their target audience.

Marketing takes time. Not just the time to do it but the time to see results. You have to keep working at marketing to be successful. Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. You need to be in it for the long haul. You have to be a relentless self-promoter.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have the time or patience for that.

So from now on, I am going to start making time for marketing. It probably won’t be daily but even marketing a little each week should help me reach more potential readers.

For some great marketing tips for self-published books, read this post. If you have a print book, check out these marketing tips.

New Release: Flirtatious Fantasies

This month Rusty Nock released his third erotic novel Flirtatious Fantasies. Here is an excerpt from chapter one.

Excerpt

The Tempestuous Sea

Following the air crash and subsequent events, involving James Brown and his unrelated, lady pilot Caroline Brown, they had managed to escape their ordeal of being marooned on a remote island in the Southern Pacific Ocean, by means of a wooden raft. They had set a course for the mainland, but when the sun began to set, they encountered a sudden deterioration in the weather, and the sea was getting very rough.

The storm became more severe and James and Caroline feared that they were about to perish. The waves started washing over the deck of their self-made raft, and the intensity of the wind was increasing. James decided to lash the two of them securely to the mast, as he was mindful that if either of them was to be swept into the mighty ocean, they could easily drown, even though they were both tethered to the raft by a rope attached to their ankles.

Caroline was sobbing from fear and fright of what might happen next, and the situation was now desperate. The thought that they both might drown together with their unborn child was terrifying, and all they could do was pray to the Almighty and cling on to the raft with all their might.

They were both becoming exhausted and the end was now a foregone conclusion. James held on tight to Caroline’s hand and he told her how much he cared for her and their unborn baby.

Then out of the dark night sky appeared the lights of a nearby ship. At first it looked likely that they would be mowed down by this approaching vessel, but that was not going to happen, as by some miraculous chance, they had been spotted by a fishing ship, which was now shinning a spotlight upon them.

The fishing trawler came close by but it was a tricky operation to get Caroline and James on-board. They lowered a harness and Caroline managed to secure it to her upper body, before she was hauled onto the deck of this pitching and rolling vessel. Then it was the turn of James and very soon the two survivors were safely on-board the little ship that had saved their lives.

They were shown to the crew’s quarters where they were wrapped in warm blankets and provided with hot food and drink.

James told the skipper their story and expressed his grateful thanks for the miraculous rescue, which seemed like a blessing from heaven.

After James and Caroline had taken some rest, James asked the skipper of the fishing boat to notify the Chilean Coastguards of their rescue, and following some discussion over the airwaves, the coastguard said they would send a motor launch to ship the survivors ashore.

Shortly after breakfast the next day, a boat appeared over the horizon and very soon James and Caroline had been transferred to the coastguard launch and they were speeding towards the port of Valparaiso in Chile.

Two hours later and they were once again on dry land, where there was a British Consul limousine waiting to transport them the 120km to Santiago.

This was big news as all hope of ever finding James and Caroline had long passed. Word had already been fed back to James’ wife Salina as well as the business headquarters of JRB Holdings Ltd.

There was a lengthy debriefing session both by the Chilean authorities as well as another at the British Embassy, and thereafter James and Caroline were able to think about returning to their respective homes. Caroline lived with her partner Trudy in the leafy suburbs of Santiago, where she had a splendid mansion house that reflected her status as a commercial airline pilot. She invited James to stay at her house until he could arrange a flight back to the United Kingdom, but James considered it appropriate for him to stay in a nearby hotel.

By this time, Caroline was approximately three months pregnant and it was the month of September 1966.

James and Caroline spent many hours together discussing how they should handle the situation regarding their unborn child.

Although Caroline had returned home to Trudy, she informed James that their association had caused her to re-consider her lesbian relationship with her partner Trudy, and she was uncertain how things would pan out.

James told her that no matter how things worked out with their respective previous relationships, he would support her financially, including their child. He said that as soon as he arrived home in England, he would arrange for his lawyers to draw up a financial package, which meant she would no longer be reliant upon her salary to fund her living costs.

James was unsure how he would be received by his wife Salina and based upon their relationship at the time of his departure for Chile, he suspected she might well be having some kind of relationship with another man. The thought had not entered his head that she could be involved in a relationship with a woman, and when he arrived home he was devastated to discover that she had a live in partner named Jane Golding.

Salina made it abundantly clear that she was determined to seek a divorce from James and remain in her lesbian relationship with Jane.

Having set up a financial arrangement in favour of Caroline, now back home in Chile, James decided to make telephone contact to find out how she was getting along. He was very disappointed when she explained that she had no intention of ending her gay relationship with her partner Trudy, and although she was looking forward to having James’ baby, he would have to accept that she and Trudy would parent the child, although he would have unlimited access.

Book Blurb

BookCoverPreviewFlirtatious Fantasies is the third book in a series about the fictional Brown dynasty. It contains many more interesting and sensational relationships, which will stretch your imaginative powers to the limit.

James Brown becomes involved in more entrepreneurial activities, which add to the enormous family fortune, amassed over a period of many generations. His involvement with the opposite sex blossoms, with more adventurous relationships than his forebears could only have dreamt of. Multi-partner activities develop to become the norm, and sexual fulfillment is achieved in many different ways.

The developing leisure pursuit of luxury cruising, affords the opportunity for promiscuity within an environment of lavish recreational facilities, where pleasures of a sensual and intimate nature can be exploited by the wealthy and elite. James Brown enters this dynamic market with ideas and facilities on-board that will shock some readers, whilst providing a surge of sexual stimulation to many others.

Only those with an open mind regarding sexual freedom and liberation should read the graphic details described in this book, as some of the explicit material may offend those who have limited knowledge of practices carried out in combined hetero and bisexual groups.

To follow the narrative of this book, it is advantageous to have read ‘Debaucherous Desires’ beforehand, but equally, the continuing story within ‘Flirtatious Fantasies’, can be appreciated in its own right.

Brace yourself for some adventure and enlightenment, and become absorbed within the imaginary business enterprises and intimate exploits, enjoyed and appreciated by James Robert Brown.

About the Author

CRP book signing - Copy[1]Rusty Nock is a 70 year old British author of three erotic novels, the latest one entitled Flirtatious Fantasies. He now resides in Worksop, England, not far from Sherwood Forest, the home of the legendary Robin Hood.

Rusty’s background is that of a family man with a great sense of humour, who has traveled to many corners of the world, and visited lots of interesting places. He has drawn upon a wealth of knowledge and experience of life, when crafting his literary works about entrepreneurial achievements and human relationships of a most intimate nature.

Rusty hopes his series of three books will bring much pleasure to those who are seeking a little sparkle in their everyday lives, and not afraid to allow their imagination run wild.

There may be other works to follow, but it all depends upon public reaction and the levels of encouragement from his reading audience.

Flirtatious Fantasies is available from Amazon as well as Rusty’s website.

Finding summer camps for the kids

Last year, I signed Jase up for a summer camp. It would have been a half day, week-long camp full of science experiments. I say, “would have been” because the camp was canceled two weeks before it was set to go. They did not reach the minimum number of participants.

This summer we signed him up for Lego Star Wars camp. Again, the same thing happened. The Thursday before camp they called to say it was being canceled. They offered other camps as an option, but he wanted a Lego camp.

Luckily, I knew that the Bricks 4 Kidz company was also putting on the same camp at their own location in July. (The first one was scheduled through a church’s summer program.) The only problem was that this camp was the same time as Lexie’s camp.

Now I hadn’t planned to sign Lexie up for a camp at all this summer but when I was going through the church’s brochure on camps, I found the perfect camp for her. Frozen summer fun! Yes, it was a camp filled with activities based off the movie Frozen.  Music, games, crafts and even a snowball fight are planned. She will love it!

I can’t say how the kids are doing in their summer camps as they just started today. But I am excited that they are going to them. Lexie was a little nervous about signing up for camp as she declared she didn’t want to be away from me. However, she has attended both preschool and kindergarten with no problems, so she should be fine.

Last year, I did sign both kids up for some half-day camps offered by the Little Gym where at the time Lexie was taking a combo dance/gymnastics class. Though the camps were designed for kids up to age 8, Jase was often the oldest kid there. He still had a great time, and it was awesome that the kids could do these camps together, but I knew it would only work that one summer.

So today, my husband dropped Lexie off on his way to work. He will also be picking her up at noon. I get the job of taking Jase to his camp, which of course is in the opposite direction. With camps at the same times and in different locations, I would never be able to do this without my husband’s help. Basically, the options were he take one kid to a camp or Jase again misses out on his camp this summer.

I am pretty sure we will look for some half-day camps next year for the kids. We might even consider a full-day camp for Jase if he wants to try one. I don’t know if they – or I – am at all ready for them to stay overnight at a camp. But I can see that coming in the future too.

Today’s Featured Author: Gianni De Micco

Today I welcome author Gianni De Micco to my blog to discuss his book, IHSO: Jesus the Good Shepard.

Interview

What inspired you to write this book?

 My name is Gianni De Micco and I am 53 years old, born on June 28, 1960. Throughout my life I have received and witnessed countless miracles from Jesus. I was inspired by the Holy Spirit through divine grace to share the good news of these miracles with others and to return to Jesus his One Lost Sheep. It is testimonial evidence built upon a deep and intense love between myself and Jesus.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I received a miracle from Jesus, I don’t want to spoil it for the readers but suffice to say that the letters “I H S O” signifies:  Jesus saves us or this is the sacred host.

What was the most difficult scene to write in this story?

It was definitely the part of having to relive the traumatic events which caused my mother’s passing and my ensuing loss of faith in Jesus.

Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning?

It took me two and one-half years to write this book after having reflected for a two year period on what I was going to write.  I have edited the book ten times since its first completion.  This final version has left people in tears, speechless and in awe of God.  Throughout the editing process I obtained feedback from a group of people who helped me to refine the message of this story in a more descriptive manner which was clearly lacking and more crude on the first version.

What is the best and worst thing about being a writer?

The best thing is being able to let your emotions out.  Writing is very therapeutic and helps you heal. I would encourage anyone to try this. Often times we may not have the necessary support in terms of friends or family to do this. Writing is an easy way to do it. It is discreet and allows you to manifest your feelings without fear of being judged. The worst thing in being a writer is that you may find yourself stuck in a position where you can’t seem to find the proper words to describe a particular part of your story which will grab your reader’s attention.

Book Blurb

IHSOOn July 8, 1979 what was supposed to be a pleasant boat ride on a lake located at Laronde Amusement Park in Montreal turned into horror. Gianni was out with his friends on that fateful Sunday being totally unaware that his mother and four younger siblings were at this amusement park. A lethal combination of a defective roller coaster ride, the overcrowding of a passenger boat ride and, an ongoing speedboat show was about to have catastrophic consequences. Strong water waves in the lake hit the passenger boat with such force that it capsized over itself killing three people in the process, one of whom was Gianni’s mother. The exhaust pipe of the boat shattered her head wide open as she tried to save the youngest five year old sibling from drowning.

Gianni was baptized at birth in the name of Jesus and in doing so he became part of his one hundred sheep. He first learnt how to pray the Our Father when he was twelve years of age. It was his mother who taught him no harm can come to you if you believe in Jesus. This tragedy severely tested and devastated his faith. Unable to cope with her passing Gianni rebelled against Jesus and reneged on his sacrifice. He pledged his allegiance to Satan and went on to live a life of sin even daring God to punish him.  He did not want to hear the name of Jesus pronounced under any circumstance.

Jesus was hurt with his decision and he went out to search for his One Lost Sheep as is written in the scriptures for it is never the will of the Father to lose a little child.  Over the course of twenty four years starting from the date of the death of his mother at the age of nineteen, Jesus gently gifted to Gianni countless miracles in trying to encourage him to return to his faith but to no avail. Gianni had become hard of heart and deaf of ears. It was only when Karma appeared, when he was forty three years old, to claim reparation for his evil deeds that he converted his ways.  A series of unforeseen events triggered an avalanche of suffering that finally made Gianni come back to his senses.  Unable to cope with his suffering he went on to search for God and finally found him.  He repented his sins, asked Jesus for his forgiveness and spiritually converted back to his faith.

Gianni thought he was saved and had finally made it home safely. What he did not realize was that his enemy Satan was furious with his betrayal and was about to engage in a ten year battle to reclaim his soul from Jesus. During this period of war Gianni was terrified for his life.  He suffered an onslaught of satanic attacks both physical and mental and did the only thing he could which was to place his faith in Jesus. In doing so he became privy to countless miracles from God and was allowed to peak into the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, which he is now sharing with the world. If people only knew the miracles he received and witnessed they would finally believe.

About the Author

Gianni De MiccoGianni De Micco is a tax consultant operating a small business.  He is the father of two beautiful adult children and lives in Chateauguay, in the province of Quebec.  He is a practicing Christian and attends the Catholic Church on a weekly basis. He is a devout follower of Jesus having built an altar for Jesus in his home where he worships God.  He made a spiritual conversion towards Jesus and away from sin at the age of forty three. He is very passionate of the biblical scriptures and is fond of reading spiritual books written on the lives of saints whom have suffered the stigmata wounds of Christ. At this point in his career Gianni is trying to share this good news to people of all faiths, to let them know there is a God who loves them very much and who longs to be with them.

To find out more about Gianni, check out his website.

IHSO: Jesus the Good Shepard can be purchased on Amazon US and Amazon Canada.

Beware: Too many or too few speech tags

A speech tag lets readers know who is speaking. She said, he snapped, Aunt May whispered. But using a tag on every line gets to be cumbersome to read.

Example #1

“I still think it is suspicious,” Sally insisted.

“You are being paranoid,” Mike said.

“Don’t you think it is odd she just happened to show up at the same restaurant in the exact same dress,” she asked.

“You look better in it,” he said.

“Thanks,” she said.

Mike took her hands and looking into her eyes said, “Look don’t worry about her.”

Sally sighed. “Ok, OK,” she said. “I can do that.”

“Good,” Mike said with a smile. “Now let’s talk about something else.”

As you can see from this example, there are way too many speech tags. Often you can go without the speech tags at all and still let the reader know who is speaking. Here is the same example without speech tags but letting the characters actions announce who is speaking.

Example #2

Sally shot him a look as she dropped her purse on the bed. “I still think it is suspicious.”

“You are being paranoid,” Mike said.

“Don’t you think it is odd she just happened to show up at the same restaurant in the exact same dress?”

He came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her and leaning his cheek on her shoulder. “You look better in it.”

She smiled. “Thanks.”

“Look don’t worry about her.” His breath tickled her ear.

Sally laughed. “Ok, OK. I can do that.”

“Good.” Mike kissed her neck. “Now let’s talk about something else.”

The second example reads better without all the he said, she said business. It also adds to the scene to have character actions instead of just dialogue. And as you can see, one line has no one attributed to it but in a conversation between just two characters, you can drop the speech tags or any indication of who is speaking – or at least for a while. Any more than about 4 or 5 lines without tags and you have the possibility that the reader won’t remember who is speaking.

Example #3

“Let’s get out of here,” John said pulling her hand.

“No, we should stay.” Misty looked around. Nothing seemed out of place.

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

“You worry too much.”

“And you don’t worry enough.”

“Just give me a minute. This won’t take long.”

“Ok, just one but then we go.”

If this conversation goes on without tags, the reader can forget if it is John or Misty speaking. I know it has happened to me when reading. Sometimes it is clear by what the character says but other times it isn’t.

There is no hard or fast rule on when to use a speech tag and when to not. And each writer may have their own preferences. However, it certainly can improve your story to eliminate an overabundance of he said, she said.