2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2014 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Changing Seasons in Florida

[gigya src=’http://mfrwave.org/bloghop.swf’ quality=’high’ width=’100%’ height=’42’ allowScriptAccess=’always’ flashvars=’url=http://mfrwave.org/sf.php?a=’]

Florida’s Change of Seasons by Nancy J. Cohen

How can you tell it’s Spring in Florida? Bougainvillea burst forth in vibrant colors. Coconuts ripen on the trees. The last cold fronts of the year sweep down from the north. Then suddenly, the humidity rises and winter is over.

Flowers ElDorado Bromeliads

Yes, we have changing seasons in Florida. You have to live here to notice the subtle changes.

Trees do shed their leaves, but only certain varieties and at different times of the year. Vegetables grow in winter, not summer. Ducks and birds visit in the winter, escaping the arctic temperatures up north.

P1010484 (800x600) bird

The most distinctive changes are the wet and dry seasons. From November to May, we experience low humidity and temperate climate. Sometimes it can drop into the 40’s in South Florida, but that’s as cold as it gets. Winds bring cold fronts and chilly air down from the north.

Sunny skies, temperatures in the seventies, and cool mornings bring tourists to our coasts. Orange trees produce fruit during the winter while farmers grow tomatoes, squash, eggplants, and more. Alligators sun themselves so if you’re a gator watcher, you have a better chance in the winter to spy the creatures than the summer when water levels rise.

But everything changes in May. The humidity returns along with the heat. And then the winds change again, bringing stormy skies from the Caribbean and the Gulf northward into Florida. June to November is our hurricane season, and afternoon thunderstorms are frequent. You learn to bring an umbrella because you never know when a quick tempest will sweep by. This is the season when our lychee tree bears fruit and our banana plants thrive on the extra rainwater. Flooding is a hazard as the canal systems get overwhelmed and the groundwater table rises.

anvil2 roof

Regardless of which way the wind blows, you can play outside nearly any day in Florida or luxuriate in air-conditioned comfort. You can see flowers bloom year round and watch palm fronds sway in a balmy breeze. If we give up snow and ice or daffodils and dogwoods for this privilege, it’s worth the sacrifice. Florida has its own change of seasons that must be appreciated accordingly.

azaleas lake   FLLbeach

<><><>

Nancy is the author of 20 romance and mystery novels. She writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series and the paranormal Drift Lords series and is a HOLT Medallion winner. Many of her stories are centered in Florida. https://nancyjcohen.com

Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for an ebook copy of Keeper of the Rings.

What do you like best about Florida?

 

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Nancy J. Cohen Blog Tour

Please follow me on my blog tour. I have some interesting and unique topics lined up for you. All commenters on these guest posts will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a Warrior Prince T-shirt and magnet and a pdf copy of Warrior Prince.

Sept. 19, Wednesday, Paranormal Wednesday Blog, http://bit.ly/OEndj0 , Author Interview

Sept. 22, Saturday, Novel Natterings, http://www.laverneclark.blogspot.com/, Myth as Inspiration

Sept. 23, Sunday, RomCon Blog, http://bit.ly/Pyon25 , Theme Parks as Setting

Sept. 24, Monday, Coffee Time Romance,http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/22041/ ,  Trolls: Good or Bad?

Sept. 27, Thursday, FF&P Blog, http://ffnp.blogspot.com/,  Mixing Magic and Modern Times

Sept 29, Saturday, Killer Hobbies, http://killerhobbies.blogspot.com/, Food for Thought

Oct. 3, Wednesday, Smart Girls Love Sci Fi, http://smartgirlsscifi.wordpress.com, What are Vile Vortices?

Oct. 4, Thursday, My World of Dreams, http://jhthomas.blogspot.com/

Oct. 5, Friday, Long and Short Reviews, Author Profile, http://longandshortarchives.blogspot.com/2012/10/interview-nancy-cohen.html

Oct. 8, Monday, Star Crossed Romance, http://www.star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/,  Myth and Magic

Oct. 11, Thursday, The Galaxy Express, http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net, Author Interview

Oct. 17, Wednesday, The Self-Rescue Princess, http://theselfrescueprincess.wordpress.com/

Oct. 30, Tuesday, Romance Promo Central, http://romancepromocentral.com/, Halloween Spotlight: Monsters in Norse Myths

Please share and tweet these articles to your friends!

Blog Tour Begins!

Congrats to Nora-Adrienne and Lisa Rayns who have won their choice of one of my backlist ebook romance titles in my excerpt commenter drawing. Ladies, please let me know your choice of title and email. Find more info here: https://nancyjcohen.com/books/romance/

My Blog Tour is off to a running start. Here is my schedule. Please follow along, leave a comment, share, and tweet. Check out the original topics for each visit. Some offer special giveaways in addition to a drawing from all commenters at the end.

September 21 RELEASE DAY PARTY!
Spot giveaways of backlist titles and bonus prizes on my Blog or Facebook Page for commenters all day Sept. 21 between 8am and 8pm.

Share and Retweet my posts all weekend and comment on my Blog or Facebook Page, and you’ll be entered into a grand prize drawing for a Warrior Prince T-shirt and magnet and a signed copy of “Wicked” Women Whodunit.

Sept. 19, Wednesday, Paranormal Wednesday Blog, http://bit.ly/OEndj0 , Author Interview

Sept. 21, Friday, The Revolving Book, http://therevolvingbook.com

Sept. 22, Saturday, Novel Natterings, http://www.laverneclark.blogspot.com/, Myth as Inspiration

Sept. 23, Sunday, RomCon Blog, http://romconinc.com/index.php, Theme Parks as Setting

Sept. 24, Monday, Coffee Time Romance, http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/, Trolls: Good or Bad?

Sept. 27, Thursday, FF&P Blog, http://ffnp.blogspot.com/, Mixing Magic and Modern Times

Sept 29, Saturday, Killer Hobbies, http://killerhobbies.blogspot.com/, Food for Thought

Oct. 3, Wednesday, Smart Girls Love Sci Fi, http://smartgirlsscifi.wordpress.com, What are Vile Vortices?

Oct. 4, Thursday, My World of Dreams, http://jhthomas.blogspot.com/

Oct. 5, Friday, Long and Short Reviews, Author Profile

http://longandshortarchives.blogspot.com/2012/10/interview-nancy-cohen.html

Oct. 8, Monday, Star Crossed Romance, http://www.star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/, Myth and Magic

Oct. 11, Thursday, The Galaxy Express, http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net, Author Interview

Oct. 17, Wednesday, The Self-Rescue Princess, http://theselfrescueprincess.wordpress.com/

Oct. 30, Tuesday, Romance Promo Central, http://romancepromocentral.com/, Halloween Spotlight: Monsters in Norse Myths

All commenters during Nancy’s blog tour will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a Warrior Prince T-shirt and magnet and a pdf copy of Warrior Prince. Winner will be announced on Halloween.

Ten Tips for Blog Tours

Since I recently finished my own blog tour, I learned a few things along the road.  Here are some tips I’d like to share:

  1. Aim for popular blogs that get a lot of hits and slant your blog to their audience.
  2. Schedule up to three guest spots a week so you don’t clog the loops with your announcements.
  3. Plan to be available to answer comments all day when your post goes live.
  4. Publicize the blog tour on your social networks, website, and other sites.
  5. Include a short excerpt from your book with your post when possible.
  6. Add a buy link to your book along with links to your website, blog, FB page, and Twitter at the end of your post.
  7. Interviews as well as blogs draw attention.
  8. Consider offering a giveaway for commenters.
  9. Thank your host at the end of the day.
  10. For next time, write down blog topics as you write your WIP.  This way, you’ll have a ready list of topics available when you need them (i.e. notes on research, the writing process, what inspired you to write this story, world building, themes, etc.).

 What else would you add?

Contest Winners

Congratulations to Judy Cox who has won my July Book Launch Contest.  Judy is a newsletter subscriber so she has won the silver heart necklace in addition to a copy of Silver Serenade.  Thanks to all who entered. 

Karen Nutt is the winner of my blog tour drawing from all blog commenters in July. She has won a $7 gift certificate for The Wild Rose Press.

For August, I will do a random drawing from all blog commenters for a signed copy of one of my earlier sci fi romances or mysteries. Leave your comments here during the month and check the Appearances page to see where else I’ll be!

This week I have two guest appearances:

August 4, Wednesday

Blog at The Kill Zone

Topic: Character Development

August 6, Friday

Blog at Coffee Time Romance

Topic: Secrets and Suspense

ALLISON CHASE ON BLOG TOURS

ALLISON CHASE is the author of the Novels of Blackheath Moor, paranormal historical tales set in the wilds of nineteenth century Cornwall. At the April 2009 Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention, she received a Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Romantic Gothic of 2008, for DARK TEMPTATION. Her latest release, MOST EAGERLY YOURS, debuts her new Victorian series, Her Majesty’s Secret Servants, featuring four sisters who risk their Allison Chase lives, hearts, and occasionally their virtue in the service of their new young queen. While Allison has somehow found herself living in ultra modern South Florida, she and her family love to travel, especially to Great Britain and Ireland, and she’s never happier than when exploring castle ruins, ancient abbeys, and the rambling environs of old country manors. But no matter where her travels take her, you can always find her at www.allisonchase.com or www.allisonchase.wordpress.com.

10 Tips for Successful Blog Touring

 Here we are at the end of March, and my “blog tour” to promote the new release has wound down for now. Blog touring has become a major way to promote a book, so much so that a few months back my editor sent me an article about it and urged me to do it during the month my book came out.

So what are the benefits?

 1. It’s FREE! A blog tour costs you nothing…but time, that is. Depending on how many “stops” you schedule, it can be very time-consuming, so if you also happen to be on a deadline or have other pressing time constraints, you’ll want to have your blog posts written up well ahead of time. This doesn’t get you entirely off the hook, though, because for a successful blog tour you need to be available to comment on your comments. More on that in a minute.

 2. Exposure. Blog touring spreads your name across the internet. One thing I learned is that a lot of blogs seem to be part of networks, so blogging at one will get you at least a mention on others. Bloggers also post their schedules on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Did I mention that all this publicity is free?

 3. Readers have a chance to get to know you. You’re plugging your latest release, yes, but a good blog strategy is to reveal something personal about yourself so readers feel they are connecting with you as an individual. 

 4. Invitations. Once you’ve blogged in a few places, you’ll probably start receiving invitations to blog on other sites as well.

 So what are some strategies for a successful blog tour?

 1. Look for popular blogs that attract readers. How do you do that? I found several blogs through Facebook, and some through readers sites like Romance Junkies and Coffee Time Romance. I also found bloggers by doing a search of my book and seeing who had reviewed it so far. Contacting them or leaving a thank you in their comment section often opens a dialogue that will result in an invitation to blog.

 2. Check the comments sections to see which blogs are lively and interactive, and if the majority of visitors seem genuinely interested in books and authors, and aren’t simply hoping to win something. You can tell this by the kinds of comments they leave.

 3. Don’t over-schedule. Be realistic about how much time you can invest. I’ve heard of people who blog every day for an entire month. Yikes! If you can do that, great. I found 2-3 per week quite sufficient, thank you. Especially because of #4 below…

 4. Vary your posts. I’ve seen authors repeating posts on different sites, but while I used some variations on similar themes, each post was unique, highlighting a different aspect of my book and the history that inspired the story. Don’t forget, readers tend to follow multiple blogs, and identical posts won’t hold their interest.

 5. Don’t just talk about your book. As I mentioned, your posts should contain some personal insight that reveals something about yourself to your reader. Explore your setting, time period and themes by including some interesting real life tidbits. Think about your research. What unexpected discoveries surprised you most? Design your posts around those things.

 6. Make your posts relevant to your readers’ own lives. That means discussing themes in your book that others can immediately relate to. Some of mine were the power of friendship, standing up for oneself in difficult situations, female empowerment, alpha men vs. beta men in real life relationships… At the end of your post, ask a question that invites your readers to share their personal experiences – you’d be surprised how lively the discussion can become!

 7. Don’t blog and run! Be available to comment on comments throughout the day. This helps keep the discussion going and assures your readers that you’re interested in them – that they are very much worth your time.

 8. Giveaways attract attention! You can offer a signed copy of your latest release, a backlist title, or other small prize like a gift card. Don’t go overboard for two reasons: 1) it will get too expensive and 2) this is a token offer to attract real readers to you and your work. Too large a prize may attract those who are only interested in “free stuff.” So keep it real! At the end of each blogging day, I add up the comments and plug the number into random.org. The number generated determines who wins the prize – in my case it’s been copies of Most Eagerly Yours.

 9. Good manners! Don’t forget to thank your hosts and visitors! You posts should always include something like, “Thank you…(plug in names) for having me here today…”  And your last comment should be a thank you to everyone who came by to read and/or comment. Remember, not everyone who reads your post will be inclined to comment. It’s often a privacy issue, but do know that you are reaching more people than might be apparent.

 10. Have fun, and take this opportunity to shine!

Catch me at my next blog engagement with Sue Grimshaw at Borders True Romance, April 15th.

PLANNING A PROMO CAMPAIGN

How soon should you begin publicizing your new release? As soon as you sign the contract. But what if you only have a short lead time? In four months, my new book will launch. Am I prepared to announce it to the world? Not totally. There’s a lot of work to do first.

In this digital age, most of my promotion will be online. But with the choices of what to do being so overwhelming, how can you choose which are the best? Don’t be like me: I take a look at what other authors are doing and hit the panic button. Where will I find the time to do all that? Then I remember the advice from workshops I’ve attended: focus on a few targets and spend your energy there.

Where should you start? Consider breaking down your campaign into manageable parts and tackle one at a time. Decide on a countdown. What’s the most important item to start working on now? Get a calendar and mark out your dates. Here are some items for your list:

BLOG TOUR: Besides keeping up with your own blog, look for popular bloggers with a focus on your genre, inquire about a guest blog opening the month of your release date, and fix a schedule for a visit. Your host may want you to offer a giveaway, so decide upon the book or item you’re donating. An ebook download or bookstore gift card are alternates to a signed print book and will save you postage. Once your tour schedule is arranged, publicize it on all your sites.

BONUS FEATURES: Add bonus features on your website related to your story so readers who like the world you’ve created can read more about the characters, immerse themselves in the world building details, consult a glossary, or get a taste of sequels to come.

BOOK TRAILER: Have you uploaded your trailer to all the possible sites?

CHAT ROOMS: Find the chat rooms for your genre, decide which ones to target, and garner an invite.

CONTESTS: Plan contests leading up to your release date and celebrating the book’s debut. What prize will you offer? Consider a bonus item for people who leave blog comments or for your newsletter subscribers. Publicize on sites beyond your own.

INTERVIEW: Interview yourself about the new book and offer it as a guest blog, post it on your website as a bonus feature, or consider recording it as a podcast.

SOCIAL NETWORKS: If you already have friends on Facebook, should you start a fan page? Are you taking advantage of all these sites have to offer? On Goodreads, for example, you can now offer giveaways. Spend a day at a time on each site to make the most of them. Some examples: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari, LinkedIn, Filedby, Authors Den, and more. Or pick one day a week and that’s your day to put aside writing and spend it on promotion.

READER FORUMS: Visit discussion groups in your genre and begin participating several months ahead of your release date. Avoid blatant self-promotion unless it’s a group just for that purpose. Look on the social networks for these discussion groups as a way to get started. Your publisher may also have a listserve for this purpose.

VIRTUAL BOOKSIGNINGS: Okay, I’m not quite sure what this is but I’ve read about it. I believe you sign up with a bookstore online, like an indie, and show up for a virtual event. This concept requires more research on my part.

It’s a lot easier to write this list than to do it. As with any overwhelming project, it will be more attainable if you break it down into manageable tasks. This means focusing on one item at a time.

My first goal is to design my contests for the next four months, decide on the prizes, and load up the info onto my sites. Then I’ll send out an email newsletter announcing the contest to my fans along with other news I want to share. But wait…this may bring people to my website. I already hope to gain more readers from eBook followers when Silver Serenade comes out from The Wild Rose Press. Have I updated the books list on my website with the ISBNs and such for my titles which are available in eBook format? Not yet.  Better get cracking.  Onward and upward!