Cross-promotion with other authors is one of the best ways to increase exposure to new readers for your books while supporting your fellow writers. This can occur via group blogs, websites, contests, social media shares, and special events.
Tonight’s party is an example of a Facebook event featuring several of our Booklover’s Bench members. We’ve each prepared a couple of posts with giveaways for our readers. We hope you’ll come and bring your friends.
Winning a book can introduce you to a whole new series. Look for these opportunities and jump in to participate when you see a multi-author event pop up on your screen. They’re fun to attend not only because of the giveaways, but also because you can learn about new authors who might interest you.
Are your favorite author’s books being priced out of your range? Or maybe you’ve found a new series that interests you, but the backlist titles are too expensive. Where can you get them if not retail? And how can you find new authors at prices that won’t break the bank?
As part of a book promotion campaign, many authors routinely offer giveaways or contests with books as prizes. Whether these are e-books or print copies depends upon author preference, publisher, supplies and cost factors.
Traditionally published authors may receive a carton of advance reading copies for reviewers or to use as giveaway prizes. They can easily supply print copies but may not have the option to give out digital editions. This factor might be curtailed now due to print run delays amid Covid-19 changes.
Suffice it to say that these authors can offer books as prizes in a format approved by their publisher. If they only have print copies available, they can opt to gift an e-book copy by purchasing it themselves. But considering the cost of e-books published by traditional houses, that’s no small sum. Some publishers may offer a digital format for reviewers or put it online at one of the known sites such as NetGalley. It’s up to each author to inquire as to what’s available. Or maybe the publisher is willing to mail out print books on behalf of the author.
On the other hand, self-published authors can make their own choices in this regard. They can order print proofs and send these out as advance reading copies. These books, usually trade paperbacks, cost more for the author as there are no free books from a publishing house. As an alternative, indie authors can offer digital review copies only or give the reviewer a choice.
As for contest prizes, indie authors can choose to give away either print or e-book copies. This is a personal preference, but again one must consider the cost. Print books are more expensive when you add in the shipping charges that can be considerable. This is before we spend on postage to send the print book to the reader.
Lately, I’ve been offering exclusively digital copies, not only for the cost issue, but also because I don’t care to stand in line at the post office during a pandemic. I have cartons full of first edition print copies of backlist titles I’d love to give away to readers, but they’ll have to wait until it’s safer out there.
Hopefully, you’ll be more understanding of why authors may offer one format or the other. It’s a personal choice dependent upon our publisher, formats available for our titles, how much we can afford, and how much we’re willing to risk our health during these uncertain times.
Be aware that even if you don’t own a dedicated e-reader device, you can download digital files onto your home computer or tablet. It’s great to get a signed print book as a contest prize, but please realize this is not always possible. At Booklover’s Bench, where we do monthly giveaways, you’ll see both e-books and print copies in the Prize Vault. Enter Here for a chance to win.
I am excited to announce the reissue of Starlight Child. This science fiction romance is book three in The Light-Year Series. It was previously published by Dorchester. This Author’s Edition has been updated with added bonus materials.
Cultural specialist Mara Hendricks and Commander Deke Sage meet on a mission that takes them across the galaxy and into each other’s arms in this exciting science fiction romance.
When terrorists from Yanura kidnap her best friend’s infant daughter, cultural specialist Mara Hendricks joins the rescue team. Her psychic ability can aid in tracking the baby’s location. But instead of being impressed by her power, the handsome mission leader is repelled by her unusual gift. Agonizing over his rejection, Mara realizes they’re meant to be together when she reads his aura and sees the ties binding them. Before their mission is complete, she vows to show the virile warrior that their union is written in the stars.
Commander Deke Sage knows the lovely xenobiologist is trouble when he meets her. Not only does she oppose his political views, but she possesses an ability that threatens to steal his sanity. Yet when they’re together, she lifts him to heights of passion he hadn’t known existed. Can he resist her allure long enough to complete his mission?
“Nancy captures you from the start, takes you on a fantastic ride, and doesn’t release you until she finishes the story. Captivating and wonderful!” Janelle Taylor, Bestselling Author
“The characters and the unusual settings stun the senses. The action is explosive and stimulating; the passion is torrid and sensual. Though the books in this trilogy can stand alone, I recommend you read them all.” Rendezvous
“A futuristic romance both sensual and adventurous, Starlight Child is a captivating story of life and love in the vastness of space.” The Paperback Forum
“The passion between these characters is ‘out of this world.’ If you enjoy a little science fiction, a little fantasy and a lot of romance, this book is a definite read.” The Literary Times
“A rip-roaring adventure through the stars.” RT Book Reviews
Deke jumped back, abruptly releasing her. “What did you do?” he cried.
Mara froze, at a loss for words. She had no excuse for her behavior.
“You tried to read my mind.”
“No, I can’t read thoughts. I can only sense emotions, even when I’m in someone else’s viewpoint. I… I’m not sure what happened, but you appear to have triggered a separation.”
He stared at her, horrified. “What do you mean?”
Agitated, she brushed her hair off her face. “When I was younger, this sort of thing happened all the time. I had difficulty controlling my ability. But never in my adulthood have I experienced anything similar, not even with Pietor.” Her heart sank at the incredulous look on his face.
“Who in Zor is Pietor?”
“My former fiancé. His parents didn’t approve of me. Instead of coming to my defense, he agreed with them and… and said hurtful things about my gift.”
Deke glowered at her. “I can understand why. Gods, does that mean this could happen again?”
She saw his fear mixed with resentment. He stared at her as if she were some sort of freak.“You’re the only person with whom I’ve ever had a spontaneous separation. This has to be significant. Maybe… maybe we’re meant for each other.”
“I only meant to take you to bed,” Deke snapped, stepping back as though putting physical distance between them could prevent another occurrence. “Otherwise, there is nothing between us. You’d better leave now.” His gaze frosted. “And take that as an order.”
Mara stormed out, offended and hurt by his words. Coming on this mission had been a mistake.
I am excited to announce the reissue of Moonlight Rhapsody. This science fiction romance is book two in The Light-Year Series. It was previously published by Dorchester. This Author’s Edition has been updated with added bonus materials.
Sparks ignite when a diplomat turned spy meets a beautiful slave overseer in this action-packed science fiction romance.
When an ion storm causes Rolf’s spacecraft to crash on the planet Souk, he is captured and thrown into a slave labor camp. A diplomat turned spy, he’s on a secret mission to contact the resistance. But his plans go awry when he catches the eye of the beautiful female overseer who fancies him for her personal attendant.
Ilyssa is excited to meet the new slave. With his piloting skills, he might be able to fly her off the planet. But first she must rescue her parents, who are being held hostage by Pasha Ruel. Ruel uses Ilyssa’s power of siren song to mindwash his enemies. Can she convince the new slave that she’s been forced into her role?
Rolf isn’t sure if he can believe her story, but he accepts Ilyssa’s offer of freedom. Together they flee Ruel’s camp and begin a cross-country trek. Their trip is fraught with perils, including their forbidden passion for each other. Ilyssa’s gift comes with a price, and to follow her heart means to lose her special talent. Can she love a man when it means sacrificing her dreams?
“Nancy Cohen creates a richly detailed futuristic world sure to stimulate the reader’s imagination.” Award-Winning Author Kathleen Morgan
“Ms. Cohen keeps our excitement at fever pitch as Rolf and Ilyssa fight their way to freedom and love in this thrilling novel of the far future.” RT Book Reviews
“The well-drawn characters put your imagination into overdrive. Add forbidden passion and you have a futuristic adventure that is scintillating and heart-stopping. Ms. Cohen has definitely proven herself a master of this genre.” Rendezvous
“A well-conceived plot, great characters, enough future technology and aliens to satisfy the dedicated science fiction fan, and a sensual romance all come together in a terrific story that will appeal to romance and science fiction readers alike.” The Paperback Forum
“Moonlight Rhapsody is an action packed, fast-paced futuristic romance. The lead couple are magnetic together as they cope with planetary-wide problems and their growing love for each other. Nancy Cohen has a visionary gift of writing about the future in a manner that makes it seem like it’s happening today.” Affaire de Coeur
“Look at me,” Ilyssa commanded. When he’d raised his face, she said in a purposefully loud voice, “I have brought you here to act as my personal server.”
Surprise sprang into his crystal blue eyes, but he stayed silent as she continued.
“I’ll expect you to assist me with my meals, keep my chamber clean, maintain my wardrobe, and satisfy any other needs of mine that may arise. Hopefully, in time, you will grow to anticipate my requirements. You’ll sleep in the adjacent parlor. That way, you’ll be close at hand if I want you during the night. Now, shut the door and I’ll show you where I keep everything.”
The man complied, closing out the buzzing of the Hortha guards stationed outside the door.
“Pardon, mistress, but I’m not exactly clear on my duties,” he said in a soft tone. “You wish me to maintain your suite and serve your meals, but what else am I to do?”
“My name is Ilyssa. You may call me that in private.”
As she rattled off a list of chores, Rolf listened carefully, but it was the unspoken duties that worried him. She’d said she might want him during the night. That meant only one thing as far as he was concerned. She expected him to service her personally. Rolf wondered if he would be able to perform under forced circumstances.
Studying her physical attributes, he decided it wouldn’t be too difficult. Soft waves of auburn hair cascaded over her shoulders. Tiny wisps framed a face with features so perfect they might have been chiseled from porcelain. Her eyes were a remarkable shade of green flecked with gold. His gaze drew to her lips, perfectly contoured for a man’s kisses. She was lovely, but with the beauty of an ice queen. It didn’t extend to her heart.
Getting married can be murder…especially when the matron of honor is found dead under the cake table in this humorous cozy mystery.
Weddings always make hairstylist Marla Shore shed a tear of joy, especially when she attends her friend Jill’s reception as a member of the bridal party. Marla’s own nuptials are weeks away, and she’s been busy juggling bickering relatives, building a new house with her fiancé, and expanding her hair salon.
She’s following her to-do list just fine until she discovers Jill’s sister Torrie—the matron of honor—dead under the cake table at her friend’s wedding reception. Lots of folks aren’t sorry to see Torrie go, especially since the bride’s sister knew their deepest secrets. But when suspicion falls upon Jill, Marla wonders if her dear friend is truly innocent. She’d better untangle the snarl of suspects and iron out the clues before the killer highlights her as the next victim.
Bonus Content Includes:
Reader Discussion Questions
Explanation of Wedding Customs
Excerpt from Hanging by a Hair
Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore Bestseller
Shear Murder was originally published by Five Star Publishing (Gale/Cengage). This Author’s Edition has been updated with added bonus materials.
“Shear Murder is another stellar outing in Nancy J. Cohen’s Bad Hair Day mystery series. Marla is a bridesmaid in her friend Jill’s wedding, but when Jill’s matron of honor–and sister–ends up dead with the cake knife embedded in her chest–hold the video! It’s a wedding to forget–not remember.”—Lorna Barrett, NY Times Bestselling Author
“Smart, edgy dialogue and an intriguing cast of characters lift Cohen’s 10th Bad Hair Day mystery featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Shore. Once again, Marla shows she’s as adept at investigating murder as she is managing her hair salon.”—Publishers Weekly
“The action is fast-paced, the situations and characterizations provide plenty of this author’s trademark humor. Her knowledge of the look, feel and social texture of South Florida living is another great attraction for her readers.”—Phil Jason, Florida Weekly
“Who knows more about the wedding party than your hairdresser? Welcome back to South Florida’s Marla Shore, who trips over the dead matron of honor in her tenth cozy.”—Library Journal
“Mix together a sassy hairdresser with a penchant for sleuthing, a sexy detective and some eccentric friends and neighbors; stir in an unconventional murder or two, bake in the South Florida sun, and you have the makings of Nancy J. Cohen’s delicious ‘Bad Hair Day’ mystery series.”—Jackie Minniti, The Island Reporter
“Interesting characters and South Florida scenery make “Shear Murder” a cut above other amateur sleuth mysteries.”—Oline H. Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel
“Finding the bride’s sister’s corpse under the dessert table can ruin most of your day, as hairstylist Marla Shore discovers at her friend Jill’s wedding… It’s enough to make your hair curl.” —Kirkus Reviews
Freaky Fridays Is Friday the 13th your lucky day? I’m talking about today, July 13. It could be. (And so could be every Friday for the following three weeks.) I’m teaming up with my friend Joanna Campbell Slan to give away one book a week. She’ll give away one of mine on her Facebook Author Page http://bit.ly/JCSgroup (Or put in “Joanna’s Readers” in your search box.) and I’ll give away one of hers on my Facebook Author Page at https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor/ Here’s how to win: Starting today, Joanna and I will post a question. We’ll randomly select an answer (Saturday morning) from the folks who comment. The winner will get her/his choice from a selection of our books. So…mark your calendar and visit our Author Pages TODAY and every Friday for four weeks in total. LibraryThing If you’re a member of LibraryThing, you could win one of two advance reading copies of Trimmed to Death, #15 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Enter hereJuly 9 – July 23: http://www.librarything.com/er/giveaway/list Booklovers Bench Enter July 1 – 18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklovers Bench, where readers are winners: http://bookloversbench.com
Cozy Mystery Giveaway, Feb. 28 – March 6 Enter Here to win up to 40+ cozy mysteries, including an ebook copy of Hair Raiser.
(2) Grand Prize “Gift Baskets” of ALL eBooks! (40) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)
Tropical Treats Giveaway, Feb. 21 – March 14 Enter Here to win a Tropical Treats package with a blue scarf, a blue crystal pendant necklace from Effy, a West Indies cookbooks, and a signed hardcover copy of Killer Knots (Bad Hair Day Mystery #9).
Booklovers Bench Monthly Giveaway, March. 1 – 18 Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklovers Bench
Cover Design Decide if you’re going to use stock cover art or hire a designer. I recommend hiring a professional cover artist. You’ll have many things to consider, such as:
· Placement, size, and font for your book title and author name
· Series logo
· Text color
· Type of illustrations—photographic or cartoonish? Pastels or bold colors?
· Mood and story genre
· Endorsements or Awards
For upload to iBooks, you must own an Apple device. An option is to go through Smashwords or Draft2Digital. These sites are also useful for access to vendors beyond the big six above. You can choose selective distributor channels. Or you can hire a formatter to do the iBooks upload for you. A professional formatter can customize your document and buy links for each vendor. Here are some popular companies but there are many more. This is not an endorsement of any one in particular.
If you prefer to do the formatting and uploads yourself, check out Terry Odell’s blog for an instructional series on formatting for various vendors. Also join the Self-Publish listserve that is invaluable for the indie author. Send an email to email@example.com. If this link doesn’t work, sign into your Yahoo account and look for the selfpublish group.
You’ll want to upload to Createspace for a print edition. I advise using your own ISBN so you will be listed as publisher. Select as many extended channels as you’re allowed. Order a proof copy. Be aware this process takes a couple of weeks so allow for plenty of time when setting a pub date.
These production steps are similar if you are indie publishing a new and original title. In that case, file for copyright after your work has been published. Then proceed to market your new release.
If you missed previous installments in this series, go here:
Once you get the rights back to your earlier titles, what do you do with them? Try to resell these books to a new publisher? Put them online as ebooks for sale? Offer them in a new trade paperback print edition? Go through an intermediary such as Draft2Digital or publish them yourself directly to vendors? And should you revise and update the stories first?
When I got my rights back from Kensington for my earlier Bad Hair Day Mysteries, I decided to tighten the writing, update the technology, and add back materials to the books. Now was my chance to hire a cover artist and get the design I’d always envisioned.
Here are four versions of Permed to Death, the first book in my mystery series. From the left to right: Kensington, Ereads, Open Road Media, and my new AUTHOR’S EDITION (Cover design by Patty G. Henderson at Boulevard Photografica).
So what should you do first if you’re interested in reviving your old titles?
Obtain a File
First you’ll need a digital copy of your book in one entire file. I wrote my early books in the days when we copied the manuscript and snail mailed it to our publisher. Each file was a separate chapter. I didn’t have a single intact file for the book. Nor did I have the edits that were done by my publishing house. In other words, my original files didn’t match the finished product.
What to do? These books came out in hardcover and then in mass market paperback. I decided to have the paperbacks scanned in since they held the most recent edition.
The Scanning Process
If you’re lucky enough to find a digital copy of your book online, you could buy it, download the file and work from there. You can use the free Calibre program to convert between formats. Otherwise, choose a scanning company. I used Blue Leaf. You’ll have to sacrifice the book you send because it’ll be destroyed in the process.
Once you get the files back from the scanner, make sure you have an editable Word document, if this is the software you use. Then you have to review the text WORD FOR WORD to look for scanning errors. You may see a strange squiggle mark. Note this excerpt from Died Blonde:
Shutting off the blow-dryer, Marla plunked it on the counter. “Did you see how Claudia looked away when I mentioned a power blackout? She knew about it Probably Carolyn went to the meter room to turn off my electricity.”
You have to turn on the paragraph reveal mark in Word to see the irregular mark in “probably.” It looks like a hyphen with a bar hanging off the end. You’ll have to go through the entire document looking for this weird symbol. It’s intense, eye-straining work.
Notice the period is missing after She knew about it. Missing punctuation is another problem. Or quotes pointing the wrong way, use of an apostrophe instead of a quote mark, or an extra space after a hyphen.
In revising and updating your work, one of the things to look for are “ing” sentences like that first one. More about that when we talk about revisions.
Here’s another example with a misspelling for Sun-Sentinel. That weird mark is also present in “released.”
“The medical examiner’s report hasn’t been released yet, but the SunSenlinel reporter is saying Carolyn died under mysterious circumstances.”
Here’s a guide on whatto look for after having your book scanned:
· Weird symbols when you turn on the paragraph symbol in Word · Missing or wrong punctuation · A number “1” instead of an “I” · Misinterpretations, such as comer instead of corner. Watch for words like this with “rn” coming out as an “m” instead. · Misspelled words such as for away instead of far away; “die” instead of “the” · The letter “d” instead of “tl”: Words like abrupdy. Or see this example:
Marla setded a cape around her mother’s slim shoulders.
· Check the spacing for italics that it’s normal and not expanded or condensed (Highlight the word, hit Font, then Advanced). · Make sure italics don’t come out as bold. · Replace two spaces between sentences with one space if necessary. · Format chapter headings properly with a page break and remove any section breaks. · Look for run-on paragraphs or paragraph marks too soon that split a sentence onto the next line. Example:
“Carolyn promised Linda she would inherit her collectibles, but we couldn’t find any items of value.” “Jewelry? If a collection exists, it makes sense
they were gifts from her private benefactor. I don’t see how Carolyn could afford anything else. Did she have a safety deposit box?”
This should read:
“Carolyn promised Linda she would inherit her collectibles, but we couldn’t find any items of value.”
“Jewelry? If a collection exists, it makes sense they were gifts from her private benefactor. I don’t see how Carolyn could afford anything else. Did she have a safety deposit box?”
You need an eagle eye and several read-throughs to catch all these errors. Regardless of which route to publication you take, you’ll want to present a professional product. So gear up to begin the next stage, which is revisions and/or formatting.(Coming Next!)