Monthly Archives: September 2011

Blog Hop Winners!

Okay, these are the winners! Thank you so much for dropping by. I hope you’ll join me on the next hop, probably in November. I’ll have some similar and new prizes.

1st prize: Ramblings of a Part Time Druid

2nd prize: Julie Jansen

3rd prize: Sam,E and R, Awesomness

4th prize:  Proserpine Craving (This will make a great character name!)

Okay, winners, to claim your prizes, email me at lisalgreer at yahoo dot com

Thanks!
 ~Lisa

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AUTUMN HARVEST: FALL BETWEEN THE PAGES BLOG HOP TOUR (Sept 19-26)

Hi, all! So glad you stopped by my page. I don’t have a bunch of pumpkins and whatnot since my blog is geared for this season all year round. That’s the great thing about gothic romance. It’s perfect for autumn reading!

Take a look at the rules and then the prizes you can win.

TOUR RULES:
1) HAVE FUN!!!
2) INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!! SPREAD THE WORD!!!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, September 19, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
    THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, September 26, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
   Winners will be drawn and posted September 27th! ***
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH ALL THE AUTHORS AND BOOK PAGES! EXPERIENCE A NEW PARTY DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY BLOG CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL BLOGS IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. REMEMBER, THE MORE BLOGS YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES. EVERY AUTHOR AND BOOK PAGE IS WAITING TO MEET AND INTERACT WITH YOU, SO PLEASE BE SURE TO SHOW EVERYONE SOME LOVE!
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE FUN? WHOO! HOO!! HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOOOO!
PRIZES:
#1– a copy of all three of my gothic romance novels: Moonlight on the Palms, Magnolian, and Cries from the Past

#2– a copy of my bestselling gothic romance novella, Cries from the Past

#3– a copy of a work of your choice that I’ve written.

#4– your name in my next novella or novel (This one is coming out in October!)

All you need to do to enter is follow me on Facebook (Lisa Greer) and/or comment on this blog post. If you follow me between now and September 26th at midnight, you’ll be entered to win.

Be sure to hop on over to the other blogs in the tour to win other great prizes! Here’s the list…

Hop to the other blogs!

***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this blog hop tour is subject to these rules***

On Having a Backlist as an e-book Author

This post is mainly for writers. You’ve probably noticed that I write about whatever I want, and I think this topic is relevant since I’m sure I have writer friends who read this blog once in a while.

When I first began writing a year ago, I kept hearing that you need a backlist. I thought, okay, whatever. Let me just write my novel.

Then I realized I’m a pretty fast writer, and for an author of e-books and the occasional print work, that’s a good thing. A backlist just means a list of books readers can buy, not one book, but more than one book. The key to sales and to finding a readership is to keep writing and getting stuff published. Unless you’re a literary genius who writes one book every ten years, and yes, there are some– I’m thinking of Donna Tartt, for example– you will garner the most success and make some royalties off your work if you focus not so much on writing one book and marketing it to heck and back but on writing many books and marketing them all as best as you can. It’s all about your goals. E-book authors have different ones than the literary genius who is still primarily working in the print world and hoping to sell one or two big books a year.

The reality is that as an e-book author, you will need to sell many books  a year to see any money from your hobby. If you don’t care about royalties, great. If you do, build the backlist.

And even if you are an e-book author with aspirations of publication with a New York publisher, having a backlist will only help you in that goal. You’ll prove you can write and sell, and that’s what people who are investing in your name and brand want to see. Having people know your books is important. So, how can you build a backlist?

These are some ideas that have worked for me. You might be different, but give them a try.

1. Consider the genre you’re writing in. Do you need a name and a pen name? If so, go ahead and decide what genres each name will be recognized for and get to work.

2. Embrace the short story or novella format. You can work and slave over a novel for months and years and not see the fruits of those labors for more years. Why not try writing shorter works for publication? Get your name out there, and work on that novel, too. Some publishers take 3000 word stories. That’s a golden opportunity to get published quickly. You’ll have more readers when your great work finally does come out because readers X, Y, and Z read those three short stories you had published the same year your novel was released.

3. Try new publishers who have good business plans and get something written for them. Do you have a short story or novella lying around? Submit it! As I mentioned above, many new publishers really want writers on board and are willing to take lower word count works. They’re also more open to helping new writers out where more established publishers often want to go with established authors who already have backlists and lots of sales. I have not regretted any new publisher I’ve written for. Research carefully and go with it! The worst that happens is the publisher fails. If so, you get your rights reverted back anyway and can self publish the work or find another publisher. The potential rewards outweigh the risks.

4. Just get published. The idea is to get your foot in the door, to make a name for yourself. For some of us, it’s not feasible to get published by “the biggest and best e-book publisher” right off the bat. The surprising thing is that if you keep writing and publishing, you might get there anyway over time, and you can be building your name recognition and making money instead of waiting for the gods of the industry to usher you into the inner sanctum. Sometimes you need to make your own way and save the time querying agents or going for the biggest and best e-publisher. Just write and submit the work to a few places you think you have a good chance at getting an offer of publication. You can always get an agent later if that’s what you really want to do.

5. Write every day. Choose either a word count goal or a time limit and stick to it as best as you can. I do three hours a day. Do I make that goal every day? No, I don’t, but I come close, and that’s the real reason I have a backlist. I write even when I don’t feel like it, and soon, I do feel like it. It’s a discipline, and it works. You can spend a lot of time marketing, blogging, etc, and those things are important. To me, though, the most important thing is to keep writing and getting stuff published.

6. Don’t fear failure. For authors, this is an exciting time. Take the plunge and make your dreams a reality!

Welcome YA Author Liz Botts!

 
 
Welcome YA author Liz Botts to the blog! Her debut novel, In the Spotlight, is up for purchase now at Astraea Press, Amazon.com, bn.com and other retailers. I interviewed Liz after reading the novel– my first YA novel in a long time!
1. Why does YA appeal to you as a genre? Are there other genres you write in as well?
 
I actually only started reading YA as an adult. I worked with high school students after college. Some of the best fiction I’ve read has been in the YA category. While I was a youth director at a local church I was inspired by some of the students I worked with. The plot of In the Spotlight developed off of listening to them talk about their extra curricular activities. Most of them were involved in theater like I was in high school. I also loved the idea of writing stories about teens who aren’t drinking/doing drugs/sleeping with everyone.
I think for the time being I will be sticking to the YA genre, although in the future I’d like to try my hand at historical fiction.
 
2. I noticed the “realness” of the dialogue in In the Spotlight. How do you do that? 🙂:)
From listening to teens talk, I guess. I try to really hear the characters talking to each other. If it doesn’t sound like something someone would say in real life, then they shouldn’t be saying it in my story.
 
3. Where do you get your ideas as an author? I know everyone asks that question, but we all want to know.
I mainly focus on the characters and let them lead the story. Usually I start with a rough idea of a plot as well as a more solid idea of the ending, pop in the characters and see where we go. There have been many surprises when I let the characters lead.
My settings all revolve more or less around my home town. It’s just easier for me to drop my characters in to a setting that is familiar to me and see what they do.

4. What other works do you have in progress or percolating in your brain now?

I have a Halloween novella called The Hidden Door coming out through Astraea Press this fall. My works in progress include a Christmas story and a high school romance that I’m hoping to send out to agents. My edits in progress include an old NaNo novel with a silly mystery. I’m not sure what I want to do with it yet, but I think the story is fun.

5. I really like the heroine in your novel. She is strong and knows her own mind. How did you make your heroine, Hannah Brewster, so smart and likeable?

Hannah was a really easy character to write.

6. What are your favorite hobbies when you’re not writing?

Reading most definitely. I also love to sew. Most of my time is spent hanging out with my kids and we do a lot of outside stuff like walks and trips to the playground.

7. What values do you want to come through in the novels you write, if any?

I like the idea of presenting teens with a strong sense of self. As I mentioned earlier I also like the idea of writing about stories about teens that aren’t filled with huge amounts of angst and negativity.

8. When did you decide to become a writer?

I always liked the idea of being a writer, but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my third child that I decided I needed to get serious and submit things. One of my online friends had submitted to Astraea, and she inspired me to take the leap.

9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers of fiction and/or YA, romance, etc.?

As cliche as it sounds, write every day. It helps tremendously. Believe in your characters. Enjoy your story. Take advice from people. And check your ego at the door.

10. What do you find the easiest about writing? The most difficult?

The easiest thing for me is working with my characters. The most difficult would be finding time to write while being a full time mom and homeschooling our kids.

Buy Link: http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662250&mode=product&product=4669283

Find Liz at:
Facebook: Liz Botts
http://www.lizbotts.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/liz_botts_books