Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blog Tours Review: My Recent Experiences by @KarynGerrard #BlogTour #Promo


So just what is a blog tour?  Got this snippet at http://atomrbookblogtours.com/what-is-a-book-blog-tour/

A book blog tour is a virtual tour to help an author promote their book without traveling. It’s the same concept as going to a store or event signings but instead of physical places, the author is going from blog to blog during the time frame of the tour. It’s just one form of PR that reaches all the readers/followers of the blogs who participate in the tour. Tour “stops” will be a combination of reviews and guest/promotional posts that make the tour interesting and hopefully encourage readers to buy/read the book.
There is also typically a tour giveaway that help draw readers to participate. 


Sounds like a plan. What is my experience with blog tours? Next to nil. I did one in the fall of 2011 and haven't done one since. It wasn't a great experience. But when you get down to it, I got what I paid for. (yes it was cheap, so was the tour)

So with a couple of new releases, I decided instead of spending days and days sending out emails to blogs looking for spotlights/reviews (a tedious task that garners few results, most higher-traffic blogs are backlogged with requests) I would try blog tours again.

I picked three.

First up, NK Author Services for His Wicked Celtic Kiss

They offered half-price off tours to all Ellora's Cave authors for their non-EC books in support (nice idea).

So after I paid, I never heard from this tour company again. Did not receive schedule of stops or of who was even doing reviews on the book. No promo material or banners sent to me, I went to their Facebook page, no mention of my tour. At the blog Ebooks Galore, I did find a brief mention of my tour, (with missing graphics) but again, no schedule.

Did every scheduled stop post your material? ~ Finally sent an email and got a list of the stops. (Family emergency, understandable for the delay) Graphics were missing from many of the posts, I sent an email, told they were looking into it (hacked). Buy links, which I sent separately, were also missing from posts.

So out of 12 stops on the tour, 11 posted the material (such as it was) and 10 did reviews, though some had no ratings. Actually, not a bad turn out at all, but some of the posts were cut and paste jobs, with missing graphics and buy links- not a proper media/blog tour post you would expect.

Reviews posted at Amazon? So out of the 10 reviews done, 4 were posted at Amazon.

Did the blog tour company re-tweet or tweet your stops?—No, not that I saw, and only a few of the blogs did. A couple of postings at Facebook.

Would you use this service again? I don't think so. Even though most blogs posted, I was not completely satisfied with the quality of the posts as mentioned above. Also, not much communication, very little promo. But ultimately, this was very cheap, so what did I expect?  However, since I do expect a little more for from a blog tour, (regardless of price) I'll be looking elsewhere for a tour in future.

Next: Love Bites and Silks for Wild Pitch

Disclosure: I am a blog tour host for this company. Never rec'd any items late, they are always on time sending out the promo materials for all the tours.

At least this tour company kept in contact after Gayl Taylor (the co-writer) and I paid. Information was laid out about how many stops, communication regarding giveaways and links helpful. They made a banner and a promo teaser to include with the media kit.

Only glitch was regarding review copies, (not the blog tours fault) but was quickly taken care off. Was sent a full schedule in plenty of time before the tour started.

Did every scheduled stop post your material?  No. Out of 16 blog stops, 15 posted the material. Very good turn out though. Out of the 7 who said they would do a review, 5 actually did.

Was any reviews posted at Amazon?  Out of  5 reviews done, 2 were posted at Amazon

Did the blog tour company re-tweet or tweet your blog stops?—Yes, and post on facebook, tagging us so we were aware of it. And Pinterest and Google Plus. Very good spread across social media. Also a lot of the blog tour hosts also promoted.

Would you use this service again?  Yes. I definitely got my money's worth.

Next: Tasty Book Tours for His Wicked Celtic Kiss

Disclosure: I am a tour host for this company. Professional, open communication with newsletters and a Facebook group for the hosts. Lisa, who also owns Tasty, leaves a comment on every blog post, meaning she checks to see if they were posted.

They are extremely busy and the nearest tour I could book was in Feb 12-14 A book blast, more expensive than the previous two put together, but a much wider reach. It has been posted for bloggers to sign up, and outside of the book blasters, there are  not many takers so far. Will see how this plays out. Check it out here, if you wish to sign up to review and host: CLICK HERE

I will do a follow-up and let you know how it went.
~~~
A few things you should know about a blog tour, the main function in my mind is to get your name out there to readers and bloggers who may not have heard of you before. You may sell a few books along the way, but not many, so don't expect it. Tours are for exposure. And hopefully a few reviews. A giveaway is a must, and don't do a giveaway on the book you are touring with. You want to get people interested enough to buy it.

Becoming a blog tour host may be a good idea if the tour company in question offers incentives to authors who become tour hosts (Love Bite and Silks does, so does Tasty Book Tours, either extra stops at no cost or a % off a tour)

Beware of deep discounts. You often get what you paid for. Big time. Lesson learned for me.

So, am I sold on book tours? Depends. My advice? I don't think it would pay for itself to do this with every release. Pick and choose. Depends what you want. Me? I wanted reviews and I wanted them posted at the almighty Amazon. Not an easy thing to get as not all bloggers post reviews on Amazon (and some with good reason) Thanks to those who did post their reviews at Amazon and other vendors. Appreciated!

I had a bit of royalty $$ in reserve to buy these tours. Not every author does. The bigger companies can charge over $100 dollars or more for a tour. Already you are starting out in the red if the book is your first release. Do your research, decide what you want out of the tour before booking. Remember you are dealing with humans and mistakes and glitches and miscommunication can happen. Good luck.
~~~

Cheers!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Welcome to KG Publishing coming in 2015! #SelfPub #Hybrid @KarynGerrard #NewDirection




Its been building for a long time as I've become increasingly frustrated in my publishing life, so after much internal debate, I've decided that going forward, most or all short stories and novellas will be self-published under my own banner. (I'll get a better one, later)

I have a few completed manuscripts (historical novellas) so will pub them myself.  In light of this, I am no longer with Evernight Pub or Decadent Pub or Ellora's Cave. While I am grateful for the contracts, especially from Evernight, as they offered me my very first one, this is a decision I make for me.

But since I rarely write anything short anymore anyway, this self-pub thing will be secondary, and used mostly for books I get the rights back on. In 2015, I will be eligible to receive back a few books, and after re-writes and edits, I will re-release them at very reasonable prices.(50% of what the publisher charged)

Anything new (over 40,000 words) will go to the couple of publishers I still have ties to. (Crimson Romance and Kensington Publishing) and maybe I will find one other.

This is a complete 180 from where I was even eighteen months ago, and I'm not going to go into the myriad reasons behind it. Some are personal. I'm not a person who needs to have my hands on all the control switches, I was happy to hand that over to publishers. But things have changed so much in the publishing world at large and for me personally, I feel I should have control of the pricing, and to a lesser extent, the editing, just to name two reasons. Believe me, there are more.

If someone like me, who really had no interest or desire to self-publish and is now considering doing it in whatever capacity, it really should give publishers pause. There are many more like me who will go hybrid, or cut the ties and go full-indie. Publishers, things are changing.

I am taking my time. Also will not be setting any firm publications dates for any self-pubbed releases. It happens when it happens. I have no interest in self pubbing print books.

But look for The Baron and the Mistress in early 2015 sometime (historical, 28,000 words) Cover art already ordered!

So, going forward, I am a hybrid romance author. Cool.

Cheers~

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wild Pitch by Gayl Taylor @gaylschat on Tour! #Giveaway @DecadentPub


The short story I wrote with Gayl Taylor is on tour and there is a giveaway! I am offering a e-copy of My Highlander Cover Model, Gayl is offering a e-copy of Tea for Three and this cute baseball bracelet.

Follow along on the blog listed below and enter to win! Or enter below on the Rafflecopter giveaway! Thanks to Love Bites and Silks for setting this up~

Blog Name
Blog URL
Host Date
Once Upon An Alpha
10-Nov
Jennifers Taking A Break
11-Nov
Coffee, Books & My Kindle
11-Nov
Words Turn Me On
12-Nov
We Love KInk
12-Nov
Lea Bronsen
13-Nov
Love Bites and Silk Ties
14-Nov
multitaskingmommas Book Reviews
15-Nov
In The Pages of a Good Book
16-Nov
Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
17-Nov
Michaela Rhua
18-Nov
StarAngels' Reviews
19-Nov
Sexy Romance Stories
http://sexyromancestories.com/
20-Nov
The Blog of C.R. Moss
21-Nov
Erotic Romance News
22-Nov
Sweet N Sassy Book A Holics
23-Nov


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Sunday, November 9, 2014

Accepting I am a Lone Wolf by @KarynGerrard #Opinion #Writing



First off, let me state there is no right way or wrong way to be a romance author. There is only your way. So I am going to talk about mine. (Of course, it's my blog!)

I have been doing this since March 2011 (A few years earlier if you count my Sims2 Fic). During that time I wondered if I should be doing this or that with regards to publicity, reviews, social media interaction, etc...and I have ultimately decided I can't force myself to do something simply because others are doing it. It's hard-wired in my DNA, I guess.

The RWA and other writing organizations. I'm not a joiner. The only thing I managed was Brownies/Guides when I was a kid. Since then? Nope. I thought about it, looked at the pros and cons and its a no-go. Don't like meetings either, online or otherwise.

Which brings me to everything tied in with the RWA like conventions and contests. Not interested in those either. I find contests, especially those people can vote on online to be not an accurate reading at all. Anyone can get their twenty cousins to vote for them, or ask fellow writers in a group to 'vote for me'. Conventions? First, I live too far away in northern Ontario (that's in Canada!) to attend anything. Next, I can't bring myself to sit at a table at a flea market to sell my junk items, let alone at a convention to sell myself and my books. Though running my trembling hands over a cover model's biceps hold a certain appeal. ;)

Holy shit, I'm a hermit!

Well, maybe a wee bit. Certainly since I've grown older.

Beta readers. Nope. I've never felt the need to use beta readers. (at least since I've been pubbed) I figure if a publisher likes the story enough to offer a contract, it can't suck that bad. In most cases, I bounce ideas off the hubs and read aloud to him to get his input. Hasn't steered me wrong yet.There is also a fellow writer I've known since the Sims 2 days that I will get to read something now and then as well. Other than that, I sit, I write and I type 'the end'.

Street teams. Interesting concept. But...nah. First off, I don't believe I would have any people interested. Though I do receive an occasional email from a reader, (and I love it, thank you!) I don't think I could gather enough to form a 'team.' I thought about it. Not sure I could bring much to the table. Not even cookies.

NaNoWriMo: Nope. I don't like putting word count restrictions and goals on myself. Since I no longer work (thank the Gods) I can pretty much sit and write whenever the mood strikes me, so this helpful exercise to others is not needed for me.

Social Media. This is the elephant in the room and ties in with so many aspects like joining critique and writers groups and the aforementioned street teams. I no longer work, but I still can't find the time to interact with my 3000 Twitter followers and 3100 Facebook friends. It's an exercise in futility. How many people actually see a random tweet? And thanks to Facebook algorithms. who sees anything you post? (Lets not talk about Facebook pages. Total waste. 1993 likes, only 20 people saw my last post)
Also to channel my inner hermit, I am not one to share everything on the internet. Oh look, I stubbed my toe! Look how its swelled up! (attach gory picture) Again, maybe my age has a lot to do with it. If you feel comfortable sharing and interacting on social media, good for you! But not everyone is. Yet, it is a given if you're a writer. (J.D. Salinger must be spinning in his grave) Read most publishers submission guidelines they "expect" you to have a social media presence.

Reviews. I believe reviews should happen organically and I'm aware that is extremely naive of me. A review site just followed me on Twitter. "Five dollars will get you a positive review!" For a split second I considered it. Its no different than being involved in author-exchanged reviews or getting Aunt Sally to post a review on your book, right? To me, all of it is sketchy, but that's me. Everyone has their own opinion. But when you have publishers whispering in your ear to 'get more reviews on Amazon' so the book can be seen in Amazon's super secret algorithms, it can become a little stressful.

And it can be exhausting. With a recent release, I actually contacted a couple of blogs I've dealt with in the past. *crickets* No response at all. Sorry, I don't want to spend my day sending out emails trying to get 4 reviews out of 60 blogs. I know bloggers/reviewers are backlogged with requests. So I am setting up a couple of blog tours instead. This should be a hoot. I will leave the results for another post. How paying for a blog tour (to hopefully get reviews) or paying for a review is different, again, is for another post.

So after much soul searching I realized I like the way I do things. I know it may not garner me much in the way of exposure or sales, but I can't be something I'm not. I prefer to stay in my little den listening to classic rock with my cup of Earl Grey tea and—write.

I am not strange, or different, or out of step. I am also not as much as a hermit as J.D. Salinger was. I. Am. Me.

Lone Wolf. *aarrrrooooo*


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hump Day Hottie: Stuart Reardon, Hero Muse! by @KarynGerrard #Hunk



Stuart Reardon's a fitness model and professional rugby league footballer who is currently playing for North Wales Crusaders. He plays as a fullback, wing or centre.

~The man knows how to market himself. Kudos! He is also a personal trainer and you can hire him for photoshoots perhaps for a romance cover! (out of my price range, I'm sure) ;) Not only a Facebook page HERE but a website HERE where you can order a calendar to brighten up your workspace! 

Born Oct 13 1981 (age 33)
Bradford, England
Height: 5'11
Weight 196-200 lbs

Let's ignore the fact he is young enough to be my son, (if I were a teen mom) and go with the fact he is a perfect hero muse for my romance heroes. 

Stuart has no compunction showing off all his hard work-body wise, but personally I prefer the pictures where he is actually wearing clothes!

Not a tat woman, but I am a total sucker for the whole, tall dark, and handsome look Stuart excels at.

While his brooding, pensive shots are great for the tortured heroes I usually write about, I adore the shots were he smiles, lights up his whole face.

Also the curly black hair is a bonus. And the facial hair. It suits him. 

Stuart also seems patient with all the prerequisite photos with adoring fans and romance writers at a recent convention in Las Vegas, Lovenbooks.

See what I mean about the smile? (below) Lucky lady. So while I can admire his form (which I know he works hard at, and believe me, I appreciate it) I love the fact he's British (a big plus) confident, smart enough to cash in on all this while he can (ten years from now, who's to say) and be the best he can possibly be. All while being handsome and comfortable in his own skin. Go for it, Stuart!




So, what hero muse will Stuart be for?  If and when I get around to writing the next book in my Wicked Men of Rockland series, he is perfect for Liam De Luca, who will be the hero of book 3.
Tragic loss, lost love, cold and aloof. Dangerous.

Yep. Perfect.


Friday, October 31, 2014

FREE READ: Hellhounds! Happy Halloween! by @KarynGerrard (With Help from Sims 2)


NOTE: This was done for fun years ago, (in 2009) before I was published, so excuse any grammar or punctuation faux pas! Also, a big nod to Supernatural!(Obviously) Click the 'read more' below to continue...
~~~~~~~~~
You will soon meet Tristan Black. Creatures of shadow call him VENATOR, or hunter.
Hunters are loners, usually with their own sad stories to tell. But all hunters, from all over the globe have one thing in common, destroy evil where ever they can find it, in whatever form they find it.

Venators are the elite of the hunters, assassins to a point. They have their own agendas. While they do take jobs or 'hunts' from an outside source, whether from within the Shadow World or outside it, generally they hunt for themselves.
Some hunters work for the creatures of the underworld as a 'gun for hire'. A supernatural gumshoe. They are referred to as PATRONUS.

In a Venator's mind, clans of vampires, packs of wolfen, covens of witches for example can exist without interference from them as long as they stay hidden, living quiet lives. Cross the line and harm a human, and to a Venator...you are then fair game. Literally.

Autumn 1999

Duncan Charlton had been driving around aimlessly for hours. Without a clear destination in mind, he merely  wanted to forget his troubles. He drove his classic 1970 Dodge Challenger off the main highway and found himself on a barren back road, no idea where, as he had stopped looking at road signs ages ago.
Drive. Forget.

Lights at last. Nestled in the hills was a bar. Some rundown, shit-hole roadhouse from another era. Duncan could use a drink or four. The rain was getting bad, he should pull off anyway. Peering through the fogged up windshield, a flickering neon sign, flashed "Lucky's Lounge." Yeah, he could use some luck about now.

Duncan had just left the hospital where they informed him there was nothing more they could do for his wife, Daisy. His love, his partner for the last four years. They were going to move her to a hospice. All hope had been exhausted. He could not accept it and did not want to accept it. The acute pain roared through him. How could he go on without her? He would do anything—anything.—to keep her with him. Alive. Healthy. Beautiful.
Goddamn cancer!

The hiss and crack of neon assaulted his senses, along with something else, a foul odor...maybe the garbage bins where rain-slicked rats were foraging noisily.
Jesus, this really was a dive. If he was smart, he would get back in his car and keep driving. But the lure of brain-numbing alcohol was too great.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekly Roundup of News in My Publishing World w/e Oct 25th @KarynGerrard #Sale #NewRelease

A roundup of news in my tiny part of the publishing world. So, what's new?

Going forward, I am dealing only with two publishers, Crimson Romance and Kensington/Lyrical.

So far, I only have the name of my self-pub venture, KG PUBLISHING. Next step is to get my EIN.


I have since found out the contract I signed in July 2014 for Kensington for Bold Seduction (historical), will not be published until Sept 2015 (tentative date) *Jaw Drop* So, seems I will be moving forward with self-publishing after all and at a quicker pace than I had intended.

In fact, I am editing a historical novella now and hoping to self-pub in early 2015. More later~

His Wicked Celtic Kiss released Oct 20th with Crimson Romance, See below for blurb and links. Also there are a few days left in the 99 cent sale for my two cover model books. Info below.




HIS WICKED CELTIC KISS by Karyn Gerrard
  • Book #2 Wicked Men of Rockland
  • File Size: 688 KB
  • Print Length: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Crimson Romance (October 20, 2014)
This is book 2 in my series, WICKED MEN OF ROCKLAND. Book 1 is THE WICKED BAD
Category, contemporary romance of approx 60,000 words, not erotic


BLURB: It took just one teasing wink and a sexy Irish lilt from bad boy Lorcan Byrne to turn Julie Denison’s world upside down. The problem is, he’s only in town for six months, and happily ever after isn't in this world traveler’s vocabulary.

Julie’s worked hard to get her life in a good place—dropping substantial weight and getting a great job at her friend’s bakery. But this handsome charmer is just as tempting as any of the decadent pastries she sells, and she can’t resist his advances for long. Julie fully expects Lorcan to break her heart—but she’s planning to enjoy every second she can of their explosive chemistry.

After years of danger as a soldier and a spy, Lorcan fled to tiny Rockland, Maryland for some boring downtime. He didn't count on meeting someone who could ignite his libido and soothe his damaged heart, and their passion soon leads to deeper feelings. But can Julie convince Lorcan he has more to offer her than just his wicked Celtic kiss?

Sensuality Level: Sensual






A FEW DAYS LEFT! For the month of October only: Both cover model books are on sale for 99 CENTS (reg 2.99) At Amazon.and All Romance!


MY VAMPIRE COVER MODEL
~ Paranormal/Erotic Romance/Contemporary~ Decadent Publishing

Words: approx 22,000

Release date: August 10th 2012

BLURB: 

Life changed for Deanna Brooks the night she attended a book signing for her aunt's best-selling paranormal romance series. There she met Burney "Burn the Cover God" Sheridan. The model for the fictional vampire hero, Burn is beyond handsome with an overabundance of Irish charm. 
Burn Sheridan, a man with scores of past lives, has a secret: He really is a vampire. Meeting Deanna was agony because for the first time in over two hundred years, Burn experiences the rarest of vampiric needs, the "mate of his soul" connection. Keeping people at a distance had been Burn's existence for centuries, but Deanna makes this pledge of staying detached impossible. 
Many obstacles lie ahead and the biggest of all may be Burn himself.   Can Deanna and Burn overcome them and find lasting love?  


BUY LINKS:








MY HIGHLANDER COVER MODEL 
~ Time Travel/Fantasy/Contemporary/erotic romance

Decadent Publishing Release April 9th 2013

Approx 22,230 words

BLURB:

Skye Bancroft is a hard-working assistant art director at Night Moon Publishers. Dealing with the occasional spoiled and egocentric model is part of her job description. She did not count on one so delusional to think he was a Scotsman from the highlands of 1814.

Time for a roundup in my tiny corner of the publishing world.
Cailin Thorburn is every woman’s dream—a highland warrior, who is fierce, passionate and wields a very large sword.  Rendered unconscious during battle, he awakens in another place, time, and seemingly in another man’s body. Was it all a dream? His convincing the bonnie lass, Skye, he is Cailin, the highland warrior, and not a pampered cover model is a daunting task.

Can an extraordinary man from another world prove he is who he claims? Will their attraction be enough or is Cailin just a highlander cover model?


Headdesk moment of the past several days? Where do I start?  To a NYT bestselling male author making excuses for sleazy 60 year old white guys who look at child porn to the YA author who tracked down a reviewer who gave her book 1 star by showing up at her doorstep to the media outlet that posted this disturbing, stalking diatribe for public consumption. To the elitist authors who will not just shut the F up about reviews, reviewers, and how everyone is out to get them. No, I am not mentioning names and providing links, they have received enough attention. I'm not adding to their on-line visibility.

 Insanity. The world is going mad.

And on that happy note, keep writing, keep reading, and keep cool~
 
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