Authors – Free Promotion and Twitter Marketing Guide

Greetings fellow authors.

This is a quick post to share some interesting FREE Book promotion and tips for marketing on Twitter.

Now, I’m not at all savvy when it comes to Twitter. In fact, I don’t have a clue how to use it properly. So, I was quite delighted when I received this email from HubSpot in association with SocialBro, earlier today, offering a FREE guide on how to use Twitter to your advantage.

HubSpot –  “Is an inbound marketing software platform that helps companies attract visitors, converts leads, and close customers.”

SocialBro – “Everything you need to optimise your Twitter strategy.” http://www.socialbro.com/

The Email from HubSpot:

“How do you construct your Tweets? Do you know if you should put the URL at the beginning, middle or end? How many characters does your #hashtag need to get engagement? Is it true what they say about images in Tweets?

HubSpot and SocialBro analysed data from over 200,000 business Tweets to uncover the science behind what makes a successful Tweet for brand building, lead generation, engagement and retention. Download our guide to find out how you can get the most out of every Tweet you send!


<< Get your copy here >> ”

I’ve just downloaded it and will be perusing it avidly as I just happen to have a FREE promotion coming up of my Dystopian/Sci-fi novelette. Part of The Song of Forgetfulness Series:

Changeling Fog will be FREE to download from Amazon on 28th-29th January!!

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US:  http://amzn.to/1ZJAVL5

UK:  http://amzn.to/1PnNPn1

The next exciting FREE thing is for the chance to get some premium newsletter features to promote your books for FREE on BookHearts.com

All you have to do is click below and enter for your chance to win.

http://bookhearts.com/giveaways/win-free-promo-spots-on-bookhearts-com/?lucky=128

I hope this information has been helpful.

Take care.

Oh, and please, could you download my book? It’s FREE.

UK:  http://amzn.to/1PnNPn1

US:   http://amzn.to/1ZJAVL5

 

All Authors Blog Blitz!!

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So excited because I am hosting my first All Authors Blog Blitz!!!

I am very pleased to be hosting the versatile and talented Karen Einsel who has a fascinating insight to the relationship between authors and athletes.I know what you’re thinking:

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What? How? I sit and type, and sometimes get up to make myself a cup of tea or coffee. I’m no athlete.”

 

 

 

But Karen has made an interesting connection that just might change your mind. Take it away Karen!

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Authors and Athletes

I’m a tennis fan, and if you’re not, that’s okay. No matter which sport you are a fan of or who your favorite player is, you have to admire their tenacity. Their willingness to go the extra mile. To give it their all, win or lose.They didn’t get to where they are by how many tweets they tweeted, nor by updating their facebook status. No, it took studying their craft, practicing, and a lot of hard work. They play through pain and adversity. When others say they can’t, they believe they can.

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Authors can learn a lot from athletes and believe it or not, we have a lot in common. For one; Not everyone will like us, or like what we do, or even how we do it. And that’s okay. We need to realize that we are all unique. Each of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, but it’s what we do with them that sets us apart. We both have hopes and dreams. We set goals and work towards achieving them. Sometimes we fall short, but we struggle on.

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And last, but not least, we both have support groups. We might have the raw natural talent, but we need the people who rally around us. Who help us along the way. Family and friends make up a big part, but athletes also rely on trainers, nutritionists, and coaches, where writers have beta readers, editors, and proofreaders. But the bottom line is, it’s up to us if we want to succeed or not. Do we swing and take a chance on striking out? If we strike out, do we just give up? Or do we go back out there and try again? So the next time you throw your hands in the air and shout, “I give up!” Stop and think, “What would your favorite athlete do?”

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Thank you Karen for an interesting insight into the challenges that face both authors and athletes.

And to continue the BLOG BLITZ – you can check out my post – CREATIVE USE OF LANGUAGE IN NOVELS –  on Karen’s blog here:

 

You can find and follow Karen:

Here on Facebook

Here on Twitter

And her Blog – Karen’s Different Corners: HERE!

 

BRAND NEW – AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

This is my first Author Feature on this blog and it is my great pleasure to introduce the talented author – Y. Correa.

Her Interracial Medieval Romance: MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis  is available to purchase from February 13th. Just in time for Valentines Day.

I have included my review of her novel, which you can read at the end of this Spotlight.

About the author:

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Y. Correa is a proud Hispanic-American mother of four, daughter, teacher, mentor, author, and advocate, among other things. Early on in life Y knew how to multitask and juggle a million and one things. To this day he still doesn’t know how she does it. About 3 years ago, Y embarked on the adventure of her life: she opted to write a book. Though a late bloomer, the task came to her naturally, as if it were something that was hidden in her all of that time.

Today,Y has published several short stories and a hand full of full-length novels and still has many works in progress. Apart from writing,Y realized that there was a need for a strong support group that would unite all authors, of all walks of life. Quickly she realized that life in this industry was difficult and that there was lots of segregation within the literary ranks. Just as quickly she decided that she’d make it her mission to change that. Thus the Self-Published/Indie Authors Support Group was born.

Through time Y realized that the fight she’d embarked on was rather one sided: traditionally published authors needed advocating and support too. With that, the All Authors Support Group was born. Like bees to honey, authors from all walks of life came. From the All Authors Support Group, the All Authors Blog Blitz was born, and like an avalanche, in a series of unexpected events the All Authors Magazine was born.

Today however, Y would like to present to you the launch of her newest full length novel “MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis”

Blurb:

The year 1585. The Anglo-Spanish War. England’s greed for Spain’s crops, land, and supplies gives birth to the inertia of intolerance on both sides. Yet, even then, Love surges forth. MarcoAntonio, a Spanish gentleman and knight, defied all boundaries of color and culture, when setting eyes on the English lady Amaryllis. Although to others, he may be a bit reserved, he dares to lower his defenses solely for her. Amaryllis is an English lady. One with an open heart, gentle spirit, and shining eloquence. She knew that she should not desire MarcoAntonio. Still, a love feeling so right couldn’t be so horribly wrong! Travel with MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis as they duel with internal and external forces threatening to tear their powerful love apart. In the midst of troubles the likes of which have no compare, MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis find themselves having to fight the most unexpected of adversaries, just for the right to love each other. Discover why their LOVE is the result of ALL things conquered!

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Excerpt:

MarcoAntonio’s throat was dry, so he cleared it with merely a scraping hum, and asked only two questions. “Where am I? And who are you?”

“I, my good fellow, am the person that saved your life. I go by the name, Rye,” the voice without a face declared with absolute pride.

Marco only had one thought. Oh, no. A gypsy! Hearing footsteps walking towards him, he sat upright in the bed. There was no hiding the fact that no one trusted gypsies, so Marco prepared himself.

“It appears that you are not much of a talker,” the voice spoke, this time obviously closer than before. From the corner of the bed, MarcoAntonio saw nothing but a hand extend with a cup of water within it. “Here, take it before I change my mind,” Rye spoke with decision. Carefully, Marco reached out for it, and then pulled it to his lips to sip. It wasn’t until then that Rye peered out from behind the bed curtain to stand in front of MarcoAntonio.

He was a puny, tiny, little man, Marco observed. Without a doubt the runt of the litter. His mouth was far too big for his little, scrawny size. After taking the third sip of water, MarcoAntonio said, “You have yet to answer my first question.”

“Ah! Yes, my good sir.” Extending both hands outward to his sides, introducing his surroundings, Rye answered, “This is my humble abode.” Then like a flash, lowered his hand to his waist and took one quick, skipping leap forward. “I saved your life!” Rye said with pride, making it notable that a “thank you” was in order.

MarcoAntonio pondered with a bit of self-contained humor. “Wow! Big deal!” yet verbalized nothing—his poker face, unchanged. With that, Marco set the glass of water on the floor, and stood. His covers fell to the ground and it was only then that he realized that he was completely undressed, yet it meant nothing to him. They were both men. There was nothing showing that they both hadn’t seen before, he was sure.

Rye’s eyes quickly fell to the ground. His face went red, heated with embarrassment. “Would you please put some clothes on?” he demanded. “We gypsies are not the kind to walk around naked before each other.”

Marco marched forward, standing in nothing but his birthday suit, right beside Rye. He asked in a rather monotone note, “Where are my clothes?” Rye, still trying extremely hard to not look at the naked man, merely lifted his hand and pointed to a chair where Marco’s clothes were set, clean, repaired, and dry.

Rye mentioned with inconvenience, “You could have at least warned me first,” a comment that Marco merely ignored and then moved forward to dress

Links:

Facebook Launch Party:

https://www.facebook.com/events/569019483181277/

Facebook Author Page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Y-Correa/292580497432168?ref=hl

Twitter

https://twitter.com/YCorreaFB

My Review of:  MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis

This is not your average star-crossed lovers saga. The medieval setting and supernatural elements raise this story above the usual period romances. It is action packed throughout and there are some quite erotic sections that will satisfy those with a thirst for something more ‘adult’ in their books.

Some of the descriptions of place and action are tremendous and there is just enough humour, in the form of my favourite character, Rye, (the feisty gypsy sidekick) to keep the narrative alive.

I was particularly taken with the ending. I thought it was beautifully written and very tender. I confess I shed a tear or two.

There are twists and turns and action all the way through this tale. If you like romance and the supernatural, then you will love this book.

I wanted to give this book a 5* review but I thought that there were too many flashback scenes that cut into the action and stilted the wonderful fast-paced narrative. A very minor detail that is just me being pedantic☺
If I could have given 4.85 I would!

So please do support Y. Correa!!!

Cold December – new camera – Book Giveaway

I was given a Canon 6D SLR for Christmas!!! It is AWESOME. Full frame too. I’m still getting used to all the settings, but the low light photography is excellent.

However, I’m having trouble with the white balance when I use a high ISO and low f-stop. Any help on that would be much appreciated. Below are a couple of examples and some B&W photographs:

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My collection of short stories, Glimmer and other stories, is a Giveaway on Goodreads until 26th January 2014; so if you are a member you could enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of the book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19461473-glimmer-and-other-stories

It is also available in Kindle format and can be purchased on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimmer-Nicola-McDonagh-ebook/dp/B00H89AN1M/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_2_AC5G

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimmer-other-stories-Nicola-McDonagh/dp/149432928X/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386951475&sr=1-10&keywords=glimmer

http://www.amazon.com/Glimmer-Nicola-McDonagh-ebook/dp/B00H89AN1M/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387808288&sr=1-5&keywords=glimmer

http://www.amazon.com/Glimmer-other-stories-Nicola-McDonagh/dp/149432928X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388153321&sr=1-2&keywords=glimmer+by+nicola+mcdonagh

Self-publishing – Help!

I have decided to self-publish some of my short stories. I’ve never self-published before, so am somewhat apprehensive about doing it. I made the decision after being published by a small independent company. I realised that I am doing the bulk of all the marketing and publicity, so I thought I’d try to publish on my own.  My book is selling very slowly, but I’m a debut author so it’s to be expected.

Any advice from self-published authors out there, would be very welcome. I plan to release an ebook first, and see how it goes before stepping into the paperback minefield!!

Any way, I have posted an excerpt from a new short story that I might include in the anthology. If anyone would be kind enough to give feedback, I would be very grateful. If you would like to read the entire story, go to Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/29186761-the-grooves-that-her-feet-made

The Grooves That Her Feet made

They were her mother’s shoes. Black stilettos with a tapering toe that ended in a sharp point. To Maggie, they looked more like a weapon than footwear. She recalled the day her father brought them home. He smelled of lager and cigarettes and she’d moved her head away from his damp kiss. Mr Harris laughed, ruffled his daughter’s hair, turned to his wife and grabbed her by the arm. ‘Put on your best dress Suzie. You’re going to go out to dinner with the new, “Overseas Manager of Distribution”. And don’t worry about what shoes to wear, I got you these,’ he said and handed over the shoes. ‘I’ve asked Carol Pickton from next door to look after Maggie.’

Maggie was nine years old and couldn’t understand why she had to stay at home. She clenched her fists and howled. Her mother wiped away her daughter’s tantrum tears and promised a family trip to the zoo.

It didn’t happen.

Mr Harris went to work in America for a six-month trial period, and never came back. The shoes were wrapped in tissue paper, put in a box and pushed to the back of the storage closet under the stairs. ‘Don’t touch them, do you hear me? They stay in there forever.’ Maggie gulped at her mother’s words, nodded her head and thought of nothing else. Every time she walked past the cupboard, she felt the urge to put them on.

When she was thirteen, Maggie crept downstairs, opened the closet, took out the shoes and pushed her feet into them. A hand gripped her shoulder and a voice full of hate raged into her ear. ‘Take them off. Right now. As long as I’m alive, those things are out of bounds.’

And so they were. Maggie grew up, got married, left home, got divorced, moved back, tended her dying mother, and never once touched ‘Those things.’ She didn’t even wear them to the funeral, out of respect to her dead mother’s wishes. But as soon as the service was over, and the stragglers gone, Maggie went to the cupboard and took out the forbidden footwear.

She opened the box, peeled away the tissue paper and dusted off the stilettos. She held them up against the hallway window and watched as the light caught the polished leather. The shoes gleamed like a black panther basking in the African sun and Maggie let out a sigh. She placed the stilettos before her twitching feet and raised her right foot, ready to slip them on. But she couldn’t. Her mother’s words repeated inside her head and Maggie jumped back as though the things were about to strike.

Maggie stared at the shoes for a moment, waiting for them to move. When they didn’t, she wrapped them up again, put them in the box and shoved them to the back of the hall cupboard.

Time went slowly for Maggie and each day alone left her tired and irritable. A hole inside her chest grew and she yearned for male companionship.

Months were dedicated to on-line dating agencies all promising to find the right man and all failing to do so. At one of her lowest moments she even went out with Mathew Pickton. It lasted a couple of months before fizzling out. They’d grown up together and she considered him, ‘More of a brother than a potential mate. You understand, don’t you Mathew?’

Mathew didn’t answer. He glugged back the glass of wine, threw forty pounds onto the table and walked out of the restaurant. The next day, Maggie posted a note through his door that said, ‘No hard feelings? Still friends?’ She received a bunch of white roses in way of a response.

Maggie came across Daniel, quite by chance, on a chat room for fans of all things leather. They exchanged emails for three months before she plucked up the courage to suggest they meet. The day arrived and Maggie knew that it was time for the stilettos to be brought out of hibernation.

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The Kindness of Strangers

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Since I’ve been actively looking for reviews of my book Echoes from the Lost Ones, I have been taken aback at just how nice my fellow authors are. I have met some truly generous people over the Internet and hopefully, found some genuine friends amongst the jumble of Facebook Likes and Twitter followers. I am not a natural blogger or Twitterer, and I find posting things about myself, and even my book, painful on occasions. So when I took the leap to actively participate in getting an online presence, I was scared and not at all keen.

Now, I ‘ve almost changed my mind, or rather, had my mind changed by the warmth and support of other writers. So, all I want to say is a big thanks to all the authors, bloggers and writers that I have met through the ether.

I hope I continue to find new friends and comrades.

I’m going to try and do some author spotlights/interviews too. If you would like to sign up for that, I would love it!

If anyone wants to exchange books for an honest review, then I’d be happy to do so. Please feel free to get in touch:

Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/thesongofforgetfulness?ref=hl

Email:               nikki@thesongofforgetfulness.com

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