Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Leigh Bennett visits on her blog tour Interview & more

I'm excited to have Leigh stop by on her blog tour today and because she is so amazeballs, she has a competition for a $20 amazon gift card. 
I wouldn't mind one of those.
Good luck and say hello.

Author Bio: Leigh Bennett is an Australian author who lives in Melbourne’s hilly and rugged outer east with her husband, three sons, a beagle x cavalier dog and five chickens.

Currently a stay at home mother, she has worked in the public service, education, road and music industries.
She enjoys reading, cooking and writing stories full of fun, drama, love and always with a happy ever after. 

Leigh on the grill: Tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer.   
I actually don't really know.  I think it was something that had always been in the back of my mind but seemed so out of reach.  It didn't occur to me to just get started.  Then once I did, I realised how much I loved it.  And best thing, I could do it from home, around my kids. 

Are you an Indie author or traditionally published?  
Indie.  It's been hard work but a fabulous learning experience.  

How do your stories come to life, from fiction or fantasy? 
 Mainly from fantasy but occasionally I'Ll be inspired by a real life event and can and have loosely based scenes on those.  

Are you a ‘go with the flow’ writer or do you have structure? 
 I prefer a bit of both, not strictly adhering to either.  I have a fairly loose outline to give me guidance but I try to be flexible as far as the actual story goes and just go with it. 

Have you always wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
 I first wanted to be an actress, but have since discovered that writing allows me the same thing with getting into a character. 

What groups are you affiliated with and how have they helped you through your journey of publication?
  I'M mainly involved with a few groups on Facebook which have been fabulously supportive. I'Ve been able to shared what I'D learned, and  a few times I've seriously considered giving up writing and and they always talk me out of it.  

How much marketing do you involve yourself in and with the mass consumption of social media, does this play a part in your marketing choice? 
 As an indie author I don't have much choice.  No one else is going to do it for me.  Of course it can help or hinder so you need to make your smart choices – no spamming! 
 Don't worry. I'm traditional published as well as indie and I have to still do the same amount of marketing for both.

Here’s a random one for you. If you could be one animal, which would it be and why?
  I used to enjoy scuba diving so probably a dolphin (or a seal so I can return to land lol) I really used to love time under the water.

What would you say is your inspiration to write in general or writing  a particular scene? 
 The current novel I'M working on bases a lot of scenes on atmosphere and eeriness, so I enjoy looking at visual cues for that.  Hot guys are also good visual cues dependent on the scene.  Otherwise music helps a lot  too.  

Tell me about how you came up with your title and cover?  
The title literally just popped into my head.  As for the cover I was originally going to go for a cartoon style chick lit cover but decided to try something a little different, especially as the second book in my mind wouldn't have suited that style of cover.  I trawled the photo sites and found the picture of the rose and pentacle and asked my cover artist if she could use it.   Hopefully it still suits the genre. 

Do you have any tips for other aspiring writers or authors out there?  
Just get on with it.  You are the only thing holding you back.  Get help, in the form of beta readers and listen to what they say.  Learn at every opportunity to become as good as you can at your craft and then get better.

So, I think we’ve gotten to know you a little now. How’s about we step it up a notch. Are you panicking? Lol. Do you have any dirty little secrets or confessions you’d like to share with us- what’s on the blog stays on the blog, right guys. (wink) 
 I wrote a song and hired the guitarist from Aussie band, The Angels, to help me out with it.   Even after that it was still crap LOL.   I also once modelled a swimsuit as a 'real girl' model in Cosmopolitan, back in around 2000.  It's not really a big deal as everyone seems to model nowadays but as I'M only 4'11" it's not like I'D ever be seriously considered, but it was good fun.  
 Yes, because we all model. *cough. 

Tell us of your releases- where and when can we buy them?  

My debut novel, Flirting with Magick was released in February this year.  It's available as and ebook on Amazon, Smashwords and all the places Smashwords distributes (except ibooks – they're fussy and I haven't worked them out yet)  It's also available in paperback through Amazon and Createspace.

In one word, how would you best describe yourself? 
Reserved (Although I just realised you're probably seriously doubting that, considering my answers above)
If you're referring to the modelling, then yes Leigh. SHUT UP! LOL

Now that we’re all friends, tell us your most embarrassing moment?  
I actually wrote it into my novel as a form of therapy.   The bit where Abby trips over in front of the celeb guy really happened to me.  Except the guy was a radio personality – no one famous LOL, but he was very rude just pointing at my belongings and not helping me.    And I didn't have a hot guy rescue me :(   
Ahh, I know what is in my purse and I would be mortified.

Do you have any upcoming signings or author appearances you would like to share?  
No, but if I do you'll be the first to know! 
We better!

Thanks for stooping by on your busy blog tour Leigh, it was fun.
Good luck everyone with the competition: **Everyone who leaves a comment on Leigh’s tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Flirting with Magick before May 13 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**

If you would like to find out more about Leigh follow the links and her tour

Twitter: @LeightaBennett

Buy Leigh's books here: Oh and I noticed today it is 99 cents/pennies, so it's a great time to buy.

Blurb: When a new-age remedy fixes Abby Williams' career rut, the twenty-five year old figures a spell could heal her broken heart too...

Suddenly, she’s having hot sex with an even hotter musician, which might work as long as she doesn’t get in the way of his rock stardom. Her work colleague is flirty and fun, but could he be keeping something from her? And now, the guy who broke her heart wants to rekindle their relationship. Can she trust him enough to give it another shot?
So far, it seems Abby’s spell hasn’t worked. Or then again, perhaps it has?

Sounds pretty awesome huh. I have to say I was supposed to review this one for the tour but I got sick and unfortunately my day job took over, not to mention kids and hubby. So I haven't been able to read it yet. Very sucky of me and I apologise, but as soon as I do I will make sure you all know about it.

Excerpt provided by author: Eventually the wine became too much for my bladder and I excused myself to go to the bathroom. On my way back I noticed the pub had thinned out, with most patrons having moved on. A familiar face at the bar caught my eye.
“Hi Robbie!” I exclaimed to the TV host I had met only a week earlier. As I did so, I missed the step up to the bar and suddenly found myself face down on the carpet, with the contents of my handbag flying everywhere. I managed to compose myself enough to keep talking(albeit a little too quickly), whilst picking up my belongings (why, oh why can’t I clean out my handbag more?).
“I’m Abby ... From Lancer Morris ... well, not anymore, I finished yesterday ... we met about a week ago.” I stood up. He replied by pointing to a lipstick and a tampon which had rolled under a barstool. “Um, thanks.” I picked them up, trying to ignore the stickiness of the floor, while wishing it would actually open up and swallow me. He then pointed to some loose change that had rolled all over the floor in different directions.
“Don’t you know how to help a lady out?” Scott appeared, glaring at Robbie. “Or are you just an arrogant turd?” He said it loudly enough to elicit a number of disgusted stares toward the TV host.
Robbie silently turned his back, downed the last of his drink, and motioned to his two friends who were chatting up some jailbait at the other end of the bar. “Shit band anyway.” He muttered under his breath before slinking out of the room.
“Are you okay?” Scott crouched next to me and dropped some of the rogue coins into my bag.
I picked up a condom from under his feet. “Um, I don’t have this because I’m a slut ... I don’t actually...” I began, then popped it irritably back in my bag and turned to thank him, feeling my cheeks grow red as I realised his face was only centimetres from mine. I could smell the masculine aroma of pine scented soap mingled with the smoke and beer of the pub, and see the smoothness of his recently shaven skin. As our eyes met and my heart skipped a beat, the previous night’s spell fast tracked its way through my head. Could it be working this quickly? Could it be him? I held my breath, unsure of what to do or what his next move was, but not wanting to spoil the moment.
“Hey, Scotty. We’re dying of thirst over here.” Nathan, who had impeccable timing, broke the magic.
Scott stood up, pulling me with him. He ran a hand through his hair and placed his order at the bar while I headed back to the table, my knees still shaking.

Well I want to know if it will be Robbie or Scott. I guess we will find out.
Happy reading and look for the review on An Indie Affair at a later date http://anindieaffair.blogspot.com.au/


Sunday, April 14, 2013

e-book summary on publishers revenue for 2012

So here is a summary or brief cap on the article from digital bookworld & Association of American Publishers showing how e-books account for 23% of the publishing revenue for 2012.

Note: This is my view on how it reads and I don't take credit for anything I mention below. I just want to be helpful. I know how freaking time poor I am so if someone showed me a cap version of a report, I'd love them to bits. So here ya go...

  • Not only are e-books accountable of 23% net revenue but also they are up 17%  from 2011. (awesome) 
  • Dec 2011 was not a strong sales growth month. (Typical. I released Hunger For Justice for then)
  • adult fiction and non fiction e-books were up nearly $1.3 billion in revenue. a 33% gain. Again even during an economic crisis, the publishers trade is still growing.
  • childrens books were up by a whopping 120% to $233 million. Assumed to be due to such popular books released like The Hunger Games.
  • religious books up by 20% at 57 million
  • I'm not sure why YA or NA dont have an actual category but most are placed under some sort of association of the above three. (I suspect it would have been huge)
  • due to Decembers slow growth, albeit still a growth of 20%, speculation is 2013 may be slow also compared to last year. (We'll see) it also speculated that in 2011 it was the year of the kindle where on xmas morning tha'ts what you got and of course you loaded that baby up. 2012 was the year of the tablet which comes with many more gadgets to play with and load.

Well that pretty much sums up what I got from the AAP reports and Digital Bookworlds blog.
If you would like to read the more articulated version and see the reports go to http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/ebooks-account-for-23-of-publisher-revenue-in-2012-even-as-growth-levels/

Happy reading and writing

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tips on book covers for indie authors

Re-visiting a useful blog for writers.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Well, I’ll confess that in the times of e-books, I am definitely guilty of that. There are literally thousands of books out there on Amazon alone and it’s so easy to flick down the screen and pick a book by the cover that stands out and grabs your attention.

Whether you are designing it yourself or having a designer do it for you, you still want to be able to have an idea of what you want and what the reader will buy.

For many this may be a half-naked man, (yes please) for some it may be a child holding a scraggly toy rabbit or maybe it’s artistic and animated. Every ones tastes are different, but I do think that before you go out there and design your cover you should do some research first and make sure it is applicable to the genre your write.

It’s no good to have a cute young couple holding hands on the front of a book like a YA novel which is actually about a farmer in his thirties who finds a three boobed alien in his corn field. No, your readers will definitely be disappointed, if not, a little freaked out. But once you have that down, it’s much easier to shop for your pictures. Yes I said‘shop’ for your pictures because you can’t just go google image surfing and use whatever you like.

Now, I used a fantastic company called Okay Creations. I already had an idea of what I wanted my cover to portray and any good designer will have questions so he or she will get this just right for you (hopefully the first time round.) This part is important because you don’t want to be wasting your time and definitely not theirs because they have a life too and some may even charge you extra to meet your indecisive needs and when you’re an Indie author, you really don’t want to be forking money out needlessly.

If you are doing it yourself and have Photoshop on your computer and actually know how to use it, you may be able to design your own cover. Sadly, I’m not one of those lucky or intelligent bastards...

Excerpt my article comes from being a guest on Monique Mcdonell's blog. For the rest of the article go to http://moniquemcdonell.weebly.com/2/post/2012/12/guest-post-by-kerri-williams-diy-covers-and-contracted-designers.html

Hope it helps, good luck.