Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#WWW : Publishing for #YA readers ... who are we really marketing to? by @emijgayle

Welcome to WWW where every week a guest will offer some insight into the world of writing and publishing. 

Today I'm thrilled to have Emi J. Gayle, published YA author of The 19th Year series,  share about publishing for YA readers. You definitely WANT to look into her kick bum series - be sure to check out the latest release at the end of the post! Check out my 5* review of book #2, Day After, HERE.

But onto the goods ...


Publishing for Young Adult readers ... who are we really marketing to?

There's a designation in publishing for young adults that says a young adult is 14-19 years old. I'm pretty sure, though, that voracious 14 year old readers aren't actually going out and buying the books we're writing. Sure, they may be getting them from their libraries, or maybe in some small cases, from school. In reality, it's Mom (or Dad) who's plunking down that money for that book.

That makes me wonder ... first, are mom and dad reading these books? Second, are mom and dad approving of these books? Or are kids doing the, "Buy this book and I'll read it!" thing while holding the covers tight up against them? 

In all honesty, I think it's a mix. Moms in particular, are reading YA books, not necessarily with their kids, but as something enjoyable too, which makes marketing to the YA crowd, not the only way to go. We reach Moms, we might reach kids and if we reach kids, we might reach moms. No, that doesn't mean 2 copies and 2 sales, it means a wider audience and hopefully future fans.

So what does that mean to the author? To the publisher? To the marketer? It means a cover has to draw in more than one kind of person. No, kids and parents are not the same, despite the apple not falling far from the tree. Parent = tree. Kid = apple. Different being, same flavor. So a cover has to draw in both people. How does that happen? Well, have you noticed the 'sex appeal' of some YA novels? There's one way. How about the intricate design and attention to detail? It seems these facets are even more pervasive in YA books than in adult books (not always, but sometimes). These are things all the people working on a book have to think about. 

Of course the cover isn't all of it. It's the story inside. What's most popular with adult women? Translate that to younger adult women, and downplay some aspects (i.e. sex ... or in some cases, don't - that's the author's call). What story lines catch the most attention? Mirror them in YA. It's like good animated films both amuse kids and keep parents happy to, right? Pixar is wonderful at this ... there's adult humor that kids won't 'get' and the kids are super happy too. Same concept applies. A YA book isn't just for the YA audience, it's for the parent(s) too and marketing to them both should, in theory, reach a wider audience than just marketing to the 14-19 crowd alone.


Ms. Gayle's newest release!

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Day After

The 19th Year
Release Date: May 6, 2013
Target Reader: Young Adult
Keywords: Paranormal Romance, Romance

Demon crypts. Vampire lairs. Glowing angels. Sexy sirens. The stuff of fiction.

Or so Winn Thomas always thought.

Since being accepted into the fold of the supernatural, he knows better. None of what he imagined is true, but everything he feared is, and binding himself to his Changeling girlfriend until her nineteenth birthday will give him an education far beyond what he’d get at his human high school.

Luckily, Winn’s not giving up, he won’t back down, and he definitely isn’t going to run away with his tail between his legs. After all, only werewolves have tails. Right?

In this, the second of the 19th Year trilogy, Winn’s facing the challenge of one lifetime. If he doesn’t learn the truth about mythological creatures, his girlfriend Mac Thorne won’t either. That means, in six months, when she chooses her final form, she won’t know what to pick.

Winn, though, has his own ideas about Mac’s final selection—plans she knows nothing of.

He intends to have her pick human.

Whether she can or not.

Purchase Links:


About Emi Gayle

Emi Gayle just wants to be young again. She lives vicariously through her youthful characters, while simultaneously acting as chief-Mom to her teenaged son and searching for a way to keep her two daughters from ever reaching the dreaded teen years.

Ironically, those years were some of Emi's favorite times. She met the man of her dreams at 14, was engaged to him at 19, married him at 20 and she's still in love with him to this day. She'll never forget what it was like to fall in love at such a young age — emotions she wants everyone to feel.


Web  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Branding YOU. And I don’t mean hot iron pokers or rings through our noses.

So what DO I mean?

According to Wikipedia a brand is: 

a name, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or service.’ 

Think of some of those biggie companies everyone knows … Coke, Nike, Budweiser. Each of these brand names brings a picture to mind, do they not? 

Statistics show it takes an image & associated name to cross our vision 10 – 15 times before we’ll remember it. Those companies have accomplished that, and we as authors need to brand ourselves just as they did.


We need to choose images, logos, colors, & fonts that reflect who we are & what genre we write.

Horror writer?

Don’t use tweety birds & flowers of every pastel color imaginable in your websites header.

YA writer? 

I certainly won't 'get' that if you use whips, chains, & handcuffs.

Romance writer? 

Sure – use those images mentioned above if you tend toward the kinky side of the genre.

Whatever public information you use reflects on YOU, so be sure it all fits your brand. Pictures – weather it’s a head shot, email siggie, or logos. Colors. Fonts. Stories. 

Need some ideas to get your brain moving? Check out your favorite authors and their websites. Learn from those who have gone before us - and became successful.

The real key? Be consistent. Then get your brand out there as much as possible, but I'll save my tips on how to do that for next week.


What genre do you write & what's your brand? As a reader, what nabs your eye? As a consumer, what words entice you to purchase?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Midsummer's Eve #Giveaway Hop: Darkness & Light by @JABelfield #PNR #Werewolves #UF

Happy Summer, folks!! I'm taking this opportunity to help celebrate J.A. Belfield's upcoming release, Caged (Holloway Pack #3) due out August 5th. HERE is my EARLY 5* review.

Up for grabs today is the first in the series, Darkness & Light. You can check out that 5* review HERE

Yes, this series is THAT awesome! Be sure to check out the linky list below for lots of other chances to win some goodies.


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Darkness & Light
A Holloway Pack Story
Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Werewolf
Jem Stonehouse, a housewife with a neurotic husband bent on keeping her in line, dreams about werewolves in, what she believes, is a bid to escape boredom.
Sean Holloway is a werewolf, living a charade within the human race, whose mind drifts to a bond he shares with a woman he hasn't met — at least, not in this lifetime.
Apart, the two are safe but live unfulfilled lives.
Together, they'll become prey to rival packs just as they have been for hundreds of years.
When their worlds collide, and not for the first time, instinct takes over. Dreams become reality. Futures are uncertain. To keep history from repeating itself, Sean must teach Jem about his heritage, convince her of her role, and win her love.
Can Jem accept her destiny before it's too late, or is her inner wolf buried too deep to save her future with Sean?


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#Review: One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker #NA #Contemporary #Romance

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Ten Tiny Breaths #2
NA / Contemp Romance

Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents' tragic death and Kacey's self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would...and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.


My Review:

I was excited to read this book for a few reasons. 

#1 Ten Tiny Breaths was the first NA contemporary book I ever read. Looking back now after having familiarizing myself a bit more with the genre, I realize TTB deserved more than the barely 4* I gave it. I felt it was too over the top - too much emotion - but I hadn't known about the raw, gritty new NA genre craze. Having become a fan of said genre ...

#2 K.A. Tucker is an excellent story teller. She knows how to build a slow arc in a character's life, one you don't even really see until BAM everything falls into place and you're swept away. 

#3 I had no idea of how Livie, the goodie two shoes, could possibly have a story revolve around her life. Couldn't wait to see what Ms. Tucker did with her.

Which leads me into my true review.

Yummies:  Ashton. He is one of the most tormented, yet have-my-sh&%-together character I've ever read about. Although he's a tortured soul with baggage galore AND a man whore, I couldn't help but fall in love. New book boyfriend folks! Yes. He turns out to be THAT incredible.

Livie. It's revealed that she really did need help - therapy from having lost both her parents at an early age. Unlike her crazy sister, though, Livie's growth takes her in the opposite extreme. Turns out #3 from above was delivered & then some!

Supporting cast & the setting was well fleshed out. The college parties, the pals, dorm life ... they were all perfect. My senses lacked for nothing.  Speaking of which, between Ashton's hurt, how well it was portrayed, and Livie's reactions to him ... I balled. 'Course, I AM  prego and prone to doing so, but honest tears, folks. Yup.

Yuckies:  Last night when I finished (long after my family all crashed), I wanted more. I really felt the book was too short. But this morning, I realize Livie & Ashtons story was finished. Nothing more could have been added. 

Guess that's not really a yucky even worth mentioning. Oh well. 

So no. No yuckies.

Recommend: Yes. And for myself, I'm recommending another read of TTB. Now that I am enlightened upon the NA genre, I expect I'll be swept up in Kacey's tale in a whole new way.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#WriterlyWisdomWednesday : Social Networking isn't the secret to success? #MarketingTip by @AimeeLaine

Welcome to WWW where every week a guest will offer some insight into the world of writing and publishing. 

Today I'm thrilled to have my Scribo Pen Sister, Aimee Laine, published author, photographer, business owner, full time employee, mother, wife (and the list goes on and on and on) share about social networking.


Marketing : Social Networking isn't the secret to success?

According to Wikipedia, Marketing is the process of performing market research, selling products and/or services to customers and promoting them via advertising to further enhance sales. We spend countless hours promoting, but are we promoting to the right people?

Marketing has a lot of psychology behind it. You know, how, when you tell someone they canʼt have something, thatʼs when they really, really, really, want it? The act of marketing is kinda like that. It teases the potential buyer enough that they just canʼt do without your product — in this case, your novel/novella/short story, yard sale, excess fruit ... whatever it is.

With psychology though, comes the need to understand a key piece of the marketing puzzle: your audience.

The fan bandwagon is the secret to success. If the ʻitʼ generation is using social networking, then you must, too. If your audience is blogging, then you must, too. If your audience reads only through book clubs, then you gotta find those club.

Who is my audience? 

Well, for novelists and writers, it’s readers, of course.

The problem isnʼt in knowing you want readers, though, but WHO those readers ARE and how to reach them. Here are a few steps to identifying them.

Identify attributes of your target audience like demographics and psychographics (personal characteristics).  

Write down all the attributes you think are applicable to your target audience.

Now, think about who this represents, in terms of the type of people youʼre familiar with. Think about groups of people who fit the profile for the attributes list you thought of (because I know you didn't actually write it down). Did you say youʼre book would be great for Momʼs with kids? Then list Momʼs with kids. Is your book great for people who like nature? Perhaps then, naturalists. List these people by group, not individual to help keep the scope wide by narrow at the same time.

Now that you're narrowing down, look at these groups in terms of social networking.

Where can you find people that would be apt to participate in the groups you listed above? What websites or physical groups cater to the interests youʼve mentioned?

What might come next?

Start spreading yourself into places where that audience is.

See, social networking isn't enough by itself. It works when it's done to the target audience. That's a key element of marketing and hopefully that little tidbit will help you!


Ms. Laine's newest release!!

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Silent Echoes

Games of Zeus
PNR / Thriller
Release Date: March 11, 2013
Target Reader: Adult

For years, Ian Sands has enjoyed his life as a bachelor, taking advantage of singlehood and exploring his own definition of passion—whoever she may be. Blonde. Brunette. Tall. Short. Hot. Not. Five months ago, all that changed.

Ian’s been celibate, frustrated and desperately seeking answers to why one woman, who doesn’t play by girls’ rules, haunts his every waking moment.

As a renovations specialist, Taylor Marsh lives, works and breathes construction—a profession her southern belle of a mother would rather Taylor not touch. The same goes for Ian; Mama Marsh would never approve of him.

Like Ian, though, each time he and Taylor draw near, something compels her to get closer.

Something else tells her to run away.


As much as their histories suggest they shouldn’t be together, neither Taylor nor Ian can deny the pull, and the two succumb, indulging in a relationship that brings pleasure to body, mind and soul.

Doing so, though, also ushers in a series of events both should have foreseen as well as one final outcome neither expected.

Purchase Links

My 4* review can be found HERE.


About Aimee Laine

Aimee is a romantic at heart and a southern transplant with a bit of the accent (but not a whole bunch). She's married to her high school sweetheart, and with him, she's produced three native North Carolinians, two of whom share the same DNA.

With an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics, there's absolutely no reason she should be writing romance novels. Then again, she shouldn't need a calculator to add two numbers, either ... but she does.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#TensList : Jocelyn Adams, Author of Rise of the Magi #Giveaway #UF #PNR

Rise of the Magi

I'm thrilled to have Ms. Adams (one of my fav paranormal authors) visiting today as part of her RotM blog tour! I begged for a Tens List of her favorite Villians and she worked her usual snarky magic! 

Be sure to enter the giveaway of a signed SET of the 3 Lila Gray novels, and check out the FREEBIE chapter 1!

You can also head over HERE for another chance to win an ecopy of Rise of the Magi.

Take it away Joc!


10. Roland from the Kate Daniels series by Illona Andrews.  We haven’t actually met dear old dad yet, but the rumors and threat of him have been woven expertly through the series. 

9.   Randall Flag from The Stand by Stephen King.  Badass, evil to the bone.  And in the movie, could rock a pair of Levis and cowboy boots.  J  I love how he’s so certain of his superiority and eventually becomes aware of his flock turning against him.

8.   Nikalaos from the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.  What can be creepier and more disturbing than a psychotic child vampire more powerful than you could imagine?  This one is fangs and fright in a frilled dress.

7.   Pennywise from IT by Stephen King.  Clowns have always creeped me out ever since I was little.  If his visually hair-raising looks don’t get you, his mental-screwing will.

6.   Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.  I love a villain-turned-good guy, and Eric is a top notch one.  Better, is that he’s still pretty villainous even when he’s trying to be good.

5.   Adam Black from the Highlander series.  Adam is a mischievous fae.  Gorgeous, hot, and in a kilt.  He’s stuck his devious little fingers into many other people’s lives and stirred them around.  Until he came up against the woman who undid him.  It was most satisfying.

4.   Prince V’Lane from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.  SPOILER ALERT.  All the way through the series, I didn’t know what to think of dear V’Lane.  Gorgeous, smooth-talking, sexy as hell supposedly Seelie Prince.  I loved all of the twists to him, and when he turned out to be the main badass, I was utterly stunned.  Well done all the way around.

3.   Olaf/Otto Jeffries from the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.  Oh, Olaf, how I love to hate thee.  This hulking, grouchy, woman-hating serial rapist/murderer is entertaining to read about.  It’s even more entertaining when he runs up against Anita Blake and is enamored with her work.  And her body.  If she’ll only kill with him, he won’t come after her.  Brilliant little gem thrown into the series.

2.   Jean Claude from the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.  If I could live in any world of my choosing, it would be in Jean Claude’s world.  He begins as such a treacherous little bastard, mischievous, sexy as sin, and it’s all so subtle I almost overlooked him at first.  I love all of the facets to him that Hamilton adds throughout the series, so we not only see who he is now, but why and how he got that way.

1.   Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.  Love me a good psychological going-over, and Hannibal did the job nicely.  Everything about him from the way he smiles to what he says puts him at the top of my all-time favorite villains list.


Let's take a look at the book of the month, shall we?

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Rise of the Magi
Lila Gray #3
Paranormal / UF / Fae

In a battle of wills, who is strongest? The one who hates or the one who loves?

In a test of faith, who will fight the hardest? The one who has everything to lose or the one who believes only in herself?

For Lila Gray, the answer is both. For the Magi, the questions are pointless since they can’t lose, and they’ve been waiting since before Lila’s birth for this one moment. Lila only needs to find them to understand her entire purpose in life. This time, though, instead of protecting her people, Lila may be leading them all, including her unborn child and the man she loves, to their deaths — and not by accident.
In the ultimate trial of heart and soul, and the conclusion to the Lila Gray series, Lila will learn that the greatest weapon of war is herself, with one ultimate unknown. For which side will she fight?

Purchase Links 


Meet the Author

Jocelyn Adams grew up on a cattle farm in Lakefield and has remained a resident of Southern Ontario her entire life, most recently in Muskoka. She has worked as a computer geek, a stable hand, a secretary, and spent most of her childhood buried up to the waist in an old car or tractor engine with her mechanically inclined dad. But mostly, she's a dreamer with a vivid imagination and a love for fantasy (and a closet romantic — shhh!). When she isn't shooting her compound bow in competition or writing, she hangs out with her husband and young daughter at their little house in the woods.

Website  | BlogFacebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  

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Excerpt – Chapter 1

I choked on the black fear unfurling in my soul, brought on by what would come, what always assaulted me the moment I slipped into unconsciousness. It was stupid to think I could run from it for a third night, but shreds of hope were all that had kept me sane. Primal, cold and so dark it blotted out my Light.
Sleep, more terrifying than anything I’d faced yet, claimed me again.

Standing on the balcony of the new fae castle, I gazed over winding rows of ancient shifter houses, each quiet and seemingly content in slumber, in a night that wasn’t dark. Dark and light all at once—a perfect balance, as if the world hadn’t yet decided which side would win, until the red clouds rolled and curled across the sky like blood spilled into water. Flames, intelligent and ravenous, spread from the east, ready to consume everything and everyone until nothing but ash remained. Heat licked at my skin, growing hotter. 
Knowing it was only a dream didn’t keep sweat from pearling along my face and neck or the blue streak of profanity from escaping to color the air. Heart thundering, I gripped the railing while I stared at the coming storm, brain frozen with the puzzle I hadn’t yet solved.

What are you trying to tell me? What am I missing?

From below, shrieks invaded my ears, thundering across the land until they rose into a deafening clatter of sound. The houses came alive with light, moaning as fae spilled into the cobblestone streets and stared skyward before scattering, each filled with agony and despair deep enough there would be no escape from it. Dying. They were dying. My own scream built in my throat, to tell them I would fix it somehow, that I would save them, but it couldn’t find an escape. Nor would my body obey my commands to move, to help them. To do something. Anything.

The scene changed as it always did. I stared down from far above, my limbs turned to torches of white fire. A globe of light around me cast a white wash over the city, over the fae who still ran in every direction.

From me.

I am the storm.

Wings pounding against the wind reached me a moment before a giant snowy owl arrived to hover before me, those golden eyes shining with rage and fear, both inducing immense relief that Liam had come and blinding horror with some distant knowledge that he should have run, too.

My scream pierced the silence as a wail let loose from his beak.

No. No!

“Wake up, Lila. Please, wake up!”

Warmth on my arm jerked me awake.

Damn near hyperventilating, I scrambled out of bed and landed on my hands and knees on the hardwood without a stitch of clothing on, unsure if the room spun or if I was just dizzy. When Liam approached, his eyes haunted and glassy, a chilled realization hit me and stalled my breath until my lungs ached with need. What if the storm hadn’t been a dream?