Click the image to explore the Disaster Crimes series.

NOTICE:


DISCLOSURE:

This site uses affiliate links for Bookshop.org, an online marketplace that supports independent bookstores. Chrys Fey will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

December 12, 2016

Best of Write with Fey 2016



OPTIONAL January 4th IWSG Question: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?

Reminder: The questions are optional and meant as a prompt if you struggle with what to post. You don't have to answer a question if you don't want to. :)




At the end of every year I like to provide links and summaries to some of my favorite posts that I shared on my blog. These posts are the ones that got a lot of engagement from readers or was one that I particularly liked because of the information it offered, or because it was simply fun.


Enjoy!


The best blog post from Write with Fey 2016:


Writing About:

1. A Hostage – A list of things to consider when writing about a character who is a hostage.

2. A Tsunami – This is the disaster for Book 3 of my Disaster Crimes series, and it was the hardest Writing About post I’ve ever had to write.

3. Oahu, Hawaii – Tsunami Crimes is set in Hawaii, so I shared 10 things I learned about Hawaii while writing this book.

4. Wrestlers – The most fun characters I’ve ever written about were wrestlers, because I really got to be creative with their looks and names.

5. Domestic Violence Awareness – I created this post to create awareness for domestic violence. I share warning signs and talk about the different kinds of abuse.

6. Zombies – In this post I shared do’s and dont’s that zombie fans say can make or break a zombie book.

7. Stalkers – Stalkers are scary. I share tips to remember if you ever write a story about a character being stalked.

8. Blizzards – What do you need to know if you write about a blizzard? I offer 10 pointers.

9. Wildfire – I’ve experienced wildfire. In this post, I share my memories of this disaster.

10. Halloween – This is my favorite holiday! I couldn’t resist delving into this day with all of its fun. A story set during Halloween should incorporate at least one of the things I highlight in this post.


Character ER:

1. Body Language – To add depth to a character’s actions and emotions, include body language.

2. Diet and Food – We don’t often think about a character’s diet, but so many people in real life eat special diets.

3. Flaws, Fear, and Weaknesses – Make your characters realistic by giving them flaws, fears, and weaknesses.

4. Habits and Quirks – Habits and quirks can bring characters to life and make them memorable.

5. Your Character's Pain – We experience physical and emotional pain more often than we’d like. Our characters should experience pain as well.


Marketing:

1. 100 Marketing Tips – Every marketing tactic that I know. Includes a FREE pdf.

2. How to Create a Website – All writers should consider having a website. I provide a list of items that all author websites should have.

3. How to Design a Business Card – I offer steps and tips to help you craft a unique business card.

4. Twitter for Writers – This post includes a list of hashtags all writers should know.

5. Instagram for Writers - 20 Instagram Ideas – Writers can get creative with marketing their books and sharing their writing process on this app.

6. How to Create a Newsletter – A step-by-step guide to creating a newsletter and getting subscribers. Includes a FREE pdf.


Other:

1. Harry Potter Wand Art Project – Do your kids love Harry Potter? Help them make their own wands!

2. Turtle Bread Recipe – This is a bread in the shape of a turtle. It’s yummy, and it’s fun to bake with kids.

3. Pine Cone Ornaments – Use these natural decorations as ornaments around your house or for your Christmas tree.

4. You Might be A Bully If – A list of things that bullies do. If you do any of these, vow to make a change today.

5. If I were a Mobster – This was my first ever blogfest for 30 Seconds Before. Participants got to turn themselves into Mobsters. It was fun.

6. Homemade Dog Treats Recipe – Last year, I made dog treats for all of my families’ dogs, and they were a hit.



A big thanks to everyone who visits, follows, and comments on my blog. I do all of this for you! Next year, my blog is going to change significantly. There won't be any more posts about writing, publishing, or marketing. But a couple of my monthly planned posts can still help writers. I hope you'll stick around to see what I have in store. :)

Happy Holidays!


XOXO,
Chrys Fey



December 07, 2016

I SURVIVED! Blogfest Sign Up + TSUNAMI CRIMES Reveal



Didn't I just do a blogfest? Yes, I did. I didn't think I'd have to do another one so soon after the If I were a Mobster Blogfest, but my publisher surprised me with the release day of TSUNAMI CRIMES...January 20th! So now I am scrambling. It doesn't help that this is a difficult time to plan anything with everyone taking breaks. *insert insecurity here*

I've thought up a fun blog hop, though. Here are the details:



BLOGFEST ANNOUNCEMENT



Prompt:

"This is Chrys Fey reporting for Disaster 5 News. I am in [location of your choosing] where a tsunami hit yesterday morning. I have [your name] with me, a survivor of the tsunami. [Your name], can you tell our viewers what happened, and how you survived?"

[Your Story]

Details: Every post will begin with the intro above. What will follow is your made-up story. It can be fantastical and wild or realistic. The goal is to make this fun. :) You can create a flash fiction piece or write a paragraph. You can even create a back-and-forth interview. Be creative!

When? January 20th
Where? On your blog!

Note: Every post will include the blurb, cover art, and links for TSUNAMI CRIMES, which I'll provide.

Won't you please sign up?

I SURVIVED! Blogfest


COVER + BLURB REVEAL

Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.

This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.

Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.

If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

DIGITAL PRE-ORDER LINKS:




ONE QUESTION BLOG TOUR SIGN UP

If you can't sign up for the blog hop, I am hoping to do a short blog tour from January 23rd to February 3rd. Or you can sign up for both!

I had fun with my Y Post where I answered questions posed by many of you, so I am going to do that for my blog tour. Come up with ONE interesting question, and I will give a detailed answer for my guest post. NOTE: Doesn't have to be related to my book/series. Your question can be totally random. :)

What's in it for you? I will be running a Rafflecopter giveaway for a signed, paperback copy of SEISMIC CRIMES and HURRICANE CRIMES playing cards. All participants (blog hop/tour) will be automatically added as entrants to the giveaway, increasing your odds of winning. :)


I hope you can forgive me for making this post all about me. This release is a BIG one, and I want it to go smoothly.

Thanks for understanding!


OPTIONAL JANUARY QUESTION: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?

*Add this question and your answer to your January 4th IWSG post.



December 05, 2016

Writing About: Christmas



Christmas is a fun, festive holiday. I read Christmas stories during any time of the year to enjoy this holiday again and again. Everything about it is warm and uplifting. And there are so many ways that you can include Christmas in a novel or spin a full-out Christmas story.

Here are a few things you can add to your story:

1. Decorations

People go all-out, even getting into competitions with neighbors. Outdoor lights on the roof, nativity sets on the lawn, and blow-up lawn decorations are all the rave. And that’s just outside. Inside there can be nutcrackers, garland along banisters, miniature villages complete with people, cars, and even fake snow. Then there’s the Christmas tree. Trimming it if it’s real or taking it out of the box if it’s fake. Putting lights, bows, ornaments, tinsel on every branch, and a star or angel at the very top.

Take a moment to describe the pretty decorations of your character’s house, mention a friendly competition among neighbors, and the craziness of decorating a tree. A tree that cats can climb into, dogs can knock over, and children can decorate with homemade ornaments made of Popsicle sticks.

2. Goodies

Christmas is one of our most fattening holidays. There’s pies, cakes, cookies (dozens and dozens of different kinds), chocolates, candy canes, fruit cake, fudge, and hot chocolate. Mention a few of these goodies during your fictional festivities. And if your character is a woman who worries about her weight, have her fret about the calories…as she stuffs fudge into her mouth.

3. Santa

There can’t be a Christmas story without Santa! Especially if there are children. Have your character bring his/her kids to see Santa at the mall and write Santa letters. The children can ask questions about Santa and his reindeer, as we all know kids are naturally curious. You can even let the parents use little threats like “If you’re not good, I’ll tell Santa.”

4. Christmas Shopping

Everyone does Christmas shopping (if they celebrate Christmas). Show how packed the stores are whenever your character goes shopping, and how short-tempered everyone is as they elbow in to get the last toy. Have your character fret over what to get for their partner or new boy/girlfriend. In Seismic Crimes, I share a brief Christmas shopping moment.

5. Fun

There is so much fun that people can do during Christmas: picking out a Christmas tree, baking, ice skating, sledding, building a snowman, snow ball fights, Christmas parties, parades, pageants, ballets, tree lighting ceremonies, candlelight church services, and so much more. Add one or two of these to your story.

6. Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, have the kids in your story put out a plate of cookies for Santa with a glass of milk. I used to put out a carrot for Rudolph. Growing up, my family also opened presents on Christmas Eve. If there aren’t kids in your story, you can have your main character go to a Christmas party and meet someone, or do a gift exchange with his/her new boy/girlfriend. This can be a cozy scene any way that you write it.

7. Christmas Day

If there are kids, have them wake up extra early excited to see what Santa brought. If your character doesn’t have kids, this could be a nice morning for them to cuddle before they head off to see family. Or if your character is single, he/she can throw him/herself a pity party before visiting mom and dad. (Note: This last one is not me stereotyping...it's just an example. You can do whatever you want.)


The possibilities are endless. It can be light and fun, sad (if this is the first Christmas after someone’s death), filled with family drama, or dark if you’re writing a murder mystery. Think dead bodies under Christmas trees with bows stuck to their foreheads.


QUESTIONS: What do you like/dislike about Christmas? Does your family open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Share a Christmas memory with me.



SHARE: I don’t know much about Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, share some highlights of these holidays in your comment. I welcome it all. :)


December 02, 2016

Author Interview with Leanna Sain / Red Curtains


Today I am pleased to welcome my fellow The Wild Rose Press author Leanna Sain. She is sharing her new romance-mystery with us, Red Curtains.

Welcome, Leanna!


Title: Red Curtains
Genre: Romantic Mystery
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release date: 9/30/2016

Dead bodies, fake money and falling in love were NOT part of the assignment.

Cleo Davis must find a model for her senior art project or she won’t graduate. When she discovers Lily Telfair-Gordon, she gets more than just an eccentric old homeless woman who spouts famous quotes, talks to ghosts, and wears a weird hat. Lily has unwittingly stumbled upon a counterfeiting ring, and Cleo gets dragged right into the middle of it.

Jonas Holmes, an investigative reporter for the local paper, is asking the question: why do bodies of homeless men keep showing up in the river? But the homeless are scared and won’t talk to him. When he finds Cleo and Lily, he thinks his problems are solved; he doesn’t realize that they’re just 
beginning.

While romance blossoms between Cleo and Jonas, they work together to see how the two things are connected, but will they find out before it’s too late?

BUY LINK:


1. What inspired you to write this book?

My husband and I were in Savannah, GA, celebrating our 26th anniversary. We were waiting for one of those little buses that take you around the historic district when I spotted a homeless person—I think it was a man, but I can’t be sure. He was wearing a long trench coat over ragtag clothing, but the most eye-catching part of his ensemble was his hat. It was the court-jester type, you know, the kind with the long dangly tails with jingle bells attached to each end. He was strolling down the sidewalk, talking animatedly with someone, though there wasn’t anyone there. He proceeded to walk right up to a nearby mailbox and sprinkled some invisible substance around it, chanting in some unknown language. I don’t think the others in the group even noticed him, but I was mesmerized. Right about then, the bus pulled up and everyone boarded. I hurried to a seat and scrounged through my purse for paper and pen, then I started scribbling ideas and storyline just as fast as the ink would flow. That’s where Red Curtains was birthed. That homeless man became one of the main characters in the story: Lily, a homeless woman who has found a bag of counterfeit money in a trashcan and has accidentally witnessed a murder. 

2. Is this book part of a series? (What books came before it?)

Red Curtains is the first book of my new series: GRITS (Girls-Raised-In-The-South.) It’s not your typical series, though. It won’t have the same characters showing up in each story. What makes it a ‘series’ is that each stand-alone novel will be set somewhere in the South and will feature strong, creative Southern women—GRITS, if you will. I do try to include little “links” in each book; something that ties the story with other books I’ve written. Don’t worry, though. If you haven’t read the other books, it won’t make you feel like you’ve missed something. It’s just a little “extra” for those of you who have.

3. Did you do special research for Red Curtains?

Since one of the main characters was a homeless woman, and I knew next to nothing about homelessness, I had to do quite a bit of research on the subject. I usually love that part of writing, but this…well, the more I learned, the heavier my heart grew. I had to do something to help, but what could one measly writer do? Increase awareness of the issue, yes, but what else? I decided to give all my profits from sales of this book to the “Stand Down” program that I talk about in the story. It’s a program held at the Savannah Civic Center every year that is funded by several big organizations. Its sole purpose is to help homeless veterans. 

4. How did you pick the title for your book?

My husband actually helped come up with it. On that same trip to Savannah, I was picking places that would be featured in the book and while we were walking around the historic district, I saw a house that would be perfect. It was four floors high, plus an attic. In one of the attic windows they’d hung red curtains. He said, “How about ‘Through the Red Curtains’?” That got shortened to “Red Curtains.”

5. Are any of your characters based on real people?
Yes. As I’ve said, Lily is based on a homeless person I saw, but Raymond, Lily’s homeless friend is also based on a real person…actually, two people. One is the man who created a palmetto leave rose, and the other is a person we saw sitting at a little table outside a little cafĂ©. He was bent over a spiral bound notebook, scribbling page after page of squiggles. I combined those individuals into a single character who has good days, when he can create the palmetto roses and bad days when all he can do is scribble in a notebook. There’s also an insignificant character at the end of the book who walks three Great Danes around Forsyth Park. He was real too. Cleo’s house is real. It’s on the corner, right across from the park. I actually found pictures of the inside, too because it was listed on a realtor’s website. There really IS a chandelier in the master bathroom!
6. If you could give your book to anyone in the world to read (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

I’d give it to my mentor/writing coach/editor/friend, Gerry Mills. Sadly, I can’t, because he died a couple of years ago, and it still makes me cry to think about that. I’m so thankful for the time I had with him, and for all that he taught me. He was the best editor ever, and I miss him and his red pen terribly. Well, maybe not the pen. No, even that. I’m the writer I am today because of that pen. Thank you, Gerry. I hope you’re proud of me.

7. Share three random facts about you.

I ran my first half-marathon (13.1 miles, in case you don’t know) at the age of 53. 

I can milk out a goat in about 4 minutes.

I’ve painted a mural on a wall in an orphanage in Kirov, Russia.

8. How long have you been writing?

My mother told me I wrote little stories, complete with illustrations, when I was a little girl. I’ve always loved writing. I had two teachers in high school who fed that drive: Mr. Collins and Mrs. McDaniels. I was an art major in college with an English minor, so I had the best of both worlds: drawing and writing. Once I graduated, and started “adulting,” life took over and writing got moved to the back burner. I did little books for my sons when they were little, but that was about it. Then in 2004, at a Halloween party at a friend’s house, I saw “the gate” that inspired my first novel. That actually turned out to be a trilogy. I never thought about writing a novel; never dreamed I had something like that in me, but after the first one, it was like someone had uncorked a bottle and the stories keep glugging out. I can’t seem to stop them, not that I want to, of course. The next story in my GRITS (Girls-Raised-In-The-South) series is at the publisher, as we speak. I have two additional novels complete, with another two started. And there’s such a long list of other ideas, I’d have to live forever to be able to write them.

9. Tell us about your writing process.

It starts with a “story seed.” I plant that in my mind and let it germinate, take root, grow. Then, when it’s crowding out everything else in my mind, I start writing. I don’t use an outline, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself a “pantser” either. I know sort of where I want to start, kind of where I’m thinking of finishing, and a few things I want to happen along the way. Once I start, the characters take over and many times take the story off in a direction I never saw coming. I love it when that happens. I call it “magic.” I write the entire story from start to finish and end up with what I call a “skeleton.” Then I go back through it and flesh it out, adding muscles, and all the vital organs until I can be like Dr. Frankenstein and yell, “It’s alive!”

10. Your advice to new writers

Two things; one from Winston Churchill and the other sort of ‘borrowed’ from Dory: Nevah, nevah, nevah give up. And…just keep writing, just keep writing. Just keep writing, writing, writing...


BIO:

North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover. 

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books. 

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com


AUTHOR LINKS:
Twitter: @Leannasbooks

Thank you for sharing Red Curtains with us, Leanna!

Please leave Leanna a comment. :)


November 23, 2016

My Thanksgiving Letter to YOU!


Dear Friends and Readers,

This year has been a crazy one with highs and lows. Thanksgiving is all about thinking about the highs, so I’m going to let the lows go. Some of those lovely highs were being asked to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to head the newsletter, starting my editing business, publishing Seismic Crimes and 30 Seconds Before, and signing a contract for Tsunami Crimes.

I have all of you to thank for getting me through the craziness of these highs (and especially the lows, but we’re not talking about those).

As a writer, you helped me to realize the amazing feeling of having people interested in my books. Something I had always dreamed about but wasn’t sure if I’d be blessed with. As a blogger, you made me feel as though my thoughts, words, and ideas were valuable and interesting. When I started writing at twelve, and created my blog five years ago, I had craved these things, hoped and wished for them, and now I am so very grateful you have given them to me; a gift I’ll always treasure.

For your selfless support, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You sure know how to make a girl feel loved, supported, understood, and appreciated.

If I could give everyone a cookie (or a hunk of cheese to Crystal Collier), I would. Since I can’t, I hope this letter adequately shows my gratitude for these priceless gifts you’ve given me. I’m also giving everyone virtual hugs and sending wishes of success, health, and happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving!


XOXO,


Chrys Fey



November 21, 2016

Writing About: Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving is a holiday that doesn’t get a lot of play in stories, because there’s not much build-up to it like there is with Halloween or Christmas that have decorations and fun activities. Since Thanksgiving is smack dab between these holidays, it gets even less attention. But this holiday can get fair play in your story if your character stresses about cooking a turkey dinner, traveling, or having the family together.

Since this holiday is all about food and family, you need to utilize both.

1. Food

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is an all-day thing. The wife (usually) has to get up early to start the turkey. Then you have to prep the dressing and mashed potatoes. As the day goes on, more food needs to be prepared. Your character can dish our orders to her kids and husband to help her. Or she can stress over the turkey, have a meltdown in the kitchen, or even burn something.

Foods – Turkey, ham, Tofurkey, salmon, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green bean casserole, candied yams/sweet potatoes, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, brisket


2. Entertainment

The Thanksgiving Day parade, National Dog Show, and football games are the three main sources of entertainment on Thanksgiving. You can describe the kids anxiously waiting for Santa at the end of the parade, and the guys cheering over the game while your heroine slaves in the kitchen.

Or maybe your characters have a tradition to watch a movie on this day like Gone with the Wind (couples) or The Santa Clause (a family).


3. Family

This day is all about family coming together. Let your MC spend time with his/her loved ones. You can even add in some family drama. We all know every family has plenty of drama to go around, and on Thanksgiving things can get heated.

Or you can use this opportunity to show a happy family truly thankful to have each other after the obstacles you (as the writer) put them through.

***

Thanksgiving got a little blimp in Seismic Crimes, but I think I did a good job including the highlights of this holiday while making it fit my characters.


EXCERPT:

Thanksgiving morning, Donovan woke to the smell of coffee and French toast, the aroma of vanilla and cinnamon was having a love affair with the fragrance of Colombian coffee beans. Beth made breakfast in his high school basketball jersey with the Thanksgiving Day parade on in the background.

Since neither of them had to slave over a feast, Donovan watched the football game with Beth, and he was pleased to learn she was fluent in the ways of football. She knew what first down meant, understood a referee’s call, and knew the main players by name.
“I had no idea you were a fan,” he said during halftime.

“Yup,” she said as she took a swig of soda. “I had to find some way to bond with my dad, being an only child and all. I wasn’t interested in fixing up cars, which in hindsight would’ve saved me a lot of money on my piece of crap car. So, I started to watch football with him when I was eight. I fell in love with the game.” She shrugged as if it didn’t matter, but Donovan thought it was amazing.

When it was time to eat, they put together a simple meal and sat down to eat. In the middle of the table were two cornish hens, a box of turkey dressing, a can of cranberry sauce, and instant potatoes with a glob of garlic butter to make up for the bland taste. It might’ve been simple, but it was better than what Donovan did last year when he ordered Chinese takeout.


***

Later in this scene, they even share what they are thankful for. 


To read more:



QUESTION: What do you eat on Thanksgiving? I’ll add it to my list. :)


November 14, 2016

100 Marketing Tips


100 MARKETING TIPS


NOTE: This post has been revised since publication due to marketing/social media/website changes. 



Marketing is all a game of chance. There are no right answers. All you can do is try and see what works for you.
Below are 100 marketing options. I’ve tried many of them and know they are useful. The things I’ve tried that didn’t work for me have worked wonders for other authors. You just never know until you give it a shot.

1. Build your brand.
2. Write a great book.
3. Have a standout cover image that reflects your story and the genre.
4. Write a prequel to get more readers interested in the first book.
5. Create a newsletter. Lure people to opt-in for your email list/newsletter with an incentive, such as a free book or gift. Then create good, interesting content they will find useful. When the time is right, promote one of your books. Put a note in your books/eBooks (beginning and end if possible) asking your readers to sign up for your newsletter.
6. Start a street team. A street team helps you get the word out about your books. And they want to do it, too. So why not set one up? You can give them a special badge (image) to put on their blog/website, and you can also create a Facebook group for everyone to go to and chat.
7. Make business cards and give them to everyone you talk to about your books. You can even leave them places.
8. Look for award opportunities. Do some research on yearly book awards and check the guidelines to see if your book(s) qualify. If you don’t win an award, no harm, no foul. (Most do ask for a fee, though.)

REVIEWS:
9. Approach reviewers. There are many book bloggers out there—use the Internet to find them.
10. Encourage fans to post reviews. You can put a polite note at the end of your book/eBook asking your readers to post an honest review of the story they just read on Amazon.
11. When you get reviews for your books, pick the best ones by authors and professional book reviewers. Search those reviews for a sentence or two that you can add to the Editorial Reviews section on your books’ Amazon page.
12. Give Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to anyone interested in reviewing your book before release day.
13. Also look for snippets of reviews to put on a testimonial page on your website. This is good because it shows you have cred. You can have testimonials for specific books, your overall writing, your services, or even your blog.
14. Mail galley copies to pre-publication reviewers and major magazines. Most need these copies 3–5 months in advance of the release date.
15. Approach local book clubs/reading groups to see if they’d be interested in reading your book. Most members buy the books they want to read. This will result in quite a few reviews and sales.
16. When you post a review, start it (or sign off) with “[Your name] Author of XYZ.”

Amazon:
17. Narrow down your book’s categories on Amazon. Instead of “paranormal,” think “paranormal detective mystery.” Use Amazon’s search bar to find popular searches for your book’s genre. Click on it and check out the number of books under that category. You can find this in the top left-hand corner. The smaller this number is the better. Think 1,000 or less. Under 500 is awesome because it’s less competition. Use these categories when you pick the categories for your books.
18. You can also put a list of categories in the “Product Description” under the blurb and pick one to include in the title.
Example: Ghost of Death – A Paranormal Detective Mystery. Try to get that on the cover, too, if possible.
19. Add author interview questions to the “From the Author” section on your Amazon book page.

Goodreads:
20. Join Goodreads Groups. There are many groups for many different genres. Follow the rules set out for authors in each group before you post promo. While you are there, connect to readers and other authors.
21. Use Goodreads groups to get reviews. Many groups have discussions to help authors get reviewers. You will need to provide the necessary info as a comment or separate post and interested people will email you asking for a copy. Make sure to specify a timeframe.
22. Do a Goodreads Event whenever a new book comes out and invite EVERYONE.
23. “Friend” other authors by clicking the down arrow next to “Follow Author” and selecting “Add as a Friend.”

Website:
24. Add all of your books to your website/blog. You can do this on the sidebar and/or create a page. And make the images clickable with a URL to your books’ Amazon pages, so visitors can buy your books.
25. Use your website/blog to make announcements, and then send people there using social media to see that announcement.
26. Create a “Special Features” page on your website for deleted scenes, facts, soundtracks, book/character tidbits, etc.
27. Update your bio as necessary.
28. Find unique ways to promote your website daily or weekly.

Social Media:
29. Post fun things about your books to social media instead of pestering fans to buy, buy, buy. These fun things could be one-sentence teasers, dialogue, short excerpts (Facebook), facts, and odd tidbits your readers won’t know by reading your books.
30. Create quote images with your tagline, logline, dialogue, and lines from your blurb and story.
31. Take advantage of Instagram. Share cover teasers before a big reveal and even images of your computer as you work on your current WIP.
32. Join Twitter Chats such as #1LineWed. You can’t share buy links, but you can still generate interest in your writing if you share awesome lines from your books.
33. Host your own Twitter chat with a unique hashtag.
Pick a date, a time, and tell everyone about it. You can talk about your books, writing, share snippets, anything.
34. Update your profiles on all social media websites at least once a year.
35. Utilize your email signature. Add links to your social media platforms and even list your books. Everyone you send an email to will see it.
36. Do Live videos on Facebook to connect with your readers.
37. Create videos related to your books and upload them to YouTube. Then upload them to your Goodreads author page and your Amazon author profile.

Blog:
38. Do a blog tour.
39. Interview authors on your blog. This is as easy as asking them or putting an announcement out there that you are accepting author interviews. To save time, have a list of questions already prepared.
40. Do a cover reveal. Use a Google Form so people who want to help can sign up to post your new cover on their blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Send them everything they need a few days before and stress the date so no one posts too soon.
41. Guest blog and have guests on your blog. It’s as simple as asking authors/bloggers. Don’t be afraid. At the worst, they won’t respond or will say they don’t have a spot available. That’s it.
42. Join the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
TIP: Don’t just share excerpts from your book, though. Dig into topics related to your book that starts with each letter. I once did a disaster theme for my Disaster Crimes series.
43. Get interviewed. Many bloggers interview authors. When you’re setting up your blog tour, see if the blogger offers author interviews and tell them you’re interested in one.
44. Do a blogfest instead of a blog tour. A blogfest is more engaging for the people who want to participate, each post will be unique, and you’ll be blasted on many blogs on a single day. Make sure to ask a fun question or offer a unique prompt for the blogfest.

Publishing:
45. Publish more books and advertise your previously published books in them. You can create a list of books in the beginning or share an excerpt for a book or two at the end.
46. Use more than one book distributor (self-published authors) to reach more readers. Smashwords links to Barnes & Noble, KOBO, Apple iBooks, and more. Then upload to Amazon Direct Publishing. Not Select (unless you really want those 5 free days). Select wants you to publish exclusively with them for 3 months.
47. Turn your books into audiobooks with ACX.com.
48. Have a series? Put them together in a box set.
49. Look for anthology opportunities and submit a short story for consideration. Anthologies are a great way to find new readers.

Release Promo:
50. Ask your supporters to share a release day announcement on their blog, Facebook page, and/or Twitter feed.
51. Do a Facebook Release Party. Make sure it’s set as “public.”
52. Add your books to book websites such as Manic Readers, BookLikes, Book Goodies, Book Buzzr, and Awesome Gang.
53. Look for major book newsletters and email them to see if they would like to promote your book. Make sure to include all of your book’s info and the blurb in the email when you ask.

Writing Community:
54. Join Yahoo Groups, websites, organizations, writing groups, etc. When your book comes out, you can spread the news to all of these places.
55. Cross promote with other authors. If you know authors who have books in your genre or who are coming out with books around the same time, ask if they’d like to be part of a big promo opportunity. Every author can share promos for everyone on their blogs. You can do the same locally with a group of authors for a signing/event. Or you can contact other authors signed with your publisher to cross promote.
56. Ask an author to write an introduction, forward, or testimonial for your book. This doesn’t have to be a best-selling author but an author you know and respect.
57. Contact a few famous authors and ask if they’d like to read your book and give an endorsement. The worst they could say is “no” or not respond at all. You won’t know what’ll come out of it until you try.
58. Get on your local radio and TV shows, such as Public-Access Television.

Contests and Giveaways:
59. Do a contest. This can be big or small. I’ve often asked fans to help me name characters.
60. Hold a giveaway. Rafflecopter lets you use “like my FB page” and “follow me on Twitter” as things for people to do to get points in the giveaway. Always offer a Free Entry.
61. Offer your readers sample chapters or short stories for free.
62. Create unique SWAG for giveaways.
63. Put together a baggie with promo stuff and deliver it to houses in nearby neighborhoods. I did this once with Ziploc bags, a postcard, and a business card. I even alternated by including a white tea candle and a green gemstone for weight and a little extra something.
64. Leave promo items (postcards, business cards, etc.) and/or a copy of your book in doctor’s offices and airports. People get bored and may become curious.
65. Carry a couple of copies of your book wherever you go. If you happen to strike a conversation with someone and they become interested in your book, you can give them a copy for free or sell it to them with a discount.

Sales and Free Books:
66. Put the first book in a series on sale whenever a new book comes out.
67. Make a book free for a short time or forever. You can use Smashwords to set an eBook as free, if you’ve self-published. If you do this, Barnes & Noble and Kobo will also follow suit. Then you can notify Amazon and they will price match your eBook.
68. Use Kindle Direct Publishing’s (KDP’s) 5 free days.
69. Add your books to discount/free sites if your book is on sale or free. A simple Google search will help you find them.

Advertisements:
70. Pay to advertise on Facebook. Out of all the social media ads, this one has been the most effective for me. I don’t recommend Twitter ads.
71. Pay to advertise on book blogs/websites/newsletters. But do your research first to see if your ad will get lost in a slew of ads, and stay in budget.
72. Advertise in newspapers and magazines, even digital ones like InD’tale.
73. Buy a $10 Goodreads ad and target all readers.
74. Make fliers and pass them around or ask your local libraries if you can pin your flier to a bulletin board.
75. Put an ad on a bus bench. Yes, really.

Book Signings, Readings, and Events:
76. Go to book fairs/festivals and set up a table.
77. Do a book signing at a local spot. Big or small.
78. Record a video of yourself reading an excerpt of your book and post it everywhere, even add it to your Goodreads and Amazon profiles. This is perfect for people afraid of doing a live reading.
79. Do a book reading at a local library, book store, independent coffee shop, community college/school, etc.
80. Wear a badge with the cover art for your book or with your name and “Author of XYZ.”
81. Put a review packet on your table so interested readers can check out the best reviews for your book.
82. Create an atmosphere with your space. Bring a colored tablecloth, table decorations, and even props to go up behind your table.
83. Invest in a tabletop easel with your book’s cover on it to catch people’s attention, or a bigger banner to stand behind your table.
84. Put a newsletter signup sheet on your table and ask everyone who stops to sign up. When you get home, send them an opt-in email so they can confirm subscription. Or have a tablet on your table and have them sign up at the event.
85. Sell your book at an event for a cause and donate part of the proceeds to that cause.

Books in Stores:
86. If your books are stocked in local bookstores, purchase “Local Author” stickers and ask the manager if you can put them on your books.
87. Also ask if you can sign them. Then you can put “Signed Copy” stickers on them!

Go to Your Local Community:
88. Look for speaking opportunities at schools, conventions, libraries, etc.
89. Teach a class or workshop.
90. Go to local schools for career day, do classroom or media center readings/presentations, have a table at the school’s spring fling or other fests, and donate a copy of your children’s book to their media center.
91. Email the directors of your local libraries and pitch them your book to be added to their collection. Providing a copy is the easiest way to get your book in their system.
92. Pass out flyers at book stores, book events, libraries, community events, flea markets, etc.
93. Tack a flyer on bulletin boards in libraries, book stores, coffee shops, etc.

Press:
94. Create a press kit. Make it available on your blog and website.
95. Hosting an event? Going to an event? Let your local newspaper(s) know about it, and they may do an article about you.

Video:
96. Create a book trailer. Put it on your website, blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, Amazon profile, everywhere.
97. Ask fans to make a book trailer.
98. Get on podcasts created by established authors.

Magazines:
99. If you are knowledgeable about a certain subject that relates to your book, write an article on it and submit it to niche magazines.
100. Submit excerpts to literary magazines.

There are many more things that authors can do to promote their books, but these will get you started.

Now that you’ve gone through this information, make a plan to start doing one of these. Then after you do that, try another. And then another. And... well, you get it.