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August 03, 2016

The Book I Can't Give Up On / The Bowl and The Stone Cover Reveal




What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published? 

I was twelve when I started writing about an extraordinary girl in another world. Over the next few years, I wrote three books in that series. At the age of seventeen, I took on the task of rewriting that series, and I continued well into my twenties.

As a matter of fact, I recently revised that first book, and I'm trying to get an agent for it. The main character is Avrianna Heavenborn, who is featured in my short story Ghost of Death. One day, her book (series) will be published. I know it. :)


NEXT IWSG QUESTION: How do you find the time to write in your busy day? (Sept. 7th)



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PROMO EFFORTS:

Facebook Party: I held a FB party with 6 AWESOME co-hosts. The turnout was great. I did a grand prize giveaway that required people to sign up for my newsletter for the chance to win. I got 16 new subscribers.

Lesson Learned: Try not to host a party when everyone is taking vacations, and make sure it's set to PUBLIC.

Social Media Push: Throughout July, I pushed one of my releases each week. That's one tweet a day, three posts a week on Instagram, one on FB, and one on Google+. Sales? NADA 


Lesson Learned: Social media is not much of a strategy, though it does help to announce releases, sales, etc.

Newsletter Ads: I paid for a Coffee Time Romance’s newsletter ad located on their website. The first day it was up, the link for my ad was the link to another author’s book! I did another with The Romance Studio on August 1st that went into subscribers' inboxes. Again, no sales. 

Lesson Learned: Newsletters that are full of ads won't get you noticed.



My Overall Mood: Discouraged.



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COVER REVEAL FOR BISH DENHAM!



Pirates. Explorers. And spooky ghost hunters.

It’s 1962. Sam and her best friend, Nick, have the whole island of St. John, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, as their playground. They’ve got 240 year-old sugar plantation ruins to explore, beaches to swim, and trails to hike.

But when a man disappears like a vapor right in front of them, they must confront a scary new reality. They’re being haunted. By whom? And why? He’s even creeping into Nick’s dreams.

They need help, but the one who might be able to give it is Trumps, a reclusive hunchback who doesn’t like people, especially kids. Are Sam and Nick brave enough to face him? And if they do, will he listen to them? 

Their carefree summer games turn into eerie hauntings, and Sam and Nick learn more about themselves and life than they could ever have imagined.



Pre-order HERE today and enter the ghostly tale as soon as it releases.


About the Author:

Bish Denham, whose mother’s side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over one hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. She still has lots of family living there whom she visits regularly.

She says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. The ruins of hundreds of sugar plantations, built with the sweat and blood of slave labor, litter the islands. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. It is within this atmosphere of wonder and mystery, that I grew up. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic.”

The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, is her third book and second novel. You can find Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail, at Amazon.com.

Visit her blog, Random Thoughts.
She can also be found on Facebook.
And Twitter @BishDenham 


102 comments:

Roland Clarke said...

Glad to see that you have never given up on that original piece of writing and inspiration.

nashvillecats2 said...

Never give up on that first book Chrys. Good luck in your pursuit to getting it published.
The book by Bish seems fantastic. I wish her all the good luck with it.
Yvonne.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love Bish's latest book.

Paid ads so rarely work for books.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

So sorry to hear you're feeling discouraged, Chrys. Hang in there and believe in yourself. You've already accomplished so much! :)

Pat Hatt said...

Yep, social media and paid ads are mostly useless in the end. The only ones getting rich are the ones running the ads.

Suzanne Furness said...

Sorry you have felt discouraged recently. I enjoyed reading about your first series, I hope you find a home for it. And congrats to Bish on her new release.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What a wonderful story about your first writings. Good luck with finding an agent.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with ads. I've been considering them, but may change my mind now.
Congratulations to Bish on her new book. Ghost stories are some of my favorites.

Unknown said...

Wow, that's amazing you stuck with it and kept writing the series, especially at such a young age! Good luck with it!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Roland. I believe in it so much that no matter how upset I get that I don't have representation for it yet, I can never give up on it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Bish's book is fantastic. I had the honor of reading it.

Chrys Fey said...

Me too. :)

I always heard to try paid ads, so I do.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Madeline! I'm hanging in. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I am realizing that now. Grrr

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, SUzanne! I hope I find a home for it, too. Soon. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Beverly!

There's a couple of paid promos I may try because they sound like they may get my work out there, but I won't know until I try.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Megan!

Bish Denham said...

How wonderful that you've kept working on a story begun in your teens! There's one novel of mine I started in my 20s that still lingers in my mind. Every once in while I think about hauling it out and... but then I pause. It's all hand written, in three spiral notebooks... OMG, the work!

Thanks for the shout-out on my cover reveal!

Chrys Fey said...

You should haul it out. You started it for a reason. Maybe it wasn't the right time then but it could be now. :D

You're welcome!

betty said...

I like the cover for Bish' book. Very unique! I would imagine it has to be hard as a writer to get out there and promote your books, looking for the right avenue to do so, not knowing what (if anything) will work. Hopefully you'll find that right thing soon.

betty

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Chrys,

I admire your tenacity... At least you TRIED... if you hadn't you'd always wonder, "I should have done it..." Now you know..

Cool that you are reviving your old stories, and you will get them published.

Congrats to BISH! The cover is GREAT and it sounds like a very fun read...

Chrys Fey said...

It is hard. You never know what'll work, what'll be a waste of money. Commenters often say I know so much about marketing, but this proves I know as much as everyone else.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Michael. I can say that I at least tried. :)

Michelle Wallace said...

Chrys you're a go-getter and I have no doubt that you'll see your first book (and series) in print one day. No matter how long it takes.
Bish's cover is charming!

Sophie Duncan said...

Keep plugging away at the book series, it sounds like it will be worth it :)
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles

diedre Knight said...

Hugs to you, lady Chrys for picking your way through the stickers to the soft grass of success! I know you'll get there. No need (and clearly no desire) to ever give up!

Bish, your book sounds delectable! Love the tantalizing cover. I enjoyed learning about you and where your special magic originates :-)

Carrie-Anne said...

I love the name Avrianna! I figure if we can still remember and care about characters we created years ago, it was meant to be. Eventually, I plan to get back to the 18th and 19th century characters I created when I was probably around 6 or 7 years old (originally as contemporary characters, then changed to historical characters when I was a preteen).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing about your marketing strategies. I find marketing daunting and discouraging, too. I'm glad you're still working on your original series. Good luck with it!! Congrats to Bish! Sounds like a great story!

Misha Gerrick said...

Sigh, the lack of success with marketing is just depressing. :-/

Crystal Collier said...

Aha! I knew there was some depth to that character. =)

Love Bish's new cover. Yay!

Yeah, it can be tricky to figure out what works for marketing. I know a few guru's who drop tips every now and then. I just have to actually implement them, and sometimes that's just too much work. =)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Revising that first book? Very cool! Sometimes there's gold in those first efforts.

cleemckenzie said...

Here's wishing you lots of luck with finding the right agent for that book!

Chemist Ken said...

It's so hard trying to figure out what works to sell books and what doesn't. In the meantime, keep writing, because when people do discover your books, they'll want to keep buying.

emaginette said...

I'm looking forward to seeing it out there with your other works. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I think it's wonderful that you kept at it with that first piece. Shows a lot about your personality and determination. Kudos, Chrys. Best of luck finding an agent.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Love the new cover for Bish! Keep at your passions. They will make it someday.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Michelle! :D

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Sophie! I will. :)

Loni Townsend said...

Oooh, rough time with the advertisements. Yeah, summer is hard, and facebook parties are even harder for me. I tried helping out with a friend's release party and trying to juggle that with my kids is nigh impossible. I think anything online that doesn't fit into my lunch hour will likely have to wait until the kids move out.

S. L. Hennessy said...

You should write her series! There's a ton of people out there (ahem) that would love to read it!

Chrys Fey said...

Nope, no need or no desire to give up.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks! :D I believe the same thing. I tell myself all the time that it was meant to be and will be.

You created 18th and 19th century characters when you were 6 or 7? WOW!

Chrys Fey said...

Marketing is daunting. I have good moments with it and know some things that work for me, but because I'm trying new things it's becoming overwhelming and not working out as I had hoped.

Thanks, Lori!

Chrys Fey said...

It is!!! *sigh*

Cherie Colyer said...

I like the name Avrianna Heavenborn. Best of luck finding an agent. :)

Chrys Fey said...

There is! There is so much more with Avrianna that readers of Ghost of Death don't even know about. *snickers*

It can be too much work. I've been spending all of my time marketing and not actually writing, which is a no-no.

Chrys Fey said...

There can definitely be gold in our first efforts. We must have to dig for it. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, C Lee!!!

Chrys Fey said...

I do need to get back to writing. It's taken a back seat lately.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Anna!!!

Chrys Fey said...

Aw. Thanks, Joylene. I really believe in this book. :)

Sherry Ellis said...

So cool that you were able to polish up a manuscript that you wrote when you were twelve!

It's discouraging when you put a lot of effort into marketing your book, and don't see results. I wish there was some way that worked 100% of the time. Supposedly, people have to see your thing 7 times before they buy it. So keep plugging away.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Jennifer!

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! I can understand that. The only time many working mothers have is their lunch hours.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks! :D I have to rewrite part of Book 2 now and need to edit books 3 and 4, but I have them. I just need to finish the process and, of course, publish book 1.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you!!! :D

Chrys Fey said...

I'm often amazed that I was able to do it, but maybe it's because I rewrote it when I was still young, so rewriting it again as an adult wasn't hard. If I were to look at that book now and attempt to rewrite it, I don't think I'd be able to.

Thanks, Sherry. I will. :)

Murees Dupè said...

Congratulations to Bish on her new release. Please don't get discouraged, Chrys. You are amazing, and I've learnt one has to always keep at things. I know it's easy for me to say. But I really believe in you. Keep doing what you're doing. I'm sure that first novel will get published. No doubt. Wishing you well.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for the push, Murees. I appreciate it. :)

Olga Godim said...

It is great that you persevere with your first story. It'll find its readers soon.

Julie Flanders said...

It's so hard to figure out what works for marketing. I really have no clue although it sounds like the FB party was a success for you. Wish I could have been part of it! If you have another one let me know. :)

And how cool that you kept working and re-working that first story. I have a feeling Avrianna's story will be out in the world sooner rather than later. Good luck!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Olga!

Chrys Fey said...

I will let you know, Julie. I'll probably do a release party for Tsunami Crimes...if it gets a contract.

Thanks, Julie! I hope so. :)

Tonja Drecker said...

How wonderful of you to keep sticking to that story! I have no doubt that it will get published at that rate. The list of your promos and lessons is interesting...honestly, thanks for posting that. It's great to see your thoughts.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Teresa! You know, it may be frustrating but I like to show my ups and downs with my promo efforts for others to learn from. I'm being the sacrificial lamb. :p

Nicola said...

I love the character already and I've no doubt that if you believe it will be published, then, Chrys, it definitely will be published. Her story is waiting to be heard!! So pleased to hear of your successes. You are a fantastic writer!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for the enthusiasm, Nicola!

Gwen Gardner said...

Marketing is so tough, Chrys. I feel your pain. I think the real problem is reaching your target audience. As writers and authors we help and encourage each other, but we're not necessarily the target group. I wish I knew the magic formula!

Congrats to Bish! Her new release looks awesome!

klahanie said...

Hey Chrys,

Firstly, hearty congrats to one of my adoring fans, Bish.

Your passion for that first piece of writing is such a driving force in your love for the written word.

I submitted a play to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at the age of nine. I never received a reply. Never mind, eh.

All the best to you, Chrys and of course, Bish.

Gary :)

sherry fundin said...

Hang in there Chrys. Any time I can be of help or you need reviews for something I haven't read, let me know. I love your work and will be more than happy to share!!!
sherry @ fundinmental

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly. I have so many writers and authors in my audience, but I need more readers. It's hard to target them when you're not known and don't have a big publisher helping you.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Gary! :)

At the age of nine? Wow. You were ambitious.

All the best to you, too.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Sherry. I may hit you up on a review for Seismic Crimes. I don't think you read that yet, and I'm trying to get reviews for it with no success.

Sandra Cox said...

Maybe now that July is in the rear view mirror, sales will pick up, Chrys. Let's hope;) Hugs.
How's the kitties?
Bish your childhood sounds wonderful. Wishing you much success with your book.

Chrys Fey said...

I hope so, Sandra. :D

My kitties are great. Getting fat. Haha

Juneta key said...

Wow, that is cool about the character you created as teen having her own series. You're doing great. Hang in there. This is journey and right now the wind is not blowing but you just wait a gale wind is on its way.

Congrat Bish on the Cover Reveal. I really like it.

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Juneta. I have a kite ready so I can catch and ride that gale wind. :D

Kristin Smith said...

Yes! Keep believing in your character and her story and it WILL be published one day!!!

I'm sorry to hear about sales. :( But it sounds like you're doing all the right things! That's interesting how there doesn't seem to be much of a connection between being active on social media and sales. You always hear how authors need to be active on social media. Hang in there. It'll get better. Hugs!

Chrys Fey said...

I will. :)

Being active on social media is one thing and great for an author to do, but pushing your book(s) on social media doesn't do much unless it's for a sale or new release. At least that's my experience.

Thanks!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Chrys one of things I'll suggest is try to get fellow writers as fans of your work. A number of books I bought this year were referred by authors I trust on social media. And not in a book promotion way but a congrats way that only fans can post and mean it. Sorry social media is not bringing in much for you. Keep at that dream agent for your series though. Good luck. Congrats to Bish on her upcoming book. I've added it to my wishlist. I've been on a bit of a kindle pre-order kick lately.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I hope you don't stay discouraged. You are certainly putting in the effort!

Congrats to Bish!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Oh my goodness. I hope they gave you your money back after linking the wrong book.

I often feel discouraged too. I mean, what is the magic bullet? If anyone finds it, it will be you. You have more perseverance and gumption than any writer I know. Heck, you didn't even give up on the novel of your youth!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chris - you've got another story to keep you going ... marketing is such a difficult 'tool' to master or even get over the start line ... just keep on and get more books out there .. take care and yes - Bish .. I love her cover and the premise - should entice a few readers ... cheers Hilary

Lidy said...

That's great you never gave up on your first book. Good luck finding an agent for it. Never give up, never surrender!

Diane Burton said...

Love your positive spirit, Chrys. Your first series sounds great. (You know how much I like sci-fi :)) While I'm sorry you haven't had good luck with the promo, thanks for sharing your experiences. Loved helping with your FB party. It was fun.

Chrys Fey said...

Actually, the problem is I only really have fellow writers as fans. I need readers. Reader readers.

Thanks, Sheena!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Lynda!

Chrys Fey said...

They didn't because it was a month-long promo. :\

I wish I knew the magic bullet. If I do find it, I'll share it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Hilary! I'll keep on. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Lidy! I won't. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Diane! I'm so happy that you participated in my FB party. It was a success. The only thing that went right. ;)

Jemi Fraser said...

That sounds like a true story of the heart! I bet with all that love behind it, it will be published one day! :)

Chrys Fey said...

It is. Thanks, Jemi!

Liz A. said...

The novel I'm working on was first conceived when I was in the 10th grade. Never give up ;)

I found this wonderful book about craft sales and marketing through social media. It can be done, but you need a strategy. It's more about the conversation. (I still need to apply what I've learned from the book.)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Sorry for the discouraging turnout on the various types of marketing. :(

I hope you can bring your early series to fruition!

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
All the best for getting an agent for your book. Keep revising it until it's your best and I'm sure when you knock on an agent's door, they'll say come in.
Shalom aleichem,
Patricia

Chrys Fey said...

I think that's neat that you're working on a novel you started in high school. Don't give up in yours either!

I thought I had a strategy to what I was doing, but I'm reworking it now.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Shannon!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Pat! I am. :)

Yolanda Renée said...

I love that you're pursuing that collection, and I know, you will get it published! :) Good on you!
Thanks for the information you've shared about your attempts at marketing. I've found the same, very discouraged!
I loved being part of your Summer Book Bash though, truly fun!
Next one will be twice as good!
Bish has done a fabulous job!

Chrys Fey said...

I am, Yolanda. Thank you!

*sigh* With so many authors out there and a TON of books being released daily, it's hard to get attention.

The Bash was my one success from July. :) Thanks for being a part of it!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Oh no, so sorry about the lack of marketing success! I hope the coffee people refunded your money for that mistake. That really sucks.

How about your blog tour? Did that help?

Chrys Fey said...

They didn't because it was up for a month and the mistake was only for a day. *shrugs*

My blog tour did very well. I stand by blog tours, though, I will find other ways to maybe make them more interesting so other bloggers' followers will visit and not skip it as some do.