November 13, 2022

Rockstar Book Tours Week Two Recap

Nov 7: Fire and Ice with a book spotlight

Nov 8: Books a Plenty Book Reviews with a four-star review

Nov 9: @allyluvsbooksalatte with a review

Nov 10: Bookdreamr with a review

Nov 11: Two Chicks on Books with a guest post on why I write paranormal romance

Enter the giveaway soon... it ends on November 15th at midnight EST!



November 5, 2022

Rockstar Book Tours Week One Recap

Oct 31: Book Review Virginia Lee with a guest post about my Fairy Godmothers, Incorporated

Oct 31: Author Z. Knight with a guest post of snappy one-liners

Nov 1: Sadie's Spotlight with a guest post about the importance of location

Nov 2: The Momma Spot with a guest post about research, writer's block, and mood boards

Nov 2: Jazzy Book Reviews with a guest post on character development

Nov 3: @enjoyingbooksagain with a four-star review

Nov 3: The Real World According to Sam with a three-star review

Nov 4: @takealookatmybookshelf with a four-star review

Nov 4: A Dream Within A Dream with a guest post on inspiration

Stay tuned for Week Two!

Pre-order Now


November 1, 2022

BookFunnel Promotions

Looking for something to read? These promotions will give you plenty of options.


Stay tuned for 99c Romance Reads, including A Vampire's Tale, from BookFunnel, running from November 1-30.


Stay tuned for November New Releases, including Designed by Destiny, from BookFunnel, running from November 1-30.


​Stay tuned for Box Sets & Anthologies - Romance, including The Magicals Series Box Set, running from November 1-30.

September 20, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

Featuring A Fairy's Quest, The Magicals Series Book Three...

Alina Lehrer is a fairy princess who wants to reclaim her stolen crown. Rylan Jackson is the assassin assigned to eliminate her. Fate has placed Alina and Rylan on opposing sides, but fate is not set in stone.


Featuring A Fairy Godmother's Redemption, The Magicals Series Book Four...

Drew Parker is headed to college when he becomes the legal guardian to his half-sisters. Seraphina Jacobs is a rising pop princess when photo-shopped nudes threaten her career. Sounds like a job for a Fairy Godmother.


Featuring A Magical's Gift, The Magicals Series Book Five...

Niall Warde is a carefree soul trapped in the rigid, ordered life of a wizard apprentice when he discovers the girl of his dreams is a fairy, sworn enemy to wizards. Amelie Ricard is an anthropology professor and newly realized fairy princess who must leave her baby and man she loves to protect them from her vengeful family. Thirty years later, Amelie and Niall reunite to save their son. Neither can change the past, but do they have a future together? Will their son unite their people in peace?


Pre-order The Magicals Series Box Set now for $4.99.

Available September 27


September 19, 2022

Quote of the Week

Whether you like or support the British monarchy, Canadians, as part of the Commonwealth, will pay homage to the late Queen Elizabeth II today.




September 13, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

Featuring A Wizard's Choice, The Magicals Series Book Two...

Kurtis Warde is a wizard apprentice who wants to leave the wizard guild and pursue vampiress Dee. When he is caught in the cross-fire of an ancient feud between wizards and fairies, he discovers his connection to The Annunaki is the key. Will he sacrifice his own happiness to ensure peace in the magical world?



Pre-order The Magicals Series Box Set now for $4.99.

Available September 27






September 9, 2022

Talking about Promotion... Again...

I'm an author, a published author, so I spend most of my time...


PROMOTING MY BOOKS


Did you think I was going to say writing? I wish I spent most of my writing-allocated time actually writing. Instead, I—like every other author out there (probably)—devote hours (and I mean hours) to book promotion.

A book is a product. In order to sell a product, you must promote it. A book no one knows about will sell exactly zero copies. Promoting is the difference between <<whispering>> "I wrote a book. Want to buy it?" and proclaiming loudly through multiple channels, including paid ads, "Buy my book!"

I don't have a magic recipe for book promotion. My sales are not stellar... yet... but I've only been in the game for ten years so I'm practically a baby author. In that time, I published six books and had a major life crisis. Long, long, long story short... In 2013, I was physically assaulted at work, received no support (my employer actually tried to push me out), and developed PTSD. I started writing A Vampire's Tale, the first book of The Magicals, when I was bed-ridden with "unexplainable" low blood pressure, high cortisol, and fainting spells. But that's enough of that talk. Everyone has stuff going on. This is my stuff, and while I do talk about it sometimes, this post is supposed to be about promotion.

So, promotion... If you're a veteran author, you might want to skip over the basics...

***

The Basics

The promotion process starts long before you publish a book.

The minute you decide to write a book and have aspirations for publication, you need to think about your author platform. An author platform is your online presence—website, social media, newsletter mailing list.

A good-looking and functional website is very important. Social media platforms come and go, but a website is digital real estate you control. I run my own website through Weebly, but there are many hosts who offer the "plug and play" functions you need to build a DIY website. You don't have to be a computer programmer. I'm certainly not. If I run into problems, then I Google for solutions or outsource when the issue goes beyond my ability. Running my website is a huge cost savings, and I appreciate the ability to make timely, on-demand changes. 

Social media is huge. You don't need to use all of the platforms, but you need Facebook, at least. As for other platforms, research what social media your target market uses. If you're using social media, then stay consistent with posting and engagement. I am active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogger. I use social media planners, like Planoly and Buffer, to schedule posts. I have a YouTube channel, but I don't consider myself an active user. I buy Facebook and Instagram ads, and have also promoted tweets. I signed up to use Google ads, but their process is more complex and I haven't run an ad campaign yet.

Maintaining a mailing list is still an important part of your approach. Email goes directly into the hands of people who are interested in you or your work. I have a quarterly newsletter and send out notices of sales, cover reveals, and events like blog tours.

Once you have a book to sell, before it releases, you need to email your mailing list, line up book reviewers, update author profiles, post a cover reveal, add the book to your website, book a blog tour, create an inventory of social media graphics and quote cards, and post to social media. At the pre-order level, you can also book promotions and new release newsletter spots.

Recommended Book Promotion Sites:

  • BookBub (the holy grail of promotion sites) - I haven't been able to secure a spot yet, but I use BookBub ads.
  • eReader News Today
  • Bargain Booksy
  • My Romance Reads
  • The Fussy Librarian
  • Free Kindle Books & Tips
  • eBook Discovery
  • Kindle Nation Daily

Each book promotion site has its own guidelines for submission. Make sure you submit for the right genre and have the correct price set on promotion day. I track the effectiveness of each campaign in order to determine where I spend my dollars.

Eye-catching graphics on social media are a must. Like the DIY website, there are a lot of sites or apps for DIY design. I use Canva. I use both the website version and mobile app. Canva has templates for the correct dimensions for the various social media platforms, taking the guesswork out.

And the book itself is very important to the promotional process. Professional cover design and editing—whether you traditionally or self-publish—is an absolute must. Don't forget the concise blurb. They are a pain in the butt to write, but readers evaluate the cover and/or the blurb before making their purchasing decision.

***

And, then, if there is any time left in my day... I write.

Time management is a thing. I use social media planners to schedule posts, but it takes a lot of time to create graphics. I browse social media during meals or rests. But everything takes time. Scheduling promotions, keeping accounts (I track every transaction related to my writing), and contacting book reviewers. Then there's blogging (I post irregularly) and editing (if a book is in that stage).

When it comes to book promotion, I've tried a lot of different methods. There's no shortcut to success. I'm here to tell a story, and hope that it's meaningful to someone along the way. I write because I think better in words. I wrote this post because I was thinking about all the promotions I've been juggling this week. I have The Magicals Box Set in pre-order, a 99c sale for A Wizard's Choice, a blog tour starting this week for A Magical's Gift... There's a lot going on.

I'm also in the middle of writing a book. It's been difficult writing this summer. We had a three-week visit at my in-laws. I brought my laptop, but I didn't get much time to write. The kids were home for the summer so it's not likely I'd have had the time anyway. But school started this week and football is back... so, while my people are occupied, I'm going to finish my current WIP.

At the end of the day, I keep writing. Book promotion is a crucial part of the writing process since my dream, as a published author, is to sell books. And, to sell books, I need to get the word out. I don't have the answers. I might not even know the right questions. I try to stay current on the latest book promotion how-to, but one thing has remained constant. Book promotion requires consistency. Keep promoting and keep publishing because the last book sells the next book or something like that.

And, one more thing, buy my book... kidding... not kidding... :)


September 6, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

Featuring A Vampire's Tale, The Magicals Series Book One...

Marisa Clements is a struggling writer and paranormal skeptic who writes vampire novels to pay the bills. Corgan Halton is an ancient vampire who chooses Marisa to author his life story before he ends his existence. Corgan knows his request will place Marisa in grave danger. She doesn’t. Will he choose to claim and protect her? Or will the story of a lifetime cost her life?


Pre-order The Magicals Series Box Set now for $4.99.

Available September 27







August 29, 2022

Goddess Fish Promotions Presents...

The Review Only Tour for A Magical's Gift.

The fun starts September 8. Comment for a chance to win $25 USD Amazon or B&N gift cards.

September 8: Yolanda Speaks
September 8: Bibliomanaic Aza
September 15: Enchanting Reviews
September 15: The Reading Addict
September 22: Gina Rae Mitchell
September 29: Long and Short Reviews


August 12, 2022

Promotion for A Vampire's Tale

A Vampire's Tale is featured on Ereader News Today.

Like feisty heroines and reluctant heroes? A Vampire's Tale, Book One in The Magicals Series, has got you covered. This vampire / protector story is filled with intrigue, drama, and—of course—a satisfying happily-ever-after. Five books make up the complete series. You'll meet vampires, wizards, and fairies in my magical world.


“…I highly recommend this novel to those searching for something much fulfilling, interesting and enchanting than your typical romance.” -- 2 Girls Book Reviews

 

“…This was a fun and refreshing read…” -- Christina Smith Belcher

 

“…So, much as Corgan made Marisa believe that true vampires do exist, Maya Tyler has managed to show this jaded romance skeptic that there is still such a thing as a sweet love story. Four well deserved stars…” – JennlyT




July 11, 2022

A Vampire's Tale Feature

Featured today on eBook Discovery, the first book in The Magicals Series, A Vampire's Tale. Now at a permaprice of 99c. Have you met my magicals yet?




June 27, 2022

Quote of the Week

 Quote of the Week will return in September. Have a great summer!


June 7, 2022

Release Day for A Magical's Gift

I hadn't planned on writing a book series... It just sort of happened. So, I started thinking... Did my series contain an overall story arc?

I wrote A Vampire's Tale because I shared my protagonist's views on the Hollywood vampire. I'm supportive of an author's prerogative, but I believe, in the case of vampires, there are some hard and fast rules.

Creation:

1. A vampire's bite can transform a human into a vampire under certain circumstances.

2. A vampire doesn't have a soul.

Special Skills:

3. A vampire can possess skills like super speed, the ability to fly, or "Jedi mind tricks" like erasing memories or planting suggestions.

Injuries and Death

4. A vampire can feel pain, cry tears of blood, and experience injury. They will heal faster below ground.

5. A vampire can die by various methods like prolonged exposure to sun.

You can agree or not. It's still just my opinion, determined after much research.

In A Vampire's Tale, the vampire Corgan finds a paranormal romance author Marisa to tell the truth about vampires. Oh, and she's also a paranormal skeptic who doesn't believe in vampires. That makes for a bumpy meet cute.

I hadn't planned on writing A Wizard's Choice, but Kurtis Warde demanded a story of his own. Introduced as a friend of the protagonist in A Vampire's Tale, Kurtis is also a wizard apprentice with the Magical Guardians, AND the son of a wizard and a fairy. Why is this significant, you may ask? For centuries, wizards and fairies were sworn enemies. The wizards had thought they'd annihilated the fairies while, in actuality, the fairies were lying in wait, plotting their revenge. Once a tool of genocide, the wizards now keep the peace in the magical world. The continued existence of fairies would've presented them with a dilemma.

In A Wizard's Choice, Kurtis must choose to become a full-fledged wizard or not. Being a wizard is as much of an honor as it is a sacrifice. You dedicate yourself to peace, but forgo love and marriage. Oh, and, you instantly transform into an old man. The wizards let their apprentices sample the non-magical world before they make their lifelong committment. And, if they don't become wizards, they're not shunned. Kurtis doesn't want to become a wizard, but he doesn't want to disappoint the grandfather Waldor who raised him. Did I mention that neither of his parents are in the picture? It relates to the feud. His maternal grandmother tried to kill his mother Amelie so she left him with his father Niall, not knowing that Niall had fought with his father Waldor and taken off. A tragic misunderstanding makes an excellent plot device.

And, it wouldn't be a romance novel without a love story. I planned for Kurtis to fall in love with his life coach Alina, but he insisted on being with Corgan's maker Dee. It was a surprise turn of events which left Alina heartbroken and alone... until A Fairy's Quest.

Did I mention that Alina is a fairy and part of the royal family? Alas, another fairy family had stolen their crown, and it's Alina's duty to reclaim it. And the story lines are still very connected. The fairies who stole the crown are the same fairies who tried to kill Kurtis' mother. Also, Kurtis' maternal grandmother tried to kill Kurtis and Alina in A Wizard's Choice. Confused yet? I hope not because the story is far from over. 

In A Fairy's Quest, Alina travels to Paris to meet with The Royal Court of Fairies. She's intercepted by an assassin Rylan, but instead of killing her, they fall in love.

Every book in this series ended up containing so many connections that even I didn't see at first. That's what happens when the characters are in charge. I'm looking at you, Kurtis Warde.

Kurtis' mother Amelie escaped her mother's wrath, but she had a little help from Faye, a fairy from The Royal Court of Fairies. Even though both Amelie and Kurtis are safe, Faye feels like she failed Amelie. She starts a company called Fairy Godmothers, Incorporated (FGI) to help grant wishes to atone for her guilt. In A Fairy Godmother's Redemption, the fairy godmothers help a college student Drew who finds himself the guardian of his twin half-sisters and a popular singer Sera who finds herself embroiled in a tabloid scandal. And, of course, Drew and Sera fall in love.

Four books later, my series is still incomplete. I needed to tell Amelie and Niall's story. In A Magical's Gift, RELEASE DAY IS TODAY, BUY NOW FOR $1.49 UNTIL JUNE 12, I concluded my series arc with my final happily-ever-after, Amelie and Niall's reunion.

And, I made another observation just now. The Magicals Series is all connected to Kurtis Warde. Book One is about Kurtis' friend Corgan. Book Two is about Kurtis. Book Three is about Alina, the girl Kurtis didn't choose. Book Four is about the fairy who helped Kurtis' mother Amelie. Book Five is about Kurtis' parents Amelie and Niall. Pretty cool, right?

So, if you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it. [smiling emoji] It truly was an incredible journey. The writing, the re-reading, and the revelations I discovered about the characters and myself. The Magicals Series is a fast-paced, complicated adventure into a magical world. I didn't plan it as a series, yet it evolved into one.


The Magicals Series:
A Vampire's Tale
A Wizard's Choice
A Fairy's Quest
A Fairy Godmother's Redemption
A Magical's Gift


May 31, 2022

May 24, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

Every indie author out there: Buy my book! No, seriously, buy my book. Please buy my book. It's good. I like it.

Readers everywhere: :)


Buy Now

May 23, 2022

Quote of the Week

 It's Victoria Day weekend in Canada, but since I already found the perfect quote... here it is! Also, perfectly fitting considering the violent storm we had here in Ontario on Saturday. Lives were lost, power disconnected, trees uprooted. Stay safe out there!


May 17, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

Thanks for voting for A Fairy Godmother's Redemption in the 2022 RONE Awards. I also had a very successful book sale last week, coinciding with the reader voting. 


May 11, 2022

May 10, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

Week 5 of the RONE Award Reader Voting started yesterday... Haven't voted for A Fairy Godmother's Redemption yet? You can vote now.

The 99c Amazon only sale also started yesterday...



April 27, 2022

Black and White Characters (and I'm not referring to race)

Until now, I'd always written a compelling backstory for my "bad guys." Generally, I believe that people (or characters) have both good and bad attributes. In other words, no one is all good or all bad. There are no absolutes. Life is a result of one's experiences and choices.

While self-editing my latest book (second last step before submitting it to my publisher), I made a startlingly realization. My "bad guy" was just "bad."

From the moment I introduced the character, Sherrie, she was a complete bitch. She abused a position of power. She treated my heroine, Beth, with disrespect and embarrassed her publicly. In front of other characters, she acted like a totally different person. My hero, Nick, stood up for Beth. He made Sherrie accountable for her behavior. By the end of the story, Sherrie became unhinged, resulting in her downfall. Sherrie had specific motivations for her actions, but they weren't justifiable. Her character arc was a simple cause and effect. Karma. She was a terrible person who lost everything.

This was the first book I'd written in a while that didn't include physical violence and danger. It can be pretty exhausting to spin that kind of intrigue so I thought I'd write something lighter. Stories still need conflict though. As it turns out, I only exchanged physical violence with emotional abuse. Both my main characters encountered judgment based on preconceived notions. It made my heroine defensive and distrustful. It made my hero reckless and self-sabotaging.

My writing is a personal reflection. I often incorporate (knowingly or unknowingly) my experiences into my work. Through fiction, I discover truths about myself and I can control the outcome for my characters (or at least they let me think that I can). Sherrie represented a malevolence I encountered and faced alone. In my story, Nick listened to and supported Beth. I gave Beth what I'd needed. This was painful to write, but powerful to realize. I couldn't rewrite my past, but I could bring the lesson forward.


April 26, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

Excerpt from A Fairy Godmother's Redemption:


The sun woke him up the next morning. Oh… it’s too early. His brain abandoned its sleepy state when he remembered his mother was kicking them out today. He rolled out of bed, wearing yesterday’s wrinkled clothes.

His heart jumped in his chest. He heard the clang of pots and pans coming from the kitchen. Is Mom making breakfast? Maybe she changed her mind? He hopped down the stairs, taking two at a time. A surprising scene greeted him with Madison and Mackenzie making breakfast in the kitchen. There was no sign of his mother. He tried to hide his disappointment.

“We made breakfast.” Madison smiled, pride evident in her eyes. “We aren’t allowed to use the stove.

Mackenzie looked around the room, avoiding eye contact with Drew. “I hope you like cereal.”

“You used a lot of dishes—” He waved his hand around the messy kitchen. “—to make cereal.”

Madison's eyes filled with tears.

Damn. He hated the waterworks. “That's fine. I love cereal.”

Mackenzie grinned. “We made it special.”

Special? He took a bite of cereal, tasting a mix of at least three different kinds. “Mmm.”

Madison beamed while Mackenzie watched him suspiciously.

April 22, 2022

Finding Balance Between Art and Business

A published author who wants to achieve "commercial success" must keep focused on both the creation and promotion of their work. That said, writing and promoting are two very separate activities, requiring different skill sets.

There are only twenty-four hours in a day... and some of those are dedicated to sleeping and eating. Plus, in the indie author world, most of us have day jobs. Some people have families and other responsibilities. Where does writing fit in? Who has the time (and money) to promote?

Promotion on a Limited Time and Money Budget

What are the goals? Constant engagement on all the social media platforms plus maintaining a blog (and/or newsletter) and website. Constant ads on book promotion sites. Continuous production of new work to promote. Being everywhere. Doing everything. Sound unrealistic? Unless you are ten different people or have a personal assistant, probably.

I have a decent understanding of social media. I'm fairly active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In the last year, I've seen a 16% increase in Instagram followers whereas Facebook and Twitter have grown by 2%. I use my blog to post my weekly features like "Quote of the Week" on Mondays and "#TirgearrTuesday" on Tuesdays with a not-so-regular-lately post on Fridays. For time management, I use several social media post schedulers, like Planoly and Buffer. In the fall, I started contributing (non-promotional posts) on medium.com on Wednesdays to expand my audience. Words are important, but it's even better if you can reach the readers.

For new releases, I have used Facebook parties, virtual book tours, and book trailers to create interest.

I have a blog (obviously) and a quarterly newsletter I send using MailChimp. A lot of the how-to guides to book promoting stress the importance of building a mailing list. I have participated in promotions to add to my numbers. Most recently, a Booksweeps promotion which added 300 people to my list, equating to a 29% increase from last year. Ideally, offering a lead magnet would encourage readers to sign up too. It's on my to-do list.

My skill set has expanded to include (basic) web and graphic design. Templates make it accessible for diys. I design my own graphics using sites like Canva. I outsource when my requirements exceed my abilities.

My website contains the recommended pages: Home, About, My Books, and I use it as a landing page for newsletter sign-ups. My current package includes ten pages so I have an entire series on one page with shortcut links to individual books. I also have a Writing Community page with links to my author pages and interviews, other authors, writing resources, and promotional sites.

Aside from the author platform—social media, blog, newsletter, website—reader reviews are an invaluable source for promotional material. I've sent hundreds of book review request emails over the last ten years, found some excellent reviewers, and used review snippets in my book graphics.

In conclusion, I save money by doing as much as I can myself. Unfortunately, doing promotional activities takes time away from writing. In truth, this is probably not a good strategy because I don't make any money. For my last four books, I have spent an average of $800 per new book release ($3,000 total) and earned less than $100 in royalties (in the first year). Seriously, what I am I doing wrong?

I imagine I am not alone in this seemingly losing battle. I write. I promote. Capital is required to get my books in front of readers in order to make sales. But my past strategies are not getting results. So, where should I spend my promotional dollars?


April 19, 2022

#TirgearrTuesday

 Excerpt from A Fairy Godmother's Redemption:


Drew stepped a little closer to Sera, standing awkwardly under the bright lights.

The crowd chanted, “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!”

Without warning, Sera grabbed Drew’s jacket lapels, tugging him even closer, before planting a gentle kiss on his lips. The attraction was undeniable. He wanted to drink her in. If they weren’t on stage… But they were. Drew pulled back.

Sera winked at him. “The crowd loves it.”

Will this ever end? He turned slightly, hoping to move off the stage without drawing any notice. But a twin spotlight moved over him.

Sera held the microphone in one hand, but she held him captive in her gaze. He was drawn to her intense eyes. The way she looked at him… It felt real, like she actually had feelings for him. He dismissed the ridiculous thought. This meant nothing to her. She was a performer, a talented actress. 

Sera started playing the intro on her guitar. “I was incomplete; I had a missing piece. Without you in my life. Just a princess without a prince; Then I found you.”

Drew watched her, completely captivated. Her voice was amazing as always, but this song… This song was powerful. There was no other word for it.

“You make me feel beautiful; Like I'm your whole world. Everything is brighter; I feel lighter. With you in my life. So, sing with me.”

Drew felt connected to her song, compelled to join in. “Sing with me.”

Sera looked startled for a moment, then continued with the song. “Complete me.”

Drew echoed. “Complete me.”

Sera leaned in, touching him under the chin. “Be my perfect complement. I need you, My Duet at Midnight.”

As the crowd cheered loudly, Drew echoed the lyrics. “Duet at Midnight.” Then, everything faded into the background until he was only aware of one thing. Sera. The lyrics from one of his songs came to mind: Never felt like this before; Something in me wants to soar.