RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour: SPOTLIGHT” Author, Marcha Fox

Marcha Fox

Newsletter Tips for Authors

You’ve all seen them–those newsletters that do nothing besides hawk the author’s books. Yuck! BOR-ING! And the more often they’re sent, the more boring they are, usually earning an automated spot in your spam folder. Repetition has a place in advertising and promotion, but there are limits. Think about it: How do you react to such emails?

On the other hand, there are some newsletters I look forward to. Why? Because their content is engaging–interesting articles, recommendations for other books, games, giveaways, and sometimes a contest. I love it when I learn something from a newsletter, whether its strictly a new factoid or get to know the author on a more personal basis. I know what their books are and have probably read them, or they’re on my TBR list. If there’s a new one out, great! But I don’t need to be reminded of your one and only book and assumed claim to fame on a daily basis.

Okay, I’ll admit it, like most authors, it took me a while to figure this out. But when I put myself in the recipient’s place, it was what we physicists like to say, “intuitively obvious”. I’ve been told in book promotion classes that a newsletter is one of the most effective ways to connect with fans and potential readers. One thing I’ve discovered is that it’s a great place to stage giveaways. I’ve done those on the public forums, where you don’t know the winner from Adam, which is undoubtedly mutual, and more than likely your book will wind up on eBay. Well, good luck with that, right? If we have trouble selling our books, the likelihood of them succeeding is pretty laughable. More than likely it’s never read and I sincerely doubt I’ve ever garnered a review from one.

However, when I conduct a giveaway via my newsletter it’s greeted by enthusiasm, appreciation, and often a review. It gives me an opportunity to connect with those names on my distribution list, learn more about them, and what they like. I’ve made my giveaways a bit of a challenge by associating it with a contest. Since I write hard science fiction and believe my best fans are geeks like myself, I ask questions that only a geek is likely to know. This way they know I’m genuine and “a member of the club”, so to speak. The picture shows one of them, the object of which was to translate into plain English what it said on my shirt.

Building your newsletter distribution list can be a challenge. There are various gimmicks, some of which work, others that don’t. It usually takes some sort of lure, like a free download, and there are places that help with this. VoraciousReadersOnly.com is one, and RachelBranton.com is another who conducts “reader magnet” giveaways where readers sign up for your newsletter to receive a free download.

These can be annoying because, quite frankly, there are so many leaches out there who just want something for free, and as soon as they get what they want they unsubscribe. I’ve noticed every time I send out a newsletter about 10% unsubscribe. However, I must admit, that many don’t, and I’ve found some awesome fans that way. I’ve had slightly better luck with VoraciousReadersOnly since they are supposed to leave a review and the sponsor will actually nudge them to do so and exclude them from future giveaways if they have a bad history of noncompliance. Keep your expectations fairly low and you’ll probably be pleased. You can’t please all the people all the time.

I can’t say my newsletter has sold a lot of books. However, it has collected some fans and friends. I haven’t had a new release for a while, so the real test will be when that happens and if it’s met with an enthusiastic preorder or a giant yawn. I’ll let you know how that turns out….

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Marcha Fox is an avid science fiction fan and author with over 20 years’ experience in positions ranging from technical writer to engineer to manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in physics, which was but a prelude to her interest in the unexplained mysteries of the cosmos. Inspired by science fiction to pursue a career in a technical field, she hopes to instill the same fascination in young readers, while providing older ones with classic hard science fiction.

Born in Peekskill, New York she has lived in California, Utah and Texas in the course of raising her family, which included fifteen years as a stay-at-home mom before returning to college in her 30s to obtain her degree, a feat accomplished while she still had six children at home. All are now grown with children of their own providing her with 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren so far. Never at a loss for something to do, besides writing she’ a professional astrologer who enjoys gardening, her two Bengal cats and a sassy tuxedo, and keeping up with family.

 

 

THE TERRA DEBACLE: PRISONERS AT AREA 51

https://books2read.com/u/b6QelW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb:  Thyron is a flora peda telepathis (telepathic walking plant) from the planet Sapphira on an adventure gone terribly wrong. The bad decision of a human girl and her maniacal robot companion has stranded them on Earth, where his botanical cousins face horrible fates such as consumption by herbivores, incineration, and brutal annihilation for use as building material.

 Following capture, Thyron is transported to Area 51, where NASA exobiologist, Gabe Greenley, studies his every move, ecstatic with the opportunity to examine an entirely new lifeform. In due course, the scientist makes a ground-breaking discovery, distressed by the fact he can never share it due to his security oaths and research agreement. Eventually, he’s confronted by an even worse ethical dilemma that forces him to make a treasonous and potentially deadly decision.

 Will Thyron’s psychic powers be enough to save him? Is Greenley friend or foe? Or does the exobiologist have a few secrets of his own?

 Find out in this unique combination of hard science fiction, suspense, and a touch of humor populated with memorable characters in a setting loaded with intrigue. Unexpected plot twists coupled with a unique ending make this an unforgettable tale whether you’re a science fiction fan, botanist, UFO aficionado, or simply enjoy a good story.

 

Twitter: @startrailsiv

Facebook:  @marchafoxauthor

Website: https://www.startrailssaga.com

 

 

 

RRBC Spotlight Author, Flossie Benton Rogers

 

Writing Interview:

Describe the books you like to write.

The stories I am called to write are adventurous, quick moving, sensual, spicy, and flush with surprising twists and turns.  Many of the heroes and heroines are otherworldly–ghosts, guardians, goddesses, witches, fairies, angels, and demons, while some are human but with special insight. The otherworldly ones also possess humanlike attributes and personalities, while exploring the depths of their unique abilities and powers.  My characters must deal with challenges on the human earth world and other realities. Their lives don’t always unfold like a blossom opening to the sun. Sometimes a solar flare erupts and fries the pristine bud. Sometimes the flower morphs into a breathtaking, witchy siren. My characters seek beauty in the midst of darkness and devotion in the midst of bedlam. Simmering below it all is the immutable flame of eternal love.

What is the most important thing writers can do for themselves?

The most important thing a writer can do is write, write, and write some more. Instead of obsessing over getting your first book published if you are not going the indie route or finding an agent, write a second book, and a third.

What writers have influenced you?

Other than author Loretta C. Rogers, who convinced me that I could write a novel and get it published, I am drawn to the clarity, brevity, and action of vintage romance author Dorothy Cork and icon Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe mysteries.

What literature do you find particularly compelling?

I love the novels of Hermann Hesse, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Franz Kafka, and Thomas Hardy; the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Shakespeare; and the poetry of Yeats and Keats, just to name a few.

Favorite quotes:

John Keats: “Real are the dreams of gods and soothly  pass their pleasures in a long immortal dream.”

Julian of Norwich: “All is well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”

How does your writing process work?

I like to plan, plot, and measure where the turning points should go and then allow the characters or chaos muse to take the story in unanticipated directions. As a writer, the initial planning provides a tether so that I’m not always floating in the stratosphere, while the openness to change gives color and liveliness to the project. New beings flutter forth from the fae dimension. I like a good surprise.

What message do you most want your writing to convey to readers?

Experience, enjoy, and esteem the magic of life.

 

Mind Your Goddess, Witchfae 3

 

#RRBC Spotlight Author for August: Carol Marrs Phipps

Our most recent book, Wham! will be featured during my blog tour and interviews.

“WHAM! (Timewalker Book 1)”

Wham by Carol Marrs Phipps

BOOK BLURB:

When the World Alliance seized power from all the governments of the world, they said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary to unite all the nations of the globe under one banner in order to bring universal peace, equality and prosperity to the world.

To most families throughout the world, the rise of the Alliance and their grandiose promises meant little. They had long grown weary of the lies of the corrupt law-makers and heads of state and were far more concerned with their day-to-day struggles to survive.

The Greenwood family was no exception, and for a time life went on much as it had before the rise of the Alliance. In time, individual cultural and racial identity were outlawed. They said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary to create a more harmonious, homogenous world community. The Greenwood family adapted.

But then they took away freedom. They made it mandatory for all households and public buildings to have skinwelers, crystal spying balls in every room, in order to watch the people’s every move. They said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary for public safety and civil order. And the Greenwood family adapted.

But then the state took their family farm and lands and moved them to Gollsport where they had built barracks for all the displaced citizens. They said it was for the greater good. They said the countryside had become contaminated by farm chemicals and the relocation was for their continued health and safety. Once again, the Greenwood family adapted.

But then they came in the night and took away seventeen year-old Tess Greenwood’s entire family. They said it was for the greater good. They said Tess would adapt and in time she would be far better for it.

But Tess cared not for the Alliance’s greater good. She did not adapt. She wanted her family back and vowed to do whatever she must in order to see them again. Little did she know, that to keep her vow, she would have to become a timewalker.

 

Itinerary for Month of August:

Blog Tour: 8/6/17 – 8/12/17

will be our “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the entire month of August.

Here is the line-up of my blog tour:

Sunday, 8/6/17

Room With Books

Monday, 8/7/17

Tuesday, 8/8/17 

Wednesday, 8/9/17

Thursday, 8/10/17

Friday, 8/11/17

Saturday, 8/12/17

“Bring On The Spotlight” Radio Show: TBA

“Who’s On The Shelf?” Interview: TBA

“SPOTLIGHT” Support Day: TBA

More details will be available daily, HERE: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/spotlight-authors/

 

Spotlight Author Blog Tour for Peggy Hattendorf

PH - Author Photo

Developing Good Dialogue

Developing good dialogue should be easy since it’s basically a conversation with two or more people. We talk and converse with people everyday.  However, we’ve all experienced times in discourse when we take pause – not really sure what to say or how to say it.

For the writer this is magnified as crisp and precise sentences must be developed not just for one but for a host of characters. Then the wording must appear authentic and thread seamlessly in communications between and among characters.

Dialogue is paramount and can make or break a story. Every word must be pondered, every word the proper fit and every descriptive term or adverb cautiously applied.

It’s the essential ingredient that progresses the movement and adds the dramatic touch and overtones to the narration.

Good dialogue commands the writer have an awareness and understanding of the differences in the way people speak and the length of their sentences. Consideration must be given to the use of inflections, slang terms, swear words and colloquialisms. An understanding of socio-economic status and circumstances, geographic locations, accents and regional dialects are also fundamentals in developing appropriate dialogue.

The process of writing dialogue must be viewed from several perspectives. There’s dialogue that requires us to get into the minds of our characters to understand their feelings, thoughts and motivations. Then there’s the scenes where we deliberately keep the character in the dark and don’t permit him/her to act or speak as if he/she has the knowledge of what’s about to happen.

Dialogue must be credible and believable. Dialogue must be meaningful, appropriate and at times dramatic. Dialogue must have rising conflict. Dialogue must be properly placed to interrupt and transition narration.

Dialogue that delivers on all these points will make the book vibrant and come alive in the mind of the reader.

I welcome your comments or questions and am reachable at:

Peggy@peggyhattendorf.com

Author – Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty Travel Editor – hers Magazine

Son of My Father

Author Bio:

Peggy’s earlier careers helped cultivate and enrich her interest in writing. In her executive positions in the non-profit field, she had the opportunity to compose technical and operational handbooks for staff and volunteers for a number of name recognized organizations. Her management experience guided her to a multi-decade second career in the travel industry highlighted with the co-founding of a nationwide marketing consortium and independent contractor network. With over 5000 members, generating $180 million in annual sales, she wrote daily travel updates and news briefs distributed electronically to the membership.  Today, she maintains an ambitious travel schedule and is the Travel Editor for hers Magazine where she writes travel feature articles and Hotel Review blog posts. In addition, she still serves on a number on non-profit boards.  Her background with upscale and luxury travel products served as cornerstones in the character development and storyline of her first novel – “Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty.” She is currently working on her second book.

 

 

Author Contact:
Twitter: @peggyhattendorf
Facebook: www.facebook.com/peggy.hattendorf
Website: www.peggyhattendorf.com

 

Spotlight Author Blog Tour with Bill Ward, Author of ENCRYPTION

Am I an Author or a marketing consultant?

Author Photo

I now have two books published and am beginning to feel comfortable calling myself an author. Then again, am I truly an Author or have I become a marketing consultant? I have spent at least as much time marketing as writing over the last 8 months. I have discovered it is an unavoidable necessity if I am to sell books!

Although I knew it wouldn’t be easy to sell my books, I have to admit I thought it would be a bit easier than the reality. And I am a very experienced sales and marketing man. It must be very tough for those new authors who don’t have a similar background. So be prepared for a great deal of hard work once you have finished writing your book. Believe in your book and don’t think negatively about the need to market your book. The reward of selling books and reading positive reviews is just the best feeling in the world!

I have heard a few writers say they can write but don’t have a clue about selling. I recall a joke I heard a long time ago which I can fit to the situation: Writer: I can write but I can’t sell anything. Writer’s wife: Hell you convinced me to marry you, so you can definitely sell!

Marketing is not trying to get someone to buy something they don’t need or want! However, it is making potential customers aware our book exists and why it’s a great read.

Most of us don’t have a large budget for promoting our new book. Fortunately, there are a large number of free sites such as Rave Reviews Book Club, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads where we can grow awareness of our book. Remember though, you have to contribute something if you want to receive something back! Don’t expect to sign up with details of your book and then just sit back and wait for the sales. Contribute to discussions and help promote other authors. As you become better known, so will your books.

Author Bio

Bill has recently retired from the corporate world and has finally fulfilled his lifelong ambition to become an author. He has written two thrillers, Revenge and Encryption, with the expectation of many more to follow. Bill lives in Brighton, UK with his German partner and has seven daughters, a son, two horses, a dog and two cats!

Encryption can be purchased at most online retailers including:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bill-Ward/e/B00F154DZ2/re

http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Ward/e/B00F154DZ2/re 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/encryption-bill-ward/1118739503?ean=9781496053404 Encryption_AMAZON   Encryption Synopsis

In a small software engineering company in England, a game changing algorithm for encrypting data has been invented, which will have far reaching consequences for the fight against terrorism. The Security Services of the UK, USA and China all want to control the new software.

The Financial Director has been murdered and his widow turns to her brother-in-law to help discover the truth. But he soon finds himself framed for his brother’s murder. When the full force of government is brought to bear on one family, they seem to face impossible odds. Is it an abuse of power or does the end justify the means? Only one man can find the answers but he is being hunted by the same people he once called friends and colleagues.