Especially for Writers and Blog Tour, Day 5

Western Wisdom:

Hard work and faith in God got me yet another Winning novel for the Circle Bar Ranch series–and I’ve been promoting Ride to the Altar like crazy this week! If you haven’t been keeping up with me, scroll down and learn about the blog tour and how you can enter to win the grand prize!

Today, I’m with author Kassy Paris on her Cat Lady Blog, talking about–you guessed it!–Cats! This was a fun interview, where I get to discuss pets in general, mine in particular, and my next favorite subject, writing!

If you missed the other posts this week, here’s the run-down:

Monday: Summer Lessons Learned the Hard Way and Interview with Lena Dooley

Tuesday: Tips for Publishing, Part One (with Part Two showing up on Thursday)

Wednesday: Lessons from My Cats

Thursday: The Spirit’s Fruit of Joy

Looking forward to your comments!

 

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Blog Tour, Day Four: Lynn Mosher

I’m so excited about today’s post! I get to talk about one of my favorite people—my sweet mama!

People who know me know I spend about a week a month with this 86-year-old honey. Every moment is precious. She often thinks that because she’s old, she has nothing more to offer, but I’m still learning from her.

See what I mean in my post “The Spirit’s Fruit of Joy” on devotionalist Lynn Mosher’s blog.  You’ll see what a true sweetheart my mom is!

As always, be sure to leave a comment!

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Blog Tour, Day Three, with Cecilia Marie Pulliam

Today on the tour, I share with fellow  author, Cecilia Marie Pulliam, a lesson I learned from my cats, Cuddlebug and PB. Critters have such amazing personalities, and I believe God uses them to teach their human owners a thing or two.  God knows I’ve learned from my pets.

Here’s an excerpt of what I share with Ceci’s readers:

Cuddlebug is mad at me. Because of a thyroid condition, she has to eat special food—but she doesn’t know that. She just knows that PB gets to eat in the living room from a fancy earthenware bowl that gets whipped off the floor whenever Bug comes near. And it’s not fair that PB gets to have special stuff that she’s not allowed to even sniff.

What my 19-year-old tortoise shell cat doesn’t know—aside from the fact that she has a condition—is that I pay extra for her food and can only get it from the vet.

Learn more by reading the post–and don’t forget to leave a comment to enter into the grand prize drawing!

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Blog Tour, Day Two: JubileeWriter

Day Two of the blog tour is a two-day event! 

I get down to business with Cindy Ervin Huff and discuss publishing goals of the 21st Century. With the advent of indie publishing, authors have more avenues to publication. So the question is, what do you want as an author?

Join the discussion on Jubilee Writer and leave a comment for a chance to win the grand prize—and stay tuned to my blog, 777 Peppermint Place, to see where I’ll be next!

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Giveaway Blog Tour: Two-Fer Day!

I’m going everywhere to announce the release of my new novel, Ride to the Altar—and everywhere I go, I’m offering readers an opportunity to enter the drawing for a super-cool grand prize!

Included in the prize basket are  a signed print version of the series, a 16-ounce Christian cowboy mug, a horseshoe picture frame, a Ph. 4:13 stretch bracelet, a cute set of magnetic page markers, and, just for fun, a Texas Rubiks cube.

Multiple Chances to Win! Each day for the next three weeks, I’ll announce my next location here on my blog. To enter the drawing, go to each site and leave a comment specific to something you read in the post. Every time you leave a comment, your name goes “in the hat”!

Winner Announcement will be August 6 here on 777 Peppermint Place.

Ready to join the tour? First stop is with the crew of Inspired Prompt.  Here’s an excerpt from the post, called “Summer Lessons Learned the Hard Way”:

Back when my hometown of Bryan, Texas, was a thriving metropolis of thirty thousand or so, back when I was in my early teens, my family would drive all the way to Collins, Georgia, population fiftyish, including pets and cattle, to visit with my dad’s side of the family.

These were the years when I had become aware of the things around me, conscious of life beyond the desire to sleep, eat, and play. So I was aware, for instance, that Bryan had several grocery stores to choose from, and Collins citizens—well, they had to go to a nearby town, smaller than Bryan and not near as pretty, but it was where folks bought their groceries. It was the same town they ran to when they wanted something to do, like sit at the malt shop and watch the only traffic light for miles blink. Hot town Saturday night.

Find out what happens! Click the Link to Inspired Prompts and be sure to leave a comment!

Next is an interview with Lena Nelson Dooley. She asked some great questions. Here are a few:

  1. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
  2. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
  3. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
  4. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

Find the answers to these and more on her blog, A Christian Writer’s World.

See you on the tour!

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Especially for Writers: Western Edition

Western Wisdom: Tenacity

Speaking of Western–guess what’s officially on the market!!!

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Guest Post: Making an Audiobook

My guest, author Cindy Huff, is kind enough to share her experience turning her debut novel Secrets & Charades into an audiobook. And it is quite a production. Considering I have plans of doing the same in the very near future, I thought this post would benefit all of us.

Marketing to listeners is a good idea, and Cindy is excited about the prospect of a new audience for her novel.

Here’s what she has to say about it: 

Who are these listeners?

There are commuters, those driving to work or taking the train. And sales persons who listen between calls. My husband’s cousin listened to a lot of books on her assembly line job. A friend of mine listens while she cleans house. Those who are blind or have brain injury also love audio books.

Some may ask why I didn’t record the book myself.

Three simple reasons:

  1. Publisher offered it at no cost to me.
  2. Although I love reading out loud—even doing voices—turn on a recorder and I stumble a lot.
  3. I lack the proper equipment.

Advantages of using a professional

  1. They have “the voice” for the job.
  2. They have the professional equipment, eliminating unnecessary background noises.
  3. They have a following of readers who love the actor’s voice.
  4. Together, we double our marketing stream.

After auditioning five readers, Meghan Kelly had the voice that best captured my story. The combination of a wonderful story read by a woman who understands my characters adds so much to the readers experience. In my mind it’s a win-win.

Things you need to know before you consider doing an audiobook

  • The narrator may not read it exactly word for word. There are some sentences and words that don’t flow well when read out loud. A few errors are acceptable. The listener is not going to be reading along. ACX and other companies that hire these readers allow a small percentage of errors. As long as it doesn’t totally change the author’s intent it will be fine.
  • The narrator spends 40 plus hours transforming 80,000 words onto an audio. That is not including the editing they do. Some may have an additional person who does the edits. Depends on the author’s budget.
  • You will be required to read along as you listen to the proof copy and fill out a sheet telling at what point (minutes on the tape) there is an error that needs fixing. It could be a mispronounced name, a dropped sentence, a repetitive sentence. And it takes hours to do this. Even as clean as my copy was it still took hours to listen to the audio while following along in my novel.
  • The narrator may be paid a flat fee or contract to receive royalties from the sale. That is put out there before a narrator will even audition.

Don’t settle for any ol’ narrator

Audition several narrators wait for the right one. My book is full of characters from different ethnic backgrounds. Accents were needed. I had several women and the men who auditioned didn’t convince me with their female voices. One man had a lovely deep baritone that sounded wonderful as man but weird as a woman. But Meghan had acting training and it showed in her audition. She brought the characters to life in a way that satisfied my hopes.

And that is the final word—it has to satisfy your hopes.

Bio:

Cindy Ervin Huff is a multi-published writer and her debut novel Secret’s and Charades won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2014 and placed third in the Maxwell Awards in 2017 and first place Serious Writer Medal 2018. Her contemporary romance New Duet released in May 2018. She has been featured in numerous periodicals over the last thirty years. Cindy is a member of ACFW and founding member of the Aurora, Illinois, chapter of Word Weavers. Although she has been creating stories in her head since childhood it wasn’t until high school those imaginary characters began appearing on paper. After raising her family, she began her novel writing adventures. Cindy loves to encourage new writers on their journey. She and her husband make their home in Aurora, Illinois. They have five children and six grandchildren. Visit Cindy on Facebookfollow her on twitter @CindyErvinHuff, or check out her blog.

Here’s Cindy’s latest release . . .

 

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The Benefits of Belonging, for Authors

Catalogs, especially e-catalogs, go all over the place, so having an ad in one provides great exposure. I include these types of ads in my marketing budget because they add to my arsenal: social media, newsletters, email services, Twitter services, and catalogs.

I have two ads in Southern Writers Magazine’s summer catalog and one in the Christian Small Publishers Assn (CSPA) catalog, and these are aside from Ingram’s and Amazon’s catalogs, which I become enrolled in when I publish through them.

Getting into a catalog, however, has the added expense of belonging to the organization that publishes the catalog or otherwise being involved with the organization. To get into CSPA’s catalog, I became a member. This organization has more author and publishing benefits than I’ve had time to use, but suffice to say, it’s worth its price. The biggest benefit of being in their catalog is that it goes to retailers and libraries, just as Ingram and Amazon do. Southern Writers Magazine (SWM) also offers terrific opportunities and benefits, though their benefits are different in that they’re primarily for author promotion to readers instead of retailers. And each benefit has a price–though the price is amazingly reasonable.

Professional organizations also provide great opportunities for exposure. At the first of each month, for example, I post a list of new Christian titles released for that month. The post itself is provided by ACFW–American Christian Fiction Writers. All I have to do is set it up on my blog, though I also run it in my newsletter and website. Member volunteers do the same all over the internet. I belong to other organizations that promote its members and their books along with providing other benefits and opportunities: Christian Authors Network (CAN) and Texas Association of Authors (TAA), for instance.

Each year, around the time membership renewal is due, I analyze the value of these organizations to me and my business. I’ve dropped some and picked up others. Some are still in the testing stage. But the concept in general is an important one–belonging to organizations provides opportunities and benefits that are more difficult to obtain when you’re on your own.

I am a Christian romance/women’s fiction author from Texas, so I belong to organizations that fit me. If I really were more of a rancher/country girl, as my books suggest (and my future promises), and could offer anything of value to groups representing ranchers and farmers, I’d belong to their organizations.

Do your research. Look into organizations that fit you and can help you reach your audience. Then, look into your budget to see if membership is right for you financially. Promotion is a huge part of this business. Be willing to spend a little to gain the benefit.

By the way, you will find some great books in SWM’s catalog for your enjoyment this summer. Click on the link and fill your summer vacation with rest, relaxation and pleasure.

 

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Especially for Writers: Western Edition

Cowboy Wisdom: Don’t Quit

Speaking of pride, I’m proud of this one . . .

Ride to the Altar, book 3 in the Circle Bar Ranch series, is available for pre-order now on Amazon!

Life throws overwhelming hurdles into Patricia and Talon’s path to wedlock. A past love, murdered years ago and now only a file in an unsolved case, returns to haunt Talon. A long-held grudge demands release, yet Patricia has no idea how very deep it runs until she confronts her mother. An attack against the Circle Bar itself, leaving cattle dead and one of its hands injured.

Different from all the other novels in this series, Ride to the Altar forces the two characters to face their past individually before they can face the future together.

Available in print and Kindle!

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Celebrate America!

 

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