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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New Christian Titles for July!

July 2018 New Releases including my own Ride to the Altar!

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

 

Contemporary Romance:

A Widow’s Hope by Vannetta Chapman — After tragedy claimed her husband’s life and her son’s ability to walk, Hannah King doesn’t want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts. Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs. But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Firestorm by Laura V. Hilton — Bridget Behr can’t shake the guilt that it was her fault her family moved—and is too afraid to trust anyone, especially the flirtatious, overly-friendly Amish man who lives next door. Just as Bridget is finally settling into friendship, a new life, and maybe even love, a devastating forest fire ravages the county, destroying both land and the Behrs’ dreams. Now Bridget and her family must decide: will they leave behind the ashes and start anew in another Amish community? Or will they dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

General Contemporary:

Ride to the Altar by Linda W. Yezak — Cattle are dying on the Circle Bar, putting the Texas ranch in financial jeopardy. Newly engaged Patricia Talbert and Talon Carlson must root out the cause before they can concentrate on wedding plans—which involves Patricia’s traveling to New York to patch things up with her domineering mother. While she is away, Talon discovers that the attacks on the ranch are connected to the murder of his first fiancée over eight years ago. Before they can move forward together, each have to resolve the past. Will they be able to start their new life with a clean slate? (General Contemporary from Canopy Books of Texas)

General Historical:

My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas by Kathleen Y’Barbo — Dodging bullets takes a simple missing person case to a new level as Jonah Cahill, a Pinkerton agent, and Madeline Latour, an investigative reporter, form a tentative truce in Galveston, Texas, 1880. Are they on to a much bigger story when their best witness is suddenly kidnapped? (General Historical from Barbour Publishing)

Historical Mystery:

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright — Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

Historical Romance:

This Freedom Journey by Misty M. Beller — Adrien Lockman left France to finally live life on his own terms, but when he discovers a half-starved and half-frozen woman in the treacherous Canadian mountains, the truth soon becomes clear—the only way they’ll survive is together. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Widow’s Plight by Mary Davis — After moving to a new town and joining a quilting circle, a single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart — Orphaned during an early 19th century cholera epidemic and helped by a slave to find a new home, Adria Starr must now stand up for his freedom—and maybe find her own in the process. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano — A young heiress is suddenly the poorest wealthy woman in all of England when her father dies without telling anyone where he put his money. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

Mystery:

Shifting Sands by Elizabeth Ludwig — A mysterious key hidden in the depths of an ancient lighthouse unlocks family secrets hidden for generations. (Cozy Mystery from Guideposts Publications)

Guarded Prognosis by Richard L. Mabry — At first Dr. Caden Taggart feared for his freedom, then for his ability to cope, and eventually he feared for his life. (Medical Mystery, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll — When Adelaide Fountaine, the general manager of a hotel in New Orleans, finds the body of a guest who was stabbed with a kitchen knife, her childhood friend Detective Beau Savoie is shocked to discover a connection between his friend–the woman he’s quietly loved for years—and the murdered guest. But Beau can’t press Adelaide too hard . . . because he’s keeping secrets of his own. Can Adelaide and Beau afford to hide from the truth with a killer on the loose? (Romantic Suspense from Gilead Publishing)

Camp Hope by Sara L. Foust — Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will Amy succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in a vast wilderness forever? (Romantic Suspense from Mantle Rock Publishing)

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey — Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to join an elite team of terrorist hunters. Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he’s back, asking her help to stop America’s newest terrorist threat—an attack that would shake the country to its core. Together they must navigate secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next mark? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Young Adult:

Launch by Jason C. Joyner — Teens with special abilities are invited to an exclusive conference where tech billionaire Simon Mazor is looking for those who can help him influence the world. (Young Adult from Little Lamb Books)

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Especially for Writers: Western Edition

Western Wisdom: Word Choice . . .

Speaking of Western . . .

Cover Reveal!

Ride to the Altar is now available for pre-order!

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Especially for Writers

 

Allow me to present the 99c sale of The Final Ride

 

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