Showing posts with label Contest Entry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contest Entry. Show all posts

Apr 14, 2012

Outside the Box Contest Entry

Promoting Outside the Box
Jannine Corti Petska

When my Italian medievals began to sell, I looked for a way to promote them using an Italian theme. And what's more Italian than biscotti? I buy mini biscotti at Cost Plus World Market. I can't recall how many are in the box, but it's probably about 3 dozen. They're around $12 for a box. I buy small plastic bags found at Michaels in the craft section and the cake decorating section. (Walmart sells them, too.) I slip one biscotti into a bag, fold the top over (you can also get bags that seal like a sandwich bag.), then attached a business card (see photo) with a staple. You can also attach bookmarks or postcards. I found that people love snagging a bag. They are very popular at conferences.

Biscotti Promo Bags

Book 2
Italian medieval series

Surrender to Honor


Prima Ranieri seeks retribution for her family's death and loss of home and land. Her plans go awry when the heir to the powerful Massaro family returns home. After only one glance, Prima's attraction to him undermines her furor toward those she blames for her plight.

After a fifteen year absence, Antonio Massaro returns to Palermo to find a war raging between his family and the evil Falcone. His refusal to accept his rightful position as the head of the Honored Society carries serious consequences. The welfare of the people of Palermo is at stake. But one look at the beautiful woman Prima has become costs him his heart. She's a deadly that jeopardizes her life as well as his own. 


Setup: Prima and Antonio are out for a pleasure ride and stop in an orchard. Prima sets Antonio straight on the matter of her marrying.

“Think you age is on your side?”

She bristled. “I am not yet beyond marriageable age, or hindered like  an old
hag. But do tell, why must I have a husband?”

“You need a man, Prima, for you are like a wild horse before it is  captured
and tamed.”

“Such an insult! I’ll not be compared to an animal. And neither  must I be captured or tamed.” She jerked on Amica’s reins, startling the horse. Antonio held the leather lines, preventing the horse from bolting.

“You act as if you are the only person ever to lose family. This bitter revenge you
carry will one day turn you into a mean  and spiteful old woman. Give up your fight. Marry and have children.”

“And bring them into a world of greed and senseless killing? I’ll  not birth a son who is expected to rule and dominate solely because  he is a man. And I’ll not birth a daughter who will be forced to bend to a man’s will simply because she is a female. Marriage is not a path I favor. I want the freedom to choose how I ride a horse and to decide on the clothes I wear.”

“Those ideas will bode ill for you, Prima. You alone cannot change a society.”

“No, but I alone can choose my path in life; and no man will ever  take that away from me.”

The Wild Rose Press Buy Links

Apr 9, 2012

Outside the Box Contest Entry

Outside the Box Contest Entry
Nancy Marie Bell

Hmmmm, outside the box, eh? Yup, I’m as Canadian as they come. Anyone who knows me knows I am an animal lover. I help out with a dog rescue and have re-homed all kinds of critters over the years. When Laurel’s Miracle was set to release I wanted to do something special to commemorate my first full length novel. What better way, I thought, than to give my royalties from the first quarter sales of the book to a horse rescue.

So I promoted Laurel’s Miracle through Karen Cote’s Writer’s Pen for Charity Lounge, for each comment left one dollar was donated to Dare To Dream Horse Rescue here in Alberta. We raised $150.00 from the comments, and other donations came in as well. I held a book signing and launch at the picturesque Balzac Community Hall with proceeds going to Dare To Dream as well.

I visited the horses at Dare To Dream and promoted the book to the volunteers who give their time so generously there.

My latest release is Christmas Storm, which is a romance set in Longview, Alberta. This one has a scene stealing injured dog who is the catalyst to throw the two main characters together. The outside the box thinking on this one is the fact that the group who sings at a concert Michelle and Cale go to is a real life trio called The Travelling Mabels. They recently won the Group of The Year at the Alberta Country Music Awards show in Red Deer. They graciously agreed to be part of my novel. Eva Levesque kindly allowed me to use lyrics from her song Smolder Blues in the story. The Travelling Mabels will also promote the book on their website and promotional material was distributed pre-release at their concert last June at East Longview Hall. Hopefully this will get my name in front of a whole new sector of the population and will do the same for the Mabels. I recently hosted a contest where the prize was The Travelling Mabels first CD.  The dog in the story is based on a momma dog I met who didn’t get rescued in time, Storm is my tribute to her and the countless others who are not as lucky as some. I have a young mother dog and five puppies in my care right now, the puppies are eight days old today. Momma is socializing slowly but well. These are the lucky ones. Please support your local animal rescue.

I have donated a gift basket aimed at the YA crowd to Brenda Novak’s online auction to benefit the Diabetes Foundation. Bidding opens May 1st, 2012. The basket includes a print copy of Laurel’s Miracle, and ebook formats of Laurel’s Miracle and A Step Sideways, which is the second story in the Cornwall Adventures series. There are bookmarks, coffee mug, bumper stickers, chocolate and other goodies in the basket. This is a win win, as it gets my books in front of lots of viewers and benefits a wonderful cause at the same time.

I hope you will visit the auction site and place a bid. And if you feel so moved please look up Dare To Dream Horse Rescue and help the horses.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on about my books and the causes near and dear to my heart.

Nancy Marie Bell lives near Balzac, Alberta with her husband and various critters.  She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada and the Writers Guild of Alberta. She enjoys writing poetry and fiction and non-fiction. Nancy is an editor with MuseItUp Publishing Inc. 

Please visit her webpage

You can find her on Facebook at

Follow on twitter: @emilypikkasso

Apr 5, 2012

Niche Marketing Tips - Contest Entry

Marcia James' 10 Favorite Niche Marketing Tips

            The audience for genre fiction, particularly romance, is vast.  And the promotion of a single author is easily lost among the thousands of authors working hard to catch readers' eyes.  So niche marketing -- reaching those readers especially interested in your books -- can make the most of your promotional dollars and time.  As a romance author myself, I call this "thinking outside the heart-shaped box."

            First, you need to analyze your books and your author brand to find elements that might appeal to specific readers.  For example, one of the elements in my books is Chinese Crested hairless dog characters.  So I joined an international message board about "crestie" dogs and Friended many of them on Facebook to chat with people who are not only great subject matter experts on cresties, but are also interested in buying books that feature that breed.

[A quick note: The sensuality level of your writing can limit the places and ways you can market your books.]

Here are 10 Niche Marketing Tips, starting with a list of possible marketable book elements:

1. What are your hero and heroine's vocations?

What are your protagonists' professions?  If your heroine is special events coordinator, there's a professional association for people in that field.  If your hero is a veterinarian, you can look into marketing to the veterinarians' professional association.

2. What are your hero and heroine's avocations?

What are your protagonists' hobbies?  You might have a character who collects vintage cars, and there are many groups of vintage car owners.  Your hero or heroine might knit or quilt (okay, your Beta hero might do these things!), and there are knitting and quilting groups online and possibly in your community.

3. What are your hero and heroine's sports/physical activities?

Do your protagonists play softball or volleyball, fish, jog, hike, canoe, etc?  There are groups devoted to all sorts of sports.

4. What are your hero and heroine's charitable activities?

Do your protagonists volunteer for Big Sisters, Special Olympics, homeless shelters, or animal rescue?  Is your hero or heroine dealing with a medical challenge, such as cancer, or a physical disability?  Charities -- and the people who support them -- love to know when their causes are mentioned in a book.

5. Do your books include any four-legged characters -- not counting shape-shifters?  ;-)

There are many, many organizations for those who love animals.  And there might be marketing opportunities at a Humane Society fundraiser (e.g., you could donate a themed basket with a signed copy of your book) or a pet adoption fair.

6. What is the timeframe and location of your novel?

If you write historical novels, there are groups interested in specific historical eras.  E.g., there are Renaissance Fairs and Civil War reenactments that might offer a chance for promotion.  If you set your books in a certain city, state, or country (and maybe feature things specific to that location), there might be events that offer marketing opportunities, such as a state bicentennial celebration, the Kentucky Derby, or a jazz festival.

7. Do your books have paranormal, science fiction (s/f), or fantasy elements?

Quite a few authors whose books include these subgenres promote their books at s/f or fantasy cons.  There are also groups who have paranormal interests, such as vampire, shape-shifter, or dragon lore.

8. Does your book contain elements that would appeal to specific fans?

For example, do you have an Elvis impersonator in your book?  Is your heroine a Bruce Springsteen fan?  Does your hero love film noir or NASCAR?  There are groups for all of these.

9. Now that you've identified your book elements, where do you locate potential niche readers for your books?

There are library reference books offering information (contact name, email, address, phone, website, whether the group has a member newsletter, etc.) for every conceivable type of association and club.  Here are two good reference books that are often available online through library websites: The Encyclopedia of Associations and Associations Unlimited.  Many of the groups listed in these books would be happy to hear from an author who's written a book of interest to their members.  As I mentioned, however, this does work better for books that have a sensuality level from G to PG-13.

10. Another PR "angle" is tying your promotions to specific holidays based on the elements in your books and author brand.

Romances most often tied to February, thanks to Valentine's Day.  And many paranormal romances are promoted around Halloween.  But there are lots of holidays that would work, depending on your book elements.  E.g., I reinforce my dog logo and brand by guest-blogging about responsible pet ownership on pro-animal holidays like National Spay or Neuter Your Pet Day.  A good resource for some of the more obscure or funny holidays is Chase's Calendar of Events.  You can also Google national holidays that fit your book elements and/or author brand.

            Thinking Outside the Heart-Shaped Box is a matter of opening your mind to the possibilities beyond traditional author promotion.  It means considering yourself as not only an expert on fiction writing but also fluent on your genre or subgenre – and on elements within your books.  All it takes to do niche marketing is the same imagination you use to write your books.

Happy promoting!
Marcia James

Marcia James

BIO: Marcia James writes hot, humorous romances and finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first comic romantic suspense, At Her Command.  Her latest release is Sex & the Single Therapist, a comic romantic mystery. In her eclectic career, she has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events and had her wedding covered by People Magazine. In addition to writing fiction, Marcia presents author promotion workshops. After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying "researching" and plotting her novels' steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.

Sex & the Single Therapist is the first of the "Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist" comic romantic mystery series.  Ally helps her detective boyfriend solve crimes in Sin City -- much to his dismay.  This series features humor, an amateur sleuth, cute dogs, and a super sexy romance!

 Sex & the Single Therapist:

A crime of passion…
            To clear an innocent friend, sex therapist Dr. Ally Skye investigates a patient’s murder. Soon she's trading heated words and hot kisses with a sexy cop. Can this free-spirited amateur sleuth and her posse of Vegas insiders solve the crime before the killer targets her?

Sex and the Single Therapist

A sexy complication…
            Cynical homicide detective Zack Crawford has the murder to solve. The last thing he needs is a red-hot sex therapist who haunts his dreams. Ally is trouble and, given her job and his luck, she'd probably grade his performance in bed.

A dynamic duo…
            Zack and Ally form an uneasy and sexually charged alliance. Murderers, extortionists and psychos are no match for these reluctant partners. Crime-solving was never this sexy or this fun!

Sex & the Single Therapist Purchase Links:

Apr 4, 2012

Me and My Muse - Contest Entry

Me and My Muse
Heaven O’Shey

As a new author unsure of how to gain fans, I decided to turn loose my muse. It has yet to let me down.

My muse led me to allow readers of my blog who might be unfamiliar with me or my books to become acquainted with the culture of the bayous in South Louisiana. These bayous are not only my home, but the setting for my books.

By including my characters in my blog, and now even letting them write the posts, I have not only introduced them to readers, but also given readers a glimpse into the world in which these characters live inside my books.

For example, in a post about Mardi Gras, I included a brief history of the different way it is celebrated, and tied it into a blurb from one of my books. Also, I uploaded pictures of mannequins my mom and aunt dress up in Mardi Gras costumes. This gives readers a visual cue to remember the blog.

Another thing my characters do is post recipes from the bayou. This makes my characters and the bayou more real to the readers.

As I write more titles, my characters and the world they live in will become the focal point of my blog. By including my characters in my blog it becomes more memorable to my readers.

Heaven O'Shey

Follow me: 

The World of Heaven O'Shey Learn all about Love's Bayou @


Mar 29, 2012

Out of the Box, Forever! - Contest Entry

Rolynn Anderson

Truth is, I’m not sure what it feels like to be ‘in’ a box…all my life I’ve roamed outside the cardboard confines.  In fact, I was hired to open a brand new out-of-the-box high school, to become the first female principal in a big conservative school district.  Oh boy, do I have stories to tell about that experience!

I spend four months out of the year on our trawler exploring the Northwest’s Inside Passage with my DH.  Knots of stories on those cruises-very OOTB!

I ‘became’ a writer in 2001.  Published by the famous Wild Rose Press in 2011.  Soon to be published by TWRP for the second time in 2012.  Will self-publish in 2012.  Eight more novels ready for prime time.  Still climbing all around the box.

But let me tell you some specific out-of-the-box experiences with my first published novel, LAST RESORT.  Here’s the OOTB list:

1.  Never wrote a thriller…LAST RESORT is one.

2.  Hadn’t used more than three POV’s…LAST RESORT has five!

3.  Wanted to add a non-hibernating grizzly to my British Columbia setting…my research (and a cool story about grizzlies that swim long distances) told me I could.

4.  Thought I couldn’t show a sympathetic side of a terrorist…readers tell me I did.

5.  Heard a rumor in Big Bay, B.C. that helicopters were taking a TV crew back and forth from a B.C. resort to the Olympic Games in Whistler.  Worked that rumor into a truth and a framework for a terrorist event.

6.  Didn’t know anything about helicopters…now I do.

7.  Wanted a punk party girl in my novel…got my nieces and nephews to help me build her language.

8.  Canadian and American undercover intelligence agencies working together?  How in the world would that happen?  Found out.  Made it happen.

9.  What does a corporate fixer do?  Learned about the career…made up the rest.  My heroine is fabulous at her job!

10.  Thought about selling LAST RESORT in marinas surrounding the  real-life setting for my novel.  Marina managers bought dozens of my novels and sold them to boaters cruising up and down the Inside Passage.  Want a ‘no way’ shiver up your spine?  A Big Bay marina manager I pitched to…runs a small fishing camp called…LAST RESORT!  Here’s another coincidence goose-bumper...she met and married a fishing guide, just like my heroine!

Can’t wait to hear all the OOTB experiences from my writing buddies.  We stand together on seeing and crafting worlds in new ways!

LAST RESORT on sale now, print & download
Wild Rose Press:

Rolynn Anderson is a retired Washington State high school principal (and English teacher) who now spends four months on her  trawler, INTREPID, cruising up and down the Inside Passage to Alaska, and the other eight months on the Central Coast of California.  

The Last Resort


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