Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Introducing Deborah Riley-Magnus!

Good morning!
If you are an author, or a book lover, or a combination of both, the name Deborah Riley-Magnus should be familiar to you. She's an author who writes for other authors, giving them great advice about writing and marketing. She also posts great daily author survey questions on Facebook that really make one think.

 Deborah has a brand-new book out called Write Brain/Left Brain that will help authors make the most of marketing, and she has graciously agreed to guest blog here today to talk about it!


ZEN AND THE MARKETING AUTHOR

It’s time to start talking about Author Marketing. Like most authors, until your book is actually released and marketing responsibilities come into the picture, you’ve been focused on plot, character development, dialog, book cover design, and editing—all those special elements that go in to creating the best possible product. Now that your book is available for the public, you find your palms clammy, your knees trembling, and your mouth really, really dry. This is the time to learn about the Zen marketing way of life.

Get Centered – In order to prepare and develop seriously creative marketing, you will need to focus on YOU and YOU ALONE. Most authors lump together with other authors and when it’s time to market and they rely on their experience. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Unless these are top ten best selling authors making a living at this, they know very little about marketing … otherwise they wouldn’t be sticking so close to their competition in the first place. Do you imagine that Hershey Chocolate marketing executives hang out with Mars Candy marketing executives on Twitter and Facebook to chit chat about their marketing strategies?

Think of getting centered the way you think about taking a yoga class. All your author friends are there with you, wearing their yoga pants and rolling out their yoga mats, but the moment you take your first deep breath, you are all alone, focused inward, and relaxed. This is the Zen approach to marketing too. Marketing well is about marketing the uniqueness of your own book, creating awareness, and most importantly, creating CONNECTIONS with people who love the unique things inside your book.

Seek the Zen Path to Creative Marketing Solutions – These are solutions that will only work for you and your book. Look inside … not inside your soul while deeply meditating … inside your book! Everything you need to successfully market your book you have already WRITTEN inside that book. You’re already a marketing genius; you just need to learn how to work with that genius. Here are three really important tips.

  1. Step away from the boring genre and book club marketing strategies. Instead of thinking of your prospective fan as a BOOK buyer, think of them as a person, just like you. What makes you want to make a purchase of anything? Insurance? A house? Clothing? A movie, concert, or sports event ticket? Something attracts you to those things. You like the insurances company’s adjustable invoicing policy. You’ve always loved Victorian style houses. You like to wear red hoodies. You’re a big baseball fan. Whatever the reason, you chose to purchase certain things because they connect with you personally. Book buyers are no different. Is there a dog in your book? Dog lovers should be in your Twitter following. Is there a country music singer in your mystery? Tap into country music fans for your Facebook following. Is your main character crazy for chocolate? Wine? Beer? These are ways to find and connect with people who will love your book based on what’s already written inside your book.
  2. Locate your unique hook lovers in many places. Unlike book clubs or book stores that focus on book buyers found in book stores and clubs, you can locate your unique hook lovers in numerous places. Search dog lovers on Twitter. Join dog enthusiast yahoo groups. Join as many dog rescue Facebook groups as you can find. Hold a book signing in a pet store instead of a boring old book store. Create your own blog tour by writing guest posts for bloggers who blog about dogs, dog safety, dog breeding, and dog shows. Marketing is extremely creative, so think as creatively as you did while writing the book. Tap into the excitement and energy of your book to locate and connect with prospective book buyers. All this activity and connecting, and not another author in sight to take away your thunder.
  3. Build deep and wide following that will develop into a large loyal fan base. Take all your creative marketing strategies as far as they’ll go. You’ve built a great Twitter following of your unique hook lovers, and every day (for 10 minutes twice each day before logging off) you tweet about the things those people love. You have a wonderful Facebook following of unique hook lovers, and your daily thought always focuses on those things. You guest blog on unique hook bloggers blogs. You belong to several yahoo groups that focus on your unique hooks. Take this thing further! Look online for websites that relate to your unique hooks. You might locate a business that features all natural dog food. Contact the owner or manager and offer to write a 600 word monthly article for their website about the love of dogs in return for an ad for your book, including the book cover and buy link. You’ll be amazed what a win/win this can be! They get updated and creative content for their website written by an author, and you get your book exposed to their large dog lover customer base! Think CREATIVELY. It’s the only way marketing works.

Be Curious and Brave – When it comes to author marketing, if everyone else is doing it, do something different. When a thousand authors are running the same book promotion, it’s a very crowded fishing hole. Everyone catches fewer sales. But when you strike out on your own, do unique promotions connected to the hooks in your book and the fan base you’ve created, it’s you, all alone, fishing in a massive pond. Nice, huh?


ABOUT THE BOOK

Write Brain/Left Brain:
Bridging the Gap between Creative Writer and Marketing Author
Marketing is a very scary prospect for authors. It seems like a foreign language meant to be spoken in a far off land without an embassy to help explain the culture. None of this is true. It isn’t marketing that’s the issue—it’s a fear and general misunderstanding of marketing in relation to an author’s talents and skill set.

It’s time to open the author’s mind to the purely creative aspects of marketing as it relates directly to their specific book and audience. WRITE BRAIN/LEFT BRAIN skillfully bridges the gap between creative writer and marketing author, and opens the wide road to sales success.

Available at Amazon and B&N


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


In 2013 her nonfiction, Finding Author Success (Second Edition), and Cross Marketing Magic for Authors were released. Her newest book, Write Brain/Left Brain, focuses on bridging the gap between the creative writer and the marketing author.

Deborah produces several pieces monthly for various websites and online publications. She writes an author industry blog and teaches online and live workshops as The Author Success Coach. She belongs to several writing and professional organizations.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

So close!!!

Hi, everyone!

I'm proud to admit that I've been doing a lot of writing! I have two books that are about 6/7 of the way done.

The first one is another Johns Creek book, and I love, love, love the spunky heroine and her super awesome hero!  I can't wait to finish it and send it off for a once-over. :)

The other book I'm working on right now is the second in the Lust Trilogy, Wanderlust. I am so excited about this one, because I think you'll see a different side of Nexess. We knew and loved her as a badass in Blood Lust, but what will happen now that she's out of Antonio's clutches? Stay tuned!!!

And speaking of Blood Lust, I really haven't been happy with the cover art so I finally did something about it. Without further ado, here it is! I love it, and I think it fits the story much better than the old cover did.



It feels great to be actively working on my books again. I've let the two new concepts stew for a very long time and finally, I realized I couldn't stew anymore. I had to just go for it, and I think it was the best call I could have made.

I hope to have some more updates for you very, very soon. Until then, stay awesome!

Hugs,
Jess

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Decisions has been re-released!

Without further ado, I'm pleased to announce that Decisions has been re-released on Kindle and in print! The kindle version has been re-released with special pricing, so grab yourself a copy here while it's on sale! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Updates

Hello, everyone!

It's been a while. A long while, and I'm sorry for that. Let's just say that life has a way of changing, and I'm trying to roll with the punches and make the most of it.

You've probably noticed that Decisions is no longer available for sale, except for a few paperbacks kicking around. That's because Silver Publishing has sold one arm of their company and closed the other one and reverted rights back to the authors. I'm quite sad about this because Decisions has always been a favorite of mine, but I'm hoping I can get it released elsewhere, or even on my own. I'd love for you to be able to read the story, and here's hoping I can get it re-released without delay.

A lot of other things have happened as well with my other books, but I don't think now is the time or place to get into it. Suffice it to say that things have changed, and I'm trying to get myself right in the head and in a place where I feel good about my work and, truthfully, myself.

Thank you for bearing with me while I get my head back in the game. It's been slow going, and I think I've been so focused on what happened rather than how to overcome it that I've been defeating myself before I even start. But it's time to hunker down and write, to focus on my goals and my dreams and let everything else go.

So, dear readers, I'm going to make you a promise. No more pity parties, no more reflection and regret and mental exhaustion. I'm going to get these books done. I'm going to plow through and do what I know I can do:  write from the heart, and find a way to make this all work.

Huge hugs to each and every one of you who have stood by me for so long. I am eternally grateful, and thank you to my agent who has been very, very patient with me. I'm working on everything, I swear, and I will reach my dreams!

Love to you always,

Jess

Friday, September 13, 2013

My advice

Hi, everyone!

On Monday, I had the great honor of visiting Professor Christopher Altman at Onondaga Community College and speaking to three of his English classes. Chris has just launched his own book through Kona Publishing, a lovely texbook called Myths We Learned In Grade School English. It's fabulous and available here: https://www.konapublishing.com/refresh/templates/publication.php?publication_id=49

Talking to the students was fun. They were very gracious and enthusiastic and seemed to very much enjoy the first chapters I read to them. I felt like I was able to put a human face on my books, to show them that someone like me, or like them, can pick up pen and paper (or computer and coffee) and write.

I have always said that if I can start writing books, anyone can. Trust me, if you put your mind to it, you can do it. But Professor Mohammad, one of Chris's colleagues who sat in on one of the classes, said that some people might think it's an impossible feat, perhaps because they don't think their writing measures up, or can't think of something to write about. Professor Mohammed suggested that not everyone could do something like I've done, so how could we (Chris and I) help people achieve their writing goals?

I was glad he asked that question, because it wasn't that long ago that I was a non-traditional, part-time college student myself. When I wrote my first three books (or four, I can't remember), I was working full-time and going to school part-time in addition to raising my family and singing in a band. Those were crazy times, and looking back on them, I'm not quite sure how we did it. I can say that we were concerned for a while that the dust bunnies were going to spring to life and try to take over. I can say that at the time, those book ideas consumed me, and I had to write them. I had to. It was something I felt so deeply, I couldn't not write.

So my answer to the professor was this: write what you are passionate about.

I was passionate about what I was doing because I was doing it to help my family. And I loved my characters, so it was relatively easy to take the leap and finish that first book.  But I know not everyone loves to read books, especially not romances or paranormal literary fiction. But some people love music, feel it in their bones, get transported by it to a happy place. So, if music is your passion, write lyrics.

Some people love sports, and color commentary, a sports blog, or interviews with your favorite local teams and/or players is a great way to infuse writing into everyday life.

Some people love movies, and feel they could have done a better job with the last blockbuster. So, write movies, screenplays, plays, dramas, whatever. Just write.

Passionate about cooking? Write a cookbook, or a restaurant review, or a food blog. Do you love comic books? There's a creative way to infuse writing into art, or vise-versa.

I hope I've shown you that the possibilities are endless. You don't have to be chained to writing books if it isn't your thing. You can write short stories, poems, novellas, serials, etc. Just write.

That's what I did, long before I started writing books. When I was young, I wrote short stories or essays. I wrote poetry. I started multiple books that remained unfinished for many reasons, but I wrote. Later, I wrote love letters to my husband. I wrote letters to stand up for causes. Whatever form of expression it was, it was writing. And one day, I had a book idea I could actually finish. So I wrote it. And I will continue to do so. Writing for me is a need as well as a desire. I want to leave my mark, so to speak. I want to inspire people, to make them think. I want to tell stories and share my imagination with the world. So I write.

And I couldn't have done any of this without my husband and kids. My family was an amazing support system for me, and they really enabled me to start my writing journey. They continue to be supportive, giving me the space I need to let my creative juices flow.  Without them, well, I'd have no reason to write. They sustain me, and I'm hoping one day my writing sustains us.

Go forth and seize your day. Live your dreams, and if you can't immerse yourself within them, at least take a moment each day to acknowledge them and take one step forward. Eventually, every single step will end up as part of your journey. Some steps are bigger than others, and some steps might be backwards. But merely standing up and trying to reach them is more than some people will ever do, so if it takes a bit longer than you want it to, pat yourself on the back for trying. Things that are moving slowly are still moving.

Hugs and love to each of you. You also sustain me, and I am so grateful that you've chosen to share my journey. Thank you.

Hugs,
Jess

Monday, September 2, 2013

Enter to win!

There's a huge giveaway going on sponsored by a lovely book review organization called 2 Friends and Authors promote. There are tons and tons of books being given away via Rafflecopter. And guess what? Holding On is in there, too! This is a great way to explore some Indie authors and get some great new reading material.
Enter to win an amazing prize pack of books here:

Rafflecopter Giveaway


Good luck!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Launch Day is here!

I'm so pleased to announce the official launch of Holding On! So excited!!! I'm having a blast over at my launch party on Facebook, so join me there and enter to win some great prizes!

https://www.facebook.com/events/509676545775848/

As a special launch day present, Hooking Up is free on Amazon today, so get your copy while you can and read Caitlin's story from the beginning!

Here's the amazon.com link:
http://www.amazon.com/Hooking-Up-ebook/dp/B00DZZA0XE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378049151&sr=8-1&keywords=jessica+l.+degarmo

And here's the UK link:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hooking-Up-ebook/dp/B00DZZA0XE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1378049189&sr=8-3&keywords=jessica+l.+degarmo

Enjoy!!!