Guest Article by Kathryn Jenkins

Kathryn Jenkins from Dragon Knight Chronicles has kindly shared the following article.

Two Marketing Methods all Authors must Master

There are more authors choosing to self-publish every year. The one thing they always seem to have difficulty with is how to market their books. This can be a difficult task for those authors that have no idea where to begin.

The first step is to figure out the two different styles of promoting your work and yourself as an author. The first style is the easiest for every author to do. This style is the passive marketing method. The passive method is simple, because all you have to do is set up your personal advertisements for free one time.

You’re probably wondering what free advertisements you could use to promote your book. Well, here are a few:

1) make sure in the back of all your books to have links directing your readers to the rest of your published works. This is also a good place to put all your social links to direct them to your websites.

2) All authors should have a special email for their author business to separate from their personal email. If you don’t have one you should get one. The key element of any signature you give to your emails should include the following links: to your websites/blogs, author page, Facebook page, twitter, google plus, and most importantly include links to your purchase pages for your books.

Now doesn’t these steps sound easy? The nice thing about these little steps is all you have to do is create it, make sure it is updated, and guess what you’re done.

The second method deals with more hard work for you. But, if you’re willing to put the effort into writing your book you must also put the time into marketing it.

The active method is a more hands on approach. You have to get your name out their. Which is hard for a new writer. But, the first thing you must always do is build your author platform.

Many young writers wonder, do I need to have a website or blog. Yes, you do…this helps draw readers attention to you as a writer. If you’re making posts every week on your blog, then they know you are taking your career seriously. A website is a must also since this would be where you would have all your books featured along with information on yourself.

The easy thing that is a part of these two is that they can be connected. Have your website feature and show off your published works. Then let your readers be directed to your blog, where they can get to know the person writing their favorite novels.

The website and blog usually should be created before you even go on your journey to publication. But, if you have already published your work it is never too late to get these two essential pieces up and going.

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, what do I do once I have my novel published. The hard part for everyone is how do I market my book. But, ask yourself do I have the funds to put into marketing? Well, many indie authors put so much money into the editing and designing of their book they forget about the marketing too.

Well here are a few easy ways to help promote your book. First, find fellow bloggers that have similar interests in the topic of your book. Then contact them about doing some guest posts on their sites. This will get you in front of your readers and will draw them to your work.

Another, big one that is going on now is featuring a blog tour. Many of you probably think yeah these don’t work. There are circumstances that can make them not work for you. This mainly being that you’re not participating to your fullest extent. With blog tours you have to give a 110 percent. You can’t dilly dally around and expect to have a great outcome at the end.

Yes, there is even the chance that working at a 110 percent might only get you one reader. But, in the long run it can help build a following. You won’t have complete success on your first tour you have to keep going beyond the first to fight for attention. The simple thing is to give up, but if you can get one reader to pick up your book that is a victory in its self.

The next best thing to a tour is to find bloggers, friends, publishers anyone pretty much that has a following that would like to interview you. Always make sure to do the research on the site first though. It would be a waste of your time along with the one interviewing you if your novel doesn’t fit into the targeted audience.

Once you get started it becomes a never-ending process. Your first book is your baby. You nurtured it from the moment it was in your head. Now you will have to nurture it in the eyes of every reader in the world. Be proud show off your novel and never stop pushing to get a new reader. You might not become a best-selling author that spends months on the best seller list. But, if you are in it to inspire young readers and to influence one person then you are on the right track.

Promoting is an ongoing basis…it will never end. Even when that second book hits the shelves. You might not be directly promoting your first book as much but in a passive way you will be.

I hope everyone has great success with their promoting and to help you further along…I plan on writing another article on the basis of promoting to help you. Also, I found a very interesting site that I believe you all should have access to. This site has all kinds of suggestions and helpful tips on promoting your books, and here it is…

Book Marketing Tools
 

Article provided by: Kathryn Jenkins


 

Thank you, Kathryn. The point about nurturing your work in the eyes of a reader is an important one. We write for so many different reasons, and I think everyone has a desire to share their characters. Even if we build worlds and populate them for the simple joy of it, there is a part of us that thrives by touching the lives of another – through the simple connection of words.

Thanks for reading

Mel

Hands of Evil Book Tour – Day 1

MBS-HOEvil Kit Final

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, depending on where you are in the world. Welcome to the first day of my blog tour for Hands of Evil. It’s also my 200th post, so it seems an apt way to kick us off!

Kathryn Jenkins and her team over at Dragon Knight Chronicles have organised up a storm and we have plenty of interesting things lined up for you over the next week. I’ve included a copy of the schedule at the bottom of the post. A huge thanks to James Jones, Laura Standen, Sierra Carrillo, Julius Principe and Renee Scattergood for hosting on the tour. Speaking of Renee, she recently hosted a Blog Blitz for Shadow Stalker: Episode 1. It’s a series I’m sure you’d enjoy. If you click on her name above, you’ll find more details at her site.

To get us started, I’d like to share a review of Hands of Evil, by Kathryn Jenkins.

Kathryn Jenkins Review

Contest Graphic

 

 

I will be running a giveaway this week, so for your chance to win a signed copy of Hands of Evil, click on the image. Good luck 🙂

To sign up for my newsletter, click here.

 

 

 

 

 Schedule

Monday September 1st, 2014

Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

Wednesday September 3rd, 2014

Thursday September 4th, 2014

  • Sierra Carrillo @ http://permashift.wordpress.com (10am)-(UTC-06:00 Central Time U.S. and Canada) Interrupted Part 1 *short story*, Character Biography and Interview

Friday September 5th, 2014

Saturday September 6th, 2014

Sunday September 7th, 2014 (Final Day)


 

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

The Shadow Stalker Blitz: Part 3

Marketing KitWelcome back to the final stop here at Writing Room 101. If you’ve visited before, or managed to catch Renee elsewhere on her tour, thanks for your support.

This time I’d like to share two character interviews with you, provided for the blitz. They are a lot of fun, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

First up is Auren Trask (the series is told from Auren’s point of view). This is followed by Kato, who is Auren’s Foster father and Guardian. 

Auren Trask

Character Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

Q: Tell us a little about you and the world you reside in?

A: The Serpent Isles are an island chain in the far north of my world. There are other land masses, mostly islands, around the world, but we are far from any of them. We are the most advanced culture on our world as well. Some of the other islands have primitive cultures, but the other islands are not very hospitable places to live. The wildlife is much too dangerous to coexist with on some, and the climates are too harsh on others. We are not sure why our culture seemed to thrive and advance, while others that remain are so primitive, but there are legends that suggest shadow stalkers played a role in that, if you believe in such things.

Q: What is it like to be a kid growing up among the Serpent Isles?

A: Boring…at least on Appolia. I think I live in the most boring town on the coldest island in the Serpent Isles. We only get about a month of warm weather, and it never gets warm enough to swim here. There’s lots of skiing and snow related activities, but I’ve never been into that sort of thing. I don’t really like the cold. I like rock climbing, rappelling, and caving, though. Kado takes me camping on a different island every summer, and we do all kinds of stuff like that. On Appolia, I spend most of my time studying and trying not to get myself into too much trouble. Kado keeps me busy studying a lot of different things outside of school as well, so I don’t have much time for my friends.

Q: You have a very protective foster father. Do you ever get the urge to rip your hair out, when it comes to dealing with him?

A: Well, no. I like my hair right where it is. I might consider ripping his out on occasion, though. Wait, never mind…that would not end well. We do butt heads a lot, though, and quite often I let my friend, Jade, talk me into breaking the rules. It’s great fun, until I get caught, which with Kado doesn’t take very long. Sometimes I swear he can read my mind.

Q: In episode one you have two very unique friends. Can you tell us about them and how you met each?

A: I met Jade Tobin and Deakan Nix on my first day of school when I was six years old. We connected right away and have been inseparable since. Sometimes I think with the way the two of them bicker, they might like each other, but I’ll never tell them that. It might take a cataclysmic event to get them to admit they have feelings for each other.

Jade is generally quiet and reserved, but at the same time very mischievous. She is someone you can trust with your innermost secrets, and she is a lot of fun to be around. She has very laid back parents, except that they tend to shelter her from the harsh realities of the world. She tends to be too trusting, and she can’t understand cruel people. Violence terrifies her.

Deakan is the exact opposite. You can always count on him to be running his mouth, except when he’s around his father. He’s very obedient and well behaved around his dad. It’s like he has two different personalities, but I’d bet any amount of money that the person he is away from his dad is the real Deakan. He always seems to have something to prove and has a tendency to really dislike authority figures.

Q: Your foster father spent many years training you. Do you feel glad after your experiences about having this training?

A: I would say I feel relieved more than glad. I don’t know what I would have done without the training to fall back on when my friends and I were in trouble. But the training itself has always been very difficult and limiting to my social life. So it’s really been a blessing and a curse.


 

Kado

Character Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

Q: Hi Kado, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

A: I am a shadow stalker who was chosen at birth to be trained by our Foramar to replace him upon his death. Auren believes I am a courier, but I have spent the last eighteen years acting as a liaison between the shadow stalkers and the Coalition, the current government of the northern territory of the Serpent Isles. It has been my cover for keeping Auren’s secret. Shadow stalkers do not live among the people of the Serpent Isles, and it was the only way to legitimize my reason for being here. I am very recognizable as a shadow stalker to those who have fought beside us in the war with the Galvadi Empire, which helped the Coalition win their independence. Auren’s presence with me is not unusual because many people who know of us know that we foster our children out to be raised by others.

Q: How did you come to be Auren’s foster father?

A: As I mentioned, the Foramar fostered and trained me throughout my childhood. When his wife became pregnant, he asked me to foster his child. Auren was born prematurely when the Dark Isle was attacked by the Galvadi. The stress of the attack caused the Foramar’s wife to go into labor. She died in childbirth, and I left the Dark Isle with Auren minutes after her birth.

Q: Its obvious many find you bizarre and hard on Auren. Do you think you’re hard on her?

A: Absolutely, I have to be, although sometimes I don’t think I’m hard enough on her. Being a shadow stalker is not easy at the best of times. Traveling to and from the shadow world is dangerous, and becomes more so when we start using our powers while partially within the shadow world and partially in the physical one. Auren, more than any other shadow stalker, has other dangers she will have to face in her life, and she needs to be prepared or she will not survive.

Q: What is your purpose for training Auren on the skills you decided to show her?

A: She needs to be able to survive in no matter what situation she may find herself in. She will need to be able to go to places other people can’t go and hide herself for days, weeks or more if necessary. She needs to be able to survive off the land, making her own tools if necessary. And she needs to know the islands better than anyone else, so she can accomplish all this. Her training will go above and beyond what a shadow stalker would normally endure, because she will face things that the average shadow stalker will never have to face. I
believe her father chose me to foster her because I have the foresight to know what she will need to learn.

Q: You have so much experience and knowledge about many things in your time. Can you tell us more about shadow stalkers?

A: The only thing I can share with you about the shadow stalkers at present is that we were created by the shadow people for a very specific purpose, although it’s not clear to us yet what that purpose is. Many cultures have their gods, mysterious beings who guide civilizations with a purpose that might not be apparent to the people. However, the people will trust in their gods’ will knowing that the gods have more knowledge and power than they do. While the shadow people are not gods, this is the power they have over us. We follow their will without question. In exchange for our obedience, we are given power that goes far beyond the power of any other mortal, which includes an extended lifespan. We will not live forever, but we will live at least twice as long as the average human.

***

Thanks for visiting, and again for your support.

If you have any questions for Renee, you can either leave them in the comments and I’ll pass them on, or visit her website here.

The Shadow Stalker Blog Blitz: Part 2

Marketing KitWelcome back for the second stop at WR101. If you haven’t managed to catch Renee’s author interview, you will find it below. Renee is happy to answer any of your questions, so if there’s anything you’d like to know, either leave your questions in the comments or visit Renee’s blog. This evening, in the final stop, I will be sharing the character interviews provided as part of the tour, so don’t miss out on those.

Renee Scattergood

Author Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

 

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember the exact moment you made the decision and why?

A: In 1995 I was going to college for film and video production, and one of the required courses was an English course that required us to do some creative writing. My instructor was so impressed with my work that he had me read it in front of the class on a couple of occasions (which I have to admit was quite horrifying for me). One day he called me up after class was over and asked me if I had ever considered getting any of my work published. I had always loved making up stories, but I never considered writing them down, and I certainly never considered I could be good enough to have something published. He got me thinking about it, though, and I started writing for fun after that. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started to consider writing more seriously.

Q: The hardest obstacle every author faces is trying to find the time to write. How do you manage your time with being a mother and a wife?

A: It’s really not easy. My daughter is autistic and has ADHD as well, so she requires a lot of my attention. I tend to write in bits and pieces throughout the day when I can find time. I volunteer in her school’s library, so I tend to do most of my writing then, or when she is occupied with something at home. Keeping a regular writing schedule is not something I can do, though, so I have to just take advantage of every opportunity.

 Q: Where do you find your inspiration for your stories/books?

A: A lot of it comes from my personal experiences and interesting people that I meet. I also read a lot of fantasy novels, and that tends to get my creative juices flowing.

Q: Your first novel is in a serialized format. Can you tell us why you chose this direction with publishing your work?

A: I was originally planning to write it as a series of novels, but I decided I wanted to try something different since so many authors are doing them these days. I had read about how some authors will publish their novels one chapter at a time and charge $1 a chapter. I thought this was a bit excessive since most novels are close to about 30 chapters. That’s a lot of money to charge for a novel in digital format and most ebook distributors won’t charge less than $0.99. So I came up with the idea of writing episodes, based on the concept of a TV series, but in the form of a short novella.

 

I thought it would be a great way to get my story out there and see if there and see if there was an interest before investing several months of work in writing a complete novel. Plus, it will be fun to be able to give my readers something new to read every month.

Q: With having a serialized novel in the process. Do you have chapters written already for the next episode or are you writing as you go?

A: Episodes 2 and 3 are nearly ready for editing and I’ve just started writing Episode 4. Readers can track my progress from my website where I post word count widgets in the side bar. I like to keep at least a few episodes ahead because quite often I will get ideas that will need to be introduced in an earlier episode. This gives me the latitude to make changes before publishing.

Q: While you are in the process of your serialized novel are you working on other projects? Can you tell us about them? 

A: I am working on a novel called The Four. It will be a standalone novel with the potential for a sequel. The only thing I can say about it right now is that it’s about shape shifters with the ability to control people’s minds. It will be a sort of fantasy thriller.

Q: What background do you have that shows up frequently in your writing?

A: I have been into shamanism for many years, and my stories tend to have a very shamanic theme, although very loosely based in reality. I also prefer to write fantasy that takes place in a modern or futuristic world compared to ours.

Q: What are your goals as a writer? Where do you see yourself in five years after starting your journey with, Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth?

A: I’m not really big on the idea of fame and popularity. I just want to be successful at what I do and make a good living at it. If in five years I can travel with my family anywhere we want to go, be able to live in a nice house and own a nice car, and do things we want to do without worrying about our finances, I will consider myself successful. Then I might consider some new goals, although, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be tickled if one of my novels were to be made into a movie that was produced by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. To work with those two men would be a dream come true for me.

 Q: What challenges do you face with writing your serialized novel that other writers don’t?

A: The biggest challenge, I would say, is meeting a monthly deadline to write, edit, publish and promote each episode. Also, once an episode is published, it’s cannon. I have to be very careful that I don’t do anything in future episodes that will contradict something that had been previously written. 

 Q: Since, this is your first time being published. Can you tell us about your experiences? What advice would you give to another author just starting out also?

A: Most of my experience over the years has been overcoming my fears. First, I had to get over the fear of having people read my work. I really didn’t believe I was very good until I had strangers emailing me to praise my writing skills. That was a big confidence booster for me and prompted me to start writing more seriously. I’m a perfectionist, though, and I will not publish something if I can’t read it over and over and still love it. I spend the last ten years working on my writing skills and learning about the industry and marketing because I knew I wanted to self-publish. Making the decision to finally write and publish Shadow Stalker is a big step for me because I’m facing my biggest fear of all…fear of the unknown.

 

If I was to give any advice at all, it would be to know your craft and your industry. Don’t just jump into things blind. You should have a plan, and you should know exactly how you will put that plan into action. Then when you have done all that, get to work! Don’t let your fears stop you from achieving your dreams.

  ***

Thanks for visiting.

Mel

The Shadow Stalker Blog Blitz: Part 1

Marketing KitWriting Room 101 is providing three stops on today’s Blitz, starting with a review of The Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth (Episode 1).

Shadow Stalker – The Hidden Truth: Episode 1

Review by Melissa Barker-Simpson

 

This is the first time I’ve read a serial and I didn’t know what to expect. I was pulled into the story right away. The pacing was cleverly crafted so that while the action had the pages turning, there was enough back story to keep you rooted in the plot. I liked the way it unfolded, how the author allowed us to see through Auren’s eyes – a young girl testing the limits placed on her by her step-father and guardian, Kato. Their relationship is an intriguing one, full of secrets and shared respect, despite the duty they are both bound to.

Although Auren’s emotions are those of a typical teenage girl, her circumstances are not. She struggles to find her place, craving the freedom to stretch her wings, all while understanding the depth of her responsibilities. It is a compelling battle  and as a reader I was easily able to identify with this internal struggle.

Auren’s world is an unfamiliar one, but with the help of some lovely descriptions I found it to be an exciting journey, one I am looking forward to continuing in episode 2.

**

Thanks for visiting.

Mel