Enthusiasm, Entrepreneurship and Indie Publishing podcast

me and mr wrong

I was very excited to be asked to join Melinda Hammond, as part of her Writer on the Road podcast, to chat about the business side of romance writing.

If you’re interested in building your writing business then listen to Joanne’s journey where, through sheer tenacity of spirit, she is succeeding in building a loyal fan base and keen readership. She speaks of how networking with other writers sees her collaborating on a book bundle project and how she donates a proportion of her sales to worthy causes of her choosing.

What to learn more? Download it now 🙂

Motivating Mum motivating me

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Thanks to my local council, I got to hear Motivating Mum, Alli Price, talk tonight about using Instagram for Business.

I had no idea how much I didn’t know about Instagram. Not only do I now know how to use it but I learnt the following –

  • Instagram can be as engaging as Facebook (it’s true!)
  • A marketing plan and strategy is important when using Instagram for business
  • It’s important to have a good profile using descriptive words in your description
  • Hashtags are my friends
  • Quality is more important than quantity (for posts)
  • Instagram advertising can be done via Facebook ads manager

What an informative and insightful evening. Thanks Alli for your friendly, enthusiastic approach in sharing your knowledge.

Pop over to Instagram and give me a like, I’d love to see you there 🙂

Tarzan and Ellie Wiesel

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Today I took my youngest son to see The Legend of Tarzan movie.

Pushing aside Alexander Skarsgård’s abs (!!), the incredible cinematography and gorgeous scenery; we, the viewers, see a dark side of colonisation and how people of different races were treated in the 19th century.

But, not everyone in the movie/ during that time treated others with contempt, disdain and little regard for their livelihood. We see people standing up and treating each other with kindness and respect.

In the last week, we lost a great man whose writings and words have inspired many, Ellie Wiesel. I was thinking about his quotes and it had me relating them back to today’s movie.

We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.
Peace is our gift to each other.
May we all have the courage to stand up and do what’s right, even when we face adversity.

Summer Bliss Bundle and prizes to win!!!!!

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I and 8 other fab authors have put together the Summer Bliss Bundle featuring 9 chick lit and romantic comedy novels on sale for 99 cents! Yes, you read right, $0.99 for 9 great reads!!!!!

The bundle includes my fun read – Falling for Mr Wrong 🙂

By pre-ordering your copy and helping us reach our pre-order goal you have the opportunity to win a KINDLE FIRE or a $50 Amazon gift card or a 10 paperback bundle**

The paperback bundle prize has TWO of my paperbacks in it  – Falling for Mr Wrong and Kisses under the Spotlight.

Even if you don’t win, you’re a winner to get this amazing boxed set at this unbelievable price!!

Click here to enter – a Rafflecopter giveaway

**sorry, prizes only available to US and Canadian readers

Note – Aussie readers, Charmaine Ross and I will be running a separate giveaway opportunity for Australians who pre-order!!!!!

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A tale of two seas

I’m very excited to be re-releasing my debut novel, Falling for Mr Wrong 🙂

Re-releasing it you ask? Yes! Unfortunately some typos slipped through the editing process and I decided to clean them up. Whilst doing so, I did some re-writes.

It’s still the same fun story of the hero chasing the heroine for a story, across Israel, but the updates have really enhanced the story, in my opinion 🙂

I saw this video recently (1 min long) and had to share it as my heroine Tilly swims in both the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. It’s ironic that in Falling for Mr Wrong Tilly swam in the Dead Sea at the beginning of the book and the Galilee at the end. Relating this video to my book, look at the amazing changes love can make? 🙂

Happy watching and happy (romance reading) x

Sharing the love on Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and I’ve come up with some ideas to recognise a special woman in your life – your mum, your mother-in-law, your wife, your aunty, your gran, your sister or even your friend!

Time together – gifts don’t have to be a physical item but rather your gift can be spending quality time with someone special. This Mother’s Day, I’m taking my mother-in-law to a special movie screening and I’m looking forward to spending time with her.

Tired mummies – new mummies with toddlers and babies need sleep. See if Dad or friend/family can mind the little ones so you can sleep in or have a much needed nap. Or how about a massage or pampering? Many beauticians and/or spas offer pamper packages to help you recharge.

Mummies with little ones – spending family time with little ones can be a gift in itself. When my eldest son was 18 months old, hubby and I had breakfast at a café and then went for a walk on the beach with him. It was a perfect morning.

Mummies with older children #1 – if your children are older, perhaps you can go as a family to High Tea. Lots of hotels host these on Mother’s Day. Go on treat yourself to a glass of bubbly. You deserve it.

Mummies with older children #2 – you can also do a walking tour, for example in Melbourne, there are many to choose from – tea, coffee, chocolate, cupcakes. What a wonderful way to spend family time, walking around the city and indulging in treats J

Mummies with a fur baby – just because your baby has 4 legs instead of 2, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with them. Your pooch/es would love a long walk on the beach, a play in the park or even just cuddle time.

Sad mummies – some women may have lost someone special in their lives and this day is a sad reminder of that. If you know someone hurting, why not get them someone special? A book? A bunch of flowers? Their favourite chocolates?

Sad mummies-to-be – if you’ve miscarried or lost a baby, why don’t you do something for yourself and preserve their memory? Write a poem, expressing your love for them? Plant a rose bush? Donate to a charity eg: SIDS.

And if you know someone who has lost a baby or miscarried, why not do something special for them? Buy them flowers? A book? Chocolates?

Lonely hearts club – not everyone has their mum close by. Many of us have parents living overseas or interstate. Why not get a group of like minded friends and have an event together? You could go out for dinner? Have Yum Cha? Go to a winery? What ever you do, do it together!

Or you can do one of my favourite things and read a romance book J Read in bed, your favourite chair or in the bath. What a wonderful way to spend quality time and pamper yourself  🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to you all xx

Daisy and I

 

Free publicity for your small business

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to the sensational Jules Brook from HandleyourownPR.com.au talk about generating free publicity for your small business.

With years of experience and an amazing can-do approach, Jules is the go-to person if you want to know why small business should have PR.

PR or publicity is someone else saying how good you/ your business/ your product is. It’s more believable as someone else is endorsing you (rather than you/an ad), on TV, the radio, in magazines, newspapers, bloggers etc…

You can get free PR by offering a story to a journalist for them to publish. The upside is that it’s free (!!) but the downside is that you can’t control how the end story will read.

My 5 top tips for DIY publicity – 

  1. You need to be able to write well and have a likeable/approachable phone manner.
  2. Your website must be live and up to date.
  3. You should have professional photos of yourself and your product/service.
  4. Be polite and professional with journalists/ editors and never forget to say thanks if they promote you.
  5. Have a great angle e.g. a short person running a tall person’s clothing shop.

And if the thought of DIY publicity is too scary or overwhelming, then get help from the professionals!!

Thanks Jules for an interesting and riveting presentation.

Top tips on being a successful writer

I was going to blog about areas I’ve found to be helpful for self-published and hybrid writers.

Then this article, on Written Word Media, came along and it’s so good that I’m sharing it instead of writing something myself.

Top tips on being a successful writer – 

  1. Becoming an author takes dedication. 
    Success only comes after you’ve written and published a decent number of books. The more hours you spend writing, the sooner you’ll get there.
  2. Trust the professionals. 
    Hiring a cover designer and an editor to help you create the final published product is highly recommended.
  3. Pay attention to pricing strategies. 
    Offering your book for free for a limited time is a great way to gain the highest quantity of new readers. If you’re writing a series, the permafree strategy works for the first book, and you’re likely to make more money offering one book in the series for free, than you would if you charged for all of them.
  4. Genre matters. 
    Some are more popular than others; know where your genre stands on the list.  If you’re writing for a niche audience, know that niche often means “small” which makes it more difficult to make a lot of money from your writing.

 

Thanks Harper Lee

Thanks Harper Lee 🙂

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I know my writing improved when I started writing for me and not what I thought the publishers wanted.

Against advice, I created a clean-cut-crooner superstar. Not your average hero but so far, all my readers love Alex Jackson! And I have a fan-girl crush on him 😉

Want to know more about Alex Jackson, click here 🙂

Doing the happy dance!

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Many thanks to the romance writing community, my family and friends for reading and downloading my debut novel which is currently sitting at #20, in Romantic Comedy, on Amazon (US)!!!!!

This weekend The Books Machines are promoting Falling for Mr Wrong – check it out 🙂

What I love about The Books Machine is that they promote a wide variety of writing genres. If you want to hear about new books, you should consider joining their mailing list and getting a daily update of books, free and discounted. It’s a fab way of finding new authors.

Thanks again to everyone for your support – you’re amazing!!!!!

 

“Thank you” pic came from here

Free book for a limited time

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My “First Sale” Ribbon

At the yearly Romance Writers of Australia conference, writers who have published their first book are recognised and awarded with a ribbon.

After attending 8 conferences, I was delighted to finally receive mine. It was one of the happiest moments of my writing career.

Graeme Simsion (author of the Rosie Project) handed out the ribbons with a kind word to each of us.

To celebrate this exciting event, my romantic comedy, Falling for Mr Wrong, will be free for a limited time.

Click on one of the links to receive a free download, in your preferred format – AmazoniTunesKobo or Barnes and Noble.

And if you enjoy it, I’d appreciate a thanks with an honest review on either AmazongoodreadsiTunesKobo or Barnes and Noble.

Happy reading!!!

 

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Nice Work If You Can Get it

I have to confess, I love Gershwin’s music so I snapped up tickets to see “Nice Work If You Can Get It” on in Melbourne.

What a wonderful show, I just loved the singing and dancing, there was such a strong cast with amazing talent.

But from a romance writer’s perspective, it ticked all the boxes for a perfect romance –

* Hero – rich, playboy, good looking, can’t find the right woman to settle down with

* Heroine – likeable, street smart, not looking for a man

* Lots of conflict as so why they couldn’t be together

* Them having realisations to make it work

* Happily ever after

So if you love a musical, go and see “Nice Work If You Can Get It”,  you’ll be glad you did 🙂

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Confessions of a romance writer – Write What You Love

Life has been crazy busy with the launch of my first book, Falling for Mr Wrong. It’s been a joy to see it available in digital stores, but most important has been the positive reader feedback I have received.

Reading the positive reviews has been a highlight of my publishing journey especially as I’m self published and on my own. Unlike being published traditionally/with a major publisher, I have to do everything!!!

 

My “confessions” blog posts will go through the ins and outs of being a newbie self published, romance author, and this is my first post 🙂

One of the benefits of being self published means I can write what I like, but it’s also a downside.

With my next book, the hero is devastatingly handsome, can dance like Adam Garcia and sing/perform like Michael Bublé.

Image from http://deadline.com/2012/06/pilot-castings-wendell-vinnie-finds-lead-mockingbird-lane-gets-guest-star-287430/

My clean, cut, crooner hero! (pic from http://deadline.com)

Sure he’s hot but currently, the trend is for heroes who are bad-boy rockers with tattoos, not clean cut crooners.

The gorgeous, Mills and Boon author, extraordinaire, Melanie Milburne advised me not to write such a hero and …..she was right. But I still wrote him any way. Why? Because I wrote what I love.

My preference is for the hunk above rather than the bad-boy with a sleeve of tatts. If I pretended to like something, it would come across in my writing and I would disappoint my readers. I made the hard decision to go with my heart rather than what’s commercially popular and hope my readers love my hero as much as I do.

My advice to new writers, if you force yourself to write something because you think it will sell better, think again. If you don’t love what you write, why would your readers?

PS – Want to see how my hero dances? Check out the talented Adam Garcia 🙂 you can forward up to the 1 min 50 sec mark if you want to skip the back up dancers dancing. Happy watching and …..you’re welcome 😛

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Adam Garcia (pic taken from here – http://danceworks.net/inspiration/dancers/adam-garcia/)

I’m now a published author

I’m bursting with excitement to share my fantastic news that after years of honing my craft, writing and more writing, my first novel, Falling for Mr Wrong, has now been published and is available through a number of channels.

This is a dream come true. I love writing romances and to see my work commercially available is just wonderful.

Amazon (US)   Amazon (Australia)    iTunes     Kobo     Barnes and Noble

Thanks to everyone who has sent me a congratulatory message and/or bought my book, I have loved reading and receiving every one of them 🙂

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PS – many thanks to the lovely Leah Ashton who read my book and provided a cover quote for me xx