This is a truly remarkable book. Kim Carter has outdone herself with this release.
We have Lizzie, a waitress from a small town, who falls in love with an incredibly successful cardiac surgeon. Within no time, she finds herself married, happy beyond belief. But the honeymoon period doesn't last long. Before she knows it he reveals his true nature; he becomes mean and possessive. It escalates to the point where she feels trapped and desperately wants out. Especially when Lizzie discovers his dark secret. A secret that he didn't want her to find out. The only chance of survival is to seek refuge at her sister's house. But that won't stop him hunting her down.
Not long after being at her sisters does a new mystery become apparent. Lizzie becomes involved in an equally dangerous enigma. She knows it would be wise to stay away, but the graveyard is calling her name. Which revelation will kill her first?
Kim develops superb characters in this enticing, compelling novel. We become attached to Lizzie and are deeply affected by each and every move she makes, constantly tense at the dangers that are pursuing her. The complexities within not only the protagonist but the other characters are what makes the tale so riveting.
Then we have two enthralling storylines intertwined. Each one alone would be enough to make a superb book. Yet Kim goes the extra mile for her readers, giving us an exhilarating journey that we'll never forget. Not to mention the seemingly endless twists and turns.
The author has a great writing style; it is both descriptive and suspenseful. Everything is rendered in great detail. From the location, characters, and emotions. I also noticed a trademark of Kim's writing style is short chapters ending in sensational cliffhangers.
Overall, it is an extraordinary read. The conclusion is almost as fantastic as the book itself. I sense history enthusiasts will appreciate the ending, as well as hopeless romantics.
'Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle' is a story of crime, mystery and shocking discoveries. A page-turner you will not be able to put down. Clear up your calendar because this phenomenal mystery is ready to take up all your time. Once you start this book, you won't be able to stop. Guaranteed!
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FORTY 5-STAR REVIEWS! *****
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Don’t want it to end? Read the follow-on novel ‘Murder Among the Tombstones’!
A story of an unconventional, heartbreaking, powerful, addictive, and mind-boggling romance.
A young girl named Cassie is innocent and naive, raised by a strict mother and abusive father. She is shot into adulthood at an early age when a casual relationship turns serious.
We delve deep into the psyche of a young woman who just wants answers, yet ironically seems to always be out of the loop. She has much to learn about life, love, and friendship. But in a 1960’s version of America, where society was oppressed and prohibited, she has to learn whilst maintaining her class and ladylike qualities.
I found the historical aspects of this novel to be endlessly intriguing. The world seemed to be constrained by what others thought. Your self-worth was entirely based on your reputation within your community. Men married woman, then had children, then retired. It was the strict, nonnegotiable way of life. No deviancies. No exceptions. And heaven forbid a woman not marry and become a spinster or rebel the working order of things. Women were treated as belongings to behold, not human beings with passions and interests, and equally, hates and dislikes.
The characters provide excellent entertainment. You have Cassie’s love interests, her family, her friends, and other intriguing people. The author crafts these characters with expert precision as we love some while hating others. Clearly a great deal of effort and work went into crafting these characters. They don’t appear as two-dimensional characters, but real flesh and blood people who are important to the storylines.
All these aspects are weaved into a story that has an effortless flow and even pace. Chapters are perfectly sized, as are scenes. It is constant – but not overwhelming – action. There are no dull filler moments. Every part of the book is essential to the tale the author is telling. And what a tale it is. This has a greater significance than just great fiction. It is relevant on many levels. It has historical significance. It explores a sexist, misogynistic world.
This crafted novel is educational and spellbinding. We feel for Cassie and her many struggles, and are informed on an America that we can only imagine.
I think for readers of a certain age this book will be greatly nostalgic. For younger readers, it will be eye-opening. For people craving a simple romance however, I’d recommend you skip it. This love story has as many ups and downs as a rollercoaster. It is not for the light hearted.
Overall, Denise takes you on an unforgettable journey that blends matters of the heart, lust, life, etiquette, deception, secrets, and explosive twists that catch us completely off-guard!
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1) Book Excerpts.
At the end of every book, have samples and teasers of your other publications. If they made it to the end of your book, chances are they enjoyed it and would gladly buy more from you. Hence why you should advertise other releases.
Banners should be everywhere. Your blog. Your website. Your social media accounts. Banners should advertise your publications for every reader to see.
3) Newsletter Promotion.
You send a newsletter every month to your readers. Why not have ads strategically placed for readers to see when flipping through your monthly newsletter content? Kind of like Facebook ads appearing in news feeds.
Now, I know most authors don't see the point in giving something away for free, but they couldn't be more wrong. A free book will get downloads, reaching out to more readers, who will see your ads for other books at the end. They may also sign up to your newsletter, expanding your reach even further. And if the free book is the first in a series, they'll be compelled to buy the others in that series, which would generate actual money.
Offer to collaborate with other authors. You'll tap into their readership, and they'll tap into yours. You are essentially advertising yourself to their readers. Collaborate on a short story, and give it away for free. You both promote it. Straight away, there is double the outreach. Then of course, you are tapping into their readers. It's a win-win.
There are of course other ways to advertise as an author. Remember, it's a business. Whenever they buy a book, subscribe to your newsletter, head over to your site or social media page, never miss out on an opportunity to advertise your other releases.
Authors don't need Twitter, do they? They just need Facebook, right? WRONG! And here's why!
1) Twitter has millions of members (500 million as of 2015), from fellow authors, to plenty of readers. Can you really afford to not tap into that market?
2) They invented the hashtag. We all know how important the hashtag is from a marketing perspective. Well, Twitter invented it.
3) Don't underestimate the #followfriday. Every Friday, tag your latest followers. This allows their followers to see you, and if so obliged, follow you too, expanding your outreach.
4) Twitter is more professional than most social media platforms. Facebook can be cringe-worthy, with family drama and disputes among friends. Twitter is for specific interests. It also has a word limit, which keeps those posts short, sweet and relevant.
5) An added bonus? You can access insights to see what times your posts receive the most engagement, and which posts are the most popular, allowing you to perfect your marketing.
Are you sure you don't want to open a Twitter account, or start using the one you have more often?
The mere concept of writing a novel can be overwhelming, let alone actually getting it done. After having written and published thirteen books, (and having worked for many authors) I have a simple 10-step formula that works every time. However, every writer is unique, but I believe this will help remarkably in helping you find your own special way to putting pen to paper and clicking that 'publish' button!
So, here it goes.
1) First and foremost, the idea. You have an idea. It's great. You think it's perfect for a book and plenty of readers will love it. But, before you start typing or scribbling, you've got to get that research done. Regardless of genre, fiction or non-fiction, there has to be a level of realism in your story. What themes and issues does your tale deal with? Are you an expert on those subject matters? If not, crack that textbook asap. Search the net. Speak to knowledgeable individuals. Researching, if done right, dependent on your book's length, should last anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. Don't skip research. You'll regret it.
2) Now then, let's work on that first draft. Forget punctuation. Forget grammar. Forget writing tips and tricks. Forget any webinars or seminars you may have taken on the craft of writing. Forget everything you've learned and just get it done. Write the story. Write the characters. Get that first draft done. However, I personally write a rough chapter outline beforehand so I have an idea of where the story is headed. But many authors choose to let their story run wild and see where it takes itself. Try out both ways and see which works for you. I am a self-confessed control freak, so I need that chapter outline to guide me and give each scene and chapter a purpose.
3) Edit, edit, edit. Here comes the part many writers hate, but I've grown to love. First, tear the story apart. Look for run-on sentences, telling instead of showing, lack of character development, overused words, and so on. Look at unessential content that wouldn't be missed. Extend scenes that seem rushed. Add senses to dull scenes.
4) Proof and off to an editor. Once you're completely done with the judicious editing, now comes the time to proof and weed out those typos and grammatical mistakes, along with punctuation errors. An editor or proofreader is crucial as you (the author) won't notice mistakes due to a familiarity with the manuscript. Every author needs an editor. You think Stephen King and J.K.Rowling use an editor? Actually, they have several! You can help them out by proofing as best you can, but you have to find an editor if you want your work to be taken seriously and not be left vulnerable to a torrent of bad customer reviews online.
8 signs it's time to hire a book editor: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/8-signs-its-time-to-hire-a-book-editor
5) Go over corrections. Once you've received the manuscript back from your editor, take time to go over the corrections. You won't always agree with the corrections when it comes to the story, characters or other creative decisions, but take what they are suggesting seriously. They know what they are talking about. Obviously if you just hired a proofreader, mistakes are mistakes, they need correcting before you publish.
6) Review copies. Almost there. Books in great condition. What does that mean? Send out review copies! That's right. Send to bloggers, readers, fellow authors, friends or family for some customer reviews when the book goes live. Goodreads will allow reviews to be left as soon as the book has been listed on their site. But Amazon doesn't allow reviews until it has been published.
TIP: Make a list of everyone you sent a review copy too, and remind them when it's time to leave that review. Be aware, only ten percent of people you send review copies to, will actually leave reviews. So, send to many people.
Here's a helpful blog: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/how-do-i-get-the-attention-of-book-review-bloggers
7) Cover. Now it's time for the arty part. What's a book without a cover? You can get a cover either by a professional designer or buying a stock image and designing it yourself. There are sites such as Shutterstock, CanStock and so on for images. You can get fonts from fontsquirrel.com, 1001fonts.com etc. Be sure to check font licenses, and publish a credit for the downloaded images if you decide to do it yourself. Obviously working with a designer is more expensive, but it depends on your artistic ability and budget. Not all authors can make create covers. So, sit down and think about this.
8) Marketing Campaign. Yep, you heard me. I know, I can hear your sighs. But marketing is hugely important. Decide on services you are going to use, design banners, spread the word, publish teasers, arrange blog tours and so on. If you need help with a marketing campaign, check out these blogs:
5-STEP MARKETING CAMPAIGN: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/effective-5-step-book-marketing-campaign
6 SECRET WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/6-secret-ways-to-promote-your-book
18 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING CAMPAIGN: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/18-steps-to-a-successful-book-marketing-campaign
10 SIMPLE WAYS TO GET BOOK SALES: http://thomasauthorservices.weebly.com/author-blogs--book-reviews/10-simple-ways-to-get-book-sales
9) Final Check. You're ready. Everything is done. But, that's no excuse to be lazy. Check everything. Check the blurb, keywords, price, review quotes, cover, manuscript, front and back matter. Be confident in your release.
10) Publish. And here it is. Time to publish. You can either set up a pre-order for it to be released in a couple of weeks, allowing you time to drum up some pre-order sales. (http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/2016/03/9-reasons-you-should-put-your-book-up.html)
Or, you can get the book out there asap. There are pros and cons to both. Think on it. Oh, and good luck!
A young boy craves adventure. An uncle is more than happy to encourage this personality trait. But will adventure lead him further into a darkness he’ll regret?
Spencer, discovers he has diabetes, victim to shots and the monotonous monitoring of sugar levels, but he copes. Even better, this gives him a mutual affliction with a young girl named Chloe, whom our protagonist happens to have a low-key crush on. This shared medical illness, leads them to realize they have another shared interest (or concern): something flying around their town murdering people. But what is it?
As usual, Anthony devices a superb plot, with excellent twists, and heavily researched characters that appear as real as you and me. We root for Spencer, developing a relationship with this young man and his struggles. These struggles aren’t just restricted to diabetes and a murderous not-so-mythical creature, but a complex family dynamic also. What more could a reader want?
Are Spencer’s struggles with the monster a metaphor for his struggles with diabetes? I feel so. It’s a strong metaphor for life in general. Events and incidents are thrown are way, and sometimes we feel a lack of control, as he feels by trying to self-care with his ailment. A strong life lesson. I am not sure if Mr Hains intended this worthy analogy, but for me, it gave the story a new level of not just entertainment, but significance.
As someone who lives in Michigan, near Lake Michigan, I love that Mr Hains chose to set this novel near that very lake. But on the other hand, it made this novel all the more unsettling and a little too close to home. However, as usual, I was spellbound to the pages, unable to put the book down!
Captivating. Brilliant. Powerful. A thrilling tale of a young man with his own personal struggles, battling a supernatural intruder to his livelihood.
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Hiring a professional editor is crucial for your book's success. Readers can forgive a couple of typos, but if your manuscript is riddled with errors, it will get old fast. And the book will receive bad reviews, dragging it down into the pit of millions of unsellable books.
So, how do you avoid this? Hire an editor! But how do you know it's the right time? Read the signs below.
1) Am I satisfied with the manuscript? No nagging feelings tugging away at me that it needs some more work?
2) Why am I looking for an editor? Is it laziness or a need to get another book out asap, or I feel I have done all I can at this point and need professional help to give my book a fair chance at success?
3) Have I judiciously self-edited? This will make the editor's job easier. If they don't have to focus on too many typos, they can direct their talents on the characters, story, plot, flow, pace, structure etc. In other words, what the readers care about. Unless it is just a proofread that you require.
4) Have I had any fellow writers or beta readers take a peek at it? Posted into any groups and asked for criticism? What were their thoughts?
5) Is it as good as it's gonna be? Nobody is perfect but try your best.
6) Have I set aside a budget for the editor? Most editors aren't cheap.
7) Have I been in touch with a couple of editors for sample edits, to see how they would alter the manuscript and check they know what they are doing?
8) Do I know what level of editing I need? Proofing, substantial, or developmental?
DON'T FORGET: Read the contract. All editors will request you sign a contract before paying the agreed upon fee. Read - and if necessary - question any terms that confuse you.
Need an editor / proofreader? Prices start from just $100.00! (WE OFFER A FREE 5-PAGE SAMPLE EDIT.)
Check out our affordable and professional packages:
So, you're planning a blog tour? Let's make this as easy as it can be then.
First things first, get those contacts! There are hundreds of blog sites where bloggers are listed based on what material they are interested in, fiction or non-fiction, and what genre. And if they post teasers or interview authors. Make a thorough list of who you'd like to reach out to and get started. Always be professional, understanding, and personal. (TIP: reach out to the bloggers who have many followers. The whole point of a blog tour is to reach a large audience!)
2) Follow Up.
Usually, one or two follow-up emails are expected. Anything more can be considered harrassing. You don't want to give a bad impression. If they don't respond to your follow-up email, I'd let it go and move onto the next blogger.
Once you have a list of bloggers that will feature teasers from your upcoming release and/or and interview to promote this new novel, get writing dates in a calendar.
4) Stay Organised.
Stay on top of things. Be organized and efficient. Send what needs sending. Promote the blog tour effectively.
5) Thank You.
Don't forget those thank-you emails. Always. If you don't show your appreciation and their blog really helped, they may not welcome you back and consider you an ungrateful author. So do what your parent/s taught you, be polite!
I know, we don't all have the time for huge book launches and hectic marketing campaigns. Some authors have day jobs. But worry no more, you can still create a modest marketing campaign and get impressive results. Here is my five-step plan for a quick but effective marketing campaign to give your book a great launch with minimal effort. Which is what we all want, right?
So, firstly, promotional and newsletter advertising services. There are so many services out there for authors. They professionally promote your work or advertise it in a newsletter going out to readers in your genre. Personally, I would research this. Decide on a budget. Some only charge $20 - $50 dollars, others are upwards of $100.
It's best to experiment and see which services work for you. Once you know what works, it will help with future launches. You can erase services that don't pack a punch!
2) Power of Pre-order.
Don't underestimate that pre-order feature. If your book gets plenty of pre-orders, the day it is released, all those sales will hit on the same day, giving it a good chance of getting on those bestseller charts and into the hands of hungry readers!
3) Advance review copies.
Before the launch, write a list of people you know you can trust, reviewers / bloggers, or even friends and family. Don't have a list? Get started reaching out now. Send advance review copies and let them know you'd like a review on Amazon, Goodreads etc, in exchange for the free book. Reviews are essential, and as soon as your book goes live, remind those readers to post those reviews. Hence why a list is essential!
4) Banners galore!
Put banners everywhere. Website. Blog. Social media accounts. This can be to advertise the pre-order, or actual release. Personally, I create banners to do both. Not sure if you can create a good professional banner? Ask around. Authors always know designers, so get networking. Or comment on this blog if you need help. Our company happens to know many professional banner designers.
5) Publish snippets on your blog.
Release teasers on your blog with links to pre-order or order the book. Pick the best sections of the novel. All of it should be great but select a teaser that has strong cliffhangers and great descriptions. Show off your best work.
There you go. Good luck. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
Want reviews? Need reviews? You are doing everything right - or so you think - but you just can't get the attention of those pesky review bloggers? Then this blog is for you. You've come to the right place.
- First and foremost you must be professional. This means proofread any contact (email, FB messages, social media contact etc). Poor grammar or punctuation will instantly turn bloggers off you.
- Besides being professional, you must also be personal. This means don't be a robot. You are a person, you have hobbies and interests. Also, they probably receive hundreds - maybe thousands - of review requests every week. You must stand out with a personal comment. Comment on their website. Comment on a book they reviewed that you happened to read. Maybe they say on their blog they like animals, movies, traveling etc, which you happen to also like.
- Your contact must be easy to read. You must have a clear layout. Cut down longer chunks of text. Keep it brief. Don't bore them. Easy-breezy but professional and personal.
- Also, this is embarrassing, but it happens all the time with author clients who come to us for marketing or editing services. Make sure all the links to your book or website are correct! Again, this isn't professional. Most bloggers will just ignore the email if you don't even have the correct links. So double-check these.
- Thank them! You'd think this is common sense, but again, authors sometimes leave this courtesy out. Be sure to thank them for reading the email, and that you hope to hear back from them soon.
- Research them! Do they even read books in your genre? Do they only read print books? Do they have requests or demands when you contact them? Don't give them a bad first impression by showing that you haven't even read the 'terms' on their website.
Good luck! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like a subject mattered blogged about.
Side Note: keep track of who you've contacted so you can refer to this list later on. It makes things far easier.