Thursday, December 20, 2012

What Not To Do To Self-Promote on Amazon

Recently I returned to a reader's list I was a member of on amazon some time back. I went there as a reader, not as an author.  I always enjoy trolling the lists and seeing what books readers are discussing.  There was even one list that I checked in on to make certain no one was trashing my book as they were doing several other---much better known authors. I cringe every time I think of that. But I did learn the habits writers get into that set readers off and thus learned what not to do in my own writing. I've actually laughed out loud at some of the things posted and thanked God I'd never put them in my books.

I wasn't laughing when I suddenly became the object of a reader's hostility.


Self promotion is not permitted by Amazon, except in the Meet Our Authors forum.

Link to the rules on Amazon
These are what they are.



Please share thoughts that you think will add to the discussion and help other customers interested in the product area, or start a conversation to learn from other customers' experiences. For example:


Behave as if you were a guest at a friend's dinner party. Please treat the Amazon.com community with respect. Do not post:

Do not impersonate another person, including an Amazon.com employee.
We recommend that you do not post your phone number or e-mail address.



I wasn't attacked because I was doing any of these don'ts.  I was attacked because I was an author. And worse--- a self-published author. 

 I was a handy punching bag for her frustration and aggression.

When I pointed out that I was following the rules and not there as an author but a reader, she persisted and I turned her posts off.  She didn't care that I couldn't read her posts, but persisted.

 I later decided that this situation was not a healthy, or pleasant thing for anyone involved. Especially the other subscribers to the list and I made an announcement that I was leaving the list and moving on to another where my suggestions and questions might be better received.

I've dropped this and don't intend to contact Amazon. Should she follow me to one of the other lists and persist, I will.

The excuse my attacker gave for her behavior was that the list had dried up and people had stopped posting because of the constant spamming done by authors about their books.  And I have to say that while I was on there, three authors posted the names of their books and the info about them. Which only succeeded in increasing the reader's  hostility toward me.

But it was the hostility expressed by the reader (in my opinion) that kept traffic at a minimum.  I mean with someone patrolling the list like a pit bull, and looking up the people who posted to weed out the undesirable (namely me)--- Who would want to post? Why I ever did is beyond me. 

I can truly say that I have never participated on any list and mentioned that I was an author.
(I didn't on this one either. She looked my name up and announced to everyone on there that I was an author) Oh my God there's a Fox in the Hen House!!!!

 Readers loops are readers loops.

So when I have participated I am careful to post with my opinions as a reader.  And I have to say I have been a reader as long as I've been a writer. I have over 7000 books in my house to attest to that.

But I have been on more loops than I can tell you where two authors suddenly decided that their discussion as authors took president over the original  discussion. It is like watching a train wreck about to happen because sooner or later a reader is going to come out and say, "take it somewhere else ladies this is a reader's loop and you aren't supposed to be on here."  When that happens, it only bods badly for all of us. It reflects on us all, even though we're not the culprits.

As I found out first hand. 

Moral of the story is this:

Do not self-promote on any of the lists on Amazon but the one specifically called  Meet the Authors. 

When you insist on self-promoting on readers lists: 


1. It doesn't garner you any sells.(In fact the opposite.)

2. It only antagonizes the readers and ensures they won't buy your book, and in fact, they may blackball it with all their friends. 

3. It will ensure that the readers on any given loop may treat you as I was treated-- with persistent hostility. (Luckily this was only one reader not everyone on the list)

4. It may damage the sales of those people's books you've recommended. (That was threatened while I was on the list.)

5. It will only leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and a desire to never participate in any discussion on there.  (luckily I'm made of sterner stuff and I'm on one in particular that I've been on for nearly 6 years that I enjoy and no one gives me any shit.)But I only participate as a reader.

6. And if you are ever treated as I was on a list-- Don't lose your cool, treat them with kindness, because if your a class act, the other people on the list will remember you and perhaps buy your book. 

 If you'd like to participate in this discussion and share your experiences, I promise not to give you any shit or treat you with hostility.

Read on,

Teresa J. Reasor 



Monday, December 17, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was challenged by Robyn Peterman  and Jennifer Madden to participate in this blog hop. And of course I had to do it because I love to blog. Robyn's Book   How Hard Can It Be? is due out January 17, 2013. But it's already available for preorder if you'd like to check it out. And Jennifer's newest The Embattled Road just hit Amazon and other stores a couple of weeks ago.

 

The Next Big Thing

1. What is the working title of your book?

Breaking Away. 

 2.Where did the idea come for the book?

I love military guys and the idea for the series first hit me three years ago. Since my Dad was in the Marines I knew how military guys behaved and had some idea how they thought and hid how they felt. I wanted other people to understand what their families went through when they were deployed home, injured, doing training---the works.
I wrote the first book, Breaking free  and started submitting it to editors while I finished another book (not a military romance).  I released Breaking Free in June of 2011. And the second book of the series, Breaking Through, In September of this year 2012. 

The idea for the series has morphed into a series of six full-length novels and a short story. Breaking Away is the third book of the series. It’s Flash’s story.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

 Military Romantic Suspense.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Breaking Free --Hawk-- Eric Bana,   Zoe-- Emily Blunt

Breaking Through--Brett-- Paul Walker,  Tess-- Deborah Ann Woll

Breaking Away--Flash-- Greg Vaughan,   Samantha- Emma Stone

Breaking Out--Doc-- Tom Hardy,  Veronica--Amanda Seyfried
,
Breaking Hearts--Bowie-- Daniel Sunjata,  Caroline --Scarlett Johansen   

Breaking Chains--Derrick -– Chris Hemsworth,  Melanie--Kristen Dunst

Breaking Ties--Green Back-- Kim Rossi Stewart,   Selena--- America  Ferrara


5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

What happens when a Navy SEAL, acting as an undercover operative for the FBI in an international smuggling sting, is framed for murder and while on the run finds the family he's never had?


6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It will be self-published.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Breaking Through took me six months to write and another month to edit. I don't really write first drafts. Each chapter has to be right before I can move on to the next one so I'm constantly editing as I go along. So once done, the professional editor has to come along and just mostly clean up any repetitive phrasing she catches or those pesky comma things I do without realizing it.  I’m hoping Breaking Away will take less time. 

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I can’t compare them to any other books, because they’re different from the other books in the genre I’ve read. The closest I think are Suzanne Brockmann’s SEAL romances.

 Breaking Free is about 80 percent romance and 20 percent suspense. And had one romance in it.

Breaking Through is more 70-30. And had 3 romances in it.

Breaking Away will be more 80-20.  And will have 2 romances in it.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve been inspired by every book I’ve read about SEALs and their training. And I’ve read at least 50. I’m inspired by their desire to fight, no matter how hard things get, no matter how horribly they’re injured, no matter what they have to sacrifice. They’re whole life revolves around training to be the best special operator they can be. They don’t care about rank, or metals, or awards. They are there to right the wrongs, fight the bad guys, and keep America safe.


10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Every book is it’s own story. There is no pattern followed as to plot and story line. Each one is completely fresh and new.

 I’ve done two months research before even starting Breaking Away because I want my story line to be the best it can be and I want every problem dealt with before I put words to paper. 
Each of my heroes have a distinctive personality.  Breaking Free --Hawk is rock solid and a born commander. Breaking Through--Brett is a smart ass and all alpha male.  Breaking Away—Flash is quieter, more introverted, and computer savy, but he too is all alpha male. He made the perfect undercover operative because he's lived on the street and has street savy. Breaking Away will be released Summer of 2013.




I'm challenging several other authors to participate in this blog hop. But I'm also very interested in paying it forward so I'm promoting several other writers, artists, and photographers. So there will be several things for you readers to check out besides just books on the sites I'm including on this post. Just click on the writers, artists, or photographers name and it will take you to their site or their books.  

Julianne Reeves— Her book Razing Kayne just made the Amazon Romantic Suspense list.

Judy Dawn — Her Men of Snow Series is unusual, fun, and exciting. If your looking for something that's imaginative and fresh this is your deal.

Devon Matthews — Devon writes Western Historical Romance. Her book Angel In The Rain is excellent!!! And she's working on My Wild Texas Rose right now!! I love Western Historicals. there are just not enough of them out there.

Jane Greenhill-- Jane Writes a wonderful YA series about a Teenage alien and will have three books coming out this coming year.  But she has numerous other books available Vampire Bytes a comedic vampire story. Booty Call for Murder and The Cobra Murders are Suspense novels  and I was a Teenage Alien the first of her YA Series.

Mina Kahn—Mina writes wonderful adventures about Djinns. How fantastic is it to hang out with beings who can control the elements of the earth in interesting ways.

Joan Maze—Joan writes the Mollie Fenwick mysteries. Mollie has a nose for trouble and is psyhic to boot so there's always something happening to her, around her, and in her visions. Joan's books are always entertaining.  She has several scheduled to release this coming year. 

Tracy Stewart– Tracy writes several different genre's. Historical romance, Vampire regulators, and she has a wonderful story titled The Gift of the Gods about an archaeologist on the trail of a magic spear (a kind of treasure hunt with lots of danger) with the help of a couple Gods. Pretty cool. Tracy is also a Cover artist. She's actually done all my covers. You can click on Cover artist and check them out.

Candace Sword—Candace write also but she's a wonderful photographer. She has actually taken my picture. Can you believe that. And I will shortly be updating my photo on my blog, website, facebook and etc. because of her efforts. So check out her photography site.


And if you get some money for Christmas---a new Kindle, I pad, Nook or what have you, you will find an interesting book to download from any of these authors. And if you write yourself you know you'll need a head shot or a cover for your book.

I'd appreciate it if you would pay this blog forward and spread the word about me and all these wonderful writers  I've added to my blog this week.


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Teresa J. Reasor 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm Breaking Free, Breaking Through, Breaking Away and getting back into Writing

In one week I will have finished teaching my last college class and I am so excited!! Teaching can be rewarding and challenging, but my writing is where my heart is. And I'm really looking forward to devoting my time completely to my next book, Breaking Away.

When I'm writing I'm neck deep in my character's world and at this moment my character is learning to drop out of sight and survive off the radar, something I had to do a ton of research for him to do. I feel as though I've done that myself for the three last months because of the classes. As soon as they end, and I post my grades, I'll be jumping feet first into the story and writing 10 hours a day. Butt on chair--fingers on keyboard. That's the only way to make headway.

Here's my blurb for Breaking Away:

-->
When Navy SEAL Harold "Flash" Carney agrees to act as an undercover operative for the FBI in an international smuggling sting, he revisits a past he hoped to leave behind forever. During the sting, his handler, the one agent he trusts, is killed and Flash is framed for the man's murder.  Knee deep in a double cross, uncertain of who he can trust, and cut off from his team, he goes on the run with the smuggled goods and money, with only his training to keep him alive.



Samantha Cross is desperate to leave her past as a battered wife behind, but her ex-husband is determined to gain custody of the one thing guaranteed to keep her in his life, their daughter.  Struggling financially, Samantha rents a room over her garage to Flash. When her ex turns stalker, her renter proves as protective as he is secretive.



Despite their mutual wariness, Samantha and Flash are drawn to one another, but trust comes hard. As the walls both have erected start to crumble, Samantha’s daughter is kidnapped, and Flash has no choice but to break away from the ingrained habits of a lifetime to reach out to his team and save what he’s built with Samantha--a family.


 But in the meantime. If you haven't read the first two books, Check them out.

 

BREAKING FREE 



Zoe Weaver is determined never to get involved with a man in uniform. Her father was killed during the Gulf War. Her brother Brett, is in a coma. If that isn’t enough, Zoe has scars both physical and emotional from a hit and run accident that almost cost her a leg. She refuses to lay her fragile self-esteem, or her heart, on the line for a man who puts his military career ahead of his family. But her brother’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Adam “Hawk” Yazzie, triggers a passion beyond her experience. Is she strong enough to love Hawk and, when the time comes, watch him go to war?

Lieutenant “Hawk” Yazzie, is a SEAL. The Navy is his life, and his family. He’s learned the hard way he can’t be there for anyone. He finds Zoe’s combination of feisty femininity hard to resist, but the guilt he carries prevents him from offering a commitment to anyone ---but the Navy. Will he love Zoe and leave her?

When Zoe and Hawk investigate the events surrounding her brother’s injuries, they grow suspicious of three members of Hawk’s team. Hawk is torn between loyalty to his men and his need to see justice done. But when he tries to save a troubled teammate’s career he unwittingly puts Zoe’s life in danger. Can he lead the rest of the team in a rescue operation to save her? Or will one of Hawk's brothers in arms destroy the woman he loves?





What happens when a Navy SEAL wakes from a month-long coma to discover he’s being investigated for murder?

When Ensign Brett Weaver is accused of murder, he knows he’s innocent, but how can he prove it with Naval Investigators breathing down his neck? A chance meeting with reporter Tess Kelly offers him an opportunity to get the press on his side. But can he trust her to keep his other secrets off the record?

Tess works hard to live up to her father's expectations. When Brett offers her information about SEAL training in exchange for an introduction to her award-winning journalist father, she jumps at the chance. The situation Brett lobs into her father's lap is a major scoop.  But the secret she discovers about Brett is just as newsworthy. Will her feelings for this wounded warrior win out, or will she release a story guaranteed to destroy Brett’s SEAL career?

When Tess’s father is kidnapped, Brett’s team is deployed to find him. At the same time, a leak in the investigation puts Tess and Brett’s lives in danger. Will Brett be able to break through the lasting effects of his injuries and prove he’s once again a battle-ready SEAL? Or will he and Tess lose everything at the whim of a vengeful killer?

And if you've read the books, I'd love to hear from you and I'd love some reviews!!!
Read on, 

Teresa J. Reasor

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Timeless- Writing cross genre books

 
Writing Timeless my Cross Genre-Paranormal- Science Fiction book


I’m quickly learning that writing things out of the norm makes it difficult to sell books. My book Timeless sold 442 copies in the month of October.  And I’m proud of that. It’s a book that took me three years and a trip to Scotland to write. And I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.

But it hasn’t sold as well as my Navy SEAL romances.

I know that military romance is BIG. And I love my Navy SEALs. They’re all alpha, macho, tough hot, and OMG handsome ---well you get the gist. 

But Quinn Douglas is all those things and then some. He works in a specialized, very dangerous field of deep salvage diving. He plays the flute in his off weeks, because when you are saturated to a specific depth you usually work up to a month living inside the pot and going down as deep as you’re saturated.

In my minds eye he’s Gerard Butler mixed with a little Adrian Paul. OMG. Are you drooling yet?

He’s tough, smart, alpha and a really hot lover. And he dives like a Navy SEAL. Well actually more and better than a Navy SEAL. And he’s very strong because he’s had to work up to 8 hours a day beneath water pressure guaranteed to leave your muscles shaking like jello. So he’s strong, both physically and mentally.

And he’s faithful, generous, and loves profoundly. What better characteristics can a hero have?

My heroine Regan Stanhope is an Archeologist. She comes from a tough background where her mother was mentally unbalanced (or was she) and a drug addict. She may have taken drugs to escape the visions she had.  And Regan was placed up for adoption.

The book is an unusual combination of paranormal because the characters have a connection to each other and experience paranormal visions throughout the book. It’s also Science fiction dealing with the healing and regenerative properties of magnetic fields and the possibilities of being able to cross over into other dimensions through the use of them.

Should I have categorized it as a Paranormal or as Science Fiction?  You’ll have to let me know after you’ve read the book.

I’d love your opinion!!!!

Timeless Blurb

Archaeology student, Regan Stanhope, lands the chance of a lifetime when she’s chosen to work on a summer dig in Loch Maree, Scotland. The ancient monoliths hidden beneath the loch are the most important discovery since Stonehenge. And for seven hundred years, they have been waiting—for her.

Saturation diver Quinn Douglas is contracted to recover some of the megaliths from the loch’s bottom. The job will breathe life into the struggling salvage business he and his brothers are building. But from the moment he arrives, Quinn is plagued by dreams and feelings from a past he did not live. Or did he?

Regan and Quinn are drawn to each other as they research the monoliths and the reason behind their shared visions. But both sense something mystical at work, delving into their minds, manipulating their emotions. And when they finally discover the monoliths’ extraordinary secret, they know they must seal them away from those who are desperate to unlock their power. Even if it means remaining caught in a timeless struggle between the past and present forever.



Read on,
Teresa J. Reasor

Willy C. Sparks: The Dragon Who Lost His Fire

On November 28th my children's book, Willy C. Sparks: The Dragon Who Lost His Fire, was released in ebook and print at Amazon.






 Willy C. Sparks is a grumpy dragon and when he unexpectedly loses his fire, he rushes to the dragon doctor. The doctor's explosive cure teaches Willy that a grumpy attitude may have some serious consequences and that laughter is often the best medicine.


I hope to have it available at Smashwords and Barnes and Noble next week. 

This has been a month long project. Getting the color just right in the print edition was  a learning experience. The color of a JPG image prints differently in each process. So it took some time, but I'm very thrilled with the images.  


Here's a few I've shared on Amazon.





It took me three months to draw the illustrations and get them just as I wanted them.
Also to release the book in ebook format took some manipulating, thanks to my formatter, Lee, from Iron Horse Formatting,  it looks great on ipad, kindle fire, or nook and of course on the computer.  


Thanks,
Teresa J. Reasor