The Snowball Effect #WritersGroup #LoveandSupport #mgtab @jacqbiggar

Share this:

PhotoFunia-1511057744

The Benefit of a Writer’s Group

A few months ago Mimi Barbour, creator of The Authors’ Billboard, a group of over thirty bestselling romance writers, came up with the ingenious idea of setting up box sets varying in size from six to eight books and enrolling them into the Kindle Select program.

The hope was to gain new readers, and of course sales, of our individual books. We started out with two or three sets, just to see how they would do.

books-1900467_640

There was such a fantastic response from our readers, three more followed. Then three more, then… well, you get the picture 🙂

As quick as we could put them together, they were getting read; to the tune of millions of pages read (Kindle Select’s method of determining how much to pay authors from a fund Amazon adds to each month)

Amazon KENP Rates of Major Stores

 

It has proven to be a snowball effect, benefiting the group in ways we never expected.

 

snowman-1227018_640

 

We’ve become stronger as a group.

Friends who have each other’s backs. We support and promote new releases. Celebrate achievements. Share information. Build on our successes. And commiserate our failures.

No matter what, we know there’s someone who will listen when we need advice.

If you ever get the opportunity to join a writer’s group, I highly recommend giving it a try!

If you’d like to meet our group and have some fun at the same time, stop by November 29-30 at our 2nd Annual Christmas Bash on Facebook. There’ll be plenty of chatting, games, and giveaways! You don’t want to miss the party, we’d love to meet you there!

 

ABB Christmas Bash

 

And here’s a listing of our #boxsets: available for a LIMITED TIME!

Reviews are the lifeblood of any successful author. Without you, we can’t be heard.

If you enjoy the story, please consider sharing on your favorite social media sites, as well as GoodReads and from wherever you’ve bought the book and visit us online for great deals, interesting blog posts, contests, and much more!

The Authors’ Billboard

We’d love to have you subscribe to our blog and to sign up on for our Weekly Newsletter.

http://authorsbillboard.com/newsletter-sign-up/

Thank you!

Love, Christmas

Unforgettable Romances: Unforgettable Heroes

Unforgettable Heroes: Unforgettable Passion

Unforgettable Christmas: Gifts of Love

Kiss Me, Thrill Me

Dangerous Encounters: Love on the Edge

Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics

Sweet and Sassy

Sweet and Sassy Christmas

Love on Fire

Sweet Heat

A Christmas She’ll Remember

 

Jacquie Biggar

Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
View website

Share this:

Wild Turkeys

Share this:

It’s impossible to say how many people in the United States will be eating turkey for Thanksgiving this week, and but suffice it to say that there will be a lot! Most will be commercially grown, a few from local farms or raised at home, and even a few turduckhens (a deboned chicken stuffed in a deboned duck which is then stuffed in a deboned turkey). I’m really curious, though, about how many will be wild turkeys. I doubt I’ll ever know, but I know I won’t be eating one of my feral ‘pets!’
There are thousands of wild turkeys here in western Oregon, including the neighborhood flock I’ve watched grow from a few hens and their chicks. Yes, we stop on the road for the foraging birds who will fly short distances when spooked. They make the same ‘gobble gobble’ noise we’ve heard the barnyard variety make. The males do display their tail feathers to impress the females, but I’ve only seen that in the spring when the toms are trying to impress the hens. By the way, the young males are called jakes and look a lot like hens.
A few things I didn’t know: there are six species of Melegaris gallapavo in the US. All of them have keep eyesight and hearing, but have a poor sense of smell. Although their preferred foods are grasses, seeds, berries, and insects, they love creepy crawlies (including snakes and salamanders). They also eat wild flower seeds and quail eggs, and scratch up the ground thoroughly, so some folks consider them a pest. My high ‘deer proof’ fence keeps them out of my yard and garden, but sometimes I wish I could bring them in for a day or three, just so they could eat my arch enemies, slugs! I’d definitely open my gates for a few days if they ate moles and gophers! Since they don’t eat furry vermin, I’ll simply enjoy watching and hearing the moving scenery of the biggest ground bird native to his area: the wild turky.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and be glad it’s not this wily bird. Because they’re so active, their meat is tough..

Looking for a book to help get in the mood for the Christmas season? Right now, I have THREE new novellas in these FOUR box sets. Enjoy 47 stories for $3.96 total (or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited). Download now. These are limited release sets.

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
 View website

Share this:

Writers Reading Vs. Readers Reading by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Share this:

I spent most of the past 5 days working in the yard at our house in the country. Three years ago, a leprosy-carrying critter tunneled all around the foundation of our house and pretty far up under the foundation of the back porch.

Our neighbor tried to trap it in a cage made for wild critters. He succeeded only in catching 1 pissed-off giant skunk instead.

I learned a lot about wildlife pests that year. For instance, only 1 thing deters an armadillo. Death. My only hope was that it might become road kill. I guess that eventually happened because it stopped coming around. By then, the yard was wrecked. Mulch was scattered everywhere, shrubs were uprooted, flowers were dead.

Real life problems intervened, then last year, another armadillo found our yard. Same story. I bought Coyote Urine Granules which was touted as an armadillo deterrent. Well, it didn’t deter the armadillo, but it sure made us run for cover. Eventually, that pest must have met a speeding car on the highway too.

This year, we made the commitment to evict the weeds that had replaced the landscaping. Big commitment, and an even bigger job!

You may be wondering what this has to do with the title of my post. When I’m pulling weeds and digging up surviving plants, I have a lot of time to think. So I thought about books and reading. I thought about my work in progress and suspension of disbelief which led me to think about how readers would accept my new story. Another leap, and I was thinking about how a writer reads versus how a reader reads.

Writer’s Viewpoint

I think as writers we always look at situations in books from a writer’s viewpoint. I don’t think readers look at those same situations in the same way.

For instance, if a writer is trying to create a situation in which the protagonist does something most people wouldn’t do, the writer agonizes over how to make it believable to the reader. The writer jumps through all kinds of mental hoops to create a situation in which readers will suspend their disbelief and follow the viewpoint character through the story.

Reader’s Viewpoint

Actually, I don’t think most readers (who are non-writers) ever really think about whether a situation is outlandish–especially if they immediately identify with the viewpoint character. They’re not thinking about the story in the same way as writers.

Readers don’t shop for books, picking up one after the other, with the thought, “No, I won’t read that because the premise is unbelievable.” Or, “yes, I can suspend my disbelief and read this.”

Most readers are wanting to be taken on an adventure so they’re not nearly as critical as writers. Otherwise, there would be no paranormal or fantasy sales or any of the other genres populated by high concept books. There’d probably be a lot fewer romance and mystery sales too.

When a reader wants a mystery, he/she probably doesn’t pick up a book, read the blurb, and think: I don’t believe a wacky woman could work as a bail recovery agent. Or, the reason this housewife wants to play sleuth is ridiculous.

Writers who are reading will think like that, but readers don’t. Readers just dive in, wanting an adventure, wanting to be entertained. Readers are more lenient with books than writers, as long as the reader is entertained. Ultimately, suspension of disbelief is achieved by being carried away by a story and its characters.

Bottom Line

Regardless of the genre, readers follow this thought process: “Hmm. This sounds intriguing.” If it does, they buy. Readers buy based on the way the story or the character resonates with them. They don’t pick apart the blurb or over-analyze the premise.

Writers may buy the same book, but that little editor inside them is constantly analyzing and critiquing–not just the writing and the story, but the way it was marketed too.

At least that’s my 2 cents. What do you think?

Passion. Secrets. Lies. What Tessa doesn’t remember may be the death of her.

Post Script

I loosely based the setting in my Outlaw Ridge, Texas series on the country-side near our house. In Heat Lightning, the first book of the series, the only varmints Tessa and David encounter are the two-legged variety. Heat Lightning is free on Kindle Unlimited, or only $2.99 to buy. Dead Heat, Book 2 of the series, will be published in July.

Joan Reeves

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Reeves makes her home in the Lone Star State with her hero, her husband.

They have 4 children who think they are adults and a ghost dog, all the ingredients for a life full of love and warmed by laughter.

Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of her romance novels: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”

 View website

Share this:

The Top 5 Most Stressful Experiences: A Lesson from a Pup

Share this:

Experts tell us that the Top Five Most Stressful times in life are:

  1. Death of a loved one
  2. Divorce
  3. Moving
  4. Major illness
  5. Job loss

And any combination of the five, or added stress from another source, can only make matters worse.

476384_4161496656214_67194810_oApparently, not only humans recognize that relocation is traumatic. (It’s #3!) My daughter has a pug in her menagerie. When I arrived at her new house to help her unpack, she (my daughter, not the pug) looked a little disoriented but was putting up a brave effort. It was the little dog that reminded us of how we humans felt. Poor little fellow was hyperventilating big time.

Joe’s big soulful pug eyes were bulging with terror, and he kept staggering around in circles, trying to catch his breath. It wasn’t until we sat down with him in the middle of the empty room (furniture hadn’t yet arrived) that he slowly calmed down, sprawled on the carpet beside us and, apparently, began to accept the idea that this was his new home.

The humans took a little longer to adjust. What had been planned as an easy, one-day move was quickly reformulated as a one-week move. Truck rentals were extended. Unpacking and cleaning rescheduled on a more realistic time frame. Slowly, blood pressures lowered.

Sometimes human beings need to take a lesson from our animal friends. Sudden changes can send us into a panic. Our bodies and emotions overload. We need to make fewer demands on ourselves during these times and just…take it easy.

Granted, there is a lot in life that we can’t control. Death, the loss of love or deteriorating health or even keeping a job–are all too often the challenges we face with the most difficulty. But if there is a way we can give ourselves a little breathing room, the time and patience to recover, it can help.

When life gets complicated and comes at us in a way that knocks the wind out of us, that isn’t the time to put yourself on a schedule and demand that we “get over it” and move on. Whether mourning a loved one, acclimating to a new home, healing after being ill, or finding a new job–we sometimes need to just sit still and let the newness of the experience sink in. We have to learn to breathe again, to trust ourselves and the future. Yes, things will be different from now on. But we definitely will be okay. Right, Joe?

Your friend, Kathryn

TheGentlemanPoet.jpg new

I guess stress is one reason I love to write fiction. Escaping into a story helps me take life a little less seriously, or at least understand that others have faced challenges just as difficult as my own. If you want to share my escape plan and chill out with me someday, you might want to check out one of my novels. Here’s one of my favorites.

 

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA TODAY bestselling author and Daphne Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy, as well as on solo projects. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups.
 View website

Share this:

WRITING-BEING YOUR DREAM!

Share this:

hand-281995_640
I grew up loving books and reading. I never really thought about becoming a writer because I knew…I KNEW that anyone who wrote books must be a genius. How could authors not be incredibly brainy, and still charm, fascinate and fool me into thinking fantasy was real? Sadly, I was not a genius.
But one day—long after college, marrying, and having babies—I decided to try my hand at writing a few stories. I found that the more I wrote, the better I got. It was like exercising a muscle; it automatically grows stronger. So does the brain when you write; your mind locks in on story-telling techniques. It’s said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. I must have put in twice that many. But eventually, the stories I wrote began to sell, and readers (Imagine that! I actually had readers!) began to tell me how much they liked my novels.
TheGentlemanPoet.jpg new
I have now published over 40 books with a variety of wonderful publishers. I also teach other writers how to make their stories better and more marketable, as an instructor at The Writer’s Center and at The Smithsonian Associates programs in Washington, DC. I want to share with you the key tools we talk about in one of the most popular courses at TWC: The Extreme Novelist.
CoverFinalSM-TheExtremeNovelist
1) Ignore “the voices.” These negative thoughts that tell us we can’t do something challenging or new because it’s too hard and we’re not smart enough. Do it anyway!
2) Outrun the voices by writing daily and submerging yourself so completely in your tale that they simply can’t reach through your wall of concentration. My students pledge to write at least 90 minutes a day, six days a week, until a full (rough) draft of their story is done.
3) Be a mobile writer. You don’t need a cabin in the woods and absolute silence. Most writers have alternate “offices”—coffee shop, library, airport lounge, the mall. You’ll learn to zone out noise.
4) Use dead time—waiting in doctor/dental offices, riding on a subway or bus. I used to sit in my car during office lunch hours and write. Live in your story by taking it with you everywhere!
5) Protect your high-energy time of every day/night. If you’re a morning person, wake up an hour earlier and write like the wind. A night owl? Write while the rest of the world sleeps.
6) Don’t look back! When writing a first draft, resist going back and correcting, fussing with, polishing what you’ve written. Revision comes later. Don’t risk getting trapped in a first chapter and never moving forward.
I could share a lot more with you, but this will get you started. If you’d like additional tips and support for your writing, you might check out the book based on my class, The Extreme Novelist. It’s on sale for a pittance right now.
Most importantly of all—enjoy your writing time. It’s golden. It’s all yours. And I just know you’re going to be amazing! Hugs, Kathryn
WildPrincessPB C small

Some of Kathryn’s books can be found here:
The Gentleman Poet The Gentleman Poet

The Extreme Novelist The Extreme Novelist

The Wild Princess https: The Wild Princess

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA TODAY bestselling author and Daphne Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy, as well as on solo projects. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups.
 View website

Share this:

Never Vacuum Again!

Share this:

(Or…I’d Rather be Reading a Great Book!)
by Kathryn Johnson
“There’s never enough time in the day!” How often have you said that? I say that all the time.

Every day is just as busy for me as it is for you. We may have different jobs or routines, different professional or personal obligations. But we all feel as if we could use help managing our time to enable us to do the things we enjoy.

A few months ago, our vacuum cleaner died. I went on a frantic search for a replacement. Only to discover how expensive any of the highly rated ones had become. Yes, I could buy a cheap one, but would it last more than a few months? We have the usual dirt tracked in on my gardening shoes, and then there’s the cat. Fur: the evil abomination of vacuum cleaners. And then it struck me…those ads I’d seen for cute little robot vacuums. One of those, if it was effective, would not only clean my floors—it would buy me more time for reading, or for writing my books. Hmmm….more research.
I found a few brands that were highly rated. The top 5 on one review site were:

iRobot Roomba 880
Neato iBotvac
Samsung POWERbot
bObsweep bObi
Miele Scout
Prices ranged from $319. to $800. Whoa! Pretty pricey. But the much touted Dysons were up in the stratosphere too. And they didn’t do the work for you.

DSC_0101

I ended up purchasing the Roomba 880 after reading still more reviews. Check out his photo as he’s cleaning my balcony. Isn’t he cute!

Not everyone loves these machines. Some people seem to have trouble with one thing or another, or report them breaking down after a few months. I can only say that I love my little bot. He scoots around and sings out to me when he’s finished cleaning the room. And…the best thing of all: I get to finish writing another chapter of my latest book!

When Kathryn isn’t cuddling her fur-producing cat, Tempest, she’s writing books like her Affairs of State romantic-suspense series—featuring the exciting Mercy O’Brien.DSC_0102

 

 

 

Book #1, just .99, Books #2 and #3 $2.99 each.
Mercy Killing (#1) http://amzn.com/B00LXIZBZC
Hot Mercy (#2) http://amzn.com/B00P0A42FO
No Mercy (#3) http://amzn.com/B0140L4K32

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA TODAY bestselling author and Daphne Award-winner often writing in collaboration with her husband, Roy, as well as on solo projects. She spent many years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. A compulsive reader of every genre, she also loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soups.
 View website

Share this:

7 Tips for Successful Book Clubs

Share this:

Book Club t-shirtI have a dear friend who is a member of a book club. She enjoys meeting up with other readers and discussing the books that the group has chosen to read. I asked her to give me some tips on how to start successful book clubs. Here’s what she suggested:

  1. Decide on the “tone” of the club. Will the feel be serious, highly social, or somewhere in between?
  2. Genre matters! What kind of books will be read? Will the group focus on best-selling literature or mass market genres such as mysteries, romances, thrillers, etc?
  3. The “when” and “where” are also matter. How often will the group meet? It seems once a month is about the average. If you want to meet more often, breaking the reading into chapters (read chapters 5 through 10 before the next meeting) will work. And will you meet in someone’s home? Or rotate meeting locations? Or meet on-line? Meeting in the local library might be a great option for local book clubs.
  4. Decide your book clubs size. Probably between 8 and 16 members is a good size. Large enough to have a good conversation even if several members are absent, but not so large as to make the discussion overwhelming.
  5. Naming the group might be a fun “ice breaker” at the first meeting.
  6. Keeping in touch: exchange emails and set up a “loop” or create a phone tree for meeting reminders or emergency cancellations.
  7. Going above and beyond—collect dues and use the money to buy books for the local library, a school, or donate the money to a local literacy program.

Here are some suggestions on how to structure your meetings (with or without a leader). Book clubs are more fun and the meetings move smoother with a little pre-planning.

Find ideas for promoting discussion here.

Are you a book club member? How often do you meet? What types of books does your group read?

Look for SUMMER LOVIN’ Anthology ~ 14 novels and novellas by bestselling authors

Kindle US     Kindle UK     Nook     Kobo     iBook     Google Play

Summer Lovin

Donna Fasano

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #5.

View website

Share this: