Thursday, April 17, 2014

Author Platforms - Part 1

I spoke last week at the Desert Dreams conference in Tempe about Author Platforms. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about what an 'author platform' is and exactly how important it is. It also seems to be the latest buzz word right now. An agent might think an author with 100,000 active followers might have a great platform while another agent might consider taking on an author with no platform at all because they have a great book.

The best definition I could find for an author platform is:

Any media outlet you are visible and appealing to your future, potential, or actual readership through your personal and professional connections.

In other words: Your current audience reach. 

An author platform is NOT:
  • Self-promotion
  • Agressive selling
  • Annoying potential readers
  • Being an extrovert
I know a number of authors who are introverts and don't go out and aggressively sell their book, but they also have a huge following on a number of social networks.

Getting an author platform doesn't take weeks or months. Building a large social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram doesn't happen overnight. It takes years. I like to think of it as a marathon and you can't get to the finish line doing a sprint. Slow and steady is the best way to build your author platform.

There are far too many networks out on the Internet to do all of them at once. Focus on one or two. Take your time. If one isn't working for you, don’t panic. You haven't failed. Just try another until you find something that works for you.

Some factors to ask yourself when looking into a specific social network are is it:
  • Practical
  • Feasible with your time constraints 
  • Within your budget 
It’s better to have an impressive influence in one area than little in all.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Increasing Your Productivity


If you ask my writing friends what they would like to improve in their writing, many would say the number of books they complete each year. We all want to be like Jennifer Ashley, who writes more than most of us combined. We know it takes determination, and although the mind is willing, the body is weak. What can we do change this?

At our last Valley of the Sun Romance Writer's meeting, Lexi Post spoke on this issue. She had us write down what our writing style included. Mine varies. I am more productive if I leave the house and go to Barnes and Noble. Being around books while I sip on my white chocolate mocha inspires me. A location away from home also removes distractions like the TV and dirty dishes in the sink. After a few hours, I can no longer function and need to get away. I also need to walk around. I usually go home, feeling like I accomplished a great deal, but still have more to do. At this point, I may edit while watching TV. This is not going to increase my productivity. Next time, I'll walk the mall and then try writing either at the food court or another eating establishment. Jennifer writes at one location in the morning and another in the afternoon.

My other obstacle is weeknight exhaustion. I have a full-time, high-stress job. Once I'm home, I'm beat. If I sit down at the dining room table with a bottle of Starbucks mocha and a snack, I can write for about an hour. Then I can follow up later with edits in front of the TV. You might have caught onto my major flaw: relaxing in front of the TV. I need to save it as a reward for a successful writing day.

I have a lot to work on this year, so I will continue to try various methods of improving my productivity and let you know how it went.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Upcoming Workshop on Villains

Hi all,

I've been asked by Melanie at the Dog-Earred Pages Used Bookstore to give a workshop on Villains, titled Facing Off: Creating an adversary worthy of your hero.  Apparently, she really loved Trent:D.

Date: April 18th
Time: 05:30 PM


Anyway, the series is part of the Friday Night Writes, she hosts at her store. I believe this is a small fee to attend, but that fee will be applied to a book purchase. FMI, you can visit her website http://www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Romance Author's Booksigning Open to the Public



Tempe Mission Palms Ballroom
60 East Fifth Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281


General Information:
You are invited to attend one of the largest book signings in the Valley.  New York Time’s Bestsellers Christie Craig, Sylvia Day, Allison Brennan, Karin Tabke, Jennifer Ashley and many more favorites, will be available to meet and greet their fans while they sign their books.

Authors scheduled to appear:


     Jennifer Ashley                                                  Kayce Lassiter                                          
     Judith Ashley                                                     Debbie Lee                         
     Allison Brennan                                                 Sandra Lee Smith     
     Shari Broyer                                                     Annette Mahon
     Mary Buckham                                                  Mary Maxie
     Patricia Burroughs                                             Cathy McDavid
     Laurie Schnebly Campbell                                  Terri Molina
     Stacy Connelly                                                  Judythe Morgan
     Christie Craig                                                    Debra Mullins 
     Barbara White Daille                                          Marina Myles
     Sylvia Day                                                        V. S. Nelson 
     Alison Delaine                                                   Virginia Nosky
     Kerrie Droban                                                   Pinkie Paranya
     Barbara Duell                                                   Marie Patrick
     Marion Ekholm                                                  Lexi Post
     Connie Flynn                                                     Erin Quinn 
     Ramona Forrest                                                 Sarah Raplee
     Calista Fox                                                       Deena Remiel
     Roz Denny Fox                                                 Vijaya Schartz
     Cynthia Garner                                                 Mimi Sebastian
     Tina Gerow                                                       Linda Style
      Marie Harte                                                      Karen Tabke
      Donna Hatch                                                    Pam Tracy
      Arlene Hittle                                                     Kris Tualla
      Jannifer Hoffman                                              Ann Videan
      Shanyn Hosier                                                 Susan C. Yarina
      Morgan Kearns                                                Beth Yarnell
      Vanessa M. Knight

Friday, March 28, 2014

Author Spotlight on Amber Leigh Williams


A PLACE WITH BRIAR
by Amber Leigh Williams



He's in some serious trouble….
Cole Savitt does not want to deceive Briar Browning. But if he hopes to see his son again, he has to find the weaknesses in her charming bed-and-breakfast, then get out of town fast! But the quaint inn isn't the only thing charming him….

Cole's straightforward plan becomes anything but when he begins to fall for the beautiful innkeeper. Suddenly everything's on the line—his future with his son, a chance at happiness and the love of a good woman. Cole must rethink his priorities…and the stakes have never been higher.


Excerpt:
     “There’s something you need to know….” 
     Cole’s lips curved as he turned back to the bike. “I know.” 
     “You do?” Briar asked, sounding astounded.
     “You’ve never ridden a bike before.”
     “Is it that obvious?” she asked, rubbing her palms on her jeans.
     “A little,” he said wryly. “Just lean with me into the turns. And hold on.”
     Hell, if he didn’t coax her on now, she’d probably run for her life. And while that might have been better for the both of them under the circumstances, he found himself jerking his thumb behind him, motioning for her to get on.
     After a brief pause, Briar dropped down her visor and stepped to the bike. Gripping his offered hand for balance, she climbed on behind him and placed her feet on the small passenger pegs.
Just this once, he was going to give Briar Browning the ride of her life. God help them both.

RT BOOK REVIEWS gives A Place With Briar 4 STARS: “Great description and engaging characters make this story an entertaining read. Cole is nicely developed and his despair over losing his son and Briar’s worry over the potential loss of her inn are both well drawn. The secondary characters, such as Briar’s tenants, are also quite fun and nicely crafted.”


You can purchase A Place With Briar now in stores or online….
Harlequin: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=51153

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Place-Briar-Harlequin-Superromance/dp/037360842X/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1392412584&sr=8-1

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Place-Briar-Mills-Boon-Superromance-ebook/dp/B00FTQIM64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392412584&sr=8-1&keywords=a+place+with+briar

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-place-with-briar-amber-leigh-williams/1117254426?ean=9781460329351


Bio:
Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she loves beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband, Jacob, and their sweet, blue-eyed boy. When she’s not running after her young son and three, large dogs, she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by Joyce Holland of the D4EO Literary Agency. Visit her on the web at www.amberleighwilliams.com. You can also find her on Twitter (@AleighWilliams) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/amberleighwilliams).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Congratulations to all seven of my winners, in the U.S and U.K.!

Today I'd like to give a shout-out to some of my most loyal readers...and the winners of my last contest, which I'm happy to say are both one and the same. My website contest for a moonstone necklace was won by Arwen L. from Austin, TX. Congrats, Arwen! She sent me a lovely picture of herself wearing her new necklace. Thank you for allowing me to share, Arwen!





At the same time, I had a give-a-way for SIX autographed ARC's of Everlasting Enchantment. It's always so hard for me to give away just ONE prize when I get so many wonderful entries sharing my books on Twitter and Facebook and other social media. Anyone could enter, of course, but the only way to find out about this private contest was through my newsletter. (Oh, dear. You still aren't a subscriber of my newsletter? It's easy! Just hop on over to my website and click on the Newsletter button: http://www.kathrynekennedy.com )

Congratulations to:
Sandra L. from Kalamazoo, MI 
Kathie S. from Oklahoma City, OK
Jennifer H. from Sharpsburg GA
Dianna R. from South Charleston, WV
Ilona F. from Wales, U.K. (Yes, I allow entries from my overseas readers!)
Karen K. from Five Points, AL

 
  I use RandomNumber.org to pick the winners. I find it fascinating that the winners are all from different states/locations, although it makes me happy to know that my books are reaching and touching so many different people. I guess magical romance can appeal to any tender heart.

As Always,
My Magical Best,
Kathryne Kennedy