Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Release!!! The Cowgirl's Secret


 

I'm proud to announce that Tori and Sam's story is finally finished and ready for your reading pleasure! THE COWGIRL'S SECRET is Book Five in The Diamondback Ranch Series! This is the book many of you have been patiently waiting for. Thank you so much for all the emails telling me how much you've enjoyed the other books in the series about Tori's brothers. I hope you enjoy Tori and Sam's story. I certainly enjoyed writing it.

The Cowgirl's Secret is available for $2.99 at the following online retailers:

Amazon
B&N
Amazon UK

BLURB:

An Independent Young Woman

Tori McCade is bound and determined to earn her degree and return home to practice veterinary medicine in Salt Fork, Texas. Nothing and no one can stop her, not even the hottest man she's ever met in her life.

A man who knows what he wants

Sam Garza meets the much younger Tori McCade in a dance club in Dallas, Texas, and all bets are off. He wants her, and he's going to have her . . . even if it means following her to Salt Fork. Both agree they need to keep things simple and uncomplicated. And he's okay with that . . . for now.


EXCERPT:
Tori's breath stalled in her lungs as her back lay nestled against Sam's solid-muscled chest. She felt his lips on her hair, his kiss burning her scalp. Hot prickles of desire infused her blood, and she couldn't help tilting her head forward, wanting to feel his lips on her skin. He was quick to oblige, trailing kisses across the nape of her neck and collarbone.
Suddenly, he twirled her around and Tori looked up at him. He really was a brutally handsome man, his features hard as granite. She fleetingly wondered how a man who looked so fierce, so feral, could scatter such gentle kisses across her sensitive skin. How a man who had uprooted his whole life so he could help his sick mother--how could such a man look at her with such intense yearning? Such hot passion?
Sam's eyes dilated beneath heavy lids. He bent toward her, stopping only millimeters from her mouth. His breath was hot on her lips. Tori's stomach dipped in an alarming manner.
"I'm going to kiss you." His voice was rough with desire. "I've been wanting to kiss you from the first moment I saw you at the bar."
He yanked her into his strong arms and gathered her close. He was warm and hard and very aroused. Before Tori could say or do anything, his mouth crushed down on hers in a hungry savage kiss.
### 
The Cowgirl's Secret will also be available on Apple, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords very soon. Look for it in Audio and Print formats a little later on.
Happy Reading!!!
Anne Marie   :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Indie Author Adventure Continues: Three-Year Anniversary!!!




This month, I celebrated my three-year anniversary as an Indie Author. Three years! Time sure flies when you're having fun! And I'm having fun. Loads of fun! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm living my dream. I'm writing stories I want to write, publishing to readers who like my kind of stories and making a little dab of money. I've found the joy again in the writing process. It's fun, but not easy. Publishing directly to readers is a lot of hard work. But the rewards are satisfying and SO worth it.

I'm getting ready to publish my tenth novel and my twentieth title. Book Five of The Diamondback Ranch Series will go live in the next couple of weeks. The Cowgirl's Secret is Tori and Sam's story; readers have been wanting this book seems like forever. It'll go on sale as an ebook first, then soon after it will be available in audio and print. It's a great time to be a writer!!!

I thought I'd share my list of the five most important marketing tools in my Indie Author's tool bag. This is just my opinion. Of course, your mileage may vary.

First off, I have to say that I never do promo. Well, almost never. I did take out an ad at STORYFINDS in January and it really gave me a bump in sales the first time; the second time, not so much, but that was probably because the ads were sent out too close together in time. The site is growing and Renee keeps prices low. I plan to take advantage of some of the promo ops later in the year.

Second, I truly believe that writing the next book is the best promotion you can do. The more product you have out there, the better chance readers will find you.  

Visibility is everything!!!

With that said, what I call marketing is something I do pretty much one time and then it's in place forever, and I can forget about it and just write more books. Yes, sometimes I have to go back and update stuff, but that's just part of the gig.

So here we go . . .

The number one most important marketing tool is write a good book. Enough said.  :)

The second most important marketing tool is create a mailing list for dedicated readers and fans. This list is made up of readers who want to read your next book, not people who sign up to get something for free and could really care less about your next new release.

It grows organically at its own pace. My first mailing list was a Yahoo Group. This bombed because it was too hard for people to sign up. Many people don't use Yahoo and didn't want to go to the trouble of opening an account. I lost a lot of subscribers that way. You need to make it as easy as possible for readers to sign up for your mailing list. One click, maybe two.

And when you do release a new book, you send out an Email Blast and if a whole lot of those readers buy your book right off the bat, your rankings can sky-rocket and you get on a few of the best-selling lists and that EQUALS VISIBILITY.  

Visibility is key!!!

I use Mail Chimp. So far, I'm using the free account. If I get over a certain amount of subscribers (God willing), I'll switch to a paid account. I put my sign-up form on my website, blog, and my FaceBook Author Page and my Amazon Author Page. I also make it easy for readers to sign up by putting the link at the very end of each book. Say they've just finished reading my book and love it (fingers crossed); after The End, there's a link to subscribe to my New Release Mailing List. One, two clicks and they're done. I do not send out newsletters. I'm too busy, and I don't think a lot of people want their inbox filled with them. I also put the link at the beginning of each book, as well as links to my website and FB Author page. Make it easy.

Visibility is paramount!!!

The third most important marketing tool is a professional-looking cover. I'm still working on this. When I first started out, I didn't spend a dime on anything and somehow still did okay. After I changed the covers and created a "brand," sales got a lot better than okay. Amazing what a good cover can do for marketing. It needs to look good and legible in thumb-nail size. Like I said, I'm still working on this. My nephew made me a PowerPoint template for my series and it's pretty easy to make my covers now. I also pay a young lady ($25) to make my 3d covers for my boxed sets.

The fourth most important marketing tool is a short concise blurb that hooks the reader. Again, I'm still working on this. It should be in present tense with action verbs, etc.

The fifth most important marketing tool is the back matter in your books. Again, you want it to be easy for readers to find you. Provide a link to your author page on Amazon (in Kindle books), provide blurbs and links to some of your individual books, especially series. You might want to entice readers with a short excerpt from a couple of your previous books or tease them with a short excerpt from your next. Don't include too many excerpts or you'll frustrate them and they'll feel like they've been cheated because they thought the actual book was longer.

Pricing is important, too. You need to experiment and find your sweet spot. I price as follows:
Short stories: $0.99
Novellas: $1.99
Novels (50k words and up): $2.99
Box Sets: Right now, $2.99. I'm still playing around with the prices.

I have the first book in my Diamondback Ranch Series, The Doctor Wears A Stetson, set at 99 cents. I will probably always have it at that price because it introduces readers to the series. I have one of my books (the longest) at $3.99. Still playing with that one.
 
Also, I have my books distributed through as many different channels and in as many different formats as I can. I'm on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Apple, Diesel, ARe and Smashwords. All of my novels and novellas are available in audio format on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. I'm working to get all of my novels into POD (print on demand) through CreateSpace. One of these days, I plan to have my books translated into different languages, but that is cost-prohibitive for me at this time.

An author website is important. I need to upgrade/update mine. So much to do, so little time. A Facebook Author Page is also important to create. I'm just now working on building my page, but I know it's an important venue to connect with readers, and I'm slowly getting there. It should go without saying:  provide links to buy books on your websites, blogs and author pages. Always make it easy for readers to find you.
 
* My website: www.annemarienovark.com
* Check out my Facebook Author Page:  Anne Marie Novark Romance Author

Some resources I highly recommend:

The Writers' Cafe on Kboards is the best place for Indie Authors (IMO). If you have a question and/or need to keep abreast of what's happening in the Indie Publishing world, this is the forum to go to. Extremely helpful.

Websites/blogs:

It's hard to believe I've been self-publishing for three years. I remember when I first decided to take the plunge, I was almost embarrassed to tell my writer friends what I was doing. Self-publishing still had a stigma attached and negativity associated with it.

Boy, has that changed!  Publishing has changed and is still changing. No telling how it will all end up.

All I know is that I'm glad I took the plunge. It's an awesome time to be a writer!!!

Happy Writing and Publishing!!!

Anne Marie   :)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Cover Reveal for Tori and Sam



Here's a peek at the cover for Tori and Sam's book. I'm finishing up the edits and with luck, THE COWGIRL'S SECRET ( Book Five in The Diamondback Ranch Series) will be out very, very soon!!!

Happy Reading!!!

Anne Marie   :)