Creating a Successful Book Launch Day

circleN-my changes5

Circe: The Beginning is the first short story that I’ve done a lot of “marketing” for before the big launch day. And so far, it’s panning out to be my most successful launch day (although I’ll come back and report on it after it is released on May 3rd). The best part of all this, is that I’ve spent less than ten dollars.

So how did I do it?

  1. There are several websites where you can potentially advertise your book for free.
    1. I promoted Circe: The Beginning with all the sites that allowed .99 stories.
    2. I promoted The Sea Goddess on the same week my other story is launching (at all the sites that require a free story).
    3. In this way, I’m hoping some of the people who pick up one story will pick up the others.
    4. Here are some of the sites I used:
      1. http://freeebooksforme.com/authors-page/
      2. http://bookdealhunter.com/submit-free-book/
      3. http://ebookshabit.com/for-authors/
      4. http://www.getfreeebooks.com/?page_id=81
      5. http://ebooklister.net/submit.php
      6. http://www.frugal-freebies.com/p/submit-freebie.html
  1. (Although I have no idea which sites will actually promote my work, I’ve only heard back from one of them, as of now.)I also reached out to a few book reviewers. Two of them have agreed to do editorial reviews for both “To Kill a Wizard” and Circe: The Beginning.
    1. The most amazing thing about this is that all I did was ask. If you haven’t reached out to a book reviewer, but you want to, go for it! You can’t lose anything by trying.
  1. Going on some social media groups, as well as, asking my blog followers, I was able to hand out a large number of free copies of Circe: The Beginning.
    1. They have all agreed to leave reviews on May 3rd when the story comes out, although I’ll shoot them an email as a reminder.
    2. And the best part of this, most of them have reached out to me to say how much they love the story! It is absolutely wonderful to have people who know very little about me have such positive feedback.
  2. And here’s where I spent a tiny bit of money, I used Amazon’s new giveaway. It allows authors to give away free Kindle copies of their books.
    1. I’ll report anything I learn about this process later. Right now, I essentially have this little link: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/1cbf2786a11b4fca?ref_=pe_1771210_134854370#ln-en
    2. People click on it and see if they win.
    3. Unlike Goodreads, I have no clue how to discover how many people, if any, have entered the contest.
  3. The last thing I’ll do is shoot an email to my newsletter followers (click here to receive my newsletters).

 

Next Tuesday, my latest short story comes out. I don’t know how many downloads I’ll have, or whether anyone will actually leave reviews, but I feel really excited to see how all of this pans out.

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I Need Your Help

Interested in dystopian sci-fi adventures? My latest short story Circe: The Beginning is available for preorder on Amazon right now. I’m reaching out to my blog followers to offer up free copies to the first one hundred people who contact me, either by commenting with their email on this blog, or emailing me at lisa@lisamorrowbooks.com. All I ask is that you post an honest review on the story on Amazon when it comes out. At only 3,000 words, it’s probably a 15-20 minute read.

Check the cover and blog out here:

circleN-my changes5.jpg

Impressions can be deceiving. The world has taught Connie that. Monsters don’t hide in shadows or under beds, like she believed as a little girl. Instead, they walk in broad daylight with handsome faces and warm smiles. What’s worse, the nightmares they awaken within her are memories rather than creations of her own imagination.

But, what if it didn’t have to be that way?

Connie and The Revolutionists think they have the answer. An idea that will finally make things fair.

Unless they’re wrong. Will the new world be any better than the old, or will Connie find she’s made the worst mistake of her life?

*** Circe: The Beginning is meant as a prequel to the True Souls’ series. At around 3,000 words, it is a short story. This dystopian, science-fiction novel contains some cursing and violence.

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The Perfect Relationship: Writer, Editor, and Critique Partners

Meeting2

Critiquing well is a two way street, whether you’re using an editor, beta readers, or other writers as critiquing partners. The person giving the feedback needs to be willing to adjust it to meet the needs of the person he or she is giving the feedback too, and vice versa.

For example:

  • Person #1 writes rough first drafts. He needs to get his ideas out on paper, not worrying about the line-to-line mistakes. Bogging him down with the “small” problems isn’t very helpful, because he already knows he needs to change those things. He wants “bigger picture” issues.
  • Person #2 writes almost flawless first drafts that take her countless hours to write. She loves feedback, but sometimes she needs to work the problems out on her own. Once you point something out, let it go. She’ll decide what works best for her when she’s ready. She’s not a plotter, she’s a panser, and she’s fine with that.
  • Person #3 writes minimalistic first drafts. It’s hard sometimes to determine exactly what she wants. Usually a combination of line edits and overall feedback works best, but chances are she’ll end up rewriting it multiple times before it’s where she want. That’s simply her process.
  • Person #4 tries to make fully flushed out drafts. Sometimes he hits the mark, and sometimes he doesn’t. He usually likes line edits and larger edits, although his drafts are usually pretty clean.

If a critiquer doesn’t understand what the other person needs, it isn’t very helpful. Both parties need to have open communication, or seeds of annoyance can grow on both sides. So the best thing a writer can do is say exactly what they need.

Example:

  • This is rough, so don’t worry about line edits. Focus on the bigger person
  • This should be clean. But what are your impressions of the main character, setting, and overall plot?
  • Etc.

Sometimes open communication can fix it all. Sometimes personalities simply don’t work together, no matter what. And sometimes… you strike gold and work together flawlessly. You never know until you put yourself out there and try.

Posted in #OnWriting, critiquing, Editing, editor, Tips for Writers, Uncategorized, Writer's Life, Writing, Writing Advice, writing group, Writing Process, Writing Tips, Writing Topics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Type of Dragon Are You? #Dragons

I recently stumbled across Amber Kallyn’s post with a fun quiz to determine what kind of dragon you are, and I thought my readers might enjoy taking it. Happy Friday!

Oh, and I got:
“Hydrophius (Water Dragon) is a Morphian Morphiped. Repetitive-sounding, huh? Well that just means that it can change shapes, spending most of its time as water itself, with a core at the center, allowing it to change whether it has wings, two legs, or four legs! If you are a Hydrophius, you are a gentle, but powerful, go-with-the-flow kind of person. You watch over from a distance, and spend much time on thoughts and whimsy.”

The dragon actually fits me pretty well. 🙂

Find out what kind of dragon you are by taking the quiz: http://www.playbuzz.com/kattw10/what-type-of-dragon-are-you

The World of the 7 Evil Dwarves

We interrupt our “Writing Tips by the Masters” program this week, because I found something AWESOME!

If you know me, you know I LOVE dragons. Dragon anything! (How to Train Your Dragon 2 was great, by the way 😀 )

On Facebook, there are a ton of annoying quizzes. Which popsicle are you, what’s your color, yadda yadda. But this one I couldn’t resist.

My results:

Pyrodermoid

 

Pyrodermoid (Fire-Skin Dragon) is a Pterian Biped (wings, two legs). This species of dragon might sound familiar; they, “have a nasty habit of lighting themselves on fire”. Ring a bell? No? Well, no fear. A Pyrodermoid is a passionate, sometimes wild, creature. If you are a Pyrodermoid, you may wear your feelings on the outside. You can be a little over-aggressive if someone shows threat to a friend, family member, or even one of your ideals/ opinions. Your soul is untamable, like…

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Opportunity Knocked and Ran Away. But Don’t Worry, I Caught It

Cliff

Sometimes when an opportunity knocks, you have to open the door, regardless of whether or not you’re still in your pajamas and slippers. Or in my case, when a thousand butterflies are flying around in my stomach, as my finger hovers over the “send” button.

So, here’s what happened:

  • Recently, a group of amazing writers decided to put out an anthology containing the first five thousand words of their sci-fi romances.
  • I’d been playing with a sci-fi romance for a short time and LOVED it. But the last time I wrote a true romance (the romance being the bigger focus than the fantasy), I ended up feeling embarrassed and like a failure. The feedback I received was a bit crushing, so I left the romance in the darkest corner of my files and tried to pretend it never existed.
  • Therefore, I was nervous about writing another one.
  • The interesting thing is that over the past couple of years (since my embarrassing experience) I’ve become a little more confident of a writer. Part of that is because of Aeon Igni and Tara Rane, my fellow writers. They write romance in its truest form, and they’ve had a number of kind and encouraging things to say.
  • The other part of my growing confidence has to do with the fact that I’m growing as a writer. Just like a baseball player who trains more, I’m improving my skill. So I’m more confident, because I am a better writer than I was before.
  • Anyway, the opportunity to join this amazing project presented itself, but I was afraid. I mean, really afraid. Would I embarrass myself again? All my work up until this point has been heavily reviewed by my trusted critique group members, so I wasn’t just diving into a pool… I was diving off a cliff.
  • But sometimes, I think, you just have to trust yourself. Even though you’re taking a risk, even though it’s scary, you have to take a chance.
  • So I did. I “finished” my story and sent it off.
  • Now, my name is listed as an author in the anthology. (I’ll give a shout out when it comes out.)
  • I’m proud of myself for taking this chance. Whether I “fail” or “succeed” later on, nothing can take away from the fact that I went out-on-a-limb and believed in my work enough to try.
  • However, I’ll look forward to the responses and reviews when the time comes. That will be the final test, in my mind, of whether or not this risk was worth taking.

Opportunities often knock and run away. You’ve got to decide whether to chase them down and wrestle them to the ground, or watch them run away and always wonder: what could’ve been?

 

What kind of writer do you think you are?

Posted in #lisamorrow, #OnWriting, #Writing Tips, Tips for Writers, Uncategorized, Writer's Life, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Life, Writing Process, Writing Tips, Writing Topics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writer’s Block- I Think Not!

wood-snake

Inevitably, there will come a time when you run into a roadblock in your writing, and you don’t know how to proceed. If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ll keep pressing on and pressing on (even if your writing ends up being as painful to read as it was to write, thus quickly ending up in the trash). Or maybe, you’ll grab a gallon of ice cream, a giant spoon, and eat it while angrily watching whatever TV show gives you an excuse not to open your laptop. Not that I do that… no, never. But the thing is, recently I discovered a few great ways to combat writer’s block.

  1. Write something else
    1. No, seriously, write something else. Right now, I’m working on four different pieces. Every time I get discouraged with one, I jump to another one. I’ve never been this satisfied with my writing before. And what’s more, I’m actually being really productive. I might not have anything done next week, but I’m likely going to have four different things finished in a couple of months. That’s not the worst thing in the world.
  2. Write a journal entry from your main character’s point-of-view
    1. Sometimes we get stuck with our writing, because we’re so focused on following the path we’ve set out for our characters. Taking a minute to reconnect with your heroine, and flush them out a little more, may inspire you. It may even make you realize that as much as you want your character to do X, Y, or Z, the reason your writing is stuck, is because that’s not what your character wants to do.
  3. Write a little fanfiction
    1. Have you ever watched a show and thought, “they really should’ve done…” (Firefly, X Files, Game of Thrones, the list goes on.) Well, writing should be fun! Write a little fanfiction. And once you’ve reminded yourself of why you love to write, turn back to your story with fresh eyes.
  4. Outline a New Idea
    1. Writing a new idea or a first chapter is like going on a first day. There’s all the excitement and fun, without all the hard work of a long-term relationship. Cheat a little (not on your significant other, lol, but on your novel).   Then, you get a chance to turn back to your work feeling refreshed.
  5. World Build
    1. Most of us have this whole amazing idea about what our new and fantastical world is like, but our books only capture a little bit of that world. So go, have fun. Spend some time describing all the neat aspects of your world.
  6. Take a break from writing
    1. If all else fails, go out and live life a little. That’s where we draw most of our inspiration from anyway, so why not use life experiences to recharge your creative batteries?

If you’re struggling with writer’s block, I hope one of these ideas will work to “snap” you out of your writing funk.

Posted in #OnWriting, #Writing Tips, Daily Writing, Tips for Writers, Uncategorized, writer's block, Writer's Life, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Life, Writing Process, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An interview with author Lisa Morrow

Check out my author interview on Dominique Mondesir’s awesome blog! He asks some amazing questions about why I decided to become an indie author and what compelled me to become a writer in the first place.

Thanks again, Dominique for allowing me on your blog!

Dominique Mondesir

Today ladies and gents, we have a special guest giving us an interview. Her name is Lisa Morrow, and she is the brilliant writer of The Sea Goddess: A Tarak Tale: Part 1 and To Kill a Wizard: Rose’s Story (The Protectors of Tarak) but to name a few. Reading her first short story, blew me away. She managed to pack, so much drama and tension, into such a short piece of work, that I am wondering what her longer works are like. If you have not done so yet, pick up her first book and see for yourself.

But anyway without further adieu, please welcome Lisa Morrow.

Do you want to tell us a little about your stories, and what made you choose to self publish?

Everyone wants to feel powerful, and yet, there are so many times when we feel exactly the opposite.  My stories revolve around characters…

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Author Interview- Dominique Mondesir

I’d like to welcome talented author Dominique Mondesir!

I stumbled across his fantasy novella, Origins, recently on Amazon. His main character was the perfect persona of the miserable, lonely worker drowning in the monotony of life. Until, or course, his world gets turned upside down. And after reading it, I reached out to him for an author interview. He kindly agreed! So, enjoy diving into the mind of this wonderful fantasy writer.

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  1. If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

Ah! That would be funny!

They would call me an evil bastard. That keeps doing horrible, unspeakable things to them, and oh for the love of mercy, why can’t I just stop. I don’t think any writer, really wants their character speaking to anyone about them. Because they know all our little secrets. They know our desires and fears, and they know where all the skeletons are kept.

If they could or did speak, I would like them only to say , nice things about me. Because isn’t that really why we all became authors? To have our egos stroked.

  1. Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

Hmm, I must say with my current series, Fallen Angels. I have not really hit a brick wall, where I had to stop and think this isn’t working. Because I kind of knew where the whole story was going, hence how it would end. How I like to work on any novel I am writing, is I have to know how the story starts and ends. If I have those two goal post in mind, then the middle takes care of itself.

I have never given this much thought, but thinking about it now, yeah, every story I have ever started, I knew how it would end, and what the first chapter would look like. Now, in some cases, I introduce characters that I have all the intention in the world of killing off. But they grow and become so liked by me, that I just need to know their whole story, and that can become a problem.

But whenever I am in trouble, plot wise, I always use the advice by the great man himself Mr King.

Just kill your darlings.

When you kill off a character, in a story that has stopped or become stale, everything just opens right back up in the world that you have created.

  1. What is the best advice you can share with others?
    1. Your time is the most important thing in the world, use it wisely.  (People think that money, fame, power, is the most important thing in the world, it’s not, it’s time. Ask any person, that watches a loved one die. What they would do for just ten more minutes. You can’t replace or renew time, once it’s gone, it’s gone.)
    2. Trust your gut, instincts, whatever you want to call it.  (Trust that little voice, it always seems to know what you want.
    3. Live with no regrets. (Do that thing, you want to do now. Someday, isn’t on the calendar.)
    4. Take risks! (People always try and play it safe. But how will you know what you can, and can’t achieve unless you try.)
    5. We all make mistakes. I have failed, and fallen flat on my face, more times than I can count. But I am okay, and I am still here.
  1. Favorite supernatural creature and why?

Oooo, that is a good one.

I would say dragon, but how corny is that.

It would have to be a unicorn! Because everyone loves a unicorn.

Lisa,

I just want to say thanks for having me on your blog, and thank you, to all your kind readers who are still reading this. You can find all my books everywhere, from Amazon to kobo. My first ebook Origins, is free everywhere. And the third book, Takeover will be out in March. You can find all this and more on my blog, take a look when you have a chance.

Once again, thank you for having me Lisa, it’s been a pleasure.

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Interested in checking out his novel?

Origins

What if the person you thought you were, turned out to be someone completely different?

As the nature of Perez’s origins are slowly revealed to him, he enters a world full of danger and fear. Not everything is as it seems. The innocent images of angels, are as far removed from the facts as can be. They are cunning, ruthless, and to be feared. Finding his world turned upside down, Perez must learn to adapt and survive. 

In a war he didn’t choose to join, can he figure out what they want before it’s too late.

(Also, a big thanks to Jami Gray for these great interview questions.)

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Editing Tips- After You Think You’re Done

paper and pencil

You write something awesome, reread and edit it multiple times, maybe get an editor, and you think you’re done, right? Wrong. After being in a critique group for four years, I’ve learned some invaluable things that every writer should consider.

  1. The first time you introduce a character, use his or her name.
    1. Example: “She rolled and struck him in the chest. Hot blood oozed down her hand as his screams filled the air. Heather smiled.”
    2. Instead: “Heather rolled and struck him in the chest. Hot blood oozed down her hand as his screams filled the air. She smiled.”
  2. After that, you can mostly just use pronouns (he or she), unless there are other characters, and it’s getting confusing.
    1. Example: “Heather liked to watch people die. Heather waited until the life drained from their eyes, then went on with her day, feeling like she’d had a dozen cups of coffee.”
    2. Instead: “Heather liked to watch people die. She waited until the life drained from their eyes, then went on with her day, feeling like she’d had a dozen cups of coffee.”
  3. Put down your work for a minimum of a few weeks, so you can read it with fresh eyes.
    1. There have been COUNTLESS times I’ve received feedback and disagreed with it. Then, week or months later, I read my work again and realize I was wrong. When you are too “close” to your work, it’s hard to see the truth.
  4. Read through your work, look specifically at the adjectives and adverbs to see if you are over-using them or could remove them and use a better word.
    1. Example: “She spoke loudly.”
    2. Instead: “She shouted.”
  5. Don’t forget your character’s thoughts and emotions. Without them, you have more of an outline of a story rather than a story.
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Asimov vs. Dick – What Does It Mean To Be Human?

My good writer friend, Julian West, wrote an awesome blog discussing some significant topics in the sci-fi genre. Namely, the role robots and androids have played in several of the “great” sci-fi movies and novels. As well as, one of the many questions that seems to lack an easy answer: what does it mean to be human? I uncovered this hidden gem as I’m preparing to play a little in this genre. And because it was so awesome, I thought I’d share it with all of you.

The World of the 7 Evil Dwarves

In the field of SF movies, Blade Runner stands out as one of the top five in many people’s lists. Not many films would consistently place ahead of it. However, the book it’s based on – Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep – is, while highly regarded within the field, still largely eclipsed by the film that was made of it. I was surprised, when revisiting the novel recently, just how much had been left out of the book, and how little made it in. Almost every idea in the film was somewhere in the book. However, the book has so much more in it that couldn’t fit in the film. I can’t think of another SF novel more full of ideas. I won’t deal with all of these ideas in this particular essay – the constant entropic theme, the Jesus-figure of Mercer, the collapse of reality. Instead, I’ll look…

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