Make the Most of Your Book Back Cover With These Tips

You have heard over and over from experts and read online how important your front cover is.  It is true.  How your cover looks is even more important that what you write inside the book. Because if your cover is not terrific, then no one will ever know how brilliant your writing is. It is the front cover’s job to convince a potential reader to flip the book over and read the back cover.  It is the job of the book back cover to convince a reader to flip open a book and read a few pages.

Read the rest of article at BookWorks.

Five Cautionary Points to Ponder Before Publishing on Amazon

So, you are about to self-publish a book in e-book or print-on-demand format. It seems like a no-brainer to sign an exclusive contract with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and up goes your book to Amazon’s vast online audience. After all, presumably they own 60 or 70% of the e-book market. This super rich company has overall product revenues of more than $107 billion and more than 304 million active customer accounts worldwide.

Read the rest of article at AuthorLink.

Self-publishing Success Stories: How I Do It – with C J Archer

This week in our series celebrating super-successful indie authors, we talk to Australian historical fantasy novelist C J Archer, USA Today bestseller and author of over 25 books. Read on to find out how she does it, and to be inspired for your own self-publishing career, whatever genre you write.

Read the rest of article at Alliance of Independent Authors.

Book Excerpt: Sealed Up: The Course of Fate: Book One by Steve Dunn Hanson

Title: Sealed Up
Author: Steve Dunn Hanson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 402
Genre: Action/Adventure/Suspense

The Da Vinci Code unsettles. SEALED UP shakes to the core!

UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, in a funk since his young wife’s death, learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.

Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through a literal jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.

When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.

And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?

Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense-driven and thought provoking tour de force begs a startling question: Could it happen?

Purchase at Amazon

First Chapter:

Thursday, December 21, 2000

NAJA, CHIAPAS, MEXICO

Nacom was dying.

Guanacaste trees filtered the twilight into gold slivers that shimmered across Laguna Naja. The lake bore the name of the Lacandón Maya village nestled against it. Kish squatted on the ribbon of beach that framed the giant pond and stared at the darkening blue water. His black hair hung like string around his face, and his white tunic draped him like a sack. Koh Maria told him to wait there. She said her grandfather wanted to speak with him.

Kish knew what Nacom wanted.

“Who will follow a nineteen-year-old shaman,” he groused. Guttural growls of howler monkeys sounded like mocking laughter, and his shoulders slumped. A sharp tug on his tunic pulled him from his petulance.

“Now,” Koh Maria said.

Kish followed her to Nacom’s hut where she pushed open two square-ish boards hinged to weathered posts. Inside, roughhewn mahogany planks of random widths formed the walls. The shaman’s shriveled body lay in a hand-loomed hammock of faded palm-green and corn-yellow stripes. He cracked open his eyes as Kish stood beside him. With the back of his hand, he dismissed Koh Maria.

“You. Chilam.” Nacom whispered. “Itzamná speaks.”

“Priest? Me?” Kish stuttered as he shook his head.

“Obey!” Nacom responded, and his finger pointed to the arcane mahogany box beneath his hammock. Kish did not know what was inside, but something about the box unsettled him. The old man moved his fingers back and forth. Once. Twice. Kish was to pick it up. His hands quivered as he set the box on the simple table by the hammock’s side.

Nacom mumbled something. Kish bent closer. Nacom spoke again. “What day?”

Kish replied in Hach T’ana, the pure Mayan tongue: “Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Uuc tun. Canlahun uinal. Uuclahun kin.” December 21, 2000—winter solstice.

“Yes,” Nacom slurred. “You prepare. Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Bolonlahun tun. Uaxac uinal. Hun kin.” In four-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four days. His hand moved to a thin cord around his neck. He labored as he pulled it from under his white tunic revealing a small key. Kish was to remove it.

With care he raised the old man’s head and slipped the cord over it. For a long moment Nacom lay still; his breath hardly there at all. Then the index finger of his right hand pushed toward the box and wiggled. Kish fought his anxiety as he inserted the key.

“Should I open it?” His voice was high, tense. Nacom’s head bobbed a little. Kish turned the key and raised the lid. A rectangular-shaped object on top was enfolded in white cotton cloth. The one on the bottom, shaped the same but thicker, was wrapped tight in the black pelt of a jaguar and bound with four cords. Kish reached to pick up the white one.

“No!” Nacom’s fingers lifted an inch as he forced out the word with startling firmness. “You. Prepare. Listen Itzamná.” His breath was heavy. “You. Keep box. Sacwa’an (white). Study. Follow. I’ic’ (black). No you. Give. Lahca baktun. Bolonlahun katun. Bolonlahun tun. Uaxac uinal. Hun kin.” In four-thousand-one-hundred-eighty-four days. His breath was a gasp and almost ceased. For a long moment there was no movement; no sound, except for Kish’s own nervous panting. Then Nacom whispered, “Not fail. Lock box. Koh Maria.”

Kish closed the lid and fastened it. His hands shook as he put the cord with the key around his own neck. He scrambled to the doorway and motioned to Koh Maria. She entered, opened her eyes wide at Kish’s ashen face, then went to her grandfather and held his hand. His face puckered into a tiny wrinkled smile. With effort he lifted his eyes to reveal red-veined film, and words like a ghost-rustle parted his lips. “The box. Kish.” Koh Maria nodded.

With a gurgle, Nacom breathed in.

Breathed out.

Then no more.

From Books to Movies: Interview with Bestselling Author Sheila Roberts

I have a very special guest today. Bestselling author Sheila Roberts has seen her books translated into over a dozen languages. Her novels On Strike for Christmas and The Nine Lives of Christmas were made into movies for the Lifetime and Hallmark channels. When she’s not hanging out with her girlfriends or dancing with her husband she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.  Her latest book is the women’s fiction/romance, Starting Over on Blackberry Lane.

Thank you for this interview, Sheila.  Can we begin by having you tell us how you got started writing women’s fiction?

Sheila: Many years ago, my mother-in-law and I decided I should write a story based on her life. My skills weren’t quite up to that project, but it did whet my appetite for more. I’d been writing short stories and magazine articles for years – was even writing stories as a child, so writing had already become an addiction. I came up with another idea, a historical set in Regency England about a lady thief, and that was the first book I saw published. That book is long since out of print and the publisher out of business, but I’m still here, telling stories that I hope will entertain and encourage women. Over the years I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction, some under different names. This book is number 41 for me.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book, Starting Over on Blackberry Lane?

Sheila:As the title implies, it’s about starting over. I have characters starting over with home improvement projects, careers, and love. I hope it will be a theme that resonates. At some point in our lives we all face the challenge of starting over, whether that’s in our career or in a relationship. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a new plan.
Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

Sheila:I have three different women at three different stages in life, each facing her own unique challenge. One has canceled the engagement and is hesitating at the edge of a new career adventure, working up the nerve to dive in. Another finds herself in the middle of a home improvement mess and needs to start over with someone other than her husband in charge. (Oh, how I could identify with the stress of remodeling! Been there, done that more than once.) My third heroine has hit middle age like a brick wall and is ready for a change, starting with a new relationship. I enjoyed launching these fictional friends in new directions. It’s my personal opinion that it’s never too late to find your soul mate, to make a dream come true. To do anything you set your mind to.  

How exciting that your books were made into movies for Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel.  Can you tell us how that happened?

Sheila:Producers are always on the look-out for material and I just happened to get lucky. The man who produced both movies is wonderful to work with and even allowed my husband and me a cameo appearance (in THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS). Of course, both movies were different than the books. Time constraints force the person writing the script to choose the highlights and let other things slide, sometimes even entire plot lines. But that’s okay. Once an author hands over her book then she has to allow it to become someone else’s brain baby.
What’s your secret for cranking out book after book?

Sheila:Ideas. As long as I keep getting ideas I suppose I’ll keep writing.
What’s next for you?

Sheila:I’ll have a Christmas tale coming out in November. Maybe if I’m lucky, someone will want to turn that one into a movie.

Book Excerpt: The Lord of the Infield Flies by Steve Reilly

Title: THE LORD OF THE INFIELD FLIES
Author: Steve Reilly
Publisher: Strong Books
Pages: 126
Genre: Sports Memoir

The Lord of the Infield Flies will thrill readers with Coach Steve Reilly’s harrowing, challenging, and adventuresome baseball team’s trek from Connecticut to play in Maine. As a prequel to his award winning memoir, The Fat Lady Never Sings, Reilly, a high school baseball coach, narrates the true story from the beginning of his coaching career at the age of 20. In summer 1977, Reilly plans to take his high-school-age team on a weekend trip to the baseball mecca on Cape Cod to play a Massachusetts all-star team. When plans go awry, he jumps at an offer to take the players instead to the serene surroundings of southern Maine to play that state’s all-star team. Most of the team’s starters decline; their hearts had been set on “The Cape.” Determined to go through with his commitment, Reilly gathers ten players to make the four-hour trip in a cabin truck and his car on a Friday night. Will the team arrive in time to battle Maine’s best the following morning?

After his legal alcohol-age players convince him to stop at a package store on the way to buy just a “few beers” for the idyllic cabin they will be staying at in the resort area of Old Orchard Beach, they exit the package store with hand trucks filled with cases of beer. Chaos reigns. The cabin truck with its inebriated players gets separated from Reilly’s vehicle, losing half the team traveling in the opposite direction in Massachusetts! Will the team ever get to Maine? Will the team play Maine’s all-stars? And, will the players make it back to Connecticut?

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon

Book Excerpt:

March 25, 2005

T

HE PEARL WHITE DOOR opened before me. A gaunt man wearing a gray pin-striped suit and goatee held the door open with his left hand and gestured with his right hand for me to enter. As I passed through the door, nervousness came over me. The strong scent of roses reminded me where I was. A pedestal sign directed me to go left. After an elderly couple crossed my path with their heads down, another pedestal sign directed me to the right down a narrow hallway. To my surprise, the hallway was empty. At the end of the hallway stood a wooden pedestal with a gold banker’s lamp lit above an open book. I grasped the pen from the slot carved in the pedestal and signed the book like a schoolboy as I made sure my penmanship was within the lines. I picked up a small card from a slot in back of the pedestal and put it in the pocket of my dress shirt; there would be plenty of time to read the poem later. With no one in front of me, I stood alongside the doorway as if waiting for permission to enter, but none was needed. As I stood in the doorway about to enter the quiet room, I thought about the summer of 1977 and my Senior Babe Ruth baseball team’s trip to Maine the last weekend of July.

About the Author

Since 1976, Steve Reilly, a practicing attorney, has coached high school baseball in Connecticut’s Lower Naugatuck Valley. He has spent the last thirty years assisting other high school coaches and is currently in his seventeenth season at Seymour High. Reilly and his wife, Suzanne, live in Seymour, Connecticut.

His latest book is the sports memoir, The Lord of the Infield Flies.

Website & Social Links:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Pump Up Your Book Announces The Ashes Virtual Book Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Vincent Zandri’s THE ASHES (Bear Media) virtual book tour March 6 – May 31. Vincent will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new psychological suspense thriller that critics are calling riveting, creepy and crazy good!

Winner of the 2015 PWA Shamus Award and the 2015 ITW Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel, Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and AMAZON KINDLE No.1 bestselling author of more than 25 novels including THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, EVERYTHING BURNS, and ORCHARD GROVE. He is also the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA among them. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called it “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!” Zandri’s list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down & Out Books, Thomas & Mercer and Polis Books, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated in the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. Recently, Zandri was the subject of a major feature by the New York Times. He has also made appearances on Bloomberg TV and FOX news. In December 2014, Suspense Magazine named Zandri’s, THE SHROUD KEY, as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Recently, Suspense Magazine selected WHEN SHADOWS COME as one of the “Best Books of 2016″. A freelance photo-journalist and the author of the popular “lit blog,” The Vincent Zandri Vox, Zandri has written for Living Ready Magazine, RT, New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Times Union (Albany), Game & Fish Magazine, and many more. He lives in New York and Florence, Italy.

The Ashes is a phenomenal book. It’s been eight years since artist and single mom, Rebecca Underhill, was abducted and left to die in an old broken down house located in the middle of the dark woods. But even if her abductor, Joseph William Whalen, has since been killed, another, more insidious evil is once more out to get her in the form of the Skinner. The son of an abusive butcher, Skinner intends on finishing the job Whalen started but failed at.

How is he going to get to Rebecca?

He’s going to do it through her children, by luring them into the cornfield behind the old farmhouse they live in.

HORROR IN THE DEPTHS

Now, armed with the knowledge that the Skinner has escaped incarceration at a downstate facility for the criminally insane, Rebecca must face the most horrifying challenge of her adult life: Rescuing the children not from a house in the woods, but from the abandoned tunnels that run underneath her property.

But the Skinner is watching Rebecca’s every move.

Horrifying question is, will she live long enough to save the children?

If you’d like to follow his tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2017/01/27/%f0%9f%93%9a-pump-up-your-book-presents-the-ashes-virtual-book-publicity-tour/. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com. While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see who we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team!

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson

Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours

P.O. Box 643

Chincoteague, Virginia 23336

Email: Dorothy@PumpUpYourBook.com

Pump Up Your Book Announces Bruce Forciea’s Alan 2 Virtual Book Tour

Alan 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Bruce Forciea’s Alan 2 virtual book tour March 6 – May 31. Bruce will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his new cyber thriller release, Alan 2, that critics are calling a must-read!

A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems (IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, IM sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation.

Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.

Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.

Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco.

Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2’s Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is ‘Plan B’ something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?

If you’d like to follow his tour stops, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2017/01/19/pump-up-your-book-presents-alan-2-virtual-book-publicity-tour. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com. While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see what we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson
Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague, Virginia 23336
Email: Dorothy@PumpUpYourBook.com

Press Release: Pump Up Your Book Announces William R. Leibowitz’s Miracle Man Virtual Book Tour

Miracle Man

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce William R. Leibowitz’s Miracle Man virtual book tour March 6 – May 31. Bill will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his thriller novel that was named by Amazon as one of the Top 100 Novels of 2015, an Amazon Top 10 thriller, an Amazon bestseller and an Amazon NY Times bestseller.

The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real.

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history. But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect. Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal. But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.

If you’d like to follow his tour stops, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2017/02/08/%f0%9f%93%9a-pump-up-your-book-presents-miracle-man-virtual-book-publicity-tour/ and you may win one of ten prizes – autographed paperback, 5 e-copies or 4 pens. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com. While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see what we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson
Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague, Virginia 23336
Email: Dorothy@PumpUpYourBook.com

‘Dominion’ Doug Hewitt Talks Book Publishing & Book Marketing

D.A. Hewitt is an award-winning author of four novels and over a hundred short stories. One novel was awarded a gold medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards for best regional fiction. He attributes his success to hard work, honing a skill and providing an outlet for his passion for writing.

Born in Michigan, he lived for 25 years in North Carolina before returning to live in his home state. In addition to enjoying sky diving and mountain climbing, he is a proud veteran of the US Marine Corps and has earned a degree in mathematics.

Mr. Hewitt admits to a fascination with the work of Carl Jung and of the Gnostic religion. He’d always thought intertwining these topics in a science fiction novel was a stretch, but one day the storyline of Dominion came to him. He wrote the novel in a stream of consciousness. “It makes sense, tapping into the collective unconscious,” Mr. Hewitt says, “very much like Carl Jung might have predicted.”

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I submitted to the big publishers first. There was some interest, but nothing panned out. Eventually I went with Double Dragon, a small press. They’ve been wonderful to work with.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

There were two deciding factors. The editor was enthusiastic about my novel, and their response time was very quick. With larger publishers, the waits can be months, even years.

If published by a publisher, are you happy with the price they chose?

I think the e-book price was fair and in line with most other e-books in the science fiction genre. The print price was a bit high, but because it’s a small press, their print runs are smaller and so they have to set a higher price to break even.

How did you choose your cover?

The publisher chose the cover, although I had some input. I suggested the Earth and the Moon superimposed. That’s very apt for my sci fi novel (Dominion). The novel chronicles the Moon’s declaration of independence after it is colonized. As you can imagine, the declaration causes much conflict.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

Both, actually! I typically rewrite the previous day’s efforts when I sit down to write. Of course, after the novel is finished, I revise the entire manuscript.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I don’t mind giving some books away. As an author, I’m trying to get the word out about my novel. Anything I can do to achieve that is fair game. Of course, I’d like to make enough to be able to quit my day job, but that’s the aspiration of many a novelist.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Get a website and business card. If you already have them, update them. Now, I know that’s only two things. But they’re very important. The third would be to become active in social media. Social media is a great tool for getting the word out about your novel.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Celebrate, promote, and get started on your next book.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?

I developed my website, www.StinkyUniverse.com and a blog, www.StinkyUniverse29.com. My blog has a great “steal this thesis” theme. I’ve also developed a presence in social media.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

I would love to make it a trilogy. We shall have to wait and see. I have other novels in the pipeline.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

My hope is that Dominion is not only a great read for fans of science fiction, but that it also is a great read for fans of other genres. And beyond that, I hope readers get a sense of the power of psychoanalysis and how it relates to religion. I’ve developed a Process Map of Consciousness and posted it on my Stinky Universe website, and it’s my belief that it can help people understand themselves in the context of a complex psychological world.

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