Free is NOT a Four Letter Word! – Guest Post by Faith Simone

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Happy Monday, All! Today I am super excited because I have none other than the uber talented Faith Simone guest hosting for me today! Faith’s debut novel, When the Real Thing Comes Along, is now available on Amazon! I have a good feeling about this book so I’ve already added it to my Goodreads shelf. You can do the same here🙂 And that cover??? Woo, honey! Get the deets about the book below and in the meanwhile, check out Faith’s post about a much debate subjected among writers: free books. *Grabs popcorn* Enjoy! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Ok, so maybe ‘free’ is technically a four letter word, but it shouldn’t be treated like it keeps company with those four letter words. My girl Quanie (fellow blogger extraordinaire) teases me about the fact that I feen for free books like a proverbial crackhead. Did I really just say proverbial crackhead? Sure did, but I digress. Free is not a word for authors to avoid at all costs. It’s in fact an effective marketing tool that the savvy author should always have in their repertoire.  Let me explain.

Free books attract new readers. –  Whether you’re an author with an incredible fan base or a new author, you should always be on the lookout for new readers. A free promotion does that simply by putting your book in front of potential readers. Once they read your book description and decide they’re interested, having a $0 price will lead to them clicking that ‘Buy Now’ button in a hurry.

Free books garner reviews. – Out of the potentially thousands of downloads you’ll see as a result of a free promotional campaign, you’ll probably get at least a few dozen reviews. That’s like frickin’ gold to an author! Having those reviews posted on reputable cites will open the door to other promotional campaigns that will only accept your book if you have X number of reviews accumulated. It’s a win/win situation.

Free books show reader appreciation. – Want to increase your Facebook & Twitter followers? Want to add more readers to your email subscription list? Occasionally offer one of your books for free and they’ll be sure to keep following you and actually opening those emails you send out.  Plus, you could include a free book as a standard incentive whenever a reader connects with you socially. Everyone loves being appreciated.

Free books help SELL other books. – The goal in giving away a free book is to gain a new reader who will then say to themselves. “Wow that was a pretty good book. Let me see what other books this author has written.” Then WHAMO: a new sell and a fan who might be checking for your new releases in the future.

Have I convinced you to check into a free promotional campaign? If so, you might want to look into the following promotional expediters: BookBub, E-Reader News Today, and Book Marketing Tools. Some charge a fee and some are free, so hopefully you’ll find something that works for you!

Don’t throw banana peels and apples at me because my book isn’t currently free. It’s my release week people, cut me some slack y’all!

 

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Title: When the Real Thing Comes Along

Author: Faith Simone

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction, Edgy Christian Fiction

Release Date: February 13, 2015

 

About the Book

She loved and lost…Will faith give her the courage she needs to love again?

Jacelynn appears to have it all together: a great relationship with her boyfriend Jason who is truly a man after God’s own heart, a decent career and the love of family and friends. But when an unwelcome reminder from her past shows up, her previously uncomplicated world is turned upside down.  Will she jeopardize what she has with Jason in an attempt to rewrite the mistakes of her past?

They say you never forget your first love, no matter how hard you try. So far, Jacelynn has done a pretty good job of forgetting Taylor, the boy who had her heart first. When Taylor returns several years later as a man requesting a second chance, what’s a girl to do…Especially when she already has a new man?

The hidden issues of Jacelynn’s heart come to light and she’s forced take a hard look in the mirror while making choices that will change her future forever. Will she be able to reconcile who she was then, with who she is in Christ now?

Living and loving in faith isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. That’s what happens…

Excerpt: 

My eyes were wide open the night I invited Taylor into my life. It was at the end of one of those parties that starts out with what seems like hundreds of people, but turns mellow before midnight. I was ready to go but my best friend, Kim, wasn’t. She was trying to finalize the hook up with a guy from her history class. Meanwhile, I was waiting on a ratty couch in the dark living room with a guy I knew I would never see again, wishing that I was at home watching Lifetime movies. That’s when I saw him.

He walked past me through the sliding glass doors into the backyard. Something about the gracefulness of his long strides, made me get up and follow him while the guy on the couch was still running his mouth.

The sound of Usher singing about how to tell if you got it bad muffled to a slow thumping bass as I closed the patio doors behind me. I waved away the sweet smell of weed as I stepped around a few people smoking and lounging on the mismatched patio furniture.

I trailed him across the large backyard where the only sound was the loud swishing of the dozen or so palm trees waltzing in the fall winds. Both of our steps were silent in the soft mushy grass. I felt strange following him without saying anything, but I wanted him to sense me behind him. I wanted to know if the crazy magnetism I was feeling was working on him too. But there was a different force drawing him that night. One that I would contend with at a later time, in another place, with a lot more to lose.

 

Author2

Faith Simone is a poet, playwright and novelist.  She is also an active blogger, sharing her personal thoughts, book reviews and tips for writers on her website FaithSimone.com. Simone is passionate about using her gift of writing as a tool to help promote humanity, understanding and compassion.

Social Links

Website: FaithSimone.com

Twitter: @Faithsimone2011

Facebook: Author Faith Simone

Goodreads:  Faith Simone

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Is Your Family Supportive of Your Writing Career?

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I was online recently when I ran across an interesting discussion. An author posted about his family not being supportive of his writing career, and other authors chimed in saying the same thing. I have to tell you: I was shocked.

My family has been so supportive of my writing. In fact, I was in my hometown last week and several of my relatives told me how much they enjoyed my book (one of my cousins said to me, “Boy! That Mrs. Collins is somethin’ else!”). My husband is convinced that when I hit the best sellers list we’ll be able to travel the world and my mom tells everyone she knows that her daughter is a bonafide published author. Their support really gives me the motivation to push forward.

Am I just incredibly lucky? What about others? What does your family think about your writing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 


Story Roadblocks: Research

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InsecureWritersSupportGroup

 

Hello All! It’s the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means: another installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! To find out more about IWSG (and to sign up), click here.

This months co-hosts are Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax. If you would be so kind, hop on over to their blogs and say hello!

So what am I insecure about this month? The same thing I’m always insecure about: my novel(s) in progress. Some of you may remember me blogging about this particular story in a post called Story Rehab: Fixing Plot Holes. At that time, I couldn’t figure out what happened to the main character the night of the fire.

Well, here I am again, facing something that I’m sure most writers have dealt with: I hit a roadblock because I need to do research. Normally, I avoid this in my writing because most of the towns I write about are fictional. But I couldn’t get away with that this time. Because of the novel’s plot, I had to set it in an actual Louisiana town. Which town? Good ole Baton Rouge (which means “red stick” in French, by the way).

There’s a part in the novel where the main character, for certain reasons, needs to break into the governor’s mansion. Yes. You heard that right. I Googled how it might be done but of course, there wasn’t any information about it. And the last thing I wanted to do was call the person who schedules tours of the mansion and say, “Yes. My name is Quanie Miller and I’m trying to find out how to break into the governor’s mansion. Hello? Hello?” I imagine that my front yard would immediately fill with blue lights and the good folks at the F.B.I would want to have a conversation or two with me.

So guess what? I was in my hometown last week and took the drive to Baton Rouge to get a good look at the mansion. I had gotten to the part in the novel where the character gets into her car to drive down there, but I couldn’t visualize it. And let me tell you: that mansion is a thing of beauty! I took pictures of the road that leads there and drove around the neighborhood in the back of the mansion (and took pictures of the fence). As my husband and I were driving, I saw a man walking through a nearby park. He had what looked like a headset on so I knew that he was secret service. My husband said, “What makes you say that?”

“I watch Scandal,” I said. “Trust me: I know about these things.”

I didn’t want to get out of the car and walk near the mansion because I could imagine the headline and accompanying news article:

Woman found skulking near govenor’s mansion.

“…after further investigation, F.B.I discovered the woman had been researching how to break into the governor’s mansion and called the tour coordinator inquiring about the same. Woman insists she was doing research for a novel. Authorities are dubious. Charges are pending.” 

I found out some basic information online: how the outside of the mansion looks, and how part of the inside looks (the part that’s accessible to the public), but the character needs to go further into the house to find what she’s looking for. I imagine that, for security reasons, there are no blue prints of the mansion online. It’s dawned on me that I’m going to have to make this stuff up: how the other rooms in the house look, etc. And that’s my issue. Because the mansion is an actual place, I’m worried about people saying, “but that couldn’t happen!” Or, “Hey! It doesn’t look like that! The family room is on the second floor next to the guest bedroom, not on the first floor near the kitchen!” But in order for me to finish this story, I’m going to have to take some creative liberties.

What do you guys think? Am I worrying for nothing? Have you ever hit such a roadblock with a story? What did you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts!