Blog Archives

Bookish Updates!

Only a couple of weeks into the new year and already things are getting busy!

Here are 4 pieces of news from my world:

1. I recently found out I’m a finalist in the ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) Awards, so that is pretty exciting! Thanks to those who nominated me. Here are the books and categories I’m in:

If you’re an ARRA member, you can vote now. If you’re not, membership is only $20 per year and you can join HERE.

I look forward to attending the awards dinner in Canberra in March! If you’re going, let me know so we can be sure to say hello to each other. 🙂

 

2. My upcoming Young Adult series, THE DELTA GIRLS, has new release dates…

SIGHT (book #1): July 14th 2015

SOUND (book #2): Oct 13th 2015

With the remaining 3 books releasing soon after, dates TBC. You can follow updates for this book series on twitter at @DeltaGirlsBook

 

3. It’s only 7 weeks to go until my next book is released! MIRACLE IN MARCH will be available on March 8th. iTunes has a preorder available now for only 99c here.

This book is the 3rd in my bestselling, award-finalling Tarrin’s Bay series. Although part of a linked series, it is also a stand-alone story, so if you haven’t read the others it doesn’t matter, you can start with the March book if you like or you might wish to read THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER first before March is released.

MIracleInmarch7weekstogo

4. I now have a Facebook group for those who’d like to keep up to date with my news as it happens and also interact and chat about important things like books, characters, chocolate…etc. Sometimes fans of Facebook pages don’t see all the updates, so a group is a way to get notified of updates and also to post in the group yourself and chat with other members. You can join here. I’ve also posted the first two chapters of MIRACLE IN MARCH in the group, so join up and have a sneak peek! 🙂

Happy Reading…

~ Juliet xx

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Occasional Marketing for Authors – what is it? [Marketing Mondays]

1052586_balloonToday for my Marketing Mondays post for authors, I’m talking about Occasional Marketing. No, this isn’t promoting your books occasionally as in here and there, sometimes, when you feel like it…etc, it is about using special occasions to help market your books to potential readers, or linking your book to an occasion that matches the themes or feel of the story.

Do you have a book about babies or royalty? Then I hope you took advantage of the recent birth of the royal baby and did a spot of promo relating to it! This is what I’m talking about… taking something in the media, or using an established special occasion or event to ride on the hype and make your marketing more targeted and relevant. For example, if you did happen to have a book about babies or royalty, then on twitter you could tweet something about your book in relation to the royal baby and add the hashtag #royalbaby – this means anyone clicking on or searching for this hashtag can see your tweet, along with all the others who have tweeted using the same hashtag. (For more on hashtags and using twitter, see this post). See what hashtags are trending on twitter in the side menu… do any of them relate to your book? Most of the time probably not, but get used to keeping an eye on the trends and if they do, tweet!

Apart from royal babies, what other occasions can you link to in your marketing? Here are some ideas:

  • The popular occasions that occur on specific dates like Christmas, Easter, Valentines’ Day, Australia Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve/Day, Queen’s birthday…etc.
  • Other occasions and events like political elections, celebrity romances, The Oscars, The Emmy Awards, The Golden Globes, media scandals, and certain news stories in the media (be tactful and appropriate though, and choose these carefully). If your book is wedding themed, keep up to date with celebrity weddings and engagements and get in on the fun with social media.
  • Even seasons of the year, months of the year, days of the week…etc if they relate to your book. Eg: my book The January Wish is releasing in—you guessed it—January. 😉
  • If your book has medical themes you can even utilise certain awareness days for health conditions that are held throughout the year, and maybe link to charities or helpful advice as well, so you are being useful and not just promoting your book.
  • Have a book about a reality show? Promote (especially using twitter) during the time a related reality show airs, and tap into the crowd of people already discussing it. Use the official twitter hashtag of the show, but remember; interact as well, don’t just think about promoting. Get some discussions happening.
  • What about popular conferences and conventions? If they relate to your book and you’re not attending, look at ways you can still make use of the power of occasional marketing.

Here are some ideas on how to make use of occasional marketing:

  • Blog posts – create an interesting title to catch people’s attention and discuss something relating to the special occasion, and filter in bits and pieces about your book.
  • Share short excerpts of your book at regular intervals throughout the day on facebook, during the day of a particular event or occasion (eg: New year’s, The Oscars…etc).
  • Post pictures relating to the event on your facebook page and encourage sharing.
  • Find & share pictures on Pinterest for the occasion, including your book, and put everyone who repins your pictures into a draw for a prize.
  • Hold a contest (blogs are good for this) relating to the occasion and your book. Eg: In hindsight, a good contest revolving around the royal baby would have been to get people to guess either the sex of the baby and put all correct answers into a draw for a prize, or guess the name of the baby, and whoever guesses correctly wins a copy of one of your books, or a gift card, or another prize of your choosing. What about a contest to guess which movie will win best picture in the Oscars? Think about the various special occasions on throughout the year and how you could make it fun for people. You don’t have to have giveaways, it can just be for fun, but giveaways do attract more people.
  • Tweet with related hashtags during events and think up interesting, funny, or helpful tweets that help promote your book or your blog posts or attract new followers…etc. Not sure what hashtags to use? Search for a few variations and see which ones get the most action.
  • Hold a facebook event. This could be a virtual way to enjoy an event that you can’t attend live, along with other likeminded people, and give exposure to you and your books at the same time, especially if you have a giveaway for all participating attendees.
  • You could even hold a reader appreciation event in your local area with the theme of the special occasion and have your books available for signing, swag to give away, do a reading…etc.

Are your marketing juices flowing? To take action and utilise the power of occasional marketing, create an ‘occasion calendar’ and jot down different strategies you could employ around the time of each occasion. What occasions suit the themes of your book? Maybe brainstorm with some friends and help each other come up with ideas. Also, keep your eye out for popular topics in the media and be ready to pounce! (in a totally helpful, useful, ethical and appropriate way of course!).

Remember, occasional marketing is a way to connect with people who are more likely to be interested in your book, as opposed to more general one-size-fits-all marketing.

Have I missed mentioning any popular occasions? Let me know in the comments, and tell me your ideas for your own occasional marketing, or if you’re stumped, mention your book and the themes in it, and I (or another blog visitor) might be able to help. 🙂

 

Tweet this post by copying & pasting any of the following into a tweet:

What does the #royalbaby have to do with book marketing? @Juliet_Madison explains: http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 

What is Occasional Marketing? Advice for #authors via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 

How special occasions can help you sell more books, via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 #writers 

Marketing idea for authors at @Juliet_Madison’s blog: http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 #bookmarketing #authors #marketing

Authors, stuck for blog post ideas? Here’s some, via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-j9 #blogging 

Past, Present, & Future with Valerie Parv

In celebration of the release of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome the amazing… Valerie Parv!

 

Valerie PARV 2012 head shotPast

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Any way I could work with words would have suited me. A Mad Men type advertising man who knew my father, read some of my teenage writing and suggested I become an advertising copywriter. Guess that makes me a mad woman LOL. I finished the three year advertising diploma in one year and had a thrilling next few years writing about everything from hardware to doing your own plumbing, but at least I was writing.

2. What did you do before becoming a writer?

See above. I had my work published in the children’s pages of the Sunday papers, as well as reams of fiction that I wrote when I still had trainer wheels. Some of that early work is archived in the State Library of NSW who have collected my literary papers for many years. Writing for advertising led to freelance journalism, then to my first non-fiction book, and from there to romance fiction.

3. What are some of your most treasured memories?

Finding my soulmate while working in the advertising department of a big Sydney hardware chain, a relationship that friends described as 38 years of first dates. Meeting one of my personal heroes, Neil Armstrong, which felt like shaking hands with Christopher Columbus. Getting writing advice from Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek universe. I’ve been blessed with so many memorable moments.

 

Present

4. What’s your latest release, and what are you currently working on?

With Birthright, I’ve taken my writing to the stars. It’s a romantic suspense with aliens and evil astronauts. A reviewer described it as unlike anything she’s ever read, which is a great compliment. Two follow-up books about the characters from Birthright are in the works, and an original romantic suspense movie I wrote is in pre-production.

5. What’s a typical day like for you (if there’s such a thing)?

As any author knows, writing isn’t a 9-5 activity. I write every day, but it’s as likely to be at 2am as 9-5, depending on when the characters are whispering in my ear. I mentor an emerging writer through the Valerie Parv Award set up in my honor by Romance Writers of Australia, and in my (laughs) free time, I enjoy indoor/carpet bowling, meeting up with friends, seeing movies, and pampering my rent-a-kids and rent-a-pets.

6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now.

Good friends; more ideas than I can possibly develop; and health, without which the rest doesn’t matter.

 

Future

7. If you could fast forward in time to be any age or year for just one day, what would you choose and why?

Easy answer – I wouldn’t. I try to practice the Zen ideal of living in the present, squeezing every ounce of juice out of the here and now that I can.

8. If you could have any new technology in the future to make your life easier and more fun, what would it be?

Now you’re talking. A Star Trek replicator to eliminate cooking and cleaning up; the robot maid from The Jetsons, and a thought-to-keyboard translator for my writing.

9. What are your hopes and dreams?

Apart from world peace – war makes absolutely no sense to me – I’m looking forward to seeing my movie script go into production. I’d also like to keep my wits enough to be able to write until my last breath. A joke on Facebook recently said, “I’d like to go like my grandfather, peacefully in my sleep, and not screaming in terror like his passengers.”

 

Thanks, Valerie, for joining me on the blog today, and all the best for Birthright!

You can visit Valerie at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

 

Valerie Parv is one of Australia’s most successful writers with more than 29 million books sold in 26 languages. She is the only Australian author honored with a Pioneer of Romance award from RT Book Reviews, New York. With a lifelong interest in space exploration, she counts meeting Neil Armstrong as a personal high point. So it’s no wonder she’s taking romance to the stars and beyond In Birthright, her most ambitious novel yet. She loves connecting with readers via her website valerieparv.com, blog valerieparv.wordpress.com, @ValerieParv on Twitter and on Facebook.

BirthrightAbout Birthright
Former police officer turned deputy governor, Shana Akers, is used to handling high-stakes situations. But after learning that a space shuttle mission about to be launched from her island home may have a shocking secret agenda, she must turn for answers to the man who has challenged her mind and emotions for years.

Scientific genius and space center director, Adam Desai, is a truly self-made man. Found adrift at sea as a baby, he knows nothing about his origins until two VIPs attending the launch force him to confront the truth about his past, changing everything Adam has ever believed about himself.

Faced with a danger that threatens the entire world, can Adam and Shana find the strength to trust not only each other, but the mysterious VIPs whose unusual abilities defy logical thinking? Especially when it becomes clear that they’ll need all of their combined resources to reclaim humanity’s BIRTHRIGHT.

Published by Corvallis Press USA 2012.

Birthright a near-future romantic suspense available now on Amazon. Read a review here.

How To Use The New Facebook Page Timeline & How To Run A Facebook Chat

Confused about Facebook’s new timeline display for fan pages?

I found this great cheat sheet to help you get your page organised quickly and working well!

Before I show you, a word about running Facebook chats on your fan page…

A quick splurge of new posts by fans (such as questions during a one hour chat for example) can make it confusing to keep track of, due to the visual layout of the timeline page. Here’s how you can make it easier:

1. At the top of the page, but underneath the main header/banner image, is a faded text box that says ‘Highlights’. This means the page is only showing highlights of what’s been posted to the page, and you may miss some of the posts. Click on the little ‘down arrow’ and a drop down box will show some options for how to display things on the page.

2. Click ‘Posts by others’ to show the posts made to the page by fans. This is good if you are hosting a Q & A session/chat and want to be able to answer individual questions.

3. If you are providing the questions for fans to answer, or hosting something like a book club chat, then click ‘Posts by page’ so you can see all the questions you have posted and check the comments for each one.

4. Keep refreshing the page to see the most current posts and comments.

5. An alternative to using pages for chats, is to create a Facebook group that is associated with your page, and use that for the interactive sessions. The groups page layout resembles the ‘old’ simple Facebook, where you just see posts in a linear way, one on top of the other, with the most recently commented on post at the top. You can even create different groups for different chats, so that the chat sessions don’t interrupt your main page’s functioning and confuse visitors if they don’t realise a chat is going on.

You can make the group open so it is easier for fans to participate, or add more security by making it a secret group in which you have to manually add members, or people can request to join. This is more of a hassle, but can be good for chats that you don’t want visible to the public. Remember, everything you post on a Facebook page is 100% visible to anyone in the world (your Facebook ‘friend’ profile can be visible publically too, unless you adjust your settings and posts to ‘friends only’). You can tell if your posts are public by the presence of a little ‘world globe’ icon under your posts, so if you have this and don’t want complete strangers seeing your posts, change your settings quick smart! Also, if you comment on someone’s public post (ie; their post has a globe icon under it), then your comment will be made public.

Now, back to the cheat sheet for setting up and organising your Facebook timeline page:

 

Facebook Page Timeline Design Cheat Sheet

Facebook Page Timeline Design Cheat Sheet