Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Author Websites

How important are author websites?  They are incredibly important!!!

I am speaking directly to authors here - You have spent an incredible amount of time, energy, blood, sweat, and quite possibly buckets full of tears, all to create your manuscript.  And if you earn the golden ticket of publication, you then need to give a little attention to an online presence.  I am not saying you need to blog daily, nor do you need to join every single group or new social media widget out there...  but you have to, at the very least, have an updated website.  Why?

Because if you have written something that is worthy of publication, you will have readers out there who fall in love with the words you have put on the page.  And when we, as readers, fall in love with a book or a character, we seek out more information!  I want a little more info on you, the author.  I want to read about what made you write and if you are writing more.  If I can find you, and learn more about you, the more likely I am going to remember who you are and that bodes well for future books.

Ok, ok...  maybe I am preaching to the choir...  you know this...  but do you have a kick-butt website?  Is it updated and fresh looking?  Or is it the same style or format that it has been for years?  Is it too dark?  Funky fonts? Does it look like this?  It's ok to build your own if you know how.  But if you could get a website built for free, would you go for it?

You would?  Well, let me introduce you to Midnight Inker Cricket McRae...  who happens to be doing a giveaway...
The prize is a free, custom-designed Author Website from Bizango Websites for Writers, plus two years of free hosting. The website comes with a set of easy-to-use tools that enable the author to update it themselves. It's value is well over a thousand dollars.
Check out Cricket's blog for the details.  This is a great deal for both established authors and authors who hope to be published soon...  I know I have followers that fit in both critera, so check it out.  :)  And best of luck!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Book Winner!!

I am feeling good today so I picked two winners for the Wined and Died contest.  And the winners are:




Sales rep Katie Kane picking the winners!  :)

Shannon and Susan - email me your mailing addresses!  submissions @ midnightinkbooks.com
(remove the spaces!)

Have a great day and talk to y'all tomorrow!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mondays - UGH! and a FREE BOOK giveaway

I said I wanted da venti, triple shot, mocha latte with whipped cream not foam . . .and YOU brought me a black coffee?!?It's Monday for sure...  I had a few days off last week, so today has been catching up on five days worth of emails.  UGH.  I also have to create a PCS - that is a Project Cover Sheet.  This is the information I gather to take a manuscript to the acquisitions committee.  On Thursday I will present the info and hopefully shortly after that, I can make an offer to the author and/or agent.

Besides the email and PCS, tomorrow we will launch 2 books.  In the launch meeting we settle on a title, tag line and cover design.  Sometimes these are very short meetings.  Sometimes... well...  sometimes we walk away and reschedule for a week later.  Yikes.

On the horizon looms our sales conference.  At the sales conference, myself and the other acquiring editors will present the Winter 2012 books to the company.  This is one of the most fun but most stressful parts of my job.  Besides presenting the titles, the folks in sales and marketing often ask me a lot of questions so I try to prepare to answer any question that comes up whether it's about the author, the book or the market.  Whew!

Wined and DiedOf course, today and every day I am trying to find manuscripts to acquire...  I'm gonna need a lot of coffee for the month of July. 

or maybe...  I should have some wine... yeah, that sounds good.  Actually, I mean Wined and Died, the new home crafting mystery by Cricket McRae.  All you have to do is comment about your favorite coffee or wine and you will be entered in the drawing.  I will draw a winner next Monday!

Also check out Cricket's blog for most contests!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Free e-book download??

Yep, we are doing it again!

The Curse of the Holy PailThere may not be such a thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free book about a lunch box.

Continuing with their Summer e-book give-away program, Midnight Ink has put another novel on the Kindle Freebie Block.  For the month of July, MI is highlighting Sue Ann Jaffarian.

For a limited time you can download a free copy of THE CURSE OF THE HOLY PAIL, the second book in the Odelia Grey series, featuring everyone’s favorite sassy, plus size paralegal. 

The collectible Chappy Wheeler lunch box is just a *&#% lunch box, or so Odelia thinks until people start dying because of it.

Don’t have Kindle. No problem.  You can download a free Kindle app to your smart phone, Nook, iPad or computer.

And while you’re downloading The Curse of the Holy Pail, check out all the other great Midnight Ink series available in both e-book and print.

Guest Blog by Lois Winston

Hope you enjoy this guest blog by Lois Winston, author of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun!

I live in a state that is often one long parking lot. I suppose that’s why they call the major north/south thoroughfare the Garden State PARKway. This morning I had a 9:15 doctor’s appointment. The office is 12 miles from my house. I left home at 8:00am and arrived 10 minutes late! Really. No exaggeration.

My state, New Jersey, is the butt of many jokes. Current reality TV shows such as Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and Jerseylicious don’t help. Even Cake Boss often portrays us in a not so accurate light (and with Hoboken now Manhattan West, even Buddy and his famiglia are no longer an accurate representation of that town’s demographic.)

However, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. (Okay, that’s
not completely truthful. If someone offered me a 2,000 sq. ft. apartment in Manhattan, I’d jump at the chance, but how
Assault with a Deadly Glue Gunlikely is that to happen?)

I like New Jersey so much that I’ve set my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series not only in my own state but in my own town. Some people might think I’m crazy to set a series in a real suburban community, but there’s a method to my madness. I already have to keep straight all these characters who populate my books. With a real setting, I don’t have to fear messing up the layout of an imaginary town. I don’t have to worry that I set the shopping district on Broad Street in Book One but inadvertently moved it to Main Street in Book Two.  Readers pick up on errors like that, and I want to keep my readers happy and reading.

But why not use the town and change the name you might ask? To which I respond, why? People love reading books set in real places, especially real places they know. With 9 million people crammed into the third smallest state in the nation, New Jersey contains many potential readers. A good percentage of those readers will be quite familiar with the town where Anastasia lives.

Another great aspect of setting my series in New Jersey is the diverse geography of the state.  New Jersey is just under 48,000 square miles. While keeping Anastasia close to home, I have the opportunity to place her on the Appalachian Trail, down the shore (in New Jersey we go “down the shore” not “to the beach,”) out in horse country, or in a crime-infested inner city, all within less than an hour’s drive from her home. Not to mention being a short train commute from Manhattan. That opens all sorts of plotting opportunities for me.

If you only know about New Jersey from those reality TV shows, pick up a copy of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun and learn about the real New Jersey. And don’t worry. You’ll still laugh at us but hopefully, in a good way.

BIO: Award-winning author Lois Winston writes the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries featuring magazine craft editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, debuted in January and received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Kirkus Reviews dubbed it “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” Death By Killer Mop Doll will be out in January 2012. Visit Lois at her website, http://www.loiswinston.com, and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.