hear shape book paper
Free Books, Promotion

Tasters, Teasers, and Free Books…

I’m joining a lot of other authors in a Romance promotion during August. As autumn draws on and the nights get longer, everybody needs plenty to read!

Big Promotions

We’re doing this by offering Tasters, Teasers, and Free Books in a big promotion throughout the month of August. It’s a chance to discover new authors by sampling their work.

Book cover Royal Rivals by Christina Hollis white text on a royal blue background

To Find Out More…

You’ll find Alpha Romance Teasers and Full Books here, and the link for Romantic Suspense/Thrillers here.

Let me know if you discover any new favourite authors through these links. If you do, I’ll feature promotions like this again in the future.

Happy Reading!

competitions, Free Books, marketing, Promotion. Goodreads Giveaways

Three Ways To Get Yourself (And Your Work) Noticed…

By Warburg (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Bookstore In Florence

Even if you’re contracted to a big-name publisher, a writer’s life is no longer simply about plotting, characterization and dialogue. Typing “The End” is only the beginning. Nowadays, when it comes to writing books you have to “Tell them to go out and buy…” in the words of Tom Lehrer.
There are thousands of new titles put out by conventional publishers, small presses and indies every year. To make sure yours gets noticed, you have to connect with readers everywhere around the world. Here are three ways to get started–
WORD OF MOUTH: Book signings and personal appearances are always worthwhile, although traveling eats into writing time. Signed books sell well, but with the High Street in decline and libraries feeling the pinch you have to choose your pitch with care. Writers are often insular, so social networking online has become a great way to  meet and interact with readers. I love Twitter, Facebook and blogging. The main problem is, one thing so easily leads to another. Chats lead to exchanging links, which soon turns into surfing and Wilfing (“What Was I Looking For?”). That’s why it’s a good idea to set limits, and have dedicated burst of Tweet-time (or a regular  “Facebook five minutes”) and stick to it.
BLOG TOURS: Blog Tours are fun, and a great way to discover new sites and fellow readers (and writers). I used Romance Book Paradise to arrange The Weight Of The Crown Blog Tour for me. This meant I could hand everything over to the enterprising Nas Dean. I was then free to concentrate on writing my next book. Nas arranged loads of online play-dates, consisting of interviews and guest posts. Dropping in to answer comments at the various sites was a real pleasure. Nas collated all the questions, questioners and reviews. She also provided a detailed database of people who commented on my posts, so I could arrange the prize draws. And it’s not all one-way traffic: I discovered many great sites along the way, such as The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills (love that name!)
Everyone loves something for nothing, and these are a great way to get your work and your name out into the public domain. Try using the #free hashtag on Twitter. Goodreads Giveaways allow you to offer copies of your book. Readers apply, and Goodreads select winners and then contact you  with details of where to send the books. I’ve used this to great effect. Keep your eyes open for small, easily mailed things to use as prizes: scented soap, key rings, notelets etc. If you’re offering prizes to an international market, check regulations and in particular, avoid food. I have sent out pots of home-produced honey, but only to winners in the UK (and in proper honey posting containers. Imagine a messy, sticky trail all across the Post Office!) Despite the rise and rise of the e-reader, bookmarks are still popular. Don’t forget to include your website details and email address on them, and your readers will have a permanent reminder of you.  
Tell me your favourite ideas for marketing, for the chance to win a little goody bag!
Christina Hollis author, Creative Writing, Free Books, Kate Walker, Liz Fielding, Making Money, Working From Home.

Make Money From Your Writing – 3 Top Tips…

By Kili
1. AUDIENCE Selling your work relies on producing suitable content to the highest possible standard, for exactly the right audience. Always write first and foremost for your own pleasure, but have a very clear idea of your readership and tailor your work accordingly.  Whatever you write, pour your heart and soul into it. Believe in your work, and so will your readers – and making money means appealing to the widest possible audience. Read widely, join book clubs and talk to people. The more research you do, the more you’ll find out what people enjoy reading.  That is what sells.
2. HELPING HANDS: Find yourself a successful mentor, preferably through your local creative writing group. You need someone who will be honest about your work, and suggest ways you can improve. If you can’t find any face-to-face guidance, go on line and check out popular writers whose work you admire and see if they’ve produced any guides to writing that will help you. Kate Walker’s 12 point Guide to Writing Romance and Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance are both brilliant, and will take you step-by-step through the process of crafting the novel of your dreams. 
3. THE WORD ON THE STREETS: Once your book is published, the hard work of marketing and selling begins. Word of mouth recommendations drive the majority of book sales, so think creatively when it comes to getting your books into the hands of willing readers. If your book is good, they’ll spread the word at no expense to you.  Offer free copies to your local libraries, donate books as prizes on your website, during blog tours and to your local fundraisers – raffle prizes are always in demand, especially approaching holiday seasons.  Be generous, and make sure everything has your contact details on display – you want repeat purchasers to come straight back to you.
Above all, enjoy your writing and remember – success isn’t only measured in financial terms. To have completed a book you’re proud to have written is something few people achieve. It’s a triumph in itself. 

What’s your top tip for writing success? There’s a signed copy from my backlist on offer for a comment picked at random.
Christina Hollis author, Free Books, The Count of Castelfino

Exciting Times

The year is dashing by – I can hardly believe the longest day has come and gone already. It won’t be long before the honey harvest, which happens here in mid to late July depending on the weather. I don’t take much, as I keep bees more for the enjoyment and environmental benefits than for what they can give me. Though I get hours of free entertainment (and sometimes disappointment and frustration) out of them as well! In anticipation of the harvest, I ordered just a few odds and ends of equipment – as I thought. It arrived in three huge boxes, though luckily none were very heavy. It’s amazing how much space a thermometer, some flat-pack carpentry and a few sheets of wax can take up when everything is individually packed in tons of shredded paper! Does your hobby end up filling the house from top to bottom with bits and pieces?
By the same post,  I got some some copies of the Japanese version of The Count of Castelfino and the French edition of Count Giovanni’s Virgin. I like to get these as the cover art is always subtly different from country to country. This means my bookshelves are filling up, so I’m going to be giving away a copy of each of these most recent additions to my collection. If you have Japanese or French friends, they’d make an unusual present!
To get your name into the draw for one of these signed copies, just email me via my website, http://www.christinahollis.com putting either the word ‘Japanese’ or the word ‘French’ in the subject line. Good luck in the draw!