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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Andrew Jericho

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! I'm back after a brief hiatus to get past the funk of having three deaths of family and friends in a month's time and finish Iced Latté Release date is July 27!

Andrew Jericho is joining me this week to give some insight into his writing process to help new writers! Hi, Andrew!

Thanks for having me as a guest, Mellanie, on Writing Tip Wednesday!

Many Paths to Becoming an Author

I don’t believe in a “one true path” to becoming an author. I never had an epiphany that writing was my calling. I began my career as a freelance journalist and photographer, and became a ManLove erotic romance author in November, 2012 upon the publication of my first book, Ripped, with Siren-BookStrand Publishing. I’ve always been a writer in one form or another.

As an author, I’ve been asked numerous questions. I enjoy hearing from readers, and encourage e-mails and comments often. While there are too many questions to address in this guest post, I’ve chosen several topics to share. I hope my answers will help others authors develop their paths to success.

New Author Advice:
The first step is getting published. The next? Promote, promote, promote! Also when writing, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts. There will be people who respect you, not only for your ideas, but for your honesty.
Be kind to readers and other authors. Give shout-outs to fellow writers. However, promo shouldn’t be the only thing you post on social media. Readers want to feel connected to their favorite writers. Post about other interests besides writing.

Character Development:
I don’t have any one formula for character development. A character can be a compilation of many, or the product of a few. For example: a voice from one, or a personality from another, is often woven into my literary figures.
My characters write their own lives. While I provide them with literary direction, they ultimately make their own decisions. Once an idea for a book forms, I feel compelled to see it through to completion. The characters I write about demand their stories be told as uniquely as they’re forming in my memory. Many times, I’ve told characters to, “take a number.”

Writing Inspiration:
My partner, John, is my greatest inspiration and muse. I infuse my characters with bits and pieces of the man who shares my life. The real-life depiction of ManLove we share has inspired my writing.

Writer’s Block:
I get writer’s block all the time. In addition, I’m a slow writer. My theory for coping is when a story is ready to be told I’ll write it. I can’t force the process.

The Hardest Part of Writing:
The hardest part of writing my books is weaving romance, passion, and eroticism into a realistic story. I strive to capture gay men in real situations of life and love.

Handling Negative Reviews:
I’ve had negative reviews, as likely all authors have. Not everyone will like your work. For every negative review, there is always a reader who has positive comments about a book. Also, never argue, or post a response, to a negative review!

Why Erotic Romance?:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Erotica as, “works of art or literature that deal with sex and are meant to cause sexual feelings.” As a ManLove erotic romance author my writing not only includes sexuality, but is a blend of romance and passion. Romance. Passion. Eroticism. All three words in that order define my definition of erotica.
I write about gay men in real situations of life and love who are intense and sexual. Those who read my books know what to expect. My writing is not for the faint of heart. However, readers also know they will find romance within my stories. I believe erotica is an emotion born from the intense and sexual nature of the human spirit, infused with the need for human affection, or romantic ideals.

While erotica does explore sexuality, it also shares the emotions and romance necessary to move my characters towards different levels of intimacy with their male partners. Erotica focuses on many human emotions within us all.

Bio: Andrew Jericho is a ManLove erotic romance author for Siren-BookStrand Publishing, and a long supporter of LGBTQ rights. His writing proves love and erotic attraction are the same regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation. In their purest forms, Andrew has seen those concepts transform characters into better individuals.

He is a gay transgender man, who lives with his partner, John Jericho, and family. He enjoys photography, eclectic tastes in music and the arts, and browsing the local library and art galleries. All of Andrew’s work can be found at: Andrew Jericho.

Links:
Website: http://andrewjericho.com
Blog: http://andrewjericho.com/blog
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewJerichoAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewKJericho
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndrewJericho/posts
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewjericho

Thanks so much for visiting today and sharing your advice for new writers, Andrew!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Bethany Michaels

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! My guest this week is the fabulous Bethany Michaels! Not only is she a talented cover artist, she's also a terrific writer and a good friend. Does her affliction sound familiar??? It should--to almost every writer!

Writing is Hard: Head Games

I've been writing seriously for over 10 years now and I'm telling you, it NEVER gets easier. You might think one would gain confidence once she writes and publishes a bunch of books.

Nope.

Most of the difficulty for me relates to the head games I play with myself. I often waver between "This is awesome. I am awesome. I rock! Pulitzer Prize, baby!" to "Oh my God, no one is going to read this. This sucks. I suck. I am the worst writer EVER. Someone should shoot my laptop and put it out of its misery. I'm getting a lobotomy...TODAY." This all happens within a ten-minute time span...and is an internal reaction to the exact same piece of work.

This is normal. Almost every writer I've ever talked to has the same reactions to her writing at some point, whether she is a first-time author or a New York Times bestseller. Writers' neurosis never really goes away; you just get better at managing it.

I think that these voices telling you that you suck, or that you are the best writer ever, are all defense mechanisms. Writing is an art and, like any art, you put a piece of yourself on the canvas—your desires, your needs, your world view. You open yourself up to ridicule and rejection and to letting people who know you in real life see what a weirdo you really are. It's scary!

Telling yourself you suck keeps you from having too many expectations of success, so you're never disappointed when you get a rejection letter or don't immediately hit the NYT list with your first book. You knew you sucked anyway, so you were right all along. Score!

Telling yourself you are the next (insert big-name author here) pumps you up to keep putting words on the page, but it can also make you do things to turn other writers, editors, agents and readers off, especially if you truly believe your own hype. Self-promotion is absolutely necessary when you're a publishing author, but I think we've all seen the "look at me, me, me, buy my book, buy my book, buy my book" types online. So annoying and really kind of sad.

I find that head games I play with myself are the reason it's so hard to get started sometimes. It's better to avoid writing completely and binge-watch Alex O'Loughlin in "Hawaii 5-0" than put myself though all the emotional angst writing engenders.

But most of us writers MUST write. It's a way to let the crazy out a little bit at a time so we can function as normal human beings when we have to.

Here are a few tips for wrangling the crazy-talk in your head and getting down to work:

-Bring it on: Try physically writing down all the negative crap your inner hater is whispering to you. Put it all on the page and then...get rid of it. Burn it, wad it up, eat it, flush it...whatever. Poof! It's gone, physically and symbolically. You can also just listen for a moment and then visualize all the lines of negative words streaming out of your head and vaporizing. Or coming out in word bubbles and popping. Weird but effective. Try it! It's too hard to work with all those niggling little whispers bouncing around inside your brain. Do whatever it takes to exorcise those demons. They'll come back, but now you know how to temporarily rid yourself of them. Repeat as needed.

-Just do it: Do a writing sprint. Set a ridiculous word count goal and do everything you can to meet it. If I'm writing fast, I don't have time to listen to those confidence eaters. I'm too focused on typing as fast as my little fingers can go! This is the theory behind NANOWRIMO, where your goal is to draft 50,000 words in one month with no internal editor to hinder you. On Twitter, you can join other writers doing sprints (maybe trying to vanquish the same demons?) at #1k1hr.
-The DELETE key is your friend: A good thing to remember is that your writing is private until YOU choose to make it public. As Stephen King says, "Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open." Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. No one will see it but you. And if it really, really does suck eggs, you can employ this fancy little keyboard trick: SELECT ALL---> DELETE.

Personally, this is huge for me. I know I can write a bad scene with really awful dialogue and too many instances of "gaze", "she sighed" and "inner goddess" and no one will see it. EVER. Critique groups work for a lot of writers, but they don't work for me. I found that I was so worried about the feedback I was going to get on Chapter One that I could not go on to Chapter Two. I was writing to please the group rather than writing to get my story on the page where I could work with it and improve it. Now I write and revise until I'm happy with what I've got and THEN I share.

For the record, the phrase "inner goddess" has never made it to the final draft of any of my manuscripts. Or the first draft, for that matter ;)

Ok, procrastination time is over. Go banish the writing demons and get to work!

Thanks for visiting today and sharing your great advice, Beth!

Bio:
Bethany Michaels grew up in a small Indiana farm town, which gave her lots of time to indulge her love for reading and writing. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in English and logged hours towards an MA in English at Butler University. Bethany currently lives outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and children.

Bethany is the author of over a dozen short stories, novellas and novels. She writes hot sexy love stories for several publishers including Red Sage, Whispers and Siren and is working on some independent titles as well. She earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Nomination for her novel, Nashville Heat and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Music City Romance Writers and Indiana Romance Writers of America.

When not at work on her next book or catching up the laundry or dishes, Bethany enjoys watching movies, hiking, reading, travelling and volunteering with her kids’ scout troops. She is trying to enjoy snacking on vegetables and using the treadmill rather than snacking on potato chips and using the television, but isn’t quite there yet.

Bethany loves to hear from readers! Contact her at Bethany@Bethanymichaels.com

Links:
Website: http://www.bethanymichaels.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bethany.michaels
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BMichaelsAuthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bethany21345/

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Tatum Throne

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! My Cincinnati buddy, Tatum Throne, is joining me today to share her writing advice. As usual, she made me smile and laugh. And her tips are right on the money too!

Take it away, Tatum!

The best advice I can give to writers who want to publish was given to me by my freshman English teacher, Mr. K. I was slouched in the back of the room against the wall—one of the most coveted seats in the room. He was in the middle of teaching and walking the room to catch us doing things we shouldn’t be doing.

He paused next to me, leans in and whispers. “You need to find your voice.”

I looked up and our eyes locked. Did he see shock and dismay in mine? Cold-blooded fear of being found out? I was startled—my heart racing. He was right. He went on teaching as though nothing had happened, but he just lit the fuse of a bomb that I’d been carrying around. I spent years trying to be invisible and he caught me in the act.

Voice is one of the most important aspects for me as a romance author. I understand how I convey things and what I would say in a situation my character is in…but how would they say it? Is it true to their voice? Is it authentic to the regional area or are they a transplant from Boston to the south?

So, how do you set about finding your voice? You can go read everything out there to see what everyone else’s voice sounds like. I did that. Did it help me? To a degree, but I didn’t get comfortable with my voice and writing style until I dug deep and wrote stories that interested me. I found my voice by unleashing what had always been lurking deep inside of me and begging to come out. Not only did I find my voice, but I found my muse.

Wait…what’s a muse?

A muse is your well for finding inspiration. Only you can define what your muse is and is not. Mine is a foulmouthed, smoking, thirty-something troublemaker who loves me and all of my flaws. He just shot me a look when I called him foulmouthed and grinned at the troublemaker. My muse will tap me on the shoulder and remind me to get writing. I’ll be working on dishes or laundry and he’ll be sitting on top of the dryer, blowing smoke in my face from his cigarette. You will find your muse too. You’ll also discover that they like to take vacations and not bother to tell you where they were going.

Just wait for your muse to return from their adventure. Your muse needs to be supported and comforted. They’ll often take your book into a direction you never imagined. Follow them! Don’t badger them about deadlines and huff about needing to get to work. Muses don’t like that. They want you to invite them in and offer them a drink. They want to hang out for a long time and catch up like an old friend. Trust your voice, trust your muse, and never give up.

He’s here. Gotta go.

Thanks for visiting today, Tatum. Your muse sounds like a bad boy who refuses to be tamed! Mine is an invisible sprite who likes to wander off a little too often. Maybe we need to play matchmaker to keep them closer to home! LOL

Bio:
Tatum Throne lives in Cincinnati with her real life hero, Mr. Throne.

She has a master’s degree in social work that she received from the University of Cincinnati. She left the field of medical social work in 2007 to be a stay-at-home mom of three rowdy boys, and to pursue her dreams of writing romance.

When not indulging her fantasies or writing, Tatum enjoys heading to the beach to build sandcastles with her boys, hiking in Red River Gorge, and spreading awareness of eosinophilic disorders.

Links:
Website: http://www.tatumthrone.com/
Blog: http://www.tatumthrone.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tatum.throne

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Author Spotlight + Giveaway--Linda Morris

Welcome to Author Spotlights on Mondays! Just in time for summer, Linda Morris to tell us about her new baseball romance! Be sure to comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Welcome, Linda!

Thanks for having me today, Mellanie! Today I'm spotlighting my brand-new sports romance on Berkley, High Heat. It's the first book in the Hard Hitters series.

Blurb:
The author of Melting the Millionaire’s Heart gives readers a front-row seat to her new Hard Hitters baseball series. First up at bat: a hotshot pitcher and a PR pro battle it out on and off the field…

Small-town Indiana tomboy Sarah Dudley grew up living and breathing baseball, since her father owned the minor league Plainview Thrashers. A talented player herself, she idolized her brother’s best friend: Tom Cord, a pitcher with a wicked fastball and an even more wicked reputation.

Now, Sarah is the Thrashers’ VP of public relations, and Tom—a star in the major leagues—has been assigned to the club while rehabbing from surgery. It’s Sarah’s job to keep the hard-throwing, hard-living star out of trouble. But when she gets a glimpse of the man behind the bad-boy image, they start to generate more heat than an inside fastball…

This is an excerpt from the very first meeting between the hero and heroine. She had a crush on him years ago when she was a kid, but this is the first time they've met as adults. She's the VP of the minor league baseball team he's playing for while he recovers from an injury he sustained pitching in the big leagues.

He stopped an arm’s length away, but she swore she could still feel the heat radiating from him. She wasn’t petite, but his height made her feel tiny. He’d gotten even taller since college. He must be six foot three at least.

“What’s up?” Cord braced his glove on his hip. The move pulled his jersey tight across his chest and Sarah chided herself for noticing it.

Don’t go mushy-headed over the players. Rule number one for a woman in baseball.

“That’s enough for now,” Reedy said. “I don’t want you going all out on your first day back.”

Cord pulled off his cap and wiped sweat from his brow, then replaced the hat. “It’s fine. I feel good. I always throw all out the afternoon before a start. It’s part of my routine.”

“Maybe so, but I think you’d better give it a rest. You haven’t put that arm through game conditions yet.”

Tom shook his head. “I don’t want to mess with my mojo. I have to be consistent. Hard throwing on the day of a start is routine for me. I always do it.”

“But you’re not always recovering from surgery, are you?” Sarah said.

That pulled his gaze to hers in a hurry. His hard stare went straight through her. “I’m recovered from surgery, not recovering. I’m completely back to normal.”

“Maybe so,” she said, although she had her doubts. No one would know if he had completely recovered until he’d pitched in real game conditions, which is what this foray into the minors was all about. No point in arguing that yet, though. “Throwing hard on the day of a start is risky for anyone, even someone who isn’t recovering—I mean recovered,” she said, correcting herself at his scowl, “from major surgery.”

“It’s normal for me.” He looked at her hard. “Who the hell are you, anyway?”

She extended her hand, ignoring the hollow feeling in her chest. Surprise, surprise. He didn’t remember her. “Sarah Dudley, VP of marketing and public relations.”

He shook her hand, his skin rough with calluses and blisters, trademarks of his profession. “Marketing? What the hell are you doing down here?” His face cleared. “Ah, Paul’s sister. That explains it.”

She raised a brow. “Excuse me?”

“Your dad owns the team. Your brother’s team president. No wonder you feel like you can come down here and tell me what do to.”

Reedy sucked in a breath.

“If I think I can tell you what to do, it’s because I can,” she said, keeping her voice level with effort. Never let them see they’ve gotten to you. Rule number two for a woman in baseball. “My department is going to spend money advertising your stint down here. I don’t want you blowing out the ligaments in your elbow again. As VP of public relations, that gives me a stake in whether you actually play while you’re in town.” She made herself look him right in the eye, ignoring the pounding of her heart. She wasn’t another batter he could stare down and fake out into a swing and a miss.

He laughed, blue eyes sparking against his tanned skin. His anger had blown away like clouds in front of a stiff breeze. “Lady, I have about a million reasons for not wanting to blow out my arm again, and your PR budget isn’t one of them. Why don’t you let me worry about my arm and you go worry about the bobbleheads you’re going to give out to the first five hundred fans tonight?”

Heat erupted in her cheeks. Oh, this guy thinks he is so big-time. Several players had found an excuse to wander within earshot. Don’t let the guys get away with disrespecting you. Rule number three for a woman in baseball.
“Look, you’ve spouted off and done what you pleased everywhere you’ve played. You may have some people so buffaloed that they’re afraid of you, but not me.”

“Last I heard, you weren’t part of the coaching staff. Why the hell should I listen to you, anyway?” He glared at her, his blue eyes turning sapphire.

“Not that you listen to them, either, from what I hear.”

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1IWyJmG
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Sdh7bM
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1JMhvfZ
iBookstore: http://apple.co/1KO2Wb5

Bio:

Linda Morris is a writer of contemporary romance, including Melting the Millionaire’s Heart, The Mason Dixon Line, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. She writes stories with heart and heat, along with a joke or two thrown in. Her years of Cubs fandom prove she has a soft spot for a lost cause.





Links:
Website: www.lindamorrisbooks.com
Twitter: @LDMorrisWriter
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ldkmorris/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lindamorrisbooks

Thanks for sharing a preview of High Heat with us, Linda! Readers, remember to comment by Friday, June 26, for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Updates!

Sorry for skipping this week's Writing Tip Wednesday post! It'll be back next week with writing advice from Tatum Throne. I'm finally recovering from last week's sinus infection, I got new cover art (a peek at the cover is coming soon!), and Iced Latte is almost for the Publish button! Today I'm over at the Contemporary Romance Writers blog with a guest article on Choosing the Right Publishing Path, the roundtable discussion I led at this month's IRWA meeting. Check it out!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Tara Rose

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! The fabulous Tara Rose is here this week with some equally fabulous writing advice. She's always been a huge supporter of my Writing Tip Wednesday series, so show her lots of love!

Thanks for visiting, Tara!

From Idea to Publication

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is how does an author go from an idea to a published book? There are probably as many answers as people you can ask it of. However, since I’m asked it so often, I thought I’d use the opportunity Mellanie Szereto has given me today to share my process with you, in the hopes you recognize something in it that can assist you on your path to publication.

I write erotic romance for Siren-BookStrand as Tara Rose, and for Evernight Publishing as Ravenna Tate. I’m also published at both Siren and Evernight as Carolyn Rosewood, although I no longer write under that pen name. I’ve been published since the spring of 2011, and in that time I’ve had to develop a streamlined process because I also still work a full time job.

Now when I tell you I rise at 4:00 AM on weekdays, please do not think you have to do such a thing. Everyone has to find what works for them, their schedule, and their personal situation. One size does not fit all. But for me, this is what finally made the difference between treating my writing as a hobby and becoming serious about it.

I do my promotion and social media posting mostly in the early mornings, never forgetting to give a shout-out to fellow authors’ releases and to celebrate their good news with them. This is just as important as tooting your own horn for several reasons. One, we are each others’ readers, and two, I consider these people my friends. Many I’ve met in real life and have built lasting relationships with. We are, after all, still people behind the books. And readers do notice this.

Sometimes I’m able to sneak in writing or editing before I need to get ready for my day job, but usually that early morning ninety minutes is devoted to promo, pimping others, catching up on who is doing what, and writing blog posts.

During my day, I often have small amounts of down time where I can write, but usually that’s reserved for my scheduled breaks at my job. I then finish my word count goal when I get home. On days when I’m not working, I write and/or edit, depending on deadlines, for as long as it takes to catch up.

Yes, I mentioned a daily word count goal. That’s the second thing that made the difference for me between submitting one book a quarter and submitting one to two books a month.

Again, this worked for me. I know plenty of authors who can’t write this way, so you need to find what works for you. I have a daily word count goal of 4,000 to 5,000 words, and I stick to it. Even if that means catching up on weekends, when I don’t work at my day job.

Edits take priority as they have deadlines attached. I either break them down into parts that I tack onto the word count each day, or I do them in one or two days, depending on what else is gong on, and how long the manuscript is. And I don’t only address the comments and make needed changes. I read every single word again. Mistakes happen. We’re only human. I want my work to be as error free as possible, so with each edit I read the book over again.

So what do I do with new ideas? They go onto a Word doc that is labeled with the tentative series name. I just free flow and let the possible titles and ideas for the series and individual books get on paper. Then I place that Word doc in a folder on my desktop labeled with the pen name I’m thinking of writing it under.

Each publisher has certain sub-genres that sell better than others, and I’m now familiar enough with them that once I get an idea, I also know which publisher the series might do better with. When I’m ready to write that series, I pitch the idea to the publisher, just to make sure. If there are no objections to it outright, I schedule the first book and begin work on the main characters.

I do them first for a reason. If I know them, I can write them. I can anticipate their reactions to each other and to external influences, and I understand their goals, motivation, and conflicts. Without those, I don’t have a story.

Once I begin book one, I commit to a certain number of books in the series and try to write them in order. I’ve alternated series before, but I’ve found I do a better job of maintaining flow and momentum if I write them all at once before beginning a new series. Again, this might not work for everyone. I know plenty of authors who write what their muse tells them to write, even if that means jumping around from series to series.

Any new series gets some extra attention in terms of blog posts I do for promo purposes. I want my readers to be as excited about it as I am, but I don’t have standard promo I do for each one. I like to wait and see how the first few books do before deciding how much time and effort I want to invest into promo, and into future books in the series.

I hope these tips have helped. I think the most important thing to remember is that any advice is only as helpful as how it might or might not fit into your unique situation. But one thing is constant, in my humble opinion. If you want people to take you seriously, you need to take your writing career seriously.

If this is only a hobby for you, that’s fine to treat it as such. But if you’re looking to make it a business, you need to treat it that way.

Bio:
Tara Rose loves to write about small towns and the quirky people that inhabit them. You’ll find engaging characters, budding romance, intrigue, and plenty of hot steamy ménage sex within the pages of her books. You never really know what goes on behind closed doors, but her books will take you there, and leave you panting for more.

When she isn’t writing, Tara spends time with her husband—her real-life hero. She loves to cook, collect antique pottery, and she will read just about anything. Tara also plays the cello, and loves decorating her house for Christmas.

Links:
Website: http://www.tararoseromanceauthor.com
Bookstrand Author Page: http://www.bookstrand.com/tara-rose
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaraRoseAuthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CCBP48I
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6980448.Tara_Rose
Manic Readers Author Page: http://www.manicreaders.com/TaraRose/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tararoseauthor/
The Romance Reviews Author Page: http://www.theromancereviews.com/TaraRoseRomanceAuthor
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/TaraRoseAuthor
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TaraRoseRomanceAuthor

I've been trying to dispel the one-size-fits-all myth since I started sharing writing tips. Thanks for summing it up so well, Tara!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday--Writing Advice from Jillian Jacobs

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Another of my IRWA friends is here with more great advice, and not just for new writers, either. Please welcome the green moose lady, Jillian Jacobs!

Take it away, Jillian!

My 2015 “Moose” Mantra--Author Collaboration

As a relatively new writer, I’ve relied on more seasoned authors to direct me down the right and WRITE road. To aid with this, I co-developed a local author sub-group called the Juicebox Dialogues. This group was created in order to share and promote author news. I would encourage every author to surround themselves with a crew of like-minded people. You’ll be amazed at free flow of information. Sometimes you just have questions, and knowing there are others who are willing to answer relieves a lot of strain in an already overwhelming writer world.

With that in mind, here are some of the focal points of our group that I feel can be of benefit.
•Share news on all social media outlets. By SHARE, I mean, click that button. It’s very easy to do.
•Like each others' posts. Sometimes it’s the little things.
•Read each others' books. Sometimes it’s the big things. I get a thrill out of just knowing someone is reading my book. Like the content or not, at least they put forth the effort.
•Post reviews. This should actually be Number #1.
•Include excerpts by other authors at the back of your books. I recently did this with an author friend, since we both write romantic suspense.
•Attend local author events even if you’re not signing. For example, book signings, writer conferences, and library events. BE PRESENT!
•Critique.
•Beta read.
•At book signings, with each book purchase, give the buyer additional swag from your author friends.
•Combine advertising dollars, nationally and/or locally for traditional advertising, like Romantic Times or a local publication.
•For more expensive swag items, split the cost with various authors, like mugs or cloth bags.
•Host authors on your blog.
•Host brainstorming sessions.
•Volunteer within your RWA chapter.
•Like author pages on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, etc…
•Write novellas together and/or package books together.
•Visit and comment on blog posts.
•Share your experiences when you try something new, like a Bookbub ad or a new blogger.
•Develop and submit RWA Conference workshops together.
•Post photos from author events. Show readers your camaraderie.
•Video blog.
•Share editor and agent information. Do mock “pitches” with each other.

What kinds of author collaborations have you done? Were they successful? What ways can we help each other as we move forward in this ever-changing world of romance writing? Do you already have a group of author friends? If so, what fun things do you do to support each other?

If you’d like, please visit YouTube for some fun videos with my Juicebox Dialogues pals.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSqq5xxIMlo

In 2015, my wish is that you’ll find a group of writers who share the same positive spirit. Collaborate today!

Bio:
In the spring of 2013, Jillian Jacobs changed her career path and became a romance writer. After reading for years, she figured writing a romance would be quick and easy. Nope! With the guidance of the Indiana Romance Writers of America chapter, she’s learned there are many "rules" to writing a proper romance. Being re-schooled has been an interesting journey, and she hopes the best trails are yet to be traveled.

Water’s Threshold, the first in Jillian’s Elementals series, was a finalist in Chicago-North’s 2014 Fire and Ice contest in the Women’s Fiction category, and is now available for purchase.

Jillian is a: Tea Guzzler, Polish Pottery Hoarder, and lover of all things Moose.
The genres she writes under are: Paranormal and Contemporary.

Links:
Website: www.jillianjacobs.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreenMooseProd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jillian-Jacobs/737689872920933
Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Jacobs/e/B00PA1YHXK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1430663785&sr=8-1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JillianJacobs
tsu: http://www.tsu.co/JillianJacobsAuthor

Thanks so much for sharing these great ideas for collaboration, Jillian! Having a supportive group of authors around you is so important!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!