Those of us in the community of independent writers and readers might know there are few book review sites that focus exclusively on indie authors. Big Al’s Books & Pals is one of those sites. They also keep the bar high. Name recognition might get you moved up the list, as blog founder Big Al himself said in an interview with Martin Crosbie, but you know that review is going to be fair: no passes here. That’s why I’m so excited Playing Charlie Cool was nominated for one of their 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards in the category of contemporary fiction. Out of the thousands of books that Books and Pals received last year, just over three hundred were reviewed. And an even smaller selection made it into the thirteen categories for the award. I love writing Charlie, and even though we’re on a little hiatus right now, I’d definitely pour him a scotch and put some Sinatra on the playlist if he decided he had more stories to tell me. I’d like to ask for your vote, if you think Charlie and I are worthy, in the contemporary fiction category. It’s easy and you don’t have to vote for every single category, although the more votes you submit, the greater your chances to win some goodies, including a selection of the nominated books and a sweet, sweet $75 Amazon gift card. Just click here to go to the Rafflecopter page where you can vote. Scroll down to see the instructions and categories, and click on the category name to see the nominated books. (Note: Older versions of Internet Explorer don’t like Rafflecopter much, so if you use a different browser, it might work better.) A few of my author compadres were also nominated, so I hope you’ll check out the stellar work of Lynne Cantwell (Scorched Earth, nominated in Fantasy), DV Berkom (A One Way Ticket to Dead, nominated in Thrillers), Julie Frayn (Mazie Baby, nominated in Women’s Fiction), Donna Fasano (Following His Heart, nominated in Romance), Jackie Weger (No Perfect Secret, nominated in Romance), and Shawn Inmon (Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven, nominated in Paranormal). Thank you for your time, and thank you for continuing to give independent authors a chance. Voting ends March 28.
A few years ago, author and fellow IU minion Melissa Pearl shared a little gem: radio journalist and book guy Bill Thompson, who had interviewed thousands of authors since 1985. In addition to his other work, Bill also did a little podcast on the side called The Bookcast, focusing on indie authors. We’ve been stalking him ever since. (Just kidding. Okay, not so much.) Bill is so good. Great with questions, easy to talk with, and gets right down to the issues. For some reason, he keeps inviting me back. If you have a few minutes, I hope you’ll listen to what resulted from my latest visit, where we talked about Playing Charlie Cool. Thank you for your time! http://www.thebookcast.com/indie-author-interview-laurie-boris-playing-charlie-cool/
Despite the current kerfuffle about whether reviews still matter, I still believe that they do. For a couple of reasons. Authors, especially independent authors, depend on word of mouth from readers to get the word out about their books and reach a wider audience. More than any other source, readers surveyed by the IndieBRAG people say that this is how they most frequently decide to pick up a book from an unknown author: because a friend recommended it.
I also believe that reviews are for readers, and not as much for the author. Once I hit “publish,” my stories essentially belong to the world…and you guys. Your review helps other readers decide if this is a story they want to read.
With that in mind, I’ve enrolled my latest novel, Playing Charlie Cool, in a review program sponsored by The Choosy Bookworm. If you haven’t checked out this website or signed up for his book recommendations, it’s well worth your time. Jay, head Bookworm, is really supportive of authors and has been doing a great job to build up his site. And if you hop over to his website, you can get a free e-copy of the book in exchange for your honest review. Why not also peruse the other books you can read and review, too?
[Note: While Playing Charlie Cool is listed under “Romance,” it’s not a romance novel. And while it’s technically the third book in the Trager Family Secrets series and the sequel to Don’t Tell Anyone, it can be read as a stand-alone story.]
Thank you for your time. What influences your decision to pick up a book? Just curious.
Woot, Playing Charlie Cool is live and I’m Snoopy dancing. The fabulous folks at Book Partners in Crime are helping to get the virtual launch going with a one-day book-launch-a-palooza. A whole bunch of book bloggers (scroll down to see the list) will be featuring Charlie today and hosting a raffle for a $30 Amazon gift card and other prizes. I hope you’ll swing by and maybe hit some of those social media buttons to share with your friends.
Because some of you have been asking about the order of the books, I’ll give you the rundown of the Trager Family Secrets series and how the new book fits in. Continue reading
It might sound like a particularly virulent case of a disease you don’t want, but a ThunderClap does not require a trip to the clinic. It’s a crowdfunding social media deal that is totally free for your network of friends to participate in. If you’d like to get a whole lot of social media attention all at once—say, for the launch of a book, she said coyly—you set up your event, share your link, and when you hit the minimum number of supporters…BAM! It glitter-bombs the interwebs.
Okay, not literally. But if you get 100 people to agree to support your message, via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, every single tweet and post is released on the day of your choosing, amplifying your message.
If you don’t hit the 100-mark, you get bupkes.
Mine was set up for me by the lovely folks at Book Partners in Crime, but it looks fairly straightforward if you’d like to set up your own.
- Start an account at https://www.thunderclap.it
- Click “start a thunderclap” on the top bar.
- Sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr account.
- Follow the directions to set up your own message.
HeadTalker is a similar crowdsourcing sort of product, but it asks for 50 supporters…a much easier task if you only have a short time to get a message out.
I’d love your help making my first try at these new opportunities a success for the launch of Playing Charlie Cool. If you have a minute and don’t mind voting, here are the links:
If you don’t care for the standard message, you can adjust it a little to your taste. Whatever you put up there is what goes out if we hit the quota.
Thank you for your help! Stay tuned, because on launch day, we’ll be giving away some Amazon gift cards and stuff. More about that later.
Also…if you’re an author or have an event, a cause, or something that might lend itself to a social media boost, maybe you’ll want to try this new tool.
Hi, everyone! While Art Dude is finishing the cover, I’d like to share an excerpt from Playing Charlie Cool. The e-book is available for pre-order on Amazon. You can save a buck by ordering now at the introductory price, and it will be delivered to your Kindle when the book is published at the beginning of October. Although it’s a sequel to The Picture of Cool and Don’t Tell Anyone, Playing Charlie Cool is a standalone story. (Scroll down to find out how you can grab a free copy of The Picture of Cool.)
First…what’s Playing Charlie Cool about?
With a few humble words, mayoral staffer Joshua Goldberg comes out to the New York press, resigns his post, and leaves his wife. Three months later, he is still skittish about making his relationship with television producer Charlie Trager public. Charlie understands Joshua’s stress over the divorce and his desire to step back into the political spotlight. But he’s tired of schedule conflicts and frustrated about getting put on the back burner while the pressure ravages the man he loves. Managing some of the most demanding divas in network television has taught Charlie patience. But his cool façade is wearing thin. Longing to ease Joshua’s anguish and burning for control in a situation that seems headed off the rails, Charlie takes a huge risk that could destroy everything he and Joshua have worked so hard to build. Continue reading
Melissa Bowersock is a prolific writer with a sharp eye. She’s also a fellow IU minion. One day she picked me up on her virtual private plane, plied me with tasty adult beverages, and asked me a few questions on her Wordlovers blog about my new book: what the heck I was thinking, mainly. We even got to talk about editing. I hope you’ll swing by, spend some time with us, and leave a comment. Thank you!
If you’d like, you can pre-order Playing Charlie Cool from Amazon right now.
Now back to your regularly scheduled kitten videos and bacon jokes.
Playing Charlie Cool, (the sequel to short story The Picture of Cool) is in final editing and will be available the first week of October or even sooner, if possible!
But you can pre-order a copy of the e-book from Amazon now, and it will be sent directly to your Kindle on the official “go live” day.
If you’re keeping score, the novel also catches up with the characters introduced in Don’t Tell Anyone. But no worries if you haven’t read that one—while the characters and situations overlap, Playing Charlie Cool and Don’t Tell Anyone are stand-alone stories.
I’ll post again as we get closer. This will include an excerpt, info about a print book giveaway, and (woo hoo!) our final cover design.
And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter if you’d like the latest news and the occasional special offer. (I promise not to spam you.)
Thank you for your time, and now I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled Internet hijinks…