Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Marketing Tip #1 for the New Year

You have heard of the 12 Days Till Christmas .... Well we are doing the 12 Days Before New Year's which will include interviews with our authors, book marketing tips, website updating for the new year, and much more. This is not just focused on the authors or aspiring authors out there, but readers. Whether you'd like to admit it or not, you always wanted to write "That" book inside you.

If you give too much of your work away, then there is nothing left for your fans to look forward to reading. Az Publishing believes in the 10-15% Rule. Never give more than 15% for any Sneak-Peak. Leave readers wanting more!

Patti's Take on this Tip:
Normally I would say 10% but if you put your book up onto Smashwords as an eBook, there is no 10%; you only have a 15% choice, so I say 10-15% now. I use this percentage idea when producing the chapter booklets I use as give-aways at conventions or events I participate in.

I have people ask me if these little booklets work to get sales. I would say yes and no. The booklets are used as both a marketing tool and as a sales tool. Never expect sales when you are doing marketing so that way you will not be disappointed when you don't get any sales. There is always the chance for sales while marketing, but if you want to BOOST your sales on this cheap marketing tool, then MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BOOKS WITH YOU TO SELL AT ALL TIMES. 

I can't tell you how many times, even with my own authors, I ask them if they have books with them when going to an event or even a Meetup and they say, "No".

Well then, you just lost a great chance to sell. If you have opportunities to give a chapter booklet away or to give your 10 - 30 second elevator pitch, then you had better have a book or books on you to sell on the spot. Soooo many people will give you lip service and say they will go onto Amazon to buy your book when they get home.

Don't be greedy to get that extra from Amazon when you can reduce the price to $10.00 and get CASH IN THE HAND!

Patti's motto is:  Ten bucks in the hand is much better than the pennies left behind after Amazon gets done with you!

For Day #1 of this Book Newsletter sponsored by Az Publishing Services, LLC, we will add a great interview I did earlier this year on romance books, "To Be Saved or Not to Be Saved".
Then I will include a "Sneak-peak for book #3 in the "Time Chaser" series. 

One of my favorite questions ever asked of me:
You've successfully slain the dragon! How will you toast your marshmallows?
PJ Hultstrand, author of Time Conquers All: 
On his dead and burning carcass as I drink and dance around the bonfire in victory.

The reason the answer to the question above is so important is it really does play into how I write my heroines and heroes in my romance stories. Many women now days want to be empowered and feel in control of their own destinies. However, even more women still hide behind the man in their lives or feel they must have a man to take care of them.

While I am attempting to save my home from the cruel clutches of the bank, my lawyer made the statement the other day that I could either win the lottery or marry a rich old man to take care of me.  I know my mother would love that idea of having her daughter taken care of financially; I have not been that swooning damsel in distress for quite some time. There is nobody coming in on his white horse. Besides the fact that I live in a no-horse community, I have no dilutions that some great guy is going to come into my life and sweep me off my feet!
As young girls, didn’t most of us love Prince Charming and the fairy tales where the hero swooped in and saved the princess or the woman in the story? I am no different, I dreamed of being a ballerina, but even longer, I dreamed of being a princess. Even into high school I wore tiaras as a baton twirler and some guys in my life referred to me as their princess.
This could be embarrassing now that I am 47 and divorced, except that the princess I wanted to be all those years ago finally came out in the pages of my Chasing Time book series. But, this princess isn’t the one I had inside me when I was a young, na├»ve girl; this princess doesn’t expect to be saved by any man!
Instead, Princess Tamea does her fair share of doing the saving. She has saved King Parker from assassins several times, saved him from issues of his troubled mind on multiple occasions, and it is with this same must save the man mentality that I start book one with Tamea’s desire to do the saving.
Around the India region of the world in the late 1500’s, anyone else would have had to come in with sword swinging, riding a camel. It was only the upper class of citizens that could afford a great white horse. A smelly, brown camel that would rather spit at you, kind of takes away from the ROMANCE of the story. I guess it’s a good thing Tamea is a princess from a rich enough country to afford for her to come into the scene to save Parker on that proverbial WHITE HORSE to save his ass.
And believe me, she would slay that dragon and then roast marshmallows on his dead and burning carcass as she drinks and dances around the bonfire in victory!

By PJ Hultstrand

            Once again, it was not futuristic technology that saved Tamea from the enemy, but simple sixteenth century throwing knives launched by Captain Terance’s well-trained hands. Call it whatever you like, divine intervention or a hell of a lot of luck, either way she was now safe and sound in Parker’s tender care.
            Even though Tamea had saved King Parker in body, mind and spirit on several occasions, the tables had turned and he had to send in the helicopters from his own century to save her from the contemptuous hands of Laie’s defector and traitor, Colonel Lauder.
            Parker did not take his eyes off Tamea’s blood stained and agonized face. He ground his teeth in absolute anger toward Altare’s new enemy. Even in her unconscious state, she cried out in pain as he tried to lay her on the floor of the chopper. When Laie’s traitor made an enemy with his recently defected country, he also made an instant enemy of its neighboring country of Altare, because its king would make certain Lauder hung for his crimes. Hanging was even too good for him, in Parker’s opinion, especially since his country did not take prisoners, instead believing in taking an eye for any eye.
            As King Parker saw it, the former Colonel Lauder of Laie, would pay for every life he had taken, especially that of the king’s unborn child, who had been lost while his wife had been bearing his enemy’s whip. Parker surveyed Tamea’s face again, touching the scar on her jaw line she had sustained while saving his life from assassins who were believed to have been sent by Altare’s other mutual enemy, the country of Bengal. The lines grew deeper in his middle-aged face as he pondered the scar on her face that now accompanied so many more scars upon her nineteen-year old body.
            After assessing Tamea’s torturous injuries, it was decided to send Major Jesse Winchell in the other chopper to locate Commander Jayson and the rest of Laie’s army. Even her own husband could no longer recognize the battered remains of his young wife’s back, since she had taken the deep slashes ordered by Lauder himself. They needed a few body healers attached to the army and they especially needed Vestavia, the King’s personal mind healer now to help Tamea heal from within.
Captain Reed would fly them back to Walker Town in chopper one, where Parker could start cleaning her up, allowing the healer’s to get right to work when they arrived. Reed would go back up, after his chopper cooled and was refueled, to locate his brother Walker, whose progress was still unknown since Parker had not received word from his brother in many days.
When they got to Walker Town, they found Darring, Tamea’s Peregrine falcon waiting to deliver a message that was attached to his claw. Terance retrieved the note off the bird and followed Parker, who was carrying Tamea into the boarding house and had placed her carefully onto a first floor bed.
Terance relayed the gist of the message. “It seems Walker had some problems with raiders near Bengal’s border where they had been ambushed. After taking them out, they set out again, but then had wagon problems. It says they should be here sometime Tuesday night.” Terance then laughed, he had totally lost track of which day it was. Parker was not paying much attention to what Terance was saying, because his attention was on Tamea.
Terance glanced at the couple that managed the boarding house and asked, “Can you get us some hot and cold water and some strips of cloth, please?” He asked the man who remained, “Can you tell me what day it is?”
 “It’s Tuesday,” stated the manager, then the man assessed the situation. “Wouldn’t it be more proper for a healer to be cleaning up the young lady there?” He knew that Parker was the sovereign ruler of his country, but still didn’t think this was proper, especially in her current state of undress.
“She is his wife.” It still hurt Terance to bring voice to such a statement.
The man’s eyes opened wide in surprise. “The King has taken a wife? When did this happen?”
“She is or was the Princess of Laie and they were married about three weeks ago.” Terance could not believe it had been such a short time. It seemed like forever since he sat in that pew and watched Tamea marry King Parker of Altare.
The water and rags came as the couple left them to work on Tamea. Terance wanted to help, but was not sure whether Parker would let him. Rather than ask, he thought he should leave them alone. “Well, I will just shut the door behind me on my way out and will ask the managers to make you something to eat.”
Parker looked up at Terance. There was grief and the horror of not knowing where to start cleaning, etched clearly on his face. Everywhere his eyes took in her sight, he saw blood and was afraid of hurting her further. If he did this himself, he most certainly would cause her more pain. While Terance had been busy with the manager, Parker had cleaned the fresh neck wounds Tamea had sustained in Lauder’s attempt to keep his hard won prize, since Tamea had dispatched many of his people before being taken as his hostage.
“Terance,” started Parker, putting his hands up in surrender. “I don’t know where to start! Please, I don’t think I can bear to do this by myself. I know I am asking a lot of you, but would you stay and help me to just hold her, while I clean her up?”
“Sure, I will give you a hand and do not worry, this can be our little secret. I know Tamea would not appreciate knowing I had helped clean her up. So, do me the favor by not telling her. She would probably kick my ass for the bother.”
Parker laughed hollowly, it would be wonderful to have Tamea back in such a state that she could kick anybody’s butt. As he looked down at her again, he knew that it was going to be some time before that happened.
Terance could not fault Parker for shedding some tears when they got to her back. The skin was shredded and was most definitely infected; she would probably be scarred for life. But when they got to her thighs and both men realized she was bleeding heavily from the vagina, Terance could not take it anymore and had to leave the room. He left Parker alone with her to cry over the loss of their child, while he went to get drunk.
He found the tavern and also found Captain Reed pouring himself another drink. After one look at Terance, Reed also poured the young man one and put it in front of him. “She’s quite a mess, isn’t she?” asked Reed.
Terance sat and looked down into the glass, but found no answers there. “Yes, it is bad,” was about all he could say about it.
Reed drank his glass down and turned to ask Terance, “I’m heading out to check on Walker. Want to come with me?”
“Oh, we got a message from Walker, saying he should be coming in today sometime. He had some hold ups along the way, he said. So, do we still need to go?” Terance sipped his drink, maybe he was not as committed to getting drunk after all.
“Well, we could either go and check on them to make sure there were no more hold ups or stay here and get drunk my friend. I leave it up to you; I don’t care one way or the other. I can get drunk later.” Reed poured himself another and drank that one down as if it was water.
Terance watched the man drink another and wondered how much of the half empty bottle was already in him. “You sure you should be flying after drinking?”
Reed laughed and rebuked, “You sure don’t look like my father and you sure as hell don’t smell like my mother.”
Terance just gave him a pained expression.
“Hell, I do all my best flying when I’m drunk. Learned that from my dad.” He poured himself another and lifted his glass to Terance. “Here’s to your fancy throwing there, my friend,” and he drank the glass down again. Reed could now see two images of Terance sitting at his table and he thought that was quite funny. Laughing himself silly, he asked Terance again, “So, you going up with me, or am I going s-o-l-o?” He said the word ‘solo’ very slowly because he liked the sound of it.
Terance decided it would be more fun than sitting here thinking about Tamea and what Lauder had done to her. He smiled back at Reed and offered, “I will go if you play me some more of that kick ass music of yours.”
“Hell yes! I got some great shit. Not as good as Jimi Hendrix, cause he was ahead of his time. When dad left in 1968, Jimi had just hit the scene and left them all stunned.” Terance had no idea what he was talking about, but went with the flow as he helped Reed get out the door. The young pilot needed guidance because he had tried to go through the door several times and had missed. “Yes, your goanna hear some Cream and we will have to do some Jefferson Airplane with the little White Rabbit.”
“Sounds great.” Terance walked with Reed down the street toward the chopper. He was having second thoughts of going up when Reed had tried to walk the opposite direction from the air pad.
“You get to help fill the tank. It’s had some time to cool,” stated Reed.
They got to the helicopter and Reed showed him what to do. Within twenty minutes the two were starting the engine and Terance was praying Reed wasn’t as drunk as he thought the younger man was. After another ten minutes, Terance was looking out over the night. “Thought we weren’t supposed to go out at night,” he inquired.
“Shit, who the hell we goanna hit? See, that’s what’s so great about flying in our time. Dad said when he learned to fly, he had to get clearance and then follow a flight pattern or else he could accidentally hit some other plane or chopper in the air.” Reed referred to the open sky, “Nobody up here but us and the night birds, my friend.”
They ran low to the ground so as not to miss anything. When it got too quiet in Reed’s opinion, he popped one of the 8-tracks he had referred to earlier and pulled a tin out from under his seat. Reed showed Terance how to hold the throttle for him, while he fired up something he said was grown in Altare that could be smoked. He took a puff from it and held his breath for a few seconds.
Reed took the throttle back and handed Terance the small white cylinder shaped object. “Here, just follow what I did.”
Terance took it and looked at it dubiously, wondering what kind of technology this was. He looked over at Reed who prodded further, “Won’t hurt you; takes away some of the pain. After today, I think you could use a little relief, my friend.”
What the hell, Terance thought to himself, you only live once anyway, so he took a drag from the small object. Within seconds he lost some of the pain from the bruises and cuts he had acquired over the last week. After his fourth hit, he felt very little of anything.
“Hey, no hogging the medicine!” yelled Reed and he grabbed the joint away from the Captain of Laie.
Terance now knew what Reed meant by having to hear the little White Rabbit, as he almost jumped out of the cockpit to see if he could fly. Reed grabbed him in time and made the Captain strap into his seat.
“There they are,” yelled Reed, as he pointed out his front window, where he could see many fires going. “Looks like they stopped for the night. We’ll touch down and talk to Walker.”
Terance did not care, he was rockin’ out and he was suddenly starving. “Hey, maybe they have something to eat.” Reed laughed while thinking he had totally corrupted the Captain.
Walker and Brandt came over to meet Reed at the chopper as it wound down after landing. “Could hear you coming from miles away,” Walker said to Reed, as he shook his hand and smiled. Then he noticed Reed was not alone.
Terance was cursing and fighting with the seatbelt on the other side of the cockpit. “How do you get this vile thing off me?” screamed Terance.
Walker raised his eyebrows and Brandt smiled, but offered to go and help Terance out of the chopper. “Hey, easy there Terance, you’ll rip your arm off doing it that way.” He unbuckled the latch and Terance fell out of the chopper next to Brandt’s boots.
Brandt helped him off the ground, got a good look at Terance’s face, then grabbed the young captain under the arm to walk him to the nearest fire. He yelled back at Reed who was following behind with Walker, “What the hell did you do to Terance?” Then he got a good smell of him. “Oh man, you let him smoke some of your weed?” Brandt put Terance down on a rock, but it must not have been big enough to hold him because he fell down on his butt and after the surprise landing, Terance started laughing his head off.
Walker snapped a look of disapproval at Reed. “I would think you’d use a little more caution with someone from this time, Reed. He had no clue what you were offering him.”
Brandt added, “Parker is going to freak when he hears about this.”
Even with all the weed and alcohol he had consumed, Reed was stock sober again and wished he could find something to drink. “I think Parker’s got a lot of other things on his mind right now, to be bothered about my possible corruption of Terance here. And I thought Terance needed the relief from too much reality for one day.”
Walker turned white as he asked, “Why, what’s happened?”
Brandt helped Terance by getting him something to eat, but let him stay seated on the ground. Reed recounted what he knew about Tamea, the loss of the baby and her rescue.


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