Monday, February 27, 2012

Idea Envy

Okay, so I attended a conference a few weeks ago, and usually they're the highlight of my writing life. I mean, it's always fun to be around other writers and hear their stories, and realize that the publishing industry is still pretty healthy.

Then, of course, you learn about their books. Their ideas. And then you get Idea Envy.

Of course, reading does the same thing. Let me illustrate three separate cases of this Envy that I've experienced this month.

UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi. If you haven't bought and read this book, you should cease reading this post, go buy it, read it, and then come back. Seriously. I loved this book!

Here's a bit about it: Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

It is seriously so good. When I finished, I thought, "I have never fully imagined the worlds in my stories like this." Veronica does such an amazing job with the world-building, that it left me feeling like I really need to step it up. (Not necessarily a bad thing, you know...)

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West. This book isn't out yet, but I got to hear Kasie read a bit of it at the conference, and I can't wait to read it! (I also got to see a mock cover... And it's fab!) Anyway, here's a bit more about it: Reminiscent of the movie Sliding Doors, Pivot Point is about a girl who has the power to search alternate futures. When faced with a life changing decision, she lives out six weeks of two different lives (in alternating chapters), both holding the potential for love and loss, and must ultimately choose which path she is willing to live through. (Stolen from Kasie's blog)

I mean, SEARCH ALTERNATE FUTURES??? And I'm wondering how I can write about boy scouts and people who live in tents. (No, really. Those are some of my latest craptastic ideas.)

Anyway, the Idea Envy flared again. Sounds like a great premise, and the writing is fab.

Then, as if that weren't enough, I also listened to Natalie Whipple read a chapter or so of her forthcoming novel, TRANSPARENT. And I thought, "A girl who's INVISIBLE because of medication the government gave the population during the FREAKING Cold War??"

After I hung my head, my next thought was, "Dude, you should quit while you're ahead." Which translates to, "Your ideas suck. Get better ideas!"

So here's a bit more about TRANSPARENT: On the run from her mind-controlling father, the infamously invisible Fiona McClean hides in a small town, hoping to finally rid herself of the crime world she has always known. But playing at “normal life” with a mother she hates, a brother she can't trust, and a boy she can't stand proves more difficult than she ever imagined. Soon her father is hot on her heels, and it’s up to Fiona to protect not only her family, but the friends who’ve taught her that life doesn’t have to be as lonely and cruel as she thought. (Stolen from Goodreads)

This won't be out until Summer 2013, and I'm salivating already.

So yeah. I really need to kick my Idea Generator into high gear. Otherwise this Idea Envy is going to consume me. Or something. Hey, look! Parks & Rec is on...

Do you suffer from Idea Envy from time to time? What have you read or heard about lately that sounds like a fabulous premise?

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Basic+Plus Marketing Plan For Those Who Are Nearing Wealth

Ha ha ha! But didn't you know that every author is like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer and we're all r-i-c-h?! Well, now you do. {--sarcastic font

But today, we're going to talk about the marketing you might do beyond the basic plan. Remember that plan had bookmarks, postcards, and a blog tour on it.

This plan includes those three things, but has additional features.

1. Swag item. Here is where you can step up your swag -- if you'd like. I print stickers. For POSSESSION, I bought an image and used it in promotions, giveaways, buzz-building, and as stickers.

I'm doing the same thing for SURRENDER. You want to see?

I can print 500 stickers for $27.30. This year, I got smart and put my website on the sticker. Last year? Not so much. Live and learn.

Cost: Low $, low hours.
Uses: Give them out with every promotion, blogger swag, include at book signings, slap on any book-related package you mail. Use the image in your online campaigns too. Last year, the Tagged image was used in my newsletter campaign (see #2 below) and as an avatar campaign on Twitter.

Don't like stickers? (Though it's hard to beat 500 at $27.30...) No problem. Find something else you can use with your book. Some ideas:

  • Pin buttons
  • Water bottles
  • Wrist bands
  • Candy
  • Moo cards (I'll admit, I bought these too... maybe I am J.K. Rowling!)
  • T-shirts
  • Jewelry
  • Bottlecap magnets

2. Newsletter Campaign.
If you haven't started gathering names and emails for a newsletter, you probably should about the time you're querying agents. You can use this opt-in audience for promotion, and there are several sites that you can use to create your newsletters for free.

I use MailChimp, and I love it. I haven't paid a dime for it. You can sign up for my newsletter here. Now that we're getting closer to the release of SURRENDER, there might be some goodies for newsletter subscribers only...

Cost: $0, 1-2 hours/month. (Seriously. I can put a newsletter together in under 30 minutes.)
Uses: Run giveaways, exclusive to newsletter subscribers. Keep readers up-to-date with your books, deals, news, etc. Use images from #1 to run book content-specific promotions. Talk about other books. Advertise ARC sign-ups (which, BTW, you can sign up for an ARC of SURRENDER here).

The possibilities are virtually endless, and with a free price tag and very little time investment, you should consider a newsletter.

Caution: Don't be a spammer. If you say you're going to send a newsletter once a month, don't send one once a week.

3. Goodreads**. I think Goodreads is a great place to reach readers, because well, that's where readers hang out. The biggest pro for Goodreads? The ARC giveaway. Remember that you're going to use your ARCs for review purposes, and there's no better way to get a crap-ton of people requesting your book than to run a Goodreads giveaway.

Cost: $0-10 (mailing cost only), low time.
reach readers where readers hang out, giving away a prize people want, building buzz.

All you have to do here is spend a few minutes listing the giveaway. (Oh! Look! There's an ARC giveaway of SURRENDER going on right now!) Goodreads even picks the winner for you, gives you code for widgets, the works. You are responsible for mailing out the book. If your publisher is sending the ARC, your monetary investment is zero. If you are, you'll have to pay for shipping (but you can put your sticker on the outside of the package...)

Goodreads gives you the code for widgets too.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Surrender by Elana Johnson


by Elana Johnson

Giveaway ends April 30, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

So there you go. The second tier above the Basic Marketing Plan.

Well? Can you set up a newsletter? Order some additional swag? List a giveaway on Goodreads? What else would you implement into this marketing plan?

Next week, I'm going to talk about additional ideas to market your work exclusively online. **I'm also writing a separate post about Goodreads and Facebook ads, both of which I've purchased and used. So stay tuned for that!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pay No Attention to the Numbers Behind the Curtain

Okay, so tackling another tough (or touchy) subject today. Numbers. Most of us hate math -- not me, I minored in it. But most of us. Yet somehow, we get all wrapped up in the numbers.

For the pre-published:

  • How many queries did he send?
  • How many agents offered?
  • How many rejections?
  • How long did it take her to write that draft??
  • How long did it take to sell her book?
  • How many editors did you submit to?
  • How many publishing houses offered?

And it doesn't stop there. Even on "this side" of the fence, there are numbers to obsess over:

  • How many books has she sold?
  • How much was her advance?
  • How many books were in her deal?
  • What's her print run?
  • How many ARCs did she get?

And on and on. And on. AND ON.

I want to stop the madness. Today I declare that the freaking numbers do not matter. So what if she can write a book in 11 days? Does that really matter? Does that mean that she's somehow better than you, because it takes you 11 weeks or 11 months or 11 years to write a draft?

I want to climb on the table and shout: "That's ridiculous!"

I think we all know it's ridiculous, but deep down inside, it matters to us. But it shouldn't. It shouldn't.

It doesn't matter if someone sends 5 queries Or 50. Or 500. If they get a request, yay! It doesn't matter how many agents offer on your manuscript. Just because someone gets two offers, or five, or ten, doesn't mean their book is better than yours.

IT DOESN'T. (Repeat it. Repeat it again.)

Just like it doesn't make a bit of difference if a book sells in 1 day or 1 year.

Seriously. Both books sold! They'll both be published. They'll both have covers and be enjoyed. It matters not how long or how many of something the book has under it's belt.

Now, it might make the journey easier or harder for the author, but TIME/QUANTITY does not influence the QUALITY of the book.

And I think it's time (ha!) we gave up on the freaking numbers. Stop using them to compare ourselves and our work to someone else. That's a dangerous game with a slippery slope. I know. I've played it before. It's not fun.

So today, I'm advocating that you spend your time doing what matters: writing your next best-seller.

Are you all hung up on numbers? Do you think faster = better? Or more = better?

The only thing I want more of faster, is bacon. And sour patch kids. And summer.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Super Sekrit Cover Reveal

Okay, so today I'll be divulging a super sekrit cover reveal. Sort of. Okay, not really. But today, we're talking about TEN by Gretchen McNeil, and she is running a contest that goes until Friday, February 24 where she will reveal the cover to TEN on a super sekrit blog that will be revealed as you follow the scavenger hunt. She started the chain for the clues you'll need to enter to win the most amazing, exclusive prize ever!

You want to know what it is? (I felt like Jeff Probst typing that.)

A signed and annotated copy of the unbound galley of TEN. A one of a kind prize, out before the ARCs. How awesome is that? (Totally awesome.)

So let's examine TEN a little closer: And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying and the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Add TEN to your Goodreads list.

And in case you don't know Gretchen... Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror/paranormal POSSESS debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her second novel, TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – will be released September 18, 2012. Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen is also a founding member of the vlog group YARebels where she can be seen as "Monday."

You'll need all ten (get it? TEN?) clues to enter to win the signed and annotated copy of the unbound galley of TEN. Everything is happening this Friday, February 24, so you have time to start the hunt today if you haven't yet. (Here, remember? You can start here.)

Today's clue: NATHAN.

Be sure to check in at Christine Fonseca's blog tomorrow for another clue!

What do you think? Does TEN sound like something you'd read? I will totally 100% admit to being the biggest, yellowest chicken on the planet. The premise of TEN scares the crap out of me. But I'm gonna read it anyway. I'm sure it's awesome!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Basic Marketing Plan for Authors Who Have Bills to Pay Too

Okay, so you have some marketing to do. But you also have bills to pay, or you'd like to take the family to Disneyland, or whatever. The point is, you don't want to spend your entire advance (or your hard-earned savings) or every waking moment on marketing.

So let's break it down into what you should spend a little bit of money and time on. (This is all Marketing According to Elana. Feel free to disagree.) This is the Basic Plan, and can be accomplished for under $200 and with about 20 hours of your time.

1. Bookmarks. These are a must in my marketing plan, and they're not that expensive. I get mine designed and printed through SignCity, a company my brother-in-law owns.

Cost: Low $, low time.
Uses: Online giveaways, book blogger swag, fan swag, use as business cards, put in every book at signings.

I've given away 2000 bookmarks in the past year at conferences, signings, etc.

I think you can order bookmarks and still pay the water bill. Plus, they're sort of something readers expect these days.

2. Postcards. These are another must-have in my marketing plan. Again, the cost is low. Postcard stamps are 29 cents, which means you can send 100 postcards for $29. Again, I use my cover art and get mine printed at SignCity.

Cost: Low $, low time.
Uses: Mail to booksellers, librarians, and schools. You can also use your postcards to contact specialty stores in your area where you might have a connection. Include a hand-written note and invite them to investigate your book further.

Last year, I also made postcards with the details of my launch events. I mailed them to everyone I knew, here, Texas, wherever. See, I had an online party, and while not everyone could come to Salt Lake City, they could join me online. I spent a total of $78 on postcards last year. I did have to spend some time looking up addresses and writing and addressing the postcards. The three hours was worth it.

I just ordered another set of postcards to send to the schools and libraries near me that don't have my book yet. And I'm going to use them to contact the warehouse clubs in my area, where my books are not sold. I just invested another $20 and it'll probably take me an hour or two to locate addresses and write the notes.

3. Blog Tour. Generating buzz about your book is crucial. How to do it? Use your review copies for exactly that. Reviews. Sure, it's fun to pass them to family and friends (and to hold and stroke), but ultimately, you want to get the review copies in the hands of reviewers.

Set up a tour, either a few weeks before your release or a few weeks after. (In fact, it's always a good time for a blog tour.) I think the key here is to ensure that you have UNIQUE CONTENT on each site. There's nothing I hate more than going to multiple blogs and finding the exact same content.

So make videos, do character interviews, allow them to ask you questions, get reviews, etc. But make each stop unique and fun, because the blog tour isn't about YOU. It's about the READER and engaging them.

Cost: $0, many hours. Be ready to coordinate emails, physical addresses, produce content, fix mistakes, etc.
Uses: Expanding outside your readership, generating buzz. Remember that it takes on average 5 times to influence someone to purchase your book. Or at least remember it next time they're at the store.

I think if you do just these three things, you'll be well on your way to launching your book into the world with what it needs to be successful. It is my opinion that jewelry, pin buttons, wrist bands, T-shirts, stuffed animals, etc. are fun, but not necessary. If you'd like to pay your cable bill, scratch all that other stuff and go with well-crafted bookmarks and postcards, and put together a unique, engaging blog tour.

The end.

What do you think? Can you do these three things? What else would you have on your Basic Marketing list?

Stick around for next week's marketing installment -- the Basic+Plus Marketing Plan For Those Who Are Nearing Wealth. (Ha!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just Try Not to Laugh

Okay, so here we are today, with the lovely Christine Fonseca! Her novella, DIES IRAE, is a fast, fun read. If you haven't gotten it yet, you should.

Here's a little insight into what Christine and I do with our free time... Just try not to laugh...

You can purchase DIES IRAE:

There's also a print version coming soon! Add it to your Goodreads list so you don't forget about it.

What do you spend your free time doing? Wait... do I want to know the answer to that?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why I Started Writing

Okay, so today is the "Why You Started Writing" Blogfest. I found out about it on Alex's blog, but I think there are a few people acting as hosts. (You can see the list and follow the blogfest here.)

Here's a brief overview of the guidelines: Tell us all where your writing dreams began. It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own unique beginnings.

For me, I started writing in December 2007. I was about to turn 30, had skipped English as a senior in high school, earned a mathematics minor in college, and had been teaching elementary school for 8 years. I wanted a record of the first three decades of my life. Earlier that fall, I had gone through a devastating loss, and I still hadn't quite recovered from it (sometimes I think I'm still not over it). And as I started writing, I realized something amazing. The black feelings inside wormed their way out.

The world took on new color. I didn't have to live with those debilitating emotions anymore, because they found life on the page. Thus, the writing of fiction began. And my struggles and emotions and angst landed in the most reasonable place: a young adult.

That's why I started writing. I keep writing because it makes me happy. And I often say that the reason I pursued publication is because I'm a pit bull. I often don't see the point of spending time and energy on something unless I see it through to the end.

So after I'd written my third novel, I thought, "Well, I better figure out how to get a book published." And off I went.

So there's my story. What's yours? Why did you start writing? Why do you keep writing? Are you pursuing the dream of publication?

Friday, February 10, 2012

When You Feel Unmotivated...

I've been struggling with motivation this week. I've had plenty of time to write, so that's not the issue. The problem is, I don't want to write.

So I haven't.

That's right. I don't force myself to write everyday. If I don't feel like it, I don't. This week, instead of writing I have watched a couple of Harry Potter movies, Water for Elephants, folded all my laundry the same day I washed and dried it, made dinner, and a variety of other things.

I'll feel the writing tug again. But right now, I'm not. And so I'm not writing. Sometimes it's okay to just be a person too.

What do you do when you feel unmotivated? I'm running out of ideas...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let's Talk About Rejection

Dude, today we're going to talk about getting rejected. It happens in every aspect of our lives.

You get passed up for that promotion? 

You get a text from that "someone special" who's not as special as you thought?

The same goes with writing. If you want to get your work published, you're going to have to find a way to stomach the rejection. I believe that rejection starts early in the publishing process for a reason -- so you'll get used to it.

Because query letter stage?

Managed to land an agent? Yay! But then you'll be on submission to editors. And that brings...

Even when you get a book deal with a publishing house, big or small, you'll need to be steeled against the rejection. That's right, the rejection that comes from readers. See, not everyone is going to like your book.

So how do you prepare yourself for the rejection? How do you manage when you're in the throes of rejection? It's easy to say "Oh, I'll be fine. I know it's coming, and I'll be fine."

The truth is, you won't be fine. At some point, you're not going to be fine. You're going to want to quit, because it's just too hard to keep trying. And this goes for authors in all stages--in fact, I think sometimes published authors suffer from rejection just as those looking for agents.

I know, I know, cry me a river. I'm not placing a label like "more than" or "less than" here. I'm not saying agent rejection is harder than editor rejection is harder than reader rejection. It's all hard. Some is more constant than others, but it all invokes an urge to quit.

I think the only way to continue on in times like these is to have something beyond writing that can ground you.

This could be a spouse. Another family member. A pet. A vacation spot you frequent. Whatever. I think the best way to cope with the rejection is to have an escape from everything publishing. A reminder that your entire identity isn't dependent on having an agent, a publisher, an award, or a 5-star review.

If you have that something in your life, you'll be able to endure the rejection that is inevitable in this industry. Mine is my fantastic husband. I know that no matter if I never write another book or if I only get 1-star reviews for Surrender, that my worth to him is not diminished. Who I am is not dependent on those things, and that's how I endure the constant rejection.

How do you endure the rejection?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Beginning of Marketing for Authors Who Normally Hate Marketing

Okay, so I'm going to present at LTUE this week (and if you live anywhere close to Utah, you should come!) and one of the panels I'm sitting on is a marketing panel.

So most of us are creative minded people when it comes to authoring books. Then, when your book sells, you’re suddently thrust into the position of thinking about another side of writing.

The business side. The side where you promote and talk about yourself and your books. Most authors are terrified of this. There are entire blogs dedicated to helping authors become effective marketers. (This is not one of those blogs, but I am going to share with you my experiences over the next couple of weeks.) Have you seen Shrinking Violet Promotions? If not, I highly recommend it.

So first, there are three easy steps to determining your marketing strategy.

1. Stalk. That’s right, stalk. Lurk. Hang out in the back with a black hoodie on and listen. Watch. Take notes of what you like, of what you think is fun, of what you think you might like to do.

I’ve been stalking Beth Revis for years. You should too. I adore everything Saundra Mitchell writes, including her mega-helpful marketing stuff. (<<<If you haven't seen this, you will die. D-I-E.) I also like to randomly pop in to other author’s blogs and websites and see what they look like, what content they have both dynamically and statically, what contests they run, what swag they’re giving away, etc.

I stalk. I take note of what I like and then I move to step 2.

2. Steal. I know, I know. I’m making you into a criminal! Well, marketing—which is so left-brained—is criminal to a right-brained creative artist. So trust me, you’re already knocking on that door.

Through all of your stalking, you’ll see some things you like. Steal them. That’s right. Put them on your list of things you’d like to do before your book comes out, during the release of your book, and after your book comes out.

Make a big list. You won’t do everything, because let’s face it, you’re not Oprah and you don’t have millions to spend. (Also, many of the authors I stalk get a lot of help from their publishing houses. They have reach and dollars I simply can’t match. But everything goes on the list, whether it comes from the author or the publisher.)

I use a spreadsheet (surprise, surprise, Ms. Math Minor) to keep track of the marketing ideas I like. I include a website address that will refresh my memory if I’ve forgotten exactly what the idea looked like.

Which leads us to step 3…

3. Mutate. That’s right. X-Men, baby! (Love Wolverine.) Examine your ginormous list of possibilities and mutate the bigger ones that you really love into something you can manage with both hours and dollars.

I'm constantly trying to think of something that's simply different. Blog tours are nice. Interviews, playlists, conversations with characters. They're all good.

But I'm not looking for good. I'm looking for something different. And I don't mean you need to spend lots of money on swag or giveaways. I just mean I'm always trying to think of how I can take a postcard and make it into something more than a postcard.

And so I watch and listen and take notes, and then I mutate the ideas I see out there into something I can own, something I can manage, and something I can fund.

Easy, right? Riiight.

So are you out there stalking? Do you have a spreadsheet with ideas? My philosophy? It's never too early to start! Next week I'll talk about what I think every author should do. I call it my The Basic Marketing Plan for Authors Who Have Bills To Pay Too.

Friday, February 3, 2012

How To Write Better

Okay, so I've been edited extensively before. My agent is highly editorial, number one, and nothing goes past her eagle eye to my publishing house without me bleeding all over it.

Literally. I will admit that I cried once. Then I opened the cracking document and fixed whatever she wanted me to fix.

Anyway, so this time around, I sent her a book. I hadn't had one other person read it. Not one. I didn't have time for beta reads or anything. So basically it had my sucktacular attempts to get it right and I sent it to my agent.

She emails to say she thinks I need to do another pass before we submit (no surprise there--did I mention NO ONE else had read it?), and she'll have notes for me soon. I want to eat half my body weight in sour patch kids, because until that doc lands in my email, I'm a nervous wreck. Will I cry again? Did I ruin the story? How bad does this book that NO ONE else read stink?

And soon? What the heck? Soon can't be soon enough. (I've also learned that "soon" could mean "later today" or "next week.")

So I work on other stuff and try to maintain my diet so that when the email comes, I'm ready.

So it comes. I purposefully don't open it until I've eaten and have my pajamas on. (Because everything is better in pj's, right?)

So I open the document...

And surely she's jesting. This is nothing! Some line edits. LINE EDITS. Maybe 3 comments, and the things she's suggesting in said comments are easy to fix.

That's it!

It can't be true. I finish the line edits in a single night. I go to bed thinking that I'll get the real email with the real document in the morning.

It doesn't come.

Can it be? Maybe I don't suck as much as I thought. Or hey, maybe I've learned how to write better.

Maybe. Both of those are doubtful, but I did want to share one tip today that I learned from doing these line edits.

You can convey something in a more powerful manner with less words. Some examples from the book I turned in.

What I had: "It seemed to fit well enough, and when she gave it a gentle squeeze, I couldn’t even remember my own name."
Edited to: "It fit just right, and when she gave it a gentle squeeze, I couldn’t even remember my own name."

What I had: "The emotions coming from him couldn’t settle into one specific thing. Love, anger, desperation, more anger, confusion."
Edited to: "His emotions couldn’t settle into any one thing."

What I had: "And she obviously hadn’t slept much over the last few weeks."
Edited to: "And she obviously hadn’t been sleeping much." (I know this seems little, but the "over the last few weeks" is totally unnecessary. It's the little things that make your writing better, you know?)

Things I use a lot that aren't necessary:

  • Then
  • for a moment
  • many times before
  • or something (hey, I'm a conversational writer, what can I say?)
  • I didn't answer. (No duh. If there's no dialog, he didn't speak. I do this ALL THE TIME in some form. "without another word" "I waited, silent." Or something. Ha! But dude, it doesn't need to be expressly said that the MC isn't talking, because if they were there'd be dialog!)
  • totally (don't judge me)

Some words are unnecessary. Good writers use only the words they need, and nothing more. I highly suggest you razor those words out of your MS on one of your revision passes.

What do you think? What are some of your unnecessary catch phrases? Can you use less words and achieve more power?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Dude, today is the official release day of DIES IRAE by Christine Fonseca. Now, I'm part of her blog tour, and trust me, you are not going to want to miss the hilarious video we have planned. It'll be up on Wednesday, February 15.

But I couldn't let today go by without a major shout out to her awesomeness! Her novella is finally here -- and her novel, LACRIMOSA, is set to follow in March.


And it's party time!

For the release, I am giving away 5 copies of DIES IRAE. Leave me a comment here and I'll draw winners tomorrow morning.

About the book: Mikayel lives by one rule—obey the orders of the angelic Council at all costs. That is, until he and his friends, Azza and Demi, are sent to Earth. Assigned as Watchers while they await their decision of which angelic order to serve, the three assume the bodies of teenagers and experience life as human.

The sensations are overwhelming as the angels experience a host of human emotions—rage, terror, love—and come ever closer to breaking one of the unbreakable rules—never fall in love.

But being human isn’t the only problem facing the three angels. Unbeknownst to the Council, demonic activity is on the rise, threatening to break a tenuous peace that has existed for a millennia; a peace Azza seems bent on destroying.

Caught in a struggle for power with unseen demonic forces and Azza, and fighting against his rising emotional attachment to Demi, Mikayel must now decide how much he is willing to sacrifice for his new found love—a decision that could reignite an ancient war and will threaten the only thing that matters to the angels, the survival of humanity.

Better yet, buy your copy here for Kindle. Or here for Nook. You can also add it to your Goodreads list.

And you can follow all the blog tour action by going to Michelle McLean's blog today.

What do you think of the cover? Does this sound like something you'd like? (Just trying to give you something to talk about in your comment so you can WIN this amazing novella!)

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