Meet Jaye Marie!

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to The Broken Life Blog Tour

by Jaye Marie @jaydawes2

 

 

I really enjoy discovering a new book to read and finding authors who work together and support other writers is always a pleasure. Today I am showcasing the work of one half of sibling writing team, as part of her blog tour. Jaye Marie’s new book Broken Life  is now available to buy and download on Amazon. Don’t forget to stop off at the other blogs on the tour to find out even more about her work. Details are at the end of this post.

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About Jaye Marie

My name is Jaye Marie, the ‘oily rag’ of the partnership Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie and usually, I prefer to stay in the background. Since my sister and I decided to publish our books ourselves, most of my other interests have had to take a back seat and as I am not half as clever as I want to be, they may well have to leave the country for a while.

I am an avid Bonsai fan and have a collection that demands my attention in the growing season, or they will die (It is a bit like having children). I love books and have read my way through stacks of them, so when my sister needed someone to edit and type up her manuscripts, I was happy to help. Somewhere along the way, I discovered my vocation and my love-hate relationship with the world of computers. But I did learn how to edit and proofread, taking over the job of getting Anita’s books ready for publication. I even had some wonderful compliments from one of the best literary agents in London for my editing of Anita’s first book, Bad Moon, and for the last twenty years since my retirement, that‘s what my life has been like.

Then everyone started talking about ‘Indie’ or self-publishing. I already knew how hard it was to be published in the traditional way, so became very excited at the prospect of being able to do it ourselves. I started our own website and found that I enjoyed talking to people from all over the world and posting our thoughts online. Then I concentrated on publishing Anita’s books. It wasn’t quite as easy as they made it sound, but with my usual stubbornness, I kept at it, learning more and more as I went along.

Somewhere along the way, I started thinking about a story that had been nibbling away in the corner of my mind for months, and before too long, it demanded to be written and then there were two writers in the family! Discover more about my latest book here:

The Broken Life

Book blurb:

DI David Snow has a killer to catch, a killer a mysterious as the crimes he commits. The killer seems to have a personal vendetta against Snow, but he is determined that no one else should die because of him.

Follow more stops on the blog tour!

Blog Tour Banner

Links

Website:     http://jenanita01.com

Twitter:     https://twitter.com/jaydawes2/media

Facebook: http://facebook.com/anita.dawes.37

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Pinterest:   https://pinterest.com/anitajaydawes

Universal Amazon Link for The Broken Life: myBook.to/BrokenLife

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/JayeLink

Blog sharing.

I am honoured to be nominated for a blog award by talented mystery and suspense author, Mae Clair. I have been lucky enough to have received this award before and although some people enjoy this type of award and some don’t, I think they are a great way for bloggers to help each other reach a wider readership. At the end of the winner’s blog post, they list other blogs they admire and help those sites find a new audience, which is great news for everyone!

As I have done this before, I am going to answer Mae’s questions and tell you 11 new random facts, but I’m not going to nominate blogs, as this has also been done here. I will list some sites that I think are well worth visiting to spread the word about them as much as I can though.

The Award, the rules are:

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs
  5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

Icon for the Liebster Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some great questions from Mae: 

You’ve been given a working time machine. What era of history would you visit?

I’m fascinated by innovation, so I would go and see things like Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. Developed around 1440, it changed the world of literacy. The printing press made books available to people who hadn’t seen one before, but also caused conflict through the spread of sometimes controversial ideas. I wonder a lot about the future and enjoy thinking how new ideas and products which haven’t been made yet can fit into my stories. It’s the inventor side of me as this was my career before I began writing.

What is your totem animal? (Inspired by a post I recently saw on Jan Sikes’ blog).

I love this idea! My totem animal would be a Robin. I have one in my garden that comes into my house. He shows up when I least expect him, but I know he’s always around. For some reason, seeing him lifts my mood and makes me smile. He comes and sits right next to me when I’m alone.

What was the first story you wrote?

My first full story was my debut novel, Babe Driven. It’s a crazy adventure on a beautiful sun drenched island. It’s about a shy entrepreneur whose business has just hit the news headlines.

Beach or mountains?

Beach, for the view. I love looking at the sea, although I’m not one for lazing around and sunbathing. I’m to wriggly!

What is your favorite time of year?

Summer. Everyone seems to smile more when they are warm.

Name someone from history you find intriguing.

Albert Einstein. Chatting to him would be fascinating. Although so many artists intrigue me too.

What is your favorite fairy tale?

I like anything with a happy ending, which is all of them!

When was the last time you played a game of chess?

Years ago on a beach. I’m so useless at chess. I love a challenge though and won’t give up.

If you could travel to any city or country in the world, where would you go?

I love anywhere with mountains behind me and a sea or lake view in front of me. It’s probably the only time I would sit still of a while. I’m not fussy where, as long as there is an inspiring view that I could dream about painting.

Name your favorite cartoon when you were a kid.

I preferred books to television. My favourite cartoon illustration was in a comic book, but I loved Dennis the Menace and his dog Gnasher. He was full of mischief, as was his dog!

What mythical creature do you wish actually existed?

Unicorns, although many people say they are real.

11 random facts about me:

  1. I paint huge landscape paintings.
  2. I enjoy photography.
  3. I love every shade of the colour blue.
  4. I love reading books about business, tech or ideas and innovation.
  5. My favourite place for a frothy coffee is in a bookstore.
  6. I like Mojitos …a lot.
  7. I like laying on the grass and looking at the sky.
  8. I invent new products and have won an award for them.
  9. I’m allergic to chocolate ( I can hear you all gasp!)
  10. My handwriting is abysmal but fast and I write the first 20,000-40,000 words of my books by hand.
  11. I love animals. They are just so cute!

 

Wonderful blogs to discover:

Mae Clair’s Blog: Full of information about her books and tips on publishing.

Jan Sike’s Blog: A beautiful blog about writing and music.

BrizzleLass Books Blog:  Books, reviews, spotlights and giveaways.

The Write Stuff Blog: Writers helping writers.

Story Empire: Curated content for writers, marketing tips and more.

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie: A book blog with lots of valuable information for writers.

Dan Alatorre:  Helpful writer ramblings.

Jenny in Neverland: A fabulous blog and book review site. Lifestyle articles.

I will add more soon!

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Repetition in marketing.

lizzie-chantree-book-at-end-of-day-quote

I have recently been working on some marketing ideas and came across an article that said that a customer needs to see an image or product seven times for it to stick in their mind. I sometimes wonder about the best way to find visibility in a busy book marketplace, but still can’t quite decide about the idea of putting more book adverts on my Twitter or other social media feeds. I usually put one or two Tweets a day about my own books, that vary and change time, so the same people aren’t bombarded with marketing. I also fill my timelines with things that I think my Twitter followers and Facebook fans might find interesting rather than a different ad every half an hour. If I discover an interesting article or topic, I will share it.

I tend to do the same here and don’t make every post about my work, although I do, of course, share my writing journey, as I assume thats why people follow my blog. With social media, people drop in and out all day, so they may miss your information anyway, if they are not looking at the particular time of day. So how do you get your book seen, seven times, across a varied timeframe and in different guises?

I love finding new readers for my work and I find my best marketing tip, above all other, is word of mouth. I read somewhere that an author took her business cards wherever she went and if the conversation happened to turn toward work, she handily held out a card for them to slip into their bag to peruse later. I have tried this, and it works! I have met people in coffee shops, waiting at the swimming pool for my children, on a train and other various places. A passing chat to a lovely person can not only brighten my day, but they may become a new avid reader. I also take bookmarks and business cards when I travel and ask local businesses if I can leave them for their customers. They have all happily agreed. As long as you are polite and don’t quibble if they say no, then it’s a winning situation.

Mutual support his another great way to grow your audience. I don’t actually send out many tweets for my own writing, but I do RT authors that tweet about my books. This gets their Twitter bio on my account and my books on their timeline. I, in turn, will schedule tweets about their latest work and RT whenever I can and the same thing works again.

For me I think that if you have a product that benefits people in some way, like a book that will make them smile if they’re feeling down, then that adds to the buying impulse. Although, of course, customers are going to buy a book that they see everywhere over one they don’t know about yet! Back to that seven image rule … Lol:)

Subscribe to my mailing list to receive hot marketing tips, latest book releases and more! 

Getting creative.

Lizzie Chantree blog 3

The weekend sped past so quickly that I spent today trying to catch up on some work I should have got round to on Saturday, but ignored as it was sunny outside and the garden was calling to me! Today has been super productive though, so it worked out best in the end. I hope you have all had a creative day and that the new week is a great one.

Don’t forget to join me for #creativeBizHour tonight on Twitter (8-9PM GMT) if you enjoy creative networking. Just add the # to tweets during the hour to join in.

creativebizhour-lizzie-chantree

 

Product funnels.

Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) (The Smarter Artist Book 1) by [Platt, Sean, Truant, Johnny B., Wright, David, Smarter Artist]

I have been reading a book called Write, Publish, Repeat, which I am just about to review. The authors of the book work as a team and their level of dedication to their craft is inspiring. They talk a lot about their own work, which they are shameless about and this can get a bit repetitive, but they do it for a reason and their formula works well for them.

They talk a lot about product funnels for an author’s work and this book is a prime example of a funnel for their own fiction. A funnel works by reaching out and telling people about your books through other works and products. For example the book, Write, Publish, Repeat, is a funnel as it tells you (a lot!) about their other works. By reading this book, you would hopefully enjoy their style of writing, as I did, and consider picking up one of the numerous works they have out.

Another funnel would be their podcasts, blogs, website and social media feeds. All of these point a funnel towards giving their core books discoverability. This article could also be called a funnel, as I am now telling you about their work, and some of you may buy their books!

It made me think of my own product funnels. The authors of Write, publish, Repeat, write at a crazy speed and produce many books, added to the fact they work individually and as a team, but even writing on my own I have already been working with product funnels and they are a great way to help readers find me in a sea awash with words.

I began with writing my manuscripts, but as a new author, I wanted to connect with my audience, so I also made funnels for my work.

My product funnels:
Books by author Lizzie Chantree

I have this blog, where I share my writing journey and new topics I’ve learnt about with other writers and readers.

I have a growing social media community, where I tweet about writing, design, my latest work and entrepreneurship. Twitter: @Lizzie_Chantree    Facebook: Lizzie_Chantree

I have links in the back of all of my books to my other books with some of the first chapters and reviews. Babe Driven.    Love’s Child.     Finding Gina.

I have begun a mailing list of wonderful readers. This is vitally important to authors and a fantastic way to chat to people who love your stories and want to find out what you are writing next.  Subscribe today! 

I have designed bookmarks and giveaways which will be sent to everyone on my mailing list that left an address to be sent promotional items. This is a great way to introduce readers to new manuscripts and find out what they would like to read next.

I connect with my readers through visiting other blogs and leaving comments. I read all of the blogs I visit and don’t leave random comments and my website address, but this in turn helps others discover my blog by the fact I have visited and joined in a discussion.

I have book trailers for all of my books on YouTube.

Babe Driven.    Love’s Child      Finding Gina 

Creating product funnels can be great fun. The key is to not bombard your readers with  information that is just about your books or creative products. Tell them about your writing life and things that interest you.

Let me know if you have inspired product funnel ideas that will help anyone on their creative journey!

Product photos via Amazon.

Sign up to my newsletter ;) Author tips.

newspaper-Lizzie Chantree

Having a newsletter as an author is a vital connection between writer and reader. I’ve been researching the link and I have been trying to offer a newsletter to my readers for a while. With a WordPress site like mine, you can’t usually add a subscription form, but I have managed to work my way around that.

At first I found writing a newsletter a bit daunting, as it’s conversational between author and reader and I wasn’t sure what format my readers would like best and didn’t want them to feel like they were bombarded with emails. I finally managed to work out how to use MailChimp, but then found that I couldn’t integrate it to my site. Here’s what I have done:

  1. I signed up for a MailChimp free account.
  2. I worked out how to manage the lists there and am still getting used to their customisable themes.
  3.  I added a newsletter sign up tab to my blog.
  4.  I created a contact form.
  5. I used this form for people to send me their subscription details.

newsletter-Lizzie Chantree

This can be a bit time consuming, as you do have to manually add each new subscriber to your MailChimp list, but it works for me. Once my latest readers subscribe, I add them to my list and they receive regular updates about my writing, or musings. Far from being as scary as I thought, I actually love being able to chat to people who enjoy my books and they seem to have fun finding out what I’m writing next. It also gives me the opportunity to ask my readers advice on what merchandise they would like to see, what stories they love best and for me to share more of my writing journey.

I read somewhere that a great subscriber list holds 1,000 true fans who love your work, want to support your author journey and read your new books. I’ve just started my own newsletter, but the people on it are vivacious and friendly and it’s such a compliment that they’ve signed up to find out more about my work. I may not have a 1,000 subscribers yet, but the one’s I do have are just as precious.

You are welcome to subscribe to my newsletter here: Lizzie’s Newsletter subscription link. I would love to see you there! Here is some of the book swag that you might find delivered by joining my newsletter.

Lizzie Chantree bookmark

 

Curated Content for Writers ~ May 12

Some great content for writers here. Literature Maps and more!

Story Empire

Pencil with sharpener, pencil shavings and blank notebookHappy Friday SEers! It’s the beautiful month of May, a great time to start a new writing project or dive into an existing one.  To sharpen up the tools you employ with your author platform, be sure to check out this week’s posts:

Author Media Kit, Part 3—One Sheet and Biography by Staci Troilo and my post on Personality Types and Writers. As usual, the entire SE gang has been scoping out material on the web to bring you the brightest gems of the week. Take a look at what we’ve gathered:


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The view from my desk.

Im trying to beat procrastination and have read a lot about the usefulness of a kitchen timer on your desk to time small bursts of work. I walked with a spring in my step to a local hardware store and bought the brightest one I could find, thinking this would stop me gazing adoringly at my dog, making copious cups of tea and generally putting off getting down to work. This is the view from my desk:

Pepper

I usually find that I spend at least an hour a day checking emails, a couple of hours (or five) on social media, an hour on other things that don’t involve adding to my manuscript. This does not follow the 80/20 rule of using 80% of your time doing the most important tasks. Before I know it, it’s time to do the school run and I haven’t achieved much. After buying my little kitchen timer, all that has changed. One of the articles I read about time management suggested working in 30 minute time slots. I set the timer for 30 minutes, write as much as I can, then stop and walk around or talk to the dog! Ten minutes later, I’m back to start the whole process again.

I haven’t yet managed to completely drop my habit of finding the smallest thing a distraction, but last week I wrote 10,000 words using the timer! It is now my very good friend and I wondered what other writers use to stay focussed, or if it’s just me who becomes entranced by a cute puppy smile and drinks far too much tea?

Clock

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter if you would like to be the first to hear about my latest books and the weird and wonderful things I discover about the world of writing. You can sign up here: Lizzie’s Newsletter sign up form.

Books by author Lizzie Chantree

 

Author Branding

Branding

I’ve been reading quite a bit about author branding lately and the topic really fascinates me. I have run my own businesses for years, which is why my romance novels are focused around entrepreneurs, but I remember back to my first business logo and how awful it was! I was 17 and my first business was called Juniper Berry. The logo was quite unimaginative with a tree in a brown square box with some text underneath.

When I invented my first product, I was attending The School of Communication Arts in London and had begun to learn about product design and branding. We were set tasks to design new branding and packaging for some big companies as a project and the results were anything from funny shaped boxes to business cards made from a jigsaw! It did make me realise how important the identity is to a product and as authors, our books are our product and we are brand ambassadors.

When someone looks for your book or product, can they easily identify that they are from you? Can they read the label clearly, even from a phone screen or iPad? Does your branding follow through across all of your novels, or does it confuse your readers? This might sound obvious, but when you look at a selection of work from some authors, its not always easy to see which ones belong together.

I often identify my favourite author’s books online by their book covers. I know their style and expect their latest covers, merchandise or social media to be uniform. My books are all romances about various businesses and their quirky owners, but they are still very different. One is a sizzling beach read, one a romantic mystery novel and one is full of magic. Here are my covers:

 

Even though they are different, I always use similar colour palettes and type faces. My author picture and social media branding is the same on all platforms:

I understand that it might seem strange to think of writing books as a business, but we are making a product that we really hope others will love and packaging it in a way that appeals to those people is vitally important.

I’m in the process of designing bookmarks and have asked some of my readers what they would like to see on them. Most would like the cover design work followed through, as they enjoy bookmarks that match the books they are currently reading. Again, this is all branding and a wonderful way to connect with our amazing readers. I’ll let you see the finished design when they are done, but I will be listening to my readers and carrying through my brand design.

Weaving History into Contemporary Fiction—RRBC Tour Stop

An interesting post about doing research and finding inspiration for your writing by talented author Staci Troilo.

RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Party Hi! Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’sSpring Book & Block Party. (For all the stops and oodles of chances to win a myriad of prizes, check out all the RRBC posts throughout the month-long tour.)

This stop? Staci Troilo’s site currently hosted in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.

Today I’m Giving Prizes to Two Lucky Winners:

First Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize: Medici Protectorate SWAG Pack

Medici Protectorate SWAGSWAG Pack Contains: 1 Pen, 1 Magnet, 1 Bookmark, & 1 Sticky Note Pad

Prizes awarded to US commenters only.


Today I want to talk about weaving history into contemporary stories. I like a good historical tale every once in a while, but I tend to read contemporary fiction a lot more often. That doesn’t mean history has to be abandoned, though.

One of my favorite things to do is research. I used to love writing research papers in school. Sure, I…

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