Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Sizzles Event, July 12-20, 2014 - eBook Sale, Contest & Giveaways, Facebook Party


Great things come in threes this July!

  • 'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' contest - share our events on Twitter and Facebook, and share your pics of our books on your ereaders or you holding one, and receive entries into a grand prize draw for a $100 Amazon/Kobo gift card! Other prizes include: a poster of "Sanctuary" by critically acclaimed artist David Miller, and three $20 Amazon or Kobo Books gift cards (winners' choice). Open to anyone 18+. Void where prohibited. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below from July 12-20.
  • Imajin Books eBook Sale – www.imajinbooks.com/sale – most ebooks will be priced at $0.99 or $1.99 from July 12-20 via Amazon & Smashwords. 
  • Facebook Party - for one day only, Thursday, July 17th, we'll be holding a Facebook Party online and giving away prizes (ebooks and gift cards from Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo.) Join us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/659449144144070. The party begins 2:00 PM EDT and goes until 8:00 PM EDT. Our authors will drop by when they can. Be sure to also like our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/imajinbooks.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

DREAM HOUSE: A Short Story - Enter at your own peril...

A chilling short story by international bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

Evil lurks in the shadows…

Christine and Ray Kingston are ecstatic to move into their “dream home,” a stately manor in Danvers, Massachusetts, but they have no idea that the house has a life of its own. As a disturbing history is revealed, their dream quickly turns into a heart-stopping nightmare.

Something has been waiting for them…

*DREAM HOUSE first appeared in SHADOW MASTERS: An Anthology from The Horror Zine, published by Imajin Books in May 2013.

Only $1.99 US!

Available at:
Amazon
Kobo Books

Monday, May 12, 2014

Advice from former book publicist Jane Heller

Reprinted with permission from The Fussy Librarian and Jane Heller...

Jane Heller worked in book publicity for years with a lot of big-time authors -- Erica Jong, Mary Higgins Clark, Judy Blume, and Danielle Steel – before she decided to write her first novel in 1994. Since then she’s gone on to write 12 other novels – several of them optioned for film and television – and two books of nonfiction.

So who better than to talk about how to get your novel or book noticed?

JEFFREY: When you were a book publicist, what was the most common misconception that authors had about publicity?

JANE: The most common misconception on the part of authors was, sad to say, that the publicity department would promote them with major campaigns -- authors tours, national television appearances, reviews in The New York Times Book Review.

Every author seemed to think we'd get them on the "Today" show, for example.

There was much more naiveté in those days, an assumption that every author would get the same marketing dollars and attention as the top-tiered, brand-name authors when, in fact, there was very little done for those whose books had smaller print runs.

Now, authors are more realistic in their expectations and that's led to a healthy trend of authors taking more control and publicizing their own books - from being active on Facebook and Twitter and their own blogs to arranging for signings at their local stores. Publicists do the best they can and it's important to view them as teammates, but they're overloaded and appreciate anything authors can do on their own.

JEFFREY: Were there certain genres of books that you found easier to publicize? And how much of a factor should that be in what a writer/novelist chooses to write about?

JANE: Nonfiction in general was much easier to publicize. Authors who were experts in the categories of how-to, self-help, autobiography, sports, politics, cooking, etc., were what the talk shows were looking for and it was a tougher sell to pitch producers on a novel.

That said, I worked with such novelists as Judy Blume, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark and Danielle Steel, as well as authors of genre romances and mysteries, and it was a thrill to get them exposure for their books because it was so much more challenging. You really had to come up with dynamic ways to attract the interest of producers and reviewers.

Should authors take that into consideration when they're deciding what to write about? Not in my opinion. As I said above, the old rules no longer apply and the social media component equalizes the playing field. The trick to landing on a talk show or in a news story for an author of fiction is for the author to find a nonfiction "hook" in their story.

JEFFREY: A lot of authors view marketing like eating their broccoli or going to the dentist -- something to avoid. How do we convince them that it's a required part of being an author these days?

JANE: I had a very specific problem with doing my own marketing when I made the switch from book publicist to author for my first novel. For one thing, I thought I should stay out of the way of the publisher's publicist. I knew only too well that publishers often resent the interference of an author, especially a demanding one. And, because of my experience as a publicist, I didn't want anyone to think I was overstepping and trying to do their job for them. So I overcompensated by sitting back like a good girl and waiting to see what they'd come up with.

When it dawned on me that the budget for my novel was small and that, despite the publisher's good intentions and genuine enthusiasm for the book, the marketing resources weren't there, I said, "Jane, get over yourself and be as creative with your own book as you were with those by the bestselling authors you used to promote."

So I decided to have fun with my own publicity - a concept I recommend highly to those who view marketing like eating broccoli (which I love, by the way). When Larry King said of my novel in USA Today that it "reads like a summer breeze" and is a "good beach read," I decided to do the first-ever "beach book author tour."

I was living in Connecticut at the time and literally promoted my hardcover novel at beaches along the Connecticut shore that summer. I called local indie bookstores and asked them to sell books at various beaches and they did!

We didn't sell a lot of books, but the publicity for the beach tour was spectacular, landing me in countless newspapers and magazines and, ultimately, on the "Today" show. So I advise authors to try to think of their own marketing not as a chore but to let their creativity shine. No idea is too outlandish. Have fun. Try something different. And remember: the book is your baby. Nobody will love and care for it as much as you do.

JEFFREY: Is there an inexpensive (or free) promotion technique that most authors overlook?

JANE: Obviously, promoting a book on Twitter and Facebook is a free way to spread the word. But as with the example I gave, think out of the box. The beach book tour cost me nothing except a lot of sunscreen. Yes, I had to spend a lot of time reaching out to various stores and getting beach permits from town commissions, but it was so worth it.

If you were creative enough to come up with a book idea, the chances are good that you can come up with a cool idea for promoting the book. If it's a novel, find some nonfiction "hook" -- how you researched it, how it's provocative or controversial in some way or different from other books out there in its genre, how it's ripped from the headlines or based on a true story.

If it's nonfiction, go with the topic and make it timely somehow, tie it into what's in the news. And then start emailing editors at relevant publications, write op-ep pieces, get your story out there on blogs. None of this costs money, only time and brainpower.

JEFFREY: Even with your professional experience, did you find promotion tougher than you expected?

JANE: Yes! Everyone assumed that because I'd been a publicist for ten years, even rising to vice president, I would cruise into the role of my own publicist. Wrong. It's very different to promote other people than it is promoting yourself.

I was exquisitely self-conscious about selling myself in the beginning. When I got on the "Today" show, I should have been relaxed. I'd regularly escorted authors to the green room at NBC and prepped them before going on the air, telling them, "Just say the name of your book three times and smile!"

When it was my turn, I was a nervous wreck. My doctor gave me a prescription for Xanax and I took two before going on the air. When Katie Couric asked, "So Jane, how does it feel going from publicist to author?" I felt my eyes roll back in my head and I said -- no kidding -- "I don't know. I'm heavily sedated."

Clearly, the idea of selling myself made me cringe. But here's what made me cringe even more: seeing my book go without publicity. And so I got over my jitters and focused on the task at hand: spreading the word about my book. I've since been a guest on national television shows many times -- without Xanax.
* * *
You can learn more about Jane and her novels at her website.

Check out The Fussy Librarian for personalized book suggestions.

Thank you, Jeffrey and Jane, for allowing us to post this on our blog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

World Book Night & Canada Book Day

On April 23, 2014, celebrate World Book Night and Canada Book Day with a great read from Imajin Books.

All our ebooks are currently priced at $4.99 or less, and are available from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and more.

Check out our authors and our books today, and experience the worlds of Imajin Books.

www.imajinbooks.com

Friday, April 18, 2014

An Interview with Our #3 Top Selling Author, Rosemary McCracken

Congratulations, Rosemary, on making it into our Top 3 sellers. As our #3 bestselling author, you have worked hard to get where you are, and you have the support of mystery fans worldwide. Your Pat Tierney Mystery series is off to a great start.

Tell us a bit about your books. What are they about?


Safe Harbor and Black Water are the first two books in my Pat Tierney mystery series. Pat is a fortysomething financial advisor, and her creation was inspired by my work as a journalist. For the past 15 or so years, I’ve written about personal finance. I interview financial advisors and investment managers. I attend their conferences. I know the issues they face and the concerns they have, and I admire their dedication. So when I was looking for a central character for my mystery series, Pat Tierney appeared full-blown in my mind. She cares about her clients. She’s a champion of small investors. She has sleepless nights when markets are down.

Why do you think your books have sold so well?

Safe Harbor got off to a roaring start when it was released on March 7, 2012. The e-book was offered free to readers for five days out of every 90 on Amazon’s KDP Select program. And I did everything I could to promote it. Check out the question below for some of the things I did.

Pat returned in Black Water the spring of 2013. She leaves her home base in Toronto, and heads out to Ontario lake country where an elderly man has been brutally murdered. Her daughter Tracy’s friend Jamie is a suspect in murder, and when Tracy asks her mother for help…well, Pat is a softie when it comes to her family.

The fact that the books are part of a series contributed to their success. When Black Water was released, e-book sales of Safe Harbor soared even though my promotion efforts at that time focused exclusively on Black Water. The synergy created in cross-marketing books in a series is a huge bonus, especially for newly published writers whose names are not yet synonymous with a good read.

But I believe the character of Pat Tierney is the major reason for the books’ success. Pat is a character every reader can relate to, an ordinary woman battling the forces of evil in her world. Because the financial industry in which she works revolves around money, it provides opportunities for those who are clever and greedy enough to challenge the system. Pat doesn’t want to see people taken by these bad apples. She has integrity, a strong set of ethics and the courage to stand up for what she believes is right. That’s probably why The Toronto Star has called her “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.”

“I can’t wait for the next Pat Tierney instalment,” one Amazon reviewer wrote about Safe Harbor. “I look forward to seeing what trouble Pat Tierney gets herself into next,” another added.

And they still want more of Pat and her world. “I hope there is a third book in the series,” a reader said in a review of Black Water, “because I would like to know what happens to some of the secondary characters…All the more reason to suspect a third book may be on the way.”

Absolutely right!

Even though you're published by a hybrid/traditional type publisher, you've taken on the role of book promoter. What are some of the ways you've promoted your books?

I’m a big believer in taking every opportunity that comes my way to promote my books – both digitally and in person. I spent considerable time writing them, so why wouldn’t I want to give my all to promote them? Most days, I post tweets on two small tweet teams. When I have a big promotion or some other major event, I’ll post on more teams and try to secure guest spots on other authors’ blogs. I may purchase a digital advertisement.

But I also get out and talk to people at libraries, book clubs, bookstores – wherever I can meet readers. I was at Bouchercon, the big U.S. mystery conference that was held in Albany, N.Y., last fall. And I’ll attend Bloody Words, its Canadian counterpart, in June. At some of the smaller events, I may only be able to introduce myself to a handful of readers, but those readers will spread the word.

Networking with other authors is also instrumental in book promotion. It is part and parcel of digital promotion – tweet teams and blog tours are built on the team concept. Authors today also banding together to take their books out to readers. I am fortunate that Toronto, where I live, is the home of dozens of crime fiction writers. Crime Writers of Canada organizes regular talks at public libraries for its members. I also belong to a crime fiction collective, The Mesdames of Mayhem, that recently published Thirteen, an anthology of members’ short stories. We regularly visit venues in southwestern Ontario to promote Thirteen and our own novels.

What advice would you give to writers who are considering Imajin Books for their works?

Check out Imajin Books’ submission page at http://www.imajinbooks.com/submissions/. Find out if your manuscript fits what Imajin is looking for. If it does, follow the submission guidelines to the letter.

It will be well worth your while if your manuscript is accepted. Imajin is a dynamic, independent publishing company that considers its writers an essential part of its team. Authors have input on their books’ titles, editing and cover images. Imajin markets its books online, and helps its authors to do the same.

Learn more about Rosemary: