Tag Archives: indie publishing

Cover Reveal – Player in Paradise

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Today I am happy to reveal the cover to my new adult contemporary, romance, Player in Paradise.

Player in Paradise

Player in Paradise

Synopsis:
Recent college grad Olivia Kelley just landed her dream job at the famed LA Public Relations agency, the PWR Group. She’s not looking for a relationship, and the agency has a no-dating clients policy, but when she’s tasked with handling overly-flirtatious 23-year-old bad boy actor, Austin Ford, keeping things strictly professional may be harder than she thought.

When Austin is caught cheating on his 19-year-old actress “girlfriend” Cassidy Evans, Olivia’s boss sends the celebrity couple on a romantic Hawaiian vacation to gain some positive press. She instructs Olivia to tag along to keep an eye on their behavior, but soon the getaway to paradise turns into a nightmare as Cassidy concocts a crazy new PR stunt, while Austin tries his hardest to take back control of his life. Olivia wants to help Austin, but is she willing to risk her job and future career reputation for the sexy, sweet-talking Hollywood player?

**Mature Content Warning** Not recommended for readers under the age of 17 due to mature language and sexual content.

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Player in Paradise Teaser #1

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Let #TeaserTuesday begin!! Today I am going to share the first chapter of my new adult contemporary romance novel, Player in Paradise. Please add it to your Goodreads list if you’re interested in reading more! The book is set to launch on March 1 and the cover reveal is set for this Friday!

PLAYER IN PARADISE

Chapter One

I follow my boss’s Louboutin-clad footsteps into her large corner office, clutching my notepad and pen.

“Welcome to the PWR Group,” she says, pronouncing PWR like power. “I’m Priscilla Wilhelmina Ray.”

Owner of the PWR group and famed celebrity publicist, Priscilla Ray basically runs the fame game in Los Angeles. Her public relations agency represents some of the biggest movie and television stars in the world, and it’s her job to keep them relevant.

When I accepted the position of Junior Publicist, I had no idea that I’d be reporting directly to her. Now I know I’ll need to be on point at all times, continuously proving my worth and competence in the world of PR.

I take a seat in the white leather chair on the opposite side of her glass desk, and she immediately runs off three rules that I, as a representative of the PWR Group, must always follow whether on or off the job.

Rule One: Never act like a fan.
“Asking for autographs or pictures on the red carpet will make it your last time on the red carpet.”

I nod, scribbling her words down in my notebook. That one should be easy. I interned at a radio station until college graduation a few months ago and ran into musicians in the hallways every so often. No big deal.

Priscilla swipes on a fresh coat of shiny pink lip gloss after taking a sip of coffee and spits out the next command.

Rule Two: Keep your secrets safe.
“Never tell a journalist something about your client that you wouldn’t want the whole world to know. Even non-juicy info will be up on the Internet ten seconds after it comes out of your mouth.”

“Got it,” I respond. I’m pretty sure I can keep my lips sealed around media. I’m not that much of a blabbermouth.

“And Olivia, this may seem obvious, but you don’t know how many times I’ve had to fire staff for this one…” She leans in close and looks me straight in the eye.

Rule Three: Keep it in your pants.
“I mean it; these celebrities know how to seduce young girls like you, and it never ends well. Trust me when I say mixing business with pleasure can get seriously messy.”

Awkward much? I try not to break eye contact with her as I reply. “Yes, of course.”

What movie star would want me anyway? I just moved to L.A. from a small town in rural Florida and I felt like an alien from the moment I stepped off the plane. I swear I was the only girl at the gate not wearing a velour tracksuit, toting a small dog in an oversized purse. And in what seemed like a sea of blondes, I was the lone brunette.

Thankfully, I quickly connected with my cube-mate Mandy, another East Coast transplant. She moved out from Boston a year ago and had been at the PWR Group for nearly the same amount of time. She warned me that the job didn’t quite live up to the description on the agency’s career page, and after a few weeks, I found that out for myself. Instead of jumping into the glamorous Hollywood scene, I spent most of my work days and nights stuck in a tiny cubicle, slaving away on my laptop.

Mandy pops her head over the cube wall we share. “Leaving soon?”

I peel my eyes away from the spreadsheet I’m working on and peek at the clock. It’s after five, as usual.

“Probably not. Cassidy Evans has a premiere tomorrow night and I’m still finalizing the guest list.”

Lately it seems like my life revolves around lists – guest lists, media lists, invite lists, VIP lists…

“That sucks, hope you finish soon.” She grabs her bag and heads for the door. “Call me if you need anything.”

“Thanks, have a good night.”

I stare back at my computer screen, but my eyes can’t focus. Stupid Cassidy Evans. I blame the pop-princess-turned-movie-actress for my lack of having a life. She’s my biggest client, but I’ve never actually met her. I know I need to work my way up the food chain, but I still wish Cassidy knew I existed, especially since I’m constantly busting my ass trying to keep her famous.

She’s certainly no Oscar winner, but she’s made a few fun teen-friendly flicks. Cassidy’s mostly in the tabloids nowadays though due to one major thing – her famous boyfriend, Austin Ford. Austin’s the hottest up-and-coming actor in Hollywood, as well as a notorious bad boy. There have been reports of him getting into fights with the paparazzi, public intoxication, and speeding tickets up the wazoo.

One perk to being behind the scenes in Cassidy’s life is that I’m privy to all the insider information on her and Austin’s relationship. The best, and probably biggest secret of all, is that the PWR group arranged for Cassidy and Austin to be together. From the timing and location of their first date, to everything they do and say in public with each other. I’m constantly calling every paparazzo in town to make sure they’re on hand to snap photos of them. In fact, everything is strategically planned to make it seem like they’re the perfect couple so that teens will pile into the theaters to see their movies and buy their products. I don’t particularly enjoy deceiving the public, but hey, it pays the bills.

Although, if I had to be in a sham relationship, I certainly wouldn’t mind pretending to date Austin Ford. He’s twenty-three, only two years older than me, and his sun-kissed skin and underwear model physique would draw any woman with an ounce of taste to do a double take. His wavy, light-brown hair and piercing blue eyes are just icing on the cake.

I’m suddenly shaken out of my Austin-filled daydream when the janitor approaches my cubicle to empty the trash for the night. I think that’s my cue to shut down and go home.

Self Publishing – Lessons Learned Part 2

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So, it’s been a little over 2 months since I self-published my debut Young Adult novel, Merch Girl on Amazon using their Kindle Direct Program. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way. To read Part 1 of my lessons learned about self publishing, click here

Categories Matter

Amazon gives you the option to choose two categories for your book. I chose Teen Romance and Coming of Age when I launched my book. I believe that I chose the correct categories, because Merch Girl cracked the Top 100 in the best sellers list, and even the Top 30 in the Hot New Releases lists in both categories. This helped with the visibility of the book tremendously. 

Sales May Drop After 1 Month

Because of the visibility on the Hot New Releases list, Merch Girl was purchased much more than I ever imagined it would be. However, after about a month, the purchases did drop slightly. I played with the categories a bit, and it seemed that the book was doing better in Teen Romance than in Coming of Age. So, I removed it from the latter and categorized it instead under Music since the book is about rockstars and concerts. The book actually placed in the Top 10 best sellers in the Popular Music and Pop Culture Categories immediately. Exciting, right? Yes, it was cool to be a best seller again, but I kept it in the category for about two weeks and realized that it wasn’t helping sales at all. In fact, i think they were slipping because of it (less visibility to the type of readers I was trying to attract). 

I decided today to add it back into the Coming of Age category and see how it goes. I’m also planning on using my “free days” that Kindle Select gives you for being exclusive with them for 90 days. I’ll report more on that experience after the free days are used!

Happy categorizing!

Merch Girl Anniversary Sale!

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Happy 1 month anniversary to Merch Girl!!

This month has been more than I ever expected it to be, and to celebrate, the ebook is on sale for just $.99 cents! This deal isn’t going to last much longer, so if you’ve been waiting to purchase, you should probably act fast! Click here for the deal: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CN0HNQO

And thanks to all who have already purchased a copy!

Genre Switching?

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Sorry for the delay in posts! I was on a very relaxing vacation. Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this new book I’m writing. I would categorize it as “New Adult.” The main character is 21 and just starting her first job out of college. It’s definitely more mature than Merch Girl and has some intense scenes that are not meant for younger eyes to read. This got me thinking about genres. I classify Merch Girl as “Young Adult” and it’s safe enough for tweens to read. Is it wrong to skip around genres when you’re building an audience?

Most of the authors I read stick to one genre, be it paranormal, contemporary, young adult, adult, etc. You get comfortable with it and know what to expect. But is that always a good thing? The only popular author who I can recall switching genres and keeping her same author name is J.K. Rowling who came out with an adult novel after finishing the Harry Potter series. I can’t blame her for switching genres if she had a story in her head that was itching to get out, but I wonder how many Harry Potter fans read her new book? I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t comment on it, but I would be interested in seeing what it’s all about.

I know that I also have ideas kicking around in my brain for paranormal and even non-fiction. I don’t want to hold myself back from writing anything just because it doesn’t fit the genre that I wrote in before. I actually think it might be nice to gain new readers…and who knows, there may be cross-over readers who enjoy Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal and Non-fiction…I know I do!

Authors and readers…I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Amazon Best Seller!

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Wow….wow, wow, wow. I don’t even know what to say!!! After only 11 days of being published, Merch Girl has made not one, but three Amazon Best Sellers Lists!!!! I don’t know how it happened, but suddenly my sales started rolling in, and I am going with it! It’s currently #29 in the Hot New Releases in Coming of Age Fiction, #52 on the Teen Romance ebooks list and #62 in the Coming of Age Fiction list. It’s even sandwiched in between Twilight and Breaking Dawn on the Teen List! Take a look:

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This has been an incredible day and I want to thank everyone single person who purchased a copy!! This makes it clear to me that if you have a dream, GO FOR IT. If hundreds of literary agents reject your book for over a year, don’t be afraid to take the leap and publish it on your own!! You have nothing to lose, and a good story to share that would have otherwise gone to waste. I am a full believer that everything happens for a reason. Sorry this turned very inspirational, but it’s true! Don’t give up!

Indie Publishing – Lessons Learned v1

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Merch Girl is now 1 week old, yay! As I was gearing up to self publish my novel, I scoured the blogosphere for real-life accounts and experiences from other indie authors, so I’d like to return the favor. I’ll probably update this “Lessons Learned” feature once a month or so with any new information I can share. But, from my one week of being in the self published domain, here are some of my observations:

1. You will be glued to the computer 24/7
I’m usually glued to my computer anyway, but I think I’ve recently been hitting the refresh button on my Kindle Direct Publishing reports page way too often! But, I still get excited for every.single.sale. Like…who is buying my book in the UK? How is it possible I sold 2 ebooks in Canada? What? I love watching the numbers, and I get so curious about who the people are that are buying it! I’m also obsessed with checking my Goodreads page which sucks so much time out of my life right now hahaha. I just can’t stop checking out all the people that add my book to their lists and I love seeing the reviews.

2. You must (must!) market yourself
Luckily, I am a publicist by day and even have a degree in Public Relations, so I knew going into self-publishing just how important being my own best supporter would be. Here are a few things I’ve done to get the word out there:

  • Twitter: Create a Twitter account and don’t just follow other authors…follow your readers! Before you publish your book, you must establish your target audience. It’s pretty easy to find your audience on twitter using the search feature. Since my book is about music and a boyband in particular, I followed a bunch of music loving girls, especially fans of bands that I enjoy. (shout out to the fansons and directioners!) But, don’t just follow a bunch of users…you need to interact! Tweet a few times a day, and don’t promote your book. I HATE when authors ONLY Tweet about their book. Get into actual, normal conversations with your fans. I also have a lot of indie bands following me, and I try to promote their music on my Twitter and this blog.
  • Facebook: You should create an author page. Don’t use your personal page, it doesn’t look professional. Plus, do you want all your readers looking at your family photo album? I think on Facebook you can be a little more promotional than you can on Twitter. Post links to blogs that feature your book or other reviews online. Post photos that inspired your book. Ask questions to your fans, etc.
  • Book Bloggers: Speaking of blogs, book bloggers will become your best friends! They hold the power of getting the word about your book out to hundreds, if not thousands of other readers! It’s easy to find book bloggers in your genre, just Google it! Make sure to read each blog’s review policy because they can be a little bit different, and some blogs do not accept indie author books.
  • Amazon Author Central: If you’re selling your book on Amazon, don’t forget to fill this page out! You can add your bio, editorial reviews, and link to your Twitter and blog as well.
  • Goodreads: Goodreads is an amazing tool for indie authors, and if you’re not using it, you must sign up right now! It’s free to join and you can browse virtual book groups to join. Some of these groups welcome indie authors and will hold group reviews.

I don’t want to make this post too long, and I want to save more for next time. So that’s it for now. Do you have any tips/lessons learned you’d like to share?