Valuable resources for women who love to read

By Denise Turney (author of Love Pour Over Me)
The Internet is packed with benefits, one rewarding novel connect after another. Websites, social media posts, e-blasts and digital newsletters have put a wealth of literary information at book lovers’ fingertips. At first glance, it’s like being planted in an oasis of book clubs, author interviews, book trailers, marketing slogans, author You-Tube video messages and free to low-cost print and e-books.

Perhaps at no other time in history has it been so easy to get in touch with your favorite authors. Gone are the days when you had to stand in line at a bookstore for one or two hours just to meet a writer whose books you’d read and absolutely enjoyed for several years. Now all it takes is the click of a button.

If you grew up in the 1970s or earlier, this might seem like a bit of culture shock. For younger readers, it’s the “norm”. No one’s as far away as they once appeared to be.

But, how do you know which websites, book trailers, author videos, interviews, etc. to check out? After all, you can’t see them all, just as you probably can’t read every book, even every book you’d love and appreciate. There is simply too much to choose from. You might as well settle in to the fact that you’re going to miss an incredibly large amount of good stuff, including books that could deeply inspire, motivate, educate and definitely entertain you.

We really are living in a time of great information wealth, great books being a tremendous part of this enriching data.

By sifting through all the data that’s out here, the time it takes you to discover life changing books can shorten significantly. In effort to help you sift through the massive amounts of literary data there is on and offline, I put together lists of resources that can benefit you as a book lover.

Book Clubs (some are great places to meet with other book lovers in person, make friends with people who share your passion and more)

Large Book Websites

Guides for Starting Book Clubs, Etc.

Book Festivals/Conferences Writers Attend (places where you could meet your favorite authors)

Enjoy visiting these and other book related websites, joining and participating in quality book clubs and finding and reading great books. After all, many great books are hidden, not featured in newspapers, magazines or even on websites. Finding these enriching, emotionally moving reads is like finding a rare jewel, a jewel you can treasure for years, perhaps the rest of your life.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! 

It’s Time to Support African American Bookstores and Booksellers

By Denise Turney

A bounty of changes have been impacting the book industry, particularly African American bookstores and booksellers. For example, online booksellers are moving as many books out of their warehouses as some brick and mortar booksellers, at times more. Self-publishing has taken off to the point where major book publishers like Simon & Schuster have entered the arena. Additionally, in a matter of seconds, book readers can locate and download their favorite books on mobile devices, desktop computers or laptops. While these and other changes offer convenience to book readers, they also offer challenges to African American bookstores.

African American Booksellers in Harlem Dealing with Book Industry Changes

As reported in The Grio‘s July 23, 2012 ” Hue-Man, One of Harlem’s Literary Landmarks Closes” article, rising real estate costs and changes impacting the book industry saw one of America’s largest and independently owned African American bookstores close its doors. The bookstore, Hue-Man Bookstore and Cafe, located in Harlem, had been serving as a literary lighthouse in the Harlem community for a decade.

The bookstore’s co-owner, Marva Allen, is reported in the article as saying, “Our lease is up. Our rent was going to go up. There is absolutely no question about it.” She continued, “The rate at which our rent would go up, our bookstore could not absorb that in new sales to be able to pay that.”

In addition to dealing with rising rent, Hue-Man found itself challenged with finding innovative ways to attract a significant number of book readers and book buyers to keep generating a profit. Allen, a business leader who remains hopeful that Hue-Man could resurface in the coming years, understands the challenge. In fact, the article reports that, “Allen says the publishing industry has also changed because of technology and will require the  creation of a new model and customer experience.”

Dallas Texas African American Bookseller Faces Changes

November 2012, Jokae’s an African American bookstore that has been serving the Dallas, Texas area since 1993, was set to close its doors. In the November 27, 2012 Dallas News’ JoKae’s African American Books to Close” article, Til Pettis, co-owner of the African American bookstore is reported as saying that, “The book sales were just not there.” Part of the bookstores’ declining sales were due to the fact that the shopping center where the store was located had started to see its storefronts going empty, business owners choosing to either close their doors or move their stores elsewhere.

Jokae’s was one of the African American bookstores where people in the community could go to receive tutoring support, hold book club meetings, catch up and chat with friends, attend writers’ group meetings and be entertained with radio broadcasts the bookstore’s owners hosted. Clearly, the owners of Jokae’s, one of several community focused African American bookstores, were creative and innovative, willing to try new strategies and activities to bring in book readers and book buyers.

Both Hue-Man and Jokae’s expressed plans to continue their businesses online. African American book readers, especially the African American book authors who gained ongoing support from the bookstores’ owners, can continue to support these and other African American bookstores online by purchasing their favorite novels, nonfiction books and coffee table books from these bookstore owners. After all, without ongoing support, what business or individual would make it?

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Sources:

http://artsblog.dallasnews.com/2012/11/jokaes-african-american-books-to-close.html/ (Dallas News: JoKae’s African American Books to Close, November 27, 2012)

http://thegrio.com/2012/07/23/hue-man-one-of-harlems-literary-landmarks-closes/ (The Grio: Hue-Man, One of Harlem’s Literary Landmarks Closes, July 23, 2012)

Every Fiction and Non-Fiction Book Author Has an Audience

By Denise Turney

Emily Dickinson may not have gone out of her way to publish and market her written works while she walked the earth, yet, after her sister discovered and started marketing her poems, her work found its audience. People began buying her poetry, even discussing it at schools and in writer’s groups. This happening may point to the fact that every author, be they aware of it or not, has an audience, a group of readers who are eager to explore, examine and enjoy the stories or poems they write.

When to Start Finding Your Book Reading Audience

However, if you’re a writer, the time to ponder or try to figure out who you’re writing for might not be during the creative process. I say this because my experience has been that great art comes from within the artist, not from a strategy to sell lots of books. The success of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings may prove this.

If you create with truth and sincerity, after you publish and market your works, you may discover that people from certain backgrounds, age groups, etc. buy and appreciate your books most. You can discover this whether you sell 25 books or 25 million books. As you develop conversations with these people, responding to their inquiries and comments, don’t be surprised if these members of your reading audience start asking when your next book is scheduled for publication or if you plan on writing a sequel to your recent novel.

Of course, you can also take the traditional marketing approach and research a segment of the general population, learn what their passions, interests and backgrounds are and write stories that meet their interests. However, if your work feels forced (as if you were merely writing to get book sales from a certain demographic) readers may catch on. Your stories also might lack sincerity.

You also might not fully appreciate the creative process. Because it is during the creative process that writers often reap their greatest rewards as they tap into hidden truths, emotions, perceptions and beliefs about themselves.

Finding Your Book Reading Audience

After you finish creating a story, to find your reading audience you may want to follow the route Emily Dickinson took and let someone else spread the word about your books. You can do this by hiring a marketing firm or public relations specialists to tell the media and reading public about your book titles.

Should you decide to market and promote your books yourself you can connect with readers on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also blog and write columns for periodicals that reach the types of people you think would love to hang out with your book characters were they real people. When using the column writing approach, always be sure to include your name, book title and website URL in your byline.

If you plan on writing several novels, consider building a database that includes the names and contact information of book readers who purchase your novels, comment on your writings or let you know how much they appreciate you work. Also, distribute free or complimentary copies of your books to book reviewers and book club presidents.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please return often and read more blog posts. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! 

Sources:

Love Pour Over Me – http://www.ebookit.com/books/0000001582/Love-Pour-Over-Me.html

Authors Getting the Most out of Book Blog Tours

By Denise Turney

The first time I heard the term “blog tour” I thought the person I was communicating with was talking about an online radio tour. Turns out my assumption was only partially accurate.

Meet New Readers on Book Blog Tours

Blog tours can include a blend of written and oral author interviews. They can also include book reviews, with some blog tour hosts posting reviews of your books at retail websites like Amazon.com, Google Books or Barnes & Noble.com. During the early days that your book is on the market these book reviews can be particularly influential, helping book buyers to decide whether or not they want to pay for and read your book.

Then again, for book buyers like me, the reviews might not hold much weight as I decide whether or not to buy and read a book based on excerpts I read. I’ve got to get a feel for the writer’s style, the way the writer works with words, causing them to flow like sweet music.

All said — book reviews certainly don’t hurt.

Other rewards and benefits you can receive as an author conducting book blog tours include, of course, introducing yourself and your books to new readers. This is a key takeaway for authors. After all, if you plan on enjoying a lengthy writing career you want to attract new readers. Blog tours definitely helped me to introduce Raymond Clarke and other main characters in Love Pour Over Me to new book readers.

Additional Book Blog Tour Benefits

As an author, whether you write fiction or nonfiction, when you go on blog tours you can reap additional benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Creating relationships with blog owners (make sure you thank blog owners for supporting you before and after your blog tour runs)
  • Opportunities to conduct your first radio interviews
  • Reasons to write and distribute press releases about your new books
  • Chance to have your name, bio and book information listed at several book blogs
  • Additional links tracking into your official book website (helps improve your website’s search engine rankings)
  • Opportunities to answer questions posed by blog visitors

As a tip when scheduling book blog tours, I recommend that you pay no more than $50 to $60 for a four-week blog tour. I paid $50 for a four-week blog tour which put my book, Love Pour Over Me, in front of thousands of book buyers.

To get the most out of your blog tour make sure you create accounts at social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google Plus and StumbleUpon. Share your blog interviews with follows at these social media sites. Also be sure to respond to questions hosts and visitors post on your blog tour.

Also, you may be able to attract more followers to your blog tour if you giveaway prizes and/or free copies of your books. If you’re on Good Reads list your blog tour schedule at your Good Reads personal blog and in the Good Reads events section. Invite your Good Reads friends to attend your book blog tour.

Above all – have fun – lots of it! After all, isn’t that why you write? Because you love it!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Even if you choose not to purchase your copy of Love Pour Over Me today, I encourage you to “consider Love.”

Taking Books on Successful Road Trips

By Denise Turney

Hitting the road and going on book tours is an effective way to connect with readers in person, answering their questions about your writing process, characters in your books and what inspired or motivated you to create the stories you’ve penned. By taking your books on the road you can also increase your book sales in the short and long term.

Get the Most Out of Book Road Trips    

Readers appreciate meeting authors of their favorite books. In this regard, readers are akin to sports and music fans. They want to get close to the people who use their talents to captivate, entertain, inspire, educate and/or motivate them. Truth be told, many of us book authors, who are also avid book readers, get excited when we meet other writers whose works we admire.

Book events are fun. Take events like Book Expo America (BEA), the Maui Writer’s Conference or Miami International Book Festival and its clear to see why millions of people trek out to book events each year. There are author discussion panels, editor and literary agent meet and greets, keynote speakers and, of course, book signings.

To get the most out of book road trips, consider creating an itinerary so you remember to visit certain booths, connect with media outlets and engage readers while you’re out and about. You can also:

  • Introduce yourself to event organizers (it’s a great way to learn about upcoming appearance opportunities)
  • Schedule interviews with talk radio stations within 15 or fewer miles of the book event you’re attending (make sure you announce the dates, times and locations of local events you’re attending)
  • Bring enough books to sell at local events you’re scheduled to attend (no sense in running out of books one to two days before you’re scheduled to leave town)
  • Visit other author books (it’s a great way to network and make friends)
  • Focus on building relationships with book lovers (keep in mind that if you don’t sell lots of books at an event, if you make enough rewarding connections, you may see an increase in book sales days or weeks after you return home)
  • Giveaway free bookmarks, brochures, book excerpts, etc. (be sure to include your website URL on all giveaways)
  • Volunteer to read from your books at events

 

At the end of events be sure to thank the event organizers, supporters and book lovers for coming. In fact, make it a point to thank each person who stops by your booth, even if they don’t buy a copy of your book. I made a point to do this while on the road with my books Portia, Love Has Many Faces, Long Walk Up and Spiral. I plan on taking my new book, Love Pour Over Me, on the road this autumn; hope to see you while I’m on the road!

While you’re on the road with your books, meeting readers, media, booksellers and librarians, remember that life is truly about communicating and relationships. Above all, love what you’re doing. Stay in the moment and allow yourself to absolutely love and enjoy attending each book event you travel to!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

Purchase Love Pour Over Me at Ebookit

Purchase Love Pour Over Me at Amazon.com

Purchase Love Pour Over Me at Barnes and Noble

Thank you!

Readers Grab Prizes and Giveaways on Book Blog Tours

By Denise Turney

Book blog tours are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they effective at building traffic for blog owners, they are effective at introducing readers to new authors. In fact, book blog tours are known for introducing avid book readers to writers who have been writing intriguing stories for decades but who, until now, they had gone unaware of.

Book Blogs Surface Bestsellers

And if you absolutely love to read, you probably want to get your hands on the best books. You might even want to be amongst the first people to read new books that go on to become bestsellers worldwide. Book blog tours can help you to do this.

A good way to find book blogs is to check out directories like the Book Blog Directory at http://directory.kaysbookshelf.com. [As a tip, if you own a book blog you can also submit your blog to the directory to gain additional exposure.]

Look for blogs that offer prizes and giveaways. For example, you might be able to win a free ebook reader, discount coupons to retail websites like Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com or you might win a gift card to an offline retailer. While on a blog tour I gave away two free copies of my new book, Love Pour Over Me, at each tour stop.

When you participate in book blog tours as a reader, you also might win a free autographed print copy of an author’s latest novel or you could win a mug, tote bag or umbrella that has a cool writing quote printed on it. Yes!  You absolutely can grab these rewards by simply visiting and participating in book blog tours.

Book Blog Author Questions and Answers

While on the tours, post questions to authors. It’s a great way to learn more about what inspires writers to create stories in certain genres, towns, time periods, etc. At the end of blog tours, visit the authors’ official websites to find out more about them and their books. Also, participate in contests and submit your name for book giveaways. Who knows? As previously noted, you might grab the chance to win the next bestseller first.

Should you attend online radio book tours, remember to ask authors questions when the hosts open the telephone lines. If you connect to online radio book tours via a chat room, post your questions to authors in the chat room. As the author of six published books, I gotta tell you – authors love hearing from readers, so post and ask questions!

By attending book blog tours you can save time, gas money and energy. If you attend two or more blog tours in a month, you can connect with several writers a year. You can also win free books, prizes and giveaways!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Even if you choose not to purchase your copy of Love Pour Over Me today, I encourage you to “consider Love.”

Blog Tour

LovePourOverMe Ebook

Wednesday, July 20, 2012, the blog tour for my new book Love Pour Over Me kicked off! You better believe I want you to join me on the blog tour. It runs from June 20, 2012 through July 17, 2012. I’m doing interviews, blogging and more!

When you visit stops along the tour, please be sure to post comments and hit the share buttons (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon) on the tour stops so you can share information about tour stops with your family, friends and other book lovers!

And hey! I’m giving away two free copies of Love Pour Over Me at each stop, so remember to enter the book giveaways! Specific dates and stops on the blog tour are:

June 20 – Introduction at VBT Cafe’ Blog

June 22 – Words I Write Crazy

June 25 – Mass Musings

June 27 – Cindy Vine

June 29 – Nita Bee’s Buzzin’ Web Blog

July 2 – The Book Hoard

July 5 – Mocha Girls Read

July 10 – Books, Books and More Books

July 12 – MK McClintock’s

July 14 – A Book Lover’s Library

July 17 – Law Reigns

See you on the tour!  Thanks!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!