Becoming Jolie Huge Giveaway!

Becoming Jolie is going to be FREE for download on Amazon from October 8-10.  We have set up giveaway so that you can win lots of free stuff by helping us spread the word!  Just click on the rafflecopter link below and follow directions.  Hope you enjoy!!!!

Prizes – Original cover – signed copy of Becoming Jolie – (The one with the swing set on it), PDFS of Magia Rising, Becoming Jolie and The Watchers and a $10 Amazon Gift card are all up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jamais Vu Contest!

Jamais Vu is coming out in September and I am super stoked!  This one is gonna be a cult classic and I can’t wait!  If you haven’t seen the trailer – check it out – it may help with you with the contest.  Here is the link:  http://youtu.be/PSJ_sFF2hxg

So there is an alternative rock band at the center of the book named Machine Gun Butterfly! (Thank you Kimberly Alverez Shaw! – I can’t take credit she blurted it out one day).  Anyway, this band needs an album cover and I know all my talented fans and readers can make one! 

Drawings, pictures, digital art…whatever you want to do to produce an album cover (That’s CD’s to those of you that don’t know what an album is lol) is welcome! 

I think the name itself lends to some pretty exciting covers but I’m going to give you the run down on the boys just so you can have something to go on for band members. 

Kasey Kibodeaux – Kasey is the lead singer – tall, light brown wavy hair,  and blue eyes. He’s prone to wearing beanies and baseball caps occasionally.  Kasey has a tat sleeve 😀

Matt Blaze – Matt plays bass.  Black hair, green eyes, tall and tattooed.  He’s always brushing his black bangs from his face.

Joel Milon – Joel plays drums – dark brown hair that sweeps his shoulders.  He’s tall and lanky and a ball of energy.

Chris Kibodeaux – plays guitar.  Chris is basically a shorter version of his brother Kasey 🙂

Have fun with you have the entire month of August to play with it.  I will post a winner on the release day and post the winning pic all over the place.

Now for the good stuff.  I’ll let the fans vote and the top two will win.  2nd place will win a copy of the Jamais Vu PDF.

1st place will win a PDF and the Jamais Vu Fan Necklace.  I’ll post a couple of pics below of the shell casing necklaces!  Good Luck and have fun I can’t wait to see the pictures!!!

Emily made these and you can check out her stuff on ETSY:  http://www.etsy.com/people/emilyuts.

Don’t forget to check out The Keepers and The Mulligan Man on Amazon while you’re waiting for Jamais Vu to come out!  http://www.amazon.com/The-Keepers-ebook/dp/B0054LO9E8/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_2

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mulligan-Man-ebook/dp/B005ES06M0/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

While I was out….And Announcing Winner of The Mulligan Man Contest!

As you all know I took a week off and then came back and got really sick. I suppose that’s just the way it goes sometimes. I am feeling a bit better! Thank goodness for doctors and fluids.

While I was out there were so many people who supported me, posted for me, and sent love that I have to do my shout outs on a blog! I do want to recognize all these peeps, and I hope you will add them to your facebook as they are great people to know.

Kristine Cheney, Shalisha Cooper, Kymberlee Burks-Miller, Kimberly Miller-Calleghan, Rute Canhoto, Bella Belikova Colella, Lindsey Lamson Kirk, Kristina Haecker, Anne Wallace, Erick D. Burgess, Stefan Ellery, Kathleen Ball, Marissa Rabalais Turner, Rhonda M. Perkins, Sandy Theriot, Crystal D Ward, Dawn Cope Hagan, Rue Volley, Mandy Anderson, Jennifer Comeaux, Shelly Goodman Wright, Denise Pujol, Tracey Panton, Terri McKibben, Leeann Gagon, Wendy Lovetiggi Gonzales, Corine A Belle, Katrina Whittaker, Paranormal Book Club, All Things Books, YA Indi Princess, Mandi twimom book blog, Paranormal Reads, Astraea Press, The Supernova Saga, Sassy Book Lovers, I love Books and Tazzie Book Reviews.

If I missed anyone so sorry, but you are loved and appreciated and I’ll figure it out and do a shout out soon! Thanks you guys your love and support means more than you could possibly know.

Now on to the Winners. Leeann Gagon won a PDF Copy of The Mulligan Man and Denise Pujol won signed bookmarks from The Keepers. Email me your email addresses and Denise your physical address to nique313@yahoo.com!

Hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of: “The Keepers”

From http://www.AstraeaPress.com

Twitter: mjames13

WordPress: http://www.moniquejames.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511255176

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monique-OConnor-James-Author/151581321573144

Buy Links: http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=4435578

Marketing Hints &Tips

I don’t think any author should have to pay to find out how to market their book.  There are authors out there who guard what they consider secrets as though you may use their advice to sell the last book ever read.  The truth is the more books that sell in our genres, the better the chance we have for selling our own.  For this reason I think marketing should be an open discussion between writers.

I get asked a couple times a week for marketing advice.  At first it shocked me, because I was floundering and am still trying to develop a marketing strategy.  I don’t mind at all sharing what I’ve learned and I hope it helps.

These ideas are not new, patented, or earth shattering.  You may use some and think others are a waste of time.  The idea is to come up with a plan that works well for your books. 

Before I go on, I want to clarify that except for a lucky few exceptions, most authors need to have several novels available to purchase before they will see a real jump in their numbers. Having said that, the most important thing you can do is WRITE!

Cross Markets

Your first plan of action should be to identify your cross markets.  For instance, The Keepers is a paranormal, YA/Adult crossover Romance.  I never considered it spirituality/religious, but Amazon categorized it this way giving me another cross market.  We know we should approach the young adult market, paranormal readers, and romance lovers, but who else?  Well Jess in The Keepers deals with the death of her mother from breast cancer.  This leads us to breast cancer patients and survivors and grief and recovery readers.  Jess’ brother is alcoholic.  This allows us to approach people who’ve dealt with this addiction.  As you can see going through the themes and plots in your book will help you identify which cross markets you need to approach.

Good Reads/Manic Readers 

If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for Good Reads and Manic Readers on their websites.  Good reads of course offers you a place to put your books up and showcase your reviews.  It also has a comment section under your books where you can post sales, contests, or other important news about your books.  I’ve also found that the reviewers on this site are very responsive.

Manic Readers site is awesome. For free you get to create your own Author Page showing your books, links, an author bio, and for $5 a month you can post your contests and news. And they make it simple to request reviews from several bloggers/review sites.   They also have a monthly newsletter and large fan base on Facebook and Twitter.  So check that out for sure.

Tag your books

Both Amazon and All Romance have options at the bottom of your  book info screen to tag your books with words and phrases which would show up in their search engines and recommend your book.  I saw on All Romance that a lot of people don’t use this feature, but anywhere you can tag – you should. (For All Romance you have to sign on to the site to tag your books.)

Friends and Family 

As we always say word of mouth is your best friend so use the people who are close to you to help you market.  Send a text to all your friends and ask them to share your post.  Don’t do it everyday, but if you do it once every couple of months they probably won’t mind and you will get some positive responses.

Contests and swag

Readers love to be included and interactive.  I love to be included too!  Even if you think no one is reading your blog, post contests.  You’ll be surprised once words spreads how many people respond.

Twitter 

I have to admit I was terrified of twitter.  If you haven’t started tweeting, do it now.  There is a huge community of readers and writers on twitter and they don’t mind retweeting your sales, contests, etc.  Don’t forget to post things about your life.  Readers want to get to know you and you don’t want to be a spam-bot.

Budget for some cover ads, etc. as soon as you can. 

Deep in the Heart of Romance, Book Boost, Kindle Blog – there are a ton of opportunities and some of them are pretty cheap keep an eye out.

Make friends with the author and reviewers on Facebook and Twitter. 

Don’t use them. Actually, make friends and support them.  They will reciprocate, I promise.  They also offer interviews, guest posts, and contests with your books.

Author Bios 

Give the reader of your book info on the novel, but share something personal too.  They want to know who you are! If there is a place for an author bio – use it!

One of the most important things to remember is people will always remember when you are nice to them.  Excitement is contagious.  If you are excited about your work, others will be too! 

It may take sometime to build a marketing plan, but just keep at it and in time you will find what works and what doesn’t.  Hope the information helps!

Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James
Author of:  “The Keepers”
 
Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
 

Sharing Part of Me…A Look into Monique

There are things about my life that I don’t often share.  I don’t hide these things because I have some need to keep my personal life personal.  In fact, I’ve always been an open book.  I’ve wanted to share my heartaches so that others will benefit.  I’ve been open about my battle with depression and ADD.  I’ve also shared my grief and heartache over the loss of my mother.  My thought is that we all suffer, and maybe if I talk about these things, then someone out there will know that all their trials are nothing to hide.

The one thing that I haven’t spoken openly about was my brother.  My older brother has been in prison for years.  He’s been there so long that my children don’t know him.  Well honestly, his own children don’t know him either.

It pains me when I think about the circumstances that brought him to be where he is and for this reason, I am humiliated by the fact that he’s incarcerated.  But, I love my brother.  I spent years and years resenting him, hiding him, praying for him, and then reconciling with him so we could have a relationship.

You see we were born to ideal parents in an upper middle class family.  We had annual family vacations, the adoration of a mother and father, and more love than any children could ask for.  Both of our parents were brought up in poverty and their only goal was to make our lives better than their own.

He will tell you now that he’s in prison with men who were beat on a daily basis or whose parents did drugs in front of them.  After years of self-realization, he’s come to conclusion that he had no right to do the things he did.  I believe on some levels the best thing that ever happened to him was his going to prison.

There are horrible side-effects, of course.  He’s been there so long that he’s terrified of getting out.  He’s never paid a bill or held down a job and the thought of life on the outside is suffocating.

However, he got mental health I’m not sure he would have ever gotten on the outside.  He wound up in a prison system that wanted him to be well.  And over the last ten years or so, we’ve developed a relationship that we never had before.  He’s eight years older than me, but I’ve always been the big sister.  I’ve cared for him, sent him money, and been his life line to the world outside.

There is no link like that of a sibling -one who knows where you came from, how you were raised, and what your value and moral grounding is.

The reason I felt the need to share all this is because after all this time, sometimes he can give me the best advice.  The other night we were on the phone and he told me that ever since I was a little girl, I’ve thought I had to be perfect.  He said I’ve always felt it was my responsibility to fix things and make whatever mistakes the rest of the world made right.  Then when I accomplish something it’s never good enough.  I can never live up to my own expectations. He asked me to slow down and enjoy my life.

I guess I’m just touched that he sees me and appreciates me.  I spent my life wishing I had a sibling who had been there when Momma died.  I wanted the big brother that I was supposed to have and finally at the ripe old age of 37 I think I finally found him.

I hope that whoever your siblings are, whatever wrongs they’ve comitted against you, you can find away to put your relationship back together.  It’s never easy, but it’s worth the work.

Cheers,

Monique O’Connor James

Author of:  “The Keepers”
Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com