Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guest Post: Rachel Thompson – 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

Today we are happy to have Rachel Thompson, author of Broken Pieces, as our guest. Rachel will be sharing an interesting post, 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before. Not only is it great information for authors, but also bloggers.
Please give a warm welcome to Rachel Thompson

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

When I first started writing my author blog (about four and a half years ago), I had NO idea the extent of marketing I would have to do once I published my first book.

Now that I’m three books in (all bestsellers), I’ve developed a system that works for me. It’s not brain surgery, it’s not impossible, but it is hard work.

And it all starts with having an author platform.

Lots of people have written about author platforms; but back then, I had no comprehension of what that meant (and while I have a fairly extensive sales and marketing background, publishing was all new to me).

So what is an author platform and how can knowing this help you? I’m drawing on my own experiences, what I’ve read and learned, as well as the business clients who do what I recommend.
Let’s deconstruct.

The primary components of any platform include:
  • Social Media
  • Website
  • Blog
  • Ads
  • Digital copy.
I’ll break down each one with an additional tip on how I do things.
  1. Social Media: Everyone knows you have to be on (at the very least), Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. That’s kind of a given. What people don’t tell you is that you need a Facebook page, separate from your personal Facebook account (however you can manage it from there). Why? Facebook personal accounts (where you ‘friend’ people) were not created for selling. Also, they limit you to 5,000 friends, which sounds like a lot, but once you get more well-known? Not so much.
  2. Success: For the best chance at success, be sure to not go into social media thinking, ‘Hey this is awesome! I’m just gonna link to my own books all the time, in every share, message, and tweet!’ Not only will people unfollow/unfriend you, it’s also extremely counterproductive to doing any actual selling. Tip: Use keywords that connect to your subject/genre. Glean articles from the Net and share those. RT/share others. Be generous in supporting people. Add visual formats like YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. And above all else, have a presence on G+. Google owns it. Google is the largest search engine in the world. You do the math.
  3. Website: I had NO idea until I finally convinced myself to switch from blogger to WordPress.org that my SEO/SMO was in the tank. Why does this matter? Paying someone (not a lot) to optimize my site (and then coaching me on how to do it) has made a huge difference in my Google ranking and Alexa.com score. What does that mean? I’m more visible, more exposed (in a good way!), and I’ve made it easier for people to find me.
  4. Optimization: It’s okay if you don’t understand what it means. Hire someone who does. I truly had no clue how important it was to optimize my site or what all was involved. I’m grateful to @SugarBeatBC for her knowledge and patient help.
  5. Blog: A natural extension of any author is your blog. Again, use your keywords to come up with subjects or a theme to your writing, and update your blog at least once per week. Google’s algorithms look at how fresh your content is. If you don’t post often, your ranking goes down. Boo.
  6. Topics: Confused on what to blog about? Find blogs you really like, and see what their focus is. Write about what you know. Share excerpts from your book(s). Have guests (remember, be generous?). Tip: post on the weekend for more comments, during the week for more shares (Source: Dan Zarrella).
  7. Ads: Many authors don’t want to tangle with the beast that is Google AdWords. I didn’t either! I tried to learn many times but looking at cost per keyword makes me think of algebra class and hey, writer here. Math is NOT my forte. So I make my husband do it. Ha! (In fact, he’s become so proficient at doing AdWords, he hung up his shingle at The AdWords Guy, and helps other authors learn, or manages their campaigns for them.)
  8. Keywords: Yes, again. Even if you don’t get how AdWords works, at least you can use their Keyword Tool to run your words through (ie, I use relationships, grief, loss, love, romance, etc.). It’s free and fairly easy to use.
  9. eBook or Digital Copy: Is it really necessary to have an eBook version of your book? In a word: duh. Of course it is! Report vary, but anywhere from 50-70% of all books purchased over the last year were in eBook format; of those, 50% were purchased from Amazon.
(People are still somewhat confused about this. You CAN purchase eBooks from Amazon without a Kindle. All you need to do is download their free apps for smartphone, computer, tablet, or cloud. It’s SO easy! Even Nook readers can read Amazon books (not on their Nook of course. Barnes and Noble isn’t stupid.), but from the free apps.)
10) Embrace Technology: No matter what your personal opinions are about eBooks, digital content is our future – right now. As baby boomers age, purchases made from home have skyrocketed. Younger people have become used to the instant gratification from gaming and social media, which makes eBooks perfect for your younger demographic.
Okay, that’s it! Almost every single one of these points I learned during the process of publishing or after. I hope they help you to be successful but remember, first and foremost, write a terrific book first!

Check out my books on Amazon: A Walk In The Snark, Mancode: Exposed, and my latest, Broken Pieces. Find me on Twitter at @RachelintheOC or my business @BadRedheadMedia. Look up the same names on G+, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. I’m everywhere!


‘So ridiculously amazing, I can’t take it’ ~ Gabe Berman, Author ‘Live LIke A Fruit Fly
‘Engrossed. It is a grippingly brilliant work’ ~ Frank Feather, author and blogger
‘Any woman who has had a former lover (or two or three) will be able to relate to this. Her writing is very poetic.’ ~ LS Hullinger, reader, writer
‘A brilliant and intense must read’ ~ Jeffery Rowan, reader
Out less than three weeks, Broken Pieces already hit the Paid Top 10 list on Women’s Studies!
Welcome to bestselling author Rachel Thompson’s newest nonfiction work! Vastly different in tone from her previous essay collections A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed, BROKEN PIECES is a collection of pieces inspired by one woman’s life: love, loss, abuse, trust, grief, and ultimately, love again.
This is NOT a humor book! It IS a book about relationships, a study of women, a book with heart.Want to see why people love it? Why they call it ‘riveting, powerful, insightful?’
Read it and see why Broken Pieces is tearing up the lists for Nonfiction, Women’s Studies, and books for women!

Where to BUY Broken Pieces

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – NonFiction
Rating – PG13
More details about the author

Connect with Rachel Thompson


Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Bride by Mistake, by Marilyn Shank

Bride by Mistake by Marilyn Shank

 If Meg O’Malley could play pretend fiancĂ©e to any man on the planet, there’s no question she’d choose Zach Addison. She had a huge crush on him back in high school, though he barely noticed her. To this day, she still compares every man she dates to him. So how could she refuse when her identical twin, Liza, asks Meg to take her place in a fake engagement to Zach (even if Meg is already practically engaged to someone else)?

  Zach only “proposed” to his friend Liza in order to please his ailing grandmother during her final days. In reality, his heart is still healing from a nasty divorce. But the longer he pretends at romance, the more he finds himself really falling in love. The problem is, Zach doesn’t know he’s actually head over heels for Meg. And having been burned by a bride once before (his ex said she loved him but really just loved his money), Zach may commit to permanent bachelorhood when he learns he’s been duped again.

Sweet and heartfelt, Bride by Mistake is a smart, romantic comedy that finds out whether two wrongs can make a right.

{Blurb from Amazon.com }

Stephanie's Review of Bride by Mistake

   I recently received a request from author Marilyn Shank to review her new book, Bride by Mistake, which was released January 8th, 2013. As you all know, I am all about covers and needless to say, I fell in love with the cover after looking it up. Something about the cover screamed shabby and chic so a took on the request for the review and I'm very glad I did!

   Bride by Mistake has to be one of the cutest comedy-romance books I have read in a long time. My only complaint is that there isn’t a movie in the making!

 …Think something along the lines of Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days, or one of the other awesome chick flicks out there.

   Just when you think Meg is about to give in, Liza finds some way to hold her out for one more day. Meanwhile, Meg is  falling in love with her high school crush who practically failed to realized she even existed back then. But, what happens when he finds out the truth about the girl he fell in love. What happens he realized he has been betrayed by not only his best friend, but the woman he thought he fell in love with.  Well, I won't spoil the party but - be prepared- this one is a tear jerker!

Bride by Mistake was not only charming and witty, but also a great comical romance that will leave you wanting more! Luckily, when author Marilyn Shank sent me Bride by Mistake she also sent Daddy With a Deadline to review and now I will be able to read more of her awesome work shortly.

All and all, if you are looking for a great comical romance that is rather short, but yet long enough to enjoy, consider Bride by Mistake by Marilyn Shank.You will be glad you did! 

Where to Buy Bride by Mistake by Marilyn Shank

Bride by Mistake is available at

FTC DisclosureI received a copy of Bride by Mistake from the author, Marilyn Shank, in exchange for my review. The review listed above is of my own opinion and have not been asked nor compensated to provide a good review. Stephanie {Stephanie's Book Shelf} is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, Barnes & Noble Affiliate Program and Kobo Affiliate. These types are affiliate advertising programs are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Kobo.com 

Mailbox Monday #6

Wow- Just when I think it isn't possible to beat the previous week or- that I am about to get caught up, something like this goes an beats my wildest expectations of being a book blogger!

After receiving 22 books this week I have decided to tighten up on my review requests for a few weeks until I can get caught up. As you guys and gals know, my only no-no's are horror, paranormal, and vampire. Yeah, I have enough crazy dreams without adding fuel to the fire.

With that said, aside from having a huge pile of TBR's, I am also changing careers in less than two weeks. After 9 years of being a 911 dispatcher, I will be changing paths and starting a new career as a Code Enforcement Officer. I am excited to say the least, but a little down and out considering I will be leaving behind some of the funniest, best-est friends, crazy nuts and an over fill of Chuck Norris jokes. Not to mention tons of lasting memories. And if changing careers wasn't enough of a set back in the book blogging world, spring is just around the corner and my greenhouse is calling my name.

But, anyways- back to Mailbox Monday. Lets see what Mrs. Mail Lady brought me! *Can someone hand me a tissue?* 

Okay... Since I received so many great books last week I won't elaborate on them all, but a few here and there. All the book covers will take you to Amazon where you can read more about the books, read reviews and find out more about the author. 

  First and foremost, my most exciting book last week was Rush by Maya Banks. I had no idea it was coming and so far, I have no idea where it came from. The awesome mystery package included Rush, The Reunited, by Shiloh Walker, and Back To You, by Robin Kaye. You can expect to see those reviews coming very soon!

Children's Fiction
After the mystery package containing those three awesome books, my next favorites were the children's  fiction books I received form two different authors.


Goodreads First Reads Giveaways
Books I won through the Goodreads Giveaways that I received in the mail this week. Some of these were won last week while others may have been a few weeks ago and just now came in.
Shadow On The Crown is an Advance uncorrected PROOF copy. ;)


Christian, Memoirs & Non-Fiction

MORE Great Fiction...



GIVEAWAY: Master of The Inn Book Tour

Welcome to the
 Master of The Inn Book Tour 
& Giveaway
Be sure to post a comment below to be entered to 
WIN an ecopy of Master of The Inn

The Pleasure Inn series launches with Master of the Inn. This is book one in a multi-book series that centers on Pleasure Inn and the couples who spend a weekend indulging in their fantasies. The first book introduces us to Logan and Elyse and we learn how the inn came to be. Each book to follow will feature a new couple but the reader will be able to keep up with Logan and Elyse's relationship as they progress. The books can be read out of order but Master of the Inn sets the stage.

About Master of The Inn

Pleasure Inn… Where all of your fantasies become reality.

  Executive chef Elyse Clapton has had it with city life. She’s spent the last few years building her cheating boyfriend’s trendy New York City restaurant into a success. When their 

relationship ends, so does her desire to be in his kitchen. She flees to a quaint inn she remembers visiting as a child. She gets more than she bargains for when she meets the sexy, reclusive inn keeper.

  Handyman Logan Cole inherited Pleasure Inn against his wishes. Ever since he got caught up in a scandal involving another man’s wife, he keeps to himself – finding solace in 

a bottle. He didn’t realize how lonely he’d become until Elyse shows up on his porch. He’s instantly drawn to her and convinces her to stay at the Bed and Breakfast.

  Elyse comes to town looking for a getaway. She never expects to fall for Logan. It doesn’t take her long to believe the inn’s motto. Logan’s dominance in the bedroom makes all of her fantasies a reality.

Where to BUY Master of The Inn


  Author Ella Jade will be giving away an ecopy of Master of The Inn at the end of the tour to one lucky commenter. Winner will be randomly drawn from all the comments posted throughout the tour. 
Be sure to post a comment to enter!

Meet Ella Jade

  Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped.

  Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you'll get lost in her words.

 She loves connecting with readers. You can find her here…