Thanksgiving grateful list

Most years, during Thanksgiving dinner, the members of my family go around the dinner table and express what we are grateful for that year.  It’s kind of corny, for sure, but it’s also nice to be reminded of our blessings when so often, we are more concerned with the bad things in our life and what we don’t have.

In the past, I have also written a blog post outlining the things I am grateful for. See my earlier blog posts here:

https://meredithschorr.com/2010/11/

https://meredithschorr.com/2011/11/22/thanksgiving-grateful-list/

Although it looks like I skipped 2012 for some reason, I have written a new list for 2013. Some of the items are the same as in years past because I will always be grateful for my family, friends, etc.

Without further ado, here are some of the things for which I am most grateful this Thanksgiving. This list is not at all exhaustive.

Computer savvy friends who help me set up my new electronics!

Close connections in law to help review and draft contracts.

My family for unconditional love and support.

Advancements in finding cures for cancers like Leukemia, the scientists/medical professionals who devote their lives to these cures, and the people who donate money towards them.

My strong legs and love of running to help clear my head and keep me in shape.

Writing—for so many reasons—because it is an escape from “real life” issues, because it allows me to create and live vicariously through fictional worlds, because some people say I’m pretty good at it and compliments make me smile, because the more books I write, the more money I am making and the closer I am getting to my goal of writing full time!

My friends – to have fun with, to make me laugh, to cheer me up when I’m sad, to laugh at me when I do or say something stupid, to laugh at when they do or say something stupid, to buy my books, to turn to for advice and to feel needed when asked for advice and guidance in return and to remind me that I’m not alone.

My writer/blogger friends – It is so nice to have friends who completely understand the way I feel about books— writing them and reading them.  I am happy to know other people who spend half of their day checking sales rankings and stalking their own reviews!

Men – Even I need to stop talking about books every so often and when I do, I’m thinking about men. The cute ones, the smart ones, the famous ones I will never meet, the clingy ones, the ones who have made me feel wonderful, the ones who made me cry, the douchy ones, the ones who got away, the ones I haven’t met yet.  MEN. Can’t live with ‘em; can’t live without ‘em!

Good health – I am truly thankful for another year of being in good health and for the continued good health of my family members. I think good health is  something we often take for granted when we’re caught up worrying about finances, relationship issues, bad reviews etc, but I have learned this year that things can change pretty quickly and one thing that should always be cherished is good health. (Side note: I am currently losing a battle against a stubborn head cold and I really, really want to feel healthy right now so I can eat a huge Thanksgiving dinner later 😦 )

Finally, I am grateful for being a true optimist and always managing to be hopeful, to find good in the bad and to learn from my mistakes. Although I do engage in pity parties from time to time, I have so far always managed to shake off the negativity and keep on keeping on. I hope to always be able to find the light in my darker days.

My Trip to Toronto Part II

Welcome to Part II of my trip to Toronto

When we left off, the BookBuzz Toronto event had come to a conclusion. *Tear* In this post, I will recap my experiences from the following day.

I failed to mention in my earlier post that while getting a pedicure for my trip, my phone charger accidentally fell into the water. (If you have to ask how that happened, you obviously do not know me very well.) I didn’t realize that the charger was defective until after I arrived in Toronto and I was freaking out about traveling without access to my phone. Kaley was kind enough to meet me before brunch and escort me to the Toronto Eaton Centre mall where I could purchase a new phone charger. It was nice to have a few minutes alone with Kaley to get to know her better. While walking through the mall, I kept expecting to run into someone I knew. And then I remembered how unlikely that was since I was in another country…

torontocity

Although not everyone was around the following day, the majority of us (me, Sam, Kaley, Cat, Samantha, Lydia Laceby and Heather Wardell) agreed to meet for lunch at Senator Restaurant, a diner in the heart of the city. I was committed to drinking a Caesar, the Canadian version of the Bloody Mary, and was very relieved the restaurant was serving alcohol. I was the only one to partake in a boozy beverage but, like I said, I was determined. It was delicious. Nice and spicy, just the way I like it.

senator

Caesar

After brunch, we visited the World’s Biggest Bookstore, walked up and down the Toronto streets, stopped for tea, and then for lunch and a drink before heading back to the hotel to pick up our suitcases. Throughout the afternoon, we discussed our common obsession: reading and books in general. Spending the afternoon with women who share my love of reading was priceless. And since almost everyone was an author, we were able to discuss reviews, the writing/publishing process, sales etc. without anyone feeling left out or rolling her eyes in boredom. My local friends are amazing and I would not give them up for anything in the world but spending the afternoon with women who totally get that very important aspect of my life was incredibly special.

tea

Saying goodbye to my new friends who weren’t really “new” was painful because I knew it would be a long time before we met face-to-face again. I was so happy for some extra time with my friend Sam who actually walked with me from the Eaton Centre in the heart of Toronto downtown to the airport at the waterfront. I’m sure most of you are unfamiliar with Toronto, so I’ll just say it was a long walk and leave it at that! As much as I did not want to leave, I was also afraid of missing my flight but Sam and I agreed that in Toronto traffic, taking a cab would probably take me longer than walking and so we walked. And talked.

In conclusion, my trip was 99% successful. The missing 1% accounts for my failure to come home with autographs from the cast of Degrassi High! I guess that means I will have to come back…

senatorgroupbookbuzzca

Merry Chicklit!

Today marks the release of Merry Chicklit, an anthology of holiday-inspired short stories. This collection of seasonal short stories is extra special since it was created to benefit the charity Rocking the Road for A Cure, a NY based breast cancer charity that sends out volunteers to help women with breast cancer with their everyday actives such as shopping, errands, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. All proceeds for the book will go to this charity. Cancer in all its forms is a disease very close to my heart right now and if helping to raise money towards a cure is as easy as reading a collection of stories written by these amazingly talented authors, I’m all for it. I’ve already downloaded my copy and I hope that you will too!  See below for more information!

merrychicklit

Merry Chick Lit: Celebrate the Season with Six Sassy Shorts

In the spirit of giving, six chick-lit authors “present” a charming collection of seasonal shorts sure to inspire holiday cheer-plus love and hope throughout the year, with all proceeds donated to Rocking the Road for a Cure! Featured authors & stories include:

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

In “Santa’s Gift,” journalist Jessica thinks Santa’s just a silly myth for children, so when he asks what she most wants for Christmas she tells him the one thing she knows he can’t deliver–true love. Or can he…?

Sarah Hitchcock

In “The Christmas Lights,” one competition pits two families against each other…who will win this war?

Francine LaSala

Pretty Izzy knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: hunky sales manager Jake Harrington wrapped up with a shiny silver bow–and nothing else. Except Santa may have other plans in “Carol of the Belles.”

Nikki Mahood

In “Spinster Christmas,” Cara’s looking forward to spending Christmas alone until she learns her old–and she believes very gay–crush needs a place to stay. Though it soon becomes clear that while still hot, Ronan isn’t gay after all…

Holly Martin

Ella’s dreams of making a better life for her and her daughter seem further away than ever in “Iced Dreams.” But as Christmas approaches, and she wishes for a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand to fix her life, things begin to change in ways she never imagined!

K.C. Wilder

In “The Mermaid,” Allie’s content to spend Christmas by herself at a vacant beach house to make good on a promise made to her true love lost, Jeff. Until Jeff’s gorgeous college roommate Tim crashes in on her with his own promise to keep…

Purchase on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Merry-Chick-Celebrate-Season-Shorts-ebook/dp/B00GPUXAEM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384886583&sr=8-1&keywords=merry+chick+lit

Purchase on bn.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/merry-chick-lit-sarah-hitchcock/1117443434?ean=2940148840138

More information on the charity: Rocking the Road for a Cure

Rocking The Road For A Cure is tickled PINK to be selected as the recipient of proceeds from your purchase of Merry Chick Lit.

We are a growing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the New York City/Long Island area, dedicated to improving the quality of life of people undergoing the often energy-depleting and emotionally draining treatments for breast cancer.

Our name came from our founder and President, Dawn Frey, a musician, who learned through personal experience that “it takes a village” to get through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and not every individual has the support network they need. Rocking The Road For A Cure provides free, in-home housekeeping, health and wellness services to restore strength and confidence, and to rebuild spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.

So, when you settle back and relax to enjoy reading Merry Chick Lit, please know that you have helped us help a breast cancer patient to also settle back and relax…and heal.

Rocking The Road For A Cure http://www.rockingtheroadforacure.org

my trip to Toronto Part I

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the scandal involving Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford.  I’m not blogging about him today and lord knows, New York City has had its share of politician-related disgraces, but the subject of my post is Toronto.

I had the privilege of spending a few days in Toronto for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The reason for the trip was an author event called BookBuzz. You might remember that I co-founded the BookBuzz author event with fellow authors  Samantha Stroh Bailey (“Sam”) and Francine LaSala at our inaugural event in New York City in May. The Toronto event was the second in what we hope will be a long tradition of author/reader mix and mingles. At the outset, this is not a blog about Toronto BookBuzz as much as a blog about my personal experience in Toronto. If you would like specific information on the event and the participating authors, I recommend checking out the following blogs:

http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.com/
http://www.justalillost.com/2013/11/recap-book-buzz-to-2013/
http://ahiddenlife.com/2013/11/10/a-night-out-with-bookbuzzto/
http://www.freshprintmagazine.com/creating-a-bookbuzz/
http://booksandstuff-kstar.blogspot.com/2013/11/event-recap-bookbuzz-toronto.html

Let’s start at the beginning.

First impressions:

If you’ve ever flown into the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, you know that it is on an island and there is a ferry that takes you into Toronto. I thought that was totally cool. Sam lives in Toronto and was kind enough to save me cab fare by meeting me at the airport and giving me a ride to my hotel. During the drive, she played tour guide pointing out the different neighborhoods we passed. (I tried not to laugh when she had to call her husband repeatedly for directions. Apparently, it was the first time she had ever driven to that airport. I didn’t even know the city had more than one.) One observation I made about Toronto is that parts of it remind me of Seattle, Washington, mostly the waterfront and a building that looks just like the Space Needle!

spaceneedle

Hotel:

I stayed at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel (referred to by the locals as the “Delta Chelsea” for reasons unknown to me J ).  The hotel was enormous and bustling with energy but the service was very friendly. I dropped my bag in my room and headed to one of the many restaurants for lunch where I was robbed blind—$20 for a turkey sandwich, an apple and a cup of coffee! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering I’m a New Yorker, but sheesh! After lunch, I took a brief nap and then showered and got ready for the party. I was meeting at Sam’s house and heading over to the party at The Crest from there. Another observation about Toronto is that the traffic is off the hook. In a really bad way! What I thought would be a twenty minute cab ride took close to an hour as we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The cab driver told me that Toronto had the worst traffic of any city in North America. He wasn’t kidding. And the cab smelled bad to boot. I was so excited to finally arrive at Sam’s house that I literally fell out of the cab along with my bag of books.

After a tour of Sam’s house and a small glass of quality Scotch, we called a cab and set off to the party at The Crest.

BookBuzz

bookbuzzsign

Have you ever grown super fond of a person you’ve never actually met and finally been given a chance to meet face-to-face? If so, were you nervous? Well, then you can imagine how I was feeling.  I’ve been in the situation before, but each time is unique since each “virtual” relationship I make is different. I was both excited and scared to death to meet my fellow BookBuzzers in person, especially, Samantha March, Kaley Stewart and Cat Lavoie, having gotten to know them so well online. I must confess that the initial introductions were awkward for me, but after drinking my first Pink Stiletto and taking a deep breath, I realized these women were the same people I had countless conversations with on Facebook, Twitter and via email and I had nothing to fear.

pinkstiletto

The party was beyond awesome! We had a great crowd and I got to talk to enthusiastic readers, sign some books, and get to know my fellow authors better. I was even interviewed by a couple of journalists who were reporting on the event. A slide show of all of the author’s bios and book covers ran continuously and every so often, I looked up and saw my picture on the wall. It was surreal (and a little embarrassing)! At the start of the party, there was discussion of an after party but by the time the event was over, we were all zapped of energy. With a promise to meet for brunch the next day, we all retired to our respective houses/hotel rooms, although most of us were so high on adrenaline that we couldn’t fall asleep.

bookbuzzca

Stay tuned for Part Two!

I am my characters

People often comment on how “real” my characters are and they ask me how I create such believable heroines. I suppose it is because most of my work is grounded in reality. My characters are not me but some of their struggles, particularly with men, come from my own struggles—even if I don’t realize it until after the book is released.

Take for instance, Stephanie Cohen in Just Friends with Benefits. Stephanie is an attractive, intelligent, funny and interesting woman but she often refuses to acknowledge what is right in front of her. Rather than take things at face value, she will analyze things Ad Nauseum. And often, she will draw the conclusion that favors her own desires. In a word, she is a bit delusional. I cannot begin to tell you how much time I have wasted wondering what a guy was really thinking and making excuses for him in order to save my own ego. As a result, I was blind to some much better prospects who moved on by the time I realized how stupid I was. Lesson learned: You snooze; you lose.

In A State of Jane, Jane Frank is under the inaccurate assumption that she is in control. If she acts a certain way, looks a certain way, plays by the right “rules”, everything will fall into place. What she fails to consider is that regardless of how pretty, smart, intelligent (insert other positive attributes here), one is, a man who is only looking to get laid will not want to settle down with her.  If he’s a jerk, he will still be a jerk no matter how nice she is. If he’s just not feeling the chemistry, she can’t force it on him simply by being “better.” And a man can change his mind, flake, lose interest, be a douchebag for a multitude of reasons that have nothing to do with her. It doesn’t actually matter what the reason is; it is what it is. This novel was inspired by a period of time in my life when one after another, a  guys I was dating who was seemingly really into me *poof* disappeared without a word. I had no idea why and it was so frustrating because I felt like I needed an answer and that I deserved an answer. Lesson learned: Relationships are a two-way street and it’s not always my fault when things don’t work out. No sense beating myself up. Just move on!

Kim Long in my newest release, Blogger Girl, is definitely more grounded in reality than Stephanie and Jane. She’s not deluded and she’s not a Type A Control Freak. She does, however, have an insecurity complex and often wonders “why would someone like him be interested in someone like her.” I, too, struggle with feeling insecure and not good enough. Not all of the time and only in limited company, but there have been men in my life who, intentionally or not, made me feel “less than.”   Lesson learned:  most of the time, insecurity comes from within and needs to be dealt with. I try to be conscious as to how I feel in a man’s presence. Any man who deserves my time should build me up, not cut me down and if I find myself second guessing my appeal on any level, he’s probably not the one for me.

In my WIP, my main character Maggie is 39 years old and struggling with her impending 40th birthday. Although she’s been in many relationships and even lived with her last boyfriend, she has never been married. She looks young and she feels young but she is terrified that her window of opportunity to settle down has passed by right along with her twenty and thirty-something years. Successful, bright and pretty, she has no problems getting attention from men but fears that the pool of available men who are actually interested in a relationship with her is shallow. This is probably the most difficult novel I have written so far because it is very close to home. I struggle with this daily. I have also had my share of relationships but none of them resulted in marriage. I admit that much of this was my fault. I wasted my twenties and early thirties dismissing some great guys for one reason or another not realizing it was fear that was holding me back. I’ve since moved on from that but now I’m wondering if the mistakes of my past have irrevocably, excuse my language, fucked up my future. I wonder if I am being punished somehow for being a late bloomer and, well, stupid. I know that’s unlikely but to be honest, I sort of wish I was being punished. If I could repent for my “sins”, maybe I could be forgiven and things would magically work out for me.  I’m not desperate and while I want to settle down, I have no desire to settle. I figure I’ve waited this long, better to hold out for someone who makes me truly happy than settle at this point. I would so much rather be alone, spending time with my friends and family, than in the company of someone who I feel lukewarm about. But I’m lonely. I yearn to share my life with someone. There. I said it. It wasn’t that hard.Lesson learned: Not sure yet. Hopefully, by the time I finish this novel, the answer will be clear. And maybe, just maybe, I will meet someone wonderful, available and, most importantly, desirous of having a relationship with me. If you know anyone, please let me know 🙂

Like to party? Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.

 

Finding Comfort in Bookstores

As you might know, Blogger Girl is currently on tour with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours. As part of the tour, over the next three weeks, amazing blogs will be posting reviews of Blogger Girl as well as guest posts that I wrote. I would love to share the guest post I wrote for Chicklit Club Connect on the pull of physical bookstores despite the popularity of reading on devices such as the Kindle and the Nook.

http://connect.chicklitclub.com/wp/2013/11/12/finding-comfort-in-bookstores

Feel free to leave a comment either here or directly on the Chicklit Club website and follow the tour here:

http://www.clpblogtours.com/2013/09/blogger-girl-by-meredith-schorr.html

Cheers 🙂

Cover reveal: Hard Hats and Doormats

I am thrilled to participate in the Cover Reveal for author Laura Chapman’s debut novel Hard Hats and Doormats! Laura’s blog Change the Word is one of my favorites and I am so excited to watch her segue from blogger to author and I wish her much success in her writing career.

cover_reveal

 

Drum roll please!

 Hard Hats and Doormats

 Nice cover ay? (I just returned from Canada…)

Synopsis

Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.

 

But after losing out on a big promotion––because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.

 

While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.

 

Who says nice girls have to finish last?

 

To celebrate the cover reveal for her debut novel, author Laura Chapman is sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits about the making of Hard Hats and Doormats here and on other blogs with her “Hard Hat Confessions.”

Here’s # 4:

 

Confessions-04

 

Visit http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/2013/11/hardhatsanddoormatscover.html for more “Hard Hat Confessions.”

 

About the Author 

Laura_Chapman_Mug

Laura Chapman found a way to mix her love of romance and humor as a women’s fiction author and blogger. A 2008 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Laura studied journalism, English and history. She traveled across the United States as a writer/photographer before settling into a career in communications. She also maintains Change the Word, a blog devoted to promoting women’s fiction and documenting her experiences as a writer. Born and raised in Nebraska – in a city, not on a farm – she is a devoted fan of football, British period drama, writing in bars and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Hard Hats and Doormats is her debut novel.

 

Connect with Laura

Website (http://www.laurachapmanbooks.com/)

Blog (http://change-the-word.blogspot.com/)

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/laurachapmanbooks)

Twitter (https://twitter.com/lmchap)

 

Having A Three-Way…Indie Style!

I have some amazing friends and when we get together, we can talk Ad Nauseam about everything from men to annoying family members to sports to current events (not that often, admittedly) to pop culture and more. But since most of my friends are not writers, I try to keep my “author talk” to a minimum to avoid observing their eyes roll to the back of their heads. That’s one of the many reasons I adore having writing buddies. Recently, I had a virtual sit-down with two of my author besties, Francine LaSala (The Girl, The Gold Tooth & Everything) and Samantha Stroh Bailey (Finding Lucas) to talk about marketing books, indie style. So, today I’ll share a snippet of that conversation. As always, it was peppered with spunk since we’re such spunky chicks!

Francine: So you guys know about this big book birthday blog tour bash going on this week, right?

Meredith (smirks): Birthday bash? Whatever do you mean?

Sam (cocks head, playfully): Uh, no. Please tell us more.

Francine (winks): Well, The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything is turning 1 this week, so it’s going on sale for 99 cents for one week only. While it’s on sale, I’ll be visiting different blogs for interviews, guest posts, that kind of thing. But I’m not the only one with something going on this week. Am I, Meri?

Meredith: Well, now that you mention it, I am doing a blog tour the next couple of weeks to promote Blogger Girl which is about, you guessed it, a book blogger. During the three week tour, reviews of Blogger Girl will be posted on some awesome blogs, along with  guest posts and interviews. Insert shameless self-promotion here: Blogger Girl will be on tour with CLP Blog Tours from 11/4-25.

Francine: Oh, did I forget the dates (and the shameless self-promotion) for mine? Sorry! My sale started 11/1 and goes through Thursday 11/7… Which reminds me… Sam? Don’t you have something to share?

Sam (laughs): Well, as you both know, I love promoting with other authors, and I’ve done quite a few group promotions. Along with the two of you, co-founding BookBuzz has probably been the most exciting. Creating an interactive author/reader event where everyone can meet and mingle, have a drink and chat about writing and books is such a fantastic way to both market and reach out to readers. And timing is everything, right? Because there will be a BookBuzz in Toronto on Thursday night, November 7, at The Crest at 794 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, from 7pm to 9pm. Here’s the website for all of the info! http://bookbuzz2013.wordpress.com/. I had the great pleasure of organizing this one with author Lydia Laceby and blogger Kaley Stewart.

Francine: Ooooh, sounds like fun! I’d love to be there!

Meredith (rolls eyes and smiles): You are going to be there. And me, too.

Francine (grins stupidly): Right.

Sam (beams): It’s going to be great! I hope we get to do more of these. Such a fun way to get “out there” with our books and touch readers.

Meredith: I know, Sam. It’s so fun! So what are some of the other ways you guys have been able to get “out there” with your books – and what are the challenges you’re facing? For me, with so many quality and affordable books available, I find getting people to click on my books to be extremely challenging. I make a lot of effort to get my books in the spotlight, but I do find that a large population of chick lit readers are still more likely to pay for a big name than to give indie authors, meaning both authors who self-publish as well as those who are published by small, independent presses, a chance, even at a lower price.

Sam: You’re right, Meri. I think marketing is challenging for any author, be they traditionally or indie published. For me, the hardest part was navigating social media. I didn’t even have a Facebook page until I published Finding Lucas! Learning how to use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, well, Pinterest is still a mystery to me, has been both incredible and scary. But, now that I’m using them, I find that I’m quite addicted. I also think it’s hard to gain exposure, but the reader/blogger/author community is so supportive, and I’m grateful to them.

Meredith: You can say that again. During the pre-release of Blogger Girl, I celebrated all things “blogging” by inviting guest bloggers to post on my website for a month long celebration.  As a result, there was already a lot of buzz about the book by the time it was officially launched. Additionally, while I always offer free copies of my books to bloggers in exchange for reviews, as well as participate in an organized blog tour, the blogging angle also helped get my foot in the door with popular beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers, who also agreed to promote Blogger Girl on their websites. Regardless of what avenue of publishing an author takes, marketing is pivotal.

All at once: Thank God for bloggers!

Francine: I’m not sure being “indie” is the big challenge for me. Even if I had a huge marketing budget and push behind me, I do find getting the word out about my books to be an awkward, embarrassing situation. Silly, I know, but I have a tendency to be shy. To be a “behind-the-scenes” kind of person. Which is why I enjoy writing. Marketing puts you right in the spotlight. And I’m old. Bright light is not as flattering as it may have once been. 🙂

Sam: Old? You’re only two years older than me! There are definitely so many more options for marketing now than ever before.

Meredith: Creativity is key.

Francine: Absolutely. As you guys know, I am a book publishing veteran, and I can tell you it’s amazing how formulaic print book marketing can be. This is because in traditional print publishing, if a book doesn’t take off right out of the gate, the remainder table is the fate! With ebooks, a book takes off when it does. There isn’t the same pressure to move those units quickly to make room in the warehouse for next season’s titles. The great thing is that an ebook can take time to grow. To that effect, I can “re-launch” The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything with this big birthday bash. I’m hoping this push will bring me more readers, more reviews, and also start building momentum for the books I plan to publish next year. I still feel like such a babe in the woods over all of this, though.

Meredith: We learn as we go. If I can give any new author starting out advice on how to launch an indie book, I’d say start getting reviews of your book as early as possible. With my first two novels, I didn’t start reaching out to bloggers for reviews until right before the book was being released. With Blogger Girl, I sent out ARCs over a month before the official launch and so by the time the book was published, I already had several reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It really made a difference as far as sales right out of the gate. I also urge you not to be stingy with offering free books. In addition to book bloggers, offer free copies of your book to readers in your target audience in exchange for a review. From my experience, readers are honored to be asked and if they like your book, they are extremely vocal about recommending it to their friends.

Francine: I agree. I also think that quality is key. It’s so important not to cheap out on your cover design or blurb. People can spot “homemade” a mile away. While that kind of thing can be charming for Pinterest, you want your book to be full-on-pro if you want readers to take you seriously. Also: Have your book edited. It’s heart-breaking to read bad reviews of books that are criticized not for plot points or characters, but for being sloppy. If you want to market your product as a quality product, produce a quality product!

Sam: Absolutely! Publishing a book is expensive, no doubt. But if being a professional author is what you really want to do, it is crucial to have the best book you can on the market. Hiring a professional editor, cover designer and formatter, if you need one, are some ways to create the most professional product. Here’s where I can do a bit of a shameless promo plug…

Francine: Thanks for taking one for the team, Sam!

Sam: By doing team edits on clients’ manuscripts, Francine and I have found it’s been fantastic to have more than one set of eyes on a story. I love working with you…

Francine: And I, you!

Sam: And it gives me great pleasure when we hand over the final product and our authors are so happy with our work.

Francine: Don’t forget that Meredith also does manuscript evaluations that are incredibly spot on.

Sam: So true. Her thorough and eagle-eyed beta read on my new novel really helped so much.

Meredith: Aw, thanks.

Francine: Seriously. Not blowing sunshine up your butt, Meri. When I read your reviews, I’m amazed at how much insight you have into the books you read–how much you care.

[Virtual group hug.]

Sam: Speaking of caring, I have to say the writer support groups I’ve found in the virtual world have changed my life. My friends and family are very proud of me, but it can be boring to listen to me prattle on about plot lines, sales, and promotions. Talking to and working with other authors who know exactly what my day is like has meant the world to me.

Meredith: Like right now!

Francine: True, dat. While we are all doing this to promote our various efforts, I have learned so much just speaking with you guys today.

Sam: I’ve learned I want to use “True, dat” in a sentence. But seriously, I hope we’ve been able to share more with readers than just the details of our various promotions.

Francine: Do you think the readers remember? Let’s remind them again!

For information on the Birthday Bash for The Girl the Gold Tooth & Everything, please click here.

For more information about the blog tour for Blogger Girl, click here.

For more information about BookBuzz Toronto, click here.

Meredith: See you guys next week at BookBuzz!

Francine: Looking forward to it!

Sam: I can’t wait to welcome you both to my city!

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Connect with Francine, Samantha, and me by clicking on the links below. Have a great day, everyone!

 Author Photo_Francine LaSala

Find Francine LaSala online:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/francinelasala

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Francine-LaSala-Author/223109337705912

Blog: http://clippingsintheshed.wordpress.com/

Creative Services website: https://francinelasalaproductions.wordpress.com/

Author website: www.francinelasala.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4679863.Francine_LaSala

The “Joy Jar” Project: https://www.facebook.com/groups/318621974904272/

Buy The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything JUST 99 CENTS THIS WEEK!: viewBook.at/B009NF9VQ2

Girl_Cover (1)

Buy Rita Hayworth’s Shoes: viewBook.at/B007ZHVB1I

 

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Find Meredith Schorr online:

 Twitter: @meredithschorr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/MeredithSchorrAuthor

Website/Blog: meredithschorr.com

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4355520.Meredith_Schorr

 

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/meredithgschorr

Buy Blogger Girl:

BG_front_cover_large

http://www.amazon.com/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375994653&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=blogger+girl+meredith+schorr

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blogger-Girl-ebook/dp/B00EDTLDSW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376945948&sr=1-1&keywords=blogger+girl

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blogger-girl-meredith-schorr/1116358028?ean=2940148503125

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blogger-girl/id686654939?mt=11

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Find Samantha Stroh Bailey online:

samheadshotauthorcentral 

Blog http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.ca/

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/perfectpen

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samantha-Stroh-Bailey/420736011289684

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832614.Samantha_Stroh_Bailey

 

Business website: http://perfectpencommunications.com/

 

Buy Finding Lucas

FLNov22Bigpaperback

 

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Lucas-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1383158769&sr=1-1&keywords=finding+lucas

 

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Lucas-Samantha-Stroh-Bailey-ebook/dp/B007VIIU6A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383158822&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+lucas

 

KOBO http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/Finding-Lucas/-wfpLcDV6keHZR-T80qCUg