Category Archives: Author Branding

Welcome to #Walmart

In this never ending quagmire of publishing, I discovered today that my ebooks are all available at WALMART.Com

So, if you shop Walmart on line and are looking for some bargains on my books, here you go. These titles are currently available.

Skater’s Waltz 

There’s No Place like Home

First Impressions 

The VOices of Angels

Passion’s Palette

A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights

3 Wishes

Cooking with Kandy

A Shot at love

CAn’t Stand the Heat

SO, in addition to Amazon, WRP, Nook, Kobo, Apple and Google +, I’m really just everywhere these days! hahaha

FInd me here, too:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Candy Hearts, Family Saga, First Impressions, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Hope's Dream, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, WIld Rose Press AUthor, Writing

1 of my top 5 days!

Last week I was delighted to attend a day long seminar in Manchester, NH  of the New Hampshire Conference for Women

I’ve wanted to attend for years, but something always came up that was a time suck and I couldn’t. This year, when I heard who the featured speaker was, I pushed everything else on my agenda to the to do pile, because there was no way I was going to miss out on hearing one of my heroes, Jack Canfield, speak.

Jack Canfield is the motivating force behind the SUCCESS PRINCIPLES and the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL books that have been in print and production for almost 20 years and show no sign of slowing down anytime in the future. I was a fan with the very first CSFTS book.  I became a devotee when one of my own stories was published in the series.

In 2011  I submitted a piece of non-fiction I’d written after seeing an advertisement in Writer’s Digest for calls to a new  addition to the series, FOR EVERY MOM’S SOUL. There’s not a lot I know about, but I know what it’s like being a mom, so I sat down and wrote a few pages on my reflections of being a mom to a daughter, and an only child. Well, miracles happen every day peeps, because a month later I received a letter from the CSFTS franchise telling me my piece was going to be added into the 2012 edition titled CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOM’S SOUL. (I’m on page 87)

To say I was excited would be an absolute understatement. It was around this time (2011-12) that I started toying with trying to get my writing career ( such as it was) up and running. I’d had a lot of success with non-ficiton, lifestyle stuff published in magazines, and some real success with fictional short stories in literary  magazines, but I wanted to break into the book reading market.

If you’ve ever read anything of my journey to that first book’s publication in this blog, you know it was a strange, twisted road to publishing success.

But I made it and in 2015 my first book hit the shelves ( and Kindles!!)

I can truly attribute my desire and my knowing I was going to make it someday in the book publishing world to that first publication in the CSFTS book.

So, when I heard Jack Canfield was going to be the speaker, I had to attend. And boy, am I glad I did. I brought my copy of the book I was in with me,  screwed up my courage, and approached him to ask him to autograph the book and tell him what being included in it had done for my career. Someone told me I was so brave to go up to him and ask for his autograph when no one else was around. My thought was this: I wasn’t brave, because I just remembered what I feel like every time someone asks me to autograph one of my books: honored! He was as gracious and open and kind and sweet as could be. He not only signed the book but wrote a lovely message as well.

Two times in my life I have dreamed about meeting the people who influenced my decision to try my hand at writing: Nora Roberts and Jack Canfield. And I’ve now met both of them.

Dreams do come true, peeps. Every. Single Day.

Find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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#SundaySnippet 10.21.18

So this weeks selection is from my last holiday release A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. The reason I’m going back in time here is to get you (hopefully!) ramped up for the next San Valentino Holiday release, CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS, which comes out on 12.12.18. Both stories are stand-alones – you don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second – but really, this family is so crazy and so much fun, you should read them all anyway! But that’s just my opinion…hee hee.

“Gia, I know a guy who’s looking for a numbers person,” Uncle Sonny said. “A new business venture he’s putting together on the Lower West Side. One of those trendy cybercafes. Frou-frou coffees with names no one can pronounce, big-ass muffins and breads and stuff. He could use someone with a math brain like yours to help him with the books and the spreadsheets. I could put a good word in his ear for ya.”

He was seated across the table from me, his bright blue suspenders sitting over his old-as-sin, used-to-be- white, wife-beater tee. The only time Uncle Sonny ever wore an actual shirt was when he left the house. Any time he was inside, no matter whose house it was—his own or someone else’s—he removed his dress shirt, electing to be comfortable in his undershirt and pants. The suspenders were a necessary item, not a sartorial statement, because he’d gained some substantial weight in the past few years and hated the wincing feeling of a belt around his ever-expanding waistline. His pants hung underneath his bulging abdomen and would have fallen to the floor if not anchored by the suspenders.

Before I could respond, Mama beat me to it.

“Salvatore San Valentino.” Her voice rose to a pitch that could summon dogs. “You will not give my bambina’s name to any of your wise-guy friends, do I make myself clear?”

“Frankie, honey,” Sonny said, all sweetness and light oozing from his voice, a smile Nonna always termed oily across his mouth. “No worries. This guy’s legit.”

“No one you know is legit,” she shot back, rising and moving around the table with the filled pasta bowl to give refills.
She slapped a wooden spoon the size of a cup measure onto my brother Gianni’s plate with a thwack. “It’s bad enough everything you own fell off a truck.” She moved onto my youngest brother, Edoardo’s plate. Thwack. “And that you associate with people on police wanted lists.” On to Antonio. Another thwack. “But you’re Joey’s brother, so I overlook all that.” Thwack onto Nonna’s plate—although she hadn’t eaten any of her first pasta round yet. “But I draw the line when you want to involve my baby girl in the businesses of your low-life, crooked friends.”

With a final thwack to Daddy’s plate, she slammed the bowl, which was almost as wide as she was, back onto the table and picked up the gravy boat.

“Who wants sauce?” she snapped, her crystal-blue gaze flitting with anger around the table.

“Here, Mama.” Chloe’s husband, Matt, stood and took the antique piece of imported Italian china from her. “I’ll do it. You sit. Eat. You must be tired from working at the church all day and then making this wonderful meal for us all.”

Gently, he nudged the gravy bowl from her hands, charming her with his dashing smile and melted- chocolate-colored eyes.

Unable to resist smiling back at him—he was after all the golden son-in-law since he was a doctor and had given her two more grandchildren to fawn over—Mama patted his cheeks. “You’re such a good boy, Matteo. I’m so happy my Chloe married you.”

From next to me, I heard my brother Paolo mutter, “Suck up,” and I choked a laugh into my napkin.

Peggy here: God, I love this family!!!!

Buy links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Barnes and Nobel // Google books // Kobo 

also available in audio!


Audible //

Find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, audiobooks, Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Why I love #Pinterest

When someone says they are obsessed with something I always take it to be a little over the top as a way of describing how much they like something. The word has been given a Kardashian-elevation in our current pop culture and like literally was a few years ago, the word has become cliched and, in my opinion,  annoying to hear.

The true definition of obsession states: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.

Well…I’m going to eat that proverbial crow here because there really is no other word that can adequately describe how I feel about my Pinterest page. I am, ( sorry, peeps!) obsessed with it.

I discovered Pinterest a few years ago when I was looking for pictures to give an actual face to my characters. In the past I’d torn-up fashion and celebrity magazines in my attempt to find the perfect depiction for the  fictional person I was creating. I had scores of notebooks with taped-in cut outs from those mags filling my office. Along came Pinterest and my cutting-taping-hoarding ways were finished!

I’ve made Pinterest boards for all the books I’ve written since I discovered this gem of a site. For the three books coming out between 11.5 and 12.12.18, I’ve been going hog-wild with pins. Here are a few you can click on to see what I mean:

HOPE’S DREAM Vermont Series

DEARLY BELOVED ( this book has quite a few boards attached to it:) Izzy’s Shower  // Nanny Fee // O’Dowd

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS Baked with Love

I was talking to someone the other day about microwaves ( weird segue, I know, but hear me out) and what we did before we had them, like putting a pot on the stove with water to heat a baby’s bottle, for instance, or to actually turn on the oven to reheat leftovers for dinner. With the advent of the microwave,  heating and reheating got so much easier, that now I wonder how we ever actually survived with out it.

I think the same way about Pinterest. It’s made creating vision boards so much easier. Yes, they are virtual vision boards, not the old fashioned 3-D ones that we made from cutting and taping, but they’re so much easier to create now. And they take up no space in your office at all anymore since they are on the computer.

So…

My apologies to all those people I silently made fun of and gave an-in-my-head-eyeroll to when they said the word obsessed. I understand what you mean when you say it about something now.

I really do.

You can visit my Pinterest page and all my other obsessive sites here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

 

 

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Something new…part 2

Last week I wrote a blog post about a new marketing strategy  I’ve adopted to connect with new readers ( and old ones, too!). Facebook Live Videos. 

If you know one thing about me, you know that I absolutely cringe when I see myself on film and hear myself on audiotape. A perpetually scratchy, whiney voice plus a really crooked face are the reasons I never went into the performing/visual arts. In all honesty, people would have paid me to NOT speak.

But….

In this ever-changing-by-the-minute publishing industry I am now immersed in, I need to not only frequently connect with the people who are already reading my books, but with new readers who haven’t heard of me yet. To that end I’ve been taking a month long author marketing class. It was here I first heard about author facebook live videos for promotion.

 

Now that I’ve started doing the videos, the next step, according to the marketing guru I’ve been listening to, is to find alternate ways of promoting them. Facebook is great, but you want to increase traffic to those videos, and not have them seen by just the people who are already your “friends” nor do you want to solely depend on those friends to share the vids with their friends who might not be your friends.

Confused? Think how I feel.

Next step, then, is to offer them on a bigger, wider, platform. Well, what platform for videos is bigger and wider than You Tube?

Yup, peeps. I’ve become a You-Tube queen. I actually, freely, and of my own volition, put my crooked mug – my videoed crooked mug – on display for all the world to view and comment on. Butterflies have nothing on the nerves flapping in my stomach.

But I’ll be honest and tell you that first video I did had more hits, likes, and shares than any  post I’ve written or put up in over a year, so yay for that!

I’ve added the youtube link to my “find me here” spiel at the bottom of most of my blog pieces and I’m hoping that people who have no idea who I am click on that link if they read one of my  posts.

It seems that the marketing and promo end of the publishing-a-book-business is never going to end for me, so I’m trying to embrace it as best  I can. And I’m smiling while I do it. Well….trying to smile and not cry, at least.

 

If you’re looking for me, here I am: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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Something new….

I’ve been taking an online marketing course for the past 11 days and one of the biggest takeaways from the guy giving the course has been how to connect with people and readers in a more personal way. Since I live in the woods in a tiny New England town and I don’t get out much because, you know….writing…connecting with and meeting new people has been a problem for me. I can’t afford to attend every single book signing out there or travel to every conference.

Really, all I want to do is write.

But…

This is the age of easy access to people via the internet, so I’ve moved into the twenty-first century and tried something new, something the course director says should boost my online presence ( read:book sales!) if done correctly.

I can only hope I’ve done it correctly. Hee hee.

So, long story short, I did my very first FACEBOOK LIVE EVENT yesterday. It was terrifying, just me, sitting in front of the laptop, talking. Terrifying, I tell you.

I don’t even like to get my picture taken much less be videoed.

But….

I made it a short piece ( 10 minutes) and talked all about something near and dear to me, the Great American Read blog I’d done that morning. I’d had the forethought to make a few notes on what I wanted to say so that made it easier. I will admit I rambled a bit and if you watch the video you can hear me clicking my pen nervously off camera – something that sounds really loud to me.  I had someone else tell me they didn’t hear it at all, so I hope that’s true for the masses.

Depending on the response I get to the video (and this blog, talking about it) I will do another. Everything horrifying always gets better when you do it a few times, right?

Okay, let’s be real here because this is me: I’m never going to be comfortable being videoed. Not gonna happen in this lifetime. All I can see when I watch it is how crooked my face is, how my left eye is ridiculously smaller than my right, and my neck is starting to resemble the Thanksgiving turkey I’m going to serve this year. Add in the fact my voice sounds like a million pointy nails scratching against chalkboard and you can understand why I didn’t pursue any type of career in the performing arts. If you do watch it I suggest you keep the volume low so that my voice doesn’t annoy you too much.

And if you do watch it...BLESS YOU. If it’s something that you find either funny, interesting, worth the ten minutes you lost watching it, I’d really appreciate it if you could either pass the link on to your friends, or drop me a word or two in the comments section either here, or on my FB page, telling me your thoughts and reactions. I’m not being falsely humble and fishing for compliments, peeps. I truly need advice on how to do this better and more effectively.

So. I’m off to do the one thing that doesn’t give me agita: write.

When I’m not making myself nervous about public speaking you can find me here::Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

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Introducing…..

Okay, that was a fake-out! You probably thought I was introducing you to someone, didn’t you.

Sorry, not sorry. I just couldn’t figure out a way to do this without having to post. Anyhoo.

I have another social media site that just went live where you can follow me and get deals on my books and order them quickly. It’s called BookGorilla, and you can follow me by clicking this link: my profile.

I’m going to include it in the myriad of other follow sites I’ve got listed here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me

Hee  hee!

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Hashtags to live by….maybe.

The other day I as talking about marketing with one of my non-writing fringe friends and she asked me why I always insert hashtags with random words after them on my social media sites. I have to tell you, it made me feel good knowing I knew the answer to this question. My ego also went up a few notches because I knew something about social media that she didn’t – and she has young kids. I add that part because we all know anyone born after the millennials have media stuff encoded into their DNA!

But I digress…

I answered her question and after I did she said, “I still don’t get it. If people are following  you anyway, why keep putting those tags on things?” I had to then explain the theory of GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS AND WHY I NEED THEM/WANT THEM.

Okay, the reason I put that in capitals is because this fringe friend doesn’t use social media in a business sense, but strictly for personal reasons. She finally “got” why I use hashtags with my postings, instagram pix, tweets, etc. People follow certain hashtags across their social sites and even pre-program their sites to upload ( Download? I always get these two confused!!!) any new postings that feature these tags when they are put up. I used the #amwriting hashtag on an instagram post a few weeks ago and the next day I had 25 new follows based on that one alone!

Since I was born waaaaaaaaaay before the millennials ruled the world, I had to learn all this stuff the old fashioned way: by reading about it and asking tons of questions to people who knew what the heck they were doing as far as marketing, branding, and making their businesses grow. One of the best blogs ( and nicest people!)I’ve found is Stacy Nachajski and her blog Great Brook Media .   You can click on the previous link and find some absolutely fab articles/blogs she’s written and posted, along with tutorials about all things media related. Frog around on her website. You’re sure to find something you didn’t think you needed to know!

SO, most of my hashtags are writing related. I mean, duh! What else would they be?? Hee Hee.Some of my favorite hashtags to add when I’ve written blog posts or put up instagram pix are the following:

These are all for Twitter:

#5amwritersclub

#behonestin4words

#tagabookbloggerTuesday

#tagyourfavauthorthursday

#worstsadviceeverin5words

#worstpickuplines

#amwriting

These are for blog posts and Instagram posts:

#amwriting

#amediting

#readromance

#romancewriter

#romance #contemporaryromance

#goodreadsreaders

#romancereaders

Every day on Instagram I do a positive, spiritual, or self affirming quote using these hashtags:

#morningmotivation  #Personalgrowth #believeinyourself

One thing I always try to do when I post to Instagram and Twitter is to include an actual person if I’ve referenced them. For instance, when I post this blog I will make sure I cite @greatbrookmedia   in the posting so people who follow Stacy can see the post and share, like or retweet it. This helps her by having some new people see her site through my contacts, and it helps me by potentially garnering new viewers to me via her link.

Got it??
So that’s why the right hashtags mean so much when you want to grow your followers, business, and on-line presence.

When you finish reading this, look down below at the section marked: categories and tags. You’ll see all the hashtags I assigned to this post.

Here’s another great post I found just as I was writing this post on what to do and not do with hashtags.

And as always, you can find me – with and without hashtags – here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

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Social Media and the Quest for Name Recognition…

That’s a wordy title, but it’s an accurate one for what I’ve been mulling over lately.

I’m a household name. In MY household…no other. This is tantamount to the Kiss of Death for a writer, because no one is going to read your books if they don’t know who the heck you are.

True ‘dat, right?

In the past, publishers have had entire teams of people who diligently took steps to make sure their writers’ names were recognized easily. Marketing campaigns, publicity tours, multi-city book signings. Any and every effort the team could get the author’s name to be recognized by the general book reading public was made. With the advent of less traditional publishing avenues, most of the tried and true publishers now are only moving their advertising dollars toward their already recognizable, big-name, authors.

What’s the relatively unknown writer to do?

I’m traditionally published by two presses, Kensington/Lyrical Shine and The Wild Rose Press. Both love their authors, make no mistake about that. They are in the business of selling books and they need authors to  achieve their goal. But taking a chance on a relatively new author  – and by chance I mean throwing advertising and marketing dollars  behind them to promote them – is something both of them are reluctant to do. In the WRP case, they do minimal to no marketing for their authors – the authors and the other writers associated with the company do the bulk share of getting the word out  about a new book release. Lyrical Shine has a marketing department, but with so many authors on their docket, those dollars are stretched thin.

So, what’s an author like me – unknown, no advertising or marketing background – to do, you ask?
Well, of course I’ll tell ya.

When my first book was scheduled for publication I frantically tried to learn whatever I could about marketing and how to promote myself on a nearly non-existent budget. It was hard, peeps. Real hard.

I joined TWITTER, had my best friend set-up my WEBSITE, and made a Facebook Professional Page. I didn’t go out and employ any book-tour companies via the web because I didn’t know they existed back then!!! I garnered several hundred new followers from all this, but it wasn’t enough to make me more well known as an author ( and you know that ultimately means – no sales!)

When the second and third books rolled around and were ready to be published, I had discovered on-line book tours, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM, and Goodreads.

I got even more followers and saw a tiny uptick in sales, so a good thing, but still, my name is not showing up on any bestseller lists, or on any “Watch for the next book from this fab author” lists.

By the time I got my Lyrical contract, I had joined Triberr, BookBub,  and  Google + and started entering more and more contests. My thought was if I finaled in any of them, that will introduce my name to more people. If I, GOD-PLEASE! – won any of them,  my name and my work would be more accessible and known.

Haven’t won any yet, but have finaled in a bunch, so that’s a positive thing, right?

My first book was published in 2015. Since then, 3 years later, I’ve got 2,260 Twitter followers, 1343 people on my FB author account, on Triberr I have a personal reach of 183K and on BookBub I have 281 followers.

Now, those numbers are…okay. But they need to be waaaaaaaaaaay more to have any kind of impact on the romance reading world.

So…

I have a favor to ask ( you saw that coming, didn’t you?!)

If you aren’t already following me across my media, please take this opportunity to do so. At the end of most of my blog pieces I usually list all my Social Media sites and beg, er, ask you to find me. Well, please continue to do that, but could you also please follow me? Here’s the list:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

And if you are already following me across my SM sites – #BLESSYOU and #ILOVEYOU

It’s so humbling to beg!

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

#ChristmasinJuly Spotlight

Hey all, while I’m working my butt off at RWA I’m featured on the Christmas in July fete today over at N.N. Light’s Bookhaven

Drop by for a chance to win a copy and for a rafflecopter for a $100 Amazon GC!! Read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS now and when CHRISTMAS AND CANOLLIS releases this holiday season, the San Valentino family be old friends!

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Filed under #RWA2018, Author, Author Branding, author promotion