Category Archives: branding

A question for book bloggers, book reviewers, and authors

So yesterday there was a tweet thread from a wonderful book blogger/reviewer who received an email from an author stating this:  I screen shotted it so you could see the actual tweet thread)

This struck me wrong on so many levels that my head actually hurt. Talk about elitist. Now, I recognize the author ( to play Devil’s advocate here) is probably an indie author who has to pay for her books and wants to make money. If she gives out arcs that don’t have the ROI in terms of a “good” review or no review at all, she probably feels she is losing money.

You know what? Too bad, Madame Author.

If you don’t want to take the chance that you will get anything less than 5 stars, then you’d better write a 10 star novel. My guess? Not gonna happen.

Did you ever think the people who aren’t leaving reviews are trying to spare your feelings? That maybe your books are so horrible they feel bad for you and don’t want to leave bad reviews for fear of hurting your feelings? Or that maybe they couldn’t finish your lousy book and that’s why they didn’t leave a review??’

I get lousy reviews when I put up arcs, too. All authors do, even the ones who have publishing contracts with major houses and rake in oodles of cash every year. Every single person on the planet has an opinion and not everyone who reads your book is going to adore it. To state categorically that if you, as a book reviewer, don’t leave a high review you will be removed from further arcs is tantamount to bullying in my book, and you know what? I would never read an author’s work who stated something like that.

I use Booksprout.co and Netgalley for my arc reviews. On Netgalley, some of the reviewers can be downright mean spirited, but that’s the nature of the game. Recently, I realized that several people who requested arcs on Booksprout never left reviews and I wondered why, so for my new set of arcs I put up a statement that said, if you don’t leave a review I won’t authorize further books for you. I immediately took that statement down because I realized what I’ve said above. Maybe the people who didn’t leave reviews didn’t like the book and instead of giving a low review, they simply didn’t write one. Or maybe they haven’t gotten to the book yet since everyone reads at a different speed. Whatever the reason, I knew right away that was the wrong thing to say, so I took the statement down.

Too bad the author of the above statement didn’t think as quick as I did.

So I have a question for anyone reading this who reviews books or blogs about them: would you continue to read an author who said something as blatant as the above mentioned author did? What are your feelings about her/his statement? For authors, do you think the author had a valid point to stating what she did, and if so, why?

Inquiring minds ( okay mine! ) want to know.

Until next time ~ Peg

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How many books does it take to land a Literary Agent?

Remember that tootsie pop commercial “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Toostie pop?” If you’re over 40 you do.

I’m waaaaaay over 40.

But I digress.

I’ve been TRADITIONALLY published for 4 years now. My first book hit the shelves from The Wild Rose press in 2015. Since then I’ve had 3 books published with Kensington/Lyrical,  9 more published with WRP and 3 more contracted, one ( so far) published with Limitless and 3 more planned for that series. I’ve won over 20 industry writing awards for my books, the most recent, the 2018 OKRWA International Digital Award and the 2019 Golden Quill Award. I’ve done speaking engagements on romance topics, I have a fierce social media presence and a good following of readers and bloggers and I’m an active member of my local RWA chapter.

I’ve done all the work to get those books contracts, too. On my own. No Literary Agent. And let me repeat – these are traditionally published, not self-pubbed books.

So, why am I still trying to land a Literary Agent when I’ve had such success on my own getting book contracts?

A good question and one I’ve had a lot of people ask me.

I see having a Literary Agent has having someone who is always guarding my six ( or, at my back for those of you who don’t watch NCIS). Someone who will do their best to try to find the publishing contracts for me, instead of me having to invest so much time and energy in doing so when I could be writing. A literary agent knows the ins and outs of the publishing community, what’s new, what’s going out of style. They’ll be able to garner you international rights so your books get to other readers in other countries; they know what conferences to attend, what CONS to do books signings at to increase your exposure and get you more sales. They are your first professional reader and editor, able to tell you where you need to make changes to your manuscript to get it “publishing ready.”

Having a Literary Agent may seem old fashioned to some of the new wave of Indie writers, but I still see having one as an entree to places in publishing I could never go to or get into without one. Literary Agents have relationships with publishing houses that I never will – or can. Editors for those houses trust their judgement. If they talk up an author and her work, those editors will listen instead of unknown me writing a query letter that will probably go into a spam file.

I respect Literary Agents and think they are so worth having. You have a doctor to protect your health; a dentist to protect your teeth. A literary agent protects you and your work. Makes sense, no?

And yet, I still haven’t been able to get any LA’s interested in representing me, so I ask again, how many published books – traditionally published books – does it take before someone will be interested in representing me?

The answer to the tootsie pop question was 3. It takes 3 licks to get to center of a tootsie pop.

I’ve queried upward of 25-30 Literary Agents the past few years. And I’m still not …at the center of the tootsie pop.

Le sigh. Maybe this year at #RWA2019 I’ll finally meet the Agent of my dreams. I can always hope and dream……

Hey, did you know my current book  is currently on sale exclusively at AMAZON and KU?
Here are the links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2XmMfBn
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JkOZpA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2XcgTZS
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2xnWg2x

Going to #RWA2019? Follow me on the hashtag #Peggyworksaconference for daily updates on what’s going down and who I’m fangirl stalking.

Until  Next Time~ Peg

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Filed under branding, Contemporary Romance, Romance Books, RWA

What’s in a name? Well, placement of a book on a book shelf, for one thing…

I’ve never been quiet about the fact I’m not a fan of the 50 Shades phenom. I don’t read erotica or erotic romance and the thought of having to endure a three book arc on the subject wasn’t something in my reading desire wheelhouse.

Now, before the haters start commenting, know this. I applaud EL James. I truly do. She wrote a series that hadn’t been seen or read before and made quite the beaucoup bucks doing so. So, yay for her. The subject matter simply didn’t appeal to me so that’s why I never read it or watched the movies made from the book.

The title of this blog may have you scratching your head and saying, “What’s EL James got to do with placement on a book shelf?”

Let me ‘esplain, Lucy.

The name on my books is Peggy Jaeger. J.A.E.G.E.R.

The name on ELJames books is, well, EL James. J.A.M.E.S.

The reason I mention this is because I was in my local independent bookstore, the Toadstool, the other day and saw this:

 

Get a gander at that second shelf. My books, my sensual, contemporary romances about strong women, the families who support them and the men who can’t live without them, are sitting smack-dab next to books that…are not about those kinds of people. This is the luck of the alphabetical draw. My fear is that people will see her name, my books next to them, and equate the subject matter in her books with the kind that I write. This is a valid fear, too, because I’ve had more than 1 person come up to me at book signings, author events, and when I’ve been on the radio, and ask, “Do you write crap like that 50 Shade stuff?” And yes, that is a direct quote. So, my fear is justified, kids.

I knew I couldn’t complain to the manager because, really, it’s not his fault our names are so close alphabetically. Also, complaining would make me look like a diva-bitch, something I never want to be, especially since the Toadstool has been so good to me.

So, I grin and go on, hoping that someone will be trolling the Romance aisle, see her new book displayed and then their gaze will drift toward my books. They’ll pick one of mine up, read the blurb and realize my books are sososososo different from EL’s. And they’ll buy one of mine, instead.

Hope springs eternal, kids.

Until next time. ~Peg

 

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books

Chapters R’ Us! New Chapter Samplers from #TheWildRosePress

SO, are you looking for some new-to-you authors and books? Like Contemporary or Steamy Romance? I’ve got sumthin’ sumthin’ for you. The Wild Rose Press has two chapter samplers out now, each just 99 Cents and each with a collection of first chapters from over 20 authors.

The first, a Contemporary Romance Collection, titled FALLING FOR YOU, features the following authors, and serves all genres of contempRomance from RomComs ( me!) to Romantic suspense and more.

Sunset in Laguna by Claire Marti
Dearly Beloved by Peggy Jaeger
The Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon
Morgan’s Walk by Suzelle Johnston
Only the Beginning by Daphne Dubois
Saying Yes to the Mess by M. Kate Quinn
The Saffron Conspiracy: A Novel by Marilyn Baron
Operation Sizzle by Darcy Lundeen
Without Love by Theresa Stillwagon
Don’t Let Him Go by Kay Harris

And for those readers who like a little more spice, heat, and passion in their reads, PASSIONATE CRAVINGS is for you.

Finding Redemption by Desiree Holt
Ella’s Triple Pleasure by Anna Lores
Angel’s Collar by Anna Hague
When You Close Your Eyes by Roxanne D. Howard
Sin City Alibi by Sophia Ryan
Heaven’s Watcher by Kayden Claremont
Highland Dom by Marie Tuhart
Play A Game With Me by Cadence Vonn
Kilty Pleasures by Nancy Fraser
Through the Red Door by Sadira Stone
Better To Marry Than To Burn by Michal Scott
In Deep by Stacy Gold

More Samplers from different romance genres will be coming in upcoming months, so stay tuned!

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Filed under Author, branding, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#L&SR #WednesdayBloggingchallenge 2.27.19

Those of you who know anything about me know I am a here-and-now kinda girl. I like living in the time I am currently ensconced in and it’s the main reason I write contemporary romance. I, simply put, dig the now.

Today’s prompt for the L&SR Wednesday Blog Challenge is Fictional worlds I’d rather not visit. This one’s a no-brainer for me: Middle Earth. So not the here and now.

I’ll admit this freely and face the wrath of Tolkien fans everywhere. I am not…a fan. Don’t get me wrong. I know he’s an icon, a brilliant writer, a fabulous linguist, and a visionary.

I get that. I really do.

But….

I’ve tried numerous times during my lifetime to read Lord of the Rings and have never been able to get passed the first few pages. I tried reading the Hobbit, too. Same result.

And to further irritate and annoy Historical Fantasy and Sci Fi fans worldwide, I don’t want to visit Westeros either. Sorry, George R.R. Martin minions.

 

I’ve never even seen the popular HBO series.

So, go ahead and hate me if you must. Le sigh.

Since this is weekly blog hop, let’s see where the other authors featured don’t want to visit, either. Click here: L&SRWednesdayBlogChallenge.

And if you decide not to hate me because I don’t read fantasy or sci-fi, you can follow me here:

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

Here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

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Filed under Author Branding, author promotion, branding, Long and SHort Reviews, Romance, Romance Books

Early Holiday Shopping Guide

Need a holiday shopping hand this year?

I’ve teamed up with over forty-five award-winning/bestselling authors to bring you the ultimate holiday gift guide for any booklover. The best part: it’s an online store. Scroll away and do all your holiday shopping in one place. Who knows? You might even find a few books you’d enjoy for yourself.

I’ve got 5 of my own books listed there:

A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights

Christmas and Cannolis

Cooking with Kandy

Dearly Beloved ( A Match made in Heaven)

Hope’s Dream

Just click on the following link and you’ll get directly to the gift guide. Look around. You may find another one of your favorite authors ( aside from me, that is. Hee Hee)

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/holiday-gift-guide

You can always 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 A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, author promotion, branding, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Dearly Beloved, Deerbourne Inn, Food lover, Foodie, Hope's Dream, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

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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When I’m not writing I’m….


So today’s prompt is “creative outlets I enjoy.” You already know I lovelovelove to cook. But did you know I also like to paint and restore old steamer trunks?

I’ve done 5 trunks over the past 3 years using a decoupage method. When they are complete, I give them away as gifts to people around me who ask. My daughter has 2, my BFF has one, and I’ve got the other 2. This one is sitting in my office behind the couch I use to take naps in when the words aren’t flowing as fast as I want them to.

I also like to paint – crafty paint. I  hand paint canvas bags  and give them away at my book signings to readers. Since I write a romance series about cooking, the bags are all food themed:

 

Now, it’s always been my DREAM to have a hard-back book contract. Because I’m one of those people who believe in  putting actions behind dreams to propel them into reality, I also handpaint wooden “books” and then insert my own POD ( print of demand) paperbacks into them, also for readers at book signings as a gift from me;

The readers I’ve given them to have been thrilled because the “book” is a nice way to keep the actual book fresh and new-looking.

So…crafting and painting is my superpower, er…creative outlet. What’s yours?

Let’s see what other creative outlets the writers in this hop have: MFRWauthors

And, of course, when I’m not writing, painting, cooking, or restoring stuff, you can always find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author Branding, author promotion, branding, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Social Media is here to stay…. #MFRWauthor

Another Friday, another blog challenge topic from MFRWauthor. Heehee. This one’s another easy peasy one to write.

Up until I had my first book published, the only Social Media platform I used was Facebook. It kept me in touch with my daughter who’d been in college, and I had fun seeing the posts from all her friends.

Fast forward to June 2014. I signed my first book contract and was told by the publisher that I needed to have a social media presence in order to garner readers and followers. I think the first thing I said was “no.” All I wanted to do was write, not be on-line with strangers all the time talking myself and my book up. That thought went the way of the dinosaur when I found out how effective a marketing tool being on social media sites can be, and in reality, is.

With my daughter’s and my best friend’s help – both of whom are techy and marketing gurus, I started this website, joined Twitter, found Pinterest and Instagram, and became a Goodreads “author.” In addition, I developed a FB following on my author page.

By the time my second book was released, I was proficient in all these sites.

And every time I thought I was done, another “must be seen on” social media site emerged. Book Bub, Triberr, Tumbler, Linked-In came along and with them, my participation.

But this is a blog about our favorite SM platforms, so to be true to the challenge, my absolute favorite it TRIBERR. The reasons vary, but the main one is REACH,  a term that gives new meaning to what you really think it mean.

On TRIBERR I follow many book-, romance-book, and writing web-blogs. Each site has at least a reach of a minimum of 2000 readers. A few have hundreds of thousands. What that means is, if I a member of that TRIBE, ( and yes, that’s what it’s called!) and I post a new blog, the potential for people who don’t know me from Adam to see it is huge. Really huge. Of course, there is reciprocity involved in all this. If I want my blog posts to be seen, I need to publicize other blogs as well. Tit for tat; or in this case, blog for blog. Every morning I log onto my Triberr account and then scroll through the Tribes I am a member of. When I see interesting posts, or posts I feel will be beneficial for my followers, I schedule them on my Twitter feed. That way, my 2000+ Twitter followers, get to read things by people whom they do not ordinarily follow.

Get it?

If you’re a blogger, Triberr is a great place to garner new readership, so that’s why it is my current favorite SM site.

And you can follow me on Tribber ( and all my other sites) here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

Now, since this is a blog challenge and hop, visit the other authors here to find out what their favorite social media platforms are and why.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Romance, Romance Books

Imposter syndrome….

Last month at my NHRWA meeting, one of my uber-talented and wonderful writing chaptermates spoke a phrase I had never heard before:  Imposter Syndrome. She gave me a very good definition of the word, but when I got home I decided to delve a little more into the meaning. Here’s the best explanation I found of it:

“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” ~My 2008 Harvard Business Review

Hmmm.

That kinda sounds like very writer I know.

I’m plagued with doubts about my writing Every Single Day of my life. Does that mean I have I.S.? 

I worry that my next book will be trash, my editor will have me completely rewrite it, the public will hate it – and me – and I’ll have to go out and get a job cleaning floors at night in office buildings to make ends meet ( not that there’s anything wrong with that!!)  Does that mean I have I.S.?

When I read a less than flattering review of one of my books ( and by less than flattering I mean a 1 on Goodreads and Amazon!!) I think : this is it. I’m done for. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. No one will read this book now. Does that mean I have I.S.?

The moment I read something back I’ve written and think, “this sucks wind so bad, it’s a hurricane of a mess!” I start to sweat, my heart rate goes tachycardic, and I get a sick, vomit-worthy sensation swell up in my throat. Does this mean I have I.S.?

 

No. Emphatically no. I KNOW I am a decent writer. I may never win any major writing awards, or have a million seller, but that’s okay. I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated here: Even if I’d never had any book of mine published, I still would have kept writing because I love doing it so much. I didn’t need accolades, royalties ( not that they are necessarily a bad thing!)  or good reviews to validate that I AM A WRITER.

This, I think, is the difference between thinking you might have I.S. and actually having it. My sense of self worth, my idea of success, my feelings of value, are not tied up in whether or not the book reading world knows my name, buys my books, or clamors to retweet anything I’ve put on Social Media. What it adds up to is that – in my very humble opinion – I have a strong, well defined, and productive EGO. And I’m not talking about the posturing, self important, look-at-me-and-no-one-else part of an Ego. I mean, simply, I know my worth, am okay with it, and can hold my head up high.

Okay, peeps, here’s my writing PSA for the day: STOP THINKING YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER AT THIS WHOLE WRITING THING. You write, ergo ( and don’t I just love being able to use that word!!) YOU ARE A WRITER!!!

‘Nuff said.

Looking for me? Here I am:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under Author, branding, Contemporary Romance