Friday, May 8, 2015

Getting Your Story and Book on T.V. in 5 Steps, by Rodney Fife

This article by publicist Rodney Fife caught my attention, and he generously agreed to allow me to reprint it here in my blog. His tips on marketing in the digital age are needful for most authors who, like me, find marketing their work their weakest gift on the publishing wheel. 
Fife worked as a publicist with a Utah-based publishing firm before launching Ironrod Media. More of Rodney's media tips are available on his blog at http://ironrodmedia.com/ironrod-media-blog.html. 
You can contact Rodney via Ironrod Media's website at http://www.ironrodmedia.com/about.html. I so appreciate him allowing me to post this article. 

Getting Your Story and Book on T.V. in 5 Steps by Rodney Fife

On many news channels, you will see authors talking about their stories or their books on air. Have you ever wondered how they were able to get themselves on air? You may have asked yourself why that book on air and not my book.
There are many reporters currently looking for reliable and authentic sources for their stories or articles. The way to get their notice and garner a news story for your book relies on you ability to tell your story and to pitch it efficiently. 
Step 1 Opportunities
The first step in getting a story on air is to look for open opportunities. Vocus has set up a program called Help a Reporter Out. This program allows reporters to ask for experts to answer a particular question on a subject they are writing on. This free resource allows you to pitch yourself to a reporter looking to write. Another free service is presspass.me this service allows you to tweet a specific writer a tip or story idea.
Step 2 Prepare Your Pitch
Now that you know where to find potential leads, how do you actually pitch your book? First you should be able to write effectively and tell your story in 200 words or less. This generic pitch should be engaging and should make the reader want more information.
 Step 3 Rewrite Your Pitch
Now that you have the query from the reporter you need to rewrite your pitch to the journalist’s query. For instance, if you wrote a self-help book on happiness and the query you see is a travel piece. You may want to talk about “How an excellent vacation could lead to overall happiness,” or “A good golf trip can make you happy.” Mold your story around the query from the media source. If you are effective in doing so, you will find that you have a lot more success in getting the results you want.
Step 4 Interview Well
 Now that you have a reporter interested they will probably want to interview you. You may learn that they would like to have you on air. Here are some simple tips to be successful. Have fun. Learn to relax and be yourself. You will perform a lot better if you are not stiff from fear. Answer the host’s questions directly and straight to the point. Throw in material from your story if applicable. Always direct the audience where to buy your book.
Step 5 Promote the News story
Now that you have had the interview and did very well. It is not time to relax. You should promote the story to your followers, friends and family. Let everyone you know about the wonderful news. Often other media outlets will call you to find out more.
Here is a real life example:
Betsy Schow wrote a wonderful book called “Finished Being Fat.” Here is a brief synopsis. Not everyone can win the race, but everyone can finish it. In her quest to wish away an extra 75 pounds, Betsy changed her life for good. Using her Philosophy of Finishing, she snowballed her efforts from weight loss into a bucket list of seemingly impossible dreams. This inspiring account of one woman's journey will help you find the strength to conquer your most daunting goals and unfinished projects.
Step 1:
I found an interesting story lead for the Wall Street Journal. Elizabeth Bernstein, WSJ Columnist, wanted to do a story on “When One Partner Is Overweight, Resolving Conflict in the Relationship Takes Two.” I let Betsy know about this lead.
Step 2 & 3:
Together Betsy and I put together a pitch focusing on Elizabeth’s query. Betsy received a call from Elizabeth. An online interview was scheduled.
Step 4: Betsy did a great job interviewing.
Step 5: Due to the wonderful interview with the WSJ. The Today Show called and asked Betsy to come to New York. Watch the great job she did with them. 
The main point of this article is your story can be told on TV. If you would like to ask me questions on promotion or need additional assistance in getting media attention for your book, please contact me at PR@Ironrodmedia.com or visit us at http://Ironrodmedia.com
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/getting-your-story-book-tv-5-steps-rodney-fife

Friday, May 1, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Angela Carling's "THE SECRET KEEPER"

Award-winning YA author, Angela Carling, is revealing the cover of her upcoming release today--

The Secret Keeper. 


When Seventeen year old Winter Merrill was driven to make a bargain with the mysterious Secret Keeper, she knew there were rules.  The most important one, the next time you have a secret, you will not be able to tell it….even if you try. What she didn’t know is that her next secret if not told, would destroy her life and the life of Liam, the only boy she ever loved. Can Winter find a way out of the dark bargain that binds her tongue or will her deal with the Secret Keeper bring devastating consequences unimaginable even to her?


Ways to connect with Angela:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BOOK NOOK REVIEW: "CROOKED HOUSE" by MARLENE BATEMAN













Marlene Bateman, and her OCD super sleuth, Erica Coleman, dish up another delicious LDS mystery in the author’s newest release, Crooked House, An Erica Coleman Mystery, where the abode isn’t the only thing that’s twisted.

Ms. Bateman is a bankable mystery author who consistently delivers complicated whodunnits with crisp humor and quirky characters. Bateman again sets the reader at her heroine's table by adding an appendix with ten recipes straight from Erica's personal recipe file, making this a mystery that is delicious on every level.

Bateman’s quirky female detective is once again faced with a life and death case and a full slate of potential suspects, from spurned beaus and cash-strapped relatives, to eccentric neighbors and chummy roommates, who each have motives for wanting pretty coed, Liz Johnson, dead. Plot twists, bread crumbs, and red herrings abound in Crooked House, and once again, Bateman manages to leave even the savviest armchair gumshoes guessing and reassessing the whodunnits while salivating over ten delicious Erica Coleman recipes.

From the back cover:

Someone is trying to kill Liz Johnson and it’s up to quirky private investigator, Erica Coleman, to find out who. Erica is no stranger to murder and mystery, which is why her best friend’s daughter, Megan, turns to her when unaccountable and potentially fatal “accidents” threaten her roommate’s life. 

Once Erica arrives at the ramshackle old mansion known as Crooked House, matters go from disturbing to deadly as it becomes clear someone is trying to kill Liz.  As Erica begins to unearth secrets, she discovers a twisted web of love, money, greed, and deception. Although the police and friends sometimes find Erica’s OCD annoying, its those very traits that help her sift through evidence and see clues that others miss. Erica must draw upon her all her investigative prowess to keep Liz safe and unmask the killer before he can accomplish his deadly objective.

 With a dash of romance and surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. As with all Erica Coleman mysteries, ten delicious recipes are included. 

Set the clever plot aside, and it’s Bateman’s heroine, Erica Coleman, with her OCD ways and witty repartee, who steals the show. Erica is a “married with children” LDS-lady investigator whose law enforcement officer/husband serves as her long distance sounding board. Their evening phone calls provide insight into Erica’s unique, sometimes bizarre OCD character, and help get the reader into her head.

LDS readers will appreciate Crooked House’s clean-read status and occasional references to Erica’s LDS culture. Non-LDS readers might find these sidebars distracting, but all these elements round out this complex character, endearing her to readers.

Once again, Bateman not only “dishes” up a great story, but she literally sets a place for you at Erica Coleman’s table by including an appendix with ten recipes served in the book. These tasty extras keep you thinking about the story long after you turn the last page.

This reader found the pace of Crooked House very satisfying. So many potential leads are dangled  along the way that the reveal begins early in the second half in a slow and steady cadence that demands your attention to the last page turn. You'll want to share this one with a friend.

Crooked House is the third book in Bateman's Erica Coleman mystery series, following her successful Motive for Murder, and A Death in the Family.  Each book proves that Ms. Bateman has a winning franchise with this character.

Crooked House and its companion books are mysteries that will entertain readers of any age or gender, providing a few lovely hours of delicious escape.



Crooked House, An Erica Coleman Mystery, can be purchsed on Amazon by clicking the cover image, and at any LDS bookstore.



Excerpt from Crooked House

“I’m scared.”

Erica’s heart turned over when she heard the quaver in her young friend’s voice on the phone.

Then Megan asked, “Can you come?”

 “Of course.” Erica’s reply was automatic. She would do anything she could to help. Although she often received emotionally-laden phone calls in her job as a private investigator, there was a difference when the call came from the teen-aged daughter of her best friend. The very fact that Megan—who was usually so calm and composed—sounded frightened out of her wits, put Erica on high alert.

“I think someone’s trying to kill my roommate, Liz,” Megan said.

“What makes you think that?”  Erica asked. “Has someone threatened her?”

“No, but Liz has had a couple of serious accidents lately—at least she says they’re accidents, but either one of them could have killed her.”

Erica made an effort to reel in her skepticism. “Tell me about them.”

“First, someone tampered with her car. The brakes went out and Liz ended up driving across someone’s yard and hitting a tree. Fortunately, she was okay. The second one happened downtown. Liz was on the sidewalk waiting for the bus when someone shoved her. She fell into the road. A truck was coming and if a guy hadn’t pulled her back, Liz could have been killed.”

Still, they could have been accidents, Erica thought, at least until the third one occurred—this time at Crooked House.


Author Biography
Marlene Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan.  Her hobbies include gardening, camping, reading, and enjoying her four cats and three dogs. 

Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder—the first in a mystery series that features Erica Coleman, a quirky private eye with OCD.  The next book in that line, (they do not have to be read in order) is A Death in the Family.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS non-fiction books under the name Marlene Bateman Sullivan. Those books include:  Gaze Into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, which is a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints, Heroes of Faith, and Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines.  Marlene also wrote three books about documented accounts in early LDS church history when a person either saw or heard an angel; Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, And There Were Angels Among Them, and By the Ministering of Angels. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

WRITING TIPS: FORMING A CRITQUE GROUP

My previous attempts at organizing and sustaining a writers' critique group failed miserably in the past. The time involved in meeting and reading/critiquing others' work never seemed to produce enough of a benefit to make it worthwhile.

That probably seems cruel and selfish, but for most of us, writing time golden, and hard to come by, and the trade-off must be satisfying for a critique group to be worth the time or effort required.

Five other local writers and I agreed to give it a go. We all wrote in different genres, and entered with varying levels of experience. We didn't know each other well. Some of us had met previously, and some of us were complete strangers, but we had two primary commonalities--we each love to write and we each were serious about publication.

We agreed on a few manageable ground rules:
1. We would each submit ten pages to the group on the fourth Tuesday of the month.
2. We would read and critique each others' pieces.
3. We would be kind but serious about our critiques to foster professional growth.
4. We would meet on the second Tuesday of the month for two hours to discuss each others' work.

The process has worked beautifully for our group. We doubt we could manage more pages or another person, because this work load requires a sacrifice of time that is manageable without cutting too deeply into our personal writing time. Some members are more prolific than others, churning out chapters each month from which they select ten pages for review, while others can barely produce ten pages some months when other life demands are overwhelming.

During the past year, five of us have published at least one manuscript, but each of us would wholeheartedly agree that our group has made our writing stronger, that accountability has made us more dedicated to our craft, and that reviewing others' work has improved our editing skills.

I would recommend such a group to anyone who loves to write. Skill levels should complement one another, but equally important is each members' seriousness about the group and their work. Complacency and laziness are surefire group killers. Trust is important. I help you. You help me.

Someone will always be better than you. You will be better than someone else. If you're a beginner, don't be afraid to surround yourself with writers who are more experienced than you, but be courageous enough to accept competent critiquing without turning tail and burrowing away.

Likewise, be kind and respectful. Aim your comments at furthering growth and not in squashing the creativity out of a peer. Compliment and cheer for others' successes. No one understands the small, lonely victories of a query request, or breaking through a plot block like another writer.



Friday, November 21, 2014

A SPECIAL OFFER FOR THE HISTORY-LOVER ON YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST

I may be responsible for the polar blast that slammed the nation. I tried to follow my early-bird neighbor's lead and outsmart Mother Nature by hanging my outdoor Christmas lights on the last balmy day in early November. Sometime between finding the fourteenth dead strand of tangled lights, and pulling off a WWF-worthy wrestling match against a multi-colored shrub net (of which only one side agreed to illuminate), the polar blast arrived. Bad decorating Karma. . .

So I'm plowing ahead, and joining in the throng of early Christmas mentions, to announce my FREE MEN and DREAMERS Christmas giveaway.

I hope you engaged in some way, in the celebration of the bicentennial of pivotal historical moments from the War of 1812--the burning of Washington; the wonderful, patriotic re-enactments of the Battle of Baltimore; the tributes to Francis Scott Key; and of course, the honors paid to the Star-Spangled Banner, and the anthem it inspired.

Tom and I were in Baltimore for the finale events, and the mood was thrilling. It was the cherry on top of my decade-long research into the War of 1812 for my Free Men and Dreamers historical fiction series.

As a farewell to this bicentennial year, I'm offering a special on the books to get them into homes where the stories of how this critical period shaped America can be read and enjoyed again and again.

Here's the special:

Scan and email proof of purchase of volume 1, Dark Sky at Dawn, and volume 2, Twilight's Last Gleaming, to me at lclewis2007@gmail.com, and I'll mail you autographed bookplates for those volumes, and an autographed copy of volume 3 for free.  
If you want the entire set: email proof of purchase of those two volumes, plus the purchase of volume 4, Oh, Say Can You See? and volume 5, In God is Our Trust, and I'll send an entire set of autographed bookplates, plus a free, autographed copy of my women's fiction novel, Awakening Avery.
 
So buy four volumes from my award-winning historical fiction series, and receive autographed bookplates plus two free novels, a $38.00 savings.
 
Orders and proofs of purchase must be received by December 10th to qualify for the free books in order to guarantee receipt by Christmas.
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JPC6XY
 
Thank you so much for welcoming my books into your home. Here are some links to reviews and sample chapters: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JPC6XY
 
Have a perfect Thanksgiving, and may your Christmas preparations be joyful.
 
Laurie L.C. Lewis
 
 




Friday, November 14, 2014

Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop

GRATITUDE GIVEAWAY HOP
 

Much appreciation to Kathy at I AM A READER, NOT A WRITER, for sponsoring this annual hop. It's one of my favorites, a chance to thank faithful readers for their support, and to welcome new friends to the blog.

This hop is scheduled to run from November 15th to November 30th.

The hop drawing is easy to enter. Just follow me your favorite way:

By blog,

Facebook,

or Twitter.

Then post your email address and where you followed. That's it.

The prize to the winner of my stop on the hop is an autographed copy of my women's fiction novel, "Awakening Avery," and a s
lightly dinged up purse book I adored, "Conversations with a Moonflower."

I'm gearing up for the February release of "The Dragons of Alsace Farms."  Check out the trailer. We'll be giving some copies away in the spring.

Wishing you all the best, from my house to yours. Now enjoy the other stops on the hop.

Laurie L.C. Lewis

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

OLD SOLDIERS

Happy Veterans' Day, and thank you, thank you to all those who served and to their families.  I wanted to share a glimpse of some senior soldiers I've been privileged to meet.

The last few Septembers I've headed down to Quantico Marine Base with Tom for some fund raisers for The Wounded Warrior Foundation, and a massive Marine expo. A friend of Tom's, a great patriot named Pete, organizes a golf tournament/auction to raise scholarship funds for for a foundation called "The Young Marines." I had never heard of this group before, but like the ROTC, it teaches military discipline and service the marine way, preparing future officers and leaders.

The experience was moving. I was surrounded by officers in all their variety, from generals on down, with post commanders and retirees proudly wearing their caps and shouting "Ourah!!!" at any mention of the corps. These men are proud Marines, and proud of their Marine heritage which dates back to 1775, and rightly so. Even in my research on the War of 1812, the toughest fighting squad, next to Joshua Barney's Flotillamen, was a group known simply as "Miller's Marines."

As the golfers moseyed in off the greens, the older soldiers posted their golf scores on the board and then gathered around a table to talk, and there was no shortage of opinions or wisdom reflected there. And the topics on these veterans' minds? It wasn't sports scores or movies or popular media darlings. They were doing what they had done for a lifetime--assessing the news, reading between the lines, gathering intel and discussing strategic political and military options some of them no longer had the power to implement. I was a fly on the wall, and the conversations were fascinating as they discussed places that still seem to strange to most of us but places that had clearly been on their radar for many years--Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel.

Their faces were emotion-filled. They were deeply invested in these corners of the world where their young comrades-in-arms were serving or might serve one day. Some had sons and grandsons deployed here, and clearly, they were on their minds.

They talked about God, and about country as if they were unseverable appendages to one another. They knew the Bible, and saw a clear connection between events written there and our circumstances today. These men of different colors, different nationalities, and likely of many different faiths, see their service as an extension of their personal faith, and they see their defense of America as a defense of Christianity in a world becoming increasingly negative towards Christians.

A highlight of one day ocurred when three sisters of a Marine killed at the 1983 bombing in Beirut came to participate in the launch of a scholarship named for their slain brother. Several were also Marines themselves, and they wept over the ache of their loss as well as the pride that his memory would be honored in such a manner. It was an honor to be there, and to see steeled, battle-scarred brothers and sisters-in-arms from every branch of the service shed a tear or two as well. It reminded me of something Colin Powell once said about how no one works harder for peace than a soldier.

Hug a soldier today. Better yet, thank one.