Monthly Archives: January 2014

5 Ways to Engage Your Readers on Facebook

Posted by January 31st, 2014

You’ve created a new Facebook page and are now scratching your head: what to do next?

To grow your fan base and become a Facebook super star, you need a plan! Strategic Partner Manager for Authors and Publishers at Facebook Susan B. Katz says that the key to success for debut authors on Facebook is to post frequently and authentically.

To establish a presence,  post once or twice a day every day in the first person. Fans are on your Facebook page to get to know the person behind the book. The biggest thing to keep in mind for writers on Facebook:

A good content strategy always balances content creation with content curation. So, share links to your books and blog posts, and mix it up with relevant links and images that you think your followers might enjoy. This way you won’t feel like you’re flooding their feeds with self-serving posts.

Here are 5 ways to increase engagement with your Facebook fans:

1. Share your success stories.

hosseini_facebook

Everyone loves a success story–so don’t be shy when you have good news to share. Your fans are there to rally you along the way, so breaking good news is a great way share your excitement about a book acquisition, a writing award, a great review, etc.

Perhaps Entertainment Weekly didn’t feature your book like bestselling author Khaled Hosseini’s, but you can still share snapshots of yourself or your readers holding a copy of your book for the first time, reader reactions, or quotes from complimentary reviews on Book Country!

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“Good Guys Can Be Sexy, Too”: An Interview with New Adult Author Christina Lee

Posted by January 30th, 2014

Before You BreakWe’re happy to have rising star Christina Lee on the blog today. She writes sexy New Adult Contemporary Romance stories with college-aged protagonists for Penguin/InterMix. We really heart her post about the new adult genre, where she defines its theme as that of “new found INDEPENDENCE.” So if you write NA, swing by her site and check the post out!

The second installment of Christina’s Between Breaths series, BEFORE YOU BREAK, comes out in February, and here she is talking to us about the new book and her excitement to share it with her readers.

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NG: BEFORE YOU BREAK tells the story of gorgeous psych student Ella and star catcher of the baseball team, Quinn. Quinn is the type of brooding, sexy guy that girls go gaga over! Tell us, what’s your recipe for writing an irresistible NA male hero?

CL: Great question! Many romance readers love their dominant and bossy alpha males and I tend to write nice and respectable good guys. Having said that, I’ve been told by my readers that my virgin hero from ALL OF YOU was one of the sexiest guys they’ve ever read. So the recipe I aspire to is off-the-charts sexual tension balanced by meaningful actions. Because let’s face it, good guys can be sexy, too. So I aim for plenty of angst and build-up, along with good pacing and an engaging plot. The kisses, sexy language, sensual touches or looks—I love writing all of that. And that’s the kind of confidence I like my male leads to exude.

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Upload Your Erotic Fiction to Book Country

Posted by January 29th, 2014

Welcome Writers of Erotic Fiction!

Things have been heating up on Book Country lately, with lots of discussions about writing about sex. Sex is, of course, a constant in contemporary fiction, whether you are trying to write like Philip Roth or E.L. James or somewhere in between. Learning techniques for writing about intimacy, and then having the chutzpah to try these out in your prose, is an important development in many writers’ growth.

That’s why we’ve been inviting erotic fiction authors who we admire to write on our blog, and that’s why we’ve been working hard to introduce writers of erotic fiction to one another via Book Country’s connection features. We’ve been learning a lot about the concerns that come up for writers who write about sex, and we’ve been having a lot of fun reading these steamy genres!

We invite writers of Erotica, Erotic Romance, and all the Romance subgenres to join Book Country and upload your work to share with our community. Book Country is a place where you can get feedback on your steamy manuscript, participate in discussions about how to write in erotic fiction genres with like-minded writers, and best of all, build a community through connecting with those writers, reading their work, and finding your writing voice as erotic fiction continues to grow in popularity with readers around the world. We also have Erotica and Romance shelves in our online Bookstore for when you are ready to publish your erotic fiction. Continue reading

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Book Release & Sweepstakes: Kerry Schafer’s WAKEWORLD

Posted by January 28th, 2014

Wakeworld Sweepstakes

Today we’re celebrating the release of WAKEWORLD by site member Kerry Schafer. Her path to publication never ceases to inspire us: Kerry joined the site as a beta member and was workshopping her urban fantasy BETWEEN when the manuscript captured the attention of one of our staff members. She forwarded it to Berkley Editorial Director Susan Allison, and the rest is history!

BETWEEN came out a year ago–almost to the day–and climbed the Bookscan Fantasy bestseller list to the #22 spot within a week of its release! WAKEWORLD, the second in the Books of the Between, picks up the story of Dreamshifter & medical doctor Vivian, who joins forces with another Dreamshifter to defeat a looming threat to the dreamworld. This month’s Romantic Times Book Reviews magazine gave the book a glowing review: “Rising star Schafer continues to advance an elaborate mythology that places her heroine at the intersection of worlds. Schafer proves that densely plotted and emotionally charged storytelling is definitely her forte!

Intrigued? Enter our WAKEWORLD Sweepstakes for a chance to snag a copy!

Kerry’s giving back to the Book Country community, and thanks to her and her team at Ace Books, we’re giving away three copies of WAKEWORLD. To enter for a chance to win, you need to tweet your Book Country user name along with hashtag #winbookcountry. (Hint: Your username is how you log into your Book Country account.) Read the full rules here.

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Connect with Kerry on Book Country and follow her on Twitter. To learn more about Kerry and her books, visit her website, www.kerryschafer.com. Read our interview with Kerry’s agent Deidre Knight

More From the Book Country BlogYou might also like: Shannon LC Cate’s Release of JACK: It Took a Community.

 

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Member Spotlight: Meet Memoir Writer Elena Kirby

Posted by January 27th, 2014

elena kirbyPlease welcome Elena Kirby to this week’s Book Country Member Spotlight. Almost the moment she posted her book THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID for peer review, it started getting a lot of attention. Below she explains how she’s writing and revising her Memoir, her approach toward truth-telling in creative nonfiction, and what she reads to inspire herself to work on her writing.

LS: Tell us about THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID, and tell us why you think it was immediately read and reviewed by so many members!

EK: The book is essentially about me re-entering the dating world and learning about the online dating culture as a thirty-something single mom, although the term ‘re-entering’ might be a stretch because I didn’t exactly date all that much in my twenties (or teens for that matter).  So a lot of wild oats are being sown in my story as well.  Any kind of dating situation can be awkward, so I’m trying to find the humor in it all to cope with all the strangeness that comes along with going out on a date with a complete stranger.  There’s a nice release of tension and anxiety when I can make the stories funny.  Maybe the humor is partly why some people have chosen to read it.  Also, there is something universal about the experience of dating and meeting someone for the first time who could be “the one” (the anticipation, the nerves twitching, the excitement and disappointment).  We’ve all been there and can relate.  When someone takes the time to read my story and tells me they know exactly what I mean, I feel a little less lonely knowing other people have gone through or are going through the same thing.  Continue reading

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“Erotica? Erotic Romance? Steamy Romance?” by Cara McKenna

Posted by January 24th, 2014

LAY IT DOWN cover“What’s the difference between erotica, erotic romance, and just a really steamy romance?” As an author of all three, that’s easily the question I get asked most! Well, aside from, “When are you going to write a sequel to [insert any book featuring a really pushy hero]?”

Unfortunately, there is no single industry definition. You could ask ten different authors and editors and get ten different answers. But you’re asking me, I suppose, so I’ll give you my answer!

First, let’s separate out Erotica from the mix. An erotic story differs from an erotic romance in that it may not feature any romance. Erotica is centered around a sexual journey or episode, one that may or may not feature love or affection or a happily ever after. Erotica offers writers a lot of freedom—it can be just about any sort of story, as long as the spotlight is on the sex. Erotica is designed largely to arouse the reader, and it can deliver on that promise via a wide variety of packages (har.) It may feel like you’re reading about a room full of dynamically slapping body parts, or it could feel exquisitely intimate, with rich character development. But if people fall in love and become attached and devoted to one another by the end? That’s probably an erotic romance.

After HoursSo what’s the difference between an erotic romance, and a romance that simply features a lot of explicit sex?

My short response to that question is to ask you another one: if you took all the love scenes out of a given sexy book, would you still have a story? If the answer is yes, you’re probably talking about a steamy Romance. In most romances, external circumstances (plot) drive the story and the couple’s evolving relationship. The sex will contribute to that evolution, but if you took all the love scenes out, the story wouldn’t collapse.

How about this other sexy book you’re holding—what if you took the plot out? Would the characters’ romantic arc still stand? If you can say yes to that question, you may be in possession of an Erotic Romance. While erotic romances have plots, they can tend to be quieter ones, because the main force driving the characters’ growth and relationship is the sex they explore together. If you take all the sex scenes out of an erotic romance and read what’s left, scene by scene, you would likely feel you were missing something, and wonder why it is these people have gotten so attached to each other. Continue reading

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Self-publishing COME UNDONE: Author Spotlight with Jessica Hawkins

Posted by January 23rd, 2014

COME UNDONEThank goodness for eBooks! When the power went out at my apartment over a weekend earlier this winter, I’d luckily already downloaded a fantastic book onto my eReader–Book Country member Jessica Hawkins‘s COME UNDONE . The first in a trilogy called They Cityscape Series, COME UNDONE is the story of a young, happily married magazine journalist, Olivia, who finds herself inexplicably but overwhelmingly drawn to a successful, mysterious architect named David.

In fact, instead of me summarizing the book, why don’t I just have you watch the trailer. That’s what sent me straight to buying the book!

Official Book Trailer for the Cityscape Series

I know, right?! Now you see why I ended spending all weekend reading COME UNDONE by the backlight of my eReader! I didn’t even notice when the power came back on.

Anyway, I became an immediate fan of the Cityscape Series and of Jessica, and I wanted to interview her for our Author Spotlight this week because I just love what she’s doing: her books are riveting, and I love the way she’s promoting the books and connecting with fans.

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LS: Tell us about the amazing Kickstarter campaign you did to support your writing of the Cityscape Series.

JH: Kickstarter ended up being about much more than just meeting a monetary goal. The amount of self-promoting I did was directly related to my success, which would also become true of being a self-published author. I never would’ve raised the money if not for friends and family, so it forced me to say, “Here’s what I’m doing with my life. I’m so committed to this that I’m asking you to bet on me.” Making that declaration was one of the most difficult things I did last year.

As far as the process itself, the best tip I can give, especially in publishing, is to utilize your network. Every dollar I raised came from friends, family or the network I’d been building through self-publishing. Even though I wrote a press release, even though I reached out to crowdfunding sites and my alma mater via e-mail and Twitter, I received hardly any attention outside my immediate network.

I also advise setting aside enough time to prepare, plan and promote your campaign before you launch. It took me about a month to construct a month-long campaign because I was continually revising my delivery and my rewards tiers. Don’t just slap something together and expect people to contribute because it means a lot to you. Show them why you’re worth their hard-earned money.

By the way, all the above advice also applies to self-publishing your books.

teaser for The Cityscape Series

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Some Like It Hotter: Savanna Fox on Writing Contemporary versus Erotic Romance

Posted by January 22nd, 2014

BoundDirty_comps.inddToday we’re pleased to welcome Berkley Heat author Savanna Fox to Book Country. As someone who writes both contemporary and erotic romance, she knows how to turn up the heat and write steamy love scenes. She’s currently giving away copies of her most recent erotic romance, BOUND TO BE DIRTY, so head out to her site for a chance to snag a copy!

Savanna’s here to talk about the differences in her approach to writing in the two romance subgenres. 

Take it away, Savanna!

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If you read romance fiction, I bet you’ve noticed that it’s getting hotter. That trend started even before Fifty Shades of Grey made BDSM erotic romance standard reading fare on subways and in airport waiting rooms.

I’ve been writing “hot” ever since 2005, though not with the level of kink found in many erotic romances. For me, it’s all about one man, one woman, and, to be honest, nothing I wouldn’t want to try myself!

The level of heat in my books varies. As Susan Fox, I write sexy contemporaries for Kensington Zebra. My Caribou Crossing series is set in a small Western town made for adventure, love, and second chances. As Savanna Fox, I write erotic romance for Berkley Heat. My Dirty Girls Book Club series, set in Vancouver, British Columbia, is about four women whose book club decides to spice things up by reading erotica. Each time they do, a member embarks on a sexy romance that in some ways parallels the story they’re reading.

For me, it’s natural to not close the bedroom door in the reader’s face. What happens during sex—and what the characters think and feel—is as important, and often more important, than what happens when they’re together outside the bedroom.

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Olivia Glass: In Defense of Erotica

Posted by January 21st, 2014

In Defense of EroticaOur blog guest today is Erotica writer Oliva Glass.

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Because we are sexual creatures.

Because someone, somewhere, will click on that link, or pick up that anthology, and lean in a little closer, their body language somewhere between curious and alert.

Because there’s a moment, erotic in-and-of-itself, when a writer describes a phenomenon or sensation or fantasy precisely in the way that you have in your own mind, and here is someone else describing it, someone else who knows.

Because people have been punished for it, time and time again, and yet they have pushed through—pushed through censorship, pushed through prison and torture and worse, to bring the erotic to the page, and to consume it.

Because we have imaginations that are constantly moving outward, expanding like the edges of the universe.

Because sometimes it’s nice to read prose instead of watching a video or looking at a picture. Continue reading

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How to Create a Facebook Page for Authors

Posted by January 17th, 2014

71 percent of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook, which means there is a pretty good chance your readers are, too. That’s why Facebook is a great place to get started if you’re an aspiring writer or published author who wants to build a following for your writing. A dedicated Facebook page helps you connect with your readers and promote your work. You can share information that your fans will appreciate: updates about your writing inspiration and progress, author events and news, and also fun book-related stuff–like pictures of reading cats!

kerry schafer booksWhy do I need a Facebook Fan Page?

“Why can’t I just use my regular Facebook account to do all that?” you ask. While you can let others follow your personal profile without friending them, a Facebook Page is better suited to your promotional efforts as an author. A fan page is a searchable, public page that all Facebook users can “like”. (When a Facebook user likes a page, your updates appear in that user’s newsfeed.) With a fan page, your personal account is separate — your fans will see your writing-related news without seeing the selfies you share with your friends. You can assign administrators to your Facebook Page so they can help you manage it. We know, having a staff to manage your social media may not be relevant to you at this juncture, but you’ll thank me when you become a superstar author and have your arms full with writing and author events.

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