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Archive for the ‘Book Giveaway’ Category

Winner Paula Weston Book!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on June 9, 2012

Paula says:

Thanks for all the great comments – there was some really interesting early reading material mentioned. I wish I had copies for all of you, but the winner is Braiden. Hope you enjoy Shadows. 🙂

Braiden if you email me I’ll pass your address along to the people at Text Publishing, who will send you a copy of Shadows.  rowena(at)corydaniells(dot)com

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Launching the HOPE anthology

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on October 12, 2011

We’re here today to celebrate the launch of the Hope anthology last weekend. ( All of the contributions donated their stories. And all profits from the sale of the book will be donated to Beyondblue and The Anika Foundation).

I’m interviewing Karen Henderson who writes as Karen Lee Field. Karen has three fantasy books aimed at 9 -12 year olds.

Q: On your blog you say:

‘“Hope” is a project that is close to my heart. I have wanted to do something since I lost my son to suicide in 2006. In many ways, it gave me purpose, which in turn gave me hope. So the anthology is aptly named.’

As a parent of six, four of them boys, I was very happy to be involved in this project. I understand you had a good response from authors?

Yes, I was overwhelmed by the positive response, even from the authors who couldn’t fit Hope into their busy schedule. As many of them were also parents they felt it was important to raise suicide awareness and they sent me heartfelt messages encouraging me to keep going with the project. At this stage, I must sincerely thank the authors who contributed to this project because I couldn’t have come this far without them. They are an awesome bunch of people.

Q: When did the idea for this anthology first come to you?

As a writer, I started writing about what was happening to my family and how everything was affecting me emotionally, physically and mentally soon after my son’s death. It helped me put things into perspective and allowed me to let other things go. It was good therapy. When I came out of the darkest place a parent can be in, I started thinking about how I might be able to help other parents from going through the same thing. I tried writing a manuscript about my own experience but found emotionally I couldn’t stop myself from sobbing every time I sat at the keyboard. Eventually, I decided the next best thing was to ask other writers if they would help me by donating stories and adding ‘snippets’ of information on suicide between the stories, which would raise awareness.

Q: The Hope anthology contains stories, but it also contains snippets of information suicide so that parents and friends may be able to recognise the signs if someone they know needs help. Are the stories specifically aimed at young adults or could they be read by any age?

The stories are certainly not suitable for children. They are aimed at young adults and adults. All the stories fall within the speculative fiction genre. They are fictional and are written to the theme of ‘hope’, yet are down to earth and cover a wide range of issues.  The authors have done a brilliant job in showing that even in the direst of circumstances there is hope.

Q: You run an Indie publishing house, Kayelle Press. What inspired you to establish this publishing house and what do you hope to achieve with it?

I know how hard it is to find a way out of the enormous piles of manuscripts sent to large publishing houses each month. Over recent years I have attempted to find ways to help aspiring authors to build their publication list. I started Kayelle Press for two reasons: 1) because I have known for several years that Hope (although I didn’t know the name of the anthology at the time) was in the pipeline, and, 2) because I love helping people reach their goal, it gives me a buzz.

Kayelle Press will hopefully publish at least two anthologies a year to start with and I will consider all manuscripts submitted on its own merits, not on how long the writer’s bio is.

Q: Having published Hope, what advice would you give aspiring anthology editors?

It’s hard work and will take many, many hours of dedication to reach completion. Yet the rewards of seeing a simple idea grow into a published book is worth every second of the blood, sweat and tears (actually there isn’t usually any tears, but there might be plenty of times you want to pull your hair out instead).  My best advice is to keep communication channels open and stay true to yourself.

 Karen has kindly donated a copy of the HOPE anthology as a give-away.

The question is:  If you could go back and give your teenage self some advice, what would it be?

Copies of the Hope anthology can be purchased here.

Catch up with Karen on Twitter: @karenleefield

Catch up with Karen on GoodReads

Karen’s Blog

Posted in Book Giveaway, Book Launches, Creativity | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Winner George Ivanoff’s Give-away!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on October 4, 2011

George is such a softie. He says:

Well… there were 2 entires and 2 books… so both Bron and Cecilia are WINNERS! Email me your addresses and I’ll get the books into the mail asap.

givanoff(st)optusnet(dot)com(dot)au

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Fantasy Genre, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Winner Lara Morgan Give-away!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 21, 2011

Lara says:

I really liked Melita’s answer and Brendan made me think but the winner is Braiden. Those two books are definitely on my to read list now.

 

Congratulations, Braiden.  Email Lara on:  serpentfire(at)westnet(dot)(dot)au

Posted in Book Giveaway, SF Books, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

YA Books for Girls, where does that leave Boys?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 10, 2011

Lara Morgan, author of the Rosie Black Chronciles is visiting ROR.

 

 

Take it away, Lara.

These days it seems that whenever you look in the YA section of bookshops the titles that smack you in the eye first are those dark covers with brooding images, aimed squarely at the teenage girl. Heroines with powers, heroines in danger, heroines with quirky side kicks – it’s all about girl power in the market. Or so it seems.  Blogs, newspapers, earnest people over coffee, are all talking about how there aren’t any books for boys in YA anymore. That the market has been overrun by books for girls, about girls, with girly themes, and that the implication then is this is all wrong and something should be done for the poor hard done by teen boys.

I, for one, am wondering if the teen boys in this question actually care. Has anyone asked them or are we all just speaking for them? And is the great female take-over really happening?

I’m not convinced. Actually after a century, or more, of books for YA being dominated by male characters, saving the girls, written by male authors, part of me is cheering just a little bit. A recent study of young adult novels released between 1900 and 2000 showed that males were the central characters in 57% of books published per year while only 31% of the central characters were female.

 

So, really, it’s only in the last eleven years that girls have started to become the more dominant lead characters in YA fiction. And I’m not going to be sorry about that. A part of me wants to say (hands on hips), well isn’t it about time we girls got to dominate something? Men have more of just about everything on this planet. More power, more money, more rights.  Is the fact that girls hold a bigger place in YA really such a tragedy?

I know some may say that is not a very PC view to hold, but I’m finding it hard to be repentant. It’s not that I don’t care about boys reading – I passionately believe all kids should read – but I don’t think there being a glut of books with female protagonists out there is what’s stopping them. Contrary to the hysteria, there are plenty of books with male protagonists, if that’s what you want.  I think boys not reading is caused by a range of issues and it’s certainly not a new thing, nor the result of more girls in fiction. Boys were reading less when I was in school and that certainly was before 2000.

I don’t have any answers, but what I do believe is, at the moment, girls read more than boys and I think girls are encouraged to gravitate more towards the inner life than the outer, but I’m not convinced that boys won’t read books featuring female protagonists. I think we train them not to and it’s such an ingrained habit that we don’t even know we’re doing it. I think part of the problem is that adults just don’t offer boys books about girls, probably with the greatest of intentions. The reasoning being; we need to encourage him to read so let’s give him a story about spies or pirates not that one about a girl who rides dragons. And even those of us who want everyone to read everything do it.

I write YA with a female protagonist and it is marketed for girls, though when I was writing it I didn’t think about who the reader would be, just what the story was. Now I have been delightfully surprised when people have told me their son read it and loved it, because I didn’t think boys would.  That fact I am surprised a boy read it shows I am also guilty of putting that boy in a ‘he won’t read that’ box.  You see how this mindset is everywhere?

So what do we do? Well we work on changing our own attitudes and try to pass that change on. Yes girls read more than boys, yes at the moment there are a lot of books out there with female protagonists but is that really such a terrible thing? For a long time girls have been reading about boys saving the world, about boys saving them and boys have been reading them as well and absorbing the message that they always have to be the hero, the strong one. Maybe it’s time to show a different point of view, maybe boys will be relieved they can be the side kick for a change with the wit instead of the sword. Give both sexes some credit and let’s see where this takes us.

 

 

 

Lara is giving away a copyof the Genesis and the question is:

What’s your favourite YA book with a female lead character, that you’ve read recently or as a child, and why?

 

 

 

 

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Gender Divive in Writing, Genre Writing, Visiting Writer, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

Winner Nicole Murphy Give-away!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on July 3, 2011

Nicole says:
Thanks everyone for all the comments – you all provided some thought for me as well. I was impressed by the number of you who are working hard and pressing ahead with your own writing dreams – I wish for you persistence and happiness in the endeavour.

Now, to the winners. In the end, I found myself torn between Chris’ desire to write an Aussie Hitchhikers-inspired story because I love Hitchhikers, or Tsana’s dream to write science fiction, since I too have an SF character I devised at 13 that I’m desperate to find a story for. I couldn’t decide a favourite, so I flipped a coin and the winner is Chris.

Congrats Chris – send your snail mail address to nicole (at) nicolermurphy (dot) com and I’ll get a copy of Rogue Gadda in the mail for you next week.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Nicole Murphy – what I’ve learnt since my trilogy sale

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on June 25, 2011

Or … The joy of being a newbie writer.

 

July 1 marks the official release date of Rogue Gadda, the third and last book in the Dream of Asarlai series. It hasn’t even been two years since I got the email from the HarperVoyager publisher, Stephanie Smith, that began ‘Dear Nicole, I love your book…’

What a rollercoaster of a couple of years. I’ve written the other two books, edited and copyedited and proofed all three books and spent I don’t know how many hours promoting it all.

For the first thirteen months after I sold, pretty much every waking hour was given over to the Dream of Asarlai. If I wasn’t writing, I was thinking. If I wasn’t editing, I was planning promotion.

Then in August 2010, I delivered the manuscript for Rogue Gadda to the publisher and I found myself in the unique position of not knowing what I should be writing. No more deadlines. I still had work to do, based on editorial feedback, but the creative process was done.

It was at this point that I realised one of the great mistakes we make when we’re starting out on this mad journey to publication. We’re so focussed on the end result, on the dream, that we forget the joys of the present.

There ARE benefits to being an unpublished author. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s true.

For example as an unpublished author, you can write anything you want. Any genre. Any style. Any voice. Experiment. Go mad. Let the muse take you to far off lands.

Once you’ve had that first novel sale, however, you suddenly have this thing called a career, and career comes with restrictions. Publishers have expectations. They’ve signed you to contracts, established marketing plans. They’ve started to brand you, and they need that brand to continue.

Readers have expectations. They’ve invested time and money in you and now that they love your work, they want more.

So suddenly, you’re having to make decisions. Sure, that fabulous rolling epic fantasy looks GREAT, but perhaps you’re better off sticking with the urban fantasy genre you first published in. Or you want to write some short stories in your world but oops – the contract says the publisher owns the world and you can’t. Or you have a fabulous idea for a YA book but damn it – no point writing THAT until you know you’ve got more than one book, so you can establish a career as a YA writer…

Then as an unpublished author, you don’t have to worry about promoting yourself. You don’t have to spend money on creating bookmarks and posters for events. You don’t have to attend conventions to meet with folks. You don’t have to spend hours each week writing blog posts or contacting review sites or interacting with readers (and don’t think signing with a major publisher saves you from all this – IT DOESN’T!)

Then there’s the fact that as an unpublished author, you can sit back and watch the current upheavals in the publishing industry with interest but without feeling that every bookstore that closes is going to ruin your career. This might be contentious but honestly – if you don’t have to chase a major publishing contract right now, I’d suggest you don’t bother. Sit tight for a year or two, perfect your craft and wait for the dust to settle.

Does any of this mean that I’d give back my contract, or that I’m not trying for another one? Absolutely not. Being a contracted author is hard, hard work but it’s also the most fun I’ve ever had. I love my books. I love my world. I love that other people love my books and my world.

But there are days that I pine for the time when I didn’t have a contract, when I didn’t have a career to nurture and I could just write what I wanted.

Great days, my friends. Great days.

Giveaway question – if you could write anything, what would it be?

Nicole’s favourite response will win a copy of Rogue Gadda.

Rogue Gadda cookie

Connor handed it over carefully, making sure he didn’t touch her. The slightest contact of skin on skin would be enough to have his power draining into her and disappearing forever.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Editors, Nourish the Writer, Plotting, Promoting your Book, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

Winner of Jennifer Willis Give-away!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 25, 2011

Jennifer says:

While I’m still curious about what horrible job situations you might condemn Thor to, I’m impressed that Amelia is planning to hit the ground running at her convention this July, and I hope she’ll report back on her adventures with bookmarks.
Thanks also to Maree and Nicole for weighing in. It’s true that many authors — “traditional” and indie alike — have to rely increasingly on their own efforts to promote their books, but this also means you’re not limited to conventional marketing. When it comes to getting the word out about your own books, let your creativity reign!
Amanda, you can contact Jennifer on:  jen(at)jennifer-willis(dot)com

Posted in Authors and Public Speaking, Book Giveaway, e-books, Promoting your Book | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creative Marketing for Indie Authors

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 7, 2011

This week ROR welcomes Jennifer Willis,  an indie author who’ll be talking about marketing: Take it away, Jen …

Watch out for the give-away question at the end of the post

If you’re an indie author, chances are you don’t have a huge budget for marketing your book. As independents, we simply don’t have access to the same resources and advertising departments that traditional publishers have at their disposal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete. You may just need to get a little creative about your marketing, and then rely on the power of the internet and social media to fuel your grassroots campaign.

Below are some strategies from my own marketing plan for “Valhalla.” Some of these I’ve already put into play, and others are coming soon. (Word to the wise about indie marketing: No matter how slick your plan is or how successful your strategies turn out to be, it will still always, *always* take longer than you think!)

* Friends & family money-back-guarantee

This idea came from my boyfriend. He suggested that we come up with a list of 100 friends and family members and offer them a money-back-guarantee on the $2.99 “Valhalla” ebook. I laughed and thought this was really cute at first, but then I realized how smart it was. Even if everyone on the list agreed to participate and then ended up hating the book, very few people are going to quibble over $3. As it’s turned out, no one has asked for money back — and if you play your cards right and line up enough people to buy your book within the first 24 hours of its release, you can seriously bump up your sales rank.

NOTE: I’m making about $2 off of every $2.99 book that’s sold. If one of my “friends & family readers” did decide to ask for a refund, I’d lose a dollar on that sale (refunding my $2 in royalties plus another $1 out of my own pocket to make up the difference in sales price). So if you put out a really bad book and everyone wants their money back, you’re looking at a deficit.

* Leave print copies of your book in strategic locations

This idea comes from indie bands, who used to surreptitiously stuff their CDs into the racks at music stores. If those CDs then sold, the artists made no money off of them — since they’d essentially “donated” the CDs to the stores — but it was a way to get new people listening to their music. So every once in a while, I’ll leave print copies of my first novel, “rhythm,” lying around in strategic locations. I’ve left copies in libraries, in bookstores (where I later went back to confirm that “rhythm” had been put on the store shelves), hotel rooms when I’m traveling, coffee shops and the like. I’ve left copies of “rhythm” all over Ireland when I’ve vacationed there, and my boyfriend took a few copies to Las Vegas on a recent trip. I’ve even left a copy in a Subway restaurant.

I don’t make any money off of these “free range” copies of my book, but you never know who might pick one up and start reading.

* Bookmarks

Just a like a business card, a bookmark highlighting your new book helps to generate interest. You can distribute these to people you meet at parties, on the bus, at the grocery store or wherever, giving them a physical reminder later to look up your book and maybe even buy a copy.

Also, these bookmarks can be distributed in guerrilla-like fashion — left in books returned to the library, furtively slipped inside books in your genre at the bookstore, left on your seat on the train, etc.

This is one of those strategies I’ve not yet tried yet, but I’ve seen others use this to great effect. I’m looking for a good printing service for my bookmarks — though if you’ve got a higher-end printer at home or come up with a design that isn’t heavy on graphics, there’s no reason you couldn’t print up your own bookmarks and start handing them out right away.

* Talk to people

This may seem like a no-brainer and not terribly creative, because not all writers are shy. But I certainly am, and it can be a challenge for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger or someone I just met — and the pressure of marketing my new book in such a situation can make it even worse.

But if I catch sight of someone who’s using an e-reader, for instance, it’s that much easier — we already have something to talk about. I can simply ask how they like their device, what they do or don’t like to read on it, and then casually — or not so casually — mention I have a new ebook that’s come out. And I can relate my decision to go with e-publishing to what they like most about the device — instant accessibility, saving trees, etc.

Overcoming personal shyness isn’t all that easy, and it helps if you feel truly passionate and excited about your book. When it comes to talking about “Valhalla,” I’ve been surprised to discover myself bursting out of my shell to tell pretty much everyone about it. I’ve joked that maybe I should start wearing a name tag that reads, “Hello! My name is … VALHALLA! Buy it!”

* Blog post exchange
If you’re putting together a blog tour for your book — and really, you should! — one strategy to scoring some screen-time on someone else’s blog is to offer to do a guest post exchange. It’s simple: you write an entry to post on their blog, and they write an entry to post on yours. This cross-promotion gets your name and information about your book in front of the other blog’s readers, while also giving the other blogger access to your readers for a day.

Michelle Rafter’s annual Worcount Blogathon encourages this kind of post-swapping in an effort to help participating bloggers keep their content (and their brains) fresh during the month of blogging every day.

* Stage readings in unusual places

At the grocery store last month, I was surprised to see an author set up just inside the main doors, selling his new book of cartoons, ” Casey and Kyle: So Much For Being On Our Best Behavior!!!” I stopped and talked with Will Robertson about why he was selling his books in a grocery store. He explained that he was going to various grocery and drug stores, setting up his little table and talking to people as they came in — and was selling 100 books a week. (You can read more about this meeting on my blog.)

If there are other indie authors in your area publishing ebooks, consider setting up a joint book reading to promote your work. Since readers can purchase ebooks pretty much anywhere and at any time, you’re not limited to bookstores as venues. You could arrange to do a reading at a local coffee house or bistro, or even stage a guerrilla reading in a public square, street corner or park.

* Book trailer video

Granted, if you have little or no marketing budget, this is probably not going to be a high-end video with lots of special effects. But that’s okay. You can get as silly and as campy as you’d like with this to show your readers that you have a sense of humor — if your book has a humorous bent, all the better.

If your book is more serious in tone and topic, you can go the safer route and stage a Q&A interview with yourself, or perhaps make a mini-documentary to underscore the importance of your topic — and your book — to your potential readers.

If you’re not sure where to post the video of your book trailer once it’s done, have a look at Creative Indie Marketing- Top 15 places to Post Your Videos on the Stardom Bound blog.

BIO

Jennifer Willis is an author, essayist, and journalist in Portland, Oregon. In her non-fiction work, she specializes in topics related to sustainability, spirituality/religion, history, and health. Her articles have appeared in The Oregonian, The Christian Science Monitor, Salon.com, The Portland Tribune, The Writer, Ancestry Magazine, Aish.com, Skirt!,InterfaithFamily.com, Vegetarian Times, Spirituality & Health, and other print and online publications at home and across the globe.
In fiction, she focuses on urban fantasy and playful mayhem. Her new ebook, “Valhalla” is available Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads.

Visit her online at jennifer-willis.com.
Give-away Question: “Without his divine powers, Thor has to go to work like everyone else — but he’s a terrible employee. What do you think Thor’s least favorite job would be?”

Posted in Book Giveaway, Book Launches, e-books, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Visiting Writer | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

LIBERATOR – Giveaway Competition

Posted by richardharland on May 4, 2011

Hi!
Big surprise for me this morning – my author’s copies of the French edition of Liberator arrived in a huge parcel PLUS author’s copies of the German edition. I knew the French edition was neck-and-neck with the Australian, but I thought the German was a long way off. The UK edition won’t come out until July, and the US is due early in 2012.

Here’s a quick blurb on the book before we get to the competition —-
Liberator is the largest juggernaut in the world, 3 km long by 1 km wide, a vast mountain of metal rolling across land and sea. Unlike the Russian, French, Prussian and Austrian juggernauts, it has been freed by revolution, and the slave-class of Filthies are now in charge. They’ve even changed its name from Worldshaker to Liberator. But the other reactionary juggernauts see it as a threat to their world-domination, and, when Liberator calls in at the Botany Bay coaling-station, they converge to attack.

On board Liberator, fear and paranoia are building up day by day. Mysterious acts of sabotage and murder have turned the Filthies against the remaining members of the old ruling class, including Col Porpentine and his family and friends. Even Riff, the girl Filthy who seemed to care for Col, is now embarrassed to be seen with him. As extremism grows, a charismatic leader comes to the fore and a radical political coup launches a new kind of tyranny.

…… OK, that was actually my first attempt at a blurb, not the one that appears on the book.

Now for the COMPETITION! Since it’s a steampunk world, of course there have to be corsets in it.
(i) ONE FREE SIGNED COPY of LIBERATOR to the best entry on “My Favourite Corset” (no more than a couple of sentences/short pithy paragraph) You have to choose one out of the selection below and say why. The first three are male (men used to wear corsets, like Queen Victoria’s majordomo in Liberator) and the next three are female (and Lye, the charismatic leader in Liberator, has her own special reason for wearing a corset)

Enter by pasting in a comment. The corsets are
(A) MALE DASHING
(B) MALE CONSTRICTOR
(C) MALE BLACK
(D) FEMALE BLACK
(E) FEMALE: THE VIXEN
(F) FEMALE WITH RIBBONS

Go to it! Be inventive! Cross-dressing is allowed and encouraged (Queen Victoria wouldn’t mind). And when you’ve done with those images, there’s still ——
(ii) ANOTHER FREE GIVEAWAY COPY to anyone who comes up with the best description of “My Own Design of Corset, Much Superior than the Selection Above”.

Strap yourself in! Get waisted! Enter the competition by pasting in a comment.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Book Launches, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Fantasy Genre, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Steampunk, World Buildng, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »