Thursday, October 27, 2016

How Effective are Book Give-a-ways or Contests? by Connie Vines

1. How effective do you think book giveaways or contests are?

The key: forethought (know your audience). Careful planning, media blitzing, and a gimmick are the elements of a very successful contest. By gimmick, I mean a creative approach, one that is not a usual contest pitch.  Am I going to give you any never fail rule/a road map to success?
No--I wish it was only that easy.

You can Google names of media savvy authors.  Or Google my name and look at my website ( read my interviews, my archived contest info (the links are still on Google/ Bing, some are available on my web site).  This is not a do-what-you-see-others-do, it more of fact gathering tour.  You know your story/series, and you are the best judge of what will appeal to your fan base.

After all, what is a successfully contest for me, may not spell success for you. If you write historical novels featuring a lineage page (I do enjoy researching genealogy but. . .) your readers would probably adore winning a book of Sonnets.  While my fan base (me included) are happy with a Starbucks gift card and an autographed copy of my latest eBook.

Be creative. Have fun.  If you don’t enjoy your contest, no one else will either.

2. Do you think all the free books through Amazon and the library offered to prime members affect your efforts?

I believe the free reads and lending through Amazon (for prime members) has a positive effect on my efforts in promotion.  I’m willing to try a new author or genre because of the free read offers.  I have purchase 6 books this month as of this Amazon feature.  Since I do not participate in the lending feature, I have no comment.

3. What are the best promotions you've participated in?

I find that interviews generate the most exposure for me. Contests run as a group (with your publisher, online reader/writer group etc.) is second. Guest blogging (see I’m here!), and all of my combined online presence, is third.  I am visible in my community. I judge local and national writing contests, offer workshops and guest speaking engagement.  As for book signings—in the past this was a wonderful way to ‘meet and greet’ readers.  Signing 75 books during a 4-hour event was the norm, now appearances aren’t a sure-fired way to draw readers.

The online shopping experience, or read a book at your local library and purchase it for your book shelf, seems to be the new norm.

I believe to survive in this very completive field, contests, giveaways, and name branding is a must.
After all, a loyal readership is the key to success.  Write that ‘must read’ story that your readers love and keep your name out there!

Readers what's you take on the subject?
Happy Reading,  (remember my novels are part of the Kindle Count Down this month)

See you on Saturday!  I'm going to being trying out a podcast for the blog, too.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ain't Afraid of No Goat

I am a baseball fan. More to the point, I am a long-suffering Cubs fan. This appearance by the Cubbies in the World Series is a very long time coming. For historical perspective, the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series--the Titanic hadn't sank yet, the Great War (WWI) hadn't even started, the Ford Model T just started rolling off the production line, and sliced bread hadn't been invented. The last time they appeared in the World Series, WWII had just ended. My dad used to joke that any team could have a bad century and he also said at the beginning of each season until we could figure out how to reverse the curse of that dang goat, it was going to be another looooooong baseball season.

Cubs fans have kept the faith. For more than a century, they have said, "Next year;" they remained loyal; they wept bitter tears when season after season hopes were dashed on the brick and ivy of Wrigley Field; and in my case, endured the torment and teasing of living in a household full of White Sox fans. Even my own son is a White Sox fan who enjoys tormenting me with truly tasteless memes about how long it has been for Cubs fans. It’s a good thing I really love the boy.

This season, the Cubs had the best record in either league with 103 regular season wins. And, unless they can win the World Series, that record will just be a small asterisk that ultimately means NOTHING. If you ain’t got that ring…

Every time I went to Wrigley Field, my "lovable losers" did just that. They lost. Every time I have watched a game on television, they lost. Every time I have cheered for them, they lost. My kids call it "Momma's curse" and they used to tell me which team to cheer for so the team they really wanted to win would. My son—the same one who torments me about my Cubbies—says it’s a kind of black magic. (Insert mysterious grin here…) I have refused to watch my beloved Cubbies all season for this reason. I have refused to even listen to them on the radio because I couldn't help myself and I was cheering for them. So, I will not watch any of the World Series.

However, I will cheer--for the Cleveland Indians. Sorry, Cleveland fans. Not sorry.

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Classic Ginger" HER Body, HIS Nightmare...Culture Shock by Ginger Simpson

Cynthia massaged her temples. "God, there's too much to remember. You can't expect me to store all that information in my brain. You went to an academy for months to learn all this stuff..." 

Suddenly her eyes widened. "I'm not going to have to shoot a gun am I?" 

"No! I've never even taken mine out of the holster. Don't worry. You'll do fine. Just remember the basics. You'll be surprised how things sink in even if you don't think they did. You'll remember what you need to know when you need it." 

"That's easy for you to say. I'm the one that has it the toughest." 

He scrunched up his face. "You? How can you say that? I haven't the first idea about how to be a woman, and we all know how complex they are." 

"We are not! Being feminine is very simple. Let me show you." 

She struck a pose that looked ridiculous and walked across the room. "The walk is the most important thing. Take small steps and lead with your hips. Let them be your guide.''

Alex's flinched at the sight of his masculine frame sashaying around the floor. Even more annoying was the way she made feminine gestures with his hands. 

He rolled his eyes. "There's no way I can walk like that, and I wish you'd stop. You're making me look ridiculous. Promise me you won't walk like that as long as you have my body." He jumped to his feet. "Real men walk heavy and hard ... and pull your shoulders back." He grabbed her forearms from behind, forcing her chest forward. 

She jerked out of his grasp, turned and glared at him. "Don't worry. I'll play up the macho thing, but I want to see you walk like I just did." 

He blew out a loud breath then reluctantly took one step, then another. The swivel didn't come naturally, but he tried following her example. Having a woman's form and a man's thought process was tough. The two didn't work well together. He walked across the room then turned. "Well, what do you think?" 

"I think you look like someone who just had casts removed from their broken legs. But, we'll keep working on it. I also need to show you how to sit properly, drink with poise, and how to be graceful." 

He grabbed two handfuls of her blonde hair and yanked in frustration. "Just kill me now." 

"I can't. You promised I wouldn't have to shoot anyone, and I don't want to be the first to un-holster your gun." Her giggle sounded forced. 

He sagged down on the sofa. "I guess I'll be spending the night again. Looks like we have a lot of ground to cover."

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Importance of Book Titles by Connie Vines

I am blogging about the Importance of Book Titles today (Saturday, October 22) at my WordSlinger Weblog.  Please stop by and see what every has to say!

Happy Reading & Writing,


Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown by Connie Vines

 “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” — which premiered 50 years ago this month — is my favorite "Peanuts" production.

“Great Pumpkin,”  represented an open and inviting canvas for legendary animator Bill Melendez, who worked on classic Disney films and “Looney Tunes” shorts before coming to the world of “Peanuts.”

[The 7 things you might not know about ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!’]

Buoyed success of the Peanuts Christmas Special, Charles Schulz, Melendez and Mendelson hashed out the new special’s plot quickly — including Linus’s late-night vigil as he waits for the Great Pumpkin, even as others question where he places his faith. (Linus had delivered the iconic “meaning of Christmas” speech in the first special, quoting from Luke.)

Their swift narrative certainty for “Great Pumpkin” freed Melendez (who also voiced Snoopy) and his crew — including gifted animator Bill Littlejohn — to create stunning watercolor skies and rich autumn hues that provide every scene with its own mood, apart from the characters. Melendez brilliantly painted both motion and emotion.

“It is by far the most colorful of the shows,” Mendelson says, “as Bill and his team captured the vibrancy of the fall season.”

And the camera, reviews report, often so static in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” zooms in for facial close-ups in the follow-up that provide the viewer with a poignant intimacy.

“Because of this, I think we as viewers are right there in the pumpkin patch with Linus and Sally,” the Bay Area-based Mendelson says, “as she berates him for failing to produce the Great Pumpkin.”

9 Best Quotes:

1. Lucy Van Pelt: A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality.

2. Linus: Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see."

3. Lucy: All you have to do is walk up to a house, ring the doorbell, and say "tricks or treats."

Sally : Are you sure it's legal?

Lucy: Of course it's legal.

Sally: I wouldn't want to be accused of taking part in a rumble.

4. Linus: Have you come to sing pumpkin carols?

5. Linus: You don't believe the story of the Great Pumpkin? I thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. I thought little girls were innocent and trusting.

Sally Brown: Welcome to the 20th century!

6. Linus: You've heard of the fury of a woman scorned, haven't you?

Charlie Brown: Yeah, I guess I have.

Linus: Well, that's nothing compared to the fury of a woman who has been cheated out of trick-or-treats.

7. Linus: There are three things that I've learned never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.

8. Linus: He'll come here because I have the most sincere pumpkin patch and he respects sincerity.

9. Linus: [writing to the Great Pumpkin] You must get discouraged because more people believe in Santa Claus than in you. Well, let's face it; Santa Claus has had more publicity, but being #2, perhaps you try harder.

Do you have a favorite "Peanuts" Special?

Snoopy and Linus.

The Great Pumpkin.

Peanuts Characters remind me to enjoy life!

Happy October Everyone.

Thank you for stopping by to read my Thursday blog here at "Dishn' It Out!"C\


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