Thanks, Marketing Tips, and a Gift

What I’m read­ing: The Case Has Altered, by Martha Grimes

No 1_Oct31Dangerous Connections by author Terry OdellFirst – A HUGE Thank You to every­one who’s kept 4 of my Black­thorne, Inc. books on the Ama­zon Best Seller list for Action Adven­ture Romance. Dan­ger­ous Con­nec­tions and When Dan­ger Calls have both been in the top 20, and Rooted in Dan­ger and Where Dan­ger Hides in the top 40. It wouldn’t have hap­pened with­out you, and I’m blessed to have so many won­der­ful read­ers. With­out you, it wouldn’t hap­pen. Be sure to read through to the end of the post for my spe­cial thank you.

Because hit­ting those Best Sell­ing lists doesn’t hap­pen for me very often, I’ve been watch­ing some of the dynam­ics. Given that I’m only look­ing at one sub-genre (Action Adven­ture Romance) on one site (Ama­zon), these obser­va­tions prob­a­bly shouldn’t be gen­er­al­ized across the board. How­ever I found them interesting.

I released Dan­ger­ous Con­nec­tions at just about every sales chan­nel pos­si­ble. It was the 5th book in my Black­thorne, Inc. series. I pub­li­cized it mod­er­ately, but didn’t do a lot of spe­cial­ized mar­ket­ing. I didn’t play with the price, or even offer it at an ‘intro­duc­tory’ price point. It sells for $3.99, and I haven’t touched that.

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Ideas Aren’t Exclusive

What I’m read­ing: Break­ing Point, by C.J. Box

Have you bid on some­thing at Brenda Novak’s auc­tion for dia­betes research. I’ve donated 4 out of print books and I’d really like to see some action—it’s for a good cause, after all. Link in the side­bar (click the image). And, there’s still time to enter to win one of F.M. Meredith’s books from Tuesday’s post. Scroll down.

idea lightbulbThe other night, Hub­ster and I were watch­ing a recent episode of CSI (no, I don’t use it for police/forensics research! Hub­ster enjoys the spe­cial effects pho­tog­ra­phy, and maybe some of the cleav­age. I like fol­low­ing the characters.)

At any rate, the story included dis­cov­er­ing a woman/suspect who suf­fered from a rare disease—one that the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies don’t put much effort into, because there aren’t “enough” peo­ple who have the con­di­tion. They’re com­monly referred to as “orphan” dis­eases. This one hap­pened to be a rare clot­ting dis­or­der. Hub­ster and I looked at each other and laughed. Why? Because one of the themes in Rooted in Dan­ger revolves around research into orphan dis­eases. And, to raise the coin­ci­dence level, my cur­rent WIP has a char­ac­ter suf­fer­ing from a clot­ting disorder—not the one in the CSI episode, but the same effects. My reac­tion? “Hey. I wrote those books!”

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Readers Helping Authors

What I’m read­ing: Con­test entry #5/5; Sil­ver Ser­e­nade by Nancy J. Cohen

Word of MouthAs read­ers, what can you do to sup­port an author, espe­cially one with a small press, or who’s indie pub­lish­ing? Unless you’re a big name with a big house, odds are, the pub­lisher isn’t doing much to help.

The no-brainer. Buy their books. But there are so many other things you can do to help boost the vis­i­bil­ity of an author whose books you enjoy.

Word of mouth is still the best sales tool. Tell oth­ers about the book. For exam­ple, in the Nook First pro­gram, they pro­mote the book over the course of the month. When it’s sim­ply a men­tion buried on their web­site where only peo­ple look­ing for it can find it, I see a minor hic­cup in my sales. But when the put it in their newslet­ter, or send the email to Nook own­ers and oth­ers who have bought my books in the past, then sales take a notice­able jump.

How to kick up Word of Mouth.

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Friday Field Trip — A Dog’s Life

Many of you know we adopted Feb­bie from the local shel­ter last July. Some­how, post­ing her pic­tures on my Face­book page gets a lot of traf­fic, and since I didn’t have any­thing new for this week I thought I’d share some here. She loves run­ning, play­ing “bring it” and “Timmy’s in the Well” and keep­ing an eye out for “vis­i­tors” to our yard, but today, I’m shar­ing her qui­eter side.

Feebie, photo courtesy of Terry Odell

Fee­bie takes a break from her sen­try duty to rest in her look­out hole. She’s mak­ing sure we’re proud of her efforts.

Feebie, photo by Terry OdellTime for a nap, I think.


Feebie, photo courtesy of Terry OdellNose between the paws position.

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Critique Partners

Beta TestingI’m over at The Blood-Red Pen­cil again, this time talk­ing about cri­tique part­ners and beta read­ers. Hope you’ll pop over and say hello. I was going to write a sep­a­rate post for Terry’s Place, but I’ll be hon­est with you. I’ve been busy with the release of Rooted in Dan­ger, and doing dou­ble blog posts didn’t fit my sched­ule. I’ll be back with another ‘writ­ing’ post on Monday.

But as long as you’re read­ing this, I’ll remind my newslet­ter sub­scribers that if they haven’t entered the con­test yet (link is found only in the newslet­ter), it’s going to be end­ing on the 30th.

If you’re not check­ing the Booklover’s Bench site, you’re also miss­ing out on chances to win books. (link in tab in the nav bar)

And, lastly, Rooted in Dan­ger will be a Nook First selec­tion start­ing on Sat­ur­day. But since the pro­gram isn’t exclu­sive any more, you can get the e-book at Barnes & Noble, Ama­zon, Kobo, and Smash­words. Buy links here.

Friday Field Trip — Cover Reveal

A depar­ture from my usual Field Trips. I love my cover artist, Dave Fymbo, and love shar­ing how he works. This time, I chal­lenged him to cre­ate a cover for the dig­i­tal ver­sion of Rooted in Dan­ger. The dilemma was that since this book was pub­lished in hard cover when it came out, the pub­lisher cre­ated the cover. I liked it, but I thought it needed more “zing” to stand out in the e-book stores, where the first images you see are thumb­nail size. For Where Dan­ger Hides, we tried to make it as sim­i­lar as pos­si­ble. We tried that with Rooted in Dan­ger, and these are some of the sug­gested images I sent him.

Dave came back with some pre­lim­i­nary cover ideas based on those.

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Just Write!

What I’m read­ing: Delu­sion in Death, by J.D. Robb (library)

Computer in author Terry Odell's officeI did some­thing last week that I haven’t done in far too long—started work­ing on a new man­u­script. I’d been up to my eye­balls in fin­ish­ing Deadly Bones, then deal­ing with edits, then trav­el­ing, then get­ting the new com­puter that I just let the writ­ing slide. Start­ing a new project is always daunt­ing. Which series should I con­tinue? Or should I do a stand alone? Mys­tery? Roman­tic suspense?

Maybe this year would have been the one to join the NaNoW­riMo train; it’s the first Novem­ber I wasn’t already in the mid­dle of some­thing else. But that “write for word count and don’t edit” just goes against every­thing that works for me, so there was no moti­va­tion to try it.

I’ve had emails from read­ers who’ve said they’re look­ing for more Black­thorne, Inc. books, so that’s what I decided to do. But whose story? I didn’t get that kind of feed­back, so I thought it might be inter­est­ing to pick a dif­fer­ent character.

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Doing Your Homework

Reminder: My NOOK con­test will end June 10th. Don’t skip a chance to win a NOOK Sim­ple Touch. And, I’ll have gift cer­tifi­cates for sec­ond and third place win­ners. You can’t win if you don’t enter. Rules are here.

Write what you know, every­one says. If I did that, I’d have writ­ten one (maybe) very bor­ing book. Write what you can learn is a much bet­ter piece of advice. Since I’ve never been a cop or a covert ops spe­cial­ist, I have to rely on research to make my books ring true.

The Inter­net makes doing research much eas­ier than it was in days of hav­ing to go to the library, but it’s not your only resource. It’s a great place to start, but some­times you need more.

I’ve been work­ing on a sequel to DEADLY SECRETS. As read­ers of this blog know, I’m not much of a plot­ter, so I don’t do a lot of research until I come to a place I need the details. After all, if I don’t know what’s going to hap­pen next, I can’t very well be look­ing it up, can I?

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Win a NOOK

Things have been going well lately, and I think it’s only fair that share my good for­tune with my read­ers. I appre­ci­ate each and every one of you who fol­lowed me here from Blogger.

In my plus col­umn: A suc­cess­ful debut of SAVING SCOTT at Barnes & Noble, via their NOOK First program.

Some very nice reviews for my newest Black­thorne, Inc. book, ROOTED IN DANGER.

And, my sec­ond Black­thorne book, WHERE DANGER HIDES was voted the Best Roman­tic Sus­pense in the 2012 Holt Medal­lion Contest.

Holt MedallionAs a way of say­ing thank you, I’m going to be hold­ing a new con­test. First Prize is A NOOK Sim­ple Touch e-reader. Sec­ond and third place win­ners will get Gift Cer­tifi­cates, either to Barnes & Noble or Ama­zon.

Here’s the skinny:

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