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Category Archives: Blog Tours and Guest Blogging

Book launch of Beyond Blood has two guest authors reading

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Publicity can be terrible. But only if you don’t have any.

  • Jane Russell.

This just in.

Nate Hendley who writes true crime books and Rosemary McCracken who writes mystery novels are guest readers at my book launch October 19.

They will certainly add variety to the two of us from Blue Denim launching our books. Lots of murder and mayhem (in the books, not in the Paintbox Bistro, Toronto launch location). Let’s see:

Nate Hendley has written several books about the baddies such as the The Black Donnellys: The Outrageous Tale of Canada’s Deadliest Feud, American Gangsters: Then and Now, The Mafia: A Guide to an American Subculture and Crystal Death. His current book focuses on something different – a miscarriage of justice – Steven Truscott: Decades of Injustice (Five Rivers Publishing, 2012). Nate is also a Toronto, Ontario-based freelance journalist and the Ontario VP for Crime Writers of Canada. I have been helping him line up public readings for CWC authors in Ontario. Find out more about Nate and his books at http://www.natehendley.com/ And check out his crime blog at http://crimestory.wordpress.com/

Rosemary McCracken, another Crime Writers of Canada member writes a mystery series about financial planner Pat Tierney and if you think that sounds dull, think again. Pat seems to get herself embroiled in financial mayhem and murder, and usually some family member is involved somehow. So far the series books are: Safe Harbor (Imagin Books, 2012), and Black Water (Imagin Books, 2013). Pat Tierney also appeared in Rosemary’s short story “The Sweetheart Scamster” in the short story anthology Mesdames of Mayhem Thirteen (2013). Check out Rosemary’s website at http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/Home_Page.php for more book information and her Moving Target blog at http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/Home_Page.php. Rosemary and I did blog tours and my blog post there is at http://rosemarymccracken.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/interview-with-author-sharon-a-crawford/

Nate, Rosemary and I have also made several appearances together and done readings with these CWC presentations. The three of us may be touring together later this year or early next year for more readings. Stay tuned.

And of course, the two of us with books being published by Blue Denim Press

Dead Wrong by Klaus Jakelski – a medical murder mystery. And yes, Klaus is a medical doctor with a family practice in Sudbury, Ontario, but his book takes place in Boston, Massachusetts and Toronto, Ontario. His book is available in e-copy at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Wrong-Klaus-Jakelski-ebook/dp/B00N32O9Z4

And my book, Beyond Blood, with the infamous fraternal twins Dana Bowman and Bast Overture, a mystery taking place during eight days in August 1998 in fictitious Thurston, Ontario, just north of Toronto.

Meantime, yours truly is still frantically doing pre-book launch promo. Not going as fast as I had hoped. It doesn’t help that both my email/website server went down for a day during maintenance and yesterday my modem-router went off the ISP grid for a bit but only on the hard-wired connection on my desktop computer. The wireless was fine and my laptop was connected. Glitches fixed thanks to good techies at the other end(s). But it steals from your time.

I’m blaming that on why I haven’t updated my website page for Beyond Blood. Some of the updates are off-line but when I had the time to load it – that’s when the website server was off. More info will be up on my website www.samcraw on the Beyond Blood page in the next few days.

Check out the details on my book and my colleague Klaus Jakelski’s book at www.bluedenimpress.com.

The book at the top of this blog post links to amazon.com and for those of us with Kobo’s, here is that link for the e-pub version. http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-blood-1 And when I (finally) get my amazon profile and web page updated I’ll give you the links to them.

Print versions of Beyond Blood and Dead Wrong are coming out soon.

Watch for Dana and Bast. They will be returning here in these blog posts soon. And I promise, Bast will not go missing this time, but somebody else might.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Some thoughts on marketing your published book

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.'s short story collection

Amazon.com link to Sharon A.’s short story collection

Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.
– A.A. Milne

The book cover for my new mystery novel Beyond Blood is about ready for print. Shane the editor at my publisher’s (Blue Denim Press) and I have been to-ing and fro-ing by email to proofread the cover, mainly the back page info. I think we got the last comma squared away. Whew!

And the cover is awesome and reflects the book’s title and content. When Shane emails me the actual cover in a smaller size, I will post it on this blog.

Meantime I continue on the pre-book launch PR. I also have to consider the other mystery novelist (first novel for both of us) being published by Blue Denim Press – Klaus Jakelski, a medical doctor and author of the medical mystery Dead Wrong. Ironically, Klaus is one of my editing clients although except for providing Blue Denim Press’s contact info, I had nothing to do with his book getting accepted by them. But Klaus and I will be doing some of the PR together.

There are many, many ways an author can publicize his or her book. My publisher is doing some PR (Shane sent me a list, including what we authors can do). However, I have learned much from my PR efforts with my debut mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point.

1. You need a marketing plan as I found out when trying to book a gig reading Beyond the Tripping Point (before it came out) at a bookstore in Waterloo, Ontario. The store manager wanted to see my marketing plan first.
2. You need to organize your marketing plan to suit you. I tried doing it by category (i.e. book launch, writing organizations, etc.) first in a Word Table and then a colleague set it up in Excel. Too confusing. For yet another possible marketing venture, I had to list my Marketing plan by the month. That one works best for me. Under each month I list what I will do by – you guessed it – category. The list meshes social media, email and in-person. And it is always in flux and open to additions – some of which my publisher emails me.

What else have I learned from the PR I did for BTTP?
1. A combination of social media, email and in-person appearances/readings,workshops and lots of book reviews is the way to go. Despite this digital age, author appearances reading should not be excluded. People still like to connect in person with authors.
2. E-mail PR can still work and can be segued into social media and result in book sales.
4. Videos of author reading (short) and interviews (shortish) are also draws if posted on You Tube and all your other social media.
5. Blogging, including blog tours, with connections to amazon.com, etc. and other social media works.
6. A book page on the now old-fashioned website. I have one for Beyond the Tripping Point and have started one for Beyond Blood at http://www.samcraw.com. You can list your author gigs, including blog tours and other relevant info. Just keep it short and use links where possible.

 

What new strategies I need to use with Beyond Blood:

Among others – book trailer, using my social media much more, getting more book reviews, visiting more bricks and mortar bookstores for readings (with or without other Crime Writers of Canada authors) and getting more TV interviews and maybe a radio one, and the DVD copies of the interviews to put up on You Tube, etc. (with my son, Martin, the computer expert’s help), and using a tagline for all of this (for Beyond Blood and Klaus’s Dead Wrong it is Blue Murder, a play on words for the publisher’s name. Shane from Blue Denim Press came up with that one.

It’s almost a full-time job, but as I posted a few weeks ago in https://sharonacrawfordauthor.com/2014/07/10/juggling-time-to-publicize-first-novel-and-write-second-novel/

I do other writing, teaching and editing. It boils down to being organized and picking my battles for all the other stuff in my life that goes wrong. Like the bank (i.e. one of their tellers) paying my property tax money into the city utility (water and waste) account by mistake, so I get a big fine for “non-payment” of property taxes. The bank manager is supposed to be fixing that and seemed very interested if I knew which teller was responsible, so I hope they nail her. She should be paying my fine.

And if any of my readers use other PR strategies for their published books (whether Indie or traditional publisher), please comment.

Meantime, back to the PR for Beyond Blood.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

You can read about my characters and their stories in my short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s profile – including book reviews – at http://www.amazon.com.
More info on Sharon A.’s upcoming gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at http://www.samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondtheTrippingPoint.html And keep checking http://samcraw.com/Articles/BeyondBlood.html for the latest news on the release of my first mystery novel Beyond Blood, also published by Blue Denim Press http://www.bluedenimpress.com More info on the Beyond Blood page as we get closer to the date. And remember that clicking on the book icon at the top gets you to my Amazon profile.

 

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Guest blogger interviews her protagonist

Rosemary McCracken author of Safe Harbor and Black Water mystery novels

Rosemary McCracken author of Safe Harbor and Black Water mystery novels

Rosemary McCracken has written two mystery novels (so far) – Safe Harbor and Black Water – featuring financial advisor Pat Tierney. Please welcome guest blogger Rosemary McCracken as she interviews this financial expert whose life is anything but usually dull.

Pat, how do you feel about being the main character of a book?

When you decided to make me the central character of Safe Harbor, the first book in her mystery series, I was puzzled. I’m just an ordinary, forty something woman. Widow, mother of two girls, business woman.Nothing special. But you thought people would be interested in me and my adventures.

And, to my amazement, they were. “I can’t wait for the next Pat Tierney installment,” one reader posted on Amazon. “I look forward to seeing what trouble Pat Tierney gets herself into next,” another reader said.

So I’m back—this time in Black Water.

 

Why did you become a financial advisor?

My late husband, Michael, was a financial advisor with a large investment firm, and his enthusiasm for his work was contagious. I took courses, got my accreditation and then joined Michael at the branch he ran.

I love helping my clients get their financial houses in order. It’s important work and I take it very seriously.

 

How did you get yourself involved in a murder investigation—again?

When it comes to my family, I’m a big softie. When Black Water opened, my relationship with my eldest child, Tracy, was stretched to the limits. I had to set it right. So when she asked me to help locate her sweetheart, Jamie, I had no choice in the matter. I headed out to cottage country north of Toronto where an elderly man had been killed in a suspicious fire. And Jamie was the prime suspect.

 

Did the events ofBlack Watermake youa better person?


Definitely. I’ve learned to get to know people before I judge them. I wasn’t at all happy when Tracy introduced me to Jamie—because Jamie is a woman. You see, I had no inkling of my daughter’s sexual orientation. I’d always considered myself a champion of diversity—racial, religious and sexual. But it’s easy to be open-minded until your own kid comes out.

In short, I botched it big time. After I met Jamie, I threw myself into my work, hoping Tracy would get over her infatuation. I made no effort to get to know Jamie.

But when Tracy asked me to help when Jamie went missing, I realized how important Jamie was to her. She wasn’t just friend. Jamie was the special person in my daughter’s life. Her partner.

I also realized that Tracy had been keeping things from me for a long time. I love my daughters and I don’t want them to keep secrets from me. I decided that I’d get to know Jamie, and if she was the one for Tracy, I’d stand by her choice.

The more I learned about Jamie, the more I liked her. She’s an exceptional young lawyer who secured a landmark judgment on behalf of an elderly woman who lost her savings when a financial advisor put them into high-risk investments. Jamie has talent, energy and integrity. And best of all, she’s devoted to Tracy.

 

What was the most challenging situation you found yourself in in Black Water?

That’s a difficult question to answer. I met up with some truly dreadful people in this book, and a couple of times I really thought it was game over for me. But I’d have to say the biggest challenge was driving a huge snowmobile named Molly across a series of frozen lakes in cottage country. I’d never operated a snowmobile before, and the lakes weren’t as frozen as they should have been. At one point, I had to resort to snowmobile skipping. Have you ever heard of snowmobile skipping? It’s driving a snowmobile across a stretch of open water by approaching it at a very high speed. It’s pretty scary. If you don’t make it over that icy water, you sink like a stone.

 

What’s your greatest failing?

I’m a worrier. I worry about everything, which makes bad situations twice as bad. I worry about them beforehand, and then I have to live through them.

 

Can we look forward to reading about you again?

I know that you have  two more books mapped out for me. Looks like I’ll be getting into trouble for some time to come.

Book cover for Black Water

Book cover for Black Water

BLACK WATER: synopsis 

When Pat Tierney’s daughter, Tracy, asks her to help find Tracy’s partner, Jamie Collins, their mother-daughter relationship is stretched to the limits. Pat heads out to cottage country where an elderly man, who killed Jamie’s sister in an impaired driving accident years ago, has perished in a suspicious fire. Unfortunately, Jamie is the prime suspect.

Pat takes charge at the new branch her investment firm has opened in the seemingly idyllic community where Jamie grew up, and her search for Tracy’s missing sweetheart takes her through a maze of fraud, drugs, bikers and murder.

Once again, Pat proves that her family can always count on her.

 Rosemary McCracken has worked on newspapers across Canada as a reporter, arts reviewer, editorial writer and editor. She is now a Toronto-based fiction writer and freelance journalist. Her first mystery novel, Safe Harbor, was shortlisted for Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger in 2010 and published by Imajin Books in 2012. You can buy it here.

Black Water, the second book in the Pat Tierney series, has just been released at the special introductory price of .99! You can buy it here.

Visit Rosemary’s website at http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/.

Follow Rosemary on http://rosemarymccracken.wordpress.com/. And on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RCMcCracken and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosemarymccracken?ref=tn_tnmn

 

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Blog tours for your writing and your book

 book cover Beyond the Tripping Point

Click on book cover to get to amazon.com link to my book

Without promotion something terrible happens…nothing.

–          P.T. Barnum
I’ve been busy writing guest spot blog posts or doing blog tours as they are called. This is a great way to promote your published book. However, it also can work to promote your writing and to do a writing feedback exchange. Blog tours can expand your blog’s readership and create new connections. And we writers working in isolation need to connect.

Connecting with other writers not only gets you out of this aloneness but it can be of mutual benefit to you and your connections. You can read what others are writing and discover different writing styles, learn more in different areas (we writers are supposed to be curious), possibly get some writing feedback going back and forth and perhaps some guest blog posting.

A writer friend, Shane Joseph, has come up with a unique way to promote his published writing on WatPad  http://www.wattpad.com/. And  he will also be a featured writer on WatPad  December 14. Direct link to Shane’s work is http://www.wattpad.com/8704102-lest-they-be-forgotten-foreword

My two guest blog posts coming up this month do help promote my short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point, but they also provide details on how and why I write. One post, set up in Q and A style, covers how my writing career evolved and provides a way to share some of the joys and pitfalls of writing – I also like to read about other authors and how they are evolving. In another guest blog I go into my writing name identity crises. Any writer who uses or considers using pseudonyms can relate to this issue.

I suggest you read other writers’ blogs and comment. Connect.

Check out these links:

Shane Joseph on Watpad http://www.wattpad.com/8704102-lest-they-be-forgotten-foreword

My two upcoming blog tours:

The name post – What’s in a Name? Going live December 15, 2012 at http://typem4murder.blogspot.ca/

Q and A – Going live December 28, 2012 at http://sweatercursed.blogspot.ca/

Happy reading and connecting.

And for Canadians, Beyond the Tripping Point is now available in print and Kindle from amazon.ca – direct link http://www.amazon.ca/Beyond-Tripping-Point-Sharon-Crawford/dp/0986952893/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355327652&sr=1-1

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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