Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Promotion and Reader Trust

by L.J. Sellers

Authors may feel pressured to invent new ways to promote their work, but unfortunately, some tactics are less ethical than others. We’ve all heard complaints from readers about five-star reviews written by the author’s family, but now some novelists have taken Amazon-ranking manipulation to a new level by gifting books to readers.

What’s wrong with giving away books? Nothing, in theory. I’ve given away hundreds of copies of my novels, both print and digital. But when an author gifts a book through Amazon, the transaction counts as a sale, and a lot of sales all at once can push a book higher in the rankings. Better visibility then results in more sales. I understand the motivation to do this, yet it strikes me as deceptive. The practice leads readers to purchase the book based on the assumption that many other readers have already done so. If readers knew the author was the main buyer of those copies, they might make a different decision.

So what is ethical and what is not? Having a friend or two read your book and post good reviews on various forums seems fine. For myself, I rarely solicit reviews, I’ve never asked anyone to post a review they didn’t fully support, and none of my family members have ever posted reviews of my novels. (At least not that I know about. If they’re posting anonymously, it might explain a few things. :) But having friends post five-star reviews of a book they didn’t read or didn’t like is not okay. Directly giving away copies of your books in any format is great promotion and lots of fun, but buying your own books to manipulate rankings is probably not a good idea.

As a guideline, I believe anything that would make a reader feel manipulated or lied to should be avoided. A lot of book promotion falls into a huge gray area of social networking and doesn’t have clear boundaries. For example, it's typically okay to talk about your books if someone else brings them up, but readers hate it when writers sidetrack a discussion to talk about their own novels. They get annoyed when writers anonymously start discussions about their work. Writers can openly start discussions about their work...if they've been participating in the forum long enough to make friends. It's a delicate social balance.

Some readers have become super sensitive to this trend. Last month, a reader started a thread about my Jackson books, just because she loved the series and wanted to share her discovery. Another forum participant immediately assumed I, or someone connected to me, had initiated the thread. I’ve never done that and the participant had no reason to believe I would, but clearly, enough authors engage in that sort of thing to make all of us look bad. I was delighted when other participants defended both me and my series, but the incident made me aware that writers as a group are developing a problem with reader trust.

Here’s another gray area: When is it okay to add someone to your email database? I’ve always assumed that if readers contact me about my novels or enter a contest to win a book, they'll expect me to add them to my newsletter file. Once they receive my mailing, which only goes out to announce new releases, they can immediately unsubscribe. Yet, this is not a clear area, and some readers may not want to be emailed without explicit permission. I’m still grappling with the ethics of this tactic.

This subject could be endless, so I’ll only bring up one more point. Writers who use Facebook and Twitter to exclusively promote their work do themselves more harm than good. It’s spam. Sending people you don’t really know invitations to read your work is also spam.

I’m not perfect, and I’ve made mistakes along the way. This post is intended to not only encourage authors to be ethical in their promotion but also to let readers know their trust is important to me.

Readers: What else do you consider annoying or unethical?
Writers: What has been your experience with these situations?

L.J. Sellers writes the bestselling Detective Jackson mysteries and standalone thrillers

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Five Tips for Researching Your Mystery

 By Judith Yates Borger

So you want to write a mystery and you’ve heard the advice, write what you know. But what about what you don’t know? Where to begin? This is a problem that sometimes stops authors dead in their tracks.

Have no fear. Think of it as going to garage sales. The perfect item at the best price is out there, and while looking for it you'll probably find lots of other useful stuff. Here are some ways to get started.

Tip 1. Find the best research engine for you.
There are probably more search engines than you ever imagined. First define in broad terms what you want to know, then check out Click on “Choose the best search” in the middle of the page. Beware: you could be up half the night reading fascinating facts you never knew.

Tip 2: Start on the periphery of your subject and work your way to the middle.
Now that you have a broad overview of your topic, start to narrow your focus. For example, my next mystery — still unnamed — will be set among Somali women. Once I found the best search engine for my topic, I searched for "Somali women Minneapolis." Voila, I had names and background  information on several women.

Tip 3: Don’t let the idea of calling a stranger and asking for an interview intimidate you.
People, especially experts, are usually delighted to have someone ask them about their favorite topic, and then actually listen to the answer. When I was writing “Whose Hand?” I wanted to include a section about the trafficking of live tigers. Until then, all I knew about tigers was that they were striped. I Googled and Binged tiger trafficking but I wasn’t getting the muscle and sinew I really needed. Well, what about the zoo?

I checked the Minnesota Zoo website and found the director of the tiger program. Then I Googled his name and learned I was in luck. Not only was he king of the tigers at the Minnesota Zoo, he was king of tigers everywhere. Because tigers are endangered, there’s an agency that regulates which captive tigers can mate with which. The Minnesota Zoo tiger director was the guy in charge of tiger love across all zoos. No male/female rendezvous without his OK.  When I called to ask for an appointment he was delighted to talk for hours and I ended up basing a character in Whose Hand? on him.

Tip 4:  Establish rapport with your source.
The key to getting the information you need most is to make your source comfortable. If she offers you coffee, take it, even if your bladder's about to burst. It gets the source in a giving state of mind, and if you're both sipping something hot, or cold, it establishes a commonality at the start. Spot a picture of the your source's children? Ask about them. Nothing gets a parent talking faster than a question about darling little Susie. Then segue into what you really want to know.

Tip 5: Keep the discussion to an hour or under.
Being interviewed is tough work. People get tired. If you want to know more than you can get in the time it takes to watch a full episode of CSI, ask your interviewee if you can call back with follow up questions. Then follow up. Either call or ask for just a bit more of your subject's time.

Remember to relax and enjoy the process. I promise that once you get into research you’ll find it’s the second best part of mystery writing, right after cashing royalty checks.

Next topic: Interviewing techniques, or when to take notes and when to just listen.

—Judith Yates Borger, author of  Skeeter Hughes Mysteries, Guilty Pleasures for Manic Moms

Monday, April 25, 2011

Questions for Your Beta Readers

by Jodie Renner

Since I'm a freelance fiction editor and craft writer, most of my posts here will be advice, tips and resources for aspiring novelists, with an emphasis on thrillers, romantic suspense and mysteries.

So you've written your first draft? Congratulations! What's next? A future post of mine will go over the revision process, but for now, let's skip ahead to after you've revised your first draft once or twice. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by sending it off to an agent too soon, or self-publishing it yet. That's the biggest mistake of unsuccessful novelists - being in too much of a hurry to get their book out when it still needs significant revisions and final polishing. To start, get some input from volunteer readers familiar with your genre, then do some revisions based on the feedback, and finally, get a thorough copyedit, preferably by a professional freelance editor.

First, get some trusted colleagues or acquaintances to read your story through (or even the first few chapters) and tell you what they think of it so far. But don't ask your parent, child, sibling, bff or significant other to do this “beta” reading, as they probably won't want to tell you what they really think, for fear of jeopardizing your relationship. So how do you find your beta readers? Perhaps through a critique group, writing class, workshop, book club, or online networking such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.
Be sure to choose your pre-readers from people who already read and enjoy your genre. In the case of a YA novel or children’s book, look around for be age-appropriate relatives, neighborhood kids, or the children of your friends – or perhaps you know a teacher or librarian who would be willing to read some or all of it aloud and collect feedback.
To avoid generic (and generally useless) responses like “I liked it,” “It was good,” or “It was okay,” it’s best to guide your readers with specific questions. I recently polled some author clients and friends about this, and here are their lists of useful questions for your “beta” readers or critique group.
YA and children’s fiction author Michael Broadway (Cornell Deville) contributed these questions:
  • Did the story hold your interest from the very beginning?
  • Was there a point at which you became less than excited about finding out what was going to happen next?
  • Could you relate to the main character? Did you feel her/his pain or excitement?
  • Did the setting pull you in, and did the descriptions seem vivid and real to you?
Friend, co-blogger and suspense-mystery writer extraordinaire, LJ Sellers, suggested these questions:
  • Was the opening compelling? At what point did you first stop reading?
  • Did you relate to the character? Did you come to feel you knew the character?
  • Was there anything that confused or frustrated you?
  • Was the ending satisfying? Believable?
Here are some questions and thoughts contributed by my client, author Robert Beatty:
“When I ask someone for what I call “Story Reading,” I want the reader to give me his or her detailed impression and thoughts as he/she is reading the story. I want to know what he/she is thinking and feeling as he/she reads the story. I ask questions like this:
  • What scenes/paragraphs/lines did you really like?
  • What parts did you dislike or not like as much?
  • Where did you get bored?
  • What parts resonated with you and/or moved you emotionally?
  • What parts should be compressed?
  • What parts should be elaborated on?
  • What parts are confusing?
  • What characters do you connect to and like?
  • What characters need more development or focus?
Ideally, I want the reader to make many notes in the text as they are reading so that I can tell what they are thinking and feeling at each point. I literally want to be reading their mind. This allows me to know whether I’m connecting, communicating, and having the impact I intended. Some people are very good at giving me their thoughts and feelings as they go along. Besides asking “lay people” to read my stories critically, I also use freelance editors for the above kind of feedback, in addition to copyediting and/or proofreading.”
-          Robert Beatty, author of Sapo, Lioness, and Richard’s Laws of Motion.
To the above questions I would add:
  • Did you get oriented fairly quickly at the beginning as to whose story it is, and where and when it’s taking place?
  • Were the characters believable? Are there any characters you think could be made more interesting or more likeable?
  • Did you notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in time sequences, places, character details, etc.?
  • Did you get confused about who’s who in the characters? Were there too many characters to keep track of? Too few? Are any of the names or characters too similar?
  • Did the dialogue sound natural to you? If not, whose dialogue did you think sounded artificial?
  • Did you feel there was too much description or exposition? Not enough? Maybe too much dialogue in parts?
  • Did you notice any obvious, repeating grammatical, spelling, punctuation or capitalization errors?

What about you writers out there? Do you use beta readers? If so, how do you guide their reading? Do you have any questions or suggestions to add that have helped you focus their reading, so you can get a good handle on the strengths and weaknesses of your novel? We'd love to hear from you!

Jodie Renner, a freelance fiction editor specializing in thrillers and other fast-paced fiction, has published two books to date in her series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: WRITING A KILLER THRILLER and STYLE THAT SIZZLES & PACING FOR POWER. Both titles are available in e-book and paperback. For more info, please visit Jodie’s author website or editor website, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

To DRM or Not?

—posted by L.J. Sellers (a guest blog from Alexis Bonari)

Several writers have asked me lately whether they should protect their e-books against piracy with DRM. Most big publishers take that step, but many self-published authors don’t. My choice is to publish without it, thinking, why should I anger a whole bunch of potential readers by locking up books I sell for $.99 and $2.99?

This subject concerns readers too, because once you’ve purchased an e-book, you might want to read it on various devices, and DRM can prevent that. Other bloggers know more about this subject than I do, so I’m presenting a thoughtful guest post by Alexis Bonari, a blogger at College Scholarships.

Why Not to DRM: Lessons from the Music Industry
Writers and publishers of e-books today wrestle with the predicament that has plagued the music industry almost since the dawn of the internet: piracy. Enter DRM—digital rights management—and you have a topic that raises voices and tempers to comparably high levels.

Alexis Bonari
To some writers, the option of applying DRM to one’s work is a bit like choosing between locking the front door and letting it swing open for neighbors and passersby to see the newly installed HDTV. Still others cite the obvious: J.K. Rowling refuses to e-publish, but this doesn’t stop fans and opportunists from pirating each of her books online, just hours within each release.

In his article “The Seven Secrets to eBook Publishing Success,” Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, advocates trusting readers to do the right thing and buy your e-book. Easier said than done, but he makes a solid case. Quoting Rodrigo Paranhos Velloso, the director of business development for Google Latin America, Coker says that “when you apply DRM, you encourage piracy. DRM-free e-books give your reader greater freedom to enjoy your book across multiple devices and platforms.”

DRM: An Exercise in Futility: Book publishers and broke writers are hardly the first to face this jam. Long, long ago (as in, 2007), Down With Tyrrany posted “How to Destroy a Profitable Industry in Just a Few Easy Steps,” a commentary on all the things the music industry was doing wrong in the face of illegal music downloading. The problem had originally derived from the rise in demand for web-delivered music as well as the rise in illegal file sharing.

The author proposed to higher-ups to sell unprotected MP3 singles at $1.00 or $1.50 because CDs were unprotected and they still managed to profit. The higher-ups advocated the following:
  • the lock and key method of DRM
  • the development of a secure cross-platform solution
Because one didn’t yet exist, they tried to stall. Instead of giving consumers an alternative to piracy, the higher-ups chose to aggressively sue music lovers while stalling for their own profitable solution.
Seeing as the music industry remains afloat but has been able to do almost nothing about illegal downloading, publishers and authors should take note: DRM doesn’t work.

“Handling a lot of technology companies in my early PR days, I can tell you that adding DRM to any kind of file is a study in futility,” says Mario Almonte in response to Coker’s post. “There are simply too many tech-savvy people out there who will always figure out a way to disable the feature or work around it.”

DRM: An Affront to Consumers: Not only is DRM ineffective, some readers take the very notion of it as an insult. Brenna Lyons commented on Coker’s post: “Back in 2004, Scott Pendergrast of Fictionwise reported that DRM books cause ten times the number of customer service calls than those without and that someone who gets one problematic DRM e-book is ten times less likely to purchase another secured format."

By locking up your work with DRM, you increase the space between you and your reader. It’s therefore no surprise that some readers are so vehemently against DRM that they will not consider purchasing anything infected with it. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that unlocking your work will ensure the proper sale of it.

“I can also tell you,” continues Mario Almonte in the same post, “to forget about ‘trusting’ people to do the right thing. The new generation of consumers hasn’t the slightest sense of guilt when they illegally download music, videos, and movies from the internet. They grew up in a world where everybody does it.”

“The solution?” he adds, “Authors and publishers have to start thinking outside the box. There are plenty of ancillary ways to ride a book’s popularity to financial success.”

Readers: How do you feel about books with DRM?
Writers: Do you take measures to protect your e-books? Why or why not?

Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching both grants for business school as well as general grants for college.Whenever she gets some free time, she enjoys watching a funny movie or curling up with a good book.

Friday, April 22, 2011


by Peg Brantley

(OT: Before I begin, I just need to say I'm totally impressed with both Marlyn's and Drew's posts. In fact, I'm a little sick to my stomach right now. What have I gotten myself into? These people are good.)

Now that I've shared my anxiety with you, it's on to the topic of the day, and why there's a picture of a rabbit up there.

You’d have to be pretty deep down the rabbit hole not to have heard all of the hubbub in the publishing industry. With the advent of the e-book in a Very Big Way; more and more writers responsible for the brunt of their own marketing—regardless of who publishes them; the e-book; an economy that has every business concerned about the bottom line; e-books; publishers cutting the numbers of titles they’re willing to produce—and, did I mention e-books?—changes have been screaming at lightning speed compared to the last several decades. This is an exciting time to be a writer.

So here I sit. A woman (of a certain age) who has gone through the unimaginable learning curve to write a novel. Believe me, had I known how unprepared I was, and what would be required of me, I’m not sure I would’ve taken that first step. But after walking a gazillion miles, my feet are tired and I see a couple of doors not too far down the road. I figure I might as well at least knock.

But which door?

There's the door I’ve become acquainted with over the years, at least in my dreams. It’s huge, at least ten feet high. It’s heavy, made of rare and ornately carved wood. Behind it are agents and acquisition editors, the industry professionals. They are the men and women who have always worked hard to find the next great author. Agents who really want to love what I’ve written, because if they do we’re all in the game together. Publishers who can fall in love with my manuscript and work to make everyone’s dream come true. It’s subjective and not a little secretive. But it’s a place where a writer can be filled with affirmation once they’re accepted.

Glory, hallelujah.

The other door is simpler. Transparent. Not nearly as artistic or exciting.

But it's open!

Not at all what I associate with real publishing. It's really kind of a shock. And I've been watching what goes on behind these doors. This is a place where readers are looking for their next great author. It’s readers who have the power here. Not the agents and not the publishers. Kind of exciting. Kind of scary.

I’ve always dreamed of walking through that ornately carved, heavy door. But now I have a choice.

Which door?

Come follow along with me as I try to figure this out.

If you'd like to see your name in my first book, leave a comment and you might be a winner. We'll walk through one of those doors together. Sorta.

It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


By Andrew E. Kaufman

Illustration by Justin Amos

I'm just going to put this out there right now. I don't write about puppies and rainbows. Far from it. My novels tend to lean toward the gritty, if not peculiar, side of life (read: twisted). But here's the thing: Just because I write it, doesn't mean I live it—I don't. After all, it is fiction, and therein lies a common misperception, that authors who write twisted stories are themselves twisted.

Case in point: at least once a week—maybe more—I'll get an email from a reader that goes something like this: “You look like such a nice guy …but then I read your book...” Or this: “Man, you're one seriously twisted dude! Where do you get this stuff?” What usually follows directly after that is: “So when's your next one coming out?”


You see, comments like that always make me wonder why readers think that suspense and horror authors actually live out that which they write. Are all romance writers great lovers? Do all historical writers live in 1800s? Of course not. So why would folks question our sanity just because we write about those who don't seem to have any?

I recently spoke with bestselling author
Tess Gerritsen about this. The murders in her novels can be particularly gruesome. She said, “Well, I think I'm perfectly sane. As a group, horror and thriller writers strike me as a mild-mannered bunch, not at all prone to violence, and less combative than other genre writers. Perhaps it's because we get out all our aggressions on the page!”

She makes a good point. While I hurt people on paper, I'd never harm anyone or anything in real life. I'm a vegetarian, for heaven's sake. And I don't think I've ever met a knife-wielding horror or suspense author before. For the most part, they do tend to appear quite sane—except for when they're trying to finish a novel, that is. Another story, completely.

Robert W. Walker's novels are about as twisted as they come. On whether his readers think he's warped, he says, “I get it a lot, like at signings, people saying, 'I thought you'd have horns.' I continually ask readers 'why do you pose the author with the villain when in fact most of us share much more with the hero or heroine?'”

He adds that, as writers, we're similar to actors because, “You have to become the point of view character, so if you write scenes from the POV of the killer, then you have to play the part just as an actor, like John Malcovich, has to pretend twisted, pretend evil."

I'd have to agree with him there. Just as with any character, good or bad, I need to get inside his head in order to give him dimension, make him seem real, otherwise he comes across as forced, something the reader will pick up instantly. Not always easy for me to do, however, because it can take its toll on an emotional level. But it has to be done, and truth be known, I do tend to identify with my heros more than my villains.

Lisa Gardner takes a more humorous approach as only she can do. She says, “I suspect I was dropped on my head a lot as a child. I’m honestly not sure where the ideas come from. They simply come to me, particularly creepy, scary ones. I guess it’s a good thing I can turn ideas into novels, because being an ax murderer doesn’t pay nearly as well.”

Okay, folks. Here's your chance to find out just how twisted I can be from a first-hand point of view (
on paper, that is): become a follower of this blog, then add your comment below, and I may kill you (on paper, that is). One lucky winner gets a character named after him or her in my upcoming psychological thriller, The Lion, the Lamb, and the Hunted, then gets whacked. Anyone brave enough to put their life in my hands (on paper, that is)?

I warn you, it won't be pretty.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Mean Girls' Guide to Murder

by Marlyn Beebe

Bullying is a hot topic right now at all levels of education, even post-secondary (hazing, anyone?). Yet, for no reason I can think of, I was somewhat surprised to read two books in a row with that subject as a theme.

The first one I read is by Canadian Mary Jane Maffini, and is the fifth book in the Charlotte Adams mystery series, The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder. Charlotte, who has returned to her hometown of Woodbridge in upstate New York, is a professional organizer who developed a reputation as an amateur sleuth after repeatedly stumbling across dead bodies. As a result she is quite familiar with Mona Pringle, now a 911 operator, who also grew up in Woodbridge.

Mona calls Charlotte, upset because she has heard from Serena Reading, ringleader of a group of “mean girls” who tormented their classmates all the way through school. Serena claims that she wants to arrange a reunion so that she can ask for forgiveness for her bad behaviour as a youngster. Mona doesn’t believe that Serena has changed, and tells Charlotte she’d love to see Serena dead.

Unfortunately, a few days later, a woman resembling Serena is killed in a hit-and-run accident, and Mona thinks that she may have done it. Mona believes that she suffers from multiple-personality disorder and that one of her alter-egos is responsible, which is why Mona herself doesn’t remember the incident.

Then Mona disappears, occasionally calling Charlotte from a blocked phone number and raving about how she thinks she’s losing her mind. When other members of the mean clique start perishing in apparent accidents, Charlotte begins to suspect that Mona is right.

In Deadly Notions, Elizabeth Lynn Casey’s fourth Southern Sewing Circle mystery, librarian Tori Sinclair’s friend Melissa is agonizing over planning a birthday party for her soon-to-be six-year-old daughter Sally. Melissa is worried about having to compete with the parties that Ashley Lawson’s mother Penelope gives: elaborate, expensive affairs involving professional photographers, artists or storytellers and is certain that her daughter will be ostracized if it doesn’t measure up.

Tori, finding it hard to believe that anyone can be as unpleasant as the Penelope described by Melissa, offers to have Sally’s party in the library’s children’s room and use the storytime costumes and stage for the activities. Tori is in for a big surprise when she does meet Penelope, who treats the librarian as a servant, and brings special costumes for Ashley so she doesn’t have to share with the other children. Penelope is so awful that many of the adults in attendance make remarks about strangling her.

The next day, Penelope is found in her car, strangled by a rope used to hang a swing in the library’s garden, and almost all of Tori’s sewing circle friends are suspects due to their comments at the party. Tori is certain that none of her friends would commit murder and sets out to prove it but her efforts are hampered by her boyfriends ex, in town on business, who decides she wants Milo back, and will stoop to anything to get him.

In real-life bullying takes many forms, especially in children and teens. Cyber-bullying has become such a problem that it has resulted in more than one teen suicide. Face-to-face bullying can also result in suicide, and when the abuse is physical, even murder.

There are anti-bully websites, parent groups, even consultants who specialize in it. But, as the novels above describe, bullying is not restricted to kids. Besides being a social problem, as in the two books, this can also be a workplace issue. In fact, in Australia, there is talk of amending the stalking laws to include bullying and making it a criminal offense.

One thinks of cozy mysteries as light, fluffy entertainments, but these are two that could engender useful discussion on a serious subject.

FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me copies of the books for review purposes.

I have a copy of The Corpse Wore Tartan, the fourth Liss MacCrimmon mystery by Kaitlyn Dunnett to give to one person who comments on the blog this week.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Welcome to Crime Fiction Collective!

We’re a group of writers, readers, and editors who share a passion for crime, mystery, and thriller fiction. We also love the new age of publishing and plan to share cutting-edge e-book news, as well as occasional writing and editing tips. The three novelists in our group all had long careers in journalism, and others of us have worked as librarians and editors. We met at Left Coast Crime this year and decided to stay in touch by pooling our talents and blogging together.

To entice you to follow yet another blog :), we’re hosting a huge giveaway in our first two weeks. Everyone who follows the blog wins a free e-book from L.J. Sellers, author of the bestselling Detective Jackson mysteries and standalone thrillers. In addition, Sellers offers one lucky winner the chance to have a name of their choice in her current novel.

Andrew Kaufman, author of the top-rated While the Savage Sleeps, is also giving away a character name, but his comes with the enticing opportunity to have that person killed off in his next novel.

Or you can win an e-copy of Where’s Billy from Judith Yates Borger, author of the Skeeter Hughes mysteries, which she calls “guilty pleasures for manic moms.”

For you writers, Jodie Renner, our resident editor, is giving away two critique-and-edits of the first five pages of a novel or short story, on April 22 and 29. Contact Jodie directly at to enter your name and genre for this draw.

And for those of you who still love the feel of a print book, Marlyn Beebe, librarian and book reviewer, is offering a hardcover copy of The Corpse Wore Tartan by Kaitlyn Dunnett.

Rounding out our group is Peg Brantley, aspiring novelist, who plans to share her insights and humor as she works her way toward publication. If you’d like to be a character in her first book, sign up to win.

To keep our content fresh, we’ll post guest blogs from experts in the e-book production industry and Q&As with crime fiction authors who are making bold moves in new age of publishing.

The Contest:
To get a free e-book of your choice from L.J. Sellers, simply sign up to follow the blog between now and May 1, then contact her at, saying which book you’d like and whether you want a mobi or e-pub file. Check your choices on her website.

To win any of the specific giveaways, post a comment stating which item you’d like to be entered for. We’ll draw names for some of the prizes after the first week, then draw again for other prizes at the end of the second week.

Thanks for stopping by. Our first post, a two-book review dealing with the issue of bullying, will go up on Monday, April 18. We look forward to your input. BHNFTVY5UCN6