Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Book Covers

So I recently updated my "The Last Of The Gods" series and added new ebook covers. They were created by Melody Simmons from http://www.ebookindiecovers.com/ She makes gorgeous covers regularly that I love to look at! Let me know what you think of my new covers!

Because I also updated the series and book title names, I had to delete my old listings of these books and create new listings that I will link to beneath each cover. I learned when you re-title a book, you have to get a new ISBN.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Get Hereafter By Terri Bruce For FREE - TODAY ONLY!

Hereafter (Afterlife #1) ebook is free on Amazon - TODAY ONLY! Get your copy of the book that readers describe as a "solid 4-star read" and "an intriguing paranormal debut that steps beyond the tropes."


Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore.
"There are so many things to love about this book, like the way it starts almost like chick lit (with loves-to-drink Irene in her red dress), but becomes deeply philosophical and thought-provoking." (Amazon Reviewer)


Friday, March 24, 2017

Marketing - The Thing Most Authors Hate!

As open as I am, I realized lately that most of my blog posts are full of advice about things to do with writing. I usually do not just talk about the direction my writing is going or the things I've been doing behind the scenes. I try to write how-to's or opinion pieces and never really talk about how things are going with me. I feel like it's about time that I start writing some blog posts that are more personal than that.

I am not a very confident person and one of the things I hate most about marketing my books is the fact that I feel like you can't be honest. You can't say,"Hey! Here's my book! I'm really insecure about it and think chapter two might be terrible, even though I edited it thirty times, but I hope you like it!" Because that's basically how I view every single thing that I do. In fact, I would be totally paralyzed by my insecurities and never able to publish anything ever again if I wasn't able to compartmentalize my books after I publish them in my head and tell myself that no one actually reads them, so there's no need to be embarrassed by them.

It's hard, because, as an insecure person, you're supposed to be sort of fake and tell everyone,"I wrote the best book ever! You have to read it! You'll love it!" Even though you're scared that they will hate it. Because if you don't believe in your own books, who will? And you never see J.K. Rowling online worrying about what people will think of chapter twenty. I mean, she has piles of money to comfort her if they do hate it, but still, I think she keeps writing for the love of it. Other writers who have made similar fortunes through their writing, often give up because now that the money is there, they are done, but she hasn't.

Marketing is about perception, like most of life is. If you seem insecure or needy of being read and reviewed, people will assume you are pathetic and not worth reading. even if you wrote the best book ever written.

This is one of the hardest things in the world for me to handle. I know it sounds ridiculous and so simple, but I hate it because it reminds me of high school. There are the popular kids, that everyone follows and loves, everyone is desperate to be their friend (or read their books in this case.) And then there is me. In high school, I had frizzy hair, wore brace and glasses. I read books all the time, loved anime, and video games. I was your stereotypical loser.

So now I am supposed to be an adult and pretend to be "cool"? Try to convince people that somehow I am in demand and that they have to read my books? Yea, because I pulled that off so well in high school.

I remembered reading so many articles about how most self-published books are only sold to about a hundred people over their lifetime, all friends and family of the author. I started laughing. I had a best friend online, my Mom, my Dad, my brother, and my husband (who was only my boyfriend in the beginning of my writing career) and that was the extent of the people who were supporting of my writing career and only one to two of those ever buy my books.

So I went,"Oh no! I'm screwed!" Because I knew it was that way.

And although I've sold many more books than just two, I've clung to that mentality my entire career.

I don't expect to be the next big thing and I'm not here to tell you I'm the most popular kid on the playground.

But I will be vulnerable with you, I will be real. I will show you my faults and my imperfect writing. I will talk to you on facebook and sometimes irritate you with my opinions.

So my marketing plan after all these years? It's not beauty of words, it's not speed of writing, it's not perfectly sticking to the formula, or always knowing what my readers want.

It's just me, nerdy me, insecure me, and my little heart-hoping a few of you will like me and the words that I write. Hoping you won't judge me because I'm still learning and will want to stick around as I get better and grow as an author.

Monday, March 6, 2017

What if your characters don't speak the same language that you speak?

I have a problem. The only language I am fluent in is English and yet, none of my characters speak English in any of my books. This isn't a problem because I need everyone to speak English, but because things get lost in translation, even when their language is an imaginary one that not even *I* an fluent in. The things authors say, am I right? Like,"Oh my God! The imaginary people in my head speak a different language than me. I'm so upset."

There's my Fate Of Eros series, where my characters speak Ancient Greek. Not Modern Greek, Ancient. Because they are Greek Myths, whose hometowns were places like Athens. So they speak a dead language that absolutely no one speaks today. And then there's my "The Last Of The Gods" series. Absolutely no one speaks that language at all or ever has because it only lives in my head, it's completely imaginary, and I am not fluent in it. It's not just one language either, Bright and Night speak some kind of holy language, Adonya speaks a human language, and the people she runs into as she's traveling her world speak other human languages that are foreign to her. Many of them.

The way I write fantasy is different than how other people write it. (I think? I'm not fluent in how all other fantasy writers write either.). I don't write urban fantasy usually. When I invent my own setting, it takes place in an alternate universe. There is no such thing as earth or anything else that exists in our universe. They've never even heard of us most of the time. There are no people who speak English and their time periods do not reflect our own. They are unique: separate from us, in culture, language, and sometimes appearance.

This is why people get "confused" about what time period and place my characters live in. It's not a time period or place that can be related to our earth in any way and they don't think it's a big deal or weird that they live in this alternate dimension, only we do, so I never make a big deal of explaining that it's different. That would be very out of character for my characters to think about or wonder.

I am fully aware because of it, that I am translating the things they are saying into English and that in their native tongue, it sounds totally different. Because of this, I write them speaking as if they spoke modern English. It's a translation, so why not? I want the reader to best understand what they are saying, so I can't write it in their native tongue. I don't use slang words, except for curse words (everyone cusses in every language, so why not?) because their slang words would be different than ours, but otherwise I keep it the same.

But people have this idea in their head that if you are writing a fantasy novel, even one that takes places in an alternate universe, that has no knights in it or anything of the sort, that the characters must speak old English or it doesn't make sense. Even when the characters speak Ancient Greek, you must write it in old English. I guess all foreign and old things, the characters are supposed to speak old English to English speakers.

I don't do this because it's not accurate to the characters at all. They don't know a word of English from any time period. And it makes it harder for the reader to read and understand.

Besides, this whole idea that people speak that type of English comes from the New King James Version of the Bible. We have Christian roots in this country, so everyone thinks that stories of people who lived a long time ago should read like old translations of the Bible.

I think this is especially ridiculous because back in the old days, back during King Arthur and Beowulf's time, back when we think all fantasy novels take place, they didn't speak a NKJV of English. They spoke Old English and it looks and sounds like a completely different language. Example of Old English poetry:

So, it might be that people object to the curse words I put into my books because I guess people think cursing is only a modern past time (which its not), but I can't justify deleting those either (even when it comes to suspending disbelief.). I guess I could use old time cursewords, but I don't know why because I don't write the rest of it in old English.

It all has to do with character development. A nice guy (well, people might disagree with me on this), I'll say my character who tries to be righteous (even if he's misguided), like Bright, won't curse very much. He has a deep sense of responsibility. But a guy like Night will curse constantly because he just doesn't care and if I delete those curse words, I am not being true to his character. Why would a guy who has no problem breaking the bones of a woman he's in love with be weird about using curse words?

I suppose I could invent curse words for my characters that don't exist on this earth, but whenever I imagine that, I think of Xenon: Girl of the 21st Century and how ridiculous her exclamations were. My best friend's little sister absolutely loved those movies when we were kids and we'd always say "Zetus Lapetus" because it was so hilarious to hear that movie playing in the background and hear her exclaiming those words every once in awhile. We used to tease her over it.

So I don't want their cursing to sound mock-worthy That will draw people out of the story.

I'm open-minded to changing the way I write based on reviews and critiques. I've already done so many times. Sometimes I consider unpublishing some of my old stories because I've grown and changed as an author. I've gotten better at marketing and I've listened to the reviews. I try to write books, these days, with happier and better endings. I work on my character development a lot and the development of the love story between the two characters. But if I unpublish every book that I have learned from and gotten better at writing since, then the only books I'll have published is whatever my most recent novel is.

But I don't see a better solution to this.

It just doesn't make sense to me that if I write fantasy novels, I should for some reason translate all my characters dialogue into NKJV English.

But if I find a better solution, I will use it. I bet it's a problem more fantasy and science fiction authors face than regularly talk about it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Get A Novel By Rachel Tonks For Free For A Limited Time

★.¸¸,. •°´★FREE★FREE★FREE★.¸¸,. •°´★

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Beautiful Broken Girl, from February 15th-19th, Rachael Tonks is making the book FREE!!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jLOoyq

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2jLFCRi

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2k4BigE

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2l4eApQ


How far did I get? Who was it that found me? Were they here to take me back?

A thousand questions run through Kennedy’s mind as she tries to escape the evil of her past.

Starting her new found life she never thought she would ever find happiness… until him.

Cole was perfectly content going through his days on autopilot with no real purpose… until her.

“I don’t know what you are running from, but I can promise you I am nothing like your past. I’m your future, Kennedy. Does that scare you? Are you scared of falling?”

Will the love between them be enough to help Kennedy get over her past?
Enough for Cole to see a future?
Or will the past always be there to haunt them?


Facebook: facebook.com/rachaeltonksauthor
Twitter: Twitter.com/rtonksauthor
Website: http://rtonksauthor.wixsite.com/rachaeltonks
Instagram: Instagram.com/rachaeltonksauthor

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

How To Make Money By Reviewing Books

Most book reviewers do not make money for reviewing books. They spend a lot of time reading books, wading through e-mails, & posting social media. They work hard on their blogs--writing and re-writing reviews so they are worded just right. They go out of their way to post these reviews in areas where authors want them to be posted. They do all these things out of love and have to put up with a lot of complaining and whining at times from authors who are unappreciative. I've seen a lot of these kinds of posts on facebook lately from book bloggers.

As an author, I appreciate reviewers more than anything. Not just reviewers who give me five star reviews, but ALL reviewers, even the ones who never read my books or hate my books. They work hard, just like me, but rarely get thank you's or anything in return. I can relate. It's very difficult to be appreciated or make money in this industry.

And that's why I want to help pay them back. I want them all to understand that there are ways to make money reviewing books if that's something they'd be interested in. They don't have to do all the things they do for free. They deserve some compensation.

Here's a list of ways you can possibly make money as a book blogger...

1. Monetize Your Blog Or Website

My blog, the one you are reading right now, is monetized. If you notice, there are advertisements in a couple of places. That's because I have a google adsense account. As soon as you have at least ten pages on your web-site or blog, you likely qualify for a google adsense account. If you're getting a lot of views on your blogs, then this could make you some decent cash. Unless you have a really huge following, it's unlikely to replace your day job, but it will at least give you the opportunity to make a little cash on the side, money that you deserve.

Go to http://www.google.com/adsense to learn more about it.

There are other sites that allow you to use ads that you might be interested in using in addition to google adsense or instead of it, but those web-sites are generally harder to use than google adsense (most websites have features that allow you to easily add google adsense to them with minimal effort on your part) and have less family friendly advertisements. It might be a better fit for you, though, if you specialize in reviewing erotica novels, since google adsense is more focused on family friendly themes.

2. Write Reviews For Hubpages

Hubpages uses google adsense and its own advertisements to pay you. It pays better than google adsense on its own. It also helps bring traffic naturally to its own site without any effort at all on your part. They work with google to do this.

The one problem with hubpages is if you post reviews there, you can't post them anywhere else. Not to your own blog, not to Amazon, not to Barnes & Noble. They demand exclusivity, which is why I have my own blog and don't post everything I write on that site.

That being said, I'm making as much writing for hubpages as I am self-publishing novels. It's worth considering and using if possible.


3. Sell The Physical Copies Of Books You Receive

You have no obligation to keep the books you receive for free from authors. As long as a book has had it's release day officially for the public to buy and consume, you should be able to sell it on Ebay to help you make some money.

This might be a problem with ARCs because they aren't fully edited or finished in a way that the author or publisher would like the public to see, but other copies should be fine.

Another option is you can give away a stack of your books in a contest, which will likely help you get more subscribers to your newsletter or blog. In turn, those subscribers can make you more money if you go the adsense route because of more views to your blog. Authors love participating in contests, so if you want, you can also make a sign up sheet where authors can pay $5-$15 to participate in the contest by asking for follows on their newsletter, twitter, instagram, or likes on their facebook pages. This could help you earn a little bit of money as well if enough authors sign up for it.

The only thing to keep in mind about contests is these days rafflecopter asks for a lot of money to use their website and this will cut into your profit.



4. Get A Reviewing Job For A Newspaper, Website, Or Magazine

If you have hundreds of reviews on your blog of various books, especially if you have faithfully reviewed a book every week or month (or whatever your schedule is) and rarely missed a deadline, then you can possibly use that as a portfolio to get a job working for a newspaper, website, or magazine that will pay you. They'll especially like you if you have a large following that you can bring with you to the new place.

5. Organizing Blog Tours

I don't know about book blogging, but as an author, I wind up making friends with and getting to know a lot of other authors, so I imagine its the same in the book blogging community. You probably have connections with a lot of other book bloggers. It will take a lot of work, but it's possible that you could get some of them to sign up to receive books to review from you and then to use your connections to create blog tours. Authors are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for services like that, so if you think you can handle it (and you can make your own blogs part of the tour), it could possibly make you a ton of money. Just make sure you have enough book bloggers interested that you can keep your promises about how many sites each author will have their books featured on, on average.

6. Accepting Donations

It's not the easiest thing in the world to convince people to give you donations and you may feel shy about doing so because you don't want to bother people. You don't have to be over-the-top about it. Just providing a way, like through paypal or patreon, for people to donate to you may be enough. If you have a large following there might be some people who want to give you money in appreciation for your services, but you've never provided a way for them to do so.

And I know some book bloggers actually have a URL they pay for to host their book reviews. You at least deserve some compensation for that, since you're taking money out of your own pocket to make people happy.

So consider setting up an account on either patreon or paypal where you can receive donations and leave a link on your site with a thank you on it. That's all you have to do.

It's not selfish or bad for you to ask for help, but if you use patreon, you'll probably have to offer some special services to people who donate to you there and you'll have to figure out what that kind of special service might be. Like maybe tutorials on how to become a book blogger as well or how to get as many views as you get on your blog.



7. Make A Youtube Channel

A lot of book bloggers are posting their reviews on youtube these days. I know this may be hard for you. I have a youtube channel and an instagram, both of which I rarely use because I don't like pictures or videos of myself. I'm shy. Most readers and writers are introverts.

But if you are feeling up for it, you can try posting videos to youtube of books you have reviewed. If you get enough views, youtube will pay you for them by monetizing your channel and you can also use google adsense to monetize your videos as well.


Ways You Should Be Cautious About And Avoid When Trying To Make Money As A Book Blogger...

1. Reviewing A Book Because An Author Gave You Money

 As long as you make sure the review is fair and honest, then technically this isn't unethical, but it really skirts the line between what is ethical and unethical. There's no way to prove that a five star review that you posted and were paid for is unbiased if you received money for it. People are suspicious nowadays after some authors were caught paying for people to write fake five star reviews.

Also, Amazon has been filing lawsuits and tracking down reviewers they suspect have received
money in exchange for five star reviews. It's better to stay away from this whole area altogether in order to protect yourself. You don't want to be facing a lawsuit from Amazon who has big lawyers that receive giant paychecks from them and know how to twist the law in their favor.

2. Becoming A Top Reviewer On Amazon

I already kind of covered why you shouldn't do this in #1, but I have more to say.

A lot of people have been making money by becoming top reviewers on Amazon for various products. As a top reviewer, they get all kinds of free things that they can later resell and make money off of or keep and just benefit from. It sounds nice, receiving all that free stuff.

But there's been a history lately of Amazon treating book bloggers poorly. A lot of them can't even post to Amazon anymore because they've been threatened with lifetime bans from the company for supposed fake reviews. Amazon tends to be the judge, jury, and executioner about these types of issues. They don't care what proof you have of your innocent or your arguments, they just bring the punishment and there's very little you can do about it.

So it might be better in some cases to not post reviews on Amazon at all. Even though I benefit the most when book bloggers post their reviews to Amazon, I also know how horrible Amazon can be to them sometimes and am always understanding when they can't.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cover Reveal - The CEO's Baby By Kyle Autumn

Kyle Autumn - The CEO's Baby
Release date: February 22, 2017
Genre: Sexy romance
Preorder for $0.99 on Amazon: http://mybook.to/TheCEOsBaby
One day, I'm doing my job and minding my own business...

Okay. Maybe barging into your friend's fake-slash-real fiancĂ©'s coworker's office isn't considered minding my own business. But I am doing my job. That part is true.

When one of your girlfriends needs you to have their back, you do it. Even when she hasn't asked. And that's what I'm doing today.

It's too bad his kisses are infuriating.

Except his kisses are addicting. And I can't stop thinking about them.

Especially now that I'm having his baby.

I absolutely should not tell the girls about this at the next Thirsty Thursday...


I've suddenly become the CEO for a very successful tech company, which should be enough of a surprise for one weekend. But no. Life throws another one at me.

The board now wants me to follow in the old CEO's footsteps and become a family man. But Chaz didn't just bring Shiree into my life. He brought her best friend into it too.

It's too bad she's feisty when she's pissed.

Except it's so damn hot when she's feisty. And I absolutely need more.

What if the board is right about this "family man" stuff after all?