When Black Women Fall: More Romance Starring African American Heroines

Today we're visiting again with my friend Ines Johnson and her friends and fellow authors of the romance promotional tour: When Black Women Fall.

Organized by Heartspell Media, an author cooperative and independent publishing company, When Black Women Fall is a week long promotional tour of romance novels featuring African American heroines in the contemporary, historical, paranormal, new adult, and erotica genres.

Romance novels are increasingly featuring heroes and heroines of color, from Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series to Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series.

As society and its citizens increase in diversity so does the market. With more and more authors bypassing publishers and uploading these colorful romances on their own, readers, hungry for diversity in romance novels, now have a buffet of books to choose from.

On this tour, you will see that when black women fall in love it’s a magical affair as you’ll discover in these paranormal stories of love. To find the books below, get a free excerpt book, and enter the giveaway, visit When Black Women Fall

In L Penelope's "Angelborn" he gave up eternity for love… and lost. Will Maia be his second chance?

In Laverne Thompson's "Angel Rising" Thalya, a soulless creature, meets her match when she hungers for the love of the man assigned to hunt her.

When black women fall in love it’s a defining moment as this historical romance shows.

In Piper Huguley's "The Preacher's Promise" Amanda Stewart aims to teach newly freed slaves, but meets with the resistance from the town preacher. Can these two put aside their differences and come together?

When black women fall in love it’s full of growing pains as evidenced by this new adult romance.

In Twyla Turner's "Chasing Day" Daylen is the shy cellist who falls in love with her best friend who also happens to be the popular quarterback.

Giveaway Alert

From February 8-14, the intersection of Valentine’s Day and Black History month, check out one of these romances at a discounted price and enter for your chance to win a giveaway basket that includes a Kindle, along with a few quintessential romance novels featuring black heroines, and a gift certificate for the beauty and cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter!

Takeaway Truth

Remember, to find these romance novels featuring African American heroines, to get a free excerpt book, and to enter the giveaway, visit When Black Women Fall.

When Black Women Fall: Romance Novels Starring African American Heroines

Today we're visiting again with my friend Ines Johnson and her friends and fellow authors of the romance promotional tour: When Black Women Fall.

Organized by Heartspell Media, an author cooperative and independent publishing company, When Black Women Fall is a week long promotional tour of romance novels featuring African American heroines in the contemporary, historical, paranormal, new adult, and erotica genres.

Romance novels are increasingly featuring heroes and heroines of color, from Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series to Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series.

As society and its citizens increase in diversity so does the market. With more and more authors bypassing publishers and uploading these colorful romances on their own, readers, hungry for diversity in romance novels, now have a buffet of books to choose from.

On this tour, you will find that when black women fall in love it’s a sign of the times in these contemporary offerings. To find the books below, get a free excerpt book, and enter the giveaway, visit When Black Women Fall

In Farrah Rochon's "All You Can Handle" love was the last thing professional pastry chef Sonny White was looking for, but she finds it in a sleepy town with a motorcycle riding hottie.

In Lena Hart's "Because You Love Me" when an old desire is reawakened Sabrina will discover that even an imperfect love can triumph over all.

In Xio Axelrod's "Falling Stars" Hollywood actress' Val Saunders finds her career skyrocketing which makes her real-life attraction to her on-screen love interest come at the worst possible time.

In Ines Johnson's "Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story" having given up on fairytales after falling for her toad of an ex, Pumpkin is afraid to take a chance on a prince charming who comes to her rescue.

In Kim Golden's "Maybe Baby" Laney must choose between the man who offers her financial security and the one who makes her mind and body sing.

In Victoria H. Smith's "The Space Between" Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles, namely a man who lights a fire inside of her that challenges everything she thought she wanted.

In Harper Miller's "Entwined" there's everything you’d want in an erotic romance quick read including a plot twist you certainly won’t expect.

In Christina C. Jones’s “Inevitable Conclusions” Friends? Lovers? Both? For Kora and Tariq, those lines have been blurred for a long time.

Giveaway Alert

From February 8-14, the intersection of Valentine’s Day and Black History month, check out one of these romances at a discounted price and enter for your chance to win a giveaway basket that includes a Kindle, along with a few quintessential romance novels featuring black heroines, and a gift certificate for the beauty and cosmetics company Carol’s Daughter!

Takeaway Truth

Remember, to find these romance novels featuring African American heroines, to get a free excerpt book, and to enter the giveaway, visit When Black Women Fall.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday

Oh, this isn't a real holiday? My mistake.

Sure seems like it is with all the air time devoted to it and a full week of super bowl mania clogging up CBS at night.

Takeaway Truth

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I'm going to go watch the rest of the game with my darling hubby.

Vote For Best Book Covers

The JABBIC Readers' Choice (that's Judge A Book By Its Cover) is open to the public.

The JABBIC bookseller judges have had their say. Now it's time for you to have yours.

Fire up your laptop, tablet, or phone and browse to the JABBIC Readers Choice page to start logging your votes. It's easy and fast--and anonymous. (But you probably want to be on a broadband connection. We load up all the entries in each category on a single page.)

Just click the genre category at the top and prepare to be wowed. Don't be shy. If you love a cover, give it a 5. If it doesn't quite turn you on, score it as a 1.

This contest is great if you're trying to figure out what makes an appealing cover since it is judged by booksellers who probably see thousands of covers every year. Their winners will be announced after the public has voted.

If you're thinking about hiring your own cover designer, keep an eye out for the cover artist's name because they're there too. When you contact a designer, be sure to let them know you spotted them in the JABBIC!

The Readers' Choice judging will be open until midnight, February 12.

I'll announce the winners when they are made public so you can see how your selections stacked up against the booksellers' choices.

Takeaway Truth

This is a great contest for readers who have firm opinions about what they like in covers and for authors who want to see what the competition sports. Check it out and remember to vote.

Reviews of Ebook Promotion Sites

Which Ebook Promotion Websites are worth what they charge? Have you wondered that as you click to pay?

Author Sharon Karaa has put together an Excel spreadsheet that will help you figure out which websites are more than a crap shoot.

I'm pleased to say that Sharon isn't jealousy guarding the information.

She's offering to share her analysis with the world. In fact, she's giving the ebook Promotion Sites Review File free to everyone who asks!

Help Her Keep Doing This

Yes, she's offering the January file free, but please click that PayPal donation button on her website and kick in at least $1.00 if only to encourage her to keep doing this. Trust me, I've reviewed the spreadsheet, and it's worth a lot more than $1.00! In fact, I paid $25.00 last year for a similar analysis that turned out to be not very good.

What You Get

The spreadsheet of 125+ ebook promotion sites gives the kind of information you need to make informed decisions about where to spend your advertising bucks.
  • ALEXA rankings which show how popular a website is. The lower the score the better.
  • the number of followers on the most popular social media
  • the price
  • even her ROI she achieved within the last 12 months.
Based on the data she analyzed, she also provides recommendations and categorizes them as:
  • Primary Sites where there is a definite return on investment, time after time.
  • Free Sites where there are free options for advertising so there's nothing to lose.
  • Test ROI Sites where the Alexa ranking or the number of followers on social media sites is enough to make it an interesting site to test.
Like I said, she plans to do this every month if enough people are willing to pay $1.00 a month, but this first spreadsheet is absolutely free.

Please feel free to share this post with everyone in the known universe. You'll find more information at her website and on the page featuring the spreadsheet.

Find Sharon Karaa Online

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest

Takeaway Truth

Authors, in a highly competitive environment, it pays to advertise. But only if the advertising is effective. That's what this spreadsheet is about. A way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Get it today.

Small Presses vs. Big Publishers by Diana Rubino

Many authors wonder if writing for small presses versus the big traditional publishing houses holds any benefits. Diana Rubino dropped by this morning to talk about this and also to tell us about one of her books.

Diana Rubino, In Her Own Words

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, Fakin' It, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society, and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

Find Diana Online: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

Small Presses vs. the “Big Houses” – Something for Everybody
by Diana Rubino

Writing for a small press can be a stepping stone to a career leap—or it can be your entire career. Since no author can plan on a best-selling career with a big house, pitching to the small presses can be your ticket to publication.

The independent “indie” publishers are much more willing to take chances on new writers and cultivate their talents. Sure, their bottom line is important, as it is to any for-profit business, but they don’t have the time constraints the big houses have.

Benefits

This gives their editors the luxury of taking more time to work with authors, and spend much more one-on-one time with them on technical details such as point of view, character consistency, and basic grammatical and style issues. Small presses also accept unagented material, so authors can avoid the Catch-22 of not being able to land an agent because they’ve not yet established a track record.

POD and Local Bookstores

Most likely, your small press book will be POD (print on demand) which means a copy will be printed only when a customer orders one. It’s up to the author to visit his/her local bookstores to get to know the manager and staff. This kind of networking will result in some stores ordering a few dozen copies of the author's book, arrange for a signing, and give your books a valuable promotional push.

Author As Promotions Director

Most small presses run on tight budgets, and the author must take the necessary time and funds to finance a promotion; i.e., costs of designing a website and keeping it current, ads on internet sites such as BTS Book Reviews  and BookDaily, business cards, bookmarks and other giveaways, travel expenses to signings and conventions, etc.

My Backstory

I always like to inspire aspiring authors by telling my unique story: I received my first publishing contract 18 years after writing my first novel. I believe it was my ninth written novel that became my first novel–the first that got published, with British publisher Domhan Books, a small press.

At the time I signed my first contract, it was the fastest-growing publisher in the U.S. Unfortunately, the owner suffered health problems and could no longer actively run the company, but my five-year tenure there earned me many rave reviews and a Romantic Times Top Pick award.

I never gave up on my dream of that big house contract, but continued submitting to small presses, eventually landing contracts with Dreams Unlimited, Stardust Press, Eternal Press, The Wild Rose Press, Solstice Publishing, and Sarah Publishing. Although my agent is currently submitting my most recent works to the big houses, the small presses have been very good to me.

I’ve had my backlist republished with Solstice Publishing and The Wild Rose Press, and I do promotional offers such as offering my Ebooks at discounted prices on significant dates, i.e., the anniversary of the Lincoln assassination or the end of Prohibition. The promo I do with Twitter, Goodreads and the author/reader groups on Yahoo have brought me reviews and sales that I’m happy with.

My editors at The Wild Rose Press and Solstice Publishing are among the best editors I’ve ever worked with. They make my work sparkle. There’s a lot of talent out there in the small press world, and I advise any aspiring author to submit to them, because they offer great opportunities to start your writing career on the right path.

Choose Wisely

A few caveats to look out for are the vanity presses, which require that authors pay to have their books published. Some writers decide to go this route and self-publish. Of course some of these books have become best sellers. But make sure you choose a royalty-paying publisher if you don’t wish to go the self-published route.

Small presses have always been around, but with the miracle of the internet, many more are thriving, and authors have the choice of a great variety of outlets for their work. Some specialize in certain genres. You need to do your research to find the best fit for your work. But never before have authors had such a wide range of publishers; something for every taste.

Now that the Kindle and other E-book readers have come down in price and their sales are increasing, E-book sales have exploded. E-books have been around since the 90s, but never before have they been so popular. With the outlets that small presses have to offer, so many more writers than ever before can now share their talents with the world, which shrinks more and more every day!

From Here to Fourteenth Street, Diana's Latest Book

It's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. As Vita and Tom work together against time and prejudice to clear her brother and father of a murder they didn't commit, they know their love can survive poverty, hatred, and corruption.

Giveaway

Diana is giving away 1 Kindle edition of From Here to Fourteenth Street to anyone who can name the bridge in the book cover art. Winner chosen randomly by Diana. Post your answer here because we'd all like to know. Then to be entered to win, email your answer to: Diana @ DianaRubino.com.

Add From Here to Fourteenth Street to Your Library: The Wild Rose Press * Amazon Kindle
* Amazon Paperback

Takeaway Truth

Thanks, Diana, for sharing this information. Readers, below is a free LIVE preview from Amazon of From Here to Fourteenth Street. Just scroll down and click Read Preview.

5 Online Tools You Need

I've got 5 online tools that will help you just about every day.

Online Character Count Tool

You know all those forms you fill out online? Most of them are limited to a specific character count. This tool makes eliminates the guesswork. Just paste in the text. It will give you character count, word count, sentence count, and white space count.

Random Name Picker

Need to pick a name for a giveaway? Just enter them in the form, and the picker will randomly select the winner.

Google Translate

I use this a lot. Most recently, I used it to assist in the production of my video promoting my French language novels. See the video, Célébrer l'amour avec des romans de Joan Reeves that's Celebrate love with novels by Joan Reeves, on YouTube or on the blog's video page.

Release Countdown

Post a countdown widget on your website or blog for a book release or other event. Easy app gives you the code to paste in.

Infinite Looper

If you like to write scenes to music, this website is fantastic. Search for a song, and it pulls up a list of videos. Select one, and Infinite Looper will play it over and over.

Takeaway Truth

There are many wonderful aspects of the Internet like these websites that actually help you.