Posts tagged ‘CONTEST’

November 5, 2014

My #NaNoWriMo progress, #burgersandbooks giveaway and more

Family of the Tri-Rune, by Charles Yallowitz

Family of the Tri-Rune, by Charles Yallowitz

It’s been another busy week, and once again, I’m behind on the blog.

I actually signed up for NaNoWriMo this year–something I’ve wanted to do for about five years now and just never have. So far this week, I’ve written just over 10,000 words. That makes me feel good.

Kathy Robinson, who won the first week of the Burgers and Books giveaway, also won the Burger King gift card. There were very few entrants for this giveaway. I enjoyed the idea of promoting reading parties while promoting indie authors, though, so I may continue to do these once in a while.

I wanted to review Charle’s Yallowitz’s Family of the Tri-Rune on Friday, but the day really got away from me. Here are my top thoughts (and possibly spoilers, so readers, beware):

Where Luke Callindor’s character grew immensely in Allure of the GypsiesNyx’s character grew in Family of the Tri-Rune.  It seemed like she started to come to terms with some changes she needed to make (for the good and safety of all), as well as with who she truly is. There were some remarkable and fun revelations about her origin in this book.

There were more revelations about Selenia Hamilton, too, as well as some of her contemporaries, and I was surprised when someone from Sari’s past showed up. These elements added twists to the plot that gave me lots of A-HA moments. Lots of fun! I also found some compassion for someone I thought was an enemy, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in this character’s future.

Some new champions stepped forward toward the end of this book, which makes me excited to read The Compass Key and start to follow their character arcs, too. While I won’t be running a #burgersandbooks giveaway in November, I hope to find time to read Yallowitz’s most recent book and post my thoughts on it here on this blog.

 

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October 11, 2014

First winner for the #burgersandbooks #giveaway ! Prize: Beginning of a Hero, by Charles Yallowitz

Week one of the October #burgersandbooks #giveaway is down. The winner of Charles Yallowitz’s Beginning of a Hero is Kathy R. Congratulations, Kathy! I will send you your electronic copy tonight. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Beginning of a Hero, by Charles Yallowitz--book one in the Legends of  Windemere series

Beginning of a Hero, by Charles Yallowitz–book one in the Legends of Windemere series

The first time I read Beginning of a Hero I was struck with the action. The fast-paced writing drew me in, and my mind created great and immediate images around Charles’ Yallowizt’s story.

It was one of those reading escapes in which I felt like I really was inside the book—climbing the stone walls, trudging through the swamp, and going through the training exercises.

If I had to pick a favorite reason why I enjoy this book now, I would have to say it’s the characters.

Luke Callindor is strong willed and stubborn, and maybe more than a little cocky. He ran into his fair share of trouble because of that, but he handled himself well in those times of trouble. That built my confidence in him as he built his own confidence in himself. For me, that made the entire story believable.

There were some strong female characters, which I always love to see. One of my favorites is Selenia Hamilton. Her role is a supporting one, but her character is steel-strong and absolutely immovable. I liked that she was a sort of mentor to Luke Callindor and that she learned to respect him as the book progressed.

One of Charles Yallowitz’s writing strengths is his ability to write in present-tense. I haven’t read many books written this way, and he does an amazing job of it.

I recommend this book and the rest of the Legends of Windemere series to other fantasy fans.

 

October 3, 2014

Burgers and books #free #giftcard #giveaway #promo

October is here! Celebrate with me!

October is here! Celebrate with me!

I had so much fun with last month’s giveaway that I decided not to wait to November for the next one, so I’m celebrating October with a gift card promo of a different kind!

My family and I love reading parties (in fact, we’re planning one for this Saturday evening). These are simple to plan and lots of fun. All you do is 1) stock up on good books, 2) stock up on yummy foods, and 3) sit in the same room together, reading and munching to your heart’s content.

Since I wanted to promote the idea of family reading parties, I settled on the following idea:

Each week in October, I’ll  give away a free book to whoever wins the drawing for that week. For this promo, I’m focusing on the Charles Yallowitz’s Legends of Windemere series. I’ll draw a name for electronic versions of book one on October 10, book 2 on October 17, book three on October 24, and book 4 on October 31. If you already have these books and you win, let me know–I’ll gift the book you won to a friend of your choice and send you an electronic version of Trusted, by Krista Wayment or Dark Birth by Scott Bryan instead.

Also on Halloween day, everyone who has entered during the month of October will have a chance in a drawing for a $15 Burger King gift card. Food for your personal reading party!!!

Sound fun? Here’s how to enter:

OPTION ONE:

On your blog, post a story, poem or opinion on this prompt: What makes a good fantasy character? Ping back to this article so I know you’ve entered.

OPTION TWO:

If you don’t have a blog, you can like my author page on Facebook and respond to the status with the same prompt. What makes a good fantasy character? Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGwenBristol.

Wishing everyone a Happy October, Happy Reading and a truly happy day!

 

 

September 27, 2014

There’s a winner! #nightones #giftcard #giveaway

 

I love rainy days when clouds sink low into the mountains, like this!

I love rainy days when clouds sink low into the mountains, like this! 

What a happy rainy day for a gift card drawing!

The winner is Heidi from Wyoming. Congratulations, Heidi! I hope you enjoy the gift card!

So what’s next in the Night Ones world?

Book two is still on schedule for a December release. The cover reveal will probably happen around Thanksgiving time, maybe a little bit before. LaRae Monroe has already agreed to create the book cover, and I’m so excited I can hardly wait for November. She’s an incredible artist. (Check out her Facebook Page!)

Meanwhile, some local authors are banding together to sell books at a pumpkin walk this year. I wasn’t going to print any physical copies of the book, but I do want to support my fellow writers–so I gave in.  I expect to have a small number of books in a week or two. My husband, a truly talented woodworker, also wants to sell some at a craft show on October 30. I guess we’ll see how it goes!

A poetry sample book is coming sometime soon, too. I meant this as a Mother’s Day gift two years ago. Due to some technical difficulties, I set it aside and only finally finished uploading it last night. I may get some physical copies of that one to give to loved ones, or to sell, if there seems to be a demand. I intend for it to be free on Kindle, maybe as soon as tomorrow.

I also have a stand-alone fantasy book I’m in the process of editing. I hope to have it completely edited by the end of October. At the request of someone dear to me, I’m sending out queries to traditional publishers for this one. I’m not holding my breath. It sounds like fun, but right now, I plan to self-publish this book after I receive all my rejection letters. 😀

The critique group is coming along NICELY! I really love having people to bounce ideas back and forth with, and the writers in this area are packed with talent. It’s impossible to spend time with friends like these and not become a better writer. The larger writer’s group is lots of fun, too.

Journalism continues. I had three pieces published in September, which is the most work I’ve had published at once in about two years–I may have to slow down again, but I love writing these stories, so it’s hard to set aside. These articles are all fun, lighthearted stories focusing on the positive things in my world–incredible people with amazing talents and unique experiences to share. I love writing about good people who do great things in their spheres of influence!

And now, the news about more gift card give-aways: Yes, I’ll be doing another one in November!!! Stay tuned for more details! If you’ve already downloaded The Night Ones but haven’t had a chance to read it yet, now you have a head start! 🙂

If you’re interested in more information on my books, my give-aways, more frequent updates on my works-in-progress or other writing-related things I don’t always post on my blog, please send me your contact information! I’ll send out an e-mail once or twice  a quarter to let you know what’s up.

Wishing everyone a very happy day!

 

September 24, 2014

Impostor syndrome, writers and self-publishing our fiction

visit http://jewelallen.blogspot.com to learn more about this talented writer and her new book

visit http://jewelallen.blogspot.com to learn more about this talented writer and her new book

Last night my husband and I discussed Impostor Syndrome. I’m afraid I’ve got a case of it. I can never read my published work and not feel like somehow, some way, I could have done better.

Imagine my delight when I came across this paragraph in the blog post of one of my local writing friends, the talented Jewel Allen:

Having taken a leave of absence from the Tooele Transcript Bulletin, I’d missed writing articles. I also felt a little rusty. My confidence was shaky as I started with a blank page. Could I do this again?  But, like other deadline-driven times, I typed in my byline, and threw down the words like clay on a pottery wheel, shaped and molded them, shaped and molded them some more, threw out a chunk, put it back in, threw out more chunks, until I was satisfied. Even after I hit send and the editor complimented me on a “terrific and well-written story,” the perfectionist in me came up with a couple more ways to switch the paragraphs around.

Me! That’s me! I do that all the time!

It’s why I have a hard time promoting my own work. I can hardly stand to look at it once it’s actually published. I think I might be my own worst critic, and I’m working hard to develop a thicker skin where I’m concerned.

Here’s an example: During the free promo of The Night Ones last week, 237 copies were downloaded. My book shot up to the top ten in one Amazon category for free books and to the top 100 in another. Even now (two days after the promo ended), my book is still in the top 100 for its category for paid books, which isn’t something I expected. I’m delighted to see that, but I still wonder–why? Do people really like my book that much?

I’m pleased, but it makes me feel shy. What if, now that they have my book, they decide they don’t like it? Was it really ready to be re-released?

Deep down, I know the only answer is yes.  Whether I really agree with myself or not, I have to cut my teeth sometime, and the sooner I do, the sooner I can start working on all the other projects that spin around so happily in my mind.

Jewel Allen currently has three upcoming booksBlemish, The Spanish Exile, and Ghost Moon Night. Guess what she has to say about this subject as she prepares for the October launch of Ghost Moon Night?

Maybe I have the mentality of a journalist and memoir publisher, but sometimes, your work isn’t the best it can be no matter how much you’ve edited it. I’ve submitted pieces before where I flubbed majorly on details, or left out information, and, guess what? Life still goes on. You will always find something wrong with your story, or have a better way of phrasing.

I’m not saying I shouldn’t get GHOST MOON NIGHT to the best shape it can possibly be. And novels do have a bit more shelf life than a news article. But, there has to be a balance.

It’s a comfort to read words like this–especially now, when I’m writing the sequel to The Night Ones. I’ve discovered I struggle more with myself than I do with the details of writing. Sometime I’ve just got to get over myself and let my books fly or fall on their own.

That means not worrying about whether my writing is good or not while I’m working on the first draft. It also means not concerning myself so much about what other people think of my fiction when I self-publish it or send a query off to a traditional publisher.

Meanwhile, there’s still journalism to fret over–and I’m so glad I’m  not the only one who rethinks her entire articles every time she submits one. Thanks, Jewel Allen, for making me smile today! I’m looking forward to Ghost Moon Night!

Oh! One more thing before I publish this post–this is the last week to e-mail me to let me know you’ve reviewed The Night Ones on Amazon if you want to be entered in the $25 Amazon gift card drawing/contest thing.

 

 

 

September 14, 2014

Beautiful new book cover for #thenightones

The Night Ones: Book One of the Legacy of the Night Ones finally has a new cover.

The Night Ones has a new look!

The Night Ones has a new look!

It’s been uploaded to Amazon. I expect it to go live sometime early Sunday morning.

Just a quick note about the artist, LaRae Monroe–she did an excellent job of seeing what I couldn’t see and pulling this book cover together in just about a day. It’s a beautiful thing.

Check out LaRae’s blog page here: http://laraelxdesigns.blogspot.com/ She is one talented lady!

Meanwhile, don’t forget about the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway. Book two is on track for a December release. LaRae will be doing the cover for that book, too.

August 31, 2014

New drawing for $25 Amazon gift card #contest thing

Prizes for The Night ones Legacy contest

Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! by reviewing the Night Ones. (See below for details. 🙂

I’m so excited about this!

While I wait for the final book cover for The Night Ones, I decided to host another $25 Amazon gift card drawing. (Some of you may remember when I did this a few years ago. I’m really happy to be doing it again.)

Here are the rules:’

1. Read The Night Ones, by Gwen Bristol

2. Post a review of The Night Ones on Amazon–here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Ones-Legacy-Book-One-ebook/dp/B00N505O94/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409461305&sr=8-1&keywords=gwen+bristol+the+night+ones

3. Send me an e-mail at gwenbristol@gmail.com letting me know you posted a review. If you win the drawing at the end of the month, I’ll contact you by e-mail to get a physical address so I can send you the gift card.

Here are a few more things to consider:

1. If you read my last post, you’ll remember that The Night Ones was previously published as The Night Ones Legacy. I recently re-released it under a new name to prepare for the sequel, but if you already read The Night Ones Legacy and left an Amazon review, you have a head start. It’s the same book with some minor editorial tweaks–so just go ahead and review it again, and send me an e-mail letting me know! (Of course, I would love it if you liked the book enough to read it again anyway.)

2. If you feel this is worth sharing, please pass it around! If I get more than 50 entries, I’ll buy another gift card and host two drawings…and if I get more than 100 entries, I’ll buy another one. You get the idea.

3. You have almost all of September to post a review and e-mail me. I’ll stop receiving entries by midnight (MST) on Friday, September 26. I will notify winners on Saturday, September 27 and I will post about the results of this promotion/contest thingy then.

4. If, by my writing style tonight, you guessed I’m a bit tired, you guessed right. I may think of other things to say about this contest/promotion thingy later this week, but for now, that’s it. Go read, and review, and e-mail me, and most of all, have fun!

Wishing everyone a wonderful upcoming week!

April 21, 2013

Just for Fun

A boy and his dad...:)

A boy and his dad…:)

Posts I truly enjoyed reading today:

 

March 25, 2013

The Night Ones Legacy gets a new look

New book cover!

New book cover!

This is an exciting day for me: The Night Ones Legacy has a new cover! (Well, as I write this, it’s been uploaded to KDP but it’s still under review.)

The need for a new book cover grew out of feedback I got from some terrific reviews and the contest I hosted earlier this year. The story itself was earning five-star reviews, but the cover was detracting from the content inside.

There were about six concepts to choose from, and I was able to narrow it down to four fairly quickly. From there, I asked for opinions from a diverse handful of people. The concept above was the one liked most by almost everyone I asked.

Most importantly, the daughter I wrote the story for likes this one the best.

I also made a few changes to the text. There were a few grammatical errors to be addressed (a ‘to’ that should have been a ‘too,’ etc.). There still may be a few mistakes, but I’m not anticipating any other changes to the book.

I’m slightly apprehensive as to how the updates will go for Kindle owners who already have the book. I’ve never had problems with book updates before, but I’ve never been on this end of it before, either.

One other thing that I learned from the contest: it seems my writing is geared more toward a young adult audience, even though I tried to make this first book a middle-grade read. The sequels will most definitely be written for a young adult target audience.

I’m ready to focus on the sequel, which I’m tentatively hoping to publish at the end of April. We’ll see how that goes! My chapter-by-chapter beta readers are already hard at work as I write, and I have a list of full-book beta readers in place. I’m looking forward to the feedback.

I was so shy when I wrote The Night Ones Legacy that I really didn’t ask for any help. After fourteen drafts, there were still quite a few changes that needed to be made. Hopefully most of them are addressed now. If nothing else, writing and publishing this book has been a great education. I really love that part of my life.

Just for comparison, here’s the first book cover one more time:

book cover possibility three point seven five

March 5, 2013

KDP Select and a request for Amazon reviews

I'm only going to keep this book on Amazon if it is truly helpful--and so The Experiences and Thoughts of a Simple Freelance Writer will be free to reviewers through May 15, 2013.

I’m only going to keep this book on Amazon if it is truly helpful–and so The Experiences and Thoughts of a Simple Freelance Writer will be free to reviewers through May 15, 2013.

From February 27 through March 3, I listed The Experiences and Thoughts of a Simple Freelance Writer as free through the KDP Select program. Overall, I’d have to say the experience was a great one.

That even includes the one-star Amazon review I got.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Semantics matter. The bad review I received began because my booklet title had the word ‘simple’ in it. To me, simple is an ideal to shoot for–an authentic, uncomplicated life–but to the reviewer, that word was a red flag that immediately labeled me as stupid. Definitely food for thought.
  • Amazon reviews matter. I saw a brief spike in free giveaways for this booklet right after receiving this bad review, and then they dropped away to just a few giveaways for the last day and a half of the free promo.
  • The way you categorize your book on Amazon matters. In spite of the bad review, my booklet was fairly consistently placed at #2 in overall free giveaways for journalism and #4 for journalists during the five-day promo. It was a great boost to my ego to see the book on that list, even though I know that not many people go searching for journalism books or memoirs by journalists.
  • The book you use to experiment on KDP  Select matters. I wasn’t yet willing to try The Night Ones Legacy on KDP Select, partly because the timing I chose overlapped with the contest I was running and I didn’t want to influence the results. Of course, I could have waited–but I have such a hard time doing that! I think trying a non-fiction piece that I was already considering pulling off my Amazon site was a good way to figure out how the system worked without getting in too deep with my only Amazon fiction listing.
  • Giving a book away free matters. My Amazon ranks for this book slipped quite a bit once I wasn’t offering it for free anymore.
  • Don’t raise temporarily raise your price on the book you intend to enroll in KDP Select in order to make it a better deal for the reader. That part of the experiment backfired completely–as you can see by the review. I was glad that changing it back to its original price was easy and didn’t take more than half a day.

As both the contest and my free book promo came to a close, I made some decisions about what I want to experiment with next.

I may need some help.

I’d love to see what kind of reviews I can get from other writers on The Experiences and Thoughts of a Freelance Writer. I’ve already contacted a few of my WordPress friends with requests for honest, open Amazon reviews for this booklet. Please note, I’m not expecting five-star reviews here if you don’ t think the booklet earns it. I just want to see what other people think, whether the booklet is able to earn better reviews at all, etc.

With that in mind, if you’re willing to help, please e-mail me at gwenbristol@gmail.com and I’ll send you a free Kindle version. I’ll run this promo until May 15th-ish (2013), which is about when the KDP Select term ends. After that, if the book doesn’t really seem to be helpful to other people, I’ll take it down–all of the people I wrote it for in the first place have copies now, so it won’t make much difference to me. But if it does good in the world, I’ll leave it alone.

Simple as that.

Simple. 🙂 Still one of my favorite words and fondest dreams.

Meanwhile, I count this as one of the best learning experiences for marketing I’ve had so far. I will most likely be trying this again in the future with a different type of book (hoping to get a new book up on Amazon in April)!

And now I’m off to write Amazon reviews of my own for Michelle Proulx, Charles Yallowitz and Sheila Williams. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

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