#Open Book Blog Hop – Marketing your books

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This week on the Open Book Blog Hop the topic is all about the best way to market our books.

Marketing the books we write seems to be the biggest concern of most writers, whether they are self-published or traditionally published. Unless you are a well known name, even traditionally published authors seem to have to spend a fair bit of their time marketing their books on-line and physically.

My first children’s book, Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook was published into a social media vacuum in August 2016. As it was my first book, it gained a fair amount of interest from family and friends but I knew when I published the second book, that I had to look further for a market.

I started looking into social media. Firstly, I created a Facebook account and that was hilarious. I called it Sir Chocolate and I got a lot of requests for friendship by some rather interesting characters including a platoon of USA military personnel, according to their profiles in any event. I quickly changed it to Robbie Cheadle and my sister showed me how to create a page called Sir Chocolate Books which worked much better.

I created a twitter account and spent a bit of time learning how to use twitter and finding other authors and reading their tweets. I soon realised that all the authors had blogs. What was a blog? I followed a number of the links and saw that WP was a popular choice for these “blogs”. I spend the whole of one Sunday finding WP and setting up my blog step-by-painful-step.

I was very lucky with my blog. I used the search tool to look for other authors and quickly came across Smorgasbord, run by the amazing Sally Cronin. I started following her posts and reading and commenting as I saw other people doing. Sally came over and had a look at my blog and kindly shared one of my posts. It was a Christmas post about how to make a red robin out of fondant. I went over to her blog and thanked her and followed all the links to the bloggers who had commented on her post. I read and commented on a few of their posts and followed them all. That is how I became involved in the amazing writing and blogging community that is my mainstay in this strange social media world. Blogging is different to other social media, it is interactive and you learn a whole lot of fascinating and useful things. You find book reviews that lead you to fantastic new writers and their books and discover historical, scientific and natural wonders shared by bloggers all over the world.

My blog is the marketing tool I use the most. I try not to use it to post to many specially book promotional posts. I like to participate in writing prompts and meet other participants. My books are along the sidebar of my blogs so people who like my writing can find them if they want to.

Another thing I do quite often is write guest posts. These are usually about some historical event or circumstance that I have found interesting or which has prompted a piece of writing. The bit about my books is usually at the end and people can continue to read it if they are interested in it or just read the actual article.

I am not a great marketer, but I do let people know I have books and I try to support my fellow authors as much as possible because I like to and because I think that you need to offer visitors to your social media variety and insights into other peoples books and writing. It is a bit like the marketing psychology that is used in shopping malls when stores that sell similar products are grouped together. You go to a certain section of the mall to buy shoes and another to buy books. In that one place you get to look around and make a selection from all the different products that are on offer.

How to other authors market their books? You can find out here:

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

#Poetrychallenge – Picture prompt

Disillusionment,

in shades of evenings warning

tells of rains to come

***

Trying to trap a

reluctant and resistant

soul, colours life red

Written for Colleen Chesebro’s poetry challenge. You can join in here: https://colleenchesebro.com/2019/11/19/colleens-2019-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-154-photoprompt/

#Writephoto – Light

I decided to introduce a poltergeist into my currently nameless Boer War supernatural historical novel. This is an unedited extract:

“You may let loose some sort of bad spirit or phantom into your home,” Michelle repeats dumbly. She stares at the scene with a sort of incredulous avidity and her fingers twitch slightly.

The mouse moves suddenly underneath her hand. The curser moves to the top of a fresh pages and stops, waiting … blinking brightly on the blank screen.

Oh my God. What’s happening? The words scream in her head.

Hello Bitch

Michelle stares in shock at the words that have appeared on her screen.

You are a traitor to your sex marrying a man like Tom. I’m going to get that lying, cheating husband of yours and then I’m going to get you. I’m going to teach you both a lesson you won’t ever forget.

“Nooooo,” the moan rasped from her dry throat. “I don’t believe this.”

You’d better believe it, Bitch.

The face of a girl of about sixteen years old appeared on the screen. She has long dark blonde hair tied neatly into two plaits which peep out from beneath a bonnet that covers her head and makes her face shadowy. Michelle can see her eyes; dark and hate-filled they glare at her from beneath its wide brim. Only see the top of her old-fashioned dress shows; it has buttons running down the front and a lace collar.

The girl’s mouth moves and Michelle can hear her voice through the speakers. “Don’t think that Pieter van Zyl or that pompous Englishman, Robert, can save you. If they interfere with me, I’ll take care of them too.”

Michelle hangs her head and clasps her forehead in both of her hands. Her temples have exploded into a migraine. She sits here, holding her head for what seems like hours, but it’s actually only twenty minutes, before the pain recedes sufficiently for her to look up. The late afternoon sun is streaming through the window and the bright light obscures her computer’s screen. Pulling it roughly across the desk, she sees that the screen has reverted to her screen saver. She reaches out and moves the mouse. The screen is perfectly normal, her internet home page is still open at the article about the risks of using an Ouija board. She shuts her computer down and gets to her feet. It’s a bit early, but she thinks a drink is in order.

Thank you for the inspiration, Sue Vincent. You can get inspired here: https://scvincent.com/2019/11/21/thursday-photo-prompt-light-writephoto/

Guest author: Robbie Cheadle – Charlotte Brontë

Sue Vincent has hosted me with another post about the Brontë family, this time I have focused on Charlotte Brontë.

I found a lovely post about the tiny books that I also wrote about in my post, over at Annika Perry’s blog. You might like to visit it and read a bit more about the Brontë Museum: https://annikaperry.com/2019/11/21/the-little-books/

I also read and reviewed a lovely book called The Brontë Cabinet which includes some fascinating information about the Brontë’s. You can read it here: https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/bookreview-the-bronte-cabine-three-lives-in-nine-objects-by-deborah-lutz/

Guest author: Robbie Cheadle – Charlotte Brontë

Background

Charlotte was the third and middle daughter born to Patrick and Maria Branwell Brontë. She had two older sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, who both died as children from tuberculosis, and two younger sisters, Emily and Anne. She also had a younger brother, Branwell. Subsequent to their mother’s death from uterine cancer, Charlotte and her young siblings were brought up in Haworth, Yorkshire, by their father, Patrick, and their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell.

Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily all attended Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire during 1824. The fees were low, the food of a poor quality and the discipline harsh and often unfair. It was reported that the food provided by the school was generally poorly cooked and unhealthy, and the cook was “careless, dirty, and wasteful”.

Lowood Institution, the school which features in Charlotte’s famous novel, Jane Eyre, is said to have been based on Charlotte’s recollections of Cowan Bridge School.

Maria and Elizabeth both sickened during their time spent at this school and were effectively sent home to die in June 1825.  They died within six weeks of each other at the ages of eleven and ten years old, respectively. After the deaths of his two oldest children, Patrick removed Charlotte and Emily from the school and the remaining four siblings were all home schooled for five years.

Continue reading here: https://scvincent.com/2019/11/21/guest-author-robbie-cheadle-charlotte-bronte/

#Bookreview – The Gamma Sequence by Dan Alatorre

Book reviews

What Amazon says

Geneticist Lanaya Kim must do what authorities haven’t – tie together the “accidental” deaths of several prominent scientists around the country to show they were actually murdered. Over the past two years, geneticists have died in what appear to be accidents, but Lanaya knows otherwise. If she tells her secrets to the authorities, she risks becoming a suspect or revealing herself to the killer and becoming an open target. Hiring private investigator Hamilton DeShear may help her expose the truth, but time is running out. The murders are happening faster, and Lanaya’s name may be next on the killer’s list. But when Lanaya and DeShear start probing, what they discover is far more horrifying than anyone could ever have imagined.

My review

Hamilton “Hank” Deshear is just a regular guy who, due to some unexpected life curveballs, has ended up losing his job in the police force and also his home. Hank is struggling to re-establish himself financially in his new occupation as a self-employed private investigator.   When Lanaya, a genetic scientist, contacts him and claims that the recent high-profile death of the well-known and wealthy head master of a local private school is not an accident, but rather a murder, Hank starts being drawn into the shadowy world of a serial killer. The deceased head master is the latest in a series of accidental deaths of fellow current and former genetic scientists. The link between all of these people and Lanaya is that they all worked together approximately ten years previously for a progressive genetic engineering research laboratory.  Lanaya believes all the deaths are murders and that she is next on the list. She is seeking to employ Hank to track down the responsible party and stay alive. The murderer, however, is not an ordinary man. He is the product of genetic engineering aimed at producing a superior human specimen called the “Gammas”.

Soon Hank is on the run, together with Lanaya, hoping they can escape the warped justice of the murderer and unravel the greater mystery that underlies his vengeful murder spree.

Deshear is a likeable and easy going man, who exhibits ingenuity, determination and resourcefulness which quickly gets the reader on his side and routing for his success in tracking down the murderer. His background in the police force and his heroic past actions make his role in the book believable and realistic.

Lanaya grows on the reader. Initially, she comes across as being quite snotty and superior, but it soon becomes obvious that her attitude is due to fear and distrust of other people. She is the epitome of an innocent person who has ended up in trouble due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time and possibly not giving enough thought or consideration to the strange and unorthodox behaviours and work methodologies she saw around her. Lanaya proves herself to be brave and agile minded when both she and Deshear end up in an unexpected situation.

This book is fast paced and exciting, with a unique and well thought out plot which will intrigue readers who enjoy medical thrillers, or any other kind of thriller. The medical references are not unnecessarily complex or detailed and it is not necessary for the reader to have any sort of medical background to enjoy this book. The author managers to pull all the complex threads of the story neatly together at the end, leaving the reading with a satisfying conclusion but interested in coming back for more.

Purchase The Gamma Sequence by Dan Alatorre

Amazon US

 

 

#Openbook : Open book blog hop – 18 November

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How many hours a day do you write? How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I work full time during the week, maintain my blogs and also look after my family, in particular, I assist Michael with his homework. As a result the word hours in “How many hours a day do you write?” is not even a remote possibility for me during the working week. I snatch time to write by making 30 minutes here, and on a very good day, an hour there. I write when I get the chance and I am not fussy about the where of it either.

I can  write anywhere including in my car while waiting for children to finish school, on an aeroplane while travelling, during my lunch hour if my work load isn’t unduly heavy and any other conceivable place you can think of. I am also not overly concerned about the tool I use for my writing and, although I prefer to write using my laptop, I sometimes use my cell phone to write poems and little passages that come to mind or write them down on bits of paper, or, if I am particularly organised that day, in a writing book.

On Saturdays and Sundays I usually write from 6 am to 8 am and then again later in the day, if possible. I usually manage to write between 3 000 and 4 000 words on a weekend, depending on how much research is required. I aim for about an additional 500 words at least three days a week. That amounts to approximately 4 500 to 5 500 words per week.

As a result, a book takes me between five and six months to write and then another five to six months to edit and finalise for publishing. My aim is to publish one novel per year. I have also, to date, published one children’s picture book per years. These picture books comprise my Sir Chocolate picture and recipe books and are fairly short. The time saved with the writing, however, is used up through the making and photographing of the cake and fondant art  illustrations.

Writing is not my source of income, it is something I currently do for pleasure so I can’t devote any more time and effort to it than the stated 5 000 words per week. My work job sometimes extends to a nine or ten hour day and also weekend work and that has to take precedence over writing, as do my children’s needs.

What do other writers have to say about this topic? Find out by following the link below.

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Guest author: Robbie Cheadle – The Brontë Family – Patrick Brontë

I am over at Sue Vincent’s lovely blog with the first in a series of posts about the Brontë family. Thank you, Sue, for hosting me.

Patrick Brontë – the patriarch

In the beginning

Patrick Brontë, born Brunty, was the oldest of ten children born to Hugh Brunty, a farm labourer, and Alice McClory. He grew up in the small village of Drumballyroney in Country Down, Northern Ireland. At the age of twelve, Patrick was apprenticed to a blacksmith, and the to a linen draper and a weaver until he became a teacher in 1798. In 1802, he was given an opportunity to study theology at St John’s College, Cambridge, from where he received his degree in 1806. He was appointed curate at Wethersfield in Essex, where he was ordained a deacon of the Church of England in 1806 and into the priesthood in 1807.

Patrick Brontë met his wife, Maria Branwell, during his time as a school examiner at Wesleyan Academy, Woodhouse Grove School near Guiseley. The couple married on 29 December 1812 following which they moved into a house on Halifax Road, Liversedge where their first two daughters, Maria and Elizabeth, were born. In 1815, he moved on to become the perpetual curate of Thornton and his four other children, Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, Emily and Anne were all born there. The Brontë family moved to Haworth in April 1820 after Patrick was offered the perpetual curacy of St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Haworth.

Continue reading here: https://scvincent.com/2019/11/16/guest-author-robbie-cheadle-the-bronte-family-patrick-bronte/