Writers and their marketing strategy

We’re winding down the author collaboration. Today I ask six authors to share their book marketing strategy.

6 authors interview

What is your favorite marketing tactic?

Laurel A Rockefeller – Author of Queen Elizabeth Tudor: Journey to GlorianaCatherine de Valois: The Legendary Women of World History – I use twitter a great deal.  Some of my favourite tweets are quotes from the individual books which I think really draw you into the story.

Marilyn Brand – USA Today & NY Times Best Selling Author – I can’t say there’s anything about marketing specifically that I’m really drawn to or would consider a “favorite” activity. I love the writing process, though, and I truly enjoy interacting with readers and chatting with them about stories and things in their lives that are meaningful to them. So, I guess I’d lean toward Facebook conversations as a type of marketing activity, since it’s one way fans and potential readers can get to know me more personally and, as a result, come to understand my author brand. In any case, it’s been built organically, and I think that’s an important component of any successful sort of marketing strategy.

Karen -Anne Stewart – Author of The Rain Trilogies | Ash to Steele – Gillian, you know how much I suck at marketing ;). Marketing is my nemesis, my biggest weakness. Usually, I post on Twitter or Facebook. I do love blog tours, though! I’ve had a blast with each blog tour I’ve participated in, and I thank all the bloggers, readers, and organizers for their amazing parts in those experiences! Goodreads is also a wonderful place to market.

Kelsey Ketch – Author of the Descendants of Isis Series – Marking is definitely not my strong point. Unfortunately, it’s also a necessary evil to give your book exposure. Which is why I turn to book tour sites for media blitzes, highlights, and blog tours and email newsletter advertising sites to advertise my sales. There are a lot of great people looking to help you promote your novel. You just have to look in the right place.

Gillian Felix – Author of The Family Portrait Series | Blog Tours: A Win-Win For Authors and Bloggers  – Content marketing has been my favorite so far. My most successful piece of content so far has been an article I wrote as Haze—the hot handyman-turned-model in my series. Haze is multiracial and he talked about his challenges while growing up. That article has been featured in many online magazines and retweeted countless times. People really seemed to connect with him. Now, if only I could recreate that magic with the other characters.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson – Author of The Frugal Book Promoter |Imperfect Echos – Persistence. Continue reading


6 Authors share what keeps them motivated


Author collaboration continues with 6 authors answering 2 questions. Today we talk about motivation and reading habits. Enjoy!


What keeps you motivated and why?

When it comes to motivation, I’m a little like I am about writers’ block. There is always something I want to do that hits me on the head when I wake up in the morning! – Carolyn Howard-Johnson – Author of The Frugal Book Promoter |Imperfect Echos

Motivation seems to change. With the Rain Trilogy, one of my biggest motivations was to help shed some awareness on abuse and human trafficking. With Ash to Steele and Feel, the motivation was entirely different – just as personal, but in other ways. One constant motivation for me, is how writing is a form of therapy. If the day has been really trying, throwing myself into my characters is the best stress reliever. – Karen -Anne Stewart – Author of The Rain Trilogies | Ash to Steele  Continue reading

First Ever Valentine Author

Karen Anne StewartThere are so many reasons why I chose Karen-Anne Stewart to be our first annual Valentine Author. By the end of this post, I’m sure you’ll agree.

ME: How did you come up with the idea for Jensen and Saige’s story?

KAS: I wanted to do something a bit different than my prior novels but knew I still wanted a powerful love story. Psychic abilities have always fascinated me, so I decided to write a new adult romance novel with a slight paranormal feel to it. Saige goes through hell being able to sense death and feel the emotions of those near her, and Jensen does his best to protect her. He spent his childhood kicking everyone’s ass who hurt Saige, until he was the one who hurt her the most by sending her away. I also haven’t written a story about second chances before, so I loved being able to weave pieces of Jensen and Saige’s past together while they rekindled their love.

ME: Jensen and Saige are seriously my favorite book couple. It brought to mind that old saying we hurt the ones we love the most. I loved that Saige was such a strong kick-ass female, she was an outcast and a loner and I was rooting for her all the way. Even tho Jensen protected her, he did so without smothering her. I think that was so beautiful.

You touched briefly on their family, and that was enough for us readers to form an opinion of them, great job! That’s hard to do. What was your process in creating them? Continue reading

Introducing Saige Colewood

I am sooooo excited to welcome Miss Saige Colewood. Apart from the fact that Saige is a kick-ass female, she has a unique gift. Hold on to your chairs folks, Saige has the ability to feel people’s emotions and predict death! Scary but true. Saige is one of my favorite … wait for it … fictional character. Saige stars in the new novel Feel by the wonderful author Karen-Anne Stewart.

In this interview, Saige talks a bit about her gift and the too hot to handle Jensen.

I can’t imagine what it would be like having your talents, Saige. Can you tell me a little about them?

Thank you for referring to what I can do as a talent rather than a ‘gift’; I have never seemed to be able to view sensing death and feeling other’s emotions quite that way.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt the same feelings as those close by.  Sometimes, they’re not bad feelings, especially when that feeling is love.  It’s warm, comforting feelings like that I try to focus on and push the other, darker feelings away.

When you feel someone’s emotions, or sense death, what do you do?

I try to hang around people who are happy.  You’d think there would be more happy people out there, but, really, that’s an emotion that’s elusive.  Even the people who look happy usually aren’t, at least not as much as they act like they are.  I do my best to ignore the negative emotions.  Death…that’s impossible to ignore.    Jensen warned me about telling people that someone they love is going to die.  He was worried about how they would treat me, but I couldn’t not warn them.  I can handle the pain of what they do to me, but I don’t think I could live with myself if I know someone is going to die and I don’t try to help them.

What do you mean about sensing death? How do you sense it?

I get this feeling of deep sorrow that penetrates me to the core.   It’s different than just having a down day and feeling sad.  It’s darker, deeper, and consuming.  Jensen taught me how to breathe through those moments, though. Continue reading

Feel by Karen-Anne Stewart – Cover Reveal

Book cover for Feel by Karen-Anne StewartFeel by Karen-Anne Stewart
Publication date: December 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance


The one whose emotions I can’t feel is the one who makes me feel the most.

I was a sensitive, at least that’s what I was told by the boy who saved me from the overwhelming emotions that consumed my soul, the boy who saved me from myself when my gift became stronger. Through the years, he was my redemption, my reason to take my next breath…then, he was gone.

Jensen always told me I was strong, but I didn’t believe him until I was forced to be strong on my own, and I kept breathing without him. I’ve taken 42 million breaths since the moment he sent me away. Now, four years later, he’s standing in front of me, and I can barely breathe.

This isn’t just a story about the abilities I possess; it’s a story about something much stronger…the love of the man who possesses every part of me.

***Disclaimer – Feel is intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.

Add Feel to your Goodreads shelf.

About Karen-Anne

Karen-Anne Stewart

Author Karen-Anne Stewart

Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards.

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres.

Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

Connect with Karen-Anne: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Check out Ash to Steele, another great novel by Karen-Anne. Look for Karen-Anne’s visit in December! YAY.

Romance novel Feel

Sneak Peek at FEEL

Her dark eyes are clouded with doubt as she searches me, needing me to tell her what I see, needing me to be her strength right now after she’s been strong on her own for far too long, and just needing me.  I want to rip the hearts out of everyone who has hurt her, but I tame the rage so I can give her everything she needs of me right now.  “The second I met you I knew that you were special and I don’t mean just because of your gift.  There’s this wild gentleness buried inside of you that is rare.  You fight for what you believe, never backing down, even when you felt all the pain, all of the shit from everyone fighting to restrain you.  You didn’t give a damn what you lost of yourself and did what you felt was right, what needed to be done.  There aren’t many people like you left, Saige.  You said I was your hero, well, I’m not the hero here.  You are.

“I’m sorry,” she blurts, rubbing her hands down her tear stained cheeks.

“For what?” I ask, using my thumbs to help her dry her tears.

“I don’t know,” she answers.  “For punching your friend, for being stupid, for everything.”

“That’s a helluva lot to be sorry for.”  My lips curve into a smile and another tear slides down her cheek, leaving a hot, wet trail that I trace with my finger.

“I’m also sorry for how I’ve treated you since we met again.”

“You thought I sent you to a nut house.  Don’t sweat it,” I tease, trying to cheer her up.

“So that excuses my being a total bitch to you?” Her eyes are red and puffy when she stops rubbing them and gives me a lopsided smile, looking so damn beautiful.

“No, it explains why you’ve been a total bitch,” I grin, giving her a wicked wink, “but I have a whole other slew of ideas of how you can make up to me for your bitchiness.”

She laughs, the sound soft yet strong, and so fucking seducing, the sweet lull rumbles through her throat like an aphrodisiac.  After what she said about Wes, I can’t be like him.  She deserves to know she’s loved before she gives herself to me.  After all she’s been through, I won’t risk the chance that she’ll get scared I’ll leave her like he did.  There will be no doubt about how much I love her when we make love for the first time; I’ll make damn sure of that.

Romantic figure for Feel







Plain Talk Book Marketing

Chatting with Karen-Anne Stewart

Can I just say I am THRILLED to have Karen-Anne Stewart back on Plain Talk. I am such a fan of hers. Karen-Anne has visited us and talked about Human Trafficking which she highlights in her Rain Trilogy novels, she talked about the healing and destructive effects of love on her Ash to Steele tour.

Now, get to know a little more about this talented author as I kick it with Karen-Anne. Enjoy!

Karen-Anne Stewart

Author Karen-Anne Stewart

What is your writing environment like, where are you most comfortable writing? Do you have a specific writing time?

The only constants in my writing environment are music and pjs. You will almost always find me in my comfy pajamas with music blaring in my ears when writing.  I don’t have a specific writing spot but I do use my living room couch and the couch in my office the most.  I take my laptop with me everywhere so I can write if an idea strikes.

I’ve written in some strange places, the strangest being with my laptop propped up on the back of my trunk while I was waiting for my turn to get my car inspected.

As far as time, I usually write in the evenings but I try to fit in some scenes during lunch, too.  Basically, I write anytime I get the chance because I LOVE it 🙂

You have a pretty graphic violent scene in Ash to Steele how do you mentally prepare to write something like that?

Those kind of scenes are hard for me to write and I experience some hefty emotions while creating them.  Listening to heavier, darker music helps me get my head where it needs to be while coming up with violent scenes, especially the scene with Emma’s attack.

If one of your friends or family members wanted to read Ash to Steele and you’re not sure if they will be cool with certain scenes, what would you tell them?

I actually have already had this conversation a few times, lol!  I try to be very upfront with content and include disclaimers such as the one I have on Ash to Steele: Intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.

On my website, the excerpts are labeled 18+ as well with the disclaimer on the excerpt itself.

Emma is the girl next door, is she based on anyone in real life?

Emma is a fictional character, but, with being raised in a very small town myself, I can really relate to her.  I had dreamed of moving to Boston, not to paint, but to go to college.  I chose a different route but loved being able to write about Emma following her dreams of going to the big city.

How did you come up with the idea for Ash to Steele?

I’m such a sucker for a bad boy with a good heart; I can’t get enough of them, and that obsession inspired me to create my very own bad boy, Breck Steele.  I related with Emma’s character immediately, and, like I mentioned before, I grew up in a small town so I enjoyed being able to turn some of my observations of small town living into Emma’s story.  Love being able to heal all is another obsession of mine.  I’m a true believer in the power of love, and Ash to Steele shows just how astounding, healing, and redeeming love can be if you don’t give up.

Speaking of ideas, do you go in search of inspiration, where do you get story ideas from?

Everyday life provides amazing inspiration.  Music is another HUGE inspiration for me.  If I need to come up with a certain type of scene and I can’t get my mind where it needs to be, I’ll go to different groups who can provoke the needed emotions from me for inspiration.

I heard a rumor that your next project is a paranormal romance. Can you confirm or deny? What is it about?

I’m very excited about Feel, Jensen and Saige’s story.  This is my first paranormal romance, so I hope I do it justice.  Saige has psychic abilities that allows her to sense and feel certain things.  Jensen is immune to psychics and their powers.  I can’t give too much away; but you can read Feel later this year!

How is writing paranormal romance different from what you are used to?

There is a completely different element to writing paranormal, but I’m loving it.  I had to do a lot of research for The Rain Trilogy like I’m having to do with Feel, but the context is totally different.

I’ve worked in the film and TV industry for over 10 years, so I have to ask. If Ash to Steele was being made into a movie, what would your dream cast look like?

Ash to Steel castBreck – Kellan Lutz or Trevor Donovan would make a great Breck.
Emma – Lilly Collins.
Gavin – Chris Hemsworth.
Jess – Indiana Evans.
Jason – Alex Pettyfer.
Justin – Mark Salling.
Elise – Elizabeth Gillies.

If you could be any character in your novels who would you be and why?

Raina, from The Rain Trilogy.  I don’t think I could be as strong as she is, and I definitely do not want to go through the hell she went through, but she gets Kas, and he’s my idea of a perfect man.  Kas is bossy but he’s also strong, protective, loving, courageous, and willing to go through hell and back to save his girl!

Thanks Karen-Anne for visiting! Feel sounds AMAZING I’ll be counting down the days for that one.

I think Karen-Anne has tapped into exactly what love is and she expresses it wonderfully in her novels. I had the privilege of reading Ash to Steele, read my review below.

Ash to SteeleAsh to Steele by Karen-Anne Stewart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say I LOVE Karen-Anne Stewart’s work. I love that she is so poetic in describing her scenes. This book is about friendship and trust and not to mention love. It shows how tender love can change a person. One of the things I loved about it was that instead of the guy changing the girl, she changed him. She made a difference with her love and support of him.

The other characters were really interesting too, they helped push the story forward and added drama. There were some moments that made me cry and some that made me squeeze the daylights out of my poor Kindle, (thank god I didn’t break it) I’d have sent the bill to K-Stew LOL.

Ok so Breck made me crazy for most of the book, while he is not the type of leading male I’d run to, he won me over in the end. Emma is an all American good girl who left her small town in for a better life and some adventure and boy did she get it. Along the way she made some unforgettable friends who have opened her up to a whole new world. This novel will appeal to NA readers as well as adult romance readers as there are plenty of romance (and spicy) scenes in this book.

You got love, funny lines, moments that make you cry and drama, what else can a reader ask for? Not to mention the smooth, poetic writing of Karen-Anne. Her writing makes you feel everything the characters are going through with vivid descriptions intense moments.

View all my reviews

Don’t forget to check out Karen-Anne’s blog where you get updates, win prizes and read sample chapters of her novels.

Purchase Karen-Anne’s novels:

Ash to Steele
Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy
Healing Rain: The Second Novel in The Rain Trilogy
After The Rain: The Final Novel in The Rain Trilogy

Plain Talk Book Marketing

Ash to Steele Blog Tour & Giveaway

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An interview with Justin, from Ash to Steele

You are Emma’s ex-boyfriend.  How did it feel when she left Pickens to move to Boston?

I wouldn’t say I’m her ex-boyfriend; we’re just taking a break so she can go and explore her hobby.  Once she gets a dose of the city and gets this need to prove herself out of her system, she’ll be back.

You dated all through high school and college.  It must have been tough watching her leave and meet new people.  The thought of her dating someone else must be hard, especially since she’s probably never been with anyone else and is becoming friends with Breck, the notorious player who’s known for getting every woman he wants. 

Emma and I are close, I’m not too worried about her falling for someone else, especially some jerk who is only into one night stands.  She’s a preacher’s daughter and she was the one who wanted to wait until marriage before having sex.  We’ve talked about building a home together; if she wouldn’t give herself to me after dating eight years, she wouldn’t give herself away to some stranger.  I mean, I just don’t see her doing that.  Emma’s not that kind of girl.  She never has been, anyway.

Why didn’t you go with her to Boston?

My life is here.  Her life is here; she’s just confused about that at the moment. I’m going to visit her soon and I feel confident that I can talk her into coming back home, where she belongs.

From what I’ve heard, Emma has a real talent for painting.  Boston could provide a lucrative career for her. 

She’s always messing around with her art. Sure, I guess she is pretty good.  I’ve never really paid too much attention to her actual works, but she’s won awards. I tried to get her to major in something else in college, something that would give her a nice income, but she doesn’t need it.  I make enough to take care of her, and she’ll be able to continue to paint here.  She loves going to the lake to sketch.  I swear, I would have to pull her away from her art at times; she would just get so lost in it and lose track of the real world.  Emma’s a dreamer; I have to coax her back to reality sometimes.

Emma’s dad seems very supportive of her. 

John is a good man, although, I think he made a huge mistake allowing Emma to move to Boston.  She’s only twenty-two, and that’s not a place she should be living alone.  Emma will get homesick.  Pickens is all she’s ever known, almost her entire family is here.  She’ll be back…soon. 

Ash to Steele book promo on Plain Talk Book Marketing

Ash to Steele cover courtesy CTC Virtual Book Tours

Continue reading

Is Love Healing Or Destructive?

Today’s guest post is by an author that I am fanatical about. Welcome back Karen-Anne Stewart! Thrilled to have you. Karen-Anne’s new novel is called Ash to Steele. Catch an interview with the characters and learn more about Ash to Steele on Tuesday.

Is Love Healing or Destructive?

Love me or hate me, both are in my favor…If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart…If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.”  William Shakespeare

Love is the most powerful emotion in existence. Love, in itself, is full of grace and can heal even the most depraving emotional wounds, however, the actions one does because of the depth of the emotion can be both healing and destructive.  While writing Ash to Steele, I often thought of how there is such a gray line between love and destruction.  There’s not one person who can honestly say that love hasn’t turned their world upside down, either good or bad…maybe both.

In my personal opinion, I feel that even the healthiest relationships have destructive moments; hopefully those moments are few and far between and the healing aspect of love greatly outweighs the destruction.  Without love, jealousy wouldn’t exist.  It’s like there’s this flipside to love, a darkness that shadows the light, a poison that taints the sanctity of the emotion.   I believe in the power of love and how it can change even the hardest heart, but with my romantic dreamer side, I have to admit that I’m also a bit of a realist and I can see how the gray lines can so easily be blurred.  That saying, ‘There’s a fine line between love and hate,’ holds a poignant truth.

If a person has emotional wounds or a destructive past that consumes them, love can be twisted into something dark and dangerous, becoming obsessive and deadly.  Even the most emotionally healthy person can occasionally succumb to the desperation unrequited love ,or the threat of losing love, can create.  Hopefully, a person is well adjusted enough to turn heartache into something productive…some of the best songs have been written out of despair, but, sadly, many times, love can turn malignant.  Again, I want to reiterate how I feel that love itself is healing, but the loss of love is powerful, and this is what can destroy lives.

Ash to Steele is full of healing, destruction, heartache, and hope.  This novel shows the power of both sides of love, the dark and the light.  Breck does everything he can to avoid any form of attachment to women; he has a woman once and never looks back, until he meets Emma.  She is his sweetest hell.  He’s never wanted or needed anyone before her, and he wants to hate her for causing the emotion he’s tried so hard to avoid bleed life inside his heart and soul.  Emma has been loved all her life but she’s never experienced being in love before she met Breck.  She’s desperate to leave her suffocating life behind and find the ‘more’ she’s been searching for.  Breck is both her heaven and hell; her escape and prison.  The reader will experience both the destruction and healing of love as they read the story of Breck and Emma.
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The Rain Trilogy Review and Promo


My review:

From the opening chapter of Saving Rain I was drawn to the story of our heroine Raina. What struck me the most was how much she had been through and still managed to keep her humanity. There is something very innocent about Raina despite her circumstances.

Then there is Kas, a strong, protective man-in-charge with a heart of gold. In the series Karen-Ann Stewart effectively showed how violence against women affect the men in their lives who want to love and protect them. Even though Raina suffered the abuse of other men you see Kas fighting like hell to save her, and in the process dealing with his own realisation that he can only go so far with her in the healing process, the rest is up to her.

I loved Kas and Raina as a couple, they complimented each other very well. Their chemistry was undeniable from Saving Rain (book 1) .

I think this trilogy goes beyond the new adult genre, it felt more like an adult novel to me, because the characters were more emotionally mature than I’ve seen in other novels in the genre. I feel like it could attract readers in the adult contemporary, romance category. It was a good read, the author took the time to really get into the details of the characters lives. I am looking forward to reading more novels by Karen-Ann Stewart, I am definitely a fan! 5 stars all the way.

Read more about the Rain Trilogy.

Plain Talk Book Marketing Top 10 of 2013

As we trek towards the end of the year, I thought I’d compile the top 10 posts of 2013 on Plain Talk Book Marketing.

The results were tabulated from the amount of shares/Flares by readers in 5 major categories listed on this site, the results via Flare. I cannot attest to the accuracy of the plugin, but I’m going by what is listed. You can check out the results for yourself by clicking on the links and checking out the Flare plugin on the left side.

The categories are 10QsGood to KnowPicturesWorld Issues, and Novels

This poll is just for fun :-)  Continue reading…