Monday 27 June 2016

Tackling Titillating Taglines…

Tackle your Readers attention with a great Tagline!
You need to hit readers hard, blindside them with an awesome tagline in order to grab their attention. I cannot overestimate the importance of this. Your tagline, blurb and excerpt are the most important sales tools you have for your book. Choose them wisely.

Every author wants people to read their book, right? Well, they aren't going to find your book unless you put it out there and MAKE them want to read it. Throwing away your tagline and blurb is just like taking your book and throwing it off a bridge in the hopes that someone will fish it out of the ocean, find it, and think it's great. So let's go over developing a tagline that will make readers care enough to pick up your book and purchase it.

A tagline is—or should be—one of the simplest things to create. A tagline is—plain and simply—a one sentence summation of the theme of your book. Something quick and catchy. If you're moving on through publishing by attending conferences and conventions, a tagline is similar to what is called an elevator pitch. What you want to do is to catch a reader's—or an agent's or an editor's—attention with a one-sentence description.

Remember, a PITCH and a TAGLINE are two different things. A PITCH is to get someone to buy your book with the intent to publish it. A TAGLINE is to get someone anonymous, in a bookstore or online, to buy your book to READ it. So your tagline should be about your BOOK.

Here’s the tagline for the first book in my middle grade/young adult time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:

“Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.”

Is it the best tagline ever? Nope, probably not. But it tells the reader exactly what the theme of the book is. Look at the points it covers—what it tells you about the book. What does that tagline cover?

Children. Keys. Future. Hope. Past.

That's the purpose of a tagline and how to make it work for you. Therefore—homework lesson number one. Sit down and READ your book. You may think you know what it's about, but if you're a writer like me—you don't. READ IT. As you read, jot down notes to yourself. One. Word. Notes. Hit the high points of your book. What themes, what high points do you think sell your book? No—even simpler: what tags or key words are IN your book? Because those are what will sell your book. Readers don't always know what they're looking for in something to read. Your tagline will give them clues.

A few examples of great taglines:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – It takes a graveyard to raise a child.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Remember. Survive. Run.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson – Two lives are bridged – and nothing will be the same.

Do you see what all of these taglines have in common? They titillated enough readers to become bestsellers.
So that's your first job after your book is written. To sit down and read your book, and to pull a tagline from it. And this is where the elevator pitch and the tagline come together. In an elevator pitch, you've got maybe thirty seconds to gain the interest of an editor or an agent—just as long as it takes the elevator to get to their floor. With a reader, you have your book cover and one sentence—just one sentence—to convince them to click through and read more. You cannot afford to throw that chance away. So a tagline that's trite or vague or boring cannot be an option.

BTW – Here’s a sneak peek at the tagline for the next book in my time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret set to be released on October 17th 2016:

“Only a true hero can shine the light in humanity’s darkest time.”

Hope I've done my job and piqued your interest! What are some of your favorite taglines? Cheers and thank you for your time and attention today!

Monday 20 June 2016

Book Tour and Guest Post: THIS NIGHT SUCKS by Elizabeth J.M. Walker...

Welcome to the Book Tour for Elizabeth J.M. Walker's new novella, This Night Sucks!

Follow the tour each day to read reviews, guest posts, and exclusive excerpts.

Book Details:

From the author of She Dreamed of Dragons

Title: This Night Sucks

Author Name: Elizabeth J.M. Walker

Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Vampires, Comedy

Release Date: June 17, 2016

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing 

Mirror World Publishing Link:  

Amazon Link: 

Link to the Tour Schedule:

About the Book:

Lana is a high school senior enrolled in Vampire Education – a class to teach students about the very real presence of vampires in the world. Lana and her classmates don’t really expect to meet up with any undead bloodsuckers. Vampires are a lot like other scary things that supposedly exist but you hope you’ll never come across: nudist colonies, mad cow disease, and your parents’ sex life.

What is part of Lana’s everyday reality is navigating through one last year of high school while desperately trying to be less nerdy. She still loves spaceships, fantasy novels, and cat stickers, but she also recently got her braces removed, grew boobs, and is working on the makeup thing. She never expected her crush-of-a-lifetime Pete to even notice her – let alone ask her out on a date. 

The date is going great until Pete’s ex-girlfriend Katy shows up, all bloody and pissed off. Lana quickly realizes that Katy is not just her ordinary bitchy self – she has been turned into a vampire. After a near death experience, Lana learns that she is changing into a vampire too.

Lana needs answers, and the only way to get them is to find the vampire who started the chain of events – and to find him before sunrise...

Fun Vampire Facts – Book Edition!

1.      One of the first recorded accounts of a vampire dates back to an ancient Sumerian and Babylonian myth dating to 4,000 B.C.
2.      Over 1,000 vampire novels have been published, most within the past 25 years.
3.      The first full work of fiction about a vampire in English was John Polidori’s The Vampyre. The Vampyre was a short work of fiction published in 1819.
4.      Bram Stoker’s Dracula, published in 1897, remains an enduring influence on vampire mythology and has never gone out of print.
5.      A key inspiration for Dracula was said to have been Vlad the Impaler, the 15th-century Transylvanian-born prince.
6.      The character Dracula has been featured in over 200 films.
7.      Popular vampire writer Anne Rice has sold over 100 million books.
8.      Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries have been published in several countries, including: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Swden, Denmark, and many more.
9.      The children’s book Bunnicula, by James and Deborah Howe, has won more than ten Children’s Choice awards, including the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award and the Nene Award.
10.  The Twilight books are the only vampire related book series to have sold over 100 million copies. 

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth J. M. Walker lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has always loved books and writing. As a teen she discovered zines, which inspired her to publish her own litzine of odd fairy tales for over a decade.

She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Connect with Elizabeth J.M. Walker:


Amazon US: 

Publisher Website: 

Author Website: 

Monday 13 June 2016

Author 2.0: How Writers Are Supposed To Succeed In This New Publishing Paradigm…

An Author's work is never done!
Honestly, my head hurts from thinking about what authors have to do now-a-days in this new publishing paradigm. I’ve written posts before about this topic and all the tasks writers are up against. Write, rinse, repeat has become an author’s slogan. The world wide web is crammed full of blogs, publishing services, publicists, and anything a writer needs to get their books into the hands of readers. This whole industry has changed so much in the last ten years, and I’ll wager it will keep changing. What won’t change are those who try to pass themselves off as ‘authors’ and continue to write bad books thinking they’ll get rich quick, and those who are in for the long haul, invest in themselves and write good, even great books. The proof is truly in the pages.

Apparently there are five ways authors can succeed in publishing. Bet you’re biting at the bit to know what they are, right? Okay, I’ll share, but just to let you know, I found this same information on numerous blog posts I read (when I should be writing my next book). That said, I added my own two cents based on my own experiences as an author. I believe most of this advice is just common sense, but you be the judge:

Have a strong, savvy social media presence. When I first burst into the publishing world with my debut book, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, I had a year under my belt with my blog, and a Facebook account. That’s it. My then publisher (now defunct) gave their authors a basic idea on what we had to do to promote and market our books, but it truly felt like once my book was published, I was put out to sea in a life raft with one paddle and a megaphone. Since then, I’ve gotten more of a presence (Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn), and made so many social and business connections for which I’m eternally grateful. It takes a village to raise an author!

The Power is in the Pricing ($2 to $3.99). Readers love to fill their ereaders up, and giving them a great price for hours of entertainment or education is your best bet to building your audience. This is a no-brainer. Although, if a reader wants to spend $10 or more on an ebook by his or her favorite author, then they don’t break a sweat when hitting the buy button.

Pre-Orders. Again, you’re creating buzz with this sales tactic. Add a cover reveal, a Goodreads giveaway, or raving book reviews into the mix, and you may just have a bestseller on your hands. When I was first published, we never had this option, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it works with the next installment of my YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret due out October 17th, 2016. (Yes, that's me creating buzz! Wink.)

Write a Series. I’m on that gravy train! Or at least I’ve left the station. So far I’ve got two books in The Last Timekeepers time travel series out: Book #1, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, and the prequel, Legend of the Timekeepers. Now with Book #2 contracted and scheduled for release, I feel I’m on my way. I’ve already started to research and outline Book #3. The master plan is to have a total of ten books with the prequel making eleven. Guess I’m in for the long haul for sure!
Hook Readers with a Free Installment. Part of me has a problem with this. Authors work hard, damn hard, at their craft. Somehow, a free book seems to cheapen an author’s work (but that’s for another blog post!). I do get the idea, and technically FREE is a good thing. Hell, I like free stuff. Who doesn’t? I’ve even have a free short story on my website for readers to download. Still, many authors give away their first book for free in the hopes that readers will like it enough to invest in more books written by the same author. Again, a great strategy, but I somehow think it’s akin to selling a piece of your soul. That’s just my opinion.

For another book sales strategy, here’s a comical, great post that helps authors to understand how finding readers is comparable to shopping at warehouse stores like Sam’s or Costco:

So there you have it. Five ways to try to find success as Author 2.0. Hate it or love it, publishing has become a game of misdirection and manipulation – the trick is to find a Houdini instead of a charlatan. Authors, have you found success using any or all of these strategies? Readers, do you buy books based on price point, pre-orders, an ongoing series, or do you just download free books? Would love to read your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!

Monday 6 June 2016

Remembering D-Day and those who survived World War Two…

The Death of Captain Miller in Saving Private Ryan
Today marks the 72nd year the allies stormed the beaches of Normandy in the name of freedom. At the end of the movie Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks’ character (Captain John Miller) tells Private Ryan (played by Matt Damon) to ‘earn this’ before he perishes. It was quite an emotional scene charging Ryan to carry a tremendous load in the decades that followed his life. But carry he did, and because of Captain Miller and his battalion’s sacrifice to find and save Private Ryan, generations of Ryans would flourish. I think of the depth of that sacrifice, and the letting go of what could have been. My own grandfather (deceased since 1968) was the only survivor of his battalion in World War One at Vimy Ridge. And I often wonder if he felt any guilt at being the last man standing. I certainly hope not or I wouldn’t be here now. Thank you, Grandpa.

My mother managed to survive World War Two while living in Hertfordshire, England. The war started when she was ten, and ended five years later in her mid-teens. Some of her stories have brought tears to my eyes, and her own just by remembering certain events and incidents. One such time, mom was telling me about when the Germans invaded France, and scores of British men and women raced across the English Channel to rescue as many French people as they could in whatever boats they owned. Another memory is simpler, yet so profound. Mom wanted to go to the movie theatre with her friend to see Bambi, but my grandmother told her no for some reason. The same movie theatre got bombed that day with many casualties, including my mom’s friend. Thank you, Grandma.

Many times my mother would go to school, and there would be empty seats where students once sat. Back then, there was no grief counselling, so the children would have to ‘deal with it’ as my mother would say, and move on. Bomb shelters were a part of life, but my grandmother tried to make a game of it for her three daughters to ease their fears. That horrific war certainly brought out the resilience and stamina in people, as they had to live their lives as normally as possible.

The next book in my young adult time travel series called The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret will take place during World War Two. Fittingly, it will be released October 17th, less than a month before Remembrance Day (November 11th). During my research, I learned a lot about what the people of that era endured and how they coped in such adversity. It was so humbling to read what the survivors had to do to keep moving forward with purpose, and to be as resilient as possible. I want to express my eternal gratitude to ALL the veterans of ALL the wars for keeping the peace, giving us our freedom, and making the world a safer place to live. Although evil still slithers around the globe and makes its ugly presence known from time-to-time, I truly believe that good people will always out-weigh the bad people. If you don’t agree, take it from somebody who’s been there:

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. ~ Anne Frank

This D-Day, don’t forget to thank or hug a veteran. They’ve certainly earned it.