Monday, October 31, 2011

Why Authors Should Cross-Promote with Other Authors

Why Authors Should Cross-Promote with Other Authors

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying that two heads are better than one, well it also applies to promoting your book. Writing can be a solitary experience as we spend days toiling away on our computer. Thanks to the internet and social media, I’ve met a whole bunch of versatile authors—thirty five to be exact, and let me tell you, it has been the most exciting time of our career. We were brought together by best-selling author, Melissa Foster to help her launch her new book, Come Back to Me with a special promo of selling our books for 99 cents only—thirty six books for 99 cents. Great deal, right? Definitely not one you find everyday.

Despite living in different parts of the world, we managed to communicate daily, sharing one goal—to help one another succeed. We all worked hard to promote one another on Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks. We conducted author interviews, guest blogs and shared book reviews, all in the hope to create buzz for the book launch and to let the people know who we are. But that wasn’t all . . . As the days began to unfold, a strong bond between us developed, and we didn’t only see ourselves as authors who wrote and promoted books, but as humans who savored friendship. The relationship we have has allowed us to share our days of triumphs and voice out our frustrations. A listening ear, a praise, and a kind word reassured us that we would always be there for each other through thick and thin. It was one for all, and all for one—a commitment we all made and kept.

I am immensely blessed by the loyalty, kindness and friendship we shared in the past month. I’ve come to realize that working together with other authors is the most powerful tool an author can do to promote their book, yet at the same time, it’s the most rewarding feeling you’ll ever have. I’ll never be alone—I have thirty five authors who have played an instrumental role in my life and whom I’m proud to have as my friends. Thank you guys!

So come join us on November 1-3 at, as we celebrate the Book Launch of Melissa Foster’s book, Come Back to Me. United we stand, bringing you books from all genres for a 99 cent delight.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Why is Setting Very Important?

When Dan Brown wrote the Da Vincci Code, everyone started flocking to Paris to visit the Louvre and it’s rich history. Dan is known for his blockbuster plots, and his settings are so rich with color and scenes. His stories are so vivid and you feel that you’re right there at the location. After he wrote The Lost Symbol, I wanted to hop on a plane and visit Washington. There’s so much history I don’t know about and I would love to visit the location first-hand. Choosing a setting affects how your characters behave, speak and dress. You tie in the culture, language and landmarks, and you’re sure to get people to fall in love with your book. If you haven’t been to the actual place you’re writing about, then researching about the location is essential. The setting of my debut novel, Love Letters was in Half Moon Bay. Since I live in the SF Bay area, I often visit Half Moon Bay. I had to create a coastal town feel in my novel which matches the sea, surf and sand. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If You Were Given An All-Expense Vacation to Write Your Novel, Where Would You Go?

I would love to write in an island with pristine waters, clear-blue skies and sugary sand, so probably Fiji, Maldives or the Bahamas. How about you?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Are Symbols Important?

Symbols are a big part of my novel and I usually use them for my title. I named my book, Love Letters because it was the symbol of a love that was lost but not forgotten. The letters united Chloe with her mother and was what motivated her to find true love. I named my other book, Chocolicious because chocolate was the saving grace of Blair’s life. Chocolate was a symbol of comfort and love.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Do You Always Think About Your Readers When Writing Your Novels?

Yes. Writing is an emotional experience and each time I read a book, I feel like I’ve changed. When I write my novels, I want it to be meaningful so I can share it to the world. I always tell myself that my story better be good and worthwhile for my readers to be interested in the book. It boils down to your theme and the message you want to deliver to your readers. What do you want them to feel when they read your book? Can they relate to your characters? Will your message resonate with them even after they’ve completed your book? These are questions you need ask yourself before writing your book. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is It Important to Visit the Setting of Your Novel?

Not necessarily, but visiting the location where your novel takes place gives you that first-hand experience. Nevertheless, that’s where imagination and research come hand in hand. It’s important to research your location if your setting involves a country you’ve never visited. Including the culture, beliefs and way of life is a critical factor that needs to be added to your novel. You need to stimulate your reader using the five senses so they can fully grasp the setting of your novel, and feel like they’re right there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do You Feel an Urge to Write Each Time?

This is where you can determine if you’re writing is a hobby or a career. If you write for fun then you don’t do it all the time, but if you’re writing as a profession, you certainly crave for it. There are times when I know I need a to take a break from too much writing but I usually use this time to write down my ideas, title and summaries of the novels I write or plan to write.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What Do You Like Least About Writing a Novel?

I truly resent the editing process. It is the most tiresome job and it feels like a chore to me. I don’t feel creative when I’m editing my work, but I know I need to revise my novel until I get it right. You use a different part of your brain when you’re editing and this is when your critical mind begins to notice every mistake you make. Writing is from the heart, while editing is from the mind.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's Your Favorite Part About Writing a Novel?

My favorite part about writing a novel is when the idea is still fresh and I’m writing the first chapter. Writing a novel isn’t easy and I truly enjoy the challenges it brings. As the momentum flows, I learn a lot about the characters I create and the decisions they face. Writing is an emotional experience and every moment I share with my characters is a joy worth experiencing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How Do You Avoid Writer's Block?

I take a lot of long walks by the lake. I feel inspired when I see nature around me and it keeps the ideas coming. I also write two to three novels at a time, so when I feel I’ve hit a roadblock with one novel, I often move on to the next novel to maintain excitement and freshness.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Do You Prefer to Write Long-Hand or on the Computer?

I usually write long-hand in the first few chapters to get the juices flowing then once I’m confident that the story is moving forward, I transfer it to the computer. I always keep a notebook beside me to take down notes as I write.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do You Have a Routine for Writing?

I don’t follow a structured setting but I make sure I write at least five days a week, and it could be from 2,000-10,000 words a day. It depends on how inspired I am. There are times that I can write 10,000 words a day and on other days, I write 2,000 words. I don’t follow a schedule but I’m most alert in the evenings when my family is asleep.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What Comes to Your Mind First? Plot or Character?

It varies each time. Before I wrote Chocolicious, I was craving for a rich-filled, three-layered chocolate cupcake and what came to my thoughts was a rich woman in distress. She had recently lost her husband and was about to find out that she would lose everything she owned due to a foolish mistake he made. I was more focused on how this woman was going to cope and pick up the pieces, over the plot. Before I wrote Love Letters, the theme about second chances is what gave me the idea before the characters. I originally had Chloe’s story but I wanted it to be more exciting, so I included a sub-plot about the life of Chloe’s mother who faced the same situation as Chloe was experiencing. And so I knew that the premise had to be about risking ones heart to marry her true love. Whether the plot comes before the characters or vice versa, if the story continues to haunt you, then you know you should write it.