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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Inspirational Regency - Awakened Redemption by Jennifer Hudson Taylor


Now Available!

England, 1815 
Inspirational Regency

Short Blurb
Awakened Redemption is the story of Elyse Brigham, an abused woman who believes God has forsaken her, but when Preston Mallory offers her a nursemaid position, freedom is in her grasp. Only one man stands in her way—her abuser.

Summary
Preston Mallory hires Elyse Brigham as a nursemaid for his son. Recovering from an abused past, she begins to open her heart to Preston. When she discovers Preston's true identity, she feels betrayed and flees to London. Preston follows hoping to mend things, but his plans are thwarted when his former fiancĂ©e is murdered. With plenty of motive and no alibi, he's arrested. How will he prove his innocence and convince Elyse to forgive him?

Elyse has nowhere to turn and believes the Almighty has forsaken her. As her life begins to unravel, a new foundation and path are laid before her if she has the courage to forgive and cling to a forgotten faith.

Available only on Kindle Select 
(for now)

$3.99


 Buy on Amazon

Video book trailer coming soon!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Book Release - The Swaddling Clothes by Amber Schamel


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
December 4, 2013

Charlotte, NC - Through the ages, many stories have been told about Mary and Joseph—the birth of the Messiah. These stories include shepherds and sheep, kings, angels and stables. But there is one story that has never been told.

A story that has remained hidden in the fabric of time.

The Swaddling Clothes—mentioned not once, but several times in the Scriptural text.

What is the significance of these special cloths? And how did they make their way into a stable in Bethlehem?

From the author that brought you the Days of Messiah series comes, a whole new adventure that reviewers are calling "intriguing...thought provoking... a fresh twist on an age old story."

"I get tired of Bible stories sometimes, but The Swaddling Clothes brings the story to life."

"Heartwarming...truly inspired. A story you will want to read again and again. Rich details and a suspenseful plot will keep you reading while giving you a glimpse of God's wonderful power and His amazing love."

Available in print on Amazon, and as a digital ebook on Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and directly from the author at AmberSchamel.com, readers will want to dive into this story and offer it as a holiday gift to family and friends.


About the Author

Amber Schamel is a multi-published author of Historical Christian Fiction. Her passion for history and culture has led her to travel extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. Amber is actively involved in her church and enjoys volunteer work and music ministry. Raised in a family of 12 children and homeschooled, she currently resides in the beautiful state of Colorado where she serves as bookkeeper and marketing director for the family business. Find Amber on her blog or social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Join #DarkBiology Twitter Party to Discover the New Michael Chrichton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2013

Charlotte, NC - Dark Biology by Author Bonnie Doran has just released and is a debut novel worthy of notation. As a faith-based science fiction thriller, it is pulling in 5-star reviews on Amazon and Author Robert Liparulo compares Bonnie's writing style to Michael Crichton. 

“With meticulous research, a fascinating story and brilliant writing, Dark Biology propels Bonnie Doran into a realm of storytelling once dominated by Michael Crichton. Crisp writing and a terrifyingly real scenario make this an utterly captivating read.”
–Robert Liparulo, Author of Germ, The 13th Tribe and The Judgment Stone

What: 
Dark Biology book launch & Twitter Party

When: 
Thursday, November 21, 3013 at 8-9 PM EST

Where: 
Twitter and type in the hashtag #DarkBiology
             or Twubs.com/DarkBiology

Who: 
The event will be hosted by 

Participants are encouraged to retweet and reply to tweets using the #DarkBiology hashtag during that hour. By participating, people will be entered into random drawings for various giveaways, which include a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, several free autographed copies of Dark Biology, the Dragon Naturally Speaking software, rocket pens, and an origami kit. 

About Dark Biology
Renowned vaccinologist "Hildi" Hildebrandt has set her sights on beating her brother to a Nobel Prize, and the opportunity to conduct experiments on the International Space Station might just provide the means to obtain that goal. Chet Hildebrandt should have had that opportunity. But now he'll teach a lesson to them all: his hot-shot astronaut sister, his philandering hypocritical father, and the CDC for not properly appreciating his work. One vial of a virus purloined from the CDC labs and released at his father's marriage seminar should do the trick, without hurting anybody. After all, it's only a mild influenza strain... Or is it?



Monday, November 18, 2013

The Book Launch Timeline

#books #publicity 


So much goes into launching a book whether it is your first or one of many. Most likely, you'll know the release date a year in advance. Some smaller publishers may give you six to nine months notice. This will give you plenty of time to save and plan for your book launch as you continue writing the next book and revising macro and copy edits on soon-to-be-released book. 

If you receive an advance, my advice is to keep your day job or let your spouse keep supporting you, and plan to use a good portion of it, perhaps all of it, on your promotion efforts. You can write the next great American or European classic, but if no one knows about it--your book will remain one of the world's best kept secrets. Therefore, the best thing you can do for your writing career is to invest in it--wisely.

Below is a general timeline to help you plan for your upcoming book launch. This is only meant as a guideline, not something set in stone. Feel free to modify it as circumstances vary from author to author, publisher to publisher, and depending on genre and other ideas you may have. 



6-9 Months
~ Create Marketing Plan for your book launch
~ Hopefully, you already have a website/blog, but if not, buy your domain. Set up your site or hire someone to develop it for you. 
~ Set up your social media sites and link them all to your website/blog. If you already have these sites set up, be sure to update them, check their links, upload your book cover as soon as it's available.
~ Create an online Media Kit. This is a place that will have a page for your bio, photo, book covers and purchasing info, sample chapter, video book trailer, a way to contact you, a calendar with your upcoming schedule and events, and blog tour info. Even if you don't have the info for these pages yet, create the pages and set them up so you can add info as it's available.

4-5 Months
~ Schedule book tours. You can either do this yourself or hire a company to do this for you. If you have the funds, I recommend more than one book tour. Determine ahead of time how many books you plan to give away for review and/or as giveways on blogs. Be sure to schedule a combination of reviews, interviews, and guest posts so readers aren't bombarded with the same info if they follow multiple blogs on your tour.
~ Determine if you will host a contest campaign with multiple giveaways beyond mere books. You need to know where you will host it, who will help, goals, and target audience.
~ If you need to provide books and giveaway items, try to purchase a few each week. Don't wait and try to buy everything all at once. Sometimes bulk isn't the best answer--especially if you're on a tight budget. A little at a time is more affordable when you don't have bulk cash. When I buy things this way, it helps to buy out of my paycheck rather than my book money, allowing me to save it for lean months or for big item purchases. 
~ Put out a call for Influencers who will read the book and post reviews on their blogs, Amazon, B&N, and other online locations.

2-3 Months
~ Set up book signings. Check local schedules for events and festivals that might be taking place where you can bring your books. Piggy-back on their promotion of the event and utilize a location where people will already be gathering. For example, since I write Scottish historicals, a great venue for me has been the highland games held throughout the country. 
~ Start posting a few status updates regarding your book launch and what you're working on to start building excitement and anticipation on your social media sites. 
~ Start designing and ordering bookmarks, business cards, postcards, magnets, and the promotion items you plan to purchase.
~ Determine budget and schedule for any paid ads. 
~ Set up Google alerts for you author name and the title of your new book.
~ Once your book is listed on Amazon, set up an author section on Amazon Central. If you need additional information on what this is and how it will benefit you, I wrote a previous post on it here

1 Month
~ Fill out questions for blog interviews and return as many as possible. Submit guests posts where possible. 
~ Write press release, including first book launch party dates and times and begin submitting it to local and online media.
~ Post scheduled events on local media calendars, including public community calendars at libraries, chamber of commerce, etc.
~ Send out personal invites to people for book launch party and online blog tours.

2-3 Weeks
~ If you have a regular newsletter, send out a new one or a special announcement regarding your book release and launch party event.
~ Start posting teasers for reviews with links on blog and social media.
~ Continue answering blog interview questions and guest posts. 
~ Send out a reminder to Influencers.

1 Week
~ Post blog tour info with links on blog and social media.
~ Begin book launch contest and/or blog tour.

Book Release Day
~ Reminder announcement on website/blog and every social media channel with a link where to purchase.
~ First blog tour stop with link and keep up each day until blog tour is over.

If you have additional questions post them in the comment section below. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Join Us for the "Dark Biology" Twitter Party!



To Celebrate the book release of #DarkBiology by Bonnie Doran, we are hosting a Twitter Party!

Join us on Twitter
Thursday, November 21st
8-9 PM EST

The hashtags that we will use for this party will be
#DarkBiology
#BonnieDoran


Hosts
@BonnieDoran
@Upontherockpubl

The only way we can identify your participation in this Twitter Party is if you use the hashtags listed above. We will be following the conversation on Twubs at the link above and you can too. We will draw usernames from participants to give away the free gifts. (Must be a U.S. or Canadian resident over 18.) We will announce winners on Twitter, but hosts will send winners a private message on Twitter to obtain your mailing address to receive your free gift(s).

Below are a few tweetables to help you get started. We encourage you to ask Author Bonnie Doran questions about her journey to publication, her writing style, sci-fi, and other curiosities. If you have read her debut novel, Dark Biology, feel free to discuss it and/or ask questions about it.


Dark Biology
Renowned vaccinologist "Hildi" Hildebrandt has set her sights on beating her brother to a Nobel Prize, and the opportunity to conduct experiments on the International Space Station might just provide the means to obtain that goal. Chet Hildebrandt should have had that opportunity. But now he'll teach a lesson to them all: his hot-shot astronaut sister, his philandering hypocritical father, and the CDC for not properly appreciating his work. One vial of a virus purloined from the CDC labs and released at his father's marriage seminar should do the trick, without hurting anybody. After all, it's only a mild influenza strain... Or is it?

About Bonnie Doran

Bonnie is the debut author of Dark Biology, a faith-based science fiction novel. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband of 30 years. He is an electrical engineer who works with lasers for a living and a Mad Scientist who owns a 2,300 lb electromagnet. The Dorans are owned by two Siamese cats.

Other interests besides writing include reading, cooking, solving Sudoku puzzles, and volunteering at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. 

Bonnie attends a local science fiction convention as well as writers conferences every year. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Denver Area Science Fiction Association. She has a reputation for telling groan-producing puns. You can learn more about her at www.bonniedoranbooks.com


Tweetables
#DarkBiology is available in both print 4 paperback lovers & digital 4 e-book lovers. 

Amazon Review: Would LOVE to see #DarkBiology make it to the big screen bc it's truly filled with nonstop action. 

Review:  I don't read science fiction, but this is like the movie Outbreak, which I love.  

Amazon Review:  This book kept me engaged and turning pages. 

Amazon Review: Ms. Doran has taken up the mantle left by Mr. Crichton and run with it. #DarkBiology 


 Free Giveaways

$25 Barnes & Nobel Gift Card

Dragon Naturally Speaking software, Version 11, compatible with Windows 7, and copy of Dark Biology. I have two sets of these.

Dark Biology and Mad Science, edited by Randy Alfred.


Dark Biology and origami kit.


Dark Biology, Fisher space pen (writes in zero gravity), and four-color rocket pen


Dark Biology, Fisher space pen, and light-up rocket pen. This is the taller pen.




Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blog Tour for "Dark Biology" by Bonnie Doran




#DarkBiology #BonnieDoran
Renowned vaccinologist "Hildi" Hildebrandt has set her sights on beating her brother to a Nobel Prize, and the opportunity to conduct experiments on the International Space Station might just provide the means to obtain that goal. Chet Hildebrandt should have had that opportunity. But now he'll teach a lesson to them all: his hot-shot astronaut sister, his philandering hypocritical father, and the CDC for not properly appreciating his work. One vial of a virus purloined from the CDC labs and released at his father's marriage seminar should do the trick, without hurting anybody. After all, it's only a mild influenza strain... Or is it?

Buy it Here!

As new blogs and tour dates arrive in our inbox, we will update Bonnie's Blog Tour right here!
Learn more about Author Bonnie Doran

The Tour

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Healing Hearts Blog

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013
First Wildcard Tours

Thursday, October 24, 2013
First Wildcard Tours

Thursday, October 24, 2013
First Wildcard Tours

Thursday, October 24, 2013
First Wildcard Tours

Thursday, October 24, 2013
First Wildcard Tours

Thursday, October 24, 2013
First Wildcard Tours

Thursday, October 24, 2013
First Wildcard Tours
Kathy Brasby Blog

Friday, November 8, 2013


Other Blog Tours TBA










If you are interested in being a reviewer for Upon the Rock Publicist, contact jennifer@upontherockpublicist.com

If you are an author and interested in us hosting a blog tour for your upcoming books, check out packages and prices on the tabs at the top of our website

Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Minimize Being Flagged by Spam Filters


#spam #email #newsletters
Have you ever spent significant time researching and writing "original" content that you think might be informative and helpful to people, but once it's posted or your email newsletter goes out, you get little response? It's possible that you might have used some trigger words in the title or body that were tagged as spam and it went to people's spam folders, never to be seen again.

How many times have you used the terms: free giveaway, free book, book sale, discount? 

I have definitely used them, and I would guess that most of us have. Using these words will not necessarily land you in everyone's spam folder, but it could increase the possibility. Spam filters are set to various strength protection levels and some are more strict than others. Keep in mind that they scan more than the headline or subject line, but the entire email or blog post.

As technology has increased and evolved, spam filters now take into consideration many algorithms besides word and term usage, such as the IP addresses and domains to determine a poster's reputation. For instance, you might get away with using a specific term a few times, but if you are sending out multiple sessions of emails and posts from your domain or IP on a constant basis with the same terms, your info could get flagged and may start landing in spam filters. Other factors include abuse complaints and content scores.

HubSpot posted a list of commonly known words and terms that should be used minimally to keep your posts from going to the spam slush pile, The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words. It's quite extensive and broken down under specific categories. Once you browse through this list, you may be left wondering what you can use! Keep in mind that this list doesn't mean you can never use these words, but you might want to limit them. It's just like the cliches in writing that we should only use sparingly and for the right circumstance.

When possible, It's best to keep your subject line short and to the point at 50 characters or less. While you might want to establish branding your newsletter, if you use the same subject line each time, it will decrease the open rate. For example, News from Author John Smith as the subject line each time, doesn't distinguish it from previous emails. What is different about this email than last month's email that would entice me to open it? Be creative, but not deceptive like the cliche of a used car salesman.

Avoid:
  • Sending out too many emails within a given hour or day. 
  • Too many exclamation points. 
  • Using all caps. 
  • Coloring fonts bright red or green
  • Design a Word doc and converting it to an html file

SpamAssassin is one of the best known spam filters for internal testing used by most marketers. Any email that scores 5 points or more is considered to be spam.

For More Info:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Video Book Trailers - Tell Your Story in Action!

In just over a minute or less, we will transform your words into life and create a powerful, compelling video that will tease your readers to want more of your story. Will this work for everyone? Is it a guarantee?

Unfortunately, no. There has never been a product that was perfect for everyone.

But we CAN create a video that will appeal to the genre and brand of your books and target YOUR readers. 

We have 3 options available.


Basic Video Book Trailer - $300
  • Length 30-60 sec
  • 7-10 still photos and background images - (we provide stock images)
  • Panning & minor effects
  • 1-2 video footage (as appropriate)
  • 1 song 
  • 1 sound effect (as appropriate)
  • Animated transitions 
  • We write the script based on the cover blurb you provide 
 ~ Sample ~





Premium Video Book Trailer - $500
  • Length 61-130 sec 
  • 9-12 still photos and background images - (we provide stock images)
  • 2-4 video footage (as appropriate)
  • 1-2 motion graphics (as appropriate)
  • Animated transitions 
  • Up to 2 songs 
  • Up to 2 sound effects 
  • We write the script based on the cover blurb you provide
~ Sample ~





Cinematic Video Book Trailer - $800
  • Length 80-140 sec 
  • 15+ still photos and background images - (we provide stock images)
  • Cinematic opening with music
  • 3-5 video footage (as appropriate)
  • 3-5 motion graphics (as appropriate)
  • Animated transitions 
  • Up to 2 songs and/or voice over
  • Up to 4 sound effects 
  • We write the script based on the cover blurb you provide
~ Sample ~

See More Samples



Video Book Trailers



Book Cover Designs - More Choices to Fit Your Needs!


~ e-Book Covers ~
(See Samples)
$300 ea
We design everything you need for print and digital marketing materials. Here is what you will receive: 

  • Up to 3 cover concepts 
  • Up to 2 revisions
  • 300-dpi jpg for print use
  • 150-dpi jpg for digital use
  • 3-D gif file on a transparent bg
  • Stock images included



~ Print Book Covers ~
$500 ea
We design everything you need for print and digital marketing materials. However, print covers are a little more detailed since you will also need the front cover, the spine, and the back cover. Please talk with your printer and send us the necessary specs that are required since each printer is different. Here is what you will receive:

  • Up to 3 cover concepts (includes front cover, spine, back cover)
  • Dust jack with inside flaps for hardcover (if needed)
  • Up to 3 revisions
  • 300-dpi for print use
  • 150-dpi for digital use
  • 3-D gif file on a transparent bg
  • Stock images included


Cover Designs
 
 

~ Book Covers for Series ~
$200 ea for e-Book Covers (up to 3)
$400 ea for Print Covers (up to 3)
Higher discount if more than 3 books in a series
If you need a book cover design for a whole series of books, we will first work on a design template and then individual covers for each book in the series. This will give your series a branded look with continuity. The higher the quantity of books in the series, the bigger the discount for each book. Click on the down arrow to see all prices. Here is what you will receive: 

  • Up to 3 template concepts (includes front cover, spine, back cover)
  • Dust jack with inside flaps for hardcover (if needed)
  • Up to 3 revisions
  • 300-dpi for print use
  • 150-dpi for digital use
  • 3-D gif file on a transparent bg
  • Stock images


Series Cover Designs
 
 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Public Speaking Tips: How to Be Prepared to Fill-In for Another Speaker

Ever had one of those moments when someone asked you to speak at a function, you agreed, and then you panicked because you had no idea what you would speak on? If so, then you know what I'm talking about. 
If you are a public speaker, most likely, you hang around other friends who are also public speakers. All of us are human and have unexpected things that happen out of our control - illnesses, accidents, loved ones with emergencies, etc. You may be asked to fill-in for a friend if an event cannot be canceled. Let's face it. If you're being asked to fill-in for someone, you may not have time to prepare as you would if asked weeks and months in advance. Would you be READY? 

 Below are a few tips to make sure you are ALWAYS ready.

Prepare speeches when you don't have to speak. This may sound crazy, but the moment you're driving down the road, listening to a podcast, or reading an article and an idea for a speaking topic pops into your head, write it down. Begin working on an outline immediately. Then start working on a PowerPoint presentation and get it ready. Save it in a Speaking folder somewhere on your computer. It doesn't matter that you don't have it scheduled for anything specific or a target audience in mind. What matters is that you have a collection of drafts for when you are scheduled to speak and you can modify it to your target audience when needed. This way you won't be starting from scratch. It takes the panic out of the guess work and the anxiety out of the lack of available time. 

Learn how to make PowerPoint presentations sizzle, and include videos and slideshows when you don't need them. You probably learned in high school and college that visual aides are just as important in a presentation as the speech itself. Use them to keep your audience's attention and drive home your point. They shouldn't distract from your message, but enhance it. At the same time, you don't want to be using outdated media and technology. These days, a poster board won't cut it. Go ahead and create these visuals when you create your presentation or write your speech. It's much easier to find the perfect photo or video to convey a message when you have time to search properly than in 48 hours because you're filling in for someone. 

Don't think you'll never be a replacement for someone else. As I discussed earlier, people get sick and have family emergencies all the time. Life happens. This is the perfect time for a new speaker to take advantage of this opportunity that they otherwise wouldn't have. Event coordinators know it will be harder to get a well-known speaker in an emergency. Their schedule will most likely be full. This is where you can be ready to make a difference. 

Always update a speech or presentation. It doesn't matter if you spent hours and weeks going over your speech and fine-tuning it. After leaving it alone for weeks and even months, you'll come back with a fresh pair of eyes and a new perspective that will help you make it better. Plus, each new audience may require a different angle or the changing times initiate you to target your message differently. If you included stats, you may need to update them. What have you learned since the time you originally created it? Updating a speech or presentation takes less time than thinking through and creating one from scratch. You'll still be ahead by taking this approach.

Find out the logistics. Will you be able to provide a Powerpoint presentation and use video equipment? Will you need to provide a DVD, CD, memory stick, or bring your laptop? If you cannot use any electronic equipment, find out the number of attendees and try to have copies available as handouts. If you don't want to carry them on the plane due to packing constraints, find out if you can ship the copies ahead. If you do this, be sure to bring one copy as a back up plan. You could always arrange to have Kinkos, Staples, or some other service company make copies once you arrive. 

Brainstorming ideas for topics. If you don't know where to begin on choosing topics, think about your interests, hobbies, the kinds of articles you're prone to read. Research (Google) articles and speeches on these topics. You might find videos on speeches others have given. Take notes on what you like and dislike. From this strategy, you'll be able to start narrowing speech topics down and can begin working on a presentation, or outlining a series of presentations if the subject is broad enough with several subtopics. 

Are any of these suggestions helpful? What other ways have you found to be ready when unexpected speaking opportunities arise? 
Join our Upon the Rock Speakers Bureau! 

 

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