Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Cover Reveal: Killing the Dead

Killing_the_Dead_425x680

The second Assassin Without a Name short story has been released and here is the cover. Another good one, I think. The short is available across all major online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords.

Here's what the story is about:

Some say the dead should stay dead. Not everyone agrees.

The priests purged one of their own with holy fire. Now they need the Assassin Without a Name to finish the job.

In this short tale, an assassin is hired to kill the already dead.

If readers show interest in this series, I'll likely write more tales featuring this character. Even if they don't I likely will. He's a fun, different sort of character from what I write about in my novels. And, who knows, maybe he'll make an appearance in one of those novels or get one of his own.

Tips for Using Social Media to Promote Your eBook

This post comes courtesy of Marcela De Vivo, who approached me with interest in providing this blog's audience with some great new content. I'm glad she did, and hope she'll come back in the near future. In this article, she writes about using social media to help promote your eBook.


Social media is an ideal way to find readers and engage existing fans of your work, and as a writer, you should have at least a few of the skills necessary to catch your reader’s eye; however, many writers struggle with using social media since it can feel somewhat different that writing in a traditional sense. Many writers also struggle with knowing where to start as social media and marketing really aren’t their realms of expertise.

Taking the time to learn how to market and promote your eBook using social media sites can generate significant results and you could even find a fan base that you never would have connected with otherwise.

Use Multiple Social Media Outlets

The major social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are no-brainers for authors looking to promote their eBooks; however, there are more than two big social sites, and utilizing them all can give you access to more followers and potential readers.

Social sites, like Tumblr, Instagram and even LinkedIn, can help boost your readership base and help you make beneficial contacts in the publishing industry.

Start a Blog

You might not see a personal blog as a great way to showcase your writing, but it really can be an incredible tool to help expose readers to your work and message. Of course, you don’t want to put all of your writing on your blog – just samples and teasers to entice people to continue following you and to buy your eBook.

For the maximum benefit, consider writing pieces similar to your eBook for your blog. You can even use the same information and package it differently. Believe it or not, many authors already do this, and it can be an incredibly effective way to sell eBooks when combined with other efforts.

If you do start a blog, it’s important to link to your social media pages regularly-- those are what you really want followers to tap into so that you can let them know about future work.

Track Your Social Media Activity

So, you’re using Facebook, Twitter and every other social media site under the sun and you’ve setup your personal blog. You’re posting every day on your social sites and regularly contributing content to your blog.

Are your efforts helping and really getting people to buy your eBook?

To find out, you need to use tracking tools that can give you some idea. Certain tracking tools can be particularly helpful for this since they can actually monitor visitors, leads and real sales of your eBook all on one convenient, easy-to-understand dashboard.

Using tracking tools, like Cyfe, can also help you find out if your social media efforts aren’t really working much at all – or at least not enough for the amount of time you spend on them. With this information, you can work on revising your social strategy until you get the results you want and need.

Social media is important for all businesses in 2013, but it’s particularly important for independent businesses, like authors looking to sell eBooks without major backers and partners. While selling your eBook can seem like a very difficult task, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing, you should know that social media can really help.

In fact, it’s one of the only tools that every business, big or small, uses to promote their product-- because it actually works!


Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Southern California whose writing specializes in web analytics, green website hosting, tech and marketing. As the owner of Gryffin Media, she uses a variety of social media platforms to reach a broader audience.

Author Interview: Stacey Marie Brown

This week's interview is with Stacey Marie Brown, author of Darkness of Light . Check out the synopsis for the book and the interview with Stacey right after.


Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Northern California. I did some acting in Los Angeles for a time. After that I lived and traveled abroad for over 6 years. During my time abroad I fell in love with Design and Architecture. That brought me back to San Francisco where I got my degree in Interior Design. Now, I work by day as an Interior/Set Designer and by night a writer. During those years I never stopped writing. It took me until recently to really realize that is was what I want to do with my life. It’s my true passion. When I’m not writing I’m with friends, hiking, going to concerts, and just enjoying San Francisco.

2. What's the name of your newest or latest book and what's it about?

My book is called Darkness of Light. It is a paranormal romance/ contemporary fantasy. It is about 18-year-old Ember Brycin, who has always had strange things happen to her. After the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she discovers a secret that changes not only her life, but what and who she is. Love, lies, deceit, and betrayal lead her down a path to the Otherworld, into another realm where she will probably not survive.

3. Is this book part of a series or standalone?

Although you can read Darkness of Light as a standalone, it is meant to be Book One in the Darkness Series. As of right now, there are 3, possibly 4, books in this series. I am hoping to get Book 2 out by August 2013. It is a continuation of Ember’s journey. It is much more raw and grown up. She has a lot of things to deal with:  her own powers, the betrayals, sex, love, death. There are many secrets and twists ahead for her.

4. How long have you been writing?

I have been writing and creating stories from a very early age. It was the way I expressed myself and escaped into a world of make-believe. It was always something I did. It makes me happy and I would do it no matter if one person read my stuff or thousands.

5. From where or whom do you draw inspiration?

Reading, reading . . . and reading more. I also get inspiration from watching people, nature, art, and movies.

6. What advice would you give new or aspiring writers?

Seek therapy it’s quicker and cheaper…

Kidding! My advice is, if you enjoy doing it for fun or want to do it as your job, don’t give up. It is a LONG, grueling process. There is a lot of rejection and times you want to give up, but push through and keep writing. You also have to learn that not every word you write is worth keeping. You have to get thick skin and know people’s critiques are to better your book and you as a writer.

7. Who do you see as your ideal reader?

My books are more in the “New Adult” genre (17+). The first one could be in the YA, but just like in life my main character grows and matures as do the books. My characters are also real. There is sex, swearing, alcohol, and not always does the main character make the right choice. I am older and write for women who still love to read YA type books but want them a little more relatable and real life.

8. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a planner or outliner?

I’m trying to become more structured with my process, but it doesn’t always end up going that way. I like having a general outline on where I’m going; but when I write, my characters take over and sometimes a scene will come out completely different from what I thought. Keeping it loose seems to work for me and gives me the freedom and creativity to follow my characters when they take over my head!

9. Are you a "write every day of the week" sort of writer or do you take days off?

I wish I was disciplined enough to write every day. Life gets in the way and sometimes there are days that not one creative thought enters my brain! But, I do something involving my writing every day, even if it’s editing or focusing on my marketing. I try not to go more than two days without writing a scene.

10. Some book reviewers won't accept independently authored books for review. What are your thoughts on that? Are they missing out?

I understand why some do it; but, yes, I think they are missing out on some incredible writers. Agents aren’t taking on new clients most of the time, so it’s really hard for us “up and coming” to break out. Many choose to go the self-publishing route; but we have to fight the stigma of being “not as good” as published authors, and that is not true at all. I’ve read some horrendous books that were published by a big name and some incredible books that were self-published.

11. Some people feel indie authored books are of lesser quality than those that go through the traditional publishers. Do you agree with them? If so, how can independent authors raise the bar and remove this stigmatism?

Because the publishing world is changing and there are a lot more people self-publishing instead of going through an agent or publisher, I am hoping this stigma will fade some over time. The trouble is there are a lot of people out there that self-publish who don’t get professional help with editing and formatting. Their product is less than par. Unfortunately with no regulations on self-publishing, some really poor quality work is being put out there. Because of this I feel it will be impossible to lose this stigma completely.

12. Any pets? If so, tell us what role they play in your writing, if any.

Living in the city I’m not able to have any pets, but I grew up on a farm—rabbits, ponies, puppies, kitties and even bottle feeding lambs. All my life I’ve been surrounded by animals. I’d say they definitely influence me in some way. I actually want to write a kid’s book called “The Adventures of Pete” based on a true story about my dad’s old dog that got in a stranger’s truck and disappeared for two years before coming back. I want to write about what he saw and did in those two years.

13. Which retailers or others sites can readers find your work at?

My book is on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. All links can be found on my website.

14. Where can readers find out more about you?

My website www.staceymariebrown.com . Don’t ask any of my friends about me . . . they lie!


imageStacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing.  She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.

When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.


Wordnik Word of the Day: Marchet

I thought as I received notable words from Wordnik's Word of the Day service, I'd post them here. If you like, sign-up for Wordnik's Word of the Day service yourself.

marchet

A pecuniary fine paid by a tenant, serf, or bondsman to his lord for the liberty of disposing of a daughter in marriage. This payment, called in law Latin marcheta or mercheta mulierum (the mark-fee of women), was exacted in England, Scotland, and most other countries of Europe.