• Blog

    What is a virtual book launch and why would an author have one?


    A Fair Exchange - Release date PromoNext week I have my fifth book coming out and like all of my books at the time of launching it will only be available as an e-book.

    When I launched my first novel I did have a grand fantasy of holding a book launch – you know in a book shop, surrounded by friends and relatives all drinking champagne. The truth is you can’t do that with an indie published e-book.

    Another truth, at least in Australia, is that publishers don’t really hold book launches for their authors. If they have them they organise them themselves. So the fantasy isn’t real for a lot of authors these days.

    Instead I usually hold a virtual book launch.

    So what is a virtual book launch?

    A virtual book launch is an online event – usually held on Facebook. Authors invite readers, friends, relatives, reviewers to attend the event. so you R.S.V.P just like you would for any Facebook event.

    Different authors then do different things at their launches. Some show photos of people who resemble their characters, some host loads of give aways, some just talk about the book.

    Why have a virtual book launch? (If I’m invited what am I supposed to do?)

    Authors hold a virtual book launch for the same reason they’d hold one in the real world. It’s a way to let people know your book is out and it’s a way to celebrate. Let’s face it whether the book is made of paper or hangs in the ether the process of writing it and getting it finished and out into the universe is the same. It’s lots of hard work and when the work is done the author wants to celebrate.

    There’s another reason and it has to do with sales and algorithms. If you say you’re attending someone’s book launch they want two things. They want you to post and say congratulations but they also want you to buy their book. Let’s pretend I’m going to sell 100 books next week (I just chose that number randomly). In a perfect world I’d sell 30 odd books every day for three days, the algorithm which helps you find a book on Amazon, iBooks or where ever you buy your books works best that way. 100 books in one day is great (and no author would complain about that) but for visibility it’s better that they are staggered. By having a book launch the author is hoping lots of the people they invite will but the book that week.

    Now, just because you go to my book launch or anyone else’s doesn’t mean you HAVE to buy the book, it’s always obligation free, I’m just telling you why the author holds them and what their hopes are.

    This is the link to my virtual book launch next week. Please stop by.

  • Blog

    Authors Helping Authors – it’s a beautiful thing.


    Mr Right and Other Mongrelshttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086L8NBS

    My first indie book has now been out in the big wide world 22 months. I guess that makes that book a toddler. It certainly has fallen over and scraped it’s knees along the way, more than once. I suspect it’s also resentful when I give it’s younger siblings my time but that may be another post.

    When I had my daughter (back in the day!) I joined a mother’s group. They were like a support group for me. They got me out of the house and I could talk about my daughter and the trials of motherhood without boring my friends, who for the most part didn’t yet have children. (Ok I’m sure I did still bore them but hopefully a little less than I would have and as they largely went on to have their own kids I must not have scared them off the idea!)

    Anyway, when I released my first novel I did a similar thing. I found groups of people online who wrote what I wrote, or reviewed what I wrote and started to build a lovely network of people around me with whom I could discuss writing and books and writing comedy and writing chicklit and writing contemporary romance.

    If you follow my blog at all you’ll probably see that I’ve done cover reveals, interviews and guest posts from lots of wonderful authors. I’ve been involved in group promotions and give-aways as well.

    Lots of these people have reciprocated and hosted me or retweeted my sale days, new releases etc,

    So every so often (it’ll be like totally random) I’m going to just alert you to the books of some of these people.

    I’ll just pop a cover or two up here as suggestions of nice people who write books who might appreciate you downloading their book and having a read. They won’t all be women’s fiction but lots will be because that’s who I write for and who I seem to mostly have connected with.

    If you read and enjoy their books let me know – or even better – let them know. Authors love that!

    The Smartest Girl in the Room - CoverThis is Deb’s first book. Guess where Deb lives? Boston. She may have lived very close to where I did my high school exchange back in the day.














    A Proper Charlie - Louise Wise - CoverThis is one of Louise Wise’s books. You can tell by the title she’s English, right? Also her book is on sale for 99c right now.








    Deborah Nam-Krane
    9/4/2013 09:10:07 pm

    You are too much! Thank you 😀

    And I never joined those mothers things- the cliquishness of them always scared me off. I have much kinder things to say about the circles you and I run in 😉

  • Blog

    Let’s link up


    Hearts AfireToday I’m going to provide you with some chat and then some links to places I’ve been mentioned in cyber space this week or places I think might interest you.

    As you know I was at the Romance Writers of Australia conference on the weekend. One attends a conference like that for a variety of reasons including professional development, the opportunity to pitch to agents and publishers and as well as networking with other authors.

    I did pitch on the weekend so I need to get busy preparing my submission while busily prepare to launch my next indie title.

    It is a wonderful opportunity to meet people who want to talk about writing and books. (What could be better?) It’s also a chance to put faces to the many writers you meet on Twitter, Facebook and via blogs.

    Now I’m home it’s time to link up. I need to e-mail people, find their Facebook author pages and follow them on Twitter before I do what I did last year and misplace all those lovely business cards I’ve collected.

    Speaking of linking up here are a few links where I’ve been mentioned around the web this week.



    The lovely Cindy Roesel wrote this lovely piece about Mr Right and Other Mongrels on her blog today.

    My friend Pamela Cook who I travelled to the RWA with did a great blog post yesterday about our travels.

    And I understand my novel Hearts Afire has been nominated at Indie Author News for favourite indie book for September here. If you liked it and would like to vote for it this is the link.

  • Blog

    What is an indie author?


    When you are involved in any industry whether it’s mining, medicine of accounting you find there is language unique to that field. ( If you eavesdrop on three town planners it is my belief there will be so many acronyms used you may find yourself wondering if they’re speaking another language). One you understand that field the language becomes common place and you forget that others don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Since I’ve embarked on my journey to write and to get published I have learnt all sorts of terms and phrases that are used in contexts I would not previously have understood.

    Some examples:
    What does it mean when someone ‘requests a partial’? A publisher or agent wants to see part of your manuscript more than likely the first three chapters.
    What is a ‘beta reader’? (It is not a fish). It is someone, usually not a writer, who reads your book in it’s draft stage and offers feedback.
    What is a ‘crit partner’? This is a person who critiques your writing and you critique theirs, so usually another writer.

    So then we come to authors. Authors used to fall into two categories published and unpublished – simple right?

    When I say I’m an indie author, people don’t know what I’m talking about most of the time so I thought I’d take a moment to explain.

    Now we add indie authors. I’m an indie author. What is that?

    That’s an author who is independently published…you know how musicians have indie records (which everyone things is mega cool and is pretty standard in that field) same thing really! I’m like that guy in the garage band. (Maybe I can become writing’s answer to Silverchair!)

    Lets’ do another Q&A.

    Are indie authors just people publishers won’t publish? Sometimes they are. Sometimes they aren’t. These days lots of traditional authors also do some books as indies (hello Jackie Collins!)
    Why would anyone be an indie author? Some people like control of their work – choosing covers, setting prices and controlling how they are marketed. For example I’ve enjoyed creating a distinctive brand for myself and choosing how and when I would release my books.
    Don’t you make more money going through a publisher? Not always. These days with Amazon, Smashwords etc you can often do better on your own than with a small publisher, especially a publisher who is only offering you e-publication and not print. In fact you can make a pretty strong case lots of authors make less money with that approach. That’s not to say authors with small publishers don’t make money or big publishers because every author is unique and everyone’s journey is different.
    Do indie authors make money? Well authors generally don’t make a fortune to begin with. In Australia the average authors makes around $10,000 a year from their writing regardless of the method of publication. Of course that’s an average so lots are making more and plenty are making less. That’s true for indie’s as well.

    In summary – an indie author is just someone going it alone in the writing world. Of course that’s a pretty loose definition and not true really because I have a writing group, beta readers, cover designers, editors and of course readers and revision I’m not alone at all. I’m just an indie.

    Alphabet Dating Mug and Tote Bag

    Suzanne Brandyn
    5/13/2013 07:19:26 pm

    Very interesting post, Monique. As a first time INDIE author it was my decision as the traditional publishers in Australia said my story was a cross genre, and they didn’t know how to market it. At the time I didn’t want to either up the romance, or tone down the suspense. I believed in the story and it is dear to my heart, hence INDIE. It’s been an eye opener, one I’m not too sure I’ll repeat. With all the marketing, the worries, concerns, it left little time to write. I am planning to aim for all three. INDIE, Small independent press, and Traditional publishing. It has certainly opened my eyes and yet, I know where I want to be. Hopefully one day I’ll get there. 🙂 happen. 🙂

    Jackie Bouchard
    5/14/2013 12:49:04 am

    Great post to explain all the terminology. Going indie is definitely great for control freaks like me, and (as the previous comment mentions) for books that don’t fit nice & neatly into publishers’ genre marketing baskets. Via la Indies!
    5/14/2013 07:56:44 am

    Suzanne, it is definitely a lot of work although I think these days all authors seem to have to work hard to market themselves regardless of how they are published. I think all styles of publishing have strengths and weaknesses.
    5/14/2013 07:57:15 am

    Jackie – it has suited my inner control freak as well…:)