Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Love those Vampires and Werewolves!

"Love those Vampires and Werewolves!" - Join me on Wednesday March 7th for the Coffee Time Romance Chatters e-Loop, 15:00 - 17:00 EST (20:00 - 22:00 BST)

I will be hosting an e-loop chat with Coffee Time Romance to promote my paranormal romance series 'The Redcliffe Novels.' I will run a competition to win a signed paperback copy of my debut novel 'Love Hurts.'  Join me if you love vampires and werewolves in all their manifestations, where we can talk about our love for these often-misunderstood creatures of the night...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Using a Book to sell more Books

That title sounds a bit random don't you think? Don't worry, I am simply playing with words, as is my way. What I mean to say is that I recently borrowed a book from my local library, and used it to learn more about Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO. This in turn has given me a lesson in how to use my websites to sell more of my books, and to market myself, Catherine Green, as a business brand.

It is all about what we say. It always is. SEO is simply the use of popular keywords and phrases to describe your business, service, or items for sale. When you choose a domain name, a title, and an introduction for your website, think very carefully about your descriptions. Use the free web tools available to search out the most popular keywords and phrases to describe your business.

The book I borrowed is called Get Into Bed With Google: Top ranking search optimisation techniques I cannot recommend it enough for people just starting out in  business, or sole traders like myself. It made me realise that I am a business. My name is my brand. And now, if I want to sell more books, I have to tell people about them.

Using a technique suggested in the book, I wrote down a list of keyword phrases that I would use to describe myself as an author. One of these was 'British paranormal romance writer.' I typed it into the Google search engine, and at the very top of the results list I found a link to a discussion forum on Amazon. Somebody in the UK was searching for new British paranormal romance writers. Perfect! I joined the discussion, leaving links for my book, and then I did the same for about three or four other relevant forums.

Imagine my surprise and delight when just one hour later, I received an email from one of these Amazon forums. The originator had seen my response, liked what they saw, and ordered a copy of Love Hurts on Kindle. I was elated! My time on here had truly been well spent (or rather, well-earned!). Try it for yourself. Visit the internet forums whose topics relate to the subject matter of your books. And see how your sales figures increase.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Advice for New Writers

I would like to recommend a website for writers who are looking for a community that will offer feedback and support for their work. Write and Share is a UK based website that has grown at an incredible rate during the last twelve months. I have been with them from the start, and I can't actually remember how it was that I connected with the owner, Naomi Chance. All I know is that she is a wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic writer who shares her passion with others.

I have become very closely affiliated with Write and Share, and now offer my own writers' advice corner. Here is the link: Under my personal account I have posted some short stories and extracts of my novels, which you can read and review as you wish. This is the same for all members of the site. I encourage you to look at my writers' advice articles, especially if you are an amateur who is seeking guidance, or an Indie author simply learning more about your craft. I write from personal experience, and am confident in what I share.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Love Hurts on Valentines Day

I have to say I apologise for the title of my post, but you must forgive me! Actually, I understand love shouldn't hurt on Valentines Day. In fact it should be a beautiful celebration of our love for each other, whether we are  in long-term comfortable relationships, or shorter developing ones. I am simply offering a view of Valentines Day from the perspective of my paranormal romance novel Love Hurts.

Personally I am not celebrating Valentines Day this year. My husband and me are very busy at the moment developing our careers and raising a family, and we simply cannot afford an extravagent celebration. We barely have time to see each other these days. I am not sad about it, and our relationship is strong and secure. We accept that there are many years ahead for us to enjoy Valentines celebrations in romantic and indulgent ways.

I wonder how my characters in Love Hurts will celebrate Valentines Day? Without giving too much away, my protagonist Jessica Stone is an independent woman struggling to acknowledge that she has fallen in love. Jack Mason has his own reasons for not wanting or needing a relationship, but finds himself falling for Jessica against his will. As the old saying goes, we cannot help who we fall in love with. It happens, and we deal with it.

Back to the subject of Valentines Day. At present I am writing the third book in this opening trilogy for the Redcliffe series. It will not cover Valentines Day, because all the events happen at the end of summer, between August and October specifically. Perhaps I will write a short story about Jack and Jessica's Valentines Day. It would certainly be an interesting exercise. There would be some tension with the local werewolves who are inadvertantly involved, not to mention another vampire who keeps drawing Jessica's attention. That is all I will say for now. I do not want to spoil your enjoyment of Love Hurts.

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Free Kindle Horror Novel - Highway to Hell

Today I would like to recommend an excellent new horror story written by my author friend Alex Laybourne. Highway to Hell is a contemporary horror which follows the adventures of a group of people during the last hours of their lives, and their subsequent descent into Hell as they are tested, tortured and turned out into the afterlife.

I found it a very disturbing read but very gripping, and it will be free to purchase from Tuesday 7th February until Thursday 9th February. Get a copy, and I am sure you will love it! The sequel is due out later this year, which is good news because Highway to Hell ends on a massive cliffhanger and I cannot wait to see the outcome.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Writer Loves Books

OK, the title of this post is perhaps a little silly and I am stating the obvious. There cannot be a writer out there who does not love books, but I am open to comments if you can prove me wrong. Anyway, my point is that I love books. I have always loved books. As a child, my mother taught me to read, and would take me to our local library every Saturday morning. I would step into that small one storey building full of excitement and happiness, and spend a few hours searching the shelves in the tiny children's fiction section, picking out my allocated allowance of six books. I would then read them all within a few days, return the following weekend, and do the whole thing again. I loved it!

Now that I am officially a published author, I feel on top of the world. I have just finished writing my third book, and I immediately started writing a fourth. The words flowed effortlessly, the stories are buzzing round my head, and I am both excited and overwhelmed with it all. But that is only half of my situation. I have an enormous pile of books to be read. That is just the paperbacks, and a couple of hardbacks. On my new Kindle I have something like sixty books or more, including samples. And somehow I ended up back in our local library the other day, and came home with another five books to read. Talk about a sucker for punishment!

This obsessive behavior got me thinking. Perhaps I am addicted to books. I have to touch them, to feel the texture of their covers and smell the familiar library smell of the ones I borrow. Even on my Kindle, I like the sharp definition of text, and the neatly ordered electronic pages. I feel such excitement every time I pick up a book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. The point is I will learn something from each story, and I will experience new people, new places, and new adventures. I love books. I am a bookaholic. Who's with me?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Author Interview with C. A. Lofton

Here is an interview with C. A. Lofton, the author of non-fiction book African-American Guide to Prosperity:

This book represents something a little bit different, a guide to spiritual and practical prosperity using cultural traditions and mindsets.