Monday, July 8, 2013

Incentive Marketing: Benefit From Rewarding Relationships

A lot has been said about loyalty rewards these days. Incentive marketing or in simpler terms, loyalty rewards seem to have struck a chord with both marketers and consumers alike. 

Today, I guest post at "The Good Villain" about this and enjoyed quite a bit researching and writing about it. Want to read more? Here's the link! 

Incentive Marketing: benefit from rewarding relationships


I would also be blogging more on TGV than here but I would always put up a link here to let you all know about my activities up there. It just makes sense for me to group all my publishing articles at TGV and use this forum to share more of personal experiences. Hope you are ok with it. :)

I hope you enjoy the article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please feel free to leave your thoughts to help each other out!



Photobucket

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Introducing "The Good Villain" to the world!

As late as this post might be, I am here with some exciting news!

After toiling and progressing with my first company, Inkspell Publishing, an independent publishing company (have I told you how proud I am of everything we have achieved in just 1 year?), I am ready to launch my dream content project - www.thegoodvillain.com - Enabling authors to succeed!



Over the last year, I realized the biggest struggle of a writer is not the writing itself but everything surrounding it. A writer is a writer because she writes. But what about the complex, ever changing publishing landscape? The fact that the authors have to swim through the myriad of information to reach the point of actual publishing is painful. As if that was not enough, mix in it a pinch of temptation called "Self-Publishing" and you have the perfect brew of author insanity. Thankfully, we have resources that help us navigate through this.

Then how is The Good Villain different? 
Simple. It is not. What it instead is is a repository of quick information by experienced industry professionals that can show the way with crisp instructions and solutions that actually works. Every article in there is a personal experience of the author and the lessons through those are the ones that will help our readers to succeed in their publishing journey.

My favorite part of the website are the marketing tips. How do we succeed when there are thousands of writers vying for the same reader's attention? There are successes and some awesome tips are being shared on the website who actually implemented them AND succeeded!

So, friends, wish me good luck with this new venture and hoping that this effort will indeed, help authors succeed.

If you wish to contribute to this site, let me know through an email or in the comments box and I will get in touch with you. I am currently accepting proposals!


Thanks all and see you soon!



Photobucket

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Excerpt: Hollywood Holiday by Sasha Summers

Do you have one of those days when nothing seems right and all you want to do is just curl up with a book that will make you forget your woes and give back nothing but sweet love? Yeah, I have those too and when I do have them, there are very few books I turn to. One of them and of late, quite often, are books by Sasha Summers. I feel very proud that Inkspell Publishing chose to publish her. I enjoy her romance books like no other. She makes me want to dream and I think thats the hallmark of a good author.

So, Inkspell Publishing has contracted her for her Red Carpet Series and I am so pleased to share a book excerpt from her the book 2, appropriately named "Hollywood Holiday". Its a Christmas treat that no romance fiction lover should miss! :)


“My name’s Gunner.” His arm tightened a little. His hand rested on my back, warm and solid. “Gunner Foster.” 
“Gunner?” I didn’t look up or open my eyes, but murmured against him, “I’m Jenny.” 
I drew in a deep breath. He smelled as good as he looked. The plane, the small cabin, the dinging sounds weren’t bad—well, not too bad.His heartbeat was strong beneath my ear, but I heard him murmur, “Nice to meet you.”“Is it?” 
I giggled, shaking my head. “You don’t mind some strange woman clawing her way into your lap?” 
“Happens all the time.” 
I looked up then, laughing. I couldn’t help it.He started laughing too, his smile going wide and his dimples peeking out of his sun-bronzed face. His eyes met mine as he said, “Something about the dimples and the haircut, I guess.” 
“It doesn’t hurt.” 
I moved back a little, not enough to make him move his arm, though. Not yet. It…he…felt nice, comforting. “First time home in a while?” 
“Almost four years.” 
“Wow. That’s a long time. No wonder your mom is looking forward to having you home.” I paused. “Talk about a Christmas present they’ll never forget.” 
He shrugged, his hand sliding up my back to rest on my shoulder. “I’ve missed them.” 
I nodded. “Sure.” He was watching me. And I smiled at him a little. Poor guyI wouldn’t want to sit by me. I mean, who would? It wasn’t exactly the way a person wanted to kick off the holidays—strapped into a flying missile next to a lunatic. My eyes traveled over his face, knowing I needed to pull it together, to apologize or something. But he didn’t look upset. He looked…concerned.So he was sweet and hot. And he smelled incredible. This might not be the worst flight of my life.    





"My new favorite author is Sasha Summers.  She's as addictive as chocolate." - Marcia King Gamble, National Best-Selling Author

Blurb:

All she wants for Christmas is for Hollywood to love her again. But once she meets him, her Christmas list changes.

Jen’s only Christmas wish: Hollywood falling back in love with her. Meeting ex-Marine Gunner was a bonus. She likes that he isn’t impressed by celebrities or the movie biz. She likes that he’s funny and sweet … and drop-dead gorgeous. And she loves that he has no idea who her alter-ego is: Jen Fleming, Hollywood bad-girl and paparazzi target number one. Why ruin an amazing affair when he’s leaving after the new year?

But the closer they get, the harder she falls, and the more she wants to tell Gunner everything. Especially once he shares his secret with her.

Her new Christmas wish: Gunner accepts and loves her for who she really is.

About the Author:

Sasha is  part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, Hollywood, history,  and travel. It’s no surprise that her books include a little of each. Her  first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ was written for her Girl Scout troupe.  She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and  characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher  or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and  hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

Please visit her website: http://www.sashasummers.com


You can buy the book at:

Amazon


Know more about Hollywood Ever After – Red Carpet Series #1

She wasn’t meant for movie stars,  Hollywood, or happy endings. And then she met him.

Happy Endings are for fairy tales. Or the movies. Not for real life. At least, not in Claire’s life. Even though she’s starting over, she knows better than to want too much this time. But when she falls, literally, into the strong arms of Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy Josh Wiley, Claire’s in for some surprises. Her plans for rest and relaxation are  forgotten as one incredible night with Josh becomes two… And her heart begins to want him as much as her body. Will two kids, one bastard ex-husband, and Josh’s juggernaut career mean the end of their affair? Or can Claire find her happy ending after all?








 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Breaking Dawn 2 - Movie review

I promised my husband we won't watch it on the first day as I usually do with a Twilight movie. I know its full of bad acting, cringe-worthy moments that make me squirm in my seat through out the movie yet, I watch it in the theatre. I guess it is the strong urge to feel the same sense of unbridled happiness the book tore from me. Each and every movie failed me and Breaking Dawn 1 was the highlight of all. I actually considered walking away after 15 minutes of the start of that movie.

And hence, I assured my husband that I would not make him wait in the queue, amongst the raging teenage hormones only to watch the dismal, teeth-clenching acting from the actors whose only claim to fame is to be associated with this franchise.

However, the undecided fan that I am, on the very second day of the release, I asked my husband if we can watch Breaking Dawn - part 2, he readily agreed. I suspect he saw the desperate need for closure with this series in me and the fact that it was the last movie. He doesn't have to go through this again, right? So, we got comfortable in a nice AMC theatre with enough popcorn to drown my sorrows if it turned out worse than all. And, what a surprise the movie turned out to be!

The start was painfully slow but a pain that I was very acostumed to and expected. But the improvement in acting was evident right away. Vampirism suits Kirsten Stewart, just like Auro had claimed in the book. Her acting was confident, her dialogues had more clarity unlike the strangled, constipated tone she always took. Trust me, that was the biggest relief for me.

The eye candies were all there at the right time - Edward, finally giving his million-dollar smile more often than before and surprise, some humor too. Jacob, shirtless, but finally cured of his teenage obsession with Bella, hence, much more tolerable. The Cullens family, glittering as usual with their brand of saccharine family love.

But it was the international cast that kept me engaged. Good acting and variety of powers shared amongst them was the entertainment that I longed to enjoy in the movie, just like in the book. It did not disappoint me.

Yet, the highlight was the final fight with the Volturi, a non-existent fight in the book that got us all riveted in the theatre. The build up to it was nail-biting and the fact that this is a new development, left the audience guessing about the end. Of course, they won't kill the hero in the end but a fight with the all powerful volturi? And who the heck could have guessed the insane twist that the screenwriter decided to give to the movie? The last 20 mins kept audience at the edge of the seat, some teenagers wailing, squealing and finally, sighing in relief as it ended. Of course, the freakish outrage still clung to me after the movie was over.

Overall, I am so glad that the movie ended on a high note. I enjoyed the movie. Not as much as the book but definitely more than the rest of the movies in the franchise. The fact that my husband, who dozed off in every one of the movie after 5 minutes of start, watched it without so much as a blink convinced me that I was avenged for all the grief he gave me about this series. :)



Photobucket

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vampire: synonym: Damon Salvatore



This is my post for "Halloween Sucks, says Lily Drake" blog hop. All we need to do is write about vampires and that is my favorite topic in the world!

Want to know more about it? Click on the image and you will find more than 50 bloggers participating in this fun blog hop organized by Inkspell Publishing. There are a lot of swags to win as well!


Vampire: synonym: Damon Salvatore

None of my chats about vampires and vampire fiction go without mentioning Damon Salvatore. In fact, that is all I talk about when it comes to vampires. How can some one talk about anything else when we have Damon Salvatore aka Ian Somerhalder roaming shirtless around AND without sparkling?

So, why am I so hung up on Damon aka Ian? First, the book. The original vampire diaries book series by author LJ Smith got interesting to me the moment Damon stepped in. I have a thing for bad boys like many of you have. Like a lot others here, I cannot resist a challenge of turning a bad boy in to a good one (though I don't know why we try that. They are so much hotter when they are bad!). I especially enjoyed the last one by the author : The return. All three books in that trilogy left me panting for more. Of course, the next book was a disaster (it is ghostwritten) and I have lost all interest in books now. However, TV has ensured the obsession is alive and what better way to do it than getting Ian in all his hotness play Damon? That was a dream come true and I watch it without fail. Again, I have no idea why some one would not watch it!

Anyway, enough about me babbling about this particular vampire. I can do this all day long and wouldn't get bored. But I have to share a pic with you all that encompasses the whole wonderful chemistry of The Vampire Diaries and some sparkly vampires. :)

Courtesy: drunkenwords.tumble.com


Do you know who Lily Drake is? Well, meet her on 5th Oct!



"For Lily Drake, slaying vampires is easy...Dating them is the hard part." 

Join the release party on Oct 5th at Inkspell Publishing website to find the Blog hop winners!









And if you want to win some awesome swag from Inkspell Publilshing, enter in the rafflecopter link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The awesome vampire-loving participating bloggers in this blog hop here. I am going to visit each site to share some vampire love. You do too! :)






Photobucket

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Marketing Tip: Is it just content?

So, we have been pumped all along how content is the king to attract readers and keep them loyal to your site, and ultimately your business. Whether it is a book you are trying to sell or just your book blog readership, we have been advised over and over about great content. No doubt about it. Poor content will not get you readers but is it only that?

Imagine you are searching for "Marketing tips for selling my book". Google spews out 100s of sites for you to learn the art but what do you actually read? You open up the first 4-5 pages on the first page of search results. Then you filter further based on: content on those sites and...surprise, the design of the website!

Yes, would you keep reading a website that doesn't even have its sidebar listed out well? Would you continue reading a website with bright blue background and yellow text on it? In all probability, no.

Do not lose potential followers by design issues. There are some simple and common errors that can be avoided in your website design. Here are a few:


  1. Cluttered layouts : Keep it simple. Do not clutter your website/blog with too many distracting pictures, text on your sidebars. Your potential reader is interested in the main text area. Sidebar are extras.
  2. Organized navigation: Keep it organized. For example, people expect your biography page under the page name "Bio" or "About Me" or "About Us" and not under "Contact Me" page. 
  3. Colorful text or unreadable text: White or light backgrounds and dark (mostly black) text is the best combination. It brings in clarity and is easy on eyes. 
  4. No Search capabilities: Never forget to include search in your website or blog. Its an essential function that readers expect on your website or blog especially if you have a lot of content to share. It is easy to include one and comes available with  most of the website/blog templates. Ensure it is on top of the page or sidebar for easy accessibility.

If you are designing your website or blog on your own, one of the best ways to ensure that you have a design that will not irk your readers is to check with your favorite websites. You would soon realize that you have subconsciously rejected the not so great looking websites. Don't let your readers reject yours. :)


Have you given a serious thoughts to your website design?


Photobucket