Saturday, September 16, 2017

Writers: A Free and Easy Way to Advertise Your Books

I'm taking a bit of a break from writing for the weekend, and instead focusing on new and improved ways to promote my books, and I stumbled across a great way to show off my work!

If you've never heard of KBoards, you're missing out.  This is a great avenue for all - readers and writers - to learn what there is to know about writing, publishing, self-publishing, ereaders, and where to find great books.  I've been a member for quite some time now and have learned so much from there.

Well, today, I came across the 'Book Profile Page' feature.  This is completely FREE and any author who is a member of KBoards can do it.

All you have to do is type in this URL:
http://www.kboards.com/book/?asin=XXXXXXXXXX

then replace the 'XXXXX' portion with your book's ASIN number, which can be found in the numerical portion of your book's URL on Amazon or any website where it is listed.

Add in all the information that it asks for, including Y or N for whatever feature you want or don't want, cut and paste your author bio and picture URL from Amazon (or wherever you like), type in your email address and choose a password (you can choose a different password for each book if you wish), and BAM!

Check out what it looks like here.  You can see all three of my books in the 'A Calamity Place Romance' series listed!  When you click on each one, it shows a dedicated page for all the book's info!

KBoards members that are looking for books can navigate through the site by genre, author, etc., to find your book.

Cool, eh?  Have fun!



Friday, September 15, 2017

Scoliosis and Embracing Challenge

We all have some kind of challenge, whether it be physical or emotional, or something else, and it's important to not let it define us.  God has given us an obstacle, and it's up to us to face it, deal with it, and perhaps even overcome it.

But what if it can't be overcome?

Some things are with us for life, no matter what.  For some, that's a hard pill to swallow.  But as long as it isn't something life-threatening, we must remember that; that there are many people out there with terminal illnesses, and we are not one of them.

Embrace that.  

For myself, I learned something pretty upsetting after being involved in a car accident when I was twenty-one years old.  It was bad enough to realize that the car that I loved and only had for three months was totaled forever, but when I went to physiotherapy for whiplash, and found out I had Scoliosis, my life changed forever.

It was scary, frustrating, and there were so many unanswered questions, but, looking back at the last twenty years since my diagnosis, I can honestly say that having Scoliosis, in many ways, has been a blessing.

What?

Yes, I said that it's mostly been a blessing.

Why?

Because, overall, it's forced me to take better care of myself, it's made me push the envelope in a lot of ways, and it has made me look at life and people so much differently.  It's also made me a better and stronger person, and has made others look up to me, which in turn, makes me feel better about myself.

How?

I'll get into much more later, but for now, I'll tell you that having Scoliosis inspired me to write my second book.

 View on Amazon


And it's also inspired me to write the follow-up to it, five years later.  Please stay tuned, even if you don't have Scoliosis, I'm going to talk about life and it's challenges, whether or not it relates to a physical deformity.

Wishing you all well and God bless,

Sandy Appleyard

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What puts the ‘Calamity’ in Calamity Place Romance?

Last year, when I started thinking about writing my next book, I decided to try something completely different.  Something lighter, easier to read, and a novel that had an element of mystery, yet wasn’t all-encompassing mysterious.  There are enough drama-filled romances out there, in my opinion, so I decided to use the term ‘calamity’ instead.  It involves less-intense situations, namely, where people get out alive!

"A real-life saga that pulls at your heartstrings."

Calamities in these romances occur basically amongst the floors in the building known as ‘Calamity Place’.  The storylines take place in Toronto, Ontario, my hometown, and they involve twentysomething characters, with their own set of personal issues.  But they are all interwoven somehow, and if they’re not, they sure end up that way! 

When writing these novels, I purposely made it so that the characters were all introduced based on their presence either in another part of the story, or in another volume, making it easier for the reader to remember, without having to use a lot of back story.

The beauty of this type of serial romance is that there is never really an ending.  Each story has its own cliffhanger, and the reader never really knows where the conclusion will be….I still don’t! 

It starts with Kendra, a shy recluse, who has many friends itching to pull her out of her shell.  While reluctant most of the time, she finds herself giving in to Cassandra or Missy’s pleading, and paints on a happy face to quell any misgivings her friends may have about her.  But why is she such a hermit?  Kendra is beautiful, smart, and isn’t shy around men.  Her friends know what it is, but Kendra hasn’t admitted it to herself…yet.

The second novel in the series focuses mainly on Cassandra and Luke.  They met at a bar once, had a brief relationship, and then suddenly Luke ships himself out of the province for a much-coveted position as a police officer.  In book two, however, Luke comes back…and oh, what a roller coaster ride they have!

The third novel, still a work in progress at the time of this posting, tells about a couple introduced in book one, Linda and Ray.  Also in the mix and adding to the calamity, is Mark, Luke’s best friend and fellow police officer colleague.  But it’s not a love triangle or anything that you would expect.  The relationship that the three have is very unique and while I haven’t reached the end of the manuscript yet, I can say that the conclusion will be heart-breaking, but at the same time very fulfilling, depending on which male character turns out to be your favourite!

Book One is just 99 cents!

Books one and two are currently available on Kindle, and free for Amazon Prime members.  Book one is just 99 cents!  Look for book three coming in Spring/Summer 2017!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can let you know when book three is available!  Click here to subscribe.
  


Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Return of the Word

Eleven years ago I took a break from corporate life to raise my children.  Approximately ten years ago I decided to do something I’d always wanted to do: write a book.  The practice became addictive, and then I learned how to publish, promote and blog.  To be perfectly honest, I loved every bit of it and I still do.  I fell in love with the written word, and it has become a lifelong love.

Nearly twelve years later, I have written and self-published countless books in both fiction and non-fiction.  The whole process is still very enjoyable to me.  Words, story ideas, and scenes come to me always.

However, while pouring my heart and soul into writing, publishing, promoting, etc., I learned a very painful lesson: Be careful not to make the written word your be-all-and-end-all. 

You see, writing, while some can make it their living, the odds are very stong against most of us.  As a writer, you have to be rational and realistic, and have a career already in place.  If your books do become successful enough that you can quit your day job, great, but more than likely that isn’t going to happen, and you have to remember that always.  Writing should be a love, and something you enjoy doing when all your other things are taken care of. And as a love, you need to make time to do it every day, for yourself.

Last year, I returned to work after a ten year hiatus.  The tables turned; I took a break from promoting and blogging, but I never stopped writing.  Writing is a part of who I am now and it will always will be that way.  Now that I’ve adjusted to working full-time, I can also slowly return to promoting and blogging.  So far I’ve touched on Facebook, Twitter, and I’ve continued posting some of my books on Wattpad.

If you love writing, just be careful and make sure that isn’t all that you love.  With all of the obsession over writing, I’d forgotten how much I also loved to work; to interact with live people, rather than just cyberspace and e-people, if you will.  Also, writing doesn’t pay…at least, it doesn’t pay well, and having a paycheck; contributing to your family, is a very rewarding experience. 

Check out my books on Amazon, Kobo, and Wattpad.  The first book in my LA Cops Series is always free on Amazon, and the first book in my ‘To Hide in Holly Springs’, and ‘Calamity Place Romance’ series are just 99 cents on Amazon.