Monday, September 14, 2015

Blondie and the Brit #Podcast Launch -- Writing Publishing and Beyond

I'm so excited to announce that on October 1, 2015, Suzanne Kelman and I (KJ Waters) are launching a new podcast for authors called Blondie and the Brit -- Writing, Publishing and Beyond. 

In celebration of the launch and to get more followers, we have created two giveaways for $25 amazon gift cards (and more) and a facebook party for October 2 at 5:00 pm EST.

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast HERE on podbean and HERE on iTunes.

Check out our new website:

Welcome to Blondie and the Brit
and our podcast Writing, Publishing and Beyond. 

The goal is to be a resource and inform writers in all stages of the careers about their craft.  

Every week we will air an interview with those in the Indie and traditionally published arena about writing habits, publishing tips, and marketing strategies.

Giveaway #1 

Giveaway #1 ends September 30, at midnight EST.
To enter the giveaways simply click on the link below. We are giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon and a signed copy of Stealing Time and The Rejected Writer's Book Club, the books Suzanne and I have each penned.

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway #1

Giveaway # 2

The second giveaway ends October 7 at midnight EST. To enter this you will need to subscribe to the podcast either on iTunes or on podbean. 

Click here to enter Rafflecopter Giveaway #2
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

We have two prizes for this giveaway -- A $25 amazon gift card AND a signed paperback from Susan Wingate of her award-winning book The Deer Effect. 

Facebook Party

Please join our facebook party as well where we celebrate with the authors we've interviewed for the podcast. The party is Friday, October 2, 2015, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm est. We will be giving away more prizes and announcing the winner from the first Rafflecopter contest.  

Join the facebook party/here!

Click here to join the party. You will have to join the link on facebook to get all of the party activities. 

Mailing List

We would be very honored to have you join our mailing list that will keep you up to date on all of the podcast guests and happenings. Click here to sign up! We are also on facebook and twitter

Here are the Authors We Have Coming up in October.

Darynda Jones
NY Times & USA Today

BestSelling Author
 October 1, 2015
Darynda shares how she got her big break into publishing and how she creates her amazing characters.

Susan Wingate

Award Winning and Best Selling Amazon Author
October 1
Susan Wingate shares some of her top social media tips that have helped her become an Amazon Bestselling author.

Dave Perlmutter

#1 Amazon Bestselling author in True Crime in the US, Australia, India and Spain. 
October 1.
David talks about the story behind his life changing book and some of his best social media tips including his #cheekymarketing campaign.

Other authors coming up in October:

October 8 -- Munir Bello a British dating game show host and author of the book The Break Up Recipe.

October 15 -- Jeri Walker who is an editor, indie author, and blogger of WordBank Writing and Editing.

October 22 -- Seumas Gallacher author of The Jack Calder Series and Blogger of the Year winner for 2013.

I welcome any support you can give to promote our podcast and these exciting authors on your blog or social media. Feel free to share this post, reblog however you would like, with the utmost gratitude!

About KJ Waters: 

When I'm not working on the Stealing Time series you can find me on my social media at the links below. My novel is out on amazon here.

I am also the CEO of Blondie's Custom Book Covers, a company that helps authors and publishers create stunning book covers. Please follow our links here.

  • I'm on facebook at 
  • Check out our website here.
  • We are on twitter here.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Goodreads Book Giveaway of Stealing Time!

Enter to win one of two free signed copies of Stealing Time! Click on the link below to enter.
Giveaway ends August 18, 2015. Please follow me on Goodreads and join the fun.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Stealing Time by K.J. Waters

Stealing Time

by K.J. Waters

Giveaway ends August 18, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blondie and the Brit Book Giveaway Blast

Blondie and the Brit Book Giveaway Blast

Join the party here!

More Prizes:  $25 Amazon Card and signed books!! 

Join our Facebook party on May 29th! See below for more information.

In addition to this party we are doing a Rafflecopter Giveaway that you can enter here to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus signed Paperbacks of Stealing Time and The Rejected Writers' Book Club, plus a Stealing Time tote.

In this giveaway we will throw in any other prizes that are unclaimed from the Facebook Party. This contest will end May 30th and we will have a winner announced the following week. 

To enter the Rafflecopter click on the link below.   

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Rafflecopter is an app that gives you multiple entries to the contest and will choose a random winner. Each item gives you one or more entries into the raffle.

Stay tuned to this page and the facebook page for updates and announcements about the prizes we will be giving away!

Friday MAY 29

Join me, KJ Waters, and my book marketing partner in crime, Suzanne Kelman for an exciting night full of games, prizes, and extraordinary giveaways! We have over 40 ebooks to give away, plus autographed paperbacks, audio books, a watch, a mug

Suzanne was attending the Cannes Film Festival last week for an emerging filmmaker award for her role as Associate Producer in the short film, Our Fathers. We will give away an exciting prize from the film festival at the party. 

Our Father's is featured as a short film at the Cannes Film Festival
Join the party and visit her facebook page for updates here:


Starting at 6 pm till 11 pm (EST) we will be giving away books--lots and lots of books! 

On the west coast? That's 3 pm to 7 pm 

In the central time zone join us 5 pm to 9 pm

In the UK or parts of Europe: Midnight to 4 am on the 30th! Jammies optional.


We will also have some crazy scavenger hunts that the whole family can play, selfie competitions, caption competitions, and a special video clip from the Cannes Film Festival that only you will see if you join the party.

What do you need to do to win these prizes? Just turn up! You can join us for the whole party or just pop in and out. We will be giving away gifts every 30 minutes so you have a real chance of going home -- or as in keeping with an online party -- staying home with a party gift. Can’t wait to see you soon!

Be sure to tell all of your friends! We have a full schedule with the following amazing authors!! Each author will have a separate contest, most will be online with us as we host their segment!

Munir Bello at 6:00 pm -- Ebook of The Break-Up Recipe
David Perlmutter at 6:30 pm -- Audiobook of Wrong Place Wrong Time
Susan Wingate at 7:00 pm -- Paperback and Ebook of The Deer Effect (#1 Amazon author)
Graeme Ing at 7:30 pm -- 1 autographed book and 3 Ebooks of Necromancer
Kristie Hagwood at 8:00 pm -- Full audio set of Save My Soul Series $70 value
SJ Hermann at 8:30 pm -- Paperback of Morium and Morium Dark Horizons
Seumas Gallacher at 9:00 pm -- Ebook of Savage Payback
Lynn Lamb at 9:30 pm -- Mug and eBook for The Survivor Diaries Book II The Beginning at the End of the World
Darynda Jones at 10:00 pm -- Hardback of Eighth Grave After Dark and swag (New York Times and USA Today best selling author)
Rachel Amphlett at 10:30 pm -- 3 Ebooks of Look Closer
Lots of books to give away including autographed copies of Stealing Time and The Rejected Writer's Book Club, plus an Ebook cover design worth $150 by Blondie's Custom Book Covers for you author types, plus a $150 ladies watch, and behind the scenes video and goodies from The Cannes Film Festival. We are also giving away a lot of read and review Ebook copies of Stealing Time and Rejected Writers for those who will read and post an honest review on Amazon for us.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

#Publishing: 6 Hot Trends in Indie Publishing

Tips for publishing your book as an independent author

How do you promote your book in this complicated indie author world? Join me for the latest research on indie author trends while I also provide up-to-the-minute indie book marketing advice. As any good marketer knows, you must build your strategy based on what is going on in the industry. The e-book market has exploded in the last few years and the latest research shows some fascinating trends.

Indie Author Trends

As of July 2014, the Author Earnings Report shows that if the current trend continues for this year in that self-published authors will have 31% of the e-book market on Amazon. This the first time in history that indie authors lead in market share passing the big five publishers, AND the small and medium publishers. The consensus is that indie publishing is here to stay. You can see from all the scrambling of traditional publishers that they can see the writing on the wall and it says “nanny nanny boo boo” to their world domination. To see the full report click here. Other gems that excite me greatly are the following statistics from Publisher’s Weekly article titled Surprising Self-Publishing Statistics.
  • The top five publishers have only 16% of the bestselling e-books on Amazon.
  • A whopping 40% of the e-book earnings are going to indie authors.
  • Indie authors are way ahead of the traditionally published books in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres.
  • A majority of the bestsellers on Amazon are over 100,000 words.
  • Series are much better sellers than stand-alone books.
  • Non-fiction is selling at a higher price than fiction.

6 Hot Trends in Indie Book Marketing

The key factors that affect a book’s sales and reader satisfaction are the quality of the story, pricing, distribution, social media marketing, branding, cover design, and breadth of distribution. Obviously if the book is not written well it won’t sell and none of the other factors are going to help.

#1: Price Smarter
The new “pricing sweet spot” for e-books is between $2.99 and $3.99.  If you have been at the .99 cent price point you should consider raising it to be on trend and  increasing your revenue. I am selling my ebook at $2.99. Why? I’m a new author and I see this as an advantage to sell at the lower of the sweet spot pricing points to increase my volume. Do not… I repeat DO NOT overprice your book. I have seen a few authors selling their e-books at $9.99 and above, and for a first time author you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Your goal as a newbie is to get a following. When you overprice your book you’re turning away readers who will potentially review your work, talk about it, and be a future reader. They are more likely to pass if they’ve never heard of you and your book is priced too high, no matter how good the rest of your marketing efforts are.

Picture of Indie Book Marketing Pricing Sweet Spot
Selling Sweet Spot for ebooks is $2.99 to $3.99

#2: Pre-Sell On Amazon

Amazon KDP recently added a feature that was previously only available to the big fancy publishers. You can now offer pre-sales of your book, up to 90 days before the release date. This affects your rankings before the book is even released! The book is purchased and delivered directly to the customer’s Kindle on the day of release. It has been compared to the previous success of the free book offer of recent self-publishing wisdom. The free book is not as successful of a strategy as it used to be, however, as the market is saturated with free e-books. But times are changing, get on the bandwagon of presales and allow your book to reach new heights. I put my book on presale prior to it's release! I would love to hear from you if you’ve used this new feature and how it worked out for you.

#3: Boost Your Social Media

This is probably the most important marketing tool for indie authors. First of all it is free, the only thing it costs is your time, and loads of it, (OK Facebook advertising is not free, but I’m talking about free stuff). If you compare it to the traditional marketing avenues it is the most successful of your choices in terms of your return on investment, if you do it right. Choose one or two social media sites and do them well. Add new followers every day to grow your following and use tools like Crowdfire App to clear out the dead weight. You can build on this but don’t spread yourself too thin. I covered this in more detail in my previous guest post on Jeri’s site 4 Invaluable Tip for Indie Authors reblogged on my blog a few weeks ago.

#4: Cultivate Your Brand

One important thing to keep in mind with all of your marketing is your brand. What is a brand? How do you develop one? Here is a quote from Susan Gunielus on branding:
Rather than asking, “What is a brand?” a better question might be, “Who is a brand?” Every brand has a persona. Think of your brand as a person. What is that person like? What can you expect when you interact with that person? From appearance to personality and everything in between, your brand persona is one that consumers will evaluate and judge before they do business with you.
Susan is referring to traditional brands like Land O Lakes butter or Sony Corporation. But in your case, you are your brand. And to be very clear, your novel is not the brand. After all your novel isn’t making friends on Twitter, you are. Most likely our book is just one of many you will write, so you need to broaden your branding strategy to include the bigger picture–you as the author and your future books and other projects. On Facebook your interactions are your brand. Are you informative? Are you snarky? Do you make people laugh? Do you challenge them? Do you educate them?

Still confused? I’ll use myself as an example. My brand can be summarized as follows: Author, humorous, water lover, with an intelligent and friendly demeanor. The brand covers my novel that a time travel thriller set during a hurricane. My social media posts reflect the brand. Just today on Facebook I posted an article on Time Travel based on Stephen Hawking’s research, a few funny posts, and my favorite watery pics from Instagram. My blog provides writing samples about my water adventures infused with humor, and I try to have people get the tactile sensations of being in the water with me. It’s how I write my novel as well, you will feel what my characters feel. My overall brand is consistent across my media outlets. Where ever my potential readers find me they will see the same message consistently.

How Does This Translate to Book Sales? 

Your brand is what people feel when they think of you. You are selling your personality. If they like your brand, or can relate to it on some important key level in their world, and you make a connection when you post your book links they’re likely to support your efforts. When they see your tweet on their feed your goal is to evoke certain feelings of kindred spirit or joyousness, (or whatever your brand strategy is) and they will RT, share, and support your cause, if you’ve done your job correctly, because you’ve created an emotional connection with them.

If you’ve only pushed your book at them without building the relationship they’re more likely to ignore your posts, and even worse, have bad feelings when they see you online. That is a failed brand. Whatever you do don’t tarnish your brand by being petty or arguing on-line. You may enjoy stirring the pot but be sure it is worth the ill-will you’re creating with that person, and the numbers of others who see the interaction who don’t comment. Your brilliance may have won the argument, but in the end if you’ve lost potential customers and that is a shallow (and counterproductive) victory.

#5: Grab Them With Your Cover

You are competing with every author out there, including those with massive budgets. The first thing any reader sees of your book is the cover. High quality covers that hit your target market are a crucial element to your sales. If your cover sucks, all of your other marketing efforts will be hampered because people do judge a book by its cover. Your book cover must: capture the reader’s attention, evoke emotions, hint at the story without being cluttered, be visually pleasing, and be simple. For more on these points, click  here.

Picture of Indie Book Marketing Distribution Channels
Your Book Cover Must Be Electrifying -- Or at Least Grab Reader's Attention

#6: Distribute the Hell Out of it!

You can’t just put your book on your website and think you’re done. You need a strategy for distribution as well. Amazon Kindle is the most popular avenue but by all means it is not the only one. What other channels have you used for your success? Barnes and Noble and other e-book outlets are important as well. Will you print your book and sell it at book fairs and local book stores? I recommend as many different avenues as you can get into. I would love to hear about what other outlets you’ve used with success.

I've recently branched out from Amazon KDP select, where I was exclusive for ninety days. As soon as that time was up I put my book on smashwords and D2D that distribute to all of the big players in the ebook market including Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Inktera, Kobo and Scribid.

I hope you have found a few kernels of wisdom here. Thank you to Jeri for providing me with the opportunity to guest post again, it has been an honor and a privilege to join this great group of bloggers, writers and followers. I look forward to connecting with you on my social media sites.

What indie book marketing trends have you tried or been impressed by?

Here are the book links for my novel STEALING TIME




When I'm not working on the Stealing Time series you can find me on my social media at the links below. 

I am also the CEO of Blondie's Custom Book Covers, a company that helps authors and publishers create stunning book covers. Please follow our links here.

  • I'm on facebook at 
  • Pinterest: 
  • Check out our website here.
  • We are on twitter here.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Thomas Nichols, Police Chief -- Author Spotlight

Listen to Tom Nichols on Blondie and the Brit:

Blondies Books From Friends' -- Author Spotlight Chief Thomas J. Nichols

I'm quite excited to bring you my latest Author Spotlight on Chief Thomas J. Nichols. Thomas is a retired Police Chief and witnessed a lot of crazy things and add that to a fantastic imagination he has created some exciting stories. One of those stories I will share with you today. Please read the summary and excerpt below on Voices in the Fog.


Thomas is giving away one signed copy of Voices in the Fog. To enter to win please send a one sentence summary of the excerpt to Type BFF in the subject line. 

All entrants must live in the United States.  Submissions will be accepted through 12:01 May 9, 2015 (central time).

Chief Thomas J Nichols

Voices in the Fog

Christie Cole was ready to begin her career as a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A new graduate of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, she eagerly awaited her first assignment. 
Click here for the Amazon page

She was to accept an undercover role in a branch of the FBI she never knew existed – a secret arm of the Bureau that reached into the inner core of governments worldwide. To conceal her true identity and to protect her life and her assignment, she would take on the persona of a newly created woman, Ann Marie Beaudet. Christie Cole would cease to exist on the face of the earth. 

Her investigation into the private and professional life of a Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court would take her to the depths of international intrigue, and place her in harm’s way from enemies of the United States. She would soon be at the center of an international conflict of disastrous proportions 
reaching the countdown to nuclear war. 

Here is a sneak peak on Voices in the Fog:

With blinding speed, the chopper zoomed directly toward the guardhouse and loosed its rockets and machine guns into the building. The light of the explosions blinded the remote controlled camera. Moments later, the fire died down. Rucinski and Williams saw the charred remains of the building and the pickup truck that was parked in front of it. 
Less than three hours ago, two guards relieved the others who went back to the house for the night. Now, they were dead. Just like the four at Mi Tios, and the other four in Laredo. The attack group hit the two houses at the precise moment the rockets hit the gatehouse. The assault team came in from three sides. They lobbed flash-bang grenades and high tech hydro-stink bombs through the windows – all of the windows except the one to Gonzales’ bedroom.
The flash-bangs were vivid and deafening, the explosive sound of dynamite. They caused anyone near where they landed to be stunned for a few moments, or possibly deafened for life. The hydro-stink grenades, one of the newest additions to their arsenal, were ultra-putrid stink weapons; so powerfully strong that even the bravest of men would have only two reactions, puke and get away! Between them, the grenades that were thrown through the windows disabled the guards. With any luck at all, the judge might be scared out of his wits, but he would be safe.
The masked assault team entered the houses with programmed exactitude. They walked methodically through the buildings, room-to-room, closet to closet, their automatic weapons spitting .223 bullets at the rate of seven hundred rounds per minute. It was over in a matter of seconds. Three men and the woman were dead or dying. Only the Honorable Ricardo Huerta Gonzales remained alive – they hoped.

Other Books by Thomas J. Nichols

Color of the Prism

Thomas has realized every author's dream with his novel, Color of the Prism, that has been optioned to Tarantino Productions for a full-length motion picture. Stay tuned, when that is out I'll share more information about that. Here is the movie version of the cover. A blending of fact and fiction into a journey of intrigue, love, betrayal, greed and tragedy in this police thriller set on the Arizona-Mexico border. 

Click here for the Amazon link

Sweet Emily

Follow Detective Mike Palotti of the Dallas Police Department as he searches for a serial killer, striking at-will and mimicking the work of infamous serial murders from recent decades throughout the country.

Find it on Amazon here.

The Third Dawn

The Third Dawn takes readers on a biblical journey in the company of Jesus of Nazareth. Told through the eyes of the Savior's lifelong companion and guardian angel, Nur, the novel begins shortly after the birth of the Messiah and follows the life of Jesus until His death and glorious Resurrection.

Find the Third Dawn here on Amazon 

Connect with Thomas J. Nichols

You can also purchase his books on his website.


Connect with KJ Waters

Here are the book links for my novel STEALING TIME




When I'm not working on the Stealing Time series you can find me on my social media at the links below. 

I am also the CEO of Blondie's Custom Book Covers, a company that helps authors and publishers create stunning book covers. Please follow our links here.

  • I'm on facebook at 
  • Pinterest: 
  • Check out our website here.
  • We are on twitter here.