An Interview with Heather Thurmeier, Author of Pinch of Me, Dash of You

Pinch of Me Dash of You 2

Heather Thurmeier is the author of Pinch of Me, Dash of You, a contemporary romance novel. Here’s the official description:

Kali can’t cook to save her life, but she can write. As a foodie reviewer for both a huge national paper and a successful blog, she’s well on her way to achieving her dreams. When she’s offered a cookbook deal, she thinks she’s finally made it…until her latest review comes out a little harsher than expected and the restaurateur threatens to expose all her secrets.

Mac’s whole life is spent in the kitchen, running a New York City restaurant and a culinary school for underprivileged youth. When donations stop pouring in for Mac’s culinary school after a scathing review of his restaurant, he fears he may have to shut the doors if he can’t find a way to turn things around. Then he meets Kali, the reviewer who admits she has no culinary skills. Now he’s made her an offer she can’t refuse—he’ll teach her to cook over the summer and help her with recipes for the cookbook if she’ll agree to write an insider piece highlighting the strengths of his culinary school.

But when things start heating up in Mac’s kitchen, keeping her hands on the food and off of Mac is proving harder than Kali expected.

Read on for Thurmeier’s exclusive interview with me, as well as an excerpt from the book! Continue reading

What Indie Book Publishing and Indie Game Development Have In Common, Part 3

A while back, I watched Indie Game: The Movie and was struck by how much indie game development and indie book publishing had in common. I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented and inspiring indie game developer, Jonathan Blow. Below is the second in a three-part series that discusses the similarities between developing games and publishing books as an indie. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Piracy and DRM

DRM is a hot button issue in both the publishing and gaming world. According to Blow, PC games don’t have DRM, and because of that, 90 percent of PC games are pirated. Other platforms such as iPhone, however, automatically use DRM as part of their distribution service. Continue reading

What Indie Book Publishing and Indie Game Development Have In Common, Part 2

A while back, I watched Indie Game: The Movie and was struck by how much indie game development and indie book publishing had in common. I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented and inspiring indie game developer, Jonathan Blow. Below is the second in a three-part series that discusses the similarities between developing games and publishing books as an indie. Read Part 1 here.

The Marketing

Marketing can be tough for game developers and writers. Both sometimes spend months or even years working on a project, and once it’s finished they have to learn to go out in the public and aggressively market their baby. Continue reading

What Indie Book Publishing and Indie Game Development Have In Common, Part 1

A while back, I watched Indie Game: The Movie and was struck by how much indie game development and indie book publishing had in common. I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented and inspiring indie game developer, Jonathan Blow. Below is the first in a three-part series that discusses the similarities between developing games and publishing books as an indie.

What do indie gaming and self-publishing have in common? Well turns out, quite a lot.

The documentary, Indie Game: The Movie, shows the ups and downs of being an independent game developer through the eyes of Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes while they worked on Super Meat Boy, Phil Fish during development of Fez, and Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid. The film is inspiring, and illustrates the similarities between publishing games and publishing books. Continue reading

Indie Author Marketing Guide: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is known for being a professional network, and a great place to share your resume online.

As an indie author, here are a few ideas of how to use LinkedIn to your advantage: Continue reading

Indie Author Marketing Guide: Goodreads

Next up in the Indie Author Marketing Guide series is Goodreads. Goodreads is a social network for book lovers, now owned by Amazon. Users can join groups, follow authors, rate and review books, compile lists of read books, and promote books with giveaways.

According to The Creative Penn, “Goodreads’ recommendation engine is an algorithm similar to Netflix” and “A book does need to get a few hundred ratings before it gets into the recommendation engine.” It’s also helpful to fully fill out the author profile portion of your account, and combine editions of your book.

One of the best features of Goodreads is the giveaway feature. Keep in mind that the giveaway is for physical books, and you will be responsible for mailing them to the winners. There are a lot of articles out there with tips on how to run a successful giveaway, but here are a couple links with a lot of especially useful information:

You should read the full articles, but some of the tips include how to determine the number of books to giveaway (less than 10 is actually ideal), why the process is worth doing, when to run a giveaway (Mondays are great), and how many entries to expect.

Like Amazon, Goodreads is a great place to get ratings and reviews. In late 2013, Goodreads changed its review policy so that comments primarily about an author, instead of the book, would be deleted.

Finding relevant groups to join is another great feature of Goodreads. There are many groups dedicated to indie authors supporting each other, where they share with each other ideas for marketing and promoting books.

Because Goodreads is so data heavy, the site gathers and aggregates a lot of information about people’s reading habits, and occasionally they share that data. Here’s an infographic depicting reasons why people stop reading certain books.

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to use Goodreads effectively, check out The Ultimate Goodreads Guide for Authors (Building Blocks to Author Success Book 4) by Barb Drozdowich and Babs Hightower.

And if you have any other ideas for how to use Goodreads, please share in the comments!

 

Indie Author Marketing Guide: Pinterest

Happy 2015! To kick off the year, I’m starting a series of posts that focus on using social media. Today is all about Pinterest.

Pinterest is all about sharing (or pinning) images, and there are many ways indie authors can use this social media platform to their advantage. You can pin images to different boards, and tailor your boards to different interests. Continue reading

2014 Year in Review: Taking Stock and Setting Goals

Happy holidays and happy new year! As this will be my last post of the year, I thought now would be a good time to look back and see what progress I’ve made as a writer and ebook developer, and figure out my goals for next year. Continue reading

Ebook Review: Scared to Beath

Scared to Beath by Matt J. Pike

Elizabeth is a survivor. Sure, everyone who made it through the first few weeks of the Zombie RiZing is a survivor, but she’s a special case.

She’s holed up in her high school with her wheelchair-bound bestie and four of the most inept zombie fighters fate could inflict on her. Seriously, if the apocalypse was a martial art, these guys wouldn’t even get to wear a white belt.

Even worse, their food supply is dwindling and danger is closing in. The only answer lays outside, away from the safety of classrooms and up close and personal with countless zombies (grunts), rival students and who knows what else.

Worse still, the only protection they’ll have is whatever objects they can find to swing, fling or throw – cricket bats, javelins, slingshots and stones. You don’t need to be a maths gun to realise the odds aren’t good.

Elizabeth might be a survivor, but if she wants to stay that way she’ll need to turn her troupe of talentless troopers into an elite fighting force… And fast.

Continue reading