Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Marketing: Create Your Own Book Trailer and Share It

Hello and welcome!

Take ACTION to make your book trailer!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Book Marketing: Create Your Own Book Trailer and Share It by J.Q. Rose

I love putting together a book trailer, but I have to remind myself to have patience. Looking for the just-right photo (FREE of course) to convey the mood of the story and the content of the book can be challenging and time-consuming.  But I'm an optimist, and I believe the book trailer will be a worthwhile tool in my book marketing bag. Studies show videos are popular with viewers and they will attract and retain viewers on your page.

  • I use Pixabay free photos and combine them with my own photographs for images. To add some fun and interest, I use Giphy to find gifs, video clips, to insert in the trailer. Be sure and have a clear head when clicking on Giphy because all those little squares of movement can drive you crazy if you watch it too long. Just plug in the topic you want in the search box e.g. ocean, and you will be presented with many, many, many choices.

via GIPHY Sunset Ocean GIF

  • Save all images to a file for quick and easy access when creating your video. I save mine in photos and usually name it with the book title like this, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard Book Trailer.
  • I'm lucky I still have my old laptop because it has Windows Live Movie Maker on it. If you have a newer than Windows 7 device, you probably don't have Movie Maker. Unfortunately, I discovered the download to the newer computers doesn't work. But, you can use PowerPoint to make the video.
  • To make a PowerPoint a video, click on the File Menu>Save as>Windows Media Video (* .wmv). This is the file type that can be uploaded to Youtube.com. You definitely want your video on Youtube. Search Engine Land shared this research on their site--"YouTube is arguably the second largest search engine on the Web. It is the third most visited site on the Web, according to Alexa and SimilarWeb."
  • You may want to use your own videos in your presentation too. Easy to do now with so many smartphones with video recorder and microphone right in your hands. 

Smartphone--Photo courtesy of Pixabay

  • Gone are the days of searching and searching for the just-right music to accompany the video and then adding it to your trailer. Youtube offers a large selection of music to fit the feel of your book trailer. When you upload the trailer to Youtube, a little message asks if you want to add music. Say yes, and a list of music appears. Choose a genre from the box and listen to ALL of them or just a few. Click the one you wish and it will automatically accompany your images in the trailer. Be sure to save it.

Add music to your book trailer.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
If you can't find the perfect music, Kevin McLeod at Incompetech has a wide selection of FREE music for you to explore. 

Whatever music or images you use for your trailer, be sure the music and images are "royalty-free." However, I learned royalty free doesn't mean you can use them free. Royalty free means you do not have to pay royalties to the artist for the use of their work.  If you have to pay nothing for the art, usually you need to add attribution in order to comply with the license.

After all this information, I must add that I am not a professional movie-maker, and I learn something with each trailer I make. I have added my latest effort using Windows Live Movie Maker. I may try and make the trailer using the same images with PowerPoint, but for now, one trailer for Terror on Sunshine Boulevard is enough. I would appreciate any feedback on the video so I can tweak it for the best presentation of my work. 

If you want to see more of my videos, please click here to visit my Youtube home. 

  • One last suggestion for book marketing--add your videos to your social media, website, amazon author page, Goodreads. Oh yeah, make it work for you to get reader's attention! We need everything we can use to break out from the crowd of ebooks and paperbacks available to readers. I think videos are the way to go.

So, are you ready to tackle your own trailers? Go for it! 
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Youtube VIDEO: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard Book Trailer

Come along with me as I continue the Terror on Sunshine Boulevard Blog tour!

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard 
Winter Warm-Up 2018 Blog Tour
Thursday, February 22--Susan Palmquist is my host at This Writer's Life site. The topic is Cozy Mysteries. Click here to join us at the Writer's Life site.

Wednesday, February 28--I take a guest turn at my friend's blog, Roseanne Dowell's A Little of This, A Little of That. And another prize for a lucky commenter!! Click here to visit with talented author Roseanne Dowell and me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

6 Ingredients Readers Expect in a Romance Novel, Get in on Valentine's Day Sales

Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose 
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog by J. Q. Rose on this special day--Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from J.Q. Rose
This day is not a gentle reminder to sweethearts to remember each other with chocolate, special dinners, jewelry, flowers, etc. Oh no. Commercials scream at you through the TV screen, pop-ups interrupt you as you browse, store displays smack you in the face when you enter the doors. The reminders are hard to miss. Last year 18 billion dollars was spent on Valentine gifts! Wow!!

I wonder how many sweethearts will receive a romance written by you as a gift? Yes, I believe books make a great gift. So why not get in on the Valentine cash sales and write a romance?

The greatest perk for penning a romance story is the setting can be in any location. If you like to write sci fi, historicals, contemporary, fantasy, mystery, you can include romance in your book. Two of my mysteries are categorized as "romantic suspense."

Almost every romance follows a certain outline/format that readers expect in a good romance. If you don't, you may receive a poor review from the reader. Below, I have listed the 6 Ingredients readers look for in a romance.

6 Ingredients Readers Expect in a Romance Novel by J.Q. Rose

1.  The meeting of the hero and heroine when he/she notices each other.
Example--She picks up her daughter after school and spots a handsome dad picking up his son.
2.  The attraction
Example--She talks to him at the PTA meeting and feels her heart flutter
3.  An innocent touch 
Example--Brushing his arm when he passes her in the crowded classroom makes her tingle
4.  Conflict-An obstacle in the way of them being together
Example--He was hurt when his wife ran off with her boss and wants nothing to do with another woman
5.  Solution to conflict
Example--They become so important to each other, they have to be together for the rest of their lives.
6.  Happy ending (HEA--Happy Ever After)
Example--They commit their lives to each other ( marriage or at least be together at the end of the story)

Do you agree with these 6 ingredients? Can you add any other elements readers expect in romance stories? I'm always delighted to add more information to my posts. Please leave a comment below.

Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW)
If you're writing a romance book or have one completed, published, or promoted, the Marketing for Romance Writers group founded by Kayelle Allen is an excellent place to learn about marketing romances and any genres. Click here to find out more about MFRW.

First prize in the BWL Publishing Valentine Contest
My publisher is having a huge Valentine Contest. First prize is a huge basket of chocolate!! Second and third prizes are books from BWL Publishing. Click here and scroll down the page to learn how to enter and the prizes you can win. Deadline is February 14, midnight  Pacific time.

Romantic suspense stories just right for Valentine's Day

No blog post about Valentine's Day would be complete without my shamelessly promoting the romantic suspense stories I have penned. Take a peek at Dangerous Sanctuary and Deadly Undertaking.

Click here to find out more and to purchase at your favorite digital booksellers.

Happy Valentine's Day from J.Q. Rose!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG Blog Hop: What Writers Write, Sandra Cox' Minder, a Paranormal Romance

Hello and welcome to a big day at the Focused on Story blog by J.Q. Rose
It's the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop 
and a visit with my special guest, author Sandra Cox.

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page. I hope you'll take some time to visit the diverse list of bloggers.

IWSG Question for the Month
Question:  What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I enjoy writing mysteries. Mystery is a large overarching category because it can include sub-genres e.g. romance, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, historical within the pages of the mystery. That makes it fun to write with so many possibilities thrown in.

One writer said every book is a mystery because the reader needs to keep turning pages to find out how the story will end. We're curious about a story's Who, What, Where, When and Why no matter the genre. And especially the How! 

I like writing the mystery genre to challenge myself to devise a puzzle for the reader to solve and to grab her so she'll keep turning pages. The best comment a reviewer or reader can say about my story is she didn't know "who-dun-it" until the end.
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Welcome, Sandra Cox!
I'm excited to welcome my friend and multi-talented author, Sandra Cox, as my guest on the Focused on Story blog. She is a wordsmith and has a special word puzzle for you. It's my privilege to introduce you to her new YA/NA story, Minder, available until February 10 for only 99 cents. 

Minder by Sandra Cox
YA/NA Paranormal Romance
Welcome, Sandra!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit your blog today and interact with your lovely followers, Janet. I’m so excited to be here.

As everyone knows, writing is all about wordsmithing. Being an author, I love word search puzzles. I’m hoping everyone out there does too, because I developed one for MINDER. Anyone that wants to play, feel free to download it by right-clicking on the puzzle, then "save as" to save it to your device. 

After you find all the words, if you would like to go into a drawing for an E copy of MINDER or an E from my backlist just leave a comment here that says ‘I did it.’ Good luck.

Minder Word Search

If you want a copy now,  Click here to download Minder now for only 99 cents.
Sale ends February 10.

MINDER a YA/NA Paranormal Romance with light elements of horror
Minder by Sandra Cox
YA Shape-shifter
Available at Amazon

Back of the Book: Minder by Sandra Cox

On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Aurora Valente goes through disturbing changes. She purrs and craves raw meat. Most alarming of all, she’s taken to chasing wildlife. 

Her aunt gives her a beautiful, antique choker and tells her a story about a shape-shifting
Minder princess and the beast that hunts the Minder’s descendants. To Aurora, it’s only a story...till later that night when her world takes a turn into terror.


                A movement along the edge of the cliff caught my attention. A small rabbit nibbled at a tuft of clover growing between the rocks. I came to attention like a pointer. My nose quivered, my mouth watered. I twitched my butt.
            Without thought, I bolted out of the house after the rabbit. My blood raced. I breathed in short, sharp pants. I could hear the creature’s heart pound and smell his warm vibrant flesh.
            He took three frightened leaps and disappeared into the forest. I skidded to a stop, trembling so hard my teeth rattled. What’s wrong with me? I wanted to take a bite out of a poor, defenseless little bunny.  I pursed my lips and screwed up my face. Gross didn’t begin to cover it.  
            This is way past PMSing.  Tears welled up and spilled down my cheeks.  
            I turn eighteen tomorrow. Surely, there’s no connection.
            A sharp wind blew off the water. My eyes closed. I stood perfectly still, except for shudders that racked my achy body as fear and revulsion washed over me like the loud pounding waves below.

Sandra Cox
About Sandra:
Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA fantasy and romance. She lives with her husband, a menagerie of pets, and an occasional foster cat in sunny North Carolina. 

You can visit Sandra at:

Sandra's blog   

Available at Amazon

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The 5 W's Event begins in March!
Beginning in March, a new event will begin on the Focused on Story blog. Guest authors will choose one book and tell the Five W's of their story--Who, What, Where, When and Why. I didn't include How because how may be the spoiler. (?) 

If you would like to be my guest for the event, please leave a comment below or email me at jqrose02 at gmail dot com. 

Don't forget to say "I did it" in the comment below to enter Sandra's drawing.
Click here to download Minder now for only 99 cents.
Sale ends February 10.

The Winter Warm-Up Blog Hop Continues

Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10--Please join me at prolific author Janet Walters' blog, the Eclectic Writer. She always has the best questions to learn more about her guests.Click here to hop over this Friday and Saturday. C ya' there!

Saturday, February 10--I'll be hopping across the pond to be a guest at the blog of my English friend and romance author, Helena Fairfax. Click here to join us and warm up with a cup of English tea on Saturday. Helena wants to know why I chose a Florida retirement community as the setting for inexplicable murders in this place known for golfing, pool parties, craft classes and winter fun. Hee hee...you'll see.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Storytime Blog Hop: Mystical Manatee Park

Welcome to the Focused on Story blog by J.Q. Rose 

and to the quarterly Storytime Blog Hop!

Storytime Blog Hop
Founded 2015 by students of “How To Think Sideways: 
Career Survival School for Writer’s,” 
a writing course created by writer and teacher Holly Lisle

Storytime Blog Hop
Logo designed by Juneta Key

            MYSTICAL MANATEE PARK by J.Q. Rose

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Homosassa Springs, FL
Photo by J.Q. Rose

Nelda hefted her folding lawn chair and the six-can cooler out of the trunk of her old Buick. Placing the cooler on the gravel of the parking lot, she used her free hand to slam the trunk lid down. The loud whop reverberated through the riverside park, a place locals came to watch the gentle giants--manatees.
            Hmph—that felt good. She smiled at her show of strength. Still a tough old gal. Flashing a satisfied grin, she picked up her cooler and adjusted her hold on the lawn chair. She trudged across the brown, sparse grass to her favorite place on the narrow beach by the river.           
The park attendant sidled up next to her and walked a few paces with her. “Hey, do ya’ need some help carrying that stuff, sweetie,” he asked.
            Nelda stopped. Her back straightened as rigid as the soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “No thank you,” she said lasering her gaze on the man’s bearded face. “And please, don’t call me sweetie.” She spit out the command using her best school teacher voice.
            His wide eyes registered his surprise at her come-back. “Oh, I, uh…” His tongue stumbled over the words. He nodded and stepped away.
            Nelda carried on without his company. Damn. Why do people think an old woman is incapable of carrying a chair and lunch box? I’m not helpless. She wrinkled her nose with disgust. And for sure, I’m not his sweetie.
            The grass turned into sand as she crossed the beach to claim her spot to set up for the morning. She opened her chair and angled it for the best view of the river.
            The Florida winter weather was on full display today with cool air and a breeze from the north—perfect weather for manatee watching. She wore layers of sweaters and a jacket which she would remove when the sun warmed her later in the morning. She pulled a knit cap over her short gray hair, fitted her arthritic fingers into her gloves and headed for the rail fence barrier between the river and beach.

Manatees swimming in the river
Photo by J.Q. Rose
            Nelda stood along the waist-high fence and searched the waters. The manatee did not disappoint her. She spotted three adults and a calf lazily floating nearby.
            She sighed, wishing her husband, Ralph, was standing next to her relishing the sight of his beloved manatees. Looking skyward, she said, “Hey, Ralphie, are the manatees as beautiful in heaven’s rivers as they are right here on earth?”
            The manatee park was the one place she felt closest to Ralph. She missed him now just as much as she missed him after he died nearly two years ago. She blinked the tears away and sniffed.
            The couple had retired to Florida to escape the cruel northern winters. But they were as giddy as children when the temperatures cooled down the gulf waters forcing the manatees to enter the river leading to the warm springs in the Weeki Wachee River.
            “Beautiful day for manatee watching, eh?” A man’s cheery voice in her ear interrupted her reverie and startled her. She clasped her hands to her chest and faced the man.
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” He bobbed his head and blinked his eyes.
Nelda wiped her eyes with her gloved fingers and studied the tall gentleman. He wore a navy blue jacket zipped all the way up the front of him with the collar turned up to protect his neck from the cold breeze. His cheeks glowed red from the cold as he stood with shoulders hunched and hands in his pocket to keep warm. Light blue eyes peered at her under his snow-white brows.
Nelda was ready to tell him to bug off and leave her to her memories, but something in his kind eyes stopped her.
“Oh, that’s okay. Guess I was mesmerized by those magnificent manatees.” She smiled and waved her hand toward the river.
“Magnificent is the word for them. Some folks believe God has a sense of humor when they see a manatee.” He chuckled quietly at his own joke.
“I guess you could say that. The manatee is quite an odd-looking creation.”
“I figured you must love them as much as me. Seems like every time I come, I see you here.”
 “I thought you looked familiar.”
He cleared his throat. “Well, um—“
“Nelda,” she said with a friendly smile.
“John.” He dragged his hands out of his pockets.
Nelda offered her hand, and he grasped it with a tender but firm handshake.
“Nice to meet you,” he said.
She covered his hand with hers. “Glad to meet you too.” She meant it because she sensed she had a genuine, meaningful connection with John.
The next morning was another cool one, perfect for manatee watching. She packed up her chair and lunch and drove out to the manatee park.
Her trip was worth it. When she walked to the fence, she saw five manatees and two babies in the river.
“Good morning, Nelda.” She jumped at the sound of his voice behind her.
“Hey, you’re going to give me a heart attack scaring me like that with your greeting.” She turned around with a radiant smile on her face.
His delightful laugh rumbled from deep inside him. “I brought my chair today,” he said. “May I join you?”
“Why that’s a wonderful idea. I just happened to pack a big lunch today too. I’d be glad to share it with you.”
Their friendship grew as they met each day at the park sharing stories. Although Nelda had to admit she talked more than John. He truly was a good listener.
Eventually, the southern winds blew in warm breezes and the sun warmed the gulf waters. One morning the manatee didn’t come up the river
“Spring is in the air. I can feel it today.” He rubbed his thumb and forefinger together as if actually feeling it and made a silly face.
“Ralph would get that gardening bug this time of year.” Nelda looked at John. “I’m sorry.”
He looked surprised. “Sorry? Dear Nelda, what do you have to be sorry about?”
“I talk about Ralph all the time to you. I miss him so much.” She leaned toward John. “Thank you for being such a good listener.”
“I like to hear about you and Ralph.” He turned in his chair toward her and grasped her hand.  “Actually, I know Ralph.”
“Damn, you knew him?” She jerked her hand away from him. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Her eyes narrowed. “What are you up to?” She stood up from her chair, her hands on her hips, waiting for an explanation.
John raised his tall frame from the chair and confronted her. “I know this is difficult to hear or even understand.” He spread his arms. “I know Ralph. He asked me to come here to be your trusted friend.”
Nelda felt light-headed. She balled her hands into a fist. Don’t faint now. Don’t faint now.
She squeezed her eyes tight and when she opened them, the park seemed flooded in pastel light. The air quivered with energy all around her. She heard no children’s laughter, no birds singing spring songs, and the breeze no longer ruffled through the palm trees.
She turned around in a full circle absorbing the uniquely peaceful moment. Her heart burst with joy.
Nelda’s gaze met John’s. “You’re here to take me to Ralph. Is that right,” she asked in a hushed voice.
“Yes,” he said. “It’s time to go. Can you trust me enough to go with me?”
Nelda’s body glowed. She held out her hand. “Yes, I’m ready.” Out of habit, she turned to fold up her lawn chair. “Damn. I guess I won’t need to take that with me, will I?” Her eyes twinkled with delight.
“No. You’ll have everything you’ll need, including Ralph.” John squeezed her hand as they stepped together through the portal to heaven.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Meet Gloria in the Paranormal Mystery,Terror on Sunshine Boulevard Excerpt

MFRW Authors Blog Hop
Hello and welcome to the MFRW Authors Blog Hop event! Every Wednesday authors can participate in this hop to introduce readers to new and favorite authors and discover their books. Please check out the list of bloggers who are sharing their books below and hop along on a journey to find great reads by seeing the book covers and reading excerpts. A whole wide world of adventure and romance awaits you!

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard for giggles and chills
Paranormal mystery
Excerpt from Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

Scene--Gloria Hart has just arrived at her exercise class at the Community Center

Gloria re-shouldered her heavy bag holding her water bottle and barbells, and moved her rolled exercise mat under her arm to keep it from crushing against her chest. She dropped her bag on the floor and unrolled the mat in the spot she always claimed at every class meeting. Like pew seats in a Sunday morning church service, each person staked out her favorite “place” to exercise and kept it.
She hustled over to join the big circle of friends in their usual space in the room. The ladies shifted a bit to make space for Gloria in the circle. She breathed a sigh of relief knowing she wasn’t late again. Being late was a sign of disrespect, but Gloria respected every gal in this room for exercising their bodies and joining in the group. Perhaps they didn’t all do the moves like their limber instructor, Bridgett, but at least they tried.

Gloria noted several circles of women around the room. A flashback to eighth grade when her clique of classmates stood in the hall before class. Memories danced through her mind of best friends, gossip, and popularity contests. Odd how things were still the same nearly fifty years later.

 “Good morning, everyone.” She smiled widely as she greeted her friends. But instead of the usual happy chorus of “Good morning Gloria,” her friends in the circle weakly smiled with the acknowledgement of her presence. Silence fell over the group. Everyone’s eyes lasered in on her. Gloria felt uncomfortable. What were they waiting for?

Finally her friend Pamela asked, “Well, are you going to tell us about George McDonnell?” Her voice a higher pitch. “Did Jim hear anything yet?” Pamela’s voice ratcheted even higher.

Gloria turned to face Pamela. “No, I haven’t heard anything. Why? Is he sick?”

“No, he’s dead.” Rosemary, Pamela’s best friend, waited a beat for Gloria to absorb the news. “Jim’s one of the first responders for the park. Wasn’t he called to the scene yesterday?”

“Uh, no. We were gone all day.” The unexpected news slammed her like a wild pickle ball, nearly knocking her off her feet and stinging her heart. George was younger than she was for Pete’s sake. He couldn’t be dead. That was incomprehensible to her. She and her husband had just visited him last week. He was a healthy man for his age. Tears stung her eyes when she remembered how excited he was about a fishing trip he’d planned.

Pamela gave her an understanding smile, flashing her perfect teeth—all her own—and touched Gloria’s back.

Gloria studied each woman’s face, hoping one of them would explain further while her mind tried to process the news. Many of the residents in the senior community mistakenly assumed Jim attended every call because he was the volunteer co-captain of the First Responders Unit, but Jim wasn’t on-call yesterday. She hadn’t heard the latest happenings in the park because they’d shopped most of the day at the flea market and relished a delicious fish dinner at their favorite restaurant, Magoo’s, arriving there just in time to get in on the early bird specials.

A flash of guilt surged through her mind. Should she and Jim have checked on George? Maybe they could have saved him if they had stopped by his house before they’d left for the day.

“I can hardly believe George is dead. I had no idea he had heart problems. He seemed to be the picture of health,” Gloria said.

“Oh, no. Nobody knows yet if it was his heart or what killed him,” Bonnie, another woman in the group, announced.

Gloria was puzzled as she saw the looks of horror exchanged by her friends.
“What happened?” Her eyes widened with concern, and then realized she had been drawn into the gossip like everyone else.

Bonnie puffed up her chest and pulled her elbows back as she leaned forward to deliver the big news. “His neighbor, Lottie Carpenter found him. She smelled him rotting in his house.” She wrinkled her nose in disgust.

“Oh, my word.” Gloria covered her mouth and wanted to gag as if she smelled poor George. “That poor man. I cannot imagine…”

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Published by BWL Publishing

Click here to find this e-book at these popular digital booksellers.

The Blog Tour continues!!
Please join me at my next January stops.
Thursday, Jan 25--Diane Burton--Click here to join Diane, author of romance and adventure, and me. Leave a comment to win a PDF copy of one of my mysteries.

Saturday, Jan. 27--Ellen the Cynical Sailor spotlights Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. Click here to visit her amazing blog as she lives her life in a boat!!
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Now please continue your reading journey through cyberspace by visiting these participating bloggers. Have fun!