Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Results of My Facebook Boosted Post Promoting Terror on Sunshine Boulevard

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog by J.Q. Rose.

Today I am dissecting my promo on Facebook. FB has been nagging me to boost posts I shared in my news feed. Some of their suggestions were crazy because the topic had expired or it was a writing quote or some graphic which had nothing to do with promoting my books. 
THEN, they suggested one of my favorite graphics that promoted my latest release, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard. I loved this photo of a dog that reminded me of Mr. Tweeble's dog Jingles. 

Not only did I treasure the image, but Facebook offered me $10. credit to boost the promo. What? FREE advertising? I couldn't turn it down. Besides I was curious about how  FB promotions worked. So I signed up for it.

They made it easy. Not as complicated as some FB ad gurus indicate. Of course, this was a  boost, not a full blown ad which is a bit more involved. (I tried it once, and could not begin to reduce the text on the ad, so they declined to put it up for me. And I was too frustrated to spend anymore time on it.)

I used their date suggestion of Sunday evening, Feb. 18-February 21 for the promotion. (Anybody know if the first of the week is better for sales than the end of the week or a weekend?) I just needed to declare the location of the ad (USA) and the gender and age of folks interested in reading. 

Here are the results from Facebook:
You targeted womenages 50 - 65+ who live in 1 location, and have 1 interest.
United States
50 - 65+
People Who Match:
Interests: Reading
This promotion ran for 3 days.
Your total budget for this promotion was $10.00 USD.

People Reached
Total Spend
If I had actually spent the cash, according to FB, I would have spent 8 cents on each click during the promotion time. That sounds like a good deal to me in order to get so much exposure with a targeted audience.

Now, would the ad pay for itself? I don't know since my publisher receives all the sales information for all the major booksellers, but I did sell something because the book's sales rank climbed on amazon. However, there was more going on during that time than just the boosted post.

The promotion ended on Thursday. I post on my blog every Wednesday. That Wednesday, February 20, I posted my book trailer for TOSB, and I always post the 20th of every month on my publisher's blog, Books We Love Insider Blog. Although that blog was about pickleball, I still promoted TOSB there too.

I admit I did have a bigger reach and more engagements during the FB promotion time. I think the image and information on the post is engaging. I thought it was a good choice to use. 

If you've tried a FB ad or boost, please take a minute to share your experience. 
Thank you.
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 Terror on Sunshine Boulevard.Winter Warm-Up 2018 Blog Tour
On Wednesday, February 28, I wind up the Winter Warm-up Blog Tour. It has been a wonderful experience. I always enjoy working with authors behind the scenes and visiting with their readers. What a generous heart authors have for each other. I value their support and encouragement.

One author who has been a real cheerleader and mentor to me is Roseanne Dowell. I'm thrilled to share the last stop on the blog tour with her at her blog.

Please stop in and say hi to us. I share the reason why I write short stories, articles, and fiction and non-fiction books. With 5 million books available at amazon, one has to love writing to even consider throwing a book into the public eye and compete with all those titles for a reader's attention. Creating stories is not the only reason to write. Find out "Why I Write." I imagine you will understand and agree the reasons are the same as yours.

Click here to join us at Roseanne Dowell's blog.

Thank you to all my Hosts!
Picture courtesy of  Pixabay

HUGE THANK YOU to all the BLOGGERS who hosted me this winter! See the list below.

15 Sandra Cox
17 Nan Sanders Pokerwinski
25 Diane Burton
27 Ellen Jacobsen
9 and 10 Janet Lane Walters
10 Helena Fairfax
22 Susan Palmquist
28 Roseanne Dowell

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.
* * *
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.

Of Brides and Blooms by J.Q. Rose

Book Hooks--excerpts from novels      Book Hooks Blog Hop  #MFRWHooks Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog. Today we're joinin...