Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meeting Destiny Blog Tour - Guest Post by Author Nancy Straight + GIVEAWAY

I'm super excited to be a part of the Meeting Destiny Blog Tour, put on by the awesome Heather from SupaGurl Books!

Meeting Destiny Blurb:  Lauren is visited in her dreams for years by a stranger claiming to be her destiny. Destiny becomes reality when paths cross during a failed robbery attempt. Lauren and the stranger experience chemistry like no other and now her doubt over her long time relationship with her high school sweetheart is not her only secret…someone else knows about her keen intuition and sixth sense.A mysterious clairvoyant seeks Lauren out and tells her not only of her life now but what the future may hold. Soon Lauren is in the middle of a murder investigation and a questionable friendship with the key suspect. Law enforcement, friends and family are concerned for Lauren but unfortunately they are unaware of the true danger…Sinister forces are at work and will stop at nothing to destroy Lauren’s abilities.

Author Bio: Nancy was born in Sioux City Iowa, left the cold of the Midwest in 1991 and only returns to see family in the summer time. She spent ten years traveling the world as a US Marine and settled in rural SC with her husband, two children and three dogs.  She enjoys RVing with her family, writing Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy and reading all types of Paranormal and Young Adult literature.


I'm lucky enough to have author Nancy Straight on my blog to answer one of my favourite questions: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Thanks so much for hosting the Meeting Destiny blog tour!! Let me preface this advice with:  I’m still a big-time rookie myself.  I’ve learned a lot in the last nine months and am happy to share things that have worked for me.  If any writers out there are reading this post, and have advice for me – I’m all ears.  Rather than just put out advice, I thought I'd write about a few of the myths that I've run across.
Myth #1:  If you write a book you love, that you believe in (or an entire series) - it will sell thousands of copies.  It turns out readers rarely “stumble” onto a good book.  Normally someone has to point them to it.  I had published nearly the entire Destiny Series before I realized I needed to find readers.  I’m not necessarily a social butterfly so it was hard in the beginning.  What I looked for instead of readers were new friends.  People that enjoyed the same type of books that I did that I could chat with about great books I had read.  If I found a book I LOVED, I contacted the author to tell them how great their book was and asked for advice for everything from cover design to book pirating.  Books won’t sell themselves no matter how good you believe they are.
Myth #2:  I’ve read the book twenty-five times, all the spelling and grammar is perfect.  WRONG!  Spend the money on an editor.  If you’re on a tight budget, solicit friends that will give you honest critiques.  I actually have a whole posse of people that read mine, some are grammar fanatics, some avid readers and my actual editor is my aunt who was a creative writing teacher for more than thirty years.  It’s safe to say that when I thought Meeting Destiny was ready to be published she still nearly drained the ink from her red pen with edits!
Myth #3:  I have Photoshop, I’ll make my own cover.  Okay, I’ll preface this comment with:  there are some extremely talented authors out there that have made their own beautiful covers, but that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.  From my own experience, I put my heart and soul into writing the Destiny Series (Meeting Destiny, Destiny’s Revenge and Destiny’s Wrath).  It had fabulous reviews, but sales were still low (2-3 per day).  Another author told me my covers were horrible – I agreed because, well – Duh, I’m not a graphic artist, I’m a writer.  I spent the money to have covers designed for the series.  Sales increased enough in the first month to pay for the cost of the covers.  Keep in mind that most people will only see your cover when it is the size of a quarter, so don’t look at your cover when it is “book” size, look at it when it is only as large as your thumb.  The cover has to be eye catching enough for a potential reader to click on it, to read the book’s synopsis.
Myth #4: I have to be inspired to write.  Not! I recommend writing every day.  There are days that I am able to write 1000 words and other days I write 2, but I write every day.  Sometimes I’ll go back and read what was written the previous day and delete the whole section; but setting a goal like: I am going to have a first draft ready in three months, is not nearly as effective as: I’m going to write 500 words per day.  Then reward yourself when you exceed your goal.
Myth #5: I don’t want the stigma of being a self-published author.  I see this statement frequently on blogs and on the internet.  Although I don’t begrudge any author that chooses to publish the traditional way, there are things that make self-publishing much more attractive for me.  I don’t have an agent or a publicist representing me, absolutely every reader that contacts me, gets a response, from me.  I feel connected to the friends I’ve made that enjoy my books and they are an exceptional source of motivation on the days when I’d rather park myself in front of the television.  I have full control over my books, I can change covers, I can change text, I can even give a whole bunch of them away and no one can stop me (Meeting Destiny’s e-book is FREE right now).    
Myth #6: Bad reviews are bad.  Bad reviews may want to make you cry, or go slash someone’s tires, but they’re an opinion.  Not every book is for every person, that’s why there are millions to choose from.  It’s natural to focus on the bad, but if you have 50 reviews and 45 of those reviews are 4 and 5 stars – try to start a friendship with those 45 people – the ones that love your writing.
Myth #7: My writing is my hobby.  Although you may enjoy writing, I think the more successful authors think of their writing like a business.  I dedicate 2 hours each day to “author stuff.”  This can be twitter, email, guest posts on a book tour, or writing.  It’s a set part of my schedule and it allows me to still meet all the other commitments I have as a wife, mom, and friend while giving me a set amount of time to balance all the things that I love.
I’m sure you didn’t want this post to become a book in itself so I’ll add just one last piece of advice:  Tell Book Bloggers how much you LOVE them!  I have a whole page dedicated to favorite book bloggers on my blog and I tweet at least once a week asking friends to follow them.  They are the unsung heroes that find diamonds in the rough and convince readers to give a novel a test drive.  For any bloggers that are reading this that have helped promote my series – “Thanks” will never be adequate, I will forever be grateful to each of you!   


Great advice, thanks so much Nancy! And stay tuned for my review of Meeting Destiny, which will be posted April 27.

And now, I'm super excited to announce that Nancy will be giving away a signed copy of Meeting Destiny. This giveaway is only open to US readers, but if you're international, no worries! You can snag a free ecopy on Smashwords!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Fantastic a reader the cover is what initial draws me to the novel. The synopsis is the many indie authors fail at both. I have reviewed novels that were truly awesome...and i really think the cover and synopsis keep their novels from seeing sales and higher ranks. The third problem is of course editing.

  2. Yes i believe in soulmates...i married mine 24 years ago

  3. Megan - Thanks so much for letting me do this guest post!

    Kimba88 - Was it love at first sight? I had to meet my husband 5 times (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996) in four different states before I realized fate was putting him in front of me for a reason! LOL!

  4. In wishful thinking, yes I do. I hope there is someone out there that I fit with perfectly! I wish I dreamed of him every night so it would be a little more clear of who he was!

  5. I do believe it's possible, just not likely.

  6. Now that's a big I believe? Yes. I think there are some lucky one out there that do have a soul mate in this world but I don't think I have one. Thanks for the giveaway!