Want A Chance To Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card???

Marketing. It’s a word that simultaneously excites me and makes me cringe. Platforms are constantly changing, making it difficult to reach a target market (ahem, Facebook), prospective customers are tuning out more and more because there is a constant glut of information being thrown at them, key performance metrics that trended positive six months ago may not mean much now because marketing channels are flooded with content and becoming largely ineffective.

So the question is…with all these obstacles, how can you make your company stand out against the competition?

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. But I can tell you that testing the effectiveness of marketing channels is becoming critically important to companies with small budgets and the best way to test is to first get feedback from your potential customers. Hence, the reason why marketing excites me. Valuable feedback yields potential for new ideas and opportunities for innovation. YAY! Right up my alley. =)

Vector Notebook with drawing charts

This leads me to my latest project. I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!!!!! Why not give you all a shot to win a cool prize for taking the time to take my super-quick book marketing survey???

ONE random winner will win a $50 Amazon gift card and FIVE random winners will get swag packs! The contest will end on April 1 and I’ll announce winners on my Facebook page on April 2.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SURVEY

Cover Reveal! “Femme Fatale Reloaded” By Kirsty-Anne Still

Title: Femme Fatale Reloaded (Pericolo #2)
Author: Kirsty-Anne Still
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Find on Goodreads

I used to be fearful. I used to be admired. I used to be the Femme Fatale.

Until I fell.

I fell from my status, from the pedestal I had been placed, and I fell in love.

And that’s where it all went wrong.

I once thrived on one motto – Don’t feel, don’t deviate, kill.

Now, I thrive on betrayal, a reminder never to trust my heart, and the need to be Femme Fatale Reloaded.

It’s time I got myself back to the place I most belong – a cherished, yearned for secret weapon.

However, when a ghost from my past walks into my life again, pledging to be an Abbiati, my life turns upside down all over again.

My biggest problem was never the kill, but the thrill of the chase.

Apparently, love is the most dangerous game I can ever play, and my life is about to spiral out of control.

 

“Seeing as we’re all out of money, is it safe to say this evening is being cut short?”

“No, no, I don’t think the evening’s up quite yet. I reckon we should up the wager,” Andrew comments, leaning into the table. “Strip poker… I’d do anything to see Amelia stark naked and a loser.”

I don’t get time to roll my eyes and make some smart ass remark as Zane suddenly moves, lightning speed accompanies him, and he slams a knife down, nailing it between Andrew’s fingers, narrowly missing dismembering his middle finger. There’s total stillness in the room as he leans in, the creak of his chair is all that sounds out and we all watch with bated breath.

“Dare talk about my girl like that again and I’ll make sure it’s a bigger member I threaten next time, understood?” Zane asks, his voice dangerously threatening. “Well, Andrew?”

“U-understood,” Andrew stutters, his eyes wide, but he does the wrong thing of looking at me.

Zane, noticing, leaves the knife, and reaches up to grab Andrew around the face. He forces him, in a vice-like grip, to look at him. Zane’s fingers begin to go white while Andrew’s face squishes up with the tight hold. He waits a moment before chuckling and releasing his prey.

“You could never get a girl like Amelia, so dream on,” he states, sardonically executing the words. “I already beat two men for treating her any less than she is; don’t think I’ll make an exception for you right now.”

 

I used to be just another Fanfiction writer! That was until one person showed real interest in my work. And then another, and then another, until I had this whole group of people reviewing like crazy and wanting original work from me. I’d spent years writing for free online, I didn’t believe I had it in me to publish something!

But I’m glad I did!! I never imagined pushing my work and striving to reach my ultimate. I never imagined I’d be the girl who started The Viper Rooms! But who am I to deny the inspiration when it hits?

I love writing, it’s a lifeline. I love creating a world that others fall into. I love having the control to make a whole new world. It’s like a dependency, an addictive one. It’s one of the things I’m extremely proud of.

As much as I complain, I love the mini dialogues that go on in my head, the plotlines that attack me when I least expect them to. The ones that jump to life at the most inappropriate times and drive me totally crazy!!

For now I split my life between writing, dreaming, working, and volunteering with children.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Happy Cover Reveal Day!! “Losing Her” By Mariah Dietz

I’m happy to announce the cover reveal for “Losing Her” by Mariah Dietz!

Title: Losing Her (His #2)

Author: Mariah Dietz

Release Date: March 1

Find on Goodreads

Synopsis:

“I loved her and she left. Maybe I wasn’t enough. Maybe I’ll never be enough.” I’ve been thinking these words since before we even got together.

Everything is new. The old no longer has a place here. Physical items are easy to replace. I’m constantly battling the ones that aren’t.

Every thought and memory I have is stained.

By you.

You weren’t even there for half of them.

How is she still present even though she left?

I can do this. I’m going to survive losing her.

*** This is the second book of the His Series, and it DOES end with a cliffhanger. The final book of the His Series, Finding Me, will release June 1, 2015***

 LH Cover

Excerpt:

“Dude, you’ve got to get up.” Jameson sighs as I pull the pillow back over my head. I don’t even know what day it is anymore. I don’t care.

What adds salt to my wounds is the fact that the world keeps turning. People continue waking up and going about their day. The sun rises and sets. I hear kids laugh and play, neighbors greet one another, and birds sing, and all the while I wonder how? How does the entire world appear to be surviving this nightmare of losing her?

****

Hank comes to visit in June. I still haven’t heard from Ace, and yet I’m still staying at my mom’s. I can’t leave. I can’t go back to that house. I’d moved rooms shortly after she left, and now reside in the guest room on the main floor. It’s better this way. There aren’t any pictures of her in here or random memories, like the one of her sitting on my bean bag chair when I was sick last summer. I also don’t have to face the window that looks out onto hers.

Hank knows that I know mom sent for him, hoping that he’d be able to “help” me. She of all people should know that having Hank around isn’t going to help me. He’s fucking married to the love of his life; he doesn’t have a fucking clue about the shit that I’m going through.

Of all things, Hank wants to go camping. I’m sure he thinks that getting away will help. He doesn’t understand that moving rooms has helped me realize I could go to Antarctica, and things wouldn’t change; the distance isn’t going to make the pain any less.

When we get camp set up, Hank opens a cooler and passes me a beer with a giant, shit-eating grin, like we’ve just overcome a huge hurdle. Deciding that I shouldn’t rain on his little douchebag tea party quite yet, I accept the beer with merely a grimace before taking a long swig. Before long, that single swig becomes a chug, and then a guzzle as I consume more alcohol than what three people probably should.

I sit by the fire and close my eyes. My mind automatically reaches back into that locked and forbidden drawer to pull out the image of Ace, striving to recall the sound of her laugh, the feel of her touch. It brings me back to our camping trip last September, when Jameson announced that was what he wanted to do for his birthday.

Couple on beach.

LH Banner

Author Info:

Mariah Dietz lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and two sons that are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world.

Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent the majority of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.

She has a love for all things that include her sons, good coffee, books, travel, and dark chocolate. She also has a deep passion for the stories she writes, and hopes readers enjoy the journeys she takes them on, as much as she loves creating them.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Author

To Boost Or Not To Boost

I’m not a Facebook guru, by any stretch.

My fan page confuses the heck out of me, specifically why some posts get minimal reach whereas others get tremendous engagement…we’re talking mind-blowing numbers. From little old me. =)

I still have yet to figure out how these posts are evaluated by the elusive Facebook algorithms but here is what I suspect…they pick up on certain words and if there is anything remotely related to a contest or giveaway or solicitation of business, they hide those posts (or at least bury them in the News Feed).  This may not be a revelation to everyone but I’ve tested this on my own page and believe it to be true.

Here’s a simple example…yesterday’s post asking for erotic novel character names received engagement of over 500 folks to date, whereas a post that announced a giveaway with a $25 Amazon gift card mention got a pathetic reach of 13!!!!!!!

Facebook clearly holds the cards here.  =)

So, I decided to take the leap and BOOST.  I’m testing this over a non-consecutive two-day period.  I only went with friends and friends of friends and I paid $10 for the initial boost. I’ve heard negatives and positives associated with boosting but I figured, for $10, it wasn’t a really huge financial risk. Lord knows, I’ve spent much more on much less. =)

So we boost…today and again on Monday.  And let’s see what kind of activity my $20 can buy!!!

Don’t Go It Alone

Entrepreneurs aren’t superhuman. Sure, they have drive, vision and dedication but that doesn’t always guarantee success. It’s easy to get derailed and frustrated when things don’t go smoothly as planned. And trust me, they never do.

The road to greatness is fraught with challenges so why not rely on help from others who share your direction and passion and whose skill sets can complement your offerings? Realize early on that you can’t singlehandedly change the world, but with the support of your own team you can diversify and conquer.

We’re not alone.

Even Zuckerberg agrees.

Zuckerberg’s one piece of advice for struggling entrepreneurs (VentureBeat)

I’d Like To Join Your Anti-Aging Crusade, Mr. Thiel

Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist probably most known outside of Silicon Valley for his early investment in Facebook, is a billionaire on a mission to reverse aging.  According to Thiel, it is a category of innovation largely overlooked by investors.

Courtesy of VentureBeat

Courtesy of VentureBeat

Billionaire Peter Thiel Embarks On Anti-Aging Crusade

I’m a sucker for anti-aging technology.  If I had billions, you better believe I’d be investing.  Of course, I try every product I can get my hands on and few things really have an impact.  As an aside, I’m currently testing a series of products but I’ll reserve my opinion until I give it the full trial period.  Stay tuned…

I do prefer topicals.  I don’t love the idea of shooting my face up with fillers like Restylane or Botox or any others that may or may not have been approved by the FDA (because, does it really matter?).

There have been some innovations in the past year that look promising, although the “magical elixir” is still evading scientists.

I did come across a breakthrough that some are calling the innovation of the decade with regard to anti-aging.

Judgement: Anti Aging Breakthroughs 2014

Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser Skin Resurfacing.  Yeek.  Doesn’t sound too comfortable.  But does it work? Because I’d suck up a little discomfort to look like I’m 20 again. =)

So how does it work?

Energy light makes tiny holes in the skin to target the deeper layers without causing extensive damage to the superficial layers.  As a result, the healing process is dramatically shortened and the surrounding healthy skin generates collagen and elastin to create a firm look.

Downtime is minimal and it’s pricey…at least for now.  But seriously?  It’s a small price to pay to recapture that youthful glow…for about 8-10 years.  Yeah, I can work with that.

Wanna Learn How To Start A Startup?

Lucky Stanford students get all the perks.

They get to learn how to start a startup in a class taught by some of the most successful tech founders in Silicon Valley. Sam Altman, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and president of Y Combinator, and Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana, delivered the first lecture.

Courtesy of Sam Altman via Twitter

Courtesy of Sam Altman via Twitter

I picked up a lot of great sound bytes in the video that are helpful to anyone trying to launch a startup.  And remember, this is not all about technology. These words of wisdom apply to ALL.

The big question of the session is why start a start-up?  Altman and Moskovitz don’t romanticize entrepreneurship. They urge the students to go into their endeavors eyes wide open and realize that the uphill climb will be much harder than they ever anticipated.  Starting a startup isn’t a great way to get rich quick.  The media does a great job of making it look so cool.  In reality, it’s not nearly as glamorous. It’s not The Social Network.

You need 4 things to be successful: a great idea, a great product, a great team and great execution.

Be passionate about your idea because you’ll be living, eating, breathing and sleeping it for the foreseeable future.  The dew will be off the rose pretty quickly if you’re not as invested in your idea as you expect your customers to be.  One of the best pieces of advice in the video is to find a small market, create a monopoly and expand quickly. And keep the concept simple!  You should be able to tweet the idea!!!! 140 characters or less!

Spend all your time on building the best, most effective product possible.  Get feedback from a variety of users and OFTEN.  Always refine the product so it meets the needs of your target audience.  The less complex it is, the easier it will be to enhance later.  Focus on building something a small number of users LOVE and not something a large group of users LIKE.

And once you have the product, take it to the audience.  One cool anecdote shared was about how the founder of Pinterest gathered feedback and raised awareness of the site. He’d go into the Apple store in Palo Alto and bring Pinterest up on every device in the store so it was the first thing Apple fans would see.  Brilliant, eh? It worked for a while too…until the geek squad (and I say that with affection) caught on and kicked him out.

Check out the video.  It’s very illuminating. =)

Jersey Girls Love Their Barefoot Sandals!

Ahhh…Oyster Fest 2014.

Lobster rolls, crab cakes, clams, oysters, beer and…bling?

photo-4

Something I’ve always loved about the festivals in Jersey is that they celebrate small business owners.  We always find interesting products in our travels and if they are any bit girly, Lulu is at the table, front and center, ready to patronize.

Yesterday was no exception.  Lulu found Jersey Girl Barefoot Sandals and fell in love.  It really is such a clever product – jewelry for your feet that you can wear with or without sandals.  There were all types of designs to choose from.  Of course, Lulu decided she needed an anklet to match each of the sandals.  She’s such an easy sell…just like her mother.  =)

barefoot_sandals_key_west_group_1

Here is a snap of Lulu and Bev Beveridge, entrepreneur and one of the co-owners of this super-creative venture, showing off their foot candy!

photo-5

I was really impressed with the selection of styles and the price was reasonable – we paid $10 per sandal, which any woman knows is a bargain for bling!

This is a pic of yours truly and Bev.

photo-6

Check them out on Facebook!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card by clicking here:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f30243524/.

 

Yet Another Teaser & Giveaway…YAY!!!!!

Hubby was just on Facebook and pointed to a picture of a girl named Gina who just had a Scrabble piece of the letter “G” tattooed to her ankle.  He said, “Would you ever do that?”  And I shook my head vehemently.  “No, absolutely not.  My name doesn’t begin with a ‘G’.”

LOL.  But seriously….

I’m so excited to plan for the launch of “Unlikely Venture!”  It’s been a long time preparing for this and I can’t believe the launch is almost here!

So I had to release yet another fabulous teaser…accompanied by a giveaway!

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card but clicking here:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f30243524/

All you need to do is: sign up for my mailing list, like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter or friend me on Booktropolous Social.  You can enter once or up to four times!  It’s super easy!!

1-3

“Unlikely Venture” Giveaway! Enter To Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card!

I feel like I’ve promoted the launch of “Unlikely Venture” for a while and even though November is still a few months away, there’s sooooo much to do!  Luckily, I’m working with a fabulous team of talented people who’ve been guiding me through the process and I’m so thankful for all their advice and guidance!

This is a super-exciting time and I’m enjoying every minute!

So let’s celebrate with a Rafflecopter giveaway!

A couple of clicks and you can win a $25 Amazon gift card!  It’s so simple to enter!  Follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, sign up for my mailing list, friend me on Booktropolous Social…lots of ways to win!

And how could I forget the synopsis…

3

Unlikely Venture

Here’s the thing about keeping secrets…they can only protect you for so long before threatening to destroy everything you hold dear.

Meet Jessica Latham:  a bright, sassy, workaholic with a penchant for plunging necklines and Christian Louboutin stilettos.  She has her dream job at the top management consulting firm in Manhattan, but it is coupled with the daily nightmare of an overbearing and demeaning boss who consistently undermines her abilities and challenges her at every turn.

And that’s the least of her problems.

Devastating news threatens her livelihood and sends her fiancé running for the hills without so much as a backward glance.  Newly single and fearful about her future, she focuses on work to escape the looming uncertainty…until a moment of weakness changes everything.  During a night tinged with one too many glasses of chardonnay, she meets Paul Emerson, a mysterious stranger who becomes an eager and willing participant in Jessica’s efforts to finally regain some control of her life.

It was supposed to be an isolated incident, something she subconsciously needed to restore her confidence and clear her head.  But what Jessica soon realizes is that taking control doesn’t always mean she is actually the one in control and things don’t always turn out as planned.

After being awarded a coveted opportunity at work, Jessica thought she was headed for a much-deserved promotion and some degree of stability.  But she didn’t anticipate meeting James Callahan, MIT-graduate-turned-start-up-CEO and she certainly didn’t expect for Paul to walk back into her life.  The internal struggle intensifies when threats to her future resurface.  Her worlds collide when everything Jessica thought was important is pitted against everything she wants for the future and she needs to quickly get her head and her heart in sync before somebody gets hurt.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 136 other followers

%d bloggers like this: