Ask an Author

ASK AN AUTHOR – BOOK COVERS AND WRITING PARTNERS

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

Writing duo Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke are dropping by to talk book covers, chick lit and favorite spots in San Diego. Although Steinke currently resides in Chicago both authors are San Diego natives. The writers have been best friends for decades and have some advice for people thinking of writing with someone else. Their published works include The Year We Turned Forty, The Status of All Things, and Your Perfect Life.

They say, "Don't judge a book by its cover" but with today's market, how important are book covers to overall exposure and success, and by extension, does the same theory also apply to e-books as well? - Sahar Abdulaziz, author of Secrets That Find Us

ASK AN AUTHOR - LOCAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR JENNIFER COBURN TALKS SEQUELS

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

May 5, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Local writer, award-winning journalist and USA Today best-selling author Jennifer Coburn is finally joining me to offer advice to authors and talk about her latest book, We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir. I've been trying to get her here for months and have been a fan since reading The Wife of Reilly, though I had no idea at the time that Coburn lived in San Diego – not until we both ended up scheduled at a local author event at the Barnes & Noble in Santee. She was promoting We'll Always Have Paris, her first memoir. Coburn has also authored six novels and contributed to four literary anthologies, not bad for someone who originally thought she couldn't write a novel.

How do you decide whether to write a sequel? - G. Elizabeth Kretchmer, author of Women on the Brink

ASK AN AUTHOR – HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR WIP IS READY

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller



April 23, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Aidan Donnelley Rowley and I tackle works in progress (WIPs) in this week's column, specifically the part of the process when they stop being “in progress” and become completed manuscripts. Rowley is the author of Life After Yes and a Yale University graduate with a law degree from Columbia University. Her latest novel The Ramblers is a “sophisticated tale of entangled urban lives” about three 30-something Manhattanites whose lives are forever altered over the course of Thanksgiving week.  

How does an author know when to stop editing/changing/reading the WIP and send it out into the world? Linda Crawford

ASK AN AUTHOR – MJ SUMMERS AND WRITING WITH A PEN NAME

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

April 14, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - We're going to talk about pen names and book promotion in today's column. To help me with this is my second favorite MJ, international best-selling author MJ Summers! She is the author of the steamy romance breakout novel, Break in Two, which propelled her career forward all the way to a six-figure book deal. She's since published four novels in the Full Hearts series and the novella Don't Let Go, a prequel to Break in Two. Her fifth Full Hearts novel, The Break-up, is available for pre-order.

ASK AN AUTHOR – ANDREW CASE TALKS BENEFITS OF SEEKING A PUBLISHER

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

Andrew Case joins us on the Ask An Author column to answers a question from a reader and a few from me while fitting in a nice nod to La Jolla. Case is an award-winning playwright and the author of The Big Fear, currently the #2 best seller in the kindle store on Amazon.com.

ASK AN AUTHOR – VALENTINE'S DAY WITH BEST-SELLING AUTHOR ROBYN CARR

 

by Sárka-Jonae Miller

February 14, 2016 (San Diego's East County) - Just in time for Valentine's Day, 10-time #1 New York Times best-selling author Robyn Carr drops by to give writing advice and to talk about her new romance, What We Find, coming in April 2016. During her more than twenty-five-year writing career, the former California resident has authored nearly 50 novels that blend romance and women's fiction. The RITA award winner is also ranked among the top 100 authors on Amazon.

ASK AN AUTHOR: HOW TO MAXIMIZE A BOOKBUB PROMO

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

“I've got a Bookbub promo on Dec 5. I want to maximize this opportunity. Any advice? The promo is 99 cents for High Strung, the first book in my series. My main goal is to build readership for the next book in the series (which is already setup as pre-order on Amazon) and beyond. One thing I'm struggling with is the number of days to run the promo.”Janice Peacock

January 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- BookBub is far and away the most effective and most well-known book advertising service. The company sends email blasts to hundreds of thousands of subscribers who enjoy a particular genre, from chick lit to mystery and everything in-between – even non-fiction. Therefore, let me start off by saying congratulations on getting a promo with them at all, especially during the competitive holiday season. Other authors are turning Christmas tree green with envy.

ASK AN AUTHOR: INTERVIEW WITH NY TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR EILEEN GOUDGE

 

by Sarka-Jonae Miller

December 18, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - New York Times best-selling author and former La Jolla resident Eileen Goudge drops by to answer her favorite reader question and a few of mine. Goudge is the author of more than a dozen books, including Garden of Lies, Trail of Secrets, Thorns of Truth, Such Devoted Sisters, The Replacement Wife, and her latest novel Bones and Roses.

LOCAL EVENT RAISES OVER $5,000 FOR PARIS TERROR VICTIMS

Donations to help  victims of the French terrorist attacks are being accepted through Friday on the Adventures by the Book website

by Sárka-Jonae Miller, Ask an Author columnist

On the drive home to San Diego from an event in Los Angeles, USA Today best-selling author Jennifer Coburn and Adventure by the Book owner Susan E. McBeth came up with an idea to throw a fundraiser benefiting the French Red Cross. The two women had recently taken trips to Paris and wanted to do something to help the victims of the November 13 attacks.

By the time they arrived home, they already had four authors of Paris-themed books on board, according to Coburn. Eight days later on November 22, the Je Suis Paris fundraiser was realized and proceeds exceeded the initial goal of $5,000.

BEST-SELLING AUTHORS UNITE FOR JE SUIS PARIS FUNDRAISER NOV. 22

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller, Ask an Author columnist

November 17, 2015 (San Diego)--The Cheese Store of San Diego (1980 Kettner Blvd, Ste 30, San Diego, California 92101) is hosting a Je Suis Paris fundraiser on Nov 22 at 6 p.m. to benefit the French Red Cross following last week’s terrorist attacks. Organized by Adventures By the Book owner Susan E. McBeth, the event will feature a candle lighting ceremony and a silent auction for signed books by best-selling authors Jennifer Coburn, Susan Vreeland, Michelle Gable, and more. French foods samples, wine, and desserts will also be available.

NY TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR KRISTAN HIGGINS COMING TO SAN DIEGO

 

November 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - New York Times and USA TODAY best-selling author Kristan Higgins will be appearing at the Mira Mesa Barnes & Noble (10775 Westview Parkway San Diego, CA 92126) on November 18 at 7PM. Higgins is the two-time RITA award-winning author of more than two dozen books, including the acclaimed Blue Heron series. I caught up with the romance and women's fiction authoress to discuss her latest novels, what's she most looking forward to during her trip to San Diego, and helpful advice for writers.

ASK AN AUTHOR - SHOULD SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS SEEK LITERARY AGENTS

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

October 27, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Leigh Bennett joins us from the land Down Under to give advice about literary agents. Bennett is the author of the hilarious contemporary romance Flirting With Magick and the brand new urban fantasy Avalon's Child.

Leigh began as a self-published author before being recruited by me to join the publishing house Booktrope. Both of us have free giveaways coming soon, so be sure to check out the free books list at the end of this week's column.

ASK AN AUTHOR - BUILDING AN EMAIL LIST FOR MARKETING

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

October 26, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - A scientist, a novelist, and now a guest columnist... Ask An Author is happy to welcome multiple award-winning author and physicist Massimo Marino, whose science fiction trilogy sold more than 10,000 copies in the US and abroad before being picked up by a publisher. Also, get one of his novels free Nov 9-14, as well as 200 more!

ASK AN AUTHOR - IS PRINT PUBLISHING GOOD FOR INDIES?

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

Is print publishing still a safe marketing bet for indie authors, especially in this colossal world of ebook publishing? - Joseph Beekman, Fantasy Author

October 10, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Many indie authors are attracted to ebook publishing because it's essentially free. Or so they think. The truth is that with print-on-demand services like CreateSpace, print publishing and ebook publishing cost about the same.

ASK AN AUTHOR - USING TWITTER TO SELL BOOKS

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

September 8, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - I'd like to dedicate this week's column to my fur baby, Katie. She passed away suddenly on September 2. She was a beautiful American Eskimo and a never-ending source of joy.

What tips do you have that you would like to share with writers marketing on Twitter? I have a website and I put fresh posts on it daily with pictures. It targets the topic of my book, which is child abuse, and I share the latest information on new court cases and people who are battling this issue and suffering PTSD, relationship problems resulting from their past trauma currently. I also share my own experiences at intervals.  – M.J. Payne

ASK AN AUTHOR: REVIEWS IN EXCHANGE FOR FREE BOOKS: ETHICAL OR DANGEROUS?

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

August 26, 2015 (San Diego) -- “How is it possible to acquire genuine reviews for a book when most reviewers want FREE books to review? If a reviewer has a Free book have they been compromised or influenced to provide a good review? I have been approached by fellow authors requesting reviews on the understanding of you scratch my back and I will scratch yours! I have of course turned down all such requests! Over the past few weeks Amazon has started to address this issue by removing reviews that they consider to be inappropriate or not genuine or verifiable. I would be most interested in your understanding of the current and future book review process.” - Mike Wilkins

Let's first address the idea that a free book automatically means a positive review. That is not the case. Any author who has run a successful giveaway knows that you're more likely to get negative reviews than positive ones from people who download free books.

ASK AN AUTHOR: USING FEEDBACK FROM AGENTS/PUBLISHERS, WRITING BACKSTORY

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

August 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – How does a writer know what's right for their work with so many different opinions from agents, publishers, and articles? What is your suggestion for handling backstory?Linda Crawford

SANTEE BARNES & NOBLE TO HOST JAMES PATTERSON DAY, LOCAL AUTHOR EVENT

East County News Service

 

July 21, 2015 (Santee)--On Sunday, July 26, Barnes & Noble in Santee welcomes five local authors for meet & greets as well as offers fifty percent off all of best-selling author James Patterson's books for James Patterson Day. July is pop-cultured month, offering numerous pop-culture related giveaways for items such as posters, comics, pins, and more at San Diego locations.

LEARN HOW TO GET A BOOK DEAL FROM SARKA-JONAE MILLER AT THE CASA DE ORO LIBRARY

East County News Service

July 13, 2015 (Spring Valley) -- Local award-winning author and publicist Sarka-Jonae Miller will be answering questions about writing, marketing, and publishing books at the Casa De Oro Branch Library (9805 Campo Rd., #180, Spring Valley, 91977) on Saturday, July 18th at 10 a.m. SJ will give instructions for submitting manuscripts to her publisher Booktrope as well as offer tips about self-publishing and pursuing a traditional publishing deal.

ASK AN AUTHOR: BUILDING AN AUDIENCE, NO. OF DRAFTS, & IDEAL WRITING ENVIRONMENT

 

Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

 

July 13, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week I'm happy to welcome #1 best-selling author, Caroline Fardig, to the Ask An Author column.

Caroline is the author of the Lizzie Hart Mystery series of hilarious cozy mysteries. She recently got a book deal with Penguin Random House for an upcoming mystery novel, Death Before Decaf, and she just self-published her third novel, Bad Medicine. Caroline also happens to be one of my favorite authors.

ASK AN AUTHOR: WRITING TIPS & GIVEAWAYS - MARKETING A NEW RELEASE

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

July 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Ask An Author welcomes guest columnist Jonny Holt of Literati Resources, a San Diego-based company offering PR and event management. I know Jonny from several events we organized together for Barnes & Noble. Learn more about Literati Resources on Facebook, Twitter @jonnyliterati, and Instagram @LiteratiGram.

ASK AN AUTHOR: STEAMY ROMANCE GIVEAWAY AND TIPS - FEEDBACK, ANTI-HEROES, AND WRITING MYSTERIES

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

June 18, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Author/actress/artist Vanessa A. Ryan joins us today as a guest columnist. Vanessa is the author of the cozy mystery A Palette for Murder (“Good fun” – Kirkus Reviews) as well as the Horror at the Lake series of vampire tales reminiscent of works like Dracula. Join Vanessa on Facebook and Twitter @Vanessa_A_Ryan if you have any more questions for her about her work, or if you just want to ask her what it was like being part of the cast of the original Magic Mike.

ASK AN AUTHOR TIPS & FREEBIES: KDP SELECT GIVEAWAYS-- THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WASTE OF MONEY

 

June 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --How do you run a successful KDP Select giveaway? You seem to always rock them. – Jennifer Gilbert

Anyone who visits my SJ Publicity Facebook page regularly can see I'm an advocate of KDP Select giveaways. There are some authors who balk at the idea of giving away free books, but I look at a free ebook as a free sample. Don't you love free samples and the people who give them out?

ASK AN AUTHOR: TIPS & FREEBIES, OVERCOMING WRITER'S BLOCK, SELF VS. TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING, & NOVEL-WRITING TIME

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

June 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --This week's column welcomes a guest author, Sherrie Miranda. Sherrie is a resident of Chula Vista and the author of the historical fiction novel, Secrets and Lies in El Salvador: Shelly's Journey, which tells the story of an American visiting El Salvador during the time of the Salvadoran Civil War. The story is based in part on the author's experiences in El Salvador. If you'd like to learn more about Secrets and Lies in El Salvador, it is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon and on two best seller lists.

ASK AN AUTHOR WRITING TIPS - FREE MANUSCRIPT FORMATTING, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, PUBLISHING UNDER ONE'S INITIALS

 

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

How can I get free material on formatting my manuscript for eBook conversion, and where can I find a good free eBook conversion application? Do you know any eBook retailers who pay through PayPal, since I can't receive payments through a US bank and prefer PayPal to posted checks? Also, can I find quality material on how to use Social Media to promote my books? – James Badmos

June 1, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - I recommend Draft2Digital.com for quality ebook conversion. You can upload a Word document and they will provide you with a mobi and epub file for free. Their program can create a table of contents, dedication page, copyright page, etc. so you don't have to do much formatting. In your case, you might want to allow them to do your distribution since they pay via PayPal.

ASK AN AUTHOR COLUMNIST SARKA-JONAE MILLER SPEAKS AT ALPINE LIBRARY JUNE 6

 

East County News Service

May 28, 2015 (Alpine) – Local award-winning author Sarka-Jonae Miller recently launched “Ask the Author,” a column for East County Magazine.   You’re invited to join us as she discusses her experiences as a publicist and journalist at the Alpine Library on Saturday, June 6th at 1 p.m.

ASK AN AUTHOR - PIRACY AND SCAMS

ASK AN AUTHOR: PLANNING A SERIES, INDIE PUBLISHER PROS, INCREASING READERSHIP

ECM'S NEW ASK AN AUTHOR COLUMNIST TAKING QUESTIONS, OFFERS ROMANCE TRILOGY GIVEAWAY

 

May 14, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--East County Magazine is launching a new column called Ask An Author that allows readers, students, writers, and anyone with questions about writing, publishing, and publicity to get answers from local award-winning novelist, publicist, and journalist Sarka-Jonae Miller.