Tuesday, January 24, 2012



My guest today is Shawna Thomas, the fabulous author of Altered Destiny. So HERE'S SHAWNA.



What sells a book? Is it a gorgeous cover? Word of mouth? A fantastic blurb or back cover copy? Hours spent in various forms of social media?
As a writer, we consider this question quite seriously. Writing books, putting words on paper, is a passion, but if those books don't sell, well, you know that starving writer stereotype? Yeah, that doesn't work so well when you have a mortgage and children.
We have no control over some of these factors. Unless you're self-published, the publishers choose the cover. Word of mouth? You can tweet and facebook yourself silly and, let's face it, just annoy people. So what do you do?
Want to know my advice?
Write the best damn book you can and when you're done, write the next one. I know it sounds simplistic, and no one can buy your book unless they know it exists, but if you write a good book, readers will talk about it. Even though I'm a writer, ultimately, I'm also a reader. I write what I want to read. I read what I wish I'd written, and when I get excited about a book I've read, I tell my friends.
So what gets you excited about a book? What causes you to buy it in the first place? Let me know in the comments. On January 31st, I'll randomly select one of you to receive an Altered Destiny magnet.
ALTERED DESTINY BLURB: Selia has run her family's tavern since she was fifteen and can hunt and fight the equal of any man. When she rescues a badly wounded man and nurses him back to health, she has no idea she's about to change not only her life, but also the destinies of two peoples...
The battered warrior is Svistra—a race of bloodthirsty savages determined to destroy her homeland. Or so the stories claim. Jaden reveals a different truth: how his ancestors were driven into the barren northern mountains. Now they are strong and war parties are pushing south wanting their land back.
The son of a Svistra Commander, Jaden is looking for a way to bring peace to both humans and Svistrans. He tries to ignore his growing passion for Selia, but when she is captured he has to decide what he would be willing to sacrifice to save the woman he loves.
*Shawna's eBook is available at Amazon, Carina Press, Barnes& Noble and wherever eBooks are sold.

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  1. That's good advice.. hounding people online... lol... I canrelate to that.. I wonder if all that 'networking' ever does contribute much at all to sales...

    It's a great cover and though it's not my type of book, (would have loved it as a teen though), it sounds like a great read.... Best of luck with it..
    (ps can also relate to writing vs mortgage/kids.. tough gig).


  2. I admit, I'm influenced by friends' recommendations ... and Carina Press release day is starting to make my credit card tremble :)

  3. I choose books based on lots of things - cover, back cover copy, reviews. I agree with Jenny. My Kindle is loaded with Carina Press books. So many have sounded great lately. :)

  4. Shawna:

    Thanks so much for your blog on What Sells a Book and Altered Destiny sounds like a real winner.

  5. Hi Anthony, Thank you for your kind words. : ) It is a great cover. I love Carina Press artists!

  6. Hi Jenny and Angela! I have to agree with you. Every release day at Carina is a temptation to spend way too much. We have some talented authors.

  7. Thank you so much for having me here, Elise. I can't wait to read Scene Stealer! : )

  8. Hi Jenny,

    Congratulations! You won the ALTERED DESTINY magnet!

  9. Woot! Thanks, Shawna -- and Elise :) Shawna, I'll DM you my address on Twitter