Miscellaneous · Writing Tips

Writing Tips: Involve Your Readers

I really believe in authors connecting with their readers, because readers allow writers to follow their dreams.

And that’s what I’m doing today:

Instead of waiting for my next paperback while it goes through publication processes, I’m releasing an e-book in-between, and I want all of YOU to be a part of it, so I’m taking my own advise from my post Writing Tips: Join Contests, and I’m flipping it around to CREATE a contest for you all to enter. Not only will be credited, but you don’t have to win in order to do so.

So what’s this contest about?

I previously had this novel posted on Wattpad.com, and this was my cover.
I previously had this novel posted on Wattpad.com, and this was my cover.

I’m looking for a book cover and/or a book trailer. All submissions can be sent to ashleeironwood@aol.com, but the subject of the e-mail MUST be “AuthorBlog” or you’ll end up in the spam folder. If you have any further questions, you’re welcome to e-mail me as well, but interpretation is up to you.

All submissions need to involve my new young-adult novel: Minutes Before Sunset is a paranormal romance darkened by a hidden war between shades and lights. Told from two perspectives, one boy will discover the key to his kind’s survival, even if it means sacrificing the one he loves.

Submissions due before March 18th.

Based on submissions, I will either hold a voting contest or release the winning photos. All winners will receive credit, and finalists will get honorable mentions. Website/Blog links will be provided. Once the book cover is announced, you will also be given the chance to design a cover photo for my Facebook Author page. (If you join my Facebook page, you’ll get updates sooner: this contest was announced February 28 for instance.)

This is how I tempt you with latest updates.
This is how I tempt you with latest updates.

As a writer, this is my way of furthering our connection. I want you to be involved, and I want all of us to journey together in success. By giving you all credit, I am working at deepening authors’ capabilities of satisfying the reader, writer, and dreamer, but I really hope others will be inspired to do the same.

Supporting the dream is my ultimate goal, and I plan on continuing to do this throughout my publishing life.

I’m looking forward to all of your submissions! News updates can be found on the Minutes Before Sunset page either by clicking here or going under my Novels tab. 


25 thoughts on “Writing Tips: Involve Your Readers

  1. Great idea to get people involved with your new book! I’m sure you’ll get some lovely designs.

    1. It’s like a movie trailer, except for a book. They’re starting to become popular, but I’ve never been a part of one. However, I know a lot of others enjoy making them/ watching them, so I thought I’d include it.

  2. Fantastic idea Shannon, I just have a few questions though:
    1. what is the deadline for submissions?
    2. Is there a limit on the number of submissions a person can make?
    3. If submitting a book trailer, how long or short should the video be?

    1. 1. I want submissions turned in before March 18th.
      2. No limit 😀
      3. Video length is up to creator.
      However, if a creator sends me something that I find too long or not quite right, but I can tell it has really good potential for being used, I may email them back and ask if they’d be willing to adjust it.
      I also am willing to work with someone who’s interested to know more about the symbols and/or plot in order to create something representing a specific instance.
      I hope that answers your questions 😀

  3. There’s another way to more directly involve your reader. One of the top guns in TransMedia, which is joining various forms of media and directly involving participants in the creation process, is writing a pirate novel through Kickstarter. Talk about getting your acvance money in a “novel” way! The idea of doing chapters in monthly installments and interacting with readers to push certain plot elements and characters more into the forefront is rather interesting. The only reason I know about this is that the author contacted me for theme music to go along with promo videos. Regardless of whether anyone is interested in pirates or puzzles, it is worth looking at the concept. I provide a link:


    1. That is another way. It isn’t for me, since my novels are completed already, but I could see how that method could be used. Thanks for sharing the idea though! I’m sure other readers might enjoy participating in something like that.

  4. I like the idea and I like the look of the cover shown. I don’t care for your, “November Snow,” cover. Small blurb, vague title, and vague cover image; it doesn’t say much about what to find inside the cover. After seeing this post, the first time, I wrote a post about a book with an undeserving cover. You appear to have talent, but only established writers can sell novels without catching an eye — in a hurry.

    1. I don’t like my cover for November Snow either. It was done through a small publisher, and I only had 24 hours to get it in. (Not much of a warning.) And we had to use a certain program. It was actually drawn on a napkin. So it was the idea I had, except I wanted real people and a real city. We just didn’t have the time, and I was forced to settle.
      However, I’m looking forward to the new cover for “Minutes Before Sunset”

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