Tag Archives: Teaser Tuesday

#WW How Pre-Orders Help Authors And Readers

22 Jun

The importance of pre-orders is not a publishing secret. Dozens if not hundreds of articles cover how, when, and why authors should make upcoming releases available for pre-order. Why? The main reason tends to be placement on various lists—such as best-seller lists and coming soon lists—before or on release day. These lists allow new or undiscovered authors to increase their chances of being seen by voracious readers, and I definitely recommended listing your book for pre-orders before it comes out! For more information, check out these awesome articles that include in-depth details about tackling pre-orders as an author.

Pre-Ordering Books

Pre-Ordering Books

But pre-orders aren’t only about writers; they can also help readers.

How?

Well, pay attention to your favorite authors on social media and beyond. Many authors and publishers offer special prizes, like early sneak peeks or signed swag, if you pre-order an upcoming release. Just last night, for instance, A.G. Howard – the author of Splintered (and one of my YA heroes) – offered advanced reader copies of her latest, RoseBlood, to readers, but if I hadn’t been following her, I wouldn’t have seen that. Pre-ordering also guarantees you’ll be one of the first people to read the latest and greatest novels, because—chances are—you’ll get your eBook delivered to your Kindle at midnight while others are waiting for the bookstore to open in the morning. Sometimes, authors might even pick out pre-order peeps for advance reader copies. So, stalk…I mean, check out authors and what they’re up to when you can.

Here are some ways to follow your favorite authors: Click the “Follow” button on their Amazon or Goodreads profile, subscribe to their newsletters, add them to a list you create on Twitter, like them on Facebook (and subscribe to notifications), follow them on Instagram or SnapChat, and don’t hesitate to reach out.

Pre-orders often help authors, publishers, and readers alike, but they can be a lot of fun, too!

~SAT

Bad Bloods Teaser

Bad Bloods Teaser

So, I turn 25 tomorrow. Yeah, birthdays! I’ll officially be a quarter of a century old…and I’ll be working, but if you want to help a girl celebrate, pre-order ANY book you’ve been dying to get!

Also, shameless plug, Bad Bloods releases next month. Did you see the new teaser? It’s honestly my favorite one. What can I say? I’m a sucker for love. And despite Bad Bloods taking place in the month of November, there is some romance in my upcoming duology. This is a direct line from the book, but I hope you fall in love with Daniel and Serena like I did.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

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November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

November Rain by Shannon A. Thompson

November Rain

by Shannon A. Thompson

Giveaway ends July 16, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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#WW Writing Tips: Build Your Vocabulary

1 Jun

Vocabulary. It’s definitely a necessity for writing a book. A novel, after all, is written with words. It’s built on the structure, the sound, and the meaning behind every word you use, so naturally, building an extensive vocabulary is a vital aspect of every writer’s life. That being said, it’s not as easy as it sounds, and there are some controversial methods roaming around the #writingtips web-o-sphere about how and when and what tools to use when trying to ramp up your style. I agree with some and definitely disagree with others. Overall, I think naturally building your vocabulary from reading is key. This means you are reading everything and anything all of the time, and you’re taking notes about what you don’t understand so you will understand it next time. This also means that you’re not going through your manuscripts and replacing random words with more random words just to seem like a logophile. (Logophile n. A lover of words.)

editing

So how can you build your vocabulary both for yourself and for your work?

Here are some tips:

DO NOT USE A THESAURUS  I repeat, DO NOT USE A THESAURUS. Not mindlessly anyway. I find nothing wrong with using a Thesaurus to find new words and to study them (with a dictionary by your side), but I definitely think that reading a Thesaurus and writing a novel should be two separate activities. As an editor, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen a sentence that someone obviously used Microsoft Thesaurus on. Smile, grin, and smirk are three words that imply completely separate meanings when paired with the same dialogue, yet appear in every Thesaurus together. If you know that, why would you use a thesaurus to replace ANY word you aren’t 100% about? You wouldn’t. A Thesaurus provides SIMILAR words, meaning they have their own connotations, definitions, and effects on your piece. It can be a great tool when simply learning about new words, but you need to pair it with a dictionary and not immediately go to your manuscript afterward. In fact, never go to your manuscript afterward. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

Now that we’re over that, I’ll move on.

1. Read More

Read. Read. Read. I cannot stress reading enough. Not only will reading help you build your vocabulary, it will also help you shape your voice, your plots, and how you write a novel in general (not to mention that it’ll keep you updated on what’s hot in the marketplace). There are millions of positive reasons to be reading, and literally no reasons to not be reading, especially if you’re an author. Read your genre, read outside your genre, and read things you never thought you would read. As an example, I went to study literature and fiction in college, but found myself drawn more and more to poetry. I never thought I could like it in my life, but that was because I wasn’t exposed to everything out there. Take that leap and discover something outside of your comfort zone. It might just change your life.

2. Pay Attention While Reading

It’s easy to get lost in the words—I mean, that’s half the fun—but try to pay attention. Slow down and soak up every word you can. If you come across a word you don’t know POSITIVELY, circle it. I say positively, because I think we all know we can figure out meanings to the sentence without knowing every definition—yeah, connotation!—but if you don’t know the word without that sentence, you won’t naturally use it again. By circling words you don’t know, you can come back and research them later. I actually do this with every book I read. I circle words, and when I’m done with the book, I research all the words or phrases I wasn’t 100% sure about. Then, I write them down in a notebook to study later. This helps me memorize and retain words I wouldn’t have known otherwise, and hopefully, my larger vocabulary will start to show over time. This does not mean you then go to your manuscript and try to fit these words in unnaturally. Please don’t. The idea is that you’re adding these words to your vocabulary naturally, so that when you are writing, they begin to shape themselves into your voice. Again. Write them down, study them, but don’t start forcing them into your work. If you do that, you might as well be using a Thesaurus. 😉

3. Keep This Method in Mind for Other Faults

Circle sounds you like. Circle phrases you enjoy. Hell, highlight entire scenes that caught you and kept you there. Figure out why you loved that scene. Was it the tension? What words made it tense? Why did those words make it tense? Study how connotation shapes the same words in different ways. Again, do not plagiarize. This is simply an exercise to get your brain moving. Example? Maybe a character put his hands in his pockets, then leaned back on his heels….and you’ve never thought about that movement before. (And we all know how important character descriptions get.) Keeping notes on little moments like these will get you to start thinking about little moments in your life, and hopefully, you’ll start noticing other real-life movements around you that you can then use in your story using your OWN voice to do so.

These are three ways to start building your vocabulary seriously. It might seem extreme to circle every word you don’t know, but it’s well worth it in the end. I find crosswords help me, too. (I love crosswords.) They force me to think of words I wouldn’t normally consider, and they often have me Googling if I couldn’t figure the answers out. I live, I learn, I write. And naturally, they all thread themselves together over of period of era….Oh, wait. I meant over a period of time. Silly, Thesaurus.

~SAT

teaser3Did you see this week’s Teaser Tuesday? If not, now you do! I hope you’re enjoying them as they release! I also hope you’re entering all the current giveaways!

Win a paperback of November Rain in this Goodreads Giveaway.

Win signed swag from The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods by signing up for the Bad Bloods Thunderclap and emailing me your support at shannonathompson@aol.com.

Read the FREE Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad. A new story is released every other Friday. In fact, one releases this week!

For Barnes & Noble’s first-ever national teen book fesitival, I will be signing books and hosting an author panel in TWO KC stores. Come see me on Saturday, June 11th in Overland Park, Kansas, or on Sunday, June 12th in Zona Rosa, KC, MO. More info can be found on my Events page.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

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November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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#WW The Truth Behind An Author’s Instagram

4 May

I have a confession. As an #authorofinstagram, I post daily pictures of my writing life that are more or less fictional stories themselves. Sure, my cats are real and that coffee was definitely mine, but not all of my posts are live (although a fair portion of them are), and the mood I describe might not necessarily be accurate.

Whaaaaat?

Don’t judge me. It’s called marketing for a reason.

When I post: #AmReading

reading

What I’m actually doing: Flipping through #bookstagram and #bibliophile to see what everyone else is reading so I can add more books to my already ridiculously long TBR list. Oh, and reading. I’m probably reading. I’m also probably reading indoors with pajamas on. Not in the fall leaves or the snow or whatever else I took a picture of me doing hours ago.

When I post #CoffeeAddict

coffee

What I’m actually doing:

Losing my mind. No. Really. I drink too much coffee a day. Sometimes, my fingers shake. (And it doesn’t even wake me up.) I’m an addict, addict. I drink it because I can’t function without it…which means every coffee picture you see is never my first cup of coffee that day. I’m like that guy from the McDonalds commercial who can’t talk to anyone until he has his coffee. I’m having a coffee right now. (Or am I?) Since coffee means I’m losing my mind, coffee also means that I’m about write, because writing and losing your mind go hand-in-hand.

What I post: #AmWriting  writing

What I’m actually doing:

Staring at what I wrote last week and wondering why the hell I thought any of it was a good idea. Oh, wait. That’s not that bad. Okay. We can just rewrite this, and then…OH! (Insert fellow #amwriting poster here) is writing, too! I wonder how their day is going. *messages fellow author, geeks out for ten minutes, forgets everything* And when I finally get back to writing, something funny better not happen, or I will stop to tweet about it. This is a vicious cycle. If I manage to stay focused, writing might be done in a coffee house—that sees me way too often—or in my office—where my cats see me way too often (hence why they’re in most of my photos, but we’ll get to them in a minute…)

When I post #Catstagram

catsWhat I’m actually doing:

They’re so cute, right? Right? They’re perfect little cuddly gremlins…I mean, cats. There is a reason I call my cats gremlins. As soft and furry and sweet as they appear on my Instagram—trust me—we have our moments around here. Between my desk’s wires (Boo Boo’s favorite thing to tackle out of the wall) and Kiki’s ongoing nemesis battle with Bogart (no, really, they fight all the time), I am constantly chasing them in and out of my office. They attack pens. They attack papers. They attack dangling headphone wires. And sometimes, they throw up on my feet. But hey, that’s love.

In the end, you witness a lot of pieces of my author life, but pieces are pieces. Writing is hard. Being an author is hard. It’s not all coffee and cats and reading and writing. We have our ups and downs and everything in between. Despite all of today’s truth, I do love this crazy, catlady, writing life, and I hope you’ll still enjoy it when I share pieces of it with you on Instagram. Yes, that is a link to my Instagram. Feel free to click it. 😉

~SAT

teaser11The first Bad Bloods teaser released! You can expect a new one to release every #TeaserTuesday via…you guessed it…my Instagram. I’d love to connect with you on there, so feel free to send me a message, and be sure to pre-order Bad Bloods by clicking the links below. It’ll only be available for 2.99 for a limited time, so take advantage of the CTP sale while you can.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods today!

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

In other news, Clean Teen Publishing is about to host an AWESOME giveaway/release party THIS Friday on Facebook. Click the link to check out the CTP Marvelous May Reads Release Party. I will be there!

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safe_image.phpAlso, don’t forget, the first book in The Timely Death Trilogy is currently FREE! I wanted to give a shout out to Instagram’s Devyn T. for drawing some fan art. Feel free to send me your art any time! I love seeing it. In fact, it makes my day.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#BadBloods Pre-Order, Prequel, and Book Trailer!

25 Apr

If you’re signed up for my newsletter, then you already received MOST of this lovely news, but if you missed it and wished you hadn’t, click here to sign up.

Bad Bloods is officially up for pre-order!

draft3

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Smashwords

Goodreads

It will only be for sale at $2.99 for a limited time. Once Bad Bloods releases, the price will go up, so pre-order soon to take advantage of Clean Teen Publishing’s deal. You can now read the first chapter via Wattpad by clicking the link! 

Bad Bloods in 35 words or less: 17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed.  

Watch the book trailer today!

During the next few months, I have some AWESOME releases coming out, including teasers and sneak peeks. Even crazier, I will be publishing a FREE prequel on Wattpad. You can read the first chapter—Adam—by clicking here. If you enjoy the story, don’t forget to vote and share. 🙂

Why a prequel?

wattpadAdamWell, before the Bad Bloods novels take place in 2089, twenty-four homeless bad bloods had to find shelter and safety in a city set out to eradicate their kind. Twenty-four. Which means there are a lot of characters in Bad Bloods. (Twelve kids in each flock, to be exact.) So, while their back-stories are mentioned in the books, the intricate details didn’t always make it through. These origin stories will not only show how the Northern Flock and the Southern Flock formed, but how Vendona treats bad bloods over a series of ten years. My hope is that this prequel shows everyone’s side to the story and ease readers into the story. These will also be great for readers who want to explore each character in-depth, so you can read it before, together, or after.

So how do I read these stories?

Read them with Bad Bloods or read them separately, but it’s probably best to read with or after. Since Bad Bloods is about Daniel, Serena, and Robert, their stories are purposely left out. All stories are put in the order of the year the child arrived and categorized by the Northern Flock and the Southern Flock, but the story may not necessary be told by that child. The tense might also change, depending on the speaker. More important than anything else, these short stories are how the Southern Flock and Northern Flocks formed before Bad Bloods takes place in November of 2089.

Some background:

What is a bad blood? A child born with hindering abilities. In Vendona, bad bloods are not considered human, and they are executed immediately upon discovery. Even parents are expected to report their own children. This was a law put in place during the Separation Movement, a war that took place in 2051 between bad bloods and humans.

What is a flock? A group of bad bloods who have managed to survive by coming together and living in secret. In Bad Bloods, there are two left: the Northern Flock and the Southern Flock. The Western Flock and the Eastern Flock have been killed.

What about A, B, C, or D? Any additional information about the city was left out of the prequel on purpose to keep suspense and surprise in Bad Bloods, but feel free to ask anyway. I might be able to answer or direct you to a spot in Bad Bloods that answers your question.

When will you update? I will upload a new origin story every other Friday.

Do I have to read this to understand Bad Bloods? No. Bad Bloods can be read completely on its own! These stories simply add to the experience. Example? In Bad Bloods, “gangs” are mentioned but basically go unseen. In the prequel, however, readers will get to see that side of Vendona and how it affected the characters’ lives before 2089.

Where can I read Bad Bloods? Anywhere books are sold! Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads, etc.

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming prequel and teasers! 

Let it snow,

~SAT

event5Clean Teen Publishing is hosting an event – the #AskCTP Giveaway on Twitter April 27! I’m REALLY excited about this live author-reader Q&A, and I really hope you all can make it. You can even win a CTP Mystery Box, which includes 1 to 2 print books, swag, and more.

In other news, I will be at the 101st Annual Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference in Kansas City, Missouri from April 29 to May 1! Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you’re coming, so we can connect! I’d love to see some of you there. It’s going to be an absolute blast.

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#WW Deciding To Change My Writing Plan

2 Sep

Writing is a business. It’s an investment of time, care, and love. (Love definitely makes it easier, anyway.) And all of this means that a writer must have a business plan, a plan that includes goals and direction and the ability to change at a moment’s notice if need be. That being said, every writer is different, which means every plan is different. I, myself, have an outline that varies from one writer friend to the next, but having a goal helps fine-tune my focus. That being said, I cannot do it on my own, so I’m often asking my fellow writer friends (and trusted friends outside of publishing) for their opinion on a change I’m contemplating.

Photo on 8-12-15 at 1.48 PM

Recently, for instance, I’ve been studying a major part of my marketing plan, particularly my author bio. For a long time, practically my entire career, I began it with my age. Literal quote? “Shannon A. Thompson is a 24-year-old author, avid reader, and habitual chatterbox…” Why did I do this? Well, it all goes back to the beginning. I was sixteen when my first novel released, and my age often worked against me. (Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand. In fact, my first novel was so poorly edited, I wouldn’t want someone picking that up first and judging me today based off of it…which is exactly why it’s unavailable.) That being said, I continued to share my age when I returned to publishing at the age of 21. Why? I could blame my baby face. Quite a few readers—when I didn’t state my age up front—would message me and ask, probably for the same reasons stated above, so I began my bio for clarification. This happened both out of necessity and a bit out of my own insecurity. Now that I’m older, and I have a few more works out to stand upon, I have changed it. I no longer feel like I have to say I started at 16 and I’m currently 24. I feel like my work is enough, that I’m enough without a number defining who I am, and it’s a good feeling to have, one I’ve never truly experienced before. But it does change my marketing. It affects everything, really, and I look forward to seeing how this curve in my path directs me to new areas. We shall see.

It helps to have friends encouraging me along the way.

Keep them in mind when considering changes in your marketing and publishing plans. They might help you in more ways than you think.

~SAT

teaser1Since Death Before Daylight releases on September 15, I released the first book teaser yesterday during #TeaserTuesday! You can pre-order the last book of The Timely Death Trilogy on  AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, and basically everywhere where books are sold. You can also sign up for a release day blast by clicking here

If you haven’t started the trilogy, don’t worry. The first book, Minutes Before Sunset, is free! (AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks.) The sequel is out too. In fact, we’ll be celebrating the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, September 7-18 during the blog tour.

In other news, I’m stopping guest posts in October/November, so if you want to be a guest blogger, now is the time to submit. I’ll try to get everyone I can out before I change the posting dates again. I accept all original posts about writing and reading. You do not have to be publishing to qualify. Email me at shannonathompson@aol.com if you’re interested.

#WW Attending Book Cons

12 Aug

Attending Book Cons

Whew! I’m back from Atlanta. (Although, to be perfectly honest, I’m writing this right before I leave for Atlanta…I’m basically in a mind-blowing matrix of messed up time right now.) And as promised, I wanted to share how Penned Con in St. Louis went.

First off, I went as a reader. I didn’t have an author booth, and I most definitely wasn’t there to sell novels. In fact, I didn’t even have my hands on them yet. I went simply because I wanted to go meet some awesome Indie authors I love (and a few bloggers along the way).

Tish and me

Tish and me

Excitedly enough, I met Tish Thawer—one of my favorites—and she was kind enough to take a photo with me. I love her Women of Purgatory series about female Grim Reapers, and I cannot wait to get my hands on The Witches of BlackBrook. I also had the pleasure of meeting Stacy Marie Brown (Darkness Series), Amy A. Bartol (The Kricket Series), and B. Kristin McMichael (The Blue Eyes Trilogy). I also had the utmost pleasure of meeting Ethan Gregory from One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads (basically one of the best book blogs of all-time.) I highly recommend checking all of these awesome people out. (And if you do, tell them I sent you ::wink wink::)

I am making a REAL effort to come out to these events and meet you guys! So, if there is any upcoming event you want me to come to in 2015 or 2016, please let me know about it, and I’ll start researching right away! I love to travel. I feel most at home when I’m on the road (blame my parents who forcibly moved me every two years), and being able to hug and laugh and talk about books with you all is some of my happiness memories. I cannot wait to meet more of you! (Maybe I’ll even have an author booth one day.)

On a side note, since I was in St. Louis, I thought I’d share some of my fun photos (if you haven’t already seen them splattered all across the wonderful web). My favorite place—possibly one of my favorite places in the world now—we went to was the Missouri Botanical Garden. It’s 14 acres of Japanese beauty. (Not to mention the fact that there’s also a Victorian district with the original home of Henry Shaw, the creator of the gardens. 85% of the furniture was original too. It was unbelievable.) Personally, I liked it A LOT more during the day than at night during the lantern festival. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!

botanical

Until next time,

~SAT

Now for the upcoming events. ;]

Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, releases in 13 days! (13!) You can pre-order via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and pretty much everywhere, so get out there and find the Dark.

And, SURPRISE, you can win a copy via this Goodreads GiveawayClean Teen Publishing is also accepting bloggers for the upcoming blog tour, so please check it out or share it with someone you know. That being said, the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour is underway, and you can win a $15 Amazon gift card, CTP ebook, and bookmark swag pack during the Minutes Before Sunset blog tour; here’s where you can currently enter: Juniper Grove interview, How to Make Your Paranormal Novel Stand Out (A guest post on One Guy’s Guide to Good Reads).

So here's a teaser.

So here’s a teaser.

If you haven’t caught up on the first book yet, Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is also available everywhere, but here is Amazon, Barnes & NobleI know some of you are feisty, so Death Before Daylight, the LAST novel, is available here: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Can you believe it?

I’m also giving away more prizes myself! (You thought I was done, didn’t you? Silly. I love you.) So be sure to sign up for my newsletter for a chance to win. (Your information will never be given away, and you’ll only receive one letter a month maximum.)

Stay Dark and lovely,

~SAT

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