Received a note today…

Linked Lives by Bonny Brookes

Linked Lives is a two-time international book award winner.

I received the following note from a woman who recently read my book, Linked Lives.

You owe me….one whole box of Kleenex tissue! Please Jesus, God almighty, for cripes sake, I can’t stop crying. You hit a nerve…I am you, and my best friend, since I was 11, is Cheryl (to whom this book is going). She stayed in the town she grew up in, and where I lived for 4 years…I spent my life living around the country. And that’s just the start…we are now 58 years old.

Bonny. thank you for touching my heart.

Thank you Linda, for taking the time to write to me! Your note has made all the months I spent writing, editing and going through the publishing process worth it. Thank you!

If you’ve read Linked Lives, I’d love to hear from you. If you haven’t, get your copy today!

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It happened again!

Linked Lives by Bonny Brookes

Linked Lives wins another award

I’ve been so busy with moving, starting new job and dealing with the loss of a pet, I haven’t had a chance until now to share that my book, Linked Lives, has won another award! Reader’s Favorite received thousands of entries making this their largest contest ever resulting in fierce competition and the selection hard earned. Next month I’ll be traveling to Miami to accept it onstage during the Miami Book Fair International . This award is the 2014 Honorable Mention under the category of Relationships from Readers’ Favorite.

If you haven’t already read it, Linked Lives is a story of a 40-year friendship filled with life lessons learned by overcoming incredible adversity, poverty, family struggles, losses through illness and death as well as betrayals in love. This memoir appeals to baby boomer women, taking them back through time from the 1970s to present day. Readers finish the book reminded of their own close friendships and the knowledge of how important staying in contact with good friends is to a person’s happiness.

What a year it’s been! Linked Lives earned the 2014 International Beverly Hills Book Award earlier this year. I’m truly grateful and appreciate everyone who has helped me along this journey. What a ride!

Robin Williams-Did he see himself as a failure?

I just watched the report on the death of Robin Williams. Devastating. It seems so obvious to me what was going on in his mind. His wife goes to bed at 10:30. He goes to a different room. Hmmm…only 3 years of marriage and not even sleeping together? Then his wife leaves the house in the morning, without even checking on him, let alone speaking to him? Hmmm.

A marriage counselor once told me that a marriage affects 90% of your life. If it’s a loving marriage, that’s wonderful. But, if the relationship is strained or incompatible, everything else doesn’t matter, life is miserable, even unbearable. And, that brings on depression—severe depression. The kind that leaves you asking, “what’s the point of it all?”

I think it’s obvious Mr. Williams and his wife were having problems, Mr. Williams probably saw himself as a failure, all he wanted was love, and here was marriage #3 in the toilet, and without much forethought, he just decided to chuck it all with whatever he could find: a pocket knife, but that didn’t work; and then a belt, that did.

Someone else very, very close to me, took his life. It rocked my world. What we can learn from this is how important the people in our life are and how vitally important it is to call, tell them you love them, listen to them. You never know what’s going on with them, unless you take a minute to ask. We need each other much more than society acknowledges. In the end, all of us just want to belong, be connected, be loved.

A comic genius is now on the other side with his mentor, Jonathan Winters. God must be rolling over from belly laughs.

Passing of Robin Williams

Origin of Photos
http://yhoo.it/XfuMs6

Origin of Photos
http://yhoo.it/XfuMs6

Bonny Brookes is the award-winning author of Linked Lives (2014 International Book Award Winner) and Darkest Dawn (2014 National Book Award winner). Both books are based on true stories about relationships and life-altering choices that changed lives.

Increasing Book Sales using Twitter

Do you find sometimes it’s more challenging to sell your book than it was to write it? These days, with all of the self publishing options, the competition to sell books is fierce. Did you know most authors only sell 100 books, or less. So what’s the secret to reach readers who buy books?

Not to toot my horn, but rather to establish my book can’t be that bad, Linked Lives has received several 5-star ratings and won an international book award, yet sales are slow. Why? I’ve been sending press releases that resulted in media coverage of Linked Lives, as well as created a book trailer, a website and other marketing strategies. Still, I haven’t experienced a huge increase in sales.

Therefore, I continue researching to discover what has worked for other authors. Today I came across this article about using Twitter to increase book sales and wanted to share it with you. I hope you find it useful. If you are already “tweeting” about your book, would you be willing to share what kind of success your having?  Has it increased your book sales a little or a lot? I would love to hear what is working for you—especially if your book has sold over a thousand copies. How’d you do it? Thanks for reading my blog!

 

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Bonny Brookes is the author of the award-winning books, Linked Lives and Darkest Dawn.

A story of best friends

Linked Lives by Bonny Brookes epitomizes true friendship

Open Adoption Story

One woman’s journey of childbirth and adoption

Do you have a best friend?

Linked Lives: A Memoir of an Extraordinary 40-Year FriendshipBonny Brooks has written a heart-warming story about her life-long friend Lori. Click below for the full review.

Linked Lives: A Memoir of an Extraordinary 40-Year Friendship by Bonny Brookes

View all my reviews

 

Win a FREE copy!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Linked Lives by Bonny Brookes

Linked Lives

by Bonny Brookes

Giveaway ends August 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

7 Steps to Sell YOUR Book using Press Releases

Can press releases about your book grab the media’s attention? Yes, if done correctly. There is a format to them, and certain key elements that are absolutely necessary. If those are missing, your release will land in the slush pile.

I’ve played around with releases for several years and think I’ve come up with a format and style that works. At least it’s working for me. Last week when one of my books was named a finalist in a national book award contest, I sent out a few dozen releases. It got picked up and Monday the story appeared. Yeah! The magazine used the wording of the release almost verbatim – so you can see how I wrote the release.

I thought I’d share what I’ve learned and hopefully you’ll pick up a few helpful tips for writing attention-grabbing news releases to promote YOUR book and bring you more sales!

1) Write an attention-grabbing headline. It must be newsworthy. Not that you wrote a book (thousands of people do that everyday), but rather something unique and how it can tie into some current event.

2) Use the correct format (sample below) including the (a) title, (b) “For Immediate Release,” (c) Summary, (d) the six paragraphs, including a quote and finally, (e) the contact information. Never, ever go beyond one page. Always end with the “#” sign.

3) Include (insert into the body) a photo of your book cover and your photograph.

4) Send it to the correct people. It takes time to discover who are the correct people, it may involve calling around, but it’s well worth it. For TV and radio you want to reach either the producers or associate producers. Make sure the stations you contact do book reviews or author interviews. If they don’t, move on. For newspapers and magazines, contact the arts, entertainment or book editors. Also, don’t forget to send it to your college alumni office, your fraternity/sorority national magazine, all groups you belong to, every newspaper of everywhere you have ever lived, etc.

5) Depending on your budget, submit your release to PR sites (PRLog.com, etc.) Some are free, some are not. These sites don’t usually gain you media attention, but they could increase the traffic to your website to increase your books sales and isn’t that what you actually want?

6) In addition to the release, be sure to share the news, in a conversational way, with your friends via email and social media networks. Include a picture of your book’s cover along with a link to read/purchase it.

7) Finally, follow up with the people who received your release. Call them and offer to give them an interview. Since many authors skip this step, you will stand out.

I hope you have found this helpful and the media snaps up your release and promotes you and your book!  The sample format is shown below.

Title (bold, initial caps only)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (all caps, in bold)

Subtitle (initial caps only, regular text-not bold)

City, State – Date (bold)

1st Paragraph – Grabs attention immediately with the most important information first. This should only be 2-3 sentences telling the who, what, when, where, and why. It often covers the same information from the summary, but in more detail.

2nd Paragraph – Tell more about the book. Why did you write it? Who would enjoy reading it? What’s it about? Give the media a reason why they should select to review or read your book instead of all the others submitted.

3rd Paragraph – This should be a short quote from a respected authority or from a review. To make this stand out, put the quote in italics and center it.

4th Paragraph – Here is where the information goes about where the book is available for purchase and any other general information you want to share (publisher, ISBN number, available in paperback or e-book on Amazon.com)

5th Paragraph – Tell the reader what to do. Your call to action. Typically it’s something like: “For more information about your book title or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact your name [or publicist’s name] at phone number [or email].”  – NOTE: When posting releases on PR websites, use links rather than phone numbers and email addresses for security reasons.

6th Paragraph – In bold lettering: About the Author followed by a brief background about you, including professional credentials and be sure to mention any previously published work, awards, or significant reviews you’ve received.

Final Paragraph – In bold lettering Contact Information followed by your contact information: name, address, phone, email, website. (See 5th paragraph above regarding security measures.)

Bonny Brookes is the author of the award-winning books Linked Lives and Darkest Dawn. For more information, please visit her website.

Readers Favorite Book Award Contest Announces Finalists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Author’s Memoir Finalist in International Book Award Contest

(Austin, TX – July 16, 2014) – Readers Favorite announced the finalists in its international book award contest. Linked Lives by Bonny Brookes is a finalist in two categories: Memoirs and Relationships.

Study after study has shown the importance of having close confidants outside of the family – for our health and sanity. Linked Lives, published by Wizard of Words, is a memoir encapsulating the vital importance of nurturing friendships and helping one another through many of life’s challenges. This story takes readers on a forty-year journey with two women facing incredible adversity, poverty, family struggles, losses through illness and death as well as betrayals in love. Their linked lives create a rock-solid friendship that deeply touches readers who have ever had a best friend.

Readers’ Favorite hosts a respected annual international award contest receiving thousands of entries from all over the world and has earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Penguin and Harper Collins.

“Competition was fierce. Often finalists were selected by extremely narrow margins and many great books could not be chosen,” says Debra Gaynor, CEO of Readers Favorite. “It was an extremely competitive year and selections were hard earned.” 

Winners will be announced on September 1st. For more information about the awards and for a list of finalists, please visit: https://readersfavorite.com/2014-finalists.htm

About the Author:

Bonny Brookes is a freelance writer and photographer residing in the hill country near Austin, Texas. She is also the author of the award-winning book, Darkest Dawn.

Contact Information:

Wizard of Words: www.Wizard-of-Words.com 

Linked Lives by Bonny Brookes

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Book Trailer Video

Are YOUR books selling?

An author I know is having phenomenal success with her latest book. It’s an ebook on Amazon and her sales in June increased 53% ! (see her marketing piece below).

Yet my sales flounder. Are your books selling consistently each month? Do you know who is buying them? Do you think pricing makes a difference? Are you sending press releases? Do you have paperbacks in addition to ebooks? How do you reach potential readers? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas, and together we could all learn and grow!

Looking forward to your comments!

Bonny Brookes

Author of Award-winning memoir about best friends, Linked Lives

Riveting murder mystery