Friday, November 9, 2012

Blog Tour Guest Post & Excerpt: Lily: The Witch Hunter by Emma Hart

Today we're really excited to share a guest post from Emma Hart, author of Lily: The Witch Hunter. It's a really informative post about starting out as a writer that I think could be really helpful to both writers and bloggers! Here's a synopsis of Lily:

Witches. Vampires. Werewolves. Demons.

Moving to Salem introduces Lily Mauve to a whole new world, one she is in the centre of. If making new friends and falling in love isn't enough, there's also the fact she's a witch.

A witch destined to be a triple goddess and defeat the man who has hunted her kind for over three hundred years.

Faced with heartbreak, never-ending family secrets, lies and betrayal, she must stand strong and be the leader everyone knows she can be. Lily thinks the war will end in Salem, because destroying Henry Luther is her birthright, isn't it?

Starting Out As A Writer – Five Things You Should Know by Emma Hart:

You need a good cover.
What's the first thing that attracts you to a book in a store? For me, it's the cover. A good, clear font and a memorable image. The cover is what makes someone look twice and pick the book up. It shouldn't be any different online - in fact, it's even more important when you're publishing an ebook. The icons are tiny, so unless you have something that shouts 'check me out!' chances are, people will pass right by your book. 
It is expensive to hire someone - especially if you want to make it big. If you have a friend that's a pro on Photoshop or GIMP, talk to them and see if they can do you one for cheap. I hooked my new beta readers & editor with free ebook copies, 20% off the print price when it's arranged and a mention in my books. They're happy with that - maybe your graphics pro friend will be too.

Choosing a title isn't easy.
A title - the single most important thing about your book, even before the cover and synopsis in my eyes. I look at a title first.. Is there anything in it that appeals to me? 
You have to have a title that conveys your story and it's meaning. People see 'The Witch Hunter' or 'A Magical History' and without even reading the synopsis they know there's magic/witches involved.  
That's what you want. You want a title that's memorable but clear.

A catchy synopsis that leaves the prospective reader wanting more is a definite.
The second thing you look at when deciding whether or not to buy a book is the synopsis, or blurb. I've spent a lot of time reading e-books from indie authors and one massive flaw I see is a super long synopsis. Usually, unless their cover (!!) is amazing, I pass them over. 
You don't want to give away what will happen before your reader has bought your book - where's the point in buying it? 
You need it to be catchy so people think 'ah - what's this all about?' Even if they only download a sample. Usually, if you've got them to a sample, you have them getting the book pretty soon. 
If you remember to have it informative without giving away your secrets, almost like a pre-reading cliffhanger, then you should be pulling in the downloads.

You won't sell thousands of books in the first week.
When I published A Magical History, the first part of The Mauve Legacy, I expected my downloads to come flooding in. After all, my book was free, and it was a good story - but they didn't. I think I've only just passed the 1000 mark. 
Unless you have the time to promote, promote, promote, downloads will be slow coming in. Make sure you have at least a Facebook page to update your readers and advertise.

You will get bad reviews.
Your book won't be to everyone's taste, some people might read it and genuinely not like it. In fact, my first ever review was a 2* review, and very critical. 
If you're in that situation, like I was, don't give up. Don't view a bad review as a put down, view it as constructive criticism. People are telling you what they don't like and in most cases, how you can improve your work. 
Listen to them! 
Remember, the reviews are from people who have read your book, and it's always better to hurt someone with the truth than it is to soothe them with a lie. You wouldn't leave a good review on a book you didn't enjoy, so it won't be any different when the book is yours.

Excerpt from Lily: The Witch Hunter:

''We need to plan this, Elijah.'' I cried, throwing my hands in the air. ''It's a little over two weeks until Halloween and we have no idea what we're doing! All we have is an address and an idea that the house will be full of vampires! How about some surveillance, huh? Sending people there to make sure? We cannot just run into this with no idea what we're doing, because if that's what happens, the vampires are on their own. No witches will be a part of this hair brained ridiculous mission!'' 
''It's not our fault we have no plan, Lily!'' Elijah replied in a frustrated tone. ''The vampires aren't the leaders here!'' 
''No, but you forget the leader is eighteen years old, in her senior year of high school and got attacked a week ago!'' I shouted, my anger pulsating around me in a steady beat. ''That is what you forget, Elijah! It's what everyone forgets! I'm still a kid yet I deal with crap no adult ever has to! Why can't you plan something? You have over one hundred and fifty vampires at your disposal and you're telling me not one of them has an idea about how we can go about this?'' I threw my hands in the air. ''A joke, it's a joke!'' 
Elijah looked slightly ashamed but I carried on. 
''When this is over I want a normal life, I want to go to college, get a job, get married and have witchy babies and the only way I can do that is if I survive through High School and get that damn diploma! You are not incapable, you're four hundred years old, dude, you have like three hundred and eighty years on me! Suck it up!'' I took a deep breath as I finished and sat down. Everyone stared at me around the table and Ava grinned. 
''She's on her period.'' She offered nonchalantly.

About the Author:

Emma Hart is a young mum/maid/launderette/personal chef/author who lives in Barnstaple, Devon in England. She lives with a man bearing the title fiancĂ© who is incapable of picking up dirty socks and their one year old little monster who currently shouts 'quack' at everything.

When she's not writing or being mum, she enjoys sitting down with a good book to get five minutes peace, which almost never happens. She freely admits to hating talent shows on TV, (The Voice, Xfactor, etc) but being completely addicted to them and unable to stop watching. Emma believes there are only two men in the world who can say they truly understand women – their names are Ben & Jerry – because if you didn't understand women there's no way you could create ice-cream that good.

She also admits to being a bit eBay obsessive. You will find at least 200 items on her watch list at any one time. Little girl's shoes is another love of hers – just as well because her daughter grows incredibly quickly. Sadly, this is the only one of her obsessions she is able to justify.

For more about Lily: The Witch Hunter check out these sites!


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