Freebies to Celebrate My Third Blog Anniversary

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Today I celebrate my third anniversary as a WordPress blogger. I’ve written 367 posts in that time. I’ve managed to garner almost 2000 followers and I’ve had over 49,000 hits to the blog over that three year period.

The WordPress reminder of this anniversary spurs me on to acknowledge that there is reason to celebrate. This blog and me have come a long way, baby.

I started blogging to create some hype around the publication of my first novel – Disappearing in Plain Sight. The blog has been right along with me through the writing, rewriting and editing of two subsequent novels in the Crater Lake Series – The Light Never Lies and the newly released – Chasing Down the Night. Over time, my little piece of cyberspace has become so much more – a showcase where I’ve featured my grandkids, my travels, and my home. It has turned into a lively archive of my life.

To the many bloggers I’ve followed over the last three years – so many thanks for all the great posts. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve shared in your successes and learned from so many of you.

No celebration would be complete without gifts. If you are new to my blog and haven’t jumped on board to read any of the Crater Lake Books, let me know. Comment below or email me at guenettefrancis@gmail.com – I’ll be pleased to send you a copy of my first book – Disappearing in Plain Sight (either mobi file for your Kindle or epub file). I’m confident that the breath-taking setting and the memorable characters will have you rushing to read the next two books!

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Free Book News Flash – Add a comment that tells me why you’ve followed along with my blog through any portion of the last three years. All commenters names will be dropped in a hat and the winner will receive a softcover copy of the newest book in the Crater Lake Series – Chasing Down the Night.

I’m raising a glass of bubbly muscato – my all-time favourite wine – to offer a toast to all those who have followed along with me on this blogging journey. Whether it be publishing a novel or writing a post, readers make it all worthwhile. Many thanks.

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The Light Never Lies Shines

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Please take a few moments if you can and check out the review of The Light Never Lies that just came out on The Review Blog.

I am humbled down to the ground by the depth and detail of Anna Belfrage’s review and ever so grateful to be featured on The Review.

If you have a chance to pop over and read Anna’s take on the second book in the Crater Lake Series, do take the time to make a comment and get in on a draw for a free book.

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Disappearing in Plain Sight – Indie Book of the Day

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A strange thing happened the other day when I was goggling Disappearing in Plain Sight by Francis Guenette. You might be wondering why I was doing this. I read a tweet by a woman saying that she goggled her name and the title of her book and found, to her horror, that her book was being pirated on about five different sites. I decided to see if I shared her fate. Okay, I admit it – I was a bit jealous and sort of hoped worried someone might think my book was worth pirating.

Anyway. I didn’t find Disappearing in Plain Sight being pirated anywhere, but I did find something else that was super exciting Open-mouthed smile

On June 23, totally unbeknownst to me, I was Indie Book of the Day over on the Indie Book of the Day site. I’m sure they sent me an email that, somehow, I missed. This discovery felt a bit like finding buried treasure. What a pleasant surprise.

I’m not one to let a small thing like a four month delay get in the way of my bragging rights. Ergo this post, plus a few Tweets, and a Facebook author page announcement. Oh, and check out the cool badge that came with the recognition. A badge is pure joy to the heart of an indie writer.

Thank you Indie Book of the Day people – just sorry it took me so long to clue in. Have any of you ever had an experience like this – recognition of some type that you totally missed?

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Just had to share this one – these two granddaughters are too cool.

21st Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards

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Entry Title: Disappearing in Plain Sight

Author: Francis L. Guenette

Judge Number: 45

Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.

Structure and Organization: 4

Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 3

Plot (if applicable): 3

Character Development (if applicable): 4

Judges Commentary*: This novel seamlessly weaves together a coming-of-age story with several coming-of-middle-age stories. All of the characters in Disappearing in Plain Sight are compelling and complicated people. By making Caleb’s death the central tragedy of the novel, the author does a great job joining together each character’s struggle. Lisa-Marie is, necessarily, a bit more problematic in terms of incorporation into the central narrative. However, her jealousy of Izzy, her pursuit of Justin, and her struggles with Beulah help make her story often as compelling as the adult’s.

However, I did not understand the function of having multiple point of view shifts in each chapter. Shifting from Lisa-Marie to Beulah, for instance, could help progress the plot by showing us what another character sees/remembers. We move so frequently from one character to the next, though, that we often get the same information repeated, and it’s difficult to tell how much time has elapsed between shifts.

Finally, Liam’s comforting of Lisa-Marie was highly problematic for me as a reader. There was nothing in Liam’s character prior to the incident that would have suggested this possibility. I had a hard time accepting that he was able to stifle his desires for the age-appropriate Izzy because she was vulnerable, but was not able to see how what he did to Lisa-Marie had the potential to traumatize her.

*Commentary may be quoted as: “Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards”

There you have it – Disappearing in Plain Sight’s official judge’s evaluation from the Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards. Sure, it would have been nice to score all 5’s and win a big prize – like a trip to New York and maybe an interview with a hot agent. (By hot I mean established with a good track record for landing great book deals rather than hot on any other scale – LOL).

I am very proud of this evaluation. For me, it represents an objective take on my work and, as a writer, that is more valuable than gold. Okay, I’ve got to run because I want to pour through The Light Never Lies for possibly confusing point-of-view transitions and/or repetitions.

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Don’t Underestimate Your Local Market when it comes to Book Sales

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Bill Feader Jr. and Senior – manager/owner of FP Foods in Port Alice, BC pose for a photo shoot with Disappearing in Plain Sight.

Going into my self-publishing adventure, I imagined sales would come from people ordering my book from Amazon or Chapters. To be honest, I thought mostly of e-book sales. I knew I was going to get some trade paperback copies of my book as part of my publishing package, but I certainly never considered buying boxes of my book and acting as a vendor to sell them.

All of that changed when I received those copies and it was mostly due to my husband, Bruce – salesperson extraordinaire. He started to sell those books every time he went out the door. Before I knew it, we needed to order more and then even more. At first, the sales were to people Bruce ran into in the regular course of his day. Then I got on board with some author appearances and events. Now, sales are happening right in our local community grocery story.

Bruce approached manager Bill Faeder Jr. of FP Foods in Port Alice to ask if he would carry Disappearing in Plain Sight. Bill was open to the idea. He wanted to start off small, taking a few books at a time and seeing how it went. After the sixth invoice, he has decided to take a bigger order.

IMG_0229In book marketing, creating a buzz is the key to sales. I think that’s what has happened in Port Alice for Disappearing in Plain Sight. And many thanks go out to the people who work at FP Foods. I know that a few of them have read my book and are quite willing to promote it to others.

 

Don’t ignore sales of real books in your local market. Every day I hear stories of self-published authors who have sold what is a fantasy-like number (to me anyways) of e-books, making it to the top of Amazon lists, burrowing deep into Amazon’s mysterious and massive marketing machine and telling others how they can do the same. I give e-sales my best effort and don’t get me wrong – I value every single reader – no matter how they get hold of my book. But, I must say, there is something to be said for local community support. These are the people I see when I get my mail or buy my groceries or sit in the doctor’s office. It’s hard to find the words to express what those readers mean to me. (And that’s not an easy admission for a writer!)

A friend told me he was talking to someone in town the other day who informed him, “We even have our own local author now.” And that was me! Wow.

On September 12th, I’ll be attending a book club at the Port Alice Library to discuss Disappearing in Plain Sight. I’m looking forward to this event because it will be assumed people have read the book and no one will have to worry about spoiler alerts. I’ve been coming up with a few discussion questions in case of a lag in the conversation. Is there a question about Disappearing in Plain Sight that you would like me to include? Let me know.

On another topic, I was reminded of Lily Tomlin’s words this morning. “The road to success is always under construction.” First thing this morning, I checked out the Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Award site because today the five finalists in each category were to be named. Disappearing in Plain Sight didn’t make the cut in literary fiction. (Cue sound effects: wailing and gnashing of teeth.) Oh well – many congratulations to all the finalists. Do go to the link above and check them out

Meanwhile, I’ll be back to Tomlin’s construction site to finish The Light Never Lies and enter it in next year’s competition. But first, I have to get out and pick those green beans.

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Just glad the beans are out the back. I wouldn’t want to step out the kitchen door and fight this guy for the apples.

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Orangeberry Hall of Fame Finalist

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OK – OK – I paid to be on the blog tour and now Disappearing in Sight is a finalist for the Hall of Fame in the literary fiction category. And they sent me the cool graphic above to display on the appropriate social media sites. Suspect – maybe? Who knows? Could be every person who paid for a tour is a finalist in one category or another. What the heck, right? Share the wealth.

Guess what? I still wouldn’t mind winning. Human nature, I suppose. Guilty as charged.

Here’s the link if you want to pop over and vote for Disappearing in Plain Sight.

Orangeberry Hall of Fame Finalist – Literary Fiction

If Disappearing in Plain Sight won, I might be in line for some cool swag. Possibly another neat graphic. Who knows. The sky is the limit and I only sound sarcastic to cover my pie-faced grin. Come on – we all love to win (even if we did pay to get in the draw).

June Blog Anniversary Contest Results

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The draw was quite the exciting event. A few hours to prepare and a few seconds of mayhem. Now the results are in.

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I assembled my very able assistants to help me draw the winning names.

 

 

 

 

The winner of the guest appearance on my Disappearing in Plain Sight blog is Elizabeth Wheatley.

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  The winner of the Amazon $5.00 gift certificate is Jo Robinson.

 

 

 

 

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And finally – the winner of a signed copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight snail mailed directly to an address of your choice is Julian Sherman.

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Congratulations to all the winners. I’m off to research how to contact each of you. If by chance you read this post and are a winner (which all of you are, of course!) please contact me at guenettefrancis@gmail.com and we’ll arrange all the details of getting the prizes delivered in a speedy fashion.

Thanks so much to everyone who made the anniversary month so much fun.

On another front, my blog tour continues along with the Rafflecopter draw for two $25.00 Amazon gift certificates. Check out my guest post on Bunnysreview and a guest interview at the Book Professor. Disappearing in Plain Sight is getting some nice exposure on these great blogs and I’m getting to feel a bit more experienced with the whole blog tour process.