THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR CHERYL KAYE TARDIF

Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe for a Bestselling Novel


Wouldn't it be great if there was a recipe for making a bestselling novel and if all a writer had to do was gather the ingredients and mix them in, and voila!―a bestselling novel is created? The reality is there are combinations of ingredients that can either get your name on a bestseller's list or fall flatter than an airless cheese soufflĂ©. However, there are some common ingredients that have helped authors achieve bestseller status.

Common Ingredients for a Bestseller:

·       1 cup of well written novel
·       1 cup of professional editing
·       1 cup of professional layout and interior design
·       2 cups of professional book cover, including gripping back cover text
·       1 cup of decent distribution via major online retailers
·       2 cups of book launch, tours and other events, plus advertising
·       3 cups of contests and giveaways by author, publisher or both
·       Countless hours of organization and time
·       Dash of excitement

Method:

Take the well written novel and beat in professional editing until light and readable. Add professional layout and interior design, then stir in professional cover art and back cover text until well combined. Sprinkle in decent distribution until coated and roll mixture out with book launch, tours and events. Top with contests and giveaways, and fold in countless hours of organization and time before adding the finishing touch―a huge dash of excitement. Share with everyone and enjoy!

Reality Check:

While the recipe above may seem kind of silly, these ingredients can lead to a bestselling novel. I know because I've used them all successfully. My novels have made bestsellers lists multiple times on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. Some made multiple lists on each in a single day. 

I've also sold over 5000 copies of Whale Song, which in Canada makes it a national bestseller.

So how did I do it? I created an exciting day-long event―a "Bestseller Day"―that had enough goodies to draw people in. It was held on my 44th birthday and I gave away 44 prizes.

There are three main ways to get prizes to offer:
1.) Pay for them (I don't recommend this.)
 2.) Get others to donate them.
3.) Find someone to sponsor the event or the prizes. They pay for something you want to give away and get something in return, whether it's free advertising, a mention in your next book, or some other benefit.

The Benefits:

The first benefit of reaching this "status" is obvious. You can use "bestselling author" when describing yourself. 

The next obvious benefit is that you're selling more books, which means you're earning more. 

Another benefit you may not have thought about is exposure. When people look for a book on Amazon, they'll often search using keywords. If your thriller is in the top 10-20 of books listed under "techno-thriller", for instance, you have a much better chance of being noticed. While on those bestsellers lists, more people will come across your name and your book. The more times people see you and your book online, the better the chance is that they'll buy your book.

Becoming a bestselling author takes persistence, creativity and good organization. Follow this recipe for success and you'll rise like a soufflĂ©. Just don't forget that last ingredient―excitement!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a bestselling Canadian author whose critically acclaimed, award-winning novels have inspired much film interest. She's appeared on television and radio, and in newspapers and magazines. Cheryl has also presented at writers' conferences in Canada and the US, mainly on topics of marketing and promotion. She's helped many authors achieve success and does so as a book marketing coach, with Bestseller Days, Virtual Book/Blog Tours and Sponsorships her top 3 most requested topics.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kindle versus Kobo - From a Reader and Writer's Perspective

I have a Kindle and a Kobo ereader. I bought them because I love to read but also because I'm an author and I think it's important that I know how my readers are experiencing my works. So I decided to test both the Kobo and the Kindle.

I bought the Kobo ereader first. Since I'm Canadian, I really wanted to be loyal to Canada's #1 ereader. I've also been selling my works via Kobo since they first began as an offshoot of Chapters/Indigo, called Shortcovers. And I liked Kobo's simpler, more friendly design.

My first experience with a Kindle ereader seemed fine. My ebooks loaded and I had minor issues. I tested it for a few weeks, then gave it to my mother when Kobo announced they had a new ereader with wi-fi. So I bought that one.

It pains me to say that my experience with the second Kobo was not a good one. I had numerous problems with loading my ebooks. I ended up having to delete one just so the others would load properly. Kobo was good about giving me a refund. I read everything I could find to help with other glitches I was experiencing, like bookmarks not holding and synching not working between devices (I have a Kobo app on my iPhone too.)

I had to do a factory reset on my new Kobo 3 times, and it still did not fix the problems. Though tech support was great and they did try to help, I ended up having to send the Kobo back and get it replaced. This third Kobo loaded all my books correctly, but the bookmarks still don't hold.

Other than the technical issues I've had, I love the experience of reading on an ereader. It's small, lightweight, easy to hold (especially if you have arthritis in your hands), easy to turn pages (though Kobo isn't as fast as Kindle at this) and very easy on the eyes. Since there are less buttons on a Kobo, you don't have to worry about accidentally hitting one and ending up somewhere else. My Kobo also has an esthetically pleasing appearance; mine has the lilac colored back and white front.

The Kindle ereader I bought next. I bought it hoping that it wouldn't be quote as good as the Kobo. Darn...it's better. Basically a similar size and weight, I find pages load much faster and the battery lasts far longer than its Canadian counterpart. My Kindle doesn't look as "pretty" as my Kobo, but overall its performance is superior. It loads books faster. I haven't had one glitch yet since buying it. My bookmarks are exactly where I left off, and there are added features I can use, like Search, which came in handy when I was sprucing up my grammar skills. The only real downside is that there are perhaps too many buttons on the front and sides, which makes it a bit tricky for holding. I'm thinking a slide-out would maybe work.

And then there's the issue of PDFs. I'm a writer. I sometimes get PDF ARCs to read. I want to be able to do so on my ereader. First you have to transfer your PDF to Adobe Digital Edition. Then you have to synch this to your Kobo, which can be a hassle. Then there's the appearance. I transferred some of my PDFs to my Kobo and was horrified to see how it was formatted. Readers have to read one line at a time, scrolling left and right as the sentences won't fit on a single page. If you diminish the size of the text so it fits on one page, it's unreadable. Can we say AWKWARD? I'll never read a PDF like that. Unfortunately, that means neither will most readers.

Reading PDFs on a Kindle is a breeze. First, I just send an attached PDF to my Kindle address. Within 10 minutes or so, Amazon converts it and once I turn on wi-fi and synch, the PDF is loaded onto my Kindle. Upon opening, the PDF looks just like any other well-formatted ebook.

In a nutshell, I prefer my Kindle. But I'm kind of sad that I couldn't say this about my Kobo. I think if you're looking for a basic ereader, the Kobo is fine, as long as it works properly. I'm hoping Kobo will get all these issues--especially PDFs--ironed out soon. Now that Amazon has lowered the price of the Kobo with wi-fi, I would recommend you buy it over the Kobo. You'll get more bang for your buck.

Now which should I try next, a Nook or a Sony ereader?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Children of the Fog review: "Intense...Creepy...Suspenseful...And great!"

"Intense...Creepy...Suspenseful...And great! It's a fast paced story, a mystery with paranormal elements. The characters are interesting and so well described that you can actually picture them. The entire book is full of eerie twists and turns that makes the inner sleuth in you want to keep the pages turning. The way the sub-plots intertwine keeps you guessing and makes you anxious to see what happens next... just when you think you have it figured out Tardif takes you in another direction."

--Heather Shockley

Friday, April 22, 2011

Children of the Fog review


"Cheryl Kaye Tardif knows the mind of a parent and makes us all want to believe the impossible..."

--Eileen Schuh, author of The Traz and Schrodinger's Cat

Monday, April 18, 2011

Coming this May: Divine Justice

This May, watch for DIVINE JUSTICE, book 2 in the Divine paranormal suspense series starring CFBI agent and Pyro-Psychic Jasi McLellan, a woman who enters killers' minds at the scent of smoke.

CFBI agent and Pyro-Psychic Jasi McLellan battles a serious infection that threatens to claim her life. Slipping in and out of consciousness, she remembers the Parliament Murders...

One by one, members of Ontario's Parliament are disappearing, only to be found days later, disoriented and drugged. Or worse―dead. Police are stumped and the CFBI brings in a covert PSI team, agents with special psychic abilities.

Accompanied by Psychometric Empath Ben Roberts and new team member Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko, Jasi heads for Ottawa and uncovers a plot so devious that Canada's national security is at risk. If that isn't enough to deal with, Jasi bumps into old flame, Zane Underhill, who wants to rekindle their relationship that ended three years earlier.

But the investigation takes precedent and Jasi is forced to place her feelings for Zane on hold in order to find a killer who has more than justice in mind for his victims, and in the end she makes a gut-wrenching decision―one that will cost the life of someone close to her.

Ebook edition available May 2011; trade paperback TBA

DIVINE JUSTICE will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, Smashwords, iBooks, Sony eReader Store, Diesel and more.

If you haven't read book 1, DIVINE INTERVENTION, you can pick up a copy (ebook or trade paperback) from your favorite online retailer and select bookstores. The ebook edition is currently ON SALE.

Please note: you do not have to read book 1 to enjoy book 2. DIVINE JUSTICE does well as a stand-alone thriller.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Law & Order: SVU mentions one of my ebooks

Law & Order: SVU mentioned 1 of my ebook titles on this week's episode ("Rescue"). Name the ebook & you'll win a free copy.

Either tweet me your answer at http://www.twitter.com/cherylktardif or leave a comment below.

All correct answers will receive a special coupon code they can use to receive a free ebook edition of the novel mentioned on Law & O)rder: SVU from Smashwords.com. This ebook can be uploaded to many ereaders or read on a smartphone, PC or laptop.

Make sure you also leave your email address so I can contact you if you're a winner.

One answer per person.

This mini-contest ends: 15 April, 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Days of Kay(e)s Blogfest and Children of the Fog

Today I'm over at author Laura Kaye's blog, celebrating her 30 Days of Kay(e)s Blogfest.

You'll find out where "Kaye" came from in my name, what writing Children of the Fog was like, and you'll be able to read an excerpt from my latest supernatural suspense thriller.

Laura, thank you so much for inviting me to participate in the fun.

Everyone else, stop on by the 30 Days of Kay(e)s Blogfest.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Review: "Lancelot’s Lady is a sexy romantic suspense with engaging characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing."

The Hot Author Report says, "D’Angelo (aka Tardif) is talented at creating good characters who are easy to love and evil characters who are oh, so easy to hate...However, D’Angelo’s greatest strength still came in the form of writing suspense. The mystery of JT and Rhianna’s connection kept me guessing right up until the big reveal – and I usually pride myself on figuring out mysteries before they are revealed. All in all, I highly enjoyed Lancelot’s Lady and wish it didn’t have to end...Lancelot’s Lady is a sexy romantic suspense with engaging characters and a mystery that will keep you guessing."


Read the full review at The Hot Author Report

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Cool Canadian Crime from Crime Writers of Canada

Plan your book purchases with this annual issue of Cool Canadian Crime!

This issue contains new mystery and suspense releases by Crime Writers of Canada authors between January and December 2011.

Click here to view the catalog.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Review: Children of the Fog - "A thrilling, chilling and emotional treat!"

"A total page turner!! I am an avid reader and was looking for some new, fresh suspense to load onto my Kindle. I was given a tip on Children of the Fog and boy was I glad. Cheryl Kaye Tardif has done an amazing job entertaining me. Not only did I identify with the main character, (Sadie), on various levels, but with all the twists and turns and little subplots, my inner slueth was constantly in commotion. I couldnt figure out a thing in advance. What I kept anticipating to happen, never did and it turned into something totally unexpected. Wow! It was so hard to put down that I hardly did. What a thrilling, chilling and emotional treat! Love, love, love!"

Children of the Fog is available on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo Books, iBooks and more and you can purchase either the ebook edition or a trade paperback edition.

Review: Divine Intervention - "A divine futuristic, parapsychic crime thriller"

J. Loftus, an Amazon reviewer, gives Divine Intervention 5 STARS:

"Divine Intervention is a divine futurisitic, parapsychic crime thriller...Just when you think you have things figured out, there is the Aha moment when everything you figured out is wrong and surprise is your new best friend. Divine Intervention would make a great script for a movie. I cannot wait for the sequel. Keep them coming Cheryl!!!"

To read the full review and see what J. thinks of the technology in Divine Intervention, please visit Amazon.com.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Review: Children of the Fog - "A creepy good novel."

Here's a 5 STAR review from John Ottini, an Amazon reviewer:

"A creepy good novel...I just love Children of the Fog! This is one of those creepy mysteries with a paranormal element, that beacons back to the style found in early Twilight Zone episodes. Ms Tardif knows how to tell a good, fast moving story, with interesting characters, witty dialog and that eerie twist that leaves you wanting to keep the pages turning, long after bedtime. Great book, great writer.....great things to come!"

To read John's full review and discover how he "found" my novels, please check out his review on Amazon.com.

Friday, April 01, 2011

The 30 Days of Kay(e)s Blogfest

What's in a name? Well, this month, a bunch of writers named Kay(e) will be getting together to celebrate with Laura Kaye, the author who organized this blogfest event.

From Laura:
Welcome to the first day of the 30-day celebration of all things Kay/Kaye! This month, eight lovely author ladies will come visit for 2-3 days at a time, share excerpts, give interviews, maybe even give away a few books and prizes. It's gonna be a fun, crazy time, and I hope you'll stop back often!
For more information on The 30 Days of Kay(e)s Blogfest, please check out Laura's blog.

Writer interviews and lots of prizes at Jessica Subject's Blogoversary

One of my good friends, writer Jessica Subject, is celebrating her one year anniversary for her blog--or her Blogoversary. So Jessica is throwing a big party and giving away tons of prizes. If you enjoy reading, then this is the place to be, and she'll have new content and contests during the month of March. I hope you'll help her celebrate and stop by.

Now here's a word from Jessica:
When I started networking on twitter and facebook in early 2010, I thought I should have a website to keep people interested in my own writing. Since I don’t have anything published yet, I felt uncomfortable giving people writing advice. Instead, I thought I’d review books that I’ve enjoyed and interview authors who have written books that interest me. Since then, many authors have contacted me and asked if I would review their books. I've read so many fabulous books - many independently published - that I would not have read otherwise.

For me, my blog is a way to share my love of reading and writing. It keeps me from getting bored.

Now that I have had my blog up and running - with only a couple minor problems - for a year, I thought I'd invite several authors, book bloggers and songwriters I've met over the past year to help me celebrate. I received an overwhelming response with many participants offering fabulous prizes, including the lovely Cheryl Kaye Tardif.

Here is the blogoversary schedule: http://www.markofthestars.com/wp/?page_id=3472
Here are a list of some of the prizes to be won: http://www.markofthestars.com/wp/?page_id=4735 There are many others being offered on the participants' posts, so be sure to stop by everyday for your chance to win and to learn about some wonderful people.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica. I wish you many, many blogoversaries to come. :-)