Sunday, March 23, 2014

Judging a Book by its Cover

There’s a reason Madison Avenue uses scantily clothed models in suggestive poses: SEX SELLS. All you have to do is click on the television, open a magazine, or drive by a roadside billboard to know this. The more out of context or unrelated the sexy imagery is to the product it’s supposed to advertise, the more jarring the effect, and the better people tend to remember it. This is called the Von Restorff effect.

I learned this the hard way. Taking a Chance, the second book in my Doctors of Rittenhouse Square trilogy originally came out with this cover…

Book 1 and book 3 in the same series looked like this…

Can you guess which sold better?

After doing an informal poll of friends, family, and readers, it seems that the issue really is the cover. (If you need more convincing, check out this more thorough treatment on the subject: Sex and Advertising.)

So, introducing the new cover of Taking a Chance

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Social Media Addiction

This is why I resisted doing social media for so long:  it's addictive!

Forget heroin, cocaine, cigarettes, and chocolate--wait, maybe not the chocolate--one taste of FB, twitter, Goodreads, Google + and you're hooked.  And did I mention all those lovely blogs by authors, reviewers, doctors, politicos, and talking heads with impressive degrees and quirky leanings? You could read and read and read and still have more material to keep you awake more nights than you can count. Who needs to do dishes? Clean house? Cook? Help kids with homework? See patients, pay bills, actually have live conversations with your partner, family, and friends?
Clearly not me.  Nope, I'm stuck here mainlining tumblr as we speak.

Until my eyes glaze over and the iPad runs out of juice, and my kids run in screaming: Earthquake, mommy! Earthquake! Did you feel it?

No, sadly, I missed it, and it was 3.2 on the Richter scale, according to twitter.

Mommy, mommy!

I'll be with you in a minute, kids, as soon as I finish pinning this to Pinterest...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sample Sunday: This Time for Keeps

Remember that Saturday Night Live skit with Rob Morrow, where he's sitting with some friends, and always seems to lag five subjects behind the conversation?  Here's the clip:

Anyway, when it comes to digital media and marketing, I feel like Rob Morrow as he enters the bathroom: on the verge of an entire new world of possibilities!

Like many writers who struggle to fit writing into an already overflowing schedule (day job, family, keeping the fridge stocked and the bills paid), I need to prioritize how to spend my time.  Do I work on my next book or market the ones that are already out?  Do I tweet, post on Facebook, or blog?  And how about promotion?  So many services!  Blink, and a new one pops up.  Which are worth the investment of time and money?

I don't know what the right mix is, and would be happy to hear from more experienced writers about their thoughts.

In the meantime, I'll continue to fly by the seat of my pants.  Always a little behind.  Always trying to catch up.  Bear with me, and I promise to eventually get it right!

Today, I'm trying something new.  Sample Sunday - where a writer puts up a sample of her latest work for readers to enjoy.  It's Sunday night (actually, 1:28 am Monday morning--do you sense a theme here?), and this excerpt is from This Time for Keeps (Doctors of Rittenhouse Square, Book 3).  Each book in this series can be read as a stand-alone, though some characters do overlap.

And now, without further ado...

This Time for Keeps

(Doctors of Rittenhouse Square, Book 3)


Jill Blake

A random act of violence...
When a senseless act of violence shatters her perfect world, Dr. Isabelle DiStefano struggles to rebuild: 
new life, new job, new man.

A second chance at love...

But sometimes the past can be hard to let go of, especially when old flame Luca Santoro reappears in her life and decides he wants to start over
...this time, for keeps.