Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let's be honest about Indie Middle Grade authors

I belong to a coalition of "tween" writers. They are awesome folks (many of them Indie authors) who plug along writing good, clean, quality books for kids ages 8-13. But honestly, there's not a lot of money in middle grade books for Indie authors. Most 10-year-olds don't have an Amazon account or credit card. The way to get known as an author of kid books is through the endorsement of teachers and librarians. However, both of these amazing groups of people are a little wary of Indies. (Long history here.)

Each year my coalition (Emblazon) runs a contest to let teachers and librarians (and any book lovers really) who we are and what we are about. This year the prize is a new Kindle with 50 preloaded kid books! That's like worth . . . a bunch.

To enter is easy. Just click here and join the rafflecopter by signing up for our newsletter. And to share this post with your twitter, blogging, and facebooking friends is even easier. Share buttons are below.

The contest runs November 17 through December 1 and is open to anyone who loves tween literature as much as we do. Winners must reside in the United States or Canada.

Happy reading.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Michelle Isenhoff -- Guest Post

It’s almost summer!


I live in Michigan, so during the few months when the sky is blue, the grass is green, and clouds are fluffy, I pack away my winter projects and hit the outdoors—preferably with a book in hand. Those days are just around the corner, so I’m stocking up my Kindle now. If you’re looking to do the same, I’ve got a great deal for you. Until May 25, my new historical romance will be priced at just 99 cents. Escape to the beauty and grandeur of the American South where one determined young woman is battling for independence in a world where girls are never free to dream.

Ella Wood new cover11

Though she left Charleston a spoiled daughter of the South, Emily returns from her stay in the North a changed young woman. Her assumptions about slavery have been shattered, and her secret dream of attending university has blossomed into fierce ambition. As the passions sweeping North and South toward war threaten to envelop the city she loves, Emily must battle her father’s traditional expectations in her own bid for freedom. Meanwhile, the real fight may lie within her heart, which stubbornly refuses to accept that a choice for independence must be a choice against love. With romance, complexity of character, and a solid grounding in history, Ella Wood delivers hours of quality deck chair lounging. And isn't that what summer's all about? Grab a copy now so when summer hits, all you need to worry about is the lemonade. Find Ella Wood on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo. my blog picWhen Michelle Isenhoff is not writing imaginary adventures, she’s probably off on one. She loves roller coasters, big dogs, high school football games, cycling, swimming in big waves, old graveyards, and wearing flip-flops all winter. Her dream vacation would include lots of castle ruins, but so far she’s had to settle for pictures on Pinterest. Once an elementary teacher, Michelle now homeschools two of her three kids and looks forward to summer adventures as much as they do. Find her at *Beach chair image courtesy of Horton Web Design.
Saturday, April 18, 2015



High School winners of the TABC 2015 First Chapter Contest

Junior High School winners of the TABC 2015 First Chapter Contest
            SPANISH FORK, Utah (April  20, 2015) This year’s winners of the Teen Author Boot Camp First Chapter contest in the junior high division are first place Rebecca Doud (North Layton Junior High), second place Violet Williams (Frontier Middle School in Eagle Mountain), and third place Brielle Reichert (Evergreen Junior High in Salt Lake City).
            In the high school division, the winners are first place Ashtyn Newbold (Lehi High), second place Jackson Duckworth (Vision Charter Academy in Colorado), and third Place Ashley Orton (Columbia High in Idaho).
            Winners were chosen from nearly two hundred chapter entries from teens all over the United States.
            The Teen Author Boot Camp is one of the largest writing conferences for teens nationwide and held at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. The conference was created in 2009 by the non-profit group Writers Cubed, which consists of five authors from Utah Valley who are all passionate about writing and literacy.
            “Empowering youth is why Writers Cubed created the conference,” said Lois Brown, a member of Writers Cubed and author of the YA book Cycles. “And we haven’t been disappointed. Attendance has grown from about one hundred and thirty the first year to nearly seven hundred. This year we had youth from California and Kansas and places in between.
            The TABC First Chapter contest is run by Margie Jordan, Writers Cubed member and literacy specialist. “Each year the entries get better and better,” she said. “Some of our teen winners have gone on to sign contracts with literary agents.”
            Winners receive a cash award and a handmade, uniquely crafted trophy by Clark Schaffer, the man who created the Iron Man mask.
            Besides the academic learning that takes place at TABC, teens also have a lot of fun. They get to meet many of their idols such as New York Times bestselling authors Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) and Jessica Day George (Dragon Slippers).
            For more information about Teen Author Boot Camp and Writers Cubed, visit
(Winners of the TABC 2015 First Chapter Contest Junior High Division)

(Winners of the TABC 2015 First Chapter Contest High School Division)


Writers Cubed, established in 2009, is a group of writing activists living in various cities in Utah County. Our website is Please contact Lois Brown (801-369-3421 or for more information. Additional photos available on request.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Congrats to the winners during my Robbed of Soul online book launch!

I had two contests going on during my online book launch of Robbed of Soul. The first was a Goodreads paperback giveaway of the book. The winner was Ms. Lee from New York. Her package goes out today, and I've included a sandstone magnet made from rock from Kanab, Utah, where the book is set.

The second contest was for a 3-night stay in a Kanab, Utah vacation rental condo or a $100 Amazon gift card. The lucky winner is Ms. Dunakey from Iowa. Woo hoo! She's been sent an email.

To everyone who joined, I thank you. Being an indie author is not always easy marketing wise. It was wonderful to feel of your support.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Win a $450 prize during the ROBBED OF SOUL Book Launch Giveaway

Do you like Zions National Park? Join the ROBBED OF SOUL book launch giveaway and you may win 3 nights in a Kanab, Utah vacation rental townhome (30 minutes from Zions). A $450 value! Join below.

And, now, about Robbed of Soul:
Rescued but psychologically damaged from a failed mission, ex-CIA officer Maria Branson takes the job of police chief in the quiet town of Kanab, Utah. Rest and relaxation are the doctor’s orders. She gets neither. Instead, a missing mayor, the spirit of a dead Aztec warrior, and the over-confident-yet-attractive head of Search and Rescue await her in a town whose past has almost as many secrets as her own. As Maria investigates a modern-day murder, she disturbs a world of ancient legends and deadly curses. Yet most lethal of all is Maria’s fear someone will discover just how empty her soul really is. 

Available at AmazonSmashwords, and Google Play.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Sale Numbers from Buck Books and Fussy Librarian Promotion are In . . .

On Friday I had a book promotion for my adult mystery "Robbed of Soul" on both Buck Books (a relatively new book promotion site--accessible to authors once they sign up to be an affiliate) and Fussy Librarian (a paid book promotion site that is very reasonably priced compared to some).

Here are the results. Unfortunately, I'm not smart enough to figure out which sales came from which promotional site. I'm sure some of you SEO genius indie authors would, but I just limp along in that area.

I have been selling an average of five books of "Robbed of Soul" per day on Amazon at the price of $.99. During the promotion, I sold 86 books. So, let's say the promotion drummed up 81 sales I wouldn't have had otherwise. Not bad. The Fussy Librarian ad cost me $16. The Buck Books was free. So, at .99 cents, I made $24.05 on Amazon--a whopping profit of $8. That said, 81 more people now have my book on their Kindles, and they paid for it, which makes them a bit more likely to actually read it and (hopefully) leave a review.

I felt pleased. In my specific mystery category, I got up to #80-ish something. I was hoping for higher to hit an Amazon list. A couple of weeks ago I sold 40 copies of "Robbed of Soul" in a day and hit #42, so obviously yesterday was a big sales day for Amazon.

I will watch and see if my reviews grow faster than they have been and report back.

In a week, I'm having a promotion blog tour for "Robbed of Soul." (Mar 1 - Mar 10) During the tour I've got a big prize to giveaway (worth $450). I'll also report back how that goes. I'm interested to see if blog tours are worth the effort anymore.  If you have a blog and would like to join my blog tour (and I would think you were the coolest if you did), please fill out this form and I'll send you the html code for the blog post of your choosing. Super easy.

Maria was never alone in solitary confinement. The ghosts kept her company.

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I'm a mom and author, among other things. I enjoy writing middle grade and young adult books.