Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Maski and the Support of This Online Community

Many of you know Joylene Nowell Butler, author and The Insecure Writer’s Support Group admin. Last week, she broke her hip and underwent surgery on Friday. As a result, she is unable to share in the joy of her IPPY award-winning book being released as an eBook for the first time.

One thing that’s great about this online community is the support. If any of you can share this week, that would be wonderful. (Many already answered the call on Facebook - thank you.) I’m going to save all the links to those posts and send them to her. It will cheer her to see that others were willing to step up to the plate on her behalf.


Available today for the first time in eBook form -

Maski: Broken But Not Dead
By Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.

However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?

Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

“Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page.” - Martha A. Cheves, author

“A psychological thriller filled with suspense, action and drama...” - John Bell, 93.1 CFIS-FM: Prince George, BC

“Riveting and beautifully written. You won't be able to set it down.” Judith S. Avila, author

Joylene, Métis, is the author of Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and Break Time. She and her husband and their two cats reside in Canada for the summers and Nayarit for the winters. They believe life should be an adventure.

Purchase Links: Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Amazon



And coming in two weeks -

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Release date - May 2, 2017

Find on Goodreads
Pre-order at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / B-A-M / iTunes / Nook / Kobo / Amazon UK


Has the online community ever helped you? Who makes up your support team?

And Dancing Lemur Press was one of three publishers featured in an interview at the IWSG this week.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group #IWSG

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.


April 5 Question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

I’ve participated 2-3 times in the past. One year my theme was leadership and goal-setting and I posted short excerpts from my book, Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! Another year, I posted promo and other tips for writers, most taken from my book How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now! Each month moved a few extra books. Not enough to warrant a month’s worth of marketing, but if I was posting for the A to Z anyway, might as well take advantage of the opportunity.


If you’ve not had an opportunity to join yet, the IWSG Goodreads Book Club just selected its first writing book. You have until the end of May to read it, so there’s still time.

The IWSG Twitter Pitch - #IWSGPit takes place July 27. The list of participating agents and publishers continues to grow and it’s a great opportunity for writers. Join us for the event in July - Twitter pitch parties are a lot of fun.

In less than one month, the next IWSG anthology will be released - Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life. Twelve fantasy stories involving a lost hero from twelve talented authors.
Follow the Lost Hero blog and please support the Thunderclap campaign. They need just a couple more supporters.

One of Dancing Lemur Press’s titles is now free - CassaDawn.
Download the prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa trilogy at:
Amazon / iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Amazon UK




And coming April 18, 2017 in eBook format- the prequel to Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries:

Maski: Broken But Not Dead by Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango retreats to her cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. After two days, the intruder disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Then her daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

To pre-order: Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes / Amazon


Has anyone else used the A to Z to market a book?

Friday, March 31, 2017

We are the World Blogfest #WATWB

Hosted by Belinda Witzenhausen, Lynn Hallbrooks, Simon Falk, Sylvia McGrath, and Damyanti Biswas.

The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there, the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope and the resilience of the human spirit. With your help, we hope to change the current landscape of social media, blogs, and news. Our first post goes live on the 31st of March and Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome.

Find WATWB also on Facebook and Pinterest.


Since I am an animal lover, I selected a story that involves a cat.

On September 12, 2016, a tiny kitten fell out of a SUV and onto a busy freeway in Kaliningrad, Russia.

For several minutes, cars swerved around the kitten and several trucks went right over him.

Then a car stopped and the driver got out to rescue the kitten, saving him from certain death. The man, Denis Degtyarev, checked him over and found the cat bruised and scared but otherwise unhurt. He took him to his kids’ school and friends found the kitten a good home.

How many people would do that? How many would show compassion for a small creature in danger and risk their own life to save it? True compassion shines on all levels and for all living things, and that man proved there are still caring people in the world. God bless his loving and generous spirit. May it be contagious.

A surveillance camera caught the whole ordeal:







Special Announcement

One of Dancing Lemur Press’s titles is now free - CassaDawn. 
Download the prequel to the Amazon best-selling Cassa trilogy at:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Getting the Most out of a Twitter Pitch Event

Recently the IWSG announced our first Twitter pitch event on July 27 - #IWSGPit. You can read all the details HERE.

Just what is a Twitter pitch party?

On a designated day, writers are to compose a story pitch in less than 140 characters and Tweet it with the appropriate hashtags. Publishers and agents scan the feed for pitches that catch their attention and pressing the “heart” button. That indicates they want a query from you.

Each Twitter pitch event has its own set of rules and hashtags:
  • How often a pitch may be posted
  • Hashtags for the event and for specific genres
  • How writers can show one another support

Often participating publishers and agents will Tweet instructions for submitting manuscripts that have received a “heart” from them. Sometimes they will simply direct people to their submission guidelines.

A recent Twitter pitch event garnered over 1000 Tweets an hour. That’s a lot of pitches! How does one stand out? What can writers do to make the best impression possible and follow all the proper steps?

Here are some tips for getting the most out of the experience:

  • Compose a solid pitch. It’s difficult to sum up an entire story in one line, but not impossible. Loglines have to be basic. (Think of the taglines from movies.) What’s the key plot element? Who is the main character? Aim for 120 characters to allow room for the hashtags.

  • Add some personality to your pitch. A little humor or quirkiness does stand out.

  • Test your pitch on other writers first.

  • Be sure your story fits the event. Some Twitter pitches are gear towards specific genres.

  • Use the proper hashtags. You’ll want to use the event’s hashtag AND a genre hashtag. It also helps to add the age hashtag. (Examples - #F = fantasy, #PR = Paranormal Romance, #A = adult, #YA = young adult.)

  • Consider your genre/age options. During most pitch events, #YA is the most popular age/genre. But we know that YA does not comprise half of the books published every year. Think outside the box and pitch a genre/age that will stand out rather than blend in.

  • Don’t pitch more often than allowed or you will get banned. In addition, only publishers and agents are to “heart” pitches.

  • If your pitch receives a “heart,” go to that publisher/agent’s site and review the submission guidelines. Be sure to mention the pitch event in your query. But just because you were invited to submit doesn’t mean you can ignore their submission requirements - send everything they request and ONLY what they request. No need to shoot yourself in the foot when you just got it in the door.

  • Be sure to research that publisher/agent BEFORE you send your query. Don’t waste that person’s time. The publisher/agent won’t remember that you didn’t send a “hearted” query, but he or she will remember that you sent one and then later withdrew it.

  • Once the event ends, analyze your results. If you received no “hearts” it might be time to adjust your pitch. Of course, with thousands of pitches filling the feed, it’s also possible it got lost in the shuffle. Adjust and try again at the next event.

Many authors have found homes for their books through Twitter pitches. It’s a great way to test the waters and get the attention of a publisher or agent. Don’t rely on them solely though - you still need to be querying with a proper query letter. Just give it a try and have fun.

Various Twitter pitch events:


Have you ever participated in a Twitter pitch event?