Category Archives: Contests

Don’t Let Kat Choose My Prom Dress! Contest and Free book offer

What kind of dress to buy for the girl who has…nothing in her closet but survival gear? Joss and I need your help to find her perfect dress for the prom. I know some of you don’t think Joss would go to her prom. Obviously you’ve forgotten about Kat. Think she’s going to stand for that? Now prom season may seem months away to you, but in book time, we need to get shopping.

What I Need From You:

  • Images or links to images of dresses. In photos with more than one dress, please specify which dress is your entry.
  • Optional: If you have a specific reason behind your choice–I think Joss would choose this dress because–I’m happy to hear it.
  • Optional: If you just love to shop and have suggestions for other characters in the series, please feel free to send those along, though they CANNOT be counted as contest entries. They’d just be helpful and inspiring and maybe help me get the book done a bit faster.

What the Winner Gets:

The winner, the person whose entry most closely inspires my final choice for Joss’s prom dress, will get bragging rights, a line in the acknowledgements for the next book, HEROES UNDER SIEGE, and be written into the world of the Talent Chronicles as a minor character in the book as well!

How the Winner Will Be Chosen:

  • I’ll choose the dress I think will work best for Joss and the story.
  • Where similar dresses are submitted, I’ll choose the image that was most influential in deciding me on the dress.
  • Where identical images and links are submitted, I’ll choose the winner as the person who submitted it first.

Other Rule-like Details:

  • All entries must be submitted via email to talentchronicles at g mail dot com. Entries made as comments to this page, blog posts, on Facebook or elsewhere will not be valid.
  • All entries must be received by midnight, Eastern time, on November 15th, 2011. The Winner will be announced on November 23rd.
  • You do not need to own the images to share them–links to articles about prom, magazine photo shoots, etc. are fine. These images will not be reproduced in the book, they are for inspiration purposes only.
  • Your personal prom and school dance photos are welcome! I may go get mine from my mom before this is over so you can chuckle at them.
  • Sketches and drawings are enthusiastically welcome. Please remember that any original ideas you submit may be used in the book and no additional compensation is being offered except as described above.
  • Please limit your entries to your three favorites. They can be submitted all at once or separately as you find them.

Free Book Offer!

To make this contest “no purchase necessary,” and still give everyone a fair shot at guessing Joss’s prom style, I’m offering ebook copies of the first book in the series, HUSH MONEY, free for a limited time. Just send me email at talentchronicles at gmail dot com by November 1, 2011, and ask for free ebook.

If you have friends who might enjoy this series, this is a great time to get them started. And I won’t be checking to see if people who asked for the free book submitted contest entries, so don’t be shy about getting your free book.

Help Spread The Word!

badge image for the Don't Let Kat Choose My Prom Dress Contest

I have high hopes for a lot of participation and fun with this, and that it will provide inspiration to do more contests in the future. Here are some things you can do to help let people know about the contest and about the free book offer:

  • Tweet about it and link back to this page.
  • Make status updates on Facebook.
  • Like Facebook updates that mention the contest.
  • Blog about it. Use the graphic below to make a quick and easy post.
  • Make posts to show off your contest entry.
  • Carry the contest badge on your website/blog.

For the badge, copy and paste: <a target=”_blank” href=”https://susan-bischoff.com/contests”><img src=”http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6109/6257915530_ff82cd89c9_o.jpg”></a&gt;

Info graphic for the Don't Let Kat Choose My Prom Dress Contest

Copy and paste: <a target=”_blank” href=”https://susan-bischoff.com/contests”><img src=”http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6031/6257386873_f3af2ab8bd_o.jpg”></a&gt;

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WANA Giveaway Winner

Just a quick post, while the internet holds up, to announce that the winner of “my favorite marketing how-to guide” was Stacey, lucky commenter #8 (discounting anything Kristen and I had to say) according to Random.org. Stacey, I’ve already emailed your prize.

For everyone else, once again here’s the link to Kristen’s book should you want to buy, bookmark, or wishlist it. Thanks to all who entered, and to Kristen, for writing an awesomely helpful book.

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Giveaway: Kindle Kisses of Day of Sacrifice

Today I have 5 copies of the Kindle edition of Day of Sacrifice by Stacey Wallace Benefiel, the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy that starts with Glimpse.

Note: Although this is the Kindle edition, it is DRM-free, and so can be converted with a program like Calibre to be enjoyed on a variety of devices.

With only three days left until her twenty-first birthday, her Day of Sacrifice, Flora Hamilton should be living it up. But when another Supernatural family puts a hit on her she’s forced to go into hiding with Julian, her gorgeous new Guardian Angel. Sometimes running for your life isn’t so bad.

Day of Sacrifice is a short story of approximately 15,000 words. It is intended for adults due to language and sexual situations.

I’ll be using Random.org to choose 5 winners from amongst the entries. To enter:

Step 1: Copy and Tweet the following statement:

I want to read Day of Sacrifice by S.W. Benefiel http://amzn.to/e1kch0  #books #kindle @Momjeans1975 @susan_bischoff

Feel free to use the tweet button below and replace the suggested text.

Don’t tweet? You can also make a status update for Facebook, or add the book on Goodreads and leave this statement as a temporary review.

Whichever you do, get the links to the Tweet, Facebook update, or Goodreads review, and…

Step 2: Leave your links in the comments.

You’ll get one chance for the comment (no addition promo necessary) and one chance per link; limited to one prize per person. Comments made after 9am on December 15th will be excluded. The prizes will be sent out tomorrow morning using Amazon’s Gift as a Gift feature and the email address associated with each winner’s comment.

P.S. To get the link for your tweet, click its timestamp. A new window should open that displays the single tweet. Copy the address from your browser’s address bar.

P.P.S. Helen Smith is trying to get the word out about a BUNCH of giveaways she’s doing on her blog this week. If you’d like to score some free reads, why not check it out? And if you’re blogging this week and have some space to spare, tell your friends. I understand that if you send her email and tell her you blogged about it, you’ll be entered to win an Amazon gift card.

P.P.P.S. Sorry, the post-scripts are getting ridiculous. But this morning I read a fabulous article by author Holly Lisle. Especially for those of you waiting to get your hands on Kristen’s social media book (see yesterday’s post), many will enjoy this article on “Your Online Presence” and the theories behind how Holly works to create one of the most engaging fiction sites out there. It’s a long article, but it’s all worth reading.

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Giveaway: My favorite book marketing how-to guide

ETA: Read on for more about this very helpful book, but please note that this giveaway is over and comments have been closed.

My daughter’s scheduled outpatient surgery (getting a bunch of gum-chewing teeth taken care of because she tried to sock the dentist, even with laughing gas), was canceled due to snow. It’s certainly not a ton of snow by our standards, but for this part of the country, everything has to shut down. I hate snow, I really do, and my daughter told me, “If you hate snow, you hate Christmas.”

But, I really don’t. I’ve “Bah Humbug”ed more than once already, and I’ll do it again, but underneath this stress-ed out exterior, I really do love Christmas. And to prove it, I wanted to give away something I’ve found very useful this year.

Yep, I’m talking about We Are Not Alone: A Writer’s Guide to Social Media by Kristen Lamb. I talked about this book when I was reading it back in September, but I just got around to writing an Amazon review yesterday. Bad Susan.

I’d like to believe you all hang on my every word and that, when I mention a book, you all run right out and buy it. But hey, you don’t, and this one’s 8 bucks for the Kindle version! And we’re all starving artists, aren’t we? But thanks to the magic of Amazon’s Gift as a Gift button (how much does that rock?) (and my magical Amazon credit card), I can easily offer you this book that I found so helpful, encouraging, and entertaining.

Note that this is the Kindle edition, and is DRM’d, so you’ll have to read it on a Kindle-compatible device or on your computer.

It would be lovely if you’d use the sharing buttons below to mention this to your friends and get more people to check out Kristen’s book, but I’m keeping this simple and all that’s required is that you leave a comment, saying that you’d like to win the book (to distinguish you from the other people who have to comment to gush about how great Kristen is). Let’s have an end to entries at 9am Eastern on Friday, since I’ll have another 1-day giveaway for you on Thursday. That should jog my memory to, you know, pay up. Then I’ll choose one random winner from among the entries. (ETA: it looks like I’ll be doing that other giveaway tomorrow, FYI. Doesn’t affect anything for this one, though, except my ability to remember to hand out a prize.)

And if you already read this book, will you please drop by Amazon and leave a review? Just your 5-star rating (I assume) with the line “I found this book really helpful” or “Great introduction to social media for authors” or something like that. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but ratings really help. In a world of corporate-branding For Dummies and Idiot’s Guide how-to books, let’s help out one of the little guys who deserves it.

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Lessons from the Universe Continue to Plague Me

Some days are just full of headaches and embarrassments.

The headache is mainly just that I’m sick with one of those nasty, painful colds. At least we didn’t have a snow day for the THIRD day in a row. I know I’m not supposed to consider school my babysitter, but come on.

Anyway, I feel terrible about this, like I just have total promo fail. I can’t believe my reach is still so small that I can’t even give away 10 copies of a book. And it may be partly that Imogen and I have been doing cross-promo and she’s already tapped as much of my small network as she’s gonna. And it’s probably also that I had to go our around 12:30 yesterday, didn’t get home until 8pm, and then just crawled into bed, so the PM world didn’t really know about the giveaway. So basically, everyone who commented yesterday wins, and I appreciate it. I’ve already sent those out.

So a friend of mine, who is somewhat down, has written to me with some questions about self-publishing. And like the indie fiend that I am, I’m responding with a long letter, attempting to take advantage of his frustration and bring him over to the Dark Side.

And while I’m doing this, an email I wrote a few weeks ago come back to haunt me.

While I was away for that reunion thing over Thanksgiving weekend, I got this email from the people at BookBuzzr, basically saying: hey, since you’ve been with us, your rank has gone from this to this. Do you know how that happened and have any marketing tips we could share with our readers?

Well, now, you guys know that I am always happy to babble about that stuff, so I did. With my husband tapping his foot, I furiously typed this really long email in which I brain-dumped everything I could think of, most of which you guys have already read. Only, you know, I thought I was just talking one-on-one, and I was pressed for time, and I left out the self-effacing humble stuff that I actual feel, but just didn’t have time for that morning.

So in the middle of what’s supposed to be a kick-ass, indie-rah email to my friend, I get a promo in my inbox that mentions my name in a link. And follow it to the reprint of this previous email.

Now, don’t get all mad on my account. I say I didn’t know it was coming out, but I’m sure it was a misunderstanding on my part and I’m not mad. You’d be AMAZED and frightened by the amount of stuff that goes over my head and that I just plain forget. If you’re one of those writers who goes about in a fog most of the time and makes the absent-minded professor look like Franklin Planner-Man, you know what I’m talking about. (I am, actually, the antithesis of Kait Nolan. And suddenly the Anti-Kait has a ring to it…) But it leaves me sort of nonplussed and kind of embarrassed, and concerned about whether, perhaps, I came off as a big no-it-all with a huge, bloated head. Plus I might have tried to sound more smarter than I do around here, talking with you friends.

The lesson here, for all of us, is to remember to be careful in our communications with others, to pay attention to whether or not we’re projecting what we intend, and that what we say electronically can live on for a long time in ways we didn’t originally expect.

Heroes ‘Til Curfew, for enquiring minds who want to know, is going fairly well this week. I enjoyed the 2500+ words I wrote yesterday from Dylan’s perspective, many of which were written in Burger King, with its wonderful indoor playground. You know, when I mention fast food playland, NO ONE takes their kids to unhealthy places like that. Oh well. Deal. I got words down and no one had to die, and if someone had to suck down some chicken and fries for the cause, so be it.

I have now exercised two days in a row, and three times within a week. Now, I will grant you, it hasn’t been a lot of exercise, but I have turned on the Wii and done something, and I demand at least partial credit for this. Plus, there was water consumed that was not even carbonated. I know, right? But I did it anyway.

That’s it! That’s all the babbling you get for now. I have things to do, tissues to destroy, and vulnerable writers to corrupt, and I must move on.

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Filed under Contests, Heroes 'Til Curfew, Increasing Kindle Rank, Laws of the Universe, links, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, what not to do, word count, writing

Giveaway: 10 Kindle Kisses of Portal by Imogen Rose

I keep telling you guys to read this thing. What do you I have to do, send out free copies?

Well…ok.

I’ve got ten free copies of the KINDLE edition of Portal to give away.

Come Find Me Two Years Ago…

Six words that propelled ice hockey playing tomboy, Arizona, into an alternate dimension.

She suddenly found herself in the past. In one moment she went from being an ice hockey playing teenager in New Jersey to a glamorous cheerleader in California. She found herself transported from a happy life with her dad, Dillard, to a new, strange one living with her mother whom she hates. Apparently it’s a life she’s always lived in.

Everyone knows her as Arizona Darley, but she isn’t. She is Arizona Stevens.

As she struggles to find answers she is certain of one thing- that her mother Olivia, a brilliant physicist, is somehow responsible. .

PORTAL is the story of the repercussions of Olivia Darley’s attempt at creating a perfect world for herself and her children. Arizona’s quest for answers threatens to undermine the seemingly perfect world that her mother has so carefully constructed.

PORTAL is the first book of the Portal Chronicles. Fans of time travel, romance, and the supernatural will enjoy Arizona’s quest for answers.

I’ll be using Random.org to choose 10 winners from amongst the entries. To enter:

Step 1: Copy and Tweet the following statement:

I want to read Portal by Imogen Rose http://amzn.to/gJfjzO #books #kindle @PortalChronicle @susan_bischoff

Feel free to use the tweet button below and replace the suggested text.

Don’t tweet? You can also make a status update for Facebook, or add the book on Goodreads and leave this statement as a temporary review.

Whichever you do, get the links to the Tweet, Facebook update, or Goodreads review, and…

Step 2: Leave your links in the comments.

You’ll get one chance for the comment and one chance per link; limited to one prize per person. Comments made after 9am on December 8th will be excluded. The prizes will be sent out tomorrow morning using Amazon’s Gift as a Gift feature and the email address associated with each winner’s comment.

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This, That, Stuff, and Things

I used to have this social studies teacher who absolutely hated “stuff and things.” Use either of those words in an essay question at your peril. So now I often say them, just to say them, because I’m just ornery like that.

I’m also constantly behind. Everything’s just late, crazy, and overdue.

Take the 1000 Sales Giveaway. I was supposed to draw that on Monday. Just did it now.

It has been such a week. Sales started a random upswing over the weekend and then just exploded. It was all very exciting, finally slowing back down again, but I’ve been so obnoxious this week that I’m lucky I have any friends left at all, and you’re all lucky I forgot to blog.

So I’m not going to bore you with a play by play, but I’ll just record that my highest rank in the Kindle store was #327, and at B&N, where there is less competition right now, I think the highest I got was #140. Don’t know how that happened, and I think I’m pretty much going to have to retire from trying to figure this stuff out because I haven’t got a clue.

Ok, I know, tell us the winner already. I’m just messing with you. The winner of the signed paperback of Hush Money is Marta! Because Random.org thought to itself: which number feels like international postage?? Hahaha. That’s awesome, though, and Marta, I am very excited to send this to you.

Speaking of contests, I think Robin and I have settled on a cover concept and images for Heroes ‘Til Curfew. Last night I sent her a bunch of spew, descriptions of Dylan, some recurrent themes and imagery from the new book, that kind of crap. What she came up with is pretty awesome on the first try.

It’s not ready yet. I have to buy the stock images, she has to play with the color and make some adjustments, and I apologize for just teasing you like this with nothing to show. But I’m sure we’ll have it ready for you soon. I already feel so much pressure about this sequel that, to be honest, I’m sort of afraid of the cover reveal. Because I just think Robin’s work is so awesome it’s going to make a mob come to my house and chain me to this machine until I finish the story to go with it.

Which Kait suggested might not be a bad thing.

Smartass.

Anyway, I asked Robin if she was inspired by any of the responses in the Find My Dylan contest, and it seemed that her image selection came mainly from what I told her about the story. We agreed that it’s probably best to go with random selection on that too. So when we’re 100% on everything, and ready to reveal the cover, I’ll announce the winner on that as well. Thanks to everyone who helped look for Dylan.

In other news, my husband and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. I’ve now been married half my life. Whew.

NaNoWriMo is going pretty slowly. November is always a bear for me. Just in this week I had my attention sucked away by the awesome upswing of sales, our anniversary, election day means a day of no school, I should have had my knitting day but got sick, then doll club with my mom today, and tomorrow I have a bazillion errands and a social commitment I should honor. So that’s all interfering a bit with my whole BICHOK program, but most of what interferes with that program is me. I got 1230 words today of what is mainly note-form to be turned into proper prose later (well, as proper as we get in the Talent Chronicles), which brought me up just over 4100, I guess. I forget, but I updated it at the website, so it’s probably in the sidebar. The stats tell me I’m behind. Big surprise.

How is everyone else doing?

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Filed under Contests, Heroes 'Til Curfew, Hush Money, love, me me me, nano, NaNoWriMo, progress update, romance, self-publishing, Talent Chronicles, word count, writing

Contest: Help Me Find My Dylan- sticky

This is a sticky post. Please scroll down for newer posts.

Know what part of cover design takes the longest? Finding the right images. Robin and I spent a long time combing through images before Kait (who loves browsing stock photos, btw, but you didn’t hear it from me) came up with the perfect one.

I would like Dylan to be on the cover of Heroes ‘Til Curfew if at all possible. I have lousy GoogleFu, and it’s a deficiency that carries across all searches. While spending time browsing photos of cute boys is tempting, I really should be spending time on other things–like writing the book.

So I was thinking that maybe some of you would like to hunt for Dylan. You’ve read Hush Money (right?), so you have a sense of who he is. My current Dylanish Muse is Hunter Parrish. Here are some pics. He plays the part of Silas, the older son, in Weeds. From the earlier seasons, the longer hair look is probably more what I’m thinking. Just to give you an idea what’s in my head.

Robin prefers to work with images from Shutterstock, and she has her reasons, so images from there would have a better chance of being chosen from a practicality standpoint. But we might possibly go elsewhere if the price and conditions are ok.

Please leave links to images in the comments to this post. Enter as often as you like. If I chose one of the images for the cover, the commenter who linked to it will receive Heroes ‘Til Curfew in paperback and ebook (when they become available), and get the bragging rights to say that they “discovered” Dylan.

This contest will run until I finalize a cover design. If none of the images is chosen, I will give one entry to each individual commenter and select a winner at random for the giveaway. Sound fair? Have fun.

(and feel free to hit the tweet button on your way home)

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Filed under books, characters, Contests, Heroes 'Til Curfew, Talent Chronicles