RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

I have posted this before, but today is Recruitment Day at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and I can’t say it any better than this!! If you’re an author looking for a community where you truly belong, are supported and become like family, this is the place for you. 

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I know you hear me refer to The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB a lot, but when I find something that is exciting and rewarding, I like to talk about it.

I first became a member of #RRBC in August, 2014. I didn’t get involved much – read my required number of books to remain active in the club, tweeted now and then, caught a RAVE WAVES Blog Talk radio show now and then and skimmed through the WEEKLY CLUB UPDATES.

I didn’t see a whole lot of benefits at the time, except that immediately, when I listed on my Profile that I was a member of the club, my Twitter followers increased substantially. Well, that was good. I now had other authors interacting on a consistent level and more opportunities to spread the word about my books.

Then, in November 2014, I received the honor of a #PUSHTUESDAY spot that showcased The Convict and the Rose. I saw an immediate spike in sales on Amazon. At the time the book was spotlighted, I had ten reviews. That number went to 25 within a few short months. Hmmmm, I thought to myself. Maybe I need to get more involved with this club because it seems to make things happen!

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Long story short, I got more involved. I began supporting other members, following their blogs and helping spread the word about their books. Again, I saw a huge spike in followers of my own blog. Wow! Now that meant I had to consistently start blogging and provide interesting and interactive content.

Two more examples -I earned a spot in April 2016 on a RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio show where I had the opportunity to discuss and answer questions about my books and again the support I received was overwhelming.

When the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB  chose my third book, Home At Last as a featured book of the month in July 2016, even more miraculous things began to happen.  Up until that date, I had only eight reviews. And even though it’s not a huge number, I now have twenty.

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I’ve participated in a virtual Writer’s Conference with the club, gone on numerous Block Party Blog Tours and read some absolutely amazing books by talented indie authors. In fact, at the end of 2016, I decided to put together a TOP TEN list for the books I enjoyed the most during the year. Out of the 10 books, 8 of them were #RRBC Authors! Check them out here!

All I’m saying, is that if you’re looking for a community of like-minded people to support, uplift, encourage and propel you to greater heights as an author, you might want to take a look at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.  Go to the FAQ page for the answers to any question you might have.

Membership fees are VERY affordable and the results (IF YOU PARTICIPATE) are amazing!

This group of supportive authors and readers have POWER!

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OH YES, AND ONE FINAL THING.  WHEN YOU JOIN, PLEASE TELL THEM I SENT YOU! 

Winners! #RRBC

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I am thrilled to announce the winners from my stop on the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Springtime Book and Blog Block Party tour!

$10 iTunes Gift Card  –  NONNIE JULES

$5 Amazon Gift Card – PATRICIA GREEN

eBook of Flowers and Stone – Lynn Miclea

eBook of The Convict and the Rose – Rob Kimbrell

A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED! 

Don’t miss out on the rest of the tour! 

Here are today’s stops:

4/12 – Kim Cox

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) $20 Amazon gift card;

4/12 – A. S. McGowan

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) e-book copy of “FOR THE LOVE OF A CENTAUR,” (1) e-book copy of “THE GHOSTS OF A CENTAUR” & (1) $5 Amazon gift card; 

4/12 – Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) $10 Amazon gift card, (1) $10 Starbucks gift card, & (2) e-book copy of “MIRROR OF OUR LIVES: VOICES OF FOUR IGBO WOMEN”;

#RRBC Springtime Book & Blog Party!

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Hi! And welcome to the  Rave Reviews Book Club’s BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY at Writing and Music coming to you from Plano, Texas.

Here is what I am giving away today!

One $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

One $10.00 iTunes Gift Card

One ebook of FLOWERS AND STONE

One ebook of THE CONVICT AND THE ROSE

WINNERS FOR THIS STOP – 4

I have published five books in the past four years. Four of those five have won book competition awards..

When I began this crazy journey by writing Flowers and Stone, I had no idea that it would take four books to tell the entire story. I also had no idea all I would learn along the way. But, I knew I had a story that begged to be told.

I started out by writing in first person. It became glaringly obvious that I couldn’t tell the story this way. When a close friend mentioned that I should consider telling it through fictitious characters, a light clicked on. That was the perfect solution for me. So, I chose to tell the story through Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. In doing this, I was able to separate myself from a deeply personal story and tell it through their eyes.

Here are the top FIVE things I’ve learned over the past four years:

  1.  DO NOT forego professional editing! That is number one and the most important.  It doesn’t matter how wonderful and talented you are at writing, you cannot edit your own work successfully.
  2. Spend a good deal of time and thought about your cover. People really do judge a book by its cover.
  3. Write your blurb. Then delete it and write it again. Cut out extra words and tweak it until you are saying precisely what will sell the reader on your book in the fewest amount of words possible.
  4. Get ready to market! I have never been a salesman, so marketing does not come naturally for me. But, through marketing conferences and trial and error, I have found that basically marketing consists of FOUR things: Visibility, Consistency, Honesty (honesty about yourself and about your books) and Networking.
  5.  Keep writing! Don’t think that because you’ve written and published one book you can sit back and reap the rewards. If you have a true passion for telling stories, you must keep writing. There are millions of books out there, but here’s something I want you to take to heart: NO ONE WRITES LIKE YOU! We are all unique and individual.

Here’s a little about each of my books:

flowers_and_stone_3d_cover Flowers and Stone is set in the rowdy Texas honky-tonks in 1970. Link to BOOK TRAILER

One Reviewer wrote: “As I close this amazing book by Jan Sikes, my heart aches for the hand Luke and Darlina have been dealt. Flowers and Stone is an amazing, fast paced story of two people who against all odds have found a true and binding love. The love story they create with one another is heart-gripping, turbulent, and heartbreaking. This is a true story of two souls brought together, soulmates, who were given the chance of true love until society and the justice system decided, differently.”

online_3d_cover_theconvictandtherose  The Convict and the Rose  alternates between Leavenworth Prison and Texas. Link to BOOK TRAILER 

A FIVE Star Review: “Luke struggles to adjust to life behind bars, going from a successful career as a musician to another number in the system. I thought this story might be bleak as a result, but it is far from depressing. Watching Luke cope to his new existence and rise above the situation made for riveting reading. And as Luke’s life unfolds, Darlina grows from a young, naïve girl to a stronger woman. Her journey has many ups and downs, strewn with doubts, hardships and new experiences. Through it all, she keeps in touch with Luke. And that’s what really resonated with me—the undying love these two hold for each other despite the separation they’re forced to endure.”

home-at-last_3d  Home At Last is set in a small West Texas town. Link to BOOK TRAILER

A FIVE Star Review: “Although Luke’s transition back into civilian life wasn’t easy for him, Darlina, and their two girls, they never gave up believing in second chances and living life to the fullest through all their hard work and endeavors. Many heartaches, losses, and struggles met them head-on, but for Luke and Darlina there wasn’t any mountain to high for them to scale.”

online_3d_cover_tildeathdouspart ‘Til Death Do Us Part concludes the series. Link to BOOK TRAILER

A FIVE STAR Review: “What a joy and what a sorrow. There is a gambit of emotions to be experienced in ‘Til Death Do Us Part, the concluding chapter in the Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone series. This story of love that knows no bounds will hold you captivated from being to end…Written from the heart, this is a book (and a series) that shouldn’t be missed. From hurdles to triumphs, it will make you believe in steadfast love. I had shivers about the owl hoots, especially at the end. I applaud the author for sharing her story with us and hope to see this series made into a movie someday.”

discovery_3dcoverhb2_discovery_logo1  Discovery Breaths of life from a prison cell

This poetry and art book is unique in many different ways. First and foremost, it was written and compiled by Rick Sikes during the fifteen years he spent in prison. The original documents were typed on onion skin paper. Remember that? 😊 It covers all topics from the deep dark loneliness of prison to a crazy and perhaps twisted sense of humor. It was a means of maintaining sanity in an insane setting.

The other thing that makes this book unique is the artwork found inside. Rick called them pen and ink drawings, but the proper name for this type of art is Pointillism. It is comprised of thousands of tiny dots made with a simple ink pen. He later added color to the drawings. Because the originals were black and white, I currently have two editions of the poetry book. One is hard cover and full color and the other paperback and black and white. I am in the process of getting this beautiful book formatted for ebook and it will be available soon.

I would LOVE it if you would take a look at the BOOK TRAILER for this beautiful book!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a preview of my books.

This tour is brought to you by the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB – a community of authors and readers who are constantly creating new ways to PROFILE, PROMOTE & PROPEL our members.  You mean you haven’t joined yet?  Well, you can…right here, right now, today!. You’ll not find another organization like this anywhere on the planet.

For a complete list of participants in the Block party, click HERE.

Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post.  Good luck on winning my giveaways!  I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BLOCK PARTY!

Follow me on: TWITTER   FACEBOOK   LinkedIn   PINTEREST    INSTAGRAM

 

Indie Authors, Need a place to call home? #RRBC

It is not often in life that I find a group or organization which actually does what it proclaims to. In fact, as an Indie Author seeking ways to help promote my books, I have been ripped off more than once. (I’m sure you can all agree with that.)

So, when I stumbled up on the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, I had my doubts. Words like “promote, propel and uplift,” caught my eye, but didn’t convince me. But, hoping for more reviews for my first two books, I joined.

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I must say that for the first year, I didn’t participate much. I read the required four books and wrote reviews. I tweeted and re-tweeted. I read the Weekly Club Updates and pretty much sat on the sidelines.

Then, as I watched other members of the club begin to garner the kind of recognition and promotion that led to more reviews for their books, I decided to get off the fence and jump on in.

Results? Amazing! I got a guest spot on one of the RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio shows, my third book, Home At Last, was chosen as a Book of the Month and things really took off. Sales jumped. I got more reviews, I had people start following my blog and I moved up the rankings both on Google and Amazon. And that was with only one book spotlight.

Since then, I’ve been a #PUSHTUESDAY winner, participated in a large number of blog tours, attended an amazing virtual RRBC Writer’s Conference and Book Expo, won multiple awards, am now co-hosting a RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show and have more followers than ever before.

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And I have been accepted into the RAVE WRITER’S – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS which was founded for the sole purpose of introducing the world to some of the TOP Indie Authors!

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The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is a community of authors, editors, publishers and readers who have one goal and passion in life and that is to lift others. The President of RRBC, Nonnie Jules, says that you can only rise as high as you are willing to lift someone else. It seems like reverse psychology, doesn’t it? But, I do know it works. By promoting other authors, you are in turn, promoted. What a philosophy!! And I have found that it bleeds over into every day life.

Rise by lifting others

So, if you are an Indie Author struggling to float the river alone, I invite you to join the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and let others help you. BUT, you must do your part or else you’ll see no results. It is NOT a place to simply list your books and sit back to wait for the reviews to come rolling it. You must GIVE to GET!

If you think this is a fit for you, take a look. You have to list the person who referred you to the club and that would be me, Jan Sikes. 🙂 See you in #RRBC land!!

 

#RRBC – WRITER RESPONSIBILITIES

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With the question posed, I had to give it some serious thought.

So, I decided to see what Webster had to say about the word “Responsible.”

“Answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control or management (often followed by to or for)”

Accountable for my own actions as a writer…

My first and foremost responsibility, as a writer, is to myself. As with any other facet of life,  honesty with, and respect for, myself is #1. My writing voice is unique. It is my responsibility to use that voice to tell a story.

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Secondly, my responsibility is to my story and characters. It is my job to get inside their heads and let them tell me what I need to know. If I don’t do this, then I am never going to bring my reader along for the ride. The words will fall flat on the pages.

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The third part of my responsibility as a writer is in supporting and uplifting others. We are all on this journey together. It isn’t a competition to see who gets to the top first.

Writers are as diverse as the stars in the heavens or snowflakes that drift to earth in winter.

Many times, a writer’s existence is rather lonely. Friends and family often cannot relate to the way we think of our characters as real people. We may be labeled as eccentric or obsessed.

We have a strong need to belong to a community who supports, promotes, encourages and lifts each other.

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For me, The Rave Reviews Book Club is that community. This is not the only organization I belong to or strongly believe in, but it is the most supportive of any I have found. I’ve never been part of any other group that will openly share my books…even create attractive graphic designs to hawk my stories.

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But, there’s a catch. Nothing in life is a free ride and as a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, my responsibility is to support, promote and propel others.

Does this sound like something that you’ve been searching for as a writer?

Not only is this community made up of authors, but also readers, editors, book designers, bloggers, radio broadcasters, and publishers .

It is truly a WHOLE community of support.

I invite you to take a close look at The Rave Reviews Book Club and all that it embodies.

If you feel this is a good fit for you, join. But, don’t expect to sit back and do nothing. It is your responsibility to get involved, support others and enjoy the support you receive.

If you decide to join, please say I sent you.  – JAN SIKES, AUTHOR

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