Monday, January 20, 2014

Online Marketing Symposium & TALLAS Cover Reveal

Today is the day for the What Works - Online Marketing Symposium, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Arlee Bird, Jeremy Hawkins, and Yolanda Renee.

Here is the basic info on the event:

“On event day you tell us about a marketing idea that you've used and what worked or didn't work. Your post could describe a campaign that succeeded in a big or small way or one that failed drastically. Tell us about a business campaign, an organizational event, a fundraiser – anything where a bit of promotion was necessary!”

If you'd like to learn more, sign up yourself, or see the list of participants, click here.

I have to admit that the main reason I joined this hop was because I was interested in reading about the experiences of other participants and possibly learning something myself. I am clueless when it comes to marketing and one of my big goals for 2014 is to learn how to market more effectively. So I am eager to read and learn!

But as far as my own marketing experiences, one thing I can say without reservation that has been helpful for me is my participation in the annual A to Z in April Challenge. I love this event!

My first A to Z in 2011 is the main reason I am still blogging now, as that month was the start of feeling like I fit in somewhere in the blogging universe. It's also when I met some of my best blog friends who I am still in touch with now. So in terms of attracting more readers to my blog and getting my name out there, nothing has been more effective.

Last year I chose Alaska as theme for my A to Z posts as it is the setting for Polar Night, which was released in February of 2013. This was a successful marketing venture for me as my sales ticked up a bit in April and I attribute that to the Challenge. It was also a fun way to market because I could post about my book without just posting "please read my book!" over and over again. :D

I am a big cheerleader for the A to Z Challenge and look forward to another round coming in April.

Thanks to Alex, Yolanda, Jeremy, and Arlee (father of the A to Z) for hosting this fun and informative event today.

I'm also super-excited to share the cover for my friend Cathrina Constantine's upcoming release TALLAS. Isn't this cover amazing?? I love it and am so happy for Cathrina!

Here is the scoop on the book:


In a decimated world, setting foot outside the protected village of Tallas is certain death—or so they say. Mutations caused by those in the wilderness have plagued Tallas’s citizens—or so they say…

For Doogan and Keeyla their belief in a Free Tallas has lost its glimmer. And when their young son, Fabal, is given a very dangerous assignment, they risk everything to protect him. Fleeing Tallas, they head for the wilderness. But when they are ambushed by cruel Mediators, Doogan is recaptured, and while Keeyla and Fabal escape, she is severely injured.

Can the two of them survive in the wilderness? Will Doogan get away from the clutches of the Mediators? And are the terrible legends about the monsters beyond the walls of Tallas true?

Constantine’s Bio:

Cathrina resides in Upstate New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and two cats. Constantine is represented by The Belcastro Literary Agency. When not with her family, baking, crafting, reading, or stationed at the computer writing, you will find her walking in the backwoods with her dogs, conjuring up a new tale. 
Constantine’s Social Media Sites:

I read Cathrina's debut novel Wickedly They Come and it was a five-star read, so I have no doubt that TALLAS will be just as fantastic. 

TALLAS is scheduled for release on February 1, 2014. Cathrina is holding a giveaway to celebrate her cover reveal and release, which you can enter through the Rafflecopter below.

Congratulations, Cathrina! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The cover for Tallas is awesome!
    I will always be a big fan of the A to Z as the first one changed my blog forever. I couldn't have gained my following without it.
    Thanks for participating in the symposium!

  2. great and honest answer i was too looking for advice from those who have had success and failures. i have had a lot of great stories and advice.

    Jeremy H.

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

  3. A to Z is awesome! Best bloghop on the net, by far.

    Hey, LOVE Cathrina's cover! It's a work of art!

  4. Congrats to Cathrina! What I love about the A to Z Challenge is the creativity involved. It's great that it allowed you to blog about a different aspect of the state in which your novel was set, so you're writing about something you care about, and luring your readers in too. I mean who isn't fascinated with Alaska! (#2 dream destination for me.)

    Like you I also felt more a part of the blogging community afterwards.

  5. Yay! I've been reading through all the posts this morning, and YES. There's some great info in the hop.

    I LOVE Cathrina's cover, and am super excited for her book. Yippee!

  6. Great cover on Tallas! And the A to Z has been a great boost for my blog, too. Nicely done, Julie.

  7. @Alex, thanks again for hosting it!

    @Shelly, hello and thanks! :)

    @Jeremy, I haven't had a chance to read through the posts yet but I'm really looking forward to it. This hop was a great idea.

    @Cathy, totally agree on both counts! :)

    @Kim, I agree, it's fun to see how creative people can be with the A-Z posts! And you're so right, Alaska is a fascinating place, I had such fun learning about it.

    @Crystal, I am excited too, Cathrina is a fantastic writer!

    @Lee, thanks!

  8. I loved your Alaska posts last year. A to Z has been my biggest builder of my blog since I started.

  9. I am planning on doing the A to Z challenge this year. :) What a great idea for having the theme relate to your book. I'll have to think about that for the 2015 challenge. ;)

    And the cover for Tallas is gorgeous! Congratulations, Constantine, and good luck!

  10. Julie, thank you so much for having my cover reveal on your blog today. And if it wasn't for you, I never would've signed up for the A to Z Challenge and that started it all for me. The A to Z was when I really started to met and gain many blogger friends. Great Post!!

  11. Oh, And I Forgot to Thank everyone who liked the cover for TALLAS which I cannot take the credit. I only suggested to Melissa Stevens what I'd like and she did it all, beautifully!

  12. Oh, And I Forgot to Thank everyone who liked the cover for TALLAS which I cannot take the credit. I only suggested to Melissa Stevens what I'd like and she did it all, beautifully!

  13. WOW! Love Tallas cover. Gorgeous!! I totally agree, the A-Z challenge is a fantastic opportunity to market yourself/your book. Can't wait to see what's in store for this year's challenge. :)

  14. I haven't joined A to Z. But I'm thinking of joining this year. :-)

    Love the cover! It's so beautiful!

    (The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith)

  15. @Susan, oh, thanks, I'm so glad you remember my posts and liked them!

    @Chrys, glad you are planning to do it, that's great.

    @Cathy, I'm so glad you joined in the A-Z and had the same great experience I did. :)

    @Cecilia, isn't the cover fantastic? I love it.

    @Sarah, definitely!

    @Sittie, oh, I hope you decide to join in. Great to meet you!

  16. I love the idea of the A-Z challenge until I get to mid-March and get a cold sweat about all those posts and followers and comments and replying. I do think using it to promote your book the way you did it a great idea - fun, informative and makes people want to know more.

  17. Your main reason for joining this blogfest is mine too! I'm learning a lot today. A to Z is an awesome event! I've met so many great folks through it.

  18. was thinking of taking a break from a to z this year, but your idea gives me ideas... and i hesitate to use it for my own benefit, but it might be good if done well (like yours, very informative and interesting!)


    and super cover for Cathrina!

  19. It's so funny because I was considering not doing the A to Z this year, and then it's starting to be talked about and I'm reconsidering. So I've decided that it all depends on the other goals I've set. Time is such a factor.

    Thanks for participating! I think you do a wonderful job of marketing your work!

  20. I totally agree about how great the A-Z Challenge is. Not only did I meet some great bloggers who I now follow and read, but I also got a lot more followers and readers myself. :)

  21. If it weren't for the A-Z Challenge, I wouldn't have enjoyed such success with my latest release, "Louisiana's A-Z Something Extra: Lagniappe." But we're moving to North Carolina this April so think I'll have to pass this year . . . oh, but I wish there were more hours in the day!

  22. Very cool cover!
    I love reading the A to Z posts, but it comes at a bad time of year for me. I'd never be able to keep up! :)

  23. very interesting - I work in marketing but never have much time to market myself so this is cool

  24. It's true. The A - Z is a great marketing tool, and it's free! Thanks, Julie :)

  25. A-Z as a marketing tool? Hmm. I love the cover for Tallos. It draws you in.

  26. @Annalisa, LOL, I will probably break into a cold sweat in March as well. Last year I had all my posts done in advance so it went smoothly but this year I don't know if things are going to work out that way.

    @Christine, totally agree, I can probably point to the A-Z for at least half of the people I've met through blogging, probably even more than that.

    @Tara, I hope you end up doing it again. :)

    @Yolanda, LOL, I know what you mean, the time is a definite issue. But I hope you will decide to jump in again. Thanks again for hosting this event!

    @Madeline, that's exactly what happened with me as well.

    @Kittie, oh, I loved your Louisiana A-Z and it sure did work out for you! I hope your move goes smoothly and I will look forward to learning more about NC once you get settled in. :)

    @Rachel, sorry the timing is bad for you!

    @David, oh I didn't know you worked in marketing. Interesting!

    @MJ, can't beat free LOL.

    @Michael, isn't it awesome? I am so impressed with the cover.

  27. I wouldn't say you're clueless about marketing. Your giveaways and cover reveals for the Ghost book generated a lot of interest!

  28. 2013 was the first time I participated and it totally changed my blogging experience. I cannot wait for this year's challenge! I loved your Alaska theme. I learned quite a bit :)

    That is a STUNNING cover! It has a very mysterious vibe about it.

    Writing Through College

  29. Now Julie, you got me curious about the A-Z challenge. I found this challenge by way of Google search, and found site so interesting I signed for this blog hop. Still contemplating the A-Z:-)

  30. What's your theme for this year's challenge?

  31. @Sherry, oh, that's very nice of you to say, thanks!

    @Sam, I can't wait either, glad you are participating again! :)

    @Damaria, oh, you should definitely sign up! So glad to meet you, thanks for coming by!

  32. @Nana, I am planning to do an A-Z of Martha's Vineyard this year since I loved doing Alaska last year. I'm hoping to get some posts written soon. :)

  33. Very cool how the A-to-Z challenge has been so beneficial for you! I've been tempted to participate in this challenge the past, but always chicken out since it seems overwhelming, heh.

  34. @Heather, oh, you should do it! It would be fun. :)

  35. Congratulations to Cathrina! I love the color scheme on her cover. As an amateur artist, I always notice that sort of thing in a cover.

    The A to Z Challenge is a great way to build blogging presence and hopefully make meaningful new contacts. This'll be my third years doing it, and my first year with two blogs.

  36. I remember your brilliant A to Z theme from last year! It not only made me want to read your book, but it also encouraged me to add visiting Alaska to my bucket list! Congrats on your gorgeous cover Cathrina!


  37. I've done the A to Z for several years, but it's too long!!! I'd like to see this marketing symposium become a regular thing and have it go for a week instead of a day. I've really enjoyed visiting all the participating blogs and sharing info.

  38. @Carrie-Anne, I admire you for doing the Challenge with two blogs, I don't think I could manage that. Looking forward to your posts! :)

    @Julie, oh, thanks, you are so nice!

    @Karen, that's a great idea, maybe the hosts will be interested in setting that up.

  39. Hi, Julie,

    The A-Z IS a great way to grow in the community. I know that's where I had met you! And it's been great!

    Your posts on Alaska were really fascinating and it was the perfect way to introduce your first book.


    The COVER is STUNNING! ALL the best to her!

  40. @Michael, oh, I had forgotten that we met during the A-Z too! It's amazing how many of my blog besties I met during one of the challenges. :)

  41. I'm checking out the symposium posts, so I can learn as much as possible (even though I don't have a book out... yet...)
    And I rememeber your Alaska posts from the A to Z last year. They were very informative, especially since I had already read Polar Night.
    Congrats to Cathrina! That cover is gorgeous!

  42. @Michelle, I'm learning a lot too, this symposium is fantastic. So glad you enjoyed my Alaska posts!

  43. I did the same! (Joined to read everyone else's marketing tips. LOL)

    A-Z is a fantastic choice, though. I'd wager 1/3 of my blog following came from the one year I participated. I'm going to try to do it again this year I think, so long as life cooperates a little with me. (I've hit the ground limping more than running in '14 so far it seems. :)


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