Fourth of July contest!

Here’s your chance to win my latest release THE ALL-STAR ANTES UP as well as more than 40 other contemporary romances by wonderful authors such as, Marina Adair, Shirley Hailstock, Jean Brashear, Mary Campisi, Emily March, and Kathryn Shay. All these great books will be available you a brand new Kindle Fire! Here’s where to enter: bit.ly/july-4th-romance

The contest ends July 11th, so enter soon!

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$2.00 Sale on THE CEO BUYS IN!

Love billionaire romances? How about three gorgeous guys in tuxedos? Then you might enjoy THE CEO BUYS IN, the first book in my Wager of Hearts series…and it’s on sale for $2.00 on Kindle here.

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Once you’ve read THE CEO BUYS IN, I hope you’ll love it so much that you’ll want to grab Luke Archer’s story, THE ALL-STAR ANTES UP. It’s available now! You can buy it here.

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If you want more information about all my books, please visit my website: http://www.NancyHerkness.com and sign up for my New Book Alert!

 

Thank you, wonderful readers!

The All-Star Antes Up (Book 2 in the Wager of Hearts series) released on May 31st and climbed the bestseller lists at Amazon like a rocket. For this, I thank you, my fabulous readers! You bought Luke’s story, you reviewed it, you made it soar. Your support means so much to me!

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Hope those who came enjoyed the all-day (and into the next day!) Facebook party! I had a blast chatting with everyone, reading the funny/revealing/sweet/personal answers to my questions. I felt as though we all got to know each other better. Being with friends made release day so special.

 

Now I have to get back to writing Gavin’s story, so we can have even more fun when it comes out!

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Blow-out Sale! 5 books at $.99 each on Kindle!

An unprecedented sale! Never before have five–that’s right, FIVE!–of my books been on sale for 99 cents each on Kindle at the same time. The sale ends May 31st, so grab ’em while they’re such a great deal.

Sale!5 books99 cents each

Click on the title below to buy the book:

TAKE ME HOME, Book 1 of the Whisper Horse novels.

THE PLACE I BELONG, Book 3 of the Whisper Horse novels.

A BRIDGE TO LOVE, my debut novel.

SHOWER OF STARS, my second published novel.

MUSIC OF THE NIGHT, my one and only romantic suspense.

Just think: You can buy all five of them for less than $5.00!!! Go for it!

 

I loved the book, but how do I write a review?

 

Reviews on Amazon and other websites are so important to an author. They help other readers find books that you enjoyed. If you loved the book, please consider writing a review!

“But I’m not a writer,” you say. “I’m nervous about writing a review.”

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Here’s how to do it in a few very easy steps:

The Headline

Just a few words to kick off your review. You might use any of these categories to create your headline:

  1. Emotional response: “Loved this book!”
  2. Specific type of book: “Great small town romance!”
  3. Kind of character(s): “Hot billionaire.” or “Sassy heroine.”
  4. Endorsement:“Put this on your TBR list now!”

The Body.

Amazon recommends that you write between 75 and 500 words for a review. Their preferred minimum is 20, but if you give a book 5 stars and say, “This was one terrific read. I couldn’t put it down,” that is wonderful for the author.

Think about what you most liked about the book in one or more of these categories.

  1. Characters: Their job (veterinarian, chef, billionaire, office temp) and/or their qualities (cute, compassionate, sassy, angsty, tough).
  2. Setting: Small town, New York City, Mars, the mountains, the beach.
  3. Atmosphere: Light-hearted, dark and dangerous, sweet.
  4. Plot: Twisty, emotional, happy ending, straightforward.
  5. Writing: Vivid, poetic, spare, fast-paced, snappy dialogue.
  6. Premise: Small town girl meets high-powered businessman; marriage of convenience; Cinderella story; beauty and the beast.

You don’t have to answer all of these; just the one or two that really grabbed you.

Write the review. Fill in these blanks with the things you’ve thought about above.

I loved the (sassy heroine’s snarky dialogue)  and the (exotic setting in Bali).

OR

 (The hot billionaire) and (the sweet country girl) made a great couple in this (emotional romance with a wonderful happy ending).

OR

If you like (small town romance) you’ll love this story (set in the mountains of West Virginia) with a (sexy veterinarian) and an (ambitious lawyer.)

OR

Love (beauty and the beast stories)? Try this (futuristic fantasy romance)  set on (Mars) with a (dark, twisty plot).

See how easy it is? Just fill in the blanks!

The Summary line.

To round off your review, show your enthusiasm for the book with one of these kinds of comments.

  1. I read it in one sitting!
  2. I read it twice!
  3. I told all my friends to read this book!
  4. I can’t wait for the next book from this author!
  5. I highly recommend this book!

Just follow these easy guidelines and you’ll have a super review. Your favorite author will be so grateful to you for your support!

(Note: If you want to know how to POST your review on Amazon, go to my blog post here.)

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How to post a book review on Amazon

 

Many of my readers want to write reviews for books they’ve read and enjoyed, but they feel intimidated by the process. So I’m going to walk you through the mechanics of how to put a review up on the Amazon website. (See my next blog post on how to decide what to say in the review.) It’s very easy, trust me!

To write a review on Amazon, go to the page of the book you finished reading, then scroll down to where the reviews start. You’ll see a rectangular button that says: “Write a customer review.” That’s how you begin!

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Amazon then asks you to choose among ratings for: the author’s writing, the level of violence and sexual content, and who the narrator is (first person, etc.) The answers are multiple choice so it’s easy to answer those.

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Next are the stars, from 1 to 5. Five stars is the best rating, of course, and every author wants that. However, don’t hesitate to be honest in your evaluation.

Finally, type in the body of the review explaining what you liked and/or didn’t like about the book. If you liked it, enthusiasm is always appreciated by its author. (If you aren’t sure what to say in your review, read my blog post here.)

You can preview your review before you submit it and make corrections.

Hit “Submit” and you’re done. It may take several hours or even a day before it shows up on the book page. Amazon likes to check out reviews to make sure they don’t contain anything inappropriate.

Every time you leave a review, I guarantee you the author is sending grateful thoughts your way.

 

 

 

 

 

Where’d you get that great book cover?

I’m in love with the cover of The All-Star Antes Up, Book 2 in my Wager of Hearts series. Why? Because it conveys the feel of the story and the series so perfectly, and it’s both attractive and eye-catching.All-Star Antes Up cover-final

However, creating a successful cover is not easy. Here’s a glimpse of how book covers get designed.

This book is published by Montlake Romance, so they are the folks who hire the cover designer. My editor and I work with her (in this case), going back and forth with concepts, models, backgrounds, layout, fonts, etc. until we all think it works.

My publisher allows me an unusual amount of involvement as the author. Other publishers often ask their authors to fill out the cover questionnaire and go on to design the cover without further input from the writer. Many authors–even bestselling ones!—have a horror story or two to tell about book covers that either misrepresented the story in an important way or were just plain ugly. Christina Dodd famously had a cover for a historical romance on which the heroine had three arms. (Of course, if you self-publish your books, you have total control over the cover, which can be both terrifying and great fun.)

Step 1: As the author, I fill out a questionnaire, answering questions about the hero and heroine’s looks, a pivotal scene, adjectives to describe the tone of the story, as well as any ideas I have about the cover design. I can attach images of other book covers that I think are effective for my subgenre. In addition, The All-Star Antes Up is the second book in a series so it has to match the branding of the series opener, The CEO Buys In.Herkness-TheCEOBuysIn-Final

Step 2: The cover designer comes up with several concepts and sends them to my editor and me. Here’s where you start breaking it down into components:

  1. The cover model(s);
  2. The background;
  3. The title text and font;
  4. The author name text and font;
  5. The series logo;
  6. Colors.

Step 3: My editor and I review the whole effect, as well as the separate elements. In the case of The All-Star Antes Up, the fonts of all the text had to match The CEO Buys In, so that choice was very straightforward. Notice that the color of the series logo was changed on this book, a nice touch. It differentiates this cover from the first book’s just enough to cue the reader that this is a new and distinct story.

In this case, the cover model is very important. He needed to: 1) be blond, 2) exude physical power and confidence, 3) be wearing a suit, and 4) have something that indicated he was a football player. We ended up using one model’s head and a different model’s body to get the right combination of 1-3. As for the sports attribute, the cover designer found such a great football stadium background that we didn’t need to add a football element to the model himself.

Note: I’ve been asked why the model’s full face is not visible. Interestingly, most readers report that they prefer not to be given a visual of the hero/heroine. They prefer to create that image in their own minds. Hence, the faceless covers.

Step 4: My editor and I choose the concept we like the best, but request changes. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 (several times) until we have a front cover we’re happy with. The change requests begin with big things, such as changing the cover model, and end up with tiny tweaks, such as condensing the font spacing slightly to better match The CEO Buys In’s text.

Step 5: The cover designer uses elements from the front cover to design the spine and back cover for the print version of the book. The author is not involved in this part of the design, so it’s an enjoyable surprise when I receive the full cover image.

Step 6: The cover goes to the marketing department for review. They tweaked a font on one of my other books, but that’s the only change I’ve ever received on a cover design from marketing.

Step 7: The cover reveal for The All-Star Antes Up. Woohoo!!!

All-Star Antes Up cover-final