Donna Huston Murray – Smart and Witty Mysteries

Cozy Philadelphia? Not after reading Donna Huston Murray’s Thrillers!

Smart/Witty Mystery Author Donna Huston MurraryHello and welcome to our second Author Interview Plunge. Today’s guest is mystery author Donna Huston Murray.

Everyone, please stand up and give Donna a big round of applause for taking part in our Author Interview Plunge series.

I got to page 50 and couldn’t remember what I’d done with the gun.

 
Donn Huston Murray’s Bio
Donna Huston Murray’s first eight mystery novels were Cozies featuring a woman much like herself, a DIY headmaster’s wife with a troubling interest in crime. FINAL ARRANGEMENTS, set at Philadelphia’s world famous flower show, achieved #1 on the Kindle-store list for both Mysteries and Female Sleuths. The first in Murray’s new mystery/crime series, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, garnered Honorable Mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. At home, she assumes she can fix anything until proven wrong, calls trash-picking recycling, and, although she should probably know better, adores Irish setters. Not sure if adoring Irish setters has anything to do with it and Donna tells me she’s moving beyond the Cozy genre (and her latest book proves it).

My most treasured fan comment is “I just want to thank you. My daughter started reading because of your books.”

 
Donna’s favorites of her own novels are Final Arrangements (A Ginger Barnes cozy mystery), What Doesn’t Kill You and Guilt Trip (both new Lauren Beck cozies), and For Better or Worse (a Ginger Barnes thriller and her most recent. Donna tells me it contains surprising info about spousal abuse).

Donna and I talked about writing cozies, setting murders in Philadelphia,

When your plot is at a dead end, try to think what the antagonist is doing.

 
writing versus editing, success, gaining confidence and finding your own voice in your work.

Confidence came hard for me.

 
You can find links to Donna’s books on the right or at the bottom of this post (depending on your device). You’ll also find links to Donna’s sites underneath the video. And please comment both pro and pro. Okay, con, too, if something really peeves you.

Good antagonists are worth their weight in gold.

 

The Interview

 
Donna Huston Murray’s Links
Donna’s website
Donna’s Books on Amazon
Donna on Facebook
Donna on Twitter

Donna and I talked about some sites she uses:

Check them out.

Special bonus to all watchers, listeners and readers of Donna Huston Murray’s interview; Be one of the first to comment or share (and let us know) and receive a free copy of Donna’s latest Ginger Barnes Cozy, FOR BETTER OR WORSE

Have your own voice. That’s what editors notice, that’s what readers want.

 

Phillip Strang – Murder is a Tricky Business (British Sleuths and Publishing Analytics)

Do your DCI and DI top the Amazon Sales Charts? – Murder is a Tricky Business with Crime Thriller Author Phillip Strang

Phillip StrangHello all and welcome to the first in our series of author interviews. The first to take The Plunge is crime thriller author Phillip Strang.

Everyone, please stand up and give Phillip a big round of applause for 1) taking part in our exciting adventure and 2) being the first to do so.

Hooray, Phillip!

I started writing at the instigation of my wife and daughter.

 
Phillip Strang’s Bio
Phillip Strang was born in the late forties, the post-war baby boom in England; his childhood years, a comfortable middle-class upbringing in a small town, two hours’ drive west of London.
His childhood and the formative years were a time of innocence. Relatively few rules, and as a teenager, complete mobility, due to a bicycle – a three-speed Raleigh – and a more trusting community. It was the days before mobile phones, the internet, terrorism and wanton violence. An avid reader since childhood.
In his early twenties, the author, with a degree in electronics engineering, and an unabated wanderlust to see the world left the cold and damp climes of England for Sydney, Australia – the first semi-circulation of the globe, complete. Now, forty years later, he still resides in Australia, although many intervening years spent in a myriad of countries, some calm and safe – others, no more than war zones.

Don’t let anyone tell you that writing is a breeze

 
Phillip and I talked about writing thrillers, living internationally, the hard work of sitting down and writing, creating box sets of your work, success, marketing and selling as an indie author and advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon (Phillip shared his wonderfully detailed methodology for getting reviews in How Self-Published Book Author and Marketing Maven Phillip Strang Gets Amazon Reviews. It’s worth a read).

That vast amount of people who tell you how to advertise your book don’t know what they’re talking about.

 
You can find links to Phillip’s books on the right or at the bottom of this post (depending on your device). You’ll also find links to Phillip’s sites underneath the video. And please comment both pro and pro. Okay, con, too, if something really peeves you.

The Interview

 
Phillip Strang’s Links
Phillip’s website
Phillip’s Books on Amazon
Phillip on Facebook
Phillip on Twitter

Phillip and I talked about a site he uses, InstaFreebie. Check it out.

Special bonus to all watchers, listeners and readers of Phillip Strang’s interview; Be one of the first to comment or share (and let us know) and receive a free copy of Phillip’s latest DI Tremayne Thriller, DEATH AND THE LUCKY MAN

The people who ended up the guilty people in the end were never meant to be the murderers. I had two other people lined up for that…the ending changed totally within the last couple of paragraphs.

How Self-Published Book Author and Marketing Maven Phillip Strang Gets Amazon Reviews

Learn how DCI Isaac Cook and DI Keith Tremayne Thriller Author Phillip Strang got over 300 reviews on Amazon

Phillip StrangPeople following me on social networks know that our first Author Interview Plunge is with crime thriller author Phillip Strang and is scheduled for 12:01pmET Wednesday, 10 Jan 2018. If you’re reading this post after that date/time, you can find his interview at Phillip Strang – Murder is a Tricky Business (British Sleuths and Publishing Analytics) (that link won’t be active until after that date/time).

Phillip and I were talking a few days after the interview and I asked him how he managed to get so many reviews (over 300) on Amazon. He graciously shared his methodology with me and gave me permission to share it with you.

A 15 Step Program
Important: The first step is not recognizing you have a problem, it’s deciding you want to succeed.

Bonus: You don’t have to stand up and say “Hello, My name is … and I’m an author wanting to get reviews for my books.” Okay, maybe you should say that to yourself, depending on your confidence levels.

Seriously, here are the 15 steps:

  • I take my mailing list, primarily generated through Lead Gen Ads on FB initially, although, now I only use InstaFreebie. It’s a lot cheaper and I’ve seen no difference in the quality of the emails I receive.
  • I then upload them onto Mailchimp using a programme called Zapier. The emails gained from FB lead gen ads and Instafreebie are auto loaded onto Mailchimp through Zapier. It’s a bit fiddly to set up, but MailChimp deals with the duplicates. There’s no manual uploading by me.
  • Mailchimp rates the emails on a 1 to 5 scale. I use 4 and 5 for my reviews.
  • Noting that of 5K on my list, only 2K are of any validity.
  • I then sent the 2K an email (left image at bottom. Click for larger image).
  • Of those, 100 will respond.
  • I’ll send them a file with the download link. I use Bookfunnel to ensure that they receive with full instructions for whatever device they use (right image at botom. Click for larger image)
  • Those that respond with a review will receive the next book, and so on.
  • A list of 5K will give me about 30, maybe 40 reviews.
  • As new subscribers are added to my mail list, I repeat the process.
  • It’s a labourious process to start up, but I’ve found no other way to get reviews.
  • Website’s offering for you to join the club in exchange for reviews are of little use
  • Of course, the best ones are when someone buys your book and gives a review, but most people don’t.
  • Let me know if you want any more information.
  • Be prepared for the wasters who will take the free book and never do any
    more. I’ve got a detailed spreadsheet, so I know who these are.

Many thanks to DCI Isaac Cook and DI Keith Tremayne thriller author Phillip Strang for sharing his review-getting methodology with us.

And remember, Phillip’s full interview will be available Wednesday, 10 Jan 2018, 12:01pmET at Phillip Strang – Murder is a Tricky Business (British Sleuths and Publishing Analytics) (link won’t be active until after that date/time).


Phillip Strang's first solicitation (click for larger image)Phillip Strang's follow up soliciation (click for larger image)