Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our 'Summer Sizzles with Imajin Books' event begins July 1st

The countdown is on. In 4 days, our huge summer event will begin and we'll be rewarding readers and book reviewers. This is our way to say "Thank you" for reading our books.

Great things come in threes! So we have 3 ways you can help us celebrate:

1. July 1-31 -  Summer eBook Sale: our books (via Amazon and Smashwords) will all be priced between $0.99 and $2.99US.
2. July 1-August 31 - Summer Reviewer Giveaway: reviewers can receive free ebooks.
3. August 1-31 - Summer Sizzler Scavenger Hunt - win free ebooks and a chance to win a KINDLE ereader with wi-fi. (Other prizes may be added. We're hoping to also give away a Kobo Touch ereader.)

We hope you join us because 'Summer Sizzles with Imajin Books'.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

5 Dos and 5 Don'ts when querying Imajin Books

Hopefully, if you're a writer thinking of querying us, you've read Jeff Rivera's query posts here. If not, I recommend you read them before submitting a query letter to us. It'll save us both time and energy.

And here are a few more Dos and Don'ts you should apply.


1. Do query us in a personal, friendly tone. We aren't stuffy, starched-shirt executives working from a corner office on the 12th floor with a river view. We're people who love a good story.
2. Do address me, the acquisition editor, by name. CHERYL. Not Ma'am or Miss or Publisher. And yes, your email may get deleted if you can't be bothered to spell my name correctly. Sorry, but if you can't spell CHERYL, then there are probably a ton of typos in your manuscript.
3. Do HOOK me with your first sentence and paragraph of your query letter. Follow this advice for your novel too. I look for a strong first sentence, paragraph, page and chapter. If you don't have this, edit. Your query too.
4. Do email me your query. Don't send it by mail. Ever. Especially now. Canada Post is on strike.
5. Do feel free to blog about Imajin Books (in glowing terms, of course) and promote any of our fabulous authors. Feel free to contact them for interviews and guest blogs. Ask them to donate a free ebook to a contest/draw on your site/blog.

1. Don't query us with NON-fiction. Unless you see our tagline under our company name change, we only publish FICTION. For those of you who are still confused over the difference, NON-fiction means the story is based on truth, on someone's life, is factual. This includes memoirs, historical accounts etc. FICTION is a made up story, a fantasy not based on truth, though it may be inspired by a true story.
2. Don't ever call us in place of an emailed query. We do not want to be pitched to by phone. We have a business to run.
3. Don't leave us voice messages asking us to call you so you can pitch a book to us.
4. Don't tell us your manuscript has been professionally edited because when we find typos--and we always do--we're going to wonder who you hired and why you bothered. Or we'll think your mother's sister's best friend who cleans the coffee room at a newspaper edited it for you for free.
5. Don't send us a five page query. Keep it short and sweet. If we want to know more, we'll ask. If we ask, that's a good sign we're interested. If we're interested, we may just publish your book. If we publish your book, you'll have a publisher and your book will be read by readers.

~ Cheryl Tardif

Monday, June 20, 2011

Giveaway: Rowena Through the Wall by Melodie Campbell

We're giving away 10 free ebook copies of Melodie Campbell's debut romantic fantasy, ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL.

The first 10 people to leave a comment here, including their email address, will receive a coupon code to be used on various file formats suitable for most major ereaders and reading via a computer.

All we ask in return is that you post a short review of ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL on Amazon.com, and anywhere else you'd like.

Remember, the first 10 people to comment with their email address will receive this sizzling romantic fantasy.

"A hot, hilarious, romantic fantasy that enthralls you from the first line. If you enjoy Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, you'll adore Rowena and her riotous romps in an alternate world…" ―Midwest Book Review

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Rowena Through the Wall or give it as a gift, please visit Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Store

Sunday, June 19, 2011

YOU KNOW YOUR QUERY LETTER SUCKS WHEN ... You Haven't Grabbed Them Emotionally

When reading this series of articles from my good friend Jeff Rivera, please substitute "agent" for "publisher" and follow his advice to send us a query letter we'll be excited to read. ~Cheryl Tardif, publisher

YOU KNOW YOUR QUERY LETTER SUCKS WHEN ... You Haven't Grabbed Them Emotionally

by Jeff Rivera, founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com

I love going to the movies. Chomping on the popcorn, being so engaged with the film that for two hours (and sometimes dreadfully much longer) you forget about your worries and strife and if you're lucky, you're swept away on an emotional journey that takes your breath away.

People want to feel the same way when they read your memoir or your novel and believe it or not, agents would love to feel the same way when they read your query letter.

Your query letter is supposed to be an example of your storytelling skills. But let's be honest, what if your story is just another Da Vinci Code knock off? What can you do to really grab the agent in that very first sentence?

I've ghost written over 100 query letters for clients and all of them, 100%, have gotten at least 10 top agents to request to read their manuscripts.

When I run across a client who's weak on spaghetti sauce but heavy on spaghetti, then I know that I need to dig a little deeper. Sometimes the selling point is the author themselves. Their backstory is much more interesting than the actual story they're telling.

I once had a client who had written a book of poetry, which anyone will tell you is the hardest thing to sell for an agent right next to a collection of short stories, yet his backstory of success from the tough streets of South Chicago to being an incredibly successful broadcast executive was so powerful, I just had to include that in the query letter.

The result? Over 30 clients requested to read his manuscript. In fact, you can read his query letter here: http://tinyurl.com/25t2mkj

Use this technique and you'll be one step closer to landing an agent.

If you would like to see an example of query letters that worked, visit: http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com

Jeff Rivera is the founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. He and his works have been featured or mentioned in Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Mediabistro, Los Angeles Times, New York Observer, NPR and many other media outlets.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Sizzles with Imajin Books

This summer, from July 1st to August 31st, celebrate the opening of the innovative Canadian publishing company, IMAJIN BOOKS. 

Great things come in threes! 

1) Check out our Summer eBook Sale.
2) Check out Summer Reviewer Giveaway to receive free ebooks.
3) Follow our Summer Sizzler Scavenger Hunt and enter to win a Kindle ereader. 

More details coming soon! Stay tuned and check back here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Every Woman Needs a Magic Portal Wall," Says Imajin Books

Today, a press release went out via 24-7PressRelease.com to announce the release of ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL, a historical romantic fantasy by Melodie Campbell.

Check it out:

Press Release - "Every Woman Needs a Magic Portal Wall," Says Imajin Books Publisher of Author Melodie Campbell's Romantic Fantasy, Rowena Through the Wall

Monday, June 13, 2011

Querying publisher tips...aka how NOT to query a publisher

Dear Cheryl Tardiff,
It is with great pleasure that I am submitting my manuscript sample. Hoping to hear from you in due course.
The above is an actual query letter received by an author, and the subsequent replies. Though I always give credit to authors who follow their dream, there is following it boldly and there is not doing your homework and being a bit annoying. The last thing you want to do is annoy a publisher.

In the above email, the writer clearly shows me he hasn't got a clue what we publish or what we're looking for. I appreciate those who take two minutes to read the guidelines and review WHAT we publish...and spell my name correctly. To be honest, I could have overlooked the spelling error if it weren't for the fact that this writer then proceeded to pitch us something entirely different from what we publish. NON-FICTION.

Our logline is: Quality fiction beyond your wildest dreams. One look at our book list tells you we publish...FICTION.

My reply:
Dear Author,
Thank you for your submission to Imajin Books. Unfortunately, we only publish fiction at this time and do not publish memoirs, so we’re not the right publisher for you.
We wish you the best success in your search for a publisher that can properly market your work. Keep trying!
All the best,
Cheryl Tardif, Imajin Books
My reply to the author was polite and friendly, explaining the issue, rejecting his manuscript kindly (the way I'd want to be rejected), with a positive message at the end. That should have been the end of this conversation. But it wasn't.
Dear Cheryl,
Although my manuscript is memoirs, it can also be classified as narrative non-fiction. Your submission details (which is enclosed as an attachment) does not say that you do not publish memoirs. I would urge you to read the chapters that I have sent you and then decide.
The author basically redefines his work and still describes it as NON-FICTION. Um, sorry but what part of "we only publish fiction" don't you understand? And by attaching OUR guidelines, he's insinuating I haven't read them. Um, I wrote them. And our guidelines say: "A novel..." Heads up, people! A novel is FICTION. Then he urges me to consider reading his memoirs...yeah, no, that's NOT going to happen.

His emails tell me a lot about him: he's new at querying publishers; he's probably never been published before; and he doesn't understand the business or some very simple etiquette that every writer should learn BEFORE they query an agent or publisher.

I'm not posting this to embarrass this writer--he probably won't be checking our blog any time soon. I'm posting this to help educate other writers who may be under the misconception that any of this would be a good way to approach a publisher. It isn't. We're busy people with deadlines and we have a lot of juggling and coordinating. We don't have times to argue with people about what we publish and what we don't publish. Read our guidelines and for goodness sake, check out our books. Buy a couple; see what exactly we're publishing, what we get excited about. If you give us something similar yet unique, we may just get excited about your FICTION work. :-)

And please...pitch us FICTION. We don't do NON-FICTION--and that includes memoirs.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

YOU KNOW YOUR QUERY LETTER SUCKS WHEN ... "You Don't Grab Them in the First Sentence"

When reading this series of articles from my good friend Jeff Rivera, please substitute "agent" for "publisher" and follow his advice to send us a query letter we'll be excited to read. ~Cheryl Tardif, publisher

YOU KNOW YOUR QUERY LETTER SUCKS WHEN ... "You Don't Grab Them in the First Sentence"

by Jeff Rivera, founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com

Agents are so busy nowadays they won't even give a query letter an entire paragraph to grab them.

If you've passed the first test, what I like to call the scan test (meaning it looks professional at first glance), then you'll be lucky to go on to the next test: the first sentence.

They might be patient enough to even give you the first few sentences but Honey, if you don't have it together by then, you can kiss your chances of landing that agent goodbye. There are so many different ways to grab an agent.

These are 5 of the techniques I use for my clients. I've ghost written over 100 query letters for clients successfully. 100% of them have received at least 10 top agents that have requested to read their manuscript or book proposal. In other words, use these techniques -- they work. There are over 60 different examples here: http://tinyurl.com/25t2mkj

You don't need to use all of them, just choose one.


1) Start with a question that makes them ponder?
2) Talk about a dramatic moment in your personal life that connects with the book you've written
3) Tell them immediately about your platform
4) Compliment them on a specific recent sale
5) Tell them who referred you

Use one of the 5 suggestions above and you'll be one step closer to landing an agent.

If you would like to see an example of query letters that worked, visit: http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com

Jeff Rivera is the founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. He and his works have been featured or mentioned in Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Mediabistro, Los Angeles Times, New York Observer, NPR and many other media outlets.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Read an excerpt from ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL, a romantic fantasy by Melodie Campbell

Warning: the following excerpt contains adult material and is not suitable for anyone under 18.

Chapter 1

I saw the first one right after class. It was late April and already hot as a Swedish sauna in my home town of Scottsdale, Arizona. Kendra Perkins had stopped me to ask about a mark on her undergrad veterinary assignment, and while I was moving my hair away from my neck and longing stupidly for winter, I looked over her shoulder and there he was.
The man was extremely large and very blond. He wore a banded tunic with leggings and had leather bands on both his wrists.
My first thought was, how the heck had he gotten to the back of the classroom without me seeing him? Especially with that long gun-metal gray sword that was hanging from a belt at his waist.
I blinked twice and stared. He didn't move.
Crap. He appeared to be real.
"Is there a medieval festival in town?" I asked with a little skip in my voice.
Tunic-man looked right at me, startled. His eyes were ice blue.
Not one of my students, I realized. I'd never seen the guy before. And believe me, I would have remembered. Scary and way too attractive. Well, let's just say scary.
I'd only taught for one term and I'd only been out of veterinary school for a year, but the impetus to protect my students was automatic.
I stepped around Kendra. "Hello―can I help you?"
I managed a smile and that seemed to surprise the stranger. He frowned and bent his head slightly as if to bow. Then he swung around, walked through the wall and was gone.
Bloody Hell.
"Row, who are you talking to?" Kendra asked behind me.
I turned, my mouth gaping. "Didn't you see that guy dressed up as…as…" What, some sort of warrior?
Kendra shook her head. "I didn't see nothing."
"Anything," I corrected.
Somebody was playing tricks. I walked to the classroom door and peered out. The hall was empty. No pranksters jumped out at me. No Derrick, Mark or any other of the motley crew in my first year class.
Kendra eyed me. "You're kinda weird, you know. But in a nice way." This, coming from an eighteen year old with spiky black hair, black leather boots, arm bands and a complete assortment of Goth piercings.
Shaking my head, I let the whole thing drop.

That night, I had peculiar dreams. I was in a world where the sky was azure, the sun was orange instead of yellow and the green was too dark for normal foliage. The edge of the forest looked over a verdant valley. I scanned the sky for birds, as I always do, and saw none. Where were they?
From behind a split tree trunk, a little ground squirrel peeped out at me. It wanted to know what I was doing here, but before I could answer, I heard the pounding of hooves. Whether guided by instinct or by something more powerful, the squirrel and I slipped back into the foliage just in time to miss being seen by the riders. Horses whipped by us, frenzied mounts with riders clinging to their backs.
I waited until the last animal had swept past us. Waited until the air was clear of pounding. Then I stepped into the clearing.
Down the meadow I drifted, past Queen Anne's lace and clover. No bees hovered over the delectable menu of wildflowers. I called silently and nothing responded.
How could that be? This valley should be teeming with life.
I headed down to the river's edge and tried to get the attention of any frogs or fish that might be swimming in the turquoise water. Two clear eyes looked up at me and I smiled, reaching down to cup the small fish in my hands.
A deep male voice thundered behind me. "Who are you and what in Hades are you wearing?"
As I turned, the scene faded and I awoke in a sweat.

Chapter 2

The second time I saw Tunic-man, he wasn't alone. It was the same classroom, two days later. I was alone, marking papers at my desk. I heard a sound and looked up.
There they were in front of me.
I dropped my pen. "Holy crap, you scared me."
The blond one wore the same tunic and leather get-up. This close, I put his age at mid-thirties, a little old for this sort of play-acting. His companion was blond as well, but younger, shorter and just as bulky.
They looked right at me.
"She's a comely lass," Tunic-man said in an unusual accent. "And she has the look of the Huel women."
The younger man's eyes lit up with excitement. "Astonishing. But is she fertile?"
My mouth gaped. Fertile?
"Excuse me," I said. "I'm right here, you know."
They stared back at me, shocked.
I sighed. "I'm not deaf and that is rather a personal question. Don't be rude." It's always best to talk plainly with students, I find, especially since I'm not much older than they are.
The younger one spoke first. "She can hear us?"
Tunic-man nodded. "Apparently so. Woman, what is your name?"
"Woman?" I pushed back the chair and jumped to my feet. "Are you fucking out of your mind?"
"You don't have a name?"
I was almost speechless. Almost, but not quite.
"I don't know what fraternity you guys are from" I said, "but if you don't tell me what is going on this very minute, I will personally see that you two never ever graduate from anything other than obedience school."
Tunic-man looked at his friend. "They have schools for the obedient here, Janus. We should think about such things."
"This one doesn't look very obedient."
"Perhaps they don't send their women."
I picked up Epidemiology for Veterinary 1 and slammed it on the desk. "This has gone far enough. Leave my classroom immediately."
To my surprise, Tunic-man grabbed Janus by the shoulder and pulled him though the wall.
I watched the empty space for a good thirty seconds before reaching for the cell phone on my desk. I called a co-worker.
"Debbie, it's Row," I said. "Have there been any strangers hanging around lately? Strangers in weird medieval costumes like extras from Lord of the Rings?"
Debbie, of course, laughed and said I was crazy.

My name is Rowena Revel, but everyone calls me Row. Except for Dad, who calls me Red. It's the hair, which is a true auburn and reaches nearly to my waist. It's my one vanity, and by God, I deserve it. I'm not especially tall and I'm not slim. They invented underwire for women like me.
There are worse things though. I may look sloppy in pants and a tailored shirt, but I look pretty darn good in slinky evening wear and satin nightgowns.
That night, I slipped into one of my favorite nightgowns―a Natori―in a sapphire blue. It had spaghetti straps and came with a matching full length dressing gown with lace edging. I had planned to wear it on my honeymoon. That didn't happen.
If I had to tell the story of my life, it would be through the dogs I have known, not the men. I've loved animals all my life. I became a vet so I could care for them. I find, as most animal-lovers do, that little creatures give back a lot more than they take. I can't say my experience with men has been the same.
My expression in the bedroom mirror was sad, but the nightgown was as beautiful as the day I first set eyes on it.
Piper, my West Highland White Terrier pup, yipped and I looked down at his sweet furry face. "Come on, little one. Time for bed."
We settled into the four-poster bed…and into our dreams.

The sky was azure, the sun was orange and the air was as still as it had been the last time.
How could I be back in the same dream?
"Who are you and what the Hades are you wearing?"
I turned, perplexed.
A dark-haired man in a tunic hovered over me. "Well, speak!"
I opened my mouth, then closed it, floundering for words. "It's a Natori. I got it for seventy-five percent off at Saks."
His anger turned to puzzlement. "What is this 'Natori', and where do you hail from that maidens wear such flimsy items of finery? Where are your undergarments?" He crossed his brawny arms in disapproval. "You are obviously not from here. That much is certain."
I took a deep breath. "I 'hail'―as you so quaintly put it―from Scottsdale, and I don't wear undergarments to bed. Besides, I wasn't expecting to be here."
"Wasn't expecting to be where?"
"Oh, for Pete's sake, in this dream."
This was getting absurd. I was starting to feel like Alice.
"So you're a Scot."
Good Grief. "No, I'm American. Scottsdale is in Arizona."
That seemed to stump him, so I took the opportunity to look him over. He was worthy of it. With the sun behind him, his hair looked black, but I could see now it was really a rich brown. Yup, he was wearing the same sort of tunic as Tunic-man and friend, with the leather bracelet thingies. This dream was becoming predictable.
He frowned. "Are you a witch?"
"No," I said slowly, as if talking to a dull-witted child. "I'm a vet."
His brows drew together. "What is your name, vet?"
I smiled with pride. "Dr. Revel, I qualified last year."
He didn't seem impressed. "You shouldn't be out here alone, clad in only a Natori. It's not safe. Who is your father?"
"Tom Revel. And although it's none of your business, my mother was Rowena Revel, nee Trefusus, if that makes a difference. What's this all about, anyway?"
His dark face turned white. "Rowena?"
"It's my first name too, actually. Rowena Revel. But everyone calls me Row."
He sat down. "Rowena Trefusus?"
I nodded. Oh boy. This didn't have a good feel. I wasn't liking this dream at all.
"What about you?" I asked.
"My name is Jon. Jon Trefusus."
I stared at him, my heart hammering. "And that would mean what exactly?"
Before he could answer, we heard hooves pounding over the ground, approaching with great speed. Jon grabbed me, threw me to the ground and covered my mouth with his enormous hand.
He needn't have bothered. I wasn't going to say a peep.
I could tell from the horses that this wasn't a group I wanted to meet. Images of fear and loathing invaded my mind. I sensed pain caused by the lashing of a whip. I tried to tune them out.
Jon held me down. Don't make a sound, his hard gaze commanded. I tried to reassure him with my mind, but my gift never works on people. Especially in dreams.
We were so close I could smell him. Fresh hay, leather and something rather musky. It shocked me to be that close to a man I didn't know. It shocked me even more to find my body reacting so primitively. I squirmed, but he moved his leg over my hips and pinned me down.
After a few minutes, the meadow returned to silence.
Jon pulled his hand away from my mouth, then put his index finger to his lips. He lifted his head and looked swiftly about. Then he smiled an 'all clear'. He was about to say something when I saw him glance down.
I followed his gaze. Oh, crap. My nightgown had twisted and the top, which had been somewhat daring before, was serving absolutely no purpose now.
I saw the hunger in Jon's eyes and tried to roll away. His leg held me down and both his hands pinned mine to the soft grass. I heard him groan as his mouth moved down to my throat.
I struggled as he pulled down the strap of my nightgown and bared my breast. When his mouth latched onto my nipple and sucked hard, I gasped.
Jon tugged at my skirt and I tried to push him away. It was like pushing against a rock face.
"Stop," I cried.

I awoke in a sweat, my heart racing. The light of dawn filtered through a crack in the blinds. It was hot in the bedroom and the thin strap of my nightgown had slipped off one shoulder in the night, baring one breast.
My nipple was damp.

ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL is now available at Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Store

Over the next few weeks, it will become available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, iBooks, Sony eReader Store, Diesel and more.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meet Melodie Cambell, author of the June release, Rowena Through the Wall

By day, Melodie Campbell is a mild-mannered association executive; by night, she transforms into a fevered scribe of comedy and suspense. Melodie has a Commerce degree from Queen's University, but it didn't take well. She has been a banker, marketing director, comedy writer, association executive and college instructor. Not only that, she was probably the worst runway model ever.

Melodie got her start as a humor columnist, so it's no surprise her fiction has been described by editors as "wacky" and "laugh-out- loud funny." With over 200 publications and five awards for short fiction, Melodie's work has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Star Magazine, Canadian Living Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Hamilton Spectator, New Mystery Reader, Mysterical-E and many more.

Melodie is now the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada. She lives in Oakville, Ontario with husband, two kids and giant Frankenpoodle.


Melodie's romantic fantasy, Rowena Through the Wall, will be released in ebook edition over the next few weeks (it's currently available from Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Store), followed by the trade paperback edition in July. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why writers need Imajin Books and what we offer

I received an email today from a writer who, like many others, is considering self-publishing, though the idea of a more traditional-style publisher is still appealing. He asked why writers who are blogging would need Imajin Books. And what did we bring to the table?

This was my reply:
I opened Imajin Books to other authors when I realized there is still a need for publishing companies that run somewhat like the traditional publishers and big guys. The key difference is that most of those publishers aren’t actively pursuing the ebook market and if they’ve dipped their feet in it, they aren’t paying attention to what readers want—ie. lower ebook prices.
At Imajin Books, ebooks are our #1 priority. They’re considered the primary right, with print being a subsidiary right. We sell far more ebooks than print.
We offer:
  • An opportunity for authors who have dreamed of being published by a ‘traditional publisher.
  • A small advance, but above standard royalties that are hard to find with another publishing company.
  • Marketing support – we do whatever we can to get our authors books into the hands of the public.
  • Trackable sales – with statements, you’ll know how many books you’ve sold so that when someone asks—and they will—you’ll have the answer or at least know where to go to find it.
  • Potential to be recognized as a bestselling author. Many of the lists do not consider sales of self-published titles.
  • Book cover design, with a professional graphic designer, and our authors do have some input.
  • Editors.
  • Formatting your book for ebooks and print.
  • We take care of ISBNs, barcodes and licensing art.
  • No upfront costs. The only thing you’ll ever pay for is ordering your own book stock. We never ask our authors to pay for any of the above. All investments our authors make in marketing are their own choices. We may recommend something, but there’s never any pressure and we do not sell any kind of marketing packages.
  • Marketing advice – we’ll give you ideas of how you can promote your book and strategies you can use to increase your readership.
  • We are a traditional publishing company (in the industry sense of the term), but we are anything but traditional.
Is Imajin Books for every author? No. If an author is considering self-publishing and knows the industry well, that may be the best decision for them. I have always been a strong proponent for self-publishing. But there is a steep learning curve that can take some writers a while to get through. Mistakes will be made along the way. Coordinating and finding editors, graphic designers and the right self-publishing method can be a daunting challenge for many. We eliminate those challenges.
We favor writers who are actively blogging and visible on social networks because it shows us they’re willing to step out of the box and go where the readers are. It shows they’re willing to do what it takes to market their books and not rely 100% on a publisher.
Going back to his question about bloggers, if a writer is blogging about their journey, the craft of writing, their book ideas or their lives, they are reaching an audience. That audience becomes potential readers if that writer then becomes published--whether self-published or trad. published. But if all they're doing is blogging a handful of times a month to their 20 best friends who follow their blog, the potential for new sales goes down drastically.

Marketing books takes boldness and creativity. That's what I personally bring to the table at Imajin Books. Anyone who's met me or knows me through various social networks can tell you that "bold" and "creative" are my middle names. Along with my nickname of "Shameless Promoter."

We welcome any questions: imajinbooks@shaw.ca

Cheryl Tardif
Publisher, Imajin Books

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: "A rollicking adventure of romance and True Grit."

5 stars! "A rollicking adventure of romance and True Grit. Alison Bruce has crafted a steamy tale of the old West that takes us out of the ordinary and into a rollicking world of romance and adventure. As a young woman who masquerades as a boy, the plucky Marly's identity is finally revealed as she finds true love with stand-up dude Texas Ranger Jase Strachan.

This is an historical Western romance in a style that reminds me of Hemingway. Although the descriptions are colorful and accurate, there are no wasted words here as the characters are developed through dialogue and action. The old West comes to life! Highly recommended."

--K. McKinnon, Amazon reviewer

UNDER A TEXAS STAR by Alison Bruce is available in ebook and trade paperback editions from Amazon and Smashwords (more retailers coming soon)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two Imajin Books Authors Bring Home Bony Pete Awards

We are pleased to congratulate two of our authors--Gloria Ferris and Melodie Campbell--for winning second and third place in the prized Bony Pete Awards. This special contest is only open to registered Bloody Words* attendees and consists of a blind judging of a 5000-word maximum short story.

Gloria, whose novel Cheat the Hangman will be published later this year with Imajin Books, and Melodie, whose novel Rowena Through the Wall will be released in the next week or two, were judged by their peers. They're definitely winners in out books!

Congrats, Gloria and Melodie!

*Bloody Words is an annual Canadian Mystery Conference that brings together mystery, suspense, crime and thriller writers from all across Canada, and this year it was held in Victoria, BC.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Special series: You Know Your Query Letter Sucks When...

Over the next few weeks, we'll be featuring a series of articles by author Jeff Rivera, founder of HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com, that gives valuable information to authors considering sending queries to agents or publishers. If you're a new writer or aspiring author, you should read these posts and follow Jeff's advice. If you're a seasoned author, it may not hurt to brush up on your query skills.

Tip: When Jeff says "agent", substitute "publisher". Then query us the right way.


First impressions are so important to a literary agent, especially when they receive hundreds of query letters a day. They're on auto-pilot and can click delete faster than you can blink an eye.

You've got to grab them and you've got to be cautious not to give them any reason to click delete.

I still can't believe I have to even mention this because to most, it seems so obvious but you'd be surprised how many query letters I see that have this fatal mistake:

"Dear Agent" or worse yet, "To whom it may concern ..."

Um, hello! Would you be interested in reading a letter that didn't address you by your name? It's bad enough to get those spam emails using our full legal name, but how much worse when they say, "Dear Friend" or something even more impersonal.

Literary agents (and publishers) are people first, and agents (or publishers) second. Treat them like a human being and they'll treat you like a human being.

Yes, they know you're querying other agents. They're not stupid, but they don't want to hear about it. It's kind of like when you're first dating someone. You know you're not exclusive yet but you don't want to hear them talk about the passionate hot steamy sex they had with someone else the night before. No, and the same goes for an agent. They want to be treated as special.

If you can make your query letter as personalized as possible, starting with using their name (not "Dear Agent") you'll be that much closer to landing an agent.

If you would like to see an example of query letters that worked, visit: http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com

Jeff Rivera is the founder of http://www.HowtoWriteaQueryLetter.com. He and his works have been featured or mentioned in Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Mediabistro, Los Angeles Times, New York Observer, NPR and many other media outlets.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Under a Texas Star is available in trade paperback

Under a Texas Star, a western romance by Alison Bruce, is now available in trade paperback edition.

Disguised as a boy, Marly joins a handsome Texas Ranger in the hunt for a con man and they must bring the fugitive to justice before giving up the masquerade and giving in to their passion.

When Marly Landers is fooled by con man Charlie Meese, she's determined to bring him to justice―even if it means dressing up as a boy and setting off across the plains to find him.

Texas Ranger Jase Strachan is also after Meese, for crimes committed in Texas. He joins forces with the young boy in a journey that takes them to Fortuna, where a murder interrupts their mission. Jase is duty bound to find the killer, no matter the cost.

Marly carries out her own investigation and comes to the aid of Amabelle Egan, the sister of one of the suspects. But appearances are deceiving, and Marly is mistaken for Amabelle’s suitor, making her a target for the killer. Not to mention, Charlie Meese is still out there.

Under the Texas stars, Marly and Jase are drawn together by circumstances beyond their control, yet fate plots to tear them apart. Will Marly finally get her man?
"Alison Bruce's western tale of intrigue, murder, and love is a page-turning, action-packed, made-of-awesome read. UNDER A TEXAS STAR belongs on every reader's keeper shelf―it already has a place on mine! Love, love, loved it!" ―Michele Bardsley, national bestselling author of Never Again

"Filled with realistic dialog and a good attention to period detail, Bruce manages to create a believable story that captures our imagination. Well written with a compelling plot, Under a Texas Star brings a delightfully new and strong heroine to the literary world. Highly recommended." ―Allbook Reviews
Currently, you can order your print copy via Amazon and Createspace.

Over the next week or so, it will become available at other retailers, like Barnes & Noble, Powell's and more.