Clarissa Johal: March 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#Marketing #Authors - The Elephant in the Room

Today I'm going to offer my kernel of advice when it comes to spending money on book marketing. I hate hearing about authors who are ripped-off by Book Marketing People. Every author has been through this, so please don't feel bad if it's happened to you. It's the elephant in the room.

I was chatting with my author friends about this subject recently. Authors compare notes on this stuffso Book Marketing People, listen up. There are multitudes of marketing businesses who want our money. Some have the intention of helping us get ahead, others just want to make a profit and don't give a crap. Assess your marketing planwhat works, what doesn't work? Authors don't make a huge salary, in case you didn't know. Most of us work day jobs, and most of us work way more than 40 hours a week. We struggle enough with the writing side of the business without getting screwed over when it comes to marketing. So, if your intention is to make money off authors and you don't care about results (and you'd better do some soul-searching on that) f**k off.

Authors: I'm going to break it down for you. I know how divided your attention is: writing, submitting, self-marketing, and crying into your computer hoping that your books sell. I get it. Here's my advice from ten years of hit-and-miss & paying for book marketing.

Paying for a Blog Tour:

THE most popular way of "getting your book out there" is to hire a book tour company. Be very careful when doing this and do your homework. Stalk Follow one of their previous tours. Did they post in (what I call) Blogger Mills? You know what I'm talking about. Blogs that have streams and streams of book spotlights, no personal content, and mostly populated by other authors. You're preaching to the choir there, sorry. You'd be better off approaching smaller personal blogs. It's technically "less exposure," but you're more inclined to find new readers. Consider my blog open, by the way. Free of charge. I'll toss the gauntlet out there to every other author to do the same.

Paying for a Listing in an email Send-out:

Done that, been there. Several times. Akin to setting my money on fire and flushing it down the toilet. My takeaway is that BookBub was the only email send-out that paid off. Yes, it's expensive, yes, it's difficult to get listed. That said, I've never heard of another author (and I did my research) who lost money on BookBub. Including myself.

Paying for Advertising Online:

Two words: advertising blindness. People automatically tune-out advertising. We tune-out television commercials and online placement ads. Eyes go to the content, not the commercial. If you decide to do this, choose your advertising and placement wisely.

Paying for an Author Database Listing:

My latest email (and I get tons) offered a 20% off coupon to be listed in an "exclusive author database." For real? What reader trolls the internet looking for those? I wanted to bang my head on the computer, but was too busy deleting the email.


It's a competitive business and authors are always looking for ways to get noticed. Don't become prey to Book Marketing People offering a quick fix. Unfortunately, there isn't a magic bullet. I've had two of my books hit the bestseller list and have come to the conclusion that it takes time, perseverance, and a bit of luck.

I've released the elephant and comments are open. What's worked for you? What hasn't?

Photo credit: Sometimes when Fred was flat out doing housework he felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest. via photopin (license)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Booktrope Emerging #Scifi & #Thriller Author Humble Book Bundle to Benefit @FreedomofPress @preventcancer

Science Fiction & Thriller Author 

The Facts

$120 worth of Science Fiction & Thriller enovels.
(PDF, ePUB, and MOBI files) 

YOU name the price - increase your contribution to upgrade your bundle.

Support Charity - choose where the money goes:
Freedom of the Press Foundation & Prevent Cancer Foundation 
 (and/or) Charity of Choice


Humble Book Bundle Book List

“Salvage” by Duncan Ralston
“Gristle and Bone” by Duncan Ralston
“Willing Servants” by Eric Turowski
“Trigger” by Jill Meengs
“Destroyer of Worlds” by Dennis Sharpe
“Wednesday” by Dennis Sharpe
“The Reaper’s Daughter” by KM Randall
“Organ Reapers” by Shay West
“Cathedral of Dreams” by Terry Persun
“A Beginners Guide to Invading Earth” by Gerhard Gerhke
“The Girls Guide to the Apocolypse” by Daphne Lamb
“Daimones” by Massimo Marino
“Once Humans” by Massimo Marino
“Devils Nightmare” by Robert Pruneda
“Shadow in the Flames” by Michael Munz
“Paradise Rot” by Larry Weiner
“Sugar Scars” by Travis Norwood
“Letter From Hell” by M.Lee Mendelson
“Parallel Extinction” by T.R. Stevens
“Awakening” by Samantha Long
“Mission Veritas” by John Murphy
“Reinheit” by Thomas S. Flowers
“Omni” by Andrea Murray
“Life After the Undead” by Pembroke Sinclair

Take advantage of this awesome deal and CLICK HERE

Friday, March 25, 2016


I've lived in a lot of places in my lifetime--currently, I live in North Carolina. I'm sad to say we're in the news for something that really should be a non-issue by 2016. Rarely, do I get political in my blog, but this is a huge step backwards and it's worth some blog space.

In a nutshell:

North Carolina House passed a bill (HB2) that blocks any local government in North Carolina from passing an ordinance allowing transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. This would mean, any transgender person would be required to use the restroom of their gender assigned at birth, even if they outwardly align with the opposite gender. Male to female transgendered people who outwardly appear and align with the female gender, would be required to utilize the men's restroom. And vice versa. The bill directs all public schools, government agencies and public college campuses to require bathrooms or locker rooms be designated for use only by people based on their birth gender.

This isn't "just" about restrooms, so let's not kid ourselves. It's a human rights issue. Equal rights is non-negotiable. I'm proud to stand against discrimination. I'm an ‪#‎LGBTQAlly‬ and always have been.

Feel like doing something?

Hashtag your tweets #‎WeAreNotThis‬ to raise awareness.

Sign the Petition

Sign the Equality NC Petition

Check Out #IllGoWithYou  (I ordered my button today)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New Release Spotlight - Ghost of O'Leary House by Nicholas Paschall @Nelfeshne #YA #horror

by Nicholas Paschall

Book Details 

Genre: Young Adult Horror
Release Date: March 13, 2016
ISBN-10: 1530530490
ISBN-13: 978-1530530496
Number of Pages: 177

"A haunted forest and an ancient ghost crawling on the walls, all while he has to do Biology homework? Man, Grandma's house sucks! David O'Leary is sent to his Grandmother's house for the weekend to avoid him throwing another party while his parents are out of town. But something's amiss in Alice Grove... his Grandma is known as a Witch by the locals, and the teenagers are all afraid of her. Between the ghost sightings and his Grandmother's cryptic mutterings, David doesn't know what he is going to do!"

AVAILABLE in eBook and in Print

Author Bio

Nicholas Paschall is a precocious ghoul happy in his graveyard, spinning yarns with the fresh entrails of his latest victim. He has a degree in History and loves to research old stories and forgotten lore, and publishes as much as he can. He is married with two dogs and no children, seeing as he ate them to make a short story. He can be found muttering to himself at his blog or on Twitter (@Nelfeshne), so feel free to drop him a line!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Guest Authors Spotlight - Onyx Webb: Book One by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz #paranormal #suspense @OnyxWebb

Onyx Webb
Book One
Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Publisher: Lust for Living Press Imprint, Courage Crafters Inc
Date of Publication: April 2015
ISBN: 0990751813
Number of pages: 216
Word Count: 47,000

Book Description:

A multi-genre mash-up that combines elements of supernatural suspense, crime, horror, romance, and more. The Onyx Webb series follows the unusual life of Onyx Webb along with a central group of characters in various locations and times. The billionaire Mulvaney family, piano prodigy Juniper Cole and her brother Quinn, paranormal show hosts Cryer and Fudge, and a few others make up the core of the series.

Written like a book version of a supernatural soap opera, each character’s story moves forward with most every episode. It may appear that the characters are entirely unrelated and yet episode by episode, the connections will become clearer. Like being an inch away from a spider web, with each book, the web will move further and further away revealing the full story of every character and most importantly, the stunning conclusion for Onyx Webb herself.

About the Authors:

Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz are best known as the authors of Go for No! (which hit #1 on Amazon’s Sales & Selling list and has remained in the Top 10 for the last five years.) They are also professional speakers who speak internationally to audiences on how to overcome fear of failure and rejection. 

Although all of their business books are fables, the Onyx Webb series is their first serious dive into fiction.

But Richard and Andrea have been in love with creating stories together since they met almost twenty years ago and even spent some time in Hollywood writing screenplays, being represented by the producer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.   

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Island by Clarissa Johal - #paranormal #booktour #99cents #giveaway via @Saphs_Books

#1 Best Seller in paranormal horror

Exploring a remote island can get you into trouble.
Especially when you stumble upon a cave and awaken two demons.

Rumors and superstition.
That’s what Emma thinks about local gossip concerning her grandmother’s “cursed” private island. Emma journeys to the island to ready it for sale. While out exploring, she unearths a hidden cave–a cave which holds answers to the island’s dark past.
There may be more to the rumors than she thought.

Guess what?

THE ISLAND is on tour this week hosted by Sapphyria's Book Reviews

THE ISLAND is on Sale for 99 cents until March 12th

I'm running a giveaway for THE ISLAND which you can enter via Rafflecopter below.

What are you waiting for?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Announcement — Struck by Clarissa Johal #paranormal #gothichorror @ClarissaJohal

The cat's out of the bag...

STRUCK has been re-released by Booktrope 3 weeks early 
If you haven't read STRUCK, pick up your copy now!
For those of you asking, POPPY (the spin-off) will be released later this year.

If you'd like to host my Release Day Blitz (yes, yes, technically it's out already, but I need help spreading the word!) head on over to DRC Promotions and sign up.

ISBN-13: 978-1513708492 
ISBN-10: 151370849X
Struck by lightning...claimed by shadows.

Caught in a terrible storm, Gwynneth is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of a mysterious stranger. Following her release, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift—one that will stay the hands of death. She is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something sinister... for as he shares more of this gift, his price becomes deadly.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Barnes and Noble

Thursday, March 3, 2016

New Release Spotlight - Melting Shadows by Rhea Rhodan #romanticsuspense

Melting Shadows—a romantic suspense with a fantasy twist—is now available! 

To celebrate, ALL my books will be on sale for $0.99 this weekend (March 4-6).

I’m also running a newsletter drawing for three print copies, so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already (just scroll down and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page). The drawing ends midnight Saturday, March 5th, so don’t dally :>). 

When fantasy and reality collide, only love can be believed

Shattered by a brutal attack and forced to flee, painfully withdrawn Dr. Prudence Marsh buries her emotions under numbing logic. For years, her escapes to a fantasy world created to survive her hellish past have been nothing more than a guilty pleasure. But when the host of the safe house turns out to be a dead ringer for her dream warrior, she fears she’s lost her precious mind along with everything else.

Ex-SEAL Max Delaney has been known to dabble in a hot, delicious mess—or two, or three. He has no idea how to handle a cold, sour one. Blackmailed into babysitting Dr. Marsh in his hidden bunker while she finishes a top-secret project sucks. Until he falls for her. Then it blows. Every clue Max unravels buys him more questions. Every step forward lands him two steps back, flat on his ass. 

Demons past, present, and future haunt Max and Prudence as they stumble along the twisting path to love. Merciless enemies and shifting alliances drive both to desperate measures, tumbling them over the border between shadow and substance—where each must choose what, and whom, to believe.


Preoccupied with the effort of facing the day and shoring up her defenses, she didn’t see him until it was too late. 
He stood at the sink in the kitchenette, wearing only a pair of denims. Thick, tousled, black locks curled at his neck. The overhead light glistened on his damp skin, defining the well-developed muscles of his shoulders and back. She gulped as her gaze fell lower, taking in the way the tight, worn jeans that hugged his equally muscular posterior and thighs. Delane. She squeaked, and he turned toward her. 
One good look at his bare torso sent her screaming back into the bedroom as fast as her long, clumsy legs would carry her. She slammed the door and leaned on it, fighting to remain standing. Brutus jumped off the bed, barking fiercely. 
“Hey, are you okay? What’s wrong? Dr. Marsh?” She could barely hear him over the din.
Her heart thudded and skittered. Oh, gods of OtherWhere, he really was Delane, every stunning inch of him—including the wide, jagged scar low on his abdomen. 
“Dr. Marsh?”
Prudence counted out a deep inhalation, then an equally long exhalation. 
Better. She couldn’t possibly be in OtherWhere; it didn’t exist. Any resemblance had to be purely coincidental or imaginary. She didn’t have her glasses on. The stress of the last three days had affected her mental stability. Yes, that must be it. 
Blessed, cool logic seeped in, enabling her to collect enough composure to raise her voice to a volume sufficient to penetrate the door. “I am fine. I was simply unprepared to encounter a half-naked man on my way to the washroom. While I am perfectly willing to make some concessions in light of the imposition of my presence, such displays are wholly unacceptable. Kindly finish attiring yourself and notify me when you have done so. I shall thank you to confine your nudity to your private quarters for the duration of my stay.”
A rolling chuckle leaked through to her ears, and she understood he not only found her ugly, but laughable as well. The thought burned her carefully built wall to ashes in seconds. Tears came; the wherewithal to stop them had already been spent. Managing to strangle a sob offered a small satisfaction. 
She slid down and rested her back against the door with her knees pulled up to her chin. Brutus licked her face and whined. She hushed him with a hug. He curled up with her there on the floor, an anchor in her storm of grief.     
The inner weight lightened as the tears ran their course, lending a degree of relief—until she caught a glimpse of her red, puffy eyes in the mirror over the chest of drawers. She was as helpless in the wave of terror gripping her body as she’d been to prevent the tears. That the fear was irrational, a vestige of her childhood; that there would be no punishment, didn’t make it any less real or more manageable. 
No matter. A display of vulnerability was as dangerous now as it had ever been. Among her earliest lessons had been those that taught her not to supply ammunition to be used against her later. 
Thankfully, cool water would aid in effacing the evidence, as would her glasses, provided she could reach the washroom undisturbed. Rather than honor her request, Mr. Delaney may have chosen to further amuse himself at her expense. 
The prospect of additional humiliation galled to a greater degree than it ought to. After all, Esmeralda’s desire for Prince Delane’s regard belonged in OtherWhere, with the prince who desired her in return, not here with Dr. Prudence Marsh for a man who considered her a freak. 

Buy links 
Buy now: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Apple/iBooks | Kobo


Award-winning author Rhea Rhodan resides in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She’s been telling herself stories since long before she learned to write. She attended the University of Minnesota with a focus on Journalism, then Brown Institute for Broadcast Journalism. After many adventures, misadventures, and a couple of short marriages, she found the love of her life in Regensburg, Germany, and has been living happily ever after since. 

She journaled those adventures extensively (some might say rabidly) beginning in middle school, but didn't combine her writing and story-telling until several years ago, when one of the stories grabbed her by the throat and shook her like a rag doll until she gave in and wrote it. Having tasted freedom, her muse refuses to return to the confines of her head, and has successfully turned the tables, keeping her at the keyboard to appease it. 

She welcomes feedback and fan mail :>) (rhea(at)rhearhodan(dot)com).
You can join her on Facebook and Goodreads, too. Rhea is always happy to meet new friends.

For (very) occasional updates with great contests, subscribe to Rhea's newsletter: rhea-subscribetonewsletter(at)rhearhodan(dot)com with the word "newsletter" in the subject line