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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Fiona Ingram, author of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Fiona Ingram's The Secret of the Sacred Scarab Virtual Book Publicity Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book.

About Fiona:

Although Fiona Ingram has been a journalist for the last fifteen years, writing a children’s bookThe Secret of the Sacred Scarab—was an unexpected step, inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. The tale of the sacred scarab began life as a little anecdotal tale for her 2 nephews (then 10 and 12), who had accompanied her on the Egyptian trip. This short story grew into an award-winning children’s book, the first in the adventure series Chronicles of the Stone. The author has already completed the next book in the series—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—a huge treat for young King Arthur fans.

Although Fiona Ingram does not have children of her own, she has an adopted teenage foster child, from an underprivileged background who is just discovering the joys of reading for pleasure. Fiona’s experiences in teaching her daughter to read has resulted in her interest in child literacy and in creating ways to get kids more interested in reading, as well as helping parents to instil a love of reading in their children.

Naturally, Fiona is a voracious reader and has been from early childhood. Her interests include literature, art, theatre, collecting antiques, animals, music, and films. She loves travel and has been fortunate to have lived in Europe (while studying) and America (for work). She has travelled widely and fulfilled many of her travel goals.

Fiona’s latest book is the middle grade adventure novel, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab – Book 1 in the Chronicles of the Stone series.

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Fiona!

Fiona has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.

Guest Post: Top Ten Tips of Marketing Magic

If you thought writing and producing your book was difficult … actually, that was the easy part. However, once you’ve laid the groundwork for your author platform, it becomes easier with each book. These days an author cannot just be an author. He or she has to be a product or a brand. Readers love information about the author, what inspires them, what new books are coming up, etc. Your marketing must incorporate your author platform. The author platform consists of: your book/s; your website; your author profile/bio; an e-zine or newsletter; a blog; a video interview (vlog); a podcast radio interview; a video preview on sites like YouTube; speaking engagements; articles you’ve written; articles about you.

Although there are numerous marketing possibilities, some of them can be expensive. Here are the Ten Top Tips, in my experience, some of which are totally free.

Press Kits & Releases: it’s vital to have a clearly worded press release detailing what the media need to know about you and your book, as well as contact and website details.

Book Give-aways: Depending on your reader target market, contact libraries, schools, local bookstores, book clubs, on-line review sites and reading groups, and offer them a book. They will also be happy to review it.

Media Magic: Contact your local press, television, and radio stations. Many radio stations have a ‘book talk’ slot. Small regional or neighborhood presses are always looking for news so make your story newsworthy by adapting it to local interests, issues or events, or local groups/clubs.

Write Articles: If you think about your experiences, joys, lows, highs, rejections, and knowledge as a writer, that makes an article in itself. You can add these to your personal website, as well as your book website.

Website Wonder: A good website is a wonderful tool. From this launching pad, you can include all the other elements, such as listing where you are on social websites, what inspired you to write your book/s, info on your book and perhaps a first chapter, a cover image, radio or video interviews, a book video, a contact email, or even your blog. Once you’re in cyberspace you’ll find that people will find you, and when they find you, they find your book.

Create An Online Press Room: Your website is your biggest asset in your author platform. You can put up information on your book and purchasing details, as well as your press release, your bio and a good pic, your reviews, interviews, and anything written about you and your book.

Amazing Amazon: This is the largest book site around and you need to be on it. The Look Inside Option enables readers to read a few pages before buying. Amazon will also review your book if you approach them; you can also put up other reviews on your book.

Online Book Tours: This is by far the most effective way of getting your book out there and worth every penny. Tours usually feature a photo of the book, a review, links to the author’s website and blog, and will include your purchase information. Authors who interact with tour hosts and make themselves available for guest posting, interviews, Q&A sessions with blog commenters, and who respond to comments will have the greatest success from their tour.

Subscribe: Many book publishing and author marketing companies offer free newsletters, which are an incredible source of information as well as offering links to more sites.

Book Competitions: It’s not so much about winning as being seen. Competitions broaden your author profile because people in the industry will read your book. Even if you don’t win, you may get a Best Runner-Up mention, and that’s the kind of detail you will put in your press release.

Do not stop marketing. Even when your book is out there and you’ve sent off your press releases, don’t stop spreading the word! Do something every day (either online or physical) to continue your marketing thrust. Remember—marketing doesn’t sell books … marketing gives you exposure and exposure sells books.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Fiona! 


One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

This giveaway is open to entrants from Canada and the United States only at the author's request.


A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They survive terrifying dangers in a hostile environment (such as a giant cobra, as well as sinking sand), pursued by enemies in their quest to solve the secret of the sacred scarab. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out. They must also learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another! Young explorers will enjoy an interactive journey through Egypt, following Justin and Adam’s exciting adventure on

Readers can also browse the first chapter of the book. Those who survive the journey and manage to translate the Curse of Thoth will be able to read the first chapter in Adam and Justin’s next adventure—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—as they hunt for the Scroll of the Ancients.

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab has received the following awards:
  • Finalist Children’s Fiction  USA Next Generation 2009 Indie Book Awards
  • Finalist Juvenile Fiction USA National Best Books 2009 Awards
  • Winner Pre-Teen USA 2009 Readers’ Favorites Awards
  • Number 2 in the USA Children’s & Teens Book Connection Top Ten Favourite Books of 2009 for Kids, Tweens & Teens
  • Winner Silver Medal Teen Fiction 2010 Nautilus Book Awards
  • Finalist Children’s Fiction 2010 International Book Awards
  • Winner Bronze Medal Pre-Teen Fiction 2010 Moonbeam Book Awards
  • Finalist 2011 Rubery Book Awards
  • Winner Gold Award Mystery Pre-Teen 2011 Children’s Literary Classics Awards

Purchase ebook for $2.99 here!

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to entrants from Canada and the United States only until 12:01 AM EST on March 7, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

Tuesday, January 3

Wednesday, January 4
Twitterview at Pump Up Your Book

Friday, January 6
Interviewed at Blogcritics

Monday, January 9
Book reviewed at Everyday Is An Adventure

Tuesday, January 10
Interviewed at Examiner

Wednesday, January 11
Book reviewed at Books Complete Me

Thursday, January 12
Interviewed at Review From Here

Friday, January 13

Monday, January 16
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Tuesday, January 17
Book reviewed at My Book Retreat

Wednesday, January 18
Book Review & Interview at SOS Aloha

Thursday, January 19
Book reviewed at Splashes of Joy

Friday, January 20
Interviewed at Beyond the Books

Monday, January 23
Book reviewed at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, January 24

Wednesday, January 25
Guest blogging at Carol’s Notebook

Thursday, January 26
Book reviewed at Book Nook Club

Friday, January 27
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Monday, February 6
Interview & Book Giveaway at Cafe of Dreams

Tuesday, February 7
Book reviewed at Carol’s Notebook

Wednesday, February 8
Guest blogging at Dear Teen Me

Thursday, February 9
Book reviewed at Bookworm Lisa

Friday, February 10
Interviewed at The Hot Author Report

Tuesday, February 14

Wednesday, February 15
Book reviewed at Hott Books

Thursday, February 16
Interviewed at The Writer’s Life

Monday, February 20
Guest blogging at Curling Up By the Fire

Tuesday, February 21
Book reviewed at Day By Day In Our World

Wednesday, February 22
Guest blogging at Book Marketing Buzz
Read the first chapter at Pump Up Your Book

Thursday, February 23
Books reviewed at Words by Webb (RESCHEDULING)

Friday, February 24

Monday, February 27
Book reviewed at Celtic Lady’s Reviews

Tuesday, February 28
Interviewed at American Chronicle

Wednesday, February 29
Guest blogging and giveaway at Darlene's Book Nook
Book reviewed at 4 the Love of Books


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