Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category

Cozy Mystery Giveaway

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 6, 2016

Enter to win up to 38 cozy mysteries, including an ebook copy of Permed to Death! Go here:

cozy contest


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Win a Kindle Fire

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 11, 2016

29 Days of Summer – Cozy Mystery Giveaway July 11 – Aug. 8

I’ve teamed up with more than 40 cozy mystery authors to give away a huge collection of cozies, PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner! You can win my novel Permed to Death, plus books from many more of your favorite authors. Enter Here:

Cozy Mystery Contest

July 1 – 18
Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench, where readers are winners.

Do Now
Sign up for my Newsletter now so you don’t miss the next issue coming tomorrow!





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April Giveaways

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 11, 2016

Contest Alert!
From now through April 18, you can enter to win some great prizes. Check out the giveaways below.

Spring into Mystery Giveaway
April 11-18
To celebrate Spring, I’ve teamed up with Storytellers Unlimited and over 35 mystery authors to give two readers 35+ cozy mysteries, and a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner! My contribution is an ebook copy of Permed to Death: Author’s Edition. Enter here:

 Giveaway Mystery Books

Booklover’s Bench Contest
April 1-18
Enter April 1-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN Gift Card from Booklover’s Bench

Amazon CardBN Card

Let’s Talk with Nancy J. Cohen
April 21
Win an ebook copy of Hair Raiser at Booklover’s Bench on my Let’s Talk post.

Booklovers Bench

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New Smyrna Beach Book Festival

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 24, 2015

Hi, I have a number of upcoming events where I’d love to meet you in person. Coming up is October 3, Saturday, 10:00 am, New Smyrna Beach Book Festival, Coronado Civic Center, 223 Flagler Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169. At 10:00 am, I’m on a panel with several other authors. Then at 4:00 pm, I’m speaking about Peril by Ponytail with time for reader Q&A. If you’re in the area, I hope you can attend! For more in-person events, click my Appearances tab above.

NSB Poster

Contest Alert!

Enter Now to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

Posted in Appearances, Business of Writing, Conferences, Contest, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blog Tour with Nancy J. Cohen

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 14, 2015

Today begins my Blog Tour to celebrate the release of Peril by Ponytail, #12 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Join us at each stop, leave a comment, and enter to win my giveaways. Share with your friends!

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway

Blog Tour2

: signed copies hardcover Died Blonde and Dead Roots plus a $10 Starbucks gift card

September 14, Author Interview, A Blue Million Books
September 15, Book Review, Book Splurge
September 16, Book Review, Laura’s Interests
September 16, “Hunting Ghosts,” Mystery Playground
September 16, “On-Site Research Tips”, Southern Writers Magazine Suite T
September 17, ‘Top Five Desert Honeymoon Survival Kit,” Romancing the Book
Giveaway: One lucky commenter will win signed a paperback copy of Hanging by a Hair
September 17, Book Review, Socrates’ Book Reviews
September 18, “Dude Ranch Adventure,” 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
September 18, Spotlight at Love Romance Novels, The Pop Culture Divas, and The Revolving Book
September 19, Book Review, Readalot
September 19, “A Day in the Life”, Dru Ann’s Book Musings
Giveaway: One lucky commenter will win a copy of Shear Murder
September 20, Book Review, Book Babble
September 20, Author Interview, Frankie Bow


Contest Alert!

Enter now at to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

Enter Sept. 4-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.  Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.


Newsletter Sign-Up

I’ll be sending out a newsletter on Wednesday. Sign up now! Book news, giveaways, recipe:


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Freddie Award for Mystery Writers

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 31, 2015

Freddie Award for Writing Excellence

The Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (FMWA) is proud to announce the Freddie Award for Writing Excellence competition.


Designed to recognize outstanding unpublished mystery writers and novels, Freddies will be awarded to winning contestants in two categories, HARDBOILED and TRADITONAL. Hardboiled entries may include Suspense, Thriller, Espionage, Police Procedural, and Private Eye mysteries. The Traditional category is for Whodunit, Cozy, Amateur Sleuth, Legal/Medical, and Historical novels.

Submissions will consist of the first 20 pages of an unpublished mystery manuscript. All will be scored by published authors, and the top five entries in each category will be read by an acquiring editor or agent. Freddie winners will be announced at Sleuthfest 2016, February 25-28, in Deerfield Beach, FL.

Entries may be submitted electronically beginning August 15, 2015. Deadline for entry is October 15, 2015. The entry fee is $20 for FMWA members, $25 for Mystery Writers of America (MWA) members, and $30 for non-members.

For complete rules and category descriptions, and/or to enter the Freddie competition, visit the FMWA contest web page: . To learn more about how to join MWA or to register for Sleuthfest, visit the FMWA main site at


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Win a Character Name

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on August 17, 2015

Name a Character in my next Bad Hair Day Mystery! Two Runner Up Prizes: a signed paperback of Hanging by a Hair and a deck of Marco Island Playing Cards, or a signed paperback of Shear Murder and a deck of Tropical Drink Playing Cards. Scroll down at


Last Day for my Goodreads Giveaway: Win a signed advance reading copy of Peril by Ponytail (Bad Hair Day Mystery #12) in my Goodreads Giveaway,

One more day to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.

For Writers: Enter the Joyce Henderson Writing Contest sponsored by Southwest Florida Romance Writers


– Contemporary (including Women’s Fiction): Dawn Dowdle, Literary Agent for Blue Ridge Literary Agency

– Historical: Isabel Farhi, Editor at Penguin/Random House Publishing

– Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy: Susan Brower, Agent for Natasha Kern Literary Agency

– Young Adult: Lee Lawless, Editor for Tor/Forge Publishing

– Romantic Suspense: Junessa Viloria, Editor for Random House Publishing

FIRST-ROUND JUDGES are members of Southwest Florida Romance Writers. Each entry will be evaluated by two first-round judges, at least one a traditionally-published author. We encourage our judges to make comments! Top three finalists in each category go to top editors and agents.

DEADLINE: Entries must be submitted and payment received by 11:59 p.m. on October 1, 2015.


– Unpublished authors
– Traditionally published, but not in the past 5 years
– Self-published authors who do not yet meet the qualifications for RWA’s Published Author Network (see our website)

SUBMISSIONS: The first 20 pages of an unpublished manuscript featuring strong romantic elements, PLUS a brief synopsis (not judged).

FEE: $25 per submission via PayPal



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Golden Palm Writing Contest

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on June 24, 2015

Golden Palm Writing Contest Sponsored by Florida Romance Writers is now accepting entries.

Contest1  Print

Summer is heating up, which means it’s time to enter the Golden Palm Contest. Get great feedback and a chance to place your work in front of leading industry pros. At least THREE final judges for each category! Open to non-published & published authors.

Categories & Final Judges:

Editor: Leah Hultenschmidt, Grand Central Publishing
Editor: Cat Clyne, Sourcebooks
Agent: Beth Campbell, Bookends

Editor: Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks
Agent: Jordy Alberts, Booker Alberts Literary Agency
Agent: Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency

Young Adult/ New Adult:
Editor: Lauren Smulski, Harlequin Teen (Young Adult)
Agent: Mandy Hubbard, D4EO Literary Agency
Agent: Laura Zats, Red Sofa Literary Agency
Editor: Mary Altman (New Adult)

Paranormal Category:
Editor: Peter Senftleben, Kensington Publishing
Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Associates
Editor: Angela James, Carina Press

For complete rules & information, visit Golden Palm Contest


Goodreads Giveaway: Enter to win one of two signed advance reading copies of Peril by Ponytail, #12 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Marla and Dalton’s honeymoon at a dude ranch turns deadly when they uncover family secrets best left buried. Humor, romance, & murder. Enter Here



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Murder by Manicure

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 24, 2015

I’m excited to announce the Author’s Edition of Murder by Manicure (Bad Hair Day Mystery #3). Murder by Manicure was originally published by Kensington. This edition has been revised and updated with added bonus materials.

Join my Book Launch Party for the Author’s Edition of Murder by Manicure (Bad Hair Day Mystery #3) March 24, from 2-4pm EDT Fun & Giveaways! Guest authors Alyssa Maxwell, Joanna Campbell Slan, and Maggie Toussaint will be joining the party.

Murder by Mancure

Hairstylist Marla Shore joins a fitness club to get in shape but discovers a dead body instead of an exercise routine. Jolene Myers—a client at Marla’s salon—has drowned beneath the frothing waters of the whirlpool. When Homicide Detective Dalton Vail determines Jolene’s death was no accident, Marla decides to give her deductive skills a workout and help solve the case.

Jolene had few friends at the fancy athletic club. As Marla gets to know everyone, she wonders who might have targeted Jolene for a lethal soak in the hot tub. The shady pharmacist? The smarmy city councilman? Or maybe the vocal animal rights activist? The fitness club staff had no fondness for Jolene, either. How far would they go to keep their secrets? When another member turns up dead, Marla intensifies her efforts to nail the killer and wrap the case. If she fails, the next buff body on its way to the morgue might be hers.

“Marla Shore is a beguiling, very clever sleuth who teases out every clue. Absolutely delightful!” Jill Churchill, author of the Jane Jeffry & Grace and Favor mystery series.

“Cohen fashions her Bad Hair Day series with plenty of humor, snappy repartee and even a healthy helping of current events.” The News Press

“In Murder by Manicure, a southern sleuth who’s a cut above the rest pulls out all the stops to wrap up another nail-biting murder that will leave readers eagerly awaiting their next appointment with Marla Shore.” Barnes & Noble Ransom Notes

“Observations about makeup, hair, and apparel mix with humorous, sexy overtones and catty remarks. A solid series addition.” Library Journal

“This series is hilarious and very enjoyable and contains many hijinks.” The Best Reviews

“For the reader who enjoys the twists and turns of a tale by Mary Higgins Clark, Murder by Manicure is a must read!”

Add to Goodreads List
Print Edition

Spring Into Summer Contest—March 24 to April 3
Enter to win a signed hardcover Shear Murder and $10 Starbucks gift card or one of two ebook copies of Hair Raiser

Posted in Book Excerpt, Business of Writing, Contest, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , , , | 56 Comments »

Amazon Independent Publishing at Ninc

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on November 13, 2014

Empowering Authors with Amazon Independent Publishing
Novelists, Inc. Conference Day 2, St. Pete Beach Oct. 2014

Several representatives from Amazon Independent Publishing spoke at the Novelists, Inc. Conference. They said they’ve seen consistent growth in print and Kindle books over the past few years. The Kindle growth curve exceeds print. This is a global trend as well. The adaptation to digital, when it occurs, happens fast across the world. The percentage of books sold online compared to brick-and-mortar stores is rising steadily.

Digital creates discovery through dedicated e-book readers. Kindle owners buy four times more books than before they owned one. “What’s old is new again.” Digital creates incremental demand. We release older titles, and Kindle sales of all our books increase along with print editions. In 2013, there was 90% device ownership in the U.S. with 32% of these being e-readers and 42% being tablets.

At a bookstore, you have to worry about how your book is placed and where customers can find it on the shelf. Online, you’re concerned with how customers hear about and find your books. How can your book stand out against other content? Books have to compete against all other entertainment products and pricing. So how can we grow the mind-share of people who read books?

What’s next? Global marketplaces are another focus. So are opening Kindle stores based on local experience. Reading experiences such as Kindle Voyager and Kindle reading apps. To drive discovery, we have Amazon Author Central, Goodreads, Kindle Daily Deal, and Kindle Countdown Deal.

The Author Experience
Ease-of-use with KDP, Createspace, and Audible
Better tools with a pricing tool and now a Kids Book Creator
Reimagined content through Kindle Worlds and Kindle First Day One
Author lifestyle support with Kindle Scout, WriteOn, APub, indie platforms

The Customer Experience
New models such as Kindle Unlimited
Wider functionality such as #AmazonCart
Global and Local

Benefits are that it’s easy to enroll, fast to market, global reach. Author maintains control, retains full rights, keeps up to 70% royalty. You can use KDP to publish in territories where you have the rights. The new reporting dashboard launched in February. An order is different from a sale that has cleared the bank. You can retrieve up to 90 days of data. The pricing tool suggests how much you should price your book based on various data.

Pre-order means you can promote your book up to 90 days before the launch. This helps to build sales rank. You should put a link to the next book in your series at the back of the book if possible. 10 days before, you must present the final file. There is a three day block out period prior to launch where you can’t make any further changes.

Series Promotion
Improved search and browse feature.
Be sure to put your info in the metadata.
New series landing pages for the whole series so you can see your books in order.
The next in series will appear as a buy button on devices at the book’s end.

KDP Select means you can attain higher royalties, reach new audiences, participate in special promotions. This includes the Kindle Lending Library, Kindle Countdown Deal, Kindle Unlimited. KDP books do hit the bestseller lists. Authors get paid from a global fund and can earn All-Star bonuses.

Kindle Daily Deal leads to 3000 times more sales. There’s a lasting effect. One day later, there is 110 times sales. At seven days, it’s 18 times sales. At fourteen days, it’s 5 times more sales, and at thirty days, it is 4 times more sales.

On the Kindle Countdown Deal, you get up to seven promo days. The book must be at least one dollar off the list price. There’s a countdown clock on your Amazon book page. Your book is also listed on the KCD landing page and it’s based on ranking where your book appears.

Kindle Unlimited costs consumers $9.99 per month, and this includes audio books. The Kindle Matchbook program means if you buy the new print book, you can buy the Kindle book for $2.99 or less.

Createspace offers global reach, 24/7 customer service, Kindle conversion, industry-leading royalties, free Cover Creator tool, forums, blogs, articles and videos as publishing resources. Professional services of editors and designers are available if needed. Your share of the list price: Createspace 80%; Amazon 60%; Expanded Distribution 40%–all minus a manufacturing fee.

How to Maximize your Success: Use Metadata. This can consist of keywords in terms of genres and categories that are visible at the bottom of the Kindle detail page. This metadata should be consistent across all locales.

Your Amazon Author Central page includes a book list with cover images, author photo, bio, Twitter and blog feed, videos that you upload. Readers will also see recommendations for similar authors. You can get your sales data and ranking on Author Central. Make sure your books are on Goodreads and you have an active presence there.

How to Get Reviews? Offer promotions such as permafree, KCD, etc. Publish in multiple formats, i.e. print, e-book, audio.

Author Platform: Keep up with Goodreads, Amazon Author Central, social media, email lists. Consult with other authors on ways to attract readers.

Note: Any errors in this article are due to my interpretation.


Win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card or free ebooks from Booklover’s Bench authors in our November contest:

1000 Thriller Giveaway: Enter to win a new book every week for a year:

HANGING BY A HAIR is up for a Readers Choice BTS Red Carpet Book Award in the Mystery category. Check it out and vote here:


Posted in Business of Writing, Conferences, Contest, Marketing, Self-Publishing, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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