Karen Berner, author of A Whisper to a Scream, launches her blog tour
Does it drive you crazy to happen upon the third or fourth book in a fabulous series? You love the book but aren't sure if you're "getting" it all. Who are these people? Why do they keep talking about landscaping or Shakespeare or pineapples? Well, today's your chance to get in on the ground floor of an up-and-coming book series the Bibliophiles with Book One: A Whisper to a Scream. Don't miss it...Book Two will be released early next year!
How are friendships created? Shared history. Common interests. Membership in the same community, whether it be an actual community, a work community, even the "we ride on the same commuter train every morning" community. What if the only tenuous tie binding you together was a once a month meeting at a Classics Book Club? Could you create a friendship? Could you confide the secrets in your heart...even if you each want what the other has?
In A Whisper to a Scream, Annie and Sarah are two women who become unlikely friends after both joining a book club. For a long time each of them has held secret wishes in her heart, just whispers really. But those secret wishes have been growing more and more insistent, the call to change her life screams to each woman. Can these polar opposites help each other decide whether to choose new lives or settle for the old familiar ways?
Paperback: 278 pages (and e-formats)
Twitter Hashtag: #Bibliophiles1
A Whisper to a Scream, the first book in the Bibliophiles series is available for purchase in both print and e-formats at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Book Giveaway Contest: If you would like to win a copy of A Whisper to a Scream, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in the random drawing. The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, December 15 at 11:59 pm PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #Bibliophiles1, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post on the following day Friday, December 16. Good luck!
About the Author:
Karen Wojcik Berner lives a provincial life tucked away with her family in the Chicago suburbs. It was good enough for Jane Austen, right? However, dear Miss Austen had the good fortune to be born amid the glorious English countryside, something Karen unabashedly covets, so much so that she majored in English and communications at Dominican University. Like the magnificant Miss Austen, Karen could not help but write about the Society that surrounds her.
A book lover ever since she could hold one in her chubby little toddler hands, Karen wanted to announce to the world just how much she loves the written word. She considered getting a bibliophile tattoo but instead decided to write about the lives of the members of a suburban Classics Book Club. The series is called, of course, the Bibliophiles.
When she isn't reading, writing, or spending her time wishing she was Jane Austen, Karen can be found sipping tea or wine--whichever is more appropriate that day--and watching Tim Burton movies or "Chopped" her favorite foodie TV show.
Find the Author Online:
Author Website: http://www.karenberner.com/books.html
Author Blog: http://karenwojcikberner.blogspot.com
---------Interview by Jodi Webb
WOW: Your book that is touring with WOW, A Whisper to a Scream, is the first book in your Bibliophiles series--stories of a group of people who belong to the same Classics Book Club. Tell us which came first, the idea for the book or the series?
Karen: The idea for A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) came first. A very vivid dream I could not shake became Annie's plot of a PR executive dealing with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. A few days later, the idea of an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom (Sarah) came to me in the shower, probably because it was the only time I had two minutes to myself since my kids were very young at the time. I'm sure many of you can relate.
A wanted to bring Sarah and Annie together somehow and, being an English major, could not resist doing so through a book club. While I was writing I fell in love with the book club members--I couldn't help myself. I decided to make it a series and write each of their stories.
WOW: Wow, pretty ambitious to decide to write a series when your only free time was in the shower! How old were your kids when you conceived the idea for the Bibliophiles and how long did it take you to get from the shower to the bookstore?
Karen: My kids were eight and two. I had taken some time off from freelancing to be a stay-at-home mom once my youngest was born, but when I got this idea, I couldn't help but write. All totaled, it took five years to write and edit Whisper, then another five years before I decided to release it as an e-book.
WOW: Your series is different from most. Usually the same character "stars" in book after book, perhaps a private detective solving crimes. In your series a different book club member or members are the "stars" of each book. Does developing new characters for each book make it easier or more challenging to write this series?
Karen: There will be six novels in the Bibliophiles series. I have notes and some scenes written for all of them. Developing the backstory for each character is great fun. The novels all have a different feel, yet each of the main characters eventually ends up in Naperville joining the classics book club. I hear former Talking Heads' frontman David Byrne in my head a lot, "You may say to yourself: Well, how did I get here?"
For me, featuring a different character [in] each book is the best of both worlds. I can pursue various story lines without being tied down to one main character, while still revisiting old favorites throughout the series.
WOW: Although A Whisper to a Scream is now available in paperback and e-book, you originally released it only as an e-book. Can you tell us why you chose that path?
Karen: I originally released A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) as an e-book to test the waters, to throw it out there and see if it stuck. I was a novice in the whole e-publishing world and used my first year to learn all I could about that universe.
Later on, people kept telling me they had wanted to read the book, but did not have e-reader devices, so I released the paperback version a little over a year later.
I think it is smart to cover all of your markets. Although e-reader devices are a growing market, there are still hold outs who love the smell and feel of physical books. And that's okay. There is room for everyone.
When my second book comes out in the spring of 2012, both forms will be available on the same day.
WOW: Tell us about your experience with e-publishing. Any surprises?
Karen: Releasing A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One) was a learning experience, that is for sure. It was relatively easy, especially with publishing platforms like Kindle Direct publishing and PubIt. Originally, I did my own formatting, which was a mistake. I re-released with a professionally designed cover and interior, which made a huge difference in the quality of my product, which, in turn, raised sales.
The major advantage of e-copies is the sales statistics. Right now, I am selling seven times more e-books than paperbacks. Some industry estimates put the average ratio as high as 10:1 or more.
In the beginning, it was next to impossible to get any local media for an e-book. Same for reviewers, most of whom did not have e-readers at the time. A lot has changed. I'd say it is about 50/50 now. Press for indie authors is still an uphill battle, though, and probably will be for quite some time.
WOW: That's fascinating info, Karen! It's always great to hear from authors in the self-publishing trenches. So what's coming up next?
Karen: Up next is the second book in the Bibliophiles series, which is tentatively titled How Long 'Til My Soul Gets It Right?, but that is probably too long. This one is Catherine Elbert's book, the book club member who plays Audrey the Country Wench in As You Like It, the Bibliophiles field trip at the end of Whisper. The novel follows Catherine as she bounces from coast to coast in search of her true self. It is scheduled for a spring 2012 release.
Every week my blog hosts Flash Fiction Fridays, which features microfiction from authors of all genres in 1,000 words or less. Bibliophilic Blather also includes general literary musings and the recurring feature, "Editing for Grammarphobes."
WOW: Well, get ready for a new series to love, readers! And we're putting out an invite to anyone who wants to suggest another (shorter) title for the next book in the series about a free spirit/actress searching for her place in the world. Put on your thinking caps and share your ideas with us in the comments section!
--------Blog Tour Dates
Wednesday, December 14 @ Musings from the Slushpile
Learn "Five Things You Should Know About Indie Publishing" from Karen Berner, author of the Bibliophiles series.
Thursday, December 15 @ Writer Inspired
Backstory...what is it and why should we be writing it? Author Karen Berner weighs in and gives away an e-copy of her debut novel A Whisper to a Scream.
Friday, December 16 @ CMash Loves to Read
In the novel A Whisper to a Scream, the holidays lead not to fun and happy memories but to the edge of a nervous breakdown! Author Karen Berner gives tips on how we can avoid going down that same path with "Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress." There's also a chance to win her book!
Monday, December 19 @ Writing in Flow
Today Karen Berner answer that question we've all been dying to ask: "Why Did You Publish Your Novel as an E-book First?" Learn the answer and enter to win a copy of that novel A Whisper to a Scream!
Tuesday, December 20 @ Words by Webb
The new year is almost here! Peruse a list of the books author Karen Berner can't wait to read in 2012 plus a review of her novel Whisper to a Scream, the story of an unexpected friendship.
Wednesday, December 21 @ Lori's Reading Corner
What is the best history book ever? According to novelist Karen Berner it's the realistic fiction cramming the shelves of your local bookstore. Learn more and enter to win her debut novel A Whisper to a Scream.
Tuesday, December 27 @ A Writer's Life
English class is over...why should we revisit the classics? Novelist Karen Berner has some great reasons to make the classics part of your new year's resolutions. You also have a chance to win to win an e-book of her debut novel A Whisper to a Scream.
Wednesday, December 28 @ Mom-e-Centric
Meet debut author Karen Berner during a fun podcast with Jerri Ann Reason. Perfect listening for your morning commute!
Friday, December 30 @ Me and Reading
Meet Karen Berner, author of the debut novel Whisper to a Scream, when she visits Me and Reading today.
Tuesday, January 3 @ My Reading Room
Happy Birthday (Belated) Jane Austen! Learn a bit about Miss Austen from her number one fan, author Karen Berner.
Wednesday, January 4 @ Bookworm Lisa
Author Karen Berner tells us five things she learned about the e-book world. You can also get the scoop on the first book in her Bibliophiles series: A Whisper to a Scream.
Friday, January 6 @ Sugar Peach
Answer the question we've all wondered...Are You a Bibliophile?..with a fun quiz from author Karen Berner. Don't miss a chance to win a copy of the first book in her Bibliophiles series: A Whisper to a Scream.
Monday, January 9 @ Colloquium
Check out "Five Editing Tips for Grammar-phobes" from Karen Berner and come back tomorrow for a chance to win a copy of her novel A Whisper to a Scream.
Tuesday, January 10 @ Colloquium
Enjoy a review and enter to win a copy of Book One in Karen Berner's Bibliophiles series: A Whisper to a Scream.
Wednesday, January 11 @ Crazy for Books
When was the last time you read a classic? Karen Berner, author of A Whisper to a Scream, takes time to reintroduce us to the classics with "Ten Books You Met in the Classroom and She Reread as an Adult". Then come back tomorrow for more fun!
Thursday, January 12 @ Crazy for Books
Check out a review of A Whisper to a Scream by Karen Berner.
Friday, January 13 @ Thoughts in Progress
Are you the happy owner of a Y chromosome? If not, how do you write convincing male characters? Novelist Karen Berner has some thoughts on accessing your inner male and one last opportunity to win an e-copy of A Whisper to a Scream.
To view all our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar here.
If you have a blog or website and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email Robyn or Jodi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Giveaway Contest
Enter to win a print copy of A Whisper to a Scream by Karen Berner! Here's how you enter:
1. For your first entry, just leave a comment on this post! Leave a comment or ask Karen a question to be entered in the random drawing.
2. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #Bibliophiles1 then come back and leave us a link to your tweet.
The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, December 15 at 11:59 PM PST. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post the following day--Friday, December 16, and if we have the winner's email address from the comments section, we will also notify the winner via email.