Jaidis Shaw Author

Jaidis Shaw currently resides in South Carolina with her husband and two beautiful daughters. With a passion for reading, Jaidis can always be found surrounded by books and dreaming of new stories. She enjoys challenging herself by writing in different genres and currently has several projects in the works.

Jaidis also owns and operates Juniper Grove Book Solutions, voted Top Five for Best Promotional Firm, Site, or Resource in the 2014 Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll. In her spare time, Jaidis maintains her blog, Juniper Grove, and can found frolicking on various social media platforms. One of her main goals in life is to encourage her daughters to let their imaginations run wild.

Time to chat with Jaidis!

I hear you have some very exciting news! Can you share it with us?

I do! My first self-published book, a YA paranormal romance titled Destiny Awaits, was recently picked up by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and was just re-released on July 19th! I’m so excited and nervous at the same time. The book originally came out in 2012 so it has been around awhile, but it feels like I’m starting the whole process over again.


Is your recent book part of a series?

Yes, Destiny Awaits is part of a series, but it’s standalone. The series is titled Juniper Grove Chronicles and will feature a few volumes. The main characters from Destiny Awaits, Alayna and Jayden, will only make a brief appearance in volume two, whereas a minor character named Violet will be the focus of that one. All volumes take place in the same town, Juniper Grove.

What are the special challenges in writing a series?

This is a great question as it deals with my response above. I chose to go the route of a standalone series because I find it extremely hard to write a series where each book is a continuation of the story. I am currently working on a paranormal thriller that is a continuing series and I’m terrified to see if I am able to finish it.

What else have you written?

I started my writing career when I had a short story picked up by a small indie publisher. It was a retelling of Rapunzel that I titled The Tower. It appeared in the Twisted Fairy Tales Volume II by Wicked East Press.

My next adventure was being selected to take part in an anthology by the same publisher that is mentioned above. All authors that were selected to take part were given certain elements of a story to build around. I was given a topic that included my character either being deaf or blind, the climax of the story had to occur during a thunderstorm, and it had to be a suspense story. That’s all I had to go on and at first I was terrified, but after I worked out how I wanted the story to go, I was excited. I enjoyed the main character, Molly, and now that I have the rights to that story back, I have plans to expand on her story. The original story is titled Blind Justice and can be found in Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales.

I also wrote a western-themed short story to appear on the Railroad! blog while the storyline was on an intermission. My story, Pure Harvest, was written back in 2012 and the first time I dabbled in the western genre. I enjoyed writing it! You can check it out here if you’re interested.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Do you know how authors are always talking about how their muses changed the story, how they’re surprised at where the characters decided to go, or how their characters are talking to them? I’m so jealous of those authors! My characters don’t talk to me. All of my books start with an idea, usually occurring in a dream, and I outline from there. I know every major scene in my story, when it will take place, approximately what chapter it should appear, and so forth. If I stray from that path, I become lost and panic until I’m back on course.

Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?

With Destiny Awaits, yes I wrote it in order. I always start with an outline of the entire story so I know exactly where I should be heading and what should go into each chapter to keep the story moving. However, that changed with the book I’m currently working on because there was a particular scene that I found difficult to finish. I had worked myself into a corner and strayed from my outline and so I was lost. I skipped ahead and wrote the upcoming scene so I knew how it would play out and then was able to go back and fill in the gaps. Only time will tell if I’m able to skip ahead again or if I prefer to stick to outlines.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

I have to do a little editing as I write because I’m always going back and reading over what I’ve done so far, especially if I’ve taken a break from the story for awhile. As I’m reading over it, I always find a few things to edit so I’ll fix them before I forget. After the whole story is complete, then I go back and do a deep edit.

Have you ever written characters that you truly despise?

There has only been one character that I didn’t particularly enjoy writing, and that’s Steve from my short story Blind Justice. You know those people who just make your skin crawl, even if you don’t know why? Or those that if you were to see walking toward you on a sidewalk, you’d cross the street just to create more space between you? That’s Steve.

How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?

For Destiny Awaits I didn’t have to do any research for the actual storyline. The only research I did do, was that which was needed to actually publish the book. Even then it really wasn’t much as I contacted a friend of mine, who is also an author, and she talked me through the publishing process via the phone so that I did it right.

The paranormal thriller that I’m currently working on, The Stager, is different however. There are certain elements in it that I felt needed to be realistic and so I’ve had to seek out a couple of weapons experts so that the main character, Amelia, knows her stuff.

Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?

I used to allow a select few to read my work as I was working on it because I was in need of opinions. As time has went on, and I saw the number of authors having their ideas ripped off grow, I decided that it may be better to wait until it is complete and published before allowing anyone to read it.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

Negative reviews are a part of every author’s life. If you publish a book, you will get a negative review. Period. You need to go into the process knowing that negative reviews are inevitable and also that there is nothing you can do about them. Don’t respond to the reviewer. Don’t post to your Facebook or Twitter about the terrible review you received and ask people to go dislike or down vote it. Definitely don’t call the reviewer out by name and trash talk them because you weren’t happy with their review. Everyone is allowed their opinion, good or bad. In almost all cases, responding negatively to a negative review will always be worse than the review itself. You want attention on your book for the story, not because of the temper tantrum you threw. If you get a review that gets under your skin, just be an adult and walk away. Let it go. If you’re proud of your work, that’s all that matters.

Do you have any special projects you’d like to share with us?

Yes! I’ve recently launched an exciting book review program. The JGBS Review Library strives to offer an ever-growing list of books that are seeking honest reviews. Readers simply browse the virtual library, request the book that interests them, and I send them an author-approved ebook — for FREE. After reviews (positive or negative) are posted to Amazon within six weeks, readers are eligible to download new books to review.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?

I’m currently living in South Carolina. I was originally born in Anaheim, CA but we moved around a lot so I’ve also lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan (twice). Having to move around a lot of a child really took its toll and so I’m here in SC and I plan to stay here. No more moving for me.

Trains, planes, automobiles, or boats?

Boats for sure! I love the water and being on the water.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?

I am currently pregnant so asking me this question is unfair. You should be ashamed, Lisette! However if you must know, and I’m totally blaming my unborn daughter for this, my favorite comfort food at the moment is chips and salsa. I’ve went through seven jars of salsa so far in this pregnancy.

As for my least favorite, that’s easy. I refuse to eat anything that swims so all things fishy are absolutely out of the question. Blecch!

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

Abso-freaking-lutely! Who in their right mind would pass that offer up? I’d totally use it to be a fly on the wall so that I could get some juicy details. It would also be great to just tease people and move things around a bit, make them a little crazy.

If you had a million dollars to give to charity, how would you allot the funds?

I’d split it three ways. I’d give part to the Epilepsy Foundation to help further their research on finding a cure for epilepsy. I have epilepsy so it’s a cause near and dear to my heart.

I’d give part to the Save the Manatee Club. Humans are quickly making these adorable mammals, which happen to be my favorite animal, disappear and we need to do what we can to bring them back from the brink of extinction and help to preserve their natural habitat.

The other part would be put into a fund that would be used to help various reading programs and libraries. It breaks my heart every time I hear kids, and even some adults, say that they don’t read and have no desire to do so. We don’t do enough to encourage our youths to read the written word and it only results in those youths growing into adults who are illiterate. I know people personally that don’t know how to read, or can’t read above an 8th grade level. That is absolutely unacceptable.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Just seeing my daughters happy and smiling is enough for me. Even when I’m having the worst day, all they have to do is start singing or dancing, talking to their imaginary friends, or reading a book, and it brightens my day immediately.


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PROMOTIONAL TIPS FOR AUTHORS: Reaching Out to Readers, by Jaidis Shaw

I’m extremely honored to have author and publicist Jaidis Shaw to present the first guest blog at Lisette’s Writers’ Chateau. Jaidis is not only multi-talented at all that she does, but she is one of the nicest, most professional, and most competent professionals that I have dealt with in the writing world.

You can read Jaidis’ complete bio at the end of her blog and enter to win a one-week book tour from Jaidis, which can be claimed any time from February to July, 2013. And now:


by Jaidis Shaw

      You’ve poured sweat, grumbled in frustration, shed the tears, and ended with one heck of an awesome happy dance. I am, of course, talking about the moments leading up to seeing your hard work turned into a novel that is now published and available for the world to see. For debut authors, that one moment when you see your book cover on Amazon is forever seared into your brain. You are able to float on your euphoric high for days, sometimes even weeks. All of your friends and family have shown their support by purchasing a copy of your book. Then the inevitable happens. Your sales start declining, you haven’t seen a new review in days (no matter how often you refresh the page), your breathing becomes labored, and you’re positive that your heart is showing signs of cardiac arrest. A wave of self-doubt crashes over you and all of the positive comments you’ve received so far are overshadowed by the looming question: Why isn’t my book selling?

If you’re an author and are still trying to navigate the depths of the self-publishing world, you may be struggling with how to promote your book. Where do I start? Do I have to have an agent? Should I have tried finding a publisher to pick up my novel rather than self-publish? It is only natural to doubt our decisions, especially when we are feeling lost and confused. If you did go the self-publishing route, or even if you just want to do your part to promote your work, I’m here to tell you that promoting your book isn’t as daunting as it may appear. Maybe all you need is a little nudge in the right direction.

Most of the tips today say that the ultimate goal for authors is to sell books. Well I do agree that is a good goal to have, I disagree with it being the “ultimate” goal. The reason being is that I believe the most important goal for authors is to have people reading their books. After all, if nobody is reading your book, it isn’t going to keep selling. So what is a good place to start? For the sake of time, let us assume that you have already started making your mark on social media platforms by doing things like creating a Facebook Fan Page, joining Twitter, and having a blog or website. So, before the launch and release parties, before the book tours, it is important to reach out to bloggers and book reviewers.  I’ve put together a list of tips and topics that I believe are important to remember while reaching out to potential reviewers … and just remember … you want them to be “Reading” your book.

      Reviewers: If you are just now stepping into the book world, you may not be aware of how numerous book reviewers are these days. But with a simple search on sites like Goodreads, BookBlogs, or even Google, you will have a list of reviewers at your fingertips. If you happen to know a member of the reviewer community, another option is to reach out to them. Nine times out of ten, they will know of other bloggers that are open to receiving review requests. Several lists have been compiled of book blogs that serve as a wonderful starting point for gathering potential reviewers.

      Email: It is important to have an email that is set up properly. This should probably go without saying but it is one of the main issues that I see repeatedly. I feature between three to five authors a week on my blog and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when I’m trying to find the author’s materials and have a hard time locating them because their email starts with something random like Bestselling_Author_1 or CrazyWriter4Books. Not only does having an email like that make more work for the blogger/reviewer but is less likely to be remembered. It is best to pick something straightforward and easy to memorize; more specifically your name. For example, my email is Anyone who is looking to email me, feature me, etc simply has to begin typing my name and there it is.

Another issue I see authors guilty of is loading their email signatures down with tons of links and images. It is best to keep all graphics out of your signature. The main reason I think this is important is because the graphics tend to show up as attachments; I know that most times they do for me in Yahoo. When I am searching through for an interview for example, I am looking for the paperclip icon that indicates that email has an attachment and it wastes time having to go through the ones that only have graphics in the signature. Simply having your name, email, blog/website URL, and link to your Amazon Author Page is more than sufficient.

      Ask: If you are still a little hesitant on emailing a potential reviewer, or just want to test the waters first, simply ask if anyone would like to provide an honest review of your book. Send out a tweet, post a status update on Facebook, or even write a blog post about it. It really is as easy as saying “Would anyone be interested in receiving a free eBook copy of my book in exchange for an honest review?”  You will almost always have a few takers and people that will share your post to help spread the word.

      Details: You may be wondering what details to include in your initial email to reviewers. There are two parts to this one. The first part is to attach a media kit. These are a simple way to organize and keep track of all your important details. You can use a template for these so once you have the information gathered; all you have to do is attach it to your email request. Some details that should always appear in your media kit are the following: author photo and bio, book cover and synopsis, a short PG-13 excerpt (300 – 500 words), and links to where you and the book can be found (Amazon Author Page, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads).

The second part is what to include in the body of the email. After your personal opening and initial request, it is nice to provide them with the book’s details including synopsis, genre, total word count, publication date, publisher, giveaway details (discussed later) and any content warnings or age restrictions that the book may contain. You do not need to include your author bio and links (unless you want to) since they appear in the media kit. Your email should focus on the book and not you as an author because the reviewer isn’t judging you as a person, but your book.

Do not include the book you want reviewed! You may think that this helps the process move along faster when in actuality it halts the process and results in you sending out books that will likely never be read. Most unsolicited books may be downloaded for future use but if they didn’t agree to review it, you’ll be lucky to hear back from them. In fact, most blogs have a policy on unsolicited books that are received, a subject I’ll be covering in the next tip.

      Instructions: For the love of books, please follow the instructions for each individual blogger! Each reviewer has their own way of doing things: specific genres they like, what information they include in their reviews/posts, formats accepted for review, etc. With so many requests being received, they will almost always give priority to those who follow the instructions and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity because you didn’t take time to find out what they want/like.

      No Bulk Requests: I know that it may be tedious to email reviewers individually but it is a necessity. If you want a reviewer to take time out of their schedule to give your book an honest review, the least you can do it take an extra minute to personalize an email to them. Don’t open your email with a simple “Hey,” “Dear To Whom It May Concern,” or with the blog’s title. Show the blogger some courtesy and that you are reaching out to them as an individual. Don’t know their name? Simply visit the blog in question and look on the “About” page. Most have a name that they go by and if they do, use that. If absolutely no name can be found, then you may have to address them by their blog title (but only as a last resort).

      Giveaways: Everyone loves a great giveaway! Featured author posts or reviews posted on blogs almost always receive more traffic when there is a giveaway involved. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant: a copy of your book, swag, or electronic Amazon Gift Card for example. Simply let the reviewer/blogger know in your initial request that you are willing to offer a giveaway to their readers if they’d like. Other than bringing in more traffic, another great thing giveaways help with is bringing you new followers. Most of the time entries for the giveaway will be tasks like following you on Twitter or liking you on Facebook. If you’re offering a copy of your book, it will potentially translate into another review, which is always a good thing – whether it is good or bad.

So there you have it, my “Reading” tips to promoting your book. I hope they will help eliminate some of the confusion when it comes to getting your book into the hands of readers. I am currently in the process of making a series of Vlogs that will expand on the topics above and give some insight to other aspects of marketing your book. You may find yourself wondering why I am willing to share tips when I offer my promotional services through Juniper Grove Book Solutions. The answer is simple. I believe that all authors should have a basic idea of what to do to help them if they want to take matters into their own hands. Everyone doesn’t have the resources to hire help to have the work done for them. Or maybe you just don’t want to trust your novel in the hands of someone other than yourself. Whatever the case may be, you shouldn’t feel like there are no options available for you because with enough work and dedication, you can get your book out there to be enjoyed by readers.

If you have any questions, I am always available and happy to help so please feel free to send a note my way.

Jaidis Shaw currently resides in a small town located in South Carolina with her husband and a beautiful daughter. With a passion for reading, Jaidis can always be found surrounded by books and dreaming of new stories. She enjoys challenging herself by writing in different genres and currently has several projects in the works.

When not reading or writing, Jaidis maintains her blog Juniper Grove and helps promote her fellow authors. In addition to her free promotion services, she uses her experience in publicity to offer freelance author services through Juniper Grove Book Solutions.

Jaidis released her debut novel Destiny Awaits in April 2011. In addition to her novel, she currently has two short stories published with Wicked East Press. You can read her latest story ‘Blind Justice’ in the Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales anthology – now available on Kindle!


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TO WIN A ONE-WEEK BOOK TOUR FROM JAIDIS (to be claimed any time from February to July 2013), please leave a comment below. If you would just like to leave a comment (always appreciated) and don’t want to enter to win, just put #notentering at the end of your post! GOOD LUCK TO ALL! A winner will be selected on January 1, 2013.