Category Archives: author promotion

The Demise….

I figured I’d get your attention with that title! Did it work? Hee hee.

So I decided to stop sending out a newsletter. It never really took off, subscription-wise anyway, and it was a lot of work for not a lot of return on the work involved. The other reason I decided to render it defunct had to do with a workshop I attended over the weekend on writing newsletters.

I’m pretty sure the person who gave the workshop didn’t have as one of her objectives that the writers in the class will kill their newsletters! But that was my decision.

Let me ‘esplain. 

There are a few new privacy rules involved in sending emails with newsletters to people. The reason is for something called GDRP.

This rule requires you to show proof that a person actually wants you to send them your email/newsletter, plus you have to give them an easy out if they want to unsubscribe, all to protect the privacy of person you are sending stuff to.  It’s kinda like  publishing HIPPA. Today, with the surge in blogs, and internet sites, protecting privacy is a huge factor in how companies deal with their customers. I put my newsletter together before this edict came down and when I tried to rework the form to sign up to include all the new GDRP verbage, I screwed it up six ways from Sunday and it became a huge pain in the a** to fix.

Then, when I did fix it, I was worried I hadn’t done it correctly, which led me to trying to fix it even more, and the whole thing snowballed into an afternoon spent frustrated and now afraid I was going to be sued by the GDRP powers-that-be.

In addition to this dilemma, the workshop speaker had a list of things you should and shouldn’t be doing in your newsletter.

Can I just tell you I did every single one of the things you shouldn’t  be doing? Yeah. Who knew??

Any hoo.

The newsletter was just one more thing I thought – and kept getting told by other writers – I needed to connect with readers. Well, you know what? I blog 4-5 times per week, I tweet dozens of times daily, I share Triberr feeds, I live on facebook and my Instagram is burning up. I don’t need a newsletter to connect with people because everyone knows everything about me anyway from one of those other sites. So, bye bye newsletter and GDRP worries, hello more time to….do everything else!!

heehee.

When I’m not worrying and obsessing, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

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Filed under Author, Author newsletter, author promotion, monthly newsletter

N.N.Lights Book Heaven #Bookathon, part II

Hey hey hey!!! I’m one of the featured authors today on  NNLights Book Heaven Bookathon. Stop by and leave me a little love! There’s a rafflecopter and you all know I love me a good chance to win sumthin!!!

Rafflecopter link: giveaway

Open internationally
Runs September 1 – 30
Drawing will be held on October 1.

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Family Saga, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Do I have a backlist?

At RWA 2018 I attended a workshop about making the most of your backlist, and by making the most the presenter meant sales. So, this is good question for a writer to be asking him or herself.

So, what is a backlist? Well, it’s a publisher’s list of older books still in print. The definitive word in that sentence is older. But what constitutes older? How many years or even decades is considered enough for a book to be truly defined as backlisted? 

I’m asking this because I had my very first book published in 2015. That’s only 3 years ago. (Sometimes, it seems like 300, but that’s just me!) Now, in no one’s mind would 3 years past be considered old. But, believe it or not, in the publishing industry, it is. The reasons vary, but if you’ve ever heard this phrase: You’re only as good as your last book – you’ll know it’s true, because each time a writer releases a new book, that becomes the yardstick readers measure you by because it’s the most current, and available in the here and now.

I realize what I just wrote may be a little convoluted, so let me ‘esplain.

Most well-known writers put out a book a year, maybe 2, or if you’re Jill Shalvis or Nora Roberts, 4 or more! I’m not either, but since 2015 I’ve averaged 3 a year. This year it’ll be four, which is giving me agita even as I write this.

But I digress…

Since most authors have a lag period of about 6-12 months between releases, they don’t have much to promote while they are writing/editing/editing some more/ their coming soon book. Here’s where the back list comes in. I’m going  use myself here s an example because it’s easier. My first book, Skater’s Waltz, released in March 2015.

It was promoted heavily for a few months until my second book came out. Same scenario until my third book released. By the time the 4th and 5th books went out into the world, no one was  hearing about Book 1 which started the entire 5 book series.

So. With each new addition to the series, I tweeted/facebooked/instagrammed – you get the picture: I used my social media sites – to REMIND people about the first book, the one that started the series ( and my new life!) and put all the buy links up with each promo. I was lucky enough that each time I had a new book come out, I also had people buying the previous books because of that promo. I’ve written my series as stand alone books, which means you don’t need to read the one before the newest one to know what’s going on, but readers still went ahead and purchased those previous books.

In essence, this was me promoting my backlist.

Another way to get readers to read the books that came before your soon to be released one and utilize your back list effectively is to have a sale. Each time my newest book was a month or so from release date, I asked my publisher(s) to put the previous book I released on sale and then promoted the sale to try and garner new readers. It worked.

This holiday season I have a new San Valentino Christmas story coming out called CHRISTMAS and CANOLLIS. I don’t have the exact release date yet, but when I do I’ll be having a sale of my previous San Valentino Christmas Story A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to try and get people interested in the new book.

The theory if you like this one, you’re sure to like that one, is the prompt for this. BTW – just a little side note: I’m having a cover reveal of Christmas and Canollis soon, so stay tuned!!!

Get the idea now of why a backlist is important to promote if you’re an author? And it doesn’t matter if your backlist is from 1 year ago and has 2 books on it, or 10 years ago with 30. ALL your books should be promoted as frequently as you’re comfortable doing.

Backlists. They’re a good thing for a writer.

When I’m not pushing, er promoting my backlist, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

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Filed under Author, author promotion, love, Romance, Romance Books

Social Media and the Quest for Name Recognition…

That’s a wordy title, but it’s an accurate one for what I’ve been mulling over lately.

I’m a household name. In MY household…no other. This is tantamount to the Kiss of Death for a writer, because no one is going to read your books if they don’t know who the heck you are.

True ‘dat, right?

In the past, publishers have had entire teams of people who diligently took steps to make sure their writers’ names were recognized easily. Marketing campaigns, publicity tours, multi-city book signings. Any and every effort the team could get the author’s name to be recognized by the general book reading public was made. With the advent of less traditional publishing avenues, most of the tried and true publishers now are only moving their advertising dollars toward their already recognizable, big-name, authors.

What’s the relatively unknown writer to do?

I’m traditionally published by two presses, Kensington/Lyrical Shine and The Wild Rose Press. Both love their authors, make no mistake about that. They are in the business of selling books and they need authors to  achieve their goal. But taking a chance on a relatively new author  – and by chance I mean throwing advertising and marketing dollars  behind them to promote them – is something both of them are reluctant to do. In the WRP case, they do minimal to no marketing for their authors – the authors and the other writers associated with the company do the bulk share of getting the word out  about a new book release. Lyrical Shine has a marketing department, but with so many authors on their docket, those dollars are stretched thin.

So, what’s an author like me – unknown, no advertising or marketing background – to do, you ask?
Well, of course I’ll tell ya.

When my first book was scheduled for publication I frantically tried to learn whatever I could about marketing and how to promote myself on a nearly non-existent budget. It was hard, peeps. Real hard.

I joined TWITTER, had my best friend set-up my WEBSITE, and made a Facebook Professional Page. I didn’t go out and employ any book-tour companies via the web because I didn’t know they existed back then!!! I garnered several hundred new followers from all this, but it wasn’t enough to make me more well known as an author ( and you know that ultimately means – no sales!)

When the second and third books rolled around and were ready to be published, I had discovered on-line book tours, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM, and Goodreads.

I got even more followers and saw a tiny uptick in sales, so a good thing, but still, my name is not showing up on any bestseller lists, or on any “Watch for the next book from this fab author” lists.

By the time I got my Lyrical contract, I had joined Triberr, BookBub,  and  Google + and started entering more and more contests. My thought was if I finaled in any of them, that will introduce my name to more people. If I, GOD-PLEASE! – won any of them,  my name and my work would be more accessible and known.

Haven’t won any yet, but have finaled in a bunch, so that’s a positive thing, right?

My first book was published in 2015. Since then, 3 years later, I’ve got 2,260 Twitter followers, 1343 people on my FB author account, on Triberr I have a personal reach of 183K and on BookBub I have 281 followers.

Now, those numbers are…okay. But they need to be waaaaaaaaaaay more to have any kind of impact on the romance reading world.

So…

I have a favor to ask ( you saw that coming, didn’t you?!)

If you aren’t already following me across my media, please take this opportunity to do so. At the end of most of my blog pieces I usually list all my Social Media sites and beg, er, ask you to find me. Well, please continue to do that, but could you also please follow me? Here’s the list:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

And if you are already following me across my SM sites – #BLESSYOU and #ILOVEYOU

It’s so humbling to beg!

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press

#ChristmasinJuly Spotlight

Hey all, while I’m working my butt off at RWA I’m featured on the Christmas in July fete today over at N.N. Light’s Bookhaven

Drop by for a chance to win a copy and for a rafflecopter for a $100 Amazon GC!! Read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS now and when CHRISTMAS AND CANOLLIS releases this holiday season, the San Valentino family be old friends!

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Filed under #RWA2018, Author, Author Branding, author promotion

When I’m not writing I’m….


So today’s prompt is “creative outlets I enjoy.” You already know I lovelovelove to cook. But did you know I also like to paint and restore old steamer trunks?

I’ve done 5 trunks over the past 3 years using a decoupage method. When they are complete, I give them away as gifts to people around me who ask. My daughter has 2, my BFF has one, and I’ve got the other 2. This one is sitting in my office behind the couch I use to take naps in when the words aren’t flowing as fast as I want them to.

I also like to paint – crafty paint. I  hand paint canvas bags  and give them away at my book signings to readers. Since I write a romance series about cooking, the bags are all food themed:

 

Now, it’s always been my DREAM to have a hard-back book contract. Because I’m one of those people who believe in  putting actions behind dreams to propel them into reality, I also handpaint wooden “books” and then insert my own POD ( print of demand) paperbacks into them, also for readers at book signings as a gift from me;

The readers I’ve given them to have been thrilled because the “book” is a nice way to keep the actual book fresh and new-looking.

So…crafting and painting is my superpower, er…creative outlet. What’s yours?

Let’s see what other creative outlets the writers in this hop have: MFRWauthors

And, of course, when I’m not writing, painting, cooking, or restoring stuff, you can always find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author Branding, author promotion, branding, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Why I love a list….

I’m a list-maker. You know: one of those annoying people who write everything they have to do, everyplace they have to go, and every item they need to buy, down on a piece of paper before they ever leave the house or attempt a task.

This is the list of things I needed to do for Saturday, July 7.  You will notice the list is even dated. That’s so I don’t confuse it with another day’s list. You will also note at the bottom of the list is a reminder to write a blog on…lists.

I make lists for the grocery store; the chores I need to do; the stops I have to make while I am out of the house doing normal life stuff. I make sublists, too, when I have to go more than 2 or three places during one trip. I’ll list my destination, then – in bullet form – all the things I need to purchase or do at each place.

I have lists for birthday presents. I have a list of people I need to buy or make Christmas gifts for every year. I have a list of the days I need to send bills out to be paid.

I have a list of all the blogs I want to write, a list for the titles of the books I need to finish ( or start!) and then sublists added to that.

I have a bucket list with 1000 items on it. I have a to-do list for every day next week already.

I make a lot of lists. A lot of lists.

Maybe if I stopped making lists, I’d get more stuff on the lists done. Just a thought…..

 

 

 

 

When I’m not making lists, you can usually find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion

#ChristmasInJulyFete

For the entire month of July, NNLightsBookHaven is sponsoring a Christmas In July Fete featuring dozens of romance authors  and a grand prize of a $100 Amazon ( US) gift card as a rafflecopter. Here’s the link for the contest: RAFFLECOPTER  

I’ll be featured on July 17, so make sure you check back at The Christmas in July Fete that day to see what I’m promoting for the (summer!) holiday season!

And when I’m not out celebrating the holiday season waaaaaaay early ( hee hee) you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, author promotion, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor