As regular readers my know, my first book continues to win prizes but it’s not not selling like I’d hoped.
Feedback from experts suggested that my original cover wasn’t working for me.
A local bookseller had an issue with the snake. “People are afraid of snakes,” she said. “They won’t pick up something with a snake on it.”
A couple of author friends who sell a lot of books had a more basic criticism. “Your cover doesn’t say romance.”
And I never did like the fact that it was so hard to read the title.
When I had that first cover made, a marketing friend who had read an early draft suggested going with an “object cover”—that is, a cover with an object rather than a person—with the intention of trying for cross-genre sales. Continue reading
There’s a new Twitter marketing strategy that caught my eye recently. List a bunch of tropes that describe your book, and then add the links for purchase or preorder.
Jackie Lau caught my attention with the ice cream, and the foodie six-year-old was a joy, and not just a plot moppet.
I haven’t seen this before, but then again, I don’t get around much, so maybe it’s a thing. Maybe everyone is doing it, and I just haven’t seen it before. But . . . it looks like a really good idea, and I’m going to pretend that you are as in the dark as I was.
I first noticed when Jackie Lau did it for Ice Cream Lover. Jackie just showed up suddenly on my phone Twitter feed, and I was in the mood for ice cream and romance . . . and that’s how I ended up following her. She had me at ice cream; add in an #AsianRomCom, and I bought her book. And boy, it was good! Ice cream, sexy scenes of the like I’ve never seen in romance before (do note: I don’t get around much), a bi-cultural heroine and Continue reading
Recently, a friend messaged me about a bookstore in a nearby town that she thought would be willing to stock my book(s), so last Tuesday I went to visit New & Olde Pages Book Shoppe in Englewood, OH.
I explained why I was there and the proprietress said, “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
I pulled a copy of The Demon Always Wins from the small box of books I’d brought with me and held it out to her.
“That’s a problem,” she said. Continue reading
The second book in my Touched by a Demon series comes out today!
It’ll be a cold day in Hell before artist Keeffe Blackmon gives up the statue created by her late mother, a world-famous inspirational sculptor. Keeffe’s not selling—not even to a man as rich as devil’s food cake and handsome as sin—the gorgeous but morally repulsive billionaire Seth McCall. That is, until Keeffe decodes a fiendish contract and discovers she has just one month to prove she’s earning a living with her art or lose her sculpture forever.
Demons will ice skate on the Lake of Fire before Satan puts Abaddon, aka Bad, the demon of sloth and Hell’s brainiest minion, back in charge of Hell’s technology hub. But when Satan’s stooge McCall fails to acquire the powerful statue, Bad seizes his chance. To win back his job, Bad offers to possess McCall and, with the unbeatable combination of McCall’s good looks and his own smarts, melt Keeffe into selling him the sculpture.
As Keeffe races to complete a mural in McCall’s McMansion and earn the cash she needs to keep her statue, the billionaire blows hot one minute and cold the next. It’s almost as if he’s two different men: one a jerk, the other sweet and nerdy—and hot as Hell.
Aboveworld for the first time, Bad finds out his heart is even bigger than his brain. He is entranced by Sedona’s stunning landscape and seduced by Keeffe’s passion for art, life and the man she thinks she sees in McCall.
Bad may be the smartest demon in Hell—but is he smart enough to win Keeffe’s trust and ice Satan’s devilish plan to destroy Sedona?
You can check it out on Amazon in either ebook or print format.
The second week of November was a week of firsts for me as an author:
- My first opportunity to meet with a book club (who had all read my book!)
- My first author signing event
- My first piece of fan mail (okay fan email) from a total (well, near-total) stranger
The book club invitation came from a former co-worker. I thought it would be fun, but it turned out even better than I expected. It turns out that there’s something really gratifying about people liking your book enough to want to know how you came up with the idea and wondering about all kinds of details you wove in.
They also invited me to read. After a short discussion, we settled on the first scene from The Demon’s in the Details, the second book in the series, which comes out in January. They must have liked it, because they invited me to come back once it’s out.
The next day, I attended my first author signing event. A little town about twenty miles south of where I live holds a Christmas Festival each year, including a parade and lots of vendors. The historical society arranges a signing event for local authors–first come, first served. As soon as I saw the notice on Facebook, I hopped right on it. Continue reading
Saturday, September 1, was my debut book release. It went well–I even received this lovely bouquet of roses from my daughter, congratulating me on achieving a life-time dream.
Because I’d badgered, I mean, encouraged people to pre-order the ebook, my royalties report on my Amazon Central Dashboard looked like this at the end of the first day:
People kept warning me that marketing a book is really time-consuming. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe them, exactly. More that I didn’t know enough about what I’d have to do to understand how much time we were talking about.
Let me educate you:
- You need to grow your platform. That means:
- Aggressively friending people on Facebook.
- Inviting all those brand new friends to Like your Author page
- Dealing with the sudden onset of people, in turn, friending you, many of whom I suspect are Russian trolls and Nigerian princes.
- Which means reviewing profiles. Despite your best efforts, some of the ones you accept will immediately attempt to contact you via Messenger to a) offer you a business opportunity (Buy My Jewelry! Day Trade at Home!) or b) request money for their charity.
- Searching out people to follow on Twitter.
- Following them back (which requires looking at their tweets to be sure you’re not following a known psychopath)
- Being winsome on Instagram. (That’s much easier. See flower pics below.)
- Participating in any other social media you can tolerate. (Hasn’t happened–I’m already well over my tolerance limit with Twitter, which a writing friend likened to an “angry kaleidoscope.”
- Collect as many invitations as you can muster to appear on blogs, with the understanding that each of them is going to want a completely original blog post and a never-before-seen snippet from the book. Thus far I’ve written:
- A recipe describing Belial, my protagonist, for the Alpha Male Cafe over at I Smell Sheep, a paranormal romance blog. That one will appear on September 9.
- A post titled, “When the Drapes Don’t Match the Carpet,” on the importance of covers conveying what’s inside the book for Fresh Fiction, appearing September 13
- A Q&A for the USA Today HEA blog for September 6th (including a pic of me with my 90’s hair, if you’re interested. I must say, I had a bucket of hair back in the 90’s.)
- An interview with Belial for D. Lieber’s Ink and Magick blog that begins with the phrase, “Welcome to Ink & Magick. I’m your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you today?” Date yet to be determined.
- And we’re working on several more. For that reason, I share with you a half dozen of the bazillion wildflower pictures I’ve taken over the past few years.
Because somebody needs to remember to take time to smell those beauties.