Friday, July 30, 2010

An Author's Work Doesn't Finish With THE END.

An author’s work is never done with typing THE END.

I've often thought readers don't realize all the work their favorite authors put into the book that kept you up 'til the wee hours of the morning. You know about this author and their wonderful book, which made you late to work because you overslept, because they have also put in hard work on another aspect of writing—promotion.

Think about how many authors you've discovered over the last year or so. How did you discover them?

Chances are you discovered them through word of mouth.

  • 1. You were able to hear about them because of the time and thought publishers put into getting public attention for the book and/or the author.
A friend read a blog and saw and excerpt and recommended the book to you. A librarian or bookstore clerk read a review (ARCs provided by the publisher for review) or something about the series in one of the trade magazines or catalogs. Or you follow blogs. The publishers’ promotion department generally sets these up.

  • 2. You heard about the author or the book because the author thought about effective ways to promote themselves and their book.
Authors find that writing a good story is only the beginning of their work as an author. Keeping /renewing contracts depend upon sales. I’m sure authors would love to concentrate on just writing the next book. But they can’t do that. They have to build a readership/buyers for their product.

That’s business 101.

Word of mouth isn’t as easy as it sounds. How do you accomplish that? There is a plethora of ways to do lateral promotion. This takes thought, time, and effort to accomplish.

Analyzing the type of story you’ve written and pick out those elements you can highlight and then look for blogs about those issues or elements. Some authors donate a percentage of the books proceeds to Charities they highlight. Suppose your heroine/hero is a veterinarian involved with rescuing at risk animals—dogs, cats, horses, and whatever. No doubt the author has already looked at organizations involved with animal rescue as a way to highlight their story. Or perhaps H/H is involved with Relay For Life because they lost a parent, sibling, mate, or child. Since you used that as part of setting, why not look at that organization as a way of talking about your book? You highlight the book and the organization.

Susan Gable is an author who writes about persons with disabilities. Her research into making a viable story means looking at support groups and organizations. If these groups know she’s writing novel about a person with a disability word of mouth from that alone is worth the time and effort invested.

Then there are blog tours. This also involves time and effort. Time muse may be screaming at the author to sit their butt into the chair and write the next story. So to appease their muse and publisher it means scheduling their time to accomplish both and work on deadlines.

I set up blog tours and that means I work with authors, agents, and publisher promotion Reps. I know the work that goes into scheduling, blog set up, articles and interviews. I work with authors who go through a grueling couple of months meeting their fans either in person or on blogs.

Blogging takes time and creative energy. Think about seeing one of your favorite authors on a blog tour of say ten blogs. He/she has to come up with ten subjects to blog about that fit the particular blog site. There is only so many ways to talk about a book.

  • The purpose of a Blog tour is to build an audience for the author's books. This means interacting with readers. Think of it as a online booksigning or a meet and greet.

So for a Blog Tour to be effective two things need to happen:

  • The author has be present the day of their blog.

Granted, they don’t have to live at the blog site but they do need to visit several times during the day. Again, this is like an online greet the readers, so the author needs to be there to interact with their readers and fans. Authors defeat the whole purpose if they merely drop an article in a blog owners lap and move on.

Being a presence is one of my requirements to blog on Over Coffee, as is:

  • Announcing their blog dates on their website, blog, or whatever social networks they belong to and provide the link to the blog site so fans can get there.
This takes some time on the author's part. It also takes time on the blog owner's part to announce the author so there are comments. It also means the blog owner needs to monitor the blog that day and if the comments are few, take steps to change that. So it's a partnership between author and blog owner.

It all involves a lot of creativity and just plain hard work.

So the next you pick up a book from your favorite author, consider all the hard work they put into not only telling an entertaining story, but also the work they did so you would know about them and their books.

Next week:

Monday and Wednesday,  Author, Marcia James, will be talking more about how authors can do lateral promotion. She will also be talking about the workshop she will be offering to writers on promotion.

Friday, I will be having Cheryl Brooks, author of the wonderfully hot Cat Star Chronicles and a bit about her book and what she does for fun. There will be two copies of Hero given away to two commentors.
Excerpt links, back cover blurbs on both authors work will be available.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wrapping The Reader In The Moment

Jagged purple peaks, a hint of gold and rose on the horizon, the fresh breeze off a blue gray lake ruffling the hair against our cheeks. The rich scents of cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven, the first sip of fresh brewed coffee as we listen to birds sing up the sun. We’re wrapped up in the moment, all our senses engaged.

My guest, romance author Mary Wine, talks about the importance of immersing our readers in the moment.

Hummm….my thoughts tend to turn to making coffee cake when I smell a good cup of java. The aroma is just so rich, you want to close your eyes and immerse yourself in it.

I think a good book should hit a reader the same way. You should be able to feel the frost on your nose if it’s winter time or smell the flowers if it’s spring. That’s a challenge for an author but one that I think completes the story. Sure, we all read for the story but the setting is important too. Just tossing in a few ‘ye’’s and ‘yer’’s doesn’t transform the inside of that book.

Although, getting a grip on the Scottish brogue is interesting work. I had a wonderful opportunity two years ago when I turned around in of all places, Alaska and discovered myself sitting next to a gentleman from the Highlands. I actually asked him where he was from because I didn’t want to put my foot into my mouth by saying he was from Scotland in case he wasn’t. He laughed at me and asked, “Cannae ye tell woman?”

It was the beginning of a wonderful conversation. It turned out he was in fact a Highlander and traveling on the same ship we were. Now, it’s the honest truth I met him in a bar, that was also once an infamous whore house. Over the next few days, I was privileged to spend a fair amount of time with him and it was enthralling to listen to his brogue. It was also very interesting to learn about Scotland from someone who called it home.

Yes, ladies, he did in fact bring his kilt. On formal night, my husband and I love to dress in our Victorian finery. Hey, they said formal but they neglected to give a year. Well, our new highland friend was very happy to join us in his kilt and he looked smashing in it.

When I returned home and began to work on To Conquer a Highlander, I think I heard his voice in my head as I was writing the dialog. It really brought Torin to life, just a little bit more for me. Not that I have trouble seeing my heroes, in fact, there has been more than one instant when I’ve had to demand they take a break so I can sleep! By the way, Scottish Highlanders like Torin don’t like to be told what to do...but no book was ever written in a single day…I keep trying to tell my heroes this fact and they just glare at me and interrupt my sleep. LOL.

Yes, I’m that into my writing. I do wake up at night, with the perfect scene in my head and I debate whether or not to get up and write it. I hope you all enjoy the book enough to feel it’s worth it!
  • What about you? How important is it to your reading pleasure to have your senses engaged?

A big thanks for having me by to blog and enjoy some coffee today!

Two commenters will have the chance to win a copy of To Conquer A Highlander. PLEASE leave me a way to contact you if you are one of the winners. If you don't want to leave your email on the blog, then please contact me via: with an email address. Thank you.


A fierce Highland laird ready to kill for king and country…

When Torin McLeren discovers his neighbor’s plot against his king, he takes their daughter as his prisoner, thereby stopping her father’s plot from going forward. But that leaves him with a woman under his roof whom he can’t ignore, and not just because she’s his enemy’s daughter…

A woman who’s as much trouble as she is temptation…

Shannon McBoyd decides to use her captor to experience passion for the first time, and then to destroy him. But her plan goes awry because once she has lured Torin into her bed, she no longer wants to hurt the one man who seems to value and understand her…

Even if her father will kill him—and her—when he discovers what they’ve done...
This first in a trilogy of sexy Scottish Highland romance.
BUY:Amazon, •Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written nearly twenty works of erotic fantasy, romantic suspense, and historical romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives with her husband and two sons in Yorba Linda, California.

For more information, please visit