Friday, September 26, 2014

Promotion Blues

Promotion is often a dirty word for writers and I am one of those who has to admit that I constantly shirk my promotion duties. We don't like to advertise ourselves or our books, and somehow we hope readers find them anyway.

This week I a putting together a promotional giveaway for the Colorado Romance Writers annual Readers' Tea and that sort of promotion I love to do because I get to buy lots of fun little items to go in the gift bag - chocolate, wine, pens, pencils, books and other goodies.  Last year my sister and sister-in-law spent hours making plastic canvas bookmarks. They came out great, but then I realized the thickness of the plastic made it hard to actually use the marks in books. Ooops. No more of those.

Promotion has always been a problem for me, even when I was producing daily newscasts. In addition to putting together the newscast, producers often have to write those clever little teases that the anchors must read just before they go to commercial.  You know, the ones that end with, "stay tuned," or begin with, "coming up next." Some of our producers would start thinking of how they were going to tease a story from the moment they first knew it was going to be in the newscast. I was never very good at that and as a result I waited until the last minute to write those teases. Mine went something like, "Weather is next, will it rain tomorrow?" And then the little tag line under the visual would read something like  "Sunny Saturday?"

You get the picture.  Well, now I find that I have to promote or tease MYSELF as a writer. I need to promote my books. Luckily I don't have to come up with lots of daily clever little blurbs, but I do need to have a Facebook page, a web page, a Pinterest page, a blog, and so many other things I can't even count them all.  I'm not good at it, but I am trying.  And with Facebook, I not only should have a personal page, but a reader fan page I'm told. Oh, and that doesn't include having a Twitter account. So much promotion, so little time to write.

This week I finally spent some time trying to update my webpages and Facebook pages. And I find I enjoy Pinterest. I have more fun seeing what others are doing and how they organize their pages. And I found myself coming up with new ways to use some of the wonderful pictures I've run across or re-pinning from other people.

So here's a toast to today's promotion -- and the links to my various sites, just to show that I can do some promotion, even if it is very simple and done at the last minute... just like old times in the newsroom.

And I'm hearing we'll be having a sunny Saturday. I'll toast that too! The last weekend of September.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Toast to Fall

Fall has arrived in Colorado. It seems a bit early, but it is definitely here. We had a covering of snow on the patio this morning and this whole week has been cool with the promise of more to come.  I have to admit I've always loved Fall. It's my favorite time of the year.  Why? Well, I came up with a bunch of reasons I've always loved it:

Growing up:
   -- Going back to school with new clothes, and new shoes
   -- Getting fresh school supplies (I got to replace the ratty notebook I'd marked up the year before and I always managed to get me a new notebook for my writing) 
   -- The feeling of crispness in the air as I walked home from school
   -- jumping in the pile of leaves my dad and brother raked up (I didn't appreciate the piles when I got older and had to rake
 In college:
   -- meeting new classmates, new dorm mates and new roommates
   -- playing football on the lawn in front of the dorm
   -- going to football games (& sneaking in a little bottle of rum for those cold days -- we were the ones yelling for the guy selling cold sodas even though we were wearing gloves and it might be snowing)
    -- walks to the park where I could sit in the crisp afternoon air and write
Later years:
  -- going on vacation (I always took vacation in the fall because I liked to see the leaves change or visit the beach when no one was around
  --  sitting on the beach or in the park while on vacation and writing
  -- going to baseball playoff games and an occasional World Series
  -- football brunches on Sunday

While I write every season,  I always seem to come up with fresh ideas in the Fall.  So here is a toast to fall and to new ideas and new beginnings.

The final thing I love about Fall is that it is when my birthday hits so I have just finished one year and I have a whole new year ahead. So here is a double toast to Fall.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Toast to a Great Cover

Today there is real cause for a pause for a taste of the bubbly!

Here’s why -- for a writer there is nothing quite like release day when you finally see your book, your baby, put out there for the whole world to see. Whether it is in a bookstore, or online at the Amazon and BN stores or your publisher’s online page, just seeing that book available widely for others to read always brings a tear of joy to my eyes and I’ve heard so many other authors say the same thing.
Before that wonderful date though, there are other great steps along the way – getting that call or email offering a contract, seeing the signed contract come back to you, seeing the manuscript sent back to you with edit marks for you to work on, then seeing the galleys where you actual work is placed into book form.

Then comes the “cover reveal.”  That is always a source of great pride because the cover is the first thing the public will see. It’s always been a source of great joy to me because I have been pretty lucky with my covers. Designing a cover starts with a great artist, even if there is a production team involved. This week I had that great moment.  I got the final cover back for my next book, BLUES AT 11.

The artist is Debbie Taylor from The Wild Rose Press and everyone who has seen it and read snippets of my book from my critique partner to my family say it’s spot on.  A toast to Debbie! And a toast to the entire production team at The Wild Rose Press for giving me another winning cover.
Here’s the blurb for Blues – 

Kimberly Delagarza is a familiar face in Los Angeles where she can be seen nightly on the evening news. She drives a fancy car, lives in a house on the beach, and wears designer clothes. But now the TV anchorwoman is being accused of murder.
No one believes she didn't kill her louse of an ex-boyfriend after he dumped her. Her next picture may be on a wanted poster, and her next home may be the Big House, with a wardrobe consisting of orange jumpsuits.
And the only man who can help her is someone she once wronged

This was a book I truly enjoyed writing because it allowed me to go back to my days in the crazy world of television news. While the people and situations are straight out of my head, it gave me a great opportunity to have my characters say and do all the things I always wanted to see said and done!
So here’s a toast to Blues, to talented folks at the Wild Rose Press and to the wonderful people in the TV news profession.