Monday, March 27, 2017

Coming Out Of My Shell

I’ve spent the past two weeks in my editing cave. Other than an hour or two in the morning where I get chores done and at night when I’m too bleary-eyed to see straight, I’ve spent the rest of the day going through one manuscript with a fine-tooth comb—responding to edits from my editor, fixing issues and identifying mistakes I missed the first bajillion times I read it. When I finally finished working on those edits, I moved onto the second manuscript I’m contracted for, fixing those same mistakes before my editor takes a crack at it. You know, to prove I can learn from my mistakes.  J
I’m still editing, but I’m also working on my marketing timetable. I’m trying to figure out when, where and how to publicize my upcoming releases. It’s a little tricky for several reasons. The first and biggest one? I’m an introvert. I HATE talking about myself. I spend all day with myself. The last thing I want to do is talk about me. And trying to figure out where and how to interject my news into a conversation is uncomfortable. Luckily, social media provides me a passive/aggressive way to make my announcements. I can post the info and just leave it there for people to stumble across. In person it’s a little more awkward. I can’t talk about it until a contract is actually signed—both by me and the publisher. Sometimes, friends will ask me what’s new and if I don’t have that contract in my hands, I have to say, “Nothing.” Occasionally, the timing is such that they ask the question, I respond as above, only to get home and find the signed contract in my inbox. Oops (sorry, Julie). My family is pretty good about letting everyone they’ve ever met know about my books, and so I rely on them.
The second reason publicizing is tricky is because I don’t have a release date yet and people have short memories. If I talk too much about it now, by the time the books come out, people will be sick of hearing about it. If I don’t mention it at all, then I miss out on opportunities to nudge people.
And the last reason it’s tricky is because publicity is fickle. What works once might not work again. At one time, blogs were the way to do it. Now, people read them less—of course, YOU read MY blog all the time. J Facebook parties worked at one time; now, not so much. Sometimes advertising works, other times it falls flat. My writer friends and I have discussed various methods, and we all agree that other than reviews (which readers seem loathe to give), it’s like tossing a coin.
So, as I exit the editing cave, I’ll be working on my marketing plan and timing. Hopefully, I’ll get it right. If you hear too much from me, I apologize. If you don’t hear from me enough, my bad. And if you think I should have told you something, please don’t be offended. It wasn’t intentional!*

*If you have suggestions for publicity, feel free to let me know!
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Nope, not talking about politics…this time. This time, I’m talking about writing. The best advice anyone will give you is to keep writing. Finished a manuscript? Keep writing. Submitted a manuscript? Keep writing. Ready to give up? Keep writing.

I did that, for months and months and months.

And today, I received my second contract with my publisher for another book. Also a romance, but not part of my series.

My younger daughter refers to it as the “lawnmower book,” because she was reading over my shoulder and happened to see that word. I suppose I should be very grateful that out of all the words in a romance she could have seen, that’s the one her eye picked out. J It has an actual title, though, or at least a working one--In the Moment. Not sure I love it, but the marketing department might change it anyway, so I’m not stressing.

As with the first book they accepted, I now have forms to fill out and will soon have edits to begin. That part does stress me out a little, since I’m still editing the first one, but this is way better than doing nothing.

Oh right, I wasn’t doing nothing. While I was waiting for an editor to bite, I was writing. I have four other manuscripts in the pipeline now. Three of them need editing before I can submit them, but I’ll be putting that on hold while I deal with more immediate needs.

Having them waiting for me, though, is good. It means I’m ready if someone wants them, because I never want to be without something if an editor or agent asks me what I’ve been working on.

So if you need me, I’ll be editing. And writing. And preparing my marketing plan. If I look a little bleary-eyed, you’ll know why.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Author Parties

In the past few weeks, I’ve participated in two “parties” where I was able to showcase my books. Both parties required some creativity on my part in order to figure out exactly how to publicize my book as a part of the greater whole, fit with the theme and help things run smoothly.

To start, I joined my friend, Lyn, at an open house. She sells makeup and she was getting a number of people together to feature their products—there were people selling jewelry, food, handbags

She set me up in her living room, since that’s where people read. The food people were in the kitchen, the jewelry people and her makeup display scattered in other rooms. I created some social media invitations and we were all to invite our local friends. Because much of this publicity was through Facebook, none of us were certain who, if anyone, would show up. I had never done something like this before, so I had no idea if anyone would be interested in looking at my books.

But you know what? People came and loved the open-house style of the party. I met lots of people I never would have come into contact with previously, and I sold more books at this party than I have at author-only events. It was a terrific experience!

The second party I participated in was a Facebook author party. These events occur on Facebook, and are usually to celebrate a book release. The author invites other authors to celebrate with her (or him), scheduling people at half-hour intervals throughout the time of the party. The hostess also appears throughout the party. Everyone offers giveaways and prizes, talks about their books, offers insights into their writing life and engages with potential readers. The idea is that each author is supposed to invite their friends/fans and that way, those fans get introduced to other authors as well, and authors can build their reader base.

These parties are iffy. Unless you have a really organized hostess and a very well-planned party that ties back to the hostess' books, I don’t believe they do a lot. This party I participated in was terrific, though. The hostess was extremely organized, the authors all wrote similar genres (which means our readers overlap) and it was very well done. I met new readers and authors, I gained exposure for my current books, and even got inquiries about upcoming ones.

Marketing always remains a challenge, and I’ll continue pursuing those outlets I find useful. And in the meantime, I’ll write the next book!

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Dry Spell Is Over!!

It’s been three years since I last published a book (Miriam’sSurrender). Yes, I’ve republished both A Heart of Little Faith and Skin Deep during that time, but nothing new. It hasn’t been for lack of trying. I’ve been writing non-stop. I signed with an agent, which was a wonderful experience, but didn’t work well for either of us. And I was about to give up on writing.
There were things going on in my life that were pulling me in different directions and were making me miserable. When you’re miserable, it’s really hard to write romance. Sure, the black moments come easy, but the happy ones are tough.  And so I’d look around at all my author friends who were moving in the right direction and I really thought it was time to give up.
But I didn’t. After much soul-searching, I made changes in my life and decided to give writing one last shot. I freed up my time, finished the stories I was writing, polished the ones I’d already finished and made a plan.
The plan was imperfect. In fact, my getting published right now is kind of amazing, but that’s a story for another blog post. Suffice it to say that despite everything I did to work against myself, I found a publisher for a story that I can’t wait to reveal to everyone.
It’s the first in a projected three-book series. The characters are Jewish, but the story doesn’t revolve around any holidays. They happen to be Jewish, like I happen to have brown hair (shh, no comments about the grey). There’s a little religion and culture thrown in, but that’s all. The publisher is one I’ve been eyeing for a while—they have a fantastic reputation, put out great books and treat their authors well. Throughout the entire submission process, they kept me updated and they’ve answered every question I’ve asked. I signed the contract on my birthday and I’m looking forward to starting to work with them.
In the meantime, I’m continuing to edit my existing manuscripts and beginning to prepare for the marketing side of this business. I’ll be keeping my readers updated on my website ( and on my Facebook author page (, so be sure to pop over there regularly. If you want advanced notice of things, like preview chapters, exclusive contests to win copies of the book, etc., you might want to sign up for my newsletter ( And if you want even more exclusive info and get to help me promote myself, you can join my street team (
The moral of this story is don’t give up. And I’m really glad I didn’t.