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December 20, 2010


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Well...let's see. Website, check...though I struggle to update it with anything relevant. I think this will improve once the book is out...

Blogs? Uh...three? (Honestly, don't overdue, I feel stretched a lot. Leave time to write.)

Promo stuff? Oh, now that is fun! I've designed a button, worked some on bookmarks, decided against postcards...looked at these neat little stick on promotional tags you can give away at conferences to be stuck to the back of name badges. Great place to put your tagline!

I've also played with my cover and created some jewelry with it. Gonna be fun when I'm at the conferences!

But all of it aside, no matter how you prepare, things change so fast when it happens you just grab on and try to enjoy the ride!

Terri Osburn

I have no plan, no website, a blog I ignore, and now I'm a little freaked out. But I DO have a tagline. LOL! So I'm ahead there.

Healing broken hearts one book at a time...

As taglines go, probably not the best. And probably too long. But it's on my business cards. Wait, now I need new business cards since I moved. Crap.

I need to create a plan. That's what I'll do to end 2010. Give myself real deadlines and goals, keeping them realistic while keeping myself accountable. Excellent idea!

My worst fear would be to sell the only book I have written and then have to turn out another one really fast. I have a few friends who have done this and I always think, "What were you thinking?!" LOL!

Donna Cummings

Maureen, it sounds like you've got lots of things going! I'm still in awe of you doing that many blogs!

I like the idea of the stick-on tags for badges. Can't wait to see what they look like! Is the jewelry for you to wear, or to use as giveaways?

I think you're right about grabbing on and enjoying the ride. That's the most important thing!

Donna Cummings

Terri, no freaking out! That's why we are thinking about these things, so we can be ready when it's time for them to happen. :)

And honestly, when you're stuck on a scene, what better motivator than pondering these particular goodies, right?

I like your tagline! I don't think it's too long.

I have been trying to design some new business cards since the last ones had my previous address on them. But in the future I'm just going to have my phone, email and web address on there. That way I don't have to change them.

But what is taking some time is I wanted to have taglines for the two books on the back of the card. I have one for the contemp ("Getting shot at was the best thing to happen to her love life"), but I haven't decided on one for the historical.

Lots of things to plan. And it's fun to go back to see what you've accomplished!

Terri Osburn

I like that tagline, though I'd switch out "Getting shot at..." with "Dodging bullets..." maybe. The "at" is throwing me off. LOL!

Yes! Plan now, it'll pay off later. The Plan will be posted over my desk right next to my storyboard. Constant prodding and motivation.


I have a plan...I've had several plans, but it changes so much I need a dry erase board. No promotion stuff for me. I consider that a dangerous excuse not to finish what I hope to promote! LOL

My goal to have both manuscripts that are in revision completed and out on submission by the 1st of August. What I do need to do is create some small milestones toward that goal that work with school breaks. Like a syllabus. Hey! Light bulb moment! Thanks!

Donna Cummings

LOL, Terri -- that line is actually something the heroine's BFF says to her. I'll see if I can switch out "dodging bullets" to make it work better. I know what you mean about that "at". LOL

I think that's a great idea about putting The Plan next to your storyboard. It's kind of a storyboard of your career. :)

Donna Cummings

Melissa, that's a great goal! And I like the syllabus idea. That's really what it's about, having something to refer to, not just ideas floating around in our brain. More active than reactive. :)

And as for the promotion things -- maybe just a factfinding mission. What have you seen that you like? What are things you would actually use, or that makes you think, "I've got to buy this author's books!"

Terri Osburn

Christie Craig is the master at cool promotional items. For one book, her heroine delivered pizzas, so she sent out pizza cutters with her name and the book title. I still use that pizza cutter. There's a little thing in my MS involving sock monkeys, so if I could find little sock monkeys I could put the title on, thta would be killer.

And, of course, I have Chance to make me buttons. :)

Donna Cummings

I love the pizza cutter idea! Clever AND practical.

The sock money would be so fun too. I think I've seen smaller ones, like keychain size. Of course, I don't know WHERE I saw them. He could be holding a miniature copy of your book, which you'd have to put on there, but that's why they invented glue guns!

I can't wait til I get to see Chance's buttons in person. LOL


Yes, it's funny how I often need to substitute a different word for "plan," "goal" or "deadline." Perhaps I've overused them with poor results! I've been saying milestone a lot lately and I get a kick out of this definition:

A milestone is a scheduled event signifying the completion of a major deliverable or a set of related deliverables. A milestone has zero duration and no effort -- there is no work associated with a milestone. It is a flag in the workplan to signify some other work has completed.

I must be drawn to the "no work associated" part. LOL

As for promotion, at the risk of sounding pessimistic, I know I'm immune to many of the "extras." This is just me. Blogs? I can't say I've ever actually purchased a book from reading an author's blog or from an appearance on a blog. I don't go looking for an author that way. Bookmarks? I would have to be at a conference or a book signing, which I'm not. Where and how I buy books is from customer reviews, such as Amazon, and association with other authors. I think I'd actively promote my book by getting into the hands of reviewers of all sorts. AND, I'd try my best to get a well known name to recommend my book and have that recommendation on the cover. I've purchased books of new authors just from somone I read saying they loved it or compared it to someone's work I loved.

That's part of what I'd do...not that I've thought about it. LOL!

Donna Cummings

Melissa, this is great info! I'm SO stealing milestone--I like that "zero duration and no effort" definition. LOL Of course, it is meant to show what has been accomplished, so the effort has already been put in aheaad of time.

And I'm glad you said what works for you. I don't know that bookmarks are that effective for me either, so I wanted to hear what others thought.

On the other hand, I have bought books based on excerpts I've read online. . .and those came about because I liked an interview of the author, so I went to their site to check them out a little more.

I was wondering if anyone follows book reviewers' blogs online? It seems like a good way to get to know them now, so that when it's time to get your book into their hands, you'll already have a relationship.


I also think it is a good idea to follow reviewers' blogs and the best thing is getting that "blurb" to use for promotion in other ways. Of course, there is also the risk of a poor review! I actually submitted my self-pubbed book (now pulled to revise) to one site and had a wonderful review. (Others wouldn't review if wasn't traditionally published.) Here is a link to Charlotte Dillon's site with lots of links to reviewers. http://www.charlottedillon.com/PromotionHowTo.html

Donna Cummings

Thanks for the link, Melissa! It's nice to have that all in one spot. I've found some reviewers via Twitter, and I'm keeping my eye out for others too.

That is so awesome that you got a great review. :) That must have made you feel wonderful. I know how nice it felt when I got good comments from contest judges, so it must really rock when you get a great review.


The trick with the trinkets is to know the payback isn't going to be big. I still use a lipgloss I got at conference. Do I remember the author's name on it or the book title? No. Trinkets are more a gift for the converted, that's how I think of it. It's a way to celebrate, like a reverse party where you give gifts instead of getting them.

Bookmarks are good for independent bookstores, a good way to get out to your local ones. Interest a bookseller in your book and it can be gold for sales.

If you're going to trod the path of e-publishing, I think the blogs and review sites can be muy important. Especially with if you include links to quick buys.

I'm not at the point of sending out to reviewers, hopefully...soon!

And I know when I see one of my gift buttons on someone at RT...I'll just get a burst of good feeling and happiness... That's why I plan on doing it!

Donna Cummings

Maureen, that's a nice way to think of the trinkets--a gift at a reverse party. LOL I'm sure it's going to be thrilling when you see readers wearing your buttons at RT. :)

Most marketing things don't have an immediate payoff, because there needs to be repetition, which I suppose is why it's nice to have something that is permanent, so the reader sees your name and the book title over and over. :) The same with guest blogs and reviews.

I think it's a great time to be creative with these kinds of things, particularly because of the e-reading revolution.


I'm all about the karma, Donna. Not to mention...you know... This will sound odd, but... You never know what tomorrow will bring, so if you have a chance to dance and throw confetti about something that is exciting today, do it.

I don't know if this book will be the first of many or the only. I don't know if my heart could go wack-a-doodle the day I get back from RT.

So celebrate is my motto. And say thank you to the people who pick up a button, or a badge flag or whatever, because it's all a gift.

Donna Cummings

I agree, Maureen. There are a lot of things to celebrate each day, even if we have a tendency to overlook them because we're focused on other things. :)


Though the snuggie my MIL gave me is not a gift. It's an abomination. ;-)


Took me awhile to find them, but these are the promotional badge flags I mentioned... http://www.usimprints.com/store/custom-name-badges/product/custom-horizontal-badge-ribbon-2/

Terri Osburn

It's funny, I'm the opposite of Melissa. I've picked up many a book from a blog interview because I fell in love with the author and wanted to read her work. Or I've read a blurb in a blog and had to have it. That's how I ended up reading my first vampire story earlier this year.

And I dislike most review sites I've seen. They are either biased, gush 100% of the time (which eliminates all credibility), or the review is worthless. I'd rather run with word of mouth anyday.

Donna Cummings

Maureen, now I know what you mean about the flags for the badges -- I got one of those when I won 2nd place in a contest this summer, only I didn't get to attend the conference, so I couldn't flash it around. LOL Very cool tho.

Donna Cummings

Terri, I've found several authors that way too, especially from the Borders True Romance blog. If I like their personality on the blog, then I check out their website, and if they have an excerpt I like. . .SOLD. LOL

And I often think afterwards, "How did I not know about this author?"

So I guess I think of review sites as a different form of "word of mouth", but you're right, the reviewer has to have some credibility with me. :)


This is a great post and I've never thought to have a five year plan. Like your original one, I think GET PUBLISHED is kinda my only one that would be on there now. But, yeah, I should think more about this. Celebrating reaching the smaller milestones would certainly help with not hitting the big one, which of course, feels like I'll be waiting nearly forever to do. If then. Ugh.

Donna Cummings

Jenn, I think my five-year plan is still a bit on the fluid side. LOL But it does kind of keep my mind headed the right direction--kind of like an outline does with my books (after I pants them of course!)

And that's a great point--doing things like this makes it seem like we're NOT waiting, which is a horrendous activity. So anything to distract us from the waiting is a great thing. :)


The nice thing, I think, about review sites is how you can use it to promote yourself on your blogs, your website, etc. To pull a quote from a review site and use it as a big neon sign above your head...that's how I see it.

I hope readers buy from blog appearances, because that's why I'm doing them!

And I like to chatter. ;-)

Yeah, Donna, I've picked up some wonderful badge flags at scifi conventions. "Do The Cthulu Hulu" was a big one at the steampunk cons. And it's a great way to use your tag lines! Give 'em out and let people advertise for you!

Donna Cummings

Maureen, I agree that review sites give you a chance to promote yourself -- actually, ANY website that you frequent helps with that. It's all part of that building a community, I think, so that people you "know" online are willing to help spread the word, and support you by buying your book, etc.

I've discovered I'm a Chatty Cathy too--especially when I can do it via my laptop. LOL

I love the "Do The Cthulu Hulu" -- people are so clever!


I really want to order some of them for RT, but just not sure I can justify another expense! And not sure what I'd put on one... I'm thinking...
"Pirates! Curses! Kraken! Oh, My!"

Donna Cummings

I love that, Maureen! And could you justify the expense because it's a tagline that could be used with several books? :)


As for author blog appearances getting a purchase, it's a good thing I think most readers are opposite than me because I'm not an author's ideal reader! LOL I can count on one hand how many new books (other than textbooks) I buy in a year. Either I pick up books my the bag full at yard sales or I am very deliberately looking for my favorite author and autobuy a series. If I go to the "other side" as an author, I hope I don't run into a lot me "me's." LOL

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