Learning ‘All About Marketing’. Wow.
Who woulda thunk there was so much to learn about such an innocent seeming topic. But with any publisher now-a-days, E or New York, they’re all asking authors to carry a heavy part of the marketing bucket.
I think my brain’s about to explode.
But I’m learning. And soon (hopefully for the love of sanity) it will become a familiar thing.
I read a great document sent to me by my publisher. The one thing stressed above all others was the time.
As authors, we need to get the most bang for our buck–not just money, but time.
So right now, Marketing is taking up a lot of time. But as I get the hang of it, I’ll find new ways to use the time to set up, then be able to keep the ball rolling with little effort. It’s finding that ‘downhill’ that I’m working on now.
You tell me, what is your favorite way to market?
As a writer, we all experience this at least one time in our lives:
“So…” blushes and silence.
“Yes?” we prod.
“So, where do you get your ideas?”
Us-bangs head against the nearest hard surface.
I love Jeff Foxworthy and his ‘You might be a redneck if…’ jokes.
You might be an author if the above question makes you want to rip your hair out, or the hair of the person asking such a question.
But as a reader, I also understand. The amazing things writers come up with is astounding. The written word is as limitless as the imagination.
My novella coming out October 8th, Dragos: Burned, essentially came about because of two things– my love of all things dragon, and the spark of an idea I had.
What would happen if a dragon shapeshifter and a fireman fell in love?
Well, right there told me it was going to be a paranormal romance.
I had been pushing my personal boundaries and trying to write (and be comfortable with writing) sex scenes. So, I decided to include some of those.
Then it became a paranormal erotic romance.
***See how my brain progresses 🙂
So, I sat down to write my 1 sentence per chapter\scene outline.
When I got done, it had turned into a novella, not a novel.
Sure, I could have pushed for a novel, but the shorter length worked for me.
My ideas normally start with a character. For example, my historical paranormal romance came about because–my love for all things big cat (tigers) and my love of kick butt heroines in historicals. So, I made my heroine a princess in a matriarchal clan of tiger shapeshifters. And the hero? Well, she had to track him down and drag him home.
Ideas are everywhere. I remember a time I’d hear that and snort. No they aren’t.
The key is to train your brain to see them. And then, WRITE THEM DOWN. I don’t care if you have a photographic memory. The best ideas will slip through your fingers before they’re fully formed.
If you WRITE THEM DOWN, they’ll linger in your subconscious, growing and adding to themselves until one day, they’re ready for your inspection.
As authors, it’s our job not just to write, but to constantly cultivate ideas.
Just as we learn the craft, we learn how to see nibbles of ideas in everything around us (or, in my case, inside my wild imagination).
I always hear agents and editors talking about how they want something new and different.
Then, they add, but not too different.
What’s a writer to do? How do we find that line?
Obviously, I’m still working on that.
But I think, over the years of reading agent blogs (See the links for some of my favorites) I’ve come to get at least a slight grasp on the statement.
As a reader, I love seeing the common tropes I’ve come to expect from the genres I love. If I pick up a romance, I darn well want to experience the tumulus, rocky relationship, and the falling in love to their happily ever after. If I pick up an urban fantasy, I want that heroine to kick some major butt, but occasionally show the alpha hero her softer side. I also want to watch how she wraps him around her pinky–not in the way that he’s whipped, but in the way that he treats her with softness, and respect.
So as a writer, I think one of the most important things is knowing the tropes of the genre you write in. As long as you have what the reader expects, the playing field is yours baby 🙂
Q4U: What’s your take?
I know there’s a song with that line. But, since I primarily listen to country, that’s about the only bit I know.
If you talk to twenty writers, and ask them about their road to publication, you’ll get twenty different answers. So, I can only comment on me.
Like most, I’ve always been in love with the written word. I’m a voracious reader, devouring a novel a day (speed reader). About five years ago, after being a stay at home mama for a couple of years, I sat down one day and announced to my husband, I’m going to write a book.
He looked at me with a smile and said, “Go for it. You’ll be great.”
Little did either of us know how long and arduous the journey would be. I started a book, hated everything about it, and soon lost interest.
About a year later, the voices in my head demanded attention and refused to shut up. It took me a while to get a good portion down on the page. I still hated it, and tried to revise and revise those first three chapters. Finally, I found out about critique groups.
Those first experiences were horrible.
But with time and patience and great people, I began to find my way.
To date, I have completed 2 Urban Fantasy novels, 1 Paranormal Erotic Romance Novel, 1 Novella, and 1 final draft of a YA Fantasy. I have others in different stages of completion, I’ll get back to them eventually.
For about 9 months, I’ve been querying my UF novel. Sometimes there is good news, other times not so good. I have to take it as it is.
And now, I’m going to be published in Paranormal Erotic Romance. They’re even interested in buying more of my novellas, the continuation of the Burned series, and others that I have “In The Works”
I admit to being a fast writer. Still working on my drafts being cleaner, but there’s improvement with each new story I write.
Recently, I got a request from an editor for one of my erotic paranormal romance novellas. And one of the novels (different editor).
Then, there were these calls for submission for a couple of anthologies.
Hell, not me.
I’ve managed to write a grand 1 (one) short story when trying.
But this, erotic romance, I’ve found I can do. I mean, I sat down this past week and wrote 2 short stories and submitted them to different anthologies.
(PS. Hoping to hear soon, but we all know publishing, right?)
So what makes it so different, that my fantasy, urban or otherwise, and my romance, paranormal of course, just seems to require a longer medium? But erotica I seem to be able to cut shorter?
I’d think plot, but some of my readers specifically commented that what they liked most about my stories was the plot.
Any ideas readers???
…And, hopefully I’ll have some good news to share in the upcoming months. Then, I’ll get to bug ya’ll to read my stuff 🙂