First, my thanks to Kayelle for inviting me to the blog. I am an admirer. Kayelle and I share a publisher, an editor, and a passion for marketing and promotion. But today I would like to talk about holidays past and present -- specifically last year and this one. Wow! What a difference a year makes.
Today, I am celebrating the release of my first-ever holiday novella. It's called Mistletowed. In fact, Mistletowed is my sixth published book. My first book, Genetic Attraction came out on January 4 of 2011. Think about that for a second. That means last year at this time I was chewing my fingernails desperately trying to learn whatever I could about social media and reviews and blog tours and conferences and "swag," whatever that was. I was emailing kind, patient authors I had met on my publisher's author loop and asking them endless questions because in only a few days I was going to be a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!! Hear those harps in the background? That choir singing? Yep, just like that.
In fact, I had been a published non-fiction author for years. But fiction!? A whole different story. Here are some of the things that I have learned in this wild year:
I heard about a blog tour and the idea made instant sense to me. I had been blogging for about six months at that time and had a general idea what it was about. So I figured, how hard can it be to set up a tour? Ignorance is truly bliss but I plunged in. I just started by asking the authors on my loop if anyone would like a guest blogger. A bunch of kind people said yes and I was on my way. Gradually I figured out how to assemble excerpts and attach links and contacts. The blog writing was the easy part. While there are great promo companies who set up tours, I think you can do it yourself with a little organization.
It took me a while to learn about giveaways. Since most publishers only give the author a few copies of their books, the idea of giveaways isn't intuitive. But I heard a friend say she wanted to give away a lot of books. Yes! I got it. Give away a bunch and people will like the books and read more. (You hope!) I've been buying my books and giving them away ever since.
Swag. What a wild concept. Another friend introduced me to the magic of VistaPrint and I was HOOKED. Now I am a Swag junkie and have to enter a 12-step program.
Social media is the name of the game. The fact that we have this amazing tool for promotion blows my mind. I started with Twitter which I instantly related to though it took me awhile to learn the subtleties like hashtags. Then I worked into Facebook and StumbleUpon and Google+ and --oh dear. I suggest people start with the one that seems the most fun.
Blogs. People shudder at the word and I recently heard someone say that they had read the blogging world is full and there is no point starting a blog. Really? I don't know how an author can do without a blog. It's like headquarters for everything. You need something to promote on your social media and it has to be new and fresh all the time. That would be a blog. LOL
Write a lot of great books.
Oh dear, I didn't mean for this to turn into a marketing rant! LOL. It's Kayelle's influence. All her fault. But you can see it has been a year of learning and total immersion. After that first book, I have been fortunate enough to have seven more accepted for publication. A total of six have come out this year. So my life has been all about these things I learned last holiday season. I do remember taking a break to read the holiday book of one of my mentor/inspirations, Jet Mykles. Just like I hope people will take a break this year to read Mistletowed.
Would you like to win Mistletowed? Just leave a comment with your EMAIL (don't forget the email or I can't find you if you win.) You will be entered in a drawing for the book on December 25th! Then go over to http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com Leave a comment with EMAIL and follow the blog. You'll have another entry! Thank you again, Kayelle. And thank to you for visiting the blog.
Note from Kayelle
Why wait? Make your Christmas merrier and purchase
Author blog: http://taralain.blogspot.com
Book blog: http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com
Savvy Authors: http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/member.php?2398-Tara-Lain
Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male,
Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote accepted for publication in 2010. She’s now on book six. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education, and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable.” Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas, she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes.”