June 27, 2012

Why I Created Marketing for Romance Writers

Picture yourself cruising the net looking for a good spot to promote your new book when you happen upon a great review site. You decide to request they read it. First question: Title of book -- hah! Piece of cake. Publisher: Duh! This is easy too. ISBN: Hmmm. You tap your fingers on the keyboard. Didn't I see that in an email? So you open a new window and start rummaging through all the stuff in your inbox. It has 475 messages in it so it takes awhile. You notice an email from a fellow author and read it, respond, then decide to see what's in that cool looking newsletter that just came. About an hour later you close the email window and there in the background is that review site -- still waiting for the ISBN that you never found. Sound familiar?

I thought so. I've done things like this, and so have many others. In 2006, I created Marketing for Romance Writers so I could get some writing done but still help about a dozen friends with questions like "How do I get my book reviewed?" "I'm drowning in email. How do I create folders?" "What's the #1 thing I should do to market my book?" I figured if I helped them, they'd help me when I had a question too. Guess what? It worked. We all helped each other.

I answered their questions with articles on how to create a review request form, how to determine what kinds of folders you need, and ideas on how to find out who was talking about you online. These were things I was learning myself, and I enjoyed sharing. Since that time, those twelve people have morphed into over twelve hundred, and I am not the only person answering questions. Our group is a self-help group that relies on crowd sourced answers. Everybody shares info and news. We started calling the group MFRW because we talked about it so much and the title was too long to write out. We invited guest speakers to come help us learn, and we shared with author groups and our publishers. We gave free workshops. I decided at the beginning that we would not charge for lessons because everyone needed a chance to learn and not everyone could afford it.

We began a professional newsletter, gave seminars, workshops, and had Q&A sessions. We started two blogs and a Facebook group. We created a few excerpt books to give away. This month, we added a website, and in July, we're sponsoring a free, two-day Marketing Summer Camp with over a dozen guest speakers, panels, and a large number of giveaways and handouts.

Things have changed. Yet the more they change -- the more they stay the same. A recent discussion on the Yahoo group asked "When does marketing become spam?" Last count, there were over fifty responses in two separate topics relating to that subject. We also took on the task of liking each other's Amazon author pages, and on Facebook, we regularly like and tag each other's books as a way to help with sales.
Our Author Blog Banner

Yes, we've come a long way. We started out with a Yahoo group and a dozen friends, and we've become a crowd with multiple aspects of social media. We have a newsletter editor, two proofers, a blog director, five group liaisons, a promotions director, and me. Eleven people to look after the goings on around a group that started with only a dozen members. Yes, things have changed, but they are still focused on the same five things as they were in the beginning. Our motto is still "seek, teach, share, learn, succeed."

Our Volunteer Staff

Kayelle Allen Founder 
Newsletter Editor: Rochelle Weber
Proofers: Cat Gardiene, JJ Keller
Blog Director: Lynn Crain
Promotions Director: Karen Cote'
Group Liaisons: Jeanne Barrack, Jean Drew, Dawne Prochilo, Heaven O'Shey, RJ Garside

Join Us!

We still help one another and look for ways to advance our careers by working together. It's been a little less than six years since we started on this journey. I can't wait to see where the next six takes us. Won't you join us?

Where to find Marketing for Romance Writers online:

Our Marketing Blog Banner

Sign up for Summer Camp by joining the Yahoo Group.

All members are enrolled. To take part, read your messages. That's all there is to it!
img credit: "You have a new book" rgbstock.com


  1. Very nice! As if I wasn't proud enough to be a part of this amazing place. The Summer Camp will rock the cyber world as people discover the treasure within MFRW. The treasure that began in your heart Ms. Allen and landed in the hearts it touches.

  2. Amazing how one simple idea can transform into such a success... and to say I am a part of it now is fabulous.


  3. You've done an amazing job in all these years and so many people including me are so thankful for all that you do. You have touched many lives with your amazing attitude and all that you do.

  4. This is, indeed, a fabulous group, Kayelle. The information I get from other members is priceless. Summer camp should be lots of fun. See you there!

    Naomi Bellina

  5. How fun to see these responses. I'm excited to be part of the leadership here. I learn something new every day. Thank you for not only following me, but walking beside me as friends.

  6. What a great blog article! And I'm always here to help if anyone needs it, not sure what I can offer but if you think of something let me know.

  7. I appreciate everything everyone has shared. Thanks, Kayelle, for organizing. Be proud, my friend.

  8. Thank you Michelle! I will remember that. :)

    Vicki, you're awesome. Thank you.

  9. One of my finest days was becoming part of this group. Everyone is eager to help with a problem and point us in the right direction. Bring on the camp, I have dollar bills for the cabana boys? uh, not that kind of camp? Shoot, okay, paper and pens.

  10. Cassie, the boys will be happy to take your tips. On the other hand, the MFRW group will be happy to give you tips. ^_^ Take your pick. LOL

  11. Thanks for a little bit of history on MFRW. I love it :)

  12. Thanks to MFRW, Kayelle, and others who reach a hand back to pull me up, I'm beginning to see hope beyond just writing the best darned book I can.

  13. Mona, you're welcome. This is exactly why we do what we do. ^_^

  14. I've been a fringe member of this group for a while--by "fringe" I mean I lurk but don't post often. Thanks for reminding me what a great resource this is -- I really need to take advantage of that and get more involved.

  15. You're welcome, Becca. MFRW has excellent material. Reading the posts can be an education, even if you don't respond. When you do reply or post, the interaction can make what you gain even more useful, because it becomes personal. It has your touch. No doubt there are things each of us can add that no one else will think of. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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