Pamela Tracy here, and today's topic is marketing.
As an author, right now I'm very much like a person holding on to a kite. The kite, of course, is my latest book. Used to be, all an author had to do was write the book, and when it hit the stands, she would let go of the kite and off it would fly. "Bye, bye, Book. Please sell a million copies!" Nowadays, writers cannot let go of the string. Nope, we're on the ground with something akin to a GPS system and we're trying to figure out where to best aim our kite (er, book).
I've done some things. Have they worked? I dunno. Early on, think first 15 books, I pretty much let other people yell, "Hey, you, over there with the kite, do you wanna....?" With that attitude, I managed to once be mentioned in RWA Romance Sells magazine. I also took my kite to whatever event my local RWA offered. So, go ahead and picture me at booksignings, Book Expos, Women's Expos, and even a signing or two on a college or university campus. My kite didn't stand out much, but it did fly.
Then, at about book fifteen, suddenly, I made a leap. I call it making my way to the next leg of the ladder. See, I'd written a book called The Good, the Bad, and the Romantic. I knew it was different almost from page one. It felt right. I'd finally figured out my voice (Yup, I did say book fifteen). With that book, I got an agent. That book sold to a different publisher. They changed the name of that book to Pursuit of Justice. That book was a RITA finalist and more. Now, suddenly, my kite needed to be a little bigger, maybe a bit more independent, and I definitely needed some lessons in how to fly. My first stumble, and it was a stumble, was postcards. Yup, sent them out. Yup, instead of getting regular size, I bought the deluxe. Who knew postage was more. From there I went to advertising in RT and getting my website and blogging (Yes, you're looking at one of those blogs) and more.
Why am I rambling about all this? LOL. Here's why. Saturday, I made it to the newspaper. Getting a write-up has always been a goal of mine. I listen to my writer friends as they discuss press kits (haven't done one) and such. I figured I'd need to come at it from a different angle, so I simply emailed a journalist who'd done a most excellent article on "Moms Who Write". Instead of offering simple "I'm a Writer!", I offered "I'm a writer; my sister-in-law is a writer, and my father-in-law's girlfriend is a writer." Then, I mentioned that my husband is a plumber; my brother-in-law is a plumber, and my father-in-law is a retired plumber. Then I mentioned that my sister-in-law fixed me up with my husband on a blind date. Then I mentioned that my sister-in-law and I fixed our father-in-law up with a romance writer on a blind date.
I did the romance writer and plumber angle a bit too well. The news article focused on that. As for my writing career... well, the article did mention that I was a Harlequin writer. And, once, I was referred to as the Romance Queen. Hehehehe.
However, it's a great and well-written article (Thank you, Sonja. Thank you, Sonja. Thank you!) Yesterday, as I walked to the grocery store, the barbershop lady opened the door and yelled, "Hey, Pam, I love how you met your husband!" Today at church, friends brought me the newspaper so I'd have extra copies. They all loved how I met my husband. They didn't care that I'm a romance writer. LOL. They were too interested in the real romance. Kinda kewl, eh?
I'll cherish this article forever (and so will my husband because he got the only blocked quote), even as I aim my kite for a different marketing idea.