An Indie Author’s Marketing Plan

I’m terrible at marketing. I think it boils down to the fact that I don’t like intruding.

That being said, I still have to promote my upcoming release, The Beginning of Forever. So I’m tossing around some ideas.

cropped-vv_the-beginning-of-forever_banner.jpg

Here’s what I have:

***Paid Services***

Schedule a Blog Tour: I’ve found a tour site that I believe caters to my genre and will be contacting them shortly to set up a tour. I’ve used this method before and wasn’t very happy with the results, but the fault was my own. I didn’t do my research. When paying for a blog tour, authors should read the blogs of the participating hosts. If the majority of the blogs focus on YA and you write Erotica, then it’s not a good match. Lesson learned.

Giveaways: My first giveaway is scheduled right here on the Vallory V blog during my September Hero Worship Week. I came up with Hero Worship Week last year and it was a lot of fun so I’m incorporating a giveaway with it this year. There will be three prizes all having a connection to Amber and Kevin’s story. I’ll also do one at the end of the year.

Facebook Party: I had one of these for Cheers and it was hilarious. My family and friends participated and made me laugh so hard. And my brother was asked to model for a romance cover. Thankfully, he works for the school district and couldn’t do it. I couldn’t have dealt with him if his photo was up on Amazon.  Don’t know that I got any sales from it but awareness was definitely created. I may do this later in the year around the holidays.

YouTube: Again sales, not so sure, but awareness! I’m busily working on a video to introduce with the book’s release.

***Free Stuff***

Tweet Schedule: I’ll be tweeting from September 6th to the end of year about The Beginning of Forever. If you follow me on Twitter, know that these messages are on a loop!

Forum Posting: Same as above!

Email Signature: Once I have a live link, I’ll add the book to my email signature.

Press Release: I’m in the process of creating a press release and will send to my local newspaper as well as any digital outlets I can find such as Yahoo! and Examiner.com

Update the Blog and Facebook Page: Have to change the headers and add photos.

Ask for Help!: I’m also compiling a list of authors who have appeared on this site and asking them if I can appear on theirs to promote my new release. Eek! This is goes back to my intrusion phobia, but I’ll do it!

It’s pretty skimpy and if anyone wants to share other ideas, I’m listening!

A Night at the Wesley – Revisited

After a morning of shopping for school uniforms with three kids, I was completely done. I knew there would be no writing for me this afternoon – my brain was fried and my nerves were frazzled. Some macaroni and cheese and a glass of wine were all that I was thinking about.

But I did turn on my computer as I ate. Checked a few emails, responded to none but starred them for later. For some reason, I decided to check my Amazon sales through the KDP website. (An amazing and insidious site that can bring me to tears or have me leaping with joy.) Today, though, I was too tired to care one way or the other.

But I did see that A Night at the Wesley had sold a few books this month and I noticed its publication date – 07/08/2012. A year old! I missed another baby’s birthday.

Like all of my children, I have a clear vision of the day they were either born or published into the world.

Last year, it was unbearably hot here in North Texas. We were on track for breaking a record for most consecutive days of temps over 100 degrees. Even me who never complains about the heat was a grumpy, sweaty lump.

I gave the kids and hubby some Popsicles and began writing about snow.

I saw the building shrouding in a mist first – dark and cold without a warming fire. The Wesley Hotel in downtown Detroit was created.

But this is an erotic flash so we’ll need heat from somewhere. Enter Connie Atkinson, pissed that she’s in Detroit when she should be in Vail at a posh ski resort in front of that fire.

Then we’ll need someone to warm up Connie’s night. Ah, there he is…Noah Cohen, attorney and former college study buddy! The Wesley doesn’t seem so bad to Connie when she’s staring into Noah’s soft brown eyes.

Those two brought a lot of joy to me last summer. In fact all of the characters did. I wrote this when I knew even less about being a writer than I do now…and that’s saying a lot. I wrote it as it came to me and one day I’m sure I’ll revise it into a longer work. Make it more of a “romantic” piece but for now I think it’s fine as it is – the possibility of a happily ever after.

NightWesleyAmazonCoverA Night at the Wesley – a little heat in the middle of a dreary winter written in the dog days of summer. (For the recipe for A Long Sloe Screw, the cocktail in the short story, click here.)

July 2013 Update ~ On Time!

Ha! I got this in on schedule (pats self on the back)…

Here’s where I am and where I plan on going:

Twist of Fate: One of my poems is included in this anthology of poems and short stories to benefit those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma earlier this year. This collaboration of indie authors has been truly amazing. I just finished the anthology on the train on Friday and almost cried because of some of the imagery.

To learn more about this effort, visit the The Twist of Fate blog.

TheBeginningofForeverThe Beginning of Forever: The release date for the conclusion of Amber and Kevin’s story is September 6th! Next week, I’ll start on a marketing plan and I want to do something different this time so I’ve been researching like crazy and hope to have something on paper by next weekend.

From Portia's Balcony

From Portia’s Balcony

The Andrade House Mysteries: Two years ago, I wrote a cozy mystery. It centered around an inn owner in New Orleans with psychic abilities and brought in the people and culture of New Orleans as characters themselves. I loved it but never did anything with it.

So this year, I’ve dusted it off and am in the rewriting stages. I hope to finish by mid-August.

In the mean time, I’ll start looking for beta readers, an editor and a cover designer. Have to decide if this will be a Vallory Vance novella. 

Any thoughts about changing names with a different genre? I was thinking about readers thinking they were getting a spicy romance and it is certainly not.

Envious and Inspired

I’ve been kinda of timid about writing lately. Too much self-comparison between me and my favorite writers. It’s like being in high school all over again. You aren’t one of the cool kids because that’s just not your style, but there is that part of yourself that hasn’t accepted that that’s cool too!

So I voiced my concerns to my marketing manager, my daughter. Her suggestion was that I should cover her own success as a writer on the blog just to keep my fingers nimble. She is, after all,  four chapters away from completing her first novella currently at 52, 683 words. (Yes, you read that right.)

I must admit, I envy her word count!

I also envy her unbridled moxy. She is fearless in her writing. It is her own and the rest of the world be damned. She doesn’t think if this is good enough or strong enough or if she used the right word or even if the word exists in the English language.

My beautiful pictureThis is the hurdle I face each night in my writing. I’m editing and thinking when I’m supposed to be fearless and reckless. At the moment my characters start to speak, I silence them with my own questions – Have I given enough reason for you to say that? Is there enough of a back story? Is there too much back story? Is my plot strong enough?

Then I spiral down to not writing at all, but I’ve been given a new inspiration – a teen with maroon colored hair and a megawatt flat iron to show me the way. She’s my writing hero.

Fearless writing, here I come!

Coming Soon ~ The Beginning of Forever

Almost! I have a release date of The Beginning of Forever by Amira Press – 09/06/2013!

Here’s the cover:

TheBeginningofForever

Here’s the blurb:

Amber Grayson, a conservative executive, found true love with fiancé, Kevin Miller. He infused her life with a sense of adventure and challenged her thoughts about appropriate bedroom behavior. After such a steamy affair, Amber was expecting nothing less during their engagement. 

Even with the rushed timetable for the wedding combined with the stress of merging their households and finances, Amber is excited to begin a family with the man of her dreams. However, the beginning of forever is more difficult than either Amber or Kevin thought. 

Locked in a battle of wills, Amber and Kevin find their commitment to each other and their future tested. Is this the beginning of their lives together or the end? 

I’ll be telling you all the things that hubby and friends have been saying over the next few weeks!

And I’m asking for a little help as I begin on marketing campaigns – what about giveaways? A $25.00 Fredrick’s of Hollywood gift card is already scheduled (because you know Kevin likes Amber barely clothed and she ain’t a size six) What else can I give away? Music, chocolates?

I’m a desperate indie author in search of some ideas because honestly, I believe Amber and Kevin have a story that can warm your hearts and wet your sheets!