Will Work for Key Words

perf5.000x8.000.inddAfter I finished Lily White in Detroit, I made a promise to myself to become better at the other part of my job as a writer: marketing. This is embarrassing to admit, but I bet I’m not alone. In fact, I know I’m not. I have published novelist friends who don’t have websites. We are writers, not salespersons. This is not a slam on marketing as a career. It’s just, I know how to write. I don’t know shit about SEO. That promise to myself means I’m learning a new job: PR. I knew it would be difficult. Parts of it would possibly be over my head. It would take time and money. I might find PR tedious as well as difficult. Is PR synonymous with marketing? I don’t even know that much. I think of it as The Art of Selling Stuff.

Stuff being my soon to be released novel. And possibly my backlist, especially Blue Heaven and Love and Death in Blue Lake because Lily appears in both those novels and I had to work to keep her from stealing the show. But maybe it’s not good PR to say “read these other two while you wait for the new release” … because it might imply that Lily White cannot stand alone. She can. She does.

What am I learning? First, I talked to the publicist at TWRP about a Facebook ad and we are set to do that. Also, I promised a friend I’d go on her local cable television show  despite my performance anxiety. It turns out I have a hot topic theme, because the book is set in Detroit and you can’t write about Detroit without getting into race. Lily is white in a black city. The other main character is a black male. I write from both points of view, which is hot topic number two for interviews.

After I realized my novel may well be controversial, and I would have to deal with that, I switched gears to fun stuff: changed my website to convey my transition from romance to mystery. Hired a designer who made the header for my website. She put that header on my new business cards, as well as my Facebook, and Twitter accounts. I’m following NaNoProMo. Taking notes. Reading books. Next step, look at my analytics. Word Press makes it easy, but I have an aversion to charts and stats. Still gonna do it.

Here is the silver lining to all this. I get to share a scary new journey with you. And if you know any marketing to PR tips, please share.

 

 

Mystery & Me

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Blame it on Nancy Drew. She was my first love (but far from my last) in the mystery genre. In the 1960s, as a young girl, I collected her books and began a life long commitment to binge reading. Which led to writing, which led to writing a mystery. My first mystery, Love and Death in Blue Lake, releases worldwide today.

Love and Death in Blue Lake didn’t start out as a mystery. I’d written several romance and women’s fiction titles and I thought for sure this book, about high school sweethearts who reconnect, would be another in the same genre. But no. Stories often take unexpected turns as this one did when I wrote a gun into someone’s purse.

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What began as a small subplot came to be an equal plot to the romance story. It constantly threatened to take over the book, but I had my heart set on writing a rekindled love story. Eventually I found a way to get the thwarted lovers to reconnect over the mystery and that’s when I realized that this book would be different.

Love and Death in Blue Lake is the third in my Blue Lake series, and brings back several characters from the first book, Blue Heaven, to expand and deepen their stories. I love writing a series…I just hope readers like the new direction mine has taken as much as I do.

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To celebrate the season, I am giving away two autographed print copies of Love and Death in Blue Lake to commenters #2 and #5 in U.S. only. The first commenter, US or UK, will receive free Kindle editions of Blue Heaven and Love and Death in Blue Lake.

Update: I opened contest on Facebook too and added a few more books:) Contest now closed. Congrats to all winners and I will get your books out soon!

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Contest winners: Anita Dawes, my U.K. winner, plus Lynn Cobb (from DWW!), Tom Edwards, Louise Martin, and Cindy Springer-Holsing, three Facebook friends. Love sending people books!

Encore!

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I am not very interested in promotion or platforms or any of that. I have this blog because I like blogging. That’s it. Also I remember I used to look at Jennifer Weiner’s blog and see all her book covers marching down the side of her page and thought how cool would that be? And now it’s real!

Anyway, I’m not sure about how this will work but I wanted to say that Blue Heaven is being reissued by Amazon Encore on September 15, 2015. That means it won’t be available anywhere (except perhaps pirate sites!) until then in e-book form. It’s still out in print as Encore only contracted e-book rights.

Even though I don’t like pushing my books, I am excited about this. Who knows what will happen? New life for an old book. cindy.signature.IMG_1606

A Moment I’ll Always Remember!

1BHYou can’t see my name or the title so well, but you sure can see that #1. In the interest of full disclosure, I was #1 on the free list, not the paid one. The pink object in front of the picture is my ever-present lip gloss. Had a tough day yesterday with students. Felt like I failed to reach them, or at least some of them. So good to be back in my little office, doing my own thing♥