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.



Someone To Watch Over Me


Since Mike and I recently parted ways (for the happiest reason in the world) as far as this website goes, I’ve been trying to pull things together around here. We’ve had WordPress for awhile, so I’m familiar with the dashboard and know how to add widgets and things. He’s always been helpful and patient, teaching me how to do stuff, so I thought, snap. Ha!

A door closes and a window opens. Enter Barb Drozdowich, sacred dove on my shoulder and new web person. Because guess what? It took me 20+ hours to do less than she accomplished for me in an hour. My results were just okay. Her results, spectacular.

Wanted to give a shout out to this WordPress Warrior Woman, who is so easy to work with and charming besides. Also want to officially debut the new look of the blog to the world, now that it is almost complete. I still have a bit of homework…which I will do this week. I would have never thought to add excerpts and reviews to my books page, but Barb did. Great idea! She also sized all the books properly, both on the book page and the sidebar. Then she linked them to Amazon in a much better way than I even knew was possible.

During our first conversation, Barb said the magic words every writer wants to hear “I’ll do this so you can spend your time writing.” Spend my time writing! Yes, please. And you read my opening right, everything she did here, she did in under an hour. Mostly, she tidied up my messes. And I look forward to her continuing to do so for many years.

Yes, this is pretty much a love letter to a special woman, who is so unassuming I had no idea she published her own books, non-fiction titles that help authors and bloggers, until I looked her up for this post. I found Barb’s books on Amazon and immediately bought two:)  Barb also runs Sugarbeat’s Books and that was quite the find for the book lover within me. A treasure trove of titles and reviews for Regency buffs (why yes, I am) and lovers of contemporary romance.

Barb’s official title is “Social Media and WordPress Consultant.” Her company is Bakerview Consulting. She has taught at University, trained technical personnel in the banking industry and, most recently, used her expertise to help dozens of authors (including me!) develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world.

Barb, my gratitude knows no bounds.